The Closet Audit Edition
Style is more than just clothes or trends. Style is how you feel and live your life and when you are comfortable in your clothes and style you can be comfortable in your own skin.
Clothing is the foundation of your day and if you are uncomfortable in what you are wearing you are going to be disconnected from doing your best or feeling your best, even if you don't realize it consciously.
Clothing is honestly the most personal possession we own because we must wear them on our bodies everyday. They aid us in everything we do and even how we do it, yet in today's fast fashion world our clothing is looked at as an after thought. The disposable culture that surrounds our clothes has changed the game. By being overly trend driven, it pushes us to constantly want new new new which leads us with owning way too much. Plus, we don't usually LOVE or feel absolutely amazing in most of it because it is cheap, ill fitting and lightly considered before being purchased so we end up with wardrobes that are full, but we truly have nothing to wear.
Although it seems good to have tons of cute/trendy options for prices sometimes cheaper than your latte, it is actually a huge disservice to not only our environment but our self confidence, style and to the people producing the clothing in factories. The idea of building ones wardrobe into a quality collection of cherished items has been lost, but with the RR Wardrobe Development Services I am working to change that by helping people find their personal style and thrive in it. I believe that if we all understand our personal style and cherish our wardrobes more, we can move towards a more sustainable future and feel so much better about ourselves.
The Wardrobe Development Services were created to provide help navigating through all the crap that brings down your style and makes getting dressed harder. The mindful approach of making an intentional pivot with your closet is a game changer and many of my clients have even said that the process has been life changing.
I officially launched this part of the business for a couple reasons.
First, during my pop-up events I would have regular customers come back to shop and something I kept hearing over and over again was "I bought a RUBA RUBA item and it is the nicest thing in my closet. I don't even know what to do with the rest of my clothes and I feel like I have nothing" This phrase drove me nuts because I felt like I was powerless to help them. I felt that them buying another RUBA RUBA piece would be good for them, and me, but it wouldn't solve the bigger issue that was very present here. Second, I kept getting requests to take people shopping and went and helped people like I had been doing this for years before I even started RUBA RUBA, but it was not an official process and it needed to be. It became very clear that this service needed to be a key part of the RUBA RUBA brand.
I knew that I was not going to be able to physically make a set of garments that could completely undertake the huge issue that was relevant in most people's closets. I knew that the world of fast fashion and the pervasive view of clothing being disposable was much too big and has even changed our way of treating our clothing and shopping. I knew that if my line was going to make a real difference in the world that I needed to do more than only create new objects to go into it. I knew I needed to create a way to help women feel good about their over-all wardrobe so that when they did invest in a RUBA RUBA design that it was being added to a well thought out wardrobe that they felt good about and understood instead. I want RUBA RUBA designs to be another piece of the puzzle that elevates one's mindful wardrobe, not an item that floats among a person's discomfort. That is why I felt it was really important to help people navigate through and/or away from the fast fashion world with my services and I launched it to help the entire cycle of the closet get better.
Wardrobes take a lot of work to maintain, a lot of patience and a lot of trial and error.. and that is OK! No wardrobe can be completely flipped and made perfect over night. They evolve as we evolve. As long as you are willing and able, all you need to do is be mindful about it and make adjustments where you can. Revamping your wardrobe and shifting your mindset isn't an easy task and that is why calling in a professional can make such a difference.
As a wardrobe stylist & fashion designer I have a strong understanding of how clothing should fit, feel, and lay on the body. I put a huge focus on how the clothing feels and serves you on a daily basis. I believe your closet has a lot of power over you and can make or break your day.
When I go into a client's home or closet, I am there to help, not judge. I never make you follow a cookie cutter list or shame you for anything in your closet. If you have an issue in your closet, my only intention is to help defeat it. Every step of the process is thought out a head of time, but also flexible and customized to you and your needs as we go.
HERE IS HOW IT WORKS:
#1 THE REACH OUT
Once you have reached out and expressed your need for a wardrobe stylist, we chat for a bit so I can get a better understanding of what your needs are (usually done through email or text depending on where the client found me).
Then once we have a basic jist of it all I then send a 'Welcome Packet' to you. This is where I get to know you, learn your needs, likes and frustrations with your closet. I also ask you to make a style focused Pinterest board so I can understand a head of time what styles or looks you are attracted to and how that matches up to everything else you mention. Once you have completed that lil bit of homework, then we set a date and I get to researching and figuring out a plan for our time together.
#2 THE MEET
The first meet can vary depending on what service you are in need of. For this blog post, I have decided to focus on 'The Closet Audit & Style Consulting' package since it is one of the most popular starter packages - so I will tailor all of the examples to that to keep it clear and simple.
#3 THE DEEP DIVE
The first meet we will go into your closet to start sifting through all the clothes. The first thing we do is discuss your thoughts on your closet in person. Then I will ask you to make 3-5 different piles on the bed (depending on how much you have and what the issues you are having are) Each pile will be a different category.*Here I let you begin the process. It can be a funky feeling to have someone else in your home, going through your personal belongings so I find it to be a good ice breaker and makes clients more comfortable for them to start it all.
Examples of Pile Categories:
Pile #1 - Things you hate, Pile #2 - Things you love, Pile #3 - Wild Cards (Things you like but have never worn or just don't know what to do with), Pile #4 - You like the item, but you don't like wearing it, Pile #5 - Damaged or doesn't fit.
These piles can vary but this is the basic structure of it. To start, I let you do all of the picking. Sometimes closets are way too jam packed to make piles with everything in one session, but we do as much as we possibly can during this first meet by prioritizing what is most important.
#4 THE FILTER
Once the piles feel pretty hefty, we will start to go through them looking at what you are fond of and not so thrilled with. This is superrrr helpful because this is the time where you see all of it in front of you and it can help you realize very quickly what you like and don't like and the most important part, the WHY behind why you love or don't love something. This 'why' helps guide us through the rest of the process. Once we have the pieces organized into other sub-categories (this happens very naturally as we discuss) which includes but are not limited to, donate pile, sell pile, recycle pile, needs alterations pile and of course the love pile and the wild cards.
Once we have a real understanding of where your wardrobe is at, we then dive into the positive piles to start building outfits. This is the fun part and really determines what your style is and what you love to wear. A lot of clients assume they know exactly what they want before I come in and by the end are surprised in what they learn and discover about themselves and how to wear their clothes.
We then figure out what your 'outfit combos' are and we build from there. (An outfit combo is the combination of types/silhouettes that you feel your best in. More on that in a bit) Going through hate and love piles really helps get us closer to understanding this. Everyone has a different set of combos and understanding those combos is the 1st step to understanding your style. Once you really get what that means and what you prefer, you will be able to get dressed so much quicker and easier.
HERE IS A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE
OF A RECENT CLOSET AUDIT:
THIS CLIENTS PARTICULAR NEEDS:
- Comfort. She heavily expressed that she wants to feel put together, but also feel very comfortable. If something tugs at her shoulders even a tad, she is not about it. We worked hard to bring her the utmost comfort through out all of her outfits
- Outfit creation & defining her outfit 'combos' to help her discover her true personal style
- Some minimal closet rearranging and organizing (shoe racks, bins, hanging arrangement) and laundry modifications
- Recognizing the major versatility in her closet to make getting dressed easier and quicker
- Defining her desire for a classic yet effortless style while stepping out of the old fashion rules of being too matchy matchy or feeling overdone
- Understanding size and that it isn't a black and white system. She has lost a lot of weight over the past few years and although she is able to fit into more, she still gets caught up in being in the bigger sizes. It was important to show her how size varies between brands, silhouettes and styles and she doesn't have to feel attached to that one size.
She has been a regular RUBA RUBA line customer and has used 'The RR Personal Shopping Service' to also help guide her through shopping to develop her closet. I usually recommend a customer do a 'Closet Audit Service' before purchasing anything else new, but this was an exception. This client had lost a good amount of weight and didn't really have enough of a wardrobe to sift through when we first started doing 'Personal Shopping Service Sessions'. So, this was very customized to what she needed and she purchased a few sessions of shopping and then finally an audit over the last 8 months or so.
Shopping Service Session Prior to Closet Audit:
Budget: Shopping for under 500$ (over 2-3 shopping sessions - *This amount does not reflect all that she purchased over the past year, just our last few sessions)
What she needed: A few versatile items to add into her closet to make looks that feel more complete. She naturally has an eye for quality and will only purchase items of quality. She does have a strict budget though, so we shopped sales and consignment stores in order to get the right quality items at the right price.
What she got for under $500 during about two of our shopping sessions:
- A pair of well fitting mid-rise jeans from Lucky Brand
- A new Kate Spade wallet bought second hand
- A poplin white tunic from J Crew
- A RUBA RUBA Light weight Jeanie Jacket (she purchased at a pop-up earlier in the summer)
- A RUBA RUBA Sheet Scarf (She purchased during her Closet Audit - she requested I bring a hand selected pile of scarves for her to look through - Clients often ask for me to bring a hand selected collection of designs for them to look through. There is no obligation to buy and I only bring items when they are requested)
- A long sweater cardigan from J Crew
* All of these items added great value and versatility to her wardrobe and made outfit creation so much easier with this core staples added in.
The cost of her Closet Audit & Style Consulting: $200
This was a one time session that took around 3.5 hours to complete. The fee for the audit & styling for a 3 hour session is usually $200 and that includes the prep, communication before and the creation of the document after our session together. The cost is determined before the session and only goes up if we go over 4 hours OR you have multipule closets we have to go through and the session needs to be broken up into two different days.
First things first, what are outfit combos?
Outfit combos are the outfit structures you are most drawn to and like wearing most. Everyones are different. Combos are just the basis of the type of outfits you like, and can be a million different looks.
#1: Denim and a top/tee // Accessories or a statement jacket over top to finish it
#2: Leggings and tunics with simple accessories
#3: Skirts with a tucked in top // Accessories or statement jacket over top to finish it
> Important needs in her outfits: Wants her butt covered, wants to be comfortable, doesn't want too much volume but also doesn't want anything too fitted/tight on the upper body. Wants a classic style with a feminine flare and feel that fits her personality best.
Now, understanding these combos is super important because it makes her (or any client) feel confident in getting dressed because she now knows she doesn't have to reinvent the wheel every time she goes to her closet in order to show off her personal style or feel polished. We went through her clothes with her 'Combo' guide lines to make multiple outfits.
Here is the Jeans & Top combo made into a couple different looks with just a change in toppers, shoes and accessories:
OUTFITS CREATED USING HER COMBO GUIDELINES:
When I had arrived to go through her closet with her, she had already done some prep of her own. She made piles of things to give to her friends and to donate and sell. Of course, my whole purpose of being there is to do this exact thing, so we dove right into those piles anyways and luckily we did.
Since she was very frustrated with her clothes and even though she had been gradually accumulating some great quality items over the past year or so since she had lost so much weight, she still felt like she had nothing to wear and kept saying "I have no clothes".
We went through and found that a TON of what she thought was not worth saving was actually super important to save and could serve her well with a new perspective. She just needed to understand how to wear them and how versatile the pieces really were.
This outfit in the middle was almost all going to be donated (outside of the accessories) until I showed her ways to use these items in new and comfortable ways. We ended up luckily pulling these right out of her pre-audit donate pile and ended up finding a new love for these items.
This client was still under the impression that everything had to be super matchy matchy in order for her to look good. These outfits show that things can go together AND match WITHOUT being matchy matchy. It is all about bringing colors, textures and tones together that marry well and compliment each other. This sort of matching looks much more sophisticated than wearing head to toe matchy matchy.
We talked a lot about the importance of layering and how much easier layering can be if your base and under layers are completely black. Which stems from the RUBA RUBA Outfit Formula Concept.
This outfit below is a perfect example of this. Right off the bat, without putting thought into it you may think that this sheer white lace top must be worn with a white tank and nude bra under it BUT I would highly disagree. Wearing this top with black pants, a black bra and a black very fitted tank under it creates a clean elegant canvas to work off of. It also makes the creation of this outfit SOOOO much easier because you aren't worried about bra straps or different toned whites showing and even having to dig for all of those things in the morning. The black goes into the background and the white top is able to be the star, which it should be. You now are able to see the top instead of all of the layers under it.
We talked a lot about dressing items up and down. This outfit below is a perfect example. We paired this 'Jeanie Jacket' she had bought from RUBA RUBA about 3 years ago with a charcoal button down, some black skinnies and mules that she had all owned for a while.
The accessories finish the look off well and this outfit shows off her style, but again, does not look over done. She could get away with wearing this to a casual dinner or a fancier event with a shoe change, but also feel comfortable wearing it out and about on a casual Saturday.
The picture below was one example of an outfit we put together that fit within her combo preferences and also married pieces from her summer wardrobe and fall wardrobe. She was just about to tuck away this green sleeveless top with a ruffley semi-turtleneck for the winter.
I immediately showed her how to wear this item into the fall effortlessly with the right layering techniques. This showed her how versatile some of the pieces she owned really are and gave more significance to this top that originally only had 2-3 months of wearing allowed to it.
This Closet Audit & Style Consulting Example shows how customized the process can be while the outline remains the same and the results make a great impact ^ ^
AFTER OUR SESSION TOGETHER
After our sessions together I send the client a customized list of everything we discussed along with some style tips and tricks and even a curated list (with links if needed) of what I believe they should invest in the near future and even what to avoid buying. I send links to storage/organizing tools and laundry needs as well that I think are relevant to the client's needs.
After a couple of weeks of living the new found wardrobe, I reach back out and check in. I also am happy to receive messages/emails with any questions or even give an opinion before my clients click that buy button when shopping. I think it is important to have communication after our sessions to make sure the process is really working for them. Clients usually come back for another service within a few weeks or months to upgrade items with a shopping session. It all depends on the person and what they need - and this can be something we discuss as well during our session to determine if this is a necessity for the client or not.
“After my session I was so excited. I actually felt like I won the lottery. I finally have go-to outfits that fit my personality and most of them were already in my closet and I didn't realize it before. I feel more confident in putting together outfits now and learning the RUBA RUBA Outfit formula made such a difference for me I couldn't believe the impact of this experience! Getting dressed feels really good and is so much easier than before.”
- RR Client from this featured audit
If you are interested in this service or any of the other RUBA RUBA services please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or requests. I am beyond passionate about helping you find your personal style and I would be more than happy to chat about what I can do for you! Even if you aren't ready to jump into this process, if you have questions please don't hesitate to ask!
Georgia // RUBA RUBA