One of the many reasons I love my job is receiving such great feedback. Thank you to Melissa Labram, a recent Wardrobe Edit client, for her thoughts on the service.
Why I booked a wardrobe edit: It didn’t change my life but…
Having a wardrobe edit with Apparel Leeds didn’t change my life, but it nudged me out of my style rut, ready to take life’s next steps. Time to clear out, update and look forward.
As a freelancer for nine years prior to the pandemic, I was used to working from home. It was the socialising that covid robbed us of that definitely hit the hardest. To be quite frank, the thought of entering social situations once more filled me with dread. It was time for the joggers to literally jog on.
This, coupled with a daunting house move on the horizon which meant serious decluttering along with fast approaching 50 and accepting that my perimenopausal body is evolving, left me feeling - well, a little overwhelmed to say the least.
With the last lockdown over and the need for a little pick-me-up, I didn’t feel like going into the city to shop so stayed local. I popped to Farsley and called into Apparel Leeds – a little gem of a clothes shop. I’d bought a few tops from there before and had several compliments each time. That’s got to be a good sign, right?
Whilst chatting to Dawn, she mentioned her Apparel Wardrobe Edit service. Intrigued, the ‘me’ who would normally take the leaflet away, procrastinate and then never get round to it, instead took action and booked myself in. This felt good.
Two weeks before, I received a lifestyle questionnaire, which I completed and returned prior to the actual appointment, along with a few photos. It got me thinking about why I was really doing this.
Essentially, it boiled down to kick-starting that style inspiration again. And understanding more about what clothes suit my body shape so that when I go shopping, I know what to look for and how to find it, fast! Whilst I enjoy shopping for clothes, as a busy mum juggling work and home life, the time for this now seemingly indulgent pastime is not abundant!
Completing the questionnaire also made me realise exactly how much I’d lost my fashion mojo.
Just ahead of the session, Dawn asked me to sort the clothes we were going to look at into three piles: my go-to everyday outfits, which for me had become jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt; those worn within the last year; and clothes I’d not worn for over a year. I wouldn’t say I’m a hoarder, in fact I’d done a mini clear-out myself just six months before during the depths of lockdown. But I was shocked to see quite how much ‘stuff’ I’d accumulated over the years, much of which simply wasn’t getting worn.
On the day, I actually felt a little nervous but needn’t have been. When Dawn arrived at my house she immediately put me at ease.
The wardrobe consultation lasted 2.5 hours and was a lot of fun. Initially we talked about my body shape. Dawn walked me through which bits to highlight as well as shapes and styles to choose for tops, bottoms, dresses, jackets – even down to how to wear belts, which I’d never quite mastered.
Then the real magic happened. We looked at those clothes that I’d pulled out during my own previous attempts at a wardrobe edit and put back because I hadn’t worn them and couldn’t possibly throw them out. Or, had worn them to death but couldn’t chuck because of, let’s be honest, sentimental reasons. Each got an official yay or nay from Dawn! But - and this is the key bit - she explained why they didn’t work and had to go.
It turned out I bought things because of colour, regardless of whether they suited me. This was a revelation and definitely something to watch out for on future shopping sprees. She also gave me lots of advice on how to get the most wear out of my wardrobe, for example how to wear dresses I might ordinarily wear in the summer throughout the year.
Once, we’d gone through the three piles it was time to put my wardrobe back together. Using the clothes from the final cut, Dawn assembled ten outfits that would work for the season ahead. She took a photo of each outfit for future reference so I really don’t need to think about what to wear when I open the wardrobe doors.
Finally, she highlighted the clothes and accessories I was missing – the gaps in my wardrobe you might say. After the session, Dawn went away and a few days later I received an email from her with suggestions for those and links to clothes ideas from shops she knew I’d like. It was so helpful.
Working with Dawn has given me a new sense of confidence. When I open my wardrobe doors now I’m no longer filled with that sense of overwhelm and when I go shopping for clothes I put back those pieces I’m drawn to simply because of the colour and instead look at shape, pattern and materials too. It feels like this process is actually saving me money and making sure what I buy is an addition and not simply a duplication of what I’ve got already.
Next time, it’s a shopping trip with Dawn to add a few seasonal updates and I’m looking forward to it already.