Giveaway: Closet Makeover & Personal Shopping w/Style Solution Seven
Everybody has that friend who, even after popping out two kids, dresses just as fabulously as they did in their previous life. Maybe they've traded in their heels for pointy-toed flats, but they still make looking good a priority.
You meet her at the park for a playdate and you're standing there in an outfit that could be mistaken for pajamas and she looks like she's going straight from the baby swings to a cocktail party.
"Am I underdressed? Are we going somewhere fancy for lunch? Why didn't you tell me???"
"What? This old thing? I just grabbed the first thing in my closet!"
For me, that friend is Emily Shalant. She's a fashion designer so she says dressing well is part of the job, but I know she's lying. She'd dress that way even if she didn't have a job.
The craziest thing about Emily is her closet. While mine is bursting at the seams with clothes for every occasion and size imaginable (gained ten pounds and have to go to the Oscars? I've got the dress for that! Lose five pounds and have to go to a funeral? I've got the dress for that too!), Emily's closet is streamlined to only inlcude her favorite essential pieces.
Emily says she can close her eyes, grab any two things and it works together. (Except if it's two pairs of pants, I'm guessing.) Emily dresses the same way whether she is going out at night, going to work or going on a playdate. She says, this is what makes her wardrobe mom-friendly. Once a piece enters her closet, it doesn't require much thought.
Remember when I said my closet was bursting with clothing options? The irony, of course, is every time I look in there, only one thing comes to mind.
Say it with me.
"I have nothing to wear!"
Somewhere along the line (maybe right after Mazzy was born?), my clothing took a turn towards the practical. I needed to wear things that made it easy to play with the kids. I was afraid of getting baby-related stains on designer shirts. I didn't want to waste money on clothes when I wasn't sure how my "body after baby" would pan out.
Over the past four years, this suited me just fine. But after Harlow got out of the acid reflux phase, I found myself itching to look decent again.
That's about when Emily volunteered to clean out my closet.
It is a sobering experience having your clothing judged by someone who knows a thing or two about fashion.
"But I LOVE this shirt!!!"
"Ten years ago you were allowed to love that shirt. Not anymore."
But Emily gave positive feedback about my clothes too. She assessed the clothes I wore over and over, made outfits I didn't know I had and figured out what pieces I needed to make my wardrobe complete.
Ultimately, we got rid of a ton of stuff and made my closet a much more managable place. We got rid of things Emily assured me would never come back into style, things with that would only fit me if I spent three months eating nothing but pine cones and gum, and saddest of all, some of my favorite things with baby-related stains that were not going to come out. It's amazing how it looks like I have more options with less in there.
Then we moved onto PHASE TWO: SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES.
I've hated shopping ever since I had children (it takes too much time to find one shirt that fits right), but with Emily by my side, it was a totally different experience.
We went to Bloomingdales where we could shop for everything we needed in one place. Emily knew which brands I would like, where they were located, and what styles would look good on me. She whizzed through the racks, pulling out items I would never have entertained in a million years on my own and then quickly herded me into a dressing room. I decided to be open minded and just go with it.
We tried on everything, creating outfits as we went. The more ways you could pair one item with other clothes, the more valuable that item became.
For instance, turns out black and cream animal print pants from Milly, not only look fantastic, they go with EVERYTHING. Here they are paired with a shirt from Elie Tahari.
Same goes for a subtle Gerald Derad metallic gold sweater. Although it doesn't translate in photos so you are not going to see it.
A word about these photos before I continue. I am no model, obviously. And taking those "laughing at nothing on the street" photos that are popular on fashion blogs is NOT MY THING. Emily had a friend photograph me and the two of them stood there telling me what to do with my arms and it felt like the most unnatural thing in the world.
"Lean back and shoot your stomach foward."
"It will elongate your body."
"Now look up and to your left."
That's a dress from Rebecca Taylor. I should point out that the clothes are more expensive than I would normally pick out, but Emily says quality over quantity.
Emily also suggested I buy a black DKNY leather motorcycle jacket, which seemed ridiculous at the time, but I purchased it anyway with full intention of returning it when she wasn't looking.
Two days later it was my favorite item of clothing and I wore it for our family photo shoot.
After our shopping trip, I completely changed the way I dressed. I dressed a little bit cooler, a little bit more expensive and a lot less mom-ish. I even went shopping again by myself and bought things I normally wouldn't buy. Classic pieces with interesting details that could mix and match with everything. Clothes for the size I am now instead of the size I want to be. And I started dressing like people were going to see me other than my children.
Emily has done this closet and clothing makeover for a few other friends of mine and every time we see eachother, we compliment our outfits and say, "Emily?" "Emily."
Then we convinced Emily she should do this for more than just her friends, so she launched a service called Style Solution Seven. She'll come over to your home to go through your closet (or look at your clothes via Skype) and then take you shopping for your key mix and match pieces.
Today she is offerring one lucky reader her stylish expertise. You must live in the New York area, or at least be available to go shopping in the city. The package includes a one hour Skype session to look through your closet and a three hour shopping trip. It's up to you what clothes you decide to purhcase, but she is happy to find clothes within your budget.
Don't woryy. Awkward fashion photos are not part of the deal.
1) You must be a Mommy Shorts Facebook Fan to enter. You also must be able to shop in NYC. Then finish the following sentence in the comment section below:
"I need a closet makeover because…"
Winner will be announced on Friday, Decmeber 20th.
WINNER: Congratulations to the fashion-impaired Julie S. who says she went straight from grad school hoodies, flip flops and free campus t-shirts to two kids both under three. "My wardrobe is beyond pathetic…I'm 37, it's time to start looking like an adult."