We are in a whirlwind of holiday shopping lists, holiday party style, holiday gift guides, and more. Celebrating the abundance of the season also has me reflecting on what being a personal stylist for more than a decade has given me.
We provide a service to our clients. We provide expertise, inject fun back into the wardrobes, and implement a system to make daily life easier. But what I don’t often talk about is what I learn each and every day connecting with and working with our wonderful clients. I do this work because I love it, but also because it teaches me, fuels me, and saves me again and again.
Here are the lessons I have learned over the last decade that help me live a better life. Thank you to all of you for being part of the growth I experience each and every day.
1.) It’s always about the clothes and it’s never about the clothes. I have worked with many clients going through devastating life changes and transitions. This year I met with a young, single mother who recently lost her husband. When we sat down to talk, she told me that she needed to be “fierce” during this time in life. Taking care of her wardrobe is part of what she needed to do for herself to make it through this loss and move into a new phase of life. I left her appointment ready to be her biggest cheerleader (and with more than a few tears in the car before my next client). I knew we could create something together that would help her take that next best step for herself and her family. It’s what drives me every day — these human connections. Being a small part of my clients’ stories centers me and humbles me. I never take it for granted.
2.) You can’t take it with you. I recently read an article by Robin Givhan of The Washington Post (serious fan girl over here). The article is entitled, Fashion in the Age of Climate Change. We all have heard the numbers and read the horrifying effects that fast fashion and rabid consumerism have on the planet. Cleaning out closets each day, organizing, and setting my clients on a path to smarter, more intentional shopping keeps me intentional. I used to gorge myself on fashion and it was never enough. I would buy and purge, buy and purge. I would store clothing in multiple areas of my home. I would max out credit cards to feed the beast. No more. I stay grounded each day in the fact that I can’t take it with me. I leave it behind when I am gone, and how much do I want to leave behind? Not that much.
3.) It’s just a body. Being a personal stylist has made me neutral when it comes to body shapes and sizes. I want to dress my clients to look and feel their very best. Period. It has also made me kinder and gentler with my own body. Like every red-blooded woman out there, I have grown up with the finely-honed skill of negative self-talk about my body. Doing what I do has made me realize it’s just a body. I want to feel good in it, but I also don’t have to sit there and over-think my breasts, hips, or stomach. And when I pick up a rack or haul garment bags? I am thankful that in my fourth decade of my life, my body still allows me to haul!
DC Style Factory is a personal shopping and styling service for men and women looking to add polish and individuality to their wardrobes. We believe personal style is for anyone who wants it — regardless of age, size or budget.