By Clare J. Hefferren
Spend your money wisely. The average manager-level professional spends $5,000 annually on wardrobe. With a consultant you could cut your budget and get more bang for your buck. Find out what you don’t need, how to shop with purpose and buy only the items you need.
Discover what you don’t need to buy
How often do you stare at a full closet, convinced you have nothing to wear? A wardrobe consultant can take an objective look and find the pieces that work for you. “I probably saved thousands before we left my closet for our shopping outing. I thought I needed to buy suits. It was the last thing I needed,” says Tricia Kendall, Cigna Senior Sales Executive.
Fill out a client profile in advance so your “fashion therapist” can enter your closet and work with you to weed out the items that no longer represent you. Then, build from there. Your consultant will help you create a balance of essentials, novelty items and trend pieces — and teach you about shapes and colors that are right for you. Dusty and still-tagged items alike will be reinvented into outfits you never knew you had. Your return on investment will double as cross-over outfits transition work attire to casual. You’ll also understand the savings benefits of tailoring vs. buying new.
Not just for ladies
Many men rarely shop, but when they do, they spend a lot. Let’s compare the cost of a menswear-suiting outfit — without and with a wardrobe consultant.
- •Without Consultant: Suit $700, dress shirt $80, silk tie $75, leather belt $105, socks $12, shoes $150 = $1,122.
- •With WC: Reinvented belt and socks $0, tailoring suit $80, cobbler shoe repair $20, $375 3-hour session fee = $475. Balance of new items: dress shirt: $80, silk tie $75, socks $12 = $167. $475+$167 = $642.
- •$480 savings!
Let’s not forgot the two dozen “new” outfits created from existing wardrobe. Go back to your calculator; that’s more than $10,000 in savings.
By the end of your session, your closet will resemble a boutique — allowing for easy dressing even when that alarm goes off at 5:30am. And you’ll have a strategic shopping list. Shortly afterward, you’ll also receive a personalized wardrobe binder with outfit photos, session recap and educational material. It’s the perfect reference piece to keep you from getting rusty.
Shop with a purpose
Your days of dazed, aimless shopping are over. The objective of the client profile and closet session is to show you a wardrobe strategy with balance. Too many essentials and you’re lost in a sea of black suits. Too many novelties and you’ll have difficulty making memorable outfits. Too many trends and inevitably you’re shopping for a costly new wardrobe each season. You’ll know when to invest in an essential and when to pony up for a trend. You’ll also learn a return on investment calculation to help you make wise pricing choices.
“Clare is the Edward Scissorhands of shopping! I have never seen someone shop a clothing rack with such speed and accuracy. Callosum relieved me of the shopping stress and taught me to do it again on my own. In just two times out, I learned how to shop with style on a budget,” shares Sarah Squires, Former Director of Wellness Focused Health Solution.
If you stick to the plan and honor your dos and don’ts, you’ll have strong statement-making outfits that will last for years.
Buy the right things
Now you’re ready to shop, but are you buying the right things? You have a list, but simply buying off the list without consideration to proper silhouette and color get you what you had before — the wrong stuff!
“Clare has a gift of signature pieces and accessories that ‘make’ the outfit. She can turn an outfit from really good into ‘popping’ and you’ve gone from 0 to 60 in a second! Now when I shop, I often find myself thinking about the one thing that can not only take a current outfit to the next level, but also leverage my ever-changing look and varied wardrobe,“ boasts Kathleen St. Louis, Program Investments Manager, The Chicago Public Education Fund.
A wardrobe consultant will educate you on the different body shapes, teaching you the best silhouettes for you. You’ll learn the how and why to choosing a flattering color. Building on your new knowledge, you’ll choose a ‘style muse’ for the purpose of mimicking shape/color. A savings smart tip, you’ll understand how to assess your wardrobe for gaps and the proper balance of essentials, novelties and trend items.
At the end of the day, you have saved thousands. Just as important, you look and feel polished, confident and ready to conquer the world. You are your personal brand. Invest in yourself.
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Clare J. Hefferren is President and Founder of Callosum Creative Ltd. With a background in marketing and fashion in corporate and entrepreneurial sectors, she specializes in strategic brand alignment. Callosum Creative helps mid-size service-based companies improve staff presentation and delivery through its primary service, People-First BrandingSM. Professional development of inter-personal skills — speaker skills, client relation, wardrobe and etiquette — results in increased customer satisfaction and sales. Callosum also offers select wardrobe consulting services directly to consumers. For more information about building your business or personal brand, e-mail email@example.com.