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closet de kondo part 2

By 10/07/2018

half the battle of designing my new closet for the kondo was actually designing my new wardrobe for my new life of ease in winning people and influencing friends. building this sexual new california closet and then filling it with my minestrone of a wardrobe would've been faux pas faux real. blessed be the fruit that alex long swooped into my jacked-up closet just in time to help with a major-style shakedown. 

just a bit about raleigh stylist and friend of mine, alex: with over 20 years experience in the fashion and retail industry, she's seen a thing or two about which trends can stand the test of time. she spent the early part of her career managing and buying for boutiques from wilmington to aspen, and eventually owned beanie + cecil, a designer shop here in raleigh. she told me she launched alex long studio to pursue her passion for helping women (and men) find and embrace their unique personal style. her services are aimed to help her clients simplify, de-stress, build confidence and have fun with fashion. alex is really sort of the olivia pope of styling. once i'd engaged her to help me, women started coming out of the woodwork, identifying themselves as her clients: oh yeah, she styles me, yup, i work with her too. huh? it was literally all of the most stylish women in raleigh - happy to share that alex was in fact the wind beneath their cordovan winged-tips.

i recently booked alex for a closet edit - she can do these anytime with a new client, or, what's really helpful is a seasonal closet edit, where she helps you switch, store and style for the coming season.  here's how it went down...

Alex brings over racks, sets up quickly, and starts by asking you to pull out from your closet any pieces that are just 100% musts, but with a word of encouragement: don't get carried away.
this was hateful for me.  I have made so many bad decisions, and been so very directionless that at first this felt defeating.  but Alex made a really good point when she saw my skitzofrenic style - she said, 'it must be hard to get dressed in the morning'.  and she was right!  it's so overwhelming because there's no recipe, no form to follow, no standard operating procedures.  I just don't know what I'm doing.  can you see my hateful look?  I hope so.
that's what's I'm here for, she says.  chill.  so I do, and one by one, I examine my clothes, and then Alex does a 'let's get real' round where she questions a few decisions.  if you respond with anything close to lukewarmness in defense of an item, she makes a swift game of thrones style chop (well, sort of), or, if you really get emphatic about 'that could work one day!', she crinkles her nose, and in the loveliest southern way, says 'ok, let's give it just one more season'.  crinkle. 
this jean jacket was an excellent example.  I knew I wanted an oversize jacket, the internets told me that was cool, so I thought I'd be slick and grab this $30 one at target.  we determined that while the cut was fine, the wash on the denim was gross, so it went into the 'nah' pile, and Alex was quick to suggest two other brands, that yes, were a bit more expensive than target, but were really good-looking jackets that didn't look like a nascar nightmare.  she was great about offering suggestions real-time for pieces I needed to replace, or was lacking.
and then there were the items left, that I hadn't picked as must-haves, which she went through efficiently and saved a few that I had overlooked simply because I just didn't have a clue how to wear them.  

jeans have been so damn tricky the last few years, right?  all those skinny jeans - I just can't even wrap my head putting them back on.  do we even care if we're skinny?  we just want to be comfortable.  and respected.  and equal.  and believed.  and eat food and look at instagram and pet our dogs.   I don't know so much about skinny anymore.   we at least need to breath if we stand a chance of telling the world how we're actually feeling.  so, sausage-leg skinnies got the boot.

btw, important tid bit: with the closet edit, Alex actually takes the clothes you are ready to part with and consigns them for you, at revolver, on glenwood, and after a few months, you get some nice mailbox money for your new life of streamlined influence.
I encourage Alex to feel how light this nikes are (they really are), and she encourages me to stop buying shoes.
faux real though, on shoes - Alex really helped me edit through the extra.  I had to make a tough decision about trendy sneakers - did I still need all these?  we both agreed I'd gotten my wear out of them about a million times over, and I came around to the idea that's it's time for something new.  they had a major, major moment in my life, and my heart will go on and on, but it's time to evolve.  I kept the perforated ones because they're weird, but you catch the bobby booties at revolver!
we spent about 4 hours together in the closet, and I found it exceptionally helpful.  I ended the session with a huge pile of clothes to consign, a tightened up, fresh feeling wardrobe, and some recommendations on key pieces that would be good additions to the things I kept.  and most importantly, tons of ideas on just wtf to wear.

we wrapped up the sesh with some outfit inspiration from Alex.  she worked with my now pared down picks and came up with a few easy looks that I never in a zillion years would've gotten close to on my own.  (she loves a knotted-at-the-waist button-down, and now, so do i)
this was a great example of her star really shining.  I bought this matching set at Zara in anticipation for fall, but had no idea on shoes, or if I could even pull it off.  she paired it up with a black wedge mule, explained that navy and black can go together (mind-blown) and we both felt success.



then she suggested a second option, to give the pants a little extra life.  smart.  cream white navy and black.  I am sophisticated funk.


I had specific questions she helped with - like: we go to dinner a lot in aspen and I want to look fancy but in a Goldie Hawn I may be here at matshuisa eating Japanese fusion in an alpine bistro, but I still live on a ranch sort of way.  more goldie, less Mariah.  I have this monster sweater I love but could never figure out, and tad's old Gucci button-up that I had tailored but is still too long -- so Alex paired them up with a leather pant I hadn't been wearing because nothing seems long enough on top to cover my lady areas.  hi-yo silver - look at my areas now!
a huge lesson I took away from the sesh was layering.  take the rompers, add a layer underneath.  mix the textures up, make it interesting.  Alex took so many of my strappy dresses and slouchy jumpsuits and just added a button-up underneath, with the sleeves rolled up. looked super-smart.  I'm into it.

and i encourage you to be too.  seriously, i cannot tell you how much value i got from the time with alex in my closet, and it's really paying in dividends.  I'm moving to the kondo / new closet with a simplified, much-more chic wardrobe, i have a much better idea of what pieces combine well, plus i have money on the way from the items she consigned for me!  check out alex's site, and her IG for lots of style inspo.  she's happy to offer 10% off her 6 hour package to my readers, so just tell her you hollered from here.   she also has gift cards and this would be a MAJOR holiday gift for you, or someone you love who wants to BE BEST.

2 comments

  1. "DO WE EVEN CARE IF WE'RE SKINNY? WE JUST WANT TO BE COMFORTABLE. AND RESPECTED. AND EQUAL. AND BELIEVED." This, a million times!!

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