After my color and style consultation with Red Leopard in London, I was SO fired up! I couldn’t wait to start incorporating what I’d learned about color and style.
(Above: I’d purchased those glasses from Jimmy Fairly in Paris, before my Red Leopard session. I was going for something fun and different, and my instincts were on point: the color works with a Golden Spring palette, and they’re a good shape for my Gamine style profile!) Lipstick is from Chantecaille, color “Sunrise.”
First Things First: A Closet Clear-Out
Annie at Red Leopard advised me to start my style reset by clearing my closet of any pieces that weren’t in my Spring color palette. Then I could better assess which areas to prioritize for updating.
I’ve often joked that my closet looks like it belongs to a cat burglar (so much black!) so I knew this would be a big project. It took several hours over a couple of days. This time, I remembered to take some Before pictures. 😉
I had accumulated quite a few tops over the years. Many were the wrong colors, and/or the wrong style for my Gamine profile. I kept several sleeveless shells in ivory and navy, but may winnow those down further. I quickly identified lightweight tops with sleeves as a shopping priority. (The light aqua tee in the top and After photos is new, available in Misses / Petite / Plus.)
I had So. Many. Black Pants. (Many were doubled up on those hangers.) And I’d hung onto some jeans that no longer fit me, or styles that felt dated or that I’d rarely worn. There were also a few pairs of trousers that were the wrong colors. I’ve kept the jeans I wear most often. And I did keep a couple pairs of black knit pants, one of which is my “workout” pair. The other I’ll probably replace with navy in due time.
I had already cleared out a lot of sweaters during my closet declutter earlier this year. This time I let the rest of the black and “wrong color” ones go. The coral sweater in the After photo is the sale sweater I picked up in London while shopping with Greetje and Lisa.
I still had quite a few black jackets, most of which were holdovers from my office wardrobe, and that I rarely wear anymore. After this clear-out, I was down to 6 jackets total, including my kimono (which turns out to have colors mostly in my palette!). The coral jacket I purchased on sale in London is at the tailor getting the sleeves shortened.
When it was done, I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted.
Most of the black pieces in my wardrobe are from Eileen Fisher, so I’ll be dropping those off later this week to recycle with their Renew program. There are a few tops and jackets from other brands I might be able to consign. The rest were donated to a local for-charity thrift or given to a friend who has 3 petite-sized young adult daughters still in school and working part-time.
Style Reset Next Step: Rebuilding…
This style reset is going to be a long-term project. As a result of the color and style consultation, I’ve already radically changed how I shop for myself. I’m much more focused and discriminating. First, I scan the racks for “my” colors. Then I look at the cut, fabric, and details to see if they’re a good match for the Gamine style personality (nothing too fussy, floofy, frilly, oversized, or Boho) and my body shape. Only then do I try anything on.
I’m finding the current season pickings are slim, especially with regard to color. Softer, cooler colors seem to be predominant now, and my palette is warm and bright/clear. I’m hoping that Fall collections might provide more options.
I have found one keeper so far from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. To be honest, if it’s the only piece of clothing I find in the sale, I will consider it a roaring success.
I featured this leather jacket (Plus) in my “top sale picks” post last week. The color is in between* two of my “best” colors in the Spring color swatches wallet (Cinnamon and Honey). The glazed lambskin leather is dreamy. I’ll need to get the sleeves shortened, and have tucked the cuffs up inside for this photo. I’m wearing size Small.
*Red Leopard says, “Do not try to match the colors in your wallet exactly (or you will never buy anything!). Use your wallet as a reference point; you may buy colors that fall in between the swatch colors.”
I’ll be on the lookout for some lightweight tops (prints and solids) in my colors. I’ll continue to share updates as I work through this wardrobe refresh.
Have you gone through a major style reset? Did you do it gradually, or in one big step?