When I'm asked, "So, what do you do?" I smile and pause for a minute because I know what's coming after I answer them. My reply, "I am a Style Coach! I coach women by helping them refine and define their style in their season of life. I teach women how to put an outfit together and wear it confidently. I provide a variety of services for women, but the most popular is when I go into a woman's closet and create brand new outfits from what she already owns." 80% of the time I get this in response, "How interesting! I didn't even know that existed." Then I receive a multitude of replies after that depending on the type of woman I am speaking too. The replies vary from, "How fun, I need that in my life." to "I would be a horrible client, I have boring things in my closet and you wouldn't be able to create anything for me."
Most people don't truly understand or "get" what I do, so here in her own words a client wrote a blog post for that exact reason. Her own words, her own experience, her thoughts on her Style Coach Session with me. Thank you Malori D. for this write up! (Disclaimer: She was not paid for this, nor was she coersed to do so. Sometimes people have such a fabulous experience they can't help but share it.)
My Style Coaching Session – The Beautiful Truth
Congratulations! You just won a styling session with Patty Rankin – Style Coach. The email was staring back at me. I knew winning was a possibility. After all, I had been the one to enter myself in her Black Friday giveaway. I suspected the tired outfits I sported in my Facebook photos were what really clinched the win. Anyone with eyes could see I needed help.
Who am I?
I’m a local attorney in my early 30’s who, just three months ago, lost my job and got married in the same week. The events were totally unrelated, but it makes for a more compelling story. I have also recently lost about 50 pounds (yay Weight Watchers!), and I’m still trying to figure out what looks good on my new figure. I’m currently doing some contract work while I search for my next career and really needed a fashion boost for interviews and such, but with zero dollars coming in, there’s no way I could afford to update my wardrobe. Enter Patty Rankin – Style Coach!
Here’s what I won:
1.5 hours of her time
15 new outfits made from what I already owned in my closet
Boutique style photos taken of each of the “new” outfits
Personal link created with all my “new” outfits loaded on it that can be accessed from any device
15 minute consultation on what needs to be incorporated into my wardrobe, how to dress for my body time, and general coaching on how to achieve the style I want
Top 5 suggested items list for me
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what a lot of that really meant. What the heck is a boutique-style photo and how in the world could some woman make “new” outfits for me out of the clothes I already owned? If those outfits were already in my closet, wouldn’t I be wearing them?
Patty answered all my unspoken questions with a thorough email covering what would be included in the session. She also sent a detailed questionnaire that covered everything about my lifestyle and personal taste. She explained that the answers to the questions would help her to create outfits that really worked for my normal life. For example, if my idea of high fashion is name brand sweats that aren’t covered in baby spit-up, she will know that getting me to wear skinny jeansand high heels is probably going to be a waste of time. By the way, I have no idea if skinny jeans and high heels are considered stylish. To be safe, don’t listen to any fashion related information in this post unless it’s prefaced by “Patty said.”
Here’s what happened:
From the moment Patty arrived at my house, she was studying me and my surroundings to get a better feel for my overall style. I studied her as well. Her red and black plaid pencil skirt and sparkly Mickey Mouse top reaffirmed that I was totally out of the loop in knowing what was fashionable. I am confident I could never pull off something like that without looking like a total Disney freak, but she made it look so incredibly easy and cool. She is a short girl like me, so I was hoping she would have better insight than most on how to navigate fashion trends designed for statuesque models.
Her instructional email to me had requested that I remove any clothing from my closet that doesn’t fit. She had also requested that my bed be completely cleared off and the blinds open so she could have optimum light and space to work. I immediately showed her to my closet and gave her the lay of the land, acting as though I always make my bed and put my dirty clothes in the hamper. I still didn’t feel like my closet had much to work with, but Patty wasn’t the least bit phased. The part of the styling session I had been dreading was where I assumed I would have to try on tons of clothes only to be stared at and critiqued like a Project Runway failure. But that’s not how this worked at all!
No sooner had I shown her my clothes, Patty kicked me out of my own room so she could work and I could wonder just what she was up to. I put my ear up to the door and heard the eclectic sounds of a Pandora station I am no doubt not cool enough to listen to. Whatever she was doing in there, she was having a good time. About an hour later, she announced she was finished. I walked back into my room expecting to see a pile of rejected clothes and a prescription for an emergency shopping spree, but instead, everything looked just as I had left it.
Patty sat me down to show me what she had done. She texted me a link to my custom online style lookbook, which I can, in fact, access from any device, tech challenged though I may be. Through the link I had access to 38 pictures of my “new” outfits, as well as other inspirational outfits that could be created from the clothes in my closet and new items I might want to incorporate. It was a treasure trove of high style, created almost entirely from my own clothes. As she clicked through my “new” outfits, I kept finding myself gasping and oohing and aahhing over all the cute ensembles. I kept forgetting that these were clothes I had owned for years! She was able to mix patterns, prints, and textures in ways I had never imagined. She showed me how to wear one clothing item three different ways in order to get the most out of that one item. (see pictures below) There was no way I would have put any of these pieces together the same way she did, but the outfits were all still perfectly within my style.
I noticed that there were still plenty of clothes she hadn’t used. I questioned whether those were the rejects, but to my very great relief, Patty said that just because an item wasn’t selected during the styling session didn’t mean it should be removed from my closet. The session was only an hour long, so she made as many outfits as she could in that time. In a typical session that’s anywhere from 15-20 outfits. As it turned out, she didn’t find anything in my closet that was particularly out of style. She did give me her top 5 suggested items to add to my wardrobe and let me know what shapes and styles I should be looking for when I shop.
What did I learn:
I’m buying pretty much the right things when I shop, I just need to put them together differently. Patty said she could tell from the way I styled my house that I know how to mix patterns and colors, I just need to be doing more of this with my clothes.
I can wear pencil skirts, and frankly I should as often as possible. I am in fact not too short for this look, and it makes me feel feminine and fierce!
My booty is my best feature. This really surprised me, but I’m going to trust Patty on this one and just try to be more confident about my junk in the trunk. My booty would look particularly amazing in Vera Wang skinny jeans. After a trip to Kohl’s, this advice ended up being extremely true and would have been worth the price of a styling session all on its own! I probably never would have tried these jeans without her recommendation. Seriously, I’m never buying any other jeans again.
She only told me 5 items to add to my wardrobe. That’s it, just 5. And those were just suggestions, not necessities. I don’t have to spend a bunch of money on those 5 suggested items. I’m a girl on a tight budget. By shopping sales and looking for the right pieces, I was able to get the 5 items she suggested for a total of $120! The experience of shopping for key pieces made me feel like a shopping ninja.
She changed the way I shop. I’ve never had a hard time finding things I liked in the store, but I would still spend hours in my closet feeling like I had nothing to wear. Spending my time looking for a few key pieces really focused my shopping energy and kept me from overbuying on stuff I really didn’t need. Now when I shop, if I see something I like, I try to think of 5 different outfits I can make out of it using the clothes I already have. If I can’t come up with 5, it’s not furthering my wardrobe enough to buy it.
It doesn’t take hours to put together a complete outfit. As I’ve started styling my own wardrobe using Patty’s method and tips, I have found that a little planning goes a long way. Taking this little bit of extra time ensures that I walk out the door feeling super chic and pulled together.
Patty is a genius! When I asked her about her particular gift, she explained that she looks at clothes the same way I look at clauses in a contract. She can’t explain why she’s good at her job the same way I can’t explain why I have a knack for mine. It’s sad how much more fun her job sounds than mine, but I can’t do what she does. If I had paid for this session, she said it would have cost about $100 - $150. That may give you some sticker shock, but consider that it’s probably the same price as 2-3 items of clothing that you don’t even need. Personally, I can’t wait to have her back for another session this Spring/Summer 2016.
The whole experience was really great, and I can’t wait to see what other outfits I can create using some of the tips I learned. Patty’s services are legit and, most importantly, so much fun! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to admiring my closet full of possibilities.
Stylishly Happy - Malori F.