Ever wondered what it’s like to work with a professional stylist? Today I’m taking you behind the scenes with one of my recent image and style consulting clients, Lianne.
ABOUT THE CLIENT
Lianne is an executive in a male-dominated corporate environment — and she’s also a busy mom of 2.
She wanted to be able to get dressed for work every morning and feel confident without having to worry if she was communicating the “right” things with her clothes.
“Before NLW, I often felt uncomfortable since most of my clothes did not fit well and I did not feel like they said ‘executive’ material,” Lianne says.
Prior to working with me, she struggled with simply not having the time to devote to planning her wardrobe.
She tried subscription boxes (think Stitch Fix and Trunk Club) but had trouble finding the right styles and fit. She craved a more comprehensive solution than just buying a few pieces at a time.
“I could certainly buy one-off pieces here and there, but the beauty of a stylist is someone is thinking about how everything comes together — shoes, jewelry, glasses — so at the end of the day I can get dressed knowing everything will work together,” she says.
Lianne purchased the NLW Virtual Executive Image Consulting Experience, which is specifically tailored for high-powered women (and men!) who want to create a personal style that radiates confidence and authority in the workplace.
My executive styling clients like Lianne go through a 4-step process, all of which can be done remotely to fit their busy schedule.
STEP 1: Executive Image Crafting
An important part of the Virtual Executive Image Consulting Experience is creating a customized style strategy to fit my client’s needs of being more confident, visible and intentional with how they’re presenting themselves.
Before we can dive into shopping and styling (the tactics), I create my client’s style/image strategy which I present to them. This allows for us to zoom out to create a bigger vision for their style and image.
The style/image strategy presentation includes style themes, color analysis, photoshoot direction- everything they’ll need to bring their executive image to life.
This is one of the style themes I chose for Lianne that we ultimately brought to life for her:
This process is perfect for executives or entrepreneurs who are becoming more visible, whether that means managing teams or doing media appearances and speaking engagements.
Our appearances communicate so much to our colleagues and the outside world, so being intentional with how we show up through our clothes is vital — especially when you’re moving up the corporate ladder.
STEP 2: Online Closet Edit
Once we’re aligned on the style/image strategy, it’s time to bring it to life! First step, the closet edit!
In this virtual session, I have my client go through each and every piece in their closet. They’ll try items on for me, I’ll tell them what to keep and donate.
Doing a thorough closet cleanout puts an end to the all too common problem of owning a ton of clothes you never wear because they don’t fit properly or don’t “go” with the other items you own.
“Before NLW, I only wore a small percentage of my closet and relied heavily on all-black attire to simplify getting dressed,” Lianne says.
We got rid of all the items that she didn’t feel confident in or didn’t match the professional executive image she wanted to project.
Great style begins and ends with a well-curated closet, so I share a simple, powerful process for closet cleanouts with all my clients that will simplify and de-stress the process of getting dressed.
They’re always amazed by how much lighter they feel without all those old unworn clothes taking up space. The closet edit is an important part of my clients stepping into their CEO style.
STEP 3: Online Shopping- tailored to the client
Once we’ve donated everything that’s not working, we’ve allowed not only the physical space but mental space to allow new items to come into their wardrobe.
Using the executive image and style themes we crafted for them in Step 1, I shop for the perfect pieces to rebuild their closet and create their new look. I also keep the gaps in their closet in mind– everything suggested to them is very intentional.
I take the time to get to know each client so I can select the best brands for their lifestyle, style goals, and body type.
And because all my image and consulting clients like Lianne have busy schedules, I have all the items delivered right to their door — zero hassle and zero in-person shopping trips required.
For Lianne, it was important we build the right foundation of her closet first so I shopped for versatile suiting in core colors and items with structure to convey confidence and authority.
I chose versatile pieces like a gray tweed blazer, a navy pantsuit, an asymmetrical white shell, and comfortable heels in nude and black.
By creating a capsule wardrobe full of items that can all be easily mixed and matched many different ways, my clients can have endless outfit possibilities without having to own a ton of clothes.
I also shopped for accessories to complete Lianne’s look. She loves bold eyeglasses, so I found an amazing store selling more fashion forward eyeglass frames (Oprah’s a frequent shopper!).
STEP 4: Virtual Fit Session
Finally, it’s time for a virtual fit session. Once all the items I’ve ordered arrive at their door, we do a virtual try-on so we can evaluate what works and what doesn’t.
Rather than simply telling them what to keep and what to return, I teach my clients what styles work for them and why. Why they’re keeping certain items and how they can build multiple outfits from it.
Lianne and I worked together 100% virtually to create a wardrobe she loves full of items that fit her body perfectly and can be mixed and matched.
“It was great to have someone help me figure out sizing and brands,” Lianne says. “That’s something I struggled with in the past. I would always order things that were too small and feel bad about my figure as a result. It was great to get things that actually fit and feel good about myself!”
I can also assist my executive clients with photo shoot direction and styling to show off their new look.
Here are a couple shots from Lianne’s “after” photo shoot:
My goal is for each of my image and style consulting services clients to help them step into their ‘CEO role’ via their style. I help them build a wardrobe that is tailored to their lifestyle, style goals and is versatile for any occasion.
“I feel really good about my closet now,” Lianne says. “One of my favorite things is that a lot of the pieces are not only stylish but comfortable. I look forward to wearing them and that makes getting dressed a pleasure.”
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Cassandra Sethi is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. After working over 15 years in the Fashion Industry, most recently as a Senior Buyer for Equinox, she created her business, Next Level Wardrobe – a luxury personal shopping service for successful professionals. Cassandra’s been featured in Greatist, Livestrong and NY Mag.