It's time to make over Jenny!
I am SO excited to introduce you to my dear friend Jenny. Her story is a recent one as we just got done shopping this last week, but we were both so excited about her results we just had to post her right away.
So this is Jenny and her husband Tom in one of her "before" outfits. Jenny has successfully lost over 50 pounds in the past two years, so it was time to celebrate with a little makeover. Some of you may be thinking she looks great, which she does, but she will look even better once you understand her body shape and style. Jenny is a "Ruby" which means her shoulders are much broader than her hips and her style is "classic" with a touch of "dramatic". What Jenny is wearing here is a common outfit of a lacy undershirt (romantic) that is too short, covered with a boxy, square hemmed jacket that covers her form and makes her look bigger than she is.
Step one after we discover her body shape and style, is to go through the closet. Here is Jenny ready to get to work.
You can see her closet is very mixed with colors everywhere and using all kinds of hangers from plastic to wire. As you've seen in previous posts, the WHOLE closet is emptied and placed in large heaps on the bed. Then one by one we go through every piece deciding whether it stays or goes. And as pieces go back into the closet they are re-hung on the same type of hangers (I recommend felted hangers at Costco, box of 50 for under $20) and are hung together by color. It's a wonderful, yet scary process to go through, but everyone will tell you in the end, it is worth it.
While we are placing pieces back into the closet, we are also making a "shopping list". We discovered most of Jenny's jackets were very boxy with shoulder pads (a no-no for Ruby's), her t-shirts were old, too short and with hardly any neck opening (also a no-no for Ruby's) and many pants were too big and too baggy.
Two weeks later, we had a glorious day of shopping at the outlet mall, starting with Coldwater Creek and Chico's and we made some very interesting discoveries at each store. Coldwater had lots of jackets to choose from with some very classic button downs, but most of the pants were baggy in the leg. This was Jenny's favorite store and one that she did almost 100% of her shopping in until we visited Chico's. Chico's is a store full of drama so you have to be careful what you pick out to try on, but to our delight, we discovered their pants were amazing on Jenny with hardly any bagging. Here are a few of her outfits we were able to mix and match.
The idea behind "shopping your closet" is that you now see your closet like you would a store, and you are able to pull together outfits that are completely different day to day. A common habit is to "match" your outfits, almost like the old day of "gir-animals" for kids clothing. A common statement I hear when purging is "that skirt goes with that top" and that is literally the only way it is ever worn. This type of closet gets old fast and causes you to feel you "need more", then guilt sets in because you have all these clothes that you are not wearing and you are wearing the same thing over and over.
Here are a few words from Jenny, after she got home from her day of shopping...
-Missy, Missy, Missy...you have no idea how cute I look today - ha! I just have on the tan denim long shorts, the blue tshirt with the pocket and some orange-ish shoes I didn't show you I had...some cool earrings and I feel like a million bucks!!!
-I have never had any help on how to dress my body-type. Low necks, rolling up sleeves, using belts higher to make the eye go to lower parts of my body, staying away from gathers, etc. at the shoulder level have all been noticeably helpful to my overall appearance. I feel more accepting of my body shape and less loathing!
-Most of the things we bought yesterday I probably wouldn't have tried on...you brought stuff into the dressing room. The t-shirt colors were new to me...the skirts and shirts etc. are all new to me...I feel pretty "snazzy" for a 58 year old woman!! I felt gently "pushed" out of my comfort zone.
-Organizing my closet into colors has opened a whole new world for me. I already have put together outfits I just didn't see before. So fun! I feel like I'm shopping from my own closet of old things.
-Clearing out so much stuff in my closet - dated stuff, old stuff, clothes that are too big for me was sort of an emotional cleansing. Thanks for the help in this!
-I did not know that there was a store that would fit my body in pants and shorts, much better than the one I've been shopping at for years. What a gift!
It was such a fun day! After a good dinner, I ironed for an hour or two, cut off tags and put the new clothes on the hangers! I had so many choices on what to wear this morning I was like a kid at Christmas! I am SO EXCITED!!
And here is Jenny's closet now...
And here is the new Jenny...
This is one of Jenny's casual out fits, t-shirt from Eddie Bauer in a blue that matches her eyes and shorts from Chico's. And we decided to bring in her "touch of drama" with accessories in shades of orange, one of her favorite colors. We'll be slowly adding shoes, jackets, jewelry and scarves, all in orange, that she can have a ton of fun with.
This is an awesome orange linen jacket we snagged from Coldwater for only $15 that she is going to exchange today for a size smaller. This was such a change for Jenny, having a jacket that drapes softly against her silhouette and without shoulder pads. Stay tuned for another post in a few days of a fabulous outfit we put together for a speaking engagement coming up! (striped shirt from Coldwater Creek, pants from Chico's and thin braided belt from Ann Taylor)
Thank you Jenny for letting me step in to the intimate world of your closet and your clothes. Your excitement and joy in getting dressed in the morning is what it's all about!