You guys! I did the best thing ever for myself last month. I hired Bryn Taylor, aka The Re-Stylist, to give me a Closet Cleanse – and boy, do I feel (and look!) 10 pounds lighter! We started our appointment by chatting about my style and my needs, and then we took a jaunt to my closet (which I like to call Dead Man Walking. Or is it The Green Mile? Either way, it ain’t good).
Let me set the scene because I wasn’t smart enough to take a picture: think of a nice-size closet with 1 bar going across and a sagging shelf on top, with shoes thrown into piles onto the floor and many items sharing hangers, shoved in there willy-nilly. Now also picture half of a 10-drawer dresser overflowing with sweaters, tanks, and tees. Then think of a big-ass jewelry box filled to the brim with who-knows-what. Thankfully, Bryn didn’t take one look at it and run off screaming into the night. Instead, she made me feel like I wasn’t a hopeless mess and started taking manageable piles of clothes onto my bed. Loved her already.
With each and every piece she’d ask where it came from, how old it was, how often I wore it, and how I felt in it – and then promptly gave me her assessment: too worse for wear, a good staple, “hang-out” only, rockin’, outdated, hold-on-to-until-you-upgrade, try-on, and blech (usually the brown stuff got a “blech”). In what seemed like no time at all, we had gone through my entire closet, all the drawers, the shoe piles and the jewelry without any tears, head explosions, or anything close to an argument. I started trying on the pieces we needed to reassess while – wait for it – Bryn started putting outfits together from my closet to photograph, giving me my own personal lookbook based on the clothes I already have. Genius!
She also helped me create a list of things I need, like red jeans (!), a plum pencil skirt (!), black jeggings and leopard print shoes. Obviously, Bryn totally got the style I was going for (something like Punky-Brewster-in-her-30s-mixed-with-some-Zooey-Deschanel) and allowed me to embrace it without looking like a crazy child-woman. I have to admit I was a bit nervous about it, as Bryn’s site and blog (and personal style!) are super sophisticated and a bit neutral/preppy, too. I was so relieved to know that she got – and appreciated! – my colorful closet, and gave me tips on how not to look like I was on the wrong side of crazy-colorful (i.e. when you’re mixing patterns you have to match colors, you can wear all the color you want as long as there’s at least 1 neutral, etc). Pairing that with the actual lookbook of what I already own – yes, she accessorized, too – allowed me to shout “Eureka!” (figuratively, of course) and dress like a goddamn grown-up already, thankyouverymuch. Now, I’m 6 large bags of stuff lighter and actually know what’s in my closet! I’m planning on keeping the lookbook going, snapping pics and adding to it whenever I put something together that’s Bryn-worthy. See what I mean?
Look! Bryn showed me how to match patterns without looking like a crazy person, & folded up my red skirt to represent the red jeans I get to buy. Look how adorable I’m gonna be!
Of course, before Bryn left I asked if she’d like to be featured as a Grown-Up Gig, and she answered my questions lickety-split. Thanks, Bryn, for all your help and all you do!
1. What did you wanna be when you grew up? Lots of things! First it was a lawyer, then a journalist, and then an actor. Looking back though, I remember daydreaming about how I would dress for each of those jobs, not about the job itself. I should have known then that fashion was on the brain.
2. How did you find your way to the styling world? I took a part-time job as a fit model for a young designer, and as time went on, she hired me to do a bunch of other tasks around the showroom. I began helping out with the styling of the showroom and the fashion shows, and found that I really loved it. I didn’t even know that styling was a thing that people got paid to do! I enrolled in an intro course at FIT to learn more, and ended up falling in love with the occupation.
3. Your styling background was in “magazine shoots, ad campaigns, runway shows, album covers, and films” (yup, I read your About page 🙂 ). Why did you decide to start The Re-Stylist and shift your focus to personal styling instead? All of the projects were exciting, but I found personal clients to be the most rewarding. I love being able to solve real fashion dilemmas and use my skills to make women (and men!) look and feel their best.
4. Honestly, I think that your Closet Cleanse service is one of the most genius business ideas ever. How did you come up with it? Thanks!! I love doing it. I came up with the idea from a lot of trial and error. But in the end, each element of my service is something I would want myself. That’s what it came down to.