Closet talk can be one of the most connected and intimate occurrences of our very professional relationship. Whenever I’m in client’s closet with the client, the truth comes out in what I refer to as closet talk.
Last week, one of my clients willingly and excitedly invited me into her closet. While in there, we reviewed everything that she wears to work, at home, and on date nights with her husband. The result? A whole lot of closet talk and a major step forward for my client.
I’d really like her even if she weren’t my client. She’s a powerhouse of a woman: successful in her career; driven toward greater challenges and the rewards that come with those responsibilities; and a devoted wife and mother. She’s frank and confident with others, successful at problem solving, and handles stress and success by focusing on her purpose. Her laugh is infectious. And her strong presence would make you think that she must have eyes in the back of her head.
The good news for her is that, in areas where she feels less sharp, she has opted to get help. The result is that she sees and feels her wonderful qualities from the inside out, and from the outside in. Importantly, others do, too.
That’s what brought us together in her closet last week, for an hours’ long closet talk session. Not only was the act of purging the closet a cleansing experience, but the closet talk itself brought out many truths, many laughs [fortunately, because there can be tears of release and relief], a new sense of direction, and a sense of true light in the closet.
With her customized color palette in hand, and style profile summary at the ready, we reviewed most of the wardrobe. Her tailored clothes looked less sharp and more conservative than she is. Style details of suits, like shoulder widths, stripes in fabric, lapel shape, and button stances all looked like outdated styles. That’s never a good thing for anyone because looks that are not intentionally vintage [which is not a look for everyone, either] age the wearer.
Even non-fashionistas observe when clothing worn on another person looks old. Observers may perceive the wearer as out of touch with the times. This might even lead one to think – even if incorrectly – that the wearer’s knowledge is also dated. Without our closet talk, this could have remained a possibility for my client.
Our closet talk also drifted off to the colors of her clothing. She absolutely had some clothes in the right temperature and intensity of color. But we also found far too many grayed out items than she should ever wear as a brunette. While standing in front of a full-length mirror, we could see how these lackluster items drained her own natural coloring. It seemed as if she either chose colors to bring down her high-wattage personality [ain’t gonna work!], or that she undervalued her own physical and personality traits [gotta deal with that!]. That was another “A-Ha!” moment for her.
We had a lot of closet talk about one particular top that she had bought to wear to work. I remarked to her that the style was so much more appropriate for her to wear at home. The style’s attitude was so much softer than what she should wear to the office. As it turns out, she is one of precious few women with a high level position at her company. So, it looked like she ought to wear it at home while looking after her kids. We even discussed how the right clothes could help her separate from work and be in wife-and-mom mode at home.
Because that item was solid black, we put the item in the clothing donation pile. Black is too strict looking for a hand’s-on mom. Yes, she wants her kids to see her as an authority. But she also wants to show her softer side. By reviewing this one piece during our closet talk, she got clear about her clothing’s purpose. She also learned that she can put new intention and purpose into her clothing selections.
The best part of closet talk is the clarity you gain by reviewing all of the items in the closet. We see everything from the true winners to the major failures. Once you are clear about what you should own and wear, your closet begins to resemble that mind shift. Then, you move toward successfully achieving your life goals, just like my client.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs transform their self-confidence by improving their personal style. Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “7 Ways to Transform Your Personal Style”.