This week I have had the pleasure spending a full day with a client, mostly in her closet. The day was in preparation to provide her with new clothes for a new lifestyle. To many, being in the closet all day long is an exercise in claustrophobia. However, I see it as an exercise in finding freedom for my newly retired client. New clothes for a new lifestyle may be just what she has in mind. But, before introducing new looks, we needed two sessions in her closet.

This first session was pretty intense, but in a good way. She’s got a lot of energy, and is also quite enthusiastic about our project. That’s why we worked together from 10:30 AM until 7:00 PM, breaking for a brief lunch break together. The day began outside the closet. We reviewed two summary reports that I prepared expressly for her. They lay out and explain the results of her color and style profiles. Together, these create the blueprint from which we will create a wardrobe of new clothes for a new lifestyle.

The summary session was a definite eye opener because. Her color profile results helped her to see her whole personality and not just as a career woman. Upon separating one’s life from work, it can be a huge challenge to transition into a more leisurely lifestyle. Consulting, volunteerism, and philanthropy, is quite different from logging office hours or on airplanes doing “road shows” for IPO’s. 

Once we reviewed these profile summaries, and we entered the closet, it was clear that change was about to come. Her work clothes were the first part of the wardrobe that we excavated. Now that basically retired from her working career, seeing about retiring much of this level of clothes now made sense. It went well, with very little resistance to my suggestions.

The thing that struck me most was that her store bought clothes looked tame and devoid of her authentic nature. Then, we looked at her collection of scarves, shawls, and pashminas. Most of the pieces in her collection came with stories from globetrotting the world. The pieces and the stories, painted a lush landscape about her. I could never have had a deeper sense of her by only evaluating her basic work attire elements.

I could see that it was time to make fuller use of her scarf collection, and this gave birth to several inspirations. One Hermes scarf, out of sync with her personal coloring, I suggested she display as a gorgeous framed wall hanging. So, off to her new East Coast residence it went.

Another stunning shawl – not yet worn and enjoyed – sat in the closet waiting for her to finally wear. It is so gorgeous, and she told me how she spent a lot of money on it during one of her big trips. Immediately, I told her to place it in her home office. That way, she could drape it over herself every single day while at her desk. She should keep that energy close at hand. It could serve as a daily reminder of traveling, thinking big. Here, this treasured textile brings it all home to the place where she still manages the business of her life. Excitedly, she placed it in her office.

What a thrill it is to begin to see how the wardrobe going forward will take shape. As a result, I will not make safer choices that honor the mindset and style from which she is emerging. I promised that, after seeing this collection of lovingly collected accessories, I’d not hold back. Selecting new clothes for a new lifestyle is a far much richer experience when you understand the parts of you that you wish to carry forward – both in personality and in style.

Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs and executives discover their personal brands and design their personal styles.  Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “6 Secrets to Success in Silicon Valley.” Get details about Joseph’s proven program that transforms your life through personal brand and style development.