I’d say having Michelle Addison come and cleanse your wardrobe is kind of like getting someone to pull your bandaid off for you rather than doing it yourself. It hurts, but it hurts less and it needs to be done. However it’s actually really fun!
Wardrobe cleansing is something I first heard about when I started watching TLC’s What Not to Wear. At the time, I thought: those poor souls, they really don’t have a clue what to wear, thank goodness for Stacy and Clinton! I never thought that someone like me (who actually has at least half a clue about fashion) would need a wardrobe cleanse. That was until I was introduced to Michelle Addison.
Michelle is a fashion consultant, television stylist (for the infamous Vancouver housewives!), personal stylist at The Room at the Bay and Mom to Stella (3). I first email-met Michelle a year ago when I interviewed her for my Saturday schmoozings post and so was so excited to meet her in person when she came to give my wardrobe a cleanse. It was perfect timing as I was preparing for our move and thus needed to give my wardrobe to once over before it got packed in boxes.
Michelle kindly started with telling me that everyone needs a cleanse – hmpf, I thought – well you haven’t seen my wardrobe yet. And yes, while my wardrobe is pretty selective – Michelle admitted that freely but within minutes (woot, woot!), this mild-mannered, diplomatic but still firm stylist managed to attack my wardrobe in a gracefully vicious manner.
Within seconds, Michelle had made three piles on my bed: throw away, keep and get altered. My toss pile consisted of ill-fitted jeans, well worn pants, stained tees and shoes that had most certainly seen their days… items that I had been crazy to hold onto for so long. My alterations pile was alarmingly huge – clothes that I hadn’t worn for one reason or another, Michelle showed me how a simply alternation could do the trick! And thankfully there was a lot left in the ‘keep’ pile!
Michelle isn’t completely heartless: if something is too sentimental or personal she does allow you to keep it. I let her get into my purse collection which she reduced to a speck of what it had been. And then my shoes… argh, she had a field day here. While she did love a lot of my summer/spring items, she had a fun time of chucking a lot of my dated pumps and boots out. You’d think this was a rough morning for me but in fact it was quite the opposite. Michelle is just such a warm, friendly person who obviously knows what she’s doing and I felt so able to hand my wardrobe over to her. After she left, I looked at my wardrobe and felt so free of the clutter, rubbish and outdated items. I felt like it gave me a chance for a fresh start and that I was keeping the clothes I really do wear and look and feel good in.
It is also so much easier to pay to have some one cleanse your wardrobe who has absolutely NO sentimental, personal, or historical attachment to your items and can come in with a critical, professional eye and know just what your wardrobe can keep and what needs to leave it. Although I may have given Michelle a tough time with my protesting, whining and arguing, I do applaud her valiant effort and the job that she does. It must be difficult to walk into a strangers room and essentially tear them apart from their loved ones (as I can honestly say I have often treated my Gary Castle flats as well as I treat my kids). But it is well worth the money to spent on a personal stylist – especially one as unique as Michelle. I just think of the money that we waste purchasing clothes ‘on sale’ that don’t fit us correctly or are dated, but instead spending the money on getting someone to come in give your wardrobe a fresh look and to give you a push in the right direction and a shopping list leading to your purchase less things, more quality items and timeless pieces that you will wear forever.
Thank you Michelle! Sorry for giving you a hard time. But I did keep the American Apparel cardi….
A few days after Michelle’s visit, she sent me a shopping list of items that I need to add to my wardrobe and I found this list really useful for the stylish Vancouver Mom. Here’s what I need:
1. Some new pairs of dark denim, jeggings and cigarette pants
2. Black Maxi Skirt
3. A few silk tank tops
4. Some summer tees
5. Lady Shorts
6. Black cashmere sweater
7. 2 pairs of boots – a black and a brown
8. A messenger bag
9. Some leather belts – thick and thin
10. A good quality winter coat.
What do you think you need to get rid of in your wardrobe? What essential items are you missing? If you need help, Michelle’s your girl!
images c/o michelleaddison.com