For too long – and I’m talking years and years and years – I had been disappointed in my wardrobe, disillusioned with shopping and annoyed at shopping assistants trying to help me.
It didn’t help that I really had no idea what suited me either.
I would wear clothes until they basically fell off me, and then would go and buy something similar – just because I knew where it was and that it had fit me last time. I would buy single pieces of clothing and sometimes just buy something that didn’t really fit me – just so I could get out of the shop. When my partner shopped I would sit in the bored husband chair. To say I dreaded shopping is an understatement. I knew I needed help – and at the ripe old age of 39 I decided to ask for it. (Note to younger self – ask earlier, you’ll feel much better about yourself)
Hollie came to my house for the style consultation and wardrobe makeover. We sat down and I filled out my questionnaire. This was to help Hollie understand my thoughts on fashion, my lifestyle and my challenges etc, but when I started, I realised it was helping me too. All that stuff you think about all the time but never really put down on paper or own up to. I finally admitted that if I got really hot and flustered shopping, or one shop didn’t have my size (which happened all the time) – I would self sabotage by saying “Let’s just go to lunch” or “Let’s have a wine” and get out of there. I also didn’t realise that the three people I put down as my style icons were a combination of what I was looking for – a taller lady, larger size, kind of edgy style. The questionnaire was definitely an eye opener for me. We thoroughly discussed all my thoughts and fears about shopping and then moved onto my wardrobe. This was a lot of fun.
Hollie is that voice in your head that knows you shouldn’t own that bit of clothing – but all your other voices say “But I felt fabulous when I used to wear this” or “I just have to lose a few kilos and I’ll get back into it” or “I will wear it one day, I just haven’t had the right occasion”. Let’s call Hollies voice ‘the truth’. I had to laugh – I had clothes I’d carried around for years, clothes that didn’t fit at all. I even had about five pieces of clothing that still had tags on them. It was a shambles, but I was ready and excited to change.
Hollie helped me sort my shambolic clothes into piles - a pile to put on e-bay, a pile to donate and a pile to keep. I even had a little pile to give to my sister – and boy does she look good in those pants I couldn’t fit into anymore! It was a great feeling to cull the clutter and I felt fresh and light and ready to re-fill my wardrobe with new clothes.
Cut to the shopping day and I was ready to go. I was not going to self-sabotage this once in a life time opportunity and can I honestly say – I have never enjoyed myself so much. I just had to wait in the change room while Hollie and the shop assistants bought racks of clothes to me. Outfits – full outfits, not just one piece of clothing like I had been doing previously. Matching and swapping tops with different pants, different patterns in pants and tops, having a laugh when things didn’t work but then getting to understand WHY they didn’t work. Looking at what tops and pants worked and why they did. This wasn’t just trying on clothes – it was about understanding me and learning things I had just simply never understood. It was focusing on all my positive attributes – showing me what I CAN have instead of what I used to think I couldn’t have. We hit the jackpot almost immediately and I felt amazing and happy. Shopping had never been like this for me.
Pants, tops, shoes, accessories – we got it all. We shopped from 1pm-9pm and even when the shops closed, I still felt like I could have shopped for longer.
On our follow up session we did a bit more shopping for some more clothes we hadn’t acquired – and you know what? I knew what to look for. I knew what wasn’t going to work and it made the shop simple. It was easy. We got what we needed, came back to my place and took photos of all different combinations of the many, many wonderful clothes we had purchased.
I really could not have imagined doing this with anyone else. I felt comfortable, understood, supported and encouraged - all of the elements that were missing when I previously shopped.
Hollie is extraordinary. She is a shopping machine. She is a wealth of fashion knowledge and more importantly - she is fun. She has turned shopping for myself into a positive. She has changed my life and I cannot thank her enough. Take it from someone who now knows how to shop - don’t make the mistake of shopping around for stylists. This is your lady right here. Just don’t wait 39 years wishing you’d done it earlier.