Personal Styling

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When I was growing up, I preferred plain paper to coloring books.  I would fill the paper with my latest sketches and designs from my imaginary fashion line “KK Designs” or my wedding dresses called “The Josephine Everett Collection”. I remember talking to a mentor once who told me that I should choose a new career path when I said I wanted to work in fashion someday. He told me I should choose something that “mattered” more.

Personal shopping is something I’ve always wanted to do. It was part of my everyday job at both Madewell and Primp, but I’ve never done it on my own. Until now…

The process went something like this…

  1. Consultation: I visited my client in her home in the morning. We went through her clothes. I wanted to know what “basics” and “staples” she owned. This was also a good chance for me to see how different sizes fit her body. I’ve worked in retail for 3+ years, so I have a pretty good sense about sizing, but it’s always best when you can see how numbers fit each individual’s shape.
  2. Shopping List: Using what we learned from her initial try-on session, we brainstormed a shopping list, and talked about the types of outfits she’d like to have. She told me about her daily life, and I took notes on her typical week, etc. We then looked at her Pinterest boards, and she shared with me some upcoming events and some different styles she’d been wanting to try.
  3. Budget: After we came up with a list, she gave me a goal budget. I knew I could stay within the parameters because I LOVE to find good deals.
  4. Shopping: I left for my day of shopping as soon as we finished at her house. After 7 hours and seven-ish stores, I had obtained my pieces for her new “capsule-esque” wardrobe.
  5. Lookbook: After returning home, I photographed each of the pieces I purchased for my client, and created collages that demonstrate different ways she can wear each look. I found photos on Pinterest of real-life people wearing a similar style to give her a nice visual.
  6. Presentation & Try-On: My client got ready for the day with hair and makeup, and then I brought everything to her home. She started trying on, and piece by piece and outfit after outfit, she was excited and happy. I knew she was nervous by the texts I’d been getting the previous week, but I was so excited she asked me to do this for her, I knew one way or the other it would end up a good learning experience. It turned out to be a GREAT success. In any creative task, it’s important to remember that your client chose you for a reason. She wanted me to use MY taste to choose things for her life. It was both fun and challenging. I can’t wait to do it again!

Her new wardrobe includes:

  • one pair dark skinny denim
  • one pair navy chino / dress pants
  • five good t-shirts
  • two blouses
  • one dress
  • one cardigan
  • one military jacket
  • accessories
  • casual tennis shoes
  • wedge sandals
  • flat sandals
  • flip flops

… While I appreciate the advice I received as a teenager from that one individual, I’ve learned that helping others to feel confident, special and put together is a great way to exercise my passion for both fashion and for people. Plus, doing the shopping and making outfits is like doing a puzzle with a variety of correct answers.  I love the endless possibilities.


Thanks for reading along during my month of style!



Published by

Kelly Jo Johnson | Forever Golden Living

wife & mama. blog author. photographer. style obsessed. for booking & collaborations 📧:

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