After over 20 years of dressing real people as a personal stylist for Nordstrom, I still love to shop. The thrill of the hunt, the smell of something new, the atmosphere, the process. Time proves styles evolve, economics change, and weight fluctuates. More than once, I’ve dressed three generations of the same family. People change. Now, more than ever, the way we shop is changing too.
I’ve had a front-row seat witnessing what some call the “death of the department store”. After thirty-one years, the number one fashion destination in Sacramento and one of the most loved department stores in history, closed its doors in California’s capitol. There had already been a trend towards more online and less in stores. When COVID 19 hit, the retail landscape shifted even more. The supply chain was disrupted, deliveries were canceled, and production was halted. What’s our “new normal” going to look like? Are malls going to be in the same boat as typewriters and landlines?
Allow me to play retail therapist and share what my experience has taught me. Shopping can still be fun and is necessary. Each day, come what may, we still need to #getdressed. A well-curated closet can provide each day with a sense of organization and inspiration to be the best version of yourself.
With less inventory, delayed shipping, and less disposable income we have to shop smarter. Start by learning what works. In general, most people know what they “like” they just don’t know how to make it work for them. My degree in Fashion Merchandising taught me the basics of the business. However, it’s what I’ve learned hands-on as a stylist that has taught me why things work. I like to call them my fashion fundamentals. It basically boils down to working with what you’ve got and faking the rest. For example, drawing lines on your body. The goal is to use construction details, like where a hem ends and color, to balance your proportions so that you look long and lean. Never 50/50. Think ahead and ask yourself, can I wear this at at least two ways. For example, does it work this summer and next fall, or can I dress it up or down?
Now is the time to curate your style and define your wardrobe staples. Consider all your resources. For example, vintage boutiques are brimming with inventory and inspiration. Plus, you’ll feel great supporting local business. Additionally, affiliate programs like Shop Style make it easy for you to shop an edited collection of items, suggested by your favorite influencer, from all over the web in one place.
Now is the time to reinvent our favorite past time.