Hey y’all! I have been styling Morgan for a couple of years now. She is a lot of fun as a client and game to push and cross style boundaries. I was dropping off some items to Morgan that I snagged for her during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, remember that fun Farm Rio dress? Loved. And then that afternoon, Jamie expressed some interest in upping his style game as well. Truth is, I have been wanting to get my hands on his closet since I went through Morgan’s closet for the first time. I was thrilled at the opportunity and happy that Jamie felt like he could trust me.
What does he feel like he is lacking?
He doesn’t have the clothes he wants for the things he gets dressed for. I could tell right away that Jamie has good design inclination, he just wants a refresh and for it to be easy to put something together.
Shoes. Jamie said he never has the right shoe for the occasion. He mentioned an event that he went to with some other industry folks. He was bummed that his only option was his basic sneakers.
Jamie is not someone you will see in a tuxedo and I can dig it. He doesn’t need to be someone he isn’t. He wanted items that he can wear and layer based on the season and the reason.
Is there anything he won’t wear?
Plaid or flannel. It’s too cliche and expected for his industry and he doesn’t like the look of it.
Nike Shoes. They fit his feet oddly and are not comfortable, he prefers Adidas because they are not as tight around the footbed.
Morgan added a couple of requests.
A new suit, updated and more tailored.
A new pair of nice denim.
I knew then what we needed to do, a capsule collection.
A capsule collection can mean different things to different industries. From a personal stylist perspective, this is a selection of clothing that will easily interchange with one another often consisting of high-quality staple pieces. On average a capsule collection will have 10-20 items depending on the client, what they need, their budget, and any specific requests.
Before I shop for some of my clients I send them a wardrobe map to show some examples of items for approval or feedback. I used one before I shopped for Jamie. This is his initial wardrobe map. A little lower down you will see a page from his current wardrobe map.
Here is how Jamie’s capsule collection broke out.
Polo – Classic look. Fit perfectly.
Short-Sleeve Tee – One warm color and one cool.
Long-Sleeve Henley – An off-beat neutral. Loved this slate blue on him.
Crew Neck Sweater – Washable Wool from Banana Republic. Washable, NOT DRYABLE.
Chambray Shirt – Everyone should have one of these. I bought this one a little oversized for layer purposes.
Denim – AG Jeans. Designer, yes. Worth it, yes.
Casual Pants – Traveler pants from Banana Republic. These are a favorite of mine. I recommend them to (almost) everyone.
Bomber Jacket – Loved both colors, so we did both.
Quilted Vest – You mean I won’t always have to wear a coat? Sign. Me. Up.
Flight Jacket – This is the jacket that is in between the vest and heavy winter coat. Not in MN? This is the winter coat.
Dress Shoes – Classic silhouette, but not geriatric.
Dress Boots – These ran big. Jamie ended up a ½ down from his standard.
White Sneakers – These will put the final touch on so many outfits.
Adidas High-Tops – A little Jamie swag. Understated but unique shoe, and I think it suits him.
I went through a couple of the pieces and gave a little more insight into the selection process and some tips if you want to build a capsule collection.
This is a uniquely colored suit that is well-tailored means he will be a standout from the crowd of black, gray, and navy. A suit that fits well makes every person wearing one immediately more confident and comfortable.
Four pairs of shoes are more than I would normally buy for a collection this size, but he needed an update and this was something he requested specifically. A non-negotiable for me as a stylist is leather shoes, especially dress shoes and heels. Leather will form on your foot, stretch, and will last so much longer than other materials.
The denim I selected was dark blue with no destruction and a little stretch, with less than 2% spandex. We will need to hem them only because I got the designer denim on sale because it was an inseam that was an extended size. If you do this be very careful about any pattern or facing on the denim. If the inseam is long, those design elements can hit the wrong place on the leg. Just take the stock before you hem them.
I bought a selection of high and low items for this collection. I believe in spending money on items like shoes and pieces you won’t want to replace or you know you will wear them all the time.
The quilted vest was a high item. Jamie golfs in his free time, so this vest is from a luxury golfing brand. Physiologically I knew it would be easier for him to stomach the price if there was dual use. This vest is a classic quilted design with leather trim. This piece will last forever and can be worn over a chambray shirt or on the golf course.
The tees were low. Chances are this will be stained or damaged and he may want to switch out colors, cuts, or styles.
A bomber jacket works perfectly for an elevated casual collection plus with Jamie’s build being a bit more muscular, they will be flattering. We ended up doing one in black and one in cognac brown. These coats were only $60 a piece which is a no-brainer. I avoided navy and green for these coats because of the other color selections in the collection.
You will see the ease with which we flip these items around to create different looks from casual to dressy. Jamie was a great sport with all the trying on and gave me great feedback for the next collection of items we could add in the future. We achieved our goal of creating a capsule collection for Jamie. He is all set to go for his first event this year and will be able to pack and outfit himself with ease.
Some key elements when styling.
Listen. Confirm understanding. Deliver what you say you will.
Choose fabrics that play nice with others. Dry-clean only, weird hybrid fabrics, 100% wool anything are usually a no from me. unless it is a suit, then it has to be 100% wool. I know that seems nonsensical, but it’s not, trust me. I will cover that crazy little conundrum in another post.
It’s okay to push the boundaries of comfort a bit, but it is also okay to feel like you and look like you. Styling isn’t to change the person you are, you’re great, stay that way. Styling is a way to enhance your existing personal style so you feel good and know you look good.
1. Suit Coat | 2. Suit Pant | 3. Bomber Jacket | 4. Denim | 5. Quilted Vest | 6. Casual Pants | 7. Crew Neck Sweater | 8. Flight Jacket | 9. Short-Sleeve Tees | 10. Black Bomber Jacket | 11. Long-Sleeve Henley | 12. Dress Boots | 13. Dress Shoes | 14. Chambray Shirt | 15. White Sneakers | 16. Adidas High-Tops | 17. Polo
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