Behind Closed Doors

How to dress your best - a wardrobe consultant takes charge

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Play time: Consultant Stacy Wallace-Albert (near left) insists that every woman should experiment with the contents of her closet. She convinced her client Tina O’Connor (above and far left) to try wearing an old sweater backwards—an unexpected touch that kicks the chic factor up a notch.

Tina O’Connor had a vision of an easy, stylish wardrobe— every morning she would wake up and in no time find something to wear. Her closet, however, didn’t fit her lifestyle. Her old job had left her with a wardrobe full of suits, while at her new job in the entertainment industry, the work environment was laid-back.
Enter our style editor Stacy Wallace-Albert, who has recently started a wardrobe consulting business. (Her rates begin at $600 for a four-hour session. For more information, see her Web site, thefashioneditor.com.) Wallace-Albert agreed to overhaul O’Connor’s closet in her gentle manner—no fashion-police bully tactics here—weeding out the tired and unflattering and putting together a few go-to ensembles for O’Connor. The result? A closet as airy as a boutique, filled with things she actually wants to wear. Getting dressed now is as simple as opening her wardrobe.


HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK?


HOMEWORK “First, I ask the client to pull everything she loves from magazines like Marie Claire and Lucky, nothing too over the top editorially,” Wallace-Albert says. “And then I categorize it so she understands what she’s gravitating toward. I’ve been keeping a folder like this for ten years. It teaches you to hone your taste.”
EDITING “We go through most items in the closet. It’s hard to part with things, so basically I help people with permission. We may get rid of clothes, but the idea is that in the end you’re left with more to wear because you love it. And don’t worry, I won’t make you throw anything away!”
ALTERATIONS AND REPAIRS “Alterations are so important—that’s the advice everyone gets—whether it’s to slim down a leg line, nip in the waist of a boxy jacket, or remove a waistband.”
WRAP-UP
“Within a couple of weeks, I send an exhaustive summary of what we’ve discussed, complete with an action
plan that includes a shopping list and department
stores they should visit.”

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