How a Personal Stylist Helped Me Get Out of a Style Rut

I've always loved clothes. And shoes. And bags. And jewelry ... Especially, jewelry. I blame my grandma for not only encouraging me to dress up in head-to-toe silk scarves and costume jewelry as a child, but taking me shopping every Sunday simply for the sake of going shopping. It was fun and indulgent and I don't regret a minute of it. But anyway, that's besides the point. The point is, even though I have a deep love for style and enjoy bringing some creativity to what I wear, lately, I've found myself in a style rut.

My closet was feeling boring and dull and full of way too many solid J. Crew basics that I no longer knew how to make interesting. Getting dressed in the morning no longer felt like a confidence boost, it felt tiring. And the most tortuous part of all was that I actually had a lot of clothes in my wardrobe -- plenty! And so many shoes. Too many shoes, perhaps. So I knew I had more than enough creative material to work with, so to speak, I just needed some help finding new ways to wear it all. Enter, The Style Riot.

I met Laura Walters of The Style Riot about a year ago. It was in passing as she was styling on set at a PATTERN photo shoot in Fountain Square. Since then, we've become friends and I've been quietly obsessing over her work as a stylist since the day we met (mostly via Instagram ... if you like leather and/or glitter you really have to check this thing out).

In February 2017, after seeing so many success stories around her Closet Revamp services, I finally reached out to her about helping me overhaul my own wardrobe in preparation for a trip to New York. I had tons of important meetings and events on the calendar and I wanted to not only look great, but feel like a badass on the inside, too.

We set aside three hours for our appointment on a Friday afternoon (the perfect way to kick off the weekend, in my opinion) and I spent the rest of the week until then pinning like a madwoman to try and spark some inspiration.

When Friday finally arrived I was a little nervous. She's gonna hate all my clothes! I have nothing to wear! Why is that stupid sweater from 2007 still in my closet?! 

I quickly realized those emotions were entirely ridiculous and I needed to simmer down. Laura was super approachable, nonjudgemental, and overall just really excited to help me out. It was kind of too good to be true.

The Style Riot

Here's how it all went down...

A few days before the appointment, Laura sent me a questionnaire that would help guide her expertise. 

She asked me questions about my favorite brands, how I would describe my style, and what my goals were for the appointment.

When she arrived at my house, we spent the first few minutes talking and getting to know each other better. 

It was kind of like a style therapy session. Our talk eased any anxiousness I was still feeling and helped us both relax into the environment. We chatted a lot about what I felt was getting in the way of me being able to make the most of my style. She asked specific questions about what I had planned for New York and clearly wanted to make sure I walked away from the appointment feeling confident and powerful.

And then, the fun began. 

Laura dove into my closet and began putting together refreshed ensembles that totally blew me away. I couldn't believe I had all this stuff in my closet. Below are a few of my favorite combinations...

Closet Revamp

Closet Revamp

Closet Revamp

Closet Revamp

Closet Revamp

After our appointment, I felt energized and refreshed -- like I could go into my closet and actually have fun.

I was excited to pack for New York and was looking forward to playing with some combinations of my own after getting some guidance from Laura. Everything Laura did not only helped me see my clothes in a new way, but affirmed everything I believe in when it comes to personal style. It strengthened my confidence that when it comes to getting dressed, I should trust my instincts and most of all, just have fun.

Later that weekend, Laura sent me a list of pieces that would be good, practical additions to my closet. 

This was an incredibly helpful part of the whole process. After our appointment, Laura sent me photos of all the combinations she put together and on top of it, a list of items (and links!) that I should consider adding to my wardrobe. Some were based on practicality, others were more stylistic, based on the ways in which I'm trying to elevate my look.

Laura's shopping recommendations came in really handy the next week, when my luggage failed to arrive in New York the same day I did. 

Uh, yeah. After spending a long time packing based on my work with Laura, Southwest lost my bag and I arrived in New York with only the clothes on my back and luckily, a makeup bag and a hairbrush in my carry-on. It was super stressful but soon enough, I looked on the bright side -- obviously this was an excuse to go shopping. Plus, I had a customized shopping list courtesy of Laura that I could use as my guide. There's nothing worse than shopping from scratch when you're on a time crunch!

I hit up Zara and Madewell in SoHo and put together this very New York ensemble (if I do say so myself) full of pieces Laura recommended I add to my collection:

  • A sleek black blazer (the one in my current wardrobe worked for the photos, but when I tried it on again it was too boxy and not the right length)
  • Faux leather leggings (yas!)
  • White high-top sneakers (these ones are Vans)
  • More gold jewelry (I scored a $2 bracelet from Madewell, thank you very much)
  • And a simple, black muscle tank (can never have too many)

Closet Revamp

Overall, Laura really helped me break out of a style rut. Today I'm feeling inspired, confident, and most importantly, more comfortable in my own skin (and clothing).

Even if you don't see yourself as someone "who would ever work with a personal stylist" I would encourage you to look into all The Style Riot has to offer. Seeking the assistance of a professional to revamp your closet doesn't have to be frivolous, nor does it have to be something you feel embarrassed or shy about (I'm talking to you, Midwesterners).

For me, it was crucial in mentally and emotionally preparing me to walk into a room and feel like I can own it. I'm moving to New York next month and will be preparing for an onslaught of networking events and job interviews. Because of working with The Style Riot, I know I'll feel incredible -- like anything is possible.

To revamp your own closet or work with The Style Riot in another capacity -- personal shopping, event styling, and so much more -- get in touch with Laura here. Or, if you want a personal introduction, I'm more than happy to connect you. Drop me a line and get ready to start a riot.