My wardrobe is in desperate shape. After three consecutive years of being pregnant and/or nursing, I haven't invested in new clothes for myself in ages, beyond a few new T-shirts at Old Navy and Target. (Maternity clothes don't count!) Making matters more complicated, I moved from New York City to suburban Connecticut, where all my bright and sexy Alice & Olivia and DVF dresses and 4-inch heels are so impractical they're practically irrelevant. Now, 14 months after the birth of my younger child and two months after I stopped nursing, I'm finally back at my pre-pregnancy weight and ready to shop! But I didn't know where or how to begin.
When I was offered a free 30-day subscription to Mission 360, a new website that bills itself as place to "build a wellness routine that works for your individual lifestyle, personality and spirit," I jumped at the chance. It has streaming fitness and yoga classes (that I hope to take advantage of soon!) and a selection of "coaches" to help guide you during one-on-one sessions on a variety of topics from nutrition to life coaching to relationship therapy to pet therapy and wardrobe advice. The coaching session are available at an extra cost.
I signed up for a one-hour online video session with the wardrobe coach, Laura Frecon, a stylist and costume designer for shows including Mad Men and True Blood.
Before our session, Laura had me answer some questions about my style, my goals and my sizes. It gave me a chance to explain to her where I was fashion-wise and what I most needed help with.
During our session, Laura asked questions to help create a picture of my daily life, which includes kids, running errands, working from home, more kids, occasional meetings and work-related lunches, and even more occasional dates with my husband and nights out with the girls. Oh, and more kids! I've always felt more comfortable with my work and going out looks than the casual, so we focused on my everyday outfits and how I can do better than a basic jeans and t-shirt to look and feel like less of a schlub. She also suggested a few piece I should add to my wardrobe now, like these very cool "Peace Trooper" pants.
After our conversation, Laura emailed me a list of brands to check out and created a Pinterest board of style inspiration for me. I have to admit, I LOVE the board. It has a lot of looks that are totally me and just what I'm going for, like the one at the top of this post.
Laura encouraged me to clean out my closet, which I actually did. I was finally inspired to donate 5 pairs of shoes I hadn't worn in years and I have been hanging onto "just in case" -- meanwhile they were collecting dust and showing their age by the second. I also filled up a bag of items that I never wore and already dropped them off for the Red Cross. It has only been a week, but I can't even tell you what was in it--those old clothes are already that far out of my mind! It's a relief to open my closet and see the clothes I actually wear. One of the services she offers is a virtual closet cleaning via video where she gives you a thumbs up or thumbs down on the outfits in question.
Since our session, I have been stepping up my style game. I've been wearing tops I forgot about, heels to the grocery store and throwing on scarves before I head out the door. I look more stylish, but more importantly, I feel more like my old self. I've always been good about wearing lipstick, but it's incredible the difference it makes when you take a spare two minutes to put on nicer shoes or swapping out your dog-walking windbreaker for a nice leather jacket!
Next, I really do need to try out a Mission-360 yoga class!