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Sep 11, 2014

[Service Review] What I've Learnt From a 'Virtual Closet Editing' Session with Bridgette Raes

Hi, Fashion Readers~!

It's been a while! I'm just back after my Summer Intensives (I work more hours in the Summer...) AND a Korean Thanksgiving holiday. :)

I've continued to work on my Project 333, so I'll do a separate post for the September items. This post though, is a hearty appreciation of everything I've experienced with the Virtual Closet Editing with the wonderful Ms. Bridgette Raes!

* * *
So . . .

I've been following Ms. Raes' blog for a while now. I think I found her twice on two separate occasions. Once, I was blogging for tips on becoming an image consultant and she had done a YouTube video on it long time ago. Then, another time when I was Googling to find some tips on color palette strategies.

The more I've immersed into the various 'fashion & personal style' topics and issues, the more I realized and felt that I was just spinning in circles, chasing my own tail. I think I felt this even more strongly, as I saw how my friends who began with me on the DYT course initially, a couple of years back.

We were still questioning our Personal Style recipes, we were still unsure about our Color Palettes... Where does this all end? I wondered...

Meanwhile though...
I did enjoy and learn gradually about 'Curating' my wardrobe & putting together outfits. I wrestled whether getting Ms. Raes' help would be the long awaited 'Magic Pill' for me and my Quest for 'THAT' Image Thang that's been haunting me ALL my life...

And after many weeks of mulling and clicking and closing her Services Page, I decided to request a Skype consultation (the preliminary one) to see if all my wondering was even necessary :)

Well, thankfully, that was a really good decision!!

* * *

Ms. Raes offers two types of Virtual Consultations, and so I asked her which of the two I should request, and what each entailed. And whether she had experience working with Asian women. Luckily, she cleared up all my 'nagging Nellies' and we agreed to do the 'Virtual Closet Editing' which IS the recommended First Step for most of her clients.

Let's see...

So, looking back, I think working with Bridgette took about 2~3 weeks total, with distinct stages...

After our agreement, she sent me a Questionnaire, which covers my body measurements, lifestyle needs, some questions on colors, and some past experiences and style preferences, as well as some fabric and laundry related questions.

It took about half an hour I think to answer it.

* * *

Bridgette actually told me during our first Skype (preliminary one) that I was a Winter! :D AND she gifted me a Winter Palette that not only had the palette colors, but lots of suggestions for color combinations for outfits. 

That was so wonderful; I had been so torn and lost doing DYT, ended up shopping for items that were not the best for my style, which led me to doing a local color draping, which added even more discrepancies and confusion/conflicts.

My initial typing by CT was Type 2 from some of the photos I sent to her. Then it was Type 4, after a 20 minute Skype chat with CT. But my color draping came out Striking Autumn. Worse, and ever more confusing were these issues: a) I can't wear silver in the Winter, so Type 4 didn't sustain itself for me, b) most of the muddied and browned colors in the Autumn colors did not look good on me, AND c) even if I wore the skin enhancing Autumn colors, it seemed to fight a lot with my Black Asian Hair...

THANKFULLY, Bridgette's approach and 'verdict' worked really well with my 'Fashion Philosophy' and 'Needs'...

a) The Winter Palette she sent me included a lot of 'Universal' and 'Neutral' colors. I LOVE wearing beige and gray and they are both allowed!
b) There are no metals 'Restriction' :)
c) Honoring my Hair Color has always been the Smart Thing to Do, IRL. So there.

* * *

The next 2 assignments prior to our Skype Session were to...

a) send in 'Ideal Outfits' via email OR Pinterest.
I had fun choosing these. And knowing how much of an investment this was, I really thought long and hard (for a Aries/Gemini/Pisces) and sent in ONLY those that TRULY met my aesthetic preferences. You can view the selection here:

The two that really were my IDEALS were these two though:

something a little 'lady like' and more 'feminine'

something practical for every day in the city, urban & practical

b) Send in pictures of myself wearing the outfits. But to photograph them from front, side, and back. It took me the weekend to do this properly. But I learnt SO MUCH doing this! I highly recommend this technique to anyone having the 'Wardrobe Blues' and feels like their wardrobe is not supporting them!!

I have a full length mirror that I use everyday, but this exercise was INVALUABLE. People don't really see how they are in their outfits... Mirrors can only do so much! Your eyes go from face to chest to legs when you see yourself, and it doesn't allow you to take in your OVERALL shape and physique!

* * *

OK. So. Now, I have some *embarrassing* stuff to share...
I requested for Bridgette's help because, I was feeling the total BLAH with my wardrobe, with my Project 333 outfits. I liked the ease of wearing pre-chosen selection of stuff... But this still wasn't the IMAGE I wanted for myself.

Daily, I began to feel more and more like, Hmmm... Why is it, that I look MORE and MORE like a STUDENT???

I'm a mid 30-something 'WOMAN' - I look like a highschool student, preparing for exams, (aka NERD)... I was so far from sophistication that I had wanted. SOMETHING was amiss. It was horribly going down hill...!

So, as embarrassing as it is, since I know this could happen to YOU or someone you know, I'm sharing my 'Chicken Outfifts' (this reference comes from Ms. Rae's YouTube video) here:

Chicken Outfit #1

This is me wearing my 'supposedly slimming' BLACK sheer blouse...
I swear to you, when this blouse hangs on my hanger, it looks so nice and feminine, it's like you can feel the BREEZE through this outfit...
I thought that because the blouse is black it would be slimming, and because it's sheer, it'd add more 'femininity' and less of a 'weighty/heavy' feeling of black.

Seeing this ON MY BODY was a TRUE AWAKENING... I felt like, oh no! Is this how I really look INSIDE the blouse???

Chicken Outfit #2

This one doesn't make me look AS BAD as the above one... At least, I don't look like a rubgy player :) But as Bridgette pointed it out to me, it's a good base, that sorely needs accessorizing. (My wordage, not hers. She was blunt with me a couple of times, which I actually liked and found helpful to hear. We both have Capricorn strong in our astrology btw! And I admired her style from the videos, so I knew there was good chance she'd be a good stylist for me!)

Growing up, I wasn't allowed to 'own' my beauty or my body. All my focus had to be geared towards getting into a 'good university' so the only way I used to spice up my outfits were to wear tops that had designs or patterns on them. I never really learnt to do my hair nicely, or to experiment and explore different ways to style my clothes, accessories, or jewelry.

Having said that, I was never into frills and laces any way... But you know, a woman's body goes through stages. I have been a tallish, skinny bitch in my teens and twenties. It was from the year I turned 28 that my hips and butt started to store fat in them, and initially my waistline was still nice and visible, and there was no pot belly to speak of.

So, I guess that added to never having to 'worry' or 'LEARN' how to dress for a non-skinny body... As the years added on, so did my fats... SAD FACT OF LIFE. Unless I change my 'sedentary potato' ways, this body isn't gonna get skinnier back to its Glory Days...

Moving on... :D

Chicken Outfit #3

Right .
Someone hire me now, for that part time job somewhere! I look like the veritable 'Student' Archetype Anonymous... White blouse x Dark denim jeans straight cut . Yeah, don't do this . I'm telling ya . Stop it RIGHT NOW . XD !!!

(There are some other really terrible chicken outfits, but I'm hoping to work in Fashion related field, so I am gonna have to save some grace here... *wink, wink*)

* * *

The first batch of these Chicken Outfits confirmed my belief that, Oh sh*t, I REALLY DO NEED HELP!

But I still had Sunday to work with my existing wardrobe... So I started playing, and came up with some 'similacra' for my Ideal Outfits...

Example of a Mimic Outfit

As you can see, I do not have a gray jacket, but I do have a gray shirt blouse, a wide belt, and slimming jeans for my legs.

Compared with above, what adds to my style here is putting my hair up in a messy way, but it does AMAZING for my 'sleepy jawline' and helps visually especially from the side and back. (See why you need to photography yourself, ladies?)

I never belted my clothes prior to this consultation with Bridgette, because I was scared I was going to draw attention to my swelling-belly. Boy, could I have been more wrong! XD

So, I intend to do this more often...
Seeing what I might be able to create using what I already have!

This totally worked! Just following the steps Bridgette instructed me to follow!

* * *

Where were we...

So, yes, I sent in lots and lots of these outfit pictures. I used a tripod to take the pictures, and put 3 pictures on each Power Point Slide. And turned it into a PDF and sent it to Bridgette.

I can't showcase all of my outfits...
But I did get more creative with my styling, with each photo & styling session! I think I must have done 4 in total...

Playing with Belt Colors

Here are two outfits that are identical in styling, all except for the belts. I guess both work, but the latter is a lot more slimming from the side... :)

Also, while the former looks more 'creative' or 'casual,' the latter feels more 'cohesive' and 'put together.'

* * *
Necklace Option

Here are two pictures showing an outfit combination Bridgette thought was really good for me. I even tucked in my tank tee here, which is not something I was used to doing...
We both agreed that while having a necklace might be an idea, this particular necklace (which I never wear any way) is NOT the one for me... Too traditional and matronly. We ruled out ALL of my scarves by the way, for the same reason... They didn't go with my outfits... Now I can see where I was going wrong... :) !!!

* * *

But in the end, the best outfits that came of all this trying on and playing 'Shop My Closet' were these *gems*:

My 'Signature Style' Outfit - of the Bunch :D

Bridgette agreed that of ALL the outfits, this was the most ME.
And I'd have to agree. I felt most at ease wearing this.
I immediately had a smile when I chose this Tshirt and my cargo pants...
I even wore a red lipstick, just because I felt like it.

It needs a little jewelry, but this is a good outfit for expressing myself.
It's functional, it's understated, it's urbane.

Weather Proof Outfit - Ready for the Monsoon Season!

Waisted in Black~!
Here's another outfit that Bridgette and I agreed was a good option for me. If the above outfit felt like a sort of a DKNY-feel, this one felt more like a Prada-ish feel.

She told me that the waist line being pulled in makes this outfit work, compared with my previous sheer black blouse... that added pounds to my figure!

The Casual Attraction - My Favorite Tshirt Graphics ^__^

This is my 'casual' look that I threw in at the last minute. I just love the geometric pattern on this Tshirt! I think this outfit is more CK-style than the other two...

I like how 'light' this feels, and relaxed yet not slob-like...

* * *

So, after I sent in the outfits to Bridgette, she sent me comments for each outfit in the form of post-its in my PDF file. :) Gotta love 21st century technology!

But she reminded me that more will be discussed for solutions and suggestions during our Skype. Her main commentary for my outfits were that my color combinations were not helping me much.

I did send in some clothes that were kind of 'clashing' in colors or 'too light and washed looking' for my 'Winter' coloring...

We scheduled for our Skype session, but you know what...? I was ALREADY dressing MUCH BETER... each day for my job! I was belting all my outfits, and some days, I remembered to wear my hair up.

I couldn't believe I could wear belts this often! I tried out like 5~6 belts that week! And I looked a lot slimmer, like magic~!! ^___________^ VVV

* * *

Wow, it is getting late...
It's almost 5am again! Better force myself to bed now...

I'll have to return to give you what transpired during the Skype chat (mostly learned about my body type and learned options for accessorizing), as well as what Bridgette sent me AFTER our Skype session.

Aight, my Reader... Thank you for tuning in!
Talk to you soon~!!

Love and Gratitude for your Readership,

Jessica Flatshoenista

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