Suzanne Colmer is the founder of Your Shop Girl, a style and image consulting company in Toronto. She specializes in closet cleanses and educational shopping experiences and what she knows best is how to develop a wardrobe that you actually use 100% of. Suzanne is a graduate of George Brown’s Image Consulting program and has enhanced her studies at both the Sorbonne University in France and The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Often sought out by media as a style expert, she has been featured in The Toronto Star, on Rogers TV, CBC Radio, City Line, and Global TV.
Suzanne marries the art of dressing with the science of it, and she'll explain to us how establishing a foundation for your clothing and allows you to coordinate multiple outfits with minimal pieces.
With the start of the new year, people start taking inventory of their wardrobes, their habits, and their goals. Suzanne sometimes forgets she's in fashion because she sees how people present themselves as so much deeper than just dressing people like barbie dolls. She wants to understand who people are and who they want to be in order to accurately help people present themselves to the world. As a sociology and philosophy major, she is fascinated by the one on one with people. Seeing people make the connection between why they like something and how they can replicate the things that work for them. Pairing the understanding of what works with the knowledge of fashion and clothing, Suzanne loves the transformations in her clients.
Moms put themselves on the back burner. With a long list of other people's needs coming before ours, we neglect our needs. How many of us are like Sabrina, and haven't bought a new item of clothing (besides socks and underwear) in years? Do your clothes fit you still? Have you changed in the last 5 years? Has your wardrobe? Finances are tight and obligations are many. How do we start?
Start with taking inventory of your closet. Does everything fit who you are right now? Are they you? From age, body changes, and life changes, you have to look at who you are right now and what you want to portray to the world. Can you come up with 3 words to describe how you want to be seen? Approachable? Effortless? Dramatic? Fashion-forward? or Minimalistic? Find your ideal style words. It can be slightly difficult, so try finding 10-12 pictures on something like a Pinterest board that inspires you. Or maybe they are the same types of outfits. Find words that you would use to describe those pictures and find the common ones on your board.
When you're shopping for clothing, you can put together 100 different outfits that would look good on you, but only 2-3 of them would be ones that made you feel your best. When you reflect on your style and how you want the world to see you, the outfit that makes you feel good is the one you want to wear. A fashion consultant like Suzanne takes their clients through a process to uncover these outfits. Tailored to the individual, Your Shop Girl begins with an understanding of the style that would work for them. Sometimes they will go through closets and pick out the pieces that would work, or they skip that step and start fresh. From there, Suzanne discusses the benefits of capsule wardrobes. Not wanting to take longer than necessary each morning, by having pieces that work with 2-3 other pieces in your wardrobe you have the ability to build an outfit.
Capsule wardrobes are thought of as made up of 6 clothing options, organized like a pyramid. With a layering piece at the top to design the capsule around, like a cardigan or a jacket, you pair it with 2 bottom options underneath. Under that would be 3 top options that would work with both the bottoms and finally, 4 accessories that would change the look for the outfits. Any piece from the levels would coordinate with the other levels of the pyramid, and it takes the guesswork out of making an outfit. Depending on your level of minimalism, you can have capsules for different reasons, like work clothes, vacation capsules, and more.
Suzanne says that despite the initial investment, doing a style inventory and creating a capsule wardrobe will save you money in the long run because you will be buying with intention and not spending money on pieces that will not get worn. For more information on how Suzanne and the other stylists at Your Shop Girl can help you craft your best closet, check them out at the links below: