Oh, The Perks! {My Three Hours With ALG Style}

P.S. (and this P.S. totally goes at the beginning) This is a sponsored post. Services from ALG Style and all of the photos are courtesy of Quaint+Whim.

ALG Style

Oh, The Perks! {My Three Hours With ALG Style}

So, picture this: You get to live in a fairy tale for an evening; two fashion fairy godmothers come to your house and help you go through your closet, shoes and accessories, all the while building you up by pointing out what looks great on you and magically making what doesn’t disappear. (Your husband even takes the kids away for the majority of the evening.) The scary part? You have to let them in YOUR HOUSE and in YOUR CLOSET with a PHOTOGRAPHER and put the whole thing on the INTERNET. I don’t know about you, but the closet is usually where I hide the stuff I don’t want guests to see when they come over. And THAT’S the only place they wanted to go.

Who wanted inside my closet?

Aimee Gowland and Corrie Pellerin. They make up the team at the center of ALG Style. Their mission is to teach people to dress their best self. To do that, they start with you. My session started with a conversation. We all sat down and discussed what a Week-In-The-Life-of-Me involved. My schedule? My obligations? Where are the holes in my wardrobe (when do I feel like I’ve got nothing to wear?)? When do I feel my most confident? How would I describe myself? So, first we chat, they hear me out, and then we all move on to the closet so they can call my bluff.

IMG_3118Corrie dove straight in. After I gave them a tour, (I pointed in one direction at some clothes and then pointed in another direction at some clothes and said, “These are my clothes.”) She made herself at home taking things out and making piles. There were piles to try on, piles to discard (Yikes!) and piles to “discuss.”

The most prominent pile was made on the empty garment rack they wheeled into my bedroom. It was quickly filled with items from the closet – set in more of a neutral space for evaluation. Once these items are out of the closet, you can really see patterns (pun intended) of your purchases. (I had NO idea I *loved* long skirts.) This is where Aimee and Corrie break out their wands – They begin to uncover the me that has evolved out from under the clutter in my closet. They remove layers of guilt-keeps, work a little bit on body/self image and dust off the you that was supposed to be front and center in your own life all along. That sounds a little bit like they’re helping me to grow … and they totally did.

Sometimes growth is a little uncomfortable, right? Well, this was a little uncomfortable at first. Check out this exchange in the next three pics:

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“Oh, Aime’e, you’re so great – maybe you won’t notice that I’m holding this dress here – I’ll just casually move it over there, where you will overlook it … WHAT? It’s only 14 years old … I mean, I wore it to my rehearsal dinner … and we just celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. WHAT?”

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“What do you mean ‘UPDATE?’ I mean, I like it hanging there, on the hanger, in my closet … where I don’t really wear it because I’m afraid it’ll make me look like I’m trying to look younger than I am. I don’t know how to dress my age. I’m 40. I obviously need a cardigan to go with my too-long dress. WHAT?”

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*This is a look of a woman who is experiencing growth, ladies and gentleman. Real-live, painful GROWTH. She’s facing the above-the-knee demons head-on, sporting an “It’ll-Do-For-The-Time-Being” jean jacket and a smile to cover the remaining insecurity. In short, I am being ALG Styled.

What was so wonderful about this – was the other perspective. All of the other times I face my wardrobe, I face it alone. This time, I had a team and they were on MY side! Aime’e and Corrie are funny and relate-able. They’re real women, trying to help real women. They were dressing the body they saw, not the body I worried about. I wasn’t being dressed up in someone else’s clothes and handed a new identity. No, I was being dressed up in my OWN clothes, in the things that I had curated. They just spit and polished. There were some great items that left my closet because they were old and worn, not because they weren’t right (okay, maybe SOME were never cool in the first place). It was a great relief and motivation (eventually) to send those things away because I valued Aime’e and Corrie’s perspective. They’re unbiased and experienced. It’s easy to trust them.

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I bought this skirt (left) online at some ridiculously low sale price, never having tried it on. When it arrived, I put it on and wasn’t happy with the fit. I loved the pattern (and felt guilty because I had just spent money on it), so I kept the skirt just hanging in my closet even though it didn’t make me happy.  This was one of the first things I showed them, ready to GIVE AWAY ALL THE THINGS and surprisingly, they fought for the skirt. My instinct about the purchase/pattern was right, I just needed help with the fit. After some pinning and tucking (and an eventual visit to a tailor), I’d have a great piece that I’d most likely definitely wear.

Check out some of the things they lifted from the clutter – these outfits were lurking in my closet…

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This dress was a hand-me-down from my husband’s aunt. I like hand-me-downs because they’re FREE. The thing about hand-me-downs is that they’re usually not a perfect fit. With a few alterations (they decided the length and fit of this one would work), you can wind up with a dashing outfit, custom-tailored for much, much less! The earrings were a Target purchase and those heels were found at the old Imelda’s a LONG time ago on a super-sale. Style doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to fit YOU.

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Dress – Older than I’d like to admit, probably over 10 years. It’s my go-to, plain, sleeveless LBD. Aime’e and Corrie added a little hand-me-down jacket and it felt fresh. Necklace – costume jewelry from my grandmother. Ring – Christmas gift from my aunt. Shoes – A find at Ross Dress For Less a LONG TIME AGO.

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This pairing was unexpected for me, but I love it. The blouse (shirt? top?) is a hand-me-down; the pants were an awesome sale item from Loft this past Christmas. Shoes – Target (Tarjayyy). Pelican Cuff – Mimosa (It’s one of my most favorite things. It’s like a Super Woman cuff for a gal from Louisiana.)

The result of this experience is one that I will carry with me for some time to come. Yes, my closet is organized and has a bit more room for the list of necessities I’ve been given to add when I can, but that’s not what I mean. My attitude was re-shaped. That’s the change that will have longevity. I caught a glimpse of how they saw me. I can see how a slight shift in the way I see myself can fuel positive change. Just one of those changes will be in my wardrobe!

FullSizeRender-8In the bag is a lot of the stuff from the “Discuss” pile. We discussed and I saw their points about most of it. Since their agenda is to make me look (and feel) good, I know we had the same goal and it was easier to let most of that stuff go. The bag is merely a transportation device. These clothes weren’t going into the trash. The ones that just weren’t right for me but that were still in good condition were going to be donated to some of Aime’e and Corrie’s favorite places. Thrift stores for a cause or places like Dress for Success. Win-win.

The closet re-vamp isn’t the only service these pros offer. They’ll pack your suitcase with appropriate outfits for a trip (who doesn’t hate to pack?), they’ll style your wedding, provide professional image consults, personal shopping, and presentations for corporate events on branding, image and styling.

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(That’s what I said.)

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