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  • Lori Thomas

Sort, Shop & Style - how it works...



This weekend I had a shopping appointment with a client as the second part of my Shop, Sort & Style service. This package is one of my absolute favourites, as it is so comprehensive and covers - everything! I talk about this service a lot, so thought I'd share a bit of what the process looks like...




Step 1: Sort


Recently, I met my client in her home and we sorted through her existing wardrobe. She is in the process of losing some weight, so was reluctant to spend much $$ adding too many new pieces that she may eventually not end up wearing; however was struggling with her current closet situation. Putting outfits together was becoming such a frustration. And, in a new work position she wanted to up her game.


I firmly believe that (no matter where we are at) we need to also have tools (and clothes!) to feel good in the present. We don't need to spend a lot - but feeling confident as we are on the journey is also so important.


In the sort process, we get rid of any pieces that do not fit or flatter and identify anything that may need to be tailored (or consigned). It's also a time where we discover the optimal colour palette, shapes that will best flatter one's body type and chat about personal style.


We came up with a focused priority shopping list which became the foundation of our upcoming shopping trip.




Step 2: Shop


My client was an absolute trooper during our shop. After an initial coffee, we visited a couple of stores where I had pre-pulled items and filled dressing rooms with clothing to try. Our goal was to find a couple of well-fitting bottom pieces she could wear to work, as well as some updated layers (that weren't black) to combine with the wardrobe of tops she has already hanging at home. And shoes she can wear to work to fit with her orthotics.


I was so proud of how she powered through all I had pulled aside based on the gaps we had identified (and the extra things we also grabbed that she spotted as we were wandering through the shop!). I pull a lot of garments to try, as I think it is really important to understand how different cuts, silhouettes and shapes fit and flatter. It is all about education. And, if something doesn't work - it isn't you...it's the garment. Not every piece is for everyone, but there is something out there for everyone! My hope is that after someone has spent time shopping with me, they have a better sense of where to go on their own and how to identify the best shapes, colours, brands, shops, silhouettes etc. for themselves. Though I am always there to help!


We managed to pick up a fabulously fitting high waisted straight leg pant black pant which will be a go-to for work. Sometimes, finding the right fit for pants can be a challenge but we hit that one right out of the park. We also added in a black A-line midi skirt in a leather fabrication with button details. While she prefers to be understated in her style, these small details easily elevate and modernize a look. We found an amazing burgundy fitted zip jacket that fit her like a glove and the colour complimented her eyes so beautifully. This was the hue we were hoping for! Not only does it flatter her skin-tone fabulously, burgundy also serves well as a neutral so will be an easy piece to create multiple outfits with. Lastly, we wanted to add the illusion of length with a longer more streamlined duster-length cardigan (hits just above the ankle). We did this in a gorgeous cobalt blue - which makes her eyes pop and will bring to life the tops that are hanging in the closet at home. Also, it's Fall - an updated knitwear piece is a must! We also were hoping for a pair of grey pants, but we couldn't find the right fit - I've since sourced out a couple of pairs locally for her to try. Fingers crossed as this will round out our wardrobe of bottoms - sometimes you just can't find it all in one place and you need to be ok with that (is what I keep telling myself - but of course, we do the best we can!). But, with just these four simple additions, we will be able to elevate and refresh her current wardrobe - without breaking the bank.


We tried on several pairs of shoes, but they weren't fitting quite right with the orthotics. We now have a clear idea of the style she is looking for, and she will hit up her local go-to shoe store to try and find a similar pair.




Step 3: Style


Very soon, I will be returning to her home to help her remix these new pieces with those already in her existing wardrobe. I've already envisioned over 15 new outfit combinations and I know there are more to be discovered! Of course, we'll build them together, she will try them on, and we will take pictures for reference. She'll also have record of them in the lookbook section I create for her in her very own virtual closet.


The style portion is so important. You need to take the time to come up with and create the outfits so you know all the possibilities for the clothing. It's hard to come up with them in a pinch, under stress or first thing in the morning!


Think your wardrobe needs a refresh or remix? Fall is the perfect time of year to tackle it! Check out these testimonials from people who made it a priority and are now making the most of what is hanging in their closets.


I highly recommend taking the time to follow this model (sort/edit your clothing first, shop with a plan and budget, and then take the time to make as many outfits as possible!). It will help you spend your money wisely with purpose. And, when you are done, getting dressed will be so much easier! The goal is to have your closet filled with outfits rather than overstuffed with clothing, while still having nothing to wear...



  • Style Smarts Personal Styling
  • Style Smarts Personal Styling

2019 • LORI THOMAS • STYLESMARTS • VANCOUVER BC