At work, I am quite stoic. I block out my own personal feelings so that I can focus on my client's needs. However, behind the scenes, I am super sensitive. I cry over everything--just ask my husband! He won't even take me to the movies anymore since I end up a blubbering mess. I cried at Chef! I cried just today listening to an Invisibila podcast on the "Secret Life of Clothes". If I stare at that broken heart robot stock photo long enough, a tear will stream down my face.
I used to say I have sensitive eyes. The truth is I have a sensitive heart. And having children of my own has only magnified this character trait. When you're a mother, it's easy to see everyone as someone's child. Because of this, I was very touched by a recent booking with a new client, let's call her Madison.
After a nasty comment from a mean girl, Madison's confidence in her wardrobe and more importantly, herself, was shattered. Like any good mother, Madison's mom went into full-on Mama Bear mode to make her baby happy and whole again. She did something unexpected in this situation--she hired me to help Madison regain her confidence.
Despite the Mean Girl's comments, Madison had an amazing wardrobe (especially for a teenager). Her closet was full of great finds from everywhere, from Target to Salvatore Ferragamo. Even I was envious of a few of the fantastic pieces in this teen's wardrobe!
Fortunately, Madison had a pretty clear understanding of her style--she really only needed my help putting outfits together. What stuck out to me during her closet edit appointment was that Madison, more than anything, wanted permission to have her own style. I was able to give her that permission. The pieces she gravitated toward were flattering, age appropriate, and fun. There was no reason she needed a "cookie cutter" look.
As a fortunate side effect of Madison's styling session, I helped end the clothing battles between mother and daughter. Aside from restoring her confidence, there were also several items Mom didn't really want Madison to keep. Moms--having a neutral third party in these battles is gold! Tired of your daughter's see-through dress or ripped thrift store tee? A stylist may convince your daughter to finally toss the clothes that make you cringe.
Aside from outfit options, permission to be herself, and an end to clothing battles, the most important thing I gave Madison was confidence. A week after working together, she emailed me to tell me that her friends and family had all commented on a huge improvement in her mood and confidence. Armed with a sense of style, and killer confidence, Madison is ready to rule the world!
I'm Jaquelyn Wahidi. I'm a personal fashion stylist, writer, and entrepreneur in San Diego. My style blog features practical fashion advice for women everywhere. Addicted to blazers since 2004.