A Personal Stylist Explains Why Having A Mindful Wardrobe Benefits Every Area of Life

You deserve to feel good in your clothes, in the body you live in today.

Happy April! The theme this month is Mental Health + Appearance. I hope you enjoy the series.

Happy Tuesday to you all!

The sun is shining where I live and I hope it’s shining where you live, too. SPRING HAS SPRUNG. We deserved this.

Today’s post is brought to you via interview form from a personal stylist I found in the wonderful world of the Internet. Because I am forever intrigued by how dressing well correlates to a more confident, energizing, and happy self, I couldn’t wait to hear what this style expert had to say. I hope you enjoy today’s issue. As always, hit reply to this email and let me know your thoughts!

Dacy Gillespie is a wardrobe stylist from St. Louis. The mission of her business, Mindful Closet, is to empower women to be their authentic selves through their clothes. While she is based in the Gateway City, Dacy has been working more and more with women all over the country and world, one of the few positive outcomes of the pandemic for her. With two boys (ages 6 and 2), the stylist is “always desperate for more alone time, #introvertsunite.”

If you’re struggling with your appearance, or are looking for ways to enhance it, I think you will really enjoy today’s read. We talked about what having a mindful wardrobe means, where the fashion industry is headed in a post-pandemic world, and common myths about working with a personal stylist.

Here is our conversation.

How did you get started in personal styling, and what do you love most about it?

I was always that friend who people went to for clothes help — to help them put an outfit together, decide to get rid of something, or go shopping with. I loved clothes and fashion, but thought I wasn't cool enough to work in that field, so I went into music instead, and kept helping people along the way.

When I was looking for a more emotionally sustainable lifestyle, I discovered the field of personal styling and realized it was what I had been doing all along. What I love more than anything is helping people let go of the preconceived notions about what they think they have to wear. 

What does a mindful wardrobe mean to you? Why are you passionate about it?

To me, a mindful wardrobe means that you've given thought to all the items in it — whether you've been intentional about what you add, or what you keep. I'm passionate about it because I know many women feel overwhelmed by their closets, and the main reason for that is there are just too many things in it. 

How do you define a capsule wardrobe? How can your clients connect their everyday wear to their personalities?

I define a capsule wardrobe as a limited number of clothing items that can be easily mixed and matched. There is a misconception out there that you have to get rid of everything except 33 or 37 items, or go and buy all new things, but you can create a capsule wardrobe out of what you currently own. I have a free resource that leads you through my process for creating a capsule here.

Connecting your everyday wear to your personality starts with defining your personal style — I have a quiz for that ;) — It's important to not censor yourself when you think about what you love, don't worry about what "works" for your body or your lifestyle. Start with looks you love and then figure out a way to translate them to your body and lifestyle. 

What are your go-to pieces that make you feel fabulous about yourself? 

I'm tempted to come up with some fabulous answer to this question, but to be perfectly honest, tunics, leggings, and shearling boots are what's working for me in this season of my life: cold midwest weather and sheltering at home with two small kids. No matter what I'm wearing, I always add a cool piece of jewelry or a scarf to make me feel like I'm still expressing myself. 

Where do you see fashion brands going, in a post-pandemic world?

I see brands making more clothes for "real" life, rather than for impressing others. In this case, what I mean by real life is that consumers actually wear the clothing multiple times in their daily life. I think this would be a great shift from clothing often being marketed as for special events. 

Dacy explains 5 common myths about working with a personal stylist, which I have to agree with all of them. Here they are.

5 Common Myths About Working with a Personal Stylist, Explained

  1. Myth #1: I can do it (define my style, edit my closet, and mindfully add pieces to my wardrobe) myself.

    You can, and this is my favorite book for the DIY approach. But, another question. If you could do it yourself, why haven’t you? It might simply not be a high enough priority for you, and that’s cool. But if clothes and style is something that you feel you’ve never been able to get right, and you haven’t been able to tackle it on your own, maybe having an empathetic, hand-holding, experienced guide is worth it.

  2. Myth #2: I don’t need a personal stylist because my friend/sister/mom can help me.

    That absolutely might be true. It also might be true that your friend/sister/mom is too close to you to be able to see the larger, outside perspective. Does your friend/sister/mom have a personal opinion about what *they* think *you* should wear? My job is to guide you to discover what *you* want to be wearing, not what *I* think you should be wearing.

  3. Myth #3: I can use Stitch Fix.

    I have lots of thoughts about Stitch Fix, which you can read about here. They haven’t changed much in the 5 years since I wrote that post, except that since then, I did find out from a former Stitch Fix employee that they are not allowed to spend more than 15 minutes on any one client.

  4. Myth #4: I can use Nordstrom’s free personal styling service.

    In my years shopping at the local Nordstrom locations, I’ve become friends with many of the in-store personal stylists. They are all great at their jobs and I often recommend specific employees to potential clients. Even still, they are limited by the stock and sizes that Nordstrom carries, and of course, the more you buy, the more they make. It would be hard for anyone in that position to tell you *not* to buy something (which is something I do all the time!)

  5. Myth #5: It’s not worth the money.

    I disagree — my reasoning here.

This is Dacy. You can keep up with her here.

Thank you for reading today!

Please check out Dacy’s site, sign up for her newsletter that is FILLED with excellent getting dressed tips, and reach out to her with any wardrobe questions you may have.

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In case you missed it…

Yesterday I talked about 6 expert-backed tricks to becoming a happier you — aka happy-healthy habits totally worth working into your daily routines if you’re looking to be happier and healthier (all of us?) You can read about them here.

Be you.