- Alicia McCaslin
Client Confidential: Liz Thompson
It's that time of year where the energy has picked up, and there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. Covering your wardrobe by mapping out your events can give you an empowered feeling of having a little control over your domain. Establishing your style is also very empowering. Once you take time to create your own "guidelines," the whims of trends and fashion's seasonal rollout won't derail you — rather, enhance the areas where you determine the fit.
This month in Client Confidential, I'm introducing Liz Thompson. Liz is the mother of an adorable one-year-old daughter who keeps her on her toes and out of her heels. Liz has chosen to keep her career on an upward growth path where the dynamic of changing jobs has just occurred. Those who know Liz also are quite aware of her innate sense of style. She knows who she is within the landscape of fashion and trends and remains timeless in her sartorial choices. When she reached out a few years ago, I would put together outfits with her items so she could get a better understanding of what she had, how to use it beyond her own ideas, and curb her desire for tunics and statement tops. I jest, but Liz identified areas that would benefit from a professional point of view and asked a good friend for a recommendation of a local stylist.
The time I spend with clients creates relationships built on trust. I remind everyone I work with that I must feel confident in my selections for them to feel confident in what they are wearing. The greatest compliments are word of mouth connections. In some instances, I'm the big sister that guides my younger clients. And in other instances, I'm the little sister who keeps clients from racing to the finish line. Each person has individual goals, but everyone wants to create a feeling from their style and wardrobe that is essential to how they know themselves and what they want to project to others.
I've written another chapter with my business and established a language-centered around design and architecture that keeps my clients engaged with developing their own unique point of view within the dynamic whims of trends and fashion theatre. There's a strong understanding of engineering that goes into how I style and dress each person's framework. I encourage them to not to think in terms of, "Will this still be in next year?" Instead, I coach them to lean into who they are and find the constants where fashion can flirt. Liz does this thoughtfully and manages to maintain her polished appearance with a precious one-year-old in tow. If you ever see her around Old Town, she's always on point!
Channel Liz's looks with some pieces from The Hive and The Shoe Hive.
Chicken or the Egg? Did you know you needed a stylist and found Alicia, or did you know about Alicia and decided to use a stylist?
A close friend, soul sister type, who had been working with Alicia for years recommended her to me after I was transitioning to a new phase of my professional career and realized my wardrobe was not meeting the moment, so to speak. I look young for my age and, at the time, got the vibe that my previous uniform of dresses, skirt suits, and heels on Capitol Hill wasn't helping me to be taken as seriously as I should have been, especially with the five to once ratio of men to women around the – proverbial - table.
What are your goals surrounding this type of service? Long term! But honestly, I didn't come to this conclusion immediately - it happened overtime when the value started building on itself. Any challenges you had that you want to share that others may be struggling with? As I mentioned before, the original inflection point happened to be a professional transition, but it also coincided with turning 40, getting married, and realizing that I also wanted my personal style to evolve, but I wasn't sure what that meant… sort of how do you stay on trend without feeling like you're chasing your 30s and certainly how to tone down the 30s tendency of gorging on brands because you can, but because you don't know better. Any "Ah-ha" moments? Is there anything in particular that Alicia has brought to your attention that has impacted your style or your mindset surrounding your wardrobe? Omg, the statement tops. I was the quintessential case study of "why do I have so many clothes and nothing to wear." After the first 45 minutes of Alicia going through my closet, she paused and turned to me, "Do you buy tops for special occasions, nights out, etc." I still laugh when I think about it. It was like the most obvious awakening/moment of enlightenment. How did I not know I did this about myself? We cut that habit out. That said, we also identified that I have a deep love of tunics and mock and or turtlenecks which we accepted as part of my Style True North, and we've found a way to build those into my wardrobe in a sophisticated way. Where have you determined the greatest value exists from using styling services? Economy of time, cost basis, fashion math, and far more pride in purchasing. I became a mom last year, and my time - especially as a working mom with an intense job - is even more limited and precious. So, the outfit creation and the ease of the photo archives in my Dropbox on my phone has been a game changer. I can worry about everyone else in my family, and then when I have 30 minutes to myself to get dressed for work or a date night or get packed for vacation, it isn't another stressor. In fact, it's fun and feels like self care to be able to "pick" something I'm in the mood for that I know I already love and is a complete look. Have you identified a difference in your shopping behavior since Alicia's been your Wardrobe Advisor? Yes, it's called "WWAS. What Would Alicia Say." I love clothes, and I love to shop, but I have enjoyed buying less and wearing everything more - my closet is no longer a museum. I never used shopping to self-medicate but, like everyone, had some ingrained habits. I really don't impulse buy - or buy to "treat" myself - anymore, and I actually enjoy saying no. Many of your friends and coworkers are surprised you utilize a stylist. You have innate style and are clear with your needs. For people who feel they do a good job with their style, what would offer to have them reconsider their current process of relying solely on themselves season to season? As I tell everyone, for every two outfits I can put together, Alicia can create five, and her direction and strategic approach to how to build a wardrobe over time has had an ever-greater multiplier effect. Also, I can't think of anyone that isn't struggling with what the pandemic means, especially for work. Any reasons you can share why Alicia has been a good fit for you personally? Alicia is a mensch. I could not mean this more sincerely. She is obviously a smart and extraordinarily creative person, but she is kind, has no pretensions, and is so dedicated - regardless of price point - to help her clients define or evolve their personal style. She brings no bias or agenda but rather candor and intuition. And she does it brilliantly.