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It’s day two of the letter V. I’d like to share my recent interview with an amazing young woman named Vithya. I first met Vithya when she booked a Personal Styling appointment with me at Anthropologie. I have since worked with her many times at the store and in her home. Her style is impeccable and she is beautiful, inside and out.
In addition to Vithya’s enviable way with clothing…her closet is awesome! She turned a spare room into a style sanctuary! I’m so grateful that she agreed to answer my questions during 31 Days of Simple Style.
1. What made you decide to turn a bedroom into a closet?
Our bedroom has a small single closet which was perfect for all of my husband's stuff, but there wasn't much room for me. Before we transformed the spare bedroom into a closet, my items were scattered throughout the house. Some pieces in the study, some in the guest bedroom, and some in the laundry room, plus lots of stuff in various plastic storage boxes. I was always struggling to find where everything was located. Finally we decided to move my husband’s downstairs office to an upstairs room and convert the bedroom where he had been keeping an office into a closet. Best decision of my life. I finally saw all my things in one place. It gave me an opportunity to truly assess my style and wardrobe. It was exhilarating.
2. How did you come up with the design? How long did the project take to complete?
We came up with the design for my closet using a checklist of my ideals. Ideally, I wanted the following:
1) Full length mirror
2) Short hanging space
3) Long hanging space
4) Jewelry drawers so I could see all of my accessories at once
5) Small area for clutches and shoulder bags (in my previous world, they were all stuffed in various corners),
6) One wall dedicated to shoes. Within the shoes area I wanted sections for boots.
Given these wishes, we looked at the room dimensions and drew up a plan. We had to work around the basement windows and lower ceilings. But these restrictions only helped me to design more quickly. I could only do
so much given the room we had.
We took about a day to draw up my ideal design. Next, we called a few closet providers and received quotes over the course of a month. Finally, we landed on a company that we felt was affordable and was customizable to my needs within their stock options. We didn't want to go too custom and have it be super expensive. The company came out and installed everything within one day. I got my closet done the day before Christmas. On Christmas, I giddily put in my entire wardrobe into the new closet.
It was so exciting!
3. Are you pleased with the results? Would you change anything about the final look?
I am absolutely thrilled with the results! The only thing I would have changed is maybe have less short hanging space and more long hanging space. When I originally designed the closet I felt I needed more short hanging space, but turns out I could have used more long hanging space.
4. What advice do you have for someone wanting to revamp their closet space?
My advice to anyone revamping their closet space is understand that even if it's a small space and not a bedroom like I did, it's still worth doing. It's a worthwhile investment. The peace of mind from knowing where everything is and being able to put things together in new ways has been so valuable. Plus (this is my husband's favorite part), I spend a lot less on clothes and accessories that I don’t like. I now only purchase things that I love. Having everything in one place made me realize how much I already have in my wardrobe.
5. What is your favorite part of your new space?
My most favorite part of my new space is that I am able to view and ascertain my wardrobe holistically. Do the items serve me? Are these items still good? I can now see this blouse goes with that skirt. Before my closet renovation, I would just buy random pieces never being able to see what they might go with. I was wasting money without even knowing it.
6. How do you approach creating your wardrobe?
My wardrobe creation has evolved and morphed so much over the years. When I was in my early 20's, everything was trend driven. I was constantly buying trendy items. Wasn't sure how to put it together, but just kept getting them and when I would wear them, many of the trends wore me instead of the other way around.
In my late 20's I kept purchasing items cerebrally. I would refer to fashion books that would tell me the "ten pieces every woman should own" etc. Some of the advice I still agree with, but there were many pieces in my wardrobe that I had just because I thought I "should" have but didn't really go with my lifestyle. One of the struggles I’ve had with my wardrobe is that
I naturally like to dress-up in a more formal way- pencil skirts, sheath dresses, blazers, etc. But for the last decade I have worked in more casual environments. I struggled with how to be appropriate for my setting and fit in, but still stay true to my natural style. This is why I decided to use a personal stylist. I wanted someone who could work with me to create a wardrobe that was both reflective of my personal style and appropriate for the casual city where I live.
7. What is your go-to outfit?
My go-to-fall outfit is a blazer, great blouse, skinny jeans and ankle booties, or a solid dress, statement scarf, leggings and booties.
My go-to-winter outfit is a blouse, sweater coat, skinny blue or black jeans and knee high flat boots.
My go-to-spring outfit is a statement skirt, striped tee or other tee, Tory Burch wedges.
My go-to-summer outfit is an ethnic inspired dress, gladiator sandals, and gold cuff bracelet.
8. How would you describe your style?
I like my style to be polished, refined, and chic. Olivia Palermo and Jenna Lyons are my style icons. I love how they can make a sequin or fringed skirt look effortless. The other day I was looking at my Pinterest board and noticed that there is a definite pattern to the apparel and home decor that I've selected. I love saturated color and geometric or modern ethnic inspired patterns.
9. What five pieces do you think every woman should have in her wardrobe?
1) Great pair of high-rise skinny jeans
2) Denim jacket
3) Knee-high boots with traction, lug sole, something you can wear in the winter on snow and ice
4) A statement necklace
5) A statement infinity scarf
10. What are the benefits of working with a Personal Stylist?
Sometimes people are surprised to hear that I work with a personal stylist because I love fashion so much. They figure I could do all of it myself. Not true. It's so nice to be able to work with someone who knows you, knows your taste. The stylist is able to envision things for you that you may have never considered. Someone else may not have the pre-conceived notions you have about your own wardrobe.
A personal stylist opens your eyes to possibilities. Working with someone as talented and kind as Kristen has been such a blessing. (Thanks so much, Vithya) Not only does she get my style and lifestyle needs, but she also subscribes to the same philosophy I have about having things that bring us joy. After having spent so many years buying things just because I thought
I was supposed to, it’s so nice to work with someone who doesn't pressure me to buy just anything. She works with me to create a wardrobe of items that bring me joy and that spills over to all areas of my life. It opens me up to making choices in all aspects of life that bring me joy.
Having a great wardrobe may seem like a superficial need, but I have seen in my own life how it has empowered me to be a better, more confident woman in many ways…much bigger than just clothes.
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Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed my interview with Vithya. What's the best part of your closet?