As you may remember, last summer I had a housecall from Lisa McLatchie, my personal stylist, who helped me with a wardrobe makeover (you can refresh your memory here). We went through my closet to purge, match and make lists of fall/winter items to purchase. It was a fantastic experience, and I used her shopping list to supplement my wardrobe with a few key clothing items and accessories…for a reasonable price. (I modeled my Lisa-inspired Back-to-School wardrobe here. Yes, I was blonde then. Yes, I thought it looked good.)

Oh, and if you think you live too far away to work with Lisa, read to the end for information on her new Online Style Consults!

This summer, I asked Lisa if she would take a look at photos of my coat collection (photographed by my seven year old daughter!) and give me some advice. Here is Lisa’s (gentle but clear) feedback for me!
Black Puffy Coat #1:
Lisa says: As a basic warm weather coat, there is
nothing wrong with this. The fit is good, the length is fine, and the colour is
neutral. One thing I would do is to add a colourful knit infinity scarf to add
a pop of colour and some personality to the look.

Black and White Tweed Coat:
Lisa says: Again, there is nothing “wrong” with this
coat. It is a pretty classic style and material, though I would consider
shortening it to end more at the mid thigh. The knee length style can appear somewhat
matronly. I would also consider replacing the buttons with something more fun –
like a silver or something sparkly. You could easily find something at your
local fabric store, and by doing that and having it shortened at your local
tailor, you’ll have a brand new coat and it won’t cost that much.

{I like this idea…I think I’ll follow through on it.}
Lisa says: This style of leather jacket speaks of a
particular time
(Lisa’s polite way of saying “dated” – I heard it several times last year!) – it also lacks some personality and style. I would replace it
with a shorter, more detailed, modern style leather jacket. 

Black Puffy Coat #2:
Lisa says: I would just get rid of this one. You
already have the other black puffy jacket, which I find more flattering on your
shape anyway.
It’s already in the donate pile.
Trench Coat:

Lisa says: I am not sure about this one. It’s hard because yet again, this is a pretty classic style, so there is nothing “wrong” with it per se. But I find the colour washes you out, and I am not sure if it is too big or if it’s the quality of the coat, but it looks a bit sloppy. I would consider replacing it with a different trench and going for one in a stand out colour and some interesting details so you stand out from everyone else. 
Pink Puffy Vest:

Lisa says: Nice pop of colour for you. Don’t be afraid
of wearing it with other colours, and not just black – would look great with
jeans and a cozy white sweater, or head to toe grey.
Red Puffy Jacket:

Lisa says: A basic red ski jacket… not much to say
except maybe no more puffy jackets for you, you have enough now. J
{Hee hee…little does she know that I didn’t even show her my black North Face parka! Hello…sub-zero winter yard duty in a cold country field, people! Style is of little concern for those four shifts each week!}
Tan Suede Jacket:

Lisa says: This colour is a bit better than the washed
out trench, but still a little dull for you. I would add some punch to it with
a printed scarf and change out the belt. People often revert to the belt that a
coat comes with, but forget they can dress it up and add their own personality
to it with a cool stretch belt (in a metallic or bright colour) with some
visual interest.

Again, I’m surprised she’s “letting” me keep this one, as it’s many years old and I didn’t think even a scarf and belt could save it…but I’m glad!
What I’ve learned: I buy too many puffy coats (they’ve all been yard duty coats at one point or another before making my North Face purchase), and I am way too safe when it comes to colour. When spending money on a coat I always feel like I should be practical and go neutral, but I am going to try to punch things up a bit (as Lisa taught me last year when working on my fall/winter wardrobe).
If you’d like to tap into Lisa’s expertise yourself (regardless of where you live), she is now offering great Online Style Consults, where she will work with you through Skype from the comfort of your own home, which includes:
  • A 1 ½ hour complete style assessment via Skype
  • Your own personal, custom-made comprehensive style guide
  • Complete shopping list based on your specific needs
  • An online style-board with links to your complete wardrobe, head to toe, so all you have to do is click “Add to cart” – check out a sample one here (this is really neat)
  • Follow-up session
I     I personally feel that it’s worth the investment, because not only do you feel good about getting your closet organized and donating extra items to charity, but you also save so much money in the future by knowing exactly what you need – and don’t need – to buy. No more items hanging in your closet with the tags on them, and no more “I’ve got nothing to wear!” mornings!
      Thanks for the coat intervention, Lisa! I’m sure this won’t be the last time I need you…

5 comments on “A Coat Intervention With My Personal Stylist, Lisa McLatchie”

  1. I think I would be afraid of how many items she'd tell me to donate! The online help sounds interesting though.

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