Client Makeover: Lights, Camera, Action

My latest client was one of my favorite types of clients. Why? Because she was ready and open for change. Not only was she ready but I was ready for her!

Carolyn is an actress/ teacher who is transitioning out of teaching and into working full-time career as an actress. She has the talent and the drive but her wardrobe was definitely holding her back. Girlfriend hadn’t shopped for herself in years and that was quite evident during our closet cleanse (one of my more hilarious cleanses might I add).

My challenge was to pull an entirely new wardrobe for her which included looks for everyday, auditions, and premieres. This was a fun one …

before bannerclient makeoverNothing overly offensive here but does this before look scream A-list off-duty to you? Doesn’t for me.


For her new look, Carolyn wanted a classic, All-American, simple and chic wardrobe filled with no-brainer/ easy to wear pieces. Carolyn’s style icons included Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Jessica Alba.

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Her icons were spectacular starting points but you know me I gotta step it up a notch or two.  So I pulled images from Olivia Palermo and a few fabulous bloggers as well. My goal was to create looks using pieces that could be mixed and matched for an effortless, cool, and put-together vibe.

closet cleanse

I haven’t really taken you all through a closet cleanse yet but let me tell you something, they are fun. I learn so much about a client simply by hanging out in their closet for an hour.

Carolyn had some questionable items in her closet including this argyle sweater vest. This sweater is not only hideous but it was a size LARGE. Carolyn is an XS. Yep, over-sized argyle sweater circa 1994. This one went in the “get rid of it” pile.

lauren messiah persona stylsit closet cleanse

We also got rid of all the rest of her ill-fitting, outdated, and poor quality clothes. By the end of the closet cleanse we had filled up a good 6 boxes to be donated to people in need.

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After getting rid of the old, you’ve got to start bringing in the new. Carolyn was working with a limited budget so I hit up good old Nordstrom Rack (what would I do without that store?), Kohls, TJ Maxx, Target, and Marshalls. I also snatched up a few sale items at Zara and J. Crew.

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A few snaps from my styling room. I always pre-style the looks and take photos of each so my clients can remember how to wear their looks when I’m not around (I don’t come with the clothes- LOL).

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I always start my fittings with a walk through. I show the clients all of the looks that I’ve pre-styled (usually between 20-25) and explain to them my choices.

stylist lauren messiah with client carolyn marie wrightOh and dogs are always welcome at my fittings! This is Quincy, Carolyn’s adorable pup.

IMG_4967 2After the walk through we start trying stuff on. We start a pile of yeses, nos, and maybes. This one was a definite yes.IMG_5038

And a few more yeses … IMG_5006 IMG_5032My fittings are like a darn old fashion party.

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The end result was pretty amazing. Carolyn left with 18 solid outfits and they all looked fantastic. In fact, that night she wore one of her new outfits to a networking event and got invited to lunch with a potential employer. Go, Carolyn!

IMG_5081Man I love my job.