Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Warning: This post may not be suitable for some husbands...

...or it may be just the kick in the pants your husband needs (ahem, CHRIS!).

SO, I've been working on a top secret
DREAM JOB project for the past four months. I was "hired" by my friend Heather's AMAZING husband to host WHAT NOT TO WEAR for his very deserving wife.

Here's the thing about Heather -- she's gorgeous. BUT, like a lot of women who give birth, take care of their families and juggle work, church and family commitments, Heather needed to rediscover her personal style.

Her husband armed me with a wad of cash (literally a white envelope loaded with A LOT of money -- if you want to know the exact amount, e-mail me at heywickstroms@gmail.com) and we set up the ambush.

STEP 1: The Salon
Luckily, one of the clients Heather and I work with is a swanky Aveda Salon and Spa. With the help of our bosses, we set up a "client meeting." Upon arrival at the salon, Heather was faced with this:
Here's her fake smile and what-the-heck-is-going-on-here reaction shot (also, a "before" picture). Before she could run in the opposite direction (trust me -- she almost did!), we whisked her away for a spa pedicure/manicure.
Next on the agenda: hair. I wanted Heather to have a low-maintenance but sophisticated style. We evened out her length and gave her subtle layers. Then we framed her stunning face with a short fringe of side-swept bangs.

STEP 2: The Shopping

The night before our ambush, I pre-shopped and put clothes on hold for Heather. This allowed us to hit more stores in a short amount of time and gave us a strong start to our two-day extravaganza.

Our goal was to find great-fitting basics to serve as the building blocks of a mix-and-match wardrobe. Heather was a trooper, trying on everything I could throw at her. And drinking up (okay, maybe being force-fed) my constant instruction about fit, color, fabric, texture, neutrals and pulling an outfit together.
By the end of day one, we had the start of a great new wardrobe and still some cash left over.
STEP 3: Taking Out the Trash

After two intense (and exhausting) days of shopping, we headed back to Heather's house for an old-fashioned CLOSET GUTTING.
First we emptied every article of clothing from her closet. Then we tried on the clothes and talked about fit and quality. Many items were sacrificed to the black plastic hefty gods.
My favorite sacrificial items: the man shoes (as worn by me). I thought these were her husband's! Next we began building outfits, mixing her new wardrobe with the items that survived the trashing. I laid out her pants and showed her how to mix her tops to make chic and interesting outfits. Here's me, sweaty and tired (and rocking red lips), but still firing off fashion advice!
We added pops of color to her business wardrobe. We talked about ways to pump up her casual looks from slubby polo and faded jeans, to flattering tees, layering pieces and updated denim. We even walked through the fine art of picking neutral colors and patterns and using them to their fullest advantage.
STEP 4: Made Over!
At the end of the day, we created an entire wardrobe full of new pieces to highlight, flatter and draw attention to Heather's innate natural beauty.

Our shopping list included:

- a chic hobo bag
- a pair of trouser jeans

- 7 pairs of work-appropriate trousers

- 8 layering tanks and tees

- 5 blouses

- 4 cardigans

- 5 pull-over sweaters

- 2 jackets

- a dress

- 5 pairs of shoes

- a pair of earrings
Here's one of Heather's chic ensembles, a classic Jackie O-inspired jacket paired with tailored black slacks.

Stay tuned during the next couple of weeks for daily outfits from Heather's What Not to Wear makeover.

Oh and husbands, call me. Wait. That sounds awkward. What I'm trying to say is give your wife the gift she's dying for -- a bucket full of money to buy clothes and shoes. And let me be the one to help her!

And Chris -- yes, please!

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Devin + Sang + Chase said...

Uh..."Yes,please" to that shopping list. (P.S. I'm currently gutting out my closet as well, and I came across our ancient, burgundy, "ping-pong heroes" thermal shirt form Old Navy! Can you believe I still have that??? Do you even remember that one? *You wore it when we saw some band played that covered a bunch of Prince songs.)

DC Diva said...

I have been WAITING!!! for this post.

This NEEDS!!! to be your real, FT job. (you are SO good/PERFECT!!!) at this.

I LOVE!!! that you did this. (I LOVE!!! that her husband did this.)

WHEN!!! can you do this for me???

p.s. i'm interested to know which stores you hit up/had most success.

DC Diva said...

p.p.s. Those man shoes are killing me. We've ALL owned a pair. Thank goodness mine are gone!

taryn said...

Me Next!!!! How can we do this remotely? Well, at least the closet gutting part. I do have a trip to utah in the future...just need the money part.
Miss you guys!

Gel said...

I think I'm next.... That sounds like a lot of fun and you are perfect for advice of fashion!! Maybe actually I could hire you to come and decorate my house that would be perfect!!

Alex M. said...

So much fun!!! Not to sound rude but I can name a few people I would do that to! So cool! Miss ya!

Holly said...

LOVE IT! Wonderful of course. Maybe you should send in an application to the real show... seriously. Or just start a new one. :)

jen said...

what a fun idea! I would love to hire a personal shopper to tell me what looks good. I am usually at a loss and end up wearing the same 5 outfits week after week.

Ali Snow said...

I don't know you (I'm Wendy's little sister) but I LOVE this idea. I love that show and want my own personal Stacy and Clinton all the time. This sounds like so much fun.

Jen said...

SO FUN! You are PERFECT for that kind of job! You always have the cutest outfits! Me, Me, do me next!

Kara said...

Please come do me next!!!

I love her Jackie-O-inspired jacket.

I find it most funny that of all the things you bought, only ONE pair of earrings made the cut, even with all that sweaty cash in hand.

SO fun for both of you, but esp. Heather!

Kara said...

p.s. Time Traveler's Wife comes out August 14th, just in case you forgot...ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Harley King said...

Heather looks great, Becky. Amazing job.

U so classy.

Maegan said...

Of all the requests that are long distance, I am writing in to say ME NEXT and I am close! Bryan would love to do this and my birthday is in a couple months. I am in on pedicure, hair cut, shopping and gutting. The only thing is that I don't need business attire but cute, trendy mom style. Can I be in pretty please?! And if not, can I at least see you now that you are minutes away? I think I drove by your house today even. I am guessing Chris is almost done with the bar and I am so happy for you both!

Heather 'n Jay said...

I thought I would weigh in on the discussion with three points: 1) my husband is the best and started planning this idea just from off-hand comments I made over the year. What a man! 2) I highly recommend Becky for any of you who have such a husband. She was so incredible and really didn't give me too much crap about my man shoes and kept it fun. She is so talented!; 3)I managed to save my 13-year-old, ripped Walmart sleepshirt that I love, so she wasn't so brutal. Yeah hubbie and Yeah Bec!!! Thank you!

Anna said...

someday....I would love this.