Stop Stressing about Dressing with Scarlett de Bease - Conny Graf

Stop stressing about dressing

Today we are talking about clothes again. My absolute most downloaded episode is #26 Too many clothes and nothing to wear. If you haven't listened to that episode yet, go do that after this one.

I am very excited to welcome Scarlett de Bease to the show. She is a personal wardrobe stylist and helps us stop stressing about dressing and take away the wardrobe shame. 

Right of the bat we had such an awesome conversation I completely forgot to ask her to introduce herself and tell us who she is like I usually do. So you will see, we jump right in without a proper beginning... 

We are talking about 

  • the shame a lot of women have about their closet but not only because the closet is messy or stuffed
  • Why so many of us have trouble putting new outfits together from what we have in our closet
  • How we can make a whole bunch of outfits with far fewer clothes than most of us have right now in our closet.
  • How to quickly know if a certain colour suits you or not
  • How women think that they have to be uncomfortable to look good, and that is absolutely not true.

If you find value in this conversation with Scarlett please share the episode with one or two of your friends or family members, because if you find value in it, they will too, especially if they struggle with an overfull closet and what to wear. 

Scarlett de Bease

Scarlettt De Bease a personal wardrobe stylist who works with women who are sick & tired of not knowing what to wear or buy to fit the bodies and lives that they have now. She shows them how to stop stressing about dressing and always know what to wear with fewer clothes but with many more outfits.

End your Closet Shame: https://www.scarlettimage.com/freestylingtips/

Scarlett is also offering a Free "Always Know What To Wear" 30 minute call to help you discover what's keeping you from knowing what what to wear for your body, life, and career. 

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Reading instead of Listening (Transcript) 

FYI: this text is not polished, I try to keep it as close as possible to how the guest expressed herself/himself . 

Conny Graf
Let's talk how you see it, so a new perspective, or a different perspective.

Scarlett de Bease
The first thing that I have to say about women and their clothes is that they have a lot of shame about their closet, and they don't want to show it, a lot of times. I think they're ashamed of the fact that one, it might be messy, but also because it's the realization that they bought way too many clothes or haven't gotten rid of anything in a very long time.

You know, I can tell from a woman's wardrobe what decade something is from. And some people are a little ashamed that they have things to 20-30 years ago and they haven't been able to get rid of all that. So, there is that aspect first, but what a woman really needs and why she reaches out to me is because she is struggling with how to find clothes that fit the body she has now, as opposed to the one that she had when she bought some of these clothes. Or to the one that she had when she was younger when she thought she was fat and she really wasn't fat now she's gained more weight and so now she really feels crummy because if she thought she was fat when she was thinner, imagine how she feels now.

There's the the shame of the closet, there is the insecurity about having so many things, and then the other thing is that a lot of women not only can they not figure out what to put on for their body that will make them look like they're stylish and look like they're not frumpy. No one wants to look like they're trying to look younger but they don't want to look older. Let's put it that way. And they have a huge amount of trouble putting new outfits together. And so that's what am i specialties that I will see something that a woman owns and it could be a blouse and a pair of pants and a jacket or some sort of cardigan topper as I call them, and I look at those three things, and I put the ball together. I put together things that she never thought of, and that's because women tend, when they go shopping in person or online, they say: okay, this top works with these pants.

Then they hang them together that way. and that's the only way they were those two pieces forever and ever and ever. This is such a waste because you can take those two pieces and add a different necklace or a different jacket, like I said before, and have a totally different outfit, or you could take that top and wear it with a different pair of pants, but because people are so worried about forgetting an outfit, they hang everything together in one way, and then it's the only way they're wearing it. And they're losing the possibilities to have basically fewer clothes in their closet, but more outfits.

Conny Graf
Yeah, but I think when I remember back I think I was taught that. I don't remember where but I kind of was taught that so if you buy some things you think about what you have in your closet already and you buy what goes with it and then you hang it together. Then you always have it and you don't have to think in the morning and you can just pull that out and wear that and go with that. Do you remember where that comes from.

Scarlett de Bease
I think it was 20 something years ago we didn't have as many clothes as we do now. Clothing was a little bit more expensive, they didn't have disposable clothing 20-30 years ago. Now a lot of his stuff is disposable once you wash it it's just not so good anymore so that's the reason why some things are cheap because there's very little, the stitches are wide apart, when the stitches are wide apart it's cheaper, but then it also will fall apart faster.

So, the thing is that you know now if you were to have let's say five outfits on your hangers with necklace on it and all that, you know, then you're gonna get bored really fast. And let's say it isn't even that great, and you just couldn't wear it all the time because that's the outfit you made for yourself. So I don't advise it and I don't allow my customers.... I only will let them put an outfit on a hanger together because they're going to wear it the next day. But then to put things back in their closet I have everybody... . when I work with somebody in person, I show them how to do this... I have all the shirts together by color. I have all the pants by color. Everything is by color so you can easily put something together.

Then speaking of color, the very first thing I do with any client, whether it's virtually or in person is, I show her the best colors for her to wear. Not a color because people say everybody has to have it because it's, you know, on trend or in style, or whatever. A lot of women get caught up in buying what's in style or trendy and usually because the store has so much of it, and then everybody else is wearing it you feel like you have to have it too. But you're never going to be able to have a wardrobe, that can be developed with too many outfits, if you have all these different colors all the time. You need to stick to just the ones that are your best colors, and I always talk about from the waist up your best colors so whatever makes your skin tone look brighter, not yellow, or not rosy.

Whatever makes your eyes sparkle whatever makes that color come out, will be more.... I always say sparkly. The eyes have a sparkle in them when you're wearing the right color, and when you only buy those colors, everything will start to be able to be mixed and matched. And then you can make a whole bunch of outfits with far fewer clothes than most of them have right now in their closet.

Conny Graf
Yeah, and so how do you figure out what is your best color? If you are not going to go that person who analyzes your skin and figures it out. Can you see it yourself, what fits and what would be favorable and what not so much?

Scarlett de Bease
You can see it if you're really aware of it. And a lot of times people are not aware of it until someone like me shows them. But the best thing for you to do you know at home for yourself is to put something up against your face and see if you're teeth look yellow or your teeth look white. If your skin looks yellow or if your skin looks rosy. I mean there are people who have Rosacea where they get rosy skin.

Well if you can put some colors next to, let's say, perhaps like an orange or pink it depends upon the person, and if all of a sudden you see the Rosacea more than it's a bad color for you. So if you're just a little aware of it, you'll understand. I always say that I have a lot of clients, unlike me, who have beautiful colored eyes, and oftentimes they don't even wear any color that brings out those eyes, it just never dawned on them. So when you show it, then it's like ding ding ding ding, I get it. You can experiment, but a lot of women tend to just hide in all black and are not so eager to try different colors, unless they're made to see the difference. Sometimes you have to be led to the water before you can take a drink.

Conny Graf
Yeah, but so see I remember when I was younger, for whatever reason I felt like colors are not for me so I only wore black and white. So usually black pants and a white top or cream or something like very safe and boring. And I would have never worn red, or I would have never worn anything bright because I felt like that's not me. So do you get that too that your clients say oh no that's not me but it would actually be the perfect color for them?

Scarlett de Bease
If a color is really right for somebody, because red wouldn't be right for you, so if the color is right for somebody, then they're over it, if they see the difference. So let's say somebody wears black, and then there is a red that works for them, and I show them the difference, they like the difference. Then they're saying Yes, I'll wear that, yes I'll try it, but not until they see it. This is an issue I have all the time with women and they'll say no no I don't want to try that it's not my color. Or no no no, I would never pick that out, I don't want to put that on. My thing is, that if you're working with me, alll you have to do is try it on. I'm not going to tell you to like it, but you have to try it on, and that's when the magic happens.

Because when somebody puts something on that they wouldn't have picked up for themselves, is when I go, Wow. It is an instant recognition that this is really good, and then my favorite thing to hear ever, ever, is I would never have picked that out myself. Because they're gonna buy what they are comfortable with, or what they already have and what they know. That's why there's so many duplicates in people's closets.

Conny Graf
Yeah, but then they also have in their closet, what they don't wear, they have all that stuff that they bought because like you said maybe it was in fashion maybe they thought because everybody's wearing it I should worry too or it doesn't fit them or whatever. And they're still going out and buying the same thing that they're not wearing for whatever reason. Do you have any tips how we can start? So I help people declutter the closet so what I always say like whatever you're not wearing what doesn't fit you for sure you shouldn't have in your closet because it just makes it harder in the morning to get dressed.

Also, if you're trying to get into something that doesn't fit you it kind of dampens your mood right away for the whole day. The whole day could be messed up because of it. so I always say whatever doesn't fit should go out. But so when we have it decluttered let's say I have a client who has their closet declutter from the things that she doesn't fit in and that are ..... often people have even stuff in their closet that is missing buttons or has as a rip and needs repair. And for years it's in the closet and they don't do anything with it. So we have all this out, so then you have tips how they can start buying the right things, instead of going out and buying the wrong things again.

Scarlett de Bease
Well, I can give a couple of generalized tips, but everybody is, you know, when I work with somebody, it's like very specific. So for example, someone has broad shoulders how to minimize them, when somebody has small shoulders, how to make them bigger. But the first thing would be to stick to a few key colors from the waist up that are right for you. And to focus on getting even if it's just two pairs of pants that fit you now. One longer and one a little shorter, so one that you can wear with a little heel and one that you could wear with flats. And have maybe 10 tops to every pair of pants.

Because nobody really notices if you wearing the same pair of pants, but people notice you wearing the same top. And then when people look at you and talk to you, and now, especially when it's mostly on zoom, but even in person, nobody ever stared at your knees, it just never happens. So you don't need as many bottoms as you do tops, even before the pandemic. So, the other couple of things I always say is when someone will say to me. I hate shopping. Which is what most of my clients will say I hate shopping, and I don't know how to online shop but there's always this one store that I always shop at, but I don't like anything in my closet. So what I'm finding out is that people are going and buying certain lines or going to certain stores because the clothes fit them, not that the clothes look good on them. They're just happy, they fit, and that's why they buy it and every color and every pattern and they have a whole bunch of stuff in the closet that they don't even like how they look in because just because it fits doesn't mean it makes you feel good, or look good.

So I urge people to go to a totally different store or now online someplace totally different. Because if you don't do that, you're never going to have anything different in your closet, you're not going to have anything new. So stick to a few colors that work from the waist up especially the neck up and go to a different store, and then the biggie is ..... and try different lines, different brands don't keep going to the same thing got to try something different.... and then the other Biggie is, we're very, very sensitive about what size we wear. So what I suggest, so let's say somebody is a 10, and she puts the 10 on and she's really unhappy because the 10s don't fit. So then I, if I'm working with somebody in person in the store, I will go out and get the proper, likely the next size up. And because she's with me, she'll try it on. But if they're alone, they get a little upset with themselves, and they go out of that store.

So I suggest that when a woman trys something on, online or in the store, order two sizes. And that way you can see the difference, because if you put something on because you want to make that size work, and it's squeezing you too tight, you're going to look bigger. If you put something on and it just fits meaning it skims the body, nothing is pinching you're not worried about whether or not you can have a cookie later on, you know, something's gonna go pop open. You can always have something tailored to fit you perfectly like a man does all the time, but you should always try on two sizes. So if it's in the store, bring two sizes with you so you don't have to go out, you know, get dressed and go out again. It's really important that women get out of their heads that they have to have a certain number.

Conny Graf
That was something that I had to learn, and especially because I live now in Vancouver BC, Canada, we have a lot of Asians here. And so in the stores that gets catered a lot to Asians which are usually much smaller. And so, my usual size doesn't fit me at all, to me it seems like it's toddler stuff and I will never fit in to this thing. So I had to let go of the number, a lot of times when I go in a store here because I had to realize, oh the clothes are made for a different kind of body, to Asians who are smaller than me

Scarlett de Bease
and that basically have no curves. So, and there are some clothing lines that are built and that are designed specifically for straight, and then there are some of the lines that are built for curves. So you have to also know that, and I know which to recommend for each client, although most women have curves. But, but you have to get over the sizing because it's just holding yourself back and honestly if you wear a size that is larger than what you typically want to wear or used to wear, you're going to look thinner, and people going to think that you lost weight because it fits you properly.

But when I see a woman put something on that clearly doesn't fit her anymore, but because she's so determined to get in it, it makes her look bigger because then in certain tops you see all the ruffles and ridges.

Conny Graf
Yeah, or when the buttons spread from a shirt, yeah, yeah, I can totally see that how that is true. And still we have this mind drama oh no I don't want to wear a 12 ....

Scarlett de Bease
Yeah, it's very dramatic. I had one client once, her husband hired me because he was so tired of her saying she had nothing to wear. So when I went to her closet she literally had the same top in six colors, and another top in eight colors, and everything was the same. And she had cut the sizes out of each and every one of her pieces of clothes. It's been so long since she had gone shopping, that she didn't even know what size she was. I'm good, from memories I think she was like an eight, which is not a large woman, I'm an 8-10 but it was so in her head.

Conny Graf
Well, like all you see in the magazines and on these catwalks are these bean sticks you know and so we're all measuring ourselves to them, or then they're photoshoped that's the newest thing now. They are so photoshoped that it's unrealistic, even the thin models get photoshoped to be even thinner, so no wonder we're all freaking out about our size.

Scarlett de Bease
Yeah, but there are great clothes out there that can cover up any, you know, the belly stuff and hip stuff, cover you up but not look like you're wearing a bag. Just a little loose, and I love clothes that move a little bit when you walk into a room. I like a little drama, it's always good in my book for someone. But you don't have to wear everything tight, and another thing that is a big thing for me: people think, women think that they have to be uncomfortable to look good, and that is absolutely not true.

Conny Graf
Yeah!

Scarlett de Bease
It's not true, not really. You don't have to be tight, you don't have to wear Spanx, you don't have to worry about being able to sit down without breaking a seam or something. You can look good and have a meal, and still look good and be comfortable.

Conny Graf
Yeah, I love that. So now we mentioned it a few times like we have the pandemic now so everything is only basically belly up you don't see anything else. But that also changed your business I bet, so you can't maybe go to somebody's home anymore. So how do you work now with your clients, how do you work with them virtually, how can you do that work virtually?

Scarlett de Bease
I've been doing it for six years. So I didn't have to learn how to do it, I started doing it because I was getting more and more requests from people who were too far away from me, or were too afraid to show me their closet. Yeah, crazy so it kind of started out with people that didn't want to show me their closet. So what I do is, first I send out this questionnaire, and I want to know certain things like: what you own, what is it that you'd like to have. What do you wish you have when you open up the closet.

Because, like most people they wanted to skate with a put an outfit figuring out what to wear in less than 10 minutes, and then I asked them, top size, bottom size, where they shop and then I have a request for photos. I asked for some headshots, and them holding up different colors next to their face. That's how I can determine what works for them in terms of colors. And then what I do is I have a special program that I create for each client, and she can upload the photos of her clothes to this website that I have made for her.

On that website I also have taken her photo and put it against the different colors, it's like a rectangle with different colors on it, to see what would be right for her, and so her face is on there so you can see. We have our consultation through zoom, I show her the wrong colors, and I showed her the right colors and then again when you see it you're like, oh that's why when I put that green top on all the time I hated it, now you know why. It's really cool and then with this program I take her clothes and I move them around and make outfits. So I don't have to be in her closet to do that, I can do all of that virtually.

Conny Graf
You know that sounds like something that I did when I was growing up, we had these paper mannequins with the clothes that you could clip on them, did you play that game too?

Scarlett de Bease
The paper dolls I loved it, yeah. life was so easy then

Conny Graf
Yeah.

Scarlett de Bease
Yes, it's like of like that I mean I'm showing her the issues with this scarf and that top and then these are things that were just lying around not being worn. So it's very very very cool and in that process, I then showed her okay you see this top. This is not right for you. So either, like you said, move it out of the closet or consign it and make some money. I've had clients make a lot of money.

Conny Graf
Yeah, it always depends on the quality like if you have a high quality good piece that is in good shape, you can most likely sell it. Other things you can just bless people that have less money, bring it to a thrift store or bring it to Goodwill.

Scarlett de Bease
I always say, there are people out there who really could use some clothes, for donation. Why hold on to a coat you haven't worn in 10 years, there's somebody who's going to be cold. I try to encourage people to get it out, but I have to say, a lot of times they women want and need me to help them know what to get rid of, and then other women are like: I don't want to get rid of anything! You might see that a lot.

But when I show them what works and what doesn't work, every single time, they'll take that same piece of clothing and toss it and say I don't want it anymore. Because now they saw why it works, why it didn't work. It's great because I'm not the one telling them, they're like, get rid of it get rid of it, but before they were like, nope, not getting rid of it.

Conny Graf
But see that doesn't work at all anyway. Even though I'm a clutter cleaning coach and I help you get rid of things I never tell you to get rid of anything that's not my job, and it's not my place. Who am I to tell you what you should get right off. I do similar things like you do just, I show them what happens to them if they hang on to it and that's what you basically are doing too

Scarlett de Bease
it has to be their decision.

Conny Graf
Exactly, exactly. It always has to be their decision and that's one thing that I always say a lot of people are worried that when, when they work with me that I will tell them to get rid of half of their stuff and I said no. I'm never going to tell you to get rid of anything not that's not my place that's not what I do. Yeah,

Scarlett de Bease
perfect.

Conny Graf
Well I have one burning question so you said, with the pants, it doesn't matter so much what colors we have because nobody looks at the lower part that much, even when there is no pandemic. But so many women have a shoe obsession and we actually also kind of tend to look at shoes. There's also the saying, look at the shoes of somebody and you see whether they're a person who takes care of herself or not.

Scarlett de Bease
Yeah attention to detail. That's what I always say: with what you wear and how you wear it is sending the message. So if somebody is a financial advisor, you want to make sure that they're wearing clothes that look like they spent some money on them and not from the thrift store. If you are a health coach, we make sure you're wearing the clothes that fit you and not too tight. If you're an organizer, you want to make sure that you don't have to pockets inside out, you want to look organized.

So, the thing about shoes is, the first thing is if they hurt you, and you don't wear them, it's time to move them out. You know you're not going to wear them, it's just, if there's a layer of dust on them, it's likely time to move them out. There are incredibly comfortable shoes out there now that look good. So you can still look stylish and be comfortable, but not look like you're wearing comfortable shoes like Crocs.

Conny Graf
I think we're kind of taught that women's shoes, if we want to look elegant, or sexy the shoes have to hurt and you cannot walk with them. What was that movie where she goes to work with her runners and then at work she puts on the high heels she can hardly walk in them but it looks nice when she sits at her desk.

Scarlett de Bease
Working Girl is that the one?

Conny Graf
Yeah, I think it was one with Glen Close or who ever.... (it was actually Melanie Griffith)

Scarlett de Bease
It used to be in the 80s and maybe early 90s all women in New York City would wear their sneakers, and as soon as they got to work and put on the shoes. I have seen a lot of women's feet, and the women who were wearing uncomfortable shoes, year after year have a lot of problems. They have bunions, they have these arch problems, and so now they have to go from stylish to orthopedic shoes.

I haven't worn uncomfortable shoes on a regular basis, since probably I was 31 years old. Will I be a little uncomfortable if I'm just going to dinner? Probably not anymore, you don't have to. Anything that hurts, it's not worth the price you gotta pay later on, it's just not worth it.

Conny Graf
Yeah, exactly. I agree with you. Well this was awesome, do you have any last words of wisdom or a secret tip that you really want to get across before we wrap this up?

Scarlett de Bease
I want to offer your listeners that if they go to https://www.scarlettimage.com/freestylingtips there you can sign up to get my free program, it's videos that help you how to end your closet shame. So, the tips to help you know which of the clothes is time to let go of. Women who've done this will send me photos of you know bags of things they've gotten rid of. And the outfits that they have found out that they have and they had not even been aware of anymore.

The closet shame guide actually helps a woman, make a better informed decision. For example, like I said, if it's a shoe, that hurts and you're never gonna wear it there's no point in keeping it. If you have a skirt that is up to your mid thigh and you haven't worn it in 20 years, ....now's not the time to wear it. So, little tips like that are in there is very helpful.

Conny Graf
Yeah, so I will for sure. list that in the show notes so they can just click on that and find it right away. This was awesome Scarlett, I loved talking with you, and we all can use and closet overhaul and take the stress out of dressing. I think that's your saying right?

Scarlett de Bease
Stop stressing about dressing and end your closet shame. And be willing to experiment a little bit don't keep buying what you already have it's, it's just a waste of money.

Conny Graf
Okay, we don't want to waste money, thank you so much Scarlett, this was awesome.

Scarlett de Bease
Thanks Conny

If you have any questions

If you have a question about decluttering, organizing or something you heard me talk about on the podcast I'd like to invite you to a free public call "ask Conny". You can ask me a question anonymously or just listen in what others ask.

Register here, I look forward to seeing you there. 

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