Wardrobe Inner And Outer Congruency with Jordan Stolch - From Chaos to Peace

I am very excited to share my conversation with Jordan Stoltch from Mikado Personal Styling with you today. 

She is an Image Strategy Expert and is helping people transform the way they show up in the world.

She studied the connection between confidence, self-perception, and impression, and as a result has taught over 1000 men and women how to leverage a confident, put-together image, in order to open up abundant opportunities in both their personal and professional lives.

We are talking about: 

  • The difference between her work as a Image Strategy expert and a Styling expert
  • How her service has to do with the question: who I am on the inside and how do I represent that on the outside.
  • How she helps people finding a way to elevate what they've been currently doing to get them to a place that they really feel like they're representing themselves on the outside, through using clothing.
  • Whether there is a difference when it comes to men compared to women around self image and clothes. 
When you can find peace on one side, you find peace on the other. It's like a mirror image of each other. ~Jordan Stolch

If you find value in this conversation with Jordan please share the episode with your friends and family, because if you found value in it, they will too.

Help me grow my podcast by going to Apple Podcasts and write a 5-star review. This will help that more people find this podcast and can move from chaos to peace in their life and business. 

Jordan Stolch

is an Image Strategy expert, who is passionate about helping people transform the way they show up in the world.

She is the founder of MiKADO, a concierge personal styling firm, that focuses on eliminating the confusion and insecurities associated with determining how to dress. She’s spent the last decade studying the connection between confidence, self-perception, and impression, after recognizing the power of implementing actionable wardrobe techniques.

Her company has taught over 1000 men and women how to leverage a confident, put-together image, in order to open up abundant opportunities in both their personal and professional lives.

Website  *   Facebook  *  Instagram

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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
Welcome, Jordan. I'm so excited for our conversation today. Welcome to the podcast.

Jordan Stolch
Hi, I'm so excited to be here with you.

Conny Graf
Me too, because we talk clothes and the connection to confidence. But before we do that, I'd love to know a little bit more, who is Jordan when she's not the business woman?

Jordan Stolch
Oh, gosh, that's a tough question. Because she's usually the business woman. But she is, I would say, I am very family oriented and very people oriented. So I think this is what has kind of drawn me into the line of work that I am in.

So when I'm not in business mode, it's people mode. Just being around people being around my friends, spending time around the people that I love. I get so much quality in my life out of that. So I would say people time.

Conny Graf
Awesome. I love that answer. What was then your journey from growing up and then becoming an image strategy expert, how you call it. How did that happen? Were you always interested in clothes and image? Or did something special occur in your life?

Jordan Stolch
Yeah, that's a great question. I think a lot of people that work in fashion, in some capacity, they do talk about always being interested in it. And I don't know that that was the case necessarily for me. So I grew up in Canada, in a small city outside of Toronto, so there wasn't a heavy fashion prevalence in my life there. But what I've always been really cognizant of is the way people relate to themselves, I think, and the way I related to myself as a younger woman. I dealt with a lot of insecurity, body stuff, Image stuff, I think that as younger women we had to deal with. And I was really perceptive of it to the people around me whether it was my friends, my sister, my mother, I was aware of the role that it played in people's life.

So I think rather than the wardrobe and the clothing component, I think it's that that's always carried with me. And 10 years ago, I moved from Canada to here in Los Angeles, I worked in different capacities in fashion. So it took me a while to end up where I am now. I used to focus more primarily on commercials and television shows, red carpet styling, nothing that had to do with regular everyday people. But then that piece that I drew from my childhood of being really tuned into the way people perceive themselves, and what it feels like to feel insecure, I was able to bridge what I loved doing in fashion with that piece of helping people figure out how to use what's on the outside to feel really good about what's on the inside. Or showing the world what's on the inside by using the outside part as a vehicle.

So it feels like a long journey to get here, but now I'm in this place where I just get to work with people every day and help people feel good and find ways to make people's lives better. That feels amazing.

Conny Graf
Yeah, I love and when we connected, I told you that already. I love what you say that we are aligning our inner and outer selves. Because for example, I have a podcast episode that is called align your home if your priority which I basically mean too is like your aligning and review who you are. And you do the same with clothes. Now before we dive deeper into there, I want to quickly ask something that came up for me what is the difference, or how do you define the difference between what you're doing as an image strategy expert and a styling expert?

Jordan Stolch
The two kind of go hand in hand, and my career has piggybacked on both directions. What you'll often find with somebody who's a stylist is that their main focus is on helping somebody be really stylish. So they're going to focus on what are the most important trends right now what are we seeing how do we get you into to the best brands and align you with designer labels. And for me when I focus on image, it has a lot less to do with that and a lot more to do with one is the external component that we put forward.

Our image that represents who we are on the inside. The two definitely come together, but one for me it's more rooted in what's authentic to how who I am on the inside? And how do I represent on the outside. So I'll never feel like I'm pushing my clients into wearing something because it's in style right now or taking them away from something, even though they really love it. Because somebody said it's not popular right now. It's finding a way to elevate what they've been currently doing to get them to a place that they really feel like they're representing themselves on the outside, through using clothing.

Conny Graf
Oh, I love that. So what comes to mind while you were talking was similar, like when people compare me with a professional organizer, and there's nothing wrong with a professional organizer, but it's mainly about looking at these gorgeous pictures on Instagram, how the house looks awesome. But it's not necessarily what I do. What I do is I help you figure out why you have clutter, why you're struggling with a mess, and all that and helping you create the home that aligns with you and fits with who you are not what the media says or what the Instagram picture show you how it should be.

So it's it goes much deeper, it sounds like you go with your work much deeper too than just a stylist?

Jordan Stolch
Yeah, absolutely. And from what I have heard on your podcast before, it is very much aligned. I think what we both focus on is the mindset shift. So there is something you can do on the outside where you make your house look beautiful, and there's not a mess, and it looks like it belongs on social media. But you haven't worked on anything in the mindset piece, you haven't done that decluttering aspect. So you're just doing something on the surface level seem like nice clothing. It's beautiful, I won't take anything away from that it's beautiful on the outside, but it doesn't address anything that's going on in the inside.

So when we can get clear and unpack all of these things or declutter all these stories that we have in our mind, and we can get clear on this is the image I want to present to the world. This is the way I want to show up in the world. And this is how I use clothing to do it. Then they think it creates that foundational change. Same as what you're doing.

Conny Graf
Yeah, exactly. And I think that's why I was also so excited for our conversation because it's going from the surface level so much deeper and it's going away from that mainstream thinking of Oh yeah, just ....somebody said once putting whipped cream on poop or something is like making something pretty on top of something that is a mess.

Jordan Stolch
Yeah, because you haven't addressed anything underneath. So maybe all the reasons that were driving you to feel insecure, or that you didn't feel like you are presenting yourself in the right way, you haven't really addressed them when you just put a pretty package on top.

Conny Graf
Yeah, and I would assume too, then you don't really feel comfortable in the clothes. So let's just assume we're going and buying some new clothes, but we haven't addressed the inside of us. When we're wearing that, we never feel really comfortable, we always think or say, "Oh, that's not me, that's just not me".

Jordan Stolch
Exactly. So I call that imposter syndrome. Which, you know, there's imposter syndrome in business, and this is a little bit different in style. But imposter syndrome in style is when you're wearing clothes that aren't you. They belong on somebody else, or a sales associate told you to buy them or you feel like you should, because you saw all your friends on Instagram wearing them. But when you put them on, it's not authentic to who you are.

The way that you operate really shifts when you're wearing something that's not true to who you are. Counter that to when you wear something that's absolutely in alignment with your personality, or whatever image you're trying to portray. Then all of a sudden, there's a lightbulb moment. It's like, aha, this is who I am. And I can show the world exactly who I am.

Conny Graf
Yeah. And it sounds like it's not just a one way street, just like with decluttering. I always say like, if you start changing something on the outside, something changes on the inside, then something on the inside influences again, the outside. So that's exactly how it sounds for you, too.

Jordan Stolch
Absolutely. It's like a symbiotic relationship where the to go hand in hand, it's exactly the same as with what you're doing. When you can find peace on one side, you find peace on the other. It's like a mirror image of each other.

Conny Graf
Yeah. This is so amazing. So if somebody comes to you, and they want to have your help, how do you start? How do you start to figure out which way to go? You have a special process and Jordan specific process,

Jordan Stolch
Yes I have a very special process. So it's almost like a little bit of a deep dive into their life. They'll often say it feels like I'm in therapy or something. Because, you know, we start with, I really like to get clear on what brought somebody to that place. What brought them to that point in their life to decide, this is something I cannot deal with anymore. Or this doesn't feel right in my life anymore.

Because when you can learn what brought someone there, you can hear where a lot of the tension point are for them. So getting clear on that and then getting clear on who do you want to show up in the world as. So who do you want to show up in the world as for your children, for your co workers, for your clients, for your boss, for your partner. That's going to look different to different people. So it'll look different between men and women, and it will look different amongst women. But once we can get clear on exactly who do I want to show up as, then we're able to start building a wardrobe around something that looks like that person.

So if a woman will say to me, I want to show up at work as somebody who's professional, but also friendly, engaging, also very intelligent. Now I can start to think of what does that woman look like? How do we build a wardrobe around a woman that looks that way? From there, we use tons of visuals. So we have lots of references that we work through. And we can start to identify that looks like a professional woman to meet that looks like an approachable woman to me that whatever the words might be, because what you might think of as approachable and what I think of as approachable could look completely different.

Getting the visual cues in place is really strong, and also helps the client really identify, these are what my preferences are. And this is what I don't like, because a lot of people don't actually know what they like and what they don't like until they see it. Once we see it, we're able to start looking at what they have. So what do we have that aligns with the vision that we have in mind? And what is it time to let go of and that piece is where you would definitely come into the equation. What am I holding on to only because I have an attachment to it still, but not because it aligns with the goals or the vision that I have for my life. And that piece is so challenging for people. I'm sure you see that all the time.

Conny Graf
Yeah, that together with Oh, I could regret it later is the most named reasons why, especially with clothes, why you're not giving it away. I always say you're not going with who you are now. You're still stuck in the past, possibly, in your younger self, thinner self for women often. And yeah, and so you're clothes... I'm not going with style like you do, but what I'm going with is, is this representing you how you are today? Or is it not representing your 20 year old, single woman image that you had back then and now you're married and the average child, so you're not the same person.

Jordan Stolch
Exactly. And that's why we like to start with the process of creating the visual and getting somebody to be able to articulate into words, what does that vision look like? Because then we can start to hold the clothing against that goalpost and say, does it align? Or exactly as you said, am I holding on to this as my previous self, but not the self that I want going forward?

Conny Graf
Yeah.

Jordan Stolch
And that's hard for people, that's so challenging. I would love to hear what you think. I feel like clothing is the piece that people have the most difficult time letting go of because they hold so much attachment to it for so many different reasons and often from the past.

Conny Graf
Yeah, I don't know whether it's the most challenging one, but it's sure one of the very, very challenging ones, because the self image, and often with women especially, the self worth is so connected to it. Because we think like if we're not skinny, and beautiful and young as we were, then we're not the same worth. We're trying to cling on this, which doesn't work.

Jordan Stolch
It doesn't work, yes. So being able to get somebody to a place that they can let go of those things, because they know that they're moving into a forward direction, because they know that they're only going to hold on to pieces that align with that vision that they have from them for themselves. That will often do it, that will often be the tool that will get them there. And then from that point, we start to add in new pieces if they need it.

So if their wardrobe is sparse, then we start to add in by asking, what do we have already? And how do we build off of what we already have to create that image? Or that look that we're going for?

Conny Graf
Mm hmm. Now a question that I'm curious about is, because I know you help men and women, so do you see a difference, in the connection between self perception between men and women and self worth? Or are they similar?

Jordan Stolch
they're actually more similar than you would anticipate, and even the body image stuff, because I think men, they hold on to the same kind of thoughts as women. Which is oh when I was in my 20s, my waist was a size 28, and I still hold on to these jeans, for whatever reason, I do see it more with women. But men have equally as much of an attachment to their clothing. Sometimes the most obscure pieces that you would never think that they were holding an attachment to, you know, for women, it's often this dress that I wore when I was in my 20s.

For men, it's like a miscellaneous t-shirt, or, you know, something that you wouldn't necessarily imagine that they would attach the value to, but they still do. I think the body image and the self perception plays a part across the board.

Conny Graf
Yeah, I get that asked a lot when I work with men or women, whether men and women are different. And I don't think we're that different. Like, yeah, like you just confirmed, we're in a lot of things not that different. I think it's more society that tries to tell us that we're different. In the end, we're all human beings with feelings and attachments. And I want to say too here just for the record, there's nothing wrong with attachments. That's, we're humans that's what happens.

Now it doesn't hurt either, if you have a few pieces in your wardrobe that you are emotionally attached to that you're not wearing anymore, you know, but it depends whether it's holding you back or whether it's keeping you from actually being the you that you are now and keeping you from accepting the you that you are now I think that's where the importance comes in.

Jordan Stolch
Yeah, I definitely agree. It's a fine balance. And I wouldn't say you need to throw everything away and start a new you. It's not that there isn't anything wrong with attachment, as you said, but it's when it's taking over. It's when you don't even have a vision in mind anymore. For yourself because all of this stuff from your past is taking over your present. If you can't see that and when you can't find that clarity, then it's not serving you to have all of that in your life.

Conny Graf
Yeah, yeah, exactly. That's exactly the same, like with regular clutter, too. It's like, we don't all have to become minimalist. It's not about how your home should look, or how your office should be organized. Just because you see it on Instagram or somewhere doesn't mean that you have to do that it has to work for you. Yeah, so again, similarity, I love it. So your clientele are they mainly coming to you because they want to change or they want to align their business self with, with the inside and out, or is it more for the private self?

Jordan Stolch
It's a bit of both, a lot is business. A lot is people that are looking to excel in their career and have come to realize that their image plays an instrumental role in that. But a lot of it is not too. We have a lot of women come that aren't in the business sector at all. A lot of women will come maybe after they've had a few children and they feel a disconnect with their body a disconnect with their external self. Because I always think that body images, are about much more than just our actual body. Body images is around our mental view of ourselves.

So when women, oftentimes after a few children, they will have this disconnect with their body. And they will feel almost like a stranger. And they're trying to look to come to a place where they can identify with themselves again. So for those types of clients, it doesn't really have anything to do with corporate. And the process works the exact same way. Most of our male clients do come from a professional space, or actually they come from a just having been divorced space, it's often about transitioning. Transitioning and entering a new life space, and trying to find my identity after this large transition.

Conny Graf
Yeah, I always say that we have our body and the boundary to the world is the skin, and then the second boundary are the clothes, and then the third boundary is the home. And so the clothes are actually really playing a huge role, because that's the closest to our skin, which we never get rid of, basically, it's the closest. Yeah, and so it could see that when you go through a transition men or women, that you struggle with your identity, and this is the closest that is on you, and it's easier to change too then to change your body shape.

A lot of people I know, they hang on to clothes, because they want to lose weight, which is a longer process. If you can change your clothing to feel good and more in alignment, that's a faster process like for people who are in a hurry, than waiting until you lost weight, which may never happen because it's just not in store for you.

Jordan Stolch
Absolutely, yeah, I completely agree with that.

Conny Graf
So, of course by keeping privacy of people, could you give us maybe an example of someone with what she or he came to you struggling with, and how you could help with clothes? Is it possible to give an example?

Jordan Stolch
Oh, yes, of course, yeah, I'd love to give examples. So I have a female client who just started this week, and she is in the process of going through a divorce actually, and a really might traumatic one. So one where it was unexpected, and there's children involved.

She was not anticipating it coming, but when it came, I think it opened her eyes to some things that weren't working in her life. She's shifted her thinking into a place of looking towards the future. She really got clear on I can only take care of my children and my business and the people around me if I take care of myself first. And I haven't been doing that. Because I felt like I was selfish if I took care of myself, or I took care of the other people. She had been doing some self development work and she got to this place where she realized I really need to do what makes me feel good, which I've almost forgotten what that is, after all of this time. 

Going through this difficult chapter in her life brought that out in her and she started to be able to realize I need to do this for me, I need to take care of me. So we've been starting the initial process of getting that look together that I talked about with you. Getting clear on what is the look she wants to create, what is the direction she wants to go? And how does she see herself now as a single woman, after years of being married. A mother but still a desirable woman. You know, because I think there's a piece for a lot of females that we feel like, at a certain point in our life, maybe we've told herself, we're not allowed to be desirable or beautiful, or whatever that might be that we often experienced as women.

So helping her shift that mindset and feel like, Oh, wait, I am still allowed to be all of those things, and a single woman and a mother and a business owner. So for her, we're helping her get clear on the message, get clear on what it looks like, and then building a wardrobe around it that helps her feel that way.

Conny Graf
So beautiful and so important for her, like we said, her self, her self image and for her moving forward.

Jordan Stolch
It reminds me of another man I worked with, I think it was about six months ago before Covid. He has some disabilities, and he always took care of his mother, and she passed away recently. She lived with him, she helped take care of him, and he helped take care of her. Then she passed away, and he was for the first time in his adult life on his own. And he wanted to go into the world of dating, but he was so self conscious because he had some disabilities.

So that made him uncertain of how he felt like he could approach women. But he had also only been with his mother for so long that he felt even just nervous interacting with other people in the world. So he came from a place of wanting to build this kind of confidence, to be able just to go and talk with people. He said, I just want to be able to go out to a nightclub (this was before Covid) I want to be able to go out to like a nice place at night and have a drink and talk to other people. But I don't feel like I can do that right now. So for him, it was so much more than just, oh, put these nice clothes on and you'll fit in that place. It wasn't about that, it was about how can I do the internal work so I can show the world on the outside this is this amazing personality I have, but I'm too nervous to show it.

How do I work with somebody to build it to get clear on what I wanted to say. And then to put clothes on that helped me feel really empowered. Then I can go out, and the first time in my adult life, I can maybe meet women, even if it's not even in a dating capacity but just talk to women talk to men have friends outside of this life that I thought that I was limited in this little bubble before. So to see that transition for him was life changing for me like just to witness that somebody else can have a different quality for their life or a different experience for their life that they don't have to feel so limited.

Conny Graf
Yeah. And I find that so beautiful, because it's so much more than clothes. But the clothes are assisting because you're actually going deeper. The clothes assist, you're not just giving him the suit that he would look really smart in but he feels completely out of place and insecure, which makes them matters worse

Jordan Stolch
Yeah, and we bring the clothes to our clients in their home for them to try on so that the experience is really comfortable, and they're not in a store or anything like that. We'll have racks of clothes for them. For this man, for example, but it happens with every client, they'll be lots of things that they'll try on that they'll feel no it's not me. I wanted this to be me, but it's not.

But then you notice the light bulb and someone when they put something on that is them. Because it's like, oh yeah, this is me. I never would have thought I could wear those before. I never tried something like this. But I feel like a million dollars in this. And that's when you know, it's working. We're finding your authentic self inside of you that you didn't even know was there.

Jordan Stolch
if it was just about finding the nice suit or something. You could just go to the store and find that with a sales associate. You know, it's it's a different process than that.

Conny Graf
Yeah, it's it's exactly like I said, Yeah, if it's just about having a gorgeous image that you can put up on Instagram, you can just go to anybody but if you actually want to figure out how you yourself can feel comfortable in your home and you can show up as your best without effort like it just works the way you want. Then it's probably not these pretty pictures from the magazines or from Instagram. It's something completely different.

That's why I love your work so much. That's why I was so excited to meet you. And I could talk with you for hours, but we have to be mindful of the time. So where can people find you if they feel like, Oh, I need what Jordan offers?

Jordan Stolch
Yeah, that's great. Well, the good news is, for people that don't live in the cities that we service, we also do virtual consulting. So the process of doing the shopping in home is removed from that. But we do a lot of virtual consulting and helping people just get really clear on their message, and then finding clothes for them online. So our website is https://www.mikadopersonalstyling.com and they can find us there. We do free consultations, so they can book that on the website, or on Instagram, same handle @mikadopersonalstyling.

 And come to just say hi, just talk about what do you feel like your challenges are I love talking to people, I love hearing where people are struggling or even where people feel like they've had a really productive day, like today I put something on and I felt amazing in it. And this is what I accomplished doing it. Send a message I would love to hear something like that.

Conny Graf
That's beautiful. I will put all the links in the show notes for sure. Now I want to ask you, did I not ask a question? Or do you have any last words or wisdom that you feel like we need to share before we end?

Jordan Stolch
What I would love to share with people is: if you feel like you're in this kind of bubble, or you're in this place where you feel like you're stuck, and it's dark, and you feel like I just can't get out I don't know how to be who I am. Know that it's possible for anyone, you just need to start trying. Whether it's similar to your work Conny or the same of what I do, you never have to feel stuck.

So if you want something better, if you want to create more opportunity, or you want to feel like a better version of who you are right now. find something that works for you. So if it's your clothing, go try on clothes in the mall that make you feel good, even if you can't buy them. Or look at stuff online that speaks to you and try to recreate it with something you own, if you're not in a place that you can shop right now. But it hurts my heart when I know that people feel stuck the way they are and that they can't accomplish more.

Because everyone can. So even if it's just little steps that you do today, find a way that it brings you some kind of joy.

Conny Graf
Yeah, beautiful, beautiful, same here. You don't need to go out and buy fancy organizing stuff, we can create something with what you what you have.

Jordan Stolch
Yes you just have to try. Exactly.

Conny Graf
Exactly, beautiful message. It was so awesome to have you on the show. And I can already see maybe we will have to repeat that in a future and go and talk a little bit more because I love it that it's it's going deep and doesn't just stay shallow. So I really love that. Jordan, thank you very much for your time.

Jordan Stolch
Thank you, Conny

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