Sunday, January 03, 2010

"What Not to Wear" Neiman Marcus Style

One word: OMG!!!!
Another word: EXPENSIVE
And a third word: OMG!!!

Ok. Two words but the first was worth repeating.

And finally... Think "Mini Cooper fully loaded."

First of all, there is a special room for personal shoppers in the corner of the 3rd floor in the couture area, across the way from Yves St. Laurent.

Actually, it's a suite. A double room. One is a dressing room and one is the sitting room. There was a table with a lunch (which I said I didn't want) and a box of Godiva chocolates (which will go a long way to enhance my girlish figure - pffft). And a small split of champagne. And some accessories laid out.

In the other room, the dressing room, there was a bunch of clothes all hanging and laid out for me.

Randi had actualy picked out some things based on the conversation we had when I called to set up the appointment - black, minimalist, clean lines, comfortable, from sizes 6 to 12 depending on the make, cut and designer. I should have added "cheap and on sale" but I didn't and so nothing was cheap and nothing was on sale. Except for a cashmere sweater which I loved and decided to contrive a way of getting more of. And believe me, the "cheap" part of "on sale" was missing.. but it was better than full price.

She also wanted to make sure that clothes I would be wearing were "background," as opposed to out in front screaming that I was coming. And being in financial services, it was important that it not be "screaming" about anything. She used the words "understated," "smart," "chique," "enhancing."

We talked about how people really DO notice, and it DOES make a difference what you wear. And I never want to be in a position, where if I were to be in a tie with someone else for a position or a function., that I would be passed over because of what I wore. It wouldn't be that blatant. There'd a group of people sitting in a room trying to decide who they would choose for something and my name would come up and someone says, "she has the qualifications, but there's something I can't put my finger on that says she's not quite right..." And that is would happen by not wearing the right clothes or presenting the right image or face for the company you are representing.

So I had a few discoveries:
  1. Two hours is absolutely inadequate for a personal shopping expedition - especially if you are trying to make up for 14 years of not buying clothes

  2. After 14 years, just getting "the basics" so you can create a good foundation to build on in the future is insanely simple but very expensive

  3. I look good in structured clothes. Seriously. Randi was hell bent on getting rid of the knits. When I said to her, "I live in Eileen Fisher - I've had them for 14 years..." She looked at me and sort of "ahemed" and said, "well, yes... we will get you in something more structured." So I said that I liked knits. Easy to maintain, easy to expand... and she said, "yes, well... we will need to get you out of those."


  4. Structured clothes can be comfortable. Really. Especially if they are made well.

  5. Clothes that are made well fit better. They also hang on your body better. And as a result they exude quality. Not to mention style - depending on the designer, of course.

  6. That Akris is the designer that works for me in style, fit, and comfort.

  7. Chanel is as expensive as I had thought it would be

  8. Not everything Armani works for me, as I had wished it would

  9. And finally, underneath all the guilt of spending the kind of money that would feed a small village for a few years... that I really felt good. Not about the spending or about the clothes. Sure. The clothes are just beautiful. But I felt really really good about myself, in the clothes. I liked myself more. I felt more, "worth it." Even at my current weight, knowing I have to lose about 10 pounds. Randi pointed out that this could help me lose the weight that I want. You have to feel good to look good. I think she may be onto something.
The alternationist is Chinese. And she said that if I lose weight, just call Randi and make an appointment with her and she will take the clothes in again. As many times as I need to. And if I have other clothes, then bring them too. But I feel like my other clothes "aren't worthy."

The funny thing was when she was pinning the clothes, she felt the texture and fabric and noted the stitching and said, "ohhh, these are very good clothes. High quality." Well, THAT'S an understatement!

I am going to pick up the alterations at the end of the month when I come back from India. And she is ordering a few more piece for me in my size. Another 6 hour event, I'm sure.

This time I will be sure to tell Randi "no lunch!"

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