I don't know about you but I struggle with letting go with clothing from the past, some might call it "hoarding". Each piece has an emotional value to it that makes it difficult to say goodbye. Enter, Phoebe Elizabeth Style Curator of your future self. Phoebe is a beautiful blonde that instead of intimidating you with her chic style and picture perfect smile, has this uncanny ability to draw you in and get you talking. Now imagine all of this happening in your closet, and as you sort through your stuff your stylish best friend guides you through the process.
Read on to learn more about Phoebe's journey from corporate fashion to curating closets and revamping your wardrobe. Plus, join us for a styling session with Phoebe at our Goodbye to Summer event on August 31st at Darling!
1. After years of working in corporate fashion, what inspired you to start your own business?
After some serious soul searching, I came to the realization that it was time to take a major leap to refocus my career. I wasn’t happy and I discovered it was because I wasn’t truly connecting with people and I felt that my work output wasn’t making the tangible difference I was expecting (more about that here). I started researching a ton about people (mostly women) who started their own businesses and how they decided it was time to cut the corporate cord. Though I knew my own experiences and reasoning were of course different and unique to me, it was incredibly helpful to know I wasn’t the only one out there who was feeling this way. I’m a big believer in pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, especially if you’re not happy. So, I took a deep breath and jumped.
2. You described that as you help people organize their closets and help them develop their style it's a sort of therapy for the client. What's been the rewarding part of working with others?
There’s nothing like seeing the look on a client’s face when they slip into an outfit that’s perfectly them - it’s like they are seeing themselves for the first time as the beautiful person they truly are. As the wardrobe we build together comes to life in a way that’s expressive of my client’s personality, I feel like I’ve been able to give this incredible gift to them. They feel good about themselves - it’s like I can see their confidence growing. That is so rewarding. I truly believe that what we wear is powerful.
3. Where do you seek inspiration for new looks? Do you have any tips on transitioning clothes from one season to another?
I have various mediums of inspiration. Of course I look to the major fashion glossies, like Vogue and W, as well as digital fashion content and lookbooks. Looking through a favorite designer or boutique’s Instagram feed is also a great resource. I love pinning up (both digitally and in print) fashion editorials that really move me. Those always get my creative energy flowing. And I adore people watching. NYC is filled with such divine street style; I love taking it all in!
Transitioning clothes from one season to the next is all about seeing them as individual pieces and paying attention to color and texture. For example, off the shoulder tops were huge this summer. You can easily take that top and pair it with a jewel toned scarf, dark or black denim and a pair of suede or leather closed toed pointed pumps or flats and voila – a perfect fall look that came from one of your favorite summer pieces! Or, take those shorts, throw on some opaque tights, boots, a long sleeve silk blouse and a velvet blazer or shearling vest – goodbye summer, hello fall!
4. In NYC closet space is teeny tiny! Do you have any recommendations on how best to sort through clothes and how often? Is there a rule of thumb we should adhere to?
The lack of closet space in NYC is definitely a challenge. My first apartment in NYC didn’t have one single closet, so I really had to get creative! The best thing you can do for small spaces is organize, organize, organize. This includes de-cluttering. A good rule of thumb is to sort through your clothes each season. Not that you have to get rid of pieces each time, but it helps re-familiarize yourself with what you have, what you might need for the upcoming season, and what you actually should put in the donation pile. If a seasonal wardrobe sorting is a bit overwhelming, then do it at least every six months. I always say, invite a friend or two over, throw on some good tunes and pop open a bottle of bubbly or a good wine. It makes the process easier and much more fun!
Stackable drawers and shelving for the closet and under the bed boxes are great resources to help you organize and take advantage of extra space (no matter how minimal that might be). Another tip is to find or make a beautiful rolling rack and place your special seasonal pieces there. It’s a great way to stay inspired and have your favorite things in full view. For example, when fall is in full swing, I love that it’s a time to break out some shimmer! I have a beaded jacket that I pull out as one of my treasured fall pieces, and then it’s there on the rack as a reminder, front and center! I love throwing it on over a cotton tee with skinny jeans and pumps for a casual look, or over a fitted strapless dress for date night!
5. If you were to go back in time and talk to the newly graduated from college version of yourself, what would you tell her?
I’d tell her to take a few months off to travel after graduation and not be in such a rush to grow up! But, when you do get out into the real world, never doubt yourself or what you can accomplish. Don’t look to others so much for validation. This is your own journey so just trust it along with your ambition.