My friend’s sister has a gift. She has an extensive background in fashion retail and has recently been dabbling in personal styling. I had them over last week to help me plan my shopping strategy as I start to rebuild my wardrobe. Mr. Awesome and I will be doing a major shop down in San Francisco in a couple of weeks and I need to have a plan of action or he’ll never survive. Or he’d kill me for spending too much…either way, without a plan one of us isn’t getting out alive.

Sarah is like Stacy and Clinton but without completely slagging my current wardrobe. Of course my current wardrobe is fairly nonexistent, so there wasn’t really much to criticize. I have had a few things tailored already – things that I really liked and I knew would be cheaper getting altered than buying new. This included a few blazers, one pair of pants, one dress and a couple of skirts. I’ve given away almost everything else, so I was expecting a long shopping list but no real outfit building. Man, was I wrong!

One of Mr. Awesome’s talents is the ability to look in a cupboard that I consider basically bare and create a fantastic meal. Sarah is like that. She dove into my closet headfirst, digging out items I haven’t worn in years (but they still fit so I haven’t given them away), pairing them with the newly tailored pieces and creating very cool outfits I would NEVER have put together. I was trying stuff on all evening, with her showing me potential outfits or “ideas” for outfits when I get a few more items. Mr. Awesome was thrilled to know that I actually have quite a bit to work with already and that the shopping trip wouldn’t be quite the dent in our bank account that we originally thought. Maybe just a ding.

There were a couple of other surprises. Sarah introduced me to a few concepts I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Tucking things in, for example. I haven’t tucked something in since bodysuits went the way of the dodo bird in high school, but apparently ALL the cool kids are tucking these days (does that sound dirty?).

And leggings. And skinny jeans. I have lived the better part of my fashion-conscious life with hips I lovingly refer to as saddle bags. I literally looked like I was wearing jodhpurs if I wore anything even remotely form-fitting. Only recently on my weight loss journey have the saddle bags started to disappear, and I’m still getting used to it. Whether or not I have the guts to actually do this look still remains in question, but I did actually try on a pair of legging-type jeans yesterday and I can see how they MIGHT be okay…MIGHT.

And belts. I stopped wearing belts ages ago because they made me feel like a sausage and because I didn’t tuck anything in, I believed that belts would just add extra bulk to my midsection. Now belts are everywhere and ON TOP of clothing. Who knew?! On my shopping list is now at least one skinny belt.

And rolling the sleeves on my blazers. Giving it the “boyfriend jacket” feel without actually having to go out and buy a new jacket. I would NEVER have considered rolling the sleeves of a blazer, but when she puts the whole outfit together it just works.

The woman seriously has a gift. She needs to go into business doing this for a living. She has given me ideas, tips and a shopping list of things to look for. And she makes you feel good about yourself, instilling confidence and making you believe you can look great (even in skinny jeans). My problem is I want to go and get it all NOW, but I need to restrain myself until San Francisco. Maybe just a couple of things…

Another thing I really want to get but that we didn’t specifically talk about is a wrap dress. Stacy and Clinton are ALWAYS talking about the benefits of wrap dresses, drawing attention to the narrowest part of the body, etc etc. Everyone they ever make over looks great in one, plus they make a whole outfit on their own. Definitely a must have, and I’m pretty sure Sarah will approve.

She’s offered to come over again once we get back to go through all my goodies and make more outfits, as well as to go shopping with me if there are any items I’m missing.

It’s a whole new world of tucking, rolling and belting and to be honest I am a little afraid. Anytime we give someone a ride somewhere and drop them off, Mr. Awesome yells with glee “Tuck and roll, ’cause I ain’t stoppin!” as he pretends to not bring the car to a complete stop to let them out. While some do question his deranged sense of humor, I think the expression is appropriate here. I’m not stopping, I’m going for it.

Tuck and roll, baby, tuck and roll.

All images are from the Banana Republic website.