Q&A With Professional Wardrobe Consultant Debbie Wright
With Fashion Week right around the corner we thought it would be a great time to feature individuals within the industry. We had the chance to talk to Professional Wardrobe Consultant and owner of Project Closet, Debbie Wright. Through Project Closet Debbie offers services such as Wardrobe Consultant, Personal Shopping Assistant and Virtual Stylist to help clients find the look and confidence they are seeking. Debbie can be seen sharing her style advice on Better Connecticut TV, CBS Radio (96.5 TIC) and even local TV stations as far as Los Angeles and Austin, Texas. She has also co-written the book ‘Inspired Style’ available on Amazon.
UVN: YOU STARTED OFF MANAGING ANN TAYLOR STORES AND THEN BEGAN PROJECT CLOSET IN 1997. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
DW: I had an amazing career in my early twenties managing and opening new stores for Ann Taylor throughout CT and Western Mass. It provided a wonderful foundation for me in understanding how to effectively run a business. As a manager, I was one of the few who kept an extensive client book. I enjoyed wardrobing clients and always managed to incorporate that piece into my daily routine in store. After six wonderful years with Ann Taylor, it was time to move on. At that time in my life, moving to NY wasn’t an option and I wondered how I could continue a career in fashion but step out of the retail store environment. At the time, I wasn’t certain how many option there were for me in this market. Soon after while reading Vogue magazine, I saw an advertisement to represent a high end designer out of New York offering wardrobing and styling via private trunk shows in my home. This was it, the start of my business in 1997.
UVN: WITH THE SERVICES THAT YOU OFFER YOU TAKE A VERY ORGANIZED, THOROUGH APPROACH TO HELPING EACH CLIENT. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PRINCIPLES YOU LIKE TO GET ACROSS TO ANYONE LOOKING TO UPGRADE OR RE-INVENT THEIR WARDROBE.
DW: Clothing has an expiration date! Many people tend to hold onto items that no longer serve them today and having too many options can create clutter and confusion. My #1 rule of thumb when upgrading or re-inventing wardrobes begins with a look in the mirror that is a positive. Compliment yourself and recognize the parts of your shape that you love, for example, your small waist or your long legs. Once you start seeing yourself as beautiful as you are, you can begin shopping for pieces that accentuate those features. Women are a shape not a size, learning how to dress your shape today will help you build a closet full of clothes you LOVE. Learn how to dress to flatter your shape, its a refreshing a positive approach, rather than hiding what you don’t like first. Its powerful and HUGE part of my messaging. Everyone is GORGEOUS and deserving of looking their personal best every day!
UVN: HELPING SOMEONE CHANGE THEIR IMAGE CAN BE LIFE CHANGING AND SOMETIMES AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE FOR A CLIENT. FROM THE POSITION AS A STYLIST HAS THIS JOB POSITIVELY EFFECTED YOU IN WAYS YOU NEVER THOUGHT?
DW: This has been the most amazing GIFT FOR ME as well as for my clients. I can proudly and humbly say that EVERY experience that I have had personally working with clients has moved me in some way. I have experienced tears and seen shifts in women happen before my eyes. The follow up and stories of what happens to these women after our sessions continues to honestly bring me to tears. When you feel better about your look, your confidence grows, you stand taller, you feel better, your energy improves, your opportunities grow and your relationships improve. You become the role model that you deserve to be and you open yourself up to the many mini miracles that come to you every day. I am truly so blessed to see women experience this life enhancing shift. I thank GOD every day for the work that I am able to do.
UVN: BEYOND BEING A STYLIST YOU ALSO HELPED AUTHOR A BOOK “INSPIRED STYLE”. IT’S UNIQUE IN THAT THE BOOK ENTAILS MULTIPLE CO-AUTHORS EACH PROVIDING THEIR PERSPECTIVE ON STYLE. HOW DID YOUR INVOLVEMENT COME ABOUT?
DW: I was thrilled to have been contacted by the amazing Caterina Rando founder of Thrive Publishing. The opportunity came at the best time. I had wanted to write a style book but the process seemed so overwhelming to me at the time. Caterina’s opportunity was perfect, it allowed me to publish a chapter in Inspired Style along with other image consultants across the country. The entire writing process was supported by Thrive and I am learning so much under her guidance in publishing. It was a perfect first step for me and I am proud of the book and the process under Thrive Publishing.
UVN: IN THE BOOK YOU WROTE THE CHAPTER “STEPPING OUT OF SWEATPANTS AND INTO STYLE”. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THIS CHAPTER.
DW: The inspiration for the chapter came directly out of my experience with our makeover segments on Better CT TV. I was lucky enough to style hundreds of women over the course of two years in our Better CT Makeover segment and found that most “moms” felt that once they became a mom that they had to throw out the idea of every looking stylish again. WRONG!!! A lightbulb went off for me during that time and I realized that I had to reach these moms on an entire new level, the deserving one.
UVN: AS YOU KNOW WE’LL BE COVERING MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK IN A FEW WEEKS. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE FASHION SHOWS YOU RECOMMEND SEEING?
DW: Some of my favorites are Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Tracy Reese, and Tadasha Shogi.
UVN: FROM YOUR SIDE OF THE FASHION SPECTRUM, WHAT FACTORS DO YOU LOOK INTO WHEN DETERMINING IF A COLLECTION WAS GREAT OR NOT?
DW: I look for the way the garments fit the body and flatter the shape. I look at the elements used like color and texture, this makes a collection unique and interesting.
UVN: BEING A STYLIST YOUR ALWAYS AHEAD OF THE GAME WHEN IT COMES TO FASHION. WHAT TRENDS DO YOU PREDICT WILL BE ON DISPLAY THIS FASHION WEEK?
DW: You will see a lot of color continue through Fall. Color, softness, brightness and lots of faux fur accents. Fashions today shy away from any stand out crazy trends which I find very refreshing. Gone are the days of outrageous creations that only a few might wear. Designers are creating more practical pieces while offering refreshing new elements each season, they offer silhouettes that are more versatile season to season.
UVN: WHAT DESIGNER IF ANY HAS CARRIED A HEAVY INFLUENCE INTO THE YOUR WORK THAT YOU CONTINUE TO DO?
DW: Rachel Zoe!!!! I love and respect all that she has done evolving her stylist business from working with clients to offering a complete line of clothing. She has built an amazing fashion business.
UVN: YOUR A CONTRIBUTOR TO BETTER TV, CBS RADIO, MASSLIVE.COM AMONG OTHER OUTLETS. WHAT KIND OF COVERAGE CAN WE EXPECT FROM DEBBIE WRIGHT IN THE COMING MONTHS?
DW: I am thrilled to be offering coverage on everything fashion and beauty from coordinating and covering fashion shows to daily fashion tips and trends shared via my many outlets. I love writing as a fashion contributor for Gladys Magazine as well as The Hartford Ladies Journal. I am also working on my next book. I am currently helping women learn how to pack light while creating big style as I travel for 12 days to Tennessee. I make looking fabulous every day real for any women. I keep it simple and love helping women recognize that it is easier than they think.
Check out Debbie Wright sharing her advice on Better TV CT: