Susie chats virtually with her longtime friend and much-adored personal shopper, wardrobe stylist and closet cleanse aficionado Jessie Carlson to talk REAL life and REAL style before, during and (soon to be) after Covid-19.
Turnabout Style Talks with Jessie Carlson
OK so mama… it is amazing to sit down with you and talk style. NOT fashion, style…
Always, love talking to you. Well said. Style - not fashion. I don’t think style is some elusive thing saved for people who know more than you. Your personal style doesn’t need to be high fashion. If it’s easy to wear and looks good, awesome. If your style is high fashion - that’s amazing too, rock it.
Working mother of 3, easing out of a global pandemic. Describe the daily juggle these past few months.
OMG, ha! A couple things have become really clear to me, the biggest one being that I was doing waaaay too much.
Yes. You and I have been saying that for years every time we hang out.
And you know what? The expectations I’ve been living with were unattainable. I was running around like a chicken with no head, trying to run a successful business, be a great mother, run the house - you know - groceries, dinner, playdates. My children are still little, so we are doing bath time and reading stories for 46 hours every night.
Readers please know that I’m dying laughing at 46 hours.
(laughs) In the gaps I tried to throw in exercise, some meditation or yoga so I could calm the fuck down, see friends and give back to the community. Every working mum I know, knows this one.
And what about homeschooling on top of that?
The quarantine, stay home order has been a blessing, ironically. Let’s be clear, homeschooling was a little tough, coming up with activities every day for 2.5 months. I mean… But it’s clear I don’t need to do half of what I was doing before, I just don’t. I’m not sure anyone does. Why are we all desperate and rushing and trying to be perfect? I’m not into it.
Same same. And in our business, too, it’s about setting an example of keeping it pulled together outwardly. Just like I don’t want to take nutrition advise from someone drinking a Big Gulp, wardrobe clients are seeking a sprinkle of magic. You have that X factor which can’t be taught.
That is deeply flattering. I have always loved style, always looked at what people wore. I had at the chance to spend quite a bit of time in Europe in my early 20s, I was blown away by the style. Just so inspired and excited. If I am honest that’s the baseline for me. Always has been.
Your style, to me, has always leaned in favour of the classics. Am I right?
Totally, yes. My style has changed over the years, definitely, but if I don’t feel comfortable it’s not going to work. Also, having babies, getting older, it changes everything. I have a uniform. Also, even though I am a personal shopper, I still love shopping, so I constantly try new things.
But you can also get down with pieces that are part of the current parlance, so to speak. Something trendy, here and there…
Totally, high rise denim, high rise slouchy pants, oversize blazers, jumpsuits.
Name me a few of your season-less staples.
I think I just did!
Well keep going, you hot lil firecracker.
Ok, always in my wardrobe - denim, lots of options. Blazers, I wear them with everything. T-shirts, but good ones. White button down. A black coat, a camel coat.
Part of your brand, and I know you’ll crack up that I just called you a brand, is irreverence, which I happen to find super endearing. You’re not on a self-pedestal, and somehow that comes across in your dress code. What I’m trying to say is style to me is about how we carry ourselves as much as it is how we put it all together.
It’s about how you feel, people say all the time that everything looks better with confidence. They say it because it’s true. If you aren’t comfortable in your own skin, you can be wearing the most unreal clothes, and still be super annoying - too harsh? Also true.
Truth is good. So let’s talk about the circular economy of consignment. How often does the consignment conversation come up between you and your clients?
All. The. Time. Every time I do a Wardrobe Cleanse I have a pile for consignment. When I drop clients clothes off, I always look around to see what came in. I am a big believer.
And do you advise on rules like ‘one piece brought in, one piece goes out’ when helping clients with their wardrobes? Do you have a general rule of thumb?
Nah, I just say, if it doesn’t work get rid of it. Either sell it or give it away. Also, don’t buy the same thing over and over and then you won’t have the problem.
What’s the biggest ‘mistake’ you see clients make when it comes to their shopping decisions?
See above answer. There are a few others…
Well and I think that now, more than ever, consignment serves as a meaningful revenue stream for consignors and also as an attainable touch point for shoppers. I mean how many people reached out to me during Covid to say that they were re-assessing how they live, how much product they wish to own and how their habits will forever be changed going forward. Did you hear a lot of that, too?
I hear it and I feel it. I’ll be going back to work as a personal shopper and I am sure I will be saying ‘are you sure you need that?’. I have things to sell all the time. If I don’t wear it, I am dropping it at Turnabout.
Jess I adore you, I appreciate you and I am so grateful for you in my life. Thank you for sitting down with me.
The feeling is mutual xoxo