When I got the e-mail invitation to an intimate dinner in LA with a brand I adore (Shani Darden) I was immediately thrilled and nervous. LA feels very outside of my realm of comfort, but I knew I had to take this opportunity to go!
It helped that my friend Anna was invited as well, so I knew I would get to experience this with her!
The invitation didn’t give a lot of indication about what the dinner would be like, but I knew I wanted to find something to wear that felt professional, appropriate, and comfortable. And I wanted it to be a little fun, too, since it was an evening dinner.
I started browsing and really couldn’t nail down what was going to be right for the event. My eye was drawn to print and pattern, but was that right for a dinner party at a home? It felt a bit too casual, maybe a bit too summery as well?
I finally came to the conclusion that I should have jumped to immediately which was to hire Candace to style me. Candace is a friend of mine, I discovered her on Instagram and we’ve been together in a Mastermind group this year. She’s an influencer and a professional stylist with Wardrobe Therapy, based in Ohio. She is an absolute delight to be around, and simply emanates chic, effortless vibes all day long.
I texted her and basically said, ” HELP ME YOU HAVE 2 WEEKS OMG HELP ” and she took me on as a client. We had a quick call talking through what I knew of the dinner, and what I was imagining wearing (a dress, something that felt appropriate but not a loud fashion moment, sandals, etc.) and sent over my measurements. She got to work sourcing and sent over the look book when it was ready. I was only looking for an outfit for this specific dinner so there was a very specific goal.
I was so excited to see what she chose for me that as soon as I opened up the file, I enlarged it and started scanning over the page of about 7 dresses. They were beautiful and different, and most felt like such a perfect extension of what I would wear. She made notes on a few of them (like her favorites) and I chose about 5 from that selection.
I had a shoot that day so pushed the dresses out of my mind and immediately got to filming. Later on that evening, Candace checked in with me about my selections and as I opened the file again to take a final look, I realized there were two additional pages of dress options that I HADN’T EVEN SEEN YET. I missed it that morning when I excitedly opened the file and enlarged it, which completely eliminated the “arrow” directing me to see the next page.
I blew up Candace’s phone with text messages about how I missed the two additional pages and made a few shifts in my selections. Let me pause my story right here and just say: she chose about 20 options for me but the fact that I loved 5 on the first page out of only 7 that I thought existed says a lot about her ability to hone in on a look flawlessly.
After my profuse apologies for missing the second two pages, I made my final selections and ordered a few dresses. Candace has a connection with Vince and ordered two dresses for me to be shipped overnight, and I ordered the rest on my own. (Typically, when you work with a stylist in this capacity, you are ordering yourself and in charge of making returns yourself as well.)
Once I chose the dress, Candace got to work on selecting shoes and bags/accessories. I mentioned that I have a Rent the Runway subscription and was interested in selecting a bag from there to rent since I set my budget high for the dress.
She sent over several options and I swiftly made some choices and placed the orders!
When it came down to the night of the dinner, I felt perfectly dressed. My dress felt like me but elevated. I was comfortable and felt like I dressed in a way that made sense for the dinner but wasn’t an outwardly bold statement.
I cannot recommend Candace enough. She truly has her finger on the pulse of fashion, how to dress a woman’s body, and how to push you into something she knows will look amazing, even if it isn’t something you would choose on your own.
While she is a friend of mine, I was a standard paying customer of Wardrobe Therapy and none of this experience was gifted or sponsored.
I would absolutely hire her again in the future to dress me, and again, if you have anything coming up for which you aren’t sure how to dress, I cannot recommend her enough!
I’ll also point out that this entire styling session was digital. Candace is based in Ohio, and I’m in Raleigh, North Carolina, and we were able to do everything via phone or computer. I sent her videos when I tried things on to get her feedback and sent her selfies once I landed on the final look so she could approve! It was fun and easy.
Another question I received as I shared the experience on Instagram is if I shared with Candace what budget I was comfortable shopping within. I did, and she stayed true to that budget with her selections. If she found something that she wanted to show me that was out of budget, she would make a note about it.
I genuinely felt so much more at ease for this dinner knowing I outsourced the styling to a true professional with an eye for fashion that she has so perfectly honed.