A Step in the Right Direction

It comes as naturally as the change of the seasons.  Warmer weather means that it’s time to survey our wardrobes and see what we have to wear.  Deciding what pieces to keep, what works best on our body type and what new trends to consider can be overwhelming.  But we don’t have to go it alone.  Why not step into spring with the help of an expert?  We turned to Chapel Hill wardrobe consultant Wendy Bryant Gow to find out how working with a professional can improve our look.

According to Bryant Gow, the first step is determining a client’s goal, lifestyle and budget.  Her clients represent a wide variety of people including working professionals, women going through figure changes (like new moms), homemakers looking for a new direction and even husbands and boyfriends looking for a unique gift for their significant other.  She custom fits her services (including consultation and shopping time) to work within each client’s budget.

After assessing the client’s needs, Bryant Gow will either shop for or with the client for the desired clothing – everything from lingerie to outerwear.  “My goal is to teach each of my clients how to build a classic wardrobe – and then add a few trendy pieces each season.”

Bryant Gow is even getting tech-savvy.  How many times have you gone shopping and forgotten what already exists in your closet?  Her newest endeavor is creating “virtual closets” for each client with pictures of their wardrobe that can be referenced to build on future outfits.

“My job is so rewarding, because I can give a person that extra sense of self,” she says.  A wardrobe consultant can’t change you body type, but she can work to enhance your best features.

We followed Bryant Gow and two of her clients as they scouted Chapel Hill retailers for a new spring look.  Maryanne Randolph, 50, is a UNC graduate and oncology nurse at UNC hospitals.  She and Bryant Gow have been working together for the past two years.  “I was tired of getting clothes that were almost right.  My goal was to purchase things that were just right,” says Randolph.  “When I enlisted Wendy’s help, the result was a more cost-effective solution.”

Shantel Abramson, 24, is an operations specialist at the University Mall branch of Bank of America in Chapel Hill.  She wanted help defining her own image.  Wendy created a fun, hip fashion-forward look for this young professional.  Take a look at the results and you’ll see how Bryant Gow artfully chose clothing to help each woman accentuate her positives.

(originally published in the Chapel Hill Magazine March/April 2008)