Ask an expert - Business profile - Style Strategy

Deciding what to wear can be a daily struggle for a lot of women, and even men. Professional stylist Megan Brotschul of Hinsdale said the problem often isn't a lack of clothing, but too much of it.

Doing business as Style Strategy, Brotschul helps customers find the outfits that are hidden amongst the clutter of their closet by helping them to see what they already have and offering new ways to put those items together.

"It's all in the way you style things," she said.

Brotschul said she starts a wardrobe overhaul with a few basic questions - What does daily life look like? What are your fashion goals and challenges?

What do you like to wear? - followed by an assessment of the customer's wardrobe. After sorting through what to keep and what to discard, Brotschul leaves the customer with a minimum of five intentional outfits derived from their once-cluttered closet. She might also suggest the purchase of a few other items to complete their collection or to bring in a current trend.

"Trendier pieces are things that you don't want to spend a ton of money on," Brotschul said.

She often encourages clients to "dip their toe" into a new trend rather than to dive right in.

"Right now red is a huge trend," Brotschul said, but rather than start a full collection of scarlet clothing, she suggests adding earrings, a pair of shoes or lipstick in the shade to an existing wardrobe.

Keeping on top of style trends is key to Brotschul's business, and something she said she has long loved to do. To do so, she follows key influencers and works with local vendors who are going to market and buying items for their stores.

"They see things that are coming down the pipeline," she said of buyers at stores such as redE mas, Sweet William and Lepa in Hinsdale.

While trends are fun and fashionable, investment pieces are key to any wardrobe, Brotschul said. These are the items that remain relevant despite changes in fashion and that can be worn over and over again. A basic blazer, a pair of black pumps or a white button-down shirt might fall into this category. Brotschul said it makes sense to put a little more money into these items.

Keeping up with fashion is important, but so is keeping up with one's own closet. Brotschul said a quarterly closet edit can accomplish both. While she offers the service, it also can be done by sorting items into three piles - keep, discard or "maybe." Brotschul suggests placing "maybe" items in another closet. This allows the owner to clearly see just how often she goes for these items and how important they are to her "keep" collection.

Whether performing a full wardrobe overhaul or choosing an outfit for a special occasion, Brotschul said what she often provides is confidence that a customer is making the right fashion decisions. All she really needs, Brotschul said, is a little validation.

- story by Sandy Illian Bosch

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean