Let’s face it, from denim to fringe, camo to floral, pastels to pops of color, rain boots to riding boots, wide leg to skinny jeans, blazers to bomber jackets… the options abound when it comes to fashion these days and it’s no secret it can get quite overwhelming for many Y’s.
So The Y Life, found the perfect solution, to help Put You Together!
With an incredulous knack for translating personality into style, Julie Wade Founder of ‘Put Me Together‘,
works with high profile professionals from sea to shining sea, transforming individuality into unique wardrobes, that not only exude your self-confidence, but prove to exclaim to the world, that YOU are Put Together in every which way!
Residing just outside Seattle, Washington Wade listening skills helped her to hear her calling after she found herself helping friends and colleagues organize their wardrobes into healthy fashion forward working closets… we knew she was just the person to help put Millennials together, and Spring them forward into the prime of 2016 fashion!
Julie, tell us about ‘Put Me Together’ and what makes your styling unique?
“I am in Seattle, I was born and raised and grew up here in the Pacific Northwest and ‘Put Me Together’ was an actual brainchild, that I didn’t even know was formulating in my head… Then weird and serendipitous things happened along the way in my life, that brought me to the point of helping people and then I was approached by a friend of mine… and she said can you come and help me style people for on stage and on camera…
But my philosophies were always incubating and then they came to life a little bit more, because… Mine is, I would say, psychologically and holistically a change. A change in you, and a finding of you, on the inside and then displaying that to the world on the outside. So that, you can repeat it yourself.
Here is how I approach it… I think the name then, Put Me Together, kind of goes with this- the three top principles I employ in this order as well. First of all, you should get dressed and purchase items based on your personality, your body type and your lifestyle. If all of these three principles are followed, in that order, what happens inside of you, and what happens when you look at yourself in the mirror and what happens when other people look at you in the mirror- is a transformation.
If these priorities are out of order or non-existent, personal style is out of alignment — and it shows. We respond to our own reflection with so many different emotions, all of which boil down to these; elation, deflation or boredom. This also explains the responses of others, who largely exhibit with hidden or micro-expressions, a sense of admiration, consolation or distraction.”
You are kind of hitting on the correlation between self-confidence and fashion— and I have always found there to be such a relatability between the two, and so somehow these transformations inspire. What role do you think self-confidence plays within the world of fashion?
“The thing I would like to say about self-confidence is, it is not something that you catch and it is not something that you seek, but it is a bi-product of authenticity. So, I will go back to my three principles, If you are not displaying your personality, not only in your wardrobe, but also in your life, because you don’t know yourself.. and if you are not aware of your body type and fully committed to who you are right now, or if you are living outside or dressing outside, and behaving outside of your true lifestyle- self-confidence is never going to find you!
Because you are not being authentic.
So the first and foremost lesson, I believe, in what I try and help people to find in the mirror, as well as in their lives, is their true authentic self. Therefore falling out of that is self- confidence.
Some people will come up to me and go, ‘Oh, I could never wear something like that’, and it is just such a literal expression, and tells the tale, of a person having not yet found their true authentic self. Because you can wear anything you want, or a version of anything you want, but the most important factors are: Personality, Body Type and Lifestyle…”
How did your childhood inspire you to build a company that would help better style other people and inspire other people’s lives?
“I had an extremely unconventional childhood… I believe created in me a fortitude and a grit and a passion that is now translated, not only into how I approach the people, but also what I see. Musically and I was in performing arts all throughout my young age, through college, specifically dance… so fluidity and body movement and posture, I believe process and wasted and unwanted motion, things like that started to create in me, the eye that is the difference between fashion and style.
The seventies!!!! My mom exposed me to the music, the movis, the TV shows and the fashion of that era, which I fully absorbed. I love to incorporate the free-spirited 70’s vibe with a little rock-n-roll into my own wardrobe, and add hints & signatures to the wardrobes of my clients. Plus, I am a hopeless romantic—I’ve always had an affinity for old films and a bit of a hero-worship for screen sirens like Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Bridget Bardot and the strong, iconic messages their clothing still embodies.”
Can I ask you what the difference between Fashion and Style, is?
“Yes. The importance is, to note that fashion and style, are in fact different, but they are concentric circles. Fashion, is an external, ever changing, subjective, items that you can purchase. Where Style, is how you wear the things you buy.
Your eye goes to a certain thing, your lifestyle goes to a certain thing, your body-type goes to a certain thing and when you put those three factors together, which causes you to see style, which causes you then to buy something… we try to put those three things together. Which means… quantity or extremely expensive items, do not equal style. Right?”
I too have always thought that— I am one of those people who will buy something at a vintage store, like I will buy something at Nordstrom and it could cost $5 or $105, it is not about the cost or the product, but it is about how you wear it, that is really interesting to me.
“And that is the difference. So people… respond to style, because people respond to people. Style is the expression of that person and their personality.”
That makes absolute total sense! My next question for you is, what are your top three tips for re-organizing one’s wardrobe this Spring?
“Organizing I believe, is a huge universal NEED and everybody approaches it differently, but I think that my approach would be repeatable across all areas of ones life on a regular basis… remembering our first three principles: Personality, Body Style and Lifestyle… You approach your closet in three ways!
#1: What Works… Look for what works first, don’t look for what doesn’t work. What we are trying to do, is reduce the noise, I like to call your closet noisy if it has to many things and especially things that don’t apply. You have to create a tool set in your closet that works.
People get very stressed if they are going to get rid of stuff too soon… And what you notice is all of the stuff that is left in the closet, that you haven’t worn, or that you haven’t necessarily reached for, or it doesn’t apply, like Scuba stuff in your closet.
We begin to categorize and reduce, first starting with what works. So then I tell people in the meantime, take pictures on your phone, fill the Pinterest board, my favorite thing in the world, and that is how you can virtually shop before you make committed choices with your dollars. Because people buy before they know, you might already have what works in your closet.
#2: What’s Wrong… Things that are stained and in repair, things that don’t fit your lifestyle, event wear should be stored separately, is it in this era, is it vintage or is it just outdated.. there is a difference!
Is it applicable to the season? Seasonal stuff should be stored separately! I mean if you have a large closet, some people don’t, store it somewhere else, so that you don’t see it right in your momentary process, and then I always leave room for memories. So if somebody just wanted to keep something that is sentimental, absolutely, honor that! We call it the archives, but don’t store it in your process.
#3: What Stays… The two first processes the What Works and What’s Wrong, that weeds out what you don’t have and you can shop according to what you need and then you can pull it in and match it with what you already have and build a closet spa, I like to say! So that you can shop from your own closet.”
Y Organizing Tip from ‘PMT’:
Hang items by category: Tops, Bottoms, and Dresses – subdividing by: Length, Color, Shade (from dark to light). Making sure everything faces the same way. Items folded and stored on shelves are also Categorized, Stacked in Color & Shade order, with the Fold Facing Out.
The workforce… Millennials have a bizarre college culture mindset regarding fashion, hoodies and jeans are the epitome of what should be stacked in one’s closet. But actually it really isn’t, in fact it is actually a bit lazy of Y’s. The importance of finding your style goes hand in hand with letting go of the habits of our youth. Do you have any tricks for Y’s who are seeking a bargain, to make the most of a small budget?
“I feel like you are tapping into another universal truth. Since we know that expensive and/or quantity does not equal style, I believe that it isn’t just Millennials or young people, that need to be budget conscious. So on the other hand, these are the people that are coming into the workforce that have new challenges, that nobody else has ever experienced and to set yourself apart from the next person who could get the job, is even more important now, since the jobs are so few and far between and there are more people graduating from college now than ever before.
It’s imperative that what you present visually, matches who you are authentically. Since I believe every human being has enormous worth, as to a potential employer and to you in your life, you have got to display that worth and it doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money.
Our best fashion environment right now is so incredibly helpful. You know, our Zara’s and our H&M’s and our Target’s, Mango, Forever21, Topshop, those are such great places to go to be both economical, but also stylish.
If you’re ready to splurge by spending that first paycheck on a statement handbag, don’t buy retail There are several designer consignment websites like realreal.com and portero.com that have very gently used designer brands like LV, Hermes, Gucci and Prada at more than half the price.”
That is very true, those stores do bring economical stylish looks, that you can mix and match into your wardrobe. Even probably just putting a blazer over skinny jeans, instead of a sweatshirt!
“Yes, and you can upgrade your sweatshirt!… There is this notion out there, that when you get “dressed up” it’s uncomfortable. You don’t have to be uncomfortable to look dressed… You can stay comfortable and you don’t have to spend a lot of money, you can express your personality and dress appropriate to your body type and still stay comfortable.”
That uncomfortable stigma even rolls into shoes, right?
“Flats are so cool, I love flats today and even the slide on or full-foot loafers so chic! You don’t have to look like you are a crunchy granola (giggles ensue)!”
When you think back to our grandparents and women in the 50s used to dress with such polished Style and maybe we are not going to wear hats and gloves, but there is something to putting your best foot forward.
“I give the benefit of the doubt, I think everybody wants to show that they care and they actually do care, it’s the belief, the expertise and the knowhow…
I don’t think that all of the time, we are getting dressed for other people, but when you are looking in the mirror, that is probably the only time you are looking at yourself, everyone else has to look at ya. So it is okay to say that you are getting dressed for someone else, because you are getting dressed for the world, but what you are really doing, is that you are displaying your full life, right now in that instant! Your nonverbal communication, the way you hold yourself, the way you walk, the spring in your step because you have something on that you like, that shows who you are communicates to your potential employer, as well as to the world, that you like yourself, that you’re authentic! You are much more employable in that moment.”
One of Julie’s ‘Put Me Together’ clients, Jennifer K. an Author, Investigative Reporter and News Anchor recently shared with The Y Life, Y ‘Put Me Together’ is so helpful. Recently co-hosting a Hillary Clinton fundraiser, Julie helped Jennifer compose a fashion board of her outfits, they ordered several, and had a try on styling session via Skype, helping them to settle on the perfect outfit!
“Julie’s approach to style and fashion combines the psychology of knowing why certain items make us feel good, finding the most fashionable choice in that category, and coaching clients on how to wear them in a practical, versatile and fresh way.
“Attention to detail and staying ahead of the mass market without going too far are two of the reasons she styles me for hundreds of events.”
What colors and style do you see as a MUST have for Summer?
“It is probably going to be different across the nation… People have to get a Bomber Jacket and it has to be some unconventional color! There are some out there, that are very thin satin or organza, something that is interesting like embroidered with pink or maybe kind of a rust color, just something other than black! Right now there are so many darling ones, you can put it with a skirt, you can put it with a dress, you can put it with obviously boyfriend jeans, whatever you want to do- it is such a cool way to add a punch of masculine to the femininity.
The Pastels that are coming out, are much more doable than before. We are not just looking like Easter Eggs out there. You may not be able to do Pastels, because of your face it may wash you out, so try it in your pants, try it in your shoe, try it in your handbag or maybe a scarf.”
- Signature Bomber Jacket: In an interesting color like pink or rust
- Off The Shoulder Tops: Fitted or flouncy, crispy white or chambray
- Denim: Cropped flare white or denim jean is HUGE this season
- Long Silk Scarf: Skinny, multi colored or floral
- Jewelry: Long Tassel Necklace
- Gladiator Sandal: Laced up, in nude or metallic
It is an interesting way to get used to a color palate on yourself that you wouldn’t have normally worn- to add a little pop of something, something into your world. Even just adding a pastel colored bag you are changing the look of an outfit, instantly transforming your style into a more Springish Flair.
Do you have any advice for Millennials who dream of pursuing a career in fashion?
“First study everything, then study fashion. You might like to get dressed and hang with your gals and play in the closet and do dress up and that is awesome, but if you are interested in Fashion for the business aspect, you have to get a job in retail and you have to dig around in the dirt for a while, then if your passion still exists and it’s for the art not just for the dream of being Rachel Zoe, cause don’t we all, then go into studying your fashion and look for it every single place you can. Because Fashion is Style as you and I just pointed out, it’s art and art is everywhere.”
By learning about how the world and international historical accounts of our truth, the cultures from around the world’s geography, you learn about how other people around the world respect fashion and that will give you a different sense on who you want to be and who you are, when it comes to your sense of style.