Last week, I posted an article titled “Demystifying the Closet Audit.” That article outlined the importance of doing a closet audit and the steps involved in the process. Today’s post reviews the five different types of closet audits and how to tell which one is right for you.
While the basic steps involved in a closet audit are generally the same, there are several different types of closet audits. The variation between the types is based upon the time commitment, the client’s involvement in the process, and the proportion of a client’s wardrobe that gets reviewed. All of the closet audits include a style consultation, shopping list, and at least five to ten new outfits that are created and photographed for later review.
Here is an overview of the five types of closet audits:
Full Closet Audit
This type of closet audit is exactly what you might expect. It includes a full review of every piece in a client’s wardrobe, including shoes and accessories. Depending upon how many items are in the client’s closet, this process may take as long as four to five hours (and in one case, it took over six hours!).
The Full Closet Audit is best for someone who is really committed to making a change and who has a larger budget for styling services (and potential follow-on shopping). With the larger amount of time allocated to the process, we can make a greater impact on the client’s wardrobe and style. We are not only able to address everything in the client’s closet, we also have more time to re-mix wardrobe pieces and photograph a greater number of outfits for the client to wear later.
Mini Closet Audit
A Mini Closet Audit is great for the client who has a smaller wardrobe or who wants to primarily concentrate on one portion of her closet. Perhaps she just wants to review her business wardrobe or the clothing she wears for social occasions or dating, or maybe she only wants to look at her wardrobe for the current season.
The Mini Closet Audit is generally two hours long. The financial commitment is small, but a lot of benefit can be provided in this type of styling session. For more information, please see the article about my work with Jennifer, who streamlined her wardrobe and got many new outfit ideas in one short two-hour session last summer.
Express Closet Audit
I recently created this closet audit option to meet the needs of clients who have a limited budget for styling services but still want to see a big difference in their closet and personal style. Like all other types of closet audits, the Express Closet Audit begins with a style consultation so that my client and I both get a strong sense of her style goals and the image she wants to create.
But what happens next is very different! The client leaves to work on other tasks in another area of her house and I go through the client’s closet on my own. This enables me to work quickly to review the client’s wardrobe and place each piece into one of three piles: items to keep, items to donate, and “maybe” items. After I’ve separated everything (which can take as little as 30 minutes), the client returns and we review the “maybe” pile together. She also has a chance to look at the other piles and ask questions about my decision process.
As always, the final decision on whether to keep or discard a garment is the client’s. However, the Express Closet Audit speeds up the process by avoiding the long discussions about a single item which sometimes occur when I review a closet with a client. Like the Mini Closet Audit, the Express Closet Audit is generally two hours long.
Virtual Closet Audit
For those clients who live outside the San Diego area, or even for locals on a tighter budget or who are reluctant to bring a stylist into their home, the Virtual Closet Audit is an excellent option. In this type of closet audit, items in the client’s closet are either reviewed in “real time” via Skype or through photos that are emailed to me or uploaded to a document sharing site (e.g. Dropbox or Flickr).
Depending upon the client’s needs and desires, we can review their complete wardrobe, or just a portion of it, on a virtual basis. If a client has uploaded photos of all or most of her wardrobe to the Internet, I can review the items prior to our phone/Skype consult and prepare recommendations for what to keep, donate, or alter (this would basically be a virtual version of an Express Closet Audit).
You might think that a closet audit would be difficult to do virtually, but you’d be surprised. I’ve actually worked very effectively with clients using a virtual format. It may take a bit more pre-work on the client’s part (to photograph wardrobe pieces to email or upload for my review), but a bonus is that it can be much more cost-effective.
Do-It-Yourself Closet Audit
Of course, there is always the option of doing your own closet audit or at least starting the process on your own (I would be happy to come in later and help if needed). If you don’t have the budget to work with a stylist right now but want to review and streamline your wardrobe, please see my article on doing your own closet audit. It provides lots of useful tips and questions to ask during the process so you can make the right decisions about your wardrobe pieces.
The Right Closet Audit for You
There you have it, the five types of closet audits. There is a closet audit for everyone! If you would like to discuss which option is best for your individual needs, or if you are ready to schedule your closet audit, please contact me. I would be happy to help you to “tame your closet” and make the most out of your wardrobe.