Style Therapy

We live in an age driven by the excesses of celebrity and brands, as well as the now ubiquitous street style blogs hungry for daily content. However, I’m happy to report that there are those who are still championing in favor of stylish restraint.

Enter Simone Serwer, the Style Therapist who is determined to teach us all that you don’t have to have an overstuffed closet (or wallet) in order to be well-dressed.

Simone allowed me to pick her brain on her pragmatic approach to helping her clients see the error of their fashion ways and showing them the sartorial road to redemption.

Here She Comes to Save the Day!

What is your mission with Style Therapy?

I want people to understand that they can communicate a great deal through dress. Non-verbal communication is how we evaluate each other before words are spoken, so it’s important that we’re at least aware of what we could potentially be saying. Even someone in a beer stained sweatshirt may say “I don’t care what I look like, I don’t care how I dress”. But they do. Or else they’re reacting against something. So on some level, they care.

What is the difference between being the Style Therapist and being a stylist?

A stylist is dressing someone for a specific occasion like the red carpet. With Style Therapy it’s long-term, and I empower the client to learn how to dress for themselves, how to dress efficiently and how to plan their wardrobe. It’s the difference between dressing for a couple of hours for a fantasy and dressing for your day-to-day life. So it’s more realistic.

Tell me what message your outfit communicates and how that aligns with your philosophy on dressing.

As a Style Therapist, I try to convey that less is more. I always try to espouse to my clients that you don’t need all of this stuff in your closet, you’re not wearing it. I try to keep it as simple as possible, and if anything I’ll make a statement with my hair, makeup or an accessory.

Tough Love

What is the one thing that you tell all of your clients?

Shop with your body and lifestyle in mind. And approach trends with caution. Everything isn’t for everybody.

What are the core pieces everyone should have in their closet?

The foundation wardrobe is important. Before you move on to anything else, you have to have core pieces.You really have to factor in your needs, your lifestyle, where you live, your situation. All of these things play into how much time you have to get ready. A stay-at-home mom of 4 has different needs than a 22 year old at her first job in New York City. Overall, though, there are some universal pieces that every woman should have:

  1. Good pair of jeans
  2. Blazer, preferably black
  3. Cotton tee that you can dress up or dress down
  4. Black skirt, cut depending on your figure
  5. A good statement piece

Try to figure out what your signature look is. It makes dressing easy, and it makes shopping a hell of a lot easier. You save a lot of money, even if you’re buying better pieces. You should buy the best that you can afford for your body now. I’ve had so many clients say, “I just want to lose 20 more pounds.” However, when you dress for your body, you always end up losing weight.

So it’s probably safe to say you don’t believe in buying brands for the sake of the name.

We can’t buy and keep for the sake of it being a designer brand. With stores like Century 21, Loehmann’s and Marshall’s, you see the designer and you see the price. Then you say “I have to get this, I can’t walk out without this.” And then you get home and say “What the hell was I thinking?” It’s marked down multiple times for a reason. Because nobody wanted it. I was guilty of this, too, back in the day. I’d see something and pick it up because “Oh my gosh, it’s this Moschino trench coat for $30.” This actually happened. It was powder blue nylon, just think of how disgusting that was. I took it right back.

Everything Old is New Again

Where do you find inspiration for your personal style?

History. With dress from another era, there seemed to be more of an emphasis on balance, scale and quality over quantity.

What trend is being repeated now that you are happy to see?

This isn’t specific to clothing, but when I look at models from the 50s they are just completely put together. I feel like women are moving back to a more intentional, complete look with the hair, the makeup, the nails. Women are more cognizant, and that’s a good thing.