By Stephanie Ila Silver-Silberstein
New Year’s Eve happens twice. In NYC, it first occurs on December 31st, and the second time it happens is right about now. It’s time for me to emerge from hibernation, see my resolutions finally take effect, and look towards the approaching change in season as the perfect time to stage a comeback. I’m not alone. We here at Beauty News NYC have made March our month to re-launch our publication a fabulous new design! And you, too, can reveal that ‘new you’ chomping at the bit since the first snowfall. But how? What is a sure-fire way to reveal this fantastic new version of you in time to throw a springtime frisbee in Central Park? Try listening to the advice of Visual Therapists, Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo.
Visual Therapy, founded in 1995, provides luxury style and wardrobe services for individual clients, corporations and public figures. They are your personal creative directors, public relations reps, and image consultants. It would be wrong to call what they do a simple makeover. VT’s luxury lifestyle consultants work with women, men and corporations to “create a confident self and public image by creating a new awareness of Image and Identity to provide Clarity (a consistent image and identity).”
In the case of a corporation, a consultation with Joe and Jesse will determine the target audience for events, merchandise and product designs in correlation with brand identity. With individuals, these style gurus will assess a client’s lifestyle and unique qualities. This consultation is followed by the most tangible way in which Jesse and Joe help stage that personal comeback. They clean out the closet!
It sounds simple enough, but as Oprah Winfrey and many other VT clients can attest, cleaning your closet is like sandblasting through your personal armor. By analyzing and understanding the visual, superficial image you project to the outside world, you essentially begin to look below the surface and understand your essence. As you sort through the impulse buys, the unrealistic clothing sizes, and the outdated trends you swear will come back in style but never do, you will feel cleansed and rejuvenated – about 10 pounds lighter! Sorting through your closet helps you strip away the layers blocking the “vessel that is you,” as Jesse likes to put it.
What’s the best way to do this? Well, fortunately, Jesse and Joe’s techniques and philosophies are on their informative website www.visual-therapy.com and in their soon-to-be-published book. But in the meantime, you can ask yourself the following questions about each item in your closet.
1) Do I love it?
2) Is it flattering?
3) Is this the image I want to project?
If the answer isn’t a resounding yes to all of them, then throw it out! – (or put it into an ‘archive’ of items with sentimental value). The point is to go through the “junk drawer that is your life,” as Joe says – to finally get rid of all that’s accumulated over the years preventing you from moving forward in a healthy, intelligent, efficient way.
This process will allow you to shop through your closet like it’s your own personal boutique of clothes that fit you physically and fit your style. You will be able to go out and shop more effectively and fill in the gaps of your wardrobe without making costly mistakes. By taking inventory of your closet, you will have subsequently taken inventory of your life, and this will trickle down into all aspects of your life, be it in dating, dieting, mothering, working or just ‘being’. This is more than just going to Lowe’s or California Closet. It’s about changing your approach to life and the way you move through it. You can walk out of your closet and into a room and have everyone look you straight in the eye and not up and down – for you’ll know who you are and exude that confidence.
Once you learn what your personal image is and understand what makes your style unique, not to mention what clothes make you truly happy and feel alive, you can begin to project the real you to the rest of the world. Are you whimsical, sophisticated, intelligent, sexy, powerful, or approachable, or are you some combination of these? Joe and Jesse can help you figure that out. Are you making a transition from whimsical to chic, from trendy to timeless or from young to mature? They can help you make the right choices and purchases to coincide with these changes. They would continue your therapy session by taking you on a sensible shopping spree and setting you up with the perfect hair and make-up specialists. More importantly, they’ll help you when you ‘fall off the wagon’ and start walking the dog in your sweatpants from 1985. After all, that can’t possibly be the image you want to show off, right?
Obviously, you have to be ready and willing to go through such a transformation. Oprah herself wasn’t able to part with her clothes and accessories until she decided to auction things off in an effort to raise money for her Angel Network charity. But once she did, she reaped the benefits of VT’s version of feng shui for the closet. Another tip is to create an ‘Inspiration Board’.
This is a personal style file that you can refer to whenever you lose sight of your personal goals.
You can include pictures of places, people, clothes and accessories – anything that speaks to you and helps you reconnect with the ideal image of what you want your life to look like.
Through visualization, you can live your life the way you want and have people look at you the way you want. Re-invention can seem challenging in a city where fashionistas on every street corner are giving you infinite options on how to look fabulous. And in a city where yoga can be like a competitive sport, it’s sometimes hard to determine when you’re following a trend and when you’re following your heart. But with a little bit of focus and a healthy approach like the one set by Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo, your personal comeback is just a visualization away!