How We Transformed One Woman’s Work Wardrobe in Bryant Park
Filed in: Your Closet
Carly is a 29-year-old marketing director in New York City who recently started a new job. It’s a big promotion, and it comes with a new dress code. Having grown used to her former company’s casual environment (perhaps a little too used to it), she came to MM—and Bryant Park showroom professional clothing stylist Nyjerah— for help elevating her work wardrobe.
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Carly: I do not enjoy shopping, and I get discouraged easily. I tend to go to stores where it’s easier to just grab something off the rack and go, and I buy more generic clothes, because I find the process to be so tedious. I had never worked with a stylist before, but I loved the idea of it. If I could have a stylist all the time, so that I never had to make any shopping decisions alone, that would be my dream scenario.
Nyjerah: I’ve always liked expressing myself visually, and styling other people is a welcome challenge, because no appointment or photo shoot is the same. It’s really rewarding for me to work with our customers because styling appointments add so much convenience to their lives. Not only do we take the work out of dressing for work, but we also introduce them to different looks and styling techniques that they might never have thought to try.
Carly: I had been at my previous job for a very long time, so I felt extremely comfortable—to the point where I could walk into the office wearing ripped jeans or sneakers, and no one would bat an eye. I would occasionally have to dress up for client presentations or events. Before that, I worked in advertising sales, where I would wear a pair of dress pants and a button-down shirt or sweater every day. I was never very intentional about dressing for work.
Going into this new role, it’s a more formal environment but I’m still on a creative team. I really wanted to convey that I am someone who should be taken seriously, but who also doesn’t look like a page out of a boring catalog: “Here are my dress pants and button-up shirt.”
I’ve seen other people in beautiful work clothes, so I knew it was possible. I’ve just never been able to do it myself. Going into the appointment, my biggest concern was, will I still feel pretty and not drab and boxy in my work clothes?
Nyjerah: The most important thing for me to do prior to an appointment is research. Before a customer comes in, I want to know everything from their favorite silhouettes to their go-to color palettes. If they’ve bought something from us before, I will look into their shopping history to get an idea of what they like. And if they’re new to MM, I always pull a variety of looks and talk with them briefly at the beginning of the appointment to get even more familiar with their style.
I really like just sitting down with them and asking questions. My job as a stylist is to to make them feel comfortable and, most importantly, to listen. I want my customers to feel like they’re shopping with one of their girlfriends and know that they’re in great hands.
Carly: Nyjerah was wonderful. First of all, when I walked in and saw what she was wearing I immediately had a good feeling, because she looked really stylish and chic and cool, and I trusted her right off the bat. And I felt like she really got me. We talked about what I tend to gravitate towards in terms of colors and silhouettes, as well as styles that I felt more apprehensive about. I think she did a really good job of hearing what I was looking for and what I like, and applying that knowledge when she pulled looks for me.
Nyjerah: Carly was amazing! She was open and honest about her preferences. The women I work with all have different perspectives on style, and I never go into an appointment thinking it will the same as the others. I love that about what I do.
Carly: I loved the looks she put together. A lot of them were different from anything I would have chosen for myself, which I really appreciated. I wouldn’t ever think to try culottes, or just wear a flowing top loose over a pencil skirt without tucking it in. It was so nice to have someone who really knew what she was doing there to help me, so I could see that pieces I might not consider for myself actually looked great when I tried them on.
I told Nyjerah at the start of the appointment that I wanted to come away with new outfits that were work appropriate but still had personality, and I definitely think that she pulled that off. She created a lot of really fun, different and fashion-forward looks, in addition to steering me toward pieces that would be perfect for a big meeting or client presentation. I felt like it was a really good mix.
Nyjerah: Each customer looks at style in their own way, and it’s my job to switch my lens and be that eye for them. Listening and paying attention to the customer’s body language—that’s my secret to a successful appointment.
Carly: I will definitely be going back. I love Nyjerah—I want her to be my friend!
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Photographs by Andrew Segreti.