I have known my client, Ms. Intentional, for over 30 years. While we have known each other a long time, we haven’t consistently been in each other’s lives the whole time. So it was interesting when she reached out with interest in hiring me after it was so long since we had been in touch. She and I have a familiarity I don’t often experience with my clients while at the same I needed to get to know her all over again.
As expected, Ms. Intentional’s life had changed tremendously since the last time we were in each other’s company and as she caught me up, I was beyond impressed by all the twists and turns that got her to the place where she felt it was time she needed to hire me. Having just taken a c-level job with massive amounts of travel in a new industry where she would be using her expertise from her former one, she knew that after years of following me and my blog posts, enlisting my help was exactly what would support this career move. In addition, much like the alias I have given her, which I took from her chosen word for 2022 — inspired by my practice — intentional is exactly how I would describe her.
Ms. Intentional and I share the same blunt, to-the-point, direct style most people native to New Jersey are known for. We don’t mince words, we say what we mean, mean what we say, and don’t waste time. As a single mom raising a tween daughter, Ms. Intentional has a big career and is on the road for work very often. There is no time to be wishy-washy or indecisive. Everything in Ms. Intentional’s life has to be exactly that; intentional. When she called me to get started a few weeks ago, she was ready to start and had a clear list of objectives, researched data from her work travels, along with a clear idea of what she wanted moving forward. This is not to say that Ms. Intentional steamrolled me, quite the opposite actually. What was very clear to Ms. Intentional were her shortcomings and she had a very strong trust in my expertise. While she knew what she needed and had an impressive taste level, she didn’t exactly know how to make it happen in an efficient, stressless, and intentional manner. She was limited by the knowledge of brands, didn’t have access to many stores, and certainly didn’t have time.
Ms. Intentional is the reason I have always gravitated towards working with women in executive leadership. She is a perfect example of these types of women and why I enjoy working with them. It’s always very focused goal-oriented work and not as much about the fashion or trends as it is about assisting women in their success. My job is to help them free up bandwidth so they can focus on the things that actually matter while also helping them craft an image so they can powerfully step into their roles with a sense of competence and confidence. And as a woman raising a girl on the precipice of becoming a young woman, it’s also important to Ms. Intentional that she be this type of example with her daughter.
Ms. Intentional’s Wardrobe Goals
When we met for the first time and discussed our goals moving forward, Ms. Intentional took me through the few months prior and just how much she traveled. When she is not traveling she works from home, something I commonly see with clients these days. They are either home working in casual clothes or on the road dressed for business. She had just downsized homes and hadn’t even managed to unpack all her wardrobe boxes in her new space. As a result, she found herself wearing a small capsule of clothing that was primarily black, camel, cognac, navy, and some shades of blue. She marveled at the efficiency of this and was inspired by the camel and black capsule I had built for my client, Mrs, Radiant. She discovered the ease and versatility of beige shoes because they went with everything, which is something I’ve been professing for years. I also found out that Ms. Intentional’s work travels took her to different climates regularly and that she could easily be in a warm and cold climate in one month. She asked me for two small business travel capsules to be built at once, one for warm weather and one for cold weather. Plus, she wanted it to contain both navy and black. She loved the way shades of blues looked with camel and cognac and even showed me a pair of eyewear she loves that blended all these shades.
Immediately, I had concerns. Navy and black in one capsule can be hard, especially for a small one. Typically, in a capsule, you want your neutrals to work together so they can be mixed and so the capsule can be maximized. You can’t really do this with navy and black. So it was decided that we’d split the navy and the black and put navy in the spring capsule and black in the winter one. I was also concerned about shopping for two seasons at once but, thankfully, the timing that Ms. Intentional reached out was perfect. With fall/winter almost out the door and spring slowly trickling in, I was able to pull from both seasons while also grabbing some seasonless pieces. I also knew it was time to elevate Ms. Intentional’s wardrobe price point and would be shopping luxury resale for some things. While Ms. Intentional wasn’t shy about spending for better pieces, nobody is going to turn down a luxury item at a discounted price.
Ms. Intentional’s Business Travel Capsules
Shop Ms. Intentional’s Capsule
1 The Etsuko Dress 2. The Merritt Jardigan 3. Mabel Necklace 4. Bernadette Necklace 5. Washable Stretch Silk Shell Navy 6. Upcollar Dicky Jacket- Blue 7. Upcollar Dicky Jacket- White 8. Mejia Pants 9. Baby Rebound Leather Belt 10. Clever Crepe High-Waisted Pants 11. Clever Crepe Belville Top 12. Bashina Shirt 13. Debbie Double Fronted Top 14. Drayton Knitted Peplum Jacket 15. Lavington Sculpted Knitted Top 16. Vinci Knitted Top 17. Franca Pants 18. Leather Pencil Skirt 19. Washable Stretch Silk Blouse 20. Mongolian Cashmere Tee 21. Tie-Neck Silk Blouse 22. Belton Knitted Trousers 23. Clever Crepe Belville Top 24. Julia Printed Top 25. Mongolian Cashmere Turtleneck 26. Washable Silk Tank- Black 27. Mongolian Cashmere Crewneck Sweater 28. Raina Booties 29. Washable Stretch Silk Tank- Ivory 30. Baby Rebound Leather Belt- Camel 31. Primula Handbag 32. Lugano Jumpsuit 33. Clever Crepe Pencil Skirt 34. Clever Crepe Elasticized Trousers 35. Mongolian Cashmere Tee 36. Rashida Top 37. Abilyn Ankle Strap Pump 38. Kate 55 Patent Leather Slingback Pumps
These are the cold weather/warm weather business travel capsules I built for Ms. Intentional. On the left is the cold weather side and on the right is the warm weather side. Towards the middle is the pieces that can float between the two. However, that does not mean pieces from either the warm or cold weather sides can’t move back and forth. You will see this in the looks I created below.
A few more points to note:
- The shades of blue bridge the gap. While black and navy are hard to combine, it is the softer shades of blue that help connect the two sides of the capsule. At first, I had a hard time envsioning how this color would just plop into these very neutral-driven capsules but as I began building it, I realized these shades would be just the thing that would create continuity.
- Ms. Intentional is not meant to purchase all of it. As with all capsules I build for clients, it is never my intention to suggest a client has to purchase everything. I offer the amount of suggestions I do so that a client can pick within the opitons and then follow the capsule to help map out which additional purchases make the most sense. Given Ms. Intentional’s business trips vary by length, I also wanted to show her how she could shrink or expand her capsule by adding or taking away a few pieces.
- I am not linking to resale purchases. While Ms. Intentional understood that purchases from resale sites require urgency and she picked up the things she liked quickly, it’s also is unfair to provide links to the items I picked for her in case there are still some pieces she may decide to buy. There are usually only one of a piece avaialable for purchase in a size and she should be able to get a first stab at it.
- Multiple beige shoes. Given how much Ms. Intentional relies on beige shoes, it’s smart to have more than one pair. Last week, I wrote a post about when it is smart to split your wears. This is a perfect example of that.
Outfits Created Using Ms. Intentional’s Business Travel Capsules
I capsuled as many looks as I could without draining too many of the hours Ms. Intentional has with me so I could give her enough of a representation to explain why I selected each piece I did. By far, this is the most helpful part of the process because seeing pieces used in an outfit gives the client the ability to visualize. This is what was presented to Ms. Intentional.
Building a Wardrobe with Purpose
Not only are we building Ms. Intentional’s Business Travel Capsules Intentionally in color but intentionally in need. Ms. Intentional carefully took the time to examine her work needs and to realistically look at what worked for her and yielded the most efficient results. It has been a pleasure to take her through this process and an absolute pleasure working with her. I look forward to our continued work together.
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Juicy? I’ll say so! It’s not an outrageous number of pieces but the number of looks you created is huge. How does your client keep track of the options? Is it loaded on her computer ala Cher in “Clueless”? Or a photo montage on paper? Impossible to remember all those choices.
Hi Patricia. So, what you see presented here is exactly what a client gets. Then, on a Pinterest board, they get links to all the shopping selections. They make selections and sometimes we will discuss which purchases they should move forward with. With virtual clients, I was realizing that without me with them and without my direction in helping them visualize why I chose a piece for them, it was hard for them to see beyond a singular item. Capsuling my selections enabled them to see the bigger picture. The capsule also is designed to help them track which pieces they should buy based on which ones they initially liked. They can look at a jacket, for example, and track it throughout the capsule and see how it was used and which pieces make the most sense to also buy. This helps them avoid orphans and randomness in the selections. What I do explain is that as good as I am at my job, it’s impossible everything I initially select will work out perfectly. Some things won’t fit right, some things will be out of stock by the time they get to them, and some things they just won’t like. So the next step will be out of everything initially presented, looking at where we land with their purchases and then discussing strategically where the holes are and then figuring out what needs to be filled in. I just got off a call with a client where we did just that. It can be a bit two steps forward, one step back, and it’s a process, but it’s all very, for lack of a better, word intentional and focused. It’s all designed to make a client’s life easier so nothing is expected to be committed to memory.
I knew you’d set up a system for your clients. Whew! That’s a lot of work. Which is why she consulted with you!
It is and after doing a follow-up appointment with a client this week, she agreed to let me share some photos from our work that will help you see what often happens next. Stay tuned. It’s definitely a process.
this is one of my most favorite posts EVER. The items all coordinate beautifully. I don’t know why I wouldn’t want to mimic this for myself, even though I’m not frequently on an airplane for travel. Thank you!
Thanks so much, Deborah! Well, there is certainly a way to modify it in a way to make it more casual. The colors are all very user-friendly and it’s a very approachable capsule. I will definitely pass the word to Ms. Intentional how much you liked it. It was one of my favorites too.
Absolutely incredible! So many amazing pieces and endless combinations!
Thanks so much! I know, it got overwhelming after a while because there were so many. Clear and focused creates more possibilities than having too many pieces. It’s amazing how it works, isn’t it?