Elizabeth Elias Transforms Clients’ Closets to Encourage Confidence
The wardrobe consultant shares her approachable process for organizing and utilizing the clothes you already have
By Darcie Duttweiler
Photos by Brittany Dawn Short
Elizabeth Elias discovered her love of style and fashion from her mother as a young girl. The wardrobe consultant’s mom would not only put her in beautiful clothes, but she also paid attention to the tiniest of details in her own outfits, teaching the shy Elizabeth that clothes could transform you.
“It’s a form of expression for me. It’s a creative outlet,” Elias explains. “I want to help people feel confident through their clothes because it did that for me. There’s something about when I put on a great curated outfit, I feel armed for the world. I think that’s important to give to other people.”
As the owner of Elizabeth Elias Consulting for the last 10 years, Elias was previously an event planner until she realized she loved helping her friends clean out their closets, organize them and style their current wardrobes. Elias, however, is not a personal shopper or stylist. As a “wardrobe consultant,” she will transform her client’s entire wardrobe and closet to help them feel the best versions of themselves. Simply put, she aims to help people “build” a better wardrobe — not buy one.
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Although she offers many different services aimed to cater to all different types of clients, typically all new clients will follow a similar path. First, Elias sits down one-on-one with them to determine what their current needs are before tackling their closet — and this all happens before any shopping or suggestions are made.
“Everyone says they have nothing to wear, but people don’t realize the value of having things orderly,” Elias says.
She advises that anyone looking to start crafting the perfect wardrobe begin with their closet. Just putting everything on the same hangers and color coordinating items will make a huge difference. She also suggests building out for the space you have currently — meaning if you have a small closet, don’t stuff it to the gills so you can never find anything easily (guilty as charged!).
Once she goes through a client’s closet and determines what pieces need to find another home (such as things with holes in them, wrong sizes, or simply out-of-date seasonally), she will help her client organize what they currently have and help to build out what Elias calls a “capsule collection” of basics and essentials every woman should have in her repertoire, like undergarments, black pants, jeans, and other simple items that can create the perfect foundation for more creative outfits.
From there, she will come up with a list of items her client should have in their arsenal based on their lifestyle. Do they need cocktail dresses or suits? Do they go to formal events? Elias’ philosophy is that a person should have a “well-rounded, versatile wardrobe so that you’re ready to go for any type of occasion” instead of scrambling to shop for something at the last minute and getting something you maybe don’t love or doesn’t fit you well.
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Then, Elias goes shopping all over Austin — her favorite stores are local boutiques Julian Gold, Estilo and Valentines, but she also frequents Neiman Marcus, vintage shops and mall staples J. Crew and Madewell — and she brings her finds to her client to try everything on in the comfort of their own home. Elias will work within all different budgets and likes to point out it’s not all designer clothes and high-end shops.
“I will shop anywhere!” she says. “I love Target.”
And, once she helps her clients with their new clothes, she doesn’t leave them stranded. Elias creates online lookbooks for outfit ideas (think like Cher in “Clueless”), makes sure they’re armed with the right accessories to style their new wares, and she will even help them pack for special trips or help them with events or photo shoots.
Elias admits that women especially put themselves last and that it can be really overwhelming to take care of themselves and invest the time and energy into shopping for clothes that work for them that they really love. But it’s her job to help them through that, even if it can sometimes be a little hard to ask for help.
“I’m in this business because I really want to help people feel really confident and great about themselves every single day,” Elias says.