Describe your job in a few lines?
I am a Personal Stylist for business women. My clients come from all over the world -from the UK to Europe, the Middle East and even from Australia.
I put together seasonal ‘capsule wardrobes’ for my clients based on their personality and lifestyle. A capsule wardrobe is a collection of garments that can be easily combined to create a number of outfits.
The outfits are presented in a personalised lookbook, showing the client exactly how to wear the pieces to create a variety of outfits.
Many clients use the online service purchasing the pieces directly from their lookbook.
Tell me more about your working day?
Every day is different which is what makes my job so interesting.
I typically work on 3-5 capsule wardrobes at any one time, ensuring the pieces I choose match each client’s lifestyle and visually reflect their personality and business position.
Quite a few clients have business meetings in London and if they’re flying in, many make time to catch up and discuss their wardrobe requirements. Part of my job is to understand what they do and ensure they have the right clothes for the right occasion at a moment’s notice.
One day I’ll be selecting outfits for a client’s business trip to the Far East, and the next day I’ll be recommending the perfect outfit in which to make a keynote speech at an economic forum in Switzerland.
I may be working with a designer to create a bespoke capsule wardrobe for another client or perusing new clothes just launched onto the market.
I always make time to chat to retailers and manufacturers about their collections. It’s important to understand their vision too. We’re all aware that business women want to look sharp but feel comfortable, especially if they’re wearing a dress from dawn to dusk.
Caroline is wearing the Langham Dress in summer print, £198 (right)
You went from the corporate world to fashion which must have been quite a change, what drove the decision?
Working at Saatchi & Saatchi gave me the opportunity to poke my nose into other industries! When I was asked by my then client to jump over the fence to his side - effectively becoming the client - I didn’t have to think long. Ultimately the world of department and fashion stores is like the theatre. Every day ‘the doors open’ and it was up to us to create the drama, the excitement and to perform well - with style. It was intoxicating.
What are your career highs and lows?
My career highs include being headhunted to join Saatchi & Saatchi when I was 21 years old, being asked by my client in fashion retailing the Managing Director of Dickins & Jones (Harrods) Ltd to become Head of Marketing & Personal Shopping and running my own business.
If there’s been a career low for me, it’s opened the door to another opportunity.
What do you think your own weaknesses are?
Trying to please people too much.
What piece of career advice would you give your 20 year old self?
1. Listen to yourself. Listen to others more.
2. If your network offers you advice, take it.
3. If you want something hard enough, you can make it happen through hard work, tenaciousness. Don’t give up on dreams.
How do you keep a work life balance?
I’m also an experienced executive coach and I’ve learned to be mindful, focusing on the job at hand and setting weekend boundaries. Unless I have an urgent request from a client, I spend the weekends with my husband, family and friends. You can’t save time for a rainy day, so use it wisely.
Describe your usual work style?
Big-picture, ideas oriented, results focused, supportive.
Caroline is wearing the Cambridge dress in Navy & Silver Jacquard £225 (not currently available to purchase)
What's been your worst office faux pas?
Turning up at an important client’s residence in one navy shoe and one black one. I never said a word as I didn’t want to bring her attention to it. Weeks later, she told me she thought it was a new fashion statement!
Should Office wear be fashionable or functional?
It depends on the office environment of course but ideally what you wear will reflect your personality as well as the business you are representing.
What are your favourite LIBBY pieces?
The Burlington Navy blazer. It's a go-to piece. It's sleek, chic and has that little 'Je ne sais quoi'. Wear it over a smart dress, tapered trousers or your favourite pair of jeans.
The Chartwell Ivory Top (now available in Navy and Grey Boucle) and the Suzy Ivory Skirt (now available in Navy, Black, Ivory Jacquard and Grey Linen). It's a fabulous way to wear a neutral suit without having to wear a jacket. The combination is effortless elegance.
The Sydney dress in teal and navy - it’s an easy winner. The colour looks good on everyone and you can stand out against a sea of dark business colours without being shouty. It’s also a really comfortable dress taking you from dawn to dusk with ease.
What's your fantasy alternative job?
Running a boutique hotel on a tropical island.
Caroline is wearing our Chatsworth Dress in Blush Pink, £198.
You can find further details of Caroline's styling service on her website www.capsulewardrobecollection.com