You know those mornings when you open your closet with a blank stare–the frustration tempered only by the shred of hope that the longer you stare, the greater the likelihood that a perfectly styled outfit will magically appear? Instead, having neither time nor energy to piece together an editorial worthy ensemble, you reluctantly grab that trusty all-black sweater and leggings duo. We can all relate. Well apparently, this dilemma could be due in part to the fact that most women only wear 20% of their closet. We learned this important detail and a host of other style tips when we sat down with personal stylist, Elizabeth Gumb of Edited by Elizabeth. Not only was Elizabeth adept at answering our style questions and dilemmas, she was a pure joy and a delight to play dress up with. So next time you have one of those black leggings and sweater days, you know who to call!
Being a stylist is any fashion gals dream job but it certainly takes a special eye and some hard work. How did you get into the business of styling and closet organization?
I always dreamed of working in fashion. I have been reading Vogue since as far back as 3rd grade and still have the lists of every outfit I wore in high school so there wouldn’t be any repeats (embarrassing–considering this was when thigh-high stockings were all the rage). I guess that planning worked because I won best dressed in high school (my sis followed behind 2-yrs later). But being the eldest daughter of an attorney, I went to law school and practiced real estate law in Charleston for 5 years.
While I don’t regret it, I had my first child and began to yearn for creative change. I took a huge leap of faith jumping from the left to the right side of my brain and took a 2-year position with Spoleto as their Special Events Manager, where I planned over 40 parties in a three week period, meeting fabulous people wearing fabulous things. Talk about bringing my lists back to life! I had to have 3 different outfits a day during the Festival!
Once I became pregnant with baby #2, I felt like it was finally time to pursue my dream of personal styling. It’s truly no surprise I landed here thanks to my legal Type-A side mixed with the endless creativity of fashion, years of planning my outfits to the T, and helping friends with their own looks. And don’t get me started on my love of shopping! Both my dad and husband can (unfortunately for them) attest to this! After having baby #3 in 2015, I finally launched Edited by Elizabeth and here we are!
2) What are some of the most common mistakes you often see and what are some tips to avoid these fashion pitfalls?
Wearing All-Black and All-Yoga. All. The. Time! Look–don’t get me wrong, I can rock an all black look with leggings, black layers, a black puffer and tennis shoes, but it is so easy to fall into this rut. I will tell clients (and myself): “okay–you can wear the black leggings and black sweater, but lets add a long gray sleeveless vest and killer tennis shoes. Same feel, but the look is elevated 100%.
Along the same lines of “all yoga”, is wearing the same things over and over again. It’s true that we only wear about 20% of what is in our closets. Life is busy and it’s hard to find the time to get into your closet and create new looks. Try this: one day, give yourself an hour and create 5 new outfits. Photograph them. Save them on your phone. When its 6pm on Thursday night and you just got home but have to run out to a dinner, consult the pics and go! It’s so easy to have outfit-panic! You really have to take the time for yourself to do this and plan out what you wear. Treat yo’self!
3) Favorite fashion decade and fashion icon?
Most elegant: 1920s. Most glamorous: 1930s. Most feminine: 1950s. The most fun: 1960s. I love style that is classic. Timeless. Feminine. But the 80s were too much, the 90s too little, and the 2000s to now: hmmmm we’ll just have to see. As far as a fashion icons, I would have to say Carolina Herrera and Audrey Hepburn.
4) You probably get this question all the time! What are the key pieces every woman needs in their closet?
A fitted, white-button down. The perfect jean. An awesome pair of pants in your favorite color. A camel coat. Perfect white t-shirt. A tailored blazer. A yummy cashmere sweater in your favorite color. An LBD but also one in your color. I won’t get into accessories and shoes and bags…….
6) If you had to pick one favorite from your closet, what would it be and why?
Oh wow. That’s tough. I read somewhere that personal stylists are the biggest hoarders of clothing because the pieces we buy we LOVE! And I really LOVE so much of what is in my closet! Clothing is like art to me. I treasure it! I really can’t pick one. Although I would have to grab my 3 Chloe bags if told to pick…
7) Starbucks order?
Well my favorite place, Cafe Paname, is on IOP where I live. They make a special iced drink not on the menu called the Pluff Mud. It’s 3 shots of espresso with some honey topped with oat milk. SOOOOOO good.
8) We chatted briefly about color, what season are you and why is it important to understand the right colors for yourself?
I am a summer. The best colors on me are pastels. But I can also dip my toe into winter colors, which are more jewel-toned. These are the “cool” seasons. The “warm” seasons are Spring and Fall. I can still wear them, but they aren’t the best on my skin and don’t allow my undertones, eyes, and hair to work all together. I love helping people figure out their colors, and what’s interesting is that once I’ve figured out your season, if you go home and look at the clothes in your closets and the colors in your home, I bet they are in your seasons color family.
9) What inspires you most about helping your client’s find their personal style?
The way it makes them feel once it all clicks and they look in the mirror and see and feel pure beauty. It gives my such purpose in making my them happy! I once had a client tell me to “thank my parents for having me.” One has said “working with me was life-changing!” Another said I was her “fashion angel”. It’s all truly flattering! To hear them say these things makes me pinch myself that I’m not dreaming!
Thank you so much for chatting with us Elizabeth!
Find this stunner here: Edited By Elizabeth and start loving your closet!
XX The Beckett Team – Athena, Kristen, and Chelsea!