Wardrobe 101

3 People to Know for Great Style!

Elevate Your Style

Happy day, dear reader!

You may have heard the expression, It’s not what you know, but who you know. It might be better phrased It’s what you know and who you know. It certainly is for style!

Many style and fashion writers focus on the what and how, but rarely set pen to paper (Or fingers to keyboard. This is the 21st century, after all.) about the who. Which is a pity. Because these three are the secret behind many a woman’s (and man’s) fabulous style. I would dare to say that I’ve not met anyone with great style who doesn’t have these three people in their life.

The three people you need in your life for great style AND sustainable style are… (Drumroll, please)

(Not listed in order of importance, but alphabetically.)

Be prepared to pay well for their services. Each may feel like an expense, but will save you $$$ in the long run.

I kid you not.

PSA: Every few weeks, I throw out a reminder: When you see anything here on Closet Play Image that inspires you or gets Our mission here at Closet Play Image is to inspire you with Bright Ideas for Your Style and Your Wardrobe! When you find something useful, illuminating, or amusing here, please share it on social media or with a friend. Pinning it on Pinterest is awesome, too! Style is more than a hobby, it’s my business. Unfortunately, keeping the lights on and internet up and running doesn’t happen because the utilities people think I’m swell! Silly utilities… While you’re being supportive, sign up for my monthly newsletter; there I share highlights and random special content (and offers) only for newsletter subscribers. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Thank you. You’re the best! XO

Where were we? Oh, the big 3…


Just before putting fingers to keyboard, I dropped my pewter and black wingtip pumps at the cobbler. I don’t mean the bog-standard mall booth shoe repair, but that will do in a pinch. They fix heel taps and polish shoes, but often that’s their limit. I’m talking about an honest to goodness cobbler. A skilled craftsperson. Someone who can not only fix heels and polish, but resole shoes as well. Cobblers often handle other annoying repairs like restitching belts and adding holes, repairing purse straps and other leather good repairs. (Some even repair luggage.)

Finding a cobbler can be a struggle. Asking for recomendations at exclusive shoe stores in your area may net you the name of one to try.

Cobbler, Shoe, Shoemaker, Craft, Repair, Nail

Other Shoe Tips: Buying cheap shoes is a money pit in your wardrobe budget. (Apologizing in advance to my vegan friends.) A good pair of leather shoes that can be reheeled and resoled is a far better purchase than three or four pair of cheap shoes that will be thrown into the trash after being scraped and scuffed.

Maintain your shoes. Clean and polish them regularly. Have them reheeled and polished before storing them away at the end of a season. As for regular polishing of shoes? It’s a very Zen way to spend some time…

If that’s not enough, there are paints for leather shoes that allow you to make them whatever color your heart desires! I’m no painter; it’s FAR easier than you think!

(Great) Dry Cleaner

Still hunting… The dry cleaner I used to frequent closed up shop and the jury is still out on the one I tried recently. I’m not loving the highly perfumed scent the clothes come home with. I’d prefer the dry cleaning smell. At least that dissipates when I hang the clothes outside for an hour or so, but that perfume seems to cling. Sigh. If you are local, let me know your favorite dry-cleaner. Thanks!

Trade, Tie, Garment, Accessories, Fashion, Cleaning

I dry clean as little as possible. I prefer to purchase clothes I can wash myself. BUT. Realistically, I will always own some pieces that need dry cleaning. That, AND I have a talent for stains that need professional help and solvents. Lucky me.

Seamstress or Tailor

Worth TWICE his or her weight in gold! And far more than you are paying. Imagine the cost of having a pair of trousers custom made for you. Then take the price of your store-bought trousers and add on the cost of tailoring. Store bought plus alterations is a bargain! Clothing that fits as if it were custom made for you is worth every penny.

A pair of $35 trousers from Target altered to fit you perfectly will look like a million bucks. A $350 pair of designer trousers that doesn’t fit properly will look like a thrift store find you slept in. (No shade at the thrift store.)

I tell my clients that if you don’t love it enough to have it altered, you don’t love it enough to buy it. Assume the added price of alterations to anything you purchase. Yes, even jeans! Maybe even jeans more than anything else! Whatever you wear most of the time should fit you as if it were made for you.

Tailoring, Tailor, Costume, Apparel, Fashion, Sewing

Bonus: Image Consultant/Wardrobe Stylist

Yes, I only said three, but I would be remiss not to speak on behalf of all of us image professionals out there! Finding YOUR image consultant is like finding the right personal trainer. You should take into account personality (surprise), how you prefer to work, what kind of changes you want to make AND his or her qualifications.

If this post about who has got you thinking, you might like 5 Good Wardrobe Habits and 5 Habits to Improve Your Style.

How About You?

Do you have a Cobbler, a Great Cleaner and a Seamstress or Tailor in your style toolbox? Which do you have? Whom are you lacking? Are you good about having your clothes altered? Do you alter them yourself? Or not bother at all? (We need to talk.) Have you had clothing custom made for you? If you live in the CSRA, who is your favorite dry cleaner?

Stylishly yours,


  • Kathleen McDermott

    Yes. We have a reliable dry cleaner a fantastic old-school tailor. I’d pay him whatever he wants to charge as he is a highly skilled artisan. He is inundated with work so you must allow weeks for serious jobs like a suit. No one wants to work at jobs that require high skill and patience – he can’t find help. Thankfully, I learned to sew in junior high and can alter my clothes, excluding tailored clothes (I know my limits). If I find something that needs work to fit or look exactly right, I usually skip it because I know I’m too lazy and have closets full of clothes. Cobblers I dearly miss. Ours retired years ago. Always have purse straps and belts to shorten but where to go?

    • Liz K

      We have a great cobbler here in Augusta, Kathleen! Double O Sole on Washington Road. He does fabulous work and (like your tailor) is always busy. Who is your dry cleaner?

  • OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com

    Nope, nope and nope. I don’t have any of the 3. Rarely dry clean anything but would be nice to have a trusty cleaner. Had a man who did alterations for me but he slipped his hand up my skirt rather than down at the waistband and that was the end of him. I think of the 3, having someone reliable to alter my clothes would be something I would appreciate. Just a nip or tuck.

    • Liz K

      Oh, Leslie! I am so sorry that cad took advantage of you. Can anyone out there help Leslie find a good seamstress in her area? Are you still in the El Paso area?

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