Getting “Hallmark Ready”

Female black and white clothes and shoes

If I’m going to do this, I might as well go all in and do this right! Which means I need to be Hallmark-movie-moment ready, including dressing the part.

So what is Hallmark attire, anyway?

I think of it as timeless and classic. I also picture Hallmark movie moments: a Hallmark leading lady always has the perfect coat for every occasion, including Christmas tree shopping, walking outside with coffee, and picking pumpkins. A Hallmark leading lady always has the perfect dress for a holiday party, office party, or wedding. A Hallmark leading lady always has a great pair of boots to go with jeans for a fall or winter day. Plus she always incorporates a pop of color whether it’s a cute summer dress, a blouse for fall, or a sweater in winter.

In doing my research, I learned that a lot of thought goes into the costume process around not only what garments a leading lady will wear, but which colors convey emotions and personality traits that will complement the script.

In real life, we subconsciously adhere to the same rules. I will grab a bright or drab color in the morning, depending on my mood. If I’ve gone for a run in the morning, I might wear my skinny pants vs. my looser-fitting ones. Whatever my mood, however, there is a consistent unavoidable theme: As someone who lives in NYC, my closet is filled with an overabundance of black clothes.

I have at least 10 variations, if not more, of a black jacket: cropped, leather, buttons, no buttons, zipper, open flap, and the list goes on. Said jacket will be paired with jeans or slacks, also black, and heels. (Yup, those are black, too.) I’d love to say that the blouse or shirt under this jacket is colorful or patterned, but in many cases, it too is black. To an outsider, I may look like I am going to a funeral, but the truth is, I am appropriately dressed to conquer New York City.

As I type this, I realize that in real life, I probably adequately fit the Hallmark movie stereotype of the big-city, buttoned-up career character we tend to see at the beginning of the film—the one who hasn’t visited her small hometown—or any small town—in a while.

In my defense, I do leave New York, and I do visit my family, but I tend to gravitate toward cities. In addition to NYC, I’ve lived in Boston, Washington DC, and London. I even did a brief stint outside San Francisco for two summers.  I like to think that I’m not so out of touch with life outside the big city, but then I have to admit that I am accustomed to a nail salon on every corner, 24-hour food delivery, and public transportation. I wear suits, a lot of them black, and when I visit family in North Carolina and South Carolina, it always takes me a few days to slow down, because I am not used to the relaxed southern pace.

The overabundance of black in my wardrobe is not exactly Hallmark-esque, where bright colors and patterns abound. I’m not going to change overnight, but my wardrobe could use an infusion of Hallmark. I reached out to some Hallmark wardrobe experts for their style guidance, but at the time of this blog post, we have yet to connect. Regardless, I need a fresh look or at least an update to my wardrobe to put my best foot forward for my Hallmark movie moments.

Stitch Fix and Trunk Club to the rescue!

I’ve been wanting to try Stitch Fix for a while now. For those who don’t know, it’s an online service where a personal stylist will hand-pick clothes within a budget you select while following an outline of style preferences you’ve indicated on the style guide. You choose the frequency you’d like clothes mailed to you, and you only pay for the clothes you decide to keep; the rest you send back for a minimal styling fee.

Not one to put all my eggs in a single basket, I also signed up for Trunk Club, which is Nordstrom’s online personal shopping program. However, unlike Stitch Fix, Trunk Club has a physical Clubhouse on Madison Avenue in NYC where I can go in person to try on clothes before my wardrobe begins to arrive by mail.

Check back next week to learn how my Hallmark wardrobe is coming together!

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