The Closet Whisperers: Reinvent My Wardrobe

We’ve all been there: After trying to choose an outfit for Friday night, you end up with clothes on the bed, the chair, the floor — everywhere except on you. The classic “I have nothing to wear” bind is what Natalie Marie Erwin, founder of Reinvent My Wardrobe, is here to fix (well, that and Boston’s obsession with the equestrian boot).

Erwin’s opinion of our city’s style is a little more positive than GQ’s. According to her, Bostonians don’t need another personal shopping service; they just need to learn how to use what they already have. Enter RMW, which will revamp your closet two ways in the privacy of your home. Those with pack-rat tendencies can opt for a one- or two-hour “spring cleaning” session, where a stylist helps you decide which pieces to keep and which should be auf’d. But if you’re just seeking a bit of direction, schedule a “set-up” appointment — an hour-long session gets you 15 fresh ways to combine the items you’ve already got. (Both services cost $99 per hour.)

Bonus: Some of RMW’s employees offer expert hair and makeup advice; others bring their sketch books along during appointments to re-imagine outdated pieces in your closet. And for those fashion crises that strike without warning, Erwin started a live chat service that lets you work via webcam with a stylist who will “talk you down from the closet ledge.”

I tried a one-hour session with Nicole, a 20-something fashion management and merchandising student. We bonded over a shared love of pairing tall boots with dresses, and she helped me take layering to the next level by putting necklaces over scarves and pulling together my eclectic mix of bangles and bracelets. My favorite outfit [pictured] paired my tall brown (non-equestrian) boots with a shift dress, a bright scarf, a long chain necklace, a turquoise bracelet, and bangles. It perfectly captured my style — classic and comfortable, with a little color. It’s a look that works for any environment: the office, the bar, and — should hell freeze over and the opportunity ever arise — a date. It was like digging through my closet with a better dressed friend.

But while my experience was a success, I couldn’t help but wonder if women in other age groups — my mom, for instance, who could also use a little wardrobe inspiration — would find the service as helpful. “Absolutely,” says Erwin. “I don’t think there’s a closet we can’t conquer. At least we haven’t come to one yet. That’s what accessories are for, right?” (For pricing and info, visit —Hannah Sawyer