Origins of CYPS
The Origins of the Creating Your Personal Style Blog
It’s funny how a single night in New Orleans several years ago has culminated in a blog aimed at helping woman find their own personal style.
Here’s the background.
It was 2003 at the National Speakers Association national convention in New Orleans where a group of friends had been talking in the lobby late into the night when Emory Austin, a beautiful and traditional southern-bell-style woman, commented about how she went about dating men and how difficult it was compared to when she was growing up.
Next think you know Emory and I were in what I thought was a private conversation as she asked me my opinion on how to find and date a man in the 2000s. I offered her a few suggestions and she wanted more. Within 20 minutes there were at least 18 woman, and a few men, standing around listening to comments about everything from connecting to how to dress. In the end, several commented that I should write a book about the topic.
Emory mentioned my advice to several woman and recommended that they, too, talk to me about how they too could improve their appearances. At first I was a little uncomfortable and yet, how often does a man have woman chasing him down for advice. I soon realized this could be fun.
I approached every woman and candidly told then what I thought as I saw it. If a woman came at me and all I saw was her chest, I made some suggestions. If her toes hung over her shoes, I offered advice. If her hair, make-up, earings, shoes, bangles did not work, I not only politely showed her what was wrong. In each instance, I gave women specific steps they could take the next time they selected their clothing.
Women even stood around to hear advice about other woman and chimed in with agreement. In addition, they wanted their own consultations.
By the end of the conference, I had given some type of make-over review to over a dozen women. Word began to spread and you’d often find me at conferences with woman asking for my suggestions. (I’ve done about 80 to date.)
To my surprise, the ladies listened to what I had to say, and did not take offense. A common phrase I’d hear was, “I would not typically take this from anyone and I feel comfortable hearing it from you.” I think everyone knew I was not being malicious and I couched what I had to say in a way that was acceptable. I sense women can feel that I believe that “Woman are the best thing on this planet.”
I’d often find it common for women to go back to their rooms, change their clothing or even borrow from other travelers and then to seek me out for a second quick review. The changes were sometimes absolutely incredible and fast.
Fast forward a few years, and on one particular day, I thought that Lorrie, my wife, a beautiful woman, had made some clothing choices that I thought could be improved. (A tough comment for a man to make to a wife.)
I suggested that I take her shopping to pick out some clothing.
I remember the first store we entered where I started pulling from the rack and she’d tell me the combinations would not work. With bundles in my arms we entered the changing room and she tried on the garments one at a time telling me the garment would not work and then I’d make a change by adding a different top or a belt or something different and the garment would pop.
Then she tricked me in a nice way. She told me that a garment she had tried on was the wrong size and that she’d like to try another size. I left the room for only a few minutes and when I returned she was wearing a textured light yellow short waisted jacket and skirt that made here look phenomenal. The only thing she would comment was, “How did you know? How did you know?”
I knew it would work for several reasons and there are lessons anyone can learn…it’s the reason for the blog.
I did the same with a leather skirt in another store. At first, when Lorrie put on the skirt, we both hated the look. I made one change, and the skirt looked like a million dollars on her.
Upon returning home, we then tackled her closet. The typical approach is to discard what you don’t wear and what appears to not work. My approach was different and not only did we save a lot of clothing, what was left was much better than when we started.
By the end of the day, Lorrie told me she had never seen anyone shop and clean a closet like I did. She had fun and learned a lot during the day.
As the years progressed, I continued to give make-over suggestions to women and and at least half of the women asked to pay me to take them shopping. I laughed and brushed it aside. I told them that the only way I could take them shopping was that I’d have to go in the dressing room with them…and they said, “No problem.”
I was stunned. I believe it’s because with all the shows, “What Not To Wear,” “How Do I Look,” and the “How to Look Good Naked,” that the shows are typically show and not teach. I was teaching in such a rudimentary approach that anyone could use the tips to make a difference…and fast.
For years this has continued until this past year when something changed.
While at yet another event this past year fashion came up in conversation by the facilitator. How dress can mean the difference between success and failure in certain situations. As the day progressed I made a few comments that attracted attention and the end result was that a few hours later Pam and two others, asked if they could pay me to take them shopping. I hemmed a little and then thought to myself, if an anvil falls on your head 30 times, at some point in time you might want to start catching the anvil.
I called Lorrie and asked her if it would be OK to take three woman to NYC to teach them how to shop. Without hesitation she said, “Sure, you’re good at it. Go for it.” I told the ladies I’d work up a proposal to take the three of them into NYC to teach them how to shop. I would give them an all inclusive travel package with options including hair, make-up, clothing, and what ever else they would need. Proposal included a stay at a fabulous boutique hotel in the center of Manhattan, the meals at restaurants such as the back drop for Sex in the City, and entertainment during the evenings. All they would have to do is show and if they liked something they could make the purchases. There was no requirement for them to buy.
(Please note that we chose NYC due to the volume of stores and variety of clothing. I’ve helped women with all types of dress including: casual, business, fun, summer, winter, etc. Discount malls to high fashion. I really love finding the great deals. I recently purchased Jeans marked down from $120.00 to $4.69 and a suit marked down from $1600.00 down to $399.00)
Two of the ladies accepted the terms. One woman traveled all the way from Oregon and the other from New Jersey.
We spent two full days in NY and without going into all the details about what we did and what they learned, I can tell you that we covered a lot. They learned how to put on make-up in a way they had never experienced. Even the make-up artists had to change the way they approached make-up for this day. They learned how to shop for clothing in a manner that could be used in any store anywhere in the world. They loved it so much that at the end of a full day, they were not tired. Yes, not tired! They learned how to find deals and work a store so that they walk out with the items that make them look the best.
Mind you both these ladies hated shopping prior to us meeting and both had said they’d never spent more than two hours shopping at one time. One even sent me a laundry list of what she would not wear. (She ended purchasing items that were in direct conflict with her list.)
They tell me it was a life altering experience so much so that they want David’s Fashion NY 102. To pick up where we left off. (They had nicknamed the trip David’s Fashion NY.)
I can also tell you that when they left the city, they looked beautiful.
Pam’s told me, that I’ve become of of the special people in her life, and that her husband, who never talks about other men, will often say, “What would David suggest?” or “Ask David.” She just recently told me a story about an outfit she saved since the trip for a special event and how she had received not only compliments but people appeared to be acting in a manner she’d never experienced around her. She was elegant and sophisticated at the same time.
The other participant walked into a meeting with a CEO and a group of executives, and she never felt more comfortable. The result was she secured a nice size contract. Her husband, who was at first a little concerned about the entire experience, has since changed his tune.
The two now shop together using the lessons learned.
From these experiences and many more, I’ve decided to create a blog to share some of the secrets that woman should use to look the best they can. I’m hoping this blog will help to transform as many woman as possible into their own personal style.
By the way, Emory had two men chasing her during the conference and two years later she approached me with her hand raised and a large diamond ring on her finger.