Find Passion Through Fashion With Isabel White
We met in 2006 when I first moved to LA ~ she hired me to be her assistant at Fox Atomic. Isabel taught me a thing (or 10) about working in a fast passed (and sometimes difficult) environment: to always proofread, edit and spellcheck my work (she's a smartie pants Yale grad, cough cough) and how to keep poised when things get hectic. She also bought me first designer handbag. Gotta look the part! I have always tried to keep those lessons close to me.
Since then, we have both shifted careers (a few times) and gone through many life changes, but have remained close confidants. I have always looked at Isabel not only as a friend, but also as a mentor. Isabel, along with her husband Chris, are raising their two amazing sons Nico & Tony. She's got a busy schedule juggling her boys and starting a new career, but Isabel's strong backbone, wit and ability to not take herself too seriously have allowed her to find joy in reinventing herself.
Isabel is currently putting her creative, stylish skills to good use while spearheading the west coast division of Dressed, Inc. where she is a style consultant, personal shopper and closet editor. Isabel says, "Confidence, organization and a great pair of shoes are all you need to get the job done." Read on to find out what Isabel is up to these days, where she and her fam find good food and fun in Los Angeles, some advice on shopping for kids ~ and pick up a few tips to inspire yourself to live the life you want, starting with your closet!
The Vibrant Beet: What is this chapter in your life all about? Isabel White: Well, I’ve closed a number of formative chapters in my adult life: started and built a career in an industry I didn’t much care for, and then walked away from it to dedicate myself to having and raising my young children. When I decided I was ready to get out of the house and back into the workforce, I knew it would have to be doing something I loved doing and not just a job that was a place to go and get a paycheck. I think I’ve finally realized that chasing my own happiness and fulfillment doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the other things I feel are important, like my dedication to my kids or need for a certain type of lifestyle, dictated by the size of a paycheck. I recently read a parenting blog discussing the differences in parenting styles when we were growing up versus today, and the brilliantly hilarious writer said, “Our parents majored in the majors, and minored in the minors.” Yes! That is my plan.
TVB: What is Dressed, Inc.? IW: Dressed, Inc. is a personal wardrobe styling company with arms in Boston, where my two partners work, and Los Angeles. Our focus is to help our clients discover their own style personality, and give them the tools to dress accordingly and flatteringly. We have a full array of services, including style consultations, closet edits, personal shopping, virtual closet and lookbook creation…even packing our clients for trips!
TVB: What inspired you to start working with Dressed, Inc.? IW: In these last years my passion for fashion and personal style has organically become a focal point in my life, to the point where I found myself providing styling services for friends as a hobby. I just lacked the guts to monetize it. My business partner, Lori, who I’ve known for decades and who started Dressed, Inc years ago, caught wind of of my ambitions. She called me to encourage me down the path, and over the course of a year our conversation turned into a partnership. I am so grateful to her for making that first phone call!
TVB: What makes your services unique? IW: Every client needs something different and we aim to meet all of those individual needs, like any client services business. But beyond that we have the singular goal of leaving each client with the knowledge they need to shop for and dress themselves impeccably going forward. We don’t just want to do it for you - we want to teach you how to do it for yourself.
TVB: What do you love most about working with people in this capacity? IW: While it may seem silly that something like a closet edit could effect such a big change in someone’s life, I can sincerely say that more often than not I hear from my clients the day after I’ve done style consultations and closet edits with them profusely thankful, swearing that I have changed their life for the better. People feel so liberated, so much more confident, so much more educated about how to dress themselves - and this is no small thing. Learning how to put your best foot foward every day just by reaching into your closet is an invaluable tool. My reward for being a part of that process is the satisfaction my clients feel afterward.
TVB: I have the hardest time getting rid of things. I'll finally clean out the closet and then I wish I still owned it. I wish there was a place for all the good and the bad...and that I had a closet like Cher in Clueless. Just saying. IW: It's a constant push pull. I want to get rid of everything to lessen the clutter and then I wish I still had it all. My Mother was extremely stylish and dressed me so well when I was much younger, but the moment I was in charge of my own style it was all about oversized track pants and giant JCrew rollneck sweaters. I was an athlete and being raised by my Father (my Mother passed away when I was 16) so style and fashion were not on my radar. I think back to the days my Father and I were cleaning out my Mother’s closet after she passed, and I actually remember insisting I didn’t want a beautiful white linen Calvin Klein skirt and a silk Gucci blouse. And so many other beautiful things. I could cry just thinking about it. But I still have these navy low top Converse! How I wish I had those burgundy Levi's corduroy cutoffs...
TVB: Can you share a few shopping tips with us? IW: Sure can. 1. Don’t let sticker shock scare you away from a coveted item: stalk it on the internet. Look for coupon codes, look on eBay or one of the many designer resale sites. Set alerts for sales. 2. By the same token, before you pay retail for something, check around. You can probably get it cheaper. 3. Speaking of cheap, don’t forget about high street fashion. Places like Zara and Mango are fantastic. Check regularly. 4. Find brands that work for you and stick with them. This doesn’t mean not to experiment, but if you have 2 pairs of jeans from one brand that look fantastic on you, chances are there are more to come from that same brand. 5. Don’t forsake brick and mortar shopping. Find your shopping home base, frequent it, and get to know the people there. They want your repeat business and will look out for you - sales, previews, new item alerts.
TVB: You have two of the cutest boys on the planet. Do you have any tips for styling kids? IW: If it's white, pass. It’ll be destroyed in seconds. Carry a tide stick with you wherever you go. Ease is key: pants they can pull on and off. No complicated buttons. And, buy it large and wear it until it’s way too small. That’s the only way to make it worth it because they grow so fast! My poor kids are clomping around in shoes that are 2 sizes too big for them all the time.
TVB: What are some of your favorite places in LA to eat and shop for food? IW: Trader Joe's, #1. Whatever I absolutely cannot get at Trader Joe's I will break down and get at Whole Paycheck...I mean Whole Foods. Love any trip to Joan’s On Third, especially now that there is one in my ‘hood (Studio City). My husband and I make an effort to try new restaurants pretty regularly. I am crazy for the uni pasta at Bestia downtown (probably my favorite dish anywhere ever). Love the pizza at Mozza. Sushi at Sugarfish or Asanebo if it’s a special occasion. Thai food at Jitlada or Night+Market.
TVB: You are a Mama on the go! What do you and the kids like to snack on to keep your energy up on busy days? IW: For me - Kind Bars, Iced Decaf Latte with Almond Milk, peaches, Goat Cheese Sticks (yes - these exist!), Nuts...and when I'm at home and reckless I'll eat enough Chips and Salsa to keep any Mexican restaurant in business. Oh yeah, same goes for Cape Cod Potato Chips, which are hard to find out here in Los Angeles (Costco or Amazon). I'm all about Original but my husband Chris loves Salt & Vinegar. For the kids - fruit, fruit, fruit...my kids love all of it. ZBars by Clif Kid, Plum Organics Fruit and Veggie Mashups, Peanut Butter Crackers and Cheese Sandwich Crackers by Late July, Freeze Dried Fruit by Crispy Green, Pirate Booty and OF COURSE Goldfish. It's not childhood without Goldfish. My one good eater will also eat carrots and hummus, cucumbers, pickles, and he will eat an entire artichoke in one sitting. Can you guess which one that is? And, sadly for them the Cape Cod Potato Chip addiction seems to be genetic. Why can't potato chips be healthy??
TVB: What do you to keep active (besides being a full time Mom and skilled businesswoman)? IW: I try and always make time to workout after I drop my kids off at school and before I get to working with clients. I box at World Championship Cardio Boxing in Toluca Lake; I am a longtime devotee of Shift by Dana Perri in Sherman Oaks; I used to teach yoga and am quite picky about my yoga studios now - after copious amounts of trial and error, I have settled quite happily on InYoga Center in Valley Village; and I'm lucky enough to live a stone’s throw away from Fryman Canyon, so I do quite a bit of hiking.
TVB: What inspires you? IW: What comes to mind first and foremost is music. I am so inspired by music, focused by music, motivated by music - it is always on in the house or the car or wherever I am.
My whole family is subjected to my music obsession every moment of their lives. I’m on a mission to make music lovers out of my kids! I’m also inspired whenever I see someone else chasing their dream, whether that’s professional or personal. When I see someone working their ass off in an exercise class: inspired. And, of course, it wouldn’t paint a complete picture if I didn't include the inspiration I feel when I see someone strutting down the street with supreme confidence and effortless style. Who doesn’t want that?
TVB: What does living a “vibrant” lifestyle mean to you? IW: Laughing a lot, feeling confident, striving for health while maintaining balance, and surrounding yourself with a community of love and support on whom you can always fall back when times get tough.
You can follow Isabel & the Dressed, Inc. team on Instagram @DressedInc, check out their website: dressedinc.com or contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org ~ do it, and thank me (and Isabel) later!
Stay stylish. Stay confident. Stay vibrant!