Most people read about celebrities in magazines. I do some of that as well but I also have up close and personal encounters with celebrities between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am. Sure, I could dish about a squabble or two between starlets while I was styling them for a red carpet event, but I won’t. (Do the names Chloe Sevigny and Selena Gomez ring any bells with you?) Oh, and this might surprise you: Adam Levine is quite tender and attentive. At least he was with me. When I see him on TV on The Voice, he seems pretty arrogant and full of himself but that wasn’t my experience of him.
Once I was styling an outfit for Oprah’s best friend, Gayle King, when Oprah entered the room and was quick to say, “Nope, don’t like it.” I wasn’t phased by Oprah’s pushback. Keeping a steady voice I confidently explained to Oprah why I had styled this outfit for Gayle the way I did. Using the science of fashion I explained how it suited Gayle’s style words and matched the image she wanted to be projecting. Oprah had her index finger on her cheek and her thumb held her chin in place as she listened to my explanation. In the end she said, “Okay, I get it. I understand.” And then she walked into the kitchen.
When multi-Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Keith Urban showed up in my dreams the other night it was like no big deal. He was shopping in a men’s store and he had a handful of fellas with him, probably bandmates or business associates. I can read your mind; you want to know if his wife Nicole Kidman was with him. Nope, she was not.
Drop me into a store where someone is shopping and seems to need some help, and I’ll step right in to serve. I can’t sing, perform, act, or walk in high heels on a red carpet but I can help someone shop. So I helped Keith.
Keith followed the “Don’t shop when you’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired” rule
Funny thing, what I learned is that Keith is a pretty gosh darn good shopper! He has a pretty good sense of his style.
I could tell he was clearly following the first rule of shopping: don’t shop when you’re hungry, angry, lonely or tired (HALT for short). He was perfectly relaxed, not rushing, engaged and interested. There was nothing manic about how he was pulling things off the racks. You’d know the look: It’s as if someone is so thirsty and in desperate need of relief that she dunks her head into the first horse’s water trough she comes upon.
Keith wasn’t like that. I saw him holding a shirt in front of him and studying it. I could tell he wasn’t sure if he should try it on or not. I couldn’t help myself. Using the science of fashion, I explained which colors would work best on him in relation to his hair, eyes, and skin tone, and this shirt he was holding out wasn’t working. He took note and put it back on the rack.
It may look great on the hanger but not on you
I steered him away from colors that were too strong. He looked great in any shade of twine. You know twine, right? It’s what is used to tie hay together in order to make haystacks so you can feed cattle in the wintertime. It’s a good color for Keith. He also looked good in shades of whiskey, bourbon and rye. He’s not drinking anymore but he can still enjoy the colors he used to indulge in.
He wears a lot of black while he’s performing and going to award shows but in everyday life he can wear those warm shades and mix it in with black jeans if he wants to. I was advocating for colors that pulled in every single shade of those great highlights in his hair.
He was very attracted to items with texture in them and details like woven inserts and fringe. Well, all of that relates to the texture in his hair as well. I said, “Go for it!”
Here’s a fringed suede jacket for women called the Greta Fringe Jacket by AG that’s a lot like the one Keith was looking at.
Check back in with your budget
His buddies stopped hovering over him and I took over leading Keith through the different racks and aisles. I asked the store manager to set up a portable rolling rack near the dressing room so I could put all the pieces in one place that we were considering purchasing. Well, he was going purchase them, not me. He looked at the rack and said, “Brenda, I wonder if I’m spending too much?”
“Well, let’s review what was on your shopping list,” I said. He pointed to something on the rack and said, “This would work onstage.” I agreed. Since this was the first time he’d brought up stage clothes, I decided to go through the items on the rack and pull together the pieces that would be best onstage. Then I created a section on the rolling rack for items I thought would be great for taking meetings, going to the zoo with his kids, or having a casual date night with Nicole. This way he could see that this wardrobe was going to be covering lots of bases..
“How does this look to you now?” I asked. “Do you have enough clothes for each category of your life?”
Ask yourself, Where will I wear this?
It was a lot easier for him to see the collection now. He’s kind of quiet, thoughtful, and his speaking voice is soft. You have to lean in a little in order to catch what he’s saying. I suppose he’s always saving his voice for his performances. He was satisfied with what we’d found.
It was almost decision time but then I saw a jacket on the mannequin in the store window I just knew he had to try it on. I was wearing cowboy boots and I needed to step up into the window area to grab the jacket so I took my boots off first.
Spotting that jacket was a good call. He like it! He thought he’d wear it all the time. In fact, I suggested he wear it out the door. I held it out for him and he slipped his arms through the sleeves. I adjusted it on his shoulders and he was good to go.
Good thing too because the store closed at 6 and it was already after six.
I asked the manager if it was okay to return anything that didn’t work out. He said, “No problem. Just hang on to the receipt.”
Getting a photograph with Keith to post on Facebook
When we got outside it was dim. The whole afternoon had slipped by! I helped him get his bags situated in his tour bus. I was hoping for some decent light inside the bus so I could ask someone to take a picture of us. We’d made a great team. He was game. When I stood next to him and handed his buddy my phone I realized I didn’t have my boots on! They were locked in the store and everyone had gone home. He said, “You can borrow a pair of mine.”
And here’s where I’d be sharing that photo with you except that I woke up and it was a dream. A good dream. A happy dream. I’d helped someone make some great purchases that he was sure to wear for months to come.
When you see him next time in People magazine, he may be wearing something I helped pick out!
Do you think I’m delusional? Well, that’s the way it is with dreams. They seem so real. In fact, I can’t look at Adam Levine on The Voice without blushing just a little!
What are some of your best shopping tips? Or, better yet, what are some of your best dreams?