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Shedding my old layers, from ‘matronly’ to modern

“Oh wow, that really is a lot of earth tones,” Amy said, not unkindly but definitely not enthusiastically.

She peered into the depths of my closet and realized I was very honest when I said most of my clothing conforms to the same three or so colors. 

“It’s okay,” she said quickly. “We can work on it.”

***

Amy Kuptz runs her own business, Get Dressed with Amy, where she curates style guides for her clients based on their needs and preferences. First, she analyzes your closet. Then, she helps you rework the pieces you already own and picks out things to fill in the gaps. 

She’s also a senior education major at Miami, where she’s meshed her passion for fashion with helping her friends reinvent their looks. 

“It’s something I love to do for fun, but then my dad said I should make something of it if I was going to spend so much time doing this for people,” Amy said. Thus, Get Dressed with Amy was born. 

***

I like to think of myself as being relatively stylish. I have an online shopping habit my housemates and my dad can attest to, a pinterest board nearly 2,000 pins deep of outfit inspiration and a reputation for dressing up for class. 

But, I don’t take a lot of risks with my wardrobe — and in today’s fashion landscape, it seems like my tried-and-true might not fly so much anymore.

Our style editor, Nina, was my roommate when we went to Washington, D.C. for a semester away sophomore year, so she was intimately aware of just how lacking my wardrobe is in terms of pops of color and going out attire. This project was our chance to change that. 

Enter Amy: she was here to reinvent my wardrobe.

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“This is promising,” Amy said, holding up my black denim skirt that she plucked from the closet. “You can do so much with this piece.”

Other clothing items received far less praise. There was the plaid shirt dress, which she and Nina agreed was definitely out as they laughed at my defense of the former fall staple. Or the approaching-double-digits number of army/olive green items that we pulled, one by one, from their hangers. 

“I’ve clearly got a problem,” I said, realizing how much of a crutch those items were to my style. 

We purged the worn-out sweaters and t-shirts that I’ve had since early high school, some of the business attire I first purchased for speech and debate competitions nearly eight years ago and some tops that Amy described as “kind of matronly, you know?”

Once we finished, I was left with a pile of clothes on the floor and a renewed idea of what I wanted my style to be. 

“I want to dress more fun,” I said, with jazz hands for emphasis. 

Nina and Amy laughed. 

Amy then used the experience to fuel a late-night online window shopping excursion, compiling a pinterest board of ideas that could supplement what was left of my closet.  

A few days later, Amy sent me the board. I clicked the link, a little nervous about what I might find out about how she thought of my style. But as I scrolled the options, I realized she was far better at seeing how I wanted to be seen than I was able to on my own. 

I was greeted with soft neutral sweaters, bold graphic tees and leather jackets and skirts — a perfect mix of femininity with hard edges. 

I immediately gravitated toward the fun, colorful hoop earrings she picked out, pleasantly surprised because I had seen the same pair as I was shopping recently, but had passed them by because I wasn’t sure if they were “me.” 

They are now. 

You can find Amy on Instagram, @getdressedwithamy, or Pinterest here

@samantha_brunn

brunnsj@miamioh.edu

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