The Magic of a Wardrobe Makeover

I arrived at my client Laura’s NYC apartment at three o’clock on a Friday afternoon. She was excited. We were scheduled to do a wardrobe makeover together. On hers. She wanted to add more color, to create new outfits using what she already had in her closet.

“I want you to stay away from black,” she requested. “Help me look fashionable, fun and stylish.”

A professional pitching guru who secures million dollar deals for her clients, among other things, Laura Allen (The Pitch Girl) didn’t have time to shop ‘til she dropped and wanted to freshen up her look using what she already had.

She handed me a piece of paper with a list on it.

  • Night-time networking events.
  • Brunch with clients.
  • Weekend brunch with friends.
  • Dinner with friends.
  • CASUAL but not totally SHLUBBY.

Costume changes for business and social meetings. No shlubby. Got it.

I asked her where she wanted me to start. She said, “Whatever is good for you.”

Laura Allen, in her NYC apartment

I started in her closets. I love clients like Laura. She is very organized. Her jewelry was all in one place. Her tops were in another. All of her leather jackets had their place. The pants as well. It was like being in a boutique.

I decided to create the right mood for our wardrobe makeover session by putting on some music. I chose “Green Aphrodisiac” by Corrine Baile Rae. Immediately the vibe felt right. We both started dancing, feeling good, and I got to work.

I started pulling pieces from her closet – colors, solids, checks, tweed jackets. Mixing and matching. Using the years as a fashion designer to blend and create. Everything was just flowing.

What’s the color of your closet?

I handed her the pieces of an outfit. She hung them on her shower rod and changed into the new outfit. As she emerged from the bathroom, she shouted a happy “YES!”

“Wow, Betsy. This feels great,’ Laura said. “I love how I feel in this outfit.”

Cranberry with splashes of turquoise make this outfit pop.

I then spotted an old Calvin Klein dress and commented how much I loved it. She mentioned that it was something her mother had bought for her so she just didn’t have the heart to give it away.

She said, “Betsy, I was just about to put it in the donation pile yesterday, but something made me hold on to it. It really doesn’t fit me anymore.” The dress was a stunning, charcoal gray sheath dress with black trimming, with a tied belt.

“No worries,” I told her. “I’m going to make this work.”

I asked her for a black camisole shell, black tights, and her black patent leather boots. I then pulled a stunning gold chain necklace from her shelf.

“Wow! That’s from an estate sale,” she told me. “It’s one of my favorite pieces.”

Silver or gold? Accessories matter.

She put the outfit on that I’d assembled. It looked incredible.

“All you need now is a black jacket,” I told her. She said she had the perfect velvet jacket and pulled it from her closet.

She stood before me in a stunning, updated version of clothing she had been ready to toss. Looking smart and fashionable.

Creative style with a re-purpose.

I switched the music up a little, and we got rockin’ and rollin’ with some Bruno Mars. And we got funky as I created new fashion ensembles for Laura. The music inspired multiple looks. Very downtown London, comfortable, chic and offbeat. Jill Scott music led to sultry and sexy.

“Now, let’s create some of that sensual energy in your clothes,” I told her. I gathered some of her silk tops, lots of chains, and layers upon layers of clothes and jewelry. She was loving it all, looking and feeling great.


Three hours later, Laura exclaimed, “Betsy, this is amazing! I am so happy! You rocked this and gave me so much more than I ever thought possible!”

The Courtesan of Color snaps a pic of the “fitting room.”

I was so happy my client was happy, and we had so much fun.

Hiring a professional to invigorate your style, updating it with what you already have (a different scarf, an extra necklace, a beret) allows you to dress for every meeting or event in your life as if you, too, are a courtesan of color.

Ready for your own wardrobe makeover?


Betsy Karp is The Courtesan of Color. Former fashion designer, current color consultant, Betsy is an avid traveler who writes about sensual experiences of art, beauty, fashion, & culture. Her art resides in private collections around the world. Find her at Instagram, Facebook & LinkedIn, as well as and


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