This week we spoke to Yvette from The Bespoke Dresser®, specialist in curating timeless wardrobes and New Zealand’s first and leading Bespoke Concierge shopping service.

Yvette has been a long time friend to Elle & Riley, with our cashmere having featured in her recommendations to clients year round.

We see Yvette as someone who's an expert in her craft.  So, as we head into a change of season, we thought it was time to hear from the experts on how to build your wardrobe to adapt as the seasons change and how cashmere plays a role all year round.

Tell us about you, your philosophy, and your business.   

Well first and foremost I am the trusted dresser to some wonderful clients, a driven individual, Pisces, and an optimist. I love order and creating beautiful spaces in people’s wardrobes. 

My philosophy for Bespoke is the same as other chapters in my life; operate with integrity, build sincere and meaningful connections, be present, positively influence, keep evolving.

Back in 2014, I saw a gap in the market. There were men and women who were keen to present well and invest in their personal brand. But due to the nature of their roles their diaries were always full and found it difficult to pull together a functional wardrobe. They needed some sartorial support.  

I created the role of The Bespoke Dresser® with them in mind, designing a select range of shopping and wardrobe care services for the busy individual. Today, this includes our popular Bespoke Concierge shopping service, the personalised edit of seasonal garments delivered to your door.  Clients love this time efficient way of building up their wardrobes and that it allows them to shop in the comfort and discretion of their own home. 

We're approaching a change in season. Often this sneaks up on us. What is the best way to plan and prepare for this change?  And how would you normally advise your clients?  

I agree, we can get so buried in work or family commitments that you could easily find yourself underprepared as the change of season arrives.  And for those with wardrobes across multiple locations it can be even harder to keep track.  

Review – Refresh – Replenish.  

One of the ways I prepare Bespoke clients for a new season is to conduct an express edit of their wardrobe, often on the cusp of those warmer temps arriving.  It is the most opportune time to review what they have in stock for the season ahead, refresh the items that need some garment care and replenish and update the core essentials of the wardrobe.  

REVIEW Once the winter coats and heavier gauge knitwear have been safely stored away, we look to the remaining garments that are often trans-seasonal and of a lighter weight. 

Some of the questions we ask; does this fit well, flatter and feel lovely to wear? 
Does this piece still feel relevant and fit with my current lifestyle? 
Is it in great condition or could it do with some garment care?

REFRESH During the edit, we often discover garments and accessories that were in high rotation in your wardrobe ie. the very popular pieces that now need a little TLC.  We recommend these items go to your local cobbler, tailors or dry-cleaner to have a spruce before the season begins. We also take the opportunity to review your knitwear and if needed, use your trusty Elle + Riley comb to de-pill those favourite cashmere pieces. 

REPLENISH I must admit their favourite part of this whole process is typically the ‘replenish’ phase because this is when we discuss their wish-list for the season ahead! Clients find it easier and much more satisfying to make a shopping list when they can see what they have across their seasonal wardrobe and where there are gaps for a fresh injection of colour or new styles. It is a great feeling to start the season prepared with a wardrobe full of wearable options. 

What's your process of brand selection when pulling together a curated wardrobe? 

For me, it is always such a privilege to curate a wardrobe for someone. It’s not about finding just one fashion label and following a prescribed look, instead building up a roster of brands that suit the individual.  

The process is kept simple, we are discerning in our selection for clients, choosing quality premium brands where budget allows, connecting them to garments that will wear well and stand the test of time.

I find that every season, regardless of whether we are heading into a cool or warmer climate, cashmere is something that is requested in the Bespoke Concierge deliveries. I suspect it is because it is synonymous with that feeling of luxury.  And after the recent stint with lockdowns, I think we all deserve a little dose of that!

While I have a range of Bespoke suppliers who stock cashmere in various forms, there are few in the local market who produce to the same level as Elle & Riley.  I was impressed to note they have a range through prestigious textile house Loro Piana.  

In my experience, the cashmere from Elle & Riley tends to embody all the things my clients are after in a quality piece of knitwear, so it is an easy investment for them and one brand I’m happy and confident to include in my deliveries.  

What are your expert tips in creating a wardrobe that can easily adapt between seasons, while remaining timeless? 

Each client I have come across has a slightly different perception of what their ideal wardrobe looks like, hence the Bespoke nature of my business.  However, some pieces remain standouts in terms of what can be versatile and timeless investments across summer / winter seasons.

My top picks from Elle & Riley for the person whose annual calendar involves a mix of work, time with friends, travel and events...

The Sloane Wrap for its versatility – it can be that piece you drape over your shoulders on a late evening event in Autumn or Spring.  Equally it  has the ability to be a very useful layer piece during the winter months. These have landed in clients wardrobes as they make the perfect travel companion, something to keep you cosy as you make your way through international airports.  My tip is to take your cashmere spray everywhere in your travel bag so you can just spruce and wear again! 

The iconic Lounge tee falls into that effortless style category.  We have sourced these for clients to wear with jeans on the weekend, paired with pants/skirts for work and the main feedback has always been positive notes about putting on what could be considered a base layer but having it feel luxurious. When sourcing for clients, I like that there is always a range of colours available and for those who are partial to the finer weight cashmere, like the gorgeous Lucca from the fine Italian Cashmere collection.

For anyone considering enlisting the help of The Bespoke Dresser®, what's the best way to get in touch? And what would you like to say to them? 

That booking with Bespoke is a sound investment for yourself and your wardrobe. 

Our dressing services can be transformative and save you valuable time. I welcome your enquiries for the upcoming season. Send me a text on 0224143344 or call for a quick chat.


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