Charlotte NC Stylist Whitney Douglas knows a thing or two about fashion. The owner of Wardrobe with Whitney has built her extensive experience across the board. A graduate of Bauder College with a BA focus on Fashion Merchandising & Marketing, she was also part of the historic team at Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue’s flagship as a visual and window stylist and worked six seasons of New York Fashion Week with Harlem’s Fashion Row as an assistant production manager.
Originally from Columbia, SC, Whitney Douglas has spent her time between the cities of Charlotte, Atlanta, and New York over the last 15 years.
Now, with Wardrobe With Whitney, she helms an image consulting boutique out of Charlotte, offering styling services, closet cleanups, and more. She sources from the best boutiques in Charlotte and beyond. Whitney Douglas answered our questions about what got her interested in fashion, what running a business is like, and more.
The Q&A With Charlotte NC Stylist Whitney Douglas:
Tell us about what you did before you became a stylist, and how you made the decision to start your own business?
Before I took an interest into being behind the scene, I initially began my quest in the industry via runway modeling. I later became a runway coach to aspiring young girls at age 17 before leaving for college in Atlanta. I’ve always wanted to be a “fashion consultant.” I had business cards at age 16 with that title [laughs]. At a young age, I wasn’t sure what it looked like, but I wanted that life. I made the decision to start my own business after years of learning and assisting some of the greats in the industry. Being your own boss is always challenging, but I personally thrive on challenges.
What is your day-to-day work like?
My day-to-day life can look different depending on the week. I treat Mondays as a logistics/PR day to handle all business communications for the week and plan for client and designer reach out. If I’m working a gig, shopping and return days and travel are included. I also like to visit local boutiques and consignment shops weekly to hunt for second hand picks for future concepts.
Describe the various services you provide, and who your clients are.
My service menu consists of wardrobe and virtual styling, brand styling, closet cleanse, and wardrobe coaching. My clients are all kinds of adults and kids. Professionals, executives, and entrepreneurs who seek to command rooms, establish a presence, build confidence, and have clarity in their lifestyle.
What started your interest in style and fashion? Was it always a dream of yours to pursue a career that incorporated it?
My admiration for fashion and presentation began watching my mother dress to impress daily and witnessing her work. I learned how to present things with taste through interior design and wardrobe. Yes, it has always been a dream of mine to pursue a creative career path as early as I can remember.
What inspires you? How do you find new ideas?
Everything inspires me. I always say inspiration is all around us. I’m inspired by colors, shapes, architecture, street style, creative conversation, movies, television, magazines, content creators, the weather, you name it. It’s through life that I’m able to conceptualize an idea. The theme, the mood, the story to tell.
What’s “on trend” right now that we should know about?
I am not a trend follower if I’m being honest. I enjoy making a “trend” my own, but I typically do my own thing. However, for my clients it’s important for me to keep up with current trends. Right now, sustainability is in. You’re seeing more people explore great finds from second hand and consignment favorites like The Real Real, ThreadUP, or even Rent The Runway. I think more people are being conscious of what they invest into and consume.
Who are some of your favorite Southern tastemakers?
My all-time favorite Southern tastemaker is absolutely, now the late and great, Andre Leon Talley who is North Carolina’s own. He single-handedly proved in his lifetime that The South has something to say in fashion. I am still getting to know the best of the best that Charlotte has to offer since leaving New York but I’m a big fan of businesses in the South End area.
Are there any upcoming projects or events for you we should let people know about?
I am very excited about the advancement of my Wardrobe Workshop series. Wardrobe Workshop is focused on creating tailored transitions into the workplace and everyday lifestyle. The focus is to demonstrate the positives and negatives of wardrobe presentation; I demonstrate how the way we dress ultimately determines how we will be addressed. I’m excited to kick off this year’s series speaking with the students of Clemson University at their Cooperative Extension Leadership Roundup next month.