Go shopping in your own closet, Vail | VailDaily.com

Go shopping in your own closet, Vail

Scott N. Miller/smiller@vaildaily.com

VAIL ” When times are tough, how can you find a new look for spring in Colorado’s Vail Valley? Lee de Paulo thinks the answer could already be in your closet.

A longtime local, de Paulo recently launched Affordable Fashion Management, a consulting business that promises to unearth hidden fashion gems in your closets, and make your closets easier to navigate, to boot.

“I’ve always loved color, fashion and beautiful things,” de Paulo said. “I thought people would like some help.”

People who call de Paulo get started with a two-page profile of what they’re looking for, from help cleaning out a cluttered closet to help with coordinating outfits, accessorizing or personal shopping.

Dianne Shearer, a friend and one of de Paulo’s first clients, filled out her questionnaire and de Paulo got to work.

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“She took two big bags out of here,” Shearer said. “Then it went to the consignment shop.”

That trip to the consignment shop is part of de Paulo’s sales pitch. She claims customers can recover most of her $50 an hour fee when they sell their old items.

But in the process of de-cluttering and organizing, de Paulo is also looking for new fashions customers have already paid for.

“Dianne had some great pieces,” de Paulo said. “Others were older, or not the right color for her. But some things, with just a tweak, look great.”

Shearer said she appreciated the help she received.

“I put some things back,” she said of the closet purge. “But it was a fun afternoon. I got rid of things I needed to get rid of, and it’s nice to get another person’s perspective.”

To help with accessories, de Paulo also totes a briefcase full of belts, necklaces and other items to clients’ homes, the better to show them how a wardrobe can benefit from a little creativity.

“You can take something basic and really make it look smashing,” she said.

And Shearer also ended up with a closet as well-organized as a library.

“I can find everything, and it’s all coordinated,” she said.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.

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