Persellin, a Cleveland Park resident, holds a doctorate in English and started her career as a writer, but for the past several years she's worked as an image consultant -- essentially, running a D.C. version of "What Not to Wear."
Tell me a bit about what you do.
Think of that minute where you're standing in your closet before an event in the morning, trying to get dressed. You have no idea what to wear -- there's a lot of clothes in your closet and nothing is the right thing. Many women experience that as completely stressful and completely frustrating. I help my clients with that. I go shopping, I work in the closet, I make new outfits or a new hairstyle.
What's the worst wardrobe you've ever seen?
I've seen everything -- closets with maternity clothes, but the person's youngest child is 10 years old. I've had to cut appointments short because you couldn't make cute outfits with what was in the closet. But whatever you have in the closet ... if the only thing you have is clothes from 20 years ago, we'll start with that. I don't try to turn my clients into people who they are not. I try to make them a happier, more beautiful version of who they are right now.
Do you have any tips for dressing to impress?
Ask someone for some feedback -- a trusted person who will give you honest but loving feedback. Do you look 30 years old, or do you still dress like you're 18? Do the clothes that you're wearing reflect who you are today? ... Start with the piece you know fits you and that you love and then try something a little different with that.
What's your clientele like?
Mostly it's women who are really, really, really busy. And they like clothes and they like fashion, and they want to get it right. They want to feel great, but they don't necessarily have the time or inclination to figure it out themselves.
- Aubrey Whelan