I met Corri McFadden in person last week, and it was my first time seeing the star of House Of Consignment in person. She’s really tall (could be the Brian Atwood heels, though), impeccably dressed, and she was rocking her signature pink lipstick, which was all sort of intimidating, until she started confessing her guilty pleasures (Toddlers And Tiaras) and her own fashion crimes (the year she only wore No Fear t-shirts). After that, I was like “Where do we sign our BFF contract?”
Even though I don’t often stray from my blogger uniform of jeans, All-Stars, and a cardigan, I do love fashion and I love people who actually know what they’re doing in the fashion world. Corri is the type of person who speaks so knowledgeably and convincingly about fashion that I actually was inspired after we spoke to go buy some new pants, based on one of the tips she gave me. (Turns out, I own a lot of jeans with saggy butts and they’re not doing me any favors.) Corri is a savvy business woman, but I definitely got the sense that her work is not about a bottom line, it’s about making people realize what works for them, and unburdening themselves of what doesn’t. She also told me about the brief moment in time when she was actually fired from eDrop-Off, the business at the heart of the show. After our chat, I compiled a list of some of Corri’s best stories and advice, here are twelve things I learned from her during our time together.
12. Her business had a rocky beginning.
One night I was up really late and I saw this eBay infomercial. I saw that and was like “Oh my God, I could open an eBay store and focus on designer items.” One of my friends at the time was like “If you come up with a solid business plan, I’ll invest in you,” and that’s what we did, we had that mentality of nothing to lose, so we went into the business. I hustled for a year, and he fired me on our one year anniversary because our partnership wasn’t as lucrative as he hoped, and two weeks later I bought the business back. I got a business loan and a line of credit and maxed it out. And now we bet he’s kicking himself right now.
11. Her secret for an organized closet might actually change your mood.
I only use Slimline black velvet hangers. Every single hanger in your closet should be uniform. If you use trouser hangers, they should all be hanging together. Your closet is where you start your day every day. It’s an unconscious weight that you don’t even know you’re holding. If you get in your closet in the morning and you’re a size eight, and your closet is filled with size fours, that causes a level of depression, it makes you upset, it makes you frustrated every morning, and it carries over into your day.
10.Get rid of what you’re not wearing. (Duh. But seriously, why are you hanging on to that old bridesmaid dress?)
Usually everyone wears the first six inches of [what’s hanging in] their closet. That’s what you always pull and wear and everything else is just hanging in there. Your closet should be a well-curated collection of you today. Not you three years ago, not you before the baby, you today. If you’re not wearing it, why does it matter if it’s hanging in here anyway? Does it make you feel good that your closet’s full? Why burden yourself with extra things that make you think “I should work out” or whatever it is. Your closet should be easy.
9. She practices what she preaches.
If you open up my closet, every single piece fits me, every single piece is something I would wear and I could style in a different way. And when I’m over it, I sell it. I have a lot, but it’s curated and I wear it all.
8. Her most essential clothing item is…pants. But not pants with saggy butts.
Everyone needs a good-fitting pant. You need to perfect your denim or whatever your mainstream pant is. Find the one that works for you. I go into closets all the time that have sixty pairs of denim and I’m like really? Were you wearing all sixty of these? Identify the brand that works for you, it’s fine to buy multiples of that if you’re wearing them all the time, they need to look fresh and crisp. It’s all in the fit. Girls think they look good when their pants are saggy in the butt, it makes them think they lost weight, but it looks terrible. I see it all the time, they should be tight on your ass. Take the time to find what fits you. Don’t ask for a salesperson, go lock yourself in a Nordstrom fitting room and grab sixty pairs of pants — but you have to be in the right mindset — and you’ll put that pair on and be like, “Dang! These are awesome.”
7. She’s become famous for her bold pink lips.
I used to shy away from lips, I would do up my whole face and then put on a nude gloss, and I never felt like I was finished. And I was doing an interview with Bobbi Brown a couple years ago and she put a lipstick on me and I was like “Holy cow, that’s amazing,” and I feel like I’m finished now. You can literally put on a t-shirt and jeans and a pink lip and you’re ready, it’s amazing. It’s funny, my pink lips, I’ve gotten over a hundred questions about my lips. I’m wearing Girl About Town by MAC today, and I wear Kryolan Pop when it’s warmer out. I wear the MAC when it’s cooler out.
6. She dresses for the weather, but keeps an eye on trends.
I dress for the weather. If it’s January but it’s a beautiful day outside, I’m dressing for that day. But I think I’m definitely on-trend for the season, whether it’s florals or pastels or whatever, but I’m very good at shopping for myself, it’s what I do. I don’t think about it.
5. Be honest with yourself (and your body) when you shop, and don’t take all your cues from celebs.
A lot of people gravitate to TV for inspiration, but a lot of it is not okay. I’m hoping with this show fashion will be accessible, I’m from the midwest, and yes, I wear Chanel and I wear Prada but I also wear Topshop and H&M. I don’t want to be unaccessible. You have to identify your body. Everyone has a pain point and everyone has a sweet spot. Be in tune with yourself, and don’t focus on your past. And it’s all in the fit. If your clothes fit you right, you feel good. If they don’t fit you right, you don’t feel good, no matter what size you are. You can find your style and that you do love that is a it. Be honest with yourself. Maybe you aren’t noticing that you gained fifteen pounds over the winter and you’re trying to squeeze into your summer tops. People will notice. You will never hear anyone say anything about a heavier-set woman who’s dressed well, ever. It’s when they’re in a low cut bandage top that she shouldn’t be in that her daughter should be wearing that people talk. When you’re in that, you don’t walk with an air of confidence, and that’s what it’s about, feeling good.
4. She has but one fashion regret: middle school.
I went through it all, if you lined up all my pictures through the years it would be like “Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.” But I don’t regret it, it’s who I was at the time. Even if my hair was effed up and spiky and crazy, that’s who I was, doing my thing. The only year I regret is seventh grade when I wore Nike shorts and No Fear shirts every day.
3. If you’re a fashion newbie or don’t have a ton of money, start small.
The easiest way to get into trends is through accessories. Pop something with a scarf, or through your sunglasses. Pop on some pastel bangles, boom, you’re on trend.
2. Her biggest inspiration is another reality star/business woman you may know…
Bethenny Frankel. She did it. she made an empire and built her business through TV. Rachel Zoe. Jeff Lewis. Those people never gave in, they are who they are, and I respect that. And they built their businesses by being who they are. I look to them for inspiration [as a reality star], but I watch everything on TV. My guiltiest pleasure is Toddlers and Tiaras. It should be illegal to watch it.
1. She’ll work for free.
I’m a very open book. I’m a handful and I know it, and I’m not for everyone, but I know that. I just hope other people will be inspired by the show. I hustle. I do so many things for free because I’m investing in the big picture. I just want to drive business back. A lot of people aren’t willing to work for free, but it’s all an investment in myself, and you’ll build great relationships along the way.