Helping girls find style

Doreen Dove

 Winchester resident Doreen Dove leads a seminar on style and body image tips for girls at the Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus. Following the seminar, each girl got to pick out a new outfit from a “pop-up” shop organized by members of the Winchester Rotary Club.

“Who’s ready for some fashion?” Nyasha Pfukwa enthusiastically yells from atop a stage that has been set up to resemble a clothing boutique.

With racks full of shirts, steps full of shoes and tables covered in accessories, nearly 20 adolescent girls looked on with wide eyes.

By the end of the session, the girls picked out clothes that help them find their style—and their confidence.

This program is organized through the Winchester Rotary Club and Germain Lawrence, where Pfukwa is development coordinator. The Arlington center is for adolescent girls with complex behavioral, psychological and learning challenges. This program focuses on the importance of appearance.

Doreen Dove StylistLeading the sessions was Winchester resident Doreen Dove, founder and chief stylist of The Organized Wardrobe, which also works with Stacy London’s (of famed TLC show What Not To Wear) network, Style For Hire.

Dove was approached by the Winchester Rotary Club to lend her expertise in styling and fashion.

“Sometimes it’s hard to reach the girls,” said Sydelle Pitta, member and past president of the Winchester Rotary Club, which has been working with Germaine Lawrence for a number of years. “But Doreen seems to be able to bring them out of their shells.”

“The first step towards transformation is to stop thinking something is wrong with your body and start recognizing something is wrong with your clothes,” said Dove. “Learn how to choose clothing that properly fits your shape and highlights your assets.”

While Dove gave tips on how to dress for every body type, she also that emphasized dressing in a sophisticated manner didn’t have to be boring.

“You can be covered … and still look edgy,” said Dove. “It’s important that you feel good about yourself.”

Each girl brought a vision board with images from magazines pasted onto them to the style session. The vision boards highlighted what sort of style they thought best expressed themselves.

As groups of girls took to the stage to shop for their ideal look, Dove and other volunteers were on hand to help put together ensembles should anyone ask for help. All of the clothing, shoes and accessories were donated by the Winchester Rotary Club, Winchester residents and children’s clothing store K*Girl donated scarves for the event.

“I think what you wear defines your day,” said Pfukwa. “It’s something we needed to teach them.”

Rita Pagan, 18-year-old Germaine Lawrence student, thought Dove’s sessions were great.

“A lot of people in the world struggle with finding and accepting their shape,” said Pagan. “This has made me feel happy … and can help with future job interviews.”

Like any worthwhile shopping event, swag bags were also on hand for the girls to take back with them. They were filled with items such as toiletries, nail polish and decorated socks.

“Knowledge is power and giving these girls knowledge helps them understand themselves,” said Dove. “I just love seeing these girls blossom.”

Read more: Helping girls find style – Winchester, MA – The Winchester Star


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