Calin Crew: Lucy Milligan Wahl

 
At Calin, we celebrate the idea that personal style is a form of self-expression.
 In this series, we highlight the women who inspire us and talk with them
about their style and how fashion empowers them.

 

 

Tell us a little about yourself

I’m the owner of a boutique professional organizing company based in San Francisco, where I live with my husband. I believe that an organized space is a secret weapon that makes the rest of life easier, and I’m passionate about bringing that simple yet revolutionary change to as many people as possible! If I have to stay inside (#thankscovid) I’m probably reading, needlepointing, or baking… and if I’m able to get out and about I love to hike, ski, and travel. I’m also a total dog lover and always advocate for adoption - our rescue pup is a pit bull named Pippa!

 

How would you describe your style?

Classic, with a sense of fun. Even if I’m wearing basic pieces, there will be a bright color or a print in there somewhere – especially when it comes to shoes. And I cannot resist stripes, polka dots, or bows!

 

What do you love about fashion?

I love how beautiful clothes make me feel. They’re at once a suit of armor that makes me feel ready for whatever the world can throw at me, and a source of energy that helps me be my best self. When I look good, I feel good, and good things happen.

 

Do you feel like your personal style is a form of self-expression?

I feel like my personal style is a form of self-expression in that I can influence how people see me and react to me.

 

 What are your different style personalities? 

I dress based on the activity – I like to pull together the perfect outfit for whatever scenario I find myself in, whether it’s working out or going to a dinner party. But that said, it is my total nightmare to show up under-dressed to anything!

 

 

 

How do you decide what you’re going to wear each day?

It really depends on what I’m doing, who I’m seeing, and what my general mood is. Sometimes I feel more adventurous and try a new combo, and sometimes I rely on my old standbys.

 

How has your style evolved over the years?

I used to dress a lot more explicitly preppy and hyper-feminine. I still love pink and frills, but now I focus more on clean lines, quality fabrics, and enduring colors, and try to dress with my body rather than against it.

 

 

Do you have qualities about your personality that are contradictory?

I’m very feminine, but also tougher than I appear! I love socializing, shopping, and pretty things, but I also crave a good physical challenge, whether it’s lifting heavier weights than I did last week, or putting in a hard day of work as a volunteer ski patroller. I get a kick out of surprising people that I’m capable of so much more than I look like I am.

Do you think having an organized closet makes it easier to wear things that express your personal style?

In an organized closet, you can see everything, and effectively shop your closet in order to express yourself every day. If your closet is cluttered and disorganized, it’s hard to know what you even have, let alone put it together.

Can you streamline your wardrobe while still having variety?

I don’t think a streamlined wardrobe is incompatible with variety. I do think it’s important to realize when variety stops being an asset and starts being a liability in terms of your style. The human brain can only keep track of so many objects – so if you have more variety than your brain can manage, you can’t actually get the value out of all those pieces.

"Clothes are at once a suit of armor that makes me feel ready for whatever the world can throw at me, and a source of energy that helps me be my best self."

 

 

What is it about organization that makes you feel empowered?

Organizing is all about taking control of your space. When I work with disorganized clients, at the outset they often express feelings of frustration, helplessness, and even hopelessness. They feel like their stuff owns them, instead of vice versa. By helping them get organized, I help them reclaim control and empower them to create the home they really want. And empowering my clients definitely empowers me!

 

How was your work influenced how you dress/your style?

In pre-pandemic times, I wore very practical clothes to work in, because I always had to be prepared for a dusty attic, heavy boxes, or leaking containers. Currently, I work virtually, so it really only matters what I’m wearing from the waist up. Both of those things mean that I get really excited for any opportunity to express my style, and do it up bigger for smaller occasions than I might have before I started organizing.

 

What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do?

It’s what I call the a-ha moment: the point in the organizing process where the client suddenly realizes how and why it works and can suddenly picture the possibilities for their space. They often say it feels like a weight is lifted or that they can see clearly. I live for that moment, because it means that their life is going to be better from that point forward.

 

What aspect about Calin stands out the most to you?

I love that Calin bags are based on a very practical concept, and are also visually compelling and elegant. Often brands only offer basics, but Calin gives you an opportunity to really express your style in a sustainable and flexible way.

 

How do you use Calin in your day-to-day life?

I can totally see myself using a Calin pouch to hold my essentials, having it inside my larger bag during a project, and then grabbing it as a stand-alone purse to run out for an errand or meet friends. I also think a Calin bag would be amazing for travel, doing double duty as an evening bag and a packing bag.

 

 

 

Do you think Calin bags are a good edition to a streamlined wardrobe?

Absolutely. They’re so flexible that they could take the place of several other pieces, especially if you had lower quality or more worn out pieces that you could replace with Calin.

When do you feel most empowered?

I feel most empowered when I’ve earned trust in my leadership from others. It’s not that I need to be in charge of everything - it’s that I know how hard it is to earn that trust, and I find it very empowering to live up to that standard and deliver what people need.

What is your “power outfit” that makes you feel unstoppable?

High-waisted straight leg jeans, fitted cashmere sweater, tailored blazer, stiletto pumps. That’s my go-to business casual look and I feel like I can win anyone over in that outfit.

Rapid Fire Round:

One item you can’t live without: Cozy slippers because my feet are always freezing - I love the Ugg Ainsley

Fact people would find surprising about you: I’ve been skydiving!

Hidden talent: I’m a good dancer - I did ballet, modern, hip hop, and contemporary through college

What gets you out of bed in the morning: The promise of a cup of coffee after my workout

Favorite style moment: Jennifer Lawrence in the red Calvin Klein gown at the 2011 Oscars

Style Icon: Queen Rania of Jordan

What do you always have in your bag: Polarized RayBans

Your happy place: Lake Tahoe

What are you...

Reading: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman 

Watching: RuPaul’s Drag Race

Listening to: Lady Gaga, always and forever

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