Step up your professional game with Handled

By Amanda Desouza

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From startups to restaurants to high-tech corporations, women are taking the business world by storm and leaving their mark. Handled’s Shira Yoskovitch on bringing personal shopping to the masses.

A personal shopper or stylist may seem like a luxe service, but the founder of Handled, Shira Yoskovitch, would disagree. Yoskovitch believes that you don’t need to be a CEO to benefit from Handled’s affordable suite of service offerings.

Handled is a shopping concierge on your phone or desktop. Tell Handled what you want, and they take care of the entire shopping process for you. That includes browsing, buying, delivery, returns and alterations for apparel, accessories, home gifts and related items all according to your budget and timeline.

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Handled also offers styling services and closet consultations to help you get the right look for an occasion or event, or build an everyday wardrobe filled with perfect pieces that work for your lifestyle.

After being a busy tech executive working 80-90 hours a week, Yoskovitch was inspired to create a company full of the services that she needed herself.

“I was dealing with taking care of my ailing parents. I was also looking at my friends and colleagues who had children or ailing parents, with professional demands. In 2016 I basically just decided to start it myself,” Yoskovitch says.

The growing trend of longer work days and longer commute times, have given rise to a culture of outsourcing. Toronto has the longest commute time in Canada. While, more than two thirds of Canadians are working more than 45 hours a week.

The time pressures and commitments that professionals face have increased, however, there’s still only 24 hours in a day.

“It’s not just for senior executives, this is about a service that is there to help you. The same way people need help cleaning their home, getting their groceries, or getting their car washed, because they don’t have the desire to do it themselves,” Yoskovitch says.

Handled is there to free up your time, so that you can spend time on the things that are fundamentally important to you. Raising the question: how much is your time actually worth?

How Handled helps you step up your professional game

Purging old clothes and refreshing your wardrobe can be exciting, but also daunting. Is your current wardrobe reflecting your personal brand? Are you conveying the right message to your colleagues and your boss?

When you are trying to progress in your career, how you update your wardrobe is a question of constant evolution. Part of the rule of progression is that you want to be able to show that you are moving into a certain tier of the business. Clothing and fashion is a significant element of how we do that.

While, Marie Kondo’s decluttering method has become popularized, Handled echoes the same underlying idea: does that piece of clothing spark joy? As Yoskovitch says, “Your clothes evoke an emotional response from you when you get dressed. Everything we’re trying to do at Handled—you should love it.”

When it comes to your wardrobe, Handled will work with you to leverage clothes that you’ve already invested in. They will learn about what you love, what’s your go-to, and from there your Handler will help you build a bit of a wardrobe roadmap.

“Talk to us about how you live your life and how you want to live your life. What is the brand that you want to present yourself with professionally,” Yoskovitch says.

Your Handler is a lot like a close friend, someone who really gets you and understands what you’re looking for when you shop. They know your sizes, preferences and personal tastes.

They can come in with an objective eye, look at your closet, and help you ‘uncuff’ from the clutter. Ultimately, helping you determine how to best use clothing, accessories, style, and fit to translate your personal brand in the professional world.

Wardrobe staples

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As for the pieces that Yoskovitch recommends a professional keep in their closet always,“For men or for women, you need to have a killer jacket,” Yoskovitch says. Although, that doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive. Instead opt for one that operates at least three or four seasons of the year, so then you can invest and know you’re going to get a return on your investment.

“And particularly when you start to travel in different roles, getting off a plane after a ten hour flight and looking crumpled is not the way to go,” Yoskovitch says. Find pieces that will keep you looking stylish and professional in any environment.

If you’re a man, Yoskovitch recommends always having a well-fitted shirt and a well-fitted suit. Believing strongly in the power of alterations, she wants more men to take advantage of alteration services in store.

If you’re a woman, Yoskovitch recommends always having a great suit, dress, skirt, and blouse. For a more casual look, a great pair of jeans that is figure-flattering is a great addition to your wardrobe, and gives you a level of versatility in your life.

Yoskovitch wants professionals to think about how these pieces work in their lives and how they can enhance aspects of their lives, remembering to always keep fabric and cut in mind.

How often should you update your wardrobe?

“Don’t be afraid to go for the cheap and cheerful fast fashion that compliments the investments. The best wardrobes are the ones that nod to the classics and nods to current fashion without going too much in one direction or the other,” Yoskovitch says.

According to Yoskovitch, there’s a difference between updating and overhauling. But she advises that every six months you need to take a hard look at your closet and be brutal with yourself about why you are wearing pieces and why you are not wearing certain pieces.

“No one person is just one style. So allow yourself to have a nod and a wink with your wardrobe, that will keep you from getting woefully bored with your wardrobe over time,” Yoskovitch says.


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