Diane Roth goes the extra mile for her clients.
She’ll style them, dress them — and even pack their suitcases for them.
“They’ll send me their itinerary and I’ll tell them how to pack,” she says, “because I can go for six weeks with a carry-on.”
Roth is the owner of L’Armoire, a clothing and accessories boutique in New Canaan, but she’s also a personal stylist. She’s dressed private clients for all occasions, from the Tony, Emmy and Academy Awards to the Royal Enclosure at the Royal Ascot, events at the White House, date nights, weddings, job interviews, birthdays and everyday wear. Traveling the country, Roth works with celebrities, businesswomen and aspiring fashionistas.
“I’m like a Sherpa navigating the retail Everest,” she says, “making sure (my clients) get to the top and then down again with the right clothes.”
Roth, who’s graced the pages of The New York Times’ Style section with her uncanny fashion sense, believes that style is all about individuality. The tagline for her store is, “Making women more beautiful” — and that she does, by refining their dress. With a carefully curated collection of items sourced from European and New York-based designers, clients — who range in age from 23 to 95 — can browse luxurious estate jewelry, handbags, scarves, hats and clothes to find what suits their personalities, needs and fit. She also mixes couture names with estate treasures in a new section offering antiques and household goods, curated by Katra Showah.
And if L’Armoire doesn’t have what her client is looking for, Roth will find it for her.
“My job as a women’s retailer is to make every woman look her best so she can conquer the world,” she says. “Because if you look your best and you’re not thinking about your clothes, you can do anything.”
There’s a reason she’s been in business for 33 years. Her knowledge of dress and the devotion she lends to clients plays into this — including not being afraid to tell the truth.
“We’re brutally honest,” she says. “As much as some people don’t want to hear it, we do tell them when they look bad in something.”
This not only includes fit but practicality.
“I’ll tell a client she looks fabulous in something, but I know their life. I’ll say, ‘Where are you going? Did the queen send you an invite to the royal wedding?’ Because for their lifestyle, it’s a piece they’ll come back within six months and say, ‘Why did you let me buy that outfit? I’ve never worn it.’”
And sometimes, she lends them the clothes off her back — literally.
“People say, ‘You must have tons of clothes,’ and I don’t, because I’ll sell it off my body,” Roth says.
She recalls a client who was visiting with her husband and kept trying on different pieces to no avail — until the husband suggested Roth’s outfit.
“I went in the back and took everything off,” she says. “She put everything on, came out and he said, ‘I love it, but something is missing — the earrings. So I gave her the earrings and he bought everything.”
Roth, who considers herself to be a fairly independent, constantly dynamic dresser with an edgier side (she wore a stunning collection of about five statement necklaces during WAG’s visit), provides her clients with a host of styling services, from help with navigating stores to finding the right shoes, hairstylist, makeup artist, stockings and even undergarments — which she says are most important.
“Get the right bra,” Roth insists. “Every house has a good, set foundation. If the foundation isn’t good, guess what? The house doesn’t stand.”
She also urges women never to be stagnant with their looks. As styles change, so should they.
“You should never look at a five-year-old picture of yourself and have the same hair and makeup,” she says. “Your skin tones change, your weight changes — up or down, it doesn’t matter — but you want to be evolving, and I think women forget that. It’s just for your own self-esteem. I dress for myself and I dress my clients for themselves.”
Though in addition to her services, Roth also credits her Fairfield County location for her ability to provide clients with optimal one-on-one service.
“It’s like that song in ‘Cheers,’ where you walk into a bar and everyone knows your name and what drink you want,” she says. “You come to New Canaan because you can come into the stores (and) the owners know who you are.”
But Roth is a woman of many trades and she does have a passion outside of fashion — and that’s for animals. She’s on the board of New Canaan Mounted Troop, a nonprofit that fosters leadership through horsemanship and equine care programs for children. She works with Puppies Behind Bars in New York — which WAG covered in January 2016 — and, over the years, she’s helped with dog rescue and dog placement. She is also the owner of three dogs, as well as a horse, José, whom she rides every morning.
“We’re in a lot better place than a lot of people,” she says. “So let’s celebrate that — and donate to the animals.”
L’Armoire is at 102 Park St. in New Canaan. For more, visit larmoirenewcanaan.com or call 203-966-1764.