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  • The Dress Your Age Question: How do you know if your personal stylist is right for you?

    yes some style do have an expiration date

    I was just on the most interesting phone conversation. One of my ladies, I’ll call her Allegra, was talking to me about the C’est Chic Crash Course and if we were the right fit.

    She said, “I’m confident to know that you won’t tell me to wear ridiculous pink glitter shoes. I know you’ll get me and you’re not 12.”

    You see, Allegra is in her late 40s and was in personal stylist situation where the person she turned to for style guidance was more interested in styling others to be little clones of herself. And that youngish stylist happens to have a penchant for glitter and polkadots.

    Both swell on their own.

    When worn the right way. On the right person. But when worn overly girly in unison can be rather young in styling for a woman of a more sophisticated age.

    It’s not the first time I heard about someone working with a personal stylist who somehow managed to have everyone she styled look a whole lot like her, which doesn’t necessarily represent the best self of the person being styled.

    How do you know if your personal stylist is right for you is a two-part issue:

    First, I believe that your best personal stylist is in YOURSELF. Yes, you.

    Your ultimate goal with working with someone should be to master the ability to dress yourself everyday. You shouldn’t have anyone “tell” you what to do but to guide you to find the secret style sauce, right there, within yourself.

    It’s easy for many personal stylists to have the knack to mix and match and come up with cute outfits for themselves to wear albeit over accessorized at times. They’re kind of one trick ponies and when your style tricks are in alliance, that’s great!

    Big girl dots from Zara

    Big girl dots from Zara

    When you want to know if your personal stylist is right for you it’s important to see how they grasp style beyond themselves.

    It is very different to have the professional skill to be able to adapt to any type of style for any body at any age, more of something you do when styling commercially for ads, catalogs, or editorial. Experience is what brings the broad range ability and even then there is still an imprint that you can tell if it’s someone’s “style” or not. Again, this is great, when you’re both coming from the same place.

    But when it’s not, the results can be a disaster which takes me back to saying that in reality your best stylist is you!

    That is exactly why I impart my professional expertise in a way that you can find your inspiration and understand the nuances to twist it, and tweak it to make it your own, on your own.

    You need to ingest the guidance, ruminate on it, think about how it makes you feel, and have the arsenal of inspiration to then confidently rock your style, your way. This is the foundation of the C’est Chic Crash Course that take you further on a more personal level than I can offer in any of my stylist advice posts here on FocusOnStyle.

    “I am not young but I feel young. The day I feel old, I will go to bed and stay there. J’aime la vie! I feel that to live is a wonderful thing,” Coco Chanel.

    Second, when you are working with someone who is of a different generation, you need to ascertain if they empathize with the breathe of nuances that each decade encompasses. Or do they separate everyone into a “me” group and what they think people who are older would want without an experiential input?

    You don’t necessarily have to be 50 to know what is flattering for a 50 year old as everyone is different and some people appear younger or older than others. That’s why I try to stick to an ageless chic approach where you look great now at any age rather than dress “for” your age.

    What you do need to understand as you mature is to have the ability to adapt styles that are better suited for a woman of your sophistication level.

    It’s confidence to self-edit to understand when to say no and when to know how to tweak it to flatter you.

    That does not mean fuddy-duddy and matronly nor does it mean kiddy and cutesy either. It’s a nice mix of pieces that make you shine without taking over your personality. Also, for many of use, the older or more jam-packed your life gets, the less patience you have for overly contrived outfits and the clean lines that suit us best are easier to manage anyway.

    In the end, the style you wear should be your own with your own unique and personal twist that flatters you in just the right ways… that doesn’t come from restricting yourself to someone else’s dictates but developing the wisdom to find it within yourself.

    Just so you know, no kid myself, I just bought an oversized polkadot scarf at Zara (great place for inexpensive scarves), so it’s not the dots but the styling that makes something timeless.

    >>RELATED: How To Be A Stylist: It’s All About The Tzuj With Behind The Scenes Photo Shoot Fashion Stylist Tricks

    Lead photo discovered on

    Original Publish Date: Dec 4, 2014

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