How does the world SEE YOU?
Growing up in Toronto in the 70's (North York to be exact) I was living in a small idyllic community not dissimilar to Leave It To Beaver. I was shy and reserved and not terribly outgoing. I was always the shortest boy in my class, skinny to the point that if anyone tells me I look skinny today, I get worried instead of taking it as a compliment. I was also very pale from my diet of lots of sugar and no vegetables and had extremely buck teeth from sucking my thumb until I was 10 years old. I remember when I was about 12 or 13 and by then living Dallas, I was on the precipice of puberty and became hyper-aware of how people looked and of my clothes and my hair. When I was about 14, I announced to my mother that I wanted to go to a ‘real' hair salon and start shopping at places like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. She said, “get a job if you want to shop there”. So I did.
My very first makeover was done on myself and became the basis of what I do when styling people today. I experienced a mini transformation through a good haircut, a good wardrobe, 3 1/2 years of braces and growing into my face and body. I noticed people who had never given me second glance were now looking at me and I received many compliments. On one hand, this felt great. On the other, I knew I was still the same person on the inside which made me sad. But, upon further reflection, I realized the power of how you present yourself to the world and how you can use it to your advantage. That is when and why I became a stylist.
Today, I understand that while the outside is superficial on it's own, it is just as important as working on your inside, so you present the best you both inside and out, inviting people to get to know who you are on the inside. The number one quality that I consistently try to infuse and teach my clients is confidence through how they dress and present themselves.
True personal style and confidence should be intrinsically connected but getting there on your own is not always an easy task.
Here are six things that you can do on your own to take charge of your personal style and have your outer look mirror your inner confidence.
In this age of social media and celebrity, it has never been harder to find your true self. Messages in the media constantly tell us who we should be or why we're not good enough, all in the name of trying to sell something.
Ask yourself these questions:
WHO AM I? WHAT IS AT THE CORE OF ME? WHAT DEFINES MY PERSONALITY?
From a style point of view, I always start by asking a client to try to describe themselves using adjectives - are you conservative? preppy? edgy? alternative? feminine? androgynous? These kinds of things serve as a starting point to finding your style, a style that reflects who you are on the inside and what you are comfortable with. Identifying who you are on the inside, and what types of style you relate to is a great launching point for figuring out who you are stylistically.
These days, age is just a number, so don't worry about dressing your age. Age appropriateness, is another matter altogether. 30 is the new 20, 40 is the new 30 and so on… but you don't want to dress like your daughter and you don't want to dress like your mother did at your age, so what's a gal to do? My advice is to do a major closet purge every new decade, and reassess where your body is versus your age and where you are in your life. My personal style mantra is that each decade should see you have quality or quantity of items in your closet, don't be a slave to trends and invest in luxury items. Remember, this doesn't mean you have to be boring.
Buying fabulous clothes just because you love them isn't necessarily the best approach to creating your own style. There is a practical element to your personal style as well, namely what your lifestyle
dictates. Where do you live? Do you have kids? What kind of work do you do? Do you travel? What are the actual realities of your dayto-day life? Take a good look at these factors before really investing and indulging in your wardrobe. If you have small children and don't go to black tie events, don't bother investing in formal dresses. If you spend 60 hours a week at work, put a lot of your budget into your work wardrobe and make it fabulous. If you travel a lot, make sure that your clothes work for all types of places and climates that you venture off to.
The term ‘off the rack' is misleading. One person's size 6 may not be another person's size 6. With misleading sizing these days, one can no longer state with absolution that you are one size. There is a definite time and investment in trying things on as you may be a size 2 in one brand and a size 6 in another or a small in one brand and a large in another. While shopping online can be highly convenient and with brands liberal and easy return policies, where items were made, what season they were made in and who designed them, etc., can make you a different size within the same brand. On top of that, identify your body type and be honest about it. Are you short-waisted? Pear shaped? Have no waste? Plus size? Petite? Have extra long arms or legs? These are all things to be hyper aware of when looking at clothes and identifying the pieces. Once you get this down, this is half the battle for establishing a great style.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Dressing to please oneself is lovely and fine but could be antithetical to what you're actually dressing for. When it comes to dating, work and social events, you really need to ask yourself, ‘Who am I addressing for?' in order to get the best results. That is not to say you should be a slave to other people's expectations, but it just makes sense that if you work in a conservative environment, take that into consideration when picking outfits for work. If you're going to an afternoon wedding on the beach, don't wear a long black gown and heels. If you are going on a vacation where you will be walking a lot on cobblestone streets, you can still be practical in your outfits and footwear and still chic. Part is establishing your own style and using it to your advantage and any specific situations in life.
By now, anyone who has read any of my style do's and don'ts or has seen me on TV knows that I never stop talking about proper tailoring. People seem to think tailoring is a luxury and not a necessity. Unfortunately, most of us are not fit models and because of that, all our bodies are different and very often need tweaks via tailoring. Whether it's shortening a hem, raising a shoulder, shortening a sleeve, taking in a garment at the waist or narrowing a dress or skirt, tailoring is the number one most important thing that anyone can do for their personal style. It can be the difference between shlumpy and chic. And remember, buying an inexpensive garment and tailoring it is a good investment — remember, you are saving money on the garment itself so invest in the tailoring which will take an inexpensive common piece from regular to fabulous. Trust me, it's worth the investment.
Club Monaco Fall 2017
Christian Dior Fall 2017
Gucci Fall 2017
Ralph Lauren Fall 2017