Style without substance has an expiration date. Substance without style is an opportunity not to miss. The connection between how we present ourselves to the world has a correlation with our personal self-perception. Sometimes the impact of image makeovers offer an individual a chance to see how much they hide their strengths.
Beauty is power. Showing the world our best self is even more potent. Self-esteem is a complex concept. There are many components that contribute to a healthy and solid sense of self. Appearance is just one factor. However, optimizing our style and self-image can go a long way in constructing and cultivating what psychologists call “a healthy and positive self-regard”. Not to be confused with arrogance, positive self-regard is in essence, self-respect.
Quite simply, people who respect themselves are highly unlikely to go about their lives looking disheveled and messy. Just like a Mercedes, keeping such a car polished, shining, and in top condition is a testament to its inner value. A Mercedes is a highly coveted premium luxury automotive brand for its engineering first and foremost. By design, people who have a sense of inner value, are too, and their outer look has to match.
Stylist and fashion blogger Toya Styles is an expert in bringing her client’s inner shine to the surface. She explains how in the following series of questions.
Tell me about how you got started as a Stylist and how would you describe your own fashion style as well as your approach to styling for a client?
I started styling overseas while in Japan, I am a Air Force active duty spouse, at this base there are many formal and semi formal events. My husband and I would attend as our date nights! Women would come up to me, tell me I looked really nice and ask me where I got my dress and one thing lead to another. I started talking to them and helping them shop online, how to measure themselves and speaking at events.
My fashion style is very eclectic, with a traditional twist. I am one of those people that when I wake up in the morning it depends on how I feel, what I love expressing myself through my clothing. When I'm styling a client I look at their lifestyle I don't try to put soccer moms in six in a half inch heels unless they want to. I am very mindful of my clients lifestyle and what they need their clothing to do for them.
What are the essentials that you consider when you are personal styling for someone else?
The essentials that I consider when I'm styling someone is always going to be the foundational pieces like a black suit, a pencil skirt a a-line skirt, a little black dress these are things that never really go out of style and you can always pair with more modern or more vintage pieces.
Tell me about the connection between personal style and the kind of confidence that women can benefit from when they “let their own style” out?
There is definitely a connection between your personal style and confidence. Anybody can put clothes on a person, that doesn't mean it works on that person. When I dress a woman/man I want them to feel good in the clothing, I want the clothing to accentuate their best assets and conceal what they do not like.
How is styling for busy moms unique? Are there particular concerns and/or considerations that seem unique to them versus moms whose children are grown or busy single women who don’t have kids?
Shopping for busy moms is very unique because busy moms usually do not do for themselves. They're usually taking care of everyone else. From personal experience I believe this is backwards. If mom takes care of herself first then that is one thing off her plate that day. Women with younger children have more concerns over how kid friendly their clothes are and are more budget conscious as opposed to moms whose children are older or out of the house. Busy women and moms that work outside the home look to me to save them time that they could be spending doing something else. They like to outsource their shopping.
Busy women are time challenged and may not have as much time to consider their best personal style. Is there anything in particular that you do to work effectively with them?
Busy women are my favorite clients. I offer personal shopping with or without them there to speed up the purchase process. I also pack clients for trips whether it is a vacation or business trip. I offer closet audits and organization where I will purge your closet and take items to the charity of your choosing! I love to Skype with clients that are not local but still want me to shop for them, so I ship clothing to clients everywhere!
Why does style seem to influence a feeling of confidence? External appearance is not the only thing that builds confidence but it certainly has an effect. Could you explain how a style makeover seems to be an instant boost?
Style influences the inner person, looking good is not the only thing that matters in life but it helps your days go smoother. When you get ready in the morning (before you wake your kids) that is a moms time to herself to prepare for the day ahead. Knowing when you leave your bedroom that you look great gives you that instant confidence boost that lasts all day. It is one less thing you have to worry about.
Describe for me how a “style upgrade” works for those who come to you and have never worked with a stylist before.
Style Upgrades are like the babysteps for moms that may not have the money to have a personal stylist come to their home. With my Style Upgrades a woman can send me 3-5 pieces that they love to wear but are tired of wearing them the same way and need new eyes and ideas. They send me pictures, we have a skype session where they tell me a bit about themselves and I scour my favorite boutiques to find other items that upgrade the piece! In the end the customer gets a lookbook with their restyled items and where to buy if they wanted to.
What are your favorite client stories who found that upgrading their personal style had benefits to their confidence and other areas of their lives that were unexpected?
One of my favorite clients is Brandi, her and her husband went to Monaco and I packed her for the trip. I shopped her closet and she was so happy to have new outfits! It is great having some fresh eyes take your current wardrobe and put new combinations together. She thought she would have to go buy more clothes but she had plenty! She has three kids and was stressing about packing, this was a way to alleviate that stress and for her to know she looked good during the vacation, so she could enjoy herself.
Why is personal style and looking one’s best so important? How come it is often overlooked by women, budget aside?
Personal style is more than just looking good it is being comfortable with you. I believe that women in general put others first and think of themselves last. I have an eight year old daughter that looks to me as an example of what a wife and mother is. Do I want her to think those things equal a bedraggled appearance? Frazzled nature? Of course not! I want her to know that I value me and I take time for me so I can better care for her. I want her to know her worth and value. I have a fourteen year old son, I want him to know how to value his wife and set a standard for the women he dates. I feel that parents should be their children’s biggest influence. For those who do not have kid’s how you treat yourself directly shows people how to treat you.
Is there anything new that people can look forward to from you this year? Are you launching any new programs or services as a style coach?
I am releasing my first book late summer 2014! I am so excited about this project! I have my Style Upgrade Packages and VIP days with Me! I am available for one-on-one Skype sessions as well just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!