Wearing one of Rho Silk’s hand painted watercolor maxi skirts and an effervescent smile, Lora LaPratt welcomes your Chicago Fashion Scene Examiner into her chic and colorful Lincoln Park showroom. The stylist, who prides herself on sourcing from local designers, has the kind of warm personality that invites comfort. She gets people and knows what it takes to help them feel good.
Five years ago while working at Hubba Hubba, Lora began her personal styling part time through referrals. Since, her eye for fashion and her ability to relate to people have helped her grow Shopping Girl XOXO into a successful website driven business.
She advises those interested in working with her to begin with her “wardrobe analysis” package. After asking basic questions (budgets, sizes, problem areas) and more personal questions (style icons, current wardrobe, favorite colors and styles), she spends a couple weeks shopping.
“I pull clothes…from all over the city in [the client’s] size and style.” Lora has deep knowledge of and close relationships with local designers and boutiques, including Chicago streetwear designer Anna Hovet, and Courtney Rhodes, the designer of the aforementioned silk maxi. She also works with jewelers La Pucara, See Song Designs and 3 Hearts Boutique.
When she meets with clients, she brings cookies and champagne. “I try to make it a fun, relaxed day, because the whole point is to enjoy yourself and gain confidence.”
She begins by sorting clients’ pre-existing wardrobes into donation piles, selling piles, keep piles and an alteration piles. “Just taking hems up a couple of inches makes a huge difference!”
Next, Lora creates outfits from new and old pieces, allowing clients to purchase as many or as few items as they’d like. She tops off the experience with a color-coded flipbook that shows the appropriate occasions for each look.
And it doesn’t end here. “I definitely have ongoing relationships. A lot of my clients hire me on a seasonal basis.”
So what are some tricks of her trade? “Cuff your blazers, cuff your shirts, cuff your pants. It’s the easiest way to make something look tailored, modern and fresh.”
Likewise, belting at your smallest body part will “make you look 20 pounds thinner in a second.”
A fan of the slouchy pants/boyfriend jeans trend, this lovely stylist will find the best look for you. “I love my job because all my clients are so different…it’s fun to go into someone else’s head and to dress according to someone else’s style.”