StyleBakery.com | Ask The Style Chefs

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Q. I love your website. I’ve been interested in fashion (like lots of women) for a long time. I was wondering how you got into the business. I would love to become a stylist or give fashion advice but I don’t know where to start. Also, I live in a pretty rural area so I don’t have access to much.
-Style Eyes

A. After college I worked as a print journalist at a women’s magazine and was lucky to have an editor-in-chief that let me assist the fashion editor on photo shoots. Some days I spent interviewing celebrities, writing articles on serious issues like teen pregnancy or writing a travel review, while other days I dressed models, lugged trunks and learned about styling. It has been many years since my start and since then, I’ve been a fashion editor, style director, freelance stylist and have traveled quite a bit for countless photo shoots in near and far away places.

The best stylists I know are those that don’t diva themselves—they can pick out clothes, work with models, hire a good assistant and create a compete look that works with the photographer and director’s vision.

The best way to get into the business is to be prepared. Follow designer trends and keep track of how they vary from season to season. Watch how lesser priced retailers knock off the top designers. Watch fashion shows which can be viewed at style.com. Read fashion magazines, blogs and regularly look at top fashion and beauty sites like glam.com, style.com, etc. Consider getting a retail job in a local boutique and learn about the designers they choose for the store. Take stock of what retail sources you have available in your town and the surrounding area and offer personal shopping services for a low fee to get your feet wet in helping people organize their closets, create a wardrobe and find their personal style. Find your voice and start your own fashion blog on the internet (sites like typepad.com make it easy, even if you don’t know much about computers). If you have a small local paper, offer your writing services for free to talk about style. Team up with a local photographer, hair and makeup artist and start doing small photo shoots with models or model wannabes to get photos to put in a portfolio. Perhaps your local paper or magazine will print photos of style trends you style so you can borrow clothes from various boutiques and they’ll receive credit of where to purchase the clothes.

Good luck!

Q. I just found these fabulous Paige Denim jeans at Nordstrom Rack and bought them because they seriously fit like a dream! They are ivory—when is it OK to wear them? In my opinion, they look great with spring colored tops, a cute, fitted dark denim jacket and tan strappy sandals. But can I wear them in summer and fall? What’s the rule with off-white?
—Dreaming of Jeans

A. You’ve bought a pair of jeans you can wear all year just by changing the fabrication of your tops. In summer, pair your new jeans with tanks, camisoles, short sleeve tops and tees and add sandals. In fall and winter, pair them with darker hued sweaters, tops and fitted jackets and add boots.

Q. I have a new 3/4 sleeve jacket - do the sleeves of whatever I wear under the jacket have to be shorter, or can I wear a long sleeve T shirt or lightweight sweater under the shorter jacket sleeves?
-Peeking Out

A. You don’t have to the have the sleeves of all the tops you wear underneath be 3/4 or shorter. It can look quite stylish to have a patterned long sleeve shirt on underneath. As for a sweater under the jacket, be sure the fabric isn’t too bulky when popping out past the sleeve.

Q. I am attending my sister’s wedding next month, and I am a bridesmaid. The fabric she picked out is a chiffon material, I am a larger girl and plan on wearing a corset (being she picked out strapless dresses), and something to hide my heaviness, my only problem is that I don’t know what fabric the panties should be that won’t show through, and type of material for the corset.
-Hide it

A. You want to make sure that you don’t show visible panty lines and that whatever you wear up top and down below gives smooth support and slims. Best option would be to order several items online or head to your top department store’s intimate apparel area with the dress.

Here are some of my favorite pieces that give lift and smooth bumps. For bustiers, make sure the boning doesn’t effect the draping of the dress.

Flexees by Maidenform 
Disappearing Waist Lace Collection moderate control strapless full slip	
The Body Wrap 
bra slip with underwire cups Bali: Lace Convertible All-In-One
 The Body Wrap: Firm Control Thong	
Bali 
Tummy panel brief	
Body by Nancy Ganz 
The Belly band brief
Felina 
Essentials bustier

left to right: Flexees by Maidenform Disappearing Waist Lace Collection moderate control strapless full slip, $51 at figleaves.com; The Body Wrap bra slip with underwire cups, $50 at figleaves.com; Bali Lace Convertible All-In-One, $41.60 at barenecessities.com; The Body Wrap: Firm Control Thong, $24 at barenecessities.com; Bali Tummy panel brief, $8.80 at figleaves.com; Body by Nancy Ganz

The Belly band brief, $21 at figleaves.com; Felina Essentials bustier, $69 at figleaves.com

Q. I will be going through sorority recruitment this summer and need help finding some appropriate clothes. Clothing is among the many ways a person is judged and I need some help of what to wear that is appropriate and stands out in a good way. Can you suggest any fun yet classy outfits? Thanks very much.
-Girl in a Rush

A. It will be summer so you’ll be dealing with hot temps and you want to look cool. First step is to make a list of the types of activities you’ll be involved in, including meet and greets, interviews and parties. Look for stylish tops to pair with chic shorts and espadrilles, sundresses with great earrings, big cuff or a beaded necklace, and skirts with a top and wide belt. And incorporate espadrilles, strappy sandals and cute ballet flats with your outfits.

Try pairing colorful accessories with a simple dress that can be dressed up or down:

V-neck jersey knit dressGlass-bead necklaceFrosted Palmetto bangle

left to right from jcrew.com: V-neck jersey knit dress, $88; Glass-bead necklace, $25; Frosted Palmetto bangle, $65

You can’t go wrong with a flirty floral dress. Or pair a white patent belt with this simple eyelet dress:

Velvet Torch Scoop Neck Empire DressRuby Rox Eyelet Shirtdress Patent Leather Skinny Belt

left to right: Velvet Torch Scoop Neck Empire Dress, $52 at nordstrom.com; Ruby Rox Eyelet Shirtdress, $52 at nordstrom.com; Patent Leather Skinny Belt, $29 at ardenb.com

Mix and match feminine tops with skirts:

Free People Coarse Cotton Tie TopGabby TunicGina Top

Pindot skirtAnchor mini

left to right: Free People Coarse Cotton Tie Top, $68 at urbanoutfitters.com; Gabby Tunic, $32.50 at delias.com; Gina Top, $26.50 at delias.com; Pindot skirt, $118 at jcrew.com; Anchor mini, $69.50 at jcrew.com

Finally, add some cute top & shorts combinations for casual days:

Coco Halter  $26.50 7" chino shortFree People Pool Side Blossom7" chino shortFree People Scarf Cami5" chino short,

left to right: Coco Halter, $26.50 at delias.com; 7” chino short, $39.50 at jcrew.com; Free People Pool Side Blossom, $59.99 at urbanoutfitters.com; 7” chino short, $39.50 at jcrew.com;; Free People Scarf Cami, $58 at urbanoutfitters.com; 5” chino short, $39.50 at jcrew.com

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