Radiant in a soft, red cashmere shirt, black pencil skirt and pleather belt - Rikochet Resale. Photography by Luke Ciesielski.
I’ve styled several beautiful women over the past year for Ef’s ‘Bespoke Style’ features and one thing that always stands out to me is the difference between what people want to look like versus how they actually look. I don’t think we’re making a controversial statement by saying that everyone wants to look good. The interesting thing about ‘good’ is that it’s such a subjective term. Millions of people dress themselves every day and for one reason or another – be it trends, personal style, inspiration from a magazine, etc. – they choose certain pieces to wear over others and try to produce the look that they’re going for. However, that look isn’t always properly achieved. Perhaps we don’t have the right clothing to make the outfit work, or we choose clothing that doesn’t fit us properly. Regardless, fashion seems to be all about making a beautiful vision in our mind come to life. This is a fun challenge for me and one I enjoyed taking on in my most recent style session.
This past month, I had the honour of styling graphic facilitator, Jennifer Shepherd. She is the founder of Living Tapestries, Shepherd’s one-woman business in which she helps people to strategically generate, shape, and connect ideas by illustrating live conversations at business meetings, conferences, and special events. So what was she looking for?
- Professional clothing that was comfortable and stretchy
- Clothing that was made out of natural fibres like silk and cotton, no polyester!
- Anything with an interesting element in the back would be nice since her back was often to the audience
- Skirts had to be long enough and stretchy enough that she could bend down without showing too much leg or feeling constricted
- No low-cut necklines, again, no need to show too much skin!
- Nothing that constricted arm movement and made drawing or reaching up difficult
- She wanted some elements with pattern
- Pieces that could be mixed and matched
As her stylist, I took all of this into consideration when picking out pieces for her. I also wanted to find items that fit well and accentuated her petite frame and itty-bitty waist. Women tend to buy baggy to cover up and try to look professional but they end up looking lost and lose style along the way. Remember, you can look professional and attractive at the same time without showing skin – it’s all about fit, proportions and accentuating your assets.
Jennifer also had a little surprise for me. Not only did she have the requirements listed above, but she also had a colour chart. A professional colour expert created a little booklet for her full of fabric colour swatches that complimented her skin tone and colouring. So anything I did pick out for her had to match any one of the colours in the booklet. What a great challenge!
Our first stop was at one of my favourite consignment shops, AMH Style. We came in, hung up our personal belongings and began sorting through the hangers, rack by rack. I like to tackle a store rack by rack so I don’t miss anything and I get a good idea of the store’s selection. If I’m missing a piece for an outfit, I can easily go back to a rack and pick something out that I saw beforehand. Photographic fashion memory? Perhaps. Or maybe I’ve just been in the store so often!
After we picked up some items at AMH Style, we headed off to my other fave shop, Rikochet Resale. They recently expanded the store and have a wonderful selection of tops and dresses.
Below are the final outfits we put together for Jennifer. Not bad eh?
A long cardigan sweater over a feminine summer dress covers up without looking frumpy - AMH Style. Photography by Luke Ciesielski.
A grey sweater dress is cinched in with a thin belt to show off Jennifer's tiny waist. A structured blazer adds that needed professional touch and versatility - AMH Style. Photography by Luke Ciesielski.
Photography by Luke Ciesielski.
The perfect sweater: Soft, light, feminine and just enough coverage - Rikochet Resale. Photography courtesy of Luke Ciesielski.
Tags: bespoke, boutique, consignment, eco-fashion, shopping, styling