I worked with personal wardrobe stylist Bethany Winters for the three distinct red carpet looks I rocked for The Gorilla's premieres. I hadn't worked with a stylist since The Gorilla's last movie three years ago, when I also used Bethany.(Find her on twitter and Instagram)
In this weird digital age, I'm not ashamed to tell you that I met Bethany on twitter years ago, when we were both tweeting about the same crazy celebrity shenanigans going down in the neighborhood. Someone who followed us both made the connection that we must be tweeting some the exact same area of LA, and it turns out that we lived practically a stones throw away from one another. Since then, we've become great friends and Bethany has style both me and The Gorilla several times.
Here's what is super beneficial to working with a stylist:
1. She pushes you out of your comfort zone. I have a pretty definite sense of what I do and don't like, so the first time I worked with Bethany, I was actually really worried that she was going to make me wear something I wasn't comfortable in, and I wouldn't be able to say so. But this isn't how it worked at all. She does make me try on things that I wouldn't normally choose on the hanger, but it still falls within the boundaries of things I would like anyway, and she does not take personal offense (at all) if I nix something.
2. She knows more than you do. Again, I feel like I have decent knowledge of the current fashion trends and also what works well on my body. But, she knows tons more. She knows brands and stores I don't, she can see the way something will hang before I try it on, she can make an outfit look unique and not like I purchased it all from the chain stores at the mall (even if I did). True story: the first time Bethany styled me (for the film festival premiere of The Gorilla's last documentary), I made her do all of it from Loehman's, which is sort of like a Ross Dress for Less. Years later, I still wear all of those pieces.
3. You'll probably look better. See points 1 & 2 above. I like to think I can pull a look together. It's something I enjoy. But inevitably, every time I work with a stylist, I look like me...but better. My own touch is all over it, but it's amped up a bit. Take, for example, the Moods of Norway geometric suit pictured above that I wore in London. It fits my signature granny/rocker/prep style, but in a totally different way than I usually do it.
A personal style session with someone like Bethany is a special treat, something we only do for occasions like the recent red carpets. But I also think it can be applied on a smaller scale. Make use of the stylists that are on the floor at the department store. Wrangle a stylish friend to shop with you one Saturday. Get an honest, outside opinion from someone you admire. Now certainly, friendly advice is not the same thing as a professional, but if you're unsure about your style or just want to freshen it up, sometimes you gotta get outside your own box.
Additionally, there are services like Tog + Porter and Stitch Fix who offer online styling at a pretty reasonable price. These sites are great for people really short on time, or who are less invested in each choice. (I'm pretty picky about what I wear. Ask Bethany how she knows.)
I've always been into fashion, but it was definitely one of the things that fell by the wayside a little during the baby-having years. I didn't want to spend much when I was fluctuating sizes, and wasn't all that inspired by what I was seeing anyway. In the last few months I've felt a bit of a renewal of my own style, for reasons that are a different post entirely. Even though it amounted to only two days of shopping, working with a stylist has kickstarted my creativity when it comes to expressing myself through my looks.