It’s the start of another new year. Time to clean out closets, reassess and such. As you’re strategizing your goals for 2011, don’t forget your style quotient! There’s no arguing that looking good will translate into feelings on confidence and power — feelings you’ll certainly need to conquer the world this year…
I sought out some fashion advice from a talented stylist, and newfound friend, Monica Barnett – President of Blueprint for Style, an Image Consulting & Personal Styling Company:
Justice Fergie: Tell me a little about yourself and Blueprint for Style
Monica Barnett: You know this one already. I am a 39 year old, single woman and I am the youngest of two girls. I was raised in a very stylish household and environment; and attribute my style to 60% nurture and 40% nature. I have an energetic, giving, authentic and zesty personality, and that is exactly my lifestyle and thus, my style of dress. I spend all of my time thinking business and ultimately want my clients to find their style true north – their most authentic self! As much as being stylish, I am very aware of my client’s needs and work to meet them where they are…and then push them just a tad bit.
About Blueprint for Style: Blueprint for Style, the image curator, is an Image Consulting & Personal Styling company that assists individuals by working to create a consistent and fluid look that conveys class along with effortless and sophisticated style; and businesses by aligning their staff’s professional image with the company’s corporate identity. Style can be curated once factors such as current position, lifestyle, activities, professional goals and a host of other factors are examined, edited, and refined. Her clients understand that ‘image is everything’ and pride themselves on selective style that is neither overdone nor overtly conspicuous
JF: It’s New Year Resolution Time; what are some top style resolutions that you recommend to your clients?
MB: This is kinda humbug-ish but I don’t recommend anything at New Years that I wouldn’t recommend at any other time of year – but I do think/hope that it’s taken more seriously at new years. The top style resolutions would be (1) nail down your personal style [name it and make it real]; (2) focus on quality not quantity [LOVE everything you have even if it’s just 10 items, and make them the best your money can afford]; (3) invest in a stylist only if you know what a curated image can do for you; and (4) experiment with colors and textures [it’s a simple way to elongate your wardrobe]. I have soooo many more but these are the basics!
JF: On JusticeFergie.com I share advice and resources for working moms – do you have some style suggestions specific to working mothers (both those who work inside and outside of the home)?
MB: Working moms are no different from any other woman except that they a few additional factors to consider. The BEST style suggestions for working mothers is to (1) choose a base color and two accent colors for clothes as this provides an easy way for others to shop for you and makes it almost foolproof that your items will coordinate; (2) if you know you’re not done having kids, invest in a fabulous belly band and tops that are empire waist [you can put a wide belt on any top to make it more form fitting]; (3) working moms need to be able to move usually with their active kids so, opt for flats that have a more pointy toe because they can be more easily dressed up to go from day to date-night; (4) keep a date night and use that night to rock something out of the norm; and (5) more than anybody, your style/clothing have to accommodate your lifestyle so focus on items that are versatile even if they cost a little more [the cost per use will likely be less than anything you would have bought, and you’ll likely feel better wearing it]!
JF: What are YOUR go-to pieces for 2011?
MB: I am easy: my style is ‘easy savvy uptown’! I have so much stuff in my close that I love, but I’ll pretend like I’m going on a trip and I’ll give you those go-to pieces for 2011:
(1) off white oversized Chloe bag
(2) black YSL medium size handbag
(3) charcoal grey pinstripe blazer
(4) black skinny Moschino pants
(5) black embellished Vera Wang LL flats
(6) faux fur beige capelet jacket
(7) a host of colorful long tees (I’m trying to do more stripes and patterns than solids which is very hard for me!)
(8) skinny, dark denim Joe’s Jeans
(9) ANY top with asymmetrical ruching (any color/combination)
(10) 2 white button-down shirts from Nara Carmicie
(11) mixed metal long necklace
(12) DY choker necklace, John Hardy silver ring, Lois Hill watch (I wear these EVERYday until I pushed to wear something different; see above)
(13) dark grey felt fedora (my hair is always looking crazy)
(14) something leopard print
(15) brown multi-plaid blazer
JF: My my! Sounds like you’ll be styling and profiling this year. Speaking of styling and profiling, which celebrity would you say is killing it in the style category right now?
MB: This is a REALLY hard question because there are celebrities who are crushing it but I don’t particularly care for their look and then there are those whose look I love…..so I’ll give you the celebs whose look I love not the style-crushers!
Tom Ford, Halle Berry, Victoria Beckham, Britt Maren, Brooklyn & Amanda Sudano, Gaia Repossi, Chanel Iman
JF: All inspiring choices on the pulse of what’s both hot and timeless. Any style trends on the horizon that you can share to keep us working moms on the cutting edge?
The best style trends on the horizon for working moms are (1) colors: purple and camel [amazingly easy to wear & match], (2) easy, fussproof clothing [so likely 30-50% of one’s wardrobe is very “in”], (3) leopard print [hides problem areas and goes with browns and blacks]; and (4) high-waisted bottoms [great cover up]
JF: Thanks so much for sharing your style advice with my readers. We’re now armed with some practical tools to update our looks for the coming year!