This article may contain affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link and make a purchase I may receive a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
I have been a fan of TLC’s show, What Not to Wear for many years. Unlike many makeover shows, What Not to Wear keeps it real, helping real women with real lives learn how to dress their bodies. Stacy London and Clinton Kelly focus on flattering the figure a woman has, instead of worrying about the latest trends. London doesn’t mince words on the show, though she provides real-life advice on how to dress one’s body as well as one’s lifestyle.
Along with offering advice on What Not to Wear, London and Cindy McLaughlin co-created Style for Hire, an online agency that matches women with trained stylists in their area. Style for Hire began in the DC area and is now available nationwide for consultations, closet audits, personal shopping sessions, and more.
This past weekend (as well as this coming weekend), Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland is hosting the Westfield Style Tour. The Westfield Style Tour offers free beauty makeovers, free professional fashion consultations with Style for Hire stylists. They created a pop-up in Center Court with mannequins showcasing spring fashions, racks of clothing and shoes from mall shops for five-minute fashion consultations, and stylists and makeup artists to provide on-the-spot makeovers. This past weekend, they also offered an opportunity to meet and get your photo taken with London, who is also the Creative Director for Westfield Style.
London and her Style for Hire stylists focus on geometry – the shape of your body and the shape of garments, coming up with the perfect flattering equation. They work with you to help shopping be enjoyable, and successful. They begin with a five-minute consultation, will take their clients to the mall to learn how to shop for their bodies, and help them find easy basics from which to grow their wardrobe. Seeing and hearing Stacy London discuss Style for Hire was awesome – I had heard of the program (and know a few talented folks who are part of it), but after hearing her passionately preach the benefits, I knew it was a program worth the money to consider.
I always wonder how a slim woman from the fashion industry like London came to be a woman who really “gets” the issues many find with dressing their bodies. From London’s Wikipedia page I found this quote from her:
“I have been every size in my life. I’ve been smaller than a zero, up through a size 16. I’ve had lots of issues with body image and weight my whole life and it really took a great deal of work to recognize that at all those weights, no matter how I felt, I could still find a dress that made me feel sexy and powerful.”
I was lucky to have an opportunity to interview Stacy London before the Westfield Style Tour, and asked her many of the questions that you readers regularly come to me to answer. Why not get a second opinion from an expert?
And this is where the Kool-Aid was gulped happily. Stacy was so gracious and personable, yet just as intense as you would expect. She looked me in the eye the entire time, and you could feel the passion she has for the subject of style for all women. I wanted to head to a bar with her, buy her a glass of wine, and blather on about hemlines and wrap dresses until last call. I wanted to share my experiences of being so many different sizes, that I too channeled Robert Smith in my high school sartorial choices, and where she got her amazing peeptoe booties.
And now onto your burning questions!
How to Dress a Postpartum Body – Stacy London suggests creating a waist where there isn’t one. While an empire waist can hide a soft tummy, creating one just above the belly and lower than an empire waist is more flattering and will look less like maternity clothes. She, like I, believes in the power of a wrap dress, and recommended that a woman NOT hide under fabric – the more you’re wearing, the bigger you look.
How to Dress when Losing Weight – London says it takes time to lose the weight, and you have to put a similar investment and effort into your wardrobe. It’s important to keep up your wardrobe with your body changes, and purchasing transition pieces are worth the investment.
Best Mall Shops for Women who are Petite and Curvy – London recommends Ann Taylor, LOFT, Banana Republic, and NY & Company for petite women who have curves or aren’t a size 2. She believes these brands have pant silhouettes and styles that flatter curvy frames, even if those curves are on a woman below 5’5” She also feels that J. Crew “does everything right.”
Best Mall Shop for Tall Women – Stacy London says NY & Company has a very generous seam allowance in their pants, so if their pant lengths aren’t long enough it’s easy to have a tailor or seamstress let out the pants to the perfect length.
If you are in the DC area, I encourage you to check out the Westfield Style Tour at Montgomery Mall. For those in other parts of the US, check with your local Westfield mall to see if Stacy London and her team of Style for Hire stylists will be visiting. And if you’re looking for some personalized help on how to shop and dress your figure, check out Style for Hire. Like me, you may find yourself guzzling the Stacy London Kool-Aid and loving it!
Emily Kate - Capital Style says
Love, love, love the post and your outfit is fantastic! Love those colors.
Whitney James says
i attended this event and did a post on it as well! i had a ball. i didn’t get a chance to meet her but, i did get my make over and style tips. loved it all!!
Chandra Farris says
Stacy is the BEST. So lucky that you had an opportunity to meet her. I feel like watching WNTW & reading fashion blogs like yours are what helped me to develop a personal style. Lol, so this is the perfect interaction of the two.
What an exciting fun event! I too have watched What Not to Wear for years for the reason that Stacy and Clinton used real women with real bodies and real lives. She mentioned two of my favorite stores–Ann Taylor and the LOFT–so I guess I’m heading in the right direction. Great blog, Allie, thank you!
Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen says
Thank you for the recap, I didn’t take part in the styling portion so it’s cool to hear an honest review of it!
How cool! I loved the UK version of the show and when I moved to the US I quickly got hooked on Stacy and Clinton.
I went to the mall this weekend and LOFT was the only store where I even found anything I felt like trying on. (Still didn’t buy anything, mind you…)
Saw your mention of this on Friday, and tried it Sunday. The stylist had some good suggestions, and found 2 pieces I’ll be watching for sales on – definitely worth my time. Went with a friend (they let us sit in on each others) and it was a lot of fun.
Grace Mitchell says
So jealous! I love Clinton and (especially) Stacy!
Elle @ Chellbellz says
Great interview Alli! She gave good tips, and i love that she is about dressing normal woman with curves and without!
Fashion By Alicia says
I love her! So exciting that you were able to interview her. She had some great tips!
Oh how fun! I love Stacy London and I was so happy when I heard that she was launching Style For Hire here in DC.