Stiletto Gals, are you ready to get schooled on style? Today, I'm chatting with LA's very own Laurie Brucker, who is a certified image consultant, personal stylist, and commander-in-chic at LaurieBstyle.com. Read along as she gives me the scoop on what a day in the life of a stylist is like, what every woman in business should (and shouldn't) have in their closets, and one of her favorite client style success stories.
Hillary Gadsby: What does LaurieBstyle do to help out other women with their sense of style?
Laurie Brucker: I help women find their confident style voice so that every single day they walk out the door, feeling fantastic.
HG: How you decided, or were inspired, to pursue a career as a stylist?
LB: Helping people has always been in my nature, but it didn't occur to me until after working 7 years as a fashion designer that I could merge my love for style and my passion for people into one career. While I finished out my reign as a Senior Designer in NYC, I took night classes at FIT and received a degree in Image Consulting. It's the science behind dress! Which after designing clothes and understanding the shopping habits of real women, my world opened up with new possibility to make a real difference on the ground level. Overtime what I've discovered is that every style has a story. And that concept has really stuck with me over the last 3 years I've been building my styling business. Which I will be launching a video series addressing just that, next month!! #Lauriebstylestories
HG: What all happens in the day of a life as a stylist and image consultant?
LB: The best, but sometimes the hardest part, about my job is that no day is the same. I've never had similar days back to back. I have to be flexible so I can work with my professional clients, which sometimes means working into the late evenings or on the weekends. During the daytime I am mostly working on building my new digital products like the 12 Steps of Style - 15 week change your style life program, filming new style videos or I'm prepping for my inspiration research for clients. Throw a photoshoot in here and there and lots of sale shopping and you have an average, not so average day.
HG: What's the one thing women in business should (and also should not) include in their wardrobes?
LB: Every woman in business must have a properly fitted suit. Fit truly matters - I cannot stress that enough. Having a perfectly fitted suit that is right for your body type will make you look like a million bucks! Plus, a great suit can be also styled as suit separates. Think pairing that perfect jacket with a bright blouse, skinny jeans and heels for cocktails. Or pair your suit slacks or skirt with a simple white tee, bright belt and contrast color cardigan for a casual friday. The ideas and options are endless.
One thing women should not include in their overall wardrobe is anything that doesn't make you feel fantastic. If you put on any given piece in your closet and it doesn't evoke an instantaneous reaction of "Wow! I look amazing!" or "Wow! I feel amazing in this!" then it may be time to evaluate whether you really need it or not. Free up that closet real estate! That's the quickest way to making your wardrobe easier to look at and more manageable when getting dressed.
HG: Who is your own personal style icon and a celebrity you’d love to dress!
LB: Gwen Stefani is always and forever on the top of my style and to style lists. Gwen marches to her own style drum, which of course I love! She can rock any look from glamorous gowns to dropped crotch pants and still look fabulous. No matter where she is, she always appear put together, effortlessly (in heels!) and confident. Plus she has the best accessory around: Gavin Rossdale.
HG: What's one of your favorite stylist success stories with a client?
LB: Every client experience always ends in a success story. It's the main reason why I love to do what I do. And everyone's success is different, so as each client experiences their own success and that feeling of exhilaration, it re-invigorates me as well! Recently I had a client whose husband passed a way a few years ago and she took over his company as well as tried to get back on her own feet again. With two children, a massive film set production company and her own clients as a private dietitian and nutritionist, style was left to the wayside and so was her confidence as a woman. So when getting inside her closet we established that refreshing her wardrobe with newer contemporary pieces in the proper fit and in bolder colors and color blocking, mixed with sparkling statement necklaces and stacked bracelets would give her that bounce back in her step again. We worked together 3 times in her closet as well as shopping for new pieces and each time I've watched her choices change, her voice change, her stance change and her energy change! Her love for wearing something thrilling became an exciting part of getting dressed. Now educated with the right pieces for her body type and proportion, she makes confident choices in her wardrobe, gets compliments from her friends and feels great when she walks out the door everyday to tackle her busy life. Total success!
HG: Can you tell me about an unexpected business lesson you learned a great deal from?
LB: For me, my most unexpected business lesson is that I never stop learning. Running your own business has been one of the most challenging yet the most rewarding endeavors I've experience in my life. So as I keep making mistakes, as I keep evolving I've learned, that I will never stop learning. So I just need to be open to what wild style adventures presented before me. Taking it all in stride one step at a time. Which is something I am still working on!
LB: Teal green Aldo strappy sandals because they are always the perfect outfit showstopper. Not only do people stop me to compliment them but when I look down, they just make me happy! I love a fantastic statement shoe and this pair will always reign supreme in my wardrobe. And my favorite part? I found them on sale for $30!
HG: What has been your biggest shoe splurge?
LB: I'm a complete sale and deal shopper so thankfully I've not spent a month of my morgage on a pair of shoes. Instead, I did find at a DSW a pair of colorblocked Moschino Mary Janes that ranged in color from red, to purple, to teal and cobalt. All in patent leather! They are too fabulous. Originally $299, but I talked down the salesman down to 190 because they where the last pair in the store... and the store was going out of business.
HT: What are your three biggest wardrobe staples for women of all ages?
LB: These are the new staples in my eyes: a high waisted pencil skirt, a black patent or even a pony hair leopard waist belt, and patent nude pumps (they make you look taller and slimmer!).