New Column: Ask a Stylist


At one time or another, we’ve all wished for a personal stylist. But with non-celeb-level budgets in mind, the next best thing is getting expert answers to your burning fashion questions. Luckily, Casey – who puts together our looks on Spark – was up for the challenge. So, we asked you to submit your head-scratching style situations on Facebook and Twitter, and we enlisted our favourite stylist to give YOU (and us!) the inside scoop on all her trade secrets.

Q. “I was wondering if you have any advice on how to layer clothing? I’m pretty clueless.” Submitted by A.S. Vermeulen on Facebook

A. “Layering your clothing is a must when you live in Winnipeg. Like it or not, fall is right around the corner and that means the return of cooler temperatures that turn layering from a fashion statement into a downright necessity. Do it right, and your look can go from boring to chic, but do it wrong, and your look can go from boring to frumpy.

Adding layers doesn’t need to mean adding more bulk. You can keep your look streamlined by following a few simple rules:

1. Play with texture. One of the most exciting things about layering your clothing is the opportunity to throw things together that you might normally never think to incorporate into the same outfit. Leather, knits, denim, silks, and felts can all be worn together in a million different ways that will keep your look from becoming too matchy or dowdy. A chambray button-up shirt, knit sweater, leather pants, denim jacket, and felt coat will keep you looking stylish from fall, right through winter.   
2. Play with proportions. If you’re wearing bulkier items or layers on top, like a large knit sweater or over-sized coat, keep the bottom half of your silhouette slim by pairing with skinny jeans or leggings. This provides a nice contrast that keeps your look balanced. A pair of heels can also keep a layered look in chic territory, making your silhouette appear nice and long, as well as elevating your layered look out of casual territory. My favorite layering trick? Just add a scarf!”

Q. “I’ve wondered about matching different patterns together. Is that really possible?” Submitted by @michelle3737 on Twitter

A. “Yes, it is very possible! Mixing and matching different patterns is a great way to add some fun, youth, and adventure into your outfit. Not to mention, mastering how to pull off this tricky trend correctly can take you from fashionista to true sartorial star.

Wearing multiple patterns is all about balance – you want your look to be cohesive and put together. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to mix patterns that are within the same colour family. Mixing only black and white patterns, for example, is always going to look stylish, and is a great way to dip your toe into the trend without going off the deep end.

If you are a bit more adventurous, you can also try matching two different prints of the same pattern. For example, two floral patterns in different colours will still look chic because the outfit is unified by the floral.

A quick trick to embracing this trend is to treat stripes as if they were a solid. Switch in a striped shirt or pants where you would usually wear a solid, and see your look instantly become more interesting. Remember, this trend is all about fun and experimentation, so wear it with confidence and that will make all the difference!”

Q. “What are the trends and popular colours for the upcoming fall season? Not wishing away the summer but love fall colours!” Submitted by @Cinderella123 on Twitter

A. “Fall is the time of year when fashion gravitates to a more neutral and monochromatic colour palette. Gone are the bright florals and screaming neons of summer, to be replaced by navy, charcoal, and beige. While that transition should always be reflected in your fall wardrobe, that doesn’t mean you should ditch colour altogether.

Fall 2015 is seeing beautiful, rich colours walking down the runways that would look just as at home in your closet. Burnt orange and wine purple are both a very vibrant way of embracing the fall colour trends, while a raisin brown or red-tinted cinnamon will add deep warmth to your outfit. Personally, the colour trend I’m most excited about seeing this season is pine – it’s a beautifully rich green hue that will add a pop of glamour to any look. Click here to see the colours.”

Would you like to have Casey answer your fashion, beauty, or styling question? Leave a comment on this post, and you could see your question right here on Spark in a future ‘Ask a Stylist’ post.

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