Empowerment By Way Of Wardrobe
BY Sally Lyndley
I am one of those people who feels completely off if I have on an outfit that I don’t like. I may or may not have OCD or some other mental disorder that has me totally uncomfortable if I don’t like the clothes I have on. It could be a suit for work, a dress for a date or sweatpants on my day off, if I feel like my look isn’t working, I head into a mood of self consciousness’s or lack of confidence. Maybe I am an extreme case, but the way I feel is greatly influenced by how I feel in my clothes. Because of this, I am extremely pick-y about what I buy. Obviously I am quite choosy when I am buying ready-to-wear clothes or shoes/bags that are $500 plus, but I am equally choosy at the vintage store, thrift store, H&M or Victoria’s Secret, even my workout clothes have a theme and inspiration to them (TOMB RAIDER!! YESS!!!).
Why am I this way? Being a stylist for the past decade has had me professionally analyze every situation for which a person could dress. Not only have I analyzed outfit possibilities for different situations (shopped for the perfect tee shirt for a clothing line consultancy or a gown for a client for the red carpet), but also created the best version of any outfit on a variety of budgets. I have had $100 budgets and I have had $20,000 budgets. The budget doesn’t matter, what does matter is the concept and the story you have about the person you are dressing and how to make them feel their best in any situation. The reason I have been so interested in styling and fashion from such a young age, is the self confidence and empowerment this industry brings to women and men.
In fact, empowerment is my inspiration for doing my job as a stylist and fashion consultant, as cheesy as that may sound. I love to create images of women for magazines and other media to bring ideas and inspiration into every woman’s life. When I get a new client, whether it’s an actress, or a mass market fashion brand, the first thing I sit and identify with the client, is the client’s voice. What movies or television do they watch, what music do they listen to, what art do they like, what blogs and magazines do they read? It gives me a read on the aesthetic of the person or the ideal demographic for the brand. And then I am able to create a look or outfits that empower that person.
Women feel the most empowered when they look like themselves, when their outside look is a reflection of what they love internally or mentally. Every woman has personal style icons whether they are famous or not. It could’ve been their mother, grandmother or Grace Kelly or Bridget Bardot. Once I have a pretty thorough concept of what my client loves I can then work to create looks for every part of her life that make her feel confident and empowered, as I have done for myself in my own wardrobe. Just one of the many reasons that I love what I do.
For my own references and empowerment, I started with images and icons for hair and makeup. My hair was inspired by my love for Darryl Hannah’s look in the 80’s mermaid classic “Splash.” I love a white blonde and my hair is naturally that texture anyway. So it makes it easier on me as I HATE to blow dry my hair. I can wash & go. My makeup inspiration for most days is the hot skater look of Dogtown and Z Boyz, tan with a healthy flush. If I am getting dressed up and wanna go for a little makeup, I love a Debbie Harry moment, a colorful smoked out eye with eyeliner. When it comes to clothes, I have different icons for different situations. I love the sexy cross dresser style for work and important business meetings, like Yves Saint Laurent’s muse Betty Catroux or Nico from the Velvet Underground. There’s nothing like a gorgeous cut Celine tuxedo suit with a Lanvin white shirt for meetings with potential investors.
For dates with my man, I like to go super sexy but still feminine, conjuring my bizarre mix Brigitte Bardot and Cindy Crawford circa 1992. I love a ‘big hair and sexy dress’ moment that shows off my womanly curves. For my day to day working from home look, I channel 90’s cheerleader in hot pants with a tee shirt from one of my favorite bands in the summer, and in the winter I switch to boyfriend style sweats in cashmere for that perfect day off look that Emannuelle Alt always styles in Vogue Paris (always my day off reference).
Also love the classic white button down with a great pair of levis for running errands or a casual business meeting. This look is my take on the Sofia Coppola uniform I noticed on her behind the scenes doc on Lost in Translation. As I said, I have a reference or inspiration for each. And each one reflects very much what I love and my inner personality. When I am sporting these different looks I feel so comfortable in my skin. I never think of it as copying someone else. I always take the idea and twist it, add my “SALLY” stamp to make it my own. And hopefully that’s what makes it new.
So whenever I am dressed whether it be for an all important business meeting or a sexy date, I always feel empowered and confident that my clothes and my look accurately reflect MOI.