When I tap members of my Facebook Group to be featured as a member of the month, they’re typically active and contribute enough for them to show up on my radar. This is what had me reach out to Lisa to be November’s featured member.
When I sent her a message asking if she would be interested, it was immediately revealed to me how incredibly funny, witty, and forthcoming she is. We wound up having quite an extensive conversation and now chat quite regularly. In addition to agreeing to be featured, she also gave me tremendous insight into the type of information that would be helpful to share here on the blog. In fact, I’d say you have Lisa to thank for why I have gotten so depth with my posts on styling formulas and the use of color. Lisa helped me realize just how important this type of deep instruction could be for those where it doesn’t come naturally.
Like most of us living through this Pandemic, Lisa described her current style as pretty laughable but was willing to dig back into her memories of a time when this wasn’t the case while also giving me a realistic look at the reality of fashion during COVID with two small children in tow. Let’s get to know Lisa better with her answers to my questions.
Location: Crescent, Ontario
Q: What do you like most about being a member of Bridgette’s Facebook Group?
A: I like getting insight and feedback from a whole range of people of different ages and stages of life. What may not be relevant to me now, may have been relevant to me in the past where I can provide insight, or may be relevant to me in the future where I can learn from others. Maybe I am beginning my professional career and need suggestions on how to dress appropriately for a certain environment or career path – there are people who can give me guidance… or maybe I am retired or a stay at home mom but want to still feel put together and on-trend – there are people who can give me guidance. There is always something to learn and someone to learn from and all perspectives are valued.
Q: The biggest benefits you have received from being a Group member
A: I enjoy being able to ask for insight or suggestions from others. It helps gives perspective on my outfits or gives me new ideas. Like when I opened pandora’s box about camel colored leggings. Who knew there were so many opinions on camel colored leggings?! I also like that there is the opportunity to build off of Bridgette’s blog posts through discussion. Always leads to some fun discussions!
Q: What would you tell women who haven’t joined the Group yet?
A: Even if you think you know fashion, there is always something you can learn. Fashion is not static, it is fluid and evolves. Even when trends cycle back though they may be presented differently. The group is a fun and easy way to learn and talk about an evolving topic that impacts everyone. Bridgette’s way of defining fashion is refreshing, practical, and applicable and we are lucky enough to not only have that through her blog posts but also through her Facebook group where she often weighs in questions from group members.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Right now? haphazard at best. That’s what happens when your life is a combination of Jumanji and Groundhog Day, but I am trying to get back on board. Over the last 6 months, I have been working full-time from home while managing a 4 and 6-year-old so I’m fairly certain I wore the same pair of pants each week beyond what is considered socially acceptable. Under normal circumstances my style would be a combination of athleisure purely because it’s really comfortable and convenient with active kids, but also classic items mixed in with a few trendy. I stick to certain colors that I know suit me well and tend to choose more classic items like straight leg jeans or my Barbour jacket that will be items that I can hold onto.
Q: How did you discover your style?
I don’t think I have quite yet. I have evolved from walking around like a bottle of Pepto Bismol (my mother put me in everything that matched back in the day including pink pants with a pink sweater) to being a college student wearing low rise jeans and a sweatshirt, to being on mat leave where I’m fairly certain the “suit” is pajamas or sweatpants (at least it was for me), to now trying to define what the “new” me is where I don’t quite fit into “American Eagle” but haven’t hit “northern reflections”. I am still trying to figure out what fits my parameters of comfortable, flexible, adaptable, classic, and put together.
Q: What advice do you have for others trying to find their style?
A: I think Bridgette’s guidelines are really helpful to develop an understanding of fashion. Fashion is overwhelming – there are so many colors, prints, trends, styles, accessories… it’s hard to know where to start and when enough is enough. The information Bridgette provides are guidelines with shades of grey that help you navigate fashion while providing you room for interpretation and expression in your own way. I was guilty of having way too much clothing, buying pieces that didn’t fit with others, or didn’t fit my lifestyle, splitting my wears with multiples of the same piece of clothing… so many things! I think my advice is to read her information to really drill down on what you want for yourself, what you want for your closet, and how to blend those two together to express who you want to be.
Q: What fashion issues are you currently struggling with?
I struggle at times to find items that fit within budget or to not go for the fast fashion fix. As someone in my mid-30s with two kids to pay for and starting off life with school debt and a mortgage, I have to be selective on how much I spend and what I spend on. It is easy to pay for fast-fashion items, but they often don’t last. It’s hard to find quality items where I am not spending 200 dollars on one sweater when I might need to replace 3. I think my other challenges are not knowing a lot about the fundamentals of fashion, what fits suit my body type, what colors or patterns might suit me best… where to focus my priorities and my time on. I don’t have time to go through racks and racks of clothing, I need to zero in and get er’ done and that requires knowledge that I do not have.
Q: What are the most versatile items you have in your closet?
A: Everything is versatile when you are in a pandemic… who knew you could wear a housecoat as a coat, a dress, pajamas…. the list is endless?! Just kidding… kinda… In all seriousness my most versatile items are probably my jeans, my Barbour jacket, my Sofft sneakers in grey because I can wear them casually and dress them up, and if I’m honest my housecoat lol.
Q: If you could go back and change the way you dressed in the past, what would you change?
A: Oh geez… so many things! Actually, I wouldn’t change the way I dressed per say (minus the Pepto Bismol outfit, not sure why I let my mother talk me into that one), but reflecting back on my younger self, I would have changed my attitude towards my appearance. Easier said than done, but we are all our own worst critics, especially in our younger years when we worry about the judgment of others and we are still trying to define ourselves. I wish I had cared less about others and rocked the things I wanted to wear with the confidence that I have now an adult.
Q: Is there a fashion purchase you made that you found more useful than you thought it would be?
Actually, my Barbour jacket is one of my favorite purchases. I have a few beautiful wool coats, but in Ontario where I live where we have such finicky weather that goes from really hot to really cold, we don’t have a lot of time to wear those kinds of coats. I also don’t really have the lifestyle that warrants wearing a beautiful wool coat on a regular basis. My Navy Barbour coat is classic, it fits me well, it keeps me warm, makes me look put together regardless of what pants I have on, and is easy to clean. It’s light and is perfect for transition weather from winter to spring or summer to fall.
Q: What about a fashion purchase that you thought would solve all your problems, but didn’t?
Oh, so many things….but belts is a big one. I have bought a bunch of belts in the past looking at styles on Pinterest to try and fix shapeless shirts that have stretched out or are too big and well it looks like a shapeless shirt with a belt on it lol. I have learned that I am far better off just get a better shirt that fits me properly because the belt doesn’t fix the fit. I’ve also learned that I’m not a belt person.
Q: How do you envision yourself when you look your best?
A: I envision myself being put together and confident… whether it is a casual or dressy outfit just everything fitting well, flattering my shape, and suiting my coloring and blending well together to make an outfit. Said outfit results in confidence and makes the outfit shine.
Q: What are your biggest fashion goals for the year?
I need to pare down my closet and really just focus on the clothes that are comfortable and make me feel good and put together. Then fill in the blanks on the things that I need. Life has changed so much for me but my closet hasn’t. I still have things from 8 years ago that really don’t fit my lifestyle anymore but I have been resistant to getting rid of them because it feels like money wasted, but really it’s just wasting my energy and my time in the mornings to rifle through it to find something that fits and wasting space in my closet. I want to cultivate a style that makes me feel like a put-together adult. I just bought a piece of furniture and got rid of a hand me down, I think it’s time to do the same with my closet.
Q: What is the best fashion advice you ever received?
A: I think the two best pieces of fashion advice (yes I am aware you only asked for one but you’re getting two) are splitting your wears and buying to fit the life you are living. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve gone through my closet and had 2 or 3 of the same type of item or bought things that look lovely but I had nowhere to wear it and so it just sat in my closet for years (yes literally years). Learning these things as simple and straightforward as they may behave really helped me to stop buying things that wouldn’t have benefited me.
Q: The first thing you take off when you get home?
A: Is this a trick question? My shoes.
Well actually right now it might be my mask LOL.
Q: Favorite color(s) to wear
A: I love dark colors and jewel tones… navy, royal blue, eggplant, green. They go well with the fiery red hair of mine.
Q: Favorite stores to shop?
I often shop at Loft, Ann Taylor, White House Black Market, J.Crew although they are all getting a little pricey because I live in Canada and our dollar is just terrible at the moment. I am trying to find some Canadian stores that fit what I am looking for but it’s hard!
Q: What makes you happiest?
Food. always food.
My family makes me happy too 🙂 and learning – I love to learn and try new things. Life is about experiences!
A: My mother inspires me. She is an amazing woman. She is smart, she is a hard worker, she is selfless. I owe everything I am to my mother. She made me who I am and inspires me to continue to be the best version of myself.
And I have to say my kids too. I want them to grow up to be amazing humans, and that requires me to model what makes an amazing human as best as I can and that includes self-love and self-care – which includes fashion!
Q: Use One Word to Describe Your Style
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Oh my gosh! I love your interview responses! So honest and I laughed out loud at least twice. You are a beautiful woman and look young for your years. I used to be that person, but not so much anymore. You are at a wonderful place in your life that will go by quickly. Well maybe after life goes back to normal. 😉
I have the same issues you do with far too many clothes and buying things I will rarely wear. Kind of like the yarn that finds its way into my house, I can’t resist the pretty things.
It’s a pleasure to meet you! 😊
All of your responses answered a lot of my questions. My Mom bought all of my outfits when I was a child and she laid out my clothes every morning for school, right down to my socks. I wore a school uniform for three years. I never really grasped the whole concept of putting together outfits after that because I found that jeans and t-shirts with sneakers was a great outfit. I am a mature woman now and would like to learn how to put some simple layering pieces together and pick shoes other than sneakers. Thanks for your honesty in your responses.
So often in my work with clients, I have found that mothers and childhood plays a huge part in how a woman grasps fashion. I can assure you, you are not alone. I hope you continue to read this blog for help on these current struggles you are dealing with.