I typically don't plan out my outfit days before going to the mall. I typically don't wear a blazer or skinny tie, and I certainly don't make a special trip to the dry cleaners beforehand. But last Saturday was not a typical Saturday at the mall.
I was going to meet Stacy London, celebrity stylist and queen of TLC's What Not To Wear .
London is the face of the Westfield Style Tour, an event that brings style and beauty tips to everyday shoppers.
Last weekend, the tour stopped at the Brandon Westfield mall for a two-day festival of style and beauty. Retailers like bebe, White House Black Market and Sephora sponsored the event, with everything from dresses to shoes to eye shadow, while London’s team of trained style experts gave makeovers to guests.
“What you’re doing is exactly what men should be doing in general,” London said. “The jean that you’re wearing is a great color and a great wash. You want something that looks effortless but that takes effort in the amount of care and microstyling you put into it.” London also stressed the importance of cuts and fits in menswear as portrayed by the character Christian Grey in the best-selling novel Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James,
“Men really should tailor [their] clothes literally within an inch of their life,” she said, “because [they] don’t have as many options as women. I don’t care how many men say they are a large [size], they never are.”
London certainly knew her correct size that morning, wearing a very form-fitting maroon and charcoal Zara dress with silhouette detailing, and pale yellow and red snakeskin Tabitha Simmons heels.
When it comes to following trends, neon is in.
“You can always cut neon with a neutral,” London said, pointing to a fuchsia purse with nude piping. “You’re also going to be able to wear something like what you’re wearing: jeans, a neutral color jacket and pop it with a neon tie.”
Because we live with year-round sunshine and warm temps, this trend is an easy one to follow.
“Immediately, when there is a warmer climate, people are showing more skin,” London said. “Color is embraced here. I don’t see everyone walking around in black.”
But London saved her most important tip for last:
“Look for clothes that fit your body and complement the things you like about it,” she said. “People care about what they look like wherever they are, and I think you find the rhythm and vibe of that city, and match your style accordingly.”
As the ambassador of the Tampa Lookbook, I was very relieved my look passed London's critical eye. Little did she know that the reason my skinny jeans fit so well was because they were still a little damp from the washing machine.