Fashion Stylist Jacqui Stafford Wants You to Embrace Your Curves!
Renowned stylist Jacqui Stafford shares insider tips on looking great without dropping big bucks, flattering your figure, and loving the skin you’re in.
While most of rush to get our hands on the latest trend, Jacqui Stafford specializes in style. And no, we’re not talking about baubles and handbags you’ll regret splurging on a few years from now.
As a fashion spokeswoman who’s appeared on The Today Show, The View, and in the pages of Lucky Vogue, Marie Claire, Town & Country and Cosmopolitan, Stafford is a seasoned industry veteran. Not only does she believe that all women can look fabulous, this savvy gal knows we can do it on a shoestring budget.
We chatted with Stafford about dressing to impress even in the heat, how to clean up your wardrobe, and her upcoming style book. Get ready for a fashion forward summer!
BettyConfidential: Who have you worked with as a stylist?
Jacqui Stafford: Everyone from high-net-worth career women to stay-at-home mums.
BC: What was the most interesting place you’ve visited for work?
JS: A TV shoot on a busy Hong Kong high street.
BC: What can women do to gain confidence in their own skin?
JS: Learn to love the body you’re born with. I see so many women waiting to lose that elusive last few pounds instead of embracing the gorgeous curves they have—and dressing for the body they own today.
BC: How can women still look fresh and put together when the heat hits?
JS: The trick is all in the fabrics: Go for pieces in natural fabrics, like 100 percent cotton or linen. I’m a huge fan of “one-piece dressing” and nothing beats a stellar maxi dress that you just pair with platform wedges and statement earrings.
BC: A lot of us are in the midst of overhauling our wardrobes. How do you decide which pieces to keep and which to throw away?
JS: Here’s what I advise my clients to ask themselves:
Does this look sensational on me?
Is this perfect for my body shape, and absolutely my style?
Do I wear it constantly (or at least every chance I get)?
Then I probe a bit more:
Would they love this piece if they replaced the buttons? (And they promise to do that this week.)
Can they alter it, and see how some slight tailoring (like picking up the straps or shortening the length) would make them love it?
Lastly, here are the definitive questions I need them to ask themselves:
I’m not sure what this item of clothing actually is.
I was a teenager when I bought this piece.
I’ve thought about throwing out these clothes a gazillion times before.
I’m keeping it because it’s aspirational (one day it will fit).
I must have been on drugs, or had a gun to my head when I bought this.
BC: What tips do you have for women in developing a personal style?
JS: Please: IGNORE SLAVISHLY FOLLOWING TRENDS. The key lies in figuring out your body shape, and dressing for the best you ever. It’s all about highlighting your best bits, and downplaying the parts of the body you don’t love so much.
BC: How can women move away from “copying” the latest star styles?
JS: Yes, it’s tempting to rush out and pick up what the latest A-lister is wearing, but ask yourself this: is it really going to suit my body and budget? If not, incorporate just elements of the star’s style that works for you: maybe it’s the style of bag or color palette that appeals. Embrace touches of the trends, rather than copying.
BC: What is the best part about being a stylist?
JS: Enjoying the transformation. When a client is ecstatic because she can’t believe how good she looks (and how little she spent!), it’s extremely rewarding.
BC: What are some of your own style tricks?
JS: I actually wear roughly the same styles all the time, yet people believe I have a vast, varied wardrobe. I mix everything up with accessories that I source from all over the world. I travel a lot for my work, so I scour countless stores and tiny boutiques to find unusual pieces that cost NOTHING.
BC: You have a book coming out in February called The Wow Factor: Insider Style Secrets for Every Body and Budget. What do you hope women will get out of this book?
JS: My mission is that women realize that the fashion industry is selling them a complete myth! We’re often encouraged to feel “less than perfect” because we don’t live up to a standard ideal of how our bodies are supposed to look. Yet magazines and adverts portray images that are totally unrealistic. I uncover all the insider secrets to looking the best YOU imaginable, whether you’re a size 2 or size 20.
To learn more about Jacqui and her style philosophy, visit her site.
Diana Denza is a regular contributor to BettyConfidential.