This is a guest post and Q&A with Rachel Fawkes, founder of Fawkeshunter, a personal styling service based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
What’s a new look anyone can try this season?
Play with pattern! You name it — leopard, houndstooth, polka dots — there’s a pattern for everyone on the racks right now. An easy option is to freshen up classics with eye-catching accessories. But, this is a more is more kind of year, so I say go bold and try mixing patterns, which isn’t as scary as it sounds, I promise. Just keep these tips in mind:
Keep Patterns The Same Color
Mixing patterns that are in the same color family is the easiest way to make sure your look gels. This fun black and white pattern on the Talbots skirt ($17 on Twice) is complemented perfectly by stripes and polka dots. Bring in a contrasting color with accessories to make the look pop.
Talbots Pleated Black and White A-Line Skirt, $17.00 Liketwice.com
Even if patterns aren’t identical, they can play with your eye in a similar way. This lace Diane Von Furstenberg skirt ($45 on Twice), the floral shirt and BCBG tweed jacket ($40 on Twice) do this. Patterns and textures of similar size and shape keep the eye moving so they complement, rather than compete. Accessories that complement them all tie the look together.
Here, two polka dot sweaters are paired with patterned pants with completely different results. On the left, the large polka dots dominate the thin stripes on the Ann Taylor Loft pant ($14 on Twice). On the right, bright polka dots meet an even bolder nautical print Tommy Hilfiger pant ($16 on Twice) and fade into the background. In both looks, color ties the two patterns together.
Animal Prints Are Neutral
Animal prints like leopard and zebra look fab paired with any pattern. Here, traditional leopard accessories make a floral Elie Tahari dress ($56 on Twice) modern. And remember, the print, not the color, is the neutral in this case. So, depending on the mix you’re making, you may want to play with the color of the animal print to make the look work.
Eli Tahari Abstract Print Sheath Dress, $56.00 liketwice.com
How did you get into styling and what do you love most about it?
I think I was born a stylist! For as long as I can remember, my friends and family have called on me and my closet for style help. I started professionally after seeing my PR clients’ clothes speak just as loudly for their brand as their ideas. I saw styling as an opportunity to combine my love of fashion with my brand building expertise to help people create wardrobes that really speak to who they are. I love the moment when the clothes and the person click and you can see someone’s confidence surge because they’re wearing what they love.
Who is your fashion icon?
I develop new style crushes all the time, but my one true love is Gwyneth Paltrow. She’s fearless with fashion and a master at making bold style statements while always looking impeccable.
What do you love to do when you’re not styling?
I shop! It’s dangerous when your office is full of awesome clothes and accessories.