We just launched our image consultant/personal shopper directory last month and connected with a fabulous image consultant named Laurie Brucker of Laurie B Style, LLC. who is based in West Hollywood, CA.
Her Image Consulting business specializes in women (and men) who are experiencing a life change or a potential life change and need their wardrobe to follow suit. Laurie likes to call it, “Image Branding”. She lives for helping people find a style that is not only unique theirs, but also is right for their currently lifestyle/career, as well as helps them attain their ultimate life goals. Image is everything and Laurie teaches her clients a new way of thinking to help them take their style to the next level. Overall Laurie has worked with professionals, artists, actors, musicians and full bands to help them create their own image and style brand.
Now, while Laurie B Style LLC is almost a year old at this point, Laurie also comes from an extensive fashion design background. She worked in New York City as a designer for 7 years. Laurie considers herself truly an expert in my fashion field as she studied trends, styles, fit, and understand from a designers perspective, construction, quality, durability, and styling longevity. Eventually, she went back to school at the Fashion Institute of Technology and received a certification degree in Image Consulting before moving to Los Angeles to build Laurie B Style, LLC.
Want to know more? We certainly do! So here is a brief summary of our chat with Laurie!
WC: How do you think a person can express their individual style when dressing for the office?
LB:Individualism is key when it comes to office dressing. Especially when you are working a 9-5 and you are stuck in a cubicle or desk all day. Having an outfit that makes you feel like you, is an instant mood booster and will continue to make you feel good throughout the day. Even though we all have various types of day jobs, I believe that women in corporate offices struggle the most with finding a happy medium between their beautiful selves and the conservative structure they must maintain in the office setting. In this case, accessories become you best friends. They are the pieces that help you express who you are. Feminine? Wear a floral statement necklace and oversized flower cocktail ring with your suit. More edgy? Try some chunky earrings and a studded cuff. And, nothing whispers subconsciously to onlookers about who you are than your shoe choice. Ditch black and neutral colors and go for a color that screams, you! Red, pink, blue, yellow, silver or gold even, what ever color tickles your fashion fancy. A colorful and stylish shoe will instantly uplift that drab work uniform, give you bounce in your step and show your coworkers that you are more than just a suit.
WC:What do you find are the biggest wardrobe obstacles your clients have?
LB: I believe there are two obstacles I’ve seen as the toughest challenge for my clients.
1) Understanding your body and what garments fit your shape better. I find that most women are not aware of how certain garments and fabrics react to their body curves. We all have different body shapes so learning about the correct fit helps women discover the sexy body shape, they never new they had. And once they master that fashion ideal the result is a confidence with every step!
2) Color awareness. All colors react to our skin and hair differently and most women have no idea how a specific colors can either make their skin glow, or even cast shadows creating the look of wrinkles. So finding the proper colors and color combinations for your wardrobe are essential to our day to day challenge of getting dressed. But, the great thing about knowing your best colors? You’ll always be able to put pieces in your wardrobe together easily because all the colors will relate, mix and match. But with any obstacle I like to leave my clients feeling like they have learned something. I cannot be there to get dressed with them everyday, so I teach them to have a better understanding of themselves so they can look in that scary closet and are able to put together looks that are flattering, appropriate and give them the confidence to tackle anything. That’s always my ultimate goal. Finding that hidden confidence within.
WC: How do you help clients find their style inspiration?
LB: For me inspiration comes from a wide range of things: nature, fashion, music etc. But for my clients I like to keep things simple. Apart of my first free consultation, I like to ask my clients to list me their 5 favorite celebrities that they look up to and then to tell me why. From there we discuss all these traits and key describing words. Then based on the client’s lifestyle and fashion needs we pull from those key words to help the client get better focus on the image they want people to perceived them as. This is always a fun discussion. We together discover the heart of their fashion and stylistic image needs. And with all this information I help them understand how each of these words and adjectives get reflected in their wardrobe. How can we show off that you are flirtatious but responsible, or understated but sensual. It’s almost like fashion psychology. We merge all these ideas and with the use of pattern, shape, fabric, color, silhouette and overall look, we together finding their style.
WC: Since you have lived on both coasts- how do you think East and West coast women differ on what they wear to work?
LB: Ah yes. East vs West. There is most definitely a difference in how New Yorkers dress and Los Angelenos dress. For New Yorkers, as everyone there is racing to get to the top as fast as they can, there are strong elements of structure, sophistication, sharp edges and angles, strong accessories, perfect platforms and dark dominating colors. These women look expensive, even if they are not. I worked in the Garment district for 7 years and let me tell you, those women are intimidating. Perhaps I was one of them, but I was always self-conscious of my style and watched everyone else was wearing. But what I discovered when I moved back to a more, laid back Los Angeles is that, I was way too overdressed for most occasions. My strong dressy structured look wasn’t cutting it. In Los Angeles, there is something a bit airy, vintage, bohemian and edgy even. from a stylistic stand point. With more emphasis on softer colors, denim, more comfortable fabrications, flowing dresses, and drapery with a splash of Hollywood sex appeal. In the work place fashion forward women have more fun mixing up their structured suit with their bohemian styling. It’s a more approachable look and I love that. For me, being that I have tasted the fashion flavors now of both coasts I have found my happy medium. It’s a mix of the casual and sophisticated. You can clearly see my New York influences and my LA influences but still find Harmony in the whole look. It’s all about harmony, balance, appropriateness and confidence. Carry these accessories with you and no matter where you live, every look will be smashing!
Find and Connect with Laurie at the following:
the Laurie B Style Files blog: www.thelauriebstylefiles.blogspot.comThanks Laurie for being our featured Image Consultant Extraordinare! Find more about Laurie and others in your area in our Workchic Image Consultant/Personal Shopper directory!