Through her home based business, wardrobe consultant and personal stylist Suze Solari has been helping her friends and clients dress in confidence and style, learning to maximize the impact of their wardrobe. Suze is now sharing her expertise as the new style blogger on OakPark.com. We sit down with Suze for a Q&A and find out what advice she has when it comes to holiday shopping on a tight budget.
You can read Suze Solari's style blog, and other shopping blogs, at OakPark.com/Shopping/Blogs
What inspired you to become a style blogger on OakPark.com?
Well, I think it was timing really. My kids started full day school this Fall (yeah!) and my wardrobe styling business is gaining traction. I have been writing my own blog as part of my website, sending it out a s a newsletter, for about 18 months; and have received accolades from my readers. Its great to provide a similar perspective with featuring local items for the readers on Oakpark.com!
What are two major trends you see emerging in the fashion industry today? How do you see local boutiques embracing these trends?
There are many, but the two most recognized trends to be embraced by the local boutiques are eco-fashion and 'return to glamour'.
The Fashion Industry has been focusing on providing 'green' design practices and products for some time now, but this trend is picking up speed. Our local shops are responding by providing apparel and accessories designed and made locally, and selling earth friendly and recycled fabrics and products.
Just say no to Yoga pants! The savvy OakPark/River Forest/Forest Park customer is exposed to these trends, wants to look good and enjoys dressing up. 'Return to glamour' trend can be seen in every boutique from the plethora of bejeweled and adorned garments; lady-like sillouttes such as longer skirt lengths, feminine blouses and floral prints; faux and real fur; soft and neutral colors like mauve; and the accessories: chandelier earrings, big cocktail rings and statement necklaces. All of these styles point to a more refined, glamourous way of dressing.
What do you think makes Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park distinct shopping and fashion destinations?
We are a fortunate community to have access to a variety of boutiques carrying desirable apparel lines to suit just about every style esthetic and budget. From a selection of avant guard, contemporary and vintage clothing offerings, as well as shoes, handbags and jewelry; we have much to offer for our local and nearby township shoppers who do not have the time or patience to go into the city.
With the holidays quickly approaching, what advice can you give to those who want to shop locally, but are on a tight budget and don't have a lot of time?
Fashion is not exclusive. I utilize the philosophy of 'high/low' in my work and in my own wardrobe. This is the mixing of high end investment pieces and low end trendy finds, to create inventive outfits. The key is to integrate and support our fashion retail community. Just about every boutique has options for shopping on a budget, as well as expert styling advice from the shop owners. Investing a little time upfront, to meet these folks, will save time in the long term. If you tell them what you are looking for, and what prices you want to pay, they can source it for you. Get onto their mailing lists, take advantage of sales and promotions. Shop from the many vintage and consignment shops we have available to us; and read the shopping blogs on OakPark.com!
How are you adding your own style and experience to the shopping and fashion blog?
I believe that style is a deeply personal expression of who you are. Every time you dress, you are asserting a part of yourself. I foster my creativity every day, just standing in my closet, and I love it! My goal as a stylist is to help my clients feel comfortable and look chic, achieving their own invididual style. My blog strives to find and present the necessary wardrobe items to inspire the readers to do so.