Style and Confidence
Fashion blogger and style consultant on feeling good in your own skin
Quote the proverb “Clothes make the man” to KRISTIN PEOPLES, and she will likely disagree. Rather than judging a person by the clothes they wear, she believes, people will respond to the wearer’s confidence and sense of style.
Peoples, a fashion blogger and style consultant for women, starts by helping a client look inside.
“The first thing I notice is her confidence level because that’s 80 or 90% of the battle: owning your look and being comfortable in your look,” she says. “Everyone’s style is going to be different and feature pieces that compliment her figure.
“I don’t talk about style do’s and don’ts. First I look at confidence, then I look at style,” she continues. “I don’t believe that everyone should dress like me; I encourage individuality. Your style is essentially what you are saying about yourself without having to speak. It’s how you put things together, stressing ways you flatter your specific body type.”
In Peoples’ opinion, a woman’s sense of fashion is an internal process that just happens to show externally.
If you feel good about yourself, it’s going to show, she says.
So, she begins her approach with clients by talking about what’s going on with them. After discovering what’s happening in the present, they talk about what the client wants and envisions for the future.
“The present is really important,” she explains. “We have to address where we are now. That’s an internal process. Let’s figure out what’s going on internally and then create the path forward.”
During a typical consultation, Peoples talks with a client about her fashion goals and gives them a “look book.”
“It’s a guide with links to sources to help them with their shopping experience. It’s really helpful in the future,” Peoples says. “It can include casual looks, date nights, etc. It’s a good go-to guide. They can look at it without having to call me. I put things together that compliment [clients’] body types but might stretch their comfort zones. There are no rules, like ‘No white after Labor Day.’”
Peoples herself sometimes stretches conventional boundaries, wearing a mix of prints, for example, when she feels like it.
Many women, she says, have trouble being comfortable with their body type or weight, especially if that shape and weight changes over time.
“As a woman and mother, after I had my son, it took me a couple of months to get back into my own style again,” she says. “I was busy and my body had changed. A lot of women struggle with that; not just new moms: they gain weight or lose weight. But it’s important to dress for where they are right now: try a new look now, don’t wait until after you lose or gain the weight.”
Peoples says she has been interested in fashion since she was in high school.
“I have always had a knack for style, helping people I know put outfits together,” she says.
She started blogging about fashion several years ago when her son was very young, she lived in Washington, D.C. and she was back at work full-time. When the blog didn’t take off on the scale she expected, she took a break from it but resumed when she moved back to Wilmington, where she had previously earned a master’s degree from University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Peoples’ day job is as a tech recruiter for banking software company nCino; outside her main career, she helps bring fun to fashion for women.
“I post pretty consistently on different topics and I’m on Instagram as well,” she says. “It dawned on me this was something I should explore, a gift I had been given. I had women ask me for advice when I was out, and realized I could help quite a few women discover or revamp their style.”
For women working from home or just largely confined to home during the pandemic, Peoples shares some tips from her own experience.
“I work from home every day, but I still get up and get dressed as if I’m going to the office. I put on a little makeup, a nice dress or top – because I’m still doing Zoom. I feel so much better and more productive than when I get up and throw on just anything. My energy levels are a little bit higher.”
I suggest women start with a couple times a week: get up and really get dressed. You will feel the impact in some shape or form. Aim for two or three times a week, at least for starters.”
To view more of photographer Michael Cline Spencer’s work, go to michaelclinephoto.com.
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