A while ago I was introduced to the lovely Candice Ilic from With-Style at an event that was aimed at helping women to become more confident in their fashion choices. This is definitely an area I could do with some assistance in so I was really interested in what she had to say and what services she offers… After chatting a bit to her I discovered that the essence behind her fashion styling company and my blog, Becoming you, was very similar – we both want to inspire women to refocus on themselves, to discover long forgotten parts of their personalities and begin to celebrate themselves more! With that in mind I asked Candice to share a little bit more about how to go about celebrating your style!
As a woman what is it that we most need? A hot bath, glass of champagne, loving man, delightful children, confidence, less stress, more manageable lives, more time for things that really matter?!
Well that was my list while I was running my shoe shop at the Waterfront and racing back to run the home and be a mother to my two young daughters and the nightmare that is a sleep-depriving, reflux-affected baby (albeit a cherubic-looking one!).
After a couple of years, the light at the end of the tunnel appeared and fortunately it was not an oncoming train but real sleep, happy children and a moment to myself! What a relief! It was at this point that I started a project for myself – to recover my identity and style for my old, tired wardrobe.
In a previous lifetime (1993-2001) I was a very busy international model, clearly somewhere inside me was more than the tired woman I kept bumping into in the mirror! Over a short while I found my forgotten inner goddess and coaxed her back to my life! Through that process I realized how invaluable it was to me and how many other women could do with a similar re-awakening and that is how With-Style was born.
I know that I am not alone in my story of losing my confidence and control of my wardrobe. With my years as both ramp, ‘in-house’ and photographic model I am very aware of the fit and effect of clothing on a woman. Some women have never really found their style stride and others have been knocked off path by life-changing events. I understand this and helping a woman to find her confidence and joie de vie in fashion again is what makes my job a pleasure! In the big picture, fashion is a reflection of what society is dealing with at the time, for us individually it is an unspoken language that influences society’s perception of who we are. If that perception is not a healthy one, shopping can become an emotionally draining event! I am here to show women that it does not need to be that way and getting dressed can be a simple experience that gives you confidence to take on your day whatever lies ahead.
What With-Style Does
It is imperative to sort your wardrobe out. I am committed to being thorough, honest and kind. Together my client and I select what is no longer suitable (and face those past purchase mistakes). It all goes on the ’out’ pile. There are so many other people who can take joy in the items that are gathering dust in your cupboard! I don’t ever traumatise my clients so there is a small pile of maybes that we pack away to consider again in the future. Usually most of those items will be tossed by the next season by the ‘new woman‘ I uncover.
I will then summarise what is needed to pull your wardrobe together or create a whole new one. I will dress you according to your body shape but I find direction in your style by your personality and your lifestyle. I aspire to finding the individual within and so do not work with set rules, but I will find you your own set of guidelines to work with.
Shopping with me is a pre-planned adventure! Short, sweet and satisfying! I do the leg work beforehand, setting aside garments in the most suitable shops and all you need to do is hit the fitting room and allow the magic to happen. I build outfits from head to toe making sure that the individual pieces flatter you and will be versatile in your wardrobe. I will advise you when to spend that extra money on long term pieces and when to check out low cost pieces instead. I can easily kit out an entire season in 3 hours! A wardrobe should evolve and the first shopping trip is more foundational – after that I usually shop for pieces by season, with each shop getting more adventurous as the wearer gains more confidence! After the shopping trip is done this is followed up with a summary at your home to finalise the looks created and items purchased and to assist you with knowing exactly how to use your new items when I leave. Most of my clients stay in touch with me and I love discovering a special item perfect for a certain client as I do my store rounds. I also assist with shopping for an outfit for a particular event such as a wedding.
A woman who can love herself and treat herself with kindness and gentleness is a confident, strong woman. Let go of the self-criticism, find reasons to appreciate yourself and your world will be a happier place!
About the Author: Cape Town Image Consultant and Personal Stylist, Candice Ilic, is keen to help you love your image! She spent 8 years in the international fashion industry working as a photographic and ramp model, as well as time spent working ‘in-house’ with renowned French designers Chantal Thomas and Christian Lacroix. This experience gave her exposure to the importance of fit with the right cut, using a suitable fabric that will flatter in the way it falls. Now a mother of 3, Candice has seen significant changes in her life and priorities. She understands how a body changes after kids and with age. She remembers being disappointed and frustrated trying to shop for herself post-babies. Nowadays the high heels are used less often, but one can still look and feel great while being able to catch and carry children!