Miss A Columnist

As a 4-year Leukemia survivor, Stacey Mertes is heavily involved in fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the American Diabetes Association. Her 7-year-old son, Logan, is a recently diagnosed Type 1 diabetic, but keeps Stacey on her toes with his own active fundraising endeavors such as the Columbia Tower climb (for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society), WaMu stair climb (for Cystic Fibrosis), and several triathlons and other stair climbs around the city. Originally from a suburb of Chicago, Stacey has lived in many of the local neighborhoods (including spending 11 years next to the Pike Place Market), since graduating from the University of Washington. She finally settled down in the most diverse zip code in the country, Columbia City, where she enjoys walks to the many restaurants, farmers market, and art events nearby. Her favorite hobby of late is finding the most fun “free” things to do around Seattle with her son. She loves movies, plays, visiting the Pacific Science Center and other museums, and finding those geocaching adventures.

The Westfield Style Tour With Stacy London

Stacy London at Westfield Style Tour 2011

Stacy London at Westfield Style Tour 2011 (Photo Credit: Stacey Mertes)

Don’t miss the final weekend of the Westfield Style Tour at Westfield Southcenter Mall this weekend, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, launching the partnership between Westfield Mall and Stacy London to create the Westfield Style Magazine and to promote Stacy London’s Style for Hire endeavor. Located on the first floor of Macy’s court, you can make an appointment to get a mini-makeover and a consultation with a Style for Hire personal stylist, hand-picked and vetted by Stacy London herself.

Stacy London is the co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear, style editor for the NBC’s Today Show, and editor-in-chief of the Westfield Style Magazine.

I had my personal stylist appointment on Sunday. It started out with a hand massage as I waited for my appointment and some relaxing time to peruse the new Westfield Style Magazine. Then, I met with Style for Hire‘s Regional Manager Paula O’Neil. After talking to me for a few minutes, she began pulling clothes from a style closet, consisting of clothes from stores throughout the mall, looking for outfits that would work for my body type, personality, budget, and lifestyle. I felt an immediate sense of relief that I might finally get some looks that actually work for my body now. O’Neil’s enthusiasm, energy, and clear knowledge of fashion and style made me feel like I was in capable hands. After pulling those outfits, she explained how and why they would work for my body type so I could make educated style decisions as I shop. It was like being on a What Not to Wear set. I felt uplifted and ready to shop within budget right away. After the stylist appointment, I was escorted to the beauty bar, where I received a free mini-makeover.

My personal style outfits

My personal style outfits (Photo Credit: Stacey Mertes)

By the end of the appointment, I not only had a beautifully made-up face and style knowledge, but a digital printout of each piece created for each outfit, where to buy the piece, the price, and of course, the enthusiasm and direction to go shopping in the mall. The information is also sent to you via email. If you bring the printout they give you to the stores they recommend, you get additional discounts for those clothes.

Earlier in the week, I interviewed O’Neil. When we got to talking about fashion, O’Neil suggested extending your wardrobe by mixing opposites for different looks. Take a lush pink, sheer dress, and add a green necklace, leather jacket, and biker boots, for instance. Use bolder colors as your neutrals. Why not a coral purse that goes with everything?

O’Neil, as a native Seattleite, says we are passionate about our fashion and opinions here. We have a strong sense of self, but at the same time, we get caught up in our “uniform.” We pick one look and rock it well, but why not try mixing and matching that look with another to come up with something totally different but equally rockin’? Dress with intent is O’Neil’s advice. She says that Style for Hire helps you translate trend in the appropriate manner and find pieces that fit you and works well with your personality, budget, and lifestyle.  A great tip she gave me for legs that don’t want to be bare due to unsightly veins or scars, was to try fishnet tights in nude with a very small weave. It looks like a nude leg but helps hide those areas you want to disguise.

Style for Hire's Regional Manager, Paula O'Neil

Style for Hire's Regional Manager, Paula O'Neil (Photo Credit: Stacey Mertes)

But what happens after the tour is over? You have the Westfield Style Magazine, with editor-in-chief Stacy London, to guide you through trends, outfits, prices, and the appropriate store to buy your outfits that fit properly, and more importantly fit your budget. Ask the Westfield Mall concierge for your copy of the Westfield Style Magazine. You can also see it online at Westfield Style Magazine. To make an appointment with the stylist and/or mini-makeover on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, go to Westfield Style Tour.

You also have Style for Hire as a resource. Style for Hire is a new collaboration between Stacy London and Cindy McLaughlin, a fashion executive turned stay-at-home mom, and now CEO of Style for Hire. It started with Stacy, a long-time friend of Cindy’s, editing down Cindy’s closet after Cindy realized she had lost her adult-wear as a mom. They went through her closet much like Stacy and Clinton do in TLC’s What Not to Wear, and kept only relevant pieces, pieces that fit, and then repurposed or sent the rest of the clothing to live somewhere else.  Then they went shopping, focusing on fit, figure, trend, and classics. Thus began their idea of providing style advice for all women, not just celebrities. Stacy personally hand-picked her stylists who share the same foundation and philosophy. She personally trains each stylist in New York. Style for Hire is a national company, but started in Washington, D.C., and New York.

Style for Hire allows you to choose a stylist in your area and hire them at various price points. O’Neil, says, “Going through your closet and trying on clothes in front of a stranger can get very personal, so we want to match you as best as we can with a stylist you can work with.” O’Neil says Style for Hire stylists supply a kind truthfulness in their service that helps you feel more confident and comfortable with who you are, so you can move forward to do those great things you are meant to do in life. Out-of-date clothing, clothes that don’t fit, garments in need of mending just drag you down and limits you from doing what you can do in life. Style for Hire can help edit your closet and provide a plan to go forward, or they can go as far as taking you shopping and redesigning your whole wardrobe.

Westfield Style Tour

WHEN: September 30-October 1, 2011 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE:
Westfield Southcenter Mall
2800 Southcenter Mall
Tukwila, WA 98188
Ph. 206-241-9887

TICKETS: Free to the public, but if you want a personal style consultation, make a reservation.

RESERVATIONS:
To reserve a spot and get styled for free by a Style for Hire stylist, go to Westfield Style Tour. Walk-up appointments are also accepted.

Style for Hire

RESERVATIONS:
To make a reservations with a Style for Hire stylist, go to Style for Hire and type in your zip code. Or call 1-877-789-5307. If they don’t have a stylist in your zip code, they will automatically give you a $25 credit toward your next service when a stylist is vetted in your area.

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