CBSDFW.COM fashion blogger Allison Edwards recently sat down with fellow Dallas stylist and image consultant Bethany Buice Siggins on her business, the latest and greatest of fashion trends-past and present, and her new role as ‘mommy.’
How did you get into being a personal stylist and image consultant?
“I had been working in corporate for a decade, I just didn’t feel passionate about my job anymore. I started talking to a local businesswoman about other ideas to get the creative juices flowing. No one recommended to me to do anything with fashion, it just kind of came about! The Association of Image Consultants (AICI) website gave me some good information on how I could style and make money at the same time, other than celebrity stylists I didn’t know much about it! I found out that every day women needed my assistance, there usually was a reason for such things as transitions in life: weight loss, divorce, wanting a new look, or they were trying to get back into dating.”
You just had twins (Vivien and Nathan) this past December, how do you juggle being a mom and owning your own business?
“You have to have a strong supporting cast. I give John the best husband in the world award! I found that it has been a lot harder to get back into my work because I’m having so much fun with them, they are only babies once and I don’t want to miss anything. I have a nanny two days a week, so it allows me time to devote to the business, as well as squeezing in time when they sleep. I’ve learned clients have to have more patience with me.”
What inspires you personally as a stylist/consultant?
“First and foremost being able to provide the gift of encouragement and see the positives in life. For me I want my clients to be excited about their future, and happy with themselves and their life, I’m an eternal optimist and like to look at the brighter side of things, a forever cheerleader! I’m inspired by fashion and give those credit who are fearless with their style, ones that don’t rely on the opinions of others, wear what they want and go above the trends.”
Who has been a big influence on you as a person, and as a career woman?
“Hokey I know, but my husband again, the moment I met John, he inspired me to do what I want, he’s my biggest encourager and the reason I can pursue this.”
Also, how does your cultural upbringing influence you?
“Having been raised in the deep South, I hope there is always a measure of politeness and civility, respect in everything I do. We learn to say, “please, mam, sir, thank you,” it carries over into all of your relationships. I’m pretty bubbly and always laughing, so I have to be careful when I’m going through my clients’ closets. I had a client I was working with and I laughed about a piece in her closet, I wasn’t laughing at her, I’m always having fun, so I have to watch it when I’m in others personal space.”
What do you consider stylish in Dallas?
“It seems when girls go out, they go all out, there are a smaller group of guys who are styled in their looks. There’s a big disconnect between the way guys and girls look. Dallas style is on trend and people are not afraid to try new things, experiment a bit! So many people here in the city are from other places, it is a melting pot with a lot of flavors and fashion influences, so it’s hard to pinpoint one look. I say it’s a free for all!”
How has your fashion evolved over the years?
(Laughing and smiling) “I started out as a young girl being a fashion follower. When I got into my mid twenties, I was wearing pearls and sweater sets in the corporate world and had to buy and wear suits! As a child of the 80’s baggy suits with shoulder pads were in. Closer to my thirties I really started ejecting who I was and what I loved to wear, my fashion sense has changed a lot. I just got this great Alexander McQueen blouse from his final collection on Gilt Groupe.”
Do you feel Texas has its own style, or does it influence national trends?
“I definitely think designers over time, use Texas as inspiration. Everything is bigger and bolder here. I hope designers continue to use Texas style from time to time. Everybody thinks a lot of western wear when they think of Texas. Dallas is fashionable and on trend as Austin is into more casual, natural, and organic clothing.”
What services do you offer as a personal stylist and image consultant?
“My four main ones include a style evaluation, a color analysis, a closet editing, and personal shopping.”
What is a color analysis?
“Basically helping a client optimize their personal color scheme based on their skin tone, hair, and eye color. You are your own canvas and that dictates who you are. I use a color fan of optimum colors, over 1500 colors from the kit so everything looks like it flows together.”
How is your personal style reflected in styling a client?
“Hopefully not at all, my job is to find out as much as I can about my clients. I want to style them in an authentic way and how they should look. When I’m just helping with their closets, it can be a bit challenging with out the style interview I typically do, the client runs a risk of me putting my style spin on it.”
As a stylist, want do you want to be known best for?
“The whole part of getting someone, who they are and what they do! I want to project the confidence and the look of authenticity. I would love to do makeovers more with my clients. It’s not just about the clothes, I would love to help shop for the right hair products and tools, makeup, and the right makeup brushes, and teach them it doesn’t always have to be expensive.”
What words of expertise can you give women out there about dressing the part?
“Even when I was at the hospital with the twins for their feedings, I would still do my makeup, my hair, and put on nice clothes. I would run late, because I was getting ready. I wanted to look and feel like a normal person, that is who I am! It takes 5 seconds for a person to make a judgment of who you are based on your look and appearance. They decide immediately if they want to know you or even talk to you. Try and look your best every time you go out. You could lose business because you didn’t dress the part. I did a talk with some young high school girls and I told them you have to always be interview ready, dress as if you could be interviewed right then! Taking care of yourself is not superficial; it’s simply how you put yourself together and how you feel. Women who have babies, know their body changes, and life changes too, so it’s hard to get back into fitting in your clothes. Keep those clothes, as a mother you just have to know how to make a shift, a default. The way you look influences your attitude for the day. I go out for a bit during the day, but I still put on makeup and a nice outfit, it just makes me feel better!”
What does a regular work day/week include when getting ready for any event?
“Plenty of rest, drinking lots of water, and taking time to plan what to wear. You can’t just run into your closet, I start weeks ahead to in planning and may even practice with styles for my hair, makeup, and attire.”
What trends are catching your eye for the fall?
“Bold statements, colored fur, metallic fabrics, fishnet stockings, boots, capes, and lady like pumps. Red is the color of the season, which is my favorite color. I have this red lamb fur coat from the 80’s, I wore it in junior high I might bring out. I’m loving Louis Vuitton’s platform thick red patent boots and Miu Miu glittery platforms heels. I’m surprised how designers are using pastels and mixing it up. I like the knee-high stockings with boots but it’s not really my style. Makeup for fall is all about the red lip-poppy and bright.”
Where are your favorite places to shop?
I get a little bit everywhere, I’m a sale shopper and love mixing high and low pieces. Barney’s Coop, Vintage Martini in Carrollton, Ahab Bowen, Banana Republic, and even Forever 21 are some of my go to’s.
As a stylist, how do you see designs evolving each season or as trends come and go?
“I feel designers are having a hard time doing anything new, some are working on new textiles but it’s getting harder to make new shapes, new colors. You have to look at how many seasons revert back to each other, like the sixties pieces that are in. I like to make little shifts, I have my clients come up with a look book and tear out pictures of things they like or pieces they find on the internet and have them put it in a book.”
When do you know you have successfully done your job?
“I guess when a client tells me how good they feel and the positive feedback and response they get from other people. I feel good when they tell me that during the follow up I do with them. Ideally I would love my clients to consider working with me on a continual basis or at two to three times a year, it becomes a relationship.”
Bethany’s first passion is serving others, building her clients’ self confidence and showing them the attributes that make them distinctive and matchless. She believes an appreciation for your unique features is the definition of real beauty. Bethany wants above all to highlight your individuality and showcase you at your best.
Bethany Buice Siggins is a Dallas-based stylist and image consultant. To learn more about her work go to: http://www.bethanysiggins.com/.