I recently attended an event on how to project my personal style through my clothing and how to make an impact in my field. This seminar was hosted by Christina Proctor, Verified Style Coach and she gave lots of great tips which were both useful and practical. I caught up with her afterwards and she very graciously agreed to answer my questions for the benefit of the Trusted Clothes readership.
Who are you? What do you do?
My name is Christina Proctor and I am a certified Style CoachTM with the International Association of Style CoachesTM. I am the owner of Wear Out There, a wardrobe styling company which serves Waterloo Region, Wellington County, and the surrounding townships.
Style CoachingTM is a unique field of study which combines personal styling and life coaching techniques when working with individuals to look their very best. Unlike traditional stylists who focus exclusively on a client’s external appearance, I believe in working with clients to love what they see in the mirror as well how they feel about themselves. I work one-on-one with individuals to develop a unique style that suits their lifestyle needs, goals, and who they are as a person. This involves body shape and colour analysis, identifying style personalities, wardrobe organization, personal shopping and other exercises to help clients live an authentic life. I also host group workshops on style-related and personal development topics. A big emphasis in my business is also teaching individuals where to shop locally in our community.
How did you get started in fashion?
What started in 2013 as a hobby, has now transformed into an amazing career. Through my experiences writing a fashion blog, also under the name Wear Out There, I have become a local shopping expert, sharing the stories behind fashion retailers and spas, updating readers in a monthly fashion column, reporting on fashion events, and appearing on television. I enjoyed helping readers develop their personal style, and find a look that represented who they were and where they wanted to go. I soon realized I needed to take a chance and pursue my dream.
In 2016, I completed a Style CoachingTM certificate through the Style CoachingTM Institute in England. They, like me, believe in embracing the ‘whole’ person, inside and out when creating a new image.
Like many girls and women alike, I struggled with my body image and there were times I didn’t feel lovable at all. I was critical of myself and thought I wasn’t pretty enough, skinny enough, or smart enough. These feelings have been tough to overcome and I work every day to accept myself just the way that I am. But my past doesn’t have to anyone else’s future.
It warms my heart immensely to help men and women love what they see in the mirror and to develop a style that reflects who THEY are, and where THEY want to go. I truly believe that sometimes all it takes is a fresh look to start some big changes in life. This is WHY I do what I do. I want to help others gain confidence, self-esteem, and a true appreciation of who they are, no matter their situation or where they have come from.
What are the 10 essential pieces of clothing for men and women
The ten essential pieces for women are:
- Full suit – to mix and match pieces from
- 5-6 Blouses in a variety of styles and colours
- Day dress
- Skirt in an interesting colour or pattern, in a style that suits your body shape
- Tailored white shirt
- Trench coat
- Dark wash, boot cut jeans
- Merino wool or cashmere sweater – great layering piece
- A pair or black and neutral pumps in a kitten heel style
- Structured tote bag
The ten essential pieces for men are:
- Full suit – to mix and match pieces from
- 5-6 button-up shirts in a variety of colours and patterns, at
least one of which is plain white and pale blue
- A pair of khaki’s or chinos
- Wool or cashmere sweater
- Casual blazer
- Overcoat or trench coat
- Briefcase or messenger bag
- A pair or black or brown dress shoes, and a pair of brown longwing style shoes
- A collection of ties to match the button-up shirts
- Dark wash, boot-cut jeans
If you could give one tip to somebody about improving their style what would it be?
The key tip for dressing your best is to always think of the situation and what would be appropriate. I have seen so many individuals over-dress or under-dress for an event. Choose your outfit based on the activities of your day, and take the time to organize your closet so that only pieces that make you feel great remain. To do this, make sure you identify what your body shape is, get a proper colour analysis done, and determine your style personality.
Is quality more important or quantity?
Quality is always more important than quantity, but you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a wonderful wardrobe. You must fill your wardrobe with pieces that suit you. If you love to have a full wardrobe or stay up-to-date on trends, try to shop consignment or vintage.
How often would you say one should get their haircut to ‘stay fresh’
For women, a good trim every 3 months is preferred. It certainly depends on the style you’re trying to maintain as some certainly require more regular maintenance. It also depends if you’re trying to grow your hair out, or keep its current length. For men, try every 2 months. This is because on average hair grows at a rate of 0.5 inches per month.
How can someone be more confident in their personal style?
Dressing is very personal and is an expression of who you are and where you want to go. Individuals tend to fall into one of 5 style personalities, which are the same for both men and women. These are: Romantic, Classic, Creative, Dramatic and Natural. Once you identify where you fall, take another look at your wardrobe and see if the pieces you have match your personality. If not, have fun, and start to picking out clothes that you love and that speak to you. Also key is to identify your goals. Dressing is a tool in your toolbox which can help you get to where you want to go. Dream big and arm yourself with the clothes that will help you get that promotion, find the partner of your dreams, or simply take up that new hobby.
Any particular ethical or environmentally friendly brands that you like?
I’m a big fan of shopping consignment. Locally, some of my favourite stores are Le Prix, Carousel Clothing, and Twice as Nice Twice the Man. I also love to shop vintage. Some of my favourite stores in Waterloo Region are Auburn Vintage and Patina Vintage.
My favourite ethical or environmentally-friendly brands are Alfaro Clubine (jeweler based in Kitchener – but supports a deaf man and his community in Paraguay), Mata Traders, and Sole Rebels. I own pieces from all of these brands. I also had the opportunity to do an interview with Adhesif Clothing in Vancouver which uses high-quality, reclaimed fabrics to make their designs.
How can people reach you?
Wear Out There can be found online by visiting www.wearoutthere.ca. Wear Out There is also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I really believe in the work Trusted Clothes is doing. As such, I would love to offer a 10% discount on my packages to your readers if any are interested in learning how to shop smarter and according to their values. In an e-mail or via the phone, just let me know that you heard about Wear Out There through Trusted Clothes.
About the Author
Aazir loves to explore many fields of knowledge, especially the 4 P's: Physics, Programming, Philosophy, and Poetry. At anytime he can be found producing code, perusing epic poetry, pontificating about Plato, or pondering multiple dimensions. He's an award-winning public speaker and is passionate about speaking out on social justice issues.