From An Expert: What To Wear, Forever

If you’re anything like Addie, who literally texts me once a week just to vent about personal style, you’ll want to read this one. Looking for a way to finally understand your style signature? There’s a course for that. And we happen to love it.

I first met Lazina in the gilded lobby of Toronto’s King Edward hotel, stylishly put together in an outfit that spoke to who she was even before words did; a kind, compassionate, whip-smart woman who could easily mask as your oldest girlfriend. Immediately, my posture slumped in that way it does when you’re around kindred spirits – Image is everything, sure, but the foundation? That’s all heart.

Lazina graduated with a bachelors degree in health sciences and a Masters in Business Administration, earning herself a basket of diverse and valuable experiences. Her happy place has evidently always been in fashion, but the kind mixed together with people who are wholly human, who are vibrant, vulnerable and willing to connect. We recognized this instantly – her double-whammy smarts-and-savvy combo blended perfectly with her genuine ease; Lazina is quick to show her humanity through her one central goal; making women, men, and all in between feel truly and distinctly comfortable.

When I was speaking with her, I couldn’t stop nodding my head, smiling at every other word, and adding in morsels of experiences that fed into her philosophy. Lazina’s entire basis as a personal stylist (she’s styled, btw, every kind of woman – a CEO, Mom, Actress, College Grad…) stems from what actually works for you – it’s personal. She takes the time to help you understand the message you want to convey, the pride you’d love to feel, the things you’d love to sport as you run out the door. She’s a chemist, basically – blending all the things you want, with all the things you are.

Enter her latest venture, one we are SO excited to send your way with a massive M/O/M stamp of approval. Lazina has brought her wisdom to you with StyleIvy, a series of easy, fun, interactive online courses that ACTUALLY teach you skills for a lifetime. Whether you’ve just graduated and have no idea what to wear beyond varsity tee and Blundstones, or you’re looking to make a drastic change in direction, I really think this is something  you should try. And if not you, why not your friends? This, in my opinion, would make the best christmas gift (I may or may not be sending this link to Addie, ASAP!).

Before you click, here’s a little more deliciousness to sift through. Looking to find your signature, authentic, truest sort of style? Read below. And rock it!

Hi, Lazina! Let’s get to it: What is the most essential part of building a brand new wardrobe?
Hey girls! When thinking about a new wardrobe, ask yourself these simple questions:

  • Why am I doing this at this point in my life? What is my motivation?
  • Where do I see my personal and professional life in the next 1, 3, and 5 years?

Regardless of age, budget, body shape, or profession, a woman who understands the answers to these questions will have a much easier time to build, or rebuild, a wardrobe that reflects who she is.

When cultivating a new look, how do you avoid that uncomfortable “this isn’t me!” feeling?
Yes, that is tricky for women! As a style expert, I see this often – garments hanging in women’s closets with the tags still on and good intentions of “I really wanted to try that style” but “it doesn’t look good on me” or “I don’t think I can pull that off”. What a waste of closet space and hard-earned money!
The key, though, is to find the cuts and garments that are best for her shape. A woman can always look towards new trends, but once you find a “uniform” that is most flattering, you’ll notice that you’ll always be drawn to it – but in an updated way!

What is the one item women are most fearful of wearing, but should reconsider as a wardrobe staple?
The most common misunderstanding I hear has to do with finding pants that fit right. A flattering part of casual, dress pants, or even denim are not out of reach for any woman. It’s all about finding the right style for your shape, and then understanding the power of tailoring – this is a game changer. Every women is (REALLY!) perfect just as she is – there’s no need to try and change your shape to fit into clothes. You can change clothes to fit you. You just need a great tailor who understands your shape – always remember that.

As a model transitions out of the fashion industry, it can be scary (read, FRIGHTENING) to navigate the real world of workwear, and at the very least, embody a personal style that reflects who we are as human beings. How do you build something entirely new, from the ground up, with these kinds of clients?As a model you are representing someone else’s idea of style. As an individual, in real and everyday life, how you put yourself forward is a completely different scenario! The very first thing to do is to answer these questions (not an easy task):

  • Who are you and what are you really about? (As I said before, this will take time to understand, and will certainly evolve as you do)
  • What styles do you like? (Inspiration typically comes from things you like – people watching, browsing online publications, art and just about any part of your life)

When thinking about career opportunities, it’s also a good idea to articulate what your goals are. Along with answering the questions above, this too will start to steer you in the right direction when it comes to navigating the post-modelling world of work wear.

Through Style Ivy, I help women everywhere, to understand these fundamentals. Being confident in who you are and how you present yourself each day is so much more than wearing any old garment.

We then asked you to create together three distinct looks for our most hard-to-style scenarios. Can’t wait to see what you’ve pulled! 

For a concert with friends: A shifty dress, comfy booties, moto jacket.

A dinner with the agency:
 Cute romper, fun tights, wider heel, small clutch.
A unique approach to the casting call:
 Comfy dress, comfy shoes or bootie, chic yet casual coat.

Those are gorgeous! Thanks Lazina. One aspect of your business caters to women coming back to work after having a child. What is that process like for you, from beginning to end? Do you find most women create a new space for themselves or sit comfortably in their former style?
Yes, a significant portion of my clientele is women who are heading back to work after a maternity leave. Rarely does a woman feel totally comfortable into her clothes after having had a baby. She may even be back to her pre-pregnancy weight but things might have shifted, to say the least!

Upfront, I always ask a new client about their motivation for contacting me. What are they looking to achieve and why are they calling me at this point in life? This tells me a lot. When I ask this of a new mom heading back to work, the answer I always get comes back to confidence. Simply put, a woman who has had a baby and now transitioning back to work feels stale. She knows she’s talented. She knows she’s skilled. She knows she has a lot of experience. She just feels stale. A change in your perception of your body, post baby, will do that. I teach these women to find a new, modified, outlook on their current body shape. As I said before, women are perfect just as they are. I coach women to understand and embrace this and then help them find the right pieces that best frame their lovely shape. I show women how to modify some of their existing pieces or I help them shop for new garments and outfits that fit their new body.

Of course, I also make sure to build a wardrobe that is suited to a woman’s work environment. A professional woman, who is also a new mom, wants to feel deep-rooted confidence as she re-enters the workforce. I give her the tools so she can easily pull an outfit together and go about her busy day looking and feeling fabulous.

We love this. So tell us: Who is your course suited for?

  • Women who are at a transition point in their life should take Style Foundations. Maybe you’re just entering the workforce – it’s important to know what is expected in the business world. It’s essential to be yourself, but understanding how to dress for your profession is something that is simply not taught in school.
  • Women who are moving up in their careers. You might be surprised to know that even women executives feel under confident when it comes to how they dress. They are skilled and experienced but knowing how to dress in a way that conveys greater confidence is key to continuing to move up in your career- whatever career path you choose.

What kind of skills do women walk away with after completing your course?
Let’s be honest. We all know how to dress ourselves – we learn this as little kids. However, do we know how to dress in a way that:

  • Highlights our best features?
  • Delivers the message that we want out in the world each day?
  • Showcases our personality?
  • Shows a level of professionalism we want to get across?
  • Makes us not only look good but feel great about ourselves?

Through Style Foundations, we give women everywhere the tools to make smart decisions so they can get dressed with ease and confidence, and go about their busy days conquering the world.

Lazina, we’re so excited about Style Foundations, particularly because of the way you’re approaching fashion. What’s the most meaningful aspect to you?
First off, for those that think owning your personal style doesn’t matter, you’re wrong. It does! I can show you piles of emails, letters and cards I get from my clients telling me how much I’ve changed their lives. Really. It’s overwhelming sometimes to know that by simply helping people understand and own their style, I’ve had a small hand in changing the trajectory of people’s lives. It’s truly amazing.

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