Stacy London on Style


“I heard you had sun until I got here. But gray is such a good neutral”

Tea in one hand and one leg elegantly crossed over the other, Stacy London, from TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” looked fabulously casual in a cropped satin polka dot patterned pant and bejeweled sweater at Westfield Southcenter. Answering questions with candor and a dose of sass, she gave us an honest look into her thoughts on style and her own role in the fashion industry.

The first thing on all of our minds- What does this fashion aficionado think of Northwest style? We can’t wait for the first signs of fall to show off our newest Northface purchase and that gorgeous new pair of boots, but how do we measure up in the eyes of high fashion? Stacy isn’t delicate with her response, saying, “There’s a lot of polar fleece. There’s just so much polar fleece. Given the weather, I understand, it’s damp and gray, but sometimes I think that’s when style can be a great tool.” Ever eager to promote the season’s trends, she encourages compensating with bright colors but concedes, “It’s not that I don’t understand the northwest vibe, whether it’s culture or climate, but I always think you should do the thing that makes you feel best. If dressing to match the weather makes you feel good I’m all for it.”

We’ll ignore that you knocked our Northface, Stacy, because we are all eager to hear what’s on your list of must-haves for winter, the season we wear best. This winter is giving a nod to early mod- get ready for primaries, patterns, and textures galore that are “so wrong it’s right”. Obviously as excited for the season as shoppers are, she snapped to attention and fired off of a list of fashion buzzwords to keep in mind.

This is the season of ‘print-centric’, mixing tweeds, brocade, even some metallic, it’s time to channel that “English librarian who is a little bit quirky, a little bit stuffy, and a little bit sexy all at the same time.”

Textures are in, “Brocade, lace, leather, fo shiz. Get that lace and tweed and faux fur.”

Mix primary colors like red and blue with black on white and older prints that will carry through into spring. “They’re calling green a primary color, hello, green is blue and  yellow mixed together but whatever!”

“You’re going to see a lot of older prints like houndstooth and stripes. All of that actually continues into spring, but what’s nice is that it has an early mod aesthetic.”

Look out for strong colors like teal and merlot, rich tones that work for everyone. Mustard is in as well, but use your personal judgment, it’s not for everyone!

For those of you who favor the Parisian style, get ready for “Different textures but all in black, you’re going to see a lot of that. This is the season for black, I tell you.”

Translating these trends to Westfields across the nation must be easier said than done. Stacy is all about taking away the guesswork in style, convinced that no matter what your body type, age, or budget, there is a look for you that can be easy and fun to find and not just a “pain in the butt to do on a Saturday.”

“…we want customers to have information, really a roadmap, that allows them to navigate their retail experience better in the shopping center…we wanted to come up with something that was a cross between a catalogue and a magazine, what I like to call a ‘hunting and fishing’ field guild, kind of a manual concept, that’s how-to and fun to read at the same time.. And that was a lot of work. Let me tell you something, I think Anna Wintour should run for president.”

With the pressures of styling America, Stacy admits that her work and her personal life are seldom separated, but she seems more than happy with the current arrangement. She is certainly in a different place than she was when she first entered the fashion industry however, deeming her original desire to be in style not altogether healthy, an attempt to compensate for feelings of being “less than”. It was not until What Not to Wear that Stacy realized that style had true power, and in the process of helping real women gain a confidence back, she recognized a change in herself as well.  Because she’s been there , (having ranged from a size 00 to 16) Stacy is dedicated to teaching women to use style as a confidence-boosting tool, and not to avoid being dictated by a label, a number, or a size.

Well-rehearsed or not, Stacy’s take-message is a good one.

We tell ourselves stories about who we are to define who we are, but the mistake that we very often make is that we limit ourselves by believing those stories can’t change. The great thing about style is that you see change in the mirror and understand it so viscerally, that you can start to recognize that your story doesn’t end, there is always more to write. And style is how I know how to get you there. I’m not saying quit therapy or hot yoga, but that style is an unbelievable tool.

Whether or not we agree with her gray-streak, Stacy London is one awesome lady. Let’s be honest, she’s the cool aunt you always wanted to take you shopping.

We were also able to snag a few minutes with Paula O’Neil, Style for Hire’s regional manager to chat about what the northwest woman needs to have in her fashion arsenal.

A native of Bellevue, Paula knows that ladies of the left coast are active, and that our clothing needs to be flexible to busy schedules of working, working out, running kids around, and running marathons. Check out her tips for northwest fashion.

-Much as we love our Lulu’s, find a perfect jean that fits you just as well to kick errands up a notch

-For you jet setters, the perfect travel outfit is as simple as a great pair of jeans, a classic white blouse, a light trench coat, and your favorite flats.

-Dress with intent. Many of us find a style we love and stick with it, but this season experiment with new colors and patterns.

-Skinny jeans can be for everyone, it’s all about what you pair it with, whether you’re wearing a fabulous heel or a eye-drawing top with a chunky necklace.

is the managing editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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