Feature Friday- Style Consultant Tracy Clifford

I had the pleasure of interviewing major style consultant -- Tracy Clifford. Get to know her journey and pick up a few tips! What got you interested in fashion and styling? What about it made you want to make a career out of it?

I have always felt a connection to beautiful things - art, flowers, architecture. Clothing is by far my favorite beautiful thing. I realized at a young age that I had a knack for selecting great clothing and accentuating it with the right accessories.  I loved creating looks for myself and realized that I could make a career out of doing it for other people. I love the art of styling and that I can make other women look and feel great.

How did you get your foot in the door?

My first job in fashion was as a summer intern at Neiman Marcus when I was in high school.  Once I had that experience and high profile name on my resume it was easy to interview for other jobs in the industry.

I read that you worked with Oscar De La Renta in his showroom. How was that experience like?

The work I did at Oscar de la Renta was essential to my career, because it taught me the entire process of how a design that originates in a designer's mind gets from the showroom to the store.  Even at his level, Oscar is one of the designers who makes a point to physically be in the showroom. He is also involved with every aspect of his business which is inspiring for me.

What kind of advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

I think if someone wants to be in fashion the best place to start is in retail.  Every aspect of fashion is prevalent in a store which makes it the best place to learn and discover which area you enjoy and excel in.  Some people are great at sales, others are great at merchandising, etc.

Tell me about a typical day for you as a style consultant?

Every day is different which is one of the reasons why I enjoy it. I spent today purchasing gifts for a client. Tomorrow I will be putting outfits together in someone's closet.

One of the services you offer on you website is hosting a fashion seminar. Can you tell me what goes on at one of those?

I discuss whatever the client asks me to focus on. These topics range from trends to dressing for the office.  I like to bring clothes to use as an example and create a visual image for my audience.  The seminars can include a lunch or some sort of coffee or cocktail hour.

Do you have any special projects you’re working on or things you want to do in the future?

I will be offering a package that can be purchased on Gilt City Chicago this week.  I really love what I am doing and would like to continue building my business in Chicago and possibly expanding to other cities in the future.

Summer is right around the corner. What trends do you think we’re going to see a lot of with clothing and jewelry?

I see bright orange and pink everywhere I turn. Those will be the big colors this season. Pieces with mixed fabric, color blocking and lace are big. I find that all types of shoes and heel heights are available which is great for many of my clients who cannot wear super high heels. I have seen a lot of novelty jewelry from most designers. Vionnet designed some great bracelets and belts for Spring.

What statement pieces do you believe should be in every woman’s wardrobe?

I think it is key to own a great watch and diamond studs.  I would also invest in a nice coat (nothing is worse than seeing a woman dressed for evening with a "too casual" coat), blazer, boot and bag.  These will never go out of style and are classic. It is best to splurge on those types of things since trends fade and can be found at a lower price point.

For those busy days that you’re constantly on the go, what beauty item or items will you always make time for?

I always make time for a manicure. I find that people are always looking at my hands.  I also think that my jewelry and outfit will not look as good with unpolished fingers.

How would you define beauty?

I don't define beauty. What appeals to one eye does not necessarily appeal to another.  My job as a stylist is to show people different ways to dress and help them find what works for them and their lifestyle.

Visit www.tracycliffordstyle.com and follow Tracy @TCliffordStyle