Colleen Patterson is the content marketing manager for Muses, the only digital growth app focused on building long-term relationships. She’d love you to get involved.
BY COLLEEN PATTERSON
Nicole Burron is a Portland based blogger and former wardrobe stylist whose style is the perfect blend of sensible + enviable. She’s a master of curating styles and brimming with tips, but she’s also an expert curating partnerships. The goal is to keep it real. When she sports Shane Co. jewelry for a gorgeous shoot, you can tell that rose gold necklace really is her favorite.
Nicole has a lot going on, from brand partnerships like that $1000 giveaway (that ends this week!) to exotic travels, so we’re glad we could catch her today to talk about following a passion, hitting a wall, and finding that real McCoy look.
Tell me how you got your start in wardrobe styling.
I got my start when I worked in production, doing photo shoots with photographers and advertising firms in Portland. Back then, Portland was smaller in the fashion world and our resources were limited. Oftentimes there wouldn't be a budget for a hired wardrobe stylist and that's when my natural eye for 'what works' crept it's way into my job as a producer on set. I loved it.
Eventually, I started to gravitate toward wardrobe styling as a career rather than production — I’d gone to college for fashion merchandising and always loved fashion, but I felt like I’d hit a wall with my connections and creative opportunities in Portland.
Chic Little Devil Style House in downtown LA taught me the ways of celebrity styling and working on big budget shoots. I started to hustle on the side, connecting with photographers and modeling agencies to build my book, all the while using my resources at the style house and building my own relationships with small independent designers in the city.
Did you find your work influencing your own look?
As a wardrobe stylist, I don't like to limit my professional style. I try to bring different elements to every project I work on. I could be on a pop music video one day and a educational stock image, shoot the other. There are jobs that require out-of-the-box thinking with feathers and latex and others that simply want basic and clean, denim and t-shirts. So, I was always mixing it up.
I would say, it’s hard for your professional work not to impact your own personal style. I would spend most of days in a showroom of Alexander McQueen and vintage Chanel where I started to notice the importance of fabrics, textures, prints and tailoring. My taste became expensive but I was broke and had a limited budget.
That’s where you found your groove.
I started focusing on affordable pieces that looked more expensive than they were. I’d spend money on higher-end wardrobe staples and mix them with fast fashion. Naturally, I figured out what worked and didn't work for my lifestyle.
No more cramming my feet into 4-inch heels every day! I switched to boots. I stopped thinking I had to wear short, tight dresses and found my love for flowy tops with a great fitted pair of jeans.
It’s a great look — how do you keep it keep affordable?
I still dress this way today. I don't play “dress up” everyday to try to be someone I'm not. It’s okay to go for comfort without sacrificing style. There’s a balance between experimenting and staying true to what works for you.
I always look for deals but will hesitate to splurge on a fabulous warm jacket, a pair of everyday boots, or a killer handbag. Balance is key for your wardrobe and wallet.
Do you have any advice for your fellow fashion bloggers?
You’ll always want to wear a pair of classic black ankle boots but a pair of boots with a crazy pattern or cut may only work with 1/6 of your existing wardrobe and feel dated afters 6 months. If it’s a trend piece and not a wardrobe staple, buy an item you can wear multiple ways throughout the season. On-trend looks will fade — and fade fast.
How about favorite trends that you’re keyed into?
Right now, I am loving and spending all my money on embroidery and velvet.
Winter is on its way out and we won't be layering as heavily, but for the time being, I suggest wearing those velvet dresses at any opportunity you get. I KNOW you have at least ONE velvet dress in your closet from the holiday season.
If it's a spaghetti strap dress, layer it with a long sleeved lace top underneath, and some metallic heels. For a more casual look, pair that velvet with ankle booties, a faux fur cropped jacket or vest, and top it off with a fisherman or fedora hat. Do it now before all the velvet falls back from retailers.
I’d also recommend investing in an embroidered moto jacket or embroidered boots, as we transition into spring and summer. You’ll find a huge range of lower and higher-end retailers offering amazing options.
Fashion is like a cupcake. Your lifestyle wardrobe staples are the cake base and the on-trend pieces are the frosting. Eat up.