If you are new to the world of fashion, it might be a bit frustrating to have so many options available. With so many designers fighting for customers’ attention, it is so easy to lose your own voice, your style personality. Luckily, there are people around that teach us how to discover and develop our own unique style. One of such experts, Emmy® Award-winning stylist and best-selling author David Zyla shares with Style Sprinter readers his thoughts on how to save your style identity and score your best shopping deals.
Katya: David, welcome to StyleSprinter blog! I am very excited to hear about your new book, How to Win in Shopping. Congrats! Could you please tell us a little what this book is about?
David: Sure, the pleasure is mine, Katya! In my first book that came out a couple of years ago, Color Your Style, I presented my theory that everyone deserves to look and feel like the very best version of themselves. In that book I lead you to discover what I call your true colors. I also lead you to what your archetype is and help you to fill in the details of what you should be looking for in clothing and accessories. Finally, part three of that book is about how to use your colors to your advantage in different situations.
While working with private clients around the world and speaking at events about my book, people kept saying to me, ‘David, how do I put your theory into play?’ One day the wonderful people at Workman Publishing reached out to me with the same question, asking for me to respond to in…in a new book. I said, ‘I would really love to write that kind of book!’ The result of this collaboration, my new book, How to Win at Shopping, is a guide for people that want to shop smartly. We all have different talents, and not all of us are brilliant at shopping, so this book is designed to help you navigate in the world of shopping. It can also be helpful for fashionistas that want to become even more strategic shoppers, no matter what their budget is.
What are some of the tips that you share in your new book?
One of the tips mentioned in the book is that you have to treat a shopping trip like a business appointment. Turn off your cell phone. If you go shopping with a friend, make sure that friend is also strategic-minded. If it’s a social engagement, like we go out for lunch and then we either go to a movie or go shopping, that’s not really strategic shopping. That’s a browse. You probably shouldn’t buy anything that day because that’s not strategic enough.
Also in the book, my co-author Eila Mell and I teach you how to shop year-round. If you are passing a store window in the middle of December and you see a bathing suit in the store drastically reduced because they still didn’t get rid of it, and it’s exactly your color and cut, why wouldn’t you go and try it on right then and there, knowing that every summer you go to Cape Cod for vacation?
Another tip is to look at your lifestyle. If you know that you go to two black tie events a year, why not look for a perfect dress for those occasions all the time? Keep your eyes open! If you’re only shopping twice a year, you are really limiting yourself to what’s in the store at that particular moment. If you are shopping throughout the year, the possibilities are magnified 25 times.
How about online shopping? Any tips on how to score a deal?
In my opinion, online shopping has perfected customer service. The idea that I can ask about how something fits or I can zoom in on something to see what a fabric really looks like is simply brilliant! Online shopping is also addressed in the book, and a tip that I love from that section is to hit online sales early. If you know that there is a flash sale coming up tomorrow, set-up the reminder five minutes before, get in place and be ready, especially if you’re looking for high end merchandise. A lot of times, quantities of the products are very limited during sale events. If you really want to get something great that you’ve had your eye on, you need to get in early.
A lot of people have a problem that they buy a lot of things and they still experience the ‘I have nothing to wear’ situation. How do you address that problem in your new book?
That is a great question! There are people who shop very often and use it as a way to kill their time. The chances are they don’t know what they’re looking for. I would say to that person, look at your closet. Look at all of your great hits because they’re going to show your future greatness. If you have the skirt in your closet that you love but you’ve never worn it, take that skirt with you to the store and the only thing you are allowed to buy is a companion piece to make that skirt work. If you love the skirt so much, you should use it. Things that hang in our closets, that we are not wearing, have zero value no matter how much you spent on it. Everything in your closet should be a working piece.
Another great exercise is to go through your closet and put on every piece you own in different ways. For instance, if you have a suit, why not take the skirt and try it with a blouse instead of the jacket, or take the jacket and try it with a pair of jeans. See how many ways you can use each piece because you’ll be surprised how versatile some things that you wouldn’t think are versatile, really can be.
Many people are obsessed with organizing closet space in an efficient way. In your opinion, does this organization really help you to be an efficient fashionista?
I think anything that helps you see things in your closet is helpful. For instance, if your shoes are all in a pile at the bottom of your closet, you may not see one or two pairs, but if they are organized, it’s much easier to see what’s there and what your possibilities are. As I said earlier, I love the idea that every morning you open up your closet doors and look at all the possibilities that are there.
Could you provide us with a piece of advice on what fashion bloggers should wear and what they should avoid?
I would say that homepage of your blog should be thought of as your store window. I think that each blogger is a brand, and you have to make sure that your brand is consistent. If you say, ‘I love denim’ and you talk about casual attire, and yet you only wear cute flirty little 1950s style dresses, it doesn’t quite mesh. It is also important to be consistent because it allows you to demonstrate your unique viewpoint. You know why there are so many fashion bloggers right now? Because they all have a different viewpoint, and they are all wonderful and they should be different. Honor your differences and really make them your own.
How many pieces of clothing do you think is enough to have in your wardrobe to always look fashionable and stylish?
I would say if you love everything in your closet, you don’t need that much. You can mix and match things very easily. Again, if you are being authentic to who you are, we are going to look at that closet and say, oh, that’s Katya’s closet, or that’s Nancy’s closet. Your wardrobe is not going to look like the other ones. I would say that the more specific you are with pieces as to things that you love, the less things you need in your wardrobe.
P.S.—Special thanks to Marymount Manhattan College and Christina Daigneault for their help with organizing the interview.
P.P.S.—Enter to win a hard copy of David’s new book using the Rafflecopter widget below.