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Styled by Off the Rails

When you hear the word stylist, you might instantly think of an international celebrity who will be walking the red carpet, or being photographed by the Paparazzi. I used to think the same, until I realised that actually a stylist is for everyone!

Everyone gets dressed in the morning, so why not make a little extra effort?

I’m the type of person who gets stuck in a rut and I end up going to the same stores, buying the same things (different colours) and I get so bored. A cupboard full of clothes, with nothing to wear.

If you resonate with any of that, then you’re in need of a stylist. I was introduced to Julie Ranzani from Off the Rails who has really changed the way I look at clothes and how to put outfits together.

We met one afternoon at Inner Secrets in Cavendish. Julie explained that before you even start with what you’re wearing, you need to go right back to basics and look at what you’re putting underneath – your foundation. So many women are wearing the wrong type of bra, the wrong fit and even the wrong panties.I was properly measured and much to my delight, I’m a cup size bigger than I thought I was! I’ve been wearing the wrong size bra all this time and what a simple difference it’s made.

Never mind diamonds, Spanx should be a girls true best friend – one that really supports you. Pun intended.

I tried on different types – panty type Spanx, Spanx that have little shorts and so on. After deciding on what would be the most versatile for me, we took some photos. I wanted to showcase the subtle changes of wearing the right underwear with the dress I was wearing. I didn’t stand up straight or do anything major for the Before or After… I just let the underwear speak for itself. They’re such subtle changes, but it makes a difference!

I also tried on the Spanx jeggings and to my delight, I took a size smaller than I thought I would. It was turning into a pretty good day – bigger boobs, smaller size jeans. When does that ever happen? Haha!

We teamed the jeggings with an off white top from Kinda (ironically called The Bailey Top), which I loved so much, I got the mustard one too.

With my items packaged to go…  We were off to our next destination: Nicky Healy’s Boutique in Constantia. A chilled bottle of wine was opened and I whisked in and out of the change rooms trying on different things.

This striped top from Nicky Healy’s Boutique, which we paired with the Spanx jeans and copper leather sandals from House of Cinnamon, gets me so many compliments. The wishbone necklace, from Lovisa, adds a touch of style drawing the eye into a V shape, which is very flattering. I actually learned so much about accessories and how to wear them to elevate an outfit.

I got introduced to a brand called Whistle & Flute, and really love what I saw. This easy-to-wear floral shirt dress is so comfortable. I can also wear it with the copper House of Cinnamon sandals. Julie was telling me that the dress is a busy print, so keep your shoes a neutral colour so that both items are not fighting for attention.

The minute I saw these leopard print pants, I found myself willing them to fit (in my head.)

They were actually too big, so we had them tailored – another great tip.

Take the time to tailor things so that they truly look like they were made for you.

They’re teamed with the off white Bailey top from Kinda. Julie tucked it in for me – something I would never have done, because I always try to hide my tummy area, but that’s why a stylist is so helpful to take you out of your comfort zone. 

These pants are also so versatile to wear with cami’s, t-shirts, and to play around with other colours. We added a chunky necklace to complete the look and black sandals from Saint & Summer for a day time look. Swop these to a pair of heels and you take the look from day to night.

Navy is such a classic colour and Julie styled this knit dress from Kinda with the copper sandals from House of Cinnamon, to keep it casual. You can definitely dress this up for a fancier event. Julie also shared that as the seasons change, I can add a printed scarf to style it up. I love it.

This Grecian top from Nicky Healy really caught my eye. We paired it with the Spanx jeggings and versatile House of Cinnamon sandals. As Julie explained:

It’s a beautiful summer look that doesn’t need much accessorising because of the fabulous pattern on the top.

You can also add a gorgeous neutral bag for when you go out.

Easy to wear shirt dresses are so fun, but sometimes I find that they tend to look frumpy /boxy.  Julie showed me what I could do… Belt it – something that’s out of my comfort zone again.

I took the dress to my tailor, and tailored the sleeves to be slightly shorter, which works with my arms. It’s the small attention to detail that really takes a good outfit to a super stylish one.

Julie, I absolutely loved our afternoon together! I learned so much from you and feel like I look at my wardrobe with fresh eyes! I already have a pile of clothes I’m taking to the tailor!

Check out Julie’s website: www.offtherails.co.za

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