Win with uber stylist Jackie O’Fee

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Jackie O’Fee is one of the top personal stylists in New Zealand. She’s been styling real people for over ten years and in that time has shown hundreds of women how to step out in style and look great. When it comes to fashion styling one of the hardest areas to work in is personal styling. It’s especially tricky because you’re not working with reed thin models – you’re working with real people. To style everyday people (like you and me) requires skill and a real understanding of different body shapes and what clothes fit what body types. Jackie and her talented team at Signature Style have just launched an exciting new service that makes it super affordable for anyone to have their own fashion stylist. Signature Style’s new “Share a Stylist” service is about getting together with one of two girlfriends for an intimate personal styling experience and splitting the cost. It’s a great way to have fun with your friends and get professional styling advice so you can look your absolute best.

I recently caught up with Jackie to find out a little bit more about this fab new service and get a heads up on some of the top fashion trends for the season.

How did you get into personal styling?
It’s a really long story involving several failed attempts to break into marketing, the rejection letter that broke the camels back and a fling with an Italian…but the publishable (and short) version is that I really loved fashion, was ‘the girl’ who everyone borrowed clothes from and wanted to do something for myself, so I trained in Colour Analysis, Body Shape Analysis, Hoe to put together a “Capsule” wardrobe etc. and via a very circuitous loop years later launched Signature Style.

What is the best thing about being a personal stylist?
Without a word of a lie, working with us is life-changing for many clients and I consider it an absolute privilege to be a conduit of that change. The hugs are pretty cool, too.

Why do you think personal stylists are becoming more popular?
We’ve become a society that sees no shame in deferring to an expert rather than muddling along on our own. We’re more aware of the impact our personal presentation has out there and many of us are time poor. Personal Stylists have also become more visible, so clients will call after speaking to friends or seeing us out and about. We also save loads of time and money, and when shopping with us our clients receive discounts they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

What does a personal styling session involve?
It depends on the individual: for some it’s simply wanting to know more about what works for them so they can be more effective with their own wardrobe and shopping: knowing which colours look best on them, which styles of garments flatter their shape, what make-up works and how to apply it – these are our ‘in studio’ sessions. For others, it’s all about the shopping; be it for an event or day to day life, but getting guidance from a stylist means you nail it as we provide the ultimate un-biased opinion. Alright, I confess it’s slightly biased because we want you to look amazing, not just OK.

What are the key fashion trends for summer?
The usual suspects are there: print and colour, but this season there’s a massive range of colour which is lovely! From pastels to brights, you’ll find something that works for you. I’m loving the digital prints which are the most perfect marriage of technology and fashion. Lace is everywhere, as is a more ladylike, structured silhouette that will have us all reaching for our spanx. Pants are appearing in so many incarnations – high waisted, tapered, skinny, wide-legged, paper bag waists, caught at the ankle – it’s awesome.

What is the one trend we all need to embrace this season?
We’ve had a few seasons of dresses being the hero in the wardrobe but I think this season the pant is key.

Do you have any hard and fast fashion rules you can share with us?
Play. Too many of us get caught up in the same stuff – fashion is fun, it’s a chance to re-invent yourself, we need to take the time to try some new things. Oh, and I’m not a great fan of black – I LOVE colour.

How would you describe your personal style?
Eclectic (or should that be confused?).  I love clothes so much that I don’t stick to one particular look. I sometimes have to speak to a corporate group, so I have a stunning Taylor suit for that, I love to wear dresses so I’m often rocking a very ladylike or feminine vibe, and I love edgy, different pieces, too.

How do you decide what you are wearing each day?
Depends on my mood, how fat or thin I’m feeling (I know every girl can relate to that), what I’ve got planned for the day and lastly the weather.

Where do you get your fashion inspiration from (magazines, people on the street etc)?
Can I say all of that? Seriously, I think a stylist’s mind just sees things differently. I will read a magazine or a blog and then sometimes months later, put together a similar outfit using existing pieces or by adding something new. Fashion week is great inspiration too but I’m not talking about what you see on the runway, I’m talking about how the industry dresses.

How much time do you spend on putting together outfits?
Not a lot of time really – I think it’s almost a sixth-sense and it just works. Occasionally I’ll try something and it doesn’t quite work, but I don’t realize it until I’ve spent the day wearing the outfit and I guess on those days you learn something!

How do you build an outfit – from the shoes up, bottom up?
Depends on what is the key piece – then you go from there. I’ve bought trousers and built an outfit around them, and equally been in love with a top and worked from there. Shoes seem to be a finishing rather than a starting point for me.

What are your best tricks for updating your wardrobe on a budget?
Drag your existing garments out and start playing – you’ll have combinations that work that you’ve simply not seen before, then identify what the gaps are and simply buy those. I also love second hand and vintage finds – great pieces for far less. Also, I occasionally set myself a goal to see how long I can go wearing a different outfit every day and that really forces you to look at your own wardrobe differently. Last year I managed to do that for almost 10 weeks. Yes, I have a lot of clothes but I re-worked key pieces often during that period.

Do you ever directly copy someone’s style you see in the street?
Sometimes but mostly I’ll take elements of it and work these my way.

How important are accessories to you?
Accessories are the finishing touches that are absolutely ESSENTIAL. The wrong accessory can kill an outfit.

Whose style do you most admire?
Kate Moss because she has that effortless thing going on, I really like Rachel Zoe (but she IS too skinny), my younger sister Lisa has Auckland’s best wardrobe and Jody Blackwood who works for me truly knows how to put clothes together.

When did your love of fashion begin?
I think genuinely when I first started working and earning my own money. I spent so much of my pay-packet on fashion magazines and the clothes just followed.

How often do you clean out your wardrobe and what is your process for updating and recycling your clothes?
Probably annually and it’s quite ruthless. If I haven’t worn it I ask myself if I truly think I will again. If the answer is no then it’s game over. We have a small rack of special pre-loved garments for sale at Signature Style and they end up on that. Each season I’ll add a few key pieces, perhaps a new pair of boots and a jacket, plus a few extra things because I’ve fallen in love with them!

Are there some pieces in your wardrobe you would never give up?
Yes. Some I can explain and some I can’t – my wedding dress (obvious), an old pair of Zambesi pants (I can’t tell you why), a suit my sister made me when I was 22 (emotionally connected I guess), an awesome green and black striped bodysuit and leggings (saved so hard, lay-by’d so long when I was about 20 I LOVED the outfit and will never part with it).

Favourite designers / brands?
Locally: Zambesi, Jimmy D, Ruby, Kingan Jones, Trelise Cooper, Isakelle, Kate Sylvester. Internationally: Bernhard Willem, Gareth Pugh, McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Sass & Bide.

What beauty product would you be lost without?
The entire Environ skincare range really, but particularly the C-Quence serum.

What’s your signature fragrance?
Currently I’m wearing Ange ou Demon from Givenchy and I always have Black by BVLGARI.

Favourite everyday lipstick shade?
Mac Crème de la Femme

Favourite red lipstick?
Smashbox Legendary

Favourite nail polish colour?
One thing I change all the time. We have an in-house nail technician at Signature Style so I am currently wearing CND Shellac Hotski to Tchotchke but I also love Tutti Frutti, which is bold pink.

Favourite online shopping sites?
The and shopbop

Tea or Coffee?
Used to be coffee but have recently switched to tea.

Best moment of your day?
About half way through my morning run.

Every woman should own?
Memories that make her smile – and she doesn’t have to share them.

Guilty pleasure?

Obsessed with?
My business – I love it and sometimes I hate that I am obsessed with it.

I need?
More time for friends and family.

I want?
To look back on my life and think “I did that – and I’m glad I did it”


Click here to take a look at Jackie’s great website – Signature Style.



To celebrate the launch of  Signature Style’s fab new “Share a Stylist” service Jackie is offering one lucky insider the chance to win their very own personal styling session! (pretty awesome prize hey?)

To win this amazing experience leave a comment below telling me why you’d love to win a personal styling session with Jackie O’Fee then click here to whip over to my Facebook page and share this competition post with your Facebook friends. Everyone who has left a comment below and shares the comp post on Facebook will automatically go in the draw to win.

Winners will be drawn and announced here next Monday (3 December).

Good luck!