Fall Fashion

Create A Look That's Right For You And Your Lifestyle With Kara Brownlee

Recently I had the opportunity to connect with Kara Brownlee, a Toronto based Fashion Stylist, to discuss her career as a Wardrobe Consultant / Personal Shopper and Fashionista Extraordinaire. Kara offers her expertise in the areas of fashion & styling while sharing her inspiration and passion as it relates to her industry.
Fashion Blog

About Kara

Equipped with an extensive, well-rounded education in the world of fashion, Kara has worked in almost every aspect of the industry, including fashion show production, styling, writing for lifestyle magazines, visual merchandising, and buying. As she has built up her fashion industry experience, she has traveled all over the world to learn about fashion in other places and cultures which include: Peru, Vietnam and more.
 
For Kara Brownlee, fashion is not just a career, it is a lifelong passion. Even as a child, she loved to experiment with different ways of combining clothing, shoes and accessories. When she was as young as five, she would change clothes multiple times each day, not because she was dissatisfied with how she looked, but because she simply wanted to try something new.

“I didn’t play with Barbies, I dressed them.”

Fashion Barbie dolls (image)

In high school, Kara immersed started working for a high end men’s clothing retailer, where she soaked up all the knowledge she could about the business of fashion. Upon graduating high school, she enrolled in Chicago’s Columbia College, where she studied Fashion Merchandising, before training with Gabrielle Teare, a prestigious celebrity stylist and personal shopper in the United Kingdom.

Our Interview (Q & A)

1) What inspired you to become a fashion stylist?

 For as long as I can remember I played with clothing. I was 6 years old changing 10 times a day. Layering skirts to create a dress. I never played with Barbies, I dressed them. I fought with my mother shopping at a young age, swearing to only wear dresses (meanwhile, I was upside down on the monkey bars). I remember my first pair of patent leather mary-janes, I was 5, my eyes were glued to my feet all day (I think I even ran into a street post because of it).

Mary-Janes

Woman wearing black chunky heels with patterned orange stockings

Photo By: Emanuela Picone

My first job at 14 was working for a high end men’s clothing store. I went to school in Chicago to study fashion merchandising. After many internships, trying various fashion related job types, I opened a clothing store with my friend in Chicago. The recession hit, I started to study again. I tried journalism, switched to creative writing, and although, I love to write, fashion is my language. I moved to Toronto and started my personal shopping & wardrobe consulting business. Fashion is the language of my heart, one of which I have always understood. Opposed to owning a clothing store, I like working with a variety of people. People from different cultural background, different ages, body shape and budget. I love to see my clients smile, feeling confident because of the clothing adorning their bodies. Nothing is richer for me then to encourage positivity in people knowing it’s always (often unknowingly) pushed forward.

2) What is your favorite fashion staple and how should we wear it?

I love a white blouse. They can be worn with everything. Layered under a dress. Worn on it’s own. Worn with jeans, trousers, skirts (but always tucked in). They can be layered under sweaters, wrapped, tied or tucked in the front. They always look polished. Once they become too loved, they transition to a beach cover up. You can’t mess up a white blouse.

White Blouse

Woman wearing white blouse

Photo By: Laura Chouette

3) Can you provide a few styling tips that both men and women can incorporate into their wardrobe this season?

Buy funky socks, they will make you or another smile when a sneak peak is provided. Layer, layer, layer and then layer again. Nothing is warmer then silk under, cashmere topped with leather. Also, belts are back, so get into them.

Funky Socks

Geometric socks (image)

Photo By: Zuzana

4) What is your favourite fashion era and why?

Oh that's a hard one, I can’t choose just one….. I think the roaring 20’s. A jewel encrusted, short dress that moves when you dance is exciting to me. Also I like the late 70’s Woodstock, boho era, was a radical time. Professionally, I like to keep it modern.

20's Fashion

20s Fashion

Photo By: Audrey Fretz

5) Are you taking on new clients right now?

Yes, I’m always taking on new clients. As a matter of fact, many of my clients are transitional. Meaning they are going through a transitional time in their life. For example, new mom’s going back to work, turning 40 or 50 or 60, getting a job promotion and even people starting to date for the first time or the many times. I love my transitional clientele and because of them, I will always create time for new clients.

Kara offers her services for men and women in all demographics.

“I have spent 5 hours at Old Navy and 5 hours at Holt Renfrew. Budget, age, gender are not my concern. Wanting to dress in a way that best represents you, is.” – KB
To connect with Kara and to learn more about the services she offers click HERE

Fall Fashion Inspiration

Photos By: Joanna Nix-Walkup

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