Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing fab stylist Tamika Maria Martell of A-line Style Services! Her work has been featured on NBC 5 Chicago, Rachael Ray Show, Black Enterpise, and now Naturi Naughton for Rolling Out! Check out our conversation below where Martell shares her favorite trends and gives us some styling tips.
UB: How did you get your start in the styling industry?
TM: I knew I wanted to work in an industry that is hard to break into without relationships so I started a Wardrobe Stylist page on Model Mayhem, created a facebook page & started to do some online networking with people that worked in the industry. I got some business cards made & started going to networking events & marketing myself as a wardrobe stylist & personal shopper. I got my first styling experiences by doing friends’ closets at no charge and styling a shoot here and there at no charge (TFP is the term). Soon after that, I started planning the 1st Dangerous Curves Ahead event which has helped build my reputation & credibility as a stylist/fashion industry professional.
UB: How would you describe your personal style? Where do you draw your inspiration?
TM: I would stay classic chic with a twist of edgy chic. I love funky blazers, leather jackets, sheath dresses, pencil skirts, sky-high heels, and anything with a great leopard print. I draw my inspiration from my fashion peers, movies, and from my dreams – I often have dreams of stylish looks!
UB: What is the most coveted item in your closet? Why?
TM: Hmm… I would say my black satin trimmed blazer because I can wear it in a few ways & it transitions from day-to-night. I have had it for a few years & it still looks great with so many things. I belt it when I want to accentuate my curves & often pair it with a full mini skirt, a pencil skirt, or wide leg slacks. When I want to be a little more fun with it I roll up the sleeves & pair it with jeans & leopard print pumps. Its a no-brainer.
UB: What are the 3 most common mistakes women make when shopping for new items? And how can we fix them?
TM: I would say buying only because it is on sale, not wanting to try items on, and going shopping without having a plan. This can be fixed from doing an audit of your closet & making a list of items needed to make your wardrobe a mix & match arsenal (I would suggest this at least once a season). Also, you have to ask yourself, “would I pay full price for this?” – this ensures that you love the item as well as the price. Finally, you have to try things on. Some things look good on the hanger & not great on and vise versa.
UB: What are 5 key pieces that you feel every woman should have in there closet? Why?
TM: I think this depends on the woman and her body type but I definitely say every woman should own a stylish jacket (like a soft leather or a cropped tweed jacket to add some instant sass to a t-shirt & jeans), a pair of trouser jeans, comfortable & cute flats, a pair of flesh tone/neutral heels, a wrap jersey dress, and of course, the classic white button down shirt.
UB: What are your favorite Fall/Winter trends right now?
TM: I like the hint of lace trends and found a super cute black & nude lace clutch bag at a thrift store for like $4! I also love the rich colors that are on trend right now like burgundy, mustard & jade – they look great on many skin tones. Finally, I love the trend of layering tights with a chunky socks and pairing it with an ankle or mid-calf funky bootie! It looks so fun & cozy.
UB: What can we expect from you in the future?
TM: A style book for the modern woman – so excited!
UB: How can we contact you for your services?
TM: By visiting my website (A-line Style Services) where all of my contact info is listed. Also, I am on twitter@alinestylesvc and @dcafashionshow. It’s always great working with Martell she is always charming and pleasant. Checkout the Dangerous Curves 2011 footage below!