How To Balance Trends and Classics – Q&A with Cecelia Myers of CakeStyle

When I got my start working in the corporate world, I found that I had a lot on my plate. Getting dressed in the morning was a big task, especially when I had to get to the office early. I wanted to look fashionable and professional at the office but also feel comfortable on the weekend. This was difficult to pull off, especially when I was low on time.

Luckily Cecelia, co-founder of CakeStyle has solved both my problems. CakeStyle is a personal styling and shopping service that sends subscribers a box of personalized clothing selections each month. She shared her advice on how to choose clothes that will make it through the long-haul and walked me through the idea behind CakeStyle.

photo of Cecelia and CakeStyle box courtesy of CakeStyle

I work in the fashion industry and there isn’t much of a dress code. How do I choose items that will look professional, youthful and fashionable?

Great question — we come up against that too! For those casual days, my secret weapon is my DL1961 skinny jeans — they stretch perfectly but are dark and professional. I often bring in a touch of a trend with those basics — for example, a neon silk tee. When I need to be dressier, I love to find edgy, yet professional designers. An example is Robert Rodriguez. His pieces work very well at the office, but are always forward thinking.

wide leg pants – Robert Rodriguez, jeans – DL1961, dress – Robert Rodriguez

What should I wear when meeting with various people from the fashion industry, let’s say for an interview for the company blog?

This is a great place to be more daring. If you want to go for a new trend, Asos or Zara are going to be great fits. For more classic pieces, I find that 3.1 Phillip Lim and Helmut Lang are personal faves.

How do I select clothes that I can wear several times throughout the month without it being obvious?

I think the best way to do this is to spend more money on your basics. It feels kind of boring, but honestly, you can wear a well-cut slim, black pant to death and no one will know!

black trousers – Helmut Lang, tortoise shell glasses – Ray-Ban, gold bracelet – Eddie Borgo, black pumps – Giuseppe Zanotti, pencil skirt – M Missoni, belt – Brooks Brothers

I want to look more put together while running errands. What type of items should I buy that are effortless, comfortable, and easy to move around in?

I’m very comfy on weekends; I save all my dressing up for CakeStyle! Stretchy jeans are a must have for me, I really enjoy Paige and DL1961. Ballet flats always look right and are really comfortable. I really love flats by French Sole, they are cute and comfy. Finally, a basic tee and a scarf really complete a look. I always have tees in black, white and grey and love James Perse and Vince. I also have wonderful t-shirt scarves by Saako, a company in Barcelona that we carry at CakeStyle. They are lightweight enough to work all year.

black t-shirt – Mossimo, grey t-shirt – Zoe Karssen, white t-shirt – Merona, black and white scarf – Topshop, braided scarf – Saako, striped scarf – J.Crew

What should I wear for weekend brunch followed by a few errands?

This is where my favorite 81 Poppies silk blouses and Lisse leggings come into play. You’ll feel like you’re wearing pajamas but you’ll look so styled. House of Harlow can also be a nice accessory touch — I especially love their Leather Station necklace.

How do I look current without falling into the trap of buying tons of trendy items that I won’t want to wear 6 months from now?

This is a tricky one. We’ve all bought into trends we instantly regret. First is don’t sink tons of cash into very trendy pieces. Forever21 is the perfect place to buy a crop top if you want to rock one this summer. A question to ask yourself is: would I have worn this two years ago? If you [would’ve found] the piece flattering and wearable back then, the likelihood of continuing to wear it is far higher.

red romper – Forever21, red jersey romper – Alice + Olivia

What clothing or accessories should I invest in to complement inexpensive trendy items from stores like Zara and H&M? 

Zara and H&M are perfect for trying out the more daring trends. Every woman needs a well-made jacket. I’m a big fan of silk blazers right now, and they often layer well with trendier tops or bottoms. They also drape beautifully.

white blazer – Acne, , black draped blazer – Helmut Lang, cream silk blazer – Shakuhachi, studded denim cutoffs – Topshop,  pink and black print shorts – Topshop, high waisted blue shorts – Topshop

A great statement necklace is also key. Here’s a tip on picking one: if it doesn’t go with anything, it goes with everything.

green and black necklace – Etro, orange box chain and tassel necklace – Lizzie Fortunato, crystal and bead necklace – Subversive

How did you come up with the idea of shopping with a personal stylist at home?

My co-founder, Millie Tadewaldt, and I both constantly talked about how frustrating it was to get dressed in the morning for our jobs. We worked at a casual-dress venture capital firm, but looking pulled together is key. We brainstormed ways to make the task easier, and CakeStyle was born.

Will your stylists consider what I already own?

Of course. We love to hear about your key and favorite pieces so we can incorporate our choices into your existing wardrobe.

Can I send you style inspiration images so you can get idea of what I like?

We love to hear as much as possible, so any pictures you wish to share are very welcome.

How does an appointment at your shop differ from the online service?

The major difference is getting to meet your stylist face-to-face. For some, that is really helpful in creating a relationship with CakeStyle. The other difference is that size changing is easier and we usually have more styles to show you. This can be a fun way to experience CakeStyle for the first time, since it allows us to hone in on your style quickly.

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