Cassie from Style Cassentials

When we first saw Cassie from Style Cassentials, we were immediately drawn to her bold, colorful looks. As we got to know her, however, we were even more impressed by her commitment to her personal style. From adding bold color to otherwise average workplace attire to overcoming ill-fitting off-the-rack clothes, Cassie will stop at nothing to add a healthy dose of fashion to every outfit she wears. We talked to Cassie to learn more about her inspiration and get her expert tips on making clothes work for you.

ELOQUII: Who is your style inspiration and why?

Cassie: There’s so much inspiration all around, but I am very inspired by the styles of Solange Knowles, Gabi Gregg, Kim Kardashian West, Zanna Roberts Rassi, and Carine Roitfeld, to name just a few.  And, given my tulle skirt collection and life-long affinity for wrap sweaters, I’d have to say, I’m very inspired by ballerinas. :-)

E: We love your super fun, but still professional, work wear! Do you have any advice for fashionistas who feel stuck in the corporate clothing rut?

C: Oh, I definitely feel the struggle between looking professional and wanting to have more fun with fashion.  I work in an extremely conservative field (law), but I’m lucky enough to work in a business casual setting which allows me to get away with more interesting shapes and prints.  I would say to be very aware of your dress code expectations, but feel free to experiment within those confines.  Adding more color to your work wardrobe can help a look feel more fun and lively.  If you must wear suits, play around with blouses with interesting textures and necklines, add a brightly colored shoe or bag, and finish the look off with one eye-catching accessory like a bold statement necklace or a fabulous pair of earrings.  I also love the idea in investing in at least one or two re-invented basics each season.  For example, I recently ordered ELOQUII’s split front scuba skirt.  I will wear this for work just as I would a pencil skirt, but the unique shape will make it so much more interesting.

E: What’s #1 on your spring must-have list?

C: When I’m off-duty, I really love clothes that have a romantic, slightly bohemian feel.  I’m really drawn to the white lace and sheer trends this spring.  I’ll be looking for dresses and skirts with sheer insets, lace trims, and floaty layers.

E: You mention on your blog that you use tailors because off-the-rack clothes rarely fit perfectly—any advice for shoppers going to a tailor for the first time?

C: Smart tailoring starts with smart shopping.  You should always purchase items to fit your fullest part and alter down.  Garments can always be made smaller but usually not larger.  Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find that perfect fit off the rack.  Look for bargains when possible to help offset the cost of tailoring, and then find a tailor who can give you that great fit.  Almost everything can be altered - I am petite and have narrow shoulders, so I often have shoulders taken in on blazers, sleeves slimmed, hems shortened, buttons moved.  If there is a change to be made to an off-the-rack garment, I’ve probably made it at some time!! If possible, find a tailor through word-of-mouth rather than the phone book or an on-line search.  Finding a tailor you trust can take a while, and it is helpful if you can find someone that others can recommend, especially if you can see examples of their work.  Another piece of advice I have is to know your body and your preferences.  For example, I like my pants legs and jacket sleeves to veer just on the long side, while I often like to wear my skirts and dresses as minis.  Don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want.  When hemming bottoms (pants especially), be sure to try them on with the shoes or heel height you’re most likely to pair them with to ensure the proper length.  Lastly, when in doubt, err on the side of tailoring something too long.  Since I am so petite (only 4'9"), I often find that I am drowning in a foot of extra fabric.  With so much fabric, it can be hard to determine the exact placement for a hem.  If you err on the side of hemming something too long, you can always go shorter later.

E: What’s the biggest fashion risk you’ve ever taken?

C: Oooh…that’s a tough one.  I’m not so sure that there’s such a thing as a fashion risk.  I can’t believe I am saying this, but they are just clothes, after all.  Knowing that I can simply change what I’m wearing really takes the risk out of trying new things.  Since starting my blog, I have found that anytime I think I’m being a little risky (wearing a swimsuit, a crop top, a short skirt, etc. on the blog), I re-define for myself where the boundaries are and where to draw the line.  I’m super short and curvy.  If I followed the fashion rules about what’s supposed to look good on me, I’d have three things to wear.  So, I wear what I want, and I have learned to be extremely unapologetic about that.

E: Blogger/vlogger shoutout—who do you follow and why?

C: I follow a ton of blogs.  A new favorite is Chichi from SuppleChic.  Her aesthetic is similar to mine - classic, but with a modern and trendy twist. GabiFresh and Nadia, of course.  And, I love the fierceness of Jes from The Militant Baker. I also follow a lot of straight size blogs.  One of my favorites is The Tiny Closet.  I adore Natalie’s minimalist take on fashion and how she mixes her looks up to get more wear out of favorite pieces.  I have been following Psyche of Economy of Style for a long time.  She nails professional polish every time, and she uses color and pattern in innovative and interesting ways.  And, I love Wendy’s Lookbook.  Her outfits are out of my price range, but her looks are very aspirational.  Her photography is also quite beautiful.

BlogKelly Goldston