"Fashion is Individual - Forget the Must-Haves"

Every woman's style is unique, says Diane Pollack 90C.

By Michelle Valigursky

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Diane Pollack 90C

Stylempower's founder Diane Pollack 90C knows that fashion is individual. For more than twenty years she has designed sportswear. Now, as a wardrobe consultant and personal shopper she makes great use of her knowledge of body types, fabric, fit, and garment construction. "Stylempower is for the everyday woman who needs a little help taking her wardrobe to the next level - and feeling the confidence that comes with it."

Pollack's clients are women of all ages, lifestyles, and budgets. In addition to shopping for wardrobe upgrades or special occasion outfits, one critical service Stylempower provides is closet rejuvenation. "We help clients edit unflattering or outdated clothes, create new outfits from existing items, make specific suggestions on accessorizing, make alteration recommendations, and create a visual reference guide," Pollack says. "We also help to identify key missing pieces that could elevate a woman's wardrobe."

While magazines may influence buying decisions, "One phrase that is used all too often drives me BATTY!" Pollack says. "The 10 shoes every woman must have in her closet, the 12 pieces every woman should own by the time she is thirty, the must have pieces for Fall. REALLY??? Isn’t fashion supposed to be about individuality? Aren’t these supposed to be suggestions and not mandates?" To the contrary, "You must make the choices that work for you."

Though designers may dictate fashion trends, "We can each look equally fabulous in our own personal styles," Pollack contends. "For those who know me well, some of fashions 'must haves' will never be seen in my closet: Ballet flats or a tan trench for instance. They look great on other people, but are simply not my style and I choose to never own them. Similarly, the people that own these items may never choose to wear a motorcycle jacket or stilettos. And we can each look equally fabulous in our own personal styles."

Personal Style

"Style for Your Lifestyle"

Stylempower's tag line is "Style for your Lifestyle." Pollack explains this philosophy. "Every woman is different and they have to wear what works for them." Here are her guidelines:

Manage trends. "I believe a woman at any age can be trendy, if she so desires. Some women come to a point where this is not important anymore. For those that do want to be on trend, I say absolutely. For example, a woman can be on trend with colored nail polish, but if she wants to wear a green, she might want to pick a Sage or Olive as opposed to a neon green. This is called sophistication. For an older woman who wants to dress sexy, again I say absolutely. But what the definition of sexy is can change with age. Sexy may now be a leather pencil skirt as opposed to leggings with cut-out lace side panels. Again, a matter of sophistication."

Manage age appropriate clothing. "Then there is always the age old question 'is there an age that is too old to wear a miniskirt'? I would say, that Tina Turner can rock a miniskirt better than many twenty year olds. Many women simply don't care to wear a miniskirt as they get older or simply don't have the body anymore. So yes, less older women will be wearing them, but there should not be a hard rule to say that when a woman hits a certain age that she can no longer wear them."

Personal Style

Rock that Red Jacket - Or Don't

Nostalgia often plays a role in clothing choices. Pollack recalls coming across a jacket she'd designed and given to her mom ten years earlier. "I tried it on. It looked good on me, red is a good color for me. However, I don't really wear red as I feel it is more classic than my personal style. But it looked good on and being that it was something I had created, I took it home with me." At a later event, she wore the jacket with jeans and made it edgier by wearing gold jewelry and platform pumps with gold sequins.

"At the event, I actually got a handful of compliments on the jacket. But I already knew that once I got home, the jacket was going in the giveaway pile. Despite knowing I looked good and despite the compliments I got, I did not feel like my authentic self." She adds, "The lesson here is that to feel empowered I needed to dress in a way that defines me, so that I personally would feel great in it. You should look great on the outside to others, but ultimately you must feel great on the inside." 

Editor's Note: Not living in the New York area? Stylempower also offers a unique service to clients elsewhere: Best Look Express. This interactive virtual service begins with photos to provide clients with specific wardrobe advice to help craft perfect looks for every occasion. Pollack explains, “It’s a quick question, quick fix service.” She also offers clients Skype sessions for closet rejuvenation.

For New York area clients, Stylempower also offers private home fashion parties. Learn more here. 

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Michelle Valigursky