UPDATED MARCH 3, 2020
So I finally have a fashion post for you! About time right? Well, technically I do have the Winter Fashion Must-Haves post but that’s to do with baby fashion. This time we’re talking post baby or postpartum style tips for moms. Even the most fashion savy mama can find herself in a style rut after having a baby. We’ll check out some awesome style tips for moms direct from our fashion expert stylist.
Recently, I got a push in the right direction when the stars aligned and the universe sent a shopping angel guru fairy godmother into my life in the form of personal stylist extraordinaire and fashion expert (in my opinion at least) Kat Depner from Seven Styling.
What Happens To Mom’s Fashion After Having a Baby?!
I’ve always loved clothes, styling and fashion.
Before mommy duties took over my life, I used to dress up on the daily and shop for new pieces at least a few times a month.
But obviously, life and the extra money in your wallet all change when you have a baby.
Suddenly, I found myself drowning in sweat pants and over sized tee’s instead of pretty floral dresses.
These days, you’ll only see me out of sweats if its a necessity, like when my sister said I can’t attend her wedding looking like a hobo.
Geez! Can you say high maintenance?! LOL!
I think the other reason I’ve shied away from dressing up, if I’m being honest, (and really I only actually came to realize this through this styling experience with Kat) was because I was really self-conscious about this new post-pregnancy body.
I don’t think I was seeing myself the way that others are saw me. I’ve worked really hard to lose all the baby weight.
In fact, I finally stepped on a scale after this experience and it turns out I’m actually 10 lbs less than before I got pregnant. Whaaat?!
I didn’t even realize it because mentally, I was still seeing myself as the post c-section, hot-mess-express new mom.
I was still seeing the stretch marks and the sagging skin around my stomach and feeling less than beautiful. Even though I had lost the weight, my body was a stranger. I didn’t recognize it anymore. It had changed.
The things I used to love wearing didn’t flatter my new shape. And so, I thought I still had weight to lose. However, dressing your postpartum body isn’t just about the weight though. Your body HAS CHANGED. That’s totally okay! It’s about finding the pieces that flatter this new shape.
Kat Depner Seven Styling (Portland Stylist Extrodinare!)
Kat is simply amazing!
I have no idea how she does it but she works magic.
I live in Canada and Kat is all the way over in Portland. I had no idea how this would even work. How was she going to style me without actually seeing me in person?
Well folks, as it turns out, she doesn’t need to see you in person to work her magic.
She really is a fashion fairy godmother. Kat sent over a style questionnaire and asked for some measurements and off she went.
For this styling session, we went with the SHORT TERM INVESTMENT package which I think is a steal of a deal.
Somehow, using just this information she was able to totally decipher my kinda style and sizing per-fect-ly!
She chose a form fitting dress, which, upon seeing, I thought was beautiful but I thought there’s no way I’m gonna fit in that and if I somehow manage to squeeze in there, all my stomach fat is gonna spill out.
Well, I put the dress on and for the first time in a long time I saw a girl looking back at me that I hadn’t seen in a while.
She looked beautiful! She looked fit! She looked fab! What Kat did for me goes beyond styling, she gave me back my confidence and let me see myself for what I really look like.
Thank you Kat!
Inside The Mind Of A Personal Stylist: My Interview With Kat Depner
Kat let me get up close and personal for a fun chat! Wahoo! I got to pick her brain and learn a few things about fashion and styling that I’m sure you’re going to want to hear. Kat is as sweet as they co
me and hilarious too, you’re gonna love her!
Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and your business?
My name is Kat Depner, and I am a personal stylist and owner of Seven Styling. I think of style as the first greeting you give a stranger.
In my life, I have spanned the entire size spectrum and oscillated from a size 4 to 14. I became well acquainted with the hiding and anxiety that comes with dressing a body I didn’t recognize.
For us women, I think we often punish ourselves for our changing bodies by way of over-sized and tattered clothing.
By hiding under hoodies that are two sizes too big, we try our hardest to go unnoticed when meeting new people… and yet ironically end up standing out as women who are trying to go unnoticed.
In dealing with this, I learned to dress and celebrate the body I have at any moment in time regardless of its size and loving all that it can do.
I am very passionate about being present with the body you have, appreciating its strong points and abilities, and dressing it for what it is – not what it was.
I think my story intersects with the stories of many mothers out there who have seen their bodies change from having kids and raising a family and not knowing how to get their style mojo back.
While not being a mother myself (unless you count being a Cat Mama), I am particularly in awe of mothers’ abilities to persevere in the midst of fecal matter and snot and continue to sacrifice their needs for their little humans.
That’s why Seven is so focused on helping mothers get their groove back.
Speaking of Seven, my business is about the power of the first seven seconds of meeting someone.
Believe it or not, we only take seven seconds to form a first impression of someone. And during these seven seconds, our clothing tells the world around us a story about what we believe about ourselves.
My mission is to help your clothing tell a story about you that is true, compelling and that expresses where you want to be in life.
How did you get into styling as a profession?
You know, I’ve always been styling people one way or another. I think I’ve been the person that my friends and family naturally came to for fashion advice, and before the era of Marie Kondo I was asking people,
“Does this [insert random piece of clothing] really make you happy?
I’ve never seen you wear it before.”
I’ve never really been satisfied in typical 9-5 jobs, and after some soul-searching I had that “Ah ha!” moment where I realized that I just loved helping people look like the best versions of themselves.
I started Seven from there, learned as I went, and I don’t think I could go back!
Who would benefit from a stylist?
I think when people think of personal stylists, they often think of celebrity stylists and people who talk in the back of their throats while saying crazy things like “Oh my gawd, let’s put you in a leopard tutu and a nude bra… you’re going to be so hawwwt!”
And while there is a market out there for that, I’ve noticed a shift in personal styling that centers more on helping the 99% rather than just the exclusive 1%.
At the end of the day, anyone who looks at their clothing and says or feels anything along the lines of “Meh…” would benefit from a stylist.
How can a stylist help me?
Good styling is about collaboration. I love to find out what makes a person pause and stammer in front of the mirror and say such cheesy 90’s clichés as “Damn… Mama’s still got it.”
A good stylist should help you create an image that makes you feel like the best version of who you are.
You have to be able to gently call bullshit.
While it’s important to be collaborative with your clients to a degree, they are coming to you for a reason: they can’t figure out this style thing on their own; otherwise they would have fixed their style problems already.
This means your client is likely going to get in the way of her own style progress by bringing up objection after objection for why she can’t wear this or can’t try that.
Your value as a stylist comes from the ability to help your client see the flaws in her thinking without being condescending.
My goal is to gently point out the truth of the situation, and invite my client to respond, leaving the choice ultimately up to her.
– Kat Depner- Seven Styling
The true beauty of style is that you get to decide what you want to say to the world, not the other way around.
A good stylist will do everything in her power to find pieces that express the true you, not molding you to dress like the stylist or to follow some trend.
Are your styling services limited to the Portland area? How can potential clients get in touch with you?
While I offer in-person services like closet audits to my Portland area clients, I also offer remote style sessions over Skype or FaceTime where I ship clothing to wherever my client is located.
If you are interested in a remote styling session, visit my website and sign up for a free style consultation where we can figure out what type of styling service would work best for you.
Do you have a favourite styling session/ a particular client etc that you’re really proud of?
One of my past client’s recently told me, “Kat, I realized this whole experience wasn’t really about the clothes. It’s more about the person I’m allowing myself to be, or that not allowing myself to be.”
I’m so excited when my clients when their personal styling experiences get beyond the clothing and to the heart of who they are as people.
That’s when you can really see true transformation happen!
What inspires your style selections?
I have a strong intuition when it comes to perceiving a woman’s “vibe,” and I try combine that with compelling examples of that “vibe” that I’ve encountered in the world while still maintaining my client’s own personal style.
For example, if someone is giving me hipster vibes, I might try to blend her style with Mickey Dobbs’s style from Netflix’s Love but with enough restraint as to not make her look like a mini-Mickey.
The big takeaway here is that I try to help my clients see what’s possible for their style without changing their vibe or turning them into people they aren’t.
Do you tend to push people out of their comfort zone in terms of style or stick to what they like?
It really all depends on the vision that a person has for themselves.
For instance, I had a client who told me they wanted to be polished, comfortable and find clothing that fits her body.
And yet when we would go shopping, she would gravitate towards oversized hoodies.
When the vision a client has for the image she wants to project does not line up with her actions, it’s the job of a stylist to gently but firmly call “Shennanigans!” and gently point out the discrepancy, invite her to rethink the item in question, and connect her to new style possibilities she is missing.
How would you describe your own signature style?
I would classify my style as structured bohemian . I love bold and intense colors and prints on tailored and fitted silhouettes.
What are fashion must-haves every woman needs to have in her closet?
I am a firm believer in lying when it comes to fashion.
As in lying about the fact that you just woke up 10 minutes ago and somehow look so effortlessly put together.
Two items that support this life of lies are a distressed and fitted jean jacket and a black straight fitted bomber jacket.
I think these two pieces instantly transform even the most disheveled outfit from “Meh” to “Mmmm… delicious!”
How cute is this oversized vintage wash boyfriend jean jacket though?!
Or if you’re more of a fitted biker bomber girl, this may be more your speed.
Kat has shown me the power of the right jacket and it definitely can help to pull an outfit together!
Who are your style icons and why?
I wouldn’t call them style icons… they’re more like wardrobe crushes on various fictional characters on Netflix shows.
As I mentioned previously, I adore the character Mickey Dobbs from the Netflix TV show Love.
Her clothing is laden with vintage tees, torn high-end jeans, and simple sheath cut dresses.
I loved that all of her clothing looked like it was actually worn. I love when you see someone and it looks like she has been living in her style for years versus someone who just looked at a magazine and decided to pick up a hot new trend for the day.
I also adore all of Drew Barrymore’s looks on another Netflix show, The Santa Clarita Diet, particularly in season 3.
She pairs flowing pants and platform heels with tailored trench coats and tucked in tees and finishes it all off like a bad ass with delicate gold rings on every finger.
She oozes all things Structured Bohemian.
What’s your favourite trends for spring? And what trends do you think need to go away FOREVER?
Ah, I am overjoyed to see the resurgence of the beautiful draping kimono shawl. I love that you can put it over a monochromatic ensemble and instantly look like a bohemian queen.
I hate the tiny 90’s style sunglasses and fanny packs that are rearing their heads for the second time.
These were two accessories my mom and aunties would wear when chaperoning their small colony of Asian children on family trips to Disneyland in the early 90’s.
Fanny packs were for wet wipes and Skittles packs for good behavior… not fashion accessories.
How these two staples made it back into the collective style conscience, I will never know.
My readers are mainly busy mamas. What styling advice can you give busy moms to help them look a little more put together that doesn’t take a ton of time?
Find your favorite layering garment, whether it be a kimono shawl, a light bomber or a jean jacket, and wear the hell out of these outer tops by pairing them with a monochromatic base layer.
An all-black base layer will visually lengthen your leg line and give you the prowess of Cat Woman… well, Cat Woman with some adorable Cat Babies.
Postpartum Styling Advice For New Moms
That’s all the questions we have for Kat today but if you wanna learn more about her, my styling experience and all the fabulous things she’s been up to, head over to her blog SEVEN STYLING.
This was one of the most gratifying and wonderful experiences I’ve done for myself in such a long time.
We all deserve to feel beautiful, sometimes we need a little help.
If you need a style update or just having trouble finding your style post-baby, I strongly urge you to get in touch with Kat so she can give you the magic touch.
Kat, please come live in my closet so I can take you out every time I need to buy clothes. Don’t worry, I’ll feed you well.
You are magic!
Thank you for this experience because this mama is totally feeling herself again.
Bonus: my husband saw me in that dress and guess who’s got themselves a date night this weekend?! This girl!