Ever wondered who are the women behind some of the internet’s most coveted looks? In this two-part feature we speak to two online stylists about how to make the most out of petite frames and pick their brains for styling tips. (Hint: you’re going to want to buy a blazer.) Next up is Claudia Vitorino d’Almeida; an online stylist at Farfetch, Fashion News Editor at Styling Project Magazine, mother of one and all-round super woman….
It’s no surprise that Claudia Vitorino d’Almeida is on the fast track to styling success. With a Masters in Personal Image and Business Consulting from IPAM and a certified trainer at Réseau International des Coachs en Image, she also undertook the Styling and Image Consultancy course at Atelier Styling Project to fine-tune her expertise. With all these qualifications, a day-job styling the online looks at Farfetch, various side projects including holding the position of Fashion News Editor at Styling Project Magazine and running her own wedding and events company, it’s little wonder she even had time to speak to us.
But Vitorino d’Almeida is what stylish dreams are made of. And this can be attributed to two things: her natural knack for creating a look and her hard working nature. This mother of one is petite herself but favours flats over heels and comfort over trends. This down-to-earth attitude to petite style is evident in our interview where she shares her insights into petite style for work and at the weekend…
What is your role at Farfetch and what do you do?
Farfetch in Portugal has a team of stylists (of which I am part) that basically stylizes the looks you see on the website. It’s styling aimed for e-commerce, so it’s not as theatrical as editorial styling.
When & how you did know you wanted to be a stylist?
I know this sounds like a cliché, but since I was a little girl I liked fashion. Although my initial training began in the area of image consulting, to broaden the horizons in terms of work, it became necessary to also take a course in styling and from there, work began to flow in this area.
Can you give us a peek into your day to day?
One day I can be styling for Farfetch, another day I can spend the whole day in front of the computer responding to e-mails or making style books for clients, or I can be in a clothing company styling a campaign for the next season, or I can be photographing a catalog for a brand, I can be visiting stores, learning about their collections, I can be decorating for a wedding, I can be photographing and editing photos for my Instagram and blog… My days are never the same, but they are a real rush, I am always afflicted with lack of time.
What’s your workwear look?
What I post on Instagram is really what I wear. I don’t have the same style, I like to vary a lot and working in the fashion world allows me to wear what I want (unlike, for example, a banker, who has a dress code).
What is the first step in putting a look together?
For me, the first step is to choose a piece or accessory. To think, “Today I want to wear this skirt”, or “Today I want to wear these shoes”, and build the look around this piece.
Which essential pieces do you think just looks great on anyone?
The blazer. It’s the ultimate key piece.
Is there an Autumn/Winter trend you just can’t wait to wear?
I’m dying to wear my high boots. High boots are a big trend next season. And the XXL shearling jacket – can’t wait to wear it with a skirt or jeans!
How do you stay updated on trends?
Because of my work, I do a lot of research, so I read fashion magazines, I see fashion shows on fashion weeks, and I do a lot of research on Instagram and Pinterest as well.
What’s your style mantra?
“You were born original. Don’t die as a copy.”
Describe your perfect ‘no heels required’ outfit?
Thank god sneakers looks great on almost any outfit. If you’re not going to a red carpet event or a wedding, just use your flats or sneakers with any outfit.
What is a classic/timeless look everyone should try?
Black blazer, white tee and jeans. It never goes out of style.
What is the go-to piece you think all petites should have?
A classic blazer.
Who’s your favourite petite fashion icon?
What important key styling tip do you think us shorter women should always keep in mind when putting together an outfit?
Be careful how you use the patterns. For example, wearing horizontal stripes are not flattering, while wearing stripes vertically will lengthen the silhouette and make you appear taller and more elegant. Using patterns with large shapes also makes the person appear smaller. There are several styling tricks to make small people seem taller, which have to do with patterns and the cut of pieces.
Being a petite woman, what are some #shortgirlproblems you experience when shopping online?
I always have problems with long dresses, because they usually drag on the floor, and also with some long pants. Regarding the dresses, the solution is simple and has no additional costs: just put a belt around the waist and pull some fabric. With some pants I have to shorten the hems.
And, as #thestruggleisreal, what’s an online shopping tip you’d like to offer petite women?
My recommendation is that petite women only shop from online stores that have a detailed description of the product, namely the length. So there will be no room for error.
What do you love about being petite?
I love being a petite woman. I mean, we are like these little dolls. And a popular saying that we have here in Portugal is:
“Women want themselves as sardines, small.”