[00:00:00] Hey guys, what’s up. Welcome back to another episode of Hear and Now, podcast. I’m so excited to do today’s episode with Megan. So happy you’re here. Thanks so much for coming on. Today’s episode is going to be all about fashion and the Catholic world. And I can’t wait to ask your own questions for my sake too.
Definitely need some fashion advice in this realm. So why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself, what you do, where you’re from all that fun stuff. So, hi, Sophia. I’m so happy you’re having me on right now. my name is Megan Ashley. I’m a personal stylist. I’ve been a stylist for about, gosh, maybe five to seven years.
I’m in the fashion industry about 10 years. and so I came into the fashion industry wanting to actually be more of a designer illustrator. but you know how God works. He kind of has his own plan and story. And so I am. Randomly kind of ended up in a styling job and that really, really stuck. And I think for once in my life, I felt something that was, it just was, had a lot of [00:01:00] ease to it.
A lot of peace. I really felt that I succeeded at it. And, one thing turned into another and. Now I’m just a full, full on personal stylist. So, no, that is so fun. And I think I like came across your Instagram page a couple of weeks ago. I was like, this is gonna be easy. Like, this is so great. And it’s such a, like, it’s heard of, but it’s like such a not sort of realm.
You know what I mean? Like, not everybody’s first thought when they come into things like this, So, do you have your own business that you run? Yeah, so right now I have a personal styling kind of, business and, you know, all types of women, will come and, you know, need some services to flip their closet, the, find their style, whether it’s like a few new pieces to add to their wardrobe, to kind of spark some inspiration and get them going.
Or maybe it’s like a full fledge. Closet revamp, but it’s a lot of fun. it’s just interesting because a lot of the women [00:02:00] that come to me, like after working together, kind of, when you decide to revamp your closet, there’s something else going on, like some kind of new. Phase like life transition. So I kind of get to be a part of that and see where they end up at the end of it.
And yeah, kind of like the clothes are just kind of like a very tangible language for something going on. I love that. No, that’s so cool. And then you always see that like, Oh, like new clothes, new phase, new me, like everything. So that is so fun. And I love that you to have that like personal connection with somebody.
Beyond just like I’m revamping your wardrobe. Like I actually get to know you. so do you, do you do all of your stuff virtually or do you travel or for now I’m mainly virtual. I, right now I live in Austin, Texas for most of the year. and so I do have clients here, but most of my clients are all around the world.
I’ve had Italy. Canada. U S so that is [00:03:00] what FaceTime can do. No, no, that is so true. I mean, we’re on zoom right now. Like, this is crazy. Oh my gosh. Like, how is it to like style somebody in another country from around the world? Like that must have been crazy. Yeah. I mean, there’s always kind of some hurdles to jump whether it’s shipping or it’s, it’s always a little interesting figuring out kind of what stories they can shop from, but, you know, It’s 2020 so possible with technology and we make it work.
And it’s so fun to like, meet all these women across the road. And I’ve had been connected with someone in France and it’s just a very, it’s really cool. Cause you realize, yeah, we’re all across, you know, whatever country we’re in, but we all kind of want have this like need for beauty and to kind of, you know, We have so much thing to do and to kind of represent that with our clothes is everyone feels that way.
So no, absolutely. Yeah, no, that’s really cool. I was going to say, what does it look like to [00:04:00] you have like a personal styling session from you? What’s kind of walk us through the process of that. So initially, I’ll have my client take a fashion quiz, which I am super big on the fashion quiz. So. I think it was four years, four to five years ago, I worked for him, a fashion tech company in Silicon Valley.
And, it was kind of my job to figure out how do we quickly analyze a woman’s style in like a few minutes. and so that is like my, I would, it was like a hobby of mine to like develop quizzes, trying to figure out how can we quickly analyze like a woman’s style. And sometimes when I started to realize it’s like, we need to ask.
Very kind of unique questions. Like it doesn’t just have to be like, do you prefer blue jeans or black jeans? Like, we need to know like their favorite TV show. What do they like to drink? just kinda like fun questions that make up kind of our whole persona. And so. Once my client fills out that fashion quiz, then we will [00:05:00] hop on, I’ll analyze her style.
I’ll put kind of what I think they’re going for on a mood board. So there’ll be images of style, inspiration, colors, prints. even like people like celebrities, I think they might connect with. And then after that we have a video consultation, so there’ll be on their phone, in their closet and we’ll just go through everything like piece by piece and see if it should stay, if it should go.
And then from that I can say, okay, like I know where she wants to go. I see what she has in her closet. So how do we bridge that gap and what are the most important pieces to add so that we’re not just buying clothes and like filling up her closet, but rebuying like right. Ones that are going to be super versatile so that she can just add it already have like 10 new outfits from.
That is so fun. That seems like such a fun process for anybody to go through. so do you focus more on basics, more fun colors? like what’s your [00:06:00] style is as a stylist. So I kind of have, like an 80 20 rule. and obviously it’s like my role, but I think a lot of people, a lot of, most of my clients.
Always, always exceptions, but for most people it’s going to be like an 80% classic closet with 20% personality and trend. so that kind of gives me an easy basis of, okay, what do I know we need going into our closet to add, checking off the list, making sure everything is there. And then that 20% can really be the hardest part.
Cause you’re really trying to figure out okay, like what, what can I put on? And like, feel. Giddy, like what can be so fun for me to like, you know, look forward to on Saturday night to put on, you know, like it’s that 20% is everything the 80% simple. What are some of your favorite must have basic staple items in your closet?
Okay. So right now I would, I mean, for sure, an [00:07:00] LVD little black dress address, you can put on feel great, but not only like. You know, like, I feel like we say LBD and we think like fancy cocktail, but I think at the LBDs should be so versatile, like casual and fancy. So, I mean, I have one and I wear it like every week I probably wear it just out in the house at work, but I could also like dress it up with like a fun necklace and heels, you know, go out in the evening.
so that would be a mask, the other. I would say there’s three others, a wide like pan wide leg, depending on, on your silhouette. So that can either be like a flare. It could be a bootcut something that has a very feminine feel to a pant or a gene. I think that is a mosque and it’s something that’s more trending in right now.
It hasn’t really been in, we’ve been like so stuck on the skinny jeans. So I think it’s something fresh, I think can rejuvenate your closet. And I think you’re going to have it for years [00:08:00] too. Other things would be a white silk kind of like fun blouse that you can pair with anything like any skirt, any Jean, any pants, shorts, anything.
and then also some good jackets, maybe a blazer. you always need something to throw on top. No, that’s so true. I was just talking with my friends. So by the time this episode goes up, that one will be up as well. It’s hard to stay trendy on a budget. And so one of the things that we talked about, cause we are both in college is that having those pieces, you can rotate through, like you said, the LBD, you can wear it for a casual day out to go get your nails done, but then you can also wear it for a fancy dinner, cocktail out, all that stuff.
and so for me, like I always have like my staple pair of jeans that I wear, I have a couple of different styles, but rotating through those with them. This hat or the shirt or something, it’s just going to dress it up or dress it down depending how you feel that day. so no, that’s such great advice and definitely on the jackets.
I love Jean jackets. Like those are my [00:09:00] favorites and in the winter, in the fall, like that’s my favorite season to kind of dress them up with, you know, maybe a flannel or something. so that’s super, super great advice. So where are some of your favorite stores to shop at for your clients? So I probably have five kind of go to, but three are my biggest recommendations.
anyone who knows me will know that if you compliment what I’m wearing, I will say it’s from Nordstrom rack. So that is like one of my tops. but then for my clients, a lot of stuff I’ll get is from last call and Neiman Marcus, and then off fit sacks. And the reason is because you can get like a designer brand for 75, even 80% off.
It’s like, why on earth would you pay full price for something when you can get in the high end at 80%, I’m like, this is like the deal of the century. And it’s amazing when you find those amazing fines, you’re [00:10:00] just. The day is made. You’re like, yeah, yeah, absolutely. No. I remember like finding a pair of shoes and I was like, Oh my gosh, like Steve Maddens, I’m stale like this amazing.
And just those slip ons or they just make everything so much better. So yeah. I was like, why would you bother spending all the money on it? That means no matter how much money you have, we need to be like respectful of, you know, It’s the way we spend our money. And I think buying on sale is always the way to go.
I know absolutely. A hundred percent. Do you ever thrift anything for your clients at all? Or do you tend to focus more on, you know, just brands and stuff? So the problem with the virtual styling, I can’t thrift as much because of the whole, like a lot of times you need to try something on and have the ease of shipping and returning and all that.
so something I haven’t delved into quite yet. But I’m always open to kind of learning more about that and how it could work. With online. Yeah. Yeah, no, [00:11:00] absolutely. I’ve seen it become a very big trend in the past couple of months. mostly with COVID. cause I know I was spending time cleaning out my closet and there were so many staples in there.
I’m like, you know what, it’s fine. I’ll let somebody else have them this time. no. So I have seen so many people were like, let’s just go check out what the fifth store and they. So many good things there. but of course, like, it just depends on where you are relative to, you know, a high fashion area, you know what I mean?
so that seems like so much fun. It’s funny too, with the thrifting I found like when you’re in kind of like a. A nice study. You can find really amazing things. yeah, just city by city can make a huge difference. Exactly. That makes it very exciting. Yeah, absolutely. You have those niches, so cool. Yeah.
No, that’s, that’s so much fun. And since you brought it out, what is your favorite, I guess, age range to style for people? So my favorite age would probably be 55 to 75. It’s [00:12:00] so fun. Cause you know, most of my clients, their kids are just leaving the nest they’re off to college and they have this whole life plan for them, you know, with their husband, whether they’re retiring or still working.
And so it’s kind of like a moment for them to think, okay. Like, wow, I’ve given everything to my kids. I’ve spent, you know, my whole life like. Any money, like the family had, it went to my kids. So now it’s like kind of a time for themselves. And it’s really cool to be a part of that and to kind of like dream with, you know, the rest of their life’s gonna look like, and it’s a lot of fun.
So that’s, I really enjoy that. The other. clients. I really well, I feel like I enjoy every second one would be, new mothers who are trying to deal with maternity and post maternity and kind of their changing body. I love kind of figuring out, okay, how can we develop a wardrobe? That’s going to be about transition between being pregnant, not pregnant, you know, building a wonderful, beautiful Catholic family.
[00:13:00] And, The other, the third group is, the girls or the ladies who are just getting out of college and career in that it’s a lot of fun. Oh, my gosh. That would be so much fun. I mean, I’ll probably have to come to you in a couple of years since I’m still in college. Okay. No, but I mean, you know, two questions just came out of that.
what advice do you have for college kids who are trying to stay on a budget, but also want to be with the trendy fashion trends in the moment? Totally. I would say. Well, the first thing I would do is start, I mean, they probably have this if they’re in college, but start a mood board. So yeah. Pinterest put images on paper in front of you.
So you know what you’re going for, because I think, I mean, I can remember when I was back in town college, like I loved fashion. I love style. And I would just kind of like add stuff like impulse, buy impulse, buy, cause like you can fall in love with items, but I [00:14:00] think. The more you can practice, things very intentional about what you’re bringing in is going to serve you so well years to come.
Like if you can start building your classic wardrobe with investment pieces, like now when you’re 20, you’re going to be in a. In an amazing position when you’re 30, because says you’re not going to be really wasting any money and you’re going to have like a really beautiful wardrobe. So I would just say like harboring how much you want to buy something and really stick to kind of their vision.
No. Yeah, absolutely. And like I said before, you know, I have those staple pieces I kind of rotate through, but you can make so much out of solar at all. And you know, one of my favorite things that I got into last year was kind of like upcycling things that I had. So like, you know, maybe adding like a fun, like bedazzle piece to my jeans or something like that.
just to kind of spice snap a little bit. so. What tips would you have for somebody who’s kind of still trying to figure out that personal [00:15:00] brand, you know, style identity that they want to have. Yeah. I mean, I think if you go into it knowing, okay, I’m not sure kind of what I’m going for. That’s like a great first step.
Cause I think a lot of times we can attach the things that we think we should like. And I think going into it, like, you know what, I don’t really know where I’m going with this. That is great. I would say, Try and take like a few fashion surveys online. See if you’re more of like your romantic, edgy, classic preppy.
Not that that’s going to do a whole lot, you know, instantly, but it’s going to kinda like, get you the words you need in your head. Like, wow. I really do kind of like this more classic look with blazers and a nice pant like, or, well, I really like a little bit of leather and edge. start doing that and then just be very kind of like.
Make a mental note of, I need to serve being cognizant of what I’m drawn to. What’s resonating with me. It can be the strangest strangest like style inspirations. I [00:16:00] mean, when people give me very strange. Like celebrities, they like to style TV characters, or they have the biggest change. Like they get it dead on the nail.
So don’t be afraid as to like what your inspiration is. like for myself, I love Meg Ryan from you’ve got mail. And when I see her, I’m just like, Oh, like, if you look at her, like you kind of think like she dresses. Slightly Dowdy, like very classic, Ooh, fashion. There’s just something in her that really resonates with me.
So like she’s always kind of one person I have. and it’s also of course, combined with other people, but I would just say like, just kind of like put into your head, like, okay, I’m, I’m kind of on guard. Like what, what’s my inspiration. If you can nail down what you’re going for your inspiration now. Very, very honest way.
It’s going to do so [00:17:00] much. No, yeah. I’ve, I’ve struggled with that for a long time where I have all these clothes that I like, but I can’t like give it a title. But then when I look over, I’m like, wow, like there’s so many common threads through everything that I have. Like, you know, maybe it’s like an edgy t-shirt or some fun jeans or something like that.
So that’s so fun. And of course I have all the style inspiration right now. I’m like into the nineties looks and stuff, but yeah. So my favorite show is friends. And so obviously there’s so many style inspirations from there too. and just like those early two thousands TV shows and movies and stuff, and just kind of incorporating that into what I’m wearing now has been really fun.
Especially during quarantine where I can just kind of experiment with kind of all of the things that I have in my closet. You know what I mean? I’ve seen that so many people, that’s like, wow, like I never knew that I had this in my closet, you know, first of all, cause they’re cleaning it out for the first time in years.
and just because they have all this time on their hands to kind of experiment. so that’s been very transformative for me. and so the other [00:18:00] thing I was going to ask you, and you said it earlier is you’re Catholic stylist, right. So how does that, how does that impact any of the choices you make for styling any of your clients or yourself?
I mean, for myself, I’m always kind of gravitating, you know, I want to be modern stunned, kind of, I don’t know. It’s hard. I mean, it’s hard to be we’re so if you follow any fashion, people on Instagram, you don’t see the most modest version, how they should be dressing. So, I mean, you have to be very aware of like, Oh gosh, like what, what is becoming normal to me?
And kind of like placing, like not only one filter, but like a double filter of like a backup. Like being just cognizant of, I need to be modest because there’s a way we’re just kind of like throwing away our bodies now. So, yeah, just to be very careful about modesty and I think to Catholics, we can go to very different extremes either because like, you know, [00:19:00] denim skirt to the ground, which is fine.
Is that yeah, nothing against that, but we can also say like, God gave me dignity and you know, I shouldn’t have to be. My dignity, isn’t resting on how a man views me like dreams. Right. So I think, I mean, It is there’s has to be a happy medium of modesty and style. And I think it’s a lot simpler than a lot of people make it out to be.
It’s probably why I don’t wait on it very much just because I don’t know. I think we all really know. Yeah, no, absolutely. No, you can see that. You’re like, yeah, no, that’s definitely not modest, but you just, like, you just know when you see it. so what are your, what are your general rules for as far as modesty goes.
Like, Oh, I won’t wear this versus this kind of thing. Yeah. I mean, it’s really interesting because I think about it a lot. just cause I’m like, I kind of, when I see people I’m like kind of, okay. [00:20:00] I think that’s right. That’s not right. Or, you know, you’re always trying to like figure out what, what, what is truth?
What is dressing? So I think a lot of it is, Situation. I mean, I think kind of like cover down to the knees shoulders. you’re always safe to say, like, if I’m home, I don’t wear shorts, which is like, I dunno, like, but like if no one’s seen me or, you know, if I’m at home with my husband, I’m wearing pair of shorts that are like coughs, but that’s not something I would post on Instagram where people have like a phone in their hands and who knows what someone’s like.
It’s thinking when they are holding the phone with like that image in their hand. So I think a lot of it is not to sound relative. Cause I hate to use that word to think I’m sounding that way, but I think anything, anything in a photo. You need to be like 10 times more modest. That’s what I say. Right?
Right. No, it’s just [00:21:00] appearances. Like, it just always seems to be either worse or better than it is. You know what I mean? It’s always, always altering reality. so no. Yeah. I remember cause I went to Catholic school pretty much my entire life. I’m actually in a classic college now, so. 100% Catholic school, but the rule was always fingertips.
I wear your shorts are supposed to end. I was like, so that rule is just stuck with me for so long. so how does that kind of play into styling your clients? Do they always want to pay attention to modesty or is that something you bring to them so far? It has always been, they wanted modest. options.
So it’s never been something I’ve kinda, we’ve even really talked about. If anything, the whole cow like styling Catholic women, it kind of makes them more at ease to open up about what they want with their wardrobe, because they know their stylist. Isn’t going to be pushing anything on them. They don’t.
[00:22:00] Yeah, no, absolutely. No, that’s such a great, great point. so I think it’s definitely fun cause you have these people that have the same morals as you. so I can imagine that. Yeah. It’s probably super fun to work with people who kind of are on the same wavelength as you. yeah. So do you have any other tips or anything else that you want to share?
anything I know you have a book, right? You have a book. So why don’t you talk about that? Yeah. So I have a book coming out this fall pretty soon. and in the book, it’s, it’s exactly kind of like what’s on my website. So I talked about, the practicals of how to develop your style, how to learn, how to flatter your body.
And then also I go into what is the most important of all is like sacramentals and how we can like wear pieces of grace on us like that. It’s so cool. God. Wow. The miraculous metal, the scapular, all these different things that we can like wear on us to remind us of that. And that literally work. Grace’s [00:23:00] like, I don’t know.
I think it’s easy to think like, Oh, okay. Yeah. That’s the miraculous medal. I’m Catholic, but like, no, like Mary is literally looking out for you because we’re hearing her, like, I don’t know. It’s, it’s very real. just to what we can. You know, the grace that comes from these beautiful sacramentals. So it’s kind of like incorporating that and also how to develop your style.
No, that would be, that is so cool. So where can people find it if they want to buy the book? So if you want to buy the book, I would just say head to my website, which is Megan Ashley styling.com and, yeah, you can download a little closet checklist of everything I recommend for your wardrobe. And yeah, so it’s like a little.
Preview of the book before you buy it? No, that is so cool. All of her links will be down in the show notes. So don’t forget to click on those too. that is going to be so much fun. I’m going to do that as soon as we hang up, because I need to make sure I’m on track with everything. but no, this has been so much fun.
if you have anything else that you [00:24:00] want to give tips on at all, feel free. but if you guys ever want to dm her, send her a message, what’s your Instagram and where can people connect with you? So my Instagram is Megan. Ashley’s styling and that’s my website, too. Amazing. That is so much fun. so before we close out, do you want to give any last minute tips or advice for anybody who’s kind of looking to get started in their fashion journey?
How would you say. Find out your inspiration. And once you do make that very prioritized detailed list and be a stickler, I think a lot of women want to change their closet really quickly, but let it take a lot of time. And by time, I mean like a year or two.
Yes. No, absolutely. No, I love that. That is such great advice. So I’m going to go check out my closet and see, I am like, kind of obsessed about like [00:25:00] your outfit now in your app. They’re all like so versatile. You can break them apart in so many ways. I love it. Well, I’m so glad. I’m so honored that I’m getting complimented by a stylist.
Oh, you guys can’t see what I’m wearing, but, maybe I’ll snap a photo or something and I will, for sure. But thank you. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I was still happy to have you. I hope everybody takes the time to check out their style and just kind of really, you know, first of all, take it for what it is.
Really be appreciative of everything that you have, first of all gratitude is always the best part. and then just see where’s your, where’s your inspiration coming from and how can you reflect your own self in your style, right? Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you. Thank you guys so much for listening to this week’s episode of hear & now podcasts, make sure to check out all of Meghan’s links in the show notes below without further ado, I’m going to close out this week’s episode and I will talk to you [00:26:00] guys next time.