If you think you have to spend a fortune to have great style, you need to meet Rebecca Sullivan. The 50- year- old fashion blogger, mom, and full-time CPA is a whiz at creating cute, feminine looks that don’t break the bank.
Like most women, Rebecca loves a sale tag and has created a fun signature style that she loves to showcase on her blog, Red Tag Chic Los Angeles.
I got the chance to chat with Rebecca (also known for her gorgeous smile and fab figure) about her fresh, cost-conscious, west coast style. Here’s a look at this Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer.
Deb: If your clothes could speak, what would they say about you?
Rebecca: My clothes would say with a chuckle, “thanks for the love affair, Rebecca – we are happy that you know now what looks good on you!”
Deb: Describe L.A. Style? Are you a typical L.A. gal?
Rebecca: Honestly, I have no idea what defines true L.A. style as it is a totally diverse style universe out here! Yes, anything goes on the streets of this free-spirited city, and with eternal Spring weather conditions – there is always a reason to opt for shorter hemlines and unconventional silhouettes. From white pants after Labor Day to sandals in the Winter, I can say L.A. style consistently breaks all the style rules.
On that note, yes, I guess I am a pretty typical L.A. dresser as I don’t mind going bare-legged all year round!
Deb: So in a word, your style is…..
Rebecca: Evolving! Seriously, my style is essentially classic and easy-going with touches of corporate chic due to the demands and expectations of my profession. Typically for work, you’ll find me wearing cropped blazers and wide-legged trousers or pencil skirts with an uber-feminine inner top (think ruffles, lace, fringes, tank tops) in a kaleidoscope of colors.
Deb: If you had to give away all your clothes except for a few pieces, what would you keep and why?
Rebecca: Good question! First, one that came to my mind is my Abercrombie & Fitch denim cut-offs that I just bought last summer. It took me years to find this one that fits me perfectly, and now I wear it with almost anything. I like shorts, tees, floaty tops, boyfriend jeans, maxi dresses, and Havaianas for the weekends.
Deb: What kind of things have you learned about putting outfits together on your blog that you could pass along to our readers? – any practical styling tips?
Rebecca: I had imposed on myself one important style mantra even before I started the blog. And that is all about proportions when dressing up – like when you’re wearing tight on top, then the bottoms have to be loose or not letting it all hangout – like you could go plunge on top but covering up on other parts of the body!
Deb: We all have fashion challenges. What are yours, and how do you work around them?
Rebecca: Hmmm. Wow, this is not an easy question. Body-wise I don’t face many challenges dressing up thanks to my mother’s genes. The biggest challenge I face fashion-wise is putting together a different look every single workday. I try to work around it by conceptualizing my look the night before and adding tweaks to the day via accessories.
Deb: How important is color to you?
Rebecca: Color has been essential to me as I mature. Growing up, black has always been the color of my choice for my outfits. I feel instantly looking sharp when I’m wearing black – my hair looks shinier, my skin looks better, among others. I remember my mom always nagging me about this.
Deb: Are there certain shades you gravitate to or avoid? Why?
Rebecca: Of course, I would still gravitate to black, greys, and neutrals, but I don’t avoid any particular color anymore. I am now more open to wearing any color!
Deb: Whose style do you admire and why?
Rebecca: I admire Nicole Richie’s boho style and Jessica Alba’s street style.
Deb: Do you think there is such a thing as age-appropriate dressing?
Rebecca: Hmmm, I believe there’s no such thing as age-appropriate dressing. Everything goes as long as you like what you see in the full-length mirror (a must, in my opinion) before you step out that door!
Deb: Do you think you will dress any differently now you have hit 50?
Rebecca: Well, as long as my 22-year-old daughter/devil’s advocate approves, I will not dress any differently, but I will definitely evolve my style from time to time!
Deb: You pride yourself on being cost-conscious. What designers do you like, and where do you shop?
I am such a sucker for discount stores like Marshalls, Nordstrom Racks, TJ Maxx, Ross, among others. I also love mall stores like H&M, Forever 21, and the clearance racks of Zara. I am not into designer stuff, but I do adore the creations of Elie Saab, Victoria Beckham, and fellow Filipina Monique Lhuillier. If I wanted to hunt for designer pieces, I would go to Nordstrom Rack or Saks Off 5th.
How do you decide how much to spend on an outfit?
I always think whether a piece I’m buying will go with at least three pieces in my existing wardrobe. What I spend per outfit depends on whether it’s for investment or trends. I usually save up on investment pieces like a bag, a pair of shoes, denim, or blazers/coats.
Deb: The Best deal you ever got- what was it and how much did you pay?
Rebecca: I always think I get the best deals for being patient and waiting for the huge holiday sales. But I guess the best one is this cute Badgley Mischka crossbody I got at Saks Off 5th for $101, marked down from $450.
Deb: Best fashion advice you have ever received or fashion motto you live by?
Rebecca: The best one is from my mom. “Wear the dress, don’t let the dress wear you!” Growing I didn’t understand it, but now I’m passing it on to my daughter. I interpret it as not being a victim of any trend or fad.
Deb: What current trend do you love right now?
Rebecca: Drooling over fringes and everything that’s boho-inspired!
Deb: What’s Your Advice to women trying to put together a wardrobe that gives them the most bang for their buck?
1. To begin, a woman should have a clear idea of what she wants to project, and from there, she can start browsing around for inspiration – I do get inspiration from street style, blogs, and celebrities.
2. She should be tuned into what she wants and needs to avoid any impulse shopping, and she should also know her body type and how to dress for it and around it.
3. KNOW THYSELF so you can accentuate your strengths (beauty-wise, it could be your legs, cheekbones, lips, shoulders, etc.) and minimize your perceived (it could only be in your mind) flaw.
4. Finally, PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE has always been my attitude towards trends and shopping. I don’t rush into buying the latest “IT” stuff and patiently wait (and save) for it to go on sale – it’ll be mine “if it’s meant to be!”
Deb: Thanks, Rebecca, for the great insight and a look at your beautiful style! Ladies, be sure to visit Rebecca’s wonderful site, Red Tag Chic Los Angeles.