First friends, then colleagues and now the brains behind Style for Hire, Stacy London of TLC’s What Not to Wear and Cindy McLaughlin are joining forces and equipping an army of local stylists to help bulk up every Washington woman’s closet. After unveiling their business in DC, the stylish pair continues to open markets in big cities across the country. We were a fly on the wall as these fashion-forward besties reminisced and shared their style secrets.
STACY LONDON:Do you remember how we met? CINDY MCLAUGHLIN: Of course! It was at Danal on 10th Street in NYC, where it used to be. My husband had scheduled brunch with your then-boyfriend on Facebook to reminisce about their high school years together. They had a nice time catching up, but we started a friendship that has lasted for years.
CM:What do you like about my style? SL: I like that it’s understated. It’s comfortable and relevant for your lifestyle—juggling kids and a crazy job. You don’t try too hard to please the trendsetters.
SL: And what do you like about my style? CM: I mostly like that it’s totally organic to you. You can take or leave trends, and you’re not obsessed with expensive designers. I like that you wear Old Navy with as much grace as YSL. And the shoes!
SL: What made you believe in the possibility of Style for Hire? CM: I—like so many of us—have spent much of my life living with the daily stress of thinking I didn’t look quite right for the occasion, or that I couldn’t afford to be stylish. I also started to understand the very high benefit-to-cost ratio of having a stylist help you come up with a flexible, functional wardrobe that maximizes the investment you’ve made in it. If you count up all the dollars you’ve spent on your wardrobe in the past five years, you’ll likely be horrified at how much you’ve spent and how little use-value you continue to get out of it.
SL:People generally know about my style philosophy. What’s yours? CM: I have two toddlers who are all over me in the morning before I go to work and who greet me with smeary, sticky-faced hugs when I walk in the door. Cost is always a factor, so I prefer wash-and-wear; I have low tolerance for physical discomfort, so shoes that pinch are out.
CM: If you were to give me one piece of advice for our partnership’s success, what would it be? SL: Keeping the lines of communication open while we’re both busy is key. It’s like any marriage—it will take work to make sure we’re always talking enough about the right things.
CM:If you could style anyone in DC , who would it be and why? SL: Michelle Obama! I’ve wanted to get at her since the campaign trail. She’s beautiful and chic, but I’d like to get her out of thick waist belts and some of the big statement jewelry.