Updated: May 24, 2020
We are surrounded by many extraordinary women whose stories need to be told and shared with the world. Women who make a positive impact on the lives of others with their kindness, wit and compassion. Women who show perseverance, patience and willpower, attributes that we all need in life to succeed. Today we meet such a woman, Sophie from @sophisticatedbox: entrepreneur, successful Belgian fashion stylist and blogger. Sophie is the living proof that you can rock your style (and Instagram) at any age. #InnaeWomen
Can you tell me about your job and why you're passionate about it?
I'm a personal stylist. My passion for fashion and styling started 15 years ago as a hobby while I was still working as a nurse. Today, I’m happy to say that my passion has become my full-time profession. Besides running my fashion business, I also work as a freelance teacher at a beauty school, where I'm able to coach students to practice this wonderful profession of fashion styling.
My styling approach is personal, authentic and spontaneous. My goal is to help women discover the best possible version of themselves. I also give advice on the right color choice for clothing and makeup. And I help my clients to discover their personal style with a step-by-step style approach that takes their body type and personality into account.
In my home shop 'Sophiestore' you can shop by appointment. I work with exclusive woman's clothing collections that you cannot find in regular stores. During our styling session, we'll look at the colors that make them shine and I will help choose the right outfits according to their taste, body type and lifestyle.
As a style expert and fashion blogger, my goal is to inspire women on a daily basis with my sophisticated lifestyle.
Being able to do what I Iove and to make a living from it is what gives me the energy to continue to grow as a person and further develop my expertise. Fashion and style are my ultimate daily motivational drivers and serve as the personal creative outlet that keeps my heart beating.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in your career so far?
A few years ago, I had the job of my life working as a Country Manager for a Danish fashion company. As a Country Manager, I led a team of 40 consultants in the Benelux. I had to organize fashion events, represented the brand, trained people and learned how to network. Every single day, I had to reinvent myself. When I started, I didn’t have the necessary training or diplomas required for this position but my passion, experience and my intuition helped me to successfully overcome the many challenges. It was such a huge learning experience and school for me. Unfortunately, the company went bankrupt. I didn't have much choice and had to start working as a nurse again. And yet I couldn't let go of my love for fashion and style. So, after a few months I started my fashion business Sophiestore.
My commitment and strong will have always helped me to find a way to get what I wanted from life.
Who are your role models?
How would you describe your style?
I would say romantic, bohemian chic with a touch of sophistication. I’ve started to wear quite some romantic elegant chiffon dresses and skirts only in the last couple of years. Before, I had never really worn dresses, I mostly wore pants (usually jeans) with furry coats and suede boots. Also, accessories have always been more important to me than clothing itself, especially bags, scarves and jewelry. Colors plays an important role in my life, if you take a look at my closet, you'll see that I only own one or two plain color garments. I’ve always been more attracted to colorful prints.
How important do you think it is that women dress for success for work?
I believe in the impact of colors, for example if you wear red you will get what you want. If you wear blue you will want a win-win situation. To convey a specific image, the fabric selection also plays a big role. I don’t feel comfortable with stiff fabrics, dark and cool color combinations. As a stylist I always aim for an outfit worthy of a look book, but most importantly I want to feel good in it. I adapt my look with more or fewer colors and/or details depending on the occasion. But my consistent signature style is about being 'sophisticated' which means I need to always be slightly different. Dress for success? Yes, but don’t forget to express your personality and don't be afraid to stand out.
What are your favorite brands and stores?
I’m a multi brand lover, every season I fall in love with another brand and most of all I like to mix different brands in one look. Brands like Twinset, Liu Jo, Essentiel are quite fashion forward and know how to integrate a lot of details and colors in their collection every season. I like to shop for myself in designer outlets like Maasmechelen Village (@mmvillage)or samples wholesales. I like to mix and match affordable and trendy clothing pieces like Zara with timeless designer pieces.
What piece of career advice would you give your 20 year old self?
Follow your heart but most importantly: love what you do. Passion is such a fantastic energy driver!
Styling and outfit details from @sophisticatedbox.