Dubai is the epitome of world class luxury and fashion and there's no denying that the glistening city is home to some amazingly talented people.
We had the chance to interview one such individual. Faiza Basit is a certified Fashion and Personal Stylist and the creator of Style Matters, her very own fashion and personal styling agency offering style advice, shopping advice and wardrobe edit.
With over 13 years of experience she’s made her mark in the Middle East. Here’s what she had to say.
1. What was the inspiration behind Style Matters?
Throughout 13 years of my professional career I’ve worked with a wide array of established international and local brands, gaining key insights into professional and corporate style culture, which made me realize the importance of dressing well and the confidence you achieve by looking your best.
Style Matters was a very natural progression for me. After graduating from art school with a degree in branding & visual communication, I started my career in advertising and then moved on to pursue branding which later evolved to personal branding for individuals where my clients wanted more assistance with how they should dress to represent their personal brand. I thoroughly enjoyed guiding them as I had previously been doing the same for friends and family. Another key motivator for me was to make women feel confident and empowered in all aspects of their lives. This encouraged me to enroll with London college of Fashion and become a certified Personal stylist in early 2017 and officially launch Style Matters, where our aim is to discover our clients unique style, personality, body shape and color analysis to create beautiful ensembles so whether they’re meeting clients or presenting, they always make the perfect impression.
2. What are the challenges modern working women face when styling up for the office?
Perceptions of the professional world. Women are constantly judged on their appearance; it’s either too feminine or too masculine or too trendy; this can lead to making unsuitable style choices, not make them feel their best and lose confidence.
Another challenge is to be able to look stylish yet modest as you are still in an office environment and it's important to be respectful of that. Many women are confused about appropriate work-wear and they struggle to find a good balance. I often encourage my clients to invest in quality key pieces so they can enjoy a capsule wardrobe for easy mix & match solutions’ as nobody needs a closet full of grey suits.
3. How important is it for working women to accessorize? What are the essentials and what should be avoided?
I believe accessories are extremely important in completing a look and making an outfit look more put together and polished. People pay attention to detail and so should you. Essentials would be watch, bag, closed-toe shoes. To make things more interesting you can add colors by wearing a scarf, belt and small pieces of jewelry. Some of the things to avoid are big, bold distracting pieces, be it jewelry, belts or shiny cocktail bags. Open sandals even in the summer. Dangling earrings & necklaces. Your overall impression should be smart and tailored as there’s a difference between going to work and going out with your friends.
4. Let's talk handbags. Which ones are the best to carry to work?
Best work bags should be functional and the right proportion for your body. It needs to be structured, versatile, durable and lightweight. It should ideally be in neutral colors so it goes well with multiple outfits. You can also slip in a bag organizer so things are easily accessible. If you invest in high quality bag then it will last you years. I quite like structured medium to small totes with a top handle.
5. Do cocktail and mini bags add to women's confidence and style quotient? How can these be paired with an outfit?
A cocktail or mini bag is a must-have item in a modern woman’s wardrobe. It’s an element that makes a woman feel special in a fun, trendy way. You can definitely go wild, push boundaries of your style comfort zone and make a statement! These stylish arm-candies can turn heads and be a conversation starter. Thankfully, today we have so many different options to choose from as more and more brands of varying price points are coming up with gorgeous collections throughout the year. You can find top-handle, cross-body, drawstring pouch, chain shoulder bag, envelope clutches, box clutches, classic snap top and so much more. These can be paired with all different body types so just make sure it goes well with the outfit but also stands out on its own.
6. What tips do you have for working women wanting to up their style game and feel like a Boss?