“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this resource, you will truly have defeated age.” – Sophia Loren
Circa 1990. A lanky teenager is the ultimate go-to-girl when her friends and cousins need help with picking outfits for birthday parties, school outings, and other fun evenings. This young lady, by the way, is adept at inventing stylish new ensembles out of neglected odd pieces, a quality that excites her peers no end.
Fast forward to present day. The little stylista has grown into a beautiful woman, has been swept off her feet by a handsome and loving man, has mothered two beautiful children and has turned her innate passion for fashion into an exciting vocation.
Meet Rinky Chauhan. Personal Stylist, Fashion Trendsetter, Loving Wife, Doting Mum and compulsive Globe Trotter.
As a successful Stylist and Lifestyle Consultant, Rinky has helped several of her friends and clients revamp their wardrobes, rediscover their individual style and has managed to amass a steady fan following in and around the city of Chicago, U.S.A. where she currently lives with her family.
The Side Effects of Life Long Pampering
Having been raised in a home that exuded not just love and warmth but also freedom of thought and expression, Rinky grew up into a confident and self assured woman who was taught to follow her heart and rise above orthodox ideas. Her mother’s progressive upbringing led her to believe in her dreams and celebrate life’s little gifts.
As luck would have it, an arranged marriage paired her up with a guy she describes as the rock in her life. With the support of a partner who is a constant source of encouragement, motivation and abundant love, Rinky says juggling work, social engagements, and raising the kids feels like cakewalk.
On her recent visit to India, we caught up with the busy lady for coffee and conversation, and got her to share some gyan on how to achieve sartorial ecstasy.
T18: Why do you think many people find it difficult to execute the look that they really want to sport?
RC: It is because people keep buying the same type of clothes over and over again. When it comes to clothing, we tend to be unwilling to come out of our comfort zone, sporting the same look for years on end. How many women, or men do you know who go to a store and try something different in terms of color, style, length or fit?
I would say, they don’t charge you for trying on clothes, so make the most of it. You might just stumble upon a piece that was meant just for you. Also, most people tend to dress for others than for themselves. We buy clothes keeping in mind how our family and friends will react to them, isn’t it. One needs to sit back and think about what they really WANT to wear.
T18: What exactly is the role of a Personal Stylist?
RC: Well, it goes way beyond screening, buying and putting together outfits for a client. One has to understand what someone is looking for when they approach a Stylist. Some of my clients need assistance at all levels, from remodeling their wardrobes to guidance in improving other aspects of physical appearance – the hair, the make up, and even tips on eating healthy and losing weight.
And then there are the super busy guys who have no time for shopping, and need someone who understands their taste and requirement, someone who can shop for them while they play hopscotch between business meetings. That’s where a Personal Stylist takes over.
T18: Do you think Indian women are stylish?
RC: I don’t think in terms of any race or ethnicity being more or less stylish. It is more a function of personality, attitude, and personal preferences. Indian women certainly hold their own on the world stage and I am often struck by the variety and quality of style that I get to see when I am in India.
That said, Indian women do have to battle some cultural obstacles and have it harder than women in the west when it comes to how accepting the society is. I think mommies here in the US on the whole are able to exercise more freedom in how they dress than back home in India.
T18: Can you rank clothing, accessories, hair, make up, shoes and bags in terms of how important they are to complete a look.
RC: Self esteem, Self love, hygiene, well-fitting underclothes, the outfit, shoes, hair, make up and accessories, in that order 🙂
T18: But staying fashionable comes at an expense….
RC: Let me rephrase that. Following fashion blindly comes at an expense, as we splurge on the wrong clothes and accessories, only because they are in fashion.
One reason why my friends and clients trust me with shopping is because I am the biggest bargain hunter. I have a knack for hunting down deals on designer labels and am cautious with money, whether it’s my own or my clients’.
There is no harm in splurging once in a while on an exclusive designer piece, but stuffing your wardrobes with expensive things just because they are in vogue, is a no-no.
T18: What about your own style? What drives you to look good and feel beautiful?
RC: Hmm, I was born this way 🙂
Jokes apart, both me and my husband strongly believe that life is a beautiful gift and we should respect and make the most of it. Fashion is only a part of my personality, though a very important part, I must add. I do like to dress well and believe in living a healthy lifestyle that reflects in my skin and hair. Also, I strongly believe that when an individual dresses well, it creates a feel good factor, an aura of happiness and self-assurance around them.
And about feeling beautiful, we live life by three simple rules.
-Count your blessings.
-Gather experiences, material possessions are secondary, and
-Create a loving space where our children can flourish and blossom.
T18: Your words of wisdom for Personal Stylists and Image Consultants in the making.
RC: Oh yes, a few.
First and foremost, as a Personal Stylist, YOU are your biggest advertisement. What you wear and how you wear it, the way you carry yourself is a reflection of your sense of style and speaks volumes of what you can do for your clients.
Taking your work seriously is important. Get out there, socialize, make connections and establish a rapport within your community. Catch hold of friends and family members and offer to restyle their wardrobe. Showcase the transformations on social media – facebook fan page, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram. Creating a blog is another great way to get people to see and understand what you do.
Treat each assignment as a challenge. Every well-dressed client is your spokesperson. Each success is a stepping stone, so don’t let it go to your head. And, never ever overstep people’s individuality or dismiss their preferences. A Stylist’s job is to fine-tune an individual’s unique style and create a WOW experience every single time.
T18: Sounds wonderful. Can our readers reach out to you with questions on personal styling?
RC: Yes sure, my friends know me as a very approachable person. Feel free to send in your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fellow fashionistas, you can also connect with Rinky here. If you would like to be featured on the Touch18 Blog, drop us a note at email@example.com and we will make sure you hear from us within 24 hours.
Stay Young. Stay Stylish.
Love, Team Touch18