What I Know About Style

One of a Style founder, Stefania Bartolomei


We meet personal stylist Stefania Bartolomei, and talk favourite designers, buying sustainably & how to dress for ourselves!

Hi Stefania, you’re an award-winning stylist and personal shopper. What do you love most about your job?

I love seeing the transformation in my clients’ self-confidence. When people ask for my help most of the time it is because they lack confidence, they might not feel right or may feel “stuck” in a style that doesn’t suit them or their lifestyle anymore. Through our style journey, they experience a real transformation that starts from within. Seeing them stepping out of a session with confidence, a big smile on their face (and obviously looking great too) is my ultimate reward.

What are the first things you ask a client when you start working with them?

When I meet a new client I ask several “strategic” questions, in order to understand as much as possible about them, their lifestyle, their style goals, but a particular one that is very crucial is to list their weak points and points of strength. More often people have a long list of weak points, but can’t find any points of strength. This reveals a lot about their level of self-confidence and self-awareness and makes me understand how to approach them and how to lead a session.

What are the most common mistakes you see people making when it comes to their clothes?

One of the biggest and most common mistakes that I see is to follow fashion trends and buy cheap, fashionable clothes just to be trendy. Why do I think this is a mistake? First of all, we should wear what is suitable for us, and what is on trend may not be necessarily right for us in terms of shapes and colours. Besides, buying cheap clothes is something that, in the long run, costs us (and the planet too) more than we can imagine. I’ve edited many wardrobes during my years as a personal stylist, and I’ve seen so much (unnecessary) waste! I’m glad to give my little contribution to change this, as when people ask for my help they also feel ready to change their shopping attitude, leaning more towards sustainable and conscious choices, giving up on fast fashion, buying less but better.

Another mistake is dressing to hide rather than to enhance, and that’s because people tend to focus on their flows rather than on their points of strength. The mindset is crucial and this is something that I try to help my clients with through my consultations.

Do you have any hard-and-fast rules for styling?

Feeling confident in what we wear, feeling empowered and feeling ourselves.

We can wear the most fashionable, awesome, cool outfit in this world, but it won’t look “stylish” and right if we don’t wear it with confidence.

Who are your favourite designers/brands?

Being Italian, there are many Italian brands that have a special place in my heart (and in my wardrobe too): Patrizia Pepe (which I’ve also worked for during my years in fashion), TwinSet, Liu Jo, Pinko, Flavio Castellani.

Other high street brands I like are Whistles, Ted Baker, Sandro Paris, Maje, Mint Velvet, Michel Kors.

While my favourite high-end brands are: Max Mara, Fendi, Armani, Alberta Ferretti, Dior, Salvatore Ferragamo and Jimmy Choo for shoes, Pomellato and Tiffany for jewellery.

Where are the best places to shop for sustainability?

Well, I have a theory: any brand/store that is not fast fashion is already more sustainable. But I have to say that if you want to be 100% sustainable, the best solutions are independent designers, either in clothing or accessories. They don’t overproduce, hence don’t create any waste, and more often use materials that are more ethical and responsibly sourced. Alternatively, charity shops are a really good option.

You’ve talked before about how the way parents dress-sense influences their children. Can you tell us about the latest school-run trends and why you think these are so?

Comfort has become essential, especially after the pandemic and the several lockdowns that we’ve experienced. At the same time, with most parents now back to the offices, at least part-time, the pyjamas are no longer the school-run trend. Now, I see parents dressing up again, maybe wearing comfy shoes like trainers, but with a more pampered look. I don’t see people complaining or feeling bad about it, on the contrary, I think it feels good to have a reason again to wear different clothes and feel put together.

Who or what has been your biggest influence?

Surely, I owe my sense of style to my mum, who’s always been very accurate in the way she dressed and looked, and with an innate ability to match clothes and colours.

Then, like probably many people, I have some celebrities that I find inspirational for their style and class: Cate Blanchet, Michelle Williams, Emma Stone, and others… but I find most style inspiration browsing online, on Pinterest or Instagram.

If you hadn’t become a stylist, was there ever a plan b?

I have a background in fashion as a designer and product developer and if I hadn’t become a stylist I’d probably still be working in fashion. Personal styling wasn’t known at all in Italy until very recently, and as soon as I knew about it, I fell in love with it and understood that this was my real passion, and I had no doubt that one day I’d become a personal stylist.

Anything coming up in 2022 that you’re excited to tell us about?

I want to make One of a Style grow bigger as a brand, and accessible to more people. What I have in mind won’t happen in one year probably, but definitely, in 2022, I will set the foundations for some big changes.


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