OUR GREAT MINDS

    by Aaryn Lambert

    21st Century Woman – Interview with Chelsey Ansell

    Above Attire: Akris Punto jacket, Akris Punto blouse, Akris Punto pant, Lanvin necklace, Fendi watch, Michael Kors bag, Oliver People’s sunglasses, Tumi luggage, and Salvatore Ferragamo shoes. Available at Holt Renfrew.

    Stylists: Christina Diaconescu, Reba Hopf
    Make Up: Jen Hjelmeland from Bobbi Brown

    What does being a 21St Century Woman mean to you?

    The female mindset has changed from housewife to boardroom member, as women in the workplace seek to have it all in life – continuing to climb the corporate ladder with family in tow. However, being powerful does not mean being masculine. Living as a 21st century woman involves being clever, conscientious, and courageous in everything you do – including what you wear. After all, you can’t be deep without a surface!

    Why is personal style important for any woman to recognize?

    To be successful you need to have a strong sense of yourself and that starts with confidence. Confidence-inspiring clothing works wonders on the potential pitfalls of the everyday – be it heading up a meeting or just tackling a Monday morning.

    Also, since it’s human nature to create preconceived notions of someone based on appearances, your personal style tends to be an indirect form of communication that sets the tone for first impressions.

    How does style influence your work day? Does it play a role in confidence?

    It’s no secret that what you wear affects how you feel. Look lackluster, feel lackluster. The mood-enhancing quality of clothing is what makes the fashion world turn, and when I’m in need of a confidence hit, it can be just the answer. My outfit (and hair) definitely alters how I approach and interact with the world. My colleagues know that if it’s a glasses day, stay away!

    What are the most important attributes of style for you?

    I feel most confident when my style is relaxed and easy so I try and stick to shapes that I know work for me and then experiment with color, print, and accessories. Blending high-end classic pieces with fun more disposable seasonal pieces allows me to express my personality without blowing my budget.

    What are your key foundational pieces for any outfit?

    A power outfit for me begins with a great pair of heels (usually patent leather). I also find a pop of bright –be it lipstick, jewelry, a shirt, or a scarf – adds a spring to my step. People really respond positively to color too; it allows you to be professional but still show that you have a sense of humor.

    Have you seen corporate style change in the last 5 years? If so, how?

    With TV and Internet giving access to global trends and fashions, we are no longer restricted to clothing available in our local market. There has been a marked shift in fashion in the workplace where international trends are making their way into our daily work attire. If someone had told me 5 years ago that I’d be wearing boots over pants at work, I would have laughed!

    What inspires your style?

    My personal style is built around a closet of basic, yet versatile, black pieces that can be spiced up by a pop of color and a great bag. I am inspired by women who look fantastic, professional, and comfortable while looking like they pieced their outfit together in less than 5 minutes.

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