The Style Evangelist: Lloyd Boston

06/14/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

For some of us fashion is fun, for others it can be hard work. We can all look at clothes on hangers and admire colors and styles. The trick is to figure out what is on the hanger at the store and what should be hanging in your closet. That's why celebrities have been in the habit of hiring stylists to help them pick out what looks best on them. Sometimes it helps to have an expert view of what you should buy and what you should leave behind. Especially if you are trying to stay within a budget. But what do you do if you can't afford a celebrity stylist? Good news, help is on the way, in the form of accessible advice from celebrity stylist Lloyd Boston. Lloyd helps women style themselves with his series of books (Before You Put That On), web videos he has created for Jones New York and his appearances on NBC's Today Show. And now, he is embarking on a series of in-store appearances at department stores around the US to help fashionistas stay fabulous and fabuless.

The former VP of Art Direction for Tommy Hilfiger  knows what he is talking about and clearly enjoys getting close to his customers. Fashion is not just a business to him, it's a vocation. Lloyd Boston is the real deal. Like an evangelist, he likes to get women excited about their style possibilities and their current shape.  He doesn't call hips full, he calls them "proud."  He tells women not to be afraid of their curves but to embrace themselves at any size. He also preaches the gospel of color and belting your waist. As a stylist, Lloyd is like your best friend urging you to try new things, throw on some color or wear some light (nude) shoes this spring to elongate your legs.   It's easy to see why Oprah loves him.  Last week, I had the opportunity to see Lloyd Boston in action styling volunteers at Macy's South Coast Plaza. The ladies I saw at Macy's were completely smitten.  That's because Lloyd is there to support and help. He genuinely wants his customers to look good.  He is not there to judge them or tell them what they are doing wrong.  With Lloyd, its all about encouragement and showing some style love.  He's not just a stylist. He's a fashion evangelist who believes that women can look good at any size or point in their life, if they take the time to discover what colors and styles flatter them.

Pictured: Stylist Lloyd Boston, you don't have to be a star to be in his Jones New York fashion show. (Photo: M. Hall)

I had the opportunity to talk with Lloyd before the show, and hear some of his tips to help you dress better, and more importantly feel fabulous in your clothes.  As Lloyd says," Too many women think they have to wait to look good. They think, I'll wait until I loose 10 pounds, or I'll wait until I get a new job. Don't wait. You can look good today with the right choices and styles." Here are a few basic tips from Lloyd to help you look good now.

  • Don't buy something if you can't wear it 3 ways. "You want to be able to wear a piece modern, classic and bold," he told me.
  • Don't be afraid of color.  Use color to accent your look.  Lloyd notes, "You don't want to wear it head to toe, but to enhance a piece. Wear a gorgeous scarf or wrap, a jacket or a blouse."
  • "Classics are back with an updated edge," says Lloyd. The current economy has brought us all back to buying classic pieces that we can invest in and wears for years.  The Jones of New York line offers many classic pieces, including an easy care line with suits you can clean at home to save on your dry  cleaning bill. Black and white pieces are part of the classic look that is back.
  • Most importantly, instead of rushing out to buy all new, work to edit your closet. Listen up recessionistas! To properly edit your closet, Lloyd advises,"Call up a girl friend and take everything out all at once.  Put back only your greatest hits, your sexiest shoes and your strongest pieces." Lloyd also advices that matching hangers are a girl's best friend. Organize all the jackets on one set of hangers, all the dresses on another set.  Color code them if necessary.  Make sure when you open your closet you can see what you have to wear. (note to self: so I need to organize the closet, instead of stumbling in there blurry eyed with some coffee. Lloyd, do you do house calls? :) )

If you're interested in getting serious about your wardrobe and your fashion choices, Lloyd Boston has an endless stream of style tips like this to help you. Add in the magic ingredient of his enthusiasm and positive encouragement, and you'll be hooked. This September his new book called The Style Checklist: The Ultimate Wardrobe Essentials for You will be in stores. Until then, you might want to look for him at your local department store. There's nothing like having your own personal style coach.