When it comes to style, Zayna Mosam knows how to inspire. This Toronto, Canada native is the face of her image consulting firm. She also was named one of the 50 top professionals in Toronto Life Magazine’s The Busy Person’s Survival Guide We sat down with Zayna to get some advice for our Moms to be and our new Moms about style. How do we embrace our new bodies instead of hiding ourselves? Can we look great and be stylish? We get Zayna to weigh in on some of the most interesting of clients, Mothers.
Zayna, please tell us a bit about yourself…
I’ve been helping people to get noticed and move forward with their style and communication full time since 2003 when I launched my company. I advise and consult for a wide range of individuals and companies which keeps things interesting and fulfilling. Clients include finance & management consultants, lawyers, scientists, homemakers, performers and more.
I work long hours but always make time for theatre, time with friends and of course my weekly ballet class. I met the lovely Grace from thebabyspot.ca on Twitter and was thrilled to chat and plan for some exciting upcoming projects!
Many mothers need to know that stylists are not just for the extreme fashionista or corporate women. What can you do to help a pregnant or new mom?
Pregnant women and new parents are often in lifestyle transition and need objective opinions as well as someone to help with parts of their life they no longer have time to manage. The first step is to have a complimentary chat about how I can help. I always customize my services and packages to best meet the needs and requests of my clients. It’s an important and personal process so I want to make sure I get to know your priorities, your personality and your lifestyle from family to work, travel, activities and more.
Next I look at what you currently have in your closets and determine what is working and what can be improved. I complete my style mapping processes and determine most flattering clothing styles for your body type and in more extensive sessions discover the types of colours that allow you to look and feel your best.
The most exciting part is taking you shopping for some new looks! Most new parents I’ve worked with are challenged to find time for themselves so it’s a pleasure to provide the chance for them to have some fun while we do the very necessary refresh on the wardrobe. After shopping, I help to integrate the old with the new for the maximum number of looks with a follow up ‘closet call’. I’ve even reorganized a baby wardrobe or two after helping Mom!
What is the difference between an Image Consultant and a Fashion Consultant?
Every consultant is different but in my experience well-trained Image Consultants are specialists within the communications industry and are fashion industry adjacent.
No matter who works with you, the plan of action should suit your lifestyle, short-term and long-term personal & professional goals. The scope of service is quite broad and includes personal styling, wardrobe management, communications coaching and corporate training. The purpose should be to help you get to the next stage and to be even more confident, powerful and beautiful in the process!
Many women when they are pregnant want to dress fashionably, but find it hard to avoid the “tent look”. How would you help a pregnant mom?
I always look at a clients proportion type as well as height, facial features, lines of the body (do you have more angular lines, rounded lines or a good mix of both?). When a woman is pregnant, most of her specifications still apply. We just need to make room for the growing belly of course! So, I choose particular colours, fabrics and cuts of clothing that are comfortable and functional while flattering her changing shape and helping her to feel beautiful during this special time. I will often concentrate on beautiful versatile basics that can be further styled with a module of accessories.
After a baby is born, many of us do not “bounce back.” Is there a way for us to embrace our new bodies and curves but still have a great sense of style?
It can take a bit of time and know-how but it’s exciting to get set up for this new phase of life whether it’s the birth of your first or fourth child. Using proportion and line combined with the items the features that honour your personality, you can have a collection of looks that speak to your personality as well as your ambitions. It can be as simple as adjusting the focal points of an outfit and using colour strategically. For some, a formerly dramatic fashion sense becomes slightly sporty to accommodate your new set of activities. The details are individual but if you feel good and know you look good you can relax and enjoy your new curves!
Love Handles. Spare Tire. Rolls. Can we hide them and tone them down with colours other then black?
It’s true that a monochromatic outfit is slimming because it minimizes the movement of the viewer’s eye, thereby streamlining the visual and creating length. Black is slimming only if black is a flattering colour on your complexion. If not (which is the case for many), the same effect can be achieved with other colours such as carefully selected alternative neutrals or even deep purple, navy, olive, burgundy. Whether best colours should be dark, light, bright or muted can be determined through analysis.
Another way to achieve a balanced look is by selecting the right combination of item proportion, drape of fabric, pattern and texture. Where exactly the clothing hits the body can make a world of difference and can create the right silhouette and fit for your body type.
How can we dress stylish in the spring and summer but not show our problem areas?
I recommended using lightweight versatile pieces combined with the usual all-season favourites as your foundation of basics. Pieces that drape well will still flatter your shape without being too tight or revealing.
What do you do for a client during a shopping excursion?
I put a lot of prep time into pre-selection of the items so that when you join me for the shopping day it’s a fun and efficient experience. Since I would know your specifications and budget preferences beforehand as well as what you need/want I’m able to create looks and coordinate the pieces in advance. When you arrive you get to try things on and continue learning about the styles that work best for you. You certainly don’t need to be a star to get VIP treatment!
Is it achievable to have great style that is both breathable for the ever moving mom, but still fashionable? Is it possible for many parents to save the yoga pants for yoga?
Textile technology has come a long way and more companies are focusing on casual styles suitable for an array of activities. More durable comfortable pieces that are actually appropriate outside of the yoga studio are available now. So, it’s just a matter of selecting the functional pieces that flatter and speak the right message!
*Stay tuned for a great contest with Zayna Mosam. You could win a huge Mommy Make Over! Details to come soon…