Pay attention becuase Celebrity Stylist TV Personality, Influencer, Podcaster, Blogger, Mother Ali Levine is here with us! Major BFD alert!
Ali is a VIP stylist from the West Coast, and now a new transplant to Tennessee. Before that, she was raised in the high-velocity fashion culture of New York.
She is a celebrity stylist, a motherhood fashion lifestyle expert, and so much more! Ali has styled for many different magazines and has had a million celebrity opportunities working with all sorts of high-profile people. She has worked in television, film and music, and has been called LA’s “It” Girl as far as celebrity styling is concerned. She’s got a star-studded portfolio: working with Jesse McCartney, Holly Robinson Pete, Joey King, Gretchen Rossi, Lisa Vanderpump, and so many more.
Ali is the REAL DEAL!!! We talk about her start in the fashion industry and ultimately conquering the world of styling. From New York to LA and back again, she has seen it all. And then, in the middle of it, she also had TWO adorable babies.
Holly and Ali chat about their shared styling history with the School of Style, their mentors Luke Storey and Lauren Messiah, and how FREAKING HARD starting out in a new industry can be. You gotta put in the work, you gotta do the grunt work. Fashion and styling jobs are not glamorous! When you see that picture-perfect outfit on the red carpet, just know that moment is only 1% of work. Ali says that styling is “90% Grime and 10% Glam.” Holly says, “PREACH, Queen!!!”
Ali is passionate about styling and the confidence gained from looking your best. This was never more apparent to her than during and after her two pregnancies. Changing body parts, postpartum depression, spitting babies and the havoc of hormones had her beating herself up and expecting too much to soon. Society expects women to ‘bounce back!’ when you can never go back, because you started a whole new chapter!
Holly delves in with some burning questions, like:
- To keep or not to keep your maternity clothes? And/or your pre-baby jeans?
- What are some mistakes that people can make after pregnancy? As far as fashion and style are concerned?
Both Holly and Ali agree that there ain’t nobody who needs any kind of negative energy, so give yourself a freaking break!!! If it’s just going to sit and collect dust, it’s not going to serve you in the near future. Let it go! Because, if anything, that energy will just hold you back. It’s making you think of something that maybe doesn’t exist anymore, and maybe it never will again. And there’s no reason to hold on to it.
IN THIS EPISODE:
[2:09] HOLLY: So Ali and I have so much in common. We both did some of the same styling courses. Ali, tell us about that.
[2:48] ALI: I’m originally from New York, I moved to Los Angeles for over a decade and then recently moved to Tennessee. And when I first moved to California, I was working in costume and costume design. Long story short, I had worked in New York, after doing corporate fashion and retail and product development and design, all these different you know, projects. I ended up then falling in love with the entertainment industry side and working in costume.
[2:58] ALI: I went to Los Angeles, started working in the movie and entertainment industry, and got into the union and really realized that, for me, it was not fueling my passion, even though I was becoming very successful very quickly. I wasn’t necessarily feeling the feeling of the passion in my soul of what I had started feeling when I first worked in fashion. And so that’s what then led me to start to figure out well, what else could I be doing now that I’ve made this move?
[5:40] ALI: I got to take a business class (at the School of Style), and that was really the start to my styling career. I really learned the business side of styling and what that looks like. And I started working with Luke (Storey), but as we’re getting all these amazing opportunities and mentors, you know, mentors from him and others, working with tons of other stylists as an intern again, of course not getting paid, but just getting the experience getting paid experience.
[6:40] HOLLY: That is a great story. So Luke Storey and Lauren Messiah were co owners of the School of Style. I was a graduate in 2015. And I actually still work with Lauren today. She is an executive coach for me and a group of other people. I have taken every single class that they have offered. And I love the program. And I fell in love with them because they were really real.
[7:30] ALI: The classes want you to understand the realness of it, the dirt, the grime. And it’s not the glam thing, but it’s 90% you know, grind and 10% glam. And I think that was really important for me to learn at it, you know, really early.
[10:00] HOLLY: What are some mistakes that people can make after pregnancy? As far as fashion and style are concerned?
[12:00] ALI: When I first became a mom, first off, I had in my mind that I was going to go through this massive bounce back. So, I was playing around Hollywood all the time, right? Red carpets and around celebrities. And I’m like, Oh, I’m just gonna bounce back, you know, push the baby out, go to bed later and just bounce back just like the rest of them! And it’s like, yeah, okay, for most people, that’s not the case.
[13:30] ALI: I used to just stand there and just beat myself up. And I know so many women do it. It’s so it’s so easy to do. Because you look at yourself, and you feel like, Wow! I just I lost the woman I was, or, I’m no longer pretty, no longer sexy. What’s going on with me?
[16:30] ALI: I really think I made it worse for myself, because I told myself I was going to fit into those jeans again. So I’m going to leave them there. I’m going to definitely wear that shirt again, I just may not wear it for another few months. For me it was just like this dead energy, just stagnant sitting in my closet that was creating a negative vibes, just sitting there because nothing’s happening to it.
[21:17] HOLLY: And the postpartum just doesn’t magically go away. I mean, you don’t wake up one day and be like, I’m totally fine! Take small bites. Maybe you find a sweater you really like, and you wear that for a week. If you love it and you feel good in it. Great!
[26:00] ALI: Like, it’s been a busy day. And I am grateful to be so busy, don’t get me wrong, but like today is a heavy day. So guess what, tomorrow, this weekend, I will honor myself and I will give myself some rest and I will do some pampering.
[29:00] HOLLY: It is a big deal because you’re constantly putting yourself on the back burner. Because it’s too hard. You’ve got young kids. You take five minutes, you take five hours, I don’t care, but you’ve got to make yourself a priority. Whatever your jam is, do your makeup do your hair, you don’t do everything, but you can do one thing for yourself.
[33:00] HOLLY: How long do you keep your maternity clothes? Do you feel like keeping them holds you back?
[34:30] ALI: Whether it’s pregnancy, postpartum, a new job, getting married, whatever it is, whatever life change, we all go through changes, hopefully. If you’re not, in my opinion, if you’re not changing and evolving, you’re dying. So, if you’re evolving, and you’re shifting, and you’re going through these things, you’re going to have those moments where things just aren’t going to resonate anymore. So donate, sell or trade what doesn’t work anymore.
Starting a new career in fashion, and especially styling, is hard work. It’s not as glamorous as it’s cracked up to be. Ali says it’s “90% grime and 10% glam” – and now Holly wants the T-Shirt!!
Women need to give themselves a little bit of grace, for the love of God! Society’s expectation to ‘bounce back’ or to ‘get back in the game’ in a physical, emotional, professional and social way after a pregnancy is ridiculous. Don’t disappoint and depress yourself by setting yourself up with the wrong expectations. Life will be different, you will be different, your body will be different and that is OK.
Prepare for the new you after your delivery! Before the baby is born, find clothes that will work with your new lifestyle. That doesn’t mean you have to forgo fashion, but you do need to find styles that are comfortable, that don’t cling too much in the wrong places, or make you uncomfortable. This is a temporary phase, a temporary wardrobe, and planning for it will help you embrace this new chapter of motherhood!
Style Ideas for New Moms:
- A maxi dress
- A new pair of jeans with a little bit stretch
- A t-shirt that’s cute, but it’s still casual and fitted
- A sweater that’s cute and pretty on, but easy to open up to breastfeed
- Try a new eye mask at night, or put on your mascara, just a little self-care to boost your confidence.
- And Holly’s fav? Find yourself some really, really, REALLY nice pajamas. They can be incredibly indulgent!
Find those hero pieces and build a little capsule collection that’s yours just to go to for that time that you need to. It’s important because then your confidence comes back, and you start to realize, like, okay, you CAN get dressed!
Ali Levine: www.alilevine.com
(Want to be styled by Ali? Send her a DM on her social and receive a special discount. Just ask for the (HOLLY COUPON!)
Everything with Ali Levine Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/everything-with-ali-levine/id1464605227
“Styling is 90% Grime and 10% Glam” – Ali Levine
“It’s a new season, a new Ali, a new chapter in my life! Get new clothing, invest in yourself, Girl! Make yourself feel good in this new mom body, embrace it, enjoy it, it’s a new chapter and you need to get the right new clothes! Give yourself a little grace.” – Ali Levine
“I was judging myself, because I’m like, oh, you’re freaking somebody stylist, when you can’t get dressed in the morning? But that was my story. I would step into my closet, and I would just immediately feel this overwhelming panic, depression, anxiety and would be like, never mind, I’m just gonna stay in my robe, in my underwear and call it a fucking day.” – Ali Levine
“That word Grace is just so beautiful, because everyone is on a different path. And you might not snap back. And that is OK.” – Holly Katz