Yolandie Hamilton

1. Who is Yolandie? 
Yolandie is a lot of things! A curious lover of science and art in all of its forms. I love a good rom-com and cry fest. Sometimes you just need that! I am also a mom, a community theatre actress/teacher, and a grade-A goofball. Really trying to roll all of these pieces of me into a wardrobe that felt authentic is how I began my business. Creating a new way of thinking about style and ourselves is my passion. It’s a really big part of who I am.
2. How do you define fashion and or style?
I actually separate the two from each other. I’d call them sisters or cousins as they are related but not the same. Fashion is a cultural phenomenon that encompasses all of the current trends and designer collections we see, as well as some of the looks on the red carpet. Those are fun and whimsical but not always practical. Style however is personal. No two people can have the exact same style because our interpretations of what we like are based on what we’ve experienced. Similar to getting different reports from a crime scene depending on the vantage point the observer had.
3. What influences your style? ie travel, work, movies, magazines, social media trends, celebrities, color, etc.
My style is an amalgamation of all the interests I hold filtered through my personal experiences. I love theatre and movies as well as art and music. All of those can come together to create an idea. Celebrities and trends are fun pieces of influence. They can inject life into old pieces and reinvigorate the way I use something but very rarely is there anything I see on a celeb that I feel like I need to have. Style is about taking inspiration from around you and reinventing it to represent yourself. That’s always my goal.
4. How has your style evolved?
My style has had A LOT of phases and is still evolving. As it should. It’s never complete and always a work in progress just as we are always changing and evolving. I began with a love of clothes very early on-around 9 or 10. Barbie was a big influence and I would dress and redress her in as many combinations as I could with what I had. As I grew, I wanted to mimic those fun looks and then the more cool looks I saw on MTV and in Seventeen magazine. These are all very natural phases by the way, if this resonates with you, most of us move through these phases in one way or another. I eventually graduated from copying looks to inventing my looks and adding elements I loved, regardless of what others thought. I carry that on today and work to inspire other women to embrace what they love regardless of the opinion of others.
5. What does your dream wardrobe consist of? 
An instant sewing machine! I love to create my own clothes or recreate clothes once they’ve lost their luster but sewing can be really time-consuming. If I could have a machine that reads my mind and instantly produces what I want or updates a piece to something more exciting and updated I would be in absolute heaven!
6. If you were to give fashion advice to your younger self what would it be?
Keep the things you love most even when you stop wearing them. So much has come back around to be current again that I absolutely loved when I was younger. There are a ton of pieces I can think of that I wish I still had but don’t. Get a time capsule box and store it away. Even in you never wear it again it provides a wonderful walk down memory lane.
7. How important is it to be body positive and to appreciate the skin that you're in?
Less body positive and more body aware is the terminology I prefer. It can feel fake to try and be positive about what we see in the mirror every day, almost toxic. I prefer to teach my clients to simply accept what they see as fact and make the best of it. For example, if you go out for ice cream and they are all sold out of chocolate fudge swirl but have plenty of chocolate, you’ll probably make the best of the situation and still get something by choosing chocolate rather than leaving empty-handed. Body awareness is the same way. You want to make the best of what you have right now. That doesn’t always mean that you love it but it works and makes you happy at the moment. You can always change what you see in the mirror but only if you accept it first.
8. What do you love about jewelry? What is your absolute favorite, is it earrings, necklaces, etc.
I love that jewelry is what takes any simple outfit and elevates it to finished status. In my retail days, I dressed a lot of mannequins and the only difference between it just wearing clothes and being styled, 90% of the time, was the jewelry. It’s a way to add fun, personalization, and your own twist to any outfit. Also, you can gain and lose weight but jewelry can still fit. Personally, necklaces are my favorite. I love to layer them and create an interesting focal point to draw the eye to create a conversation starter.
9. How do you incorporate accessories and jewelry into your daily looks? 
I have a few space rules I follow so pieces don’t compete with each other or get lost in the look but my main goal is to balance the look and add a little something to places where it’s a bit boring. Whether this is on my wrist or my neck. I also like to wear meaningful jewelry. It’s not always a meaningful piece I add in but those are the majority of my jewelry pieces.
10. What are your non-negotiables...  What must you have/wear/do?  and what are your, “I’m never ever doing or wearing that”?
The never wearing list is fairly short as I have a broad range of interests and love to experiment with my look based on how I feel. I simply will not do neons, Jogger-style pants, or dowdy prairie dresses. They just don’t jive with who I am and as many times as I have tried, I can’t learn to love them. I even tried elevating joggers to a faux leather pair but they aren’t me and so they live on the no-go list. The non-negotiable is really quite simple, ensure that what I am wearing is reflective of who I am and who I want to be on that day. I must wear what truly expresses me and nothing else will do. This includes the level of accessories and makeup I wear each day.
11. Tell us why you choose fashion and style.  So what we mean by that is, we don’t have to dress up, we don’t have to adorn ourselves with jewels and embellish with accessories, but we do, we choose to… why do you?
As a teenager, I discovered that I could tell those around me about myself without saying a word and that it opened the door for conversations and relationships by bonding over our mutual admiration of a piece I’m wearing. It’s about connection and expression, there are lots of ways to do it, but my personal favorite is style. Additionally, someone may not feel comfortable approaching me but definitely jive with something I’m wearing and there is a silent connection created. The connections are not always obvious but you never know how you’ll inspire someone with your style choices and give them permission to be themselves.
12. What’s your favorite fashion/style quote or mantra?
“Real style is never right or wrong. It’s a matter of being yourself on purpose.” G. Bruce Boyer  This is my favorite and it is so true. Style comes and goes only with the changes you make to yourself and can never be wrong or right. There is no one way to do it just the way you’re doing it.
13. How and where can people connect with you?
I spend most of my time on Instagram @hamiltonstyling or Facebook also @hamiltonstyling. You can also pick my brain in my private Facebook group, Thoughtful Style, and get live sessions on style topics that matter to you or listen in on my podcast, Intentional Style. If you’re ready to get real strategies and custom information on your style visit my website and schedule a chat to find out how you can benefit from working with me.
What a pleasure to read Yolandie- thank you for sharing. One message Yolandie shared above was "You can always change what you see in the mirror but only if you accept it first". So with that being said, express and love yourselves!
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