Getting dressed for a busy workday is a whole new ball game when you’re pregnant or have a little one in tow. Still, it was a challenge that stylist and social media sensation Angela Fink was excited to take on with the arrival of her daughter Lola. In the process, she proved to herself and her devoted followers that being a mom and a fashion star comes down to clever planning and staying true to your unique personal style.
Born in a small Texas city, Fink became passionate about expressing herself through fashion at an early age. “I had the kind of mother who dressed up for every occasion, complete with matching shoes and bags,” she says. Add to that a “grandmother who made me whatever I could dream up,” and a degree in fashion, and you’ve got a perfect formula for a sartorial powerhouse. The L.A. transplant has come a long way since her childhood days of pulling together whimsical outfits. When she’s not busy posting for her 100K Instagram followers, the bona-fide fashion force (she now has 15 years of styling experience under her belt) creates one-of-a-kind red-carpet and on-camera ensembles for top celebrities.
And as a new mom to an adorable 1-year-old, she’s an uber-successful example of what it takes to balance motherhood and a career while staying effortlessly chic, too. (Here’s a hint: A great backpack like the one from TUMI is perfect for storing bottles and making a street style cameo.) Just ahead, Fink shares her tips for creating a uniform to get you through pregnancy, why a crossbody is key for women always on the move, and how some clever planning can set you up for a very stylish week.
How would you sum up your personal fashion philosophy?
"If you don't feel good in it, don’t wear it."
How has your style changed since you’ve become a mom?
"Naturally, with any change like having a baby comes more change. We evolve and we cut out things that don’t work for us. I have really cleaned out my wardrobe this past year. I realized that so much space was being taken up by pieces that didn't feel right anymore. I felt a new sense of confidence that I had never felt before, and I wanted my clothes to reflect that."
What tips do you have for staying stylish while pregnant?
"The keys to remaining stylish when pregnant are to embrace your body at every stage and buy into a couple of strong styles that can carry you through. A slip dresses is a great example. It looks great with a sweater or a jacket over it, but it also allows for growth."
Style wise, when it comes to balancing a career and being a mom, what’s key?
"Build out a uniform. Find out what looks good and functions well when jumping back and forth in between motherhood and work. It’s a trial and error process, but once you have it down and you know what works for both situations, then you can start buying more pieces that fit within that framework. Before you know it, getting dressed and feeling confident all day will be effortless."
What are some of your personal fail-safe formulas that always get you out the door fast and looking good?
"In my closet I have a space for pre-made looks — full looks grouped together on separate hangers. I have done this since I was in school. I love putting looks together, and it's so nice to open your closet and grab an entire outfit that you already know will work. I usually have a day where I put together about five looks for the week, depending on what I will be doing. When it comes time to get dressed, I don't waste too much time fussing over what to wear. And if I don’t get to them all, I simply leave them for the following week. I'm a visual person. I get inspired by social media, the runway, editorials, or just people on the street — then I run to my closet to put something together and 'store' in my looks section."
Do you have any favorite tips that you’ve learned from your years of being a stylist? Any good ones you can share for someone looking to hone a personal style?
"I truly believe that you should wear things that you feel 100% great in. If you are uncomfortable all day or don't feel confident about a look, don't ever wear it again. You don't have to wear all the trends. Find what works for you. "
Are there any trends that you are excited about working into your wardrobe this winter or upcoming spring?
"We have seen a lot of suiting for the past couple of seasons, but now it's about a more feminine take, which I'm excited about. The suits are still powerful, but what makes them fresh are the soft colors and strong details. And I'm also all about the return of the head-turning dress. A dress that stands alone definitely makes a statement and can be worn multiple ways for different seasons. Pair it with some boots and a puffer or, in the spring, with flats."
How important is a good bag?
"The bag needs to flow with my look and work for whatever I've got going on. I change bags a lot. For example, if I'm on the go, hopping from business meetings to pulling clothes, a satchel that holds all my essentials is key — whereas if I have the day off, I opt for an easy and lightweight crossbody to throw my wallet, keys, and lip balm in. This approach requires a bit of energy, but if you keep in mind that you are buying for a certain look, then when it comes time to switch a bag, it's just like picking a pair of shoes. I am very selective with what comes into my home. I don't buy just to buy."
What’s most important in a handbag now that you’re a new mom?
"A hands-free bag, like a crossbody or fanny pack. The idea is to grab your baby and go without your bag getting in the way or falling off your shoulder. When traveling with Lola, I usually bring my oversized tote. Inside the tote are little bags with her stuff and mine inside. I like that I don't have to dig around, I can see everything all at once and easily grab whatever I need at that moment. It saves time and looks put together."
When it comes to baby bags, it can be a tricky landscape out there between the utilitarian but not necessarily flattering and the chic but impractical. What’s your take on that?
"A diaper bag is no different than the bag you carry every day — it should fit your style and make sense for all the baby gear. Right now, I love a good, stylish backpack — with pockets on the side for bottles, it's fashion meets function. The key is to play down your look when wearing a backpack. Keep it simple and allow the effortlessness of the backpack to shine through."