Mums NI Chats With . . . Samara Prentice - Mums NI - A Hub For Parents in Northern Ireland

Mums NI Chats With . . . Samara Prentice of Evolve by Samara

Written by Mums NI on Monday, 22 October 2018 Posted in: Mums NI Chats With

Mums NI Chats With . . . Samara Prentice of Evolve by Samara

This October the Mums NI Team caught up with ever so stylish Samara Prentice from Evolve by Samara.

Samara is Mum to 4 young children and runs Evolve by Samara - an affordable personal styling consultancy agency for all. Samara specialises in wardrobe detoxing, style preference analysis, body shape analysis, colour analysis and face shape analysis. She also provides personal shopping services, personal brand identity, styling workshops and runs destination shopping trips. 

We were thrilled that Samara was able to take time out of her busy schedule to have a chat with us. Is it time for you to have a wardrobe detox? You can contact Samara here:

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Q: What is Evolve by Samara all about?

Evolve by Samara is an affordable personal styling solutions business specialising in colour analysis, body shape analysis, style analysis, wardrobe detoxing, personal shopping services as well as personal brand identity, styling workshops and destination shopping trips.  As women I believe that we are constantly evolving.  We wear so many hats; we are daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, many of us work, we all have commitments, yet in the midst of supporting and championing others, we often lose our true identity which has a knock on effect on our confidence.  I created Evolve to empower women from all walks of life and help to rebuild their self confidence as they evolve through their own personal journey.  

Q: Where did your love of fashion come from? Who is your style icon?

For as long as I can remember, I have loved clothes.  But working in Kookai during my teens and early 20’s really started my love affair with high end high street fashion.  I loved dressing women and seeing how their confidence soared in the right outfit.    

I personally love Victoria Beckham’s sense of style; minimalist and classic with lots of emphasis on sleek body lines.  She always remains true to her own personal style preference, something I am teaching the lovely ladies of Northern Ireland to do.  

However style icon of the moment has to be Holly Willoughby.  Her styling (by celebrity stylist, Angie Smith) is impeccable.  She nails it every single time and is the one celebrity that always pops up in conversation when I ask my style analysis clients who is their style icon.   

Q: Was a career in Personal Styling always on the cards for you?

No but I can now see how much personal journey has led me to this point.  My background is in event management and PR however following a short illness in 2016, I decided it was time to properly explore personal styling courses after years of making excuses.  Before I knew it, I was flying back and forward to London; learning and perfectly the art of styling.  I felt completely out of my comfort zone; what did I know about analysing body lines, patch pockets on jackets or skin tones but I loved the challenge.  It blew me away that professional styling was so intricate and technical.  There was and still is so much to learn.  I am currently completing an advanced styling course with the academy; this time specialising in style analysis, face shape analysis and fabric compositions.  I want to be able to offer my clients a complete ‘makeover’ service.  

My event management and PR experience has been absolutely invaluable.  My website www.evolvebysamara.com launches next month and I have recently added destination shopping and styling trips to my services.  The popularity of the events has been incredible, all selling out within days of release.  I have a really exciting one to share with my followers next month, so stay tuned!!

Q: What type of people do you usually work with?

This is what I truly love about my business.  I am a people person and I especially love working with women.  I meet so many amazing women, all with a different story to share and all equally inspiring.  One day I might be doing a 1:1 colour analysis session with a lady who has recently celebrated a big birthday, the next day I might be personal shopping withthe Managing Director of a multinational company. Another day, I could be speaking at a conference or I might be styling a bridal shoot.  No day is ever the same, no client is ever the same.  Making this level of personal styling affordable and accessible to everyone is something that I am really passionate about.

Q: Is it possible to have a fully workable wardrobe on a budget?

Absolutely!!  Having an affordable yet functional capsule wardrobe is something I really pride my business on. The secret is aligning your wardrobe with your lifestyle and of course within your budget.  I work on a wardrobe pyriamd scheme where there is a place for ‘investment pieces’ like coats and boots then less expensive items like shirts and blouses.  I like my clients to have pieces that are versatile and transcend the seasons so for example a blazer that can be worn over a dress for work then layered over a t shirt and jeans for a day with the children and finally dress up over a silk cami and tailored trousers for an evening out.  We all have emotional attachment (or detachment) to shopping and dressing.  Sometimes it’s nice to hand the reins over to the professional; saving you both time and money and taking the stress out of it all. 

Q: What key items do you recommend everyone should have in their wardrobe?

I believe key items are subjective to a clients personal style and her lifestyle.  I encourage my clients to steer clear of trends and to instead dress for what truly flatters their body shapes.  So here are the key pieces you will find in my wardrobe this Autumn/Winter...  

  1. Well fitting jeans - I opt for skinny or straight leg mid rise jean however they don’t flatter every body shape.  It is worth knowing what cut of jeans you should select for your body shape as this is as important as getting the rise and colour correct.  
  2. Cashmere knit sweater - I absolutely adore cashmere.  It is an investment piece but it is so easy to dress up with a skirt for a work worthy look or dress down with jeans and trainers for a casual wear.  I would always recommend investing in a cashmere comb to keep the sweater looking it’s best.
  3. A blazer - this is a really versatile piece that can really sculpt the body and can be multifunctional too.  I wear mine over t shirts with trainers and also with pretty blouses for work and cami tops for nights out.  Top tip...perfect length of the ‘classic blazer’ is where your thumb (tip, joint or knuckle depending on arm length) meets your bottom.  
  4. Winter coat - you have 7 seconds to make a good first impression.  This Autumn/Winter do it with a stunning coat.     
  5. Nude shoes - every girls needs a pair of nude shoes!  No question about it!  They will work twice as hard as black, GUARANTEED!  Select the correct colour of nude by knowing your skin tone.  I have a cool skin tone so my perfect nude is a pink nude.  Warmer skin tones should opt for a beige nude.

Q: What advice do you have for the Mum who always buys clothes for her children and never for herself?

I recently uploaded an article to the Evolve by Samara social media pages about the importance of self care.  I think this is vital in the fast paced society we live in.  As mums, we are so often stretched beyond our limits, we usually find ourselves at the very bottom of our own priority list.  Finding a little time for yourself is invaluable and nothing to feel guilty about.  Having a few well fitting key pieces works wonders for confidence levels.  I have 4 young children and just a small window to get myself ready each morning so having a functional capsule wardrobe that is aligned with my lifestyle takes the stress out of getting ready.

Q: How has your sense of style changed since becoming a Mum?

My sense of style has probably evolved since becoming a mum however after starting the styling training I have made more conscious style choices and have been far more selective about spending money.  I don’t go into a shop and feel like I need to take something home.  I am much less trend led these days.  I buy pieces that I know will transcend the seasons.  I am also a clever dresser and I really do practice what I preach.  I have a better understanding of how to use cuts and fabrics to rebalance my body proportions and I know what truly flatters my figure, so I stick to that rigidly.  One question I love to ask my Style Analysis clients is ‘who do you dress for?’.  It always leaves them a little stumped!  Everyone has a different answer, none of them wrong of course but I personally dress for me.

Q: If you were an item of clothing, what would you be and why?

Without a shadow of a doubt I would be a pair of heels.  Adding interest to any outfit as well as a little confidence even when I feel far from confident.  And the colour would be nude, just in case you are wondering. Goes with everything, elongates the leg and absolutely everyone should own a pair whether it be sky scraper heels, pumps or brogues.  I am renowned amongst my friends for always wearing heels, however I definitely do own more trainers since becoming a mum.  

Q: TK Max - love it or loathe it? What's your verdict?

I have friends who pick up great designer pieces but I personally find it tricky when looking for clothes.  I like to go into shops that are well merchandised or in ‘stories’.  This probably goes back to my Kookai days.  However one of the many benefits of colour analysis is you can scan the rails and select ‘your colours’ without spending a long time pouring over lots of clothes and getting really confused.  I just don’t have time to tackle chaotic clothes rails.  However there are some hidden gems to be found in their homeware department and I have a bit of a pedant for their Christmas decorations.  

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