Personal Stylist Secrets: Staples, color blocking, and street style, oh my!

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Story By Desiree Prieto

Street style photoshoot by Margaux Gonzalez at AWW Snap Photography

I met with Sofia Davis, Personal Shopper and New York Fashion Week Stylist, who loves calling San Antonio, Texas her home. Sofia met me at one of my stylish offices around town, Officina de Starbucks on Stone Oak, to literally "talk shop"—talk shopping that is—about what-to-wear in the New Year. Sofia stresses you can create your own unique style by simply revamping your wardrobe with staples found in your closet. "Start with a clean palette; figure out what fits you best. Perhaps pick out two or three shirts you already own, and remember, you have to dress for your body type. There's no limit, you can always be stylish no matter what your size or frame is."

It wasn't too long before my colleagues at Starbucks began to wonder how they could update their uniforms as well, but Sofia and I noticed that the baristas are already doing some styling of their own: a fashion tactic called color blocking. With their staple green apron and black Polos, the Starbucks uniforms are the perfect example of this trend that doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. The technique uses at least two or more "blocks" of color to create a dramatic effect. It can be used to enhance or minimize the figure. Color blocking can make you look skinny, sexy, too-cool-for-school, or even just cool in the Texas heat. As Sofia asserts, "In the past year, I kind of saw people doing [the] Boho-chic look in San Antonio, but now I think in spring it's going to be more minimalist, more color blocking." Thankfully just about every body type looks great in older styles like layering and color blocking, and for good reason. As Sofia says, "You can wear a bright color underneath a black fitted blazer, and that will give you a better silhouette."

The trend also translates to shoes and clutches, and Sofia suggests that other hip styles are carrying over into the New Year, as 2012 isn't exactly all about "out with the old, in with the new." While last year's recycle-savvy fashionista paralleled the global economic trend, this year the fashion trend includes integrating a new piece that compliments the old. An update. And what better place to find this updated look than the streets? According to Sofia, "A lot of the trends for the New Year have been inspired from 'street style.'" It's an ultra-urban, modern look that emerged from, you guessed it, the streets of the big cities. Check out our street style photo shoot in the slide show above (photos courtesy of Margaux Gonzalez from AWW Snap Photography). This fun trend is meant to be played with as it can range from conservative suits to unlaced boots, and wrinkled scarves—just like life in the big bad city.

Finally, let's state—for the record—that while past looks like color blocking, layering and street style can be recycled, some looks need to be forgotten or just downright thrown away in 2012 (perhaps a hard lesson for some San Antonians to remember, given the warm weather). "There are so many styles [to choose from] and I think that San Antonio is getting there, but I just think that we need to stay away from flip flops," Sofia urges. "Just because it is hot doesn't mean you cannot look good. For example, in Miami it's really hot and humid just like here, but there's always style with the weather there. [Also], Ugg boots are very California and they do not work with our changing weather." Amen.

The moral of the story, and as we've learned from our colleagues at Starbucks: there's no reason you can't be stylish wherever you live, wherever you work, or while you're doing whatever you're doing. And when it gets too hot, consider rethinking the go-to flip flops. "Linen is always our friend here in San Antonio," reminds Sofia. Don't forget: "We can be like Miami."

Extra: While Sofia offers a one-on-one complimentary personal shopper experience, when you're on-the-go, consider using Sofia's recommended site, Polyvore.com. Similar to "looks" sections in major fashion magazines, the website allows you to create your own look, complete with suggested accessories, clutches and more. You can "discover" Jessica Alba's look, channel the city Stockholm, or just plain "choose your favorite colors," as Sofia suggests. Check out the style Sofia created in seconds

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