Comfy to Très Chic

French-born stylista takes notes from the experts

This month’s feature for “What Influences Your Style?” is Aude Rabot of Brussels, Belgium, by way of Nogent-sur-Oise (near Paris), France. She has studied in London, lived in Paris, backpacked across Australia and New Zealand, and now resides in Brussels. The career woman and global adventurer said her style has taken a great shift from her college years to the life of a woman who can have it all. Aude travels around the world with pumps in one hand as she toasts to life with the other. She attributes the maturity in her attire to her corporate job with the Sofitel Hotels & Resorts French luxury brand. Read about the way Aude changed her style from blah to breathtaking. Follow her travels on Instagram @aude_ra.

How would you describe your style?
For work, it’s all about the business attire. Otherwise, my look is smart casual or elegant, depending on the occasion.

What has influenced your style?
Actually, a lot of things. There is a reality TV show I love in France called, “Les Reines du Shopping” (The Queens of Shopping) hosted by former Brazilian model Cristina Córdula. Five women (between ages 18-70 of differing styles) compete on a limited budget and timeframe to complete their looks, i.e., outfit, hair and makeup. The looks must correspond to a theme imposed by Córdula. Themes could include a “job interview,” “wedding party,” “gala party” or a “first romantic rendezvous.” Córdula offers advice to the candidates and, in the end, the winner is designated as the “Queen of Shopping” and wins 1,000 euros. And of course, simply walking through the streets of Europe inspires style.

Has your style changed in recent years? If so, how?
Yes, definitely. … I used to wear a lot of comfy clothes, but now I want my looks to be more polished and sophisticated. Working in the corporate world forces you to pay more attention to how you look and how you present yourself to others.

What caused your style to change? Was it location, job, friends/family etc.?
My job is a huge contributing factor—I needed more of a professional look after graduating from college. It’s OK to dress in more relaxed wear during college but not in the workforce as an adult. Admittedly, dating habits can change how one is dressed, too. For instance, when you mature and begin dating men, cartoon-inspired T-shirts should be avoided.

Who/What has been your greatest style influence?
Believe it or not, e-clothing retailers influence how I put styles together. On these shopping websites, I see a skirt with a blouse and the top they matched with it and I can go with that look or mix and match with other items I like best.

Are you happy with your style now? If not, how would you change it?
Yes, I’m quite happy. At work, it is required to be dressed in professional, classic attire but sometimes I do miss my more comfy clothes.


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