You know how when you meet someone you instantly click with, and you find them so adorably charming that you fantasize being bff’s and having slumber parties together and brushing each other’s hair into the wee hours?
I found someone like that.
Her name is Kat Depner of Seven Styling, a wardrobe stylist and professional blogger from Portland, Oregon.
She’s hilarious and has such a fresh, one-of-a-kind voice in the styling arena - approachable, funny, and so very talented at what she does: helping women pull together looks that suit - and, dare I say, even celebrate - their body.
Before the holidays, Kat and I started following each other on Instagram and I laughed so hard at her smart and witty posts, my failed pelvic floor laughed right in the face of my kegels.
As I changed into dry pants, I knew I just had to reach out and meet her.
We connected so easily, I have no shame in admitting that I picture us walking arm-in-arm in cute vintage skirts and go-go boots, sunglasses, and high ponytails, laughing at how hilarious we are, as we sip root beer floats through red and white striped straws.
I am of course tall and thin and tan in this vision.
Her blog is one of those that, while I read it, I’m simultaneously getting great, practical fashion advice, while laughing at how she words her posts, all while muttering to myself, “Dammit, why didn’t I ever use that line?” or, “Oh geez, that was good. Damn her!,” which I say while I shake my fist at the heavens.
Kat and I decided we should collaborate, and I’m excited to share that with you here in this very first installment of a new monthly series I’m calling “A Funny One To Follow.”
For Kat’s side of the collaboration, she styled me for a family Christmas dinner and I couldn’t have been more happy with the result. I sent her my measurements, (which was similar to how I felt the first time I went to the OB/GYN, or that dream I had in second grade, where I’m sitting on the school bus next to Phillip Davis, and I look down only to realize I’m completely naked, except for a winter hat my dad’s aunt crocheted for me), sent her a few pictures of how I dress, and she took it from there.
You can see the before and after and a fun interview over on her blog right here.
For my side of the collaboration, I interviewed Kat.
Seeing that in writing makes it seem like maybe Kat got the ass end of the deal… 🤔
Without further ado, I’m dying to introduce you to the incredible Kat Depner!
How did you get into the styling business?
I think I developed my love for styling after learning how to style my own changing body.
I went from a size 4 to a 14 and back again over the course of a few years, and I was determined to celebrate my body each step of the way instead of hiding behind my clothes. Accepting my body at each of these different stages was very healing and I love to be a part of helping women learn to accept and celebrate their bodies as well.
What is the most common question or problem your clients come to you with?
A lot of my clients exist in a style paradox. They aren’t happy with how they look in their clothing, but they often have strict “rules” regarding a narrow range of clothing types that they will actually try on.
Helping my clients break free from this self-imposed prison is my number one goal as a stylist! There’s so much clothing out there that will look good on people if they just gave the clothing a chance.
What is your most common "fix" or your "go-to" advice to your clients?
One piece of advice I often give to my clients is that the first place you should shop is in your own closet!
A lot of times there are items I haven’t worn for a while that I just need to put on and discover all over again. Often we end up buying more clothes for other reasons than the fact that we actually need new clothing, so it’s good to start with what you have already and see where that takes you.
A common “fix” that helps most of my clients is to simply try on something you wouldn’t normally wear when you go shopping. You’d be surprised how often it opens you up to new possibilities and keeps your style from being too one dimensional.
You don’t need to buy it or look amazing in it; just try it and see what happens!
What 3 places are your favorites to shop - that you'd suggest other women to shop - and why?
1. Ann Taylor LOFT: The clothes here are simple, elegant and fit well for a wide age range. (Here’s a post Kat wrote that highlights some Ann Taylor LOFT clothes)
2. Express: My go-to store for professional wear. You can assemble a really good multi-functional wardrobe that transitions well from work to play here. (Here’s one of Kat’s posts with her finds from Express)
3. The Goodwill: Seriously. More than half of my wardrobe is from here, including brand name clothing that you would never have known was second-hand. If you find a Goodwill in the right area and shop there once a month, you can dig up some amazing deals over the course of a year. (This post on Kat’s blog is all about great thrift store finds)
How do you stay positive through the stressful times as a business owner and blogger?
This might sound strange, but I live very close to this breath taking park in Portland called Laurelhurst Park.
It’s a mile long loop with a marvelous pond and towering evergreens surrounding it nested inside of a historic neighborhood. When I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I pace around the loop until I get lost looking at the trees and the natural beauty surrounding me. (Cue mystical Enya music)
It reminds me that my problems are small and relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It might take an hour but I’ll walk until I get to that point. Connecting with natural beauty that is permanent and real always helps to bring things into perspective.
What's in your purse?
• Baby Lips by Maybelline - an unassuming powerhouse that offers luxurious moisture with just a hint of color
• An Rx Bar - a paleo, protein-filled treat to fight off my perpetual state of hunger
• Very Sexy Body Spray from Victoria's Secret - doubles as sexy woman spray and has incredible projectile distance to ward off oncoming enemies
What does a day in your work life look like?
As an entrepreneur, wardrobe stylist, and style blogger, my day can get pretty chaotic!
After a quick 15 minute routine to get ready, I'm off to the local consignment shop to pick up some new pieces for a styling session next week. I'll find a quick bite to eat at one of my fav Portland brunch spots and then head to my client's house for a closet audit.
After that I'll return home in time for a virtual style session over Skype, dinner and a sometimes awkward but necessary photo shoot with "The Hubbinator" (aka my husband) demo-ing some new looks for the blog.
It's a whirlwind of creativity that I wouldn't trade for anything else!
How can my readers work with you / hire you?
I'm always up for connecting with new women interested in exploring their personal style! I recommend scheduling a free style session over the phone so we can start talking about your styling interests, what works best for your body type, and how to evolve your personal style. I'm available at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find me on Instagram @sevenbykat as well.