Former fashion editor Jacqui Stafford’s style expertise has been featured on Style Network, E!, CNN, VH1, and more, but last week she released her first book on the topic. The Wow Factor: Insider Style Secrets for Every Body and Every Budget is a modern woman’s style bible. Stafford is in town for a book signing and cocktail reception at Swarovski tonight (February 11, 6 p.m.), but we recently grabbed her for a quick interview. 540 N. Michigan Ave., 312-464-0130
After being in the industry for so long, why did you decide to write this book now?
JACQUI STAFFORD: I couldn’t find anything out there that every woman could relate to. I knew I had to share all my insider secrets every time I saw panic in a client’s eyes when she entered an overwhelming department store. I wanted to share everything I’ve learned over the years [and] make it easy to look fabulous.
Your book speaks to shopping on a budget, but if you are going to splurge where do you love to shop?
JS: Because I used to live there and I speak the language, I love scouring the boutiques in Paris for new designers and brands. I fly there each April to take clients shopping. In the U.S., I buy practically everything online, since I’m always so busy. Favorites for designer pieces are Net-A-Porter and Nordstrom, and I get a ton of inspiration from shopstyle.com to track down specific pieces. I source practically all my jewelry from Swarovski for TV shows and private clients, because it just works with absolutely everything.
What are some of your favorite trends right now?
JS: Sheer layers look good on everyone; watercolor florals are fresh and vibrant for spring; and the minty seafoam color works fabulously on all skin tones. Black and white combos look effortlessly chic. [Plus], I’m loving drawstring-style, pajama pants—which sound hideous, but are actually insanely flattering.
Is there anywhere you are excited to visit while in Chicago?
JS: If I didn’t live in New York City, I’d live in Chicago. Every morning I’d have a lavish power breakfast at the best view in town, Sixteen at Trump International Hotel & Tower (401 N. Wabash Ave., 312-588-8030).