What to Wear

Stylist Lori Pietripaoli Talks Breaking Into the Biz and Taking Fashion Risks

Insight from a pro on how to break into a styling career, what's on trend...and what's not.

By Heather Dunhill August 31, 2017

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Lori Pietripaoli

A Sarasotan with ties to L.A., New York and Nashville, Lori Pietripaoli has evolved from fashion model to skincare specialist to buyer to stylist, using her insider wisdom to dress trend-conscious clients and celebrities. (Yes, Lori has an enviable roster of clients from entertainment to actors that I'd love to list, but to her credit, she won't name names.)

You don't have to be a celeb to be treated like one, though—Lori shops for everyone, and helps her clients find key pieces that they might be missing, from the perfect street style ensembles to gowns for black-tie affairs. And her clients know she'll find a one-of-a-kind piece that will make them a standout, all in the comfort of their home—yep, she comes to you, just like the A-Lister you are. If you're looking for a stylist, you can find Lori on Instagram @lpietripaoli or email her at [email protected].

Since Lori's biz gives her backstage access to a wide world of fashion trends, I wanted to ask her about everything from what's new and next to how an intrepid fashion follower can break into styling.

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How did you become a fashion stylist?

As a teenager, I began styling my friends out of my mother’s closet. She was not too happy about that, but she soon realized my passion for fashion. I was also a young fashion model and attended Endicott College for a fashion degree. As a model, I was exposed to many different designers and fashion stylists. From that exposure, I was asked to assist different stylists for photo shoots and runway shows. Working with different stylists led to TV work and hosting as a fashion expert. I’m currently working with designers for my celebrity and private clientele. 

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Image Courtesy of Lori Pietripaoli.

What’s the most memorable moment in your styling career?

I was on the red carpet attending the CMT Awards when Nicole Kidman approached me and complimented my look, especially my shoes from Paris! 

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What advice would you give to someone wanting to break into the business?

Find styles or designers that speak to you. Work as an assistant with a stylist and find different ways to achieve your own sense of styling. Utilize social media; it’s a powerful tool. Be an individual and have passion for what you do. The rest will follow.

What mistakes do most of your clients make when it comes to style?

One that I notice the most, clients are afraid to take risks. Many like to play it safe. You don’t want to see the same look on other women attending the same event. You want to be an individual, wearing a one-of-a-kind piece that makes a statement. 

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Let’s talk what’s next. What’s one trend we should add this season?

Let me give you a couple from the fall/winter 2017-2018 runway shows. Midnight blue is the new black—Christian Dior’s collection was dominated by this lovely shade, and other designers like Issey Miyake and Leonard Paris utilized it in their collections, too. Thigh-high boots embellished with prints and embroidery are hot, too, and masculine/feminine pant suits took over the runways in New York, London and Paris. Denim and leather return once again, including jeans, jumpsuits and jackets.

Which one should we delete?

I’m not a fan of the space age trend unless you are Lady Gaga.

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