Your Road to Style -- An Interview Series

We're re-launching Your Road to Style -- an interview series featuring entrepreneurs, stylists, bloggers & the like.  You'll get a front row seat at what inspires them & how fashion and style has made an impact in their lives.

We're kicking off 2022 with Erika McChesney

A 9-5 boss babe, Girl Mom, Fashion + Eyewear + Lifestyle Blogger  

1. What does the word style mean to you? - The word style to me is a "feeling" that you get when you are expressing who you are or how you are feeling. I think honing in on what your personal style is can be really fun and it will inevitably change throughout different seasons of your life, and that is the beauty of style! It's never constant, always changing, and completely up to you. 

2. How would you describe your personal style? - Lately it's been very business up front and casual on the bottom with being a full time work from home mom and having those zoom calls. However, I love a good dress and I'm always after the latest trends. I would say pastels are my thing, a bit girly, fun, flirty, and occasionally very sporty with a little edge. I'm a big believer in investing in timeless pieces like a quality handbag, pair of shoes or an accessory that you can level up an everyday outfit. 

3. Now that you’re working from home, how do you incorporate style into your daily routine?  - I've definitely gotten more casual, but make it cute! I try to put my face on even if I'm wearing sweats. Do a bit of makeup and fix the hair. You can make a casual style feel elevated very easily if you feel good when you look in the mirror. Sometimes even spraying a bit of nice perfume can make you feel stylish. I have definitely gravitated towards easy or basic pieces that I can mix and match easily and invested in some good denim that feels comfortable to wear all day long. Even though I don't leave my house much, it's important to make yourself feel good. I have found that when I get myself ready for the day, I have more energy and seem to feel better. Easier said than done on some days as a mama! 

4. As a girl mom, what is something you want your daughter to learn regarding style? What advice will you give her as she gets older & starts to develop her own style? - I love this question Laura! :) I really want her to feel comfortable in what she wears. I love my mom, but I'll never forget her making me wear a dress to a kids birthday party that involved trampolines and outdoor sporty activities. I showed up and no one else was wearing one. I felt completely out of place and your clothes you are wearing should never make you feel that way. Of course all the other kids were running around and I was very limited because I had a dress on! I want my daughter to feel empowered by what she wears and to just feel like it reflects her personality. Your style should not make you feel limited in your daily activities but rather to help you thrive in what you do every day. 

The advice I will give her as she gets older is to have your style help you command a room if you want, have your style be able to be easy if you need it to be that day, have it be comforting when you need it to be, have it truly be you and work for your lifestyle. The way you dress is a first impression to people, make it say what you want it to say! 

5. What are three must-haves every woman needs in her closet? - A solid pair of jeans that fit amazing and make you feel great. A classic white blouse or t-shirt type top that is a good go to when you don't know what to wear. A well fitted blazer that is timeless that you can throw on for maybe work, an interview or even a night out, it's so versatile. If blazers aren't your thing, invest in a quality and timeless dress, doesn't have to be black in my opinion. Just a dress that can be worn for weddings, events, nights out whatever it may be! 

6. Who/what inspires you? - Ever since I became a mom. ANY mom inspires the heck out of me. Women run the world, truly. 

7. Have you experienced imposter syndrome?  If so, how do you handle it? - I've always had a high performer mentality my whole life. I was a professional singer/dancer for years before I went into corporate life/mom life. I was always comparing myself to others. There was a lot of beating myself up and thoughts in my brain telling me, "you could have done MORE, and you should have done this BETTER" and I seem to always tell myself you haven't done ENOUGH or you could have done MORE to be BETTER.  It's a terrible way to talk to yourself. The way I handle it has been through really trying to listen to how I'm talking to myself and asking myself "Would I talk to my daughter, best friend, husband, or mother the way I'm speaking to myself now?" The answer is always no. We need to be kinder to ourselves and understand that what we are doing is ENOUGH. Who you are is ENOUGH. 

8. If you could only have a great pair of sunglasses or a great pair of shoes, which would you choose? - Absolutely a great pair of sunglasses. A classic chic black pair never goes out of style. I'm partial to any Tom Ford Sunnies. 

9. What advice would you give your younger self on life, love & style? - Careful on what trends you follow, like don't over tweeze your eyebrows. lol. The advice I would give is that style is always changing so have fun with it, and don't overthink it. Live your life, don't take things so seriously because the things you thought were earth shattering at the time you will probably laugh about later. Love yourself always. You are the biggest and most important project you will ever work on.

10. Share something that people might not know about you… I used to travel the world pre mom life as a vocalist on cruise lines and it was the time of my life, I have stories that would make a great reality TV show. My husband was also in the arts and we got a bit burned out and went into totally different career paths. I'm a legal recruiter and help legal professionals find jobs, I love it. My husband is an Optometrist. Very different from what we used to do!  It was a great decision for us to do so! We have lived in multiple states and finally settled back in the Pittsburgh area which is home for both of us. 

The Beautoptician 
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