How to look colorful and quirky and have FUN with fashion – a style interview with Suzanne Carillo

by Sylvia

How to look colorful and quirky and have FUN with fashion - a style interview with Suzanne Carillo | 40PlusStyle.com

I have been following Suzanne’s blog for a while now and love her quirky, colorful style. Time to find out more about her!

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I am an artist and have worked in the creative field for over 20 years.

For 10 years I owned my own business where I developed, manufactured and sold wholesale products for the crafting and scrapbooking industry. That industry shrank dramatically about 5 years ago at which time I stopped manufacturing and began licensing my designs.

Transitioning into another creative outlet I began designing fabric jewelry and pins which I sell along with my cards and t-shirt designs in my Etsy store.

I spent much of my youth traveling and living abroad on my own doing all kinds of weird and wonderful jobs.

I have been married to a super sexy Frenchman that I met while studying in the south of France for the past 22 years.

We chose not to have children but have one spoiled pug named Zoe.

Style interview with arty and quirky Suzanne Carillo | 40PlusStyle.com

As a point of reference which age group do you belong to or perhaps you are willing to share your age?

I’m 47…I had to double check that! LOL Half the time I don’t remember how old I am. I gave up counting after 30 really.

Can you tell us a bit more about your blog Suzanne Carillo Style Files and why you created it?

The blog was created for my scrapbooking business as a marketing strategy. It has morphed into a fashion, lifestyle, personal journal of sorts over the past couple of years. Clothing has always been a priority in my life so adding fashion and style to the blog was natural.

Style interview with arty and quirky Suzanne Carillo | 40PlusStyle.com

How would you describe your own style?

Unpredictable, colourful, quirky & artsy. The only thing that remains a constant is my desire to stand out rather than blend in.

What would you consider the most important components of your style?

Figure flattering, waist defining. I rarely wear loose or baggy clothing because I don’t want to add weight to my frame.

Details are important. The little bit of “extra” thought that goes into putting a truly great outfit together is what I strive to achieve every time I get dressed. That often means thinking outside the “fashion box”. Adding a brooch to the neck on a turtleneck sweater, belting a blazer or jean jacket or adding unusual tights. It is the little details that add layers of interest and depth to an outfit.

suzannecarillo2

Where do you live and how does that influence your style?

I live in Toronto, Canada and right now is the worst time of year to try to be fashionable. This winter has been exceptionally poor which means loads of snow, slush and salt. This makes it very challenging to dress fashionable. Boots are our best friends, as well as long heavy coats. It is sad however, since often people don’t get the chance to see what you are wearing under that huge coat half the time.

Do you feel you have a signature style?

Colourful skirts and jackets probably. I definitely wear more dresses or skirts than trousers. And of course boots due to the weather.

What inspires your outfit choices the most?

Whatever I happen upon while shopping consignment, estate sales, vintage shops or thrift stores will often inspire me. I find items that I never would have glanced at in a regular shop but now, all alone on their own I can see the possibilities and breathe new life into them.

Films and art will also often influence my outfits as well as other style/fashion bloggers.

How to look colorful and quirky and have FUN with fashion - a style interview with Suzanne Carillo

Do you take things like color profiling or body type into account when you dress?

Body type is #1 for me. I have a good eye and know what will look good on my body before I try it on.

Colour profiling changes as we age or change the colour of our hair. It will also change with the seasons here, in winter we get pale in summer we get tanned.

That said, I know what colours look best on me so I wear them more often and I stay away from white because it washes me out.

Has your style changed at all after turning 40?

Not really. 40 is just a number. I hope I’ll be wearing my jeans till I die. I don’t even own a pair of plain dress pants.

Do you believe in dressing ‘age appropriately’ and what does it mean to you?

I believe in wearing what looks best on us and makes us feel good. For everyone that will be different. Life would be so boring if we all dressed the same after a certain age.

Would you say that at this stage of your life you are now more, or less interested in fashion, style and the way you look?

I’ve always been interested in fashion. When I was a kid I worked from the time I was 11 years old in my parents ice cream store, so I was able to buy my own clothes from a very young age. I made my own choices and always had fun and paid attention to what I wore and how I looked.

When I had my business I decided to make a concious effort to “look like an artist” during my trade shows so that people buying from me would know that I had created the products and would remember me.

Today as I work on my blog, licensing and Etsy store I am even more aware of my appearance and how important it is to maintain in order to continue to be visible in a society that is so focused on the young.

Why is the way you look important to you?

I am treated differently when I make an effort to look good. I am given more respect and I am not invisible. I feel better about myself and have more confidence when I know I’m looking the best I can.

Which of the outfits on your blog are personal favorites and why?

One of my newest favourites would have to be this black and red dress I bought for $10 at an estate sale. I had no idea what it would look like on me. I couldn’t even tell if it was the right size. I had to dry-clean it and spend about 2 hours sewing back on some of the sequins and taking it in but it is one of the most unique vintage gowns I’ve ever seen.

How to look colorful and quirky and have FUN with fashion - a style interview with Suzanne Carillo

I love this jumpsuit. I feel extra sexy when I wear it but it is as comfortable as PJs.

How to look colorful and quirky and have FUN with fashion - a style interview with Suzanne Carillo

This is one of my favourite dresses. Fit and flare are great for me but the colours and cut of this dress really make it stand out. Also it has lycra in it. Fits like a glove but comfortable at the same time.

mod cloth dress suzanne carillo | 40PlusStyle.com

As for casual outfits I do love my jeans and hats.

pink coat suzanne carillo | 40PlusStyle.com

suzanne carillo jeans and brogues | How to look colorful and quirky and have FUN with fashion - a style interview with Suzanne Carillo

I recently restyled these wide leg pants and really love this new look with the peplum top.

wide leg pants suzanne carillo | 40PlusStyle.com

Do you follow trends? And if yes, which trends excite you at the moment?

When I started to fashion/style blog I could see myself getting pulled in by the lure of certain trends that really weren’t something I would have chosen myself. I’m trying my best to steer clear of those now.

There are certain trends that are fun and work well with my overall personal style which I will incorporate into my outfits. Equestrian and menswear inspired looks have always been part of my style and they are described as a “trend” for this year, which quite honestly is a bit silly because they are simply classic looks. Last year I introduced camouflage which I love and I bought some wild orchid shoes before I knew that was the colour of the year. I am also loving metallics and kitten heels which are perfect for my Mariah Carey diva-esque feet.

Do you have any fashion and style tips for women over 40?

Be fearless and try something new. So many people have preconceived ideas about what they can or cannot wear, have an open mind and don’t judge until you try it on.

Confidence can carry off any outfit. Confidence comes with self acceptance and loving yourself. If you can do that, you can wear almost anything you like, no matter your age.

What are your plans for your blog and how do you see it develop over the coming years?

Blogging is funny, depending on the day and my mood I might have big plans for my blog, or I might want to stop blogging altogether.

When I started blogging I really thought I’d have a chance of being successful and making some money. That hasn’t happened.

Last year my husband and I were both seriously ill and it changed my perspective on what being a “successful” blogger meant.

I decided it wasn’t about the stats or the money, rather it was about the connections and the possibility of helping someone or putting a smile on their face.

This year though I can feel those nagging thoughts of failure coming back to haunt me. I try not to plan too far ahead because you never know what lies just around the corner.

Life will take me where I need to be and maybe blogging will continue to be part of that.

Anything further you would like to add?

I’d like to thank you Sylvia for offering me this opportunity.

Thank you so much Suzanne for this lovely interview. Don’t forget to check out her fabulous blog: Suzanne Carillo Style Files and visit her Etsy Store.

Which of all the outfits featured above is your favorite?

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Sue @ A Colourful Canvas

Aw, this has been great getting to know Suzanne better! Thanks Sylvia, for sharing. I’m always impressed with Suzanne’s keen style eye…my favourites are always the more ‘Hello, I’m an artist…’ looks. Love the tam and tartan look, and I also love the pug on a top with jeans look!

Suzanne

Ha ha! At least I know I’m communicating what I want via my clothes : )

bisous
Suzanne

MyEmptyBag

Lovely style, I’ll folow her!!

denton

In answer to the last question, without a doubt it’s that black and red dress. Of course it looks stunning, but I love stories like that also. That’s how we try and shop, buy amazing stuff from non-traditional sources.

I have to say I love the deep red leather trenchcoat and hat also. Here in NYC, where we are also having a tough winter, it seems that everyone is wearing all black.

Suzanne

I too find it wonderful to find an item of clothing that has a history. I feel as though I’m wearing a memory rather than just clothing.

Anja

What a nice surprise to find Suzanne here at Sylvia’s blog. Thanks for featuring her, Sylvia.

Suzanne, you already know I love your blog and your style! As I said before: if only we
Iived close to eachother I would love to hangout with you;-).

I understand your mixed feelings about blogging, but I have to tell you that I would really miss reading your blog. It’s one of the blogs I adore the most! Because it is about more then fashion only, because you are an artist, because you are funny, because you can write, because you are honest and original, because your pictures are always great.

So for my own selfish reasons I hope you keep blogging happily!!!!

Suzanne

You are too kind Anja : )

I totally agree…I’d love to hang out with you. If only you weren’t on the other side of the globe. Maybe one day our paths will cross like two artists in a gallery.

I will always treasure the great friendships and relationships that have sprouted from blogging and I count yours among them. It is so wonderful to “meet” so many truly fabulous women all over the globe.

bisous
Suzanne

Tangobabe

Likewise, Suzanne. I am so happy to have ‘met’ you. And fantastic to discover and connect with interesting women from all around the globe this way. So cool!

Kristy

Suzzane is the bomb! She is a personal friend and I love the fact that you interviewed her.

Suzanne

Awwwww…thanks Kristy! Hope you are doing well girlfriend!

bisous
Suzanne

Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

It’s great to see Suzanne here. Her blog is one of my must-reads. Her style is exciting, and she’s a very nice person too. xo

Suzanne

Thanks Patti…right back at cha!

Ann

Nice to get to know you better. I enjoy your mixing of items and fabulous styling with a focus on unique vintage pieces. You have a great eye for color and texture. I always look forward to your posts!

blue hue wonderland

Suzanne

Thanks Ann. As I do yours.

bisous
Suzanne

Kristian

I loved Suzanne and so love this interview!

Suzanne

Thanks Kristian : )

bisous
Suzanne

Helga

Suzanne is one styley babe!

Suzanne

Thanks Helga ; )

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Suzanne

Alice - Happiness at Mid Life

So great to Suzanne here! She is one of the blogs that I look forward to reading everyday and she is such a sweet lady too! Wished she lived closer so she can show me the way of vintage shopping.

Alice
http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

Suzanne

Don’t worry Alice…we’re going to figure out something yet : )

bisous
Suzanne

Vix

Lovely to see Suzanne on your blog and to discover more about her, I’ve only known her a short while but she’s as genuine and witty as she is beautiful and stylish! xxx

Suzanne

Well from one fearless gal that inspires me daily that is a real compliment. Thanks Vix.

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Suzanne

Melanie

I love Suzanne’s style and art – thanks for this feature, Sylvia. I always like finding out more about my fave bloggers, things that might not spill out in their own posts. I don’t really have a favourite outfit as I see very strong character and styling in each one. I also enjoy Suzanne’s writing. And I think it’s pretty cool that Suzanne is Canadian, eh?

Suzanne

Us Northern gals need to stick together : )

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Suzanne

Lorraine

Yet another great interview, Sylvia! It was so good to get to know Suzanne a little better. I agree that success and money are not necessarily linked – money is a nice bonus of course but success has a lot to do with how you feel inside.
I love the red and black dress. It looks amazing. I also love the green skirt with hearts and the flowery skirt. Suzanne is very individual and brave with her combinations, and that’s something I can learn from her. Suzanne, I hope you are fully recovered now and thanks for letting us get to know you.

Suzanne

Thanks Lorraine.

My husband is fully recovered but I am going to carry residual issues with me the rest of my life due to a botched surgery which I wrote about in detail on my blog starting here

http://bisous.typepad.com/bisous/2013/08/things-that-scare-me-how-i-was-forced-to-face-almost-all-of-my-fears.html

I can’t say enough about appreciating our health while we still have it. I think about it daily.

bisous
Suzanne

Sylvia

What a horrific story Suzanne. I can imagine it must have been a nightmare. Wishing you strength and good luck with the residual issues….

Suzanne

Thanks Sylvia : )

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Suzanne

Lorraine

I read your story last year when I was dealing with my own health issues and I agree with everything you say about appreciating health. All the best xxxx

Suzanne

I also read your story Lorraine. I hope all is 100% with you now.

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Suzanne

Shybiker

Such a wonderful interview! Even though I follow Suzanne’s blog, there was much new here I just learned. That’s nice. Plus, her outfits and fashion choices are so admirable. Some of the best I’ve seen anywhere.

Suzanne

Thanks Ally, very sweet of you.

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Suzanne

Wilma

Much as I admire Suzanne’s creativity, I can’t help but think that her style is best worn by those under 25. I just don’t think distressed jeans, berets and some of the more extreme color combinations are flattering to the over 40 woman. Hate me if you must, but with age should come elegance.

Tangobabe

Hate? Ofcourse not, Wilma! Disagree? Yes, totally. But that’s fine, sinces tastes and opinions differ, right?

Melanie

Ah Wilma, you are brave to post this opinion here. You would absolutely haaate my style at over 50. I know many elegant-looking, over-40 women who have the manners of spoiled children – surely that is more fearsome than dressing in a way that makes us joyful…?

Sylvia

Don’t you think that women should just wear what makes them happy?

Lorraine

I can’t help but think your view is a little old fashioned. Anything goes these days and if you have the figure and panache to wear something you love then go for it. I don’t believe in changing your style and cutting your hair short just because you reach a certain age. We should be celebrating people like Suzanne who dresses true to herself.

Suzanne

Almost daily in real life people compliment me on my clothing choices. I don’t ask for it. They offer it. People always remark about how well dressed I am.

Maybe they can’t tell what age I am. Maybe they don’t have a preconceived idea of what 47 is supposed to look like. Maybe “elegant” fashion for women over 40 isn’t subdued, neutral and forgettable.

I would hope that I have obtained a certain level of elegance with my choices but that I haven’t sacrificed my creative sense of self just because I am over a certain age limit.

I realize that my style isn’t for everyone and I certainly wouldn’t be wearing it if I thought I didn’t have the confidence or body with which to carry it off. My goal is to look the best I can, never be referred to as boring and leave a lasting impression.

I’m not disappearing because I’m older. I’m still the same vibrant, sexy, creative relevant person I always was, but now with a few wrinkles and much more experience under my belt.

And I have to mention this…under 25??? Yikes. Is that when women must give up keeping current and being relevant with the rest of the world?

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Suzanne

Melanie

I’m with you on that, Suzanne. As Forest Gump would say, elegance is as elegance does.

denton

You go girl 🙂

Anne

I love Suzanne’s style and her blog . ?i have learned about thrifting and estate sales from her . There are so few good Canadian bloggers keep it up Suzanne!

Suzanne

Thanks Anne : )

Greetje Kamminga

I love Suzanne, her style, her blog, her personality, her down to earth-ness, her outlook on life…. Thanks for featuring her Sylvia.
Greetje

Paula

Thanks Sylvia for featuring Suzanne, who i feel is like a soul fashion sister to me! So much of what she says, I could say myself! Love her. Xoxo

Suzanne

Thanks fashion sister : )

kay kerns

My favorite is the dog sweater/hat/jeans/silvery shoes one! so cute

Debbie Stinedurf

Ahhh…Suzanne. This is why you’re one of my favorite people. You’re so cool and ridiculous funny (not to mention the hair twin thing). Fabulous interview! You’re like a celebrity now…ha!
Debbie
http://www.fashionfairydust.blogspot.com

Suzanne

Thanks hair twin : )

Dawn Lucy

Great interview! Love Suzanne’s style & attitude!

Ana

I loved this interview, Sylvia. These are always wonderful, as we get to know everyone a little bit better. Suzanne has amazing creative style – clearly an artist – and I love the vintage pieces. My favorite outfit? No surprise here: the red/black long dress. My favorite quote? “Blogging is funny, depending on the day and my mood I might have big plans for my blog, or I might want to stop blogging altogether.” I can totally relate. ; )
Thank you again, : ) Ana

Suzanne

I’m so glad that my clothes communicate that I am an artist. : ) I know I am succeeding.

I’ve often admired your style Ana.

Thanks for commenting : )

Ruby

Great post! I am going to check out her blog. I am always evolving fashion wise…. for two years it was a 20’s and 30’s feel complete with cloche hats and a great smokey eye and red lip… and a wardrobe of black, white and gray… now as my life style has changed AGAIN, I find I am ready to find who I am now as far as fashion and add some color to my life… your blog and hers I am sure will help and the results I am sure will find it’s way to my blog.

Trina

Great interview, Sylvia and Suzanne. Suzanne has been one of my favorite bloggers from day one. It was obvious from the first moment I pulled up her blog she was a true artist. Thank you Sylvia for letting us get a glimpse into her life.

Suzanne

Thanks Trina : )

Rita

I enjoyed this interview. I’m sooooooooo not creative and have a pretty basic wardrobe, spiffied up by some fun shoes, but usually covered in cat and dog hair, so it is fun to see someone my age (-2 yrs) with creativity and skill in combining color and pattern, vintage and modern, fancy and casual, etc. It is fun to look at Suzanne’s blog and think, “that’s a cool idea…maybe I could try that”. 🙂 All the best with continued healing, Suzanne!

mary

Suzanne looks hot! Very inspirational for us over 40s. Though I’m jealous of her bombshell body : ) Most of these looks would look ridiculous on my pear shape.

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