Interview with Kiarra Looks Founder, Kiarra Logan
Kiarra is the founder of Kiarra Looks, a styling service for private clients. Kiarra manages everything from purging your closet and rebuilding it, to styling photoshoots, and putting together outfits for special occasions. In addition to Kiarra being a fashion expert, she is also a mom of two beautiful children and understands the best and most challenging aspects of styling kids. We sat down with Kiarra to get some advice on building a child’s wardrobe.
How did you become a professional stylist?
I went to Indiana University and studied apparel merchandising. While I was there, I built a strong foundation of experience and expertise in the fashion world. One of my first jobs was styling at the Abercrombie headquarters. I was able to learn how things work in-house, but most importantly the power styling has for buyers. When you see a final product standing alone, you’re not necessarily convinced anyone would want to purchase it. That’s when the stylists come in and work their magic. The styled looks would serve as an example for how to wear something properly. Buyers can easily replicate that look, or use it as guidance and inspiration. Shortly after my time at Abercrombie, I moved abroad, where I had the opportunity to build my styling experience on a global level. Having spent a lot of time in Europe, I’ve seen and lived with different looks and have expanded my knowledge of brands and ways to elevate a wardrobe.
My husband plays professional basketball and a lot of his (very tall) teammates struggled to get clothing that fit them properly. I began styling them and their families, which eventually evolved into my business today.
Where do you purchase kids's clothes?
The store experience in America has really fallen off. Unless you are in Miami or New York, there doesn’t really seem to be many stores worth going into. My kids' closets suffered when we moved from Europe back to America because I was shocked to see how bad the in-person shopping experience had become. Either there was a very limited selection of clothes or the quality of items just wasn't there. In America, all of my shopping has moved online. However, online shopping presents its own challenges–there is a lot of searching through different sites and managing different return policies when you inevitably have to send things back due to sizing issues. So, I stick to the brands I know my kids are happy with and I can rely on. I’m always happy to expand that, but it has to be a good shopping experience.
For parents, we are responsible for creating a style for our young children. As a parent, when did you see your children develop their own style and how do you support that?
My daughter started exploring her own looks around 10 years old. There came a point where she wanted to express herself in a certain way and that was okay with me. We do have rules. For example, no stomachs out. I give her a framework to stay within and am there when we shop for clothes, but with those items she is allowed to create and explore different looks.
We have a system in their closets that makes communicating what they can wear easy. Clothes in the dresser are fair game and used regularly. Everything hanging in the closet is set aside for special occasions and they don’t use those clothes unless we talk about it.
What are some of the basic foundations for building a kid’s wardrobe, rather than just filling their closet?
Knowing what makes your child happy is a good start. For instance, my son prioritizes comfort. I know what he feels good in and I make sure he has plenty of those items. I usually start with core pieces and build out from there. My daughter usually prefers to wear leggings and those are always stocked in her closet.
The next question to ask is, “What can elevate this look?” With my son, it is sneakers and hats. For my daughter, it’s outerwear. So, we usually turn to a cool sweater or jacket to really pull the look together. We also have a lot of fun finding accessories and it is something we can bound over. At this point, their styles are very thought out, and I pretty much know, down to the brand, what staples we always need.
I have two children that prefer to always wear athleisure. What are some ways to elevate that look, so it seems more intentional and less messy?
People forgot how to dress after athleisure became popular, and the pandemic definitely contributed to this. Recently, I have been working with clients to re-introduce streetwear into their daily lives.
In Europe, I find children wear their proper clothing size, whereas in America, we tend to buy clothing a size up so they can grow into it. One suggestion would be to buy the proper size for your child’s age for a better fit. Next, I would make sure you dress up a look with a nice pair of sneakers. Shoes can pull together an outfit and make it seem more intentional. Lastly, don’t be afraid to look for athletic pants that come in different colors. I recently purchased a pair of burgundy joggers for my son, and introducing a new color has elevated his outfit rotation.
Do you like trends? If so, what are some of your favorite trending looks for kids?
I prefer iconic items for adults, but trends can be fun and playful for kids. It can let them fit in with their peers. My kids don’t like to be overdressed at school. So, athleisure is a go-to trend for their generation. I keep going back to shoes, but they can be a way to win over your kids. They are a big deal for them and can easily translate a look. Focus on a trending accessory your child loves.
Do you think it is worth it for parents to spend a little extra on better quality items?
You cannot be scared to let your kids live in the clothes you put them in. However, parents are also responsible for taking care of those items. If they are nice pieces, the ones hanging in the closet, you might reserve those for very special occasions. My daughter is responsible with her wardrobe, but my son is very hard on clothes. I am mindful of where I put money into his clothes and might skip on expensive pants because he will likely put a knee though them.
You also get what you pay for and better brands will last longer. Kids grow fast and can only wear their nice outfits a handful of times. So, I see both sides of the argument. I certainly think you need a balance in a child’s wardrobe and a stylist or a trusted shopping site can help with focusing on where to put your money.
What do you do with the better-quality items your kids outgrow?
Pass clothes along. It takes a village to raise a child. Give those items that have served you to a friend or family member. I am big on donating to women’s shelters. And, for a select few items, I keep them when I have a beautiful memory of my child wearing it.
Stay tuned for curated Meems looks from Kiarra Style.