Meet Amy West. Originally from Northern Kentucky and grew up in North Florida, she calls her style “Coastal Cowgirl” since she’s equally comfortable in nautical wear and cowgirl boots! She lives at the beach, so resortwear ends up being a big part of her every day wear and tends to gravitate towards iconic and timeless designs. “But I love to take risks with modern trends and brightly colored accessories, while throwing in a few romantic bohemian pieces here and there.” Read on to hear more about her take on trends, evolving her ‘mom-style’ and travel light tips:
Do you remember your first brush with fashion?
It all began when I was 19. I had been told by many acquaintances that I should model because I was so tall. I had the opportunity to shoot with a really great photographer who had worked in LA previously. Working with her was how I first got my toes wet in the industry. Eventually I secured agency representation and began getting work. I did a lot of bridal modeling at the beginning which was always fun. Who doesn’t like dressing up like a bride?
What’s the best style advice you have ever received?
Oh that’s a tough one. I’ve learned a lot through the years working with different designers, makeup artists, and stylists. I think the best advice I’ve received is to wear what you feel good in. You don’t have to be a “type”. If you feel confident and pretty that’s the biggest step forward. The rest is learned.
What’s the secret to staying stylish while traveling light?
Choose versatile items you can dress up or down like the BCBG Belted Knit Dress. I love the jersey fabric which resists wrinkling and is light weight. Being basic black it can get dressy really quick with your hair up and the right accessories but it’s so relaxed you can wear it by the pool or for a walk on the beach. Also, I always have my signature accessories which polish up any look. For me, that’s a stylish hat such as my favorite Panama hat and a classic pair of sunglasses. For cooler climes, my military jacket I got from Le Tote has been a major go-to as that final piece that completes any look.
What are your tips for packing like a pro?
I definitely like to roll items. Utilize shoes with space to stash small items like socks or swimwear. Packing squares are a great way to save space, and use pill cases to store and organize earrings and rings. I also recommend limiting accessories as they can get heavy. For shoes I limit myself to one pair of neutral sandals, one pair of shoes you can work out or hike in, and if you have one other pair that’s heavy such as boots, make sure that’s the pair you travel in. I’m big into packing light and most times, I can get away with a small rolling carry on.
Did your personal style change once you became a mom? What are your top tips for new moms?
Yes! Actually, becoming a mom transformed my style. At first I thought I needed to subscribe to some template of what moms wear and look like. It didn’t take long though before I rebelled against that mold and realized my kids would gain more from me being myself rather than some preconceived idea. That gave me the freedom again to express myself and take risks. However, we all know that having kids means messes. So I try to choose items that are both stylish and practical. I won’t wear something around them I can’t get ruined, like an expensive garment that can’t be washed, and I also need clothes I can stay active in since I’m still chasing a toddler around every day. I still have plenty of opportunities though, to experiment and take risks with non-kid friendly clothes when I’m working and going out for social activities. My advice to moms is this: Don’t let motherhood be an excuse to let that stylish side of you go. Because you can do both. I promise.
What do you love most about Le Tote?
I love being able to not only try on but wear certain trends I may not have the guts to purchase yet. Sometimes you don’t know if a trend is here to stay so I love being able to play around with that style with a piece from Le Tote. I love that I have the opportunity to keep my wardrobe fresh without the huge expense on my monthly budget. Every time I have a TV appearance, social event, or date night I have something new to wear without having to break the bank over it. Finally, I love that there is less stuff in my closet. It cuts down on waste which is better for the environment. In my work, I need fresh fashion all the time, but stocking up on more clothes that I won’t wear much feels shallow and wasteful. With Le Tote, I can accomplish those goals and limit the clutter.
Finally, what advice would you give to your fellow toters?
Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things. Whether that be expressing yourself in a fresh way with a new trendy garment, saying yes to that girls trip, or trying a new cocktail or dish. Life is an adventure and it’s all about the journey. Say yes to new experiences and you’ll be amazed at the transformation within you.