Chic, sophisticated and, yes, oh-so-sweet, stylist Lauren Schugar wants you to look good. Really good. So good that at the next board meeting, those new, high-end clients won’t be able to resist you—or closing that multimillion-dollar deal. Schugar owns her own company, Modern Image, which reworks your wardrobe into something as stylish as her own.
“I sell the theory that I can make you look good,” the stylist cum saleswoman says of her business model.
If you like the photos on her website, www.imagebylauren.com, she says you’ll likely enjoy what she can do for your closet. Schugar, a UNLV grad, also performs makeup consultations for women. And seriously, ladies, everyone could use a little help, especially for work-appropriate techniques.
“Be thankful,” the stylist with 13 years of fashion experience writes on her website. “A man’s wardrobe should be a simple thing.” It’s when a businessman starts to extrapolate from staples that work, or stray from clothes that properly fit, that a man’s style begins to, well, tear at the seams.
One of her mottos, although a common one, is wise and applicable to even her most high-end clients: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. In other words—look good. Fake it till you make it.
The biggest fashion mistake businessmen make, Schugar says, is wearing clothes that don’t fit them. “They look like a slob if their clothes are too big,” she says. “The hemline on a pair of dress pants should fall halfway down the shoelaces—no more, no less. Jackets shouldn’t overwhelm your frame. Shirts shouldn’t be huge or skin-tight. They have to be just right.”
As for local businesswomen, Schugar is equally direct. “Overall, the look is just too relaxed,” Schugar says. “Being in Las Vegas, you should elevate your style. Women here tend to go a little skimpier.”
So, ladies and gentleman, dress in ways that would make your mama proud with perfectly hemmed pants (if you can afford the new suit, you can afford to go to the tailor), proper-length skirts and tops that conceal (and flaunt) in all the right places. Schugar also performs “closet edits,” in which she sees what a client has in their home and consults him or her on which core pieces the wardrobe may be missing.
Men who are ages 20 to 40 tend to come to her wanting help getting advice about what to wear to work, Schugar says. Men who are in their 40s, 50s or 60s tend to be going through some kind of life transition—new career, newly single—and want to refresh their look. No matter what the age, she says, she’s able to consult and help.
Schugar says the recession has changed her business, but she’s still a proud Las Vegas success story. That’s because she’s done what smart businesspeople do during tough times—she reinvented her business. In addition to the wardrobe and makeup services offered by Modern Image, Schugar also performs styling for photo shoots and commercials. Schugar’s most recent work was the “We Love Locals” campaign for Station Casinos.
“My company’s business model is constantly changing because I’m always trying to find things that work,” Schugar says. She’s had to become increasingly innovative due to the Great Recession, she says, but that isn’t stopping her business from growing and diversifying. “No fashion stylist really does what I do,” she says.
Staying true to her trend of reinvention, Schugar recently became a representative for J. Hilbern, a company that makes custom-fitted men’s shirts. The shirts start at $89. “Now, every man is my customer,” she says of J. Hilbern. “Any man who would regularly pay $90 for a great shirt is a prospective client.”
But every day, Schugar finds genuine passion for the job she’s doing. “I really love clothes and art and the entire aesthetic of what I work with,” she says. “I’m doing everything I love.”
Now that’s the meaning of success.