For stylist Melissa Chataigne, each day brings new inspiration. The passion and joy she felt from styling friends and family led her to build a successful career in fashion, where she’s now a sought-after TV host and celebrity stylist. Her number one fashion rule? “Never focus on trends,” she says. “Build a timeless sustainable wardrobe that fits your lifestyle.” Keep reading our Q&A with Melissa below where we discuss her career thus far, her best fashion tips, and how she stays grounded.
Thanks for chatting with us today, Melissa! Can you share how you got started in your career as a stylist?
I do not have the traditional trajectory as I didn’t go to fashion school or design school. I started my career in corporate healthcare marketing. My parents are Haitian immigrants and didn’t believe that a career in fashion was logical or sustainable. After graduating college, I had a job in Chicago then suffered a ballet injury which ended my other career. I then relocated to Los Angeles, where I spent my mornings doing my sales calls and worked my evenings assisting stylists and hosting red carpets until that eventually took over. I networked and hustled to become my own boss.
Did fashion always interest you?
YES, I was obsessed with the fashion designers and models of the 90s — Versace, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Naomi, Cindy, Linda, and Christy. I imagined myself in the “Freedom 90” music video and the cover of Cosmo. I originally thought I wanted to be a supermodel but I like to help people and would style my cousins and see how it would make them feel and that’s where my styling passion came from.
You’re now a TV style correspondent for various shows and networks. What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Producing content for the young black girl watching TV in the Midwest looking for representation. Growing up I didn’t see anyone like me doing what I’m doing now. I'm honored to change the narrative. I also love bringing more size inclusivity to television.
What does your average day look like? Do you have a set routine, or does it change day to day?
It truly changes from day to day. Some days I’m at the computer emailing PR companies and brands to pull products for a segment or shopping. Other days, I’m creating content and shooting with my husband. Sometimes I work as the stylist, producer and camera woman shooting a segment in my loft for television then head to the studio. No matter what, my morning routine is the same: oil pulling, meditation, hot water and lemon, yoga or tabata/weights workout, then I begin. I have to fill my cup before I fill anyone else’s.
What are some of your wardrobe must-haves?
I believe signature accents make the outfit. I love silk scarves, bolero hats from Janessa Leone, leather pants, wide leg jeans, mini dresses and chelsea boots with a leather jacket, crisp blouses, Gucci flats, a statement blazer. Earrings, a good handbag, and sunglasses will always elevate your look.
How would you describe your own style?
Classic with a touch of boho flair. Think Gold Coast Chicago meets Saint-Germain-Des-Prés.
What would be your advice to someone looking to develop their personal style?
Focus on you and what colors and cuts flatter your assets. Pinterest and Instagram are great for saving inspiration. Try stuff on. Play dress up in your closet. Have fun and take risks. It’s only fashion!
What’s your favorite Glamorise bra? Tell us why!
I love the WonderWire Front-Closure Bra. It gives me the perfect lift so I feel supported and sexy on camera or out with my husband.
Aside from fashion, how do you like to spend your free time?
I like to balance all the on-camera time with grounding activities like yoga and pottery. I started a lifestyle brand, Oui Carole, to honor my late mother and it took off. It’s a hobby and I only sell items I love to make (no commissioned pieces). Being in the clay centers and ground me. Yoga makes me happy and is my therapy. I also love to crochet and make items for my friends' kids. I’m basically going on 75 and fabulous!
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
Waking up early in Ojai with my husband. We start the day with gratitude and meditation then head to yoga at my friend and famous author Jen Pastiloff’s house then brunch at Farmer & the Cook. Then shop for crystals at Ojai House and take a power nap under the trees with the smell of pixies everywhere. Later we meet friends for wine at Topa Winery and finish with a meal at Monte Grappa. We head to bed early then start the day with an early hike. That’s my vibe…
Author: Maeve Gesualdi
Last updated on: 4/4/22
Lift, Shape, and Support With Comfort and Style