Elaine Sweeney/Photo by Daniel Brienza
By Krista Lyons, AliveTampaBay Correspondent
Elaine Sweeney’s stylish blonde hair is carefully styled, making room for her statement neckline top. She talks with her hands, discussing why tailored clothes are so important, her eyes focusing on David L. Kahn, a custom clothier who she is chatting with.
Sweeney is just as comfortable talking fashion with friends as she is standing in a circle at a cocktail party or attending a trunk show.
And Sweeney is now sharing her invaluable fashion insight with the world, thanks to Strut.Fashion.
Strut.Fashion (no need to type .com) is a new site, founded by Sweeney, full of timely style videos and quick tips for women on the go. The videos are aimed at women over 35 and include tips for business attire as well as leisure wear.
Strut.Fashion was created when Sweeney had a revelation. Her teenage daughter was getting ready to go out with friends and began perusing YouTube for fashion tips. As her daughter browsed, Sweeney realized that all of the videos were aimed at teens and twenty-somethings — there were no style tips or YouTube videos for professional, adult women older than 30.
So, putting her background in broadcasting and fashion to best use, Sweeney founded Strut.Fashion, and has been working hard to bring to life short segments about style and fashion to everyday women.
“I want to help women realize what the basics of their closet are and how to build on that,” says Sweeney. “My segments and videos go beyond what is just in style or what is flashy. I am aiming to help women feel good about themselves and to learn ways to feel good every day. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good about yourself, everything else just shines even more.”
Being on camera is natural for Sweeney, who worked for several years in television news as a “hurricane chaser.” As a bureau reporter for several news stations, Sweeney always had to have outfits ready for any situation.
“I had to be prepared to be on camera at city hall and then on camera at a gala event,” says Sweeney. “Just like in so many women’s lives, I was expected to be ready for anything to be thrown my way.”
Although she had a love of broadcast TV, Sweeney’s true passion is fashion. When she was a young girl, Sweeney recalls clipping the pages from her well-worn copies of Vogue magazine, always searching for her favorite looks to save. Years later, it was only natural when her career shifted from chasing storms to chasing fashion.
“It was once I was in Florida as a journalist that I realized that my true passion was fashion,” says Sweeney.
She began working as a stylist, co-founding STYLEdge fashion, where she worked closely with both clients and designers. Now, Sweeney is bringing her on-air television experience and knowledge of fashion to Strut.
“I feel like everything I have ever done — from broadcast to STYLEdge — lead me right here,” Sweeney says.
A look at Strut.Fashion is like taking a glimpse into the world of a stylist and friend who you have always wanted to have. To build Strut, Sweeney began filming a series of segments that are available both on the site and on YouTube. The well-produced videos cover everything from the importance of a flattering fit to the basics to keep in your closet — many of which you can watch in 60 seconds or less.
Viewers can see the styles marching off the runway and how to relate and incorporate fashion into real life. Sweeney also has plans to include guests in the videos, including designers and custom clothiers.
“I wanted to create videos for women like me,” says Sweeney. “Women who are busy and just need something that they can view and understand quickly. So, we started the 60-Seconds-to-Style videos.”
In addition to videos, Sweeney and her team are working on creating a style guide to help women start their wardrobes from scratch. The guide promises to be useful for women of all ages, but will be tailored to women 35 and older and will focus on not only business attire, but what to wear when you are running errands on those busy days.
“Sometimes, it isn’t about buying what is flashy or fun,” says Sweeney. “Sometimes you need to buy a really nice pair of jeans, or three or four basic, but dependable plain black tops. Then, you can start to layer and add to it. That is really what our style guide is going to be about.”
In addition to featuring everything you need to know about clothes, Sweeney’s videos delve into accessories tips, including how to shop for couture jewelry. Strut also has beauty tips, which can help take your entire look up a notch. Also, Sweeney hosts giveaways for her viewers, like Bruno Mars tickets.
The future appears bright for Strut.Fashion. “We are doing so many exciting things right now, and the sky is really the limit now,” says Sweeney.
Editors note: AliveTampaBay.com looks forward to soon sharing Strut.Fashion videos with our Readers.