We answer the questions you didn’t know you had, discover the labels you can’t wait to wear and dare you to be different—because you weren’t made to fit in…
For most of my early-adult life, I was discouraged to express myself through my personal style. People didn’t “get” why I preferred skinny pants (cropped precisely above the ankle, might I add) over more relaxed, baggier alternatives or why I mixed prints with such reckless abandon. While my skills were often affirmed—I aced performance reviews, earned a reputation as a hard-working go-getter with an infectiously optimistic personality—my style wasn’t, simply because I dared to use my style as a tool to non-verbally communicate my taste and appreciation for design to the world.
Here’s what I learned during the process: People can’t compartmentalize you, subjectively picking and choosing the aspects they jive with and discarding the ones that disrupt their idea of how they think you should look and act. And in the same vein, you can’t compartmentalize yourself, only embracing the qualities that friends and colleagues are OK with, while downplaying your true passions and pursuits. You’re a whole entity, one that deserves to be celebrated in your totality not denigrated because you like to watch live streams of fashion shows in between client meetings or won’t stop until you find the perfectly fitting pencil skirt.
And after bemoaning my struggles to a few of my closest girlfriends, I realized they not only identified but also longed for a definitive resource that celebrated personal style, demystified fashion trends, took the guesswork out of shopping while arming them with actionable career and leadership advice so help them stand out impactful ways.
So I created TSS to be a constant reminder to smart, sophisticated and ambitious women that they weren’t made to fit in—because I believe that everyone has something that makes them a Standout. We’re here to help you amplify that “something” if you already know what it is, discover it if you don’t, and make sure you look damn good while you’re at it.
Hope you enjoy the site!
Michael Jones is the founder of The Stylish Standout, a site he created to empower women who weren’t made to fit in after realizing the same about himself and his circle of friends.
Michael most recently served as the assistant digital style editor at the now-defunct LuckyShops.com, where he reported and wrote features on product launches, emerging designers and on-brand collaborations, edited trend- and market-based shopping guides and introduced “Ask Michael,” a weekly style-advice column. Prior to LuckyShops, Michael was a freelance web producer at Harper’s Bazaar’s e-commerce destination ShopBAZAAR, and contributing fashion assistant at Lucky, covering the home and tech markets and coordinating all still-life photography for the magazine.
Before relocating to New York to pursue (and achieve!) his life-long dream of becoming a fashion editor, Michael was a corporate trainer and development specialist for a start-up financial services company where he designed, implemented and facilitated human resources, leadership and process-improvement courses and mentored several trainees long after they left the classroom.
Michael studied journalism at Texas A&M University-Commerce and was born and raised in Dallas, where his obsession with skinny pants began.
Most importantly, even though Michael doles out advice for a living, he doesn’t know everything so feel free to reach out with rants, raves and your own standout experiences at email@example.com.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is The Stylish Standout?
The Stylish Standout exists for only one reason: To empower professional-minded women to use their style as a tool to fulfill their ambitions. Through inspiring shoppable content, the site offers readers actionable advice on how to wear the season’s key looks, sleek editorial portfolios promoting the best fashion from the industry’s premier emerging and established labels, and dynamic features that highlight what to buy, try and wear—both now and in the seasons to come. The outcome is an enjoyable, inviting, and sharp reading experience that serves a global audience eager to live a standout life after the clothes.
How do I know if I’m a Standout?
If you believe in yourself and your desire to create the life you want for yourself (and are willing to work for it!) while helping others along the way and looking good in the process, guess what? You’re a Standout.
And if you subscribe to the notion that Millennials—mainly women—are advanced enough that they can handle Prada and politics or careers and Comme des Garçons in one space, then you’re definitely a Standout.
Sounds cool. But why should TSS be my go-to style resource?
If the other fashion sites in your media diet are rest stops on the road trip, we think of The Stylish Standout as the final destination—a place where you can discover new people, places, things and ideas and figure out how they fit into your everyday life.
Lastly, our voice is both polished and personable. We respect you enough to be ruthless in our reporting, writing and editing, but not at the expense of talking down at you instead of with you. Every editorial decision is made with you at the top of the list.
OK, so why is personal style so important? And will I be taken less seriously in professional settings if I dress in a modern, elevated way?
Fashion is a gateway topic now. People care about what celebrities is wearing. Women want to look as good as they feel. Pop culture embraces personal style. The cues from the runway seamlessly interact with those from the street to influence how we put ourselves together each day.
Personal style has so much to do with confidence and confidence has so much to do with leadership. And we think it’s easier to understand trends and enjoy the shopping experience when you have context for how style can fit into your life. We all have to get dressed, so why not wear clothes in a way that represents the best version of yourself? After all, being well put-together can make you a stronger leader and businesswoman, which can help in areas ranging from productivity, salary negotiation, networking and team-building.
Gotcha. So how do you choose products to feature on the site?
There are three standards that guide our selection process:
- Is it useful? We don’t cover trends or brands because they’re new or popular. We make sure our product recommendations can work in your actual life.
- Is it shoppable? There’s nothing worse than seeing something but not being able to immediately get it. You won’t experience that let-down because we make sure the product is available for purchase and link you to where to buy it within the post.
- Is it a standout? You probably already own a basic A-line skirt, but a leather A-line skirt with metal rings above the hem? (It exists, we promise!) We naturally gravitate to products with unique, modern twists to always keep you ahead of the curve.
Do you receive compensation for recommendations?
We often request and receive samples of products for editorial consideration. But if a brand partners with us on sponsored content, we will explicitly disclose it within the post. Paid or not, rest assured: if something is featured on the site, it’s something that we absolutely love and think you will too. We don’t take your trust in our editorial integrity for granted.
Brands interested in working with us can email firstname.lastname@example.org.