Meet Candice Lambert McAndrews, the Retired Coast Guard Styling Kelly Clarkson
Moral of the story— Candice Lambert McAndrews is the coolest in the industry. As a celebrity stylist, she’s the creative force behind Kelly Clarkson’s ever-inspiring, fearless fashion choices, but her badass status doesn’t end there. The former punk-rock kid is also retired lieutenant of the US Coast Guard, social activist, and new mama to a baby girl. So, when the woman who’s done it all told us that her “goal is to eventually design a clothing line,” we had no doubt in our mind that it’s bound to happen. In the meantime, though, Candice is keeping busy with bringing the aesthetic vision of her clients, which also include the members of Pentatonix, to life and inspiring us with her incredible versatility along the way. Of her takeaway style and dressing tips, “the color black is your best friend” is just one of many personal insights. Read on for more!
Some of the stylist's most memorable Kelly Clarkson looks!
What advice would you give women looking to break into the fashion industry? What do they need to know about being a celebrity stylist?
My number one piece of advice would be to know your craft. You need to intern and assist. Take the time to really know the industry, fashion and become a true professional. I think this generation is accustomed to achieving everything so quickly, but that is not how this profession works.
What does the process behind conceptualizing an idea for the client you’re working with look like? In other words, how do you work with the client to make sure the desired vision is achieved?
I like to sit down and have a creative meeting with them. I make mood-boards and go over them with my clients. We discuss what works and what doesn’t work, and we go from there. It is a work-in-progress approach always; a team effort between me and the client.
What have you found to be the biggest struggle women face when it comes to dressing for their shape, and how do you try to address that?
Most women are emotional dressers. It all depends on the day and how they feel. I can tell them a thousand times something looks good but if they aren’t feeling their best, it doesn’t matter. You have to work it out to find something they feel and look amazing in. You need to be patient, supportive and honest.
What is a current fashion trend or style you’re really loving, and how can women of different body types make it work for their shape?
My best piece of advice would be tailoring. Fit is so important, probably the most important part of your outfit. If you find a shirt or dress you love and it doesn’t quite fit correctly, take it to a tailor. You want your clothing to lay properly and accentuate your beautiful curve.
What have you learned about the power of women, yourself and the ones you have worked with, during your career journey?
Women are exceptional beings. We are so complex and diverse in all aspects of life. We can honestly do anything we set our minds to. I have learned we are truly united. We want to push each other forward in all industries. One woman’s success is a victory for us all.
What role has motherhood played in your professional journey, especially in the way that you approach dressing your clients, many of whom are also working moms?
Motherhood has been a wild ride so far. I thought I was an excellent multitasker before, but boy was I not! My daughter has definitely made me more tender and she has opened my heart beyond belief. Working with clients that are Moms is completely different now. There is this bond between mothers that is just delightful and beautiful. I see another side of women that is so stunning and mind-blowing. It has opened me up creatively in a different way. I am so grateful for Vivienne because she has really made me better in all aspects of my life.