Photo: Jamar Stephens

Photo: Jamar Stephens

Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

Sarah Kelsey

Jenna Lyons is basically my hero.

Founder & Editor,

Personality: Christy Turlington, Marlene Dietrich and Cate Blanchett. Album: The Best Of The Band, The Band. Designer: Too many to say one: Missoni, McQueen, DVF, Stella McCartney, Versace. Colour: Blue, Green and Red. Astrological Sign: Leo.

Recently tapped with the weighty task of heading up StyleList for AOL/Huffington Post Canada, the mighty U.S. site that's set to launch in Canada later this month, SK, as those in the know call her, has long contributed to big name publications (Globe and Mail, National Post, ELLE, Fashion Magazine, Canadian Living, et al.) Also a contributor to Global's The Morning Show, SK is all about style sun up to sun down. Today she shares the details of her personal style with The Style House.

Do you prefer to dress for an occasion or for everyday?

Everyday. There are more opportunities to play around or to mix-and-match trends during the day than there are when you're planning for an occasion. You can be casual, you can dress up, you can dress for day or you can dress for night. And, if you want, you don't have to get dressed at all. I find there are some limits to what you should and should not wear to events (for example, you can't wear jeans to a black tie gala and you shouldn't wear orange to a funeral).

Would you rather be overdressed or underdressed?

100% overdressed.

Do you have a signature style or do you prefer to keep 'em guessing?

I would describe my style as constantly evolving – one day I look a little hipsterish, the next I'm super girly. For the most part, though, I veer toward classic, preppy items – jeans and tees with ballet flats and statement accessories. I love blazers. And I'm a big fan of bright colour and bold patterns. Jenna Lyons is basically my hero.

Your all time favourite outfits:

1. My first ballet recital tutu: it was pink and paired well with my soft pink tights and black bodysuit. After a show, I'd put on leg-warmers and a loose sweatshirt – I'd wear it just like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance. I felt super cool.

2. My Japanese Kimono: I feel sexiest when I'm wearing this. Its silk and incredibly patterned and coloured. I strip down and put it on when I get home everyday.

3. My First Attempts to dress myself: Yes, I'm probably too young to remember why or how I chose what I wore when I first started picking clothes from my closet, but these outfits always make me laugh because they perfectly foreshadow my fashion sense as it stands today: preppy, a little bit funky and mixed up, lots of patterns and flats. I had fun dressing up even then.

Your top three celeb style moments:

1. Diana Keaton in Annie Hall.

2. Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina.

3. Cate Blanchett in Givenchy Couture at the 2011 Oscars

Honourable mention: Can I say every episode of Sex and the City?

What would you buy with an unexpected windfall?

That's a hard question! I would probably invest in killer staple items: a Smythe blazer (or 10), Christian Louboutin pumps (in every colour), a McQueen dress, a Stella McCartney suit, every DVF in sight, a Chanel handbag and matching accessories...

The list goes on. I'd probably demolish the women's fashion sections at Holt Renfrew, The Room, J. Crew, The Gap and websites like (That's not to mention all of the independent boutiques in Toronto I frequent).

Heels or flats?

Flats. (Though I *just* started wearing heels and they're awesome.)

Will you suffer for fashion or should it be comfortable? Is there an occasion that you will break this rule?

I'm in the comfort camp. What that means, though, is investing in quality items that won't make me feel uncomfortable. For example, searching for the perfect pair of black pumps; the pair that will make my foot feel like it's balancing on a pillow instead of a surface that's bending it out of shape (I'm exaggerating here, but you get my point). Finding these items are hard, but the effort is always worth it. I'll be comfortable; comfort breeds confidence; confidence is the ultimate style accessory.

 Photo: via  On the Fourth Floor .

Always stylish or does even fashion need to take a break? Any exceptions?

Even at our worst (while suffering from the flu, for example), there's an element of style in all of us – whether it's flashing a pearly white smile with a dab of pink lip balm or the loos way we've style our hair in a bun. If your version of dressing down or "getting cozy" is wearing nude makeup and tight jeans and a fancy shirt, have at'er; and if you prefer to wear flannels and a tee without blush, go for it. To each their own.

Team Anna (Wintour) or Team Carine (Roitfeld)?

I have to base my answer on my style sense: while I'd love to say Carine, I'm through and through Anna.

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