Creating Your Perfect Look with Tina – Ep 4

Imani and Expert Stylist Tina Mclean discuss finding and creating your perfect look.

Imani 00:56
Hello everybody and welcome back to The Tea with Mon Amie. Today I am here with our expert stylist Tina McLean. Welcome, Tina.

Tina McLean 01:04
Thank you. So happy to be here. I love that you’re doing this.

Imani 01:06
Thank you. We’re happy to have you on [laughter]. So tell me a little bit about yourself or not me but tell the people.

Tina McLean 01:14
Well, part of being an expert and seasoned stylist is my age. I’m at the at the upper end here with the family here at Mon Amie. But I’ve been doing it a long time. I’ve been styling brides since 2004 and I’ve always loved fashion ever since I was a little girl and loved to play dress up. I always did it the Tina Way [phonetic 01:34] and always wanted to have my own look. But I love styling other people too. I’ve done it in eveningwear and of course for a long time in bridal now. But I have a background as a performer in music, and I just love being around people. I love being in the mix of it all and celebrating with everybody and it’s been a great place for me to be not just in my life. But all the new people that I’ve met and the family that I have here at Mon Amie. It’s something that I’d love to do every day I love coming to work, and especially at Mon Amie

Imani 02:23
Yes, it’s definitely a very family oriented environment and that’s the perk of being somewhere where it is family owned, you feel like you’re a part of something like truly a part of something, not just a number of people. So I love that aspect about it. What is your favorite part about working at Mon Amie?

Tina McLean 02:48
Well, the family aspect, for sure. I get to be around all these other talented stylists and we all bring something different to the table. We all interact with our brides differently. We’re constantly learning from one another. The inventory here is– it is the best. I think it’s the best anywhere you could find. It’s so exciting to work with these designers from all over the world and I love when we have trunk shows and the designers come in and get to meet the brides in person. So we’re constantly having trunk shows with designer appearances. It’s an exciting place to work.

Imani 03:30
Yes, definitely. There’s always something going on. I mean, trunk shows, events, somebody is always here doing something, somebody is always here very busy. So what would you say your favorite part is about working in the bridal industry as a whole because you’ve been doing this for a while?

Tina McLean 03:48
Yes, I would say the emotion of it all. I mean, I’m an emotional person. I’ve always worn my emotions on my sleeve. So it’s such a good fit for me because as we get to celebrate with the brides and their families, there’s this emotional tie to the dress. I mean, the dress has so much meaning behind it. It represents so many things. It represents the bride’s love story and just to be a part of that is so thrilling and has so much meaning to me. So, I would say my favorite part is I just get to celebrate with the families when the bride says, ‘Yes’ to her dress.

Imani 04:30
Oh, I love that. So you mean you have known each other for four and a half years which has been my time here. What is your time?

Tina McLean 04:40
Well, I came on board in February of 2015. I had been at another salon for over eight years and then another one before that for a couple of years. But I Mon Amie found me. The owner of the store came into the other shop I was working at and we just got to chatting and the next thing I’m over here at Mon Amie and she just took me under her wing and became part of the family. So I plan on being here as long as they’ll have me This is the last place I want to be. I love working at this salon in particular.

Imani 05:21
So, overall, your bridal career has been…?

Tina McLean 05:26
Since 2004. Yes, that’s when I first started styling brides was in 2004. Getting my getting my feet wet.

Imani 05:34
So that’s been 16 years.

Tina McLean 05:36
Yes, but as soon as the first bride that I dressed. I had so much fun. I don’t remember her name. But I remember that feeling. When she said yes to the dress. I just knew it was going to be the next thing that I was going to do with my life and I’m going to stick with it.

Imani 06:00
Yes, and that feeling is very, very special. It’s almost cliché how they make it. But I mean, it is cliché how they make it, but it’s so true at the same time, like it really is. It’s special in its own way and it’s always very hard for me to try and convey that to brides because they’re like, what do you mean? Like you’re not going to know, because it hasn’t happened yet.

Tina McLean 06:27
It’s unique to each bride, every bride. You know, I have some brides say, “Well, you know, I’m not a crier, not everybody is going to burst out into tears, you might just pet the dress. My smile just might come over your face. But inside, you’re going to know. This sounds cliché, but it’s very true when you know; you know.

Imani 06:45
You do and that’s how we go about so many things in our lives. It’s how you go about finding your partner, you know, who you know.

Tina McLean 06:47
Since you brought that up, when you find your partner, it’s probably the closest feeling when you find your dress is probably the closest feeling you’re going to have to when you knew you found your person. It’s that special of a garment.

Imani 07:08
Yes, and that’s really amazing when you think about it like that. Mm hmm. Clothing would make you feel like that something so material would make you feel like that. But I think it’s the story behind the garment.

Tina McLean 07:23
Yes, and clothes do make us feel a certain way. I mean, you have outfits in your closet that make you feel better than others. Hopefully, they all make you feel great, but clothes make us feel a certain way and when people look at you, they get a feeling about you and your wedding dresses like 100 times more than that. It says not only who you are, but who you are as a couple, I learned this from Randy Fenoli. He’s got a great book out called, “It’s all about the dress” and it’s all about to help them find their dress. But the main crux of the book is when you can articulate your love story, you’re going to find your dress, your dress is going to tell your love story.

When you think about everything you’re doing with your wedding from the venue to the food you’re going to eat, to the kind of music you’re going to play it brand you as a couple and everyone is going to say, “Oh my gosh, this is so this is so them”, including your dress and your dress doesn’t necessarily have to match the venue I used to be a big believer in: Well, you know, if you’re getting married at a winery where you have to have this kind of dress, if you’re getting married at a castle, you have to have this kind of dress, getting married in a ballroom, etc. I’ve come to find out that it’s more about who you are as a person and what you want to say to everybody and what you want to say as you’re walking down the aisle to your fiancé and if you are getting married on the beach, no shoes on and you want to wear a big old sparkly ball gown. Go for it. So I’ve changed my view a little bit about that. It’s really more about how it makes you feel.

Imani 09:24
Yes, I think that’s the foundation of it all and I do agree with you where I feel brides can get a little caught up in their venue and I do hear brides a lot of times say Well, I think that this dress might be a little too formal for the venue. But you know, you have to you do have to go with how you’re feeling and if it’s like if I love this dress and I’m worried about it being too formal for my venue, but in my heart I’m like, I love this dress. It was my dream to get married in this dress. Why am I going to deprive myself of doing what I want on my wedding day because all these other people aren’t going to be like she’s overdressed at her wedding,

Tina McLean 10:04
You’re the bride, you are the center of attention and everybody is going to be wondering, what is she wearing? What is she wearing? I mean, there’s a balance to it all to you once your pictures to flow. You know, you’re telling a story. So, there is a balance to it all. But just trust your instincts. I say that over and over again. It’s so true when you’re trying dresses on, trust that inner voice, and it’ll tell you. You’ll know.

Imani 10:32
Definitely I agree 100%. But you had mentioned that you had read one of Randy’s books, which I’m sure everybody listening knows who Randy Fenoli is, you’ve probably seen “Say Yes to the Dress, Randy Fenoli”. All that. So you said that you had read Randy’s book and I feel like I always see you around the store, writing notes or kind of, we’ve also done some cool things like we’d gone to the seminar. We all had gone to a seminar.

Tina McLean 11:03
Do you speak [crosstalk]

Imani 11:06
Yes. Where we all learned how to better tailor ourselves to listen and really truly hear brides, so that we can help them build their look. So you did that and you actually went again to you went,

Tina McLean 11:21
I’ve been four times to the “Do You Speak Bride” and so the brides listening out there. When you become engaged you enter into what we call bride country. You’re entering into this new phase of your life and as a stylist, we need to come along with you and we need to understand what that’s like and so it’s just helped me better connect with My Brides and to know that we need to always be celebrating you every time you step foot in our store, whether it’s for your first appointment or second appointment or your alterations that we are so glad to have you. We’re so glad to be on this journey with you. So, I’m always looking for new training, whether it’s just on styling, fashion trends, but what I love the most is how to better interact with my bride.

Imani 11:23
Of course and you always see you doing that, between that and then I know that you went and got a styling certification right as well.

Tina McLean 12:32
I did at 2020 Style Academy and that was really helpful. It solidified. I mean, there’s a lot of things that I just know innately about fashion and about balance and symmetry, and body types do play into the cut, the silhouette of dress that is going to look best on you and that’s where I’m your guide. I’m really your guide and helping you with the best cut that’s going to look good on you and that’s where the “The Style Academy” really helped me with that with the symmetry and balance and then what you’re going to help me with as a bride is to bring out all the details what your personality is, whether it’s going to be blank [phonetic 13:22] or clean, more of a minimalist look, or you like a romantic lace. That’s all the details that we’re going to bring out after we’ve really narrowed down to what’s the best silhouette for you.

Imani 13:33
Yes. — I mean you have expert stylists, and I don’t think that it is just solely because of your 16-year career in bridal you know it is because of the expertise that you have through just your own knowledge and your time but also through the constant trainings the notes I’m seeing you write or the thoughts you have yourself and you trying to better yourself from all angles. So, I think that you’re truly an example to brides listening of you hear these things that you’re doing these ways you’re constantly bettering yourself. Trust your stylist as much as you can meet them of course, but really try we say to be open but really try to be open and understand that there is training, you don’t just wake up one day and decide you’re going to be the best bridal stylist and you do it

Tina McLean 14:28
So this job requires expertise experience. At Mon Amie everybody here is very experienced and you have to be with inventory that we have. So when I work with My Brides, I almost all the time bring the dresses to the bride because based on our beginning conversation sort of an interview I do with her, she’s going to give me an idea and then I know these two 1000 plus dresses in here, I know every single one of them and so she’s just giving me inspiration for me to go and pull dresses based on the conversation that we had and some ideas that I’m going to have as well. I think it’s overwhelming to come in and feel like you have to go and pick your own dresses. That’s where I’m going to be your guide and if I’m not hitting the mark, then let’s go shopping together. That’s how I do my appointments. I feel if the bride is feeling like we’re not going in the right direction, then absolutely, I’m going to have her come and shop with me but start out I like to bring her my ideas based on what we had discussed in our interview.

Imani 15:43
Yes, and I think that definitely varies per stylist.

Tina McLean 15:48
And there’s no one right way to do it.

Imani 15:51
Definitely not. You do have stylists that will start shopping with you and you have stylist to do as Tina does, where she’ll pull and then if it’s not working, then she’ll come back and she’ll grab you. But I think it’s also important to know Mon Amie is not like a typical bridal store in the sense of size. We are so large and you just heard Tina’s speak about the 2000 plus dresses. Walking in, I find a lot of times that can be very overwhelming for Brides, they don’t know where to start, there’s 4 or 5 hallways, there’s so much stuff going on in here that I find it most overwhelming for brides that have never shopped before, and brides that are looking for one particular thing, because they’re trying to find it in all of this beauty. There’s so many beautiful things in this store. It’s a store full of beauty, like it’s crazy but it can get overwhelming.

So again, the expertise of the stylist, that’s where it really comes into play. Because you have knowledge of the dresses, you have knowledge of the store and you can streamline that process for them and say, “I heard you, I’m listening, I’m truly listening to you. This is what I found and I feel like a lot of times, it really works.

Tina McLean 17:10
And when I meet the bride, I’m also looking at her shape and someone who’s 4’11 is not going to work good in a mermaid gown. That’s for somebody who’s five, nine, definitely not. So if she comes in being 4 foot 11 and wanting a mermaid, so I’m going to put her in one, and we’re going to talk about why the symmetry of this is not going to work, you’re going to need something that’s going to give you height, something that’s going to be more like a trumpet dress without all that fullness on the bottom and taking away from your height. So once again, the stylist being the guide, being the helper, leading you to finding the dress that’s going to make you feel and look the most beautiful that you could possibly feel.

Imani 18:04
Of course, and getting into the technicalities of what we were saying in the previous episode. We had Betsy on and we talked about plus size because I feel like it’s such an important thing that I don’t think there’s enough information on especially with bridal. But just in general, one of the things we’re talking about was the different silhouettes for different body types and all of that kind of thing. Betsy and I are both adamant about the fact that anybody can wear anything and it was more so like a recommendation thing. Like if you’re Apple, if your hourglass shape, these are what silhouettes are going to look probably the best. If you’re looking for that if you’re trying to find something that’s flattering.

So I think that I do want to put a pen and see what your opinion is, when I have a bride– So say I have a bride come in and they are 4’11 and they want to wear a massive ball gown that is just maybe swallowing them. Do you have that conversation with your bride of these are the ways we’re going to make this work as in, — like go through the designer and maybe do like a hollow to him or something like that, like tailor the dress for your size being more petite or do you think you need to go into the direction of– Well, it’s not that this isn’t going to fit? It’s just that maybe these would be some better options. If you’re looking for something that’s going to be a little better tailored to your body. What is your route with that?

Tina McLean 19:49
Well, I get asked this question from My Brides from time to time that, has a bride ever bought something that you thought was just completely wrong for her and I would say no and all my years of doing this, that hasn’t happened because we find a way to make it work or go in another direction, that’s going to work even better.

So let’s say I do have a 4 foot 11 bride who wants a big giant ball gown. Not that she couldn’t do a ball gown, but maybe one that is minimal with details. So that you always want the focus to be your face first. You want everyone to look at you as a whole and see the beauty of your face first and say what a beautiful bride you are not so much what a beautiful dress that is. People will say what a beautiful dress that is. But they want to see you as a whole that you want to be wearing the dress and not the dress wearing you.

So it’s a gentle conversation that I have, and just gently guiding the bride to see a shape that’s going to be more flattering. What are your best assets? Is it a small waist? Is it your bust, you have a nice round behind shapely hips, let’s pull out the best features and emphasize them? So I’m not totally against if somebody is adamant about wearing a certain cut, but like you said, let’s try to tailor it to make it even better and show off their best features?

Imani 21:29
Or do you also think to maybe in playing up the accessories a little bit like say somebody with a Apple shape, wants to wear a gown that is maybe not super flattering to their shape, particular silhouette sometimes you know, like a thin crepe sheath gown might not be the best on somebody who is a little more self-conscious of their Apple shape. Now, do you ever play with accessories in that and say, Well, maybe on this gown we could do– maybe a larger bout here to conceal some but also to pull in your waist a little bit? Do you ever do anything like that when you’re…?

Tina McLean 22:17
Sure or at an overskirt but fabrics play into all of this. Crepe is a very unforgiving fabric and so if you’re conscious of certain part of your body, you’re going to wear a fabric that has more structure to it and so it’s my job, I believe, to show the bride the difference in what fabrics can do to emphasize the best parts of your body.

Imani 22:48
Of course really [crosstalk] it down.

Tina McLean 22:50
I would say I’m more into the fabrications than trying to do something with accessories. Although a belt can certainly bring you in at the waist or sometimes it can do the opposite. So we play with that and we try it and if somebody in the group says, “How about you try this with the dress?” I’m open to the suggestions as well. Let’s look and see what happens. Let’s take other people’s ideas and we’ll all figure this out and see what the bride loves. In the end it’s what she loves.

Imani 23:23
Yes. So break down how you find your perfect book. How would Tina explain how to find your perfect look?

Tina McLean 23:33
Well, first, when I meet the bride, I want to know what the feel of the wedding. I like to look at pictures of the venue I like to get her feel of the wedding, is she looking for something more fun or whimsical or it’s a very formal black tie, more laid back an intimate wedding, 800 people. That’s all helpful information to me. So once I get that, then I want to look at some pictures, some of her ideas and then I pull dresses and we get into the fitting room. Budget is also very important and I do ask that question. I think it’s important to ask that question. I think it’s important to have some guidelines.

Remembering that you have to build in the cost of alterations as well. But being a little bit flexible with your budget of maybe a couple 100 over or something like that, so that the stylist can bring you a knockout dress, if it’s just maybe a smidge over and then we can have that conversation but budget I think is an important question to ask and to provide to your stylists and to think about that budget when you come into your appointment. So then I pull dresses based on the feel of the wedding, the picture she showed me and of course, her budget and my most important job is to be a listener. I need the bride to give me feedback, because you might look like a knockout in a particular dress, but it doesn’t feel like you, it feels like you’re going to do a photo shoot.

So, I need to know that you don’t like the heaviness of this lace. The more information you can give me, that’s going to help me find your dress. So I play off of what the bride tells me and I like to have conversation, I like to know the story, I like to know how they met the story behind the ring, how you were proposed to, how you met, what you do for work, all of those play into telling your story in the dress. So I like to ask questions and I like to listen.

Imani 26:00
Yeah, that’s definitely important. That listening aspect of it and kind of piggybacking off of the budget thing, I always tell Brides, (and I don’t know if you’ll agree with this, but) when you’re creating your budget for your dress, if you don’t know that you would necessarily be comfortable going a few $100 over tell the store when you’re making an appointment, you’re a few $100 under. So if my budget is $2,000 and I that’s my top, I cannot go $2,001 I would say my budget is $16 or 17 $100. So that if somebody does go to pull $2,000 dress, I’m not like how am I going to make this work?

Tina McLean 26:43
No, I think that’s smart.

Imani 26:45
I think it’s always better to over prepare.

Tina McLean 26:50
Well Mon Amie offers private appointments after hours, so that you can bring a larger group and so a lot of the private appointments I do, I get a chance to have a FaceTime call with My Brides before the appointment and it’s nice to get to know her a little bit, who she’s going to bring with her and then we talk about budget at those FaceTime calls. So I like to do as much preparation as I can, before my appointments. The night before I come to work, I’m making notes what I need to do for the next day, I get to work early and do more notes, and tidy up any loose ends that I might have as I prepare for the day. But I think the more preparation a bride can do knowing where she wants to be with price. But what the store has to offer and we do offer, we do show all of our dresses online, you can go to Mon Amie.com and you can see our entire collection there and that’s really helpful to bring in pictures from our own collection.
Imani 28:00
Yes, that’s that was definitely the goal and creating that part of the website and I think it has been super helpful as well. I see so many brides who have their pictures saved on their phone and it’s so easy because you can just run and grab them all so that they’re able to try exactly what they want to try if that’s the route they want to go with it.

Tina McLean 28:17
And I want to try to get as many dresses as I can on a bride I want her to feel like she’s tried on enough dresses but I do Let My Brides know, you know this feeling that you’re after and it really is a feeling. It can be the first dress– might be the fifth dress, but it can be that first dress and it’s okay if it’s the first dress because if your stylist is on the same page with you, it’s our job to find you your dress. So I want my brides to just own that feeling because you’ll know it when it happens still just know it innately and your reaction is going to be unique to you. So when your friends tell you that this is what happened to them that everybody cried, everybody’s signs that yes, this is it, you cried, it may not be you, you might have a completely different reaction. You might just stand there and smile, you might just pet the dress. But that voice inside you is going to say I’m done shopping. I don’t need to try and anything else?

Imani 29:23
Of course, yes, it truly is like, you do have to think with everything you do if we all went off of the reactions that people around us had to all these different life events. How your friend reacted to her engagement could have been different than yours. How your friend reacted to her graduating from college, could have been different from how you felt graduating college or getting your first job or all these life events you never have the same reaction as somebody close to you and if we all did, we wouldn’t be individuals.

Tina McLean 29:51
That’s right. There’s no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s unique to you. Your wedding dress is going to be unique to you your journey to find your dress is unique to you.

Imani 30:01
Exactly, there is no wrong way to be you, truly, you are the one that decides all of that and nobody else can tell you how you’re supposed to be. So I think that’s very important and just make sure when you’re coming into, which is a big thing that I think everybody who’s come on this podcast and chatted with me has also said, and I’m sure you’ll agree to bring people that are going to uplift and embrace you being you and you– having your reactions and doing all of that stuff, because there’s nothing worse than putting on your dream dress and somebody trying to tell you that it’s not you because of how they know you.

Tina McLean 30:43
I totally agree. Bring people that are going to support you. Exactly. So

Imani 30:49
You had mentioned a little bit earlier about the private appointments we do and a lot of people don’t know that. [crosstalk]

Tina McLean 30:57
Sure. So we started out a few years ago doing an appointment called the Signature Appointment and this, we still are going to be offering these once things change a little bit with COVID but we served food we served small bites, and of course champagne, and you could bring up to 10 people and we charge 395 because it’s an elevated appointment, you get the store to yourself, the appointment runs for approximately two and a half hours, you get an expert stylist but with the onset of this pandemic, it’s morphed into an appointment called friends and family and you can bring up to eight people. We just don’t… The only difference is we don’t serve food and we do charge $275 for that it is after hours. It’s either on a Monday or Thursday and you get two and a half hours with your expert stylist and up to eight people including yourself. We serve champagne, and it’s so much fun. I just love his appointments because you get the store to yourself.

Imani 32:01
Yes, it’s such a cool shopping experience. I don’t know anybody else that really does anything like that but it is really cool. I think it’s really cool too if you have like friends and family from out of town and it really makes them feel special because it’s like you get this whole store and you have this expert stylist and you have a little bit more time and everybody gets to be a part of it.

Tina McLean 32:27
It’s relaxed, it’s a lot more relaxed and there’s no… You don’t feel other people staring at you that you don’t know if you don’t feel comfortable about that. I’ve had all kinds of brides in all ages. All ages quite frankly come in and do these private appointments. I had a woman recently in her 40s who doesn’t wear dresses very much felt very uncomfortable about wedding dress shopping and her friends and family really encouraged her to come in and start trying wedding dresses on and so this private appointment was perfect for her because she was in the shell and the warmth and the comfort of her own friends and family without outside customers walking around and staring at her so we had a lot of fun and she felt really comfortable.

Imani 33:16
I love the friends and family in the signature that we are doing. So that’s definitely an option to any brides looking for that or looking to have more people around especially during this pandemic where we can’t have everybody in the store for safety. Yes, it is very hard for brides. Definitely something to consider. So I do want to ask you some questions more so about you. We’ve talked about this experience of bridal shopping. But I’d like to ask you some questions about you if that’s okay.

Tina McLean 33:50
Sure.

Imani 33:51
So open book, you told me a story which I want you to tell the people because it was really it was really a beautiful story of one of the brides that stood out to you.

Tina McLean 34:02
Yes, so a few years ago, this young lady contacted our store and she was not a bride. No fiancé, no ring, no date, obviously and or [phonetic 34:15] venue but her mother was dying from cancer and it was going to be a minute and she wanted to create an experience for her mom to see her daughter try wedding dresses on and just give her that experience and it was something that was really important to them. So she contacted our store and I was fortunate enough to be the consultant to help her and so we made it really special for her and her mom it was just she and her mom, and we tried on the most beautiful dresses. She found a dress that she loved.

She said Yes to the Dress. We all celebrated with her and it took everything thing I had to just keep my tears from flowing at the moment because it was heart wrenching at the same time and I’ve stayed in touch with her and this is probably, three or four years ago now. But I still stay in touch with the gal, her name is Emily and she has her own business now. She’s a baker and we send cards back once in a while. But shortly after that appointment, her mom did pass away and she was just so grateful that we were able to give that experience to her and her mom and I got to be a part of that. I mean, Wow, it was really something that it really stands out in my memories.

Imani 35:43
Yes, I’m so glad that you got to be part of that. I think that you were perfect for that and you had told us a little bit earlier that you are very in touch with your emotions, which I think is important but I think that it would probably help people to understand that when you are a creative person, when you are an artistic person that kind of goes with that, because you have such an emotional connection to the art you create and something really fun about you that I had found out like not that long after I met you was that you were a singer. [laughter]

Tina McLean 36:22
Yes, right out of high school, I joined a band and went on the road and toured and did that until I was in my mid 30s when I decided to become a stay at home mom and raise the kids. But yes, I have a very rich career as a singer, I worked in clubs and hotels and worked with everything from a seven-piece horn band to just a vocal trio, and did all kinds of music. You know, from jazz, country, rock, blues, just everything in between and got to tour the country a little bit and I miss it but this is where I’m supposed to be right now and I love being around people. I love just sharing in and this experience and I think my background as a performer– I think it helps me maybe just relate to everybody a little bit better being intuitive of if everyone’s feeling relaxed if everyone’s having a good time. Because that was always my job is to make sure everyone was having a good time and so I think, my intuition with that is good. Yes, so that background has helped me a lot but Yes, I was a nightclub singer.

Imani 37:56
It’s so cool to find out that and I mean, I don’t know how I didn’t know. You can find Tina around the store, singing just a whole album of different songs. Truly all genres, just love it.

Tina McLean 38:16
The truth comes out.

Imani 38:17
It’s one of my favorite parts about being around in the store. I always know when Tina is here and where she is. So I’ll just hear anything on the radio. Truly the album in your head is so extensive. I loved it

38:21

[crosstalk]

Imani 38:36
I think– Am I right. You met your husband singing right?

Tina McLean 38:39
Yes, I did. I audition for his band. He was the bass player in the band and they were looking for a new lead singer and I was night teen like 10 or 20 when I audition for his band, and now we’ve been married for 40 years. So yes, it wasn’t long after I joined the band that we became a couple and we’ve been together ever since and our kids are now entertainers. They’re actors. So it’s nice to see it continue in the family.

Imani 39:09
Yes, definitely. I mean, you guys are just an artistic family. There you go. So what would you say would be your tips– your super, super important tips for brides as they start this process?

Tina McLean 39:24
Sure. So do a little bit of research as far as looking at some pictures things but don’t go too nutty about it. Let your stylist help you with that and I also like to give tips on what to wear to the appointment. [crosstalk 39:40] I’m a big fan of Shapewear something like Spanx even if you’re don’t think you’re trying fitted dresses on you may be putting a fitted dress on it’s really going to help the dress go over your hips and your bum so much easier. Make sure they’re nude and not black or hot pink nude shapewear and then for your bust. If you’re not comfortable going braless than wear pasties. If you are a bigger busted woman come in with a strapless low back bustier. But bring some undergarments. It’s really helpful to the stylist when you’re trying the dresses on and you’re going to feel more comfortable having some substantial undergarments on when you come in. Don’t necessarily need to bring your own shoes but if you have already found your shoes, and these are going to be the shoes you’re wearing with your dress, whether they’re cowboy boots, or a pair of Louboutins [phonetic 40:38] bring up your stylist wants to see him. If you have an heirloom piece of jewelry, that you’re going to be wearing, a necklace, a pair of earrings, grandma’s tiara, your mom’s veil, bring it with you to the appointment, it’s really helpful to your stylist so that she can pair the dress to bring in that special piece that you want to wear.

Imani 40:58
And I do want to piggyback off of what you were saying about the undergarments, we actually cannot put you in a dress if you do not have an undergarment for your bottom half with you just underwear— We just need the underwear and then of course, we have to measure you in a bra. So even if you don’t want to wear a bra, which a lot of brides opt not to wear a bra when they’re trying on wedding gowns because you’re not necessarily going to wear one on your day.

A lot of times will in alteration they’ll sew in cups or fit your bust the way it needs to be fitted. However, to measure you, we do need a bra. So just bring those things. If you’re not considering bringing any of the undergarments that Tina just suggested. Just make sure you have those so we can just do the basics if that’s what it comes to. I don’t think a lot of people know that and that’s not really anything we ever say but we’re saying it now. What in your closet is your favorite piece that you have right now? Your favorite piece of anything? Every time you look at it, you are so excited.

Tina McLean 42:04
Oh, I have a lot.

Imani 42:06
I know. If you had to get rid of every single garment– let’s do clothing because I don’t want to. I feel like if I tell you all your accessories you love your accessories. Actually let’s do clothing, shoes and an accessory. What three items are you keeping in your closet if I told you had to get rid of all of them.

Tina McLean 42:31
I really been into deconstructive clothing lately and we do need to wear a lot of black here at work. So I have a lot of black in my closet. I have a top that is made out of neoprene and it’s long sleeve. It’s got this uneven bottom and this big giant color and I love it because if I’m feeling fat or thin, it doesn’t matter. You can’t really tell. But it goes great with a short skirt, long skirt, pair of pants. So that’s probably my favorite piece right now. The weather has to be a little bit warmer to wear it because it’s neoprene but I still love it. Shoes, I have a pair of Chanel’s that I love. They’re black leather, they’re mules but with a higher heel and the heel is all pearls. So those Chanel’s I would hang on to accessory I would say probably— I wear glasses I have several pairs of glasses in my collection and I have a pair of black glasses that are all encrusted with sparkly things.

Imani 43:54
Wow, have you worn them?

Tina McLean 43:57
Yes, I have. So I wear those with my art deconstructed top and a pair of black pants and my slip-on Chanel’s and I’m good to go.

Imani 44:09
Perfect. That’s going to be it. When I take everything else from you. That will be the outfit [laughter] [inaudible 44:15] But I’ll know you love it and you’re happy and that’s important.

Tina McLean 44:21
Yes, it is. Clothes make me happy and remember that when you’re shopping for your wedding gown, it’s got to make you happy.

Imani 44:25
Of course above anything else you need to be happy. So I hope if anything in this whole conversation that brides will really be able to take from this that this is important and that they need to love what they’re in and I think that you did such a good job in explaining today. How important it is that people be happy and people love their gowns.

Tina McLean 44:53
Truly, I hope so because the shopping experience is like nothing else. You will have ever experienced and you’re only going to wear this dress once for a few hours, you’re going to spend some money on it. So it’s going to make you feel really good.

Imani 45:10
So Tina, where can people find you? Where can they find you if they want to see you?

Tina McLean 45:15
Oh well, I’m on Instagram @Tinasbrides. I’m on Facebook at Tinasbrides. You can find me those places and you can also find me on Yelp and The Knot and the Wedding Wire. There’s reviews there if you want to learn a little bit more about me and you can call Mon Amie and you can request me I’d love to get to know you and work with you.

Imani 45:40
Of course we always do take requests for stylists. We do our best to accommodate them but yes, you can request Tina look for her on social she is very active on her socials which I love. You want to see her glamour shoes. You will find some in her pictures, but yes definitely check out socials. Thank you for coming on, Tina.

Tina McLean 46:03
It’s been my pleasure, so much fun Imani.

Imani 46:06
It’s been fun chatting with you, if you like The Tea With Mon Amie, if you keep tuning into The Tea With Mon Amie make sure that you are adding us on Apple podcasts, Spotify, downloading all of our episodes following us on Mon Amie bottle salon at Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tik Tok, Pinterest, all of the social media at Mon Amie Bridal Salon, YouTube Mon Amie Bridal Salon. Just keep up with us and we’ll see you next time.