Cathya Beard arrived for the photo shoot at Azur restaurant with not one, but three outfits to show us. For the Lexington mother of two who works two jobs, this is how she rolls.
Not only can Beard artfully mix pieces from her closet for loads of stylish looks, but from morning to night she often switches ensembles from office chic to active wear.
"My style I would say is convenience, because I'm always on the go," said Beard who works at DMI, a property management company, and is an instructor at Arthur Murray.
"At the office you have to be a little bit more conservative," she explains. For teaching dance, "You do have to wear special dance shoes, low heel, very comfortable".
Beard moved to Lexington 17 years ago but is originally from Ica, Peru, a little desert town on the Pacific coast. That is where she first developed a passion for modeling and fashion.
As a teenager, the 5-foot-3 Beard was told that she was too petite for the runway.
"It broke my heart," said Beard, who stayed in the fashion world by studying design in Lima, Peru.
Understanding the cut of clothing and sewing is a plus when it comes to shopping. "I'm all about sales racks," says Beard, who once worked in a pattern department at a clothing company in Peru.
"I have a budget and I think knowing a little bit how to put things together has allowed me to say, 'I can make three outfits out of one outfit.' "
There's one area of her wardrobe where Beard is willing to spend a little more: "Undergarments, that's where I invest my money," she says.
Instead of Spanx, she prefers a faja. Once worn to provide support after liposuction, the girdles have gained popularity in the last few years as a sort of super shape wear. Beard buys hers from a company in Colombia.
A fit 39-year-old, who looks like she doesn't have an ounce of fat on her, Beard says that it provides a seamless silhouette.
"An undergarment will give shape to anyone, no matter what shape you are."
Instead of trends, Beard chooses pieces that flatter her body and fit into her busy days.
"It's not about looking like anyone else, I have to make the best of who I am," she said. "Bring the attitude to it, no matter what you wear. Beyond fashion wise, that's just for life in general."
What she wore
Blouse: A cotton tie-front style from a previous season at Express.
Skirt: A black pencil skirt from Plato's Closet or Clothes Mentor in the Zandale Shopping Center. Beard buys versatile pieces that can be worn several different ways.
Shoes: Rampage black pumps with bow accents, purchased at Dillard's. "My budget for shoes is $30," says Beard, a bargain hunter who worked at Dillard's a few years ago and still has many pieces she purchased then.
Earrings: Classichoops and basic chandelier styles can take you from office to an elegant dinner out.
Rings: An array of elegant silver rings are all from Peru, gifts from family and friends.
Undergarments: Instead of Spanx, Beard prefers a faja. Beard buys hers from a Colombian company,
Favorite products: Make Up: Forever Aqua Smoky Extravagant Waterproof Mascara, $23, Sephora. Beard says that this mascara stays put, even after an energetic dance session. Exfoliation is the key to glowing skin, she says. She uses a scrub glove in the shower; as a moisturizer for hair, body and feet, Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, around $6.