Leanna Presents: What My Father Taught Me About Style

I’ve always felt so lucky to have a father that enjoys shopping as much as I do. Or perhaps the reason I love shopping so much is because my dad was always shopping for work with me in tow. Either way, not many women can say that their dad buys them beautiful dresses and that quality time with dad means doing something together that you both actually enjoy. 

As I now work side by side with my father, I continue to learn so much from him. (If you haven’t caught on by now, my dad is Jay Balaban, CEO & Founder of Connected Apparel.) But there are a few fashion tips on how to dress myself that I reflect on every day. So, this Father’s Day, I thought we could celebrate his 40 year commitment to helping women look and feel fabulous at every moment by sharing his fashion tips with all of you.

Tailoring Matters 

Whenever I joined my dad on his shopping endeavors (he does this a lot for research), he would always have me try on the styles we liked on the hanger. It helped me to understand the difference between a well-tailored garment and one made by a brand who didn’t put enough time and effort into the pattern making process. My dad taught me to always pay attention to how the seams of a garment lay on the body, to check if the zipper works properly, to sit down and move around in the garment. If you’re not being poked, constricted or getting stuck, and you love how you look, it’s worth the purchase. 


“Pay attention to how the seams of a garment lay on the body, check if the zipper works properly, sit down and move around in the garment.”

Trendy doesn’t always mean its right

There’s so much clothing out there to choose from, but just because it was made, doesn’t mean you should wear it. My dad taught me that looking put together and feeling confident in my clothes is leaps and bounds more important than being on-trend. I’ll admit that when I was younger and in high school, I wanted to wear what everyone else wore because that’s what you do as a teenager. Whenever I wore one of these “on-trend, but not great on Leanna” styles, my dad was the first to express his lack of enthusiasm. Sometimes it worked and I would change, other times it didn’t and I remember feeling self conscious when I wouldn’t. Looking back, this is probably the single most important fashion tip I learned from him. 


“Just because it was made, doesn’t mean you should wear it.”

Don’t be afraid to show off your curves

Now this may be a weird one to read -- your dad taught you what? But hear me out. My father has been making women’s dresses for over 40 years. If any man knows what 95% of women are looking for in their clothes it’s him. There’s a tasteful way to accentuate your figure that accomplishes that head turning feel. The easiest way to do that, I learned, is to dress for your body type. 

P.S. If you’re not sure what your body type is, we created a guide to help with that


“Dressing for your body shape allows you to show off your curves in a tasteful way.”

Always check the weather

Does your father love talking about the weather so much he could have a second career as a weatherman? No? Just me? If it weren’t for my dad’s love of checking the weather, I would leave the house on a breezy day without a jacket. Instead, I put my entire outfit together, including a sweater or jacket, even if the temperature doesn’t warrant having one. I may not need the extra layer, but at least I know my outfit is complete if/when I do! 


“Put together your whole outfit, including a sweater/jacket option, even if you don’t think you’ll need one.”

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Every fashion tip that my dad has given me is infused into the dresses and jumpsuits we create at Connected Apparel (except for the weather bit of course). Until I started working here full time, I didn’t truly understand that. My dad doesn’t just want me to look good, he wants all women to. That’s what makes him, and Connected Apparel, so special. 

1 comment

Excellent tips re comfort and fit of garments.I wish your Dad told me those things 40 yrs ago still great to know.Good read. Thanks Alan Koshkin

Alan Koshkin June 21, 2021

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