Alicia McNamara is a mom. This is a big deal because plenty of the stylist’s coworkers, contacts and colleagues have no idea. “When people (including dating prospects) see Markus on my Instagram feed, they assume he’s a friend’s son or my nephew,” she says. “Admittedly, it’s my own fault too. I don’t really talk about him unless someone asks. I’m really good at keeping my personal life separate from my work life, plus I can’t help but be protective of him.
Newly separated soon after giving birth, Alicia was forced to adapt to a fresh reality quickly. “All of a sudden I was single and I was eager to reinvent myself and find a career that fit, and being a mom just didn’t come up that much.” Thanks to longtime friend and makeup artist Angie Dibattista, she woke up to her options. “Angie introduced me to the business of style and social media—I had no idea what a hashtag was. She showed me that it was a natural fit because of my years doing wardrobe for TV combined with my love of clothes.” While she reacquainted herself with self-confidence, Alicia hit the style circuit with gusto but also with a hint of hesitation. “I felt nervous because I wasn’t sure how I would fit in and integrate.”
It wasn’t until she was hired to be the on-set wardrobe stylist for ET Canada a little over a year ago, that she realized she could own her #momlife on—and off—the clock. “Meeting and seeing so many moms hard at work inspires me and when I mention that I have a son at an event or meeting, people are surprised and happy to find out there’s more to who they see in my social media feed.” Finally feeling at home in the fashion biz, she’s fully embraced being a career-loving mom.
“Becoming a single parent wasn’t something I planned. It was a such a shock to deal with, especially as an Alpha female who’s so convinced I can control my destiny. It’s taken awhile to accept this identity and now I feel relieved and proud that I’m a single mom. I only recently got to this place and maybe that’s why it never came up socially or at work,” she explains. “Now that I’m comfortable in my own skin, I’m getting a chance to express myself in a way I never did before.”
And she’s speaking up through her expanding and impressive portfolio which includes styling for TV and the red carpet and her own wardrobe which she straight-up describes as sexually expressive. Focused more on being fit than thin, she says she’s prouder of her body than ever before and isn’t shy about showing it off. “I dressed conservatively throughout my twenties. The older I get, I feel ‘damn straight I’m going to wear what I want’. Women should be able to push boundaries for as long as they want to.”
Must-Haves & Mementos
“Luli Fama bikinis are my favourite. They fit in such a way that they don’t cut into your thighs or your butt. The strappy sides are actually more forgiving and accommodating than a solid piece of fabric that might pinch into your skin.” FYI: Kate Hudson and supermodel Chanel Iman are fans of the brand. Alicia’s also got a thing for Tan on the Run, a mobile self-tanning service. “They have late hours, they’re done in 20 minutes and I try to see them once or twice a month.”
“I have two pairs of these Stuart Weitzman boots. One with a low heel and one with a higher heel. I wear sneakers on set but when I’m out on appointments, I’ll throw on a pair of these so I can dress up my jeans in seconds.” Sunglasses, Ray Ban.
When she’s behind-the-scenes, her Adidas sneaks keep her light on her feet and this Prada tote is her go-to work bag. “There’s a big middle pocket that’s the perfect place for me to keep all my receipts. It’s brilliant.”
The perfect sidekicks: Super cute kid. Check. Dolce & Gabbana pointed toe pumps. Check.
Her skincare routine is loaded with formulas that perk-up her skin. Dermalogica Age Smart Reversal Eye Complex, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Moisturizer and from Skinceuticals—Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, CE Ferulic serum and Correct Face Cream.
Alicia is in the whirlwind of negotiating with brands who outfit the TV personalities she dresses. The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever is her crash course into the modern business of styling.
A leather moto jacket from Rudsak is a mainstay for this mom. “I wear this all the time or I’ll switch it out for a quilted satin bomber.”
“I’ve worn the same peaches and pinks for years.” What has changed is her lip formula: She’s hooked on the 2-step LipSense system (colour followed by a clear gloss). “It stays all day and it really isn’t sticky, thick or uncomfortable to wear.” She’s also committed to Lise Watier Eye Shine pencils, Sephora Colorful Face Powders and from Charlotte Tilbury, Magic Foundation and Cheek-to-Chic Blusher.
Take a close look: That’s Markus on the cover of a Harlequin romance. “I love that I’m going to have this memory of him forever.”
Her Styling Secret Weapons
When you need some oomph up top, a little something to flatten your middle or truly seamless underpinnings, Alicia’s figured out what you need to rock that body con dress or look VIP in a mermaid gown. For casual days, she’s all about the Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels push-up bra or the Wacoal lace soft cup bra (she’s also got a thing for any matching set from Agent Provocateur). Her only Spanx are thong and high-waisted styles and about chicken cutlets (aka silicone enhancers), she’s into Nubra however she says wear it with caution. “I find these look the most natural but you’ll need an insert sewn into a dress or a tight bandage-style dress to help hold them up.”