10 Style Profile Takeaways


Last year around this time I started to reach out to women to be featured on this site. It was daunting. I was essentially saying, “Hi, I don’t know you, but I think you’re stylish. Can I come into your house, ask you questions, and have my photographer shoot you wearing your favorite outfits?” Thankfully, a few people obliged and here we are now with profiles from six creative, smart, and of course stylish women (and more on the way!).

I’ve walked away from each interview and shoot feeling inspired and lucky. All of the subjects have taught me something and enabled me to think about style and other things in a new way. To celebrate this one year anniversary, I’ve decided to roundup some key takeaways from each profile. Read on if you want tips for shopping at Zara or navigating and thrift store, and most importantly, discovering your personal style. Enjoy!

Tiffany Jow on vintage shopping (specifically at Beacon’s Closet):

“I always go alone and I always make sure I have a lot of time. You need to be in the right mood. I find it therapeutic. Get there first thing in the morning. Going past noon is almost a surefire waste of time; all the good things will be gone.”

Sarah Brook on shopping at Zara:

“Zara is easier to navigate if you know the designer inspirations. I tend to stick to the woman collection and prefer the modernist pieces. Trust your instinct and don’t overdo it. But it’s easier said than done.”

Maryellis on getting her own pieces made:

Is that something you do a lot? Design your own pieces?

“Nods head. Especially more and more. It took me a long time to find a tailor that I like so now I have a lot of stuff made. Or I will buy something and have it reconstructed. She’s in the West Village. I have to work closely with her, but the outcome is always worth the process.”

Elle Hankinson on packing:

“I think that’s one thing I’ve had to learn to get quite good at, because I do it a lot. That’s probably why I don’t have much color – because everything has to work in different ways.

I have a few things that I always pack no matter where I’m going – whether it’s Iceland, New York, or Jamaica. I’m always freezing on flights, so I wear a huge scarf, which I also use as a blanket on the plane. Cashmere socks – really self-indulgent, but a good perk of the job from my Paul Smith days – they do them in loads of bright colors. A hoodie. I basically make a cozy little nest when I fly. Sophie Hulme tote bags are great for stashing all the inevitable magazines, laptop, surplus crap that I can’t fit in my suitcase.

After my first marathon, I decided I’d run in every city I visit, so I pack my running stuff wherever I go. Plus trainers are great for trekking the streets when you’re writing a city guide. I carry Prism sunglasses everywhere, black jeans, an oversized denim shirt, striped t-shirt, huge heels – versatile things that you can work for different climates. I also always pack a bikini because you never know.”

Elle Hankinson on getting clothes made in India:

“I went to India a couple of years ago and took a ton of clothes that I loved but were wearing out, so I got them re-made over there. They don’t cut like Valentino, but you can get a good second best and I really like the process of being involved in making your clothes. The poor guy must have thought I was a complete control freak, popping in every few days to check on the progress, but you sit and drink chai tea with them and they tell you everything you could ever need to know about garment construction – they’re the pros. My tip would be to take your own silk over with you, as it’s hard to find color fixed silk there.”

Kristen Naiman on packing:

“I’m a maniacal, crazy, tightly-edited packer. I try not to check a bag if I can avoid it. The most important thing about packing is having a palette. I establish a palette so all of the things rotate together and work with each other. And then accessories are a really good thing for traveling. I try with shoes to be really streamlined about it. I’ll wear a flat shoe and bring a sexy heel in my bag. I love sunglasses. They are a really great way to switch things up because they are quite light. Scarves are a really easy way to make outfits feel different. Belts are really an amazing thing to bring that change things up.”

Kristen Naiman on finding your personal style:

“Certainly amazing style has a certain amount of instinct that’s hard to teach, but I think everyone can have style, in the sense that they can pay attention to their style and have the best version of their own style. To a certain degree, style is intuitive. But you can learn a lot so you have to pay attention. The best thing you can do is observe the world around you and take note of what you like and why. Listen to your intuition and refine your instincts. Style is really a lot about knowing who you are seeing, where you are going, who your audience is, and being able to meet the world in a way that makes you feel comfortable. A lot about having style is a lot about having that kind of confidence.”

Christina Kolbe on thrift and vintage shopping:

“You have to think of a thrift store as something that needs to be dissected piece by piece by piece. Leave no corner unturned. I also recommend against going thrifting with specific pieces in mind. That is what eBay is for. Be open to the hunt because you literally never know what you are going to come across.

Whatever the silhouette is of the season, you can pretty much find it vintage. And, you can probably find it of superior quality, unless you are going high-end designer. But most importantly, forget about what the trends are, it’s what silhouette works on you.”

Chirstina Kolbe on tailoring:

“A lot of people don’t like spending money on getting things tailored, but having clothing tailored is one of the best things you can do. When it fits, even if it is inexpensive, it just looks so much better.”

Christina Kolbe on getting designer items on a budget:

“First you need to know what it is out there for the season. Then you need to stay attuned to the sales cycles. For me, I shop Barneys sales pretty religiously. It’s to the point where where my dog Paul is recognized by the sales people. It’s pivotal when shopping sales to have a good idea of what your look is and not be pulled in just because of price or trend. Generally at sale you can find lots of trendy pieces, which I try to stay away from and go for the more classic, core pieces.”

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