Helen’s Shopping Routine

Helen in Rachel Comey Jumpsuit

Meet Helen. A San Francisco mom with a really endearing fashion blog that simply documents what she wears. There’s no intellectualizing about clothes, no lengthy discussions about Isabel Marant and no ersatz editorials with her brooding into a camera. I find her blog refreshing — her daughter is also beyond adorable — but it always leaves me wanting know more. That’s why I reached out to her and asked her several questions about how she shops, where she shops and what’s on her radar now. (Click on the pictures for outfit IDs.)

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Style Profile: Karen and Sara Brown

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I spotted Karen at a friend’s wedding. While everyone else was dressed in either black or dark metallics, she was wearing a languid, printed turquoise dress. Then, through Facebook, I happened to come across her and her twin sister Sara’s blog and Instagram accounts. You can’t quite put a finger on their style, which is why I wanted to feature them on the site. Is it street? Is it preppy Americana? Is it Southwestern-influenced? It’s all of those things melded together in such an inspiring way.

Fashion has been in a cycle of pared down, Celine-inspired looks for the past few seasons. It might be not as obvious on the runways now, but the uniform for many women, at least in New York City, is refined basics paired with Stan Smiths. And I get it. It’s an easy formula that makes getting dressed in the AM easy. Even I find myself opting for foundational items over offbeat pieces. But Karen and Sara made me want to go in the opposite direction. They made me want to hightail it to the nearest vintage store and buy pieces that I love instead of pieces that I know will work. Read on to see where they shop in New York City, what they do, and what they’re thinking about buying for spring.

*Click on images for clothing credits.

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Style Profile: Callie Lyons

Steven Alan jumpsuit; Golden Goose sneakers

I spotted Callie in a Refinery29 street style gallery titled: Sneaker Stalking: How Real Women Wear Them In NYC. I was drawn to her afro and her outfit, but essentially I reached out to Callie because she was doing something well that doesn’t come naturally to me: dressing casually. That might be a bit dramatic because it’s not like I wear gowns to the grocery store, but it’s easier for me to dress up than dress down. In general, it’s harder to make an impact when you dress casually, but Callie does.

After interviewing Callie I realized that her being included in this gallery was quite fitting. Callie is a dancer who wears sneakers regularly and can’t be bothered with stilettos because they hurt her back. She also confirmed my belief that you don’t need a lot of money to look good or own nice things. You just need a strategy that works for you. My strategy is mixing thrift and vintage with midmarket stuff and a little bit of designer. I don’t mind combing through racks and racks of clothes in big, overwhelming stores. Callie’s is different, (she doesn’t do big stores) but she still manages to buy nice things on a budget. In fact, interviewing her made me change the way I shop. Read on to see what I’m talking about.

*Click on images for credits.

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Sabrina Meijer On The 5 Piece French Wardrobe

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Quality over quantity has always been a favorite maxim of mine. It applies to so many things (relationships, food, jobs, etc.) but it’s something I’ve always attempted to keep in mind when purchasing clothes. That’s why I was so intrigued when I came across a post on Sabrina’s blog, AfterDRK, about a 5 Piece French Wardrobe. This concept means that you only purchase five pieces every six months. This excludes basics, underwear, and accessories that are under $100.

Most bloggers don’t speak this language.  Many blogs are all about consumerism, and products, and taking pictures of yourself with products that brands send you. It was refreshing to hear from a blogger that’s thoughtful and strategic about her purchases. Sabrina and I met right before New York Fashion Week to discuss the 5 Piece French Wardrobe along with other things. Read on to see how this concept has worked for Sabrina, where she shops in Amsterdam, and if she dresses for the photographers during fashion month.

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Style Profile: Ashta Hunter & Elizabeth Benzing, Founders of Tomboy BKLYN

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Sometimes when a word is so overused it loses its significance. That’s how I feel about curate. Thanks to the Internet, everyone is a curator. That’s fine, but it’s important to recognize the people who are actually good at it. Ashta Hunter and Elizabeth Benzing of Tomboy BKLYN are great at it. Their Tumblr account is filled with beautiful images of women wearing looks that are part androgynous, part street, part active, and all the way cool. It’s a look that’s having a moment, but I’m drawn to their Tumblr because it depicts a mood that goes beyond the fleeting nature of fashion. And cudos to them for showcasing beautiful women of ALL ethnicities.

Their wardrobes are equally as impressive. Both Hunter and Benzing are designers who work for major brands, which means they’ve travelled the world looking for inspiration and have collected some amazing pieces along the way. Read on to see their secrets for getting discounted designer items, why we all need to go to Korea, and what clothes we’re spending too much money on. (And check out their newly launched site!)

*Click on images for credits.

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10 Style Profile Takeaways

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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!

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