Style Profile: Tiffany Jow

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I met Tiffany while interning for her at a magazine in Washington, DC. I hope I don’t offend anyone from DC (I’m technically from that area), but Tiffany was an exciting respite from the conservatively dressed Washington women. At that time, their uniform consisted of running sneakers paired with socks and ill fitting skirt suits. Tiffany was, and still is, the antithesis of that. She had bleach blonde hair, a penchant for black, and a creative way with clothes.

Now Tiffany is living and working amongst New York City’s well-dressed residents, but she still stands out (just ask Scott Schuman). Profiling her reminded me that you should treat your wardrobe like a collection and fill it with pieces that you love. And these pieces don’t have to be rare or really expensive. In fact, most of Tiffany’s beautiful dresses are under $25. She epitomizes the reason why I started this site. I wanted to cover real women working within real budgets that still manage to look great and be inspired. Read on to see her smart tip for shopping at Beacon’s Closet and how it felt to be shot by The Sartorialist.

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Style Profile: Sarah Brook

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I met Sarah while interning for Visual Therapy, a boutique creative agency. She spent most of her time styling real women and helping them build their wardrobes. On the surface it sounds like a fun task, and I’m sure it is, but there’s something really daunting about being semi-responsible for what a woman puts on her body. I can’t help but want to high five people like Sarah who devote their time to making sure that other women look great while still looking really great themselves.

That’s why I emailed Sarah to profile her for the site. I always remembered her style sitting perfectly between aspirational and approachable. It was practical but nowhere near boring. It makes complete sense that now she works for The Line, that smart e-commerce concept that’s stocked with pared down essentials. Sarah is the director of experience for The Apartment, The Line’s aptly named retail space/showroom. She’s still helping women navigate clothes and still looking great while doing it, but there is one slight change. She’s pregnant! And she’s teeming with advice and insight on getting dressed while expecting. Read on to see her maternity brand of choice (you might be surprised) and how she adjusted to her new shape.

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Style Profile: Maryellis

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So far, the women covered on the site have been at least 30. That hasn’t been purposeful, but I do think it takes time and wisdom to wear clothes well and know what works for you. Maryellis, a 20-something Parsons student, is an exception to that rule.

I met Maryellis while she was interning at my job. I was immediately taken by her outfits. She definitely has her own point of view. I can’t really describe her style in a succinct way, but it’s clear she isn’t driven by trends or a lot of thought. While I tend to over analyze every clothing and accessory purchase I make, Maryellis seems to pick up things up on a whim (like vintage fur earmuffs and a fur pill box hat). But instead of just amassing a bunch of beautiful things that sit in a closet, she actually wears these pieces. I hate this word, but her style is effortless. The labor comes in on the back end, when she’s thrifting or vintage shopping. Maryellis taught me to think less about everything I purchase. That doesn’t mean I’m throwing out practicality completely, I don’t think she shops that way, but I do mean being less rigid about it. You’ll see why.

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Style Profile: Elle Hankinson

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Elle Hankinson is my colleague, but she works out of the London office. I don’t see Elle on a day-to-day basis, but whenever I do see her, she always looks really comfortable in her clothes. Comfortable isn’t typically a word used to describe a stylish woman. If someone said to me, “You look really comfortable today,” I might be offended. But in reality, well at least to me, looking and feeling comfortable in your outfit is the foundation for style. It alludes confidence, and that’s what intrigued me about Elle.

We shot Elle last month, shortly after she ran the New York City marathon. Elle is a runner. She’s also a traveler. It’s her job to scope out different cities for inspiring things. And to round out the list of descriptors, she’s British. All of these things combined result in utilitarian, sports-inspired clothes (mostly black) that are accentuated with interesting accessories. Elle reiterates the importance of having a wardrobe that works for you and your lifestyle and how transformative accessories can be.

How do you think running has affected your day-to-day style?

There’s definitely a lot more stretch in my wardrobe now. I’m really interested in activewear and its development. Pre running, one of my reasons for not doing sport was that the clothes were hideous – it sounds superficial, but I believe it’s important to feel good in what you wear and particularly so for sportswear, where your performance is everything. So I started researching sportswear brands that were doing interesting things and I now I incorporate loads of my active sportswear into my regular wardrobe. For me, some of those technical fabrics can be as beautiful as traditional ones. My work in fashion started in streetwear and I’ve always liked a sports-inspired look, but I stopped wearing trainers (sneakers) for about ten years and I’ve recently totally re-found my love for them. I’ve moved house so many times, but fortunately I’ve managed to keep quite lot of my old trainers, so I’m wearing them all again the second time around! Nike Air Max 90s, 180s, Huaraches – the lot of ‘em.

Do you do that a lot? Do you shop for pieces that you can wear for both running and your day-to-day life?

Absolutely. Fashion is an expensive habit, so you have to be a savvy consumer. Plus, I like my pieces to have more than one purpose. I think it’s kind of cool that there are pieces I can wear to run a marathon, but also in a completely unrelated context. I wash them in between of course.

Where do you shop for cool activewear?

I wear Nike a lot. In fact, most of my wardrobe is Nike. There’s also a UK brand called Lucas Hugh that I really like. I came across them ages ago when they were still below the radar and they’ve since blown up. They just did the costumes for the new Hunger Games movie actually.  I love their digital prints. They were doing them before it was a big fashion story and I have a pair of running tights and crop top that have the NASA space center printed on them. How cool is that?! Both brands avoid the ‘shrink it and pink it’ pitfall that some sportswear brands fall into, so I rate them for that too.

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Where do you shop for your non-active clothes? What brands do you tend to shop?

To be honest with you, I’m not much of a shopper. I really like beautiful design whether that’s apparel, or product, or art, but I don’t actually enjoy the shopping experience. I visit so many interesting stores internationally for work, but when you actually look at the products and dissect the experience, it’s all the same. It makes me really sad that it’s become so homogenized.

Well then how do you shop? When you see something beautiful you buy it?

Yes, exactly. I’m lucky because I travel a lot for work, so I used to pick up a lot of vintage when I was traveling and I still do pick up the odd piece – there are a few vintage shops that I always check when I’m in town. I’m also lucky because I’ve got friends who are designers – so that helps.

Right: Zara moto jacket, white Prada shirt, Prism sunglasses, Cos sweater, Acne jeans, Janvier bag, and Nike Air Force Ones; Left: Vintage hat, Zara jacket and sweater

Has your body transformed since running?

Physically, I feel a lot healthier and now I can run the bus route rather than just running to catch the bus, but it’s my mind that’s transformed more than my body – I’m definitely more focused.

London isn’t the healthiest city. We drink, smoke, party hard and the weather isn’t exactly conducive to being super outdoorsy, but I’ve seen so many people – young and old, men and women – take running on and as they improve, their confidence transforms. That transformation is amazing to me and very empowering. I really respect anyone who takes on a race. It’s a real mental and physical journey, be it 10k or 100 miles.

What’s your favorite city to shop?

I shop different cities differently. I pick up vintage sportswear, workwear and denim on the West Coast – Portland and LA particularly. Italy and France are amazing for vintage designer, particularly domestic designer brands. I love Elio Ferraro in Milan and Florence, and I know some good markets in Rome where you have to really dig for the treasure, but you can find really good antique linen and silk.

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. I actually never shop in England, though it’s good for a lot of things.

Why not? 

I think part of it is because I work with clothes all day, so I don’t want to think about them that much in my spare time. Also because England doesn’t feel very exotic to me because I’m from there. I hate seeing people in the same clothes as me. That really pisses me off. That said, the British high-street is pioneering and I always miss it when I’m away.

I’m constantly nicking my boyfriend’s big cashmere jumpers from Uniqlo, not technically British, and hoodies – from old skate and streetwear brands. Gingham and check shirts of my Dad’s tend to find themselves in my suitcase too. I used to work for Paul Smith, so I have some great tailoring from there. He’s a real icon of British style and eccentricity. I love Paul.

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What’s your uniform?

Actually I realized while I was packing for this trip that everything I own is either black, white, or denim and then a couple bits of red. That was it. There was no other color, which was kind of depressing, but then I thought it’s actually quite useful for traveling.

How do you pack?

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.

Who makes your shoes?

These are from Cos, which I think you guys are getting quite soon.

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We’re getting it this spring.

Cos is really good, it filled a much needed gap in the high-street market, for quieter design. Pieces that aren’t so overtly trend-led. It’s really blown up in Britain.

I mean for New Yorkers, it’s such a novelty so whenever someone goes to Europe or London it’s like a go-to. But with it coming here, it’s going to become a little less special.

In one sense it’s great that everything is so accessible to us all, yet that’s also what I mean about homogenization being sad. It takes the adventure out of it.  I like the story behind pieces, as much – often more, than the pieces themselves.  My mom has some amazing clothes and she always has these stories about where she got it and you could only get it in that place.

You don’t have to seek anything out, so I suppose that’s part of why I like vintage – you have to work for it.

How do you shop for vintage. Some people are overwhelmed by it?

My best friend and I, Sophie, have been on holiday together quite a few times and I’d like to think I’m pretty good when it comes to markets. But she and I are competitive. You’ve never seen anyone dive into a bag of musty old clothes as fast as we do. I suppose I would advise using the same set of criteria you’d use for normal shopping: color, fit, form etc. If it doesn’t suit you, don’t bother, you’ll never wear it, even if it is Versace. It’s a different set of rules for Alaïa though.  If you find it, buy it. Or call me!

What have you found to be the difference between Brit style and American style?

I think all clichés of London style are true. That idea of London breaking the ‘rules’ still stands. I used to find it a bit self-conscious, but now I find it really endearing. So much of that sub-culture style stems from the underground music scene and I’m sorry, but London really does have the best underground music scene right now.

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How did you prep for fashion week in multiple cities?

One of the things that I found fun about fashion week is how you change your look based on the city. For London, I’d always wear streetwear pieces mixed in with more classic. It was always a bit quirky and kind of, I don’t know, a bit playful. And then in Milan it’s like very sophisticated and suddenly you’re in sexy dresses and pencil skirts. And in Paris it’s really elegant and you can get away with wearing full skirts and sky high heels in the middle of the day. I wore things that I would never normally wear and it was quite dramatic. It was really fun playing. That’s ultimately what fashion is isn’t it? It’s a game and it’s supposed to be fun.

Normally I’m trying on all of my clothes at three in the morning before catching the Eurostar or leaving for the airport. There’s nothing glamorous about that bit.

Are there any popular girls who are shot that we would know that you like their style?

There are lots of people whose style I like, but I find personalities more alluring. I’m taken by people who look good, smash cool jobs, work hard, learn. That’s what makes people really cool to me.

Anna Laub, who I used to work for at WGSN and Prism. She’s super clever, really supportive, has an amazing Alaïa collection and isn’t adverse to a hoodie and trainers.

Caroline Issa, who’s my editor at Tank magazine. She’s also super intelligent, pioneering, supportive and thinks well beyond clothes. She always looks great.

My best friend Sophie Hulme is a designer with an eponymous label. It’s really fortunate that she and I have the exact same taste. We’ve made a rule now that when we find something we just get two of it.

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How do you stay inspired to care about what you wear everyday?

If I’m perfectly honest, I go through phases. For ages I felt a bit flat about fashion. That’s when I wear black jeans and a black t-shirt. Sometimes you don’t want to stand out. There’s something really nice about blending in.

Other times I love it for its fun and flamboyance. I was just in Miami with my friend Elle (who owns the accessories brand Janvier). It was so fun to get dressed up and play around with clothes again. I felt like I hadn’t bothered doing that for ages.

Is there something that you are thinking about now as far as things you want to buy or ideas you are really into?

I want everything to be super androgynous. I saw pictures of Kendrick Lamar and he was wearing matching denim shorts and denim jacket – and it was almost white, but just pink and I was like ‘that’s my look’. I’d love a YSL Le Smoking trouser suit. Basically everything matching.

What’s your tactic for looking professional but also cool?

I keep shoes under my desk. That’s my tactic. The rest of it you can manipulate.

You have cool jewelry. What’s your philosophy about jewelry?

My jewelry is nearly all my mums. The only time people comment on my jewelry is always when I’ve nicked it from my mum. I’ve got a really good thick brass chain with an old fashion policeman’s whistle on the end, and I used to wear that all the time. It’s amazing. It was my rave whistle. And my friends have an amazing store in London called Darkroom and they sell really beautiful unusual stuff. You’ll want everything when you walk in.

What do you invest in?

Someone told me to always invest in jewelry. You never know where your life is going to lead you and jewelry fits anyone, so you can always sell it. I haven’t listened, instead I just have a big pile of shoes.

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Do you have favorite shoe and handbag designers? 

There’s a London brand called Fleet Illya that I like. His dad was a saddler and he learnt to use leather through him – he’s really talented. Anything in Darkroom. Prism sunglasses. Sophie Hulme bags. Dries Van Noten, Ets Callatay, and Purified footwear.

What makes you buy something for yourself?

Mood. Quality. Price. Proximity to pay day.

Do you think style is inherent?

I think an understanding of aesthetics is inherent, but I think you can learn what works and what suits you. We’re all learning and playing and experimenting . It wouldn’t be fun if we weren’t.

Photos courtesy of Sam Aldenton

Style Profile: Kristen Naiman

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A few years ago, Isaac Mizrahi released a book called How To Have Style. Kristen Naiman, who was the stylist on the project, appeared in the book wearing a red lip, striped sailor shirt, and jeans. Yes, I liked her outfit, but I also liked her work. I flip through a lot of style books and the made-over subjects typically wear cookie-cutter outfits that are void of personality. The outfits in How To Have Style still feel relevant today (about five years later). They are accessible, classic, current, and impressive, which is how I would describe Kristen’s style.

Fast forward to now and Kristen is still working with Isaac, she is the creative director of his line, and she is still wearing a red lip and a striped shirt (see here). Throughout our shoot she kept using the word elemental, and her wardrobe is exactly that. She owns the basics, but they are beautiful basics. It’s not easy to make core pieces look exciting, but Kristen does. Interviewing her emphasized how important it is to hone in on the products and brands that work for you, but never forget to have fun with fashion; a lesson she learned from Isaac.

You said you grew up in Rye, New York in Westchester. How do you think that influenced your style?

I think there is a fundamental preppiness about me that I can never shake.

Who is your favorite designer?

Dries is definitely my favorite designer besides Isaac, but I tend to wear a lot of the more classic pieces. I love the more over the top Dries stuff, but I think the longer I style and work in fashion, the more I get super elemental and utilitarian in my own personal dressing. It’s sort of like all of my personal instincts are pared down to a more fundamental form, and I put more of my instincts for statement into my work. I’m into building a beautiful wardrobe of super classic things that you can keep building on. Then you can buy vintage things or whatever to mix in.

I was thinking about that the other day. I like maximalist dressers and I like to look at what they wear and sometimes I identify with that, but then sometimes I look at my wardrobe and I’m like, “I need basics. I need just a good white shirt.” Everyone was so  surprised by the Celine show and how much print there was and I think these non-basic items are turning into collectors’ items. A lot of the investment items now are these beautiful, special pieces, which is like the exact opposite of what I would have thought.

Collecting is not necessarily the same as having style. I know a lot of girls that work in fashion that have these sick, amazing wardrobes. But they just wear the looks. Having style is really different than having fashion. It’s a different thing to wear the head to toe look than it is to dress yourself in your own unique voice. I’ve always dressed my own way. I like a boys for girls look. It’s classic, feminine meets masculine.

Have you always been like that?

You know, in my younger life I was maybe a kookier dresser. I think when you’re younger you experiment a lot to find your voice, and there’s something that remains about that, but I’ve gotten more refined as I’ve gotten older. When you are really young or really old there can be a real crazy exuberance in your dressing. A sort of devil-may-care thing that I love so much and suits the very young and the very old. I’m going to be an insane dresser as an old lady.

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Have you felt like you’ve needed to dress more refined and put together because of your job?

Maybe. It is really important to have fun with your clothes. I don’t like safety per se. But right now there’s also an element where it’s like I am a mom and I have a busy job, and I have a social life, and I have a whole big life that I love, and I’m really interested in millions of things, and there’s only so much time that you have.  One thing that I really believe in is that dressing should be something that enhances your life. It shouldn’t be something that causes you a lot of strife. A lot of the joy that I have is in having really beautiful things that I can just throw on and not think about. I boiled down my style to an elemental form so that it was something that could sort of just happen in service to the rest of my life instead of being a slave to that. I wanted to be able to just have beautiful clothes that just existed in the context of my bigger, beautiful life. I think that comes with having a really demanding job, with having a kid, with having a social life, with having all of these things that you want to give time to.

Do you get things tailored often?

I go in and out of it. I’m a fierce editor and I will get rid of things, but I won’t do it until I’ve tried to exhaust it. The goal is to love things so much that you wear them into the ground. I don’t buy tons and tons of stuff, but what I buy I really, really use. It’s the opposite of buying pieces and wearing them twice. I wear things until they are thrashed.

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Do you shop in Brooklyn?

I love Bird. I think Jenn Mankins has done an amazing job of defining Brooklyn girl style. I go to Brooklyn Flea. I love Eva Gentry consignment. There is a really sweet store in my neighborhood called Suzanne de la Vaga that I think is great.

I want to start consignment shopping more.

I love consignment shopping. I just bought a Commes des Garcon slip dress at this amazing consignment store in Dalston, London. It’s a 1995 Comme des Garcon slip dress. It doesn’t get more iconic than that. I also love a Century 21 moment. I think that’s left over from being a scrappy kid who loved to make something out of nothing. I still really love that. I still love to find a jewel in the rough.

Do you still shop vintage?

I do. I will always love vintage.

What are your signatures?

My lips and more recently my hair and these three brass bangles. But I always wear red lips always, always, always. I play with different shades of red, but it’s always red.

What lipstick brands do you wear?

I love Nars. My default mode is Nars Red Square, which is a lip pencil, or Heat Wave. I’ve been wearing both of those for a long time. But I just bought that Dior Ara Red 999, which is the new Dior red that I’m really into. And I love Serge Lutens Garde Rose. Those are my two reds for fall.

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How do you shop? How do you prepare for a new season?

I’m not a huge shopper. I obviously know what’s in the market and I tend to browse a lot before I buy anything. I make sure that I know everything that’s out there. Then I tend to pretty strategically select a couple expensive things that I buy. I start with pieces that I want to have for the season, and then I tend to try and fill in the gaps with fun, cheap things or vintage things, but I don’t do too much of that either. I try really very hard to do the less is more thing. I don’t like to have tons and tons of clothes. I always feel terrible if I buy something and only wear it once or twice. My goal is to buy something and love it so much that I live in it until it falls apart. I do tend to shop when I go to Europe. I really like Le Bon Marché and I usually buy one or two pieces there a season. I bought that Commes cape there, the Dries blazer, and my main shoes from the last couple seasons. I’ve seen the clothes pretty much everywhere else by the time I get there, but the edit there is really very chic and very smart. It’s not safe or fuddy duddy, but it’s usually very intrinsically classic. A successful purchase is something like this Lanvin dress I own. Even though I bought it probably seven years ago, I can wear it every year.

Are you a full price shopper or do you stalk an item until it goes on sale?

I’m a sort of a mix. I will definitely buy full price things when they are amazing pieces that I will have forever and probably won’t ever go on sale. So I do a little bit of that, but only a little bit. I’m not an exclusively full price shopper. I tend to either do that, or I like to wait until things are 70 percent off and I’m digging through some bin. I don’t like very much in the middle. Or I love Century 21 or a consignment store. I think that we make so many products in our world that there’s something nice about finding the beauty in the refuse. Finding the things that have been cast aside or overlooked. And of course, who doesn’t love a deal?

Has having a daughter changed your style?

I think women who age really gracefully understand the balance of what is youthful yet age appropriate, sophisticated, and chic. They understand how to play with age. Something about becoming a mom obviously brings another layer into that and there’s definitely something about having a kid in kids clothes that reminds you of exuberant dressing and fun dressing. But I don’t think that I’ve changed so much the way that I dress. I still wear tons and tons of high heels. My daughter comes every Wednesday night to work and we go out for pizza together. I roll her down the street in the stroller and I’m always wearing high heels and you can’t believe the amount of people that either look or make some funny or hilarious comment about a pair of pumps and a stroller. In a lot of ways I’ve been very determined to not let being a Mom slow me down or change my style or force me into some sort of practical shoe situation that I don’t want to be in. But motherhood has reinvigorated my love of sparkly things and made me think a lot about determining what your style is as you age.

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You like the single sole pointy toe pump?

Yes. I’m a devotee of a singe sole shoe. I really don’t like a platform. I think there is something really elegant and classic about a single sole shoe and I never really liked a platform, even through the whole platform rage. For me, I think the shoes is sort of the punctuation and I think that the line that a single sole shoe creates looks really good.

Tell me about your jewelry?

I love brass jewelry because there is something earthy and easygoing and utilitarian about it. I wear it in the ocean and I don’t polish it. For something that you wear every single day, there’s something elemental about it.

What do you wear on the weekends?

I’m little, so I like a heel. Lately on the weekends I have been wearing these little black, short Margiela boots that have a tiny heel. But I love a man’s oxford or loafer, always. But probably right now my favorite shoes for the weekend are these leopard pony hair Isaac Mizrahi slip on sneakers. They are my favorite. The last is perfect. I didn’t wear sneakers for a long time because I was always wanting to look like a grown up, but since I really became a grown up there is something great about a pair of sneakers that I really got into. My daughter has these little navy high tops with sparkly blue stars on them that she lives in. So in our sneaker we make a good pair.

Where do you shop in New York?

I do go to Barneys and Bergdorf. I really like Kirna Zabete. I love A Détacher. I tend to get a piece or two from Mona each season. I love Celine. I think Celine is beautiful and really well made. I love the St. James store. I buy striped t-shirts there. I really like Uniqlo for affordable sweaters. I love Muji for button down men’s shirts. For men’s clothes, I like Paul Stewart and the boys department at Brooks Brothers. For consignment I like Ina and Eva Gentry. For vintage I love Cancer Care on the Upper East Side, Legacy on Thompson, and Dulcinee at the Brooklyn Flea.

You have great denim. What are your favorite brands?

I’m very picky about jeans. I like either vintage Levi’s or classic APC jeans. And I really love 45RPM. For casual clothes in general I love 45RPM.  I’m not a big fan of designer denim for me.

You travel a lot. Do you have any tips for 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.

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What is your uniform?

I think it changes. Right now it’s probably a pair of Manolos, a men’s button down shirt, and a blazer with either a short skirt or jeans. And I love a crew neck sweater.

What’s your process getting dressed in the morning?

I have absolutely no time to get dressed. I probably get dressed in about ten minutes. It helps to have an edited wardrobe with lots of things that work together. Sometimes I will try to think about it a little bit the night before, but a lot of times I just walk to my closet, grab four things and do it.

What are you thinking about now in terms of style?

I have been thinking about boots and what’s the boot that I want. I’m leaning towards an ankle boot that feels really timeless but a little bit feminine, a little bit sexy, a little bit casual. I’ve been thinking about that for a while. I have been thinking a lot about skirts. I’m into a short structured mini skirt right now, which is actually a relatively  new development.

Really?

Yes. Legs feel really good right now. I’m into legs. Covering up everything else and then showing legs.

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What has Isaac taught you about style?

There’s an instinct when you’re seeing so much to say no not yes. To be more of an editor and less of an enthusiast about style. I think he has really taught me to maintain my sense of risk and adventure about style even if I don’t always employ that in my own dressing day-to-day. I really appreciate it and know how to do it when I want to. He always reminds me it’s about the love of it. You can’t forget the fun.

Do you think style is inherent?

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.

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What’s your philosophy on jewelry?

I have two main modes of with jewelry and pretty much nothing else. I have a sort of casual jewelry go-to and dress up jewelry go-to. For casual, I’ve been wearing this exact jewelry for daytime for years. And again some of that is born out of just wanting to know what I’m putting on in the morning. But also it’s a lot about figuring out the thing that works for you and just committing to it. For dressing up, I love a  simple piece and then some sort of super crazy, huge, bold piece of jewelry. Like massive crazy earrings or a sick huge necklace. I think that’s super chic.

What about handbags?

I like a relatively unbranded handbag. I’m not into having the bag of the season. I’m somewhat against it. I don’t like things that wear me. I like things that fold into me and are beautiful amazing objects, but aren’t madly identifiable.

I think the super successful design is design that is able to fold into a variety of different people’s lives. For the last few years there’s an Isaac bag that I really love that comes from a tool bag shape, and i have a fur one and a black leather one, and I also for the last bunch of years I’ve been carrying that soft, super unstructured Celine tote and the trio cross body. I have them both in navy. Both of those are bags that melt into everything else that I have. And the Isaac bags are just beautiful and have amazing design. I wear the fur one when I’m feeling nutty and the plain black one when I want to be refined. You can’t beat those two bags. And I also really love a clutch. My most perfect clutch is the Raw Vachetta Square Apiece Apart clutch. It’s so simple and perfect.

KN3

How do you stay inspired to try everyday?

I sort of feel like it’s like a self respect thing. I think that it’s a part of taking care of yourself. There’s something about that that’s really fundamental and important.

What makes you buy something for yourself?

I’m a combination of being insanely practical and I’m also into impulse purchases. I need to get over taken with the crazy, panicky breathless feeling that you get when you see something that you think is incredible. But in a moment like that I will always try to find a moment, stop and ask myself, ‘Am I really going to use this object in my life? Is it going to have a lot of purpose?

What makes a woman stylish?

For me, a lot of times the most stylish women I notice are women I see and I think that looks really amazing on her. Casting is at least half of style and the integration of some really amazing clothes on the right person is a major indicator of style. Having something unique and brave about your style and also timeless and streamlined is always an intersection that I find very irresistible. I also think that style is not just clothes. It’s your whole being. It’s the intersection of your clothes and your hair and your makeup and the way you walk and the way you move and your body language and your energy. All of those things are a part of style. So I think people that have the most style have a certain kind of presence of being. That’s the place where style starts. It doesn’t really start from the clothes necessarily.

Photos by Sam Aldenton.

Style Profile: Christina Kolbe

Christina11980s Iron Maiden tee, East West Musicals jacket, Acne jeans

As I said in a previous post, this site is not a personal style blog. I have nothing against personal style blogs. I spend a lot of time on them, but I wanted this site to mainly be about other women. I could spend hours clicking through street style images, but being the intensely curious girl that I am, I’m always left wanting more. Where did they buy that? Why did they buy that? What does their closet look like? How did they develop their style? The list goes on and on. That’s why I created this site.

I met Christina at her Brooklyn vintage store Mafalda, which has sadly closed. Each time I visited the shop, I noticed her outfit. I remember one occasion when she was wearing gym clothes and she still looked chic. There’s a quiet allure about Christina. The first thing that comes to mind when describing her style is sophisticated, but it’s so much more than that. There’s personality in her aesthetic, meaning you can tell she has fun with clothes, but she comes across as refined and also really cool. I walked away from our conversation wanting to buy less and invest more in classic designer pieces. She also made me reconsider my love for Zara. You’ll see why.

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