Style Profile: Maryellis


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.


You’re from Orange County, which doesn’t have the best reputation for style. How did you form your aesthetic?

I don’t know where my aesthetic derived from. Style is something that is cultivated over time.

What do you go to Parsons for?

I’m getting my business degree, majoring in Strategic Design and Management.

What’s your ideal job?

I want to start my own design consultancy firm.

Have you liked your time at Parsons?

Yes. Going into it, it wasn’t necessarily what I expected. My program kind of took a different focus for the better. There’s aren’t many programs like it. A lot of it is looking at innovation inside of companies and how design can infiltrate and change business. I do a lot of design research. It is quite relevant in today’s time.



Do you think you will stay in New York?

New York is home for me at the moment, however I am not geographically constrained. I never want to restrict myself.

Do you feel like you wear all of your clothes?

I’m a really good purger. So yea I do. I get rid of clothes at least every other week. I donate a lot of my stuff to Housing Works.

So do you do a lot of thrift and vintage shopping?

I think that probably 40 percent of my wardrobe is vintage. There is nothing better than a well constructed, timeless vintage piece.

Where do you go vintage and thrift shopping in New York?

The West Village actually has a few vintage shops I frequent. Madame Matovu has amazing vintage pieces. I also go to Diamonds and Coal and Fisch to the Hip (just closed). I will do the garages in Chelsea. When I first moved to the city, I walked every street and avenue. It’s how I discovered a lot of my favorite stores and restaurants.



You are pretty petite. How do you approach that with getting dressed?

I have to get almost everything tailored. It’s hard to find clothes that fit. While I am drawn to oversized, baggy pieces, I have been incorporating more fitted looks into my wardrobe.

Is that a recent development?


Why? What brought that on?

I have too much oversized clothing. My look has become more refined and I am slowly beginning to have a love for fitted looks.




Do you think you have a uniform?

Definitely not.

Are there certain designers you are drawn to? Who is your favorite designer?

That is always a hard question. I am drawn to pieces rather than designers. Acne could be my uniform. I like Dries and Margiela, too.

Do you shop Zara or mass market stores?

I try not to.


I think Zara is always doing great stuff and I will buy a few pieces each season. But I feel like everybody is wearing it and you know it’s Zara. I try to buy quality over quantity.

What do you invest in?

Any timeless piece is a good investment. Pants, shoes, bags. A watch is my next investment.



What brands do you like for pants and denim?

For denim I like Acne, BLK Denim. I have a lot of stuff from Patrizia Pepe.

Do you start a season thinking about certain things that you might want to buy?

No. I shop a bit backwards. I normally shop per occasion or event. I conjure up an idea in my head of what I want to wear and then try and go find it. I never go out shopping just to shop. Well, maybe sometimes.

So, there has to be a purpose to shop?

Yes. Or if I’m in a mood or if I want something.

What’s top of mind now?

I haven’t gotten any boots this season. I wouldn’t mind another new coat. After moving from California I had to completely establish a winter and fall wardrobe. I still feel like that’s a work in progress.



Do you have an idea of what type of boots you you want?

No. I’m not really too intrigued at the moment with what’s out there.

Do you shop sample sales?

No. A lot of my girlfriends do, but I can’t deal with the lines.

Are you a big jewelry person?

I used to be, but I think the more and more my style changes it becomes more simplistic. With jewelry, it needs to be conducive to space. If I can’t see it and it’s not there, I don’t go out and search for it. I wear a lot of clip-on earrings. I only have one ear pierced, so sometimes I just wear one earring.



I like your ring.

Thanks. I designed it. I drew it out and did it in wax, and then there is a jeweler back home that does amazing work and he made it. I was looking for a ring and there was nothing out there that I wanted.

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.



Are there particular people who you like how they dress?

Of course, however I am not one to look at anyone in particular for inspiration. There are tons of  women and men whose style I admire, however I think it is important to define ones own style.

 Do you think style is inherent? 

Defiantly, my style is consistent

What are you thinking about wearing/buying for spring/summer?

White on white. Oversized hats and one pieces on the beach. I can’t wait for summer.

What inspires you?

Ambition, art, books, film, and people. Susan Sontag said,“Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.”

Photos by Sam Aldenton.

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