What is the secret to great style?
I have no idea. People like to say that it’s grace, poise, self-confidence, etc., and that it starts with how you feel on the inside, but I’m not sure that’s all there is to it. Style is personal and relative. One person’s idea of great style may be another person’s “trying to hard;” there are so many variables.
If I had to think about people I have seen or know who I think have “great style” I would characterize them as “owning” their look fully & completely. I may not want to wear what they’re wearing, and they may not even be wearing anything particularly flattering, but if they walk about as if they’re saying “here I am!”, and they look comfortable in their own skin, then they have great style.
How do you balance new trends with a more timeless look?
I don’t! I’m not sure anything is “timeless” anymore; nothing stays the same for very long. Even “classic” styles like a slim black pant change in terms of hem length or whether they’re high-waisted or slouchy. I wear what I like, and what I feel comfortable in. I do love it when whatever’s “trendy” is something I love anyway though (like Birkenstocks or maxi dresses), because then I have a wider range to shop from and add to my wardrobe for when there’s a shortage, or that particular item is not “in style.”
Do you have a signature piece or style?
No. I have a brand I identify most strongly with, and I know my friends/husband can say about certain things “that’s so you,” but I stopped trying to pinpoint my style or create a uniform (beyond only wearing specific colors) when I noticed myself getting more and more frustrated trying to fit myself into a box.
The one piece of advice most women need but don’t get?
Don’t worry so much about a signature style, or having a uniform. If you do, you do, but if you don’t, it’s okay too. I thought for the longest time that there was something wrong with me that I didn’t want to wear the same silhouette all the time – I like to switch from fitted to flowy and everything in between. Once I came to terms with the fact that I don’t have a uniform, it’s become much easier for me to identify what I wanted to wear and be more comfortable with my wardrobe.
What’s the best piece of style wisdom you’ve ever received?
It’s not style wisdom per se, but wisdom nonetheless…the only constant is change. I struggled for so long trying to finalize everything. I wanted to create the perfect wardrobe of all the things I’d want to wear for years, and then not have to shop again. I thought I knew my style well enough to be able to do this and be happy with the results. And surprise, surprise, it didn’t work. How can it? And why would I want it to? Some of the things I thought I’d want to wear forever (ballet flats for example), I haven’t worn in several years. And some things I didn’t think I’d ever want to wear, I find myself reaching for. I don’t want to deny myself room to grow and change sartorially, and for goodness’ sake, why would I ever want to be finished shopping??
What’s the worst current trend?
Fast fashion, constant deep discounts, and buying with a singular focus on price. I would like us to get back to thinking about the value of what we buy, and the true cost – in human and environmental terms – of our clothing.
How would you describe your personal style?
I don’t try to anymore. I stick to white, black and gray, with a little olive green or burgundy thrown in here and there, but other than that, I don’t try and classify myself as boho, or classic, or edgy, or whatever. I don’t fit into any one style construct, and I’ve given up on trying to force myself into one.