I’m on a roll here in New York, turning to my friends who happen to be industry professionals and experts in the fields of fashion and beauty. This week I’d like to introduce you to my friend and stylist in times of need, Liz Polden. I love her aesthetic and approach to fashion and life… It is simple, clean and classic. She is a unique woman and I love her to bits. Here is a snippet of our time together for Hold the Glamour!
ME (L): Liz, what styling tips can you share with us that are your BIG ones? I know there are many however…
Liz Polden (LP): My first advice to clients is to shop in your own closet. What colours are you drawn to? What shapes do you love to wear? In which outfit do you hear the most compliments? If you have a stack of clothes that make you feel big and unattractive, donate them immediately. Fill the closet with only items you adore and make you feel like the best you!
Even though I have been a fashion stylist since 2005 and constantly surrounded by amazing clothing, I am a passionate closet minimalist. I know what works for my body and my own insecurities and don’t shop much outside of that box. I just like to keep all simple and classic and throw in trends with my accessories. It makes dressing less of a chore. And whenever I feel like I have nothing to wear, I empty the whole closet and re-evaluate; making a list of what trend I could add to my existing wardrobe to make it all more current and new.
L: That is a great start and fabulous advice for anyone. How does one get started?
LP: Start with a basic shape that works on your body type and for your lifestyle. Now repeat! Buy in multiples when something works. Think of Jackie O. She repeated the sheath dress without a care. It worked for her and she worked it well! If one shape gives you confidence, keep it in rotation. Make yourself a uniform of sorts.
My go to uniform shapes at the moment are skinny jeans, ballet flats and slouchy tee or a fitted mini skirt with wooden clogs and silky tank. Keeping a consistent look, I almost get obsessed with something and then wear it to death until one day I’m over it. Don’t be afraid to own a very minimal amount of clothing. Quality over quantity is so important to look polished and chic.
Shop online, discount stores on off hours or hit a sample sale of a designer you know you already love and will wear ’til the seams bust. Don’t buy for the price! Buy for the longevity and ease the item will have working into your current wardrobe and lifestyle.
L: What about colour Liz? I have a lot of black in my wardrobe and am conscious of wearing other colours to vary my look and feel.
LP: Colour is your friend in these warm months! I adore black. A little too much, like most people in the fashion industry. But once I get a little tan and a feel of warmth I want something fun and bright. I love to accessorize with brights and keep my clothing neutral once the temperatures rise.
I love the look of white skinny jeans and a bright striped tank, a cute straw fedora hat to keep the sun off your precious face, a wrist layered with colorful beaded bracelets and a bright hand-stitched fabric messenger bag like one I found on a trip to Peru and my favorite reusable tote by Baggu in neon purple for the farmer’s market or random finds!
L: I can totally see you wearing those clothes! And looking hot may I add. What about shoes Liz? There are so many fashionable trends right now… Where do we start for the season?
LP: Shoes can always make the outfit stylish or not. No matter what you’re wearing if you have a glamorous or trendy shoe on, you will look the part. My favorite shoes for this time of year are Repetto ballet flats, Worishofer cork wedges and Hasbeen wooden clogs.
As soon as I buy new shoes, I always hit the shoe repair shop and have my friends there re-sole the bottoms with rubber soles to extend the longevity of my big purchase. Everyone should know their local shoe cobbler! Shoes can usually be re-soled, re-polished and saved from the depths of the already overfilled landfills, saving our planet and your wallet!
Before the beginning of each season, I drop off all my shoes for some love. I have many pairs of shoes that look almost brand new but are actually closer to 5 years old! Each shoe sole and material is different and a good cobbler will tell you when to bring them back for extra care. Don’t replace before you try a polish or a new sole.
Trying to buy less leather, my newest additions to my own shoe collection are vegan strappy nude platform pumps and vegan gold studded nude sandals from www.lulus.com. I am planning to wear them both non stop this summer with flowy dresses and silky shorts!
L: I can’t forget accessories! Nor can you Liz… You can rock any accessory.
LP: Wear statement jewels! I wear the same signature jewelry most days. On my fingers I like to layer delicate hammered gold rings on a few fingers along with my engagement ring and wedding band, a Me and Ro necklace that says “wisdom” that was gifted on my 30th birthday from my best friend and always a few delicate beaded bracelets like my precious gold flag bracelet by Iwona Ludyga, mixed with random bracelets I have fallen for at the moment.
Support the small designers! I love to shop for jewelry from small designers on Etsy. You get so much more love and usually at a much lower price point. I adore my quartz crystal necklace from The Village Idiot and brass bangle from SD Marie Jewelry.
L: What advice do you have generally for people out there reading this post of ours?
LP: Make sure to go shopping when you have no reason to. You will be more likely to score the perfect dress, jeans or bikini when all pressure is off. I just bought two dresses and two pairs of shoes for weddings I have at the end of this year. It seems crazy to shop so far in advance but I know I found something I truly love, will feel good in and at a price that works for my budget. I love to do a calculation of how many times I will wear something divided by the total price. I get excited to think how far my clothing budget is going and how less will end up abandoned in a landfill or a donation rack.
Make best friends with your tailor! Almost everything can and should be tailored to your shape and height. Always fit the clothes with the shoes you will be wearing. I am petite but curvy and almost everything in my closet has been loved and re-worked by my local tailor. You’d be surprised how reasonable the price to tailor most things can be and in the end you will wear the item more because you will look and feel so damn hot!
Stay organised! When your closet is organized and happy you will find it so much more inspiring to make cute outfits. I use black felt hangers for tops and dresses, metal bottom hangers for the skirts and pants and wooden hangers for the heavier coats. Organize your space in a way that cuts time in your mad morning rush. I like to keep all like shapes together, pulling together one of my standard uniform looks as I dress but others find hanging outfits together helps the stress of what to wear. Check out the new website www.stylitics.com. You can build a virtual closet, mix and match outfits from items you already have and even get some styling inspiration. My own virtual closet should be posted soon!
L: Thank you Liz. You shared some simple yet doable tips that I can even manage and implement into my life and closet/wardrobe. I am so grateful.
What great web sites do you love to buy clothes and accessories from?
What are some of your favourite designers and why?
Do you have any questions for Liz or myself? If so, fire away.
Do you have any styling tips you would like to share?