My Style Philosophy

Tuesday, April 15th 2014

My Style Philosophy: Dokia

Dokia in an Equipment blouse and Sam Edelman booties (similar).

Our staffers are a chic bunch, each with their own unique spin on fashion. This month we chatted with stylist Dokia about her personal style philosophy.

Name: Dokiang, or as many call me, “Doks”
Position: Apparel Stylist

Go-to brand: It’s so hard to pick only one since there are different reasons to love each, but I am a total sucker for brands that are aesthetically edgy or use animal prints. Both work well in my closet and seriously scream “me.” Lately, I’ve been excited about the IRO, Emma Cook, and Rodarte collections.

How did you get into styling? I grew up with two women who really influenced my eye for fashion—my mom and my sister. My mom always made sure she was perfectly put-together from head to toe when she and my father went out to social gatherings. I remember having to buckle her high heels for her because she didn’t want to wrinkle her outfits. She had a great eye for design and made beautiful, traditional costumes for us as well. My sister, who is seven years older than I am, used to bribe me to be her fashion photographer as she changed in and out of outfits she had styled so she could give keepsake pictures to her friends. She also happened to buy me my first recognizable name brand item—Nike Air sneakers. As I got older, my eyes were always on fashion magazines, editorials, and TV specials. I remember when I was 13, I hoped to work for Contempo Casuals one day because I thought it was the coolest store. Little did I know, I had a knack for fashion. I worked my way up in retail, but never considered pursuing fashion seriously until college, when my sister suggested it was “more me” than my initial focus on interior design. So I decided to wing it, switched majors, and never looked back. What can I say—you know when you know!

What’s your style philosophy? Like I mentioned, edginess and animal prints are two things that scream “me,” so that being said, I wear what I love! Confidence is what makes style. Fashion is ever-changing, so I think it’s good to switch things up, as long as you make a look your own.

What one item in your closet could you not live without? Goodness! There are a few I could list, like my white suede IRO booties or my indigo-wash high-waist jeans, but let's be real—those items could be replaced. The one thing for sure that I could not live without would be my traditional Hmong costumes that my mom designed for me. Even though they aren’t for day-to-day wear, they’re pieces that no one else could ever make so beautifully with that much sentimental value.

Shop Dokia’s go-to brands, IRO, Emma Cook, and Rodarte.

Tuesday, March 4th 2014

My Style Philosophy: Rachel

Rachel in an EACH x OTHER gingham blazer.

Our staffers are a chic bunch, each with their own unique spin on fashion. This month we chatted with stylist Rachel about her personal style philosophy.

Name: Rachel
Position: Apparel Stylist               

Go-to brand: Do I have to pick one? That’s really quite hard! Two that consistently keep my attention are Wes Gordon and Acne Studios.

How did you become interested in fashion? The first time I remember really appreciating fashion was when I was waiting in line for the ladies’ room at an MC Hammer concert when I was 8 years old. It was the first concert I ever attended, and I was in awe of the outfits all the older, “cooler” girls were wearing. I was adorned with pigtails, pink shorts, a graphic T-shirt of ants walking with a watermelon, and white Keds. I couldn’t stop staring at two women in particular. They had dressed to the nines for the show—little black dresses, black tights, and killer heels—hoping to meet MC Hammer himself, I’m sure! I realized at that moment that you can express yourself freely through what you wear—that clothing speaks loudly and can evoke emotion. I wanted to be like those girls and feel what they were feeling as they reapplied their make-up and teased their hair while admiring their sassy outfits. It didn’t occur to me at that moment that I wanted to be a stylist, but it was the defining moment of when my creative and emotional view of fashion changed.

What’s your style philosophy? I like to combine not-too-fussy feminine touches with a bit of tomboyish flair. I usually reach for a pretty, creamy blouse, a high-waisted midi skirt, a great leather belt, and a trusty denim jacket. I try to put together outfits that can take me from a long day on set in the studio to happy hour cocktails or a live show at the local juke-joint without a major costume change.

What one item in your closet could you not live without? I recently upgraded my go-to denim jacket that I’ve had for over ten years to the Acne Studios denim jacket, and I haven’t taken it off.  It’s been terribly cold this winter, so I’ve been wearing it under all of my outerwear coats as an extra layering piece.  It’s very versatile and suits my style philosophy quite nicely.

Shop Rachel’s go-to brands, Wes Gordon and Acne Studios.

Tuesday, August 27th 2013

My Style Philosophy: Anna

Our staffers are a chic bunch, each with their own unique spin on fashion. This month we chatted with Editorial Stylist Anna about her personal style philosophy.

Name: Anna
Position: Editorial Stylist

Go-to brand: That is such a difficult question! My personal style is constantly changing. One day I feel really girly, and the next, I want to dress like a rock star. Brands are kind of like boys—meaning that each season, I could fall for a new one. My current loves are Band of Outsiders, MSGM, Loeffler Randall, and Skaist Taylor.

How did you get into styling? My mom has a clothing store that I grew up in, so I think it began with helping customers put together outfits and dressing mannequins. In high school, an international magazine came to the store to pull clothes for their launch. I ended up styling some of the girls, and got to go to the shoot. After college, I worked in Free People's wholesale showroom. They are still kind of like home to me. When I interviewed for the stylist position, I had one hour to style five mannequins. I remember using the shoes that I was wearing to go with one of the looks and did the rest of the interview in my socks. I am sure there were a lot of girls more experienced than me, but I had such a powerful feeling that I belonged there and that this was what I was meant to do. The cosmos agreed, and I got the job!

What’s your style philosophy? Well, since I said my personal style is constantly changing, I say CHANGE! Don't be afraid to try new things. When I go shopping, I try to pick out one thing that is "not me." I've been surprised so many times. Besides that, wear what you love—wear what you feel great in. My closet is filled with black and white stripes, but you know what? I will always and forever love black and white stripes.

What one item in your closet could you not live without? This is a hard one too. But out of everything in my closet that has sentimental value, I could not live without my butterfly ring. It was given to me for my birthday a few years ago. My Dad made it for my Mom when they were about 18. He melted down their high school rings, and made this beautiful butterfly. I get compliments on it all the time, even without people knowing the beautiful story behind it. It is a constant reminder of love, and where I come from: a very artistic man and a woman with exquisite taste in jewelry.

Read more about our Shopbop stylists.

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Tuesday, July 30th 2013

My Style Philosophy: Karina

Our staffers are a chic bunch, each with their own unique spin on fashion. This month we chatted with Stylist Karina about her personal style philosophy.

Name: Karina
Position: Stylist

Go-to brand: I tend to experiment with a variety of different styles, but always find myself reaching back to DSQUARED2. Their separates are to die for—always the perfect mix of preppy and punky. Their styling has such a fun sense of humor too. I love looking for inspiration in their shows.

How did you get into styling? I attribute my love of fashion and styling to my two older sisters, both of whom are great illustrators. When I was younger, I would watch them draw figures and design beautiful outfits. It was fascinating to me, and I developed the same hobby and love of art later on. From there, I always had an eye on the fashion industry. It’s amazing how styling on paper transitions so easily to styling on real people.

What’s your style philosophy? Make every piece your own! I love a good challenge with pieces that feel uniquely not my style—some of those items even become favorites. With the right accessories, you can make anything work for your personal style, so have fun and have a sense of humor when outfitting yourself. I’m also someone who loves creating a variety of ways to wear basics. I try to do my own Ultimate Closet and reinvent pieces over and over again. It’s great to wear items I know I’m comfortable with, but discover new pairings. It helps keep my wardrobe feeling new and fresh.

What one item in your closet could you not live without? My lapis Pamela Love pyramid necklace. It goes with everything and the stone is mesmerizingly beautiful.

Shop Karina’s go-to brand, DSQUARED2.

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Tuesday, June 25th 2013

My Style Philosophy: Phoebe

Our staffers are a chic bunch, each with their own unique spin on fashion. This month we chatted with Stylist Phoebe about her personal style philosophy.

Name: Phoebe
Position: Stylist

Go-to brand:
Hands down, 3.1 Phillip Lim. They consistently produce clothes that walk the line between edgy and classic.

How did you get into styling?
When I was young and designer brands were out of reach, I found that if you are willing to hunt, you can find exceptional quality and design in clothes from the past. A lifelong love of vintage clothing was born. I have held every position imaginable in the business of sourcing, selling, and merchandising vintage finds, and while my personal style has certainly evolved as I’ve grown, I still love the thrill of unearthing vintage nuggets and breathing new life into one-of-a-kind pieces. While thrifty pieces allow you to create a look that is uniquely your own, they also present a multitude of challenges: dated fit, unflattering colors, or worse, the dreaded “I just walked out of a time machine” look. Over time, I just grew to embrace these challenges. No matter what gets in your way, you’ve just got to make the look work. Styling is the same way: pushing the envelope with what you can achieve with fashion, and thinking of creative ways to harmonize seemingly incongruous elements.

What’s your style philosophy?
We all have many facets to our lives and personalities, and fashion is a great way to express every side of you. I find I look my best when what I’m wearing reflects my current mood or state of mind, which I’ll admit, seems to vary pretty drastically from day to day. Taking yourself too seriously can derail creative flow, so just have fun with it—confidence and spontaneity create the best, unexpected fashion combinations! To me, nothing is better than an outfit that has a little wink to it. So much of that comes down to letting your sense of humor and personality speak through how you dress.

What one item in your closet could you not live without?
My Phillip Lim cutout flat booties! Let’s face it, the shoes that make you feel your sexiest, coolest, and most confident are generally the least comfortable. When you find a pair that does all that plus you can wear them every day and actually be comfortable, now that’s pretty special. I would be liar, however, if I didn’t also shout out T by Alexander Wang basic pocket tees and tanks. They feel just right whether I’m going minimalist and sporty, or balancing out a more complex palette of pattern and color. I’ve stocked up on an arsenal in black, grey, and white. I can’t remember life before.

Shop Phoebe’s go-to brand, 3.1 Phillip Lim.

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Thursday, May 23rd 2013

My Style Philosophy: Elise

Our staffers are a chic bunch, each with their own unique spin on fashion. This month we chatted with Stylist Elise about her personal style philosophy.

Name: Elise
Position: Stylist

Go-to brand:
For such a maximalist, I am surprised to find myself reaching for Vince constantly. It’s a great first stop for well-cut tees and sweaters that last forever and lend a modern, clean-and-cool feeling. I’m not cool by default, so I appreciate anything that helps!

How did you get into styling?
My background is actually in theatre, so I come at styling from a storytelling perspective. Instead of asking how to wear a piece, I ask “Who is this girl? Where is she going? What does she eat for breakfast?” Styling really is visual storytelling—trying to capture a whole narrative with one image.

What’s your style philosophy?
Dress for the life you want! Style is an expression of personality and one of the most basic forms of communication—whether you acknowledge it or not, you say a lot about yourself before even opening your mouth. Having style means taking control of what you’re “saying.” Personally, I tend towards pieces with a lot of history or meaning, whether it’s a necklace from my grandmother or a dress I found on a special day. Let’s just say I have a lot of amulets on at any given time. I’m a bit of a magpie too, and I’m attracted to color, print, and texture—and I always try to wear natural fibers. I want a magical life, so I try to dress for it!

What one item in your closet could you not live without?
A really good matte red lipstick and a great little jacket to pull it all together.

Shop Elise’s go-to brand Vince.

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