the boyfriend 2.0

Rag & Bone

I posted this photo on instagram last week, wearing new Rag & Bone jeans which I captioned, “will likely never leave my body”.  Because it’s not a secret that finding jeans you love is no small feat.  It’s every woman’s life long shopping mission to find the perfect, never-take-off-my-body pair, and it could take months, albeit years to actually locate them.  Ya know, the ones where you can wear with heels and flats, during the day and night, that are equal parts comfortable and sexy, and which you never have to wash because they always keep their shape?  Um, yeah – this is what my denim dreams are made of.  My typical daily dose of denim is an oversized boyfriend pair, the popular silhouette that exploded last year.  Lately though, I’ve been coveting ones with the same relaxed boyfriend-y sensibility, but with more sexiness.  Still slouchy and definitely not “skinny”, but a straighter, more legit masculine cut.  I also wanted full length instead of the typical boyfriend ankle.

Enter the Dre – Armitage by Rag & Bone.  As I slid them up my body in the dressing room, I immediately knew that me and this pair of denim had a long-term relationship ahead of us.  Not only were they exactly the fit I’ve been searching for, but they hugged my legs in all the right places, didn’t squeeze my waist, were still sexy, comfortable, and the wash was on point.  Worth every dime, this is one of those instances like we’ve discussed about investment pieces.  I’m not saying every single pair of jeans you own should be expensive.  But for the PERFECT PAIR, the sky’s the limit.  You can’t put a price on pants you’ll live in.  Literally.

The Dre comes in a variety of washes including white.  Pop on over to Rag & Bone and give them a go.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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 photos via svetlana blasucci

the classics

the classicsAnd to piggy back on last weeks post which offered affordable trendy items to refresh your spring/summer 2014 wardrobe, investing in some seasonal classics is essential too.  These are the pieces to spend a little more money on since their shelf life is endless. They are the trends that move through a revolving door, reappearing year after year.  Every wardrobe needs a strong foundation, and these key basics will provide a sturdy baseline.  I’ve rounded up my list of ‘must-haves’ which I can assure you will go the distance.  Happy Monday!

Stay tuned for some exciting changes coming your way this Friday, which I cannot wait to share!  Your Soul Style is growing up!  Stay very, very VERY tuned!

where to buythe cotton tee // the versatile skirt // the chambray shirt // the denim jacket // the carryall // the white denim // the gladiators // the classic specs

 

spotlight: patrice batson

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I met Patrice Batson by way of instagram.  Yes – instagram!  We became fast friends via our common ground of fashion and I’m pleasantly surprised by this modern, unexpected 21st century relationship.  At 27, this Bajan beauty quickly impressed me, which I now know is thematic.  While interning during Merecedes Benz Fashion Week at 17, she caught the eye of a Fashion Editor from Seventeen magazine and impressed her too.  Poached right out of the mix and asked to come on board at the publication, this was the beginning of her beginning.  After a few more years of paying her dues and learning the ropes at companies like Donna Karan, IMG Models, Chanel and Versace, Patrice landed her first “real job” at InStyle magazine in Advertising Sales.  It wasn’t until her work at Digital Brand Architects though, that she discovered her interest in branding and strategy.  She currently holds the position of Marketing Manager of Brand Development (for products and services) at ELLE Magazine.  It is here where she has found her groove, engaged in creative strategizing, problem solving and understanding the consumer on a deeper level.  She coins herself part anthropologist.  Outside the corporate walls, Patrice co-founded Cup of Tea, an interior design service.  She is passionate about helping others create a home that is personal and inviting.  Like Your Soul Style, she believes in authentic expression and feeling connected to your spaces since they are an extension of who you are.  Her dream job is to travel the world, remodeling boutique hotels.  In June, Patrice will marry Kalvin, whom she’s been with for 8 years, in the West Village of Manhattan.  Ethereal, romantic and intimate are just some of the objectives she hopes to capture for the evening.  When Patrice and I got together, I asked what her favorite part of living in this great city was and she said, “of course the food and restaurants”, but more importantly, “the people”.  Her source of inspiration from the street has provided a road map to her personal style.  So we had a chat about that.  Here’s what she had to say….

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Patrice, what is your soul style?

My soul is actually pretty lazy so my style stems from that. I strongly stick to a color palette of neutrals and navy. I’m almost always in black.  It has become my signature amongst friends.  If I’m not in black, they think something is wrong. 

How do you describe your style? 

My style is minimally classic.  I love finding pieces that are simple, but will still be relevant 10 years from now.  I’m not a fashionista.  Firstly, I can’t keep up because there are new trends almost everyday.  Secondly, I don’t do well with constant change.  My “uniform” consists of skinny jeans, a t-shirt and a great jacket/blazer.  Or I’m in a shift dress.  I wear some variation of the two almost every day.  

What does your style say about you? 

My style says that I’m comfortable, yet pulled together.  It took me a while to find my style and while it’s still evolving, I’ve reached a point where I’m finally comfortable in what I wear.  And it shows.  I recently cut off all my hair and feel like that has a lot to do with my style right now as well.  I was nervous because I thought I’d have to dress more feminine and girly which is so not me.  But, I’m pleasantly surprised that this hairstyle has enhanced my personal style even more.

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Where do you draw inspiration from?  Do you have a style icon?

I work in one of the most stylish buildings in NYC – the Hearst Tower, so my favorite pastime is going to the cafeteria and people watching.  It’s definitely a catwalk situation and I enjoy it because I’m inspired to up my game.  I wanted to start a style blog about the fabulous people in there, both men and women, but I’m too lazy.

I also draw inspiration from my fiance’, Kalvin.  He’s one of the most stylish and coolest guys I know.  I’m obviously bias, but it terms of style, there are not too many men that can go from a boardroom meeting to a Jay-Z concert and he does this effortlessly.  His closet is much bigger than mine, yet his style is very defined.  If Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford had a baby, it would be Kalvin.

Other than that, my style icons are the French Vogue gang.  They’re literally the best dressed women I’ve ever seen.  I definitely worship at the church of Emmanuelle Alt, the fearless leader and Editor-in-Chief.  She is responsible for making me go home, strip my entire closet full of the ‘fluff’ and streamline it.  I’m constantly editing because I feel overwhelmed with too many options.  Women don’t typically say, “I have too many clothes”, right?  Well, I guess I’m rare.  I’ve applied my edited closet approach to many other aspects in my life, like my desk at work.  It has a curated theme.  Less is more.

Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

My style has definitely evolved.  Thank god!  I seriously don’t even know what the heck I was thinking with some of my outfits, but I guess everyone has to go through that period of finding themselves.  I’m so glad it’s almost over!  For a long time, I tried to dress like someone else and it didn’t quite work out for me.  Once I started dressing like myself, it all clicked.  Over the past year and a half my style has been consistent – timeless with a modern twist.  What has also helped is taking the time to find designers and brands that work for my body and are also of a certain quality.  I’m a huge fan of J.Crew, Theory, A.P.C, Francisco Costa from Calvin Klein, Chloe and Rag & Bone.  I adore finding designers that bring bring something fresh to the table like my friend Fe Noel of Simply Intricate.  The top and skirt from this shoot are hers.

Do you have any style challenges?  

My biggest style challenge is my lack of unlimited funds.  I’m at a point in my life where stores like H&M are just not cutting it anymore.  Don’t me wrong, I love H&M, but I’ve started investing in my clothing as I’ve gotten older.  I find it important.  Since the investment pieces are indeed, major investments, I have to pace myself so I don’t go broke.  Especially since I’m in the process of saving for both a wedding and a new home! 

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Do you have a favorite fashion/style moment?

My favorite style moments are anything Michelle Pfeiffer wore in Scarface.  I’m actually not a huge fan of the movie, but I find myself constantly playing it to watch her style.  It’s effortless, chic, sexy – just genius.  She mainly wears neutrals and simple suits and that (to me) is the epitome of sleek femininity.  My goal is to dress like that by the time I’m 30.  

And your worst? 

Take your pick of my many disasters from kindergarten to my mid-twenties.  I seriously cringe when I click through old facebook pictures and see some of the outfits that I put together.  The irony is how I thought I was so fashion forward and stylish! 

Must have item in your wardrobe?

My Balenciaga moto bag with rose gold studs, now discontinued.  My finance’ bought the last one in North America as a Christmas gift last year and it has been with me every single day since.  It instantly adds a bit of luxe, bad-ass-ness to anything I put on.  I hope to hand it down to my daughter one day.  This is probably weird, but sometimes when I shop I say to myself, “would my future daughter want to wear this in 20 years?”  You’d be surprised how many things I put back on the rack because of that question.  Look at her, already helping me make major fashion decisions!   

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Join Patrice on instagram to keep up with her latest musings on travel, fashion, random inspirations and a peek behind the scenes at ELLE!

To be featured on Your Soul Style, e-mail me directly at yoursoulstyle@gmail.com.

spotlight: lauren matina

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It would only be natural for Lauren Matina to pursue a career in media since receiving an undergraduate degree from one of the countries top communication schools and her father having a long standing career with CBS Sports.  Not so fast.  You know what they say about assuming.  Lauren did begin in television production, but quickly knew it wasn’t the right fit.  Followed by a brief stint as Jeff Goldblum’s assistant, she then decided to pursue her real passion: fashion!  She landed an internship at What Not to Wear with Stacy London and after interacting with creative women whom she was inspired by, fell in love with wardrobe styling.  For the next few years Lauren networked in the NYC styling scene, assisting on jobs, learning the ropes and gaining the necessary skills to become a lead stylist.  She still continues to assist, but has spearheaded the styling on current projects including the Levis Kids Spring 2014 presentation, the launch campaign for European denim brand Orta Blue and an editorial shoot for the September issue of Creem Magazine.  She is also the freelance Market Editor and Stylist for Better Homes and Gardens.  Lauren now spends most days visiting showrooms, pulling looks and attending photoshoots. With such an outward focus on style, I was curious about her personal approach.  So we sat down and had a chat.  Here’s what she had to say….

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Lauren, what is your soul style?

I’m a fashion stylist with a wide variety of clients.  Some days I’m working on an edgy editorial, other days I am doing women’s service pieces or assisting another stylist.  My look must be relatable to everyone.  I want people to stay focused on my work and the project.  Not some loud color or crazy trend I’m wearing.  I like to look classic, yet modern.  If I’m ever in doubt about a purchase, I think if Audrey Hepburn was a 27 year old NYC stylist today, would she wear this?

How do you describe your style?

I wear a lot of black and neutrals.  I’d describe my style as clean, classic, feminine with a slightly modern twist.  I toughen up my look with leather and metallic details.  I’m not into super loud trend pieces or logos.  Less is more.  I like clothes that can transition from day to evening since I’m always on the go.  I don’t have a 9 to 5 job by any means.  I have to be dressed to be on my hands and knees, unpacking boxes of clothes and then to meet a top designer to go through their new collection.  I have a lot of days like that. 
 
I’m young and I’m on a budget so am fortunate to get gifted product through my editorial work.  On any given day I’m generally wearing at least two items I’ve received for free.  You get creative quick when you’re trying to make it in New York.  In this shoot I’m wearing a sweater from the ladies at Simply Vera and rings from Alexis Russell.  Love her.  Love all her stuff.  I like how she mixes metals because that’s how I wear mine.  I don’t have time in the morning to decide if its a gold day or a silver day.  That said, I believe in splurging on key pieces.  I think every woman should own one great handbag, coat and pair of shoes.  This Stella McCartney bag was a splurge.  Every time I wear it, I feel like it puts the icing on the cake.  
 
My favorite designers are, Vince, Alexander Wang, Rag and Bone, Stella McCartney, and Helmut Lang.  I’ve recently become obsessed with Maje.  Do they have sample sales?
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What does your style say about you?

My style says I’m confident about who I am and what I do.  My style reflects my industry and the city I live in.  It shows my feminine side, but has a touch of “don’t mess with me.”

Where do you draw inspiration from?  Do you have a style icon?

I draw my inspiration from a variety of sources, film being one.  Everything from Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca to Kerry Washington’s wardrobe in Scandal.  I find it fascinating how wardrobe can make a woman’s character come to life.  Film is a classic example of fashion story telling.

I’ve truly lucked out to have assisted many amazing stylists, each with a unique style.  Stacy London was the first one I worked with, albeit indirectly, I learned about what shapes fit and flatter specific body types.  Never underestimate the power of a belted waist.  Christine Bibbo Herr of NYC Pretty is all about color, mixing prints and having fun.  I learned how to have fun with color from her.  Carla Engler, who has worked in fashion at Harpers Bazaar for years has a great eye for classic style.  I learned how to identify beautiful fabrics and textures from Susan Breindel.  With her, it’s all in the details.  Then Anastasia Marano came along and I was introduced to a young, hip, New York vibe.  She’s amazing inside and out.  And lastly how could I forget you!  Jenny!  I love your laid back yet elegant style.  Every single stylist I’ve assisted has taught me something.

Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

Oh God, a constant evolution.  I went to an all girls Catholic high school and lived in a plaid skirt and knee highs for 4 years straight.  I got out of that place and I was like, “give me a halter top and a mini skirt!”.  I spent my college years trying to do the whole overtly sexy thing.  Looking back, it was a bit text book.  I quickly realized this wouldn’t serve me well in the professional world.  Post college, I went through a very girly stage too.  Lots of headbands, ballet flats, and cardigans.  Lots of sparkle.  Very “cute.”

Before I made the decision to pursue fashion styling full time in my mid-twenties, I went through a quarter life crisis.  It was a tough time, but I became a tougher person.  I started taking myself really seriously.  Who and where I wanted to be.  I started meditating on my core values and my life goals.  I was always a goofball, the class clown, but I became more focused and intentional.  I started showing up early, staying late, and generally busting my ass.  I think I came out of that period with a more classic, minimal, slightly tougher style.

Do you have any style challenges?

My biggest style challenge is finding great quality and design within my budget.  You can only buy so many pieces from Zara and Top Shop.

Do you have a favorite fashion/style moment?

My best fashion moment is to come.  I hope it’s my wedding day.  I want to look stellar.  No, I’m not engaged.

And your worst?

New Years Eve 2003.  Bad mini skirt with buckles and a thin lace satin spaghetti strap top.  I’m sure there was some sort of strappy high heel involved in this as well.  I can’t believe I just told you that!

Must have item in your wardrobe?

A well fitting black leather moto jacket.  I live in mine.
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Check out Lauren’s portfolio here and join her on instagram for the inside scoop on what’s happening in fashion!

To be featured on Your Soul Style, e-mail me directly at yoursoulstyle@gmail.com.

style, naturally

DSC_0450 - Version 2Inspired by this post written by Leandra Medine from The Man Repeller, I decided to approach my outfit yesterday from the same perspective, wearing clothes that felt relaxed, comfortable and effortless.  I admittingly spend too many days analyzing my (overflowing) closet with rumblings in my mind of, “I have nothing to wear”.  In these moments I find it’s best to go back to the basics.  It’s when I can stop over thinking it that I feel my best.  Don’t be mistaken – I advocate for taking time to invest into your style.  But I also know what it’s like when things aren’t flowing naturally and you wind up with a mountain of clothing on your bed because, “nothing is working”.  When you’ve tried on endless combinations and even the exact outfit you wore last week feels completely different!  What the F?  Follow your instincts and be aware of which day today is.  Know your mood, your energy and stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.  Last nights leather pants may have brought out your inner rock star, but your favorite jeans today (in a less obvious way) could do the same thing!

SHOP THIS OUTFIT:  jacket: Aritzia (similar), t-shirt: Zara (similar), jeans: Rag & Bone, booties: Zara

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