Among the few things frugal mothers and fashion icons have in common is a shared belief in wearing your favorite clothes until they’re falling apart. In support of the perennially great idea to wear your best-loved things over and over, we asked a few of our most stylish colleagues to expound upon the one piece that carries the rest of their wardrobe. In the running: the staple they have to reluctantly stop themselves from wearing daily because it works so well with everything else, the deceptively easy-to-wear item that turns every outfit into a look, and the signature that’s a pillar of their personal style. Below, explore our first installment of the three-part study, featuring the new fall collection from J.Crew, the fashion source known for standout classics and brilliant, highly personal styling — something these staffers practice in spades.
Ellin Youse, consumer marketing director
Style bio: My style is a high-low mix of investment pieces and vintage. I like strong shapes with decadent textures, and feel most myself in artful silhouettes that evoke both power and comfort. You can often find me in one of my mom’s ’80s pant suits and combat boots, or a silk slip dress with slouchy boots or hippie-ish slides. I love to stack antique jewelry (from my friend’s store and favorite vintage spot) over the simple line tattoos on my arms.
Wardrobe hero: This blazer is word-for-word how I describe my style needs — comfortable, well-fitting clothes that empower and express my personality. The color is bright but the structure keeps it from looking juvenile. We leaned into juxtaposing the all-pink palette against the blazer and cords’ “serious business” shapes. To me, this look screams dress for the job you want. And based on this outfit, the job I want is apparently running six companies from my bedroom.
Go-to outfit twists: A sharp jacket or tailored pants help elevate my vibe so it’s less “selling turquoise out of a van at the beach.” Similarly, keeping my makeup and hair more stripped down and natural helps me feel balanced when I’m wearing giant platforms and an armful of costume jewelry. On days when I don’t leave the office until 9 p.m., soft, rich textures like velvet, worn-in leather, and faux fur get me through. If I were going out for drinks after work, I’d swap this turtleneck for a statement vintage necklace and silk tank.
Fashion feels: If I come into the office in a look that doesn’t make me feel like that girl, nothing’s getting done — wearing something I’m proud of helps me do work I’m proud of. I take myself more seriously when I love my outfit, even if it’s a prom dress from 1989.
Indya Brown, fashion partnerships editor
Style bio: As a market editor and stylist, I’m constantly thinking about creative ways to style different types of outfits. My ideal look is minimal with an edge. I like things that seem simple but have an interesting detail like bold hardware, clean lines, weird toe shapes, etc. I love a heeled boot or sandal, and gold jewelry is always a must.
Wardrobe hero: High-waisted anything frames my shape best, so I tend to prefer high-waist jeans. I love that these ones have pockets in the front. Besides how they’re styled here, I typically wear mine with a bodysuit or a cropped sweater. Or I always feel my best in a blazer, white tank, and some really good pants.
Go-to outfit twists: I like to wear a sweater over a simple tee or reuse a dress by layering it over pants. Last winter, I bought a great pair of snakeskin printed boots from J.Crew and wore them all season — with jeans, skirts, trousers. I got so many compliments on them and they were so comfortable and chic! I’m excited to bring them out again when it gets cooler.
Fashion feels: My job is centered around fashion, so I feel much more confident when I have a great outfit on. My style can be a billboard for my work, so it’s important that I look put-together, whether that just means that all my clothes are steamed or that I’m wearing a trendy piece in an unusual way.
Kat Miller, programmatic sales director
Style bio: My style leans heavy into New York City and French inspiration, and is very “off-duty” as they call it — sleek but with a slightly rockerish edge. As a New Yorker, black is a staple. I’m always on the hunt for the best T-shirt, and I live in denim. On the flipside, I have fun with concert tees and streetwear, and I’m a mini-sneakerhead. I consider leopard print and camo neutrals, and live by stacked bracelets, leather pants, and my everyday jewelry, including a mobster-style pinky ring and a ring I “borrowed” from my mom.
Wardrobe hero: What’s not to love about these sparkly booties? They’re pure glam rock, in the spirit of one of my idols. They look over-the-top at first glance, but they literally go with everything and add just enough edge to my style. They’re perfect for if I want to look totally rocker-chic — paired simply with jeans, a tee, a leather jacket, and cool sunnies — but they also add a surprisingly soft, eye-catching element to a more feminine outfit like this pleated skirt and sweater.
Go-to outfit twists: Proportions! If I’m wearing ripped boyfriend jeans, I’ll balance them with a slimmer top to avoid looking frumpy. Details on basics are also key. I’ll wear cropped jeans, but they’ll have frayed edges. These boots are the perfect example of changing up my whole look by trading sneakers for some glitter. And finally, if I think something really trendy is fun, I’ll try to find a version of it somewhere that won’t break the bank.
Fashion feels: I don’t really care what’s “in” for a season if it’s not going to fit my body. And I hardly wear color, but when I do, I go all out and gravitate toward bold colors. I love J.Crew’s cashmere sweaters that come in a million color options. A good outfit, whether it’s all black or bursting with neon pink, makes me feel like a badass, and it definitely shows!
For more about what’s new at J.Crew, check out the Cut’s editor-in-chief, Stella Bugbee, in conversation with the brand’s recently instated head of women’s design, Chris Benz.
This is paid content produced for an advertiser by New York Stories. The editorial staff of The Cut did not play a role in its creation.