My Style: Kate Betts

Portrait of author and fashion writer Kate Betts

Photo: Courtesy of Kate Betts

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Right now I am obsessed with the amazing prints of Mary Katrantzou. I also think what Blake Mycoskie is doing with Toms is fantastic — a new business model for creativity, marketing and charity all wrapped up in one.

Please describe your style in three words.

New York, Paris.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Not looking in a full-length mirror.

Do you believe in role models?

Of course.

What are your favourite fabrics?

I love old-fashioned fabrics like duchesse satin and radzimir paired with cotton and denim. I also love prints, cotton prints like Liberty and african block prints and Ikat. But I cannot wear them myself.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

No; style is an expression of oneself. That's like asking if there are combinations of personalities or people that I don't like.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

Paris.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Classic.

What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?

I have adopted Mrs. Obama's rule ever since I met her for my book, Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style — wear what you love.

Celebrities and style...

Are still the secret recipe to selling luxury goods in America.

One garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Shoes.

A woman should always look like...

She is happy.

Who taught you what you know about style?

My mother, Glynne Betts. She had an effortless sense of style and grace.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

Depends mostly on what I am doing and where I am going — office, lunch, playground, baseball field, dinner party, gala or all of the above!

Your biggest regret is...

No regrets.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

Yes, of course! Who doesn't? But they depend on the city I am in. If I am in Tribeca in New York City, I always go to the green market on Saturday mornings (I love to cook). In Paris I always go to the Bon Marché, in London I love walking through Soho because I always find something new (the last time I was there I discovered the most amazing cake shop). And in Tokyo, Isetan is a must, as is Aoyama.

We will never see you wearing...

Clogs.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

There are so many, I could never narrow it down to one.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Her posture.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

Chanel and Azzedine Alaia, but much of it I cannot wear it anymore!

Which designer/fashion house never fails to impress you?

There are two, actually: Chanel and Ralph Lauren.

One article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to is...

Bra: always get fitted. It changes the way you stand, feel, and the look of your silhouette.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Depends on your age.

The best word of advice you have ever heard?

Kill them with kindness.

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