What are the rules in the way you dress?
I think you can make a strong statement by dressing with subtlety. I never pile on accessories or wear loud, crazy prints. I like femininity, but not girlishness—I avoid anything with ruffles, frills, or florals. And I love the challenge of keeping an all-black-everything wardrobe interesting by playing with textures and silhouettes. Black is just classic. I feel my very best in it.
Please describe your style in three words.
What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?
Not dressing for one's body type.
Do you believe in role models?
I witnessed Meryl Streep give a speech at an awards ceremony a while back and I'll never be the same.
What are your favourite fabrics?
I like silk tops, linen pants, and wool jackets. I love suede, leather and fur in the winter.
Which city has the best-dressed women?
As a New Yorker I'm biased, but I love how you can stroll a few blocks in any direction and see a totally different style of dress.
Would you say that you are conservative or bold?
Both. Conservative because I like basics, clean lines and neutrals (mostly black.) But I also like wearing sexy stuff on my nights out.
Celebrities and style...
I'm thankful for Tilda Swinton, who knocks everybody else out of the park every single time.
Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?
I recently bought a vintage Chanel backpack, and now I can't imagine wearing a traditional shoulder-strap handbag ever again.
A woman should always look...
Who taught you what you know about style?
Growing up, I probably just absorbed things from magazines and TV. My mom is all about getting the best bargain. I haven't really inherited that from her, unfortunately…
How do you select your clothing every morning?
My closet is stocked with lots of easy, thrown-on pieces; I just grab whatever works best for the weather and think about what my day has in store. I do not exactly thrive in the morning; it's at night when I put some effort into my look.
What is your biggest regret?
I regret over-tweezing my eyebrows in high school. And those spandex tube tops were probably not the best idea, either.
The three essential things a woman should know about style are...
Know your body, invest in a good tailor and aim to feel comfortable and confident.
Do you have any shopping rituals?
I only go shopping with a purpose, i.e. when I have specific things in mind to buy and know where to find them. I usually go alone. I don't really like to meander in stores; I'm usually in and out.
We will never see you wearing...
Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?
I love seeing older women with great style. Beatrix Ost is in her own league.
What is the first thing you notice on a woman?
Her eyes, hair, and smile.
What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?
These Prada heels from a few seasons back—black, suede, ankle strap, platform heel. If it's timeless, it's usually worth the splurge, or at least that’s how I attempt to rationalise my purchases.
One article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to is...
A perfectly fitted swimsuit.
Is comfort an enemy of style?
Comfort and style are absolutely not mutually exclusive. But the line needs to be drawn somewhere, and one should know where to draw it.
Who would you like to recommend for My Style?
My friend Cara Sheffler, who runs the quarterly literary magazine Works & Days.
The best words of advice you have ever heard?
Cary Tennis' now-defunct advice column for Salon.com, “Since You Asked,” should be required reading—they were always weird and wonderful. And Rob Brezsny, my favourite astrologer, is a genius. I don’t even believe in weekly horoscopes; I just read them because I love his insight on life.
Kristi's opinions are her own and do not reflect those of her employer.