Who taught you what you know about style?
S: The people I’ve met on my travels — the little pieces of culture that come through in what we wear from Australia to Southeast Asia to South Africa. K: I wouldn’t claim to know anything about style! Style is that little bit of expression that comes out every morning when we get dressed. It’s the result of a million influences, and we can’t control it, just as we can’t say why we like the art that hangs on our walls. Every person I have ever met has influenced my taste in some way or another!
Please describe your style in three words.
Shannon: Preppy, hippie, chic. (If that’s even possible!) Kristin: Thrifted, comfy, black.
What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?
S: Overaccessorising. K: To dress for others and not for self.
Do you believe in role models?
S: Absolutely. Inspiration makes all the difference. K: Yes! We all have much to learn from those who are wiser.
What are your favourite fabrics?
S: Any fabrics that are eco-friendly, sustainable, or organic. K: A recycled cotton/poly blend; it’s wrinkle-resistant and has the good qualities of both cotton and polyester, like comfort and breathability, except, of course, it’s completely recycled!
Are there any style combinations that you object to?
S: Argyle and horizontal stripes. K: I can’t seem to leave the house wearing navy and black, although, I am certain that the two could be friends given the right circumstance.
Which city has the best-dressed women?
S: Cape Town, South Africa. K: I absolutely love Sydney fashion. Bright, fun, who-cares, yet really sexy. If I could choose the best-dressed nation? I’ve never been, but by all accounts, it’s got to be Sweden.
Would you say that you are conservative or bold?
S: Depends on my mood or the occasion. I'd say I'm relatively conservative, but can be bold. K: Conservative in everyday wear, but when I travel, I go a little bolder…
What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?
S: Less is more. Simple, understated, classic. K: I’ve gotta feel good in it, and I always dress down rather than up. I hate being the most dressy person in the room!
Celebrities and style...
S: Don’t rule all. K: Can be inspiring or hilarious.
One garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?
S: A Versalette. K: Aside from the Versalette? Black yoga-style pants.
A woman should always look like...
S: She’s proud of herself and confident. K: She loves and takes care of herself.
How do you select your clothing every morning?
S: It's dependent on the events of the day, the weather, and how much effort I want to put into myself. I don’t have many clothes to choose from, so that can make it either easy or difficult! K: First for schedule, and then for feelings, but I have very little in my closet (about 33 items, actually) so the selection process is usually quick and painless!
What is your biggest regret?
S: Buying pieces I never wear, and buying from corrupt companies that have little regard for the way they manufacture and the labor they use. K: All of the shopping I did in high school and college. I thought that spending lots of money to have lots of clothes would make me feel complete. I regret my short-sightedness. Retail therapy is not just bad for self and wallet, but bad for the environment.
The three essential things a woman should know about style are...
S: Be true to yourself. Less is more. Classic, timeless pieces should never be underestimated. K: Wear what you love. Dress for the life you want. Don't listen to anyone else.
Do you have any shopping rituals?
S: I only buy to replace. If I give away to consignment or charity, then I'll buy myself a new piece. K: I am strictly a thrift store shopper, so I like to get rid of the things I don’t love anymore before I start shopping. Then I’ll spend an entire day thrifting and choosing just a few pieces. I will only thrift if I have hours to spend!
We will never see you wearing...
S: Trendy, fast-fashion labels. K: Forever 21 or anything from H&M. Or any fast-fashion outlet, for that matter.
Which new designers do you follow and why?
S: I don’t follow any designers, to be honest. For better or for worse, I’m much more of an environmentalist than a fashionista. I enjoy the eco-designers who are doing innovative work with sustainable fabrics. K: I don’t really follow fashion much; I more so follow sustainable fashion activists and environmentalists, but I really like what Kate Toggery is doing, as well as Elroy, in terms of sustainability and everyday wear.
The most stylish person you have ever seen...
S: My sister is pretty freaking stylish. She looks like a runway model when she goes to the grocery store. K: My friend Liz, who works for Ideeli in New York. The girl can dress.
What is the first thing you notice on a woman?
S: Her confidence/posture. K: That completely depends! I do like shoes, though…
What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?
S: My tan ankle boots, my black leggings, my black eyelet scarf. (The Versalette when it makes its debut.) K: My pair of jeans, a long boyfriend tee, and black leggings. Those items pretty much sum me up!
The one image that defines your approach to style...
S: I don’t think I can pick one image. I’d say I’m more defined by the inspiration I get from other people, just walking down the street. K: Constantly evolving, from Sartorialist street style to the rare magazine I read; no single image is responsible!
Which designer never fails to impress you?
S: I’ve never been a fashionista or had much interest in the fashion world. I respect any designer who remains true to him/herself without getting sucked into the demands of the two-second trends. K: I’ll be honest; I don’t follow the industry much. I spend more time reading about the business practices of Pagatonia than I do looking at other designers’ work, but I’d like to change that and become more involved in what others are doing design-wise.
One article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to is...
S: The length of her pants. K: The seat of her pants! It’s so tricky to find the right fit, but when you do, boom.
Is comfort an enemy of style?
S: Absolutely not. K: Absolutely not. Your style should always make you comfortable, physically and emotionally.
Who would you like to see next in My Style?
S: Summer Rayne Oakes. K: Kate Fletcher, Rebecca Burgess, or Summer Rayne Oakes.
The best word of advice you have ever heard?
S: Be true to yourself. K: Just do it.