Fashion is the way I introduce myself to the world, every day, without saying anything.

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A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by Steph and her fiancé Shane’s apartment, went through her closet, styled her, and photographed her around her place in some of her coolest pieces. A little background…

After having an afternoon with my friend Marcie a few months back, I realized that styling and photographing talented, creative women in their home was exactly the kind of project I needed to get back into blogging. As I mentally ran through the (long) list of incredible women I know, I immediately thought of Steph.

I have known Steph since before I was born. You could argue that we were always supposed to be friends. My Mom and Steph’s Aunt Marsha met in 1970 when they were working as lab techs at the New Jersey College of Medicine. Along with my other “Aunt” Nora (Nubby for short), they have been best friends for nearly 50 years.

Naturally, when Steph and I were born less than a year apart, our parents always guessed we would become friends.

As adults, what Steph and I have realized is that our relationship is more like a sister or a cousin than anything else. We have a mutual fondness for one another other and can go months or even years without speaking and snap back together like no time has passed. Growing up, we saw each other every summer at Tanglewood, where our Moms (and Aunt Marsha and Aunt Nubby and Steph’s Grandma Erna) would coordinate this incredible picnic dinner and Steph and I would catch up on our lives while our parents listened to the music. For a while there, we were so different, and yet, incredibly, we were close despite my being OBSESSED with NSync and Steph loving The Foo Fighters.

Steph is one of the smartest people I know. I say this not hyperbolically, because I weirdly keep a mental list of all the really smart people in my life, and she has been on that list as long as I’ve known her. She has worked in film and tv doing archival research (among other things), is an amazing writer, and has read every book (I AM SERIOUS). She currently works as the Outreach Director for a documentary film impact and engagement campaign. 

Aside from her many accolades, she has such an incredibly unique and distinct sense of style; I knew I would want to kick off this project with her. Below are some pictures of my beautiful friend, with her own words on style:

The view. The view.

 

 

General approach to fashion:

I can’t wear something if it isn’t comfortable. It limits what I wear—for instance, I don’t wear heels—but I’ve been able to find comfortable clothes that are true to my taste. So in that case, why wear anything uncomfortable? I won’t look good if I don’t feel good. Also, I like black and navy blue, very petite jewelry, and basically anything Michelle Williams wears.

 

Steph in a dress from Pinkyotto, with a whale pillow. Steph in a dress from Pinkyotto, with a whale pillow.

Earliest fashion memory:

I’m not sure I have one earliest memory. I remember stick-on earrings, multi-colored plastic bracelets, and barrettes shaped like hearts and seashells. Picking out manatee and turtle t-shirts, wearing jelly sandals at the beach, and cutting the feet off of Ghostbusters footie pajamas. (A few years later, I remember a bright blue vinyl jacket, oversized Nirvana t-shirts, JNCOs, and Converse.)

Zoe the cat in the kitchen. (Check out Steph and Shane's mug collection!) Zoe the cat in the kitchen. (Check out Steph and Shane’s mug collection!)

 

If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life:

My mom’s Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA tour shirt. She saw him twice on that tour while eight months pregnant with me, so I’ve basically been a Bruce superfan since before I was born. I borrowed the shirt from her in high school and never gave it back. It’s comfortable and familiar, a link to my childhood and my home.

Steph in a dress from Anthropologie. Steph in a dress from Anthropologie.

 

Favorite brand or retailer:

Most of my dresses are from Pinkyotto, a boutique with a few locations around the city. I started shopping there when the owner sold clothes at a local designers’ market around 2004, then followed her to a shop on E 9th St in the Village, and not long after I moved to Williamsburg, she opened up two stores a few blocks away.

Steph's beautiful engagement ring was originally her Grandmother Erna's (one of the greatest humans who ever lived on Planet Earth). Steph’s beautiful engagement ring was originally her Grandmother Erna’s (one of the greatest humans who ever lived on Planet Earth).

 

 

 

Fashion tips or guidelines you want to share?

I don’t feel qualified to give out any tips—I think I need them!

 

 

 

 

 

Dress: Pinkyotto, Shoes: Clarks Dress: Pinkyotto, Shoes: Clarks

 

 

 

And, just to give you a sense of us as awkward teens:

<img src=”http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5572f695e4b0f976c0a15136/5686877617e4f1bd0d7e2f17/579b544af7e0ab143fef35ec/1469797473465//img.jpg” alt=”Steph and Allie in 1997. Steph and Allie in 1997. <3

 

Notice the Kurt Cobain tee on Steph, and the…Delia’s plastic jacket on me. I couldn’t be embarrassed by this if I TRIED…I love it so.

Steph, THANK YOU so much for letting me into your home to style and photograph you. I love you!

xoxo,

aok

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Emily Thomas
Emily Thomas
4 years ago

I love that her home style is simplistic yet full of personality! And that engagement ring is GORGEOUS!