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Closet Envy: Photographer Chenoa Maxwell

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Chenoa Maxwell is an actress and photographer, which means that she knows how to look good no matter what side of the camera she's on. Her sexy, laid-back style is figure-flattering and fuss-free. Whether she's shooting a hot fashion editorial or capturing a night out with friends, Chenoa never leaves the house without her camera -- or without a wardrobe that's always on-point. She knows how to mix vintage one-of-a-kinds with chic and tailored basics. Here's a look at the photog's style and her own thoughts on how she pulls her looks together. ESSENCE.com: How would you describe your style? CHENOA MAXWELL: My style is eclectic, comfortable and classy with a twist of edge and a splash of sexy. ESSENCE.com: What does style mean to you? MAXWELL: To me, style is personal expression at its best! It's the freedom to rock your inner artist outwardly and the chance to look as beautiful as you feel. ESSENCE.com: What are your go-to staple pieces? MAXWELL: My go-to staple pieces never fail me. All I need is five minutes, some lip gloss, a hat, a heel and a stylish blazer over some fitted jeans and I'm ready to go just about anywhere. ESSENCE.com: What one clothing item best represents you? MAXWELL: Hmm... there is no one clothing item that best represents me. Just like my spirit is free, so is my style. ESSENCE.com: What items are splurge-worthy and why? MAXWELL: A HOT purse and shoe is a must! You can literally wear pretty much anything if your shoe and purse game is up. And if you live in a city that has four seasons like I do, then you MUST invest in a fly coat too. ESSENCE.com: What is your favorite item right now and why? MAXWELL: My new Chopard watch, because it was a beautiful, timeless gift from the man I love. ESSENCE.com: How would you suggest balancing high-end and low-end? MAXWELL: I'm all about sales and the vintage. Mixing a great vintage dress or top with a beautiful high end shoe. ESSENCE.com: What's a must for you every day? What don't you leave the house without? MAXWELL: I never leave the house without my camera, BlackBerry, Nars lip gloss, Amex, driver's license, cashmere scarf and my wedding ring. ESSENCE.com: How do you tie in your work wear with your casual going-out clothes? MAXWELL: It's easy for me because I think of them as one in the same. To go from day to night, I just add a bolder piece of jewelry, a higher heel and some eyeliner. ESSENCE.com: Whose closet do you envy? MAXWELL: Envy? Can't say that I envy anyone's closet, however, I'd be more than happy to help Victoria Beckham offload any overflow her closet may have. ESSENCE.com: How big is your closet? MAXWELL: My closet is pretty big! I'd say it's big enough to just about hold half of everything I really want. Lol! ESSENCE.com: Describe some of your all-time favorite pieces and why you love them? MAXWELL: One of my favorite pieces is this beautiful vintage Halston dress that I found in a thrift shop for $24. I love it because it fits me like a glove and it reminds me that you don't have to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks. ESSENCE.com: What will you never be caught dead in? MAXWELL: I'd never be caught dead in a sleeveless, low-plunging top or dress. I think style is also knowing what you do and don't look good in, and I know that this particular style is not for me. ESSNECE.com: What are some of your latest purchases? MAXWELL: Just bought these sick over-the-knee Jimmy Choo boots that I'm loving right now and this incredible two-finger ring by this new designer named Simone Berry. ESSENCE.com: What are you dying to get your hands on? MAXWELL: I'm dying to get my hands on the Leica M7 Hermes Edition Camera but, that's going to have to wait because I just put myself on a "no spending" fast until the end of the year. Time for me to stop wearing fashion and start wearing wealth... I'm thinking that may be my sexiest look of all! ESSENCE.com: What is the foolproof outfit that always makes you feel your best? MAXWELL: A chic tailored blazer, great shoe, and diamond studs paired with anything. ESSENCE.com: How do you deal with the avalanche of trends? MAXWELL: Not really one to follow trends. Most of the time I have no idea what's the trendy thing to wear. I buy what I love and dress how I feel. Besides, my motto is: the best trend to follow is the one you make yourself.
Filed Under: Closet Envy
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