This story is featured in the September/October issue of ESSENCE, available on newsstands now.
“People have been wearing hats since the 1800s—they change shape, they change the size, the options are endless. I personally love to dress them up. If you’re just coming into the hat game and don’t know how to style it, then try an all-black outfit, so the hat can be the loudest thing that you’re wearing.”
“He was an incredible designer and I immediately think of his works when I think of staples. Everyone should have one of his pieces in their closet because he was all about functionality.”
“First, lace is very sexy. You can wear it for a first date or a black-tie event. You can even wear it to a wedding, depending on how sheer it is. But that’s not all—you can also wear it as a cover-up at the beach. Also, any shoe can be paired with a lace dress. You might wear it with a nice summer sandal, a low sneaker, a heel, or even a boot in the winter.”
“I’ve been really into wearing belts as tops. It shows how essential a belt can be for your outfit. If I want to put one on, say, over a caftan dress, I can do that. A belt just really amps up your look. When you’re thinking about why some things are staples, you should think about how they can emphasize an already-existing outfit.”
“There’s something androgynous and boyish about cargo pants, but still also very utilitarian. They’re a staple you can wear all the time. You can wear them with a crop top or a sweater. You can wear them in the summertime with a bikini top if you want. They also come in many patterns, and you don’t always have to go with neutral colors. You can mix it up however you like.”
“We’re not doing simple black leggings anymore. We’re doing cutouts. We’re doing color. Sometimes people forget about how leggings can act like pants. Adding a jacket and a great shoe to a legging can really elevate the look, as we did here with the bomber jacket and pump.”
“I think people are like, ‘Oh, my God, that necklace is too big—but really it’s layered necklaces on a simple outfit. The necklaces create the moment, yet it took no time to put them on.”