I think I’ve always been inspired by street style and by women looking confident and comfortable in what they wear than by anyone in particular or by style icons. Featuring bloggers with a strong individual style is exactly the purpose of my Chic Files series. It’s so refreshing to see this diversity and read about someone’s thoughts on style, it encourages you to trust your own and embrace it.
Today I have the pleasure to present to you my friend Lisa, who pens the beautiful blog LatteLisa, my favourite lifestyle blog. She has a fantastic eye for beauty and aesthetic sense and her sharp sense of humour and wit (you’ll see) always put a smile on my face. She writes three more blogs (a food blog in English, kitchen & aroma, and two others in Icelandic, LatteLísa and Lísa Hjalt ~ uppskriftir), equally wonderful, and if you are wondering how she does it, I think it all lies in the way she leads her life: beautifully, with passion and joy. Welcome, Lisa!
How would you describe your style? Casual chic. I’m drawn to both feminine and masculine cuts and I have a soft spot for 3/4 sleeves.
Who are your style models? I don’t really think about style models, I look at certain pieces of an outfit and it doesn’t matter who’s wearing them. It can be a street style shot with an unknown person, from a magazine or something that I see on screen. I like breaking looks down in my mind and wonder if this one piece is something that would fit me and go with other pieces in my wardrobe. Basically I take a mental photo of what inspires me and keep my eyes open to similar pieces when I go shopping. It can take me months or years to find the right piece and I’m in no hurry. I guess it’s called growing up.
Your signature day outfit: Jeans, either a 3/4-sleeve blouse or a sleeveless blouse/shirt with a cardigan, and ballerina flats.
Your signature evening outfit: If I can get away with jeans and heels, that will be my choice. If not, I’ll choose between a knee-length dress or a top, a long skirt and a wide belt that rests a bit on the hips. One day I’d like to have the perfectly cut smoking.
Is there an item you don’t leave the house without? Sunglasses.
Your favourite wardrobe item: a knee-length, half backless, polka-dot dress that was a gift from my husband (see photo). I can pop it up with a belt or colourful shoes. I feel like a lady every time I put it on. I have other favourite pieces that I can’t exclude. A Nicole Farhi cardigan (see photo) that was also a gift from my husband, two Paul & Joe shirts in white and grey that I never get tired of, and this brown coloured, long and thick Matinique wool scarf that I steal from my husband.
5 pieces a woman should have in her closet: women are of course different, but my essentials are jeans, a well cut tee, a shawl/pashmina, a knee-length dress and a timeless coat.
What is the most underrated piece in a woman’s wardrobe that should deserve more attention? A bra that fits! (I’m going to have to ramble a bit here.) With the selection of bras available, why are women wearing bras that don’t fit? Seriously? Either they are not trying them on before buying or simply convincing themselves in the changing room that the bra fits, because they have an idea in their head about some ideal size. It’s such an important piece that will make or break how a woman looks. I don’t know how often I have seen women wearing something really beautiful but either their cup size is just wrong or their bra is way too tight so their back looks like a hilly landscape. It amazes me every time I see it. If you have a certain bra size from one particular brand it doesn’t mean that the same size from another brand will fit you. Try on the bra and view it from all angles. If your boobs are falling out of the bra you will need another cup size, right?!! If you need a bigger cup size you may have to choose a smaller size of the bra itself. And don’t let any salesperson measure your bra size over the clothes you’re wearing! What is that all about?!! I have heard about women being measured over their coats!!! And if the salesperson is wearing a bra that doesn’t fit then stay away from her … far away! Okay, I’m done rambling.
Flats or heels? A few years back I would definitely have said heels, but now I say ballerina flats. I’m hooked.
shoes or bags? Bags. I love shoes, but I spend more time viewing bags. Seeing a well-dressed woman or a man with a beautiful bag is a pleasure for the eyes.
The 20s, the 30s or…what is your favourite fashion decade? The 1920s, without a doubt. When my time comes and if God offers me to go back and pick an era, I’ll pick that one if he promises to make me taller with smaller hips so the clothes fit me perfectly! And he’ll have to throw in the Charleston dancing skills as well. Demanding, much?
Neutrals, pop of colour or colour blocking? Depends on my mood.
Stripes, polka dots or florals? All three but the florals have to have a nice cut, no granny-looking cuts.
Above the knee, knee-length or mid-calf? Knee-length.
Audrey or Marilyn? Oh, don’t make me choose between these two gorgeous women who are still affecting the way women dress today! But I’ll give Audrey the credit for her healthier lifestyle. It’s obvious that Marilyn had some inner demons; if only she could have faced them and stayed longer on this planet.
The LBD or other colour? The LBD is of course a classic, but I could never rule out other colours.
Paris or Milan? Paris just because of the haute couture, with Milan close behind … very close.
An item you crave for this fall. I don’t go running after everything I see because I feel no need to own everything. However, this fall I’m in need of a rather thick turtleneck sweater and a coat. I saw a rather short black one in Mango that was double-breasted (stand collar) in a flecked wool blend fabric and I’d like a longer one in brown-grey. I’m just hoping someone has designed it! My cravings are dark curry suede ankle boots (high heel) that I recently tried on. I can’t get them out of my head, so I think I have to go back and buy them.
A style quote you live by or the best style advice you have ever received or your own piece of advice on style. I don’t live by any style quotes, but I like the words of Marilyn Monroe: “Your clothes should be tight enough to show you’re a woman, but loose enough to show you’re a lady.”
For me it isn’t really about the clothes because a confident woman looks good in pretty much anything. There are so many women out there that have to stop bringing themselves down and stop that constant comparison with other women (especially with tall and thin models that are way younger). Find what works best for you, something you feel good in and w-o-r-k it!
Don’t go running after fashion fads and don’t get trapped in a comfort-zone. Bring this one item with you into the changing room that seems to be something you would maybe not wear but appeals to you. Just try it on! I can almost guarantee that you’ll sometimes be pleasantly surprised.
Thank you, Lisa, for your thoughtful answers and truly wonderful contribution.
photos: 1,2-Lisa’s 12 year old daughter / 3,4-Lisa Hjalt