Today, I’m going to give you a huge dose of feminine, edgy, and really cool style inspiration. It comes from the Instagram account of my friend Elysse (@elyssedw), a San Francisco-based, Banana Republic fashion buyer who is building a visually rich fashion Instagram account full of outfit ideas and inspiration – and basically, lifestyle goals.
Elysse marries her incredibly stunning northern California surroundings with perfectly polished outfits that combine feminine, edgy, dressy, and casual elements into a style all her own.
I’ve come to look so forward to her posts. And though she’s not yet a mom, her style is incredibly relatable for moms (and non-moms, too, of course) who want to look super chic.
I had to find out more about her inspirations and her advice for achieving great style – because we can always use some inspiration when we want new outfit ideas! Below is a little Q&A that I hope you find interesting and that I hope gives you some direction as you plan your outfits and wardrobes in the months to come.
Tell me a little about yourself and what inspires your style!
I grew up with a mom in the retail industry, and I always remember going with her to various fashion events, whether it was a fashion show in LA or visiting vendors with her in NY. Whenever I would go to the events with her, I just thought she was so cool and chic.
Funny enough, as a child I was actually a major tomboy, so while I didn’t really dress like a girl (mostly wore Umbros/baseball caps/oversized t-shirts and Adidas), I loved playing dress-up secretly in my room.
My mom’s mom – my grandmother – was always so classy, always dressed to the nines, decked out in beautiful jewelry (my mom has been passing down some of her pieces slowly and I wear them in a lot of my posts). I would say combining the two of them is how I evolved with my classy, yet slightly edgy style.
What do you look for when you go shopping, and when you put your outfits together?
Great question! I tend to look for pieces that are more unique and pieces that I most likely wouldn’t find my friends wearing. When I am finding an outfit to either buy or wear for the day, I think of what I want my focus to be, whether it be the skirt or the top, shoes or bag. Based on my focus, I tend to allow the other pieces be more settled.
I am also one for quality over quantity. I prefer to have investment pieces versus a lot of items that might not flatter my body or fall apart quickly. A lot of what I wear now is mixed with new and old.
It sounds like you have a really fun and interesting job as a buyer at Banana Republic. How have your work & other aspects of your life influenced you in becoming a fashion Instagrammer?
Thank you! My mom also owns two boutiques in Dallas, so when she first opened the boutiques I would join her at MAGIC, a trade show in Vegas. I became her mini buyer, helping her choose the assortment that she would offer in her stores. This drove me to want to also be a buyer for my career.
I moved to San Francisco specifically to work at Gap Inc. I always wore Gap and Banana, and how fun to actually work there! Most days I would say are fun, but can be really stressful as well. What if I bought too much depth into a product that the customer doesn’t like?
Being surrounded by other fashionable people, I tend to be inspired by them. Knowing what your customer wants is so important, since we book our buys so far in advance, I am always looking forward at the trends (just wrapped up buying for Holiday 2017 and about to start Spring 2018). I always get excited to dress up to work and have always received compliments by my coworkers on my style. It was actually my coworkers who encouraged me to start blogging my ootds!
I’ve noticed you rock statement sleeves really well, and I love this! What is your favorite part about wearing this trend, and what do you think is the key to wearing this style without it being overwhelming?
While statement sleeves are definitely more overwhelming on the arms, to maintain a sleek look I tend to find pieces where the body of the top is not boxy, so it’s more form-fitting, and then I like to pair it with skinny denim or more body fitting skirts. It’s all about balance! Since I am short, (5’3″), when I wear a statement sleeve I like to also wear heels or wedges, so my body appears more elongated.
Is there a fashion mantra you live by?
Stay true to yourself. Not every trend works for every body, and knowing what works well for your body is key (i.e. culottes are beautiful, however since I am short with muscular legs, I appear shorter and wider. Therefore, I tend to choose pieces that make me look slimmer and taller! I like to stay classy and not to bare too much skin, but enough that I don’t look to pinned up!
Any fun facts about you or your blog or style that you’d like to share!
I take most of my photos for my Instagram on our nightly walks, and most the items are really my OOTD. Since we go on such long walks, I typically will bring a small backpack where I keep a purse and heels. When we find a location we think has a beautiful view or the sky looks amazing, I take off my leggings (if I am wearing a dress or skirt), switch out of my Adidas and into heels, take the photos and change back!
Thank you so much to Elysse for sharing her style with us. If you want someone to follow for great outfit inspiration, you’ll want to check out her Instagram account here.
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