My friend Lissie has the best style. She’s a really thoughtful person, and you can see it in her clothes. Everything is vintage, carefully chosen, and perfectly tailored (but not too tailored) to fit her teeny tiny frame. She can do the effortlessly-undone yet still somehow polished thing in her sleep. We couldn’t resist snapping a photo of her look in the East Village a couple of weeks ago! Her thoughts on style and more below…
Describe your style in three words or phrases.
Intuitive, joyful, solid colors.
What is your ideal outfit or uniform?
As a child in the 90s and early 2000s, I was obsessed with getting dressed. I loved fun patterns, layering, heels, glitter, everything. Since I was a preteen, I started dressing for my petite frame — mostly solid colors and simple accessories, minimal jewelry.
On most days, there are two buckets I dress from: A cotton and spandex-adjacent mix of what looks like yoga loungewear — lots of white, black, cream, tan. Or pants with either an oversized button down, sheer knit, cropped blouse or strappy top. Paired with loafers or sneakers, small shoulder bag or canvas tote, and blazer or trench coat.
My style is like my grooming habits, completely intuitive. I cut my own hair, rarely shave and don’t paint my nails, but all of those habits are not stringent and could change. I dress solely for myself and through my own gaze. I have definitely dressed per other people’s perception in the past, but worked to cultivate a lifestyle that lets me present myself authentically.
Where do you like to shop?
I mostly shop sustainable knit and cotton brands, thrift and vintage stores.
Having the knowledge, time and resources to shop small and sustainably is a privilege. I occasionally pick out basics at Uniqlo and Muji like socks, tees and button downs. But overall, I have made an effort to shop small and feel best when I do.
My younger sister is a design student who works in many mediums, including making clothing and knitting. She is vegan and tries to minimize her waste as much as possible. I have learned a great deal from her consumer practices and check in with myself regularly — is my walk getting closer to my talk?
I think we are all guilty of contradictory actions and hypocritical statements, when faced with our consumption held up against how we make money in late-stage capitalism. There is so much change to make within each consumer, industry, policy, etc. It’s a very complex puzzle, and I don’t pretend to know or stand by everything I should.
In the context of personal shopping habits, I am thinking about our systems and habits constantly. Then as a young professional in consumerism, I also have a responsibility to be conscientious. Brands I work with have not just a moral responsibility to be part of the sustainability conversation, but big money and marketing decisions to face daily. Sometimes I am part of those conversations in work, but sometimes I have no input and have to think pragmatically about my values versus my livelihood.
Here are some spots I like…
New York City shops:
A Current Affair, James Veloria, Flamingos Vintage Pound, Chickee’s Vintage, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Malin Landeaus, Foremost Vintage in the back of Green Fingers Market, Edith Machinist, Ellen Shop, The Quality Mending Co., Stella Dallas Living, Front General Store, The Break, Tokio 7, Cure Thrift Shop and Monk Thrift Shop.
FEEL Jeans, Kindred Black, Na Nin Vintage, O. La Roche, Subrina Heyink, Object Limited, The Real Real, CUUP, Oddobody, Pretties, The Line by K, Gil Rodriguez, Giu Giu , The Bodysuit of Barcelona, Orseund Iris, Either And, Emily Dawn Long, KD New York, Live The Process, Nagnata and District Vision.
What are you excited about in the fashion industry?
Part of me is hungry for creators and new designs, then another part is excited by brands that enter the industry to do one thing perfectly or correct an old industry habit.
A huge part of my work is giving creatives a platform or amplifying it. Countless artists in New York are struggling for a platform and may have to drop their craft altogether. But, when I look at the fashion industry and hear a lot of noise right now, it’s easy to feel like I don’t want to be part of any of the noise.
I grapple daily with my feelings about the fashion industry. Not all of my clients are in fashion and I am not sure what my long-term career will bring, but I am focused on being kind, thoughtful and taking small steps to align my work with my philosophy.
Two things that for sure excite me are businesses that give a platform to second hand vendors and brands founded on a season-less model, making pieces based on demand with no back stock.
What is the most treasured item in your closet?
Last November, I bought a leather trench coat from Jenna and Nicole of Either And, two of the sweetest people I have met in the industry. The 70’s trench has a tattered care label vaguely noting it was from a New York leather shop. It’s a sort of latte color, not too warm or cool tone. Finished with leather-covered buttons, a belted waist and silk mauve lining. I must have worn it every other day of winter.
The most treasured item on my dresser is my grandma’s topaz pinky ring. Since I took my earrings out in April, I only have a small handful of family jewelry. The piece I wear everyday is my grandma’s ring she bought it in the 70’s in Chattanooga, Tennessee. My dad still has the box and receipt. He is super passionate about genealogy and I hope to carry on his work with family history.
Tell us your favorite…
Song of the moment?
You Know I’m No Good by Amy Winehouse
Book you couldn’t put down?
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Hariri
I browse a lot of print and online media for work, so in my personal time I like to look at vintage health and exercise books. Everything from “Return to Life through Contrology” by Joseph Pilates (1945), to herbal guides and yoga manuals.
Water and black coffee or matcha, all on ice. Overnight oats quick recipe: organic rolled oats folded in a glass loaf pan with panela, cinnamon, dates, homemade oat milk, and water. Refrigerate overnight then serve cold with berries or stone fruit and raw honey on top.
I could never say a favorite. There’s a wide range of designers I love for their early work, including Issey Miyake, Helmut Lang, Tom Ford for Gucci, Yohji Yamamoto. Then current designers include Ludovic de Saint Sernin, Lemaire, Peter Do, Jil Sander, The Elder Statesman, Bevza, Ryan Roche, Wales Bonner, Eckhaus Latta, Rui Zhou, Elena Velez, Nensi Dojaka, Di Petsa, Helena Manzano, Louise Lyngh Bjerregaard.
It may sound trite, but New Yorkers on the street are my icons. I don’t like the use of “icon” when talking about celebrity style. Fame, in and of itself, glorifies their style. They’re someone we chose to put on a pedestal and watch closely.
When I tap into what gets me going, it’s people who make style choices everyday for themselves, not a platform. I love the style and sensibility of countless people who get dressed and design clothing for a living. But when I think about personal style icons, it’s pedestrians.
I take photos of full looks, pieces and colors that inspire me. I post some to Instagram stories, but keep a lot for myself. When I miss a moment, I take notes on my phone. Right now I have, “cream newsboy cap” and “navy button down”.
To share references for Google Images fodder, the 70’s menswear champs I recently stalked include Wilt Chamberlain and Harrison Ford.
Lissie is a freelance brand consultant with a background in public relations and marketing. She moved to New York City six years ago for culinary school and worked in hospitality for her first three years. Since then, Lissie has expanded her work with brands in the fashion, wellness and lifestyle spaces. Her time outside work is focused on family, walking, yoga, dancing, layman philosophy, women’s health and empathizing with everyone she meets.