Doria Santlofer is a New York native with an innate sense of style. Previously the fashion editor at New York Magazine, she is now a freelance stylist but with the same impeccable sense of style and ability to layer. We caught up with her a few weeks to get some inspiration for our fall wardrobes…
How would you describe your style in three words?
Classic, tailored, teenage.
What were your earliest memories of fashion?
I remember being a kid in the original Chelsea Barney’s with my mom watching Uma Thurman decide between gold or silver Prada shoes. They were just “both so magical” it was impossible to choose. Naturally she got both. That’s a formative fashion memory for me. Aside from 90s Uma, I was always enamored by my grandmother, Edie, and her clothes – she had flame red hair and let me play dress-up in her walk-in closet. Also Brenda Walsh, Kate Moss, Jarvis Cocker, Carolyn Bessette.
Who in your life inspires your style?
I’m influenced by the fashion shows and new collections because I look at them constantly for work, but I’m most inspired by people watching both in NY where I live or when I travel. I love seeing the characters in the East Village by my house and then going uptown for an afternoon and looking at the older women of the Upper East Side. I was also very excited by the style I saw in Jamaica this summer and spent a lot of time looking in the shops and markets there. In general, I love when people have a distinctive style or an element that feels completely genuine and their own that doesn’t feel dictated by the latest trend. I usually look at vintage for inspiration. Digging through a flea market or thrift store requires great patience and, I think, hones my eye. The majority of my closet is either designer vintage (TRR!) or thrift – it’s the sustainable option and usually looks better anyway.
You’re a stylist by day — what would you tell someone who is still trying to hone in on their personal style?
Wear what feels comfortable and don’t be afraid to try on different looks. Clothes are fun because you can change your mind and have a new look day to day. For me, it’s helpful to have a core uniform and a few staples that always make me feel good, but I love experimenting with accessories and adding something new, season to season. For instance, I gravitate towards a high waist and think it flatters my body, but this season I’m wearing wider leg styles and suit pants, which is new for me. Aside from that, my advice would be to avoid piling on too many trends. It’s great to look at the collections for inspiration, but for the most part, runway trends are best used sparingly and simplicity is underrated.
What is the most treasured piece of clothing in your closet? What piece do you wear the most?
My mom’s engagement ring is definitely my most treasured item and it never leaves my finger. She had an old family diamond from my dad’s grandmother set into a Victorian gold band. Mostly, I’ll wear one of the many vintage Levi’s that I’ve found over the years – I like them when they get soft and a little shredded. I wear those a lot with Hanes boys A-tanks, vintage heather grey crewneck sweatshirts, and black 3-eye Docs. For work, it’s often my boyfriend’s oversized white button down shirt and a vintage Armani trouser. Those are the constants, but I’ll go through phases and wear new things compulsively for a few months. This fall it’s my painted Eckhaus Latta denim, a vintage navy Comme des Garçons blazer, vintage Prada boots, and a very oversized fake Barbour jacket that I found at a thrift store upstate.