04 Jan 5 Style Lessons Courtesy of Monroe Steele
New York is full of those girls. You know the ones—on the train, ahead of you in the line for coffee, on the ‘gram with an aspirational feed you can’t help but scroll 85 weeks deep into—that leave you wondering ‘why haven’t I thought to wear that?’ These are their closets. Welcome to 5 Style Lessons.
Monroe Steele, the fashion blogger behind Fashion Steele NYC, is definitely one of ‘those girls’ mentioned above. She’s intimidatingly fashionable and her Instagram is aspirational as hell (it looks like a magazine!). I was nervous to interview her because it was the first time we’d met IRL (though we’ve interacted online). I was so pleased that she is super sweet in person. And y’all. Her apartment 😍 She has a spare bedroom that acts as her closet slash office. #Goals
Monroe has lived in New York for 10 years (and in Harlem for nine). “I don’t want to be cliché but Sex and the City and Brown Sugar played a huge role in me living here,” she told me. “I just knew I needed to move to New York to write, meet a great man, and have a wonderful, fashionable, awesome life.” Obviously, I’m biased but I want to say she’s right.
She’s a licensed physical therapist by day and blogger by night. “My first year on the job, I had so many cute clothes and no place to wear them. So I started a blog! I always feel bad when someone who knows me from my blog sees me in my work clothes. They aren’t bad but they’re just not representative of who I am inside.”
Ready to see what her style reveals about who she is? Keep scrolling for fashion blogger Monroe Steele’s five style lessons.
1. Buy the Shoes
“I love shoes. I’m definitely a shoe girl. They make any outfit. Start there. Plus, your feet don’t really change sizes. Don’t think about it. Just to do it. If you have to get another job, that’s fine too, but buy them.”
In fact, the first pair of fancy shoes that Monroe bought for herself from Bergdorf Goodman (once she finally got over the intimidation of going inside) was a pair of Charlotte Olympia velvet green platform shoes. “I got a second job to buy them. They were $995 but with tax, the price was close to $1000. I couldn’t believe that I had spent that much on shoes. So I got a second job to make extra money. I had them shipped to Bergdorf Goodman for pick up. I wouldn’t spend that much now,” she told me.
2. Own Something Vintage
“You should have something old that everyone doesn’t have that you can rework. I like to shop at the Brooklyn Flea for bags. Clothing is a little harder, whatever you buy you’ll probably have to take to the tailor. It’s nice to own something that hasn’t been mass-produced.”
3. Know Your Sizes
“It makes shopping online so much easier. Jeans can be hard but if you try on enough pairs from different brands, eventually you can get a feel for what size you wear. Similarly, with shoes, know your Italian or European sizing. I know my measurements and am not afraid to look in the product description to make sure something will fit.”
4. Never Pay Retail
“Unless you’re at the end of the spectrum, like you have really small feet or in my case, really big feet. Then you might have to pay full price for a designer item if you don’t want to chance it selling out before it goes on sale. You don’t have to pay the full amount on anything you buy. Although, you know the brands that won’t ever go on sale and then you can move accordingly.”
“Usually things go on sale online first. I love using Lyst to track sale alerts from all sorts of different sites and brands. If you know there is something somewhere that you want, watch it like a hawk. It will eventually go on sale.” Monroe is also a fan of buying consigment designer goods from the The Real Real.
5. Make a Statement
“What you wear should say something about you. If you stay true to yourself, it will incorporate itself into everything you buy, making your own style statement. I like clothes a lot but look for ways to incorporate statement-making accessories and go from there.”
SHOP THE POST
Don’t you love how effortless her style appears? Keep up with Monroe on her blog, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Oh, and she just launched Fashion Steele NYC 2016 Review Magazine! Click here to read it.