10 May 5 Style Lessons Courtesy of Brittany Holloway-Brown
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.
Have you ever met someone who was decadent in their appearance? I mean, with a level of attention to detail didn’t stop with what they put on their body? Like their skincare routine, home, the books the read, the art they ingested, and in this case, created? Brittany Holloway-Brown is one of those people for me. We met when we were both still at Racked where she would arrive at the office glamorous as always. She’s currently a designer and illustrator on the Vox product team. Let me tell you, her Ditmas Park apartment did not disappoint. Nina Simone played while we sipped chamomile tea and she broke down the way she gets dressed.
“A lot of my inspiration comes from the ‘70s,” she said. “The excess is something that I respond to. I love silks and bright makeup and exaggerated silhouettes. People wanted you to look at them. I’m shy but I like people looking at me. I like walking into a room and commanding attention even if I don’t say anything.”
She continued: “It took me a while to gain confidence, sometimes when I go out into the world, I feel very extra. Like, I go into a place and people look at me weird. It used to bother me but it’s like this is my truth. I can be comfortable wherever. If you look at what I’m wearing and you think I’m doing a lot, that’s fine. That’s not your comfort zone but this is mine. It comes with time. And living. It’s not always easy, going to a dive bar with gold eye shadow on.”
1. Widen Your View
“I’m not loyal to any brand. Being bigger, not everyone makes clothes for me, so it’s about widening your view. This top, [that I’m wearing] it’s beautiful and I love it but it’s from Rainbow. But you wouldn’t know that unless I tell you because it’s very on trend and it fits me. Take the brand Reformation, for example, I’m not the model they present in their brand image. But they do go up to an extra large, so don’t be afraid of going into a store and trying something.”
2. It’s All About the Vibe
“I always think about the vibe. I always have a look in mind. A lot of people have uniforms and I don’t. I am an emotional dresser, I dress how I feel. Some days, that means wearing leggings and a big sweater and sneakers. Then for others, it’s all about a full silk pant, velvet top, and a bright red lip. [Once,] I went to this party at Soho Grand, so I’m like okay, I’m going to wear this printed robe and flowy orange pants. It was a lot of silks.”
3. Bold Makeup is Good
“You can always elevate a “boring” outfit with makeup. If I’m in an American Apparel t-shirt with jeans and I wear teal eye shadow it becomes a look.”
4. Invest in Your Skincare
“Skincare is important to me. I care way more about my skin than my hair — probably to my detriment. In my head, I would rather have good skin at 70. Wigs exist, you can be bald and still have hair. But you can’t fake skin. I started caring about skincare when I was younger. I was on MakeupAlley, trading and that’s how I got my first skincare. But I love a good wig. Being mutable is importable to me in style. Like being able to shift like in and out of these different characters.”
5. Wear Your Clothing
“Don’t be too precious with your clothes. Like what’s the point of having this beautiful garment if I don’t wear it out? Yeah, you might rip it or spill stuff on it but it’s there for you to wear.”