Savvy Style Chat {Bethany Winters, Wardrobe Stylist}

I love to "talk style" with friends and e-friends alike--sharing photos, shopping tips and sartorial perspectives. So I thought, why not bring that to the blog? And so I shall, in a new monthly Savvy Style Chat, featuring ridiculously stylish, savvy women with great stories to tell. For our August Chat I present...

Bethany Winters / Wardrobe Stylist / bethanywinters.com

What is your full time gig?

I've been a freelance production and celebrity wardrobe stylist in Los Angeles for the past 15 years.

Do you have children, and if so--how does being a mom affect your personal style?

I have two boys, ages 8 and 5. Becoming a mother was probably the singular defining event in the devolution of my personal style. I was so overwhelmed after the birth of my first son, that it was a banner day if I managed to brush my teeth. I was several months into my new mommy gig, when I realized that I had literally begun to wipe my hands on my shirt. That's when I knew it was time for a serious overhaul. It was a while before I was able to balance looking a modicum of decent with having baby barf in my hair. I feel like now I'm much better at putting together kid-friendly yet somewhat fashionable outfits. It seems counter-intuitive being that I'm a stylist, but I've always said that my most challenging client is myself. It's true.

I took a quick snapshot of my living room, since I think it best illustrates my eclectic style. I found the couch at a vintage prop shop in L.A, originally covered in heavy teal vinyl. The books on some of our favorite artists, musicians and photographers are not only pretty but well used. The black finger painting is an early work from my son, and the pink vase and floral pillow were wedding gifts from Zipper. I found the driftwood on a family trip to the beach in Santa Barbara.

What other endeavors do you participate in (on a part time, freelance, volunteer or charitable basis) and how do you transition your wardrobe throughout the day to meet the needs of these various roles? 

As all working mothers do, I wear a lot of different hats throughout the course of a day. I'm not big on transitioning outfits, at least for myself, so I'll try to sort of plan out my day the night before and choose the outfit that works best for the tasks at hand. Often times I'll go directly from a client meeting or on-camera to my kids' school; embarassingly enough, it's usually then that people don't recognize me, since I'm dressed up with makeup on. A friend once told me "Always dress like you're going somewhere better, later." That stuck with me, not to mention I'd rather show up to basketball practice in heels than to a meeting in flip flops. 

What three words would you use to describe your personal style?

Eclectic, comfortable, evolving 

The pink leather jacket is a favorite thrift find and the Rachel Roy suede booties were on second markdown. I found the credenza at a local flea market, while the Elvis poster (dated for a concert that never actually happened due to his death) was my husband's before we were married. The embracing statuette was a wedding gift from a dear family friend.

What is your favorite color or accent to incorporate into your wardrobe and how do you style it?

I wear a lot of black, which goes not only against my coloring (hair, eyes, skin - I look much better in pastels) but also my city. I tend to think of black as a very NYC color, in contrast to the pop-y brights and Pepto Bismol pinks of LA - which don't get me wrong, I wear a ton of that too. I'll create sort of a 'base' when getting dressed, that can be punched up with accessories. I'm a huge fan of a basic black outfit, with statement jewelry, jackets, bags and shoes as a focal point. It's also a no-brainer when getting dressed. People think I have a ton of clothes - I actually don't, just a lot of great accessories.

Let’s talk about your beauty routine. How do you keep it simple, while making sure you’re put together?

It's going to sound so L.A. but I get my eyelashes dyed. I'm blond with super light lashes and I don't wear a ton of makeup. I also have oily skin and mascara always smudges on me, even the waterproof. For a 1/2 hour and $30 every six weeks I get black lashes that won't wash off and it is genius. All I do then is curl them with the Sonia Kashuk eyelash curler from Target. I swear by Cle de Peau concealer (worth every cent) with a little NARS creme blush (I like The Multiples sticks) and Fresh Sugar lip balm. My hair is colored, so I only wash it a couple times a week, slick it into a ponytail to air dry and flat iron or curl for special events. I use Neutrogena Age Defying products on my face. Now that I think of it, I'm kind of lazy.

The Pucci aviators were a gift from my mother, that she scored atLoehmann's in Baltimore. My 8 year old son helped me choose the white sequin clutch on a trip to ZARA, and the Chanel belt was a gift from a client.

What beauty product can you not live without right now?

The aforementioned Cle de Peau concealer.

Where do you go to get inspired?

My biggest source of inspiration is the past. I could spend literally hours online surfing what I call 'Real Estate Porn.' I live in an historic neighborhood in Hollywood and it's become kind of an obsession to research the old Spanish Mediterranean architecture; when things were built, who owned what when. My husband bought me a book called Hollywood Then and Now, that juxtaposes photos of locations in the past, with what they look like now. It's kind of mind-blowing. The same goes for fashion - I will never be able to get enough of the sixties and seventies.

I studied painting in college and my older son and I love to look at art books; our current fave is a huge coffee-table book on Jean-Michel Basquiat. We go through it together and talk about each piece; what we think it's about, it's significance and beauty. Not only is it some of my favorite time spent, his work always blows me away.

Our dining room is small so I tried to keep it simple. The mid-century light fixture was original to a house up the street that was getting an overhaul - I jumped at the offer to take it. The chairs and table are both CB2, and the gold branch was a yard sale find that I spray painted. I saw the vase at an art show in the earliest stages of dating my husband; it was the first gift he ever gave me, on our very first Christmas together.

I'm a huge, huge, huge music person as is my husband. We see tons of shows. I like to think of it as the one thing I will always indulge in - live music. It's an enormous part of our lives, and that of our kids. For me, it's a great equalizer and constant source of inspiration. I'm currently listening to a lot of Jack White, Neil Young, Dan Auerbach and Jessie Baylin. 

I'm usually not online a ton (unless I'm shopping for a client) since I enjoy more tangible sources of influence. When I am, I love Instagram (for visually keeping up with friends, since I'm not on Facebook), The Coveteur, Closet Visit, The Selby, Take Sunset, Style, and my friend Rebecca's blog, Girl's Gone Child. 

I bought the gold skull cuff online at Alibi NYC. The Hermes scarf is seventies vintage; a treasured gift from my mother brought back from a Paris flea market. I love the dichotomy of edgy and luxe.

{Just for fun} Are leggings okay to wear as pants (meaning not wearing a shirt that covers the rear)?

Never, ever, ever, ever. Ever. Never.