3 Outfits You’ll Want to Screenshot on Stylist LaTonya Yvette

Thumb and index finger at the ready

05.01.17

In today’s edition of What to Wear This Week, Brooklyn resident, stylist, writer and consultant LaTonya Yvette breaks down the mechanics of what she wears and why.

What do you think about when you get dressed in the morning?

Who do I want to be? And what does she have planned for the day?

Do you start from the shoes and then work your way up, or clothes and then down?

Bottoms tend to be my statement piece, so I start there based on what I’m feeling. Some days I want to have this 70s-cool look, so I’ll wear wide-leg pants. Some days I just feel bleh and grab a patterned pair of pants. And some days I kind of want to feel sexy, so I’ll throw on my favorite form-fitting jeans.

You were born and raised in Brooklyn. How did that influence your style?

I grew up receiving the latest pairs of Air Maxes from my uncle every single Christmas. Your kicks were everything. I never really felt like I fit in to that sneaker-head mentality, but it’s so Brooklyn. And I envied it in a way. Later on, when I got older, I realized I loved the newest sneakers, I just wanted to wear them differently. I adapt them to my own personal style for the day.

My mom worked in a law office and got dressed every single day to the nines, and my grandmother wore metallic suits and espadrilles and dresses and jeans and men’s vests with bow ties, so I kind of grew around it all. If anything, being a New Yorker has taught me that you can be and do and wear anything and get away with it with a lot of confidence. It’s more about the person than the clothes.

When I was around 8 (I think) we moved out of NY for the first time (came back, left again, then came back for good in my early teens) and leaving showed me that the way you dress and enjoy getting dressed, whether you have money or not, is your one true contribution to yourself as a kid. Parents won’t always hang your art, you may not get the best grades or get the science fair award (damn those), but being able to be ME through clothes allowed me something of my own no matter where I was. It’s the same lesson I try to instill in my children: to appreciate all of the characters around the city and what they wear, and feel confident in their own choices in fashion.

Help! One transition-weather dressing tip:

Cool socks and clogs.

What do you like your outfits to say about you?

She’s her. Whoever that is.

What’s your foolproof styling trick?

If it doesn’t fit, quit! Ha. Could be your current mood, style, body shape, anything. Go shopping and style for who you are right then and there.

The one garment that never lets you down?

Orange anything!

What item of clothing makes you feel most like yourself? Why?

Wide-leg pants. When I match those with my hair it feels like I’m some activist from the 70s. And I feel like that in my soul most of the time; it’s in the music I listen to, the books I read, the way I see things. It feels like my soul, in a way. (Even though I wasn’t born until the 80s!)

At what point in your life did you really start to come into your own in terms of personal style?

Oh man, you know, it was kind of always there for me. It’s just the one thing I had. Though I have to say, having kids, changes in body and weight, schedules, etc. changes a lot. So I am also always re-inventing myself. My kids are older now, in school and pre-school, so I have more time to frolic around in things I want to wear more often than not. You know, skipping the playground stares.

How do accessories change an outfit?

Lipstick, bracelets — I think accessories say someone tried. And I like looking and feeling like I give myself energy in the morning .

How does working in fashion influence your daily style?

It actually drains me in this weird way. It overstimulates me in a way that makes me feel like I can no longer create. I am most influenced by people watching. I just want to park on a bench and make up stories about what and why people are wearing what they are. It’s better than working in fashion to me. Real life.

What are your favorite three places on the Internet to get inspired?

I’m loving the Instagram “saved” folder. It’s become this beautiful secret thing that I can change out and be inspired by.

What about three favorite places in the city (or the world) to get inspired?

A park.

A library.

A café.

Anywhere in the world.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve learned in the last week?

When you drop your phone in the toilet, it CAN survive with a case on.

Best song to get dressed to?

“Juicy,” Biggie.

Check out LaTonya’s website here and follow her on Instagram @latonyayvette. Photos by Edith Young.

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  • Alexandra Queiroz

    In love with the outfits, I’d wear all of them because somehow they speak to who I am. Especially the accessories – I believe the choice of accessories reflects so much of your personality. Thanks MR and LaTonya, it’s great to start a Monday with so much inspiration, from the outfits and the interview too!

  • Elizabeth Tamkin

    I love this:

    What do you like your outfits to say about you?
    She’s her. Whoever that is.

    I also would love to know your grandmother!

  • Maria Fernandez-Davila

    feeling so inspired for bright spring/summer dressing! (and Mike’s coffee shop is one of my fav places ever!)

    • LaTonya

      It’s our favorite place! x

  • Kay Nguyen

    She has a such great style! A little too bright and bold for me but you do you girl <3

    https://www.myblackcloset.com/

  • Junglesiren

    That sheer pink number is so cute. She’s got great style.

  • Rheanonn Perez

    latonya is so cool! i love all of her outfits. & what she said about “style being all u have” as a kid really resonated with me. growing up, style was the only thing i was confident about & as i got older, i kind of applied that confidence to other areas of my life & i’m not AS awkward/insecure as i was when i was a kid lol

    frheak.net

  • Aydan

    yes yes yes and have those same clogs, but no in yellow and now I WANT!

  • lyndsay

    I’ve never understood her style… maybe that’s the point? 🙂

    • LaTonya

      hahaha I hear that a lot! Yes, totally the point. 😉

  • I’ve always loved LaTonya’s style! My favorite has to be the last outfit of hers. I’m gonna start asking myself who I want to be in the mornings too now and dressing accordingly lol, great inspiration as always.

  • Beatrice

    I loooove LaTonya’s style especially her clog collection….most specifically those gorgeous yellow clogs.