It’s official: Stacy London is our patron saint of closet control. The co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear has practically made wardrobe-editing into an art form, and her approach to her own New York closet is just as ruthless. “I try not to hold onto pieces for sentimental reasons,” London tells us. “Clothes should make you feel empowered. You shouldn't feel enslaved to them.” The style expert also believes in seeking professional help to take your wardrobe to the next level –which is why she's launched Style for Hire, a network of talented stylists (all handpicked by her) offering personalized shopping services and more. Here, the fashionista sits down with Clos-ette to talk about her love for Alexander McQueen, what she can't wait to wear this spring, and the one cardinal closet rule she can't help but break.
What’s your fashion weakness?
I think as I get older, I really have started to be a junkie for real jewelry. It’s one of those things where you think, at the end of your days, what’s really going to be worth it? Jewelry feels like an investment –and for some reason it doesn’t make me feel as guilty. I’m also kind of obsessed with Proenza bags. It’s becoming a little irrational –there are only so many one person should have.
And your ideal shopping day?
Oh my god, that is such a hard question. I will always love department stores –probably because I grew up in Manhattan and spent my childhood at Bloomingdale’s. There’s something about department stores in general that I love – I love the accessibility, I love that there’s an expectation there that’s always delivered upon. I grew up in the Village until I was nine, and I remember walking around Broadway when I was little and thinking how cool those stores were. That’s definitely where my love of boutique stores started. Now, I love Washington Street in the Meatpacking District: You can start at Jeffrey and Diane Von Furstenberg, and sort of work your way down. There are so many great places within a five block radius, it’s an afternoon right there!
How do you make room for all your new bounty?
I do a pretty big purge once a year, and sell everything at private, ladies-only sale. It’s kind of fun – we do brunch, there are cocktails, and it’s like 40 girls in my living room. I sell everything for about $40 a piece, and whatever I make, I match the proceeds and donate it all to animal charities. So that’s what I do to keep things from going off the deep-end in my closet. [Clos-ette tip: our super-slim hangers allow you to fit more pieces in your closet!]
We know you’re ruthless about closet edits… but surely you must have a few skeletons in your closet?
I don’t believe in sentimental attachment when it comes to clothing. I think that is a very dangerous thing. However, having said that, I have a pair of five-year old Uniqlo sweatpants that I love more than anything in the world. I have split the butt now three times, and actually had them retailored so I can still wear them. They are horrific, they are unflattering, and yet I cannot throw them away. Every ex-boyfriend I’ve had in the last five years will know of these pants.
If you could only wear one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Alexander McQueen, and Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. It’s some of the best work I’ve seen. I think she is such an incredibly talented woman, and has done such justice to the name of the designer. I have a curvy body, and there is nothing better than an Alexander McQueen-cut suit. I’ve never seen anybody get lines so straight and angular, and at the same time take into account that women have curves. I think Sarah has done an incredible job of keeping not just the fantasy and the dream of Alexander McQueen alive, I think that she understands tailoring in the same way. She really understands how fabric should perform in order to be flattering. I feel that way about Zac Posen too – I think his dresses are divine.
What are you most looking forward to wearing this spring and summer?
I am most looking forward to dressing like a girl. It’s funny –as I get older, I always say I’ve kind of gotten ‘harder’. I’ve been into weird knits, crazy layers, more leathers. The past few seasons, I was really all about Margiela and Helmut Lang. It was just tougher. But I just found spring to be such an optimistic, wonderful season of collections, that it would sort of be a shame not to participate in that. I love the idea of doing a ladylike thing with pencil skirts, peplums, florals, and lace. Instead of that sort of asexual, rough-and-tumble look, I think I’m much for interested in something girly.
Whose closet would you love to raid?
Wait, do you want to know whose closet I would love to raid if I could fit into it? Oh god, there are so many good ones. I have to say I’m kind of obsessed with Jaime King’s wardrobe. I would also love to get my hands on Kate Moss’s wardrobe. I know it’s such a cliché response –but the girl has such style. It is effortless. And she’s pulled it off for so long, you just got to give her props.