Over the years I have organized enough closets to feel completely comfortable asserting that every writer I know has a well-edited closet. Laurie Sandell, author of The Impostor’s Daughter, Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family, and numerous celebrity interviews, is no exception to the rule. If a piece of clothing no longer works for Laurie, out it goes. No questions asked. She just as easily tosses items with stains or holes. So when I took a look in Laurie’s closet, I found the only thing left to do was to organize it. That is, until she made the leap to moving in with her boyfriend. Now we had a real project to tackle.
Out with the old: Like I mentioned earlier, Laurie has one of the best edited closets I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot) so we mainly focused on a few pieces that weren’t flattering. I practically had to keep her from tossing! She had already edited her boyfriend’s wardrobe so he was in good shape, too. They have a big closet so I had the freedom to hang most everything – so easy to select your look for the day, and not overlook items.
In with the new: One area where Laurie and her man could both use some help are their basics. For her: a well-structured navy blazer and a classic chic handbag–a Celine or Saint Laurent tote or satchel will up her sartorial looks! The addition of a few statement tops will offer a modern alternative to her favorite jeans and t-shirt looks. For him: a handful of button-downs and a few quality white tee’s from James Perse.
Below, I asked Laurie to share some of the designers she loves and the items she’s coveting for fall. Read on, to hear her thoughts on all things fashion.
Who are your style icons? I’ve always loved Sarah Jessica Parker’s style — particularly her casual wear. She’s always in some big, cozy cable knit sweater with boyfriend jeans and Isabel Marant booties, or a great drapey T-shirt with a perfectly knotted scarf and heels. I love the risks that she takes on the red carpet, too — those Philip Treacy hats and big, billowing Oscar de la Renta dresses! — though I’d never have the nerve to try anything like that. I also love the way the Olsen twins dress. I’ve been told that floor-length dresses with long sleeves and high necklines are man repellant — and you really do have to have a certain body type to wear them — but I think they look so elegant and classy. I am a huge fan of their fashion lines, Elizabeth and James and The Row, too. I think it’s incredibly impressive that they’ve managed to circumvent the usual fate of child stars and have carved out careers as respected fashion designers. Good for them!
What are three items on your fashion wish list? 1. Vince or Helmut Lang leather pants. I love items that last forever and never go out of style; I would wear them with casual tees and flats or a sheer silk top and knee high boots. 2. A classic Chanel clutch; I came sooo close to having one–my hedge fund banker sister is generous with her hand-me-downs–then she decided to give it to our other sister. Bummer! 3. A simple, strapless sundress that would allow me to pile on the accessories. I’ve looked and looked and haven’t found a great one, yet. I have a feeling the right one is hiding at Forever 21.
Who are a few of your favorite designers? Though I can’t afford anything she designs, I love Stella McCartney’s trendy yet classic clothes. Diane Von Furstenberg’s dresses always flatter my body, and I love the fun patterns she dreams up. I covet Philip Lim’s edgy, comfortable dresses. And Isabel Marant never fails to make the perfect cords, the sexiest suede booties and the best T-shirts. I would be happy to have her design my entire wardrobe!
3.1 Phillip Lim Oversized V-Neck Cardigan W/Self Belt // J Crew Vintage V-Neck Tee // Rag & Bone Asymmetric Avery Zip Boots // W Britt for J Crew Double-Banded Ring // Clare V Sandrine Tote // Theory Adbelle Leather Axiom Pants
ALC Liza Dress // McQ Alexander McQueen Black Fitted Blazer // Gianvito Rossi Slip-On Suede Mules //Gucci Bamboo Silver Bracelet // Stella McCartney Mini Faux Leather Shoulder Bag // IAM by Ileana Makri Indian Moon & Sun Oxidized Silver Diamond Earrings