5 Style Lessons With Olivia Palermo

28 comments

We're not kidding here — Olivia Palermo could wear plastic flip-flops, drop-crotch pants made of spaghetti, and a party top stolen from Snooki's closet (not that she ever would) and still end up looking like a fashion plate. That level of style untouchability is rarely won, and it's through a rock-solid eye for trends tempered with a grounded sensibility of what works for real women that Palermo's become somewhat of an inspiration for us. Seriously — we credit Olivia for giving us that "me, too!" feeling about many of our own personal firsts — stacking statement necklaces, wearing magpie-beaded cardigans with everything, and pattern-mixing with our pumps and trousers. The girl's got game.

Instead of just showing, we've let Olivia tell you as well. We sat down with the street-style queen to chat style tips, running her own business, and why she isn't on Instagram…or so you thought. Keep reading to dive in.

Love what she's wearing? Shop the outfit featured here by clicking on over!

01OliviaPalermo
Palermo wears a Tibi Silk Strappy Cami, an Elizabeth and James Hendrick Trench, Elizabeth and James Addeline Crystal-Embellished Linen Shorts, Jimmy Choo Kemble Knotted Suede Sandals, and a Devi Kroell Moon Large Sutton bag.

What's your day-to-day work routine at OliviaPalermo.com like? Any office traditions you're all about fostering?
"My travel schedule tends to be very heavy, which makes it hard to maintain a normal 'everyday' schedule; however, there is always structure surrounding oliviapalermo.com. If I am traveling, that just means I'm editing and working in the afternoon (depending on the time zone), but no matter what, there is always time dedicated to the website. I help with image selections as well as approve all layouts, copy, and completed posts before they go live. Luckily, I have an amazing team behind me — we all have a bit of workaholic in us — so working together and [communicating constantly are the keys] for our success."

What's the most rewarding thing about seeing your name on a homepage (I guess it's the modern version of seeing our name in lights!)?
"Honestly, it's difficult to choose one thing, because it's the entire process of working on the website that makes it so rewarding. It's not so much seeing my name at the top of the homepage, because the site isn't about 'Olivia Palermo.' Instead, it's more of an online lifestyle magazine with a dedication to fashion, beauty, and travel. For instance, we really love using the platform to support young and smaller up-and-coming brands and designers to hopefully aid them becoming more established. In the end, the ultimate reward is consistently working hard at something that you not only strongly believe in but also really love doing."

What are three things in your closet that you could never, ever get rid of?
"If I had to choose I'd say an amazing pair of heels, a chic, classic watch, and an impeccably tailored blazer."
03OliviaPalermo3
Palermo shows off one of her statements — a layered statement necklace. This one is by Lulu Frost.

What's the one trend for this summer you're most excited about? What's the one trend you'd love to see never come back in style?
"White is always a great summer staple and really a favorite of mine — it's perfectly simple while simultaneously being clean and chic. There are also these gorgeous lucite accessories that seem to be cropping up in many of the collections. By being both ornate and yet so austere at the same time, they easily give any ensemble that extra something. Lastly, chiffon is fantastic for summer. It's light and elegant, and the perfect item when packing to travel."

"I don't think I would ever say there's a trend I'd never want to see come back again. When it comes to great designers, they're constantly creating new trends, and more importantly, reinventing old ones. Art and life are always going to be influential pieces for the industry, but what it really shows is how much fashion takes inspiration from itself."

It seems like your style's always been good, but do you have any sartorial skeletons in your closet? Any fashion guilty pleasures or embarrassing favorite outfits from the past?
"I suppose sometimes I regret a trend, but I rarely ever regret an outfit, because at the moment that I'm wearing it, I know how much I love it. Regardless of trends, I would never dress in anything that I didn't feel really great in, but I guess looking back, there are times when I wish I had taken the time to have things properly tailored."

So…when are you getting on Instagram?
"We actually just launched the account for oliviapalermo.com — follow me at @therealoliviap."

"Any time I start a new project I want to ensure that I am prepared to dedicate the time and resources toward producing the highest quality content. Besides using their wonderful imaging options, my team and I are also really excited about the video feature that has recently been added."
02OliviaPalermo
A closer look at the Devi Kroell bag. Palermo pairs it with an Elizabeth and James cuffs and a Cartier watch.

It's styling tip-off time!

What's your go-to, lazy day outfit?
"Something that's simply effortless yet chic is a chiffon dress or even a mini white dress paired with a pair of flats."

What's one fail-proof secret that'll elevate a red-carpet look? 
"Accessories are always helpful when elevating any look, and the perfect shoe is no exception. Even when you're wearing something very simple, a statement heel brings everything to the next level."

What's your personal ultimate fashion risk that you've learned to take and love?
"Hmm, I'm not sure if it's a risk or not, but I never really believe in labels. Instead, I go with what looks good on me — no matter who makes it. It really doesn't matter what the price of the item is; if it's not flattering or it doesn't make you feel great when you put it on, then it's not worth being worn."

What's one accessory that you should make sure you splurge on?
"The best investment piece is a beautifully crafted handbag. They're absolutely timeless and give an upgrade to any outfit."

What's the key to making a Fashion Week outfit work? 
"The key to dressing for Fashion Week is focusing on layers. When you're out all day long, you need to be prepared for just about any event. Having a well-packed handbag with the essentials is crucial as well. For example, I always have some double-sided tape and safety pins (for any possible wardrobe malfunctions that may arise), as well as an iPhone charger, band-aids, and of course, a pair of ballet flats."



Photographed by