What's Your Fashion "Thing"? 14 Women Weigh In

Pam Grier. Patti Smith. Audrey Hepburn. Coco Chanel. Hell, even your best friend whose opinion you always mentally consider when you're shopping for new clothes. Women who are known for having really, really good style aren't iconic because they wear everything, look good in everything, and approach every trend with enthusiasm. It's because they all have a thing — a signature quirk or predilection that they've championed, even when it's uncool to do it.
It's too easy to feel defeated when you're confronted with street style pictures of women who have access to the newest shit and the most exclusive pieces — especially when they're wearing individual items of clothing that cost more than everything you own combined. And while it's true that you can make "being really rich and trendy" your thing, that often doesn't make for the most interesting expressions of personal style. Really great, memorable, brain-tickling style comes in all different packages and price-points. We tapped 15 women whose outfits we're always stalking to find out what they consider their "thing." From super-specific silhouettes to an accessories mantra they hold on to no matter the ocassion, consider these the pure distillations of really great personal style.
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Photo: GVK/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images.
Victoria Beckham, Designer, Victoria Beckham
"I like to keep things quite minimal, not overly complicated or fussy. I really believe that less is more, and I like clean lines and pieces that fit well. I like to try different silhouettes, but a great tailored coat and pant or a perfect midi-dress are often looks I gravitate towards."
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Photo: Don Arnold/WireImage/ Getty images.
Kym Ellery, Designer, Ellery
“I love to wear visually heavy shoes to anchor my outfit. Whether the shoes have a slightly Japanese feel or even if they are more a Minnie Mouse vibe, to me big shoes maketh the silhouette.”
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Photo: Courtesy of NJDJ.
Ashley Graham, Model
“Jeans are personal, and searching for the perfect pair can be a daunting experience — especially if you have a curvy body type like me. Every pair I've ever owned have been worn down to the last thread because of how particular I am about fit. I favor high-waisted jeans with a bit of stretch, like NYDJs, because they hug in all of the right places and really accentuate my curves. [Ed. note: Graham appears in NYDJ’s spring campaign, shown here.] One of my favorite looks is wearing one of my underwire bodysuits as a top with a pair of black high-waisted jeans and a sleek blazer, which is perfect for going from set to business meetings. I can either dress it up with my nude Manolos, or lately I've been loving a simple sneaker like a Stan Smith.”
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Photo: Paul Porter/BFAnyc.com/REX Features.
Kate Young, Stylist
"My thing is navy and black. It's the thing that I like best. When I don't know what to wear, I wear a navy top and black bottoms and black flats. I feel most myself in it. In winter, it's a navy knit from Acne, Prada, or J.Crew, black jeans from AMO, and flat black boots from Louis Vuitton that I've had forever. Last summer, it was the best navy top from Zara that looked like Céline, and Isabel Marant soft black pants rolled up with Clergerie sandals."
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Photo: Courtesy of Aimee Song.
Aimee Song, Founder, Song of Style
"Almost anything looks good with distressed jeans, [whether they're] ripped boyfriend jeans or ripped skinny jeans. I love dressing them up with a pair of heels and lots of dainty rings, or just wearing them casually on my off days."
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Photo: SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images.
Ruby Rose, Actress
"I’m really into authentic vintage tees, especially band tees from Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, and Metallica. I love them! Certain things are just timeless; I love old rock and vintage tees, so I wear them over and over again. I’ll go to vintage stores, but you do run the risk of them being knockoffs. There’ s a place in L.A., Kelly Cole, that sells really amazing, curated vintage tees. I go there way too much."
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Photographed by Arturo Olmos.
Alexandra Kleeman, Author of You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine
"I'm a person with a fairly small frame, so when it's cold enough outside I bulk up my top half with layers of scarves, shaggy sweaters, and thick knits that make me feel deceptively larger and fiercer. There's something really great about a shaggy, drapey silhouette, and the freedom it gives you to slouch without anybody noticing! I like to contrast it with something sleek and fitted on the bottom, a reminder of the body underneath. I have a bad habit of going out in the winter in bare legs, which I always kind of believe builds character."
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Photo: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images.
Soo Joo Park, Model
"My main 'thing' when I'm getting dressed is building a character. With each look, I start with a key piece, then decide what kind of mood I want to convey — sometimes it's sexy-feminine with a fitted silhouette; other times it's more rock-n-roll with skinny jeans and a cool bomber or motorcycle jacket, and at times it's tomboy, with relaxed fit jeans and T-shirt."
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Photo: Courtesy of Margaret Zhang.
Margaret Zhang, Founder, Shine By Three
"Comfort and mobility is key for me — there’s nothing worse than trying to focus on-set while wearing something that is a little too tight, too scratchy, or has too many fiddly bits and pieces hanging off it. I tend to dress like a boy with slouchy outerwear with some feminine element, like a lace camisole or a dark lip, and some structural element, like flares or architectural heels."
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Photo: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images.
Pandora Sykes, Fashion Features Editor, The Sunday Times Style
"My style is eclectic to most, but very specific to me. I rely on some basics: vintage blouses, polo necks, miniskirts which cinch the waist, and ankle boots. It's a fail-safe formula for me, whatever the trends of the seasons are!"
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Photographed by Mark Iantosca
Ashley Owens, Editor-In-Chief, Suited Magazine
"I’d say my 'thing' is uniform dressing. I pretty much wear the same thing every day. I'm always in something resembling a suit. Every day, it's trousers, a button-down, a blazer, and an oversized jacket.”
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Photo: Paul Porter/BFAnyc.com/REX Features.
Kate Foley, Contributing Fashion Director, Vestiaire Collective
"I would say my 'thing' when styling myself is wearing long hemlines, sleeves, and loose-fitting clothing. I wear a lot of feminine colors and accessories, but I like that wearing clothing that is slightly more oversized adds a laid-back, sporty edge to an outfit, and as I feel more comfortable, I therefore am more laid-back personally, too!"
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Photo: Paul Porter/ BFA.com/ REX Features.
Rebecca Dayan, Artist
"One thing I do a lot is wear cashmere sweaters with nothing under the sweater with pants. It's sexy and cozy, feminine and laid-back."
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Ruthie Friedlander, Deputy Web Editor, Elle.com
"There’s nothing that pulls a woman together quite like a well-fitted blazer. I always loved the 'preppy' look. Even as a kid, I was always super jealous of my friends that got to wear uniforms to school. They always seemed to look way chicer than I did. Blazers are easy to find at many price points, but a well-fitted one with some sort of pizzazz? That’s a bit harder. I finally found MY blazer at Ellery (of course, it had to be Ellery). I think what makes it my go-to is the buttons — gold and handmade — which feel like little pieces of art. The heaviness of it makes it feel like 'a piece,' and putting it on instantly makes me feel fancier, even if I pair it with leggings."
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