Rachel Bilson Gushes Over Patrick Swayze & That Closet From Clueless

You could say that Rachel Bilson is a treasure trove of fashion advice — whether we're taking cues from her on-screen personas (Hart of Dixie is one of our not-so-guilty pleasures!), copying her street style, or racking her brain for tips on bicoastal dressing. Sure, she works with Nicole Chavez, one of the best stylist to the stars around, but this is one trendsetter who knows more than a few things about putting together an awesome wardrobe.

She's already tackled a major shoe collaboration with Shoemint, and now she's teamed up with Piperlime to lend her oh-so-trendy hand as a guest editor. We were on hand last night at Piperlime's NYC store to see Rachel unveil her picks for the best of fall's wealth of fashionable options. In between our "oohs" and "aahs" (check out her favorite pieces here), we sat down with the actress to pick her brain about dressing for the new season, and, of course, that infamous
Dirty Dancing

Your character is the queen of looking adorable in shorts. What's your best styling secret for making shorts feel fresh in the fall?
"Oh, for fall, oh crap! What I like for shorts for fall is that you can rock a shorts suit, so that you have a jacket, you can wear a sweater with it, and if your legs are showing, at least you're warm everywhere else."

Nicole Chavez always raves about what a collaborative process it is working with you — but what's the best trick you've learned from her?
"Well, she's the master at looking at something, knowing how it's gonna photograph, and the best way to wear it. So, I've really learned certain tips and silhouettes and things like that that are gonna work."

Have you taught her anything or gotten her to try any trends?
"I don't know, you know we both kind of have similar taste, and we rock our own thing."

Your look has really evolved and matured over the past few years. Was this intentional?
"I think you know, I'm 31, and it just happens naturally."

Do you have a key to making it a gradual shift?
"I think it naturally happens. You start to gravitative toward different looks and things that make you feel differently. And, also trends change, so you go with the flow."

Is there any one trend or piece for fall that you're absolutely loving?
"I haven't bought it yet. I haven't been shopping actually, so I haven't found it. But, I'm a big fan of Isabel Marant, so maybe investing in a jacket of hers?"


As far as the classics go, what are three pieces that you think every woman should have in their closet?
"A classic, perfectly-fitted black blazer is important. Your favorite pair of jeans, because you can dress them up or down, so it's important to have one go-to pair. And, your favorite white T-shirt."

Is there any trend that you're not feeling or that you don't want to try?
"I mean, I kind of try everything…unfortunately."

Anything that you've tried that you've thought "never again?"
"I've worn the pajama pants, but those are so comfortable that I just don't care if they're not in anymore. If you're comfortable, that's all that matters."

We hear you're on the market for a new home — what are the dream characteristics of your perfect place?
"A big closet and a nice kitchen. A huge closet is definitely my dream. Like, those serious ones that make up a whole, huge room. Or, the one from Clueless where it rotates when you push a button."

You could probably find a way to at least get that computer with the pictures of the outfits…
"I would hope so, considering it was in the '90s. Hopefully, by now, that technology is happening."

We loved your Dirty Dancing moment on Live With Kelly & Michael. Were you terrified?
"I was a little terrified, but so excited because it's like my favorite movie ever, and I used to make my brother try to do that lift with me. You have to learn it though, so the fact that we just went for it, I was thinking 'either you're gonna kill me, or you're gonna toss me over your head.'"


So, there was no preparation or practice?
"No, there was none; it was just like, 'let's go for it.' And we went for it. I loved it. I like spontaneity in a man."

You pick, ultimate teen heartthrob: Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing or Tom Cruise in Risky Business?
"Absolutely Patrick Swayze, I had his picture taped to the ceiling of my bunk bed in sixth grade. Him for sure."

Photo: Sara Jaye Weiss/Startraks