We deconstruct the fashion choices of a half dozen local women. There’s a lot more to style than following the latest trends. It involves mixing elements in unexpected ways to fit your identity and sometimes daring not to be faddish. Here, meet six local women whose panache we admire, and find out what they absolutely can’t live without. Prepare to be inspired, maybe even surprised.
It’s ironic that Adrienne Bankert is a television news traffic reporter. Her stylish looks are capable of stopping traffic. Part of the KCRA 3 team for about a year, the twenty something Bankert (she’s of the ladies-don’t-tell-their-age school) is one of those women who look fabulous in anything she’s 5-foot- 10 and is built, she says, like a hanger. Even more reason to envy her: She can eat deep-fried foods her favorite indulgence apparently without penalty. Although Bankert has to dress conservatively for her job, she tries to be edgy when she can. But she doesn’t go overboard. I don’t like to follow the trends too much. I’m funky, but not too funky, she says. There’s a classic look that I think is awesome. If you can get a really nice black suit that’s tailored to your body and wear it with any kind of jewelry I think every woman should have that. Here, Bankert reveals some items she can’t live without.
Jeans: You want to have a pair of killer jeans that fits your body perfectly, but you don’t want them to look like everyone else’s Sevens. I like Yanuk jeans; they’re long, but they have enough of a rise so that I don’t worry about hitching my pants up all the time.
Shoes: I’m a big shoe freak; they make fun of me at the station. I’ll show up at work with Chuck Taylors on with my suits, or I’ll wear flip-flops, silver ballet slippers, pointy-toed pumps, rhinestone-encrusted stilettos, knee-high suede boots, it just depends on my mood. I find myself buying BCBG ( Max Azria) shoes now; they’re very affordable, but they look like they’re worth more.
Accessories: I like to infuse bohemian style into my wardrobe, and I do that with jewelry, head wraps and scarves.
Eyeliner: I love Chanel’s eyeliner in navy. It just makes your eyes pop, it’s so electric.
Lip gloss: I like to look natural, and Trucco makes colors that match my skin.
Hairstyling tool: A flat iron. You have to get a ceramic one, but a professional ceramic one, because the professional-grade ones have a higher heat allowance. I get them through my girlfriend at her shop. I need something that’s going to be hot, that’s going to protect my hair, and that’s going to work without running it through my hair four times.
For style inspiration: I like European magazines like Vogue, from any other country but here. Even though I love the American Vogue, it’s just an inspiration to see what people are doing outside of the U.S. Those are the trends we won’t even be thinking about until next year.
Influences from Manpreet Bains’ Indian heritage and her own playful, personal sense of style pervade Pulp Papery, a paper and gift boutique at McKinley Square on Alhambra Boulevard and H Street owned by Bains, her sister Sureena and friend Amy Astone. She’s a real trend freak a constant looker of what’s going on. She’s the one who picks our inventories, and she’s very good at it, an admiring Sureena Bains says of her younger sister. That talent translates easily to clothing. Says Sureena, She can make a T-shirt and jeans seem ultra chic. Manpreet, 31, is taking a break from pursuing her doctorate in political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in order to help run the shop while also teaching at Woodland Community College. Her style strength, she says, is her knack for achieving amazing effects by pairing unexpected colors, which she inherited from her mother: a beauty in traditional Indian brights. Check out Manpreet’s necessities of life at right.
Mascara: I really like MAC’s Zoom Lash, but it’s hard to get off. Zoom works well in the evening because it’s dramatically dark and it really does make your lashes a little bit longer.
Fragrance: I wear two fragrances alternately. One is Issey Miyake that was my wedding perfume; it just has a nice, clean, girly scent. The second one is Stella McCartney. It’s a little more funky, and it makes me feel spicy!
Jeans: I like AG (Adriano Goldschmied) jeans in the Angel cut. I have a boy body except for these (points to chest) and AG jeans just fit really well.
Lip color: I’ve gotten away from lipstick and just use Juicy Tubes by LancTme. For Christmas, my husband got me every color that they come in. I like their thick glossiness.
Guilty pleasure: Concerts! If I could go to a concert every single night, I would. I’m a reader, so for me to like (a song), it boils down to the lyrics. I like Jem, Rilo Kiley and the soundtrack from the movie Garden State. And I just saw Nikka Costa great show, fantastic! I don’t know why she’s not bigger.
Handbag: I like the Kate Spade Messenger Bag. It carries everything I need, all my books, lecture notes, everything. Otherwise, I look here and there for little bags that go with outfits, like the gold lam bag I got from Express. But my personal purse is my husband’s back pocket!
Accessory: I love scarves. I got the one I’m wearing in Dharamsala, India; there were mounds of these scarves there for maybe 50 cents each. My friend pulled one out and said, ‘Oh, doesn’t this look like a Missoni scarf?’
To all mature women sizes 2 to 22 who want to have fun with fashion but don’t want to look silly in teeny-bopper styles: Pam Pacelli feels your pain. That’s why she opened Five Figs Couture at 803 Second St. (above Shuz) in Davis in July 2004. Five Figs, in this case, stands for five figure types rectangle, triangle, inverted triangle, oval and hourglass and Pacelli’s shop caters to them all. Most of my customers are willing to be creative and a little outside the box, but I also have lines that are quite conservative, says the 40-year-old certified style and image consultant, whose social conscience dictates what’s in stock: She is adamantly anti-sweatshop. Creative to the core, Pacelli thinks of dressing as play time and adorns herself accordingly. She says, Every day I look in the closet and create something new. I’m a little on the whimsical side, and as I get older, I find I’m a little rock and roll. Read on for some personal picks by this fashion pro.
A night on the town: I would probably wear something colorful because if you wear black, you just fade into the night. I would probably put some kind of scarf in my hair, and wear earrings that dangle, and some bracelets. And then the outfit could just be anything. I do love tulle, and I’ve been wearing a lot of crinoline and tulle things.
Handbag: My industrial deep-taupe Kale bag. I carry this every day; it’s my workhorse. What I love about this bag is, it’s a neutral that’s really broad. I find I can wear it with light and dark colors. It’s not black. Black, to me, limits you more.
Shoes: Robert ClergerieI love his style. These shoes are sturdy and they give me height because they’re platforms. I’m 5-foot-4, so I’m quite small, and I like a little lift. I typically don’t wear flats, even though I love the look. My legs are short relative to my body, and the nice thing about that is, you can wear heels and get more leg.
Makeup: I’m a MAC makeup girl. I wear MAC lipstick in Chili, and I like the MAC Viva Glams because the proceeds go to support people with HIV and AIDS. I typically wear red lipstick to balance my dark hair.
Hosiery: Because it’s so accessible at Nordstrom, I do the DKNY hose, and I think they do a good job; they offer a pretty wide variety. I love texture on the legs you can be all in black and then do a funky hose with some interesting boots, and you’ve got a great look with just a very basic outfit.
T-shirts: For me, a T-shirt could be a layering piece, but I’d never wear one on its own. Layering clothing creates interest.
Skin care: Every day rain or shine, I don’t care every time I step outside there’s sunscreen on my face. I order it from Canada it’s La Roche Posay, SPF 60, and it provides broad-spectrum protection. Now, with moisturizers, I’d just as soon put Vaseline on my face, frankly like Marilyn Monroe. I don’t know that I believe all [the product claims].
Jeans: I wear them primarily under dresses. I own a pair of Levi’s, and I have one pair of jeans that I bought at Henri Bendel in New York five years ago. I spent $300 on these jeans, but I’ll tell you what, they’re not dead, they’re still perfectly fine, and I have worn them I cannot tell you how many times.
*For the rest of this issue, pick up a copy of Sacramento Magazine’s November issue.