Style Counsel: Joyce Elkus

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Occupation: Co-author, Collective Fashion Wisdom; former Fifth Avenue Club director for Saks Fifth Avenue
Her Style: Polished Uptown Classic

Where did your interest in fashion originate? From the time I was very young, I got to choose between a birthday party and a trip to Saks, so I usually picked that. When I turned 16, I would drive to Saks and pick out my mother’s clothes. She never returned anything.

How do you know what to buy? I buy things that are timeless. As a result I have a lot of clothes I can’t get rid of, that I still wear. I’ve taken a bunch of clothes to a resale shop on Friday, and on Monday I bought them all back.

What’s your wardrobe philosophy? A lot of people say they have a lot in their closet and nothing to wear, and I think that’s because they’re sale-driven. If you’re basing your wardrobe around one basic color like black or beige or gray, then you focus on those things and they’ll mix with whatever you have in your wardrobe.

Does fashion sense run in your family? I have a 5-year-old granddaughter. She’s very fashion-savvy, too. One time she said, “Nan, I could really use a couple of pink dresses.” When I visited I said, “You haven’t worn the pink dress with the tags. I thought you said you needed pink dresses.” She said, “Well actually, Nan, that’s not my style.”

Originally published in the January 2014 issue
Photograph by Annette Navarro

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