Back in 1975, Briarcliff’s Lynn Puro was voted “Best Dressed” by her classmates at Sleepy Hollow High. So it should come as no surprise that today she owns a fashion boutique, March, whose SoHo vibe and carefully curated collection makes it feel as if it’s been dropped down into Westchester straight from that ultra-trendy retail epicenter, the Manhattan Meatpacking District. Features Editor Laurie Yarnell chatted with Puro recently on—what else?—clothes.
What are you wearing right now?
A black-and-white pinstripe pencil skirt in a stretch cotton from Eva Franco ($225), a black Only Hearts tank top ($42), a cherry cotton cardigan from Beth Bowley ($184), and a black patent-leather belt from Streets Ahead ($105). I’m also wearing my favorite brass chain necklace with antique-looking charms by French designer Servane Gaxotte ($225), Sonya Renee’s gold hoop earrings ($60). Everything’s from my shop.
If your house was burning down, what one piece of clothing would you grab and why?
My brown-and-white floral print Milly sheath dress. I got it last fall from my store; it retailed for around $300. I love it because you can dress it up or dress it down and it’s seasonless: you can wear it with boots, tights, and a cardigan over it in the winter, or in summer with strappy sandals. I’ve worn it to everything from a luncheon to an evening fundraising benefit.
And the accessory you wouldn’t want to see go up in flames?
The necklace I’m wearing right now! My daughter and I fight over it all the time.
What are the biggest fashion trends for fall?
Sweaters are big—long sweater vests, oversized boyfriend-type sweaters, or cardigans—worn with pencil skirts. So are plaids and big pieces of jewelry. You can wear a big brooch on a jacket lapel, pin it at the top of a buttoned-up shirt instead of a necklace, or put it on your purse as a little embellishment.
And what are the hot colors for this season?
Popular colors are grays, yellows, eggplant, and black, of course. That’s a perennial.
What should every woman have in her closet come fall?
A tailored, pencil-cut skirt in a dark color is very fashionable; you can punch it up with color on top. Or, for an amazing fashion-forward look, pair it with colored tights, like purple.
Where do you shop—other than your own store?
I go downtown to SoHo and the East Village. And I really like the shops on Elizabeth and Mott streets in Nolita.
What changes in fashion have you seen evolve over the past few years?
Most of the clothes people are buying now are seasonless—partly because layering is so popular. And who wants to invest in something you can wear for only a few months?
‘Fess up time. How many shoes, bags, and jeans are in your closet?
About seventy pairs of shoes, twenty bags, and ten pairs of jeans, including my favorite pair—boot-cut, dark-washed, and with a medium rise—by Citizens for Humanity.
What did you think about the fashions shown in theSex and the City movie? And what effect, if any, do you think or hope they’ll have on “regular” women?
The fashions were great. And there are so many things that women can take away from the movie, including getting more dressed up every day and taking more of an interest in fashion. I thought the accessories—the jewelry, the handbags—were terrific. And, of course, the shoes.
Which celeb’s fashion sense do you most admire?
Jennifer Aniston. She always looks classy and right on—classic and not too trendy and pulled together but not that she’s trying too hard.
Who is your favorite designer and why?
Tracy Reece. She’s contemporary, very whimsical, and uses beautiful, fabrics in bright vivid colors. Her line of skirts, dresses, tops, and pants runs between $150 and $400.
And for shoes?
Eileen Shields—she makes beautiful pumps. I have a pair of peep toe, high heels in a greenish-charcoal color that are my favorite shoes. Not only do they look stylish, they’re comfortable, too.
What’s a great out-to-dinner-in-Westchester look?
A nice pair of boot cut jeans in a dark wash and a silk top with lots of color. Dress it up with accessories and wear leather boots.
What publications are your fashion bibles?
I subscribe to Women’s Wear Daily and read it religiously every day. And Vogue, Elle, INStyle, and Marie Claire are some of my favorite magazines.
What fashion TV shows do you watch?
I like “Project Runway”—in fact, we’re carrying dresses by Andre, a popular contestant on season two (CK).
Do you attend any of the runway fashion shows?
I went to the Tracy Reece and Twinkle shows during the March fall fashion previews at Bryant Park.
What was your high school fashion credo?
I wore a lot of mini-skirts. It was the early 70s so it was more hippie-ish, Indian print skirts.
Fill-in-the-blank: Women in their 50s should not wear: ____.
I don’t believe in any rules like that.