Style

A Week of Outfits: Dalila Shannon

A Week of Outfits: Dalila Shannon

Dalila Shannon, a merchant at J. Crew, describes her style as a study in balance. “I have these instincts of being very tomboyish and sporty, then I always try to infuse it with something feminine, like a purse, lipstick or jewelry, to make it all come together.” Here, in her neighborhood of Astoria, Queens, she shows us five ways she mixes and matches…

A Week of Outfits: Dalila Shannon

Cashmere dress: J. Crew, similar. Jacket: Golden Bear. Sunglasses: Adam Selman. Purse: similar. Loafers: similar.

“Bomber/varsity jackets are one of my favorite things — they’re a must for fall. This is a Golden Bear one. I also have two vintage ones, and one from an army-navy store. There’s a bomber jacket for every attitude — my mom even owns one, and she’s flashy.”

A Week of Outfits: Dalila Shannon

Dress: Reformation, similar. Denim jacket: similar. Backpack: Furla . Sneakers: Rihanna x Puma Creepers.

“My parents influenced my style in a big way. I grew up stealing their clothes. My mom is loud with her fashion; she likes pattern, print and texture. My dad was fearless with what he wore — he was very dapper, just fly. He was a doctor and wore a colorful bowtie to the hospital every day; people remember him for that. He passed away six years ago, and I enjoy being able to hold onto him through his clothing. My favorite jacket that I’m wearing here is his old Armani jean jacket. It’s the perfect shade, oversized and funky. When I got it, there was a notecard in the pocket with his handwriting on it — it’s still in there.”

A Week of Outfits: Dalila Shannon

Shirt: similar. Jacket: Commes des Garcons, similar. Leather skirt: Vince, similar. Purse: Zara, similar. Running shoes: Nike.

“Working at J. Crew brought out my preppy side. I still get pleasure from wearing edgier things, but now I also like loafers and simple outfits. In high school, I never would have worn a collared shirt. I was in ripped tights and American Apparel and thought I was a badass. I didn’t realize you could have a clean look, but still have a louder style. Now, I think there’s something so relieving, like a breath of fresh air, about putting on a collared shirt and calling it a day. I always add flare, though, like this clear purse. Growing up as a child of the Clueless world, a clear purse is all I ever wanted when I was younger. It’s the purse of my dreams. I like that it’s this bitchy accessory, like ‘Oh, what? My clear purse.’ ”

A Week of Outfits: Dalila Shannon

Gold dress: Zara, similar. Leather jacket: Madewell. Sunglasses: Vintage Chanel from The RealReal. Tote: Bao Bao Issey Miyake. Sneakers: Nike.

“This is my weekend dress. I like wearing it when I go into the city — to Chelsea galleries or a museum. It’s kind of like my art crowd dress. It’s a statement, but I love that I can throw on a black leather jacket and tennis shoes and immediately it’s neutralized to be less a glaring object and more a comfortable dress. When I touched it, I was like, ‘I have to put this on my body.’ I love how the pleats move with me. Pleats, or just texture in general, make a dress so much more interesting.”

A Week of Outfits: Dalila Shannon

T-shirt: Thrasher Magazine. Jacket: similar. Jeans: Madewell. Sunglasses: Adam Selman. Heels: Manolo Blahnik.

“This jacket is my boyfriend’s. I love things to be loose and oversized, but sometimes it can feel sloppy, so I threw on heels. Over the last couple years, I’ve been dipping more into the luxury pool — it all started with these Manolo Blahniks. They’re hand-me-downs from my best friend’s mother, who has large feet like I do. (I’m size 12. I don’t even bother to shop in stores; I stick to sites like Topshop, ASOS, J. Crew and NikeLab.) She’s this powerhouse of a woman, so when I was visiting their family in London she brought me into her closet and gave me all these insanely gorgeous shoes. This was my first taste of Manolos, and I was like, ‘Oh, my god, I love these.’ Now, especially with shoes, I’m more likely to spend more because they’re hard for me to find and they last so long; they’re an investment.”

Thank you so much, Dalila! Your style is awesome.

P.S. Five outfits that make us want to wear more bright colors and cool trousers.

(Photos by Ana Schechter for Cup of Jo. Interview by Megan Cahn.)

  1. Matilda says...

    Wow i love this series!! Would love to see international people on this segment like Sylvie Mus! I loveeee her style!!

  2. I really like those denim jacket, really matches the stripe dress! keep it up!

  3. Selina says...

    She’s fabulous. One of the best you’ve had on here

  4. Jasmine says...

    Loved this! Such a real person, apparent even through a blog post!

  5. Kathleen says...

    Having lost my dad too, I l was moved by Dalila talking about her dad’s clothes, wearing them and keeping the note in the jacket pocket. I have one of my Pop’s shirts that I wear like a hug from him.

  6. Katie says...

    She’s so cute! (And has great legs!!)

  7. Chris says...

    Love that cashmere dress on her. She’s so gorgeous and her style is everything!

  8. G says...

    Wow, what a great style she has! I’m impressed by every single of these outfits!

  9. Dalila is like a breath of fresh air in a crowded, stuffy room.

  10. Rachel says...

    As another big-footed person I appreciate Dalia telling it like it is for us shopping for shoes. And her recommendations!

  11. O.M.G. I love her style. I would totally wear mostly everything she wears. I always wanted a clear purse too. Till a friend had to work at a place that made staff carry clear purses so they couldn’t steal things and I thought, idon’t want people to think I’m only using one because I could be a thief! and the gold dress, so beautiful. I’m wearing a shimmery silver top today and have a gold lame tank that reminds me of a barbie dress from the 70s – its seriously one of my favorite clothes. I must have been a crow in a former life!

  12. Rufus says...

    Beautiful Model
    Lovely skintone and hair.
    Love the attire

  13. From her name, Dalila, to her her gorgeous personality and beautiful spirit I am left so inspired.

    Love this series beyond words!

    Makes me want to rummage through my closet and be more fearless.

    • Exactly what I felt, I thought “why have I been so boring with my style lately?”!

  14. Dylan says...

    Her style is totally not my own but oh my GOD, I feel like I’ve been awakened with “I didn’t realize you could have a clean look, but still have a louder style.” I’m graduating college soon and will need to sacrifice my vintage causal, American Apparel closet for more work appropriate things and she absolutely just inspired me. What a vision.

    • Fiona says...

      I wholeheartedly agree – not my personal aesthetic, but such a great way of looking at stuff, and putting together an outfit that has such a distinct personality and style – a total inspiration! (also, best smile ever!)

  15. Our styles don’t even really align, and yet I find her to be so inspiring and so REAL!

    You are such a sunshine, Dalila! Thank you for sharing with us such a tender story about your dad.

  16. Erica H. says...

    Two thumbs up!

  17. Julia R. says...

    LOVE your style Dalila!

  18. Ashley says...

    Girl, PREACH about great investment shoes for gals with big feet (size 11s since 6th grade here(!!)). I found there’s no substitute for solid shoes… they make an outfit! And all these ladies saying “I stumbled on these great shoes..”- Uh I haven’t stumbled on size 11s EVER. Ha!

    • SAME! Size 11 since 5th grade and I spend so much more on shoes than anything else!

  19. YES TO THE LARGE SHOES. Nobody talks about these problems!!!

    • Andrea says...

      Large and wide–even worse! I went eagerly to all those sites and only NIKE had wide shoes. It went from 600+ shoes to 29. Womp. Womp.

  20. Andrea says...

    She looks adorable and I like pushing the work envelope with shorter dresses. It’s not a look that many workplaces outside of fashion might be open to. A plea to clothing companies: we need nice, cute dresses that come close to our knees to wear to work! I sigh each time I go to Loft and see “work clothes” that can’t be worn at work.

    • Trish O says...

      I feel that way about Madewell often. Too short!

  21. Kash says...

    It is the confidence that ups the act, always ! Just look at her , so awesome. Love this series (is it series yet, hoping so!!).

    I have a request, I have always had preppy style. Have tried to soften it in my 30s but now that I move to 40s soon I don’t want to let it go ( i have been getting comments on my “dressing younger” style a lot now hence..). So if you know any women who embrace preppy with their age esp in their 40s, would love to see them.
    Thanks!
    Kash

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, great idea — thanks, kash!

    • Hillary says...

      I will do it! 40 and still preppy as can be.

    • Kash says...

      There are a million things about you that I would emulate in a heartbeat but fashion is not one of them Mrs. Clinton. Will have to pass. 😂

    • Mimi says...

      I’m 70. I shop at J Crew … Selectively. I love preppy and it can be done without looking desperate.

    • SFord says...

      I agree – women in their 40’s would be great to see (from a woman in her 40’s who still likes to dress stylishly with a bit of a twist!)

  22. Would just like to say I’m obsessed with this series. It’s so much more inspiring seeing a normal person’s week of outfits rather than the overly styled outfits you see on fashion blogs. Thank you for continuously posting the realest and most inspiring content!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you so much, Chloe!!

  23. Emily says...

    I love her style!! And I’m always excited when women who “leave a larger footprint” are featured. :-D

  24. esperanza b says...

    I love her hair!!

  25. Heather says...

    i absolutely LOVE your style, delila! perfect blend of tomboy/feminine, preppy/edgy. and seriously – sneakers all day, every day. taking notes. yes!

  26. Kelly says...

    I can relate to this woman’s style! Dalila you are my style guru. Beautiful.

  27. Kitty says...

    Too cool for words.
    And I’m sorry about your dad, your family and the world seem to have lost a wonderful human.
    All the best to you!
    PS I love the clear purse!

  28. Emilie says...

    I love how Dalila rocks sneakers and flats! My commute involves a lot of working and I’m always struggling with how to look professional without compromising my ability to hoof it. Very inspired by her style! She is gorgeous.

  29. Lauren says...

    Absolutely loved this post. So stylish. This has quickly become one of my favorite series on Cup of Jo. And I love that you are featuring a variety of unique women, all stunning! Yes!

  30. Natalie says...

    Ooh! New post series? I’d love to see these posted at the frequency of Beauty Uniforms! It’s so fun to take a peak into the style secrets of real women.

  31. india says...

    I recently discovered my dads jean jacket (from the 70s) too and it fits me perfectly! I’d been wanting one for a while and when I found it I was so excited! I love that it used to be his!!!

  32. I love this series! It’s so inspiring to see real women with such killer style.

  33. Emily M. says...

    I love how Dalila personalizes her wardrobe; I feel like I know her a little bit because of her descriptions of each piece. The clear Clueless purse — yes!!! (Also, she’s super pretty and badass!).

  34. Sarah says...

    I love everything about this post! “Growing up as a child of the Clueless world, a clear purse is all I ever wanted when I was younger. It’s the purse of my dreams. I like that it’s this bitchy accessory, like ‘Oh, what? My clear purse.’ ” OH MY GOD I LOVE HER.

  35. Trish O says...

    A) this girl is adorable. Her style is cute but her spirit is inspirational.

    B) I love this new series of style stars. The last girl was adorable, too

    I would love to see a 40 year old mom featured 😜

  36. Love Delila’s style. And YES to dressing up to go to the museum. NO better place to show off your style, in my opinion! ;)

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Totally agree!

  37. Liz says...

    I love how she is wearing no (or very minimal jewellery) and then I noticed that, in each photo, she is wearing no more than 5 pieces, INCLUDING sunglasses and shoes. She is a lesson in simplicity, yet vibrant and interesting and eclectic. Just gorgeous and truly stylish.

  38. I love this feature! Her definition of her style: I have these instincts of being very tomboyish and sporty, then I always try to infuse it with something feminine is exactly how I’d describe mine!
    I wear lots of thing that my grandpa owned… I love that story about her dad’s jacket.
    Lots of inspiration in this post!
    xx,
    E.
    http://www.theslowpace.com

  39. ne says...

    Loving how she is rocking it!!

  40. SCG says...

    As a fellow “child of the Clueless world” I absolutely love and relate to her style.

  41. Megan woods says...

    My favorite style post so far! Loved the dad jacket and that she carries the notecard in it. Her shoe and purse choices are so good.

  42. Gorgeous woman! Great style and I LOVE that hair! Very inspiring!

  43. Rebecca says...

    Ooh, I had never given a second glance to bomber jackets, but you’ve sold me on them now! Thanks!

  44. Favorite style post ever! She is stunning – I’m grabbing some much needed inspiration from her!

  45. Maria says...

    I love this new series. Dalia has an amazing sense of style and it stunningly beautiful. I especially love that she has curves. This is one of the few fashion posts I would feel comfortable showing my tween daughters. thank you

  46. Not meaning to sound stalker-ish but I just read an amazing obituary about Dalila’s dad, Michael W Shannon. Her Instagram feed mentioned his name and a recent honour he received from Harvard so I googled him. He sounded amazing!

  47. I like her outfit, and her face. She’s pretty :)

  48. Christine says...

    Hooray for size 12 shoes! I do love that J. Crew carries quite a few size 12 shoes.

  49. Tawni says...

    I don’t think I could pull off her style, but I love her story of her dad’s jean jacket! And that bit about the clear purse: love.

    • Trish O says...

      I thought the jean jacket story was so sweet.

  50. I love every single one of her outfits, what an incredible sense of style!!! This series is so inspiring, Jo! x

  51. Morgan says...

    I recently wore that same gold dress as a bridesmaid! It’s sooo cool and this is the inspiration I needed to wear it again!

  52. Karen says...

    What a beautiful woman…you can feel her warmth coming through the screen. I’ve never commented before, but I must say – I love, love, love this blog! And the comments as well. What a great group of women you all are!

    • Amy says...

      Doubling down on Karen’s comment – you could feel Dalila’s warmth, confidence, and personality radiating out of this post! Very inspiring.

  53. Maelyn says...

    What a beautiful woman (yea for double digit shoe sizes!). I love the story about her dad. My dad passed away recently and I asked for his watch. I like to wear it when I’m really missing him.

  54. Maelyn Melville says...

    What a beautiful woman (yea for double digit shoe sizes!). I love the story about her dad. My dad passed away recently and I asked for his watch. I like to wear it when I’m really missing him.

    • Ashley says...

      I wish I’d kept something of my dad’s. After he died, I couldn’t look at his stuff and got rid of everything. I would give anything to have a small memento like that.

  55. belen gc says...

    I love the second outfit and the last one. Striped dresses <3

  56. Wow, her tribute to her dad is touching,. Like the note he left in the pocket and she decided to still keep it. That’s awesome… The pic with jacket is cool with me and I love it, the gold’s own too is chicky..

    Brendascouch.com

  57. Laura says...

    I also have size 12 feet… I can rarely find shoes that I love, are comfy and fashionable. What I wouldn’t do to rock into a store and try on every pair I fancied…but good to know I’m not alone in my plight!

  58. Peggy says...

    love this post, the model, her clothes and style, her heart, her hair and her sass. Yay cuppa!

  59. kelly says...

    Stunning – these are always my favorite posts. She has incredible style! Thanks for sharing, Jo!

  60. Dewey says...

    Here’s to ladies with big feet! Love this style profile :)

  61. I think this is the most inspiring blog post I’ve ever read on Cup of Jo, or on any other blog I frequent for that matter. This woman is not, in any way, what my eyes, mind, and heart are accustomed to experiencing online; she’s so much bolder, brighter, better to behold! Nothing about her is expected. She is not porcelain skinned, sized 00, or wearing the uniform striped tee, jeans, and pointy flats (note: nothing wrong with these things!). She is aspirational and relatable – what a brilliant combination. Many thanks to Jo & Co, and to Delila, for bringing content that truly inspires. XO

    • Tara says...

      yesss to all these things:-)

    • Trish O says...

      What she said ^^^^

    • Heather says...

      100% agree. breath of fresh air.

    • Christy says...

      100% this. I am not a size 00, I don’t have eyelash extensions, I don’t wear fake hair, I don’t need 1,000 beauty products and I proudly wear size 10 shoes (the struggle is real!) and I also love to feel pretty, preppy and feminine. This is such a wonderful example of the diverse beauty we have in this world. More of this Jo!! She is absolutely radiant!

  62. Gem says...

    This is my favorite series ever!

  63. Lisa says...

    Amazing style!

    I agree about Manolo Blahniks – they’re so comfortable and stylish, they’re definitely worth it. I’ve never had heels which felt like you’re wearing slippers. Fortunately in London you can get good discounts on them in the January sales, so it feels like they’re giving them to you (kind of. My husband doesn’t agree with that sentiment).

  64. Also, I need to know what she uses on her hair (from a fellow curly-haired girl).

  65. I love Dalila! That gold dress outfit is AMAZING. So cool, so casual and so chic.

  66. Lauren says...

    thank you thank you thank you for highlighting a variety of body types in this series! It’s been fun to see how women of all sizes dress their B-E-A-utiful figures creatively. Also, her lipstick game is on point! much love.

  67. I ADORE this series so much! And like many other commenters, I was really touched by her story about her dad and the jacket she inherited from him.

    Will you ever profile someone who lives somewhere other than New York? It would be fun to see how geographical location changes/impacts someone’s style.

    Thanks, as always, for posting such high quality content! XO

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes great idea! We will reach out to some cool ladies around the country/world.

    • My sisters and I always talk about geographical style! Like when you travel and bring outfits that would be cute at home, but they feel totally wrong in another city. I live in the south and it’s very colorful, but when I lived in Chicago it was all black everything. One of my sisters lives in Oklahoma and it’s all about bling! So interesting! It even transcends climate and is really just about culture. I would love to see this explored a bit!

    • I love this idea as well!

    • hahaha yes! we had a co-worker go overseas for her first time ever at about age 45 and she was like ok I’m bringing jeans and sneakers and what else? and we were like no, no, no they will eat you alive in Paris. black and a scarf. :)

  68. She really pulls of the tomboy but stylish look!

  69. Erin says...

    Love this! My favorite profile on this website ever!

  70. Maryam says...

    DAMN! I love her style and the little anecdote about her father’s denim jacket. So sweet. Thank you for featuring such a stylish lady, and always happy to see a woman of color on here :)

  71. Shopping. Now.

  72. Please, please, please consider adding a photograph of her dad in his bowtie to this post.

    Sweetest thing I’ve read all week.

    • Samantha says...

      Agree! Maybe a picture of her with her dad waiting the bowtie :) if it exists haha

    • Lisa says...

      Oh yes please!

  73. I loved the second and last look! She’s got the cool girl style down, for sure.

  74. Leah says...

    My aesthetic!!!!!

  75. Ceridwen says...

    I love this post so much! Love her style and attitude. It’s great to read about her shifting ideas about style too. And her Dad’s jacket. I recently was given my grandmother’s beautiful purse when she moved into a nursing home and we were sitting her things for her. Everyone comments on it and I love that when I opened it her comb, a hanky and a slim pen with her initials were all in it. My mum told me she had given it to her in the 70s. That moment I reached into a pocket and the birthday card was still slipped inside. Beautiful when things keep breathing their history.

    • Ceridwen, I kept thinking about the story you told about your grandma’s purse. I can’t get over how the birthday card was still in there. Just beautiful <3

  76. Quinn says...

    This is such a great series! And Dalila’s style is so inspiring. I love the stories behind each of her outfits — it’s a good reminder that getting dressed can be fun again. And the bit about her dad’s jacket? Slayed me.

  77. Sarah Christine says...

    So great! Love her easy style. I too have gotten more into the preppy look in my 30s and am loving wearing preppy blazers and scarves this fall. Dalilia’s style is a great example of how adding in edgier pieces can keep it from going too far ‘country club’. Love it!!

  78. Kendra says...

    That smile!

  79. This is one of my fave posts. Also sometimes I wish I could “like” the comments on here. I have got to spend less time on social media.

    • Robin says...

      Yes to both of those sentiments ;)

    • Angelina says...

      “Like” :)

  80. Her clear purse comments are hilarious!

    “It’s the purse of my dreams. I like that it’s this bitchy accessory, like ‘Oh, what? My clear purse.’ ”

  81. I love her style! She really elevates staple pieces and makes them look cool! Those little styling tricks that take an outfit from regular to wow are so elusive! I saved an article years ago from a J.Crew stylist who showed how they tweak little things (like how they cuff shirt sleeves) and it was so enlightening. I mean, I still can’t do it right, but it helped give me some tools to look a tiny bit cooler. Haha. I’m a little jealous of women who just get it!

  82. So casual, chic yet full of personality. Big love.

  83. Hannah says...

    ah, i love this so much! especially since minimalism + neutrals + capsule wardrobes are so ‘in’ right now, Dalila’s style reminds me that it’s fun to have a more eclectic, mix and match approach too. (and reminds me that i shouldn’t necessarily get rid of half my wardrobe, ha!)

    such an inspiration, not to mention jcrew is awesome :)

    • Ashley says...

      Totally agree! Fashion is starting to feel fun again? I mean, I loved me some Normcore uniform dressing — it made getting dressed so easy. But I’m excited to buy something vintage and weird without worrying about messing up my capsule wardrobe count.

    • Trish O says...

      Hannah, don’t get rid of it all… I am having remorse right now. I had a very similar leather jacket as the one here but gave it away recently. I just could not see how I could restyle it. How I wish I had it back. I gave it to my boss. Do you think I could ask for her to bring it back to me? Lol

    • Trish O says...

      And Ashley, your count comment cracked me up. See my other reply, I got rid of said leather jacket to try to hit my 40 items… pathetic. Now I am contemplating getting a new one at Madewell. I have serious fashion issues.

  84. Bobby says...

    Those sunglasses are fabulous.

  85. Ashley says...

    Love love love Dalila’s style! She looks eclectic but totally pulled together, which is basically my aspiration in life. The bit about the note in her father’s jacket was so touching. Clothes can do so much more than cover our backs, they’re a way of declaring who we are and where we come from.

    Have you checked out “Women in Clothes” by Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton, and Sheila Heti? They interviewed over 200 women from around the world about their lives and the clothes they live in. Can’t recommend it enough!!

    Keep this series going!

  86. Jessica says...

    Her dad’s jean jacket!!! Got me good on that one.

  87. Teresa says...

    Would you ever consider a men’s fashion report? My husband used to be so stylish, but he works for himself and is really out of touch with how to put together a trendy look. I kind of know what I would like to see him wear, but it would be so great to see some examples with sources to make the shopping experience easier!

    • Ashley says...

      I second this!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a fun idea!

    • Sarah Christine says...

      Yes! So many dapper men out there in NYC, Great idea!!

    • Alice says...

      Totally agree! Since mostly I help my husband dress himself, I would LOVE such a post!

    • Vicki says...

      Yes! Yes! Please! My husband was getting dressed this morning, looked down at his t-shirt, and said “This shirt is from high school.” As in, fifteen years ago at least. Yikes!

    • SG says...

      YES please!!

    • Robin says...

      Yes please!

    • Natalie says...

      all in favor?

  88. Dalila’s ( awesome name) choice of wardrobe is like a clothing aura to express her lovely essence:)

    I am in my sixties and JUST started wearing collared shirts, I always gravitated towards v-necks and wider scoop necks, and now I am really appreciating the elegance of the collar.

    Fun post.

  89. Alice says...

    I love hearing about how her parents influenced her style. I’m always interested in how people build their person style. I always thought I developed my own style……until I realized that I wear small pearl earrings like my mom and chunky sweaters like my mom etc……we may be more influenced than we think!

  90. Natalie Brennan says...

    My new girl crush.

  91. Cynthia says...

    I like the way she puts the outfit with the gold dress together. I also like the way she has a jacket to pull together every outfit.

  92. Taylor says...

    Holy moly, Dalila may be my favorite style inspiration post yet and this isn’t really even my style. I love how bold, confident, fearless, and self-assured she looks. To me, that is what it means to have great personal style–to wear yourself well and to tell a story with your look.

    PS…I would LOVE to see some old school pics of her dad rocking the bow ties!

    • I second that! This is my favorite style post so far. Dalila is unique, inspiring and gorgeous. And the story about her dad really touched me. I love that she keeps the note with his handwriting in the jacket.

  93. Jade says...

    That gold dress and clear purse are what dreams are made of!

  94. karinny says...

    Love it! She’s so cool :)

  95. whoa- she is so pretty! that gold dress= damn. i also love how well she pulls off the wide legged jeans!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      agreed! that dress is AMAZING on her.

  96. AshleyG says...

    Lovely- I need a Beauty Uniform from her!

    • Alice says...

      Second this!

    • Anna says...

      I was thinking the exact same thing!

    • Robin says...

      Yes!

    • Lea says...

      Yes – please. Her beauty and style are inspiring!