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…
“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.”
“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.”
“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.’ ”
“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.”
“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.