Stylist LaTonya Yvette lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, with her two young children, River and Oak. We’ve long loved her cool, vibrant style — including this pink velvet blazer look. “I’m naturally attracted to color,” she says. “If someone on the street is wearing a pair of red pants, I literally gasp.” Here, she shares her five go-to outfits…
Coat: The Deep End Club, similar. Sweater: Orla Kieley , similar. Jeans: vintage Levi’s. Sneakers: Saint Heron x Puma. Reusable bag: Baggu. Socks: Uniqlo. Hoops: similar. Lipstick: MAC Creme In Your Coffee.
“For jeans, I love Levi’s. My styling trick is to wear them cuffed. It’s nice to show a little ankle when you’re wearing a wide-leg pant. I also like carrying reusable bags. I put one in my pocket for groceries, and carry another one with headphones, a snack and a book, like Hunger by Roxane Gay. I keep rereading it. I rarely buy new stuff. If I love something — clothes, books — I’ll go back to it forever.”
“Growing up, everyone had nameplate necklaces; it was a big thing in the 90s in New York. I finally got one ten years ago, during a summer when I was falling in love. Then I gave similar necklaces to my bridesmaids, and then my babies were born and pulled on mine. This necklace is part of my life. I also have the same name as my mom — Tonya — except with a ‘la’ in front. I was embarrassed by that growing up. Everyone had these pretty names like Brittany, and LaTonya felt hard for people to say. For a long time, I lied and said my name was just Tonya. But the moment I got the necklace, it was a declaration of who I was and who I am.”
“This coat was my grandmother’s. It’s super fancy, so I pair it with basic things to tone it down. My grandmother had a whole kitchen full of clothes in Brooklyn, and I inherited many of them when she passed away. I can get into ruts where I’m just working and working, and those monotonous weeks or months are a good time to dress up and wear something meaningful to you. It reminds you who you are. You can touch down, and say, this is not it.”
“I have an on-again-off-again relationship with heels. Starting at age 16, I wore pretty high heels all around New York City, even when working two jobs. Then I had my first kid at 21, and I still wore them. I was wearing heels with a newborn! Now that I’m almost 30, I’ve eased up and am into boots and cool sneakers. These mid block heels are a good middle ground. They’re so comfortable.”
“I wear this outfit when bumping around New York City. What can I throw on at 6:45 a.m. that feels good for an office meeting and playing with my kids? It’s comfy and warm and practical. I once did a job with Kate Spade, and they gave me a credit, so I got this amazing bag. My kids always want to play with it, but I’m like, no! It’s my taxi bag! It’s a big conversation starter on the subway.”
“This dress feels romantic and sexy, yet is still crazy comfortable. Anything that flows on your skin and makes you not overly aware of your body is fine by me. I once wore a very similar dress with sneakers on an overnight flight to Paris. We were landing around 1 p.m., and I didn’t want to arrive looking like I had just slept on a plane! I wanted to walk around the city and feel good. This dress was perfect. I washed it in the hotel sink every other day. I also brought mules, a men’s blazer, white jeans and a T-shirt. I could mix and match them. When I travel, I hardly pack anything.”
“My kids are so used to my wearing crazy things that when I don’t, they’re like, what’s wrong? We were reading Ada Twist, Scientist, and the mom has on these big glasses and dresses. My daughter kept saying, I can see you wearing that outfit. I was like, you’re right! I love that my children know that I enjoy getting myself dressed, and that it’s a priority. I don’t have to give up this part of myself to be their parent. As a newly single mom, I’m still doing that. Having them respect that is really important.”
Thank you, LaTonya!
(Photos by Julia Robbs for Cup of Jo.)