It’s no secret around these parts that we adore the one and only Tracy McMillan. She was a key part of our retreat in Morocco last year and continues to influence us with her storytelling mentality and her overall zest for life. So it’s not shocking that we also wanted to get to the bottom of how she mixes masculine and feminine elements into her everyday wardrobe and what’s her mentality when staring down her closet every morning (which is something I think we can all relate to).
What are your must have wardrobe items?
My must-haves are boyfriend jeans, heels, and coats. On a normal day, I love to wear oversized jeans or pants. I buy them at least one size too big — there’s something about the way they hang that I like and I’ve always tended to stay away from very body conscious silhouettes. For femininity, I love heels — especially sandals — which I wear almost every day. My go-to is a Stuart Weitzman suede ankle strap with a 2.75 inch block heel — not too tall — which I have in three colors and can wear year-round since I live in a Mediterranean climate. They instantly turn my menswear look into something more interesting and chic. Lastly, I love coats! Probably because I love tailored things — buttons, seams, and a nicely done shoulder. My current favorite is a wide-lapel 70s inspired robe that ties at the waist with a sash (hello, Meghan Markle!) that I got for $139 at Monoprix in Paris. I am obsessed with it, and wear it at night — or any time the temperature falls below 65. Even though I’m born and raised in Minneapolis, after years in Los Angeles, 65 actually feels cold to me!
Can you tell us more about this butterfly sequined skirt and how you like to wear it?
I bought this skirt at H&M on a whim last fall. Something about the fact that it had lavender sequins plus embroidered appliques seemed really luxe and fun and not overly serious. Normally, I wear a lot of neutrals, so this was a bit out of character for me! In fact, I always joke that I want to open a store called NBGW — Navy, Black, Gray, White — because those are the only colors I wear. (Oh, and denim. If that’s a color!) Maybe because I have big hair, I tend to go low-key with my clothes — I don’t do much in the way of major prints, or bright colors, or ethnic things. In any case, I fell in love with the skirt and found myself wanting to wear it all the time! I liked it best with this shirt, a red and blue pinstriped cotton with a real ‘boyfriend’ feel. This one is my absolute favorite top — bought on sale in Portland, Oregon while visiting my son who goes to college up there. Normally I button it all the way up, but it was warm out on this day, so I wore it open. If there’s a main theme in my dressing, I would say I almost always juxtapose masculine and feminine — in this case, a menswear top with a hyper-decorative bottom.
What are the most important qualities of an outfit when you get dressed?
A great outfit really comes down to three things: my mood, the weather, and the occasion. Mood is obviously an intangible — maybe one day I’m attracted to a certain color, or I want to wear something soft. Next, I always dress for the weather. Los Angeles can swing from super-warm to quite chilly in a 12 hour period, so I almost always have on layers, and the backseat of my car invariably is littered with has jackets and sweaters. Then, and this is probably the biggest thing for me when dressing, is that the outfit fits the occasion. There’s an algorithm to figuring out an occasion: Is it business or personal, indoors or outdoors, day or night, and, crucially, who will be in attendance? I always want to dress in a way that honors not just myself, but the people who have invited me somewhere, and the tone of the event.