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Wilmington Designer Dallas Shaw Discusses Personal Style & Comfort

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Photo by Joe Del Tufo

Shaw reveals how to cultivate personal style in her book, The Way She Wears It. Here, she answers questions about her fashion inspirations.

Illustrator, designer and author Dallas Shaw works with fashion icons but follows her own muse.

Style icon

My grandmother. She taught me the value of style and tailoring.

Define your style

I’m a mix of feminine and masculine. On a day when I’m working in design, you’ll find me in jeans, layered tops, Marant or old Adidas sneaks, and stacks of delicate gold jewelry. I’m a sneakerhead, for sure. They’re necessary, considering how much running around I do on sets. When I’m at an event, I’m very feminine and love a floral or tulle moment—sometimes with those very same sneakers when I’m not being photographed.

Top question in your book, The Way She Wears It: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Revealing Your Personal Style: “What are you most comfortable in?”

I don’t mean comfort as in leggings or sweats, but what items do you love that feels most like you? Because the best personal style is the personal style that’s least forced.

Planning your outfits

I give very little planning to my looks and just do what I feel that morning. I think that’s because I love the items in my closet so much. I grab one thing I’d like to wear and build around it, the temperature and the day’s travel plans.

Oldest item in your closet

A ruby ring my parents bought me in middle school. I wear it often, and now I have a second vintage ring that complements it.

Must-wear summer clothing

All hail the sundress. It’s amazing how you can throw on just one simple, comfortable piece, and it can make you look so effortlessly put together.

Dallas Shaw, sporting a sun hat, sleeveless jacket and a long green sun dress.

Designer Dallas Shaw. By Joe Del Tufo

Thoughts on vintage

Obsessed. When I’m not working, this is what I’m on the hunt for. Vestiaire Collective is great for authenticated fashion finds.

Fave clothing period

I’m a sucker for a floral gown and frills, so hands down, it’s the 18th century.

Signature bling

Quite literally, I have my signature on a necklace that I wear often. Brevity made it for me, and I always feel like it’s my version of the Carrie necklace from Sex and the City. I wear a lot of stacked vintage rings that include a mix of gold and stones. If you follow me on Instagram (@dallasshaw), you already know that “other people’s diamond rings” are always mixed in the stacks. I have a small collection of vintage diamond rings. I don’t know why, but they just call to me.

Must-wear summer clothing

“All hail the sundress. It’s amazing how you can throw on just one simple, comfortable piece, and it can make you look so effortlessly put together.”

Travel style

Whether in Paris or on an island, I tend to have the same style. I don’t try to “match” the environment because I don’t feel like me when I’m doing that.

Style wish list

A Nicky Zimmermann floral silk mini dress.

Top shops

Kirna Zabête, Peter Kate, Skirt…and the swag at Girard Craft & Cork and Faire Market—because I chose it all.

Never leave home without

My perfume. I am a firm believer that a personal fragrance completes a look. I’m currently wearing Replica Autumn Vibes.

Since you worked for Walt Disney Design Group, which Disney character exemplifies your style?

Gotta go with Princess Jasmine on this one. She went with an off-the-shoulder crop top and still did it gracefully. I like to hope that’s how I pull off trends. Plus, she has excellent taste in jewelry and rugs too.

You can learn more about Dallas Shaw on her website, and begin cultivating your own style by checking out her book, The Way She Wears It: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Revealing Your Personal Style.

Related: Mimi Sullivan Talks Fashion Finds and Statement Style

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