On this installment of Style Profiles, we catch up with Liz Finkelstein, a Boulder-based style consultant. For our chat, we meet at Brasserie 1010, a Pearl Street restaurant popular with hip professionals keen for a little nosh and socializing after work. I’m waiting for an open space at the bar when Liz strides in, Amazon-tall in her Givenchy wedges and with such a commanding presence that she’s impossible to miss.
Everyone at Brasserie’s bar looks comfortable in their seats and unlikely to budge soon, so we move to The Kitchen, another happening restaurant down the street with American-nouveau fare and inventive cocktails. This time we perch at the bar, and I get to pick the brain of another Colorado fashionista. Liz speaks with the same purpose and confidence with which she enters a room, and her answers reveal such definitive motivation in her personal style that I feel compelled to write down every phrase, and eager to hear what she says next.
What inspires you to get dressed each morning? What made you go into personal styling?
For me, it’s a creative exercise. But I also see it as problem-solving. I was a psychology and sociology major, so I find the analytical part of fashion extremely appealing. Style is like fitting the parts to an equation, within a framework of beautiful things. And there is an end result – a fabulous outfit. There is nothing about it I don’t enjoy.
When I was younger, I had two definitive style mentors; women who just really had it together. One was a college friend, and the other was a friend from New York. I still look to them as my style mentors.
Describe your personal style.
I definitely have an edgier sensibility. I feel like you have to have one main style, and edgy comes through the most for me.
I’m all about the eclectic and unexpected together. Contrast is really what creates balance. And I use that same philosophy with my clients. It’s like I’ve figured out the equation that I can apply with them as well.
Which brands do you find yourself coming back to again and again?
On the high end, I love Lanvin. His designs are breathtaking, and an ideal combination of the feminine modern. Tom Ford. In the middle, Tibi and SUNO. On the mainstream level, I live for J.Crew.
Do you have any specific splurges?
I splurge on Givenchy for shoes and bags. And Balenciaga; their bags are heaven on Earth. Truly, I tend to splurge on everything – I see it as part of my job. I think the real difference between clothes and fashion happens when you get to that next price point. I want a closet full of fashion, not a closet full of clothes. I don’t have a lot in my wardrobe, and that’s a good thing.
What’s on your must-have list for this season?
I don’t do it that way. Your must-have list for the season should be your must-have list for life. Each season is an opportunity to buy something you already should have in your closet, like a great pair of flat brown leather knee-high boots, a designer handbag (aka ‘Big Girl Bag’), or an amazing cashmere sweater dress.
Do you have any items of the moment you can’t live without right now?
Definitely The Woods Fine Jewelry, and Calleen Cordero sandals. Also boyfriend jeans. They contrast so beautifully with any outfit because they add a masculine point. You can pair them with beautiful jewelry or a pair of sky-high booties. An Hermès scarf is another essential – it goes with absolutely everything.