GRAMMAR’s timeless pieces make styling easy. Just slip on a pair of jeans with The Adverb Shirt or throw on a pair of heels with The Feminine Dress and you’re ready for anything. Even though GRAMMAR makes looking great effortless, there is a lot of work and care that goes on behind the scenes to present you with a product you’ll love. Styling looks for photoshoots and other online content is an essential part of this process. In the following conversation, which has been edited for brevity, GRAMMAR’s creator Althea and writer Callie talk about styling. Althea shares her style philosophy and her goals when creating outfits for e-commerce and lookbook photoshoots. Can you guess which non-GRAMMAR wardrobe staple is Althea’s go-to for a classic look?
Callie:For starters, how would you describe your personal style?
Althea:My personal styling is super simple. I would say, nine times out of ten, I'm wearing jeans, a GRAMMAR shirt, and a pair of slides in the summer--or when it's colder, a pair of boots.
On a given day, I might be sitting at my computer, I might be designing something, I might be running around the garment district, I might be going to a meeting. There's so many different things I could be doing and I want to just be prepared and ready for it. I feel that if I'm wearing jeans and one of my shirts I'm ready for anything.
Callie:Do you have a style philosophy?
Althea:I look for things that are very versatile. The same applies to my approach to shopping. I buy things that are very versatile so that my closet has infinite variations--infinite outfits--where I can pair everything with everything else. That is the idea behind GRAMMAR, behind the brand’s white shirt as a staple piece that goes with everything. I think there are some exceptions to that rule where I just want to buy something fun and colorful like a bold pair of printed pants. But, even then, I know that this fun piece will go with any of my many white shirts.
Callie:Is your style philosophy for photoshoots similar to or different than how you dress yourself?
Althea:My philosophy for styling photoshoots is a little bit different than how I approach my own closet because I don’t want to choose pieces that will distract from the GRAMMAR product. If you wear a white shirt with a patterned pair of pants, the outfit is then centered around the statement piece and not the white shirt. This is what makes white shirts so useful not only as a “go-to” piece but as a styling piece, almost like an accessory. But for photoshoots, I want the shirt to be the center of attention. This not only informs the pants or other bottoms that I choose, but the accessories as well; I choose things that are generally very simple.
Callie:What are some of the goals that you have when creating an outfit for ecommerce shoots?
Althea:I want there to be a cohesive look, and I want the style to look like something the GRAMMAR woman--our customers--would wear. I try to have pieces available that I think would be in her wardrobe. I actually use a lot of pieces from my closet. This is great for many reasons because it is easy, it generally goes with my aesthetic, and it's free. It also takes less time to plan and style a look.
Callie:How do you go about putting the look together?
Althea:I usually put together a Pinterest board where I’m thinking about the collection and which pieces I'm photographing. I think about what sort of things will look good with the collection. Some of the looks will be very timeless, most of them are, but then sometimes there'll be something that's more trend-based. If midi skirts are kind of “in” or whatever, then I’ll try and find one or two of those trendier pieces to add for styling.
I will also look back at some of the images that I pulled for inspiration when I was designing the collection. So, if I was looking at a particular style icon, say Audrey Hepburn, then maybe I would look for some slim pants and slides. If I was looking at someone like Princess Diana, then I would want some high-waisted jeans with a nice big belt and loafers.
Callie:What are some other things you are thinking about when styling a look?
Althea:When styling a piece, I’m also thinking about what my goals were when I designed that specific garment. In the creation of my designs, I am always thinking about what function pieces have in your closet. Why are you wearing this? How are you wearing this? How would you wear it to dress up? Dress down?
I’ll also think about how I wear the piece or how I would wear it--what I think looks good with it. A lot of times when I'm designing something I'll think, “Oh okay. This is a great shirt to wear with a slim pant” or “This would look good with a wide leg pant or a full skirt.”
For e-commerce, I have to photograph all the different colors of the same piece, so I'll try to offer different ideas for how to style it in the photoshoot. I'll usually have one look that's more casual, one that's more dressed up, and then kind of fill in with other styles as needed.
Callie:Other than “shopping your closet,” how do you go about getting pieces or accessories for the shoot?