In our new forum street style feature we’re putting the spotlight on individual forum members to find out what shapes their personal style. To kick things off, we want to introduce you to the lovely Kim Mitchell Stokes, who goes by the name kimair (an old nickname) in the forums. Originally from the East Coast, Kim currently lives in San Francisco where she is an art director/designer for the Gap's Outlet Division. You can see more of Kim and her take on personal style on her blog, j'adore couture.
How would you describe your personal style? Sometimes I feel like my personal style is still evolving. There are times that I really love the minimal aesthetic that's happening right now, with designers like Phoebe Philo, Reed Krakoff, and Narciso Rodriguez, but there are others when I love being a bit more funky. In general, I'm all about mixing things up and unexpected pairings. I love a pencil skirt with a graphic tee, or a chunky sweater with tailored pants. I also like wearing stereotypical "evening" pieces for day, like velvet, sequins, or statement jewelry.
Whose style are you most inspired by? Right now, I'm inspired by Leelee Sobieski and Hedvig Opashaug, but women like Bonnie Morrison, Ashley Olsen, Diane Kruger, and Shiona Turini are right there as well. I'm also constantly inspired by bloggers and women I've met through blogging. San Francisco has a really diverse and supportive community of bloggers and many of them have become my friends.
What’s the one item you can’t live without? I would say a purse of some kind. I never go anywhere without some type of bag. It can pull together any outfit.
What’s your best purchase ever? That's a tough one, as I've found many great scores over the years. I would probably say the top three are my Celine Envelope Luggage, which I hunted and hunted for. It was used, but the owner kept it in great condition. I adore my Balenciaga gladiator sandals from the S/S 2005 show that I found brand new on ebay. After I got engaged, I popped into Cris, one of the best consignment shops in San Francisco, and found a Lanvin runway dress from the Spring 2006 show. I had to buy it on the spot even though I had no idea when or where we were getting married! Funny thing is, I didn't wear it for the wedding, but I have worn it to some special occasions since.
Where are your favorite places to shop? Online, I love Shopbop, Reiss, The Corner, and Matches. In San Francisco, I love checking out smaller boutiques like Betty Lin, The Grocery Store, La Boutique, and Rand + Statler, but love that there's also Barney's, Zara, J. Crew, and Club Monaco.
What’s on your Holy Grail wardrobe wish list? I would love a tweed Chanel suit. I've been scouring consignment shops here and elsewhere trying to find the perfect one. I'd split up the pieces and wear the jacket with some distressed jeans or leather pants, and the skirt with a boyfriend shirt and chunky necklace. I'd also love to track down more pieces from the Proenza Schouler S/S 2011 collection. It's got everything I love from clothes—pencil skirts, boucle jackets, printed blouses, and sequins, in neutral and acid colors.
All images courtesy of Kim Mitchell Stokes/j'adore couture.