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How Preston Davis Keeps It Chic

In a 1938 profile of couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, Harper’s Bazaar noted that the designer abided by the law that “elimination is the secret of chic.”

We can’t help but think that Preston Davis, the voice of Keep it Chic (and former Bazaar staffer), would agree. She is a masterful editor, filtering the chatter of the fashion world with discipline and providing readers with the kind of on-the-mark observations that comes with 20+ years of industry experience.

We quizzed Preston on the blog’s backstory and asked her to share her very own “secrets of chic.”


What inspired you to start the blog?

When I decided to take a break from magazine and show casting to be with my family, I found that I had a lot of down time. So my husband, a co-founder of the travel site Tablet Hotels, set up Keep it Chic to enable me to stay connected to my industry without having to work in an office and travel to Europe every couple of months. There is nothing as satisfying as working on KiC while at the barn watching my girls train. I have cracked the work/family nut. Also, after a long career at Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, it’s great to work in new media; it feels modern.

What’s your most treasured article of clothing?

A beige and black print Chloé dress by Phoebe Philo. I just pulled it out and wore it last week and women asked where I got it. Completely fabulous and timeless.

Giovanna Battaglia © The Sartorialist

Who are your style icons?

Current faves are Giovanna Battaglia, Bianca Brandolini d’Adda and Melanie Huynh. For vintage inspiration: Deeda Blair, Gloria Guinness and Françoise Hardy.

Do your daughters frequently raid your closet?

My older daughter shares my Isabel Marant obsession and borrows my dresses. She also benefits from my fashion ‘mistakes.’ My younger daughter eyes my over-the-knee boots and more fashion forward items.

How has your style evolved?

I have redefined what I consider a classic: my Givenchy Pandora and any bag from Céline are truly modern classics. Also, since I don’t work in an office, I spend much more on run-around pieces. I can justify a $200 t-shirt now that I don’t need six new pairs of heels each season.

What’s your most unexpected source of fashion inspiration?

Fellow moms doing the school run. They are better in the afternoon; yoga pants are usually the morning uniform.

What are your spring wardrobe essentials?

Proenza Schouler’s tie-dye and python print tees, Givenchy Pandora in textured calfskin with gold-tone hardware (I love this bag!), rings—Balenciaga and Repossi mixed in with my own, Larkspur & Hawk earrings, Marissa Webb white cargos, Current/Elliott jeans and Saint Laurent Paris foldover ankle boots. For warmer weather, Fendi’s stamped penny sandal and Givenchy’s piped-toe ring sandal.


What’s the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?

If you love something, buy a spare. I often buy two identical items, especially shoes and pants.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in fashion?

Working on Wall Street. I am addicted to CNBC Squawk Box, the WSJ and the financial world in general.

If you were accidentally locked in Barneys overnight, what would we find you wearing in the morning?

Since I shop primarily online, I would spend hours trying things on and exploring designers whose clothes I don’t usually gravitate to. Also, I am a makeup amateur and hate to admit this to the pros, so I would try every foundation and lip color in the store. Then I would cruise the homewares floor—the Cire Trudon candles, dishware, coffee table books, etc.—all the things I love but rarely focus on. When the store opened, I would be in a Saint Laurent trench, jeans and sandals, an Isabel Marant top, a Hoorsenbuhs ring and the Balmain/Bidermann bag. Bliss!

Main images courtesy of Keep It Chic.

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