Lara Linn enjoys a good secondhand find. As seen in both her Newport apartment and creative workspace, she has a gift for breathing new life into items plucked from the curb. She mixes old and new in a way that seems effortless, and her approach to fashion is similar, with many favorites found at consignment shops and yard sales. I admire her aesthetic and the gorgeous Mala-inspired necklaces she makes, so I asked her to share some of her thoughts on style.
House Tour → Lara's Warm & Welcoming Newport Apartment
Creative Workspace Tour → Lara's Tucked-Away Creative Haven
Describe your style: I wasn't sure how to describe my style, so I asked a bunch of friends. And apparently they don’t either! Some of the terms they tossed around are “eclectic,” “urban bohemian,” “casual but with a spark of sass,” “effortlessly styled,” “modern vintage,” “boho chic.” I don’t know if any of that describes my style exactly, but it was funny listening to.
Your very favorite outfit: I dress for my mood and to be comfortable. So it changes daily. Right now, though, it seems that everyday all I want to wear is this Grecian flowy tank top I got from Wish, a local consignment shop, along with Young, Fabulous & Broke Sierra fold-over pants and flip flops. If I could duplicate this outfit in dark espresso brown and another one in white, I would probably toss out a third of my summer clothes.
The #1 item from your fashion wish list: The perfect little black dress.
Oh... and I would love a deep turquoise cocktail dress, something fitted and flow-y at the same time.
The TV or movie character's wardrobe(s) you'd steal in a minute: I would love Olivia Pope’s [from Scandal] soft gray and white home lounge wear. She makes laying on her sofa look luxurious, elegant, and indulgent.
Your best bargain find ever: Thirteen years ago, while sitting on my stoop enjoying my morning coffee, I noticed that a neighbor was having a yard sale. I walked over, coffee in hand, and found a tailored, cognac leather jacket that cinched perfectly at my waist and stopped 3 inches above my knees. The fit was perfect; it cost me all of $5, and the bonus was I scored this new wardrobe staple while still in my pajamas.
3 things from your closet you couldn't live without:
2. Men's white Hanes classic ribbed fitted tank tops
3. My long charcoal gray cashmere sweater coat
The item you no longer have but wish you did: I think I have all the items I would want, including my prom dress (which I still love) and Army pants I bought 29 years ago.
Go-to source for style inspiration: Style inspiration, for me, can come from anywhere: TV show, movies, people watching, magazines. If I want a tangible place, I tend to go to a consignment or thrift store. I just run through the racks and never know what I will be drawn to. Sometimes it’s the color, sometimes the style. Sometimes I can’t quite figure out why at all, but I know I am going home with it. I have this brown and orange patchwork fitted leather jacket I bought in the thrift store on my block when I lived in Greenwich Village. Initially I thought the jacket was so ugly but I just couldn’t take it off. I have worn that jacket over my staple wardrobe of jeans and a white tank top and to very formal affairs over a long gown. I get stopped every time I wear it.
Most fashionable friend and why: Historically, I would have to say my mom. Everyday that I walked home from grade school, I was never sure what my mom would look like when she greeted me at the door. She ranged from very bohemian to conservative to disco queen to business attire. And all within the same week! I may not have always liked the style (ahem… the floral printed silk collared shirt with high-waist flare bell bottoms and a tightly cropped perm hair-do), but she knows how to pull together the best elements of any style and she rocked it each time.
Your typical work “uniform": Jeans, white tank top, and long cotton or cashmere sweater.
5 noteworthy items from your closet (from left):
1. Johnny Was coat: I bought this when I saw it in a window of a boutique clothing store in LA. I will wear this over jeans and a tank or over black leggings and black turtleneck. Either way it’s fun and super comfortable. Interesting side note: 15 years after acquiring this jacket, I saw that a best friend of mine (who lived on the other side of the country and had no idea I owned it) had bought the same coat only in a different color.
2. My 1960s Hostess Dress: I found this dress in a vintage clothing store on La Brea in Los Angeles. 10 years later in Newport, RI, I found the perfect platform heels to go with it. I wore the two together for an event, hosted by Campo & Company Events, at one of the Bellevue mansions and felt like I should have been calling everyone “Dahling” all night.
3. My “Ugly” Vintage Patchwork Leather Jacket: I’ve had this gem for over 20 years. Here I have paired it with a short, white fitted dress and black multi-strapped heels, both found in TJ Maxx.
4. Shades of Purple Summer Dress: I picked this up in Colorado when I was driving cross-country a few years ago. I had been in the car for quite awhile and felt pretty grimy. When I put it on then, as when I do now, it feels light and whimsical and like I should go sit in a lavender field somewhere!
5. Mary’s Thai Silk Dress: My friend Mary used to work in a Thai silk shop in San Francisco and bought this dress over 50 years ago. It is her favorite dress, and she recently gifted it to me. The quality of the silk and the design is breathtaking. When I put it on... it’s just transformative. That Mary has given this to me just makes it so much more incredibly special.
IRL shop: Locally, I go to consignment shops Wish and Vintage to Vogue.
Toci in Newport for all of my cashmere needs! She has these tissue-thin cashmere scarves that I live in. Otherwise, I mostly check out smaller boutique stores. They are less overwhelming to me. And TJ Maxx is always good for a sure thing.
Online shop: I don’t shop for clothes online. I need to try things on to see how they fit.
Makeup brand: Oh, I am all over the place with makeup. The one constant though is that I found my perfect red lipstick: M.A.C.’s Ruby Woo.
Haircare brand: Right now I have Moroccan Oil and Organix in my shower.
Best Jeans: I wear jeans just about everyday, so I have tested them all. The ones that fit me the best and are the most comfortable all seem to come from Forever 21.
Coolest sneakers: I don’t wear sneakers. I tend to wear boots mostly. The ankle ones I have been wearing out these days are from White Mountain.
Signature scent: During the summer, it’s Skin So Soft. Mosquitoes love me. I really do not like them. So it’s 24/7 of Skin So Soft by Avon. It works the best and it's not a bad scent if you are going to bathe in mosquito repellent all day. Otherwise, it's Tancho- it’s a scented hair wax that I can’t get enough of- and Thymes Eucalyptus body lotion.