My Style Secrets: Naomi Larkin

13 February 2017

As the editor of Simply You magazine, New Zealand’s style bible for new season dressing, fashion maven Naomi Larkin knows what looks work for Kiwi women. Known for her polished yet elegant and on-trend personal wardrobe, she shares her own style secrets:

  • How do you define your style?
    My style is about creating a look that’s different, that works with my body type, reflects my personality and means I have fun with fashion.
  • How did you find the look that works for you?
    I just go with what I like and what my gut tells me works for me.
  • Who’s style do you admire and why?
    I don’t have a fashion icon per se, but I admire a lot of normal everyday women who have their own edgy style.
If you were building a wardrobe from scratch, what would be the first 10 items you would buy and why?
  1. Black trousers that fit well and can work for day and evening.
  2. Jeans that flatter.
  3. A black pencil skirt – it can be in soft leather or fabric.
  4. Black, flat, knee-high boots.
  5. Black heels.
  6. A statement shoe or boot, that’s not black.
  7. A great pair of sneakers that can work with skirts and pants but that are not for the gym.
  8. A leather jacket (probably black).
  9. An interesting top – possibly with sparkle or some detailing or pattern – that works as well with jeans as it does with the black skirt and pants.
  10. The perfect white t-shirt.
  • How do you work colour into your wardrobe?
    I got out of the Kiwi habit of wearing all black when I lived overseas and found that once you start, it becomes addictive. I’ve got a lot of colourful dresses, as I find dresses easy and comfortable to wear and they add a good dose of colour and pattern without having to think too hard.
  • What is the best piece of fashion advice you have ever been given?
    Follow your own style.
  • How many shoes should a woman own and why?
    A woman can never have too many shoes.
  • What is your go-to special occasion look and why?
    Either a Zambesi black dress (they are timeless) or a colourful vintage Leonard dress.
  • How do you define ‘smart casual’?
    It varies for different people and it depends on the work you do and/or the occasion. It can be jeans and a sparkly top, a dress and jacket or tailored trousers with a print or statement top.
  • What is your favourite item in your wardrobe and why?
    A Rick Owens leather jacket. The style, cut, fit and colour all give it an edge and yet it’s never going to go out of fashion.
  • What is your top fashion tip?
    Dress for yourself, not for other people.
  • Have you ever made a wardrobe faux pas? What happened?
    Not so much a faux pas but I have worn things that aren’t really me.
  • If you were going out for dinner with friends what would you wear?
    It depends entirely on the occasion. Anything from casual to glam. I do like to get dressed up – as opposed to fancy dress.
  • If you were going to the races what would you wear?
    Probably a knee-length dress, without a hat, and an interesting coat if it’s cold.
  • If you were going to a summer BBQ what would you wear?
    A relaxed summer dress or jeans and a top.
  • What do you pack when you go on a summer holiday?
    Swimsuits, kaftans, summer dresses, jeans, t-shirts, a jumper and a bomber jacket. I’ll always include something like a long vintage dress so I’m covered if there is a fancy dinner out.
  • Do you have to spend a lot of money to look good?
    No. A lot of women look amazing on a shoestring budget. You need to have an eye for what works for you – including lifestyle, not just body shape – and be prepared to make an effort. Wear your look with confidence.
  • What does fashion mean to you?
    Fashion is a business, it’s my job and I love it. It’s also a lot of fun and of course a great way to express your personality. It is something of an obsession for me (in a good way) and I like to look at it, read about it and I really enjoy seeing other people work their own fashion magic.