Monday, August 31, 2015

Women and clothes: the Wood sisters

"For there is no friend like a sister in calm or stormy weather," poet Christina Rossetti once wrote. "To cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands." 

This sweet sentiment comes to mind when I think about Danielle and Anna Wood. Two fashionable sisters with confidence, sass and that unbreakable bond Rossetti writes about. These beautiful women almost look like twins to me, yet each has her own distinct style sensibilities. 

When the Hartville, Ohio natives aren't busy attending to their careers (older sister Danielle as a manager at Anthropologie and kid sister Anna as a stylist at Fringe Salon and Spa in Stow) you will find them spending quality time with their loves, enjoying the great outdoors and "parenting" their lovable fur babies.     


Jennifer Cho Salaff (JCS): You both work in the fashion industry, Danielle in retail/merchandising, and Anna in beauty. Does fashion matter?
Danielle Wood Bolin (DWB): Absolutely! Fashion is a way to express yourself. It's a way to be creative. It changes with you as you grow as a person.  
Anna Wood (AW): We want to feel good about ourselves and there are many ways to achieve that. We can eat healthy, work out and take care of our appearance. Fashion is one way to express ourselves. It's exciting and ever-changing. But more importantly, fashion makes us feel happy and confident.

JCS: What is one item of clothing or an accessory you carry with you or wear every day?
DWB: I cannot live without my NYX liquid eyeliner and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine #73 lip gloss.

AW: My nose ring, which I've had for so long that I forget it's there. But, if I don't have it in, I am fully aware of it and it feels strange. And lipstick. I love my Nars matte red lipstick called "Heat Wave."  

JCS: Whose style do you admire? Who is your fashion muse?
DWB: I have a few. Winona Ryder: she is just badass! She has worn every hairstyle from her pixie cut to long lock. I love that she is the epitome of 90s rocker chic. Nicole Richie: she has come a loooong way with her fashion. I love her boho style and ever-changing hair. She puts a glamorous spin on 60s-70s fashion. Audrey Hepburn: because she is a classic. She is the definition of chic. I love that she has forever been the fashion icon for the little black dress. I love her minimalist style.

AW: Anne Hathaway. She has a classic look but isn't afraid to be bold, either. I love following her hair trends!

JCS: Worst fashion trend (current or past)?
DWB: Birkenstocks! I know it's trending right now but I simply can't get behind it. They are not aesthetically pleasing. I don't like the cork sole. My husband loves to wear them all the time, especially because I don't like them.
AW: UGG boots. That trend spread like wildfire (most across college campuses) and I was never a fan. They are bulky and unflattering. Plus, I don't like that they are made from sheep skin.

JCS: Favorite fashion trend (current or past)?
DWB: The 90s slip dress. Especially the way Kate Moss wore them.
AW: Oversized stone-washed tees. They are lightweight, soft and versatile. They allow you to be creative with what bottoms and accessories you wear because of how simple they are.

JCS: Can you remember the first time you were conscious of a thing called "fashion?"
DWB: In fourth grade I begged my parents to buy me bell bottoms. I couldn't wait to wear them. My first pair was from the Limited Too. They were light denim chambray. They were perfect! I wore them with a white off-the-shoulder peasant top and platform Sketchers. I felt like the coolest girl because we used to dress up in a pair of my older cousin's bell bottoms. That cousin, Mary Scott, was my fashion idol.  
AW: When I first watched the movie, "Clueless." I wanted to dress just like them. I even had a feather pen like Cher!

JCS: As sisters how has your personality and style sensibilities affected each other? How would you describe each other's style and what do you admire about it?
DWB: Anna has always been free-spirited and artistic. She has that boho-rock n' roll aesthetic.  
AW: Growing up with two older sisters (Danielle and my stepsister Steff) I of course wanted to be just like them. It wasn't until I was 15 that my style changed from theirs. I got into thrift store tees and cardigans, and then into the emo scene. I wore studded belts, brightly colored eye shadows and crazy black hair. That was short-lived and soon after I made my way back to dressing more like my sisters. Danielle's style is feminine and sophisticated with a bit of rock and roll. I admire how her outfits are balanced and simple but never boring. She chooses just the right cut, fit and fabric, and then pairs it perfectly with her accessories.

JCS: What is your sister's best look?
DWB: Anna always looks great with her natural waves, cut-off jean shorts and a tank. She has the best selection of jewelry -- very Southwestern-inspired.

AW: I think Danielle's best look is skinny jeans, a top that is fitted but has some flow in the material (usually black or a neutral color), a bold necklace and her hair down with a loose curl.

JCS: Do you borrow each other's clothes? What is your favorite thing in your sister's closet?
DWB: Anna and I have always shared clothes. We always find different ways to style the same shirt. She also has the most amazing sweaters that I borrow all winter long!
AW: We have borrowed clothes from each other our whole lives, which I am very thankful for. Honestly, I could close my eyes and point, and love whatever I landed on. I have had a lightweight, dark green knit sweater of hers for a few months and I love it!

JCS: Danielle, you recently got married. Congrats! Tell me about your gorgeous dress, which made you look like a glamorous starlet from the 1920s. 
DWB: It was a Maggie Sottero dress, which I fell in love with instantly. I loved that it looked like it was from The Great Gatsby. I felt like I was going to an old Hollywood movie premiere. 

JCS: Since we're on the topic of your wedding, I had to bring up something a bit non sequitur: that series of HILARIOUS videos your sisters made as their maid-of-honor speeches (inspired by the Lonely Island digital shorts from Saturday Night Live). I loved the one featuring your beloved Boston Terrier, Dexter.
DWB: Oh my gosh I laughed so hard! Everyone at the wedding was in tears. 

JCS: OK, back to our conversation about clothing and style. Describe your figure.
DWB: I have a "column" shape. Very straight up and down. I have always been happy with my figure. Growing up, I was very athletic (I played soccer, swam on the swim team, and was a cheerleader). I feel like my body type works with that. But I have not-so-secretly always wanted boobs. :)
AW: Average height (5'6") and frame. Curvy but athletic. I am happy with my figure. It wasn't easy learning to accept my body. I used to really struggle with picking on myself and certain areas I didn't like (ex: "the pooch"). But now I feel fantastic about my body when I am in a good routine of eating healthy and practicing yoga. 

JCS: When do you feel most sexy?
DWB: I feel most sexy in a little black dress or jumpsuit.

AW: I feel sexy after I get out of the shower and have no makeup on, my hair is air drying, and I am wearing an oversized tee shirt.

JCS: What outfit makes you most happy?
DWB: My black BDG high-waisted skinnies, ankle boots and a tank.
AW: My high-waisted black skinny jeans, a loose v-neck and red lipstick. 

JCS: How has your background (where you grew up, your ethnicity, etc.) influenced your sense of style? 
DWB: I grew up in a small town. I looked to movies as well as family for inspiration. My Aunt Lizzie has always been a fashion icon of mine. She traveled the world and always wore new things but never strayed from her signature red lips and jet-black hair. She taught Anna and I the importance of having style. She encouraged us to try new trends but emphasized keeping it tasteful. I blame her for my makeup addiction (she took Anna and I to the Chanel counter for the first time when I was in 8th grade). 

JCS: Anna, as a stylist, how can hair affect one's look? How important is it to get a good haircut?
AW: Hair is so important to one's look. It's all about drawing attention or visually removing from an area. For example, if you have a pronounced forehead you can add bangs. Or, if you love your jawline or cheekbones you can try a bob, which draws the eye right to those features. I have loved playing around with different cuts. It's hard to name a favorite because I always think of them in such a sentimental way. For example, college Anna had long red wavy hair with bangs. 

Then post-college Anna got an awesome pixie cut. Which I needed to do. I can't emphasize how important it was for my self-esteem and where I was at that point in my life. Going from super long to pixie was so liberating!

JCS: What are you trying to do or achieve when you dress?
DWB: I want to wear something that I feel comfortable in, with an edgy twist.
AW: I want to be comfortable but still show my personality. I like to go for simplicity with an edge.

JCS: What is "you" and "not you?"
DWB: I am minimalist, a little boho and glam rock. I am not floral or preppy. 
AW: "Me" is button downs, stone/acid washed fabrics, knit sweaters, oversized tees and high-waisted pants. "Not me" is body conscious dresses, stilettos, sparkles/glitter, and low-cut shirts.

JCS: What do you admire about how other women present themselves? Name a few women in the public eye whose style you admire.
DWB: The Duchess of Cambridge because she is beautiful and always so poised. Alexa Chung because she has the best street style. And Rihanna because she is fearless. She doesn't care about what people think.  
AW: I admire when a woman is clearly confident and happy in her own style. When she does not search for acceptance and is unapologetically herself. Some examples these kinds of women include Rhianna, Emilia Clarke and Lady Gaga. I also love the Instagram accounts of Lora Arellano (@lora_arellano) and Alanna Durkovich (@xandervintage). 

JCS: What are three things every woman should have in her closet?
DWB: The always classic LBD, a basic white tee and ankle boots.
AW: Black skinny jeans, a classic white V-neck tee and an oversized tunic tee. 

Photos courtesy of Danielle Wood Bolin and Anna Wood.