We Asked, She Answered: Patricia Field on How to Dress

The famous fashion designer and stylist totally inspires us

If Sarah Jessica Parker trusts her, we're on board. As the famed stylist of Sex and the City, having dressed Carrie Bradshaw and winning numerous awards for her work, we'd jump at the chance to be dressed by Patricia Field. So okay, we’re not quite there, but we'll settle for getting the fashion designer's advice on dressing. So we asked her...

What’s "in" this season? What should we toss, keep and buy?!
I don't agree with tossing things out and what's "in" and what's "out" is a myth because what's "in" for me might be "out" for you and vice versa. What's more important is that if you need room in your closet, toss. Buy what you’re missing. Best advice I can give you is get rid of what you don't wear anymore if you need the room.

A lot of women are afraid to take a chance on fashion. Most choose to stay simple and plain. For a woman who wants to give herself a bold fashion makeover, any words of wisdom? How can a plain Jane get herself out of her comfort zone when it comes to fashion?
You have to start feeling confident and everything else will come. Fear is a waste of time, especially of fashion. It's not a serious thing to be scared of. Just enjoy your life and don't make a big deal over silly things. Don't talk about fear! Put it away forever!!!

No matter the season -- whether it's summer, fall, winter, spring -- what must every woman have in her wardrobe at all times? What are the closet staples?
What women must have in their wardrobe at all times are items that coordinate with one another that allow you to switch and have different combinations. Every woman must have items that express who she is -- like some women like a structured jacket but others like flimsy. There are no universal items -- whatever serves you, whoever you are.

What are some of your favorite trends of all time that you hope never go out of style or make a comeback?
Jeans and T-shirts. They will never go out of style. They have been around all my life and don’t need to make a comeback because they never went out. [They're] as American as apple pie.

What are some of your favorite pairings when it comes to mixing and matching clothes? Which daring pairings should we take a chance on?
Mix and match anything that's going to tell a story. Always think of your story. I can say put a tutu with a T-shirt, which is what I did. Whatever you are going to do is what you feel. You can mix a cocktail dress with ripped up denim shorts. Feel confident and strong in whatever you do and have a reason for what you’re doing. Then no one can ever tell you you’re wrong.

What’s the most important lesson you can give us?
[Dressing] is about selecting and having pieces in your closet that look good on you, that are comfortable -- you don't need anything more. That's the rule. Look at yourself and decide what looks good. Put time into it. It's a learning process and self-expression. But, enjoy it! Don't take anything too seriously and choose what you like -- what's trendy or what your friends are doing doesn't matter -- build your own dream!

We're not the only ones taking cues from Field. She recently launched a contest with U by Kotex, where she'll be collaborating with designer hopefuls on creating a new (cute?) maxi pad. "We are telling the story of design in feminine care products through color and encouraging everyone to be inspired by the world around them, express themselves and be creative," she says. "Color is powerful." Winners will be invited to work with Field to design a pad that will hit shelves in 2012 and perhaps an opportunity to attend New York Fashion Week. (Hmmm, what would our maxi pad look like?) To enter, visit UbyKotex.com.

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