This week’s style diary is the busy Lyss Stern. The author, “mompreneur” and Divalysscious Moms founder returns this month with her second book, “Motherhood Is a B#tch!: 10 Steps to Regaining Your Sanity, Sexiness, and Inner Diva.” As a follow-up to her 2009 best-seller, “If You Give a Mom a Martini… 100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself,” Lyss Stern helps mothers to embrace motherhood and its many challenges while keeping their style and grace, and to live a happy and full life without ever forgetting themselves.
The mother of three is the CEO and founder of Divalysscious Moms, a New York City-based national network and event company with a database of millions of mothers and mompreneurs. Celebrity moms who have gotten involved with her events over the years include Christy Turlington, Brooke Shields, Julianne Moore, Christie Brinkley, Heidi Klum, Dylan Lauren, and Donna Karan to name just a few. Lyss is sharing with us her perspective on style in this new Style Diary.
Sibylle Eschapasse: Describe your style?
Lyss Stern: At the beginning, middle, and end of the day I am a mom of three kids so versatility is my style!
On most days, you will find me in black leggings, a sweatshirt, with my hair in a high ponytail or messy bun. However, with my superpowers, the golden goose sneakers turn into a fabulous pair of boots or heels, the sweatshirt flies off into a great sweater or blazer, and I am ready to conquer all! A big bag allows me to carry a blazer, a pair of shoes, lip-gloss… whatever I might need to switch up my look to take me from the school gates to a meeting with my book publisher and back again.
Ms. Eschapasse: If a close friend were to describe your personality in three words, what would they be?
Ms. Stern: I would say big-hearted, snarky, and fabulous (#FabULyss)
Ms. Eschapasse: How has you style evolved since you were a teenager?
Ms. Stern: Remember that old slogan “you’ve come a long way baby”? I don’t think that that applies to my style! I still wear leggings and sweatshirts, I still shop at Bergdorf Goodman’s 5th floor, and have always carried a big tote bag. All of which I have been doing for 20 years!
I have always thought about what suits me, rather than what is on trend, and you know what they say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Ms. Eschapasse: What is the wildest thing you have ever worn?
Ms. Stern: I wore an Agent Provocateur dress to a launch I held with my Diva Moms network for author EL James when we celebrated the launch of her first book “50 Shades of Grey.” Given the tone of the book, I felt like it was OK to be a bit racy!
Ms. Eschapasse: How do you dress on workdays versus weekends?
Ms. Stern: There is no difference, to be honest. My style is 24/7. As an author, I don’t work out of an office, so I don’t have the pressure to wear snazzy skirts and heels all day, every day. I do miss it, but I make an effort to look nice, as if you work from home and spend a lot of time with your children, it’s easy to slob out! I may be wearing leggings, but they are Lululemon, my hair is blown out, and I have some lip-gloss on! That uniform doesn’t change between the weekdays and weekends, but more in accordance to what I have to do that day.
Ms. Eschapasse: What are three accessories you can’t live without?
Ms. Stern: I wear my father’s watch to honor his memory as he passed away a few years ago. I always wear my diamond wedding ring–it is literally my rock. And I always have a huge tote bag and big pair of sunglasses. These days I am wearing Celine, which sounds glam, but the bag is stuffed full of snacks for the kids, crayons and tissues!
Ms. Eschapasse: What’s one item that makes you feel instantly more confident
Ms. Stern: Mascara! Without mascara I would look exhausted, and feel totally “un-done.” I love a nice lip gloss (and ideally a touch of concealer!) but I can live without them. Mascara is an essential and lifts me up as soon as I put it on.
Ms. Eschapasse: Who have been your greatest fashion influences?
Ms. Stern: Coco Chanel, Donna Karan, Celine, Dolce and Gabbana, Ralph Lauren and Sweaty Betty, for my workout wear.
Ms. Eschapasse: Who is your style icon?
Ms. Stern: I wish I could be more original on this one; however, perfection is perfection: I love effortless style and Audrey Hepburn embodied that.
Ms. Eschapasse: What does having style mean to you? In other words, please define style.
Ms. Stern: To me, having style means you have your own unique way of dressing. You are not defined by labels. When you have style, you can put together an outfit.
Ms. Eschapasse: What is the one purchase that you are most proud of?
Ms. Stern: My library! I cannot get enough books and I love vintage books. I like to browse through the racks of books at The Strand, and my kids are very enthusiastic about reading.
Ms. Eschapasse: And what would you never pay much money for?
Ms. Stern: A white t-shirt; the ones you can get from Gap or Uniqlo are just as good as the more expensive ones.
Ms. Eschapasse: When you go on the red carpet, how do you want your outfit to make you feel?
Ms. Stern: When you go on the red carpet, you want to wear an outfit that makes you feel like a super star. You want your outfit to make you feel confident, and ready to walk down the red carpet with grace and style—and don’t forget your big, beautiful smile.
Ms. Eschapasse: Which designers can help you achieve that?
Ms. Stern: There are so many designers that can help you feel confident. It’s not about how much money you spend, it’s how the outfit makes you feel. When I have my vintage Chanel handbag on my arm, a great pair of Jimmy Choos or Louboutins on my feet, a gorgeous pair of earrings and a D&G dress, I feel like I can take on the world!
Ms. Eschapasse: What do you think of how others dress and what’s your advice to people who would like to develop their personal style?
Ms. Stern: I personally love when people have their own style. I encourage my daughter, who is 3, to pick out her clothes. I want her to feel confident with what she puts on and have her own sense of style even from a very early age.
Favorite color: Cyan, a shade of light blue.
Favorite perfume: Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle
Favorite restaurant in NY: Breakfast is Norma’s, the blueberry pancakes with the Devonshire cream. For lunch, it’s Fred’s at Barneys and I always have the Mark’s Madison Avenue Salad. Dinner—Peter Lugers in Brooklyn.
Favorite drink: My signature drink is The B#tchtini. It is made from my special mix of fresh watermelon juice with a splash of rose or vodka.
Favorite movie: “Pretty Woman”
Favorite book: “The Passion” by Jeanette Winterson or “The Beautiful and Damned” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Favorite quote: “I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” —Audrey Hepburn
Sibylle Eschapasse is originally from Paris and now lives in New York. She contributes to various publications, in addition to working for the United Nations, and is the author of the children’s book “Argy Boy!: A New York Dog Tale.” She may be reached at [email protected]