This week’s style diary guest is George Brescia, the very well known New York style expert and author of “Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life.” He frequently appears on national television, doing regular red carpet commentary and fashion and trend reporting. Brescia truly knows about style; his background includes 25 years of working closely with top fashion leaders. He is also a top-tier NYC-based stylist and image consultant helping people, including many celebrities, to look and feel their best. George’s philosophy is that clothing is so much more than style. In his own words, every single thing you wear communicates something about you to the outside world. It also has a significant impact on the way you feel, and your clothing has the potential to either enhance or hinder your personal brilliance.
Sibylle Eschapasse: Describe your style? If a close friend were to describe your personality in three words, what would they be?
George Brescia: My style is focused on the classic while always staying modern. Three words?… Effervescent! Warm! Fun!
Ms. Eschapasse: How did your style evolve since you were a teenager? What is the wildest thing you ever wore?
Mr. Brescia: When I was a teenager, I was a little heavier, but when I started working out and got into shape my style became more streamlined. I always wanted to look classic, but also sexy. The wildest thing I’ve ever worn wasn’t that wild by my standards, but other folks might think it was … my fuchsia corduroy suit by Marc Jacobs, which I’ve worn on-air a few times. I always get a kick out of how happy it makes people!
Ms. Eschapasse: How do you dress on workdays versus weekends?
Mr. Brescia: My book “Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life” says that your clothes speak before you do. Always have them say exactly what you want them to about your true self.
Truthfully, I usually work seven days a week. When I’m on my way to meetings and clients, I wear a jacket and tie, a cashmere sweater, dress slacks or great jeans, etc. But even when I’m running off to the gym for cross-training, I choose my workout clothes carefully. My own closet is full of what I call “perfect 10s”! Whether a weekend or a weekday, I’m always conscious of what I’m wearing.
Ms. Eschapasse: What are three accessories you can’t live without, and what’s one item that makes you instantly more confident?
Mr. Brescia: My three accessories are an oversized cashmere scarf, a beautiful leather duffle, and a great watch. And the right pair of shoes always makes me more confident!
Ms. Eschapasse: Who have been your greatest fashion influences? Who is your style icon?
Mr. Brescia: My fashion influences have been my own stylish mom (she had her own clothing store when I was growing up, and still looks amazing!), Cary Grant because he was always so polished in every movie, even the comedies, and Ralph Lauren, which was my first job out of college! And he is totally my style icon.
Ms. Eschapasse: What does having style mean to you? In other words, please define style.
Mr. Brescia: Style is the way that you express your truest self through clothing, accessories, grooming, and your overall appearance. It is the choices you make that says to the world who and what you are, and what you intend to be.
Ms. Eschapasse: What is one purchase you’re most proud of? What would you pay a lot of money for, and what would you never pay much money for?
Mr. Brescia: Most proud of?… There are so many, but if I had to pick one, it would be my navy, double-breasted, chalk-stripe, cashmere suit…. by Ralph Lauren Purple Label, of course.
What I would pay a lot of money for would be a beautiful watch! … And I have! And what I don’t pay a lot of money for is underwear. Everyone is making perfectly good underwear.
Ms. Eschapasse: When you go on the red carpet, how do you want your outfit to make you feel? Which designers can achieve that?
Mr. Brescia: Chic and confident! I want the stars I’m interviewing to be just as dazzled with me as I am with them! It doesn’t matter what designer it is as long as I feel great. It can be the up-and-coming designers as well as the icons. There are some new kids on the block that I’m very excited about for both men and women!
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?
Mr. Brescia: As I say in my book, I think a lot of people are not conscious of how they dress from day to day, and how important it actually is in their day to day lives!! You really DO say so much when you walk into a room just by your appearance. Like it or not, people make judgments within 60 seconds of meeting just by what they see. You really DO have to wear clothes because you can’t go naked, so make your clothes be a choice not an accident. You can develop your own personal style by looking at people, whether famous or from your own circle, whom you’ve always admired. You can find great inspiration in magazines, on the Internet, Pinterest, entertainment shows, and websites! Find people and things that draw you to them. Always be open and curious about what is around you in the world and expand on that.
Favorite color: Red … every shade of red!
Favorite cologne: Lemon Sugar by Fresh
Favorite restaurant in NY: Mezzo Giorno
Favorite drink: Cranberry and club, 50/50
Favorite movie: ”Moonstruck”
Favorite book: ”Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown … and then of course “Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life” … by George Brescia
Favorite quote: ”Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” —George Bernard Shaw
Sibylle’s “Style Diary” is a column that explores style from the perspective of choices, and what that means for different people, with personal advice from some of the most stylish people in New York.
Sibylle Eschapasse is from Paris and now lives in Manhattan. She is a journalist and a contributing writer to various publications. Sibylle is also the author of a children’s book, “Argy Boy!: A New York Dog Tale.” She may be reached at Sibylle.Eschapasse@gmail.com