We rang up Tom Mora, J.Crew's new head of women's design, before he arrives in Boston tomorrow for an appearance at the Copley Place store to celebrate the brand's holiday collection. Mora grew up in New York ("Queens, but you don't have to say that," he joked. "Just kidding! I love Queens! It was so nice having a suburban upbringing") and went on to attend Parsons school of design and work for Ralph Lauren before joining J.Crew. He brings a stylish sensibility and everyday glamour to the brand, where he previously designed special occasion collections.
Being the dapper gentleman that he is, Mora offered up his top 5 tips for working color and sparkle into a season often dominated by the little black dress.
Put on the glitz: "I think there's a whole new feeling of getting dressed up and what that actually means now," said Mora, who promised lots of sequins and glitter in J.Crew's holiday looks. "You can wear a really slim turtleneck with a metallic jacquard or plaid pant, a great heel, and red lip and look fantastic."
Pair bold hues with an unexpected neutral this season:
"An amazing orange or red mixed with a heather grey or a taupe can introduce that pop while still neutralizing a look."
Go for the extreme: "I always think it's fantastic when someone is wearing a shocking pink top or a red bottom," said Mora. "It takes a lot more confidence but you can make a fantastic statement."
...Or play it safe: "If you feel like it's too much for you, try wearing a red pendant necklace or a clutch in a bright color," he added. But even baby steps are appreciated when trying a new trend. "Women are so much more sophisticated and experimental now. Rules, one by one, are getting chipped away."
Try the glittery ballet flats, but don't forget what mama said: "If a woman looks tailored and amazing and stands up straight, no one is even going to think twice about what she's wearing on her feet. Half the battle is the confidence a woman brings to an outfit."
Biggest faux pas of holiday dressing: "You know when you see actresses [at the Academy Awards] and you say, 'That doesn't look like her, she over-did it. I know you have 5 billion dollars of jewelry but you didn't have to wear it all.' Pull back a little bit and still be you," Mora advised.
"Don't go to the hair salon and have your hair done in a way that's not really you. Be who you are."
Want more of Mora? Meet him in person at Copley Place tomorrow evening where you can enjoy cocktails, chit chat, and 15 percent off your purchase at J.Crew.