The NYC Survival Guide

AN INTERVIEW WITH KIMBERLY GARRETT, A VERY STYLISH NEW YORKER

Surviving New York City

Kimberly Garrett is the owner of Plush, a styling and personal shopping company in New York and the Hamptons. In honor of Rue Local’s official debut in the city of non-stop style, we sat down with the fashion lover for her tips on living (chicly) in the Big Apple.

Rue La La: How do you get seats at the most-coveted fashion shows?
Kimberly: If you’re not with the press, getting a seat at any fashion show can be tough. The good news is that designers like Ralph Lauren are now doing live streaming, so you get to see the collection at the same moment as the editors. Otherwise, various fashion houses offer seats to their shows through charity auctions, so if you’re dying to attend the show and haven’t received an invitation you can support a great cause AND go to the show.

Rue La La: What are your secrets for wearing heels all day long?
Kimberly: I have three. First off, always buy shoes you can walk in. In fact, you want to feel like you can almost jog in them without falling. If you live in the city you could easily end up walking 20 blocks in a day. And if walking in heels is a problem, always have flats in your bag to switch back and forth (nobody even looks twice when you switch them on the street – and it beats limping around). Second, find your personal best fit. Pop into the shoe department of Barneys and try on as many different designer shoes as you can. Once you find a pair that are super comfortable, try on a few more styles from that designer. That way, you’ll find your go-to brand. And lastly, hit the drugstore. If you find your feet hurting from wearing shoes for hours on end, BAND-AID makes a product that protects the skin on your foot and instantly makes shoes feel more comfortable. Otherwise, Dr. Scholl’s has foldable flats for when you want to change your shoes at the end of the night.

Rue La La: Everyone thinks of New York pizza – what’s a food favorite that flies under the radar?
Kimberly: Vegetables! Seriously. There are so many incredible restaurants in the city that have farm-to-table vegetables that taste like REAL food and become totally addicting. One of my favorites is Blue Hill where they also have the yummiest beets, brussesl sprouts, and cauliflower (and if you’re a meat lover, my boyfriend can’t get enough of the venison). Plus, you leave feeling light and full. Another restaurant with similar healthy/delicious dishes is ABC Kitchen. Just plan on making reservations a month in advance!

Rue La La: Any tricks for nailing down taxis?
Kimberly: Find an off-duty taxi and give a big smile – it has definitely saved me a few times when I was stuck. Nobody thinks to approach them because they’re off-duty and won’t typically stop, but if you spot one at a red light or letting someone out, you might luck out. Just remember to leave a very generous tip!

Rue La La: How do you furnish an extra small apartment?
Kimberly: Small furniture and mirrors! Mirrors can make apartments look twice as big. You simply can’t have clutter – get drawer organizers, bins, shoe shelves, plastic containers to store extras under your bed, and anything else to make use of every inch you have. Drop-leaf tables are great because they take up less space unless you’re using them. Look for unexpected storage options like coffee tables with drawers. You can also buy ottomans that have removable tops and double as containers. And give away clothes you don’t wear – they take up way too much room in these small spaces. One of my services at Plush is a “closet cleanse” which essentially clears out the items from your closet that you stare at and still love, but haven’t worn in years. Nobody has room for that – especially in New York City.

Rue La La: Where’s the best place to find the next up-and-coming designer?
Kimberly: Take an afternoon to stroll around SoHo and Nolita, abundant with up-and-coming designers that can only be found in New York City. Venture out to Williamsburg, Brooklyn where you can find tons of cool jewelry and different styles of clothing and accessories. Additionally, the coterie comes to the expo center once a week where you can learn about up-and-coming designers and be one of the first to preview their collections.

Rue La La: How do you get street style snapped?
Kimberly: Getting your street style snapped is easy. You know when you look in your closet and imagine (or go forward with) putting on a crazy outfit that’s actually really flattering, the kind that might make people say “uh, what was she thinking putting that on!”? And aim for the week before and during fashion week because that’s when the Tommy Tons are all over. If you decide to go for it, remember not to second guess yourself and totally own your look. The people getting street snapped are the ones who put it on and walk out the door with total confidence. That’s style – when you wear what you want to wear with assurance.

May 19, 2011