Simon Doonan shares his Zoom style tips with Page Six
Western shirts and the wise words of Iris Apfel are helping the author and fashion pro through the pandemic
The writer, fashion pro, and Creative Ambassador-at-Large for Barneys department store, and author of How to Be Yourself, Simon Doonan might be self-quarantining out on Shelter Island, NY, but that’s doesn’t mean he’s been letting his sartorial standards slip.
"I put on a little outfit every day. I pretend I’m going somewhere, even if I’m not,” he told Elana Fishman, Page Six’s Style Editor at the NY Post, in a recent video interview. “I find it’s like a great antidepressant; it’s definitely a mood elevator. There’s always somebody to dress up for, even if it’s the window cleaner.”
For many of us that someone only appears via our laptop and phone screens. However, that’s no reason not to make an effort, in Doonan’s opinion. He’s been favouring embroidered, Western-style shirts recently, as the detailing tends to fall on the upper part of the garment, giving the wearer a more personalised Zoom presence. And this tip can be applied to women’s wardrobes too; as Doonan points out, the ionic, 20th century designer Elsa Schiaparelli used to put all her most eye-catching details on her garments’ upper portions.
Decor matters also, he argues, saying that a video meeting background should be engaging, but also profession appropriate. “It should reflect you,” he argues, standing behind his circular mirror, rimmed with radiating chair legs. “If you’re giving colonoscopies for a living you don’t want to be too crazy and flamboyant.”
Nevertheless, some level of self-conviction is important in Doonan’s view. “I quote [nonagenarian interior designer and fashion icon] Iris Apfel in my book. She said ‘To me, the worst fashion faux pas—is to look in the mirror, and not see yourself.’”
Out on Shelter Island, Doonan is unlikely to look into his radiant mirror and have that experience any time soon. For more from the great man, who holds forth on everything from careers to relationships, love and interior décor, order a copy of How to Be Yourself here.