Build a Minimalist Wardrobe with Brand Strategist Elise Robinson
I once bought 4 pairs of shoes out of Elise’s car trunk in our office underground parking lot in the middle of the workday. I will always choose to look a bit shady for a chance to buy some of her used goods.
Elise and I worked together in Uber’s LA office. She was the put together one—blow-dried, highlighted hair, (she goes to Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness' studio and was there when he got the call he would be on the show! Yes, she was there from the beginning!); nude-colored manicured nails; a black or white blouse; skinny, high-waisted jeans; and the newest mule.
I usually showed up with wet (needed to be dyed ASAP) hair and in some form of bright, slouchy pant and t-shirt. We were the not-so-perfect, perfect match.
Since Elise started at Uber, I have wanted to know how she pulls off polished, effortless, and minimalist all at the same time. Learn with me below.
So, who are you? :)
I'm an extroverted introvert raised in Marin County, California, right outside of San Francisco. I then went to college in LA. I headed back up to SF for 4+ years earning frequent flyer miles via brand consulting. I have been back in LA for almost 3 years with Uber doing Marketing Strategy. Outside of work, I am obsessed with interior design, design thinking, and dogs, especially mine: Olive!
How would you describe your style?
Modern, minimal, elevated. And neutral, very neutral. Does that make me Parisian inspired? Fingers crossed! I have a sensitive eye for color. Is that a thing even? Not sure my diagnosis, but I’ve always felt unsettled with too much color—like my eye doesn’t know where to land or how to process a lot of color and mismatching. I’ve always loved bohemian style in fashion and home decor, but always from a distance. I’ve never loved the look on myself. I’d choose texture variation in a neutral color way every time.
How has your style changed from college to work world first years to now?
I was fancier and more done up in college than I ever could be (or want to be) now. I’d wear tanks with skirts and fancy sandals to class—now it’s jeans or jumpsuits all day every day. So TL;DR? [This means "too long; didn't read"—yes, Elise works in tech.] Less bandage skirts, more room for my legs to move (even though I sit at a desk all day).
How do you make sure your outfits can go from work to out, to any aspect of your life?
Growing up I used to suffer from “my room was clean...but then, I had to decide what to wear” syndrome. I was plagued by outfit ADD. Maybe it’s my move away from fast fashion and trends, but now I feel like everything I own goes together and I can easily transition my outfits from day to night—usually just adding a leather jacket, more jewelry, and a low heeled shoe. And makeup helps too. Can easily glow up with eyeshadow or lipstick in under a minute—shout out to Glossier.
What are your go-to looks?
I don’t like to have to think too much while getting ready for work or a casual day around town (though those days usually end up in a Lululemon getup, let’s be honest). Since I work in tech marketing, work clothing can be casual. My go-to outfit is jeans with a plain black or white top (blue on a daring day!) with dainty gold jewelry, a jacket draped over my shoulders, and mules or booties.
One of my new found passions is bodysuits. They are like wearing a basic t-shirt that can tuck with clean lines into high-waisted jeans and automatically look elevated without any added effort. Jumpsuits randomly tend to be on the pricier side for quality ones (e.g. Good American), but one of my favorite pieces I have is from Yummie (questionable name, I know). [Also sound familiar? The brand is by Heather Thomson of The Real Housewives of New York City seasons past. News to Elise too. :)]
I’m also known for my black jumpsuit game. I have quite a few—name the occasion and I have the right black jumpsuit. I find they transition well from day to night. During the day: mules or flats with a low-key jacket. Night time: add a leather jacket (flats if I can get away with it), or heels/booties. This combo makes me feel polished and unstoppable, while also extremely comfortable.
What are your favorite brands and stores?
Im into everyday accessible brands: Madewell, Everlane, Zara, Aritzia, Levi's, and if I’m being honest sometimes Ann Taylor and LOFT because dressing a large chest for work can be challenging at times. My favorite occasional reach brands are Vince, Rebecca Taylor, Maje, and Helmut Lang.
What trends have you gotten rid of along the way? What has stayed?
I think the big picture difference is in the mindset of realizing the difference between fashion and style. Style doesn’t have a season or ideal body type. It’s about self expression, feeling comfortable in your own skin. It’s not about everything you see in pop culture; it’s more about what you feel best represents you and your personality, and makes you feel like you are your best self.
Sidenote: not a trend, but you might notice my go-to fave is the over-the-shoulder jacket look. I used to make fun of my mom for rocking it, but realized there are some pros—it’s like a light blanket without any constriction and it’s automatically elegant. Now everyone is doing it, even the Kardashians. I’ll give Mari (mom) original influencer credit, though.