One of the world’s sought after fashion and style experts, Mary Alice Stephenson is a highly regarded and well-versed commentator covering the latest trends in fashion and beauty.
Providing extensive fashion coverage for print, broadcast, and electronic media, Mary Alice has the distinct ability to analyze trends and contextualize style. Whether backstage reporting from the world’s top runway shows or front-and-center on the red carpet, Mary Alice entertains and informs audiences with her distinct ability to make fashion understandable and accessible.
Closet Factory: If you had to describe your personal style in 3 words, what would they be?
Mary Alice: “I would describe my personal style as glamorous on special occasions, sexy for night time, and chic everyday.”
Closet Factory: What designers and brands are you particularly fond of?
Mary Alice: “As a fashion insider, that is like asking me if the Pope is Catholic. I love and live fashion (as it is my profession) and literally have a new favorite designer every day. There are so many talented designers right now that its difficult to just choose a few – Haider Ackermann, Prabal Gurung, Alexander Wang, Naeem Kahn, Rodarte, Proenza Schuler, Gilles Mendel, Maria Cornejo, and Erdem are at the top of my love list!”
Closet Factory: Name 3 classic styles you always have in your closet?
Mary Alice: “I never have just three. I like to style my clothes in different ways, creating multiple looks to keep my outfits fresh. I strive to keep my looks fashionable and fun without ever losing sight of what looks best on me.”
Closet Factory: What do you wear when you hangout around the house?
Mary Alice: “I like to keep it comfortable and cozy when I’m at home so you would usually find me in a great pair of denim and my WHITE + WARREN cashmere.”
Closet Factory: As a fashion insider and style expert, what should every woman own in her closet?
Mary Alice: “I think every woman should have the following staples in her closet: spanks, statement jewelry pieces, a bit of sequins, multiple shoe options, a yummy cashmere twin set, the perfect pencil skirt, dark denim, colorful ruffled blouses, a metallic clutch, bold belts, and a drop dead cocktail dress.”
Closet Factory: What are your tricks for keeping your closet neat and organized?
Mary Alice: “My secret is that I use all the same hangers so everything is hung at the same level and moving things back and forth is easy and clean. I also hang everything by color and category. I lay my jewelry out as a stylist does as it is much easier and time efficient this way.”
Closet Factory: Describe how your jewelry, handbag and shoe collections have had an impact on your closet design.
Mary Alice: “I needed my shoes, jewelry, bags, belts to be given as much importance in my closet as my clothes. They all needed to be at my fingertips which meant they had to be prominently displayed and easily accessible. Accessories are very important to me as they put that personal stamp on any outfit for any occasion.”
Closet Factory: Describe how the design Closet Factory created for your closet has changed how you organize your wardrobe.
Mary Alice: “As a fashion expert I work with clothing for a living, but unfortunately don’t have the time or energy to approach my own closet with the same enthusiasm as I do for my clients. Now that my dream closet has been installed, I can easily focus on looking my best in half the time. Working with the Closet Factory team was an incredible experience from beginning to end. They are truly one of the most professional, creative, and knowledgeable teams I have worked with. I also love that they understand how important clothing is in people’s lives. Every closet has a story…and thanks to Closet Factory mine could win an Academy Award.”
Closet Factory: What do you do with your shoes and handbags once you tire of them?
Mary Alice: “I donate much of my clothes and accessories to many different charities across the country. It is very important to me to always be as generous with fashion as I can be. I also invite my mom, aunts, and friends into my closet and gift them whatever they want. I feel so blessed to be doing what I love and thankful for the generosity of designers and brands that I think its important to pay it forward.”
Closet Factory: What’s the predominant color in your wardrobe?
Mary Alice: “There is every color of the rainbow in my closet, but I lean towards red, black, silver and gold.”
Closet Factory: Is there one designer that you consistently favor year after year?
Mary Alice: “I have had a long love affair with Lanvin and wear it as much as possible; Alber Albez designs clothes that make women feel glamorous, sexy, chic and powerful.”
Closet Factory: How is your life easier now since the closet was installed?
Mary Alice: “My new closet has literally changed my life. I have very little time to spend on myself as most of my time is spent balancing my life between my career and being the best mom I can be. Since my custom closet by Closet Factory was installed it is so much easier for me to look my best because I can see my clothes and accessories easily and able to create fashion forward outfits in a shorter amount of time.”
Closet Factory: What are your favorite elements of your new closet organizer?
Mary Alice: “I love the island that houses my jewelry collection – Closet Factory created velvet lined drawers for my pieces.”
Closet Factory: When you have so many fashionable shoes and handbags, what are your tips on how to select just the right ones?
Mary Alice: “Fashion is all about breaking rules so I suggest women give themselves permission to play with shoes and accessories to glam up their classics in new ways. This means mix, don’t match, pile on the jewelry. Shoes and bags add the bling to any outfit. If you don’t mix it up, play, and have fun with your accessories you will look as bland as a vanilla cupcake without all that yummy icing on top.”
Closet Factory: I know you have an incredible jewelry collection, how do you decide what jewelry to wear with what outfit?
Mary Alice: “I like to put an outfit on and try on different jewelry pieces in front of the mirror because I learned a long time ago that you can’t know how something will look until you try it on first. I may try on a load of bangles, earrings, or pendant necklaces before I make up my mind. I think a little inner voice should go off that says, “Love it.” When I hear that I know I’ve found the right pieces for the occasion.”
Closet Factory: How do you decide what to get rid of and what to keep in your closet?
Mary Alice: “If I haven’t worn something in over two years – and I don’t think I can have it manipulated into something I will wear – I will give it to a friend or donate the piece. I believe clothes should be worn – not sitting in your closet.”
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