As a stylist to some of the biggest celebrities in the world, Erin Walsh has access to the industry’s most sought-after, and most expensive, fashion items.
However, the 35-year-old New Yorker, who works with the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Lily Aldridge and Thandie Newton, insists that when it comes to creating the perfect wardrobe, all you need is five simple items – none of which need to be particularly pricey.
Speaking to DailyMail.com about her new collaboration with Cole Haan, Erin – who is fresh from a busy Emmy Awards night that saw her styling Thandie and Alison Brie – revealed the handful of pieces she believes every woman should have in her wardrobe, as well as the one item that is actually worth splashing your cash on.
Fashion favorite: Celebrity stylist Erin Walsh has revealed how to curate the perfect wardrobe using just five key staples
Tips and tricks: The 35-year-old New Yorker, who recently collaborated with Cole Haan on a new capsule collection, says shoes are the main thing she would splash her cash one
‘Great outfits don’t have to cost a fortune – but they do take a little thought,’ Erin explained, adding: ‘Most importantly, you look best when you feel best.
‘I would say the five essentials every woman should have in her wardrobe would be hoop earrings, blue jeans, a great crisp white button down, a striped long-sleeved T-shirt, and a blazer,’ she went on.
Erin Walsh’s top five wardrobe staples
- Hoop earrings
- Blue jeans
- Crisp white button down
- Striped long-sleeved T-shirt
The fit and style, Erin added, are up to the person choosing them, although she noted that when it comes to the blazer, it is worth finding one that is a ‘perfect fit in the shoulders’ and has a ‘long and lean’ fit.
‘Black is great, but I always love a white blazer too,’ she added.
And when it comes to her pick of blue jeans, she says that her style of choice is almost always going to be high-waisted.
The talented stylist also warns against following every trend simply for the sake of being ‘current’, noting that being a slave to every latest, greatest thing in fashion doesn’t always make for a well put-together wardrobe – nor will it leave you with pieces that you’ll want to wear again and again.
‘I think that for me, the thing to keep in mind is not the trend specific narrative but the more classic things that you can have forever,’ she explained.
Clients: Erin recently styled both Alison Brie (left) and Thandie Newton (right) for the Emmys
Sharp! A long, lean blazer – as seen here on Erin’s client Lily Aldridge – was one of the stylist’s five must-have wardrobe staples
Advice: Erin believes that, rather than following trends, you should focus on finding ‘classic things that you can have forever’
As far as investing in higher-end items, while Erin says it absolutely isn’t necessary in order to curate the perfect closet, there is one element she doesn’t believe in splashing out on: shoes.
‘But hey, I came into this business as an actor (thank you NYU undergrad) – and in acting, one of the most important character tools is the shoes you wear!’ she says of her passion for footwear.
‘They literally define the walk you walk. I find on set and most days, if I want to feel most powerful, it helps to be in heels.
‘Depending on our roles day to day, shoes empower us to be (and when we need to, pretend to be) the people we want to be. That is extraordinary.’
The stylist-to-the-stars got the opportunity to share that love of shoes with her latest project – a collaboration with shoe label Cole Haan that saw Erin and two other A-list stylists, Karla Welch and Simone Harouche, teaming up with the brand in order to put their own spin on several of its signature silhouettes.
Erin worked with the team at Cole Haan to redesign five of the brand’s existing styles: two sneaker styles – the Zerogrand Ruched Flat and the Zerogrand Oxford – two heels – the Vesta Pump 45mm and the Vesta Pump 85mm – and a pair of chunky hiking boots – the Grandexplore All Terrain Waterproof Hiker.
For Erin, she saw the variety of opposing styles as a chance to play around with ‘juxtapositions’.
Comfort: As part of her collaboration with Cole Haan, Erin put her own twist on five of the brand’s signature silhouettes, including the Zerogrand Ruched Flat (pictured)
Something special: ‘These are pieces that you want to keep and wear forever,’ Erin said of her collection, which features two different heels, the Vespa Pump 45mm (pictured) and 85mm
Variety: When putting her collection together, Erin said she ”wanted to use the opportunity to define and create a balance of opposites’
‘I wanted to use this opportunity to define and create a balance of opposites,’ she said. ‘Masculine and feminine. Elegant and whimsical. Streamlined and surprising. And most importantly, classic yet modern.
‘I wanted to create a collection that was consistent but also relatable and elevated – it’s the same process with a red carpet look or an editorial shoot – you want to inspire people to dream bigger, in a language they want to understand.’
And staying true to her opinions on trends, Erin made sure that, while her collection would be fitting for fall, it would also serve as a staple for many seasons to come.
‘Aestetically with this particular collection, I kept to a clean palette that would pop and feel very fresh, even in the fall,’ she said. ‘These are pieces that you want to keep and wear forever.’
When it comes to her own personal style, Erin describes it as ‘a mix of eclectic elegance’, revealing that much of her favorite aspects of her own fashion sense came into play when she was designing her Cole Haan collection.
‘[It is] very 70s silhouettes usually, with hits of 60s housewife chic,’ she went on. ‘And I love an element of wit or surprise, always. In the most clean, minimal way possible of course.
‘I think this definitely palpable in my collection with Cole Haan. Lots of crisp accents with little feminine surprises. Chic and fun.’
FEMAIL finds your five must-have wardrobe staples
Blue jeans: American Eagle Ne(x)t Level Highest Waist Jegging (left, $49.95), FRAME Le Nouveau Straight (right, $235)
Striped long-sleeved T-shirt: Kohl’s x Popsugar Contrast-Stripe Crewneck (left, $36), Madewell x Armor-Lux Flare-Sleeve Striped Top (right, $98)
Crisp white button down: Land’s End Ruffle Oxford Shirt (left, $49.95), Draper James Solid Long Sleeve Button Down (right, $125)
Blazer: Boohoo Woven Wrap Over Covered Button Blazer (left, $56), Anine Bing Schoolboy Blazer (right, $299)
Hoop earrings: Gorjana Arc Large Hoops (left, $60), Alison Lou Thin Large Lasagna Hoops (right, $3,160)