Style Muse

Local style maven Gina Ciaccio-Holmberg shares her personal style advice

When it comes to dressing for real life, we won’t pass up a chance for a fashion lesson from local style maven Gina Ciaccio-Holmberg. The makeup artist, stylist and mom of two has been collecting vintage clothing since she was 19, and her sense of style even extends to her Donald Drummond home in old Leawood. Lucky for us, she’s happy to share her personal style advice.

Kansas City Spaces: Tell us about your style.

Gina Ciaccio-Holmberg: I always put in the effort when getting dressed in the morning—even if it’s just to meet a friend for a steamed golden milk at Unbakery. I take full advantage of a situation and put something fun together if I have an event or a date with my husband. There’s always an element of quirk or edge to my outfits.

KCS: Where do you find style inspiration?

GCH: Magazines are great. I’m obsessed with them, but most of what’s in the glossies isn’t easy to replicate. I study street style wherever I go. When I see the chicest mom in Brooklyn pushing her stroller that’s more real life and inspiring. And if I had to pick one person that continually knocks it out of the style park, it’s Kelly Wearstler.

KCS: What’s the trick to developing personal style?

GCH: Mostly by making mistakes. A person can be ‘born this way’ when it comes to style, but it can also be learned. Find out what looks you’re drawn to and then figure out proportions that work best. And hire someone with a critical eye to help you—at least in the beginning. An unbiased opinion is a great investment.

KCS: There’s so much to choose from these days. Any tips on how to choose with confidence?  

GCH: Invest in the pieces you’ll wear for years. A great pair of jeans and trousers, a boot, a timeless heel, a fabulous belt, some great-fitting silk button-downs, an amazing blazer. Then you can pair the trends with your timeless basics. It’s that whole ‘nothing-from-head-to-toe’ rule I go by.

KCS: Where does your love for vintage clothing come from?

GCH: The first time I went into a vintage store, I found the most amazing chevron trench and a pair of striped bell-bottoms that would make Steven Tyler scream. I was hooked. It’s fun to go into a Goodwill and find a deerskin Carlos Falchi bag from the 70s for two dollars—true story! And I’ve found many pieces without a label that are just as amazing.

KCS: How do you like to wear vintage?

GCH: Never head-to-toe. Sometimes it’s a sweater, other times a dress with a more modern shoe. The key is not to be so literal. No 70s dress with a fringe bag and platform shoe.

KCS: What accessories are key to your style right now?

GCH: Mornings can be super-rushed getting the kiddos ready for school before my first appointment. Hats to the rescue. They can hide unwashed hair and elevate a simple T-shirt and jeans. I’m big on fedoras by Janessa Leone and Rag and Bone. And I love this cap by Amina Marie Millinery. It’s a nod to a baseball cap but very chic.