Women

What a Woman Wants: Marissa Kraxberger of Lady & Prince

This mom of two shares what makes a man's style

It’s easy to think that we’re busy, but as a creative director, blogger and mother of two, Marissa Kraxberger undoubtedly runs a tight schedule. When Marissa isn’t steering the creative ship at Ivanka Trump – yes, Trump as in the Donald’s daughter – she’s working on her blog, Lady & Prince, where she shares her musings about travel, style, work & raising a family in the city. We got a chance to talk to her about making it in the fashion industry, motherhood, and – of course – men’s style.

So we asked: Marissa, what does a woman want?

As the creative director at Ivanka Trump (and in past roles with Oscar de la Renta and Kate Spade), your job is to think about clothes for a living. How has your personal style grown or changed since breaking into fashion?

If you could see what I was wearing when I first moved to New York and started at DVF you would gasp. I was a probably a case of who wore it worse and I had no idea. Only now can I look back and laugh! I think that I really found my way and style when I worked at Oscar de la Renta… as one would imagine! He really was the epitome of elegance and really understood how to make a woman look beautiful and in turn confident. I probably dressed a little more “Oscar” then than I do now, but I think I really gained a better understanding of fashion and style while I was there.

What’s the best font to use in an email to impress a creative professional?
I am a big fan of pairing a strong sans serif with an elegant serif. So I would say Gotham and ITC Baskerville.
How soon into dating someone who works in fashion can you ask for the “friends & family” discount code?
When they offer it! Asking is tacky I think!
 
You run an amazing blog called Lady and Prince featuring your very stylish son and daughter growing up in the city – do they pick out their own clothes, or are you still running the wardrobe show? If the latter, how much longer do you expect that to last?
Oh dear, my running the wardrobe show ended about a year ago… especially with my daughter! They have very strong opinions about how they dress… much to my dismay! That said, I think its so great to let them be creative. Hayden is still pretty easy and very chill about his looks, aside from a pair of red corduroy pants that got a serious run for the money this winter. Alexa loves to dress “style-y” as she says. She has a knack for it too.She does a half tucked in shirt with scrunched up leggings, a necklace, rings and sunnies and she is off. Gotta love her for adding her own twist to all her looks.
Share with SG readers the best style advice, tip, or trick you’ve learned in your time working in fashion.
Style is within. So much of looking stylish is in your confidence. In fashion you often see looks paired together that you never thought could work, but the person wearing it is confident and carries the look so well that it works. Since that is hard to always have, even after working in fashion, I think the next rule of thumb is good accessories. You can wear a t-shirt and jeans (well-fitting jeans) and add great accessories and your have an outstanding look.
That was something I really picked up at Kate Spade and Oscar.What’s a good color or pattern to wear if you’re having your picture taken?
I think that really depends on the background or location of the photo. I believe that what you wear should be a representation of who you are. In general, I like to avoid too much pattern in pictures because it can make pictures look dated, unless the pattern is really elegant or timeless. I wear a lot of black, but I think soft neutrals are very flattering for photos. If you have a bold personality than a pop of color is great as well.
What’s a “can’t miss” date night outfit for a guy to wear?
I am a sucker for a guy in a well tailored white button up with dark jeans and a tailored blazer. Makes my heart flutter!
What’s one item you wish all guys would add to their wardrobe tomorrow?
Honestly, a great suit. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. Nate (Marissa’s photog husband who’s responsible for these great SG shoots!) has a killer black suit with a vest that we got and tailored at J.Crew and every time he wears it he look so handsome. Every man should have a suit that fits just right.
Other than that, a perfectly fit pair of dark washed jeans.
What’s one item you wish guys would banish from their wardrobe forever?
Really bad graphic t-shirts or bad polo shirts. There is something just terrible about a poorly fitting polo shirt, especially if it has any sort of pattern! Eek! Also bad shoes… there are some really terrible mens shoes and they can ruin a complete look.
 
What do you first notice about a guy’s look?
His face – his eyes and smile. After that, his full look… all the items together can show you if he takes care of himself and what he is putting out into the world.
What do guys stress about, appearance-wise that they really don’t need to? 
Having the perfect body. A healthy body is very important, but I don’t think that means you have to be a muscle man at the gym. Eat healthy and regularly exercise, but you don’t have to be Channing Tatum.

Quick Hits

Gingham or stripes 

Stripes

Suits or separates

Separates

Big dogs or little dogs

Little!

Call or text

Both!

First date: coffee or drinks?

Coffee

Grooming product you’ve stolen from your husband

Razor (shhhhh!)

Beauty product your husband’s stolen from you

Face lotion!

Favorite men’s cologne

YSL

First celebrity crush

Michael jackson (seriously! I was 5 and Thriller was a big deal)

Yes or no to…

  • Facial hair – a little scruff is hot.
  • dad jeans – NO. NO. NO.
  • normcore – no. lame.
  • Comic Sans – only for love notes.
  • Wearing one brand head-to-toe – In most cases, no.
 

TELL ME:

What’s a “can’t miss” date night outfit for a guy to wear?

Want to see what more women want? See what Dani Arps, Hillary Reinsberg, and Katie Heaney had to say.