What’s In Your Closet? with Samantha Varvel
I am so excited to share the next installment of What’s in Your Closet?–just in time for travel for the holiday weekend! This series is one of my favorite things to write–I love getting to peek inside the closets of people whose style I admire. I am very excited for today’s special guest, Samantha Varvel! I have loved getting to know Sam through her beautiful Instagram and blog, and on a more personal level as well. We have a lot in common–we are both mothers of younger children who live in the more country-like NYC suburbs, and we share a love of a very tiny particular French restaurant on the Upper East Side, so it’s been great to connect in a way we may not have been able to do outside of social media. She is a true delight with a unique and fresh approach to style–both personal and interior. I’m so excited to share our interview!
Tell us a little about yourself!
Thanks so much for having me on your lovely corner of the internet! I’m a young mom of two little kids and recently left a career in finance to pursue my lifestyle website, where I share my favorite finds in fashion, home, and travel for women and children! I launched my site in early 2020 and feel so lucky that it has provided a path for me to have a more flexible career at the moment during this very specific chapter of my life when I am trying to juggle so much.
Something I love about your Instagram—besides the escapism with your wonderful travels!—is how you make things that seem overdone fresh again. I’m specifically thinking about your gorgeous blue and white dining room that you decorated in collaboration with Schumacher. How do you find a way to make things feel new when so many people use similar ingredients?
This is so beyond kind! I love that so many younger people (like myself) are finding inspiration in the old. While the term “grand millennial” isn’t my favorite, it speaks to the fact that this is a trend at the moment! The drawback is that many of us are inspired by the same things – we’re often looking at the same sources for inspiration in the echo chamber that social media can be. So the challenge is to carve out our own unique take on it all, and that’s what I try to do – take inspiration from what I see on the amazing resource that Instagram is, but to make them my own and stay true to myself and my own unique taste that’s been informed by my own life experiences.
You’ve lived all around the world—which places have most informed your style?
From a black and white colonial bungalow in Singapore to a townhouse in London, my childhood homes were varied but all beautiful in their own way and true to their locations. My mom did such a great job of always making sure that wherever we lived felt like a “home” rather than a temporary residence, despite moving so much. I was definitely inspired by each of these places, as well as our travels to Provence. Above all, I hope to make my home feel welcoming, comfortable and lived-in for my children.
You currently live in Connecticut—where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?
Right now this is the perfect place for us! I love having a backyard for my kids and feeling like I’m in the “country,” yet can easily pop into New York City for a quick event or dinner with friends!
What’s next for you in decorating your lovely home?
Once you buy a home, there’s always an endless list of projects you hope to tackle! We will be setting up a “big boy” bedroom for our son soon, focusing more on the gardens, and fixing up bathrooms and corners that haven’t received much love yet!
You used to work in finance and now you write your beautiful blog and raise your children, which is so amazing! How has your style shifted from working in a corporate environment to being able to dress the way you like?
I really enjoyed dressing for a corporate setting – it’s a dying art! However it is really nice to be able to dress more comfortably now on a day-to-day basis, and my love for florals can go completely unhinged.
What period of your life has had the most impact on your personal style?
I really think becoming a mother gave me a new confidence in myself that I didn’t have before and it’s been during this chapter that I’ve really defined my own personal style. Not only have I felt more proud of and confident in my own body which makes it more fun to express myself with my fashion, but I get such a kick out of dressing my kids up that it’s exciting to think of how we’ll coordinate. It may seem frivolous but it really makes being a mom that much more fun for me (seeing them in adorable outfits!).
What are your five most special pieces in your closet?
This silk floral kaftan (by Walid) I wore to my first baby shower and still wear today!
This silk floral Gucci shirt dress – just love that iconic floral and wear it again and again for special occasions! I originally got it for my sister’s rehearsal dinner.
This LoveShackFancy floral gown, such a moment!
This Sea New York quilted coat. I adore quilts and this is such a work of art I will wear every spring and fall!
This Horror Vacui Liberty floral dress. The craftsmanship from this brand is unbelievable and I love the way their pair Liberty’s iconic florals with incredibly unique shapes and details.