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Stylist Taylor Okata Explains His Fall Fashion Philosophy

One can sense Taylor Okata’s Hawaiian childhood in his taste for color and disregard for outmoded rules. His unique perspective has shot him to the top of the styling industry, where he’s worked with everyone from Vogue Italia to Hypbeast, Apple to Adidas, packing his portfolio with enviable shots and memorable outfits galore. In an effort to understand his creative approach to styling, O.N.S visited Okata’s apartment last month, where we got his input and advice on everything from fall styles to why you should wear whatever color you want, whenever you want, no matter the season. Read on and learn. 

Fall in New York can be warm. How do you layer up without overheating?

I save heavier fabrics for colder weather and layer lighter-weight pieces. I have a go to trench that is perfect for fall, and although it’s wool, its light and airy. I throw it over a long sleeve T-shirt with track pants for morning errands. I also try to layer pieces that are easy to peel off once indoors.

What’s the best way to incorporate bright colors into fall’s traditionally earthy palette?

When it comes to color, I personally don’t stick to any rules. If you’re trying to break free from the darkness of  fall and winter, try wearing a black or white T-shirt that has a colorful graphic under an open layer, or a sneaker with a colorful accent, or even a slime green colored sock. Don’t limit yourself to a dusty rose as your “pop of color.” No matter the season, your color story should make sense for you. The Pantone app can also be of assistance.

What are your must-have fall pieces?

A couple lightweight jacket options, including mid-length and waist, a comfy hoodie or sweater, wide-leg trousers, and a plethora of long sleeve T-shirts.

Do you have any advice on how to incorporate accessories into simple fall looks?

For eyewear, I favor more translucent lenses, especially when it’s gloomy. A baseball cap or bucket hat and a good bag can help complete your fall look. I personally stay away from beanies, gloves, and scarves until it’s really cold.

Growing up in Hawaii, the fall must be totally different. What fall fashion advice would you give to people in warmer climates?

I would take the same aspect of layering, but replace warm outerwear with pieces that make sense for your environment. For instance, you can wear a T-shirt under an open silk button-down, trousers instead of shorts—stick to fabrics like cotton and linen that won’t make you overheat.

What’s the perfect fall look for New York City?

Personally, I think a perfect fall look is someone who is effortlessly layered without looking messy. Fall in New York is the season you should really portray a sense of ease, because you’re not dripping sweat or freezing your ass off. A good jacket to clean up the silhouette and a perfectly hemmed pant—yes, even if it’s a track pant—can help achieve this.

What’s the must-have fall item from O.N.S? 

I love the Coach Jacket! They also need to try the Ivy Sweater—a cashmere blend is always a must for fall.

Any last words or extra fall style advice?

Dress for yourself and your body. You don’t have to suffer for fashion and wear something that doesn’t keep you warm or overheats your body. Remember to save the heavier pieces for colder months, and have fun layering your lightweight pieces while it’s still nice out. Fall doesn’t mean you need to add a beanie and scarf to every look. Be effortless by dressing comfortably and making sure your pants are hemmed properly.

Be sure to follow Taylor Okata on IG here.

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