Babba Canales Will Make You Want to Wear Glasses (and a Smile) With Everything

What do you think about when you get dressed in the morning?

I first look at the weather and then at my calendar to get an overview of the day. If I have an action-packed day, I normally go for sneakers or flats, but if I have an important meeting and less walking, I opt for some sort of heel. I guess my process is pretty practical.

Before going out?

I have basically the same approach as when getting dressed in the morning, but instead of looking at my calendar, I think about the vibe of the places we’re going to. I love dressing up, but there is nothing worse than showing up overdressed to an underground, sneakers-style club. When in doubt, I go for a sportier look and add a nice bag and lipstick.

Do you start from the shoes and then work your way up, or clothes and then down?

Most of the time I start from the clothes, unless I have a pair of really fun shoes that I’m excited to use.

How does living in NYC influence your style? What about where you’re from or where you grow up?

I grew up in Sweden and am definitely influenced by Scandinavian fashion. I love Swedish and Danish design, but since moving to NYC a few years ago, I have picked up a more colorful and playful touch to the traditional Scandinavian approach.

Help! One transition-weather dressing tip:

Dresses paired with sneakers. My feet get cold very easily, so whenever the weather is between seasons and I’m not sure if it’s bare-leg season yet, I’ll go for a slightly longer dress with sneakers.

What’s your foolproof styling trick?

Two-pieces! Whenever in doubt, a matching pants and top or suit are my go-tos. You can’t go wrong with a cool two-piece.

What item of clothing makes you feel most like yourself? Why?

Suits with a twist. I have a sporty suit from Marville Road, a kimono suit from Stylein, a pink silk suit from Daisy Grace, a tweed suit from Baum und Pferdgarten – they all make me feel like the best version of myself. Suits with an edge make me feel like I can step into any meeting and own it and make an impression.

At what point in your life did you really start to come into your own in terms of personal style?

I think personal style is an ever-evolving journey. For example, when moving to NYC I had to adapt to extreme weather conditions (and extreme air conditioning at work). The turning point for my personal style was when I stopped following trends and became more aware and comfortable with my own body type. Growing up, I tried so hard not to stand out and did everything I could to not look skinny, which resulted in unflattering, oversize looks that made me look even skinnier. Today, I dress more based on mood and how certain clothes make me feel vs. if they match or are on trend.

What do you like your outfits to say about you?

I like to dress with a sense of humor. I want my outfits to feel casual but fun. I’m not much for predictable, on-trend or perfectly-matched looks. I like to play with fun accessories, like big round glasses, furry shoes or a colorful bag.

How do accessories change an outfit?

Accessories are everything to me. I’m the kind of person who could wear anything in terms of clothing, but I’m super picky and snobby with my accessories. I think it comes from my background working in the eyewear industry, which made me truly appreciate good design, fit and quality materials. I will never understand people who spend a lot of money on clothes and then buy the cheapest glasses. They’re in the middle of your face!

How does working in fashion influence your daily style?

I never feel out of place showing up in something quirky, as I’m often surrounded by people who share my passion. I probably wouldn’t walk around in a pink pajama suit if I worked in finance.

What are your favorite three places on the Internet to get inspired?

My bestie @hannastefansson is a big inspiration to me. She wears the most fun and colorful clothes, and always with a big smile. Her Instagram feed makes me happy. I really like to browse Bukowski Market. I can spend hours in there. Also, Taste The Style’s Boss Babe features. Few things inspire me more than powerful women doing their own thing.

What about three favorite places in the city (or the world) to get inspired?

Tictail Market in NYC. I love walking in there and getting inspired. I actually discover most indie brands through their store, where they curate some of the best from their global marketplace. The Merci Merci concept store in Paris is such an inspiring setting with a unique offering of products. The Frankie Shop in the Lower East Side and Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s shop are two other favorites of mine.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve learned in the last week?

There are so many cool, new emojis that I didn’t know of because I hadn’t updated my iPhone software in so long.

Best song to get dressed to?

“Ritual Union” by Little Dragon.

Follow Babba on Instagram @babba.c. Photos by Edith Young.

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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