Gina DeWolfe always had a knack for design. She started off in fashion, earning a degree from The School of Fashion Design in Boston. It wasn’t until she inherited her grandfather’s leather-working tools that she realized her passion for crafting leather goods. Soon after she turned her love for making things into a business. Her company, deWolfe Leather Goods, handcrafts artisanal products like backpacks, wallets, purses, and leather bands. Everything is designed with “beauty and function in mind” and ensures “quality and dependability.” Gina recently won a Best of Boston award for her designer bags, aptly called Wolfepacks. We talked with Gina about her personal style and how she has created a wardrobe that works with her lifestyle and values.
In middle school, I was a major tomboy. At that age, I never thought about fashion. I grew up in a family of motorcycle racers, so my style was grungy, cool, and masculine. Little did I know it would end up laying the groundwork for my fashion style in later years. But it took awhile to get there. At one point, I thought, “The more accessories, the better!” But that has totally changed. I began to minimize my outfits and my wardrobe. I’ve cultivated a style that is much simpler. Now, I think, “What’s the least I can wear that represents the most of who I am?” I’ve gradually gone from over-the-top to less-is-better. This mentality has allowed me to create a more curated closet. Everything is hand picked. My wardrobe is at a point where I can just grab something and know it’ll match well with something else. My whole closet is streamlined. I can wear an outfit at home while I’m working all day. Then, I can put on some fancier heels and go out for the night in the same clothes.
I think the reason I’ve been able to create a curated closet is because I’ve always been a very thoughtful shopper. I prefer to buy a couple pieces as opposed to shopping and filling my cart. I always look for very unique or meaningful pieces. I am obsessed with collecting vintage t-shirts – but only shirts that are meaningful to me. My favorite tee is from my Dad and, in my opinion, it has never not been cool! Although I have always been a thoughtful shopper, my shopping habits have definitely changed just as my style has. I now try to be more conscious of supporting other small brands. Since starting my own business I know how much it means to the artist. I try to think about how I feel when someone buys my product and I want to give others that experience as well. I also love thrift shops and finding second-hand pieces. Like I said, I have so many vintage t-shirts!
Earlier I talked about being a tomboy, which has been true throughout my whole life. But now my personal style is a mixture of tough and feminine. It is simple, sleek, and easy. I believe personal style is the purest way to represent yourself. It’s a celebration of your spirit. Over time mine has evolved and become more aligned with my lifestyle. I like my wardrobe because it allows me to get ready in 20 minutes. It used to take me a lot of time and hard-work to look good, but now my style is effortless.
Gina’s Faithful Five:
These pieces fit very well, match with other clothes in my closet, and are all pieces I consider timeless. Wearing each one of these is so effortless that I actually enjoy getting dressed! Each piece is also personally meaningful to me.
- The Vintage T-Shirt: It’s my dad’s old t-shirt, the kind that brands are selling nowadays! That’s the new trend. It has aged so nicely. The material feels like tissue paper. It looks like one of those pieces made today. And it’s relevant. It represents my upbringing, my childhood.
- Motorcycle Jacket: The fit is awesome and totally timeless. It’s a great silhouette and, like the tee, it’s representative of my upbringing. It’s super lightweight and easy. It always looks chic, but it’s also incredibly comfortable.
- Lace-up Top: This is my favorite gauzy shirt. I wear it with everything, and especially love it in the summer with some denim cut-offs. It’s comfy and breezy!
- White Tunic Dress: I recently did a collaboration with Woolrich in Boston, and discovered that they have insanely cute clothes. I scooped up this dress and love how simple and chic it is, and all of their garments are incredibly well made.
- Ivory Long-Sleeved Dress: This dress has been in my closet for years, and it’s my go-to for any dressy occasion. I’ve worn it so many times and never get sick of it! It’s easy to throw on and I love the way the silky fabric flows when I walk. It’s been around the world; every time a friend asks to borrow a dress it’s always this one!
Wait until you are ready to invest in higher quality, as opposed to buying into the trend of disposable fashion. It’s more important to invest in staple pieces and pieces that will never go out of style.