Becky Malinsky Loves These Sneakers So Much She Wore Them to Her Wedding
Plus, an outfit she stole from Gene Kelly, the perfect baggy jeans, and her pro tip for wearing socks.
Thank you for reading Big Salad, a weekly newsletter from Joanna Goddard and the Cup of Jo team. The first three issues are free for everyone. If you enjoy them and would like to keep getting Friday issues (they’ll be fun and juicy), please upgrade to paid. If you sign up for a free subscription, you’ll get a monthly email with bits and bobs. Feel free to choose whichever option feels right to you!
Hi!! How’s it going? This week’s issue features fashion editorwhose newsletter is filled with styling advice and outfit selfies. She was the deputy fashion director at the Wall Street Journal and now lives in Manhattan with her husband and adorable three-year-old son.
When she started her newsletter, Becky didn’t have any expectations: “I figured it would help me keep my ear to the ground and maybe my mom would read it.” But now it’s one of the most popular fashion newsletters on Substack. “I’ve been surprised — and amazed — by how many people have connected to it,” she told us. “If I’d known, I would have thought of a catchier name.”
Becky feels like a fun friend you can text with pressing questions, like, “What kind of dress should I wear to this party?” and “How do I roll these big sleeves?” Her general philosophy is “less is more,” so it’s actually easy to use her styling tips in real life. For example, when it comes to nail polish, she told us, “I don't paint my nails. All about bare!”
So, we were excited to ask Becky about her all-time favorite finds. Here goes....
Movie style: I’m obsessed with uniform dressing, so I’m often more drawn to menswear in films. I think A LOT about Gene Kelly’s sweatshirt and wide-leg khakis in An American in Paris.
Mascara: I've tried them all, and Chanel Inimitable is the only one that really works but does not make me feel like I’m wearing mascara.
Hair accessories: I buy my hair ties at this tiny store in Paris called Maison Caillau. If you’re going to Paris, it’s a must go. I walked in and was like, Where am I??????? What is this place????? They also make their own umbrellas, so it’s a shop for just hair accessories and umbrellas — so old-school. It could only happen in Paris.
Lamp: Right after my son was born, I felt tortured because I didn't want my hospital room to be pitch black but the overhead lights kept me awake and made me feel dizzy. Now, an Ikea mushroom lamp is the #1 thing I recommend that expectant parents take to the hospital. Afterward, it’s a great little lamp to have in the kid’s room for story time and to wind down the night.
Travel tool: When you travel a far distance, your stuff can look bad. I always pack a Jiffy travel steamer — I have two of them, that’s how essential it is — and I steam everything as soon as I arrive at my hotel or Airbnb. It’s a game changer; you look so much better with a little steam.
Dinnerware: I love the vintage dinnerware patterns at Replacements. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to create a mix-and-match set of really nice pieces. I found vintage Peter Rabbit plates for my son.
Kid expression: Instead of “regular,” my son says “regu-low.” The other day, he said it the correct way, and I was like, noooooooo it’s over. He’s a wild animal and the best.
(All photos are brand images or courtesy of Becky Malinsky. Photo of Becky holding her son (#8) by Cecilia Salama for Tory Burch.)
Becky has spent decades working in the fashion world, so her recommendations are excellent but often splurgy. Here, we asked her for her favorite everyday essentials…
T-shirt: My favorite is Kule’s cotton long-sleeved tee, sized up. It’s not too boxy or tight, just the right shade of gray, and the sleeve length hits at my wrist bone. People also seem really into gray right now; my most popular newsletter this fall was about wearing gray, which I had not expected!
Denim shirt: If I wear a regular jean jacket, I feel like a sausage in casing — you can feel your arm bending in the fabric. Instead, I style a lightweight denim shirt as a jacket. I look for a traditional shape, so if the women’s version has a puff sleeve or something, I’ll buy the men’s one. (I also shop in the men’s department for crewneck merino sweaters.)
Baggy jeans: Levi’s 501 ’90s are perfect for the baggy look of the moment. The trick to the wide-leg lifestyle is balance. It helps to choose a sweater or jacket that hits at the hips instead of where the jeans start to get baggy, and avoid wearing really narrow shoes because it just looks off.
Sweater: Bright red is everywhere this fall, and this Madewell cardigan is such a good red. No undertones of burgundy here, just pure pop.
Sneakers: My signature shoe has always been a gray New Balance 990. I’ve been wearing them since I was 14, and my dad did, too. At my childhood house in Minnesota, you’ll find all our old pairs lined up in our closets. I wear them with jeans, pants, dresses — I even wore a cream pair at my wedding!
(All photos are brand images or courtesy of Becky Malinsky.)
Becky was also happy to answer a couple reader questions. (And please let us know if you have other burning questions that Big Salad can tackle!)
Q: How do you wear socks?! ‘No show’ socks sound good in theory but has anyone in the history of the world found a pair that doesn’t fall down and bunch uncomfortably? Now, suddenly, I’m seeing people wear socks that are reminiscent of high school P.E. teachers. What socks are ‘cool’ now? — Meghan
Becky: When I’m wearing a skirt or dress, I’ll wear the white Muji socks that just cover the ankle. With jeans or pants, I’ll wear a longer white Muji sock so you don’t see any skin. I also LOVE a cherry red sock — just look in the men’s department.
Q: While cleaning out my closet, I realized how much of a T-shirt-and-jeans gal I am. I just had my first baby, so now is not the time to embrace fuss, but lately I’ve been bordering daggy. Advice on how to look casual but still current this winter? — Holly
Find a few simple pieces that fit you well — think: uniform dressing — and go against all rules about color combos. Black/navy, black/brown, red/pink…they’re fantastic. And I always wear white after Labor Day — there’s nothing more glamorous than a white skirt with black tights.
Thank you for sharing, Becky! You’re the best.
We adored chatting with Becky, and now I’m wondering: Did you read anything fun on the Internet this week? Here’s what jumped out at me…
Did you hear that a Frasier reboot is coming out October 12th — showing Frasier Crane moving back to Boston (without the rest of his crew, sob). Cartoonistwrites hilariously about her love of the original: "Cut to me moving to New York in my 20s and the only thing keeping me sane at night is falling asleep to Frasier... It was the ultimate safe space...Turns out, there were a lot of us falling asleep to Frasier." I'm curious if the reboot will be good. I can't imagine it will? The trailer has some good banter, but Frasier seems goofy (like a caricature of his old self) and the music is distracting. Says Hilary: "Don’t ruin it. Don’t bring that liberal pithy elitist dialogue that exists in a perfect '90s vacuum into our year of 2023. It just won’t translate! He’ll just be an asshole! I mean he was always an asshole, but it was ok back then.” But, of course, we’ll still be watching. Will you?
I always love when people take selfies in different lipsticks, like Michelle Lee did on. (The bright red is so good!)
This line from Ali LaBelle’s: "My friends and I were playing the 'if you were a [blank] what [blank] would you be?' game the other day, and in the pasta-shape round, it was decided that I was bucatini. Somehow a very flattering compliment!!!"
Five Things That Surprised Me About My Divorce. Plus, two things that were harder than I expected.
Magic One-Pan Pasta. A 15-minute recipe with mushrooms, garlic and cream, for when you’re busy but want to feel cozy.
What Are Your 'Worth Every Penny' Buys? We have five, including wine glasses and a cool raincoat.
How Do You Stay in Touch With Long-Distance Loved Ones? My sister and I have a funny rule.
Thank you for reading! We love having you here. I’m visiting my sister this weekend, and we’re driving up to Mendocino, where the vibe always feels like a foggy murder mystery. Sending you a big hug and hope you have a good, relaxing weekend.