How to Dress When You’ve Been Cool for 25 Years

Donna Lennard was doing rustic long before it was cool. Her vintage store turned restaurant Il Buco has been a New York hot spot for 25 years. In addition to the original space on Bond Street, there’s now Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria and an outpost in Ibiza. And a generation of chefs who were trained at the restaurant has gone on to open buzzy spots like Estela, Café Altro Paradisio, or Buvette. She also runs a line of homewares, called Il Buco Vita.

Lennard describes her style as “casual, downtown, and natural,” but it’s also surprisingly unpretentious for a woman running multiple companies. Whether she’s in Ibiza or on the Bowery, it doesn’t change too much: tunics, leggings, and sandals or boots. For special occasions, she breaks out pieces from designers who conveniently have stores near her restaurant: Ulla Johnson, Maria Cornejo, Phillip Lim, and Rachel Comey. 

On her everyday shoes: I’m very lucky to live above my workplace and do a good deal of work from home on a given day. When I’m not home, I’m running back and forth in the two-block radius between the restaurants and my home-line store. In the summer, I definitely just wear flip-flops or my handmade leather sandals from Greece or Spain. In the fall and winter I love my cowboy boots or a pair of fancy high-top sneakers by Philippe Model. In cold weather, I sometimes throw on the Uggs that my son talked me into — they have become my winter flip-flops.

On dressing up: I love to wear clothes by Maria Cornejo. Her jumpsuits and tunics are some of my favorites. They’re easy and comfortable and stylish at the same time, and her fabrics feel wonderful. My other staples are Maria’s wonderful leather leggings with an easy tunic thrown on top and a pair of short black boots. I love a great jacket thrown over jeans — just bought one from Dear Rivington that’s Japanese and handmade, with wide button-up sleeves. You can also find me in a feminine blouse or skirt by Ulla Johnson or a great, fun Rachel Comey piece.

If I’m going out after work, I definitely change and put on something fun and festive, get out of the flip-flops and Uggs and put on a small heel and change the energy. My favorite designers are Maria Cornejo, Nili Lotan, and Philip Lim, and sometimes other local stores Ulla Johnson and Rachel Comey. Love an occasional Maison Margiela.

On packing for work trips: Nowadays, travel for work usually means a hop over the Atlantic to my new outpost in Ibiza. There the weather is almost always either mild or hot. If I’m in the restaurant, I want to look my best for the clients as well as my staff. Still, my style is light and easy: something flowing and structured, with mostly flat shoes or great sandals. A long skirt or easy sundress and even the flip-flops during the day. And lots of linen.

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Ribbed, Long Sleeve Solid Midi Dress

 


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