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25 Most Stylish Bostonians of 2008 -- Betty Riaz

(Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff)
By Meaghan Agnew
Globe Correspondent / November 18, 2008
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Betty Riaz

Job: Owner, Stil Clothing

Residence: Dedham

Age: 41

How would you describe your personal style? Individual and eclectic. Some of my friends mock me because they say I can put a piece of twine around my neck and make it fashionable. I love mixing prints, layering - of course - wearing vintage anything and all natural fabrics like wool, silks, linens.

How do you decide what you're going to wear when you wake up each morning? Good question. I pick a favorite piece and add on from there. For example, if I have a cool leather vest that I want to wear, then I pick a chiffon top to go with, add some boots or booties and a funky necklace. But I do not lay out my clothes the night before!

What has been your best fashion investment over the years? My Goyard luggage. It's an incredibly beautiful and well-made brand from France, made out of hemp and hand-painted. My husband went a little nutty last year at Barneys when he was with his personal shopper. I spent about four hours in the Goyard section designing and choosing my three-piece luggage set that is totally customized with my name, lettering, stripes and colors. It was so much fun; I got a shopper's high. The second investment would be my recent purchase at the Prada outlet in Italy: my python Miu Miu bag with brass buckles. It is gorgeous!

If you could go back and delete one fashion moment from your history, what would it be? The days of Goth, complete with black eyeliner, blue hair, and black black black . . . The '80s were great, but not very fashionable.

Have you ever taken fashion cues from your children? I would love to say yes, but the answer is unfortunately no. My kids are into their own style. They do notice what I wear and sometimes approve of my fashion and sometimes say, "What are you wearing, Mom?"

What one item would you like to ban from all Boston closets? The easy answer is Uggs, but I would officially like to ban sweat suits for everyday wear. We've gotten into the norm where it's easy to dress for comfort, and I understand that. But everyone should always think about looking their best - you never know who you're going to meet and what people are going to think of you based on what you're wearing. You can be comfortable and look stylish.

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