Dress for Success
In Tina Burgos's new Needham home, beloved pieces from her now-closed shop Stel's get a second act.
The year 2012 was bittersweet for Tina Burgos. In April she and her husband, Dave Nauyokas, swapped their Brighton condo for a house in Needhamâ€”â€śan impulse purchase,â€ť she saysâ€”so their four-year-old twins, Gemma and Riley, could have more room to grow. The move coincided with the coupleâ€™s difficult decision to close Stelâ€™s, the long-running Newbury Street clothing shop they ran with a partner. â€śI had very mixed emotions about closing the shop,â€ť says Burgos, who quickly landed a job at the Boston-based clothing and lifestyle brand Karmaloop as director of womenâ€™s buying. â€śOf course there was a sense of loss. But what Iâ€™ve come to realize during these past few months is that no matter what Iâ€™m doing professionally, Iâ€™m still the same person Iâ€™ve always been.â€ť
Thereâ€™s evidence of that in her minimally furnished home, where many of the pieces that once showcased Stelâ€™s chic wares now hold her clothing and accessories collection.
As both a mother of young children and a stylish career woman, Burgos is constantly chasing something or someone, making a practical wardrobe a must: leggings, scarves, and flats, peppered with a mix of oversize floral-print dresses, skinny raw denim, and drapey knits. â€śI like to dress comfortably,â€ť she says. â€śMy only consistent rule is no heels. I love beautiful heels, and I consider them to be my collectorâ€™s items. But high heels are not comfortable. So I donâ€™t wear them.â€ť
Since April, Burgos and Nauyokas have spent their spare time decorating their home with finds from Burgosâ€™s regular hunting trips in and around Boston and New York. â€śThese are pieces that exude a history,â€ť she says, â€śand we acquired all of them in very random ways: purchased from an antiques show, found on the side of the road, given to us as a gift. So many truly have special meaning to us.â€ť
This antique Goyard trunk was a â€śmajor score,â€ť Burgo says, purchased for $200 in the early 2000s from the now-closed Womenâ€™s Educational and Industrial Union. Now itâ€™s filled with some of her favorite printed pieces, including a vintage Geoffrey Beene dress found at Brimfield, zebra-skin heels by Givenchy, and a floral dress by Rachel Comey. â€śI hope the twins will appreciate the hand-me-downs,â€ť she says.
Burgos, wearing a silk dress by Gary Graham and boots by Rachel Comey, sits in front of an Ethnicraft hutch from Lekker Home. The wire baskets were found at Brimfield and used at Stelâ€™s to hold everything from childrenâ€™s books to scarves.
Burgos found these combat boots in a Chelsea Army-Navy surplus store nearly 20 years ago, the summer after she graduated from Wellesley College. â€śIt took me years to finally break them in,â€ť she says. â€śBecause I put so much work into these boots, Iâ€™ll never get rid of them.â€ť The Costa Rican wraparound bracelet was a gift, as was the wooden military footlocker. â€śClients from Stelâ€™s found it in a store in Maine that specializes in nautical objects,â€ť she says. â€śNow itâ€™s my husbandâ€™s nightstand.â€ť
This industrial shelving unit, a leftover fixture from Stelâ€™s, is a nice contrast to some of Burgosâ€™s more-feminine clothing and housewares, including printed jackets, piles of denim, and colorful clutches. â€śI have a lot of clutches,â€ť she says. â€śTheyâ€™re not the most practical carrying case, but I appreciate the elegant, simple lines. They also force me to make sure Iâ€™m only taking the absolute essentials.â€ť
Burgos commemorated the twinsâ€™ birth with a locket for herself and a matching one for her mom. (â€śEventually, Iâ€™ll get around to putting their pictures in it,â€ť she says.) The â€śRâ€ť and â€śGâ€ť necklaces, crafted by Jamie Wolf, were a gift from her husband, as were the various rings. â€śHe is very good in the jewelry department,â€ť she says.
â€śIâ€™m very drawn to sparkly, shiny things, as long as theyâ€™re not gaudy,â€ť BurgosÂ says. â€śAnd Iâ€™m not shy about wearing pieces like these during the day.â€ťÂ Here sheâ€™s paired a dress by Electric Feathers, a line she sold at Stelâ€™s, with a gold mesh necklace from Brimfield.
A wooden box, another Brimfield find, holds both jewelry and memories: a sapphire-and-raw-diamond necklace custom made for Burgosâ€™s wedding; an antique bone bangle purchased for $10 at Brimfield; a pair of Paul Smith brogues found in New York years ago; a skull ring from the Japanese jewelry designer Hiroshi Kure; and the Rolex watch Burgos bought herself after landing her first job out of grad school. â€śI like to mark accomplishments with pieces of jewelry,â€ť she says.
Aside from the cribs, a white dresser from Shabby Chic was the only piece of furniture that Burgos put in the girlsâ€™ old nursery. Now it displays a Polaroid taken by her brother in the late â€™90s (â€śa classic Green Line moment,â€ť she says); Persol sunglasses bought during her Lisbon honeymoon; and a leather vest by Gary Graham, one of Burgosâ€™s favorite designers.
Photos by Jesse Burke
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2013/01/tina-burgos-closet-dress-for-success/