How I Shop: Lais Ribeiro

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We all buy clothes, but no two people shop the same. It can be a social experience, and a deeply personal one; at times, it can be impulsive and entertaining, at others, purpose-driven, a chore. Where do you shop? When do you shop? How do you decide what you need, how much to spend and what’s “you”? These are some of the questions we’re putting to prominent figures in our column “How I Shop.”

As Victoria’s Secret Angel and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model Lais Ribeiro will mention below, she doesn’t think of her style as “effortless.”

But I beg to differ, as I first encountered the Brazilian bombshell when my Birkenstock-clad self stood in-between her and fellow SI Swimsuit Issue alum Hailey Clauson in an airport bathroom line. (Celebrities, just like us.) We were all waiting for an early morning flight to Miami for the SI Swimsuit on Location event and some (them) were looking more refreshed than others (me). Ribeiro was lamenting her (non-existent) under-eye circles and lack of sleep, while very comfortably – and very model-off-duty – clad in an oversize saffron turtleneck sweater, leggings and sneakers. (Hey, the air-con on the plane was set to sub-zero and she slept like a baby the entire way down, so mission accomplished.)

The next day, on-site, she showed up for a day of panels and meet-and-greets wearing the following outfit: an animal-print and ruffle-hemmed dress by Spanish brand De La Vali and neon-blocked Nikes because she just didn’t want to deal with wearing uncomfy heels.

Because, like newly anointed VS Angel Barbara Palvin, fashion is a job, not a hobby, for Ribeiro, who originally studied to be a nurse. But, after a friend convinced her to try modeling, she found quick international success, walking the runway for the likes of Chanel, Gucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, plus the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show eight times.

Before her packed day of interacting with fans, Ribeiro took a moment to chat with Fashionista about the important style lesson she learned from Adriana Lima and her favorite piece of clothing that’s like a “do not disturb” sign on long international flights.

Sports Illustrated is a very sexy kind of thing – and last night we were all dressed up and everything – but today I’m more casual. I put my sneakers on because I didn’t want to be in high heels all day long.

My personal style really depends on the occasion. I wear everything. We dress up for events and I’m casual at home and going to the airport, I’m comfortable. I’m a mix of everything. [Publicist says, ‘You’re effortless.’] Effortless? I’ve never heard that before.

I travel a lot to the beach, so I love Tulum and their style and it’s so very casual. The only thing I really like these days are beach clothes. I’m always at the beach. There’s one street in Tulum with all these shops and crystals that is very my style, as well.

I like to shop online. One of my favorite websites is Reformation. They are very casual, but very elegant at the same time and it fits so well. I don’t impulse shop. I’m very chill. Also, as a model, I receive so many things, which is amazing. Every week, I get a box delivered to my house, so I can’t complain. Then I try everything on [at home].

I have a sister who lives with me, so it’s really nice. She’s shorter, but has kind of the same structure as me, so we’re always exchanging clothes. Some of her stuff I don’t have. She’s a shopaholic. Oh my god, when we go out or to dinner or whatever, she’ll be ready, but then she walks into my room and she opens my closet and she changes like five times. She’s like, ‘oh, I don’t like this’ or ‘I don’t like that.’ I’m like, ‘I’m ready to go.’

There is my favorite shirt. I travel with that shirt almost every time. It’s a very cool shirt with the Pink Panther on a chair just looking like ‘don’t bother me.’ That’s a sign. I love that shirt. I bought it such a long time ago and I still have it. I don’t even remember [where], but it’s vintage now. And the other day, my sister went and put it on and I’m like, ‘That’s my favorite shirt! Can you take it off?’ She’s like, ‘what do you mean, this shirt?’ ‘Yeah, that’s my favorite one. Take it off.'”

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I am definitely the one [who takes two minutes to get ready]. Depending on the occasion, you know what I do? ‘OK, that’s what where I’m going’ and I think about an outfit, I put it on and that’s it. I don’t want to try it on, because that’s our job, you know? You put clothes on and off all day long and I just want to set and go.

When I shop, I never try anything on. I’m like, ‘I know this is gonna fit.’ I’m not the person who really follows, ‘oh my god, this trend.’ I would be curious to try it on and if I like it, ‘yes, let’s do it,’ but I have to feel good putting something on, for sure.

Adriana Lima is always like that. She’s like, ‘I like this, I’m gonna put it on.’ Anyway, she just gave me that confidence to wear whatever you want, because you feel good in it and you don’t need to please everybody.