By Hannah Yakobi
Photos provided courtesy of Mary Jo Eustace and taken by Arash Moallemi
Mary Jo Eustace is a Canadian actress, singer and sous-chef, renowned for her fashion sense. She is a two-time Gemini award-nominee and has recently launched her fifth book, Cooking for Your Cub. Eustace also used to co-host What’s For Dinner show, and its reprise He Said, She Said with Ken and Mary Jo, with the late Ken Kostick. In an exclusive interview with FAJO Magazine, Eustace tells all about her fashion picks and stylish cooking.
I am quite tall, but I love wearing high heels and have some beautiful strappy sandals in black and brown, which I pair with army pants and a big belt. I’m going through a high-heeled sandals phase. I have chunky bohemian 1970s pair and a 5-inch-heel pair from Michael Kors, as well as a black woven pair that zips at the back. Stilettos are hard for me, I need the support. So I also have Coach shoes, with a platform.
I am really into tops, mostly black and sleeveless ones. I can’t get enough of them and have about 15. They create a really nice, classical look. I used to be purely a jeans and jacket girl, so I have some great flared and distressed jeans, and black pants.
What is your favourite accessory?
My David Yurman element bracelet: it’s all silver and the clasp looks like a shell. I got it a couple of weeks ago from my boyfriend.
I also love my grey, drop, hook pearl earrings that have a clasp. And I really enjoy wearing my black cashmere scarf. I’m in Los Angeles at the moment, and it often gets cold here at night. So I often throw on the scarf in the evenings.
How would you describe your style in three words?
Elegant, classical, a little sexy. Nothing too overt.
What is one item in your wardrobe that is the dearest to you?
I have this yellow dress that I got in LA just after my divorce [from Dean McDermott], before I moved back to Toronto. It’s a very sexy, flirty dress. It has a ribbon and is backless. It’s something I would never wear but I wore it to a little party with little gold sandals. It was a couple of months after my divorce, and I felt like a million dollars. It was sort of liberating for me: I never wore anything with colour but I fell in love with it because it felt like a new beginning. I’ve started to wear more colour and dresses after that.
I like going to Lucky Jeans and AG Jeans. I also go to boutiques, Saks or Barneys. If I want to have some fun, I’d have to say my favourite store is H&M. I once bought a multi-coloured dress there that many people thought was a Gucci. But it was only $49!
When most women cook they are always afraid to spot their clothes. You dress well and cook well, how do you combine the two?
When you are cooking, you need to make sure you are not drinking! I try to do as much cooking as I can before people arrive. It’s the summer, I love entertaining. I’m a big barbecue person too. Also, when cooking on TV, they try to make me look good, so I wear things that I’d never normally wear in the kitchen.
Who are your favourite fashion icons?
I think elegance is sexy. I loved the style of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn.
What is your secret for dressing well?
I think it’s really important to know your body, and what works well for your body type and your proportions. It’s important to adapt – there are so many trends and styles, you can’t possibly keep up with all of them. Skinny jeans are not for everybody. Don’t dress up as a Christmas float.
I think that the biggest mistake that women do is they overdo it. Too much accessories, too much make-up.
It’s important to just simplify things. Wear something that is flattering and accentuate it with a few great accessories.