sam wennerstrom of "could i have that?" styles our napa maxi
we have long been admirers of sam wennerstrom's laid back california style, and were over the moon when she styled our napa maxi dress for a fall day exploring beautiful santa barbara. we were even more honored when she offered to sit down and chat with us about where she finds inspiration, how she balances work and motherhood, and of course, her favorite fall clothing essentials.
read on below for our full conversation.
We love how you style your Napa maxi dress. Tell us about the accessories you paired it with and where you most love wearing the dress.
Sam: I LOVE this print and the high neck so much. Basically everything about it! It feels timeless, chic yet casual at the same time which speaks to me. I put a Janessa Leone hat with it because it’s a dress I wear out and about during the day, everyday. I added gold jewelry and boots to feel more fall.
You started Could I Have That in 2009 as a creative outlet, before blogging was as popular as it is now. What were you doing prior to CIHT and what was your original inspiration for starting your blog?
Sam: I was working in publishing for a small local magazine called Santa Barbara Magazine when the recession hit and our budgets (and salaries) were slashed. So in an effort to stay creative and have a space to share my aesthetic I started Could I Have That? I became immersed in the blogging world and eventually went full time with my blog in 2013. The laid back, luxe lifestyle you find in Santa Barbara has always been my biggest inspiration.
Your life in Santa Barbara looks dreamy. We used to go on a road trip in California every spring in our '20s and those are some of our best memories. How has living in California influenced your style and life overall? Any favorite places you can recommend in SoCal that are not so well known?
Sam: I love this question because I feel like I’m a California girl to my core—no surprise since I’m born and raised here! But it truly is an ideal lifestyle with the climate and landscape, and I’ve always been inspired by the endless ways you can get creative each season, whether it’s a picnic on the beach to watch the sunset, a wine dinner in Santa Ynez, or s’mores by the lake in Tahoe. Los Alamos is a gem and totally under the radar right now. It’s a tiny, tiny town just north of Santa Ynez and there are some amazing restaurants and cute spots to stay and sip wine.
We love following you for style inspiration and also enjoy your home and lifestyle content. Any tips for curating interiors like yours (i.e., keeping clutter at bay, mixing old & new, maintaining style with kids)?
Sam: Less is more! If you’re not using it or haven’t used it for over a year, you probably don’t need it. I try to really be disciplined when it comes to hanging on to things that pile up and don’t hold a purpose. Also, everything needs a home when you’re not using it. It’s so much easier to keep a home tidy when drawers and closets are organized. Once a month I’ll spend a morning going through a specific area of our home because things get disheveled so easily!
Who or where do you look to for style inspiration?
Sam: People and places! I’ll be that random person who walks up to a stranger just to tell them they look amazing and ask where their boots are from.
What are your fall wardrobe essentials? Any must-have pieces or brands in your closet?
Sam: I’m definitely a denim girl and will have a favorite pair that I live in every season. Citizens of Humanity, AMO and Mother are my go-tos. Other things I can’t function without are good prints, flowy dresses, Beatrice Valenzuela slides, oversized cashmere sweaters and blousy white tops.
Do you have any morning rituals?
Sam: Hot water with a splash of lemon and apple cider vinegar.
Your skin looks flawless. What are your go-to skincare products?
We are so excited for you that you are expecting baby number two! How has motherhood impacted your overall view on work and life? Do you have any tips for work / life balance?
Sam: That has always been the thing I struggle with the most since becoming a mother. You never feel like you have enough time for both, so over time I’ve learned to not be so hard on myself and just do my best. Also, ask for help! Trying to do it all on your own is impossible.
Your travel stories are gorgeous. Where do you most love traveling to? Where is next on your list?
Sam: In the past some of our most memorable trips have been Morocco, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Todd and I have never been to Europe together, so Italy and France or high on our list!