Montego Glover is often told that she looks “small” onstage. The actor, who received a Tony nomination for her performance in Memphis, recently stepped into Les Misérables on Broadway as Fantine, the factory-worker-turned-prostitute who “dreamed a dream” of a better life.
“What they don’t know is that I’m underdressed for three scenes at once. So I look small—that’s really amazing because I have literally three layers of clothes on that I keep peeling off,” Glover explains, adding, “There’s something about the nature of her and the design of her style in the show that let’s you embrace the sort of beautiful delicate smallness of her.”
Like Fantine, Glover embraces a ladylike style in her own wardrobe, and she’s a big fan of wearing designers. “It’s a great place to get to as a woman when you know designers that work really well for you,” says Glover. Some of her favorites are Max Azria, Thakoon, Zac Posen, and Oscar de la Renta.
While buying designer items can be a splurge, Glover’s big piece of shopping and style advice to other ladies is to follow your fashion instincts. “If you see something and it belongs in your collection, you should get it,” she says. “I often find that women talk themselves out of really wonderful things that would make them feel amazing. Life’s too short. If you see something that’s wonderful and inspiring, go for it.”
What is your favorite item of clothing that you own and why?
Wow. That is really difficult. My favorite items of clothing that I own are probably my Louis Vuitton silk scarves. Because a silk scarf is a classic piece. It’s a functional piece. It’s most definitely something that a lady should own. It goes with every occasion. And it’s very versatile. It can be worn on my neck, worn on my head. It keeps me warm on a flight. It’s the piece that keeps giving—year round, in all seasons.
What is an item of clothing that you own that really should get rid of but can’t bring yourself to give away?
I have a red leather jacket that I bought almost 10 years ago [at the Gap], and every season I go, “Okay, this is it. This is the last one for this red jacket.” And then I put it on and I go, “That’s just fantastic.” I can’t let it go. [Laughs] I really do. It just keeps going. I condemn it to death, and then I put it on and it’s back in play.
Which character that you’ve played has had the most similar style to your own?
That would probably be Felicia Farrell [in Memphis]. Rich color. It’s that line—very feminine, very ladylike, and clothing worn without effort. When Paul Tazewell was designing the show, he was able to sort of marry my sensibilities with the storytelling for her wardrobe and the style of clothing at the time, which my body type is really right for.
Look #1: Ladies Who Lunch
That Thakoon dress leapt out at me from a rack, and I committed my life fully and totally to it right away. The cape is a total style grab. I’ve always admired them on other people—particularly the design for Olivia Pope on Scandal. The Kate Spade peep toe pumps are called “Ice Cream,” which I think is great. I was walking through Soho one day and stopped in at Kate Spade and saw them. They were like winking at me. [Laughs]
Look #2: Day Date
That denim jacket is from the Gap a hundred, thousand years ago. And the best part is every season I take it out and it still fits. As a woman, I feel like you need to have a collection of white tops—all of which you wear in rotation. I love that white silk, cuffed-sleeve. It transitions well from day to evening and from different climates, if I’m going from New York to L.A. Two things I love about that skirt: The A-Line is classic and looks beautiful on me, and it’s navy, which is classic and will never not be fashion friendly. But for me it’s about the little surprises in your wardrobe. And the beginning of that are the eyelets in that skirt. And then of course, just for fun, throw on some orange BCBG pumps. Add a pop of color.
Look #3: Rebel
That is a Vince dress and Vince Camuto booties. The bracelet was a gift from my favorite aunt and uncle. I always like a personal effect on my daily wear and that was it. Oftentimes, people associate me and my style with like a contemporary lady’s look, and it’s always nice for me to throw in a little rebel action because I’m totally capable. Just because I’m a lady doesn’t mean I won’t get on the back of a motorcycle with my boyfriend and ride over the Brooklyn Bridge.
Look #4: Layer-Up
There are some staples that are really necessary, and I think boyfriend jeans, particularly with rips and cuts, are extremely fashion forward and versatile. And they look great on everybody. I don’t have a curvy women’s shape; I have more of an athletic build and so those pants allow me to take advantage of wearing my boyfriend’s pants but also giving them a feminine turn. And that polka-dot sweater is the right amount of functionality and fun and usability. I could easily take the jacket off and still be warm and still be covered and not feel over exposed. And again, a [French Connection] leather jacket to work up the edge just a little bit so it doesn’t look like I cut myself out of a book of paper dolls and slapped myself in front of that red door.