'Shameless' Style Secrets from Shanola Hampton

The actress isn't afraid to kiss and tell.

'Shameless' Style Secrets from Shanola Hampton
Source: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images North America

Approaching an actress is always a bit daunting. However, after spotting Shanola Hampton, one of the stars of Showtime series Shameless, at a number of runway shows during New York Fashion Week, we just had to get the scoop on her fearless fashions on and off set. Not only were we delighted by her welcoming greeting, but also we were surprised by her clever way of keeping in touch—with a kiss. "You get so many business cards when you're out and about and I can't keep track of who I want to get back to right away," she explains as she leaves her lipstick imprint on one of ours. "What do you always have? Lips." True to her word, we heard back from her shortly after with more surprising and stylish (not to mention hilarious) tidbits about how she maintains her glam look while off camera—and on mommy duty. 

I’m a mom, but I’m still me and I like to keep it sexy and fun."

–Shanola Hampton

How would you describe your personal style? "I like to go with something that is chic, never reveals too much but keeps it sexy with some hip in there. And color—I like color."

Who are your style icons? "Right now, I’m all about Lupita. She does great things with her skin tone and the color she chooses. I love her, and I love love J. Lo. I think she always gets it right even when she’s walking in the park in jeans and a shirt and her hair in a ponytail."

How has your style evolved throughout your career and since becoming a mom? "It’s gotten much better throughout my career, thank God. It’s more refined than it used to be. I’m still figuring stuff out, and I’m wanting to take more risks. I have done that and some of them pay off—some of do not but it’s fun to take those risks. Nothing really has changed as far as being a mom because I don’t believe in that mommy-wear stuff. I’m a mom, but I’m still me and I like to keep it sexy and fun."

'Shameless' Style Secrets from Shanola Hampton
Source: Showtime

How does your style compare to your character on Shameless? "Veronica is really a risk-taker. She will put all sorts of patterns together that I would never do. She’s worn wedge sneakers, which I wouldn’t wear but they’re really cool and I love to wear them for her. She loves to have fun with things and to have her ta-tas out—which isn’t really much of a difference from me but she does it a little bit more."

What's the one item in your wardrobe you can't live without? "Well see, it would be my whole shoe closet. People say your feet get big [during pregnancy], and I had this fear that my feet were going to outgrow my shoes. All my shoes are still fitting me, thank God!"

Source: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images North America

And did you wear heels throughout your pregnancy? "Oh darling, yes. I had a glabor. Do you know what a glabor is? Let me explain to you. I had a glam-labor, which means I went to the delivery room in five-inch heels and my lashes on—there are pictures to prove it. My face was completely beat. In between contractions, I’m putting on my makeup and lashes. I had a false alarm 24 hours before I actually gave birth. I already had one outfit picked out with a particular pair of heels, but because I already took photographs with my husband in them, I had to switch them. So I had two pairs of five-inch heels that I ended up going to the hospital with."

Is your daughter following in your fashionable footsteps? "Oh she’s a fashionista. We already accessorize: she wears her baby infinity scarves, she loves to have a nice little bow or headband in her hair and she has more shoes than I do. She also can pick out her own stuff now. I’ll say, ‘Do you like this or this,’ and she’ll put her hand on the one she likes. She’s 13 months—I don’t know where she’s getting that fashion sense from, but I like it.”

For more of Hampton's fearless fashions, tune in to Shameless Sunday nights at 8pm EDT on Showtime. 

Associate Editor at StyleBistro. California native, Brooklyn resident & country girl at heart. Follow me on Twitter: @katie_ddavidson Follow me: Google