What Would Holley Wear: “The Best of Holley” Thankful Edition

What a difference a year can make. Holley is kind of busy being a new grandmother to baby Eli this week!  So we are running a “The Best of Holley” post from Thanksgiving 2016.  Congratulations to the Williams family!

I’m pretty sure one of the reasons Thanksgiving is the most popular holiday is it’s less stressful (unless you do all the cooking and cleaning up afterwards).  We gather together with family and friends to share a meal and to consider all that we have to be thankful for!

Two things you need to know about me:

  1.  I love everything about the Thanksgiving tradition
  2. …and I love sharing that special day with family and friends!
miller-tote
Sole Society Tote

Our Thanksgivings are always casual. Some years we “motor” to our hometown, Smackover, Arkansas! (true story…real name…Google it).  This year, we will walk across the street to share a lovely meal with our friends and neighbors, the Moses. I will miss my family this year, but the Moses are our family in Fort Worth.  They are a BIG family, they all live in Fort Worth, and they all come to the Thanksgiving dinner.  The first year we were invited to a Moseses Thanksgiving meal, I noticed all the women brought Tupperware containers to take their leftovers home. Brilliant, right?  That gave me the idea to bring a big tote — filled with Tupperware — to future Moses family meals!

So let’s talk totes!  There are many choices these days.  Three totes I covet are the Bazar Shopper by Balenciaga, the cube-printed canvas tote by Pierre Hardy, and a large Sophie Hulme tote. Unfortunately, these are not in my fashion budget, but the good news is there are many reasonably priced totes to choose from.  Longchamp has a lot of colors and since they are nylon, they are easy to clean.

madewell-tote
Madewell Tote

Madewell has a great selection of totes and you can have them monogrammed.  If you are crafty, think about making totes out of old blankets or men’s suits.  These would make fun holiday gifts as well.

recycled-blanket-totes
Recycled blanket totes

bubbe-bagBut, back to the Moses…for their dinner I have a few wardrobe options in mind. One possibility is to wear a pair of black skinny jeans, a white blouse tied at the waist, a long brown suede jacket, and black booties. Depending on the weather, another option would be a midi floral skirt, quilted jacket, belt and green bomber jacket and gray ankle boots. Though here’s the deal, whatever I wear will be paired with a black nylon Tory Burch tote filled with Tupperware…of course!  That way, if a little dressing or gravy spills out, all I have to do is wipe it off. I even came up with a name for my Thanksgiving tote, “The Bubbe Bag,” in honor of the matriarch of the Moses family, Beverley Moses (Bubbe was her grandmother name).  Beverley is no longer with us, but she always made my family feel welcome.  And for that, I am thankful!

thanksgiving-table-settingSpeaking of family tradition, I will always cherish the years growing up in Smackover and the Thanksgiving dinners at my grandparent’s house.  The way I remember it, the table setting was very elegant…china, sterling silver, linen napkins, and crystal. The kid’s table was either in the kitchen or the den, but still just as lovely.

sweet-potato-cups
Taste of Home Sweet Potato Orange Cups

We also dressed up which meant for me wearing a beautiful new dress made by mom.  The guests included my family of five, my three cousins, aunt and uncle who lived next door, Ma-Maw and Pa-Paw and Aunt Bessie (Ma-Maw’s sister). My favorite Aunt Bessie quote was at a Thanksgiving meal when she announced, “One thing I know for sure, President Kennedy and his family are not eating this well today.”

I think it was the sweet potatoes topped with roasted marshmallows and served in orange halves that made her say that.  Trust me, there was no wine!

floral-dress-with-bootsMaybe your family is like mine was “back in the day” and you get dressed up for your Thanksgiving meal and go to a fancy restaurant or to the country club.  So, please let me share some stylish suggestions that will even impress the country club crowd.  One look I love for fall is a floral dress with boots… so cute!  Pleated metallic skirts are so on trend this season and all you need to add is a bulky sweater and boots.  Even with your country club look, the whole idea is to look stylish but just not like everyone else.faux-fur-wrap-sweater-2A faux fur trimmed wrap sweater from Banana Republic will allow you to create an array of fabulous looks.  Wear it with a pencil skirt, a pleated midi skirt, or with tailored slacks and later with a pair of jeans.  All you need now is to accessorize it with a very large Bubbe Bag to discreetly take your Thanksgiving leftovers home!

Visit Holley’s Pinterest style board with fashionable ideas to get you ready for your Thanksgiving guests.

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]  

What Would Holley Wear: Treasured Accessories

What does a cup of coffee, a puppy, and a glass of wine have in common? Trust me, this is not a joke.  For me, they are “treasured” accessories that complement all my outfits!  And, if I lived in Paris, I would add a loaf of bread and a beret to my list.

You are probably wondering how a cup of coffee, puppies, and a glass of wine are fashionable.  I have to admit all three of these are “real life” accessories that bring me joy.  And please know, substitutions are accepted. For instance, your treasured accessories might be a cup of tea, a precious kitten, and a martini straight up!

If you think about it, what you wear and what you love are part of your everyday life.  Whether you are walking your dog, meeting a friend for a cup of coffee or at a fabulous wine bar, ya gotta get dressed.  Right?

 “Coffee Mama” is the name of one of my treasured Pinterest boards.  Even before I was allowed to drink coffee, I would run across the street to my grandmother’s house after school to join her and her friends for coffee.  My grandmother lovingly called them “the drinkers”!  Back in those days, some of the ladies came directly from bridge club, and they were dressed to the nines!  

My favorite “drinker” was Ma-Maw’s best friend, Mattie.  Mattie always wore a beautiful Chanel-inspired tweed suit (jacket, blouse, skirt, and a lot of costume jewelry), and she smoked.  Remember the days when people actually smoked inside?  Well, I decided it was my job to supply Mattie with a matching ashtray.  If Mattie was wearing a blue suit, I would bring her a blue ashtray, a pink suit was complemented by a pink ashtray, etc.  Those are memories I will cherish forever!

But times have changed, and today when I meet a friend for coffee I’m usually dressed casual. Anything from workout clothes to jeans are my go-to outfits when I meet with my “drinkers”!  Even though it may be a casual meeting at Starbucks or Corner Bakery, it’s still a fashion opportunity and a great way to wear a cute outfit while catching up with a friend.

 “Puppy Love” is another cherished Pinterest board dedicated to our 14 year old English bulldog, Hank Williams Junior.  So, are you wondering how do dogs and fashion coordinate?  Sitting in a park in New York is one of my favorite places to watch people…what they wear and the dogs they walk.  An actual dog walker with five or more dogs on a leash is extremely entertaining.  

But my favorite people and dog watching experiences are watching fashionistas walking their dogs or carrying their precious pup in a designer tote or even pushing them in a puppy carriage.  The only thing that can top that off is when a precious puppy is wearing an adorable outfit!  FYI: Unfortunately, Junior is not into fashion.  

 My all-time favorite people/pet watching experience was at Nordstrom’s in San Francisco in the early 90s.  A lady walked in the department store with her pet pig on a pink leash….which by the way matched her pink ensemble!  That was a real life fashionista/pet sighting I will never forget!

Available on Etsy

 And then there’s my “Wine Time” board…fashionable ladies spending time with family and friends, sharing stories, and always adorned with a wine glass.  My “wine time” is that part of the week (or day) when my husband and I wind down.  If I’m meeting a friend at a classy bar for a glass of wine, then it definitely becomes a fashion opportunity for me.  

And if you are pondering, what’s the best time to drink a glass of wine, may I suggest the Kate Spade wine and dine watch? Besides that, I’m pretty sure it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!  For inspiration, take a look at all the beautiful pictures on my “Wine Time” Pinterest board!  

But more than the place or the drink, it’s all about the people and puppies I spend time with…because without a doubt, they are my favorite accessories! And to that, I would like to make a toast…“May life bring you great joy and treasured accessories…of course”!!!

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]

What Would Holley Wear: Classy Girls Wear Pearls

When I think of girls and their pearls, my mind goes straight to Southern girls.  From the time they are born to their wedding day, there’s a good chance someone has gifted them a beautiful strand of pearls.  And though today’s fashion pearls are not as precious, they still bring joy to us Southern girls.

 So two things about today’s pearl trend:

 …They are on everything from jewelry, shoes, jeans, jackets to handbags.

 …And, you can go all out or just add a simple strand to your style!

 So, let’s work our way from the bottom up and talk about the great pearl comeback.  This fall, think about adding a pair of pearl-heeled loafers to your wardrobe.  I’m pretty sure Gucci was the first to start this trend.  And if it’s good enough for Gucci, then it must be good enough for the rest of us…right?  

A stylish look on our board is a pair of cuffed jeans, long white shirt, and an army green bomber jacket from JC Penney.  To give it a luxe look, they added a Celine box bag and Gucci pearl-heeled loafers.  I’m loving this “high/low” look!

Another fabulous look is a fall floral dress worn with a pair of pearl-heeled loafers.  And the good news is there are fabulous copies everywhere.  One cute pair I am crushing on is from Zara (zara.com) for $40 and the other is from Shein (shein.com) for $34. Frugal and stylish…can’t beat that!

 

A huge trend that transitioned from spring to fall is pearl embellished jeans. Again, you can purchase an expensive designer pair or look online at ASOS for a less expensive version. And be sure to check out the DIY pearl embellished jeans on our Pinterest board.  

A classic look on our board is a pair of pearl jeans, black blazer, YSL handbag, and heels. For a more casual look, pearl boyfriend jeans fit the bill.  Wear them with an oversized sweater over a long button-down and add a pair of booties or sneakers.  Trendy and classic!

 Maybe you are more interested in wearing pearls on your jacket.  You can always go for a classic Chanel style with a tweed jacket trimmed in pearls…a look that can go casual with jeans or be dressed up for the office or a party.  The tweed jacket from Zara with pearl buttons is my absolute favorite!

 A pearl embellished denim jacket is a great seasonal transition piece.  For fall and winter, think about wearing it over a plaid flannel shirt with a pair of army green jeans or even with camouflage jeans.  

I’ve saved the best for last….handbags and jewelry!  A lot of high-end designers are all about this trend.  But again, there are so many cute and less expensive versions to choose from, including Steve Madden’s mini pearl studded bucket bag for $78 at Macy’s and Zara’s adorable box bag for $40.

Anything Chanel-inspired from pearl embellished sunshades to a pearl brooch, has classy written all over it.  And BTW….I think a pair of pearl bumble bee earrings from Anthropology would look adorable on Mrs. Twist! Don’t you?  

 

I hope this classic trend will inspire you to add one new pearl piece to your fall wardrobe.  And if nothing else, take your real pearls out of your jewelry box and start wearing them.  That’s what I plan to do!  

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]

What Would Holley Wear: Something Fierce

Are you fierce…in a fashionable way?  Here’s the Urban Dictionary’s definition of fierce:  “A person who can turn the heads of everyone around them.”  

Example:  Tyra Banks said to strike a pose and make it fierce!

So, two things:

…Fierce does not have an age limit (Thank God),

…and you do not have to be a super model to be fierce (Thank God…again)!

Alrighty then…let’s get down to business and talk about how to give yourself an updated and fierce new look!

Another word for fierce is “powerful”.  Who remembers the power suit from the 80’s?  The good news is they are back in style but with a twist…of course!  Instead of a jacket, think about wearing a long vest over your blouse and slacks.  Just roll your sleeves up, and you will be ready to get down to business.  

Another trendy look is to replace your slacks with culottes.  Don’t you just love it when you discover your professional wardrobe can be just as stylish and hip as your casual wardrobe?  

Besides being powerful, fierce style is also “gutsy”!  If you are gutsy, you show courage and spirit, and a fashionable way to do that is with an off the shoulder top.  This look continues to be popular, and what’s gutsier than giving the cold shoulder to your winter style?    

A party look I love on our Pinterest board shows an off the shoulder top worn two ways…with wide leg pants or with leather skinny pants.  And a one shoulder sculpted blouse paired with a metallic skirt and outlandish butterfly heels is beyond fierce!   

A beautiful pink cold-shoulder blouse trimmed in pearls would be perfect for a holiday party.  All you need to add is a pink bracelet from Kendra Scott, and a pair of blush earrings from Anthropology.  BTW…if you are really feeling gutsy, add a pearl clutch!

There’s nothing like bringing fierce intensity” to the game with animal print.  Every fall, I like to add one new animal print piece to my wardrobe. And this season my purchase was a maxi skirt.  It looks adorable worn with a sweater, jean jacket, and booties, or I can keep it simple with a pull-over sweater.  

But maybe you are considering taking the intensity up a notch! Then think about adding an animal print coat.  You can go casual by wearing it with jeans, or dress it up with slacks and a blouse.  I’m loving style star, Jenna Lyon’s, street style ensemble with green culottes, metallic heels, and her fabulous leopard print coat.  Sounds like extreme fierceness…right!  

For me being fierce means “go bold or go home”, and the metallic trend is definitely over the top bold!  My contribution to this trend will be a pair of cuffed jeans worn with silver metallic pumps and my metallic Coach handbag.

So, here’s a “bold” question.  Would you dare wear a pair of gold or silver metallic pants or how about a metallic maxi skirt? Both of these would be perfect for a holiday party.  And speaking of bold, I’m waiting for the gold metallic puffer jacket from American Eagle to go on sale…can’t wait!  Be sure to take a look at all of the bold looks on our Pinterest board.

A look I love on our board is a pair of boyfriend jeans, oversized sweater, and silver pumps.  And for extra boldness, think about incorporating a pair of metallic boots into your wardrobe.  Bold and fierce!

With your “powerful, gutsy, intense, and bold” new style, I’m pretty sure you will need to heed Tyra’s advice.  “Strike a pose, and make it fierce”.  Because you will definitely be turning the heads of everyone around you!

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]

What Would Holley Wear: She Wore It This Way

Don’t you love it when fashion magazines show how a movie star or model wore an outfit compared to how a “real” person wears it?

 So, two things about my style:

… A lot of the pictures I post on my Pinterest board are actually clothes and accessories I do wear,

… and even better, they give me inspiration and are looks I love to copy.

So, let’s get started!  I love pleated midi skirts, and my two favorites are from H&M.  One is mauve and one is black.  The mauve skirt was my go-to outfit for a summer wedding and the Cliburn Competition in June.  This fall, I will copy a Pinterest look and wear it with a black blouse, black leather jacket, black heels, and a vintage handbag.  

With the black pleated skirt, I copied a few outfits on our Pinterest board. One shows a pleated skirt worn with a white t-shirt, silver metallic flats or heels, and a denim jacket.  And for a really dressy look, you can always go all black….skirt, blouse or sweater, tights, and booties.  Don’t you love it when you see an ensemble in a magazine or on Pinterest and realize…“Wow, I can create that exact look with the clothes in my closet”?

I love Jennifer Aniston’s effortless style.  Be sure to check out her looks on our Pinterest board.  There are a few of her looks I will definitely be copying this fall.  In both photos she is wearing a pair of army green pants.  One is worn with a long grey sweater, and the other is complemented with a black blazer.  The good news is I have a pair of army green pants, a long grey sweater, and a black blazer in my closet.  Woo hoo!   

The changes I will make are with the shoes and handbag.  For my shoe options, I will either wear a pair of Italian-made Brunate loafers or a pair of suede block heels by Sam Edelman.  I will carry a vintage bag I purchased in Carmel a few summers back…a HCL black and brown bucket bag. The only way you can purchase one now is by searching the internet. Doesn’t that make you want to shop vintage?

My black and brown Goyard tote has proven to be perfect for all seasons and so versatile.  This fall, one of the looks I am copying from Pinterest is a pair of white jeans, long sleeved sweater, puffer vest, and Goyard tote.

One of my favorite Pinterest picks is a pair of black workout pants, sneakers, t-shirt, army green jacket, and gray scarf complemented with a Goyard tote.  Such a cute outfit for running errands!  BTW…who can meet me for coffee at the new Starbucks at Clearfork?  

Stylist Tip: Most of my clothes and accessories are not designer and come from stores like Express, H&M, Zara, and consignment stores.  So when I say a designer name, sometimes it may be a copy, consignment, or vintage… “wink-wink”!!!

 

Two of my favorite mini bags are Sophie Hulme copies from Forever 21 (see them here). They look exactly like the designer bag, except mine cost $25, and an actual Sophie Hulme bag is around $800. 

A look on our Pinterest board that I am copying this fall is a pair of light blue jeans, gold button-down shirt from H&M, light brown belt, a white blazer from Zara, and a pair of suede block sandals.  And I’m loving two white blouses from Express I saw on Pinterest and purchased at 40% off.  Ya gotta love a sale!

My go-to dressy style tends to be either a pair of slacks or a skirt.  It is rare for me to wear a dress because I love the thrill of creating outfits with separates!  An example is a pair of black vegan leather pants paired with a white blouse from Zara with large cuffs and black buttons, black heels, and a pink coat.  And an all-black ensemble has “New York here I come” written all over it!  Two great looks for a night out on the town!  

So…there you have it!  I find style inspiration everywhere…in magazines, on Pinterest and Instagram.  And the fun part for me is shopping my closet and copying a look I love at a fraction of the cost!

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]

What Would Holley Wear: The Power of Purple

So, how do you get a man to wear purple (this is not a joke)?  The answer: Turn him into a TCU fan!  Everyone from Fort Worth knows the power of purple, and it has been said many of them even bleed purple.  Since purple is the University’s color, I thought it would be fun to talk about ways to incorporate purple into your fall wardrobe….even if you are not a Horned Frog fan.

So, two things you need to know about the color purple:

…It is symbolic of luxury and nobility,

…and the hue adds instant drama or a pop of flair right where you need it!

Let’s talk about what to wear to a tailgate party and football game since it’s that time of the year. You can never go wrong with a purple and white TCU jersey and pair of jeans or shorts.  You may want to consider adding a little extra style with accessories, and a purple Goyard tote will even impress the college girls.  If you want to stand out in the crowd, think about wearing a denim midi skirt with your purple and white jersey tied at the waist….just add a pair of TCU cowboy boots.  Really…who wants to be a Plain Jane sitting on the sidelines?  Not me!

 

Are you an invited guest to one of the private suites at the Amon G. Carter Stadium this season?  Really?!?! That’s definitely a game changer, and you may want to think about taking your style to the next level.  A pair of black leather pants and a crisp white blouse layered with a purple trench coat would be perfect for a fall game.  

Or, maybe you just want to add a purple accessory. Then think about a purple handbag paired with black slacks, white blouse, camel coat, and nude pumps. Both of these ensembles can be dressed up or down…just be sure to ask your suite host what the dress attire will be.  

Besides TCU cowboy boots, there are so many fun purple boots and shoes to choose from this fall.  An awesome preppy look is a pair of purple Hunter boots…waterproof, practical for a rainy days on campus, and really cute.   I’m currently crushing on a pair studded purple Valentino heels. Not exactly realistic for my lifestyle, but a girl can dream…right?  A more practical look for me and my everyday style would be a pair of purple loafers or driving shoes.  I’m loving a pair of purple suede driving shoes by Tods.  They would look great this fall with a pair of black or dark denim jeans.  And for the gym and running around town, a cute pair of Nikes with purple trim will definitely put points on the style score board!  

Speaking of a “running around town” and a casual look, purple skinny jeans would be a great addition to a fall wardrobe.  Think about adding a creamy white blouse tucked in and, for a pop of fun, add a pair of animal print sneakers or booties.  We are loving Taylor Swift’s purple skinnies, worn with a camel jacket, green plaid scarf and shirt.  And if you are in to high-end designer style, you may want to copy Sofia Vergara’s look on our Pinterest board…Rag and Bone jeans, purple blouse, Yves Saint Laurent shoes, and a Prada bag.  Sounds royal!

Have you ever considered bringing some purple to the party?  Well, we think you should.  For a casual party look, a purple maxi worn with a denim jacket would be adorable.  And if you really want to make an entrance, a purple jumpsuit will absolutely score points!  An elegant party look is a purple printed kimono worn over slacks…a classy way to add nobility to your style.  The kimono trend just happens to be one of my favorite fall looks because it can also be worn as an everyday look over a pair of jeans.   This look will definitely take you into overtime!

Wow!  Who knew there were so many ways to add luxury and nobility to your style with just one color?  Seems like there really is power in the color purple…right?   

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]

What Would Holley Wear: Fall Transition

For everything there is a season. This applies to fashion just as much as anything else in life.  Because fashion is divided into seasons, sometimes it can be challenging to keep up with. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the four seasons are determined by shifts in sunlight, which is determined by how our planet orbits the sun and the tilt of the axis.  

 So, two things:

…If you want to know what tilts my axis, it’s a new fashion season…

…and when you throw in a transitional season, then that makes me “fall” in love with the fashion seasons even more!

The beginning of fall was September 22 this year.  Sounds great, unless you live in Texas where it’s still in the 80’s and 90’s.  But please know….if there is a will, there is a way.  So, let’s talk about a few ways to transition into fall even when it’s still hot and humid outside.

The best way to transition to a new fashion season is with color.  The whole idea is to stay cool and comfortable.  One way to do that is by adding fall colors to your wardrobe.  Army green is a great autumn color. I love to stick with basics like a pair of army green pants worn with a white button-down shirt.  For some flair, drape a camouflage jacket over your shoulders (because we know it’s still too hot to actually wear it), and either brown sandals or animal print heels.  A cute pair of animal print block heels is the perfect complement to anything army green.  Even consider adding an army green statement necklace to your transitional wardrobe.

And of course when we think about fall, we think about the color orange…right?  You can continue wearing your bright orange pieces, but also consider adding a few rusty orange pieces to your fall style. There are two looks on our Pinterest board that I especially adore.  One is a bright orange Lavin one-shoulder top, taupe trousers from Zara, and purple Fendi sandals.  The other is a rust colored dress with a detailed black bag and purple platform shoes.  Did you know purple is another great fall transition color and pairs well with orange and army green?

Remember the “you can’t wear white after Labor Day” rule?  Thank goodness that rule is definitely out of style.  What’s your favorite fall color to pair with white?  One of my favorites is camel.  A polished fall transitional ensemble on our board is a camel coat worn over white pants with a long white top and nude heels.  A camel suede midi skirt with a white blouse is a perfect transition look for the fall.  Be sure to roll your sleeves up and drape your coat over your shoulders when it turns cool-ish outside.  And the icing on the cake is a camel JW Anderson pierced bag…one of fall’s new “it” bags.

A lot of times we think of blue as a spring and summer hue, but not anymore.  It’s a great time to start wearing denim again.  From jeans to jackets, this look is timeless.  A recent fall purchase I made was a car coat length denim jacket.  It looks so on-trend over a pair of white jeans worn with a pair of taupe block heels.  A crisp fall look to check out on our Pinterest board is a navy blue pin-striped pant suit worn by style star Miroslava Duma. Don’t you love how she matches her bag and shoes with a neutral beige? We are also crushing on a navy pleated midi skirt with a white tie shirt, and for a hint of fall, they added a Louis Vuitton brown clutch with a fur pom-pom. Beyond “fall-bulous!!!

A style trend from the spring and summer season was pleated metallic skirts.  Please don’t retire them to the back of your closet just yet because there are so many fun and stylish ways to re-purpose them for fall and winter.  A look that works in and out of the office is a silver metallic skirt, white blouse, black flats, and think about draping a cardigan sweater over your shoulders.  For a youthful vibe, re-purpose your metallic skirt by wearing it with a white t-shirt, denim jacket, and a pair of fashion sneakers.  Cute and comfortable!  Can’t beat that…right?  

Autumn in Texas is definitely not like the picturesque scenes of a New England countryside in the fall.  Though here’s the good news…you can easily add all the beautiful fall colors, textures, and layers to your wardrobe!  Don’t you just love a smooth transition?  

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]

What Would Holley Wear: Home Town Style

With the new school year, it brings back fun memories of my school days. Would you be surprised if I told you some of my favorite school memories have to do with fashion?  That’s right…even in a small town in south Arkansas, I found fashion inspiration!

 So, two things you need to know about girls from my home town:

…The most beautiful girls I ever knew were from my home town…

…and to this day, I still remember their style and how they inspired me!

I can actually go back as far as 1st grade and remember what girls were wearing.  My favorite fashion memory from my early elementary days was petticoats, and the way I remember it, Tamra Parker was the petticoat queen.  Today’s petticoat equal would be a tulle skirt. Don’t you just love it when designers teach an old fabric new tricks?  The good news is they are appropriate for all ages and come in all lengths and colors.  I love to wear a taupe tulle maxi skirt I purchased a few years ago with a denim shirt, add a wide brown belt, and top it with a jean jacket and flat brown boots.  And by the way, I’m definitely giving Tamara my “petticoat inspiration” award!

Growing up, my mom was a wonderful seamstress and made my clothes. My favorite back to school look was a plaid skirt or dress, complemented by a new book satchel.  I never tired of this look and even remember wearing a plaid mini skirt in high school.  I rolled the skirt up (after I left the house) and paired it with a blouse, sweater vest, knee socks and loafers.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Britney Spears….eat your heart out!?!   My favorite plaid look today is still a skirt but midi length instead of mini length. I love all the new ruffled plaid skirts, which make for a great transition into fall and a new school year!

There were so many beauties at my high school.   My best friend from third grade, Janet Crumpler, was crowned Miss Derrick our junior year of high school (and BTW…Tamra Parker was Miss Derrick 1971!)  What I remember about Janet’s style was her beautiful wardrobe, and that she was even voted “best dressed” our senior year.  Most of us wore homemade clothes, but Janet’s were store-bought.  I have a feeling they came from Sample’s or the El Dorado House….the two best department stores in south Arkansas in the 60’s and 70’s. Years later, I discovered Donna Axum, Miss America 1964, purchased her pageant clothes at the El Dorado House.  Be sure to check out this week’s styles on our Pinterest board.

Remember the television show, The Mod Squad?  There were 3 girls from my class who nailed the mod look…Verlyn Carr, Belinda Counter, and JoLynn Dennis.  These three were the “it girls” from the Class of ’73.  From their afros to their minis….they brought “groovy” to a whole new level at Smackover High!  I think we need to talk about bringing groovy back!  Don’t you?

 One of my favorite groovy trends this season is a pair of wide leg jeans or pants.  And to get your “groove on,” pair them with a sweatshirt, sweater, or oversized blouse, and add a pair of boots or sneakers.  Another fun back to school trend is track pants. These can be worn so many ways…for example, with a blazer or a button-down tucked or untucked and even with heels. And just so you know, these pants are definitely not for running track.  

Another school-day fashion memory was from the first day of gym class my sophomore year.  I remember sitting in the bleachers before class and admiring everyone’s new school shoes, especially Cheryl Gandy’s.  Truly, this was a fashion eye-opening experience!  Who knew how popular a pair of shoes could be? And by the way, Cheryl was the varsity cheerleader captain and very popular.  This fall, blocked heels and fashion sneakers are on my “most popular” list.  And a new pair of fall booties will definitely win you class favorite votes!  

 

Hopefully, this article will motivate you to incorporate some of the new fall trends into your own “back-to-school” style.  And if nothing else, maybe it will inspire you to dig out your high school yearbooks and reminisce about your “glory days!”

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]

What a Clothing Stylist Taught Me

I am filling in for Holley today to show off her skills as a personal stylist. Disclaimer:  That is not a photo of my closet, but wouldn’t it be nice if it were?

First, before your stylist arrives you need to do two things:

  1.  Go through everything in your closet.  Try on every piece of clothing, and touch every accessory, shoe, scarf and handbag.  Clean anything out that doesn’t fit, is stained, yellowed, need repairs or doesn’t make you feel fabulous.  Be brutal and honest with yourself. Do you really need seven black t-shirts?  If you wish you could fit into the pants or dress again, and you don’t now, chances are when you finally lose those 10 pounds you will want something new to celebrate, not a five year old dress.  Donate or if you have nice things that just don’t work for you anymore take them to a resale shop to get some extra cash.  I have a Clothes Mentor near me and my church takes clothing donations. If it’s an item that just needs a repair or you want the sleeve length adjusted take it to the tailor, don’t put it back into the closet because it will never get done.  This process may require a few Saturdays or a day but it will be worth it to start with a clean slate of things you love. There is no sense in having a stylist work with clothes you don’t look good in or don’t plan to keep.
  2. Be thinking about what you need help with.  Do you want ideas for work, weekends or both? This will help your stylist to zero in on what exactly their job is when they arrive.

Okay, Holley is at my house and I have done my homework.  Since I wanted to photograph each of the outfits she put together for my blog post we used the top of my bed to lay everything out — clothes, accessories, handbag and shoes.  It might help you, too, to take photos of each of the outfits so you have them to refer to when getting ready in the morning.  You can just use your phone or print them from your computer and put the photos in a binder.

Holley asked me what my goals were for her visit:  1)  I wanted ideas for work attire.  I need to look professional but it’s a not a formal work environment.  I didn’t need help with weekends, because jeans are what I normally wear anyway.  2) I wanted an outfit I could start with in the morning and make a simple switch to take me into happy hour with friends or dinner out with Mr. Bee.

Then, Holley went “shopping” in my closet, pulling things out and we got started.

These were a few of my favorite outfits:

The top and skirt are last season from CABi.  I have worn their clothes for several years now.  My stylist from CABi Stacy Stoltz, brings her seasonal line to me and I get to shop from my own home.  CABi remind me of the kind of clothing my mother and I would shop for — well made, fun finishes on the interior, with retro touches.  The bracelet is from this season.  The handbag is from Draper James, one of my favorite retail stores.  The shoes are this season from Ann Taylor and come in black, too (40% off with code FALLFORITALL).

If you haven’t noticed this about me, I love graphic t-shirts.  Fun, uplifting quotes are my jam.  This cute foxy fella is from Draper James. Holley paired it with dark washed jeans, and an Ann Taylor frayed hem jacket (similar style here), an animal print belt with the same heels from above, but in black.  Here’s a similar Dana Buchman handbag here.

The great thing about the above two styles she created is they can be switched out.  The jackets could be switched or the tops.

Here’s another example of three ways to style a Camo jacket (similar here).

Remember, camo is neutral (hence, the reason it’s used to disguise you in the wildnerness), so it can go with anything.  Look how fab it is paired with red!  The bottoms are each different as well — dark washed jeans, distressed jeans and a denim pencil skirt.

Here’s an example of day to evening…

The raspberry colored trousers are from Ann Taylor.  For the daytime look Holley paired it with a cute t-shirt from Talbots and a black bomber style jacket.  Same earrings and purse.  For night time, we kept the pants but swapped them out for a jacket from H&M and a white tunic top.

The shoes in the top photo are from Kohls here.  The animal print D’Orsay shoes in the bottom pic are Sam and Libby from Target (similar here).

Here are some last few photos of more ideas.

Tip:  Whenever I am looking through a catalog, at first glance I see things I want.  But, then I go back through and look at what I already have in my closet.  It may not be exactly like the photo, but it’s possible you have some basics to work with.  Most people have a denim jacket and a pair a jeans. Maybe you just need to add an animal print jacket and pair of olive green jeans and already you have created four outfits from just purchasing two items.

Holley, left me with a very small shopping list of items I didn’t have that would be great to add to my closet:  Black skinny jeans, a few small mini or clutch bags in black, gold and neutral.  While she was out shopping the next day (which is another service she offers) she snapped a few pictures of some very affordable bags at Forever 21.

Visit my Pinterest board for Closet Organization tips including this guide for essential items you need in your closet, tips on what to wear and where to keep it in your closet.

All in all, Holley spent about 2 1/2 hours with me and helped me create 25 outfits.  We talked about trying to put together my wardrobe the night before with all the accessories and shoe choices so it makes it a time saver in the morning rush of getting to work and affords for a more pulled together look.  So, I have been trying to work on that.  Not only was my time with Holley fun, but I learned a lot and now feel confident with choices of outfits so my wardrobe feels new to me!

Be sure to visit with Holley via email to book your appointment for a closet inventory, style session or personal shopping experience.  Just for HWT readers – Holley is offering 25% off her services.  Offer expires 10/4/17.

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]

What Would Holley Wear: Aunt Pat Style

Growing up, one of my heroes was my Aunt Pat.  She was the Mother of three daughters, had a PhD in Literature, and was a professor at the University of Missouri.  She was an inspiration to me and left this world way too soon.  

One fond memory of Aunt Pat was her perspective on aging. Instead of saying someone was in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, etc., she would say they were in their “5th row, 6th row, or 7th row,” etc. The more I have thought about her view point over the years, and the older I become, I have to say her insight was genius.  

 So, two things you should know about me:

…I am in my 6th row of life…

…and I love fashion just as much now as I did in all of my former rows!

But, like a lot of things with aging, I’ve had to adjust my style…a little.  So with Aunt Pat as my inspiration, this article is about how ladies (at any age) can wear the latest looks and trends.  My hope is that it will inspire women to stay stylish, current, and row appropriate!  Check out our Pinterest board for inspiration.

So, let’s start with a maxi or midi skirt or dress.  Here’s the deal…these skirts and dresses are age defying! I’m not kidding.  Every year women spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on products and procedures trying to look younger, when all they really need to do is wear a maxi or midi. Why?  Because they hide so many signs of aging and give you a youthful vibe.  Plus, both looks will elongate you, and who doesn’t want to look a little younger and a little taller?

 

Another row-defying and trendy style is wide-leg pants.  I recently purchased a pair of wide-leg floral pants at Zara and wore them to a wedding shower with a green button-down blouse tied at the waist.   This fall, I plan to do a little print mixing and pair them with a red and white striped shirt from H&M and top it off with a denim jacket.  A pair of culottes is another way to stay in-style and not look frumpy.  I love a pair of vertical stripped culottes I purchase this summer at Dillard’s.  For a casual look, I like to wear them with a white button down and jean jacket, and for a dressier look, I pair them with a flowy blouse with an attached sash, and add pop of color with orange suede block heels….so “row appropriate”!

Another way to add an age defying edge to my style is with a blazer.  A great place to find a current and updated blazer is at Zara (and there’s a Zara at Northpark Mall in Dallas).  My uniform is a black blazer, and white shirt worn with jeans.  The key is to wear your shirt half or front tucked, with or without a belt.  Skinny jeans are another “row defying” look.  My favorite pair of skinnies are from H&M. They are long, which works great for me, and there is a lot of give, but they do not stretch out. Unlike capris that cut you off, full length jeans will make you look taller, and slimmer.  So, on the count of three….everyone say bye-bye capris!  

The absolute best way to give yourself an updated look is with accessories. The way I see it, sunshades can either say, “I’m frumpy,” or “Grandma’s hip”!  If you want to throw caution to the wind….go for a pair of Dior shades.  Or if you are like me and tend to lose or break shades, then check out the selections at Urban Outfitters and Free People…trendy and inexpensive.  Your handbag can also erase years/rows.  Think about investing in a designer bag like Chloe or Gucci, but if you are frugal, just know Target and Dillard’s have great options.  

Updating your jewelry is always age-defying, and you do not have to spend a lot of money.  Here’s a little secret…a few of my favorite places to purchase fashion jewelry are TJ Maxx and Old Navy.  And both J Crew and Anthropology have a wonderful selection of large statement pieces.

For more age-defying looks, be sure to check out my Pinterest board, Ageless Style!    

Isn’t it exciting to know that no matter what “row” of life you are in, there are so many style options to choose from?  The way I see it, Aunt Pat really was ahead of her time and row appropriate…of course!

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]