Styling photo shoots never gets old for me. Taking something that tends to be stressful for people and turning it into something fabulous is very rewarding and I love that the moment is captured in time for them. This particular shoot was very cold and wet, but Courtney and James toughed it out until the side ways mist and dark fell upon us! You could tell they are in love and so excited about what is yet to come with their new baby boy. This maternity shoot was laid back and fun (make sure you scroll until the last photo on this one)! I know how much I loved it when Sherry Hammonds captured my pregnancy and that I have those beautiful images to look back on, I am sure that Courtney and James are just as elated; and I am happy to have been a part of it. I was also fortunate to be able to use some fabulous pieces from Chesley Mae (make sure to check out this local designer’s jewelry) for this shoot! I say it every time, but I will say it again, I am nothing without my amazing clients-so thank you Courtney and James for trusting my with styling this important photo shoot!
I recently received the most recent Louis Vuitton catalog, I am sure this has everything to do with the fact that I have purchased from them in the past (as well as my husband on my behalf) and it got me thinking about how some people snicker at the fact that I own such an expensive bag and some people totally get it. Let me start with how I acquired my first Louis Vuitton (a Speedy 30). I LoVe bags, I mean I have an issue with accessories in general, but I really love a fabulous bag-which is why I had never put a lot of thought into the large investment a Louis Vuitton would take; I was a quantity girl-the more the merrier-and that rule obviously wouldn’t apply if I had expensive taste. Then one day I got the itch and it inevitably had to be scratched! So, I started looking at styles, high end consignment stores and weighing all of my options. What I came up with is that I wanted my first LV to be a classic LV style and be mine! Hmmm, this wasn’t going to be a small investment, but determination prevails as we all know! I am lucky in my profession that I collect a lot of Nordstrom Notes so I saved them and found a work around to use those notes in the Louis Vuitton store in the Chicago Nordstrom (if you decide you want to do this, please don’t tell them I sent you as it took some finagling!). I started to save my pennies…or Notes in this case and made the purchase once I had accomplished the goal of enough notes to pay for the bag. Let me tell you this felt good! I had accomplished a goal and it was through work nonetheless. I received the beautiful bag a day before we left for vacation so I of course promptly changed bags!!
Let me get on with the point here. When deciding to purchase this bag and explaining to my husband why I “needed” it-here is what I came up with:
1) Louis Vuitton has been around forever and isn’t a trend item, it will stand the test of time.
2) If and when (which I did) I have a daughter, I can pass this bag on to her.
3) It is an investment piece.
4) We both have things we like to spend money on, mine just happens to be a bag.
4) I wanted one!
My case had been made and after all, we weren’t spending cash on the item, so he agreed to not disagree with the purchase! So many times I hear people snicker or object to such a purchase. That is okay, you don’t have to agree with my obsessions or purchases but please keep this in mind- I probably don’t share your all of your interests or invest in the same pricey purchases that you do! Electronics, cars, sports/sports equipment and jewelry just to name a few are large purchases that many make yet people often do not equate these purchases to an item such as a Louis Vuitton. Why? Does it bring you joy-check?! Do you intend on keeping it for an extended period of time if not a lifetime-check?! Do you use it very regularly/daily-check?! Does it not go out of style or change models often-check?! Some of the above mentioned items don’t necessarily fit all of these criteria the way a Louis Vuitton or other classic bag do. My husband for instance loves his electronics and he admits that these go out of date much more frequently than my large purchases- so he just calls it “even” and doesn’t complain!
The bottom line, let’s respect each other’s LoVes and move on! You LoVe golf clubs and fishing and I LoVe fabulous bags and clothes; together we keep commerce alive!
UPDATE: Rant Chic is at it again and has added 4 no goes after 30 to the list, so as the responsible blogger I am, I am responding with my thoughts. If you read “Rant Response: 20 Things…“, read on-if not click that link first to catch yourself up and then read on!
21. Victoria’s Secret PINK: What you do in the comfort of your home is totally up to you! Once you step out the front door, is another story. So wear VS PINK as pj’s or lounge clothes in your home day & night-that is none of my concern or anyone else’s (except maybe your loved one’s) but once you step out that front door, I agree, save the PINK for the college students (and younger).
22. Blue eyeshadow: This is a tricky one, as in most things, there isn’t a blanket yes or no-blue eyeshadow has to be worn on the correct person and the correct way which can be very difficult-but certainly not unattainable. This is one of those ask the experts, or at least a friend, before you wear it items. Now, Rant Chic goes on to say that those over 30 shouldn’t wear eyeshadow at all-say what?! Even if you were to say that the over 30’s shouldn’t wear blue or “colors” how can you say they shouldn’t wear a neutral color to act as powder or color neutralizer of sorts? As an avid eyeshadow wearer, I not only don’t understand this “rule” at all, I obviously don’t relate either! Who can argue with the sexiest in the city?!
23. Bedazzled anything: I think this “rule” is improperly titled. As anyone over 30 reading this remembers and the younger ones may know as well, bedazzling is a term coined in the 90’s, maybe even 80’s and was mostly in reference to “do-it-yourself” rhinestone clothes. I do not think it is fair to lump all bling in, in this category as Rant Chic says “leave the rhinestones for a tween”. Now I agree that heavily rhinestoned items are just simply out of style and don’t have much to do with one’s age but like with most rules, there are exceptions.I love this sweater from Beehive!
24. Graphic Tees: This is one of those, “you have to know what you are doing” items similarly to blue eyeshadow. Graphic tees can be a great addition to the appropriate outfit but it is something that you really have to know how to accessorize and wear to make sure it doesn’t look young. It isn’t a “you can’t” it’s a “you have to know how” and I think Rant Chic just assumes you don’t know how! Image courtesy of InStyle.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, there are lots of grey areas in fashion and it something that is unique to the occasion and person-which is why I am generally not a fan of saying you should “never wear ‘this’ “-although you may hear the words slide off my tongue from time to time! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts this time around!
Recently a friend tagged me in a post on facebook that led to this blog post on Rant Chic, and she asked me what my thoughts are on it. I think my “thoughts” on this one are worth a blog post! This blog post, which is worth a click if nothing else but to reference what we are discussing here on my blog, outlines 20 items this writer thinks women shouldn’t wear after the age of 30. Let me preface the below blog response with the note that everyone obviously has and is entitled to their own opinions on the subject, this is a reflection of my opinions as a stylist that works with clients from all walks of life, as well as all shapes, sizes and ages. Let me also say that people often ask me “can I wear this?” and my response is often more than they bargained for because there is rarely a “yes” or “no” answer to that question-there is generally a grey area when it comes to style which is why I am rarely a fan of “you should never ever wear this again”. Fashion is circumstantial, often an interpretation of an event, mood or situation and is something that changes from person to person, possibly day to day. So let’s get to it, tit for tat if you will, my response to Rant Chic’s 20 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30.
1. Leopard Print
2. Sparkly Pants: Because New Year’s Eve is not the only time to have a little fun. Should you wear sequin pants to the grocery store? Probably not, unless you are on your way to a party, but they are fun a a great way to dress up a t-shirt for a night out.
3. Over sized Sunglasses: This one is tough-how do you define “over sized”, either way I think it is way too general of a statement, this is one of those things that should be tailored to the wearer. Last time I checked, Rachel Zoe is not only a stylish woman but one of the highest acclaimed stylists.
4. Non matching socks: Okay, on this one, I got nothing-at age 30 your socks should probably match unless you are wearing a costume…or tall boots and no one is going to see them (shhh, I won’t tell)!!
5. Hoop Earrings: Seriously? Why not?! This is a very blanket statement, in my opinion. Hoops come in all different shapes, sizes and styles. Like most fashion, the style of your hoop can mature with you. Lots of celebrities are wearing hoops right now. I recently met a fabulous jewelry designer that makes some stunning hoops-check out Sarah Briggs Jewelry. Again…
6. Furry Boots: Hmmm, I am a sucker for fur so I am not the best gauge of this one, but what if you are going somewhere cold?! This is another one like leopard where it has to be worn properly and with the correct restraint if necessary because I do agree if worn improperly they can definitely read “young”-again that pesky grey area! Nothing about these boots say “young” to me.
7. Furry Anything: Hold the phone! This style has been around for ever and ever for a reason, just use good judgement! If anyone doesn’t want theirs, I’ll send you my address!
8. Tube Tops: Since tube tops & crop tops are similar and crop tops are right on trend right now, it is just another one of those things that you should use good judgement on. No one is saying that you should wear a bikini top to the bar in your 30’s-well, at least I am not saying that!
9. Short Dresses: Again, grey area, define “short”. Leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination…okay that is probably short, above the knee-not so much but others may consider this “short” after a certain age but certainly not 30! Wear the appropriate length dress to the appropriate event. Also, if you want to wear a shorter dress, leave something to the imagination by not having it low cut (etc.) as well.
10. Mini Skirts: Mini and short usually fall under different categories. In our 30’s there is probably rarely a time to wear a true mini skirt.
11. Overalls: I know this is a very controversial one. I was very unsure of them but I tried them on and was pleasantly surprised. Does that mean they are for everyone? Of course not, this is one of those “you have to try them on” items.
12. Crop Tops: See #8
13. Wearing the brand American Eagle: This is a brand that mostly lends itself to a younger demographic, if nothing else because they logo their items at nauseoum and people associate the brand with younger people but like with most things there can be a grey area-but I do have to agree that mostly we should leave American Eagle to the 23 and unders! There is that pesky fur again though, but I beg you to tell me where this is from if I didn’t tell you!
14. “Booty Shorts”: Defined by your booty hanging out, I agree these either need to be left in your early 20’s or maybe never worn at all.
15. Old Sneakers: Once again, I must agree. If you have a favorite old pair-they need to be saved for work around the house. This is a great example of one my fave sayings “public is public”, saying “well, I just wear them to run to the grocery store”-really? Isn’t that one of THE most public places you go and isn’t it where you are most likely to run into people you know (in your own neighborhood)? Out with the worn out and in with the fresh pair of sneakers!
16. Cheap Bras: I think what the author of Rant Chic means by this is ill fitting bras, not the actual price you pay for them. As a general rule though, a well fitting bra is a little more expensive and what you are paying for often times is the expertise of the person fitting you. Frequently one of the first affairs I handle with a new client, is getting them in the proper undergarments, especially bras. A well fitting bra not only effects the way your clothes fit and look, but it also effects your health in the form of your back, neck and other body parts. This is an important item at ANY age!
17. Glitter Eye Shadow: Should you walk into work with your make-up from the night before-not so much?! Should you have fun when you go out with the girls and wear ONE super glittery color with a matte liner-duh?! Glitter eye make-up is not for any age, every day or every night but it is for the fun occasion, worn properly.
18. Platform flip-flops: I honestly wish I had one nice thing or even a rebuttal here, but I have nothing!! I am not a fan of the platform flip-flops, for me it is not based on age, it is based on the fact that they went out of style 10 years ago. Sorry platform flip-flop wearers, I personally think it is time to chunk them!
19. Wearing Abercrombie & Fitch (see #13 regarding American Eagle) because the idea/response is the same!
20. Scrunchies: Well, there’s a blast from the past, right?! This is something that definitely shouldn’t be worn in public at any age-in my humble opinion-BUT because they don’t pull out your hair or leave creases in it nearly as much as other hair ties they are definitely a good item to have around the house when you want to wear your hair up and they are more comfortable! Who knows, maybe they will make a resurgence some day!
The bottom line is use good judgement and edit yourself daily. If you are unsure of your judgement ask a friend, they will be honest and generally on your level. Be the best version of you through your style and just make sure what you are wearing is portraying what you want to say to the world!
These two are no strangers to the blog, Matt & Courtney have been gorgeous subjects for Sherry Hammonds and I multiple times and I just adore working with them. They are crazy, sexy, fun, always up for anything and don’t take themselves too seriously! Putting together the looks for this shoot was a blast, Courtney and I always have a fabulous time working together and Matt, well he is such a good sport and loves what we pick out for him! This time we have the added pleasure of Boulder and Bailey being in the photos, their adorable fur babies, who I happen to love so much! Don’t be fooled, none of this would come to actualization without the amazing talents of Sherry Hammonds, who as you know is no stranger to my blog either. I would say we are somewhat of a dream team, all of us work together with such ease. So without further ado, here is a small sampling of Matt & Courtney’s 2014 holiday shoot. I hope you are as fond of these images as I am.
And I will leave you with this cuteness…
I have always been a jeans kind of girl, I love them! Dress them up, down…all around, I will wear them pretty much any which way and luckily I live in a city where denim is accepted almost anywhere, anytime. Denim has always been a fashion staple but recently it has made a complete resurgence showing up in all forms. With Fall coming (what we get of it here in Texas), it makes me even more excited about jeans and denim, all I can think about are the new pairs I have bought and how I want to wear them without dying of heat exhaustion! So without further ado, lets go look at some of my favorite denim items right now.
I have had many people ask me how I feel about the overall trend, and quite frankly I wasn’t sure-until I tried these on. I really like them! They are comfortable, cute and I love that they have a skinny leg. I have been dying to wear them in! To the overall doubters I say “try them on”, they may not be for you but it is one of those things you will never know until you try.
Keeping with a similar trend, I found these today and WANT them! Joe’s are always a good denim and you can wear this jumpsuit a million times and ways.
Do not let the words “high rise” mislead you, all it means in this case is “made for women who don’t like low rise”. These jeans are made for everyone from 17 to 71! I know, because my Mother bought them and loves them more than any other pair of denim she owns. I love Joe’s, I have two pair and wear them all of the time.
I have tried these flare jeans on, they are fabulous! The only reason I didn’t buy them is I was pregnant at the time. Pair these with a great (faux) fur vest and suede boots!
Can you go wrong with jeans + grey?
If you have ready my blog before, you probably know that I am big fan of Blank denim, they have cute styles, fit well and are a nice price point. These combine two fabulous things, skinny and boyfriend!
Stella is wearing my new Just Black Boyfriend jeans that I picked up at Beehive last week, go get a pair before they are gone (really great price point)!
Denim on denim is definitely on trend. Pair this top with any of the above!
I can’t leave the men out! These are awesome because they are denim but look like trousers, men can wear a button down and oxfords and be ready for dinner! You can even add a vest to change it up!
Guess what? These are Levi’s!!
And so are these!
And of course, it’s back to school, so the kids too!
The grey is different and cute!
Everyone in the family needs a chambray!
Does this come in my size?!
What denim are you wearing or which pieces will you be purchasing?
Why a personal stylist you ask? I often hear people say “I don’t understand what the need for a service like personal styling is.” or “I have a fantastic stylist at ‘said’ store.” or “I use a convenient online service.” and of course we can all relate to “That just isn’t in my budget.”. While all of these are obviously valid thoughts and concerns, let me play devil’s advocate for a minute (or two).
“I don’t understand what the need for a service like personal styling is.”: There are several reasons why personal styling is beneficial over shopping alone, even for those that love to shop. For one, spending money is often emotional and it can be difficult to decipher and make decisions on what items are best over the items you simply just want but don’t serve a real purpose in your closet and/or are out of the budget. Along those same lines, while you will be paying me or another stylist a fee, we will help you save money in the long run by helping you not buy items that will just sit in your closet with tags on them until they go in the give-away pile 2 years later. As the infamous saying goes “time is money” (whether it is leaving the kids with the nanny or leaving work so you are able to go shop for yourself), so you stay where you are, let me do the leg work for you and you stop long enough to come play dress-up and leave, better yet, I can bring the items to you!
“I have a fantastic stylist at “said” store.”: I often work with in store stylists, they are very knowledgeable about their product and are generally a big help. The important thing to note here with myself and pretty much all independent stylists, is that we make an hourly fee not a commission on what you buy like in store stylists; therefore if you spend $100 or $2000 on clothes, it makes no difference to me -I just want you to be happy with your items and comfortable with the amount of money that you are spending, otherwise it is not a fabulous experience for anyone. The good news, the in store stylists still makes a commission on whatever you buy, so it is a win-win for everyone without the pressure to spend, spend, spend! Also, in store stylists obviously have a vested interest in you buying their product, which just means they are doing their job, I have a vested interest in you being happy with your wardrobe, whichever store the items may come from, which just means I am doing my job.
“I use a convenient online service.”: Shopping online is wonderful, definitely serves a purpose and is sometimes necessary but shopping and styling are two separate things. The reason to “go local” as they say when choosing a stylist is to ensure the best results for you, the client. When you meet someone in person and are able to build a rapport, as well as let them see your body shape, personality and style; trust and understanding are built. Your style is very personal to you, hence personal styling. I shop differently for every client, even if I pick out the same item for two clients, chances are I am going to show them two different ways to style said item. The “personal” in personal styling is very important. Also, as I discussed above, when I am styling someone, I pick the store/location that best fits their needs for that appointment, an online stylist is very similar to in-store stylist in the sense that they have an inventory to choose from that they are not able to stray from therefore limiting your options.
“That just isn’t in my budget.” What does all of the above boil down to? When you use a personal stylist, you have a more focused effort given to your wardrobe which in the long run saves money by avoiding having the wrong items and/or too many items in your closet. Therefore, the money you spend on a personal stylist will come back to you in the form of a wardrobe that you love and best suits you.
While I am not saying that a personal stylist is for everyone, I do feel that it is a service that many can benefit from for different reasons; but I am sure we can all agree that I am most certainly biased on the subject-so don’t listen to me, listen to my amazing clients:
“I cannot thank Shelley enough for the amazing shopping experience she provided for me and my family. I dread shopping, especially when coordinating for family photos! She and I discussed our location and she pre-selected many choices for me to pick from. Her personalized service made shopping enjoyable and her vision resulted in my favorite family photos yet! I can’t wait to work with Shelley again.” -Robin J.
“Best shopping experience ever!! Why??? Because I did NOT have to shop!! Shelley picked the perfect outfits for the occasions I had, and then many bonus items that I HAD to have for anything upcoming! For someone who loves fashion but HATES to shop, or has no time, this is perfect. I can’t wait til the next time!!!” –Candace B.
“It’s amazing what wearing the right size and right cut will do for your body. I’ve been told TWICE today how thin I look in the new black slacks you helped me buy for work. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Your tag line should be “Making you look goooooood!”” – Mandy B.
“It’s way belated, but I just wanted to thank you so much for helping me find a dress for the wedding I attended on Good Friday. I’ve been so busy with session that there is no way I would have been able to find something I liked as much as I liked what you picked out for me. Plus, there is no way I would have picked out the dress you found, but it was perfect and I got so many compliments! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” – Macy H.
“I recently worked with Shelley with Shell Personal Styling and completed a closet therapy session. I would highly recommend this service to any gal or guy who wants to save money in the future and confirm that the pieces of clothing you are wearing work for you, your style, your career and your body! I am incredibly clear about what I need to spend my money on and feel so confident! Not to mention is was a blast!” – Courtney U.
“Can’t say enough about Shell personal styling + closet therapy and this outfit! I lost weight, just by wearing the right size dress, changed my earrings and well, the fabulous shoes! Not kidding when I tell you mouths hit the floor gala night!” – Michele S.
“Working with Shelley was one of the best things I have done for myself in, well…ever. She went out of her way to figure out how I want to present myself before we met. I couldn’t believe the amount of clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc she had gone in and preselected for me to try on the previous day. I was so grateful for her to tell me exactly how to wear each piece. I had a fabulous experience and credit her for the extra hitch in my giddy up these days. Looking forward to working with her again on both a closet therapy session and more shopping.” – Lindsay B.
There is nothing like fun in the sun on a holiday weekend with friends and family! Often, these great times include time spent by the pool or at the lake. How many times as an adult have you gone to a pool party and never even gotten in the pool? Or you waited hours to get in? What does this mean? It means of course, that your top coat is as important as your bottom coat! Below is my style guide to your Memorial Day Weekend water parties, from cover-ups to accessories and of course bathing suits.
Here is a fun, relaxed look that will take you to all of your fun water activities this Summer!
If you want to wear a two piece, but are a little more body conscience, this look is for you!
If you like pattern, this is the suit for you! Change the look by putting a solid bottom or top with the opposite piece.
If a one piece is more your speed, rest assured you do not have to give up style to sport one!
I hope you have fun and look fabulous at all of your Memorial Day Weekend outings! Send me pictures of you out and about to post.