The details: Dress: aq/aq| Jacket: J.Crew| Shoes: Converse | Earrings: Forever 21

I was honored to serve on the Host Committee for this year’s Chucks and Tux, a fundraiser supporting Growing Kings — which is helping to prepare he next generation of young leaders in our community. I was really worried about finding the right Converse (since I don’t normally wear them) and the right outfit to go with them.

I ended up shopping my closet and deciding to be literal, so what you see is my version of Chucks and Tux. I’ve never worn an actual tuxedo, but I like this chic, feminine version. The dress appears to be two pieces in a feat of architectural design. The jacket adds color blocking and modesty when worn over the shoulder for a bit of casual glam. I layered my bling to take the look up a notch and pick up the rose quartz shoes.

My hair and makeup were kept to “Old Hollywood” glamour to complement the look.

More important than what I wore is the amount of fun I had. I haven’t been to a party in months, haven’t danced in months, haven’t had a reason to dress up and go out for months. So it felt good to get out, and I really appreciated having two of my best friends with me. I even took a selfie with the Mayor! (Find it here.)

Seeing myself smiling on a larger than life banner at the party reminded me: the best is yet to come, there will be some surprises along the way, and there is always a reason to dance. (Shout out to Growing King’s executive director Marcus Carson for letting me bring the banner home.)

No matter what happens in life, there is always something to celebrate. For me it was being asked to participate with Growing Kings, being named a 2018 Distinguished Survivor by the U.S. Attorneys Office and finishing Girl Trek’s “Harriet Hall of Fame Challenge,” in which I walked/ran 100 miles in two months. (I have that challenge to thank for my slimmed-down shape.)

XO//Alexis

Advertisements
__ATA.cmd.push(function() { __ATA.initSlot('atatags-233638951-5b0a9e55921b8', { collapseEmpty: 'before', sectionId: '233638951', width: 300, height: 250 }); });
__ATA.cmd.push(function() { __ATA.initSlot('atatags-233638954-5b0a9e55921bb', { collapseEmpty: 'before', sectionId: '233638954', width: 300, height: 250 }); });

Mamie and Dorothy taught me.

 

The details: Blouse, slacks and earrings: J. Crew; Shoes: Steve Madden

Life is a circus. Are you the ringmaster or the clown?

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my grandmothers and missing them terribly. They had very different personalities, but a similar strength that got them through life’s struggles, loss and disappointments.

I find myself asking what they would do if they were faced with some of the challenges I’ve been dealing with lately. And I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been wishing I could ask them.

What I do know is, in spite of how they felt or however people treated them or whatever they had to endure, they still got up, made up their faces, put on their best clothes and held their heads high.

They kept going.

They still looked for the best in people.

They still gave the world their best.

I will, too.

XO//Alexis

Well Red

Dress, coat and shoes: J. Crew

Last fall my dad had an unplanned, unexpected triple bypass. If he hadn’t gone to the hospital when he did a few days earlier, he might’ve suffered a widow maker heart attack, just like Jack Pearson on This is Us.

The morning of his surgery, my tire blew out shortly after I got on the interstate and by the time I got back on the road to the hospital in Florida, the surgery was over.

In the interim, every time my cell phone chimed I wanted to throw up, afraid it was bad news. I don’t remember driving the stretch of asphalt I burned up between Montgomery and Pensacola. Only that a very real Good Samaritan made sure I got there on four good tires. I ran into the cardiac wing so fast that I broke my sandal. When they told me he made it my own heart nearly gave out.

That was the longest ride of my life. The longest day of my life. Fortunately, he lived. But I think that’s why I blacked out on #ThisisUs.

While the circumstances were different, the feelings of helplessness, shock, dread, disbelief and fear were so familiar. And the guilt. I felt so guilty because I wasn’t there. I’m the oldest. I should’ve been there in time.

I should’ve been there.

I’m still struggling with that.

Daddy made a full recovery. Thank God.

But that experience has permanently altered me. Altered how I approach life, how I love, how I spend my time and what is important to me. It’s brought into sharp focus what I can endure and what I will fight for, what I will ride for until the wheels fall off or the tires spin to shreds.

It’s made me believe there is someone who will literally be down for me like four flat tires. Or just one in an emergency at dawn.

Ride or die.

I wear red to remind me to protect my fire, to protect my figurative heart and to preserve my physical, mental and spiritual health to the extent possible. I hope you’ll take care of yours, too.

XO//Alexis

See another favorite red outfit here.

The Dream

Turtleneck, skirt and shoes: J. Crew // Scarf: Madewell // Lipstick: MAC “Ruby Woo”

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you sabotage yourself each time you attempt to begin?

Well — that has been my struggle with telling a story that is close to my heart, about a place that spoke to me but was always at a remove. And now that place could be lost forever.

Sometimes our dreams seem like just piles of bricks, things that have lost their usefulness and potential because of inactivity or impracticality. I’ve always been someone who had her head in the clouds and her feet on the ground, and struggled between reconciling the two. I struggle with knowing when to give up and find a new dream.

That’s because I believe what we dream is real. What we imagine is real. If two people or ten or a thousand believe in the same dream, then a pile of bricks can become a fortress. Or a castle. Or a paradise.

That’s not to say making it a reality won’t be hard. It’s going to be a challenge. But shouldn’t we build anyway? Shouldn’t we restore what can be saved, and hold on to it? Cherish it?

We can’t be discouraged by people who let their own dreams die. Or by those who gave up because the risks seemed insurmountable.

We can’t let our hopes fall to ruin. We can’t let our dreams become rubble. This shoot reminded me to get out of my own way, to improvise and have fun, to rennet why I started and to press forward in spite of my fear. In spite of the little voice that always second guesses me.

If you bring your hammer and memories and I bring my pen and paintbrush, with sweat equity and imagination we can make some magic come to life…

Come build with me.

XO// Alexis

[What’s black and white and re(a)d all over? This outfit. And also an edited story or article.]

This is Us.

Wild Bill loved her freckles; Red loved his sense of humor.

He proposed over a requested glass of water, with her family eavesdropping in the hallway.

When I was a child, I used to sit with my parents’ white leather wedding album and pore over the details: a huge double ceremony, both mothers in furs, the groom in platforms and to this day, my mother is upset about the florist.

What I love most about their love story is realizing these two kids have no idea what life has in store for them. The plot twists and tragedies, the good times, the adventures. The pain. The laughter. The dancing (must be seen to be believed).

They will make a home and a life.

They’ll grow up together without outgrowing each other.

For better or worse. For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health.

They’ll stick together through it all.

I wasn’t at their wedding but I’ve been around for most of their anniversaries and in spite of all we’ve been through as a family I can tell you: I’m grateful God chose them to be my parents.

Forty-two years later, Wild Bill is still pretty hilarious and Red is still undeniably fabulous — especially with her freckles. I hope that when they look at each other they always see who they were at the very beginning.

The peau de soie heels she wore that January evening have been dyed deep blue and wait for me to wear or display at my own wedding one day. I’m hanging on to a remnant of rich brown velvet from the handmade bridesmaids’ dresses. I’ll make sure she has an exquisite bouquet, and that he gets to do his signature dance.

To connect the future with the past. To honor all they mean to me that can’t be put into words.

Happy anniversary, Mama and Daddy.

We’ve already started planning for 2026.

This golden night was the only time I saw my grandfather shed a tear. My grandmother just floated. I think they had a fairly simple wedding, but this was the grand celebration they deserved, thrown by their children 50 years later. They were so happy and surprised and there was so much love and joy in that ballroom. (See where my love of fancy sequined gowns comes from?) I learned about love from them. About sacrifice, and hospitality, and faith. I learned about baseball, and big band music, the best way to butter yeast rolls and make peach cobbler and the beauty of a hostess’ caftan from them. I learned about endurance from them.

I’m grateful I got to celebrate them and WITH them.

I remember them. And I miss them every day.

Power & Passion

 

Silk blouse, wool slacks, leopard pumps and necklace via J.Crew

Who says you can’t go home again? I was really excited to get to shoot these photos in my hometown (Brewton, Alabama). I’ve been going home quite often lately and wanted to show off some of its beauty and meaning. When I saw the gorgeous geraniums out front at The Leigh Place, I knew it would be the perfect spot.

Although it’s not quite Fall, I’m wearing one of the seasons major upcoming color trends: Red. The fiery color of passion and power is one of my favorites, and wearing it from head to toe is a risk I’m willing to try. Wearing a monochromatic look in this way also has a slimming effect. If you’d like to try the trend in a more subtle way, separates make it easy. Just pair a blouse, shoe or slacks with a more neutral item. And a red lip is always in season–MAC’s Ruby Woo is a must-have that works for just about all complexions!

See more shots from this look at Instagram.

XO // Alexis

 

Rainbow Bright

 

Details: Crop top: Forever 21 // Skirt: Tracy Reese via Nordstrom Rack (s/o) // Shoes: Steve Madden

I’m known for my love of bedazzlement. But the truth is, I don’t wear sequins every day, or even every month. Now, I like a bit of flash and a sparkle, but more recently I’ve exercised a lot of restraint and limited myself to statement jewelry.

And then I saw this Tracy Reese skirt at Nordstrom Rack.

The rest, as they say, was history.

Now, about this crop top. I don’t normally wear them, but nothing else really went with the skirt. It needed something subdued to sort of balance it, and the little peek-a-boo at my midsection was just enough.

(See more of this look at Instagram.)

XO // Alexis

Golden Girl

 

 

Details: Linen fringe top (s/o) &  Tie-waist skirt, J.Crew // Shoes, Steve Madden // Clutch, & Earrings (vintage), 5th Avenue Antiques

Love, LOVE this skirt. I don’t wear yellow often, but this is richer, more saturated than most. It’s more of a mango (J. Crew has named it “marigold petal.). If I ever get to Cuba or the south of France, this skirt is going too.  But this look wasn’t for photos — I actually wore it to Art on the Rocks Friday night.  A bit of linen, a pop of color — perfect for a casual evening party.

Let’s also talk about my seed pearl and gold earrings. I’m all about a piece of statement jewelry, and it doesn’t matter to me if it’s costume. I stalked these at 5th Avenue Antiques for MONTHS. They’re similar to Miriam Haskell’s gorgeous, collectible pieces — but mine aren’t marked so I’m unsure of their provenance.

Are you enjoying the outfit posts? Let me know. (See more images on Instagram!)

Thank you for being a friend…

XO // Alexis

Photos courtesy of Lexicon Creative

The LBD

 

Details: Dress via Nasty Gal // shoes, vintage BCBG // earrings, TJ Maxx

If you’ve read virtually any blog or fashion magazine, you know the “little black dress” is the well-dressed woman’s staple.  Attributed to Chanel and once meant to be a wear-anywhere piece, it symbolizes a fashion uniform that women can rely on in a pinch.

To be honest, I haven’t had an LBD that really fit the bill in years.  I’ve had wear-to-work LBDs, and those that were perfect for parties, but not one that I could grab that made me feel like ME. But when I saw this one online at Nasty Gal, I had to have it. It made me feel like a swan when I put it on. Yes, it’s daring.

I love the pleats, the midi-length, and even the open back and cape of this dress. Worn with a pair of vintage gold BCBG Max Azria sandals, simple gold hoops, a sleek bun and a red lip, I am dressed for reclaiming my time.

Confession: I often buy things for occasions that haven’t actually happened, like brunch with Oprah or a vacation on the Amalfi Coast.  But I plan to wear this to what is being billed as the “Party of the Year”:   the imerge Innovation Awards, an event celebrating Birmingham’s own innovators, creatives and entrepreneurs on August 23 at the Alabama Theatre. If you consider yourself a part of driving Birmingham forward, you should be there too.

XO // Alexis

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: