What Would Beyoncé Do?

Romper: Keepsake the Label | Cardigan: No Carnations Vintage |Shoes: Steve Madden | Sunglasses: Warby Parker | Earrings: 5th Avenue Antiques | Lippie: Drea Michelle

I’ve had this outfit for almost two years. And when Becca Bell of 2 B Photography LLC and I partnered for this photo shoot, I knew its time had come. I love rompers, and as this one shows so much leg that I added a vintage beaded cardigan from No Carnations Vintage for more coverage up top to achieve a bit of balance. (I tried, Mom.) I love the monochromatic look and the pop of color Tuckernuck’s acrylic lemon clutch adds.

The inspiration for this outfit is the “vintage” tableau from Formation, where Beyoncé twirls a parasol among a clan of women clad in white lace dresses. That song and album get played at least once a week in my home, and that visual of old world refinery is one I wanted to recreate. But I also like to add a touch of the unexpected, so it’s a romper rather than a gown. Who says women over 30 can’t wear them? What would Beyonce do? She’d rock it.

Here’s a secret: I usually take my own photos. But it’s a TON of work. So it was a blast to relax and let a photographer with an “eye” for detail take the lead. I’m learning that I don’t have to do everything myself, that it is OK to release my Type A tendencies and accept someone else’s expertise…and that is a relief! Expect more collaborations from Becca and me in the future, and be sure to check her out online and on Instagram. (Or call her to schedule your own photo shoot!)

Xo,

Alexis

All photographs courtesy of 2B Photography LLC.

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Unbothered.

Dress: Premonition via T.J. Maxx

This past week I was reminded that sometimes the world wishes brown faces like mine, ambition like mine, energy like mine was less…visible.

But I don’t believe faces like mine, talent like mine, or ambition like mine is visible enough. That’s part of the problem. Shout out to Jeniese Hosey, to Erica Bunker, to Deidra K. Diaz, to Lynsey Weatherspoon, to Javacia Harris Bowser, to Selena Rogers Dickerson, to Kellie Clark, to Eunice Elliot, to Chanda Temple, to Ariel Worthy, to Dr. Kre Johnson, to Keicia Shanta, to Kim Colvin, to Drea Michelle, to Courtney Duff, to Jessica Coates, to Katrina Watson, to Chasiti Shepherd, to Kennedi Stone, to Abra Barnes, to Rashada LeRoy, to Tia Beville, to Aletta Williamson, to Sharon Ward, to Regan Liggins, to LaToya Ashford, to Tonya Lee, to Connie Collins, to TeLisa King-Mills, to Georgia Blair, to Samuetta Nesbitt, to Ebony Hall, to Tracie Banks, to Dalila Bass, to Gwendolyn Guster Welch, to Que Humphrey, to Maacah Davis, to Adrienne Mixon, to Camisha Rivers Hunter, to Tiffany Logan, to Portia Williams, to ALL the brown girls and women in Birmingham and beyond who are making it happen, with or without a follow or a mention.

I SEE YOU.  AND PLEASE BELIEVE THEY SEE US.

Keep piping up on ’em, ladies.

Because I couldn’t get to Amy Sherald’s portrait of this Black woman, I carried myself to North Birmingham to this mural behind a Maxway grocery store.

There is no monologue in Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf for a lady in white. So while the little girl me might’ve closed her eyes and made a wish, the grown up me said a prayer and made a promise to herself.

I will not make myself small.

I will not make myself small.

I will not make myself small.

I hope you won’t, either.

Xo, Alexis

P.S. This is a late post that I intended to put up on Sunday. I’m posing in white on purpose, in solidarity with Roni Leftwich and in support of Fibroid Awareness Month (July).

Thank you, Birmingham Magazine!

 

 

I’ve answered phones, I’ve cleaned offices and I’ve been made to count pencils (yes, really). I’ve been counted out, overlooked, laughed at and rejected more times than I can count. I very nearly flunked out of college. I’ve doubted myself. I’ve felt invisible. I’ve been underestimated, undermined, underpaid, overlooked and overworked. In spite of that I’ve worked my narrow behind off, and I never let other people’s issues and “-isms” determine my self-worth. I’ve delivered under pressure that has seemed insurmountable, and performed when my heart wanted to give up. But I’m still standing. And I know I’m not alone.

I’m honest about my journey because I’m grateful for it. If I can make it, God knows you can, too.

I am still overwhelmed from yesterday’s Top Influencers Under 40 luncheon! Birmingham Magazine made it a beautiful day for us at the City Club.

And Rent The Runway really came through in a pinch. I’ve lost so much weight that most of my clothes don’t fit, and I literally had nothing to wear! Having been through several physical changes over the last couple of months, RTR, Kim Colvin and James Adams, Jr. all helped me look my best.

It meant so very much to me to not only be in the room, but to have my mother beside me and to celebrate so many other amazing people, including one of my best friends!

Congratulations to all the honorees!

A.

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

Spring Break

The details: Duster: H&M / Dress: Dance & Marvel via TJ Maxx/ Shoes: Steve Madden

On this particular day, I wanted to be near a garden. So I wore flowers, instead.

I’ve been waiting for a moment to wear this pink velvet dress. Velvet is having a moment (see Oprah Winfrey in this month’s InStyle). And since there’s still a bit of a chill, I threw on my favorite floral kimono — which many of you are calling a duster.

I also love to throw it over jeans and a sweater or cami. And the dress can be worn solo.

What are you looking forward to wearing now that the weather is warming up?

//Alexis

The High Roller

 

Peplum top: Forever 21 // Sequin fringe skirt: J. Crew // “Lyla” heels: Steve Madden // Clutch: Target  

Yes, I actually wear what you see me posting here. This fun (and comfortable!) white and gold look was my outfit for Saturday’s “Harlem in the ‘Ham” fundraiser, hosted by the UAB Minority Health Research Center’s Young Professional Board.

The look I was going for is “modern flapper,” in keeping with the event’s theme. The high-wattage glamour of the sequined fringe skirt is toned down by its sweater knit material and the addition of a simple cream strapless peplum. Simple hoops and a ring with a gold clutch and barely-there heels complete the look, along with sleek hair and a neutral face.

A special shout out goes to my glam squad: Kim Colvin (makeup) and James Adams, Jr. (hair). My hair and makeup held up after hours of circulating and schmoozing — but my feet were killing me by 2 a.m.! Congrats to the MHRC YPB for a fabulously executed event!

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

 

Take flight

 

The details: Blouse, SHEIN; Shorts, J. Crew (no longer available)

Spring and summer style has seen many trends, but none quite as special as the statement sleeve blouse. When I saw the Johanna Ortiz-version of this blue and white striped look on Sarah Jessica Parker several months ago, I was in love! Fortunately, SHEIN has an affordable option, and that’s where mine was found. I love the puffed and gathered lantern sleeves and the box-pleated peplum — so flattering! I can wear this with shorts (as seen), denim, or even a tailored skirt or slacks.

Stripes and gingham are a quintessential Southern staple, and this is a look I know I will keep in rotation. (Think you’re too old to pull this off? Think again: “Mama” Tina Knowles-Lawson was spotted in a look-alike top as well. Maybe you wouldn’t pair it with short shorts. But why not crisp cigarette pants or jeans? Go for it!)

Now all I need is a yacht…

See more photos over on SCDD’s Instagram account, and thanks for reading!

XO // Alexis

 

Sunday Funday 

 

THE DETAILS: Earrings (sold out) & Tie-shoulder eyelet blouse by J.Crew  // “Gretel” slide by Ann Taylor  // Denim by AEO (old) //”Bien Fait” scarf by Madewell (old) // Japanese picnic basket, vintage from 5th Avenue Antiques

I generally hate taking photographs. It’s why you don’t often see “outfit of the day” posts here or on Instagram. I’ve also been reluctant to do them because this blog is to inspire you to reassess your own style, not necessarily to get you to buy what I’m wearing or to dress just like me.

But.

How do you know I practice what I preach? That I take risks, that I shop EVERYWHERE, that I mix high and low and vintage and that I love matchy-matchy looks? That I sometimes get it wrong, but when I get it right…it’s magic?

So.

Enjoy this post.

This is the perfect “Sunday Funday” look for me: broken-in jeans that I love and should’ve bought 6 pairs of, an eyelet blouse (easy to dress up or down) and comfy but chic flats. My clutch is one that is super popular right now. Cult Gaia makes an “Ark” bag that is absolutely breathtaking (I want the black acrylic, pink acrylic and mother-of-pearl!), but I found this one at 5th Avenue Antiques for $16!

XO, Alexis

Photography: Lexicon Creative 

 

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