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

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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

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 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

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

 

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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