Made in the Shade

T-shirt, skirt, sunglasses and bracelets: J.Crew | Clutch: Clare Vivier

Shoes: Steve Madden

Rarely do I buy an outfit exactly as it is displayed on a mannequin or in a catalog, but when I saw this look at J. Crew a while back, it was “me” from top to bottom. I love to mix casual and super dressy pieces, and I also love neutrals. Need I also mention I’ve been collecting cheeky graphic tees since middle school?

Throw a pair of hoops, a bit of fierce animal print and some “barely there” heels (which I’m obsessed with!) in the mix and this is textbook Alexis.

If I’m being honest: my outfits are my way of expressing my feelings. My clothes are my armor. And if I look good, I tend to feel better. I stand taller. It’s that little boost that gives me the motivation to attack the day with my head high. This post is for all the other up and comers fighting battles daily for equal pay, for better opportunities and for the love and light they deserve.

Xo, Alexis

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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).

Pink-y Swear

Sweater, pants, pumps and sunglasses, all J. Crew

I know wearing prints with prints may be a bit much, but so what? My favorite word is “lagniappe,” which means “a little something extra.” I love flowers and I love the color pink and from here on out I really don’t care about being extra.

Life is short. People will deal. 

Color, pattern, and a certain amount of over-the-top flair are hallmarks of southern style, and I love it all. My mother’s opera-length pearls are the perfect accessory.

Xo, Alexis

Something Blue

I’ve had this lace dress in my closet for two years and am just now able to wear it. Something about a powder blue lace dress just feels so ladylike and summery to me –perfect for a garden party at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens!

I carried the theme over into my pale blue clutch with a floral motif and kept my shoes a neutral silver. It just so happened that I matched the color palette for the July issue of Birmingham Magazine!

This looks reminds me of one of my favorite songs:

Xo, Alexis

P.S. The dress was a Poshmark find — if you haven’t tried shopping there you definitely should! It has established itself as the number one app to buy and sell fashion, with over 5,000 brands at up to 70% off. Even better? Sign up for the Poshmark app with code “EDITORINCHIC” and get $5 to shop with.

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

Homecoming

 

The details: Coat: Vintage via Hanna Antiques // Sweater, loafers & bracelet: J. Crew // Denim: American Eagle Outfitters // Clutch: Clare Vivier

Recently I was back in my hometown during my high school’s Homecoming. Although I’m not actually at home in these photos, the pictures kind of capture the mood I was in. I think I finally faced up to the fact that you can go home again, but the view will be quite different. I thought of all that I had hoped to find when I returned home — a feeling I needed to remember — and when it wasn’t there, I felt a little lost. It was like I’d never lived there at all, a frightening feeling for someone who orients herself by her birthplace and current residence.

I haven’t blogged much this month because I’ve been trying to reconcile making the kind of art that matters to me with publishing content people respond to.  I’m actively trying to find a “home” for what I do. But it occurred to me that I can do both, and that I’ve already created a place for myself. So you’ll see a bit more of that going forward, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.

This session was shot in Norwood, one of Birmingham’s historic neighborhoods, at the site of my dream house. Yes, it’s stripped down, and no, it’s not restored to its former glory. But there’s something poignant in the possibility of what it can be, standing in the grand and proud shadow of what it was. There’s something awesome in what it is, as it is. Can you see it? As a writer/journalist I am searching for the stories in our ruined memories, looking for treasure buried by the ravages of time.  It doesn’t have to be pretty.  Somehow I think that desire was caught on film this time, with no filter. What has this house seen? What stories can it tell, and what stories does it wait to welcome? That speaks to me, and the same is true for us as people. It’s why I love what I do.

It’s also why this outfit represents Magic City classic style for me: a turtleneck sweater, suede loafers, and denim, with a classic wool and mink coat. I found the coat for $60 at Hanna Antiques in perfect condition a couple of years ago. And what I prize most is its tag from Loveman’s of Alabama (another piece of Birmingham history that we now know as the McWane Center). It’s the kind of outfit I wore when I was in college, and my taste is pretty much the same off the yard.

Knowing yourself and being true to that knowledge means you’ll always be in style.

Special thanks to Mr. Melton, the homeowner, for kindly letting me trespass to daydream.

// 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

 

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

 

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