Lex and the City

T-shirt, skirt and bracelets: J. Crew | Eyewear: Aldo | Shoes: Steve Madden

This outfit is…well, it’s probably the one that best captures my love of color, pattern, sparkle, leopard print, comfort, vintage and whimsy all in one look. Those are all elements that make up my approach to getting dressed every day no matter what’s on my agenda, although I rarely wear all these elements at once. Most days, my outfits are a reflection of my personality.

This look is also a take on Carrie Bradshaw, the lovelorn writer-heroine of Sex and the City. Although Carrie and I differ in many ways, we essentially are people who are trying to tell stories and dress fabulously while living and loving fearlessly.

Fear. It’s one of the F-words that has shaken my world this year…along with another F-word: failure. At many turns I’ve felt deeply afraid, or as though no matter how hard I work or how hard I try, I’m failing someone or something, somewhere. What has helped me to readjust my thinking is learning to practice radical FAITH and FORGIVENESS to help me keep moving FORWARD. And those are the only F-words that count.

I loved posing for this shoot with Becca Bell of Birmingham’s 2b Photography. Talk about fearless: she runs a thriving creative business in addition to being a wife and mom. (Check out her work here.) She helped coax something out of me that’s been lying dormant, something fierce. (And there’s another positive F-word for you.)

Stay tuned.

Xo,

Alexis

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Laissez les bon temps rouler!

FashionFriday_screenshot1If you weren’t at Fashion Friday, you missed a treat…”bon temps” were had by all who attended recentlyat the Birmingham Public Library!  Special thanks to the Library, Birmingham Magazine, Belk, The Outlet Shops of Grand River, Roxy Rabb and everyone who helped make this an event to remember. If you weren’t there, fortunately you can catch up on all the fabulosity by watching the footage courtesy of Lynsey Weatherspoon Photography.

Click HERE to see the photos!

Looking for a style expert to address your organization, nonprofit or employees? Maybe you need someone to hold your hand and help you find the perfect outfit or sort through your closet shenanigans? Or perhaps you need a dynamic hostess for your next event? Let’s talk, darling!

xo, Alexis

Thank you.

Last Friday was a dream come true. My first job was in a library, and as a writer it’s been my goal to add my story to the symphony of stories a library curates. To have the opportunity to do that at Fashion Friday was beyond my wildest dreams (and that’s saying something). THANK YOU to Chanda Temple, the Birmingham Public Library Director and staff (including Mr. Roderick and Mr. Arthur and Vonda!), Deidra K. Perry and Birmingham Magazine, Belk, Michele Dickey and Panorama Public Relations, Alicia Rohan and KC Projects, Jamie Robinson and The Outlet Shops of Grand River, Roxy Rabb, Lynsey Weatherspoon, the City of Birmingham, Betsy Prince, Karri Bentley/Artistry Cosmetics, James Adams, Jr./Renovare Hair Salon, Mrs. Tia Chestang-Beville and Mrs. Marty C. Barton.  Thank you to Marissa Mitchell at ABC 33/40’s Talk of Alabama, Rick Jackson at CBS 42’s Wake Up Alabama , Russell McClinton/Urbanham.com, Javacia Harris Bowser/The Writeous Babe Project and Mia Watkins/AL.com. THANK YOU to everyone who tweeted, posted, hung a flyer, kept me off the ledge, attended or in some way supported Fashion Friday and Same Chic Different Day.  If I have forgotten your name, please charge it to my head-not my heart-and know that I appreciate you!

Please enjoy a few candids from Fashion Friday below; I’ll share the “official photos” soon.

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Onward and upward!

xo Alexis

Images via AEB, Chanda Temple and Deidra K. Perry

J.Crew does it again!

Talk about over-the-top, unforgettable drama. I’m a firm believer that one should dress to be remembered, not just noticed, and one couldn’t help BUT be noticed in this feathered creation from J. Crew. Black, white and fabulous all over, it features a sequined bodice and knee-length feathered skirt. Even the color – “blackjack” – is glam! This piece is made for headturners, not wallflowers., and it’s perfect for a black-tie event. But can you believe it’s $1500?! J. Crew, why won’t you let me be great?!

What I love about this look is that it reminded me of what was considered THE event of the social season: Truman Capote’s masked Black and White Ball. Considered the party of the century (in 1966) this super-exclusive event was held in New York at the Plaza Hotel to celebrate the release of Capote’s masterwork, In Cold Blood. Want to read more about the lengths high society went to in order to claim a coveted spot on the invitation list? Check out The Party of the Century, from the Birmingham Public Library.

Is this look a little too much for you? Then try just a touch of the trend by adding your own DIY feather peplum belt to a simpler sheath. One of my favorite DIY bloggers – Kristen Turner from Glitter ‘n Glue – shows you how, HERE.

Want more party-perfect style tips? Then meet me the Birmingham Public Library’s Arrington Auditorium for Fashion Friday, TODAY at noon! You could win a $100 gift card from Belk, an Artistry Cosmetics goody bag, or even a total makeover from Renovare Hair Salon!

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Can you tell I’m excited about Fashion Friday?

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Click HERE to watch Chanda Temple (the Birmingham Public Library’s Director of Public Relations) and me chat with CBS 42’s Rick Jackson about tomorrow’s Fashion Friday!

Join the Birmingham Public Library, Birmingham Magazine and me for style tips, fashion from  Belk and The Outlet Shops of Grand River and fabulous prizes (including a $100 Belk gift card, a makeover from Renovare Hair Salon, SWAC championship tickets and more!) TOMORROW at noon at the Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium!

P.S. Wait, what? Vogue Contributing Editor Andre Leon Talley will be in Nashville today?!

Put on your dancing shoes

Wearing vintage pieces is a great way to add interest to your look. For dressy casual and cocktail attire, why not try a vintage shoe, like these from Daniel Green? (Back in the day, your mother or grandmother probably wore his gold, ivory or black leather wedge slippers around the house.) Both pairs are available on Etsy.com, a wonderful resource for vintage finds.

capricorne_slipper1.jpgThis black brocade pair (from seller capricorne) are accented with black piping detail and metallic gold, pink and teal thread. I also love the scalloped detail on the instep; very Arabian Nights! And even better: the smoking slippers provide an excellent alternative to heels. These would look great with a smartly tailored suit (come see a PERFECT little black suit this at Fashion Friday this week!), a cigarette pant and blouse or even tailored denim and a luxe sweater or silk blouse. These are $38 plus shipping, and are in “excellent vintage [condition] with the gentlest of wear and no flaws.”

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The second pair (from Birmingham seller TwirlVintageCo.) reminds me of Cinderella’s slippers – so romantic. The use of PVC and lucite in shoes is a major trend right now (see Christian Louboutin’s ‘UnBout’), and these would perfectly complement a floor-length gown. I love that they have a super cute, silver sequined bow accent at the toe for a touch of sparkle. These $42 mules have a 3 1/2 inch heel and are open-toed – meaning please skip the hosiery, and show off your pedicure instead!

A word of caution: vintage shoe sizing is usually smaller than the modern foot. So before you purchase, please be sure to compare your shoe size against the shoe’s measurements to ensure a perfect fit. It would be a shame to purchase something fabulous that you can’t wear!

Images via capricorne and TwirlVintageCo.

In which I camp out at Target and toss sequins over ABC 33/40

       Click HERE to watch what happens live, as Chanda Temple and I visit ABC 33/40 to promote Fashion Friday! (Click on each picture to see full-size versions.)

Darkness, everybody...darkness!

Darkness, everybody…darkness!

Recognize my lovely blouse? Of course you do. It was every woman for herself last Saturday morning at the Target + Neiman Marcus launch.   I roused myself at 5AM to camp out at Hoover West SuperTarget and met Jenny Luttrell and her daughter Anna-Laura from Hoover, who were also in pursuit of designer fashion at deep discounts.  The ladies arrived impressively prepared with camping chairs and snacks, while I parked it on the concrete (It was early. My only “plan “was to grab the shirt and get out, quickly. I didn’t think about the two hours and a half hours I’d have to kill while exposed to the elements).  The Ladies Luttrell and I amused ourselves by reading Neiman Marcus’ twitter feed, but quickly abandoned that when we realized shoppers in other cities being treated to coffee, a hot chocolate bar and cookies and were “glamping” on plush sofas. (Not that we were down in the mouth long; Target’s managers were kind enough to bring us breakfast.)

All we saw for several hours were joggers and curious “regular” shoppers looking to make more conventional purchases once the doors opened at 8.  By 7:45, at least 4 others had joined us in line.  Which meant there was really no reason for me to break out into a sprint once the doors were opened,  but I felt a burst of adrenaline so powerful that I lit out anyway, grabbing the object of my obsession as well as something for my mother.

Sunrise on the curb

Sunrise on the curb

There was no couture-mad crowd, no melee over Marc Jacobs, no come to Jesus moments over Oscar de la Renta, and no shoppers were maimed in the name of Marchesa.  I really wish Marchesa had created something special for grown ladies, especially when I saw one pocket-sized, ingenious young woman had tried on one of the GORGEOUS ivory Marchesa party dresses that I couldn’t pull over my kneecaps. Sigh.

Anyway, on Monday I paired my top with dark denim and nude pumps, which complemented my newly-red hair (courtesy of James Adams at Renovare), to illustrate a dressy casual look for our visit to ABC 33/40’s Talk of Alabama. I was feeling pretty snazzy when I tweeted my photo and even snazzier when Target unexpectedly rewarded me with a $25 gift card!

You’re invited to Fashion Friday!

Need help taking your look from day to night, decoding tricky dress codes? Do you want to know how to look glam on a budget?  Join style blogger Alexis Barton for Fashion Friday at the Birmingham Public Library on Friday, December 7 at noon, as she shares tips to help you dress your best for social occasions.  The event is free, and the pleasure of your company is required!

The workshop will be held in the Central Library’s Arrington Auditorium (located at 2100 Park Place), and is brought to you by the Birmingham Public Library and Birmingham Magazine.

Special thanks to Chanda Temple!

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