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.

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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.]

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

 

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

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 

 

Still rolling

Roll Tide, darlings!  The Tide faces off with Clemson tonight, so I’m showing some school spirit in my vintage Starter jacket, with black on black separates from J. Crew underneath. The fringed sandals just make it even more feminine, which I think is key to styling an athletic jacket. Why should guys have all the fun in rocking them, and why should they be limited to weekends?  (Even better: the jacket is machine washable!) The jacket’s major pop of color is coordinated with my signature Ruby Woo lip.

A very special thank you to Derrick A. Curry of Camera Play Photography for handling the photo shoot! Check out his work and like his business’ page on Facebook by clicking HERE.

 

J. Crew invites you…

  
Happy shopping!

Xo, Alexis 

SCDD talks #MagicCityClassic style


Our editor-in-chic had a blast talking style on Talk of Alabama this morning. If you missed it live, watch the replay by clicking HERE.

Bleu et blanc

My summer style obsession is this simple mix of color and pattern. I can’t decide if it reminds me of the beach, or just my parents’ collection of ginger jars. J. Crew’s striped shift has enough visual interest that  I finally broke down and wore horiziontal stripes!

Simple and chic, no? InStyle definitely agrees, as they dressed July cover girl Zoe Saldana in it also!

Siren London “Bleu de Chine” set, $40
J. Crew Striped Tuxedo shift, $98

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