I 🖤 Birmingham

Hat: Aviate | Blazer: Tuckernuck | Denim: J. Crew | Tank Top: Target | Scarf: Madewell

Have y’all missed me? I’ve missed you, and it’s so good to be back!

I’ve been working like mad (with the Birmingham Association of REALTORS and The 1987 Supply Co.) making a documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act’s passage! I am SO happy I got to wear my “journalist” hat again, and have had an amazing experience talking to people who fought and worked for years so that we have the ability to live where we want. You can find out more HERE, and if you’re in the Birmingham area on October 12, I hope you’ll join us for the premiere in Railroad Park!

P.S. I hope my opinion on wearing white after Labor Day is clear: it’s a definite “DO,” with a few exceptions. Save your summer-weight fabrics for the warmer months and wear your more substantial fabrics when the temperature drops. White pumps? Yes. White nurses shoes? No ma’am!

XO, Alexis

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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

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

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

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

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

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 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

 

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