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.


We love: MILLY for Kohl’s DesigNation

Boy, do I need a vacay! Since I can’t take one just yet (thanks, grad school!) I can fantasize about it….or I could shop for it via the Milly for DesigNation Collection at Kohls! Even better: available pieces are now half off!

Entertainment Tonight! correspondent Brooke Anderson picked her favorite look for us via Twitter (see above)! She chose the Striped Pleated dress (now $35).

And here are my favorite looks:

Look 8: Scuba Crop Top and Solid Midi Scuba Skirt

Look 15: Capri Graphic Tank and Solid Midi Scuba Skirt

Striped Fit and Flare Dress

Happy shopping!

Xo, Alexis

This Thursday…


…find your perfect pants at J. Crew!

Whether you’re looking for skinny, slim, wide leg, straight leg or drapey options, they can hook you up. I’ve got my eye on the Reese Pant in neon persimmon.  I’m just not sure about the elastic waist, although I love the pair I received last year. The streamlined Martie Pant is more my speed…but they don’t come in neon persimmon!  I’m definitely not sold on the short culottes I see people wearing.  But that’s the point of this event and the Very Personal Stylists: to help you discover options you might avoid initially.

Plus, did you know J. Crew offers teachers and college students a 15% discount (in-store only) on regularly-priced merchandise with valid ID? Well, now you know…and knowing is half the battle!

Happy shopping!

Join me for Girls’ Night Out at Belk!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*Note: Belk has provided me with compensation for this post and my appearance at the event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

Darlings, shake off those winter blahs and spring forward into warm-weather fashion with Belk (and me!) on Thursday, March 12 at the Summit location! The garden party-themed soirée will feature light bites, wine and music from Scratch DJ, as well as fashion tips from yours truly. And yes: there will be discounts (20% off with limited exclusions) and giveaways!

The event is from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Belk (the Summit location). Swing by; I’d love to see (and shop) with you!

Check out a sneak peek at what I’m wearing: this lovely Ruffle-Top Slim Dress by 1 State’s Spring 2015 line (seen also in the slides how above). I was looking for an updated LBD and this is a winner! The flirty ruffle accent keeps it fun, but I don’t feel over-exposed thanks to the wide straps and knee-length hem. It can easily be dressed up or down, and I can’t wait to show you how I’ll style it this spring (hint: leopard may be involved). And 1 State has several other stylish, contemporary options on the second floor!

Not in the Birmingham area? Other Girls’ Night Out events are being held at Belk locations in Tuscaloosa, Spanish Fort and Mobile, AL (Bel-Air Mall), in Pensacola FL (Cordova Mall), and in Atlanta, GA (Phipps Plaza) and Franklin, TN (Cool Springs Galleria).

Hope to see you March 12!

XO, Alexis


Hello, Spring!

Get into it, darlings! I couldn’t wait another day for the seasons to change – and with it, my wardrobe! I wear a lot of seasonless pieces (which is easier on the budget), but I’m looking to breathe some new life into my look this year.

Pantone has already declared Radiant Orchid to be the color of the year, but there are numerous other options to play with this Spring, as shown here:


I’ve already stepped out of my comfort zone by incorporating some rich blue into my life by way of J. Crew, as well as with Essie’s baby blue “Bikini So Teeny” nail polish. And I’m kinda loving it!

Now that we know which colors are haute this season, which trends should you be considering? I rely on Belk’s uber-glam style maven Arlene Goldstein’s trend reports, and this year we can look forward to what she deems “fierce, yet feminine looks with delicate and daring statements.” Her top three style statements this season are the

  • “Jetsetter”– featuring multi-cultural, ikat and camo prints and elements which speak to your spirit of adventure (perfect with the gladiator sandals and flats you’ll be wearing as well!),
  • “Feminine Charms” – exuding  elegance and marked by appliques, florals, lace, sheer fabrics and fit-and-flare silhouettes in white and navy, and
  • “Clean Slate” – for those of you who prefer minimalist chic, geometric elements, classic yet graphic black and white and edgy statement jewelry.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The only trend I’m not looking forward to? The return of the chunky-heeled shoe. Ugh. But there’s plenty to choose from, and these smoking-haute stilettos from Dolce Vita ($179.99) are on my lust-list.  And as if we needed another excuse to shop, Belk has a Spring Fashion Sale going on now!


Ready to rock a new trend? Stay tuned: we have a *giveaway* planned for tomorrow!

Images via Belk

Love. This.


This Collection Eyelet Jumpsuit (in pink and navy, $298) by J. Crew has “Spring” written all over it. *sigh* One more day to go, darlings…just one more day!

I love the ease of one-piece dressing, and this lovely look will suffice for a variety of occasions.  Jumpsuits can easily read “astronaut in training” or “baby onesie” if the fit is off or if there are too many embellishments. J. Crew gets it right by showing that easy does it…effortlessly.

Image via J. Crew

The struggle is real…

Don’t let this be you! Please buy shoes that actually fit your feet, ladies (and gents!). Pedicures won’t win you an “E” for effort in the shoe game this summer. There is no excuse for making your toes cling for dear life because you wouldn’t go up a size. Even if you ARE wearing Givenchy from head to (miserable) toe, Kim.

**In other news** a little birdy told me Birmingham shoppers can expect both C. Wonder and Madewell to be added to the stores at the Summit this fall (around October); stay tuned for more details!

Product review: Essie’s ‘Tart Deco’

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Even though most of us are still in tights and coats thanks to this wacky weather (temps above 55 degrees, where are you?!), I’m ushering in spring with Essie’s ‘Tart Deco’ nail polish. This color was originally released as part of Essie’s ‘The Art of Spring’ collection in 2010. I love a bright pop of coral, and this which glides on easily and without streaking; it has a satin finish. Something about it just said “Wear me with short, sundresses and sandals!” when I saw it in Target, which has an amazing selection of nail polish. Essie costs $7-8 per bottle, and comes in a variety of bright and subtle shades and finishes. I forgot to get a bottle of my usual fast drying topcoat for this DIY manicure, but here’s a little secret: LA Color’s Rapid Dry nail treatment works just as well in a pinch, and can be found at Dollar Tree!

Chic Essential: The Caftan

We’re not talking muu-muus here.  Caftans (and tunics) are to your spring and summer wardrobe what sheath dresses are for the working girl: a definite must have.  You can throw one on and with minimal effort, you’re basically done.  Whether you choose a pretty pattern or a solid color, an already-embellished version or add your own statement necklace or cuff, you can rock these to run errands, lounge by the pool or beach (they make great swimsuit cover-ups and are easy to pack), or to a backyard soiree.  (Side note: my grandmother LOVES them, and gives longer styles as presents.  They make fabulous hostess gowns and just scream “Have cocktails in the casbah with me, dahling.  Or a daiquiri on the patio. Your choice.”)

Love your legs? Then by all means, bare them: caftans easily mimic mini dresses.  If you’d like more coverage, wear them over shorts, jeans, linen slacks, palazzo pants or leggings.  They’re just that versatile and can go from casual to polished with a change of accessories and shoes.  Wedge sandals, canvas espadrilles, or capri sandals (metallic, brightly colored or bedazzled leather flip flops) are all you need to complete the look.  Be  sure to layer sheer fabrics with a cami underneath, and if the flowy style threatens to swallow you up, belt it!

What’s also lovely is this easy style is flattering on all body types! I am loving the bright, v-neck versions at Old Navy right now, which have slits at the sleeves and hem and are priced just under $20 before tax!  Having tried the orange print on, I advise that you go a size up for comfort and note the polished cotton doesn’t offer any “stretch.”  Want to spend a little more? Tory Burch’s offerings are synonymous with wearable, effortless chic.  And you can always search Ebay or your favorite consignment outpost for groovy vintage options.  If you’re really adventurous and want to break out your sewing machine, you can scoop a vintage pattern via Etsy and create your own!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Side note: this beaded Victoria’s Secret caftan is now in my closet and is as airy as a summer breeze (it will be worn with white skinnies and shorts).  The black on white Venus Swimwear version mimics the classic Tory Burch pattern and is my new beach cover-up;  it was a steal at $19!

Like SCDD’s Facebook page, or follow SCDD via Twitter!

Ask Alexis: Full-Figured and Fabulous

A fabulous reader and former co-worker recently asked me for options for plus size figures. 

My advice? No matter what size you are, buy items that fit your body and your lifestyle.  Clothes that are too tight or too loose are unflattering, no matter where you fall on the scale.  Play up the features you love: a tiny waist, to-die-for legs, and elegant neck or lovely shoulders.  If you need shapewear to help smooth your silhouette, by all means go for it.  And be sure your bra fits!  Take advantage of the complimentary fittings offered at Victoria’s Secret and buy underpinnings that support your curves. 

Draped and flowy maxi dresses are fine but don’t be afraid to show your curves! Try belting them to emphasize your waist.  If you have a classic coke-bottle shape, work a pencil skirt, or look for classic sheath dresses (also known as wiggle dresses) a la Mad Men’s Joan Holloway or Marilyn Monroe.  These dresses celebrate a fuller figure; check out Monif C’s Whitley” dress.  I advise against box pleats, bows or bulky pockets at the hip; sometimes they can add more visual weight to your look.  I suggest opting for softer pleats and gathering, as well as ruching.  Ruching is great because it camouflages problem areas and can create an hourglass figure.

When buying denim, make sure the hem falls long enough to cover about half of your shoes’ heel, and try fabrics with a touch of stretch.  Looking for a pair made to flatter curves? Check out Cj by Cookie Johnson (founded by Magic Johnsons’ wife and Hunstville native Cookie Johnson), which “offers more room in the thighs and derriere and comes up a bit higher in the back than most lines.”  Watch for waistbands that gap on pants; if something fits perfectly  in the rear and leg, have the waist taken in by a tailor.  Looking for flattering leggings? Try  ReDress NYC’s “teggings”: the hybrid tights+leggings boast a “stretchy, wearable fit” and “can be worn all day without slipping or sliding.”  And they’d be super cute under the retailer’s Cozumel Chevron tunic.  Want to emphasize your neckline?  Look for v-necks; they play up your decolletage beautifully. 

Check the length of your blouses; they should fall at your hip line.  Blazers continue to be chic for Spring, but make sure you aren’t selecting jackets that are boxy or shapeless; they add pounds!  Check the darts and seaming and be sure the jackets have more of a fitted shape.  Or try an open draped cardigan over a tank: with a necklace and jeans, you’re ready to go.

If you feel unsure about a stiletto heel, try a platform or wedge, like this one from Torrid (they also have cute clothes!).  Shoes should fit comfortably;  your feet shouldn’t bulge or strain against any straps.  No matter what size you are, you should be able to stride or sashay with confidence.  I also suggest opting for belts; they can create the illusion of a waist if you’re “straight up and down” like me, or to accentuate a small one.  And don’t skimp on jewelry: draw the eye to a bold statement necklace, cuff bracelet or earrings (but not all of the above simultaneously). 

Hands down some of the cutest pieces I’ve seen thus far are Monif C.’s convertible dresses.  They don’t compromise fabric choice or silhouette and although they range from $195 to $235, the designer promises “infinite possibilities” in terms of styling the dress.  Monif C. also invites you to sign up for their monthly $100 gift certificate giveaway!  The figure-flaunting dresses come in a rainbow of colors and are in a word, glamorous.    I also love ASOS Curve, which offers  well-tailored, trend-conscious pieces. 

Finally, check out fab designer Isaac Mizrahi’s tips HERE.  No matter what your size or price point, you shouldn’t have to settle for subpar style.

Like SCDD’s Facebook page, or follow SCDD via Twitter!

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: