A few weeks ago I had to share David Watkins’ blog post on Men’s Cocktail Attire. I think David has such great taste, and he is one of my Go-To guys for thoughts, opinions, advice —anything on men’s style. If you follow me over on Instagram, you already know I spend a fair amount of my time at men’s clothing store Tabor when I am personal shopping or editorial styling for men. Last week Tabor shared some of David’s top picks from their store right now. I loved it so much, again I had to share it with you! Go see the great threads and folks over at Tabor—and go see David at House of Abbeydale— and tell them I said hello!
It’s Taylor and I’m back talking about my favorite spring trends! Whitley and I are drooling over this Spring’s hottest color: Yellow. If you read my All Dolled Up blog post, you already know I hinted at my obsession, and yes, I did order that amazing A.L.C dress. The best part about a clear color trend is that you don’t have to wait to buy it, or, in the back of your head you never wanted to throw away that “ugly” yellow sweater you swore you would never wear again! Ahead, check out the cutest pieces to start incorporating into your wardrobe NOW!
This super cute Striped Linen Skirt for a dinner at the beach, Paulina Rouched Bikini Top and Mid- Waisted Bottom, Throw on a pair of sandals or wedges with this Marietta Maxi for comfort + class, Super Lunar Sunnies, I bought a throw on yellow cardigan last summer like This RtA one, and I wear with everything! Bring style to the office with this Sleeveless Midi Coat, Little expensive but boy do I NEED this Floral Embroidered Tank, These Neon Joggers, So happy platforms aren’t going out of style anytime soon, put these Paloma Barcelo Sandles in my cart!
I am too excited to switch over my winter closet to spring and summer, fingers crossed it gets warm FAST! I hope these pieces help you start incorporating yellow into your closets!!
Have a great week!
Last night—with GREAT anticipation—I attended the opening party for Elston. After years owning and operating ChezElle Boutique, Laryn Adams has returned to the Charlotte market doing her thing. Laryn’s store, like her, was known for delivering first rate on all things edgy, funky, sexy and cool….ChezElle closing left a mega huge hole in the Charlotte fashion market. Now, teaming up with Stephanie Reynolds to bring us Elston— a mobile shoe and accessories boutique for brands previously not available in Charlotte— I would call Elston somewhat of a resurrection. A very welcomed one at that.
Elston’s mobile pop up showroom is actually a glass front truck that travels from one location to the next. While the truck is still under construction you can check out Elston at their temporary location at 4101 Park Rd. next to Flourshop in the back court of Park Road Shopping Center. Sneakers, heels, booties, slides, earrings, bracelete, bangles and more… Check out a few of Elston’s fab styles here.
Hey y’all it’s Taylor here!! Hope you all are doing well. Today I’m going to talk about one of Whitley’s favorite summer essentials, and mine— one that I constantly struggle with: Jean Shorts. Finding the right fit in anything denim sometimes feels impossible… too tight, too short, too long… never just right. SO, below I’ve listed my favorite brands based on body types. I hope this helps!
I’m a girl with an athletic build, big thighs and a bigger butt. I’ve gone through many…MANY purchases and returns on jean shorts. Last spring I actually bought a shopping cart on Shopbop with 10 pairs of shorts and not a single one worked. ugh. BUT, I finally found my favorite (also affordable) brand: AGOLDE. They’re long enough to not let anything hang out, perfectly mid-waisted, and loose. I own both the Parker Vintage style in the dark & light wash and I wear ALL summer long.
For long or short skinny legs, Rag & Bone Jeans is for you! I’ve tried so hard to make them fit because they’re sooo cute but sadly, they never will. These are my best friend’s fav brand and they look BOMB on her.
7 For All Mankind are my go-to brand of denim jeans! For comfy, stretchy, and tight fitted check out these styles below! They offer different lengths and coverage for any age! Also a tip for buying 7 For All Mankind denim…I never buy them full priced! They go on sale QUICK!
Happy Weekend Y’all! It’s Whitley. Does anyone else love the prairie dress as much as I do? I’ve always been a fan of the notion that you don’t need to show a lot of skin to be sexy. The prairie dress is definitely the furthest thing from the usual definition of sexy, but there is something about the demure cut, those ruffles or puffed sleeves and ladylike gather at the waist that still read sexy to me.
While doing some client prep work I picked up a new-to-me St. Gillian by Kay Under 1980’s prairie dress perusing the racks at Stash Pad. I have always loved a full length dress. You can see how I styled the dress on my Instagram page.
Below are a few prarie dress favorites for your shopping pleasure. Just click on the item name below to shop links left to right.
Lena Hoschek Credit Crunch Jaquard Dress, Lena Hoschek Highlander Plaid Dress, Ulla Johnson Salma Embroidered Cotton Gown, Vintage Boho Set… (If you like this you beter grab it before I do!), Lena Hoschek Labour Denim Midi Dress, Batsheva Ruffle Trimmed Floral Lame Short Pairie Dress, Lena Hoschek Prairie Patterned Cotton Dress, Lena Hoschek Sargeat Camoflage Dress, Ulla Johnson Audelia Silk Floral Dress
Also DYING for this Prairie Patterened Cotton dress by Lena Hoschek
And can you believe?! This precious short Ulla Johnson prairie style dress is called the WHITLEY!!! I love it and think I need it!
So are you loving the prairie dress as much as me?
As a personal stylist, I get to enjoy styling both men and women. Obviously, styling women comes more naturally. Regardless of the gender, however, I like to rely on my resources and retail partners to also weigh in with their personal thoughts and opinions. I know what I like and not so much, but I tend to operate with a collective mindset in everything I do. I love hearing what others say and in doing so I find that I am able to keep learning and growing in my own craft. One of the local male style setters I admire most is David Watkins, founder of the men’s custom suiting line, Abbeydale. David was one of the first people I met when I started to pursue my passion for style as a career. He is one of my go-to guys for assistance, opinion, guidance and direction with men’s styling and custom suit making for my male clients. I included him in the 2018 Charlotte Most Stylist IT List in SouthPark Magazine.
On Sunday’s, over his “Sunday Morning Coffee” blog post, we get to hear a snipet of David’s thoughts on dressing. I was particularly intrigued and excited to learn David’s take on Men’s Cocktail Attire. David and I have always agreed on the importance of male dressing. Go see David at his uptown shop— I know you too will be impressed! Enjoy the article by David below, and like he says, don’t be the golf slacks guy!
From The Desk of David Watkins / Founder + Gentleman
OK, I have to admit, after recently being asked to attend a charity event that called for "cocktail attire" I googled it.
Yeah, I know, I should probably know this off-hand and I kinda did, but wanted to double-check.
One of the reasons why I always feel the need to check in on this stuff is as time goes ticking by, so does tradition.
There are rules traditional menswear was based off of and then there are new rules for modern dressing.
Because the whole concept of dressing well is also dressing comfortably, you need to feel good in your surroundings.
Yes, I believe you can feel over dressed even if you may not be, according to the rules.
In leu of all of this I thought I would throw together a quick guide for dressing the part when cocktail attire is called for.
Also, not that I would recommend breaking tradition in any manner, I’ll let you know where you can bend the rules a bit.
So, What is Cocktail Attire?
A term that originated in the 20’s describing a code of dress for quasi-formal events.
I’ve often thought it was born from convenience so guys could leave the office and head straight to an event without the need to change.
I mean, in the 20’s cats were dressing sharp everyday anyway, so it makes sense to me.
Today, you would need to take off the tech polo golf shirt and make a lil effort.
What to wear for Cocktail Attire?
It will not be overtly formal like the evening dress (white tie) or semi-formal (black tie) dress code.
I would opt for a sharp and sophisticated look paying tribute to the originators.
Wear a classic, understated suit with a focus on darker tones (navy or gray for me but black works as well).
I would most likely wear a white shirt and ground the entire look with a round toe oxford or a double monk.
I would wear a tie, but for some, this may not be needed (bending rules here).
Either way, definitely wear a pocket square…you have to "finish" the outfit. Always.
Are Sport Coats OK?
Traditionally speaking - nah.
But again, know your setting and who’s in the room.
If you’re hosting, do what you want.
The CEO invited you…dress up a bit.
Chances are you'll be drinking and socializing, so I want you to be comfortable.
Stick with a dark navy and nothing loud and over the top if you go the route of separates.
So, what did I notice at the recent "cocktail attire" event I attended?
Most people wore suits…some sport coats and some just had no clue and wore golf pants (with white shoes!)
Don’t be the golf slacks guy.
Hello Everyone!! My name is Taylor Riley. I am a senior at Charlotte Country Day School and Whitley has given me the honor to guest write on her fabulous blog! I am excited to explore my style and share it with all of you. Right now Whitley and I are obsessing over this spring’s top trends, and specifically the All Dolled Up edit. If you know anything about Whitley, you know she loves pattern mixing, florals, bold colors and all over statement dressing. These extravagant dresses from your favorite designers may not be in your price range, so we’ve discovered some look-a-likes in this spring’s most on trend patterns and colors.
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Dolce & Gabbana is hitting the spot on the Runaway with all these frills and colors. What’s more Whitley than funky florals and chunky layers?
Although you can’t find anything better than D&G’s luxurious gowns…click the links below for effortless class.
Marc Jacobs is making me feel like a fairy princess in this voluminous-sparkly fantasy. Rose gold isn’t going anywhere, and neither are sparkles!
I hope these gorgeous spring trends got you craving! Check out 100 more on Harper Bazaar’s hottest trend list. Hope you all have a fabulous week & thanks for reading!
Whitley & Taylor
Hello Everyone!! I am back after a very busy 5 months! I’ve been running around the QC styling pretty men and women, conducting photoshoots for several regional publications including SouthPark Magazine, QC Exclusive, Ballantyne Magazine and much more, and I’m back and more ready than ever to keep you up to date on all things fashion that inspire me, including this spring’s hottest styles!
Let’s talk about how AMAZING the weather has been this week in Charlotte. Will it be 70 degrees one day and winter again next week? Probably, but let’s enjoy it while it lasts. Hot weather also means Spring Break is right around the corner. While your summer bod may not be ready yet, let’s make sure your spring break style is!
* * * * * Let’s start with bathing suits—obviously the biggest essential on your getaway list. It may not be the most conventional time to start thinking of buying (or wearing) swimwear since its the dead of winter, but for those of you taking off on a tropical holiday vacation, welcome to the content ahead!
Nothing is more flattering than a simple black one piece. You know how much I love all those funky patterns, but you can ALWAYS pull out your go to black one-piece when summer rolls around. Just click the link to shop any of the below pieces.
1. Yellow is one of my favorite colors. Add a dash of leopard with this Karla Colletto V Neck Yellow Leopard- tie up-one-piece-heaven. Please someone buy for me. Ugh.
2. I also love this new Solid & Striped Leopard Belted piece. This year, belted one pieces are everywhere. Class.
3. Mara Hoffman Leopard Bandeau Simple and straightforward effective.
Now onto clothing… Everything Ramy Brook I adore for an easy go-to. You can throw these pieces on with a wedge to dress it up, or simply wear them as a cover up.
Pom Pom’s and tassles are a style that doesn’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon, especially in the south! Here are a few statement pieces for your next sunset dinner in the islands…
Hello! I am back with another segment I produced this past spring for WBTV's Morning Break show! This one was one of my favorites because it was all about dressing for a Royal Wedding, which meant that I got the opportunity to dress up like a princess on tv--I mean what could be more fun than that? Here is a clip of the segment.
Now, just because all of us may not be going to a royal wedding doesn't mean that we can't bring aspects of the royal dress code to other weddings we are attending. For example, I LOVE the idea of wearing extravagant hats or fascinators to a wedding--they are very elegant, yet a fun way to amp up your wedding style. Here are some of my favorite hats and dresses that would be great for any high noon or dressier weddings in the South. Shop some of my favorites in the blow collage to don your next wedding in the very best style!
A couple months ago I had the pleasure of visiting the WBTV studios to help with a segment on Spring and Summer Trends. A few trends I have been most excited with for the warm weather seasons are Floral, All Over Bling, and Sheer-specifically Tulle. Check out the video below to see the segment on those trends!
Here are some of my favorite pieces I found for each trend below. Just click on the caption below to purchase any item. Which one is your favorite??
For summer, I've been loving two-piece sets. The best part about two-piece sets is it does the styling for you--great for those who are always on the go! Sets give the matchy-matchy look without trying too hard. Although matching sets together create an entire outfit in no time, it is also fun to mismatch sets. For example, I paired this Wayf crop top with an amazing leopard print skirt from Topshop (similar here and here); the pairing may not necessarily "match" but somehow combine to make an awesome night out look!
I've listed a few of my fave sets below. I love that there are sets available in all types of bottoms, which gives the freedom to choose both day and night looks that you can dress up or down with ease. I'm OBSESSED with the floral sets for summer vacations at the beach!
I am trying to get caught up here on the Queen City Style, and I am certain it will not ever truly completely happen; there is so much I want to share! Does anyone else find themselves distracted by squirrels with just about every turn they take? Lately, that's me. Most important of all, my two precious peanuts keep me so so busy... I find motherhood to be more and more exciting, fun and rewarding at every stage. We just returned from the beach. I basically want to soak them both up every single second, like the sun. Look at these two handsome studs!
The May fashion editorial for SouthPark Magazine was probably one of my favorite projects to date. Olly Yung, as always, was brilliant behind the camera. We enlisted native Charlottean and my beautiful on the inside and out friend, Brooke Hall , to be our model. Mega-star hair and makeup artist gal pal Jami Svay did her thing. So much of this project was about Brooke. Brooke defines embullient beauty, and so it was really necessary that SHE be the model, showcasing the very best fashions I could get my hands on around select original spots in our great city. These images are so life-giving for me. I hope you enjoy them too!
Hi everyone! While it has been a wonderfully busy couple of months, sadly, it also means I have not had time to post on the blog. I missed y'all and hope all is well! The good news is I am back and have come to tell you about Mouchkine Jewelry, a jewelry company in Paris, France that I have been obsessed with (via their Instagram) for a while. They have such unique pieces--kinda remind me of the Dolce & Gabbana aesthetic-- with the extravagant florals that make a great statement to any outfit. They were kind enough to send me the most killer amazing pair of earrings shown below picture. I am absolutely in love with these and have no other earrings quite like them, making them an awesome addition to my collection, and potentially yours as well!
What's great is that they are currently having a sale on a ton of their pieces! I've linked a few of my faves below! You MUST check out this company. They have THE coolest pieces.
Lots of you here know my appreciation for great one of a kind threads at ANY price. Because of my early exposure to great fashion by way of my Grandmother and Great-Grandmother, I have a strong affinity for high end vintage clothing and accessories. I am naturally drawn to anything that will yield a one of a kind look. This usually leaves me not purchasing off the rack but insteaded shopping vintage or creating curated looks made up of pieces from here, there and, well, everywhere! Remember this dress?
It's a great Malia of Honolulu vintage frock; one of my favorite little summer dresses.. and guess where I found it? You got it. GW Goodwill! A little treasure hunting, and you never know what you will find at Goodwill. You might remember my GW segment with Jon Wilson talking all about it while wearing a fab DVF dress I found there. With my personal styling work for private clients comes lots of closet editing. I encourage clients whose taste changes over time to lovingly pass on some of their things that were once favorites but are no longer getting their fair wear. From J.Crew to Givenchy, and for a fraction of the price, you can find it at Goodwill.
And NOW... Teaming up with Goodwill to help spread the word about GW boutique and The Goodwill Opportunity Campus is my friend, fellow stylist and fashion insider, Stacee Michelle! With her bubbly personality and always camera ready smile, Stacee shares some of her favorite GW finds! The Goodwill Opportunity Campus on Wilkinson Blvd is a state-of-the-art facility providing the most comprehensive collection of resources and opportunities for individuals facing multiple barriers to employment. It's a campus like you've never seen. You gotta check it out... AND Stacee's fab Goodwill finds!
Let's be honest. We're all dreaming of it. All the time, no? The season is starting to show intermittment signs of warmth. Weather wise, we're in a very unpreditcable part of the south. One day it's 25 degrees, two days later it's 65. It's how we roll. Realistically speaking, we should expect cold weather to be around for 4-6 more weeks. But each and every time it's sunshiny and warmer, like this past weekend running in shorts and short sleeves, I get the itch for the pool to go ahead and open! Clearly Lauren's got warmer weather on the brain. She sent over this vacation board that has me wanting and ready for bathing suit and shorts weather! Spring Break is just around the corner... Yippee!
This lush modern black and creme towel goes with any beach outfit, be it for he or she.
What's your favorite day of the week? Start a conversation by wearing this on the wrong day!
I am really loving Zimmerman, especially their flirty frocks perfect for summer. These painted heart lace up shorts are so stinking cute. Meghan Markle would totally wear.
It's that time again! Pam and I are hosting our Spring 2018 Day of Style & Fun next Tuesday, March 20th, 11-7pm. Grab your most fashion-loving friends, and get ready for a day of style, fun and LOTS of the bubbly. Headed into our fifth show with House of Landor, we enjoy bringing new talented artists into the mix at each show. This show will include:
Click on the artist's name above to see more on each of them, and below are more pictures to wet your appetite! Hope to see you there!
Last but not least, shop my personal favorite accessories feature--the Elevated Bohemian, along with Outdoor Pizazz for all those Southern Gents--in the current issue of Ballantyne Magazine!
Shop the Elevated Bohemian + Outdoor Pizazz Edits HERE if you are unable to see the below images in your reader.
- The Navy Khloe Bag sourced from The Cheeky Bean is a great accessibly priced rendetion of the Chloe Marcie Bag.
- The gold and turquoise Byzantine neckace from Ballantyne Jewelers .. To Die For!! Totally elevated boheme. This one is cool.
- Not to mention the Loeffler Randall sequin embroidered booties now on Mega Sale.
- The beaded and bedazzled belt from Anthropologie was so good I got one for myself and a client.
- The Sporting Gent offered up lots of great finds for your favorite Outdoorsman, starting with the Red's Outfitters Contender Sunglasses for all outdoorsy occasions.
- Try some fly fishing cufflinks for your favorite fisherman.
- The Duck's Back and Like A Fish Copper Flasks are so clever.
- Grab an Old North State belt for your favorite Tar Heel.
So your man is a man about town? Well we totally got him totally covered with our round up of goodies for the Worldly Weekender in the current issue of Ballanytne Magazine. Thanks to Ballantyne Jewelers, Neiman Marcus and Taylor Richards & Conger, we were able to source some of the finest threads our city has to offer the gents.
- Grab Troubadour's leather and nylon rucksack bag for his next overnight getaway.
- If you're man is a denim snob, well these are the jeans for him.
- This classic watch from Ballantyne Jewelers should be perfect for just about any and every guy.
- I'm not really into jewelry on a man, but there is one thing I have been digging the past few years. I love the leather wrap bracelet especially in brown. TRC recommends one by Ben Pipano.
- The chicest men's hoodie.
Shop all of the Worldly Weekender edit below and HERE if you are unable to view in your reader.
In case you haven't picked out your ensebmle for the Mint Museum Auxiliary's upcoming Black and White Party, Lauren has put together a host of lovely (and hot!) outfit options for you. And if you're not attending the Black and White Party, these are still some great finds for any upcoming spring soiree!
Click HERE to shop all of the below looks.
Sourcing some of the best retailers in the QC, we included some hot looks for the Polished Professional and High Fashion Gent also in this month's issue of Ballantyne Magazine. One of my favorite hidden gems in the city is Nouveaux Consignment, located in the heart of Ballantyne. If there is one thing I love it is high fashion and a not high price. Nouveaux Consignment has a great collection of designer threads gently used and ready to be passed on to the next lucky owner.
- The black and white leather Tory Burch bag with resin chain sold the day I returned it from being photographed. Do not dismay, there are plenty other amazing finds!
- The teal shade of blue on these Celine sunglasses from Nordstrom is fiercely cool.
- The Epice denim cherry pop scarf from TRC W would be so chic styled under the Eleventy red fedora and paired with the Celine sunnies.
- Who wouldn't want a custom made 2.13 carat band like the one we styled from Ballantyne Jewelers?
- I love a red fedora. SO strong and chic.
- Michele seems to be the popular brand theses days for women's watches. How about this two-toned diamond watch from Ballantyne Jewelers?
Shop the Entire Polished Professional Edit HERE.
High Fashion Gent
- This Fendi Monster Neoprene and Leather Tote is totally fun. The entire collection is pretty neat I have to say.
- My girl Kristin Hayes is making great pieces for men too. If your guy is a cool guy, the oxidized sterling custom dog tag is a neat way for him to keep important dates close at heart.
- These velvet Ferragamo loafers are perfect for more than just Hugh Hefner in the playboy mansion!
Shop the entire High Fashion Gent edit HERE.