Spring's Palette At Ballanytne Magazine

If you find yourself in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte be sure to grab a copy of the neighborhood's namesake publication.  Our team had a fun time capturing on camera the Work, Live, Play, Stay essence of this city within a city as I like to call it.  Looks were curated from all Ballantyne neighborhood stores, mixing hi + lo with new + consigned.  Styling relaxed looks of muted tones by day and glam brights for a night on the town, one thing's for sure, Ballantyne local mega model Olivia Pires shines around town!  Catch the entire story HERE, including outfit credits. Can you guess which outfit I would wear first? 

Monday Musings

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week!  A few musings from my corner of the world...

Precious Peanut #2 turned 6 this past Thursday! I mean look at him with his glasses and front tooth missing since he knocked it out running at the age of 2.  I know we all feel this way about our children, but I can't handle how much I want to eat him up!

Yellow, yellow, yellow!  Get ready to see this not so mellow color everywhere for summer.  I love the pleats and commanding power of this Tibi short silk dress I recommended for a client's upcoming photo shoot.  I saw this image Chloe campaign ad yesterday while on the stair climber at the Y.  Fashion lends itself in such magnificent ways! I say bring on the sunshine!

Speaking of Tibi, this Gothic Floral Edwardian dress is AMAZEballs and reminds me of a fab chinoiserie mural I'd love to have slathered across the back wall of a room.

While we're on the topic of all over print, I also LOVE this Ulla Johnson Vashti jacket. Unfortunately and fortunately (for my wallet) I've seen the print on two people in the last week (my clothing kiss of death), so I'll keep enjoying seeing it on other people!

The couple that dresses together stays together?  37 years strong of matching outfits.  

How the rich get stoned, as told in Town & Country, including a run down of the chicest weed accessories like this 80's Greek hand painted ashtray and lighter holder.

I so terribly badly would like to have these earrings.  I marvel over having seen them worn by a beautiful gal my age whose stepping out style is always on point.

My girl Ashley at Sweet Southern Prep looks so good with her cocktail in Charleston.  Think I might have to spring for these J.Crew sailorific trousers for summer!

My best friend's daughters are AMAZING in their rendition of Taylor Swift's Wildest Dreams. I mean if I had girls, I'd be doing this every day all day long, which I'm pretty sure they are. Click HERE to catch the Oscar performance for yourself.

And to round it out... Fab fashion, hot couples and great interior design... Jimmie and Chandra Johnson's Charlotte home featured in Garden & Gun by designer fav Barrie Benson is picture proof that dreams (and walls lacquered with more than twenty coats... at least for some) really do come true! 

Get The Look: My Foyer

Earlier this week I posted about my fab new foyer thanks to a little help from my friends over at Dressing Room Interiors and Deep Branch/K. Interiors!  As promised, here's a resource guide for the pieces in my foyer, as well as a design board with links to purchase.  I hope everyone is having a great week!

Foyer Restyle With Dressing Room Interiors + Permission And Perspective

Often times in my work I meet new clients who already have a clear sense of their own personal style.  Or perhaps they think something but simply struggle in closing their deal.  They WANT to wear this skirt with this top, but they just are not completely confident it would look right.  So here lies within the reason for my almost forty year old selfies Outfit Of The Day posts.  I feel quite silly at times, but then someone from the street or grocery aisle stops to say I inspired them to go for it... Be confident in themselves, put it together, and do it!  And my Wimmicks dots of insecurity gently fall to the ground or turn to stars.  

Sometimes all we need is permission.  And sometimes we need perspective that is not our own.  Isn't this the only way we learn more and grow and get better?  I am constantly looking to others' talent and inspiration when it comes to interior design, and whenever I get stuck, I want to know how someone else would do it.  I was forever calling my talented friend Katherine to come over and style my bookshelves and table tops before she moved to sunny Charleston. 

I went straight to BlackHawk Hardware for a can of paint after falling in love with Charlotte Lucas' choice of Lichen Green for the mill work in client's library.

My always #1 choice for vignette styling and accessories is Jamie Meares and Furbish Studio (see below Elephant figurine in images). I also nabbed a paper mache crane for my loo.

Lately I have been slightly obsessed with all the girls and their fab finds over at Deep Branch/K. Interiors and Dressing Room Interiors.  I mean I basically mashed together this image I saw on the K. Interiors inspiration board with THIS room at their studio to arrive at my own family room (Stay Tuned).  

I am a bargain gal, but who doesn't love high impact at an accessible cost?  Upon a recent Dressing Room Interiors Instagram stalk, I saw THIS sideboard and made a mad dash straight for their front door.  

I got the piece home and made a good start at it in my foyer but fell into one of those design ruts. That is when I reached out to Ariene for some help getting me back on my feet.  Ariene knows I love color, and she's got a killer eye not only for great pieces but for styling them.  Here is the piece in my foyer now...

And here is how Ariene helped me (over text!) get it to a place that I love...

And this is foyer now.  I walk in the door to this pretty space at the end of every day, and I walk down the steps every morning to see it!  Thanks to Ariene's beezneez eye, I am so happy with it!  

I'll be back soon with a resource guide of you like this look.  In the meantime, here's a look at some of the details up close, complete with a photo from a best friends wedding 10 years ago.  These girls have been my closest for over 30 years.  I was postpartum four weeks... the picture says it all!  Now, I recommend you run, not walk, and check out the Deep Branch and Dressing Room Interiors studio on 8th Street in Elizabeth.  It is filled with some of the most amazing consigned, refurbished and vintage pieces imaginable!

Jewelry Crush: Lele Sadoughi + Melinda Maria

It's been a while since I've fallen in love with a jewelry designer's entire collection or majority thereof.  A few factors usually come into play when this happens.

  1. I'm drawn in by a single showstopper piece.
  2. This single piece draws me in more to look up the designer and take a look at the entire collection.
  3. The price allows me to move from #1 to #2.

Prior to Lele Sadoughi, it happened with Melinda Maria when I laid eyes on this now discontinued Grecian Ring in Charleston and purchased it on the spot.  

Sadly, I misplaced the ring a couple of years ago and have been pining the loss ever since.  I tried to replace it with a couple of other show-stoppers.  I got close with one, but it is still not my first love.  I wore then ring with every outfit.  Isn't it a beaut?

My back ups were the black version of this one and another similar to this which I wear all the time and do love. In the meantime, I have fallen completely in love with designer Lele Sadoughi.  

I first discovered the designs when they were featured at Brandshop a few months ago in Charlotte.  Since then I have accessorized several clients with the creative, artful designs, and I have drooled over each and every piece for myself.  

I want these amazing (light weight!) earrings in both the blue and brown color options, as well as the coordinating ring

This square abalone ring somewhat reminds me of my Melinda Maria design favorites.

Who doesn't love a golden pagoda?!

And talk about the perfect summer statement necklace!

Shop my favorites below, or click HERE if you are unable to see the below images.

House Of Landor + ChezElle Jewelry + Piet Jac Designs + Arzberger Stationers

As promised.... We're Baaaaccckkkk!  Grab your most fashionable girlfriends, and please join us for what I proclaim with equal parts bias and confidence to be the most stylish day the Queen City has to offer.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at whitley@thequeencitystyle.com, however let this blog post serve as your personal invitation. House of Landor is my modern day representation for my Grandmother's and Great Grandmother's clothing, and my friend Pam's style is the human representation of this.  Therein lies my reason for the season.  We all hope to see you there!

Follow all the vendors in Instagram:

House of Landor...

Streamlining Your Wardrobe + The Impact Of Clothes + Southern Spring Show Giveaway Winners

One of my favorite parts about my work is knowing I have done something to help another person feel good about themselves. The clothes you wear are not just that.  They way you see yourself in your clothes, in the mirror, is a very powerful psychological thing.  Putting your best foot forward impacts not just the way others view you but is a reflection of how you view yourself.  

It was a fun surprise waking up to an awesome review about an upwardly mobile young lady's experience working with me to streamline her wardrobe in order to help break the cycle of over-consumption. At age 30, Caitlin is interested in having fewer, more quality pieces that will allow her to have a more refined and sophisticated wardrobe. Thanks to a joint effort with Simplicity + Spunky Avocado, I think we were able to help her achieve just that!  

I'm a working mom to two young VERY busy boys, and despite the fact that dressing up is part of my job, I wear my work out clothes many days just like everyone else.  It is true.  Your appearance sets the tone for the way others view you, so when you have a day "off," you don't have to always reach for those easy comfortable clothes.  It really does help to take a few more minutes to make the effort and put something on that is good looking.  If you think you or someone you know might enjoy a closet consultation or personal styling session with me, email me at whitley@thequeencitystyle.com.  I'd love to help!  Thanks to Simplicity, Spunky Avocado and Caitlin for this great opportunity.  You can read about Caitlin's full experience HERE

Last but not least, please read my comments in the blog post to see if you were the recipient of the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show ticket Giveaway!

My Finds At The Southern Spring Home & Garden Show + Ticket Giveaway

Last weekend I attended the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show with my parents and Precious Peanut #2.  My parents have the most beautiful little Charleston like backyard, complete with an ivy lathered brick wall, sweet little statuettes and the most amazing shrubs, perennials and grown cover imaginable.  It really is a dream of a space, and though not now, it is something I will aspire to attain one day.  Just like with home design projects, I sometimes find myself easily over excited and mentally transported into a magical dream with the infinite opportunities to create.  I want to do it all!  But let's be real.. not an easy thing to do when you are ignited by creativity.  Alas, we had a wonderful afternoon taking in all the Home & Garden inspiration imaginable in one space.  The show is laid out into three large spaces.  The first room, Liberty Hall, is dedicated to commercial home supply.  Think garage doors, roofing, appliances, hot tubs, outdoor play spaces, fireplace mantles, outdoor barns, etc.  Precious Peanut #2 got a taste for some awesome outdoor play sets as well as the "World's Safest and Smartest Trampoline"... And as you see, so did I.  Serious ups!

Leaving Liberty Hall, you walk down the ramp through the cafeteria with food... hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, homemade donuts, a root beer stand (and more!)... into Freedom Hall.  This space is dedicated to landscaping and outdoor spaces.  For those of you with a green thumb, there is so much inspiration to be had!  Wouldn't it be a convenient luxury to have a hot room to store all your potted flowers, plants and produce during the winter?  I also had to snap a pic of Peanut next to the VW Bug Convertible since that is the car my Dad drove for my entire childhood.  Sure do miss the "Volks."

Independence Hall is the third and final space, dedicated to all kinds of fun finds you can take home with you.  I nabbed some delicious Bloody Mary Mix to give to my neighbor that night as a hostess gift. Bruce Julian's (Milton's), now located on Selwyn Ave in Myers Park, is one of North Carolina's oldest family owned men's clothiers.  Turns out clothes aren't the only good thing they do. 

How much fun are these inflatable sofas/beds?  They sell factory direct for $100 each, but at the show they are $60 each or two for $100.

Capel Rugs is on site with lots of great home furnishings, accessories and, of course, rugs.  I love these brass and moss green velvet stools, and the quartz style glass trinket box would make a stylish hostess gift (under $20!).

Mom snagged a little potted plant (herb?) and I am attempting to lovingly keep alive my favorite house plant, my third and final fiddle leaf fig!

Loved meeting JD of Charlotte's own Glory Days Apparel!  He's got lots of great Charlotte and North Carolina nostalgia tees, including the very clever and funny Selwyn Pub/Quail Hollow/Golf Cart commemorative tee. I snagged a Tar Heel tee!

Precious Peanut had fun playing coinhole!  Super fun table top game for $10.  Another great hostess gift idea personalized with your friend's alma mater.

I'd like to have a few of these relaxing swinging chairs on my patio...

I've got a pair of tickets to GIVE AWAY for next weekend's show.  Simply comment here if you are interested in going!

Blair Eadie's Best + Southern Spring Home & Garden Show

Hello Everyone!  It's been a very busy couple of weeks, and I'm grateful for that!  So I'm sorry I've been away for a bit... Did you miss me?  Just a short little ditty today, but well worth it.  I think Blair Eadie has outdone herself with her latest outfit post.  The girl does NOT miss a beat.  It doesn't hurt having one of the most coveted closets in all the land.  But somebody's gotta be that girl, eh?  See the full post HERE

I'm excited to be headed to the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show tomorrow with my parents and Precious Peanut #2 (Heaven help we do not "you break it, you buy it" everything in site! :).  I think this unseasonably warm spring like weather has got us all excited to be outside, and I don't know about you, but with that I always want to be working on a beautiful outdoor space.  It is an area I have only little experience, but like interiors, I always love looking and getting great ideas.  I'll be posting about my finds from the show and excited to be giving away tickets for one reader and their guest(s) for the show next weekend, March 3-5, so stay tuned if you want those tickets to be yours!  

Black Turtlenecks + At What Age They Should/Should Not Be Worn

Ya'll, I have the best clients in the world.  Women and men, all ages, style preferences that run the gamut.  I am not kidding, they are ALL fantastic people.  A few years ago while I was describing my personal clientele to someone, I summed it up something like "Well, they're smart, hard-working people, like you.  They are well-mannered.  They're grateful, great people. I enjoy being around all of them."  My client is the one who said "that should be your tagline!"  And so, I am proud to call myself stylist to the Smart, Hard-Working and Well-Mannered.  I did have this one really wicked quick, funny awesome, trail-blazing in her very own way client who joked at me when she saw the salutation on my email... Something along the lines of "Whitley, can't you tell I am anything BUT well-mannered!?"  I told her two out of three ain't bad.  My people are the bomb, and I am lucky for it. 

Fast forward to last week, I met with the most delightful lady who came to me by way of Christmas present from her daughter. This gal is an attractive, engaging young 62-year-old who spends most of her time with her husband at their home in Kiawah. The house, and her described personal style, quickly reminded me of Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give. Clean and Classic.  The Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give inspiration of course led us to turtlenecks (those perfect classy white turtlenecks paired with white capri jeans.. Jackie O for days).  My own father was so turned on by Diane's look in this movie that he bought me two white turtlenecks for Christmas that year!  We eventually made it to the discussion of black at which time we both noted the hue can sometimes be a little strong on women her age. 

Low and behold, I opened my email this morning to a Who What Wear article about black turtlenecks on women and at what age they are most appropriate for wear.  The article points out the magic age of 30 as to when it is perhaps time to retire them.  I for one live in a thin black turtleneck all winter long.  I'll be 40 next month (gasp!).  I layer them under everything; a spring/fall sheath dress to carry it into the cold weather months, under button down shirts.  I wear them on their own and think they are kind sexy classy comfortable showing no skin.  I guess I'm "just a turtleneck kind of gal". I do, however, totally get the main reason the author of the article advised mature women stay away from black turtlenecks. What do you think? Yay or Nay?  See the article HERE, in addition to the best colors if you want to look younger, as well as the most perfect white turtleneck on the market.  As a bonus, my client's favorite color made that list!  Shop fab colorful tops below and HERE!

Designer Crush: Lindsey Coral Harper

In honor of her recent birthday, this week's designer crush goes to Lindsey Coral Harper.  Long before I could remember her name upon chance meeting in a Starbucks cafe, I have admired Lindsey's work.  This is how that meeting went:  

To Lindsey's coffee date: "Oh hi!  You are 'said name.'  I'm Whitley.  It's so nice to meet you! I believe we have mutual friends." To Lindsey: Long pause, and I think it went something along the lines of... "Hi! ..... You are...... (WTF.  Oh, God. The pressure of a name... Cinda Fu+#ing-rella)... It is sooooo nice to meet you.  I cannot put my finger on your name to save my life.  Your name is the color of your hair, and right now I don't even have a clue what that is."

And there you have it.  I realize Lindsey is a human person, just like me and you.  But I kid you not, every time I meet someone whose work I admire, I carry a freaking watermelon.  Like who am I?  What am I doing here?  I am so dumb.  Not a movie star, not a pro athlete (well that's not true, I did the same thing to Luke Keuchly at Tai Taste) not a cute boy (had to throw that in there), but someone whose work I admire.  It happened with the CEO of one of Charlotte's most exciting companies.  It's happened with another great interior designer, one of my favorite recording artists, and here, one of my favorite interior designers.  I freaking FUMBLE the ball.  Every. Time.  Athletically, I am coordinated.  But I am the queen of brain freeze not made from ice cream.  It is really so mortifying in the moment.  So if I see you and I start speaking Schneek Wah, it's because I greatly admire your work, or I am intimidated by the size of the center of your central nervous system.  

With that, bring on the Lindsey restrained color explosion meets always in check meets Girl Can Mix.  I mean the girl has got it going on.  Oh, and the hair color... Coral.  More champagne please. 

Happy Valentine's Day To You (Or Me)

I remember pairing hot pink socks with a red sweatsuit, and someone told me I didn't match.  I thought I was cool.  I think this silk wrap dress further proves my theory.

A favorite Neiman Marcus colleague sent me some of these for Christmas.  Champagne Gummy Bears?  Hhhmmmm.  Yes, please.

I'm not a sexy enough sleeper for one of these, but I must have the dark. 

It's crazy time spring like in the QC, and I would love to wear the season's quintessential box planter flower on my lobes.  The color is so fierce.

Always in love with my girl Stephanie Vovas' photography.  The last gift I gave to myself, about a year ago, was this limited edition print.  I would love a house full of her sexy work.

Shop all my picks below or HERE if you cannot see the below images. 

Three Floor + Self Portrait

The weather in Charlotte has been so amazing all weekend I have spring fever big time.  I have not seen the little nubby pointed daffodil green leaves sprouting from the ground yet, but I've heard there have been sightings.  On Saturday, I clocked some great mileage with my group early in the morning at the Anne Springs Close Greenway.  If you live in the Charlotte area and have not yet been, you really must go.  Miles and miles of trails, horses, activities for the family and more all year round. To me, it is the prettiest place to run in the area, and it is an easy peasy drive from center city.  I hit the pavement again on Sunday for another round of double digits just because I couldn't say no. Shorts and no sleeves.  

Weather this good and running in it makes me crave summer time and want to wear hot little dresses.  Three Floor and Self Portrait are two of my favorite brands for that.  If you live in the QC Poole Shop and Coplon's both started carrying the Self Portrait line a little over a year ago. This means the line is no longer a secret, but it's important to have a mindset of abundance isn't it?   I want hot summer sun and these dresses.  Click HERE if you cannot see the below images in your reader.

House of Landor + March 30th Trunk Show

Happy Thursday(/Friday, depending when you read this) Y'all!  I just had to share this little video my friend Mary Beth sent over to me.  

You know how much I love good vintage, and as a result you likely know my equal fondness for my vintage dress dealer, House of Landor, Mary Beth's business.  I had some updated photos taken yesterday by Richard Israel, with Cali Stott on Hair and Makeup, and of course there was plenty of House of Landor in the fashion mix.

Lots of you came to the trunk show/all day long party my great friend Pam and I hosted back around Christmas. Laryn Adams brought her amaze-balls jewelry stash, and Hallie Eban sold out all of her designs with her new line, Piet Jac Designs.  For me, this entire day was a way to share my passion for great friendship and style with others.  Back by popular demand, we'll be hosting a spring show (On my 40th Gasp! Bring It!), and we'll also be adding gorgeous Arzberger Stationers to the mix.  I just picked up my new note cards for letter writing, and I couldn't be happier.  So class. 

So, go ahead and put it on your calendars!  Bring a girlfriend or several!  Get ready to drink champagne and fall in love with the day.  It will be one filled with friendship and amazing style from each and every corner. 

Clever Collar

I've enjoyed the whimsical and demure yet respectful and fun flirtatious designs of Vivetta ever since I first learned of the brand a couple of years ago over at Capitol when I pulled this botanical print dress for an Our State Magazine cover shoot featuring North Carolina vocal and instrumental sensation, Rhiannon Giddens.  

I later lucked up in nabbing some Vivetta of my own when I hit up the end of season sale a few months later.  I loved it so much Chelsea Lewis had to wear it in SouthPark Magazine.

I believe it was the next season these clever cute Vivetta hands collar designs caught my eye.

Fast forward to this week, I couldn't help but think of those clever hands as I was flipping through the J.Crew catalog and noticed my favorite striped shirt had been stylishly updated with its own eyelet trimmed collar and scalloped edge sleeves. 

Shop the Vivetta Holding Hands collar shirts and other delightful embellished and embroidered collared shirts below and HERE if you are unable to see the below images in your reader.

Winter Coat: New Nautical

The fourth and final Winter Coat look for Ballantyne Magazine features this adorable naval meets varsity style coat by Coach.  

If you've kept up with me on Instagram and in various publications this past fall you might have heard me say more than once how much I am loving the direction Coach has been heading with their new head designer, Stuart Vevers.  Instead of the drug store or deli or Coach store on every other corner in NYC as in the early 2000's, Coach's current design mentality seems to have returned to that of its time of inception.  There's a focus on less is more, quality vs. quantity, and amazing Ready-To-Wear designs.

Paired with a bag in a poppy shade of red, caramel colored boots, great shades and a cashmere pom beanie cap, and you've got one darling sailor ready to command!  Shop the entire look below or click HERE if you cannot see the below images. 

Winter Coat: Camel Couture

The third Winter Coat look for Ballantyne Magazine showcases the always classic camel coat.

1 2 3 4

This Andrew Gn version, with its over sized fox fur collar, kicks camel up a notch from basic.  Paired with all the right accessories, we're talking full on Camel Couture! 

Seriously cannot even get enough of these Tabitha Simmons velvet lace up booties.

Topped off with a pair of always chic over sized black Chanel sunnies, these available at Innovative Eye Care, and this Rag & Bone floppy brim fedora from Coplon's, your totally set!

Typically I am not much drawn to large logos, but I think Gucci is really having a moment.  The bag featured in our editorial, with it's bold gold double G's doesn't read as overt as I think most logo lathered bags do.  The structured rectangular shape of this bag reads polished and powerful to me.  It kind of reminds me of one that belonged to my Grandmother.  Fashion is so cyclical.  Especially the classics.  And so, I REALLY want this bag

See all four Winter Coats featured here in Ballantyne Magazine, and shop the entire look below or HERE if you are unable to see the below images in your reader.

Interesting + Pretty Blouses

After a few VERY cold days in Charlotte and a couple of snowflakes that shut down Mecklenburg County schools, we are back to unseasonably warm and sunny spring weather here in the QC!  I shouldn't call it unseasonable, however, since this happens pretty much year after year.

That said, with my on line searching for clients this week I remembered I had my eye on these interesting cotton blouses.  Two brands, Petersyn and Style Mafia, have caught my eye for their drama, interesting symmetry and reasonable price points.  I think these blouses would be perfect paired with both skinny jeans OR dressy black pants or a long skirt.  Here are a few of my favorites...

 

This white blouse with amazing sleeves might be my pick for Best All Around.

The drama on this sleeve is above and beyond.  Bonus... it comes in red, black or white!

The holidays are behind us, but paired with black tuxedo pants, this top would be my pick for next year's party! 

While we're at interesting at an awesome price, though totally off topic, how great is this round black and gold coffee table by Nate Berkus?  Pretty much the entire collection for Target is winner.

Shop all the fab tops below and HERE if you are unable to see the images in your reader.

Winter Coat: Gray Day

The second of four Winter Coat looks for Ballantyne Magazine comes to you with inspiration from a combination of images in my head.  I love great airport style.  I also think of something comfortable, monochromatic and chic for the business gal on the go. And then for some reason I have an image of model Rosie Huntington Whiteley in my head.  I think perhaps because she is so long and tall and somewhere I must have seen a picture of her dressed in all over gray.. or maybe it was over the knee boots.

 

I can't recall exactly, but this look is one that was permanently fixated in my head as one that must be part of the editorial.  Call in TRC W for this understated look of class.  Pair with the ever popular Stuart Weitzman Lowland Over The Knee Boot and a few other fav accessories, and I'm not sure there is a better under the radar, nonchalant, less is more look of style I'd like to emulate. 

See the full story HERE, and shop the entire look below (or HERE if you cannot see the below images).

Speaking of coats, you do NOT want to miss the Largest Fur Sale of the year at Douglas Hertzberg Montaldo's Furs going on this week!