What does a president wear?
Well if it's the president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, Terry Woodard, the answer is chocolate brown pants and a matching jacket.
"I wanted to bring out my brown eyes and I wanted to stay warm," she says.
And probably a scarf. When I mentioned how I loved the Pop! of her scarf, she told me she collects them. Like, really collects them.
"I have more scarves in my closet than anything else," she says. "I have more scarves then shoes."
This week, in my other life, I wrote about the new downtown law school and how good it is for the area.
And Dani Huff is a perfect example of why.
Justin and I caught up with the law student Friday night, wearing a super-cute dress she got from a Knoxville boutique and cowgirl boots.
She said she wore the dress because it was comfortable and stylish.
"I thought it went well with my cowgirl boots and that's always fun," she said.
There's no objection here.
Also, I thought her bag was a great choice. She said it's the one she's been carrying for about a month, but I liked the way it complemented the pattern of her dress.
My friend and pilates partner, Jill-of-all-trades/freelance photographer Melissa Sweazy, always looks super cute. (When we work out, her socks even match her t-shirt.)
So it stands to reason that her already super-cute daughter Harlow is just a little muffin.
See what I mean?
Melissa says Harlow is outfitted (in these photos at least, I don't know about her overall wardrobe) mostly in Old Navy, with boots from Target and an H&M hat.
As for the coat, Melissa notes that it would work well for full-grown women: "The plaid coat needs to be stocked in adult sizes or the next lady who compliments her on it may actually steal it off her little toddler body."
CMI, the parent company of the Flyer and Style Sessions, isn't quite known for its fashion.
It's not its fault; journalists, with the exception of the Elsa Klenschs and the Anna Wintours of the world, have never been known for their sense of style.
The term "ink-stained wretch" comes to mind, and if you're going to be ink-stained, you're not going to want to wear anything that you don't want ruined.
Luckily for Hannah Sayle, Memphis magazine's and MBQ's newest addition, we're not having to run the printing press ourselves anymore. (My clothes are better for it, but I do miss how it gave me great guns.)
Here Hannah is wearing a Robert Rodriguez dress with a slip and sheer overlay, which I *think* she might have gotten from one of these sites. (I would call her and ask, but then we'd probably start talking about something else and this entry would never get posted.)
"I’m a big fan of A-line skirts because they draw attention to my waist," she says. "I paired it with an old pair of high-heeled boots from Banana Republic -- because even though high heels make me look like a giantess, I like the slimming effect. The necklace is a twisted copper ring from Urban Outfitters."
Very good, Hannah. Now get back to work and stop reading the interwebs. The rest of you, feel free to stay and hang out a while.
Not that y'all asked, but fall is my favorite season.
I love the light, that little bite in the air, and the way you can go outside without immediately passing out from heat stroke.
Actually, what I like most is the way you can wear sweaters and such sans outerwear. Or with outerwear. Or whatever makes you most comfortable. It's really a very versatile time.
Take kindergarten teacher Jamie Thompson, for instance.
She is wearing a light, long-sleeved green-on-green argyle sweater with plaid slacks, sunglasses, and pumps.
To me, this seems very versatile: she could easily wear this just about anywhere and be comfortable: inside, outside, to lunch, to the office, or for doing what she was doing: watching her two small children play outside of City Hall.
Constance Johnson likes what she calls "the easy style."
When we ran into her outside of the COGIC convention last week, she was wearing a green cardigan layered over a black lacey tee, a banded skirt, and black boots (Everyone has been wearing boots lately! I know they were in last year bigtime, but it seems like they've only gotten bigger since then!)
"I don't like to be confined," she says of her outfit. "I didn't want to walk around and tiptoe in some heels. ... I can be comfortable and praise the Lord at the same time."
I bet some of you ladies who don't like heels are giving her an "Amen" right now.
Just guess what Valencia Woods' favorite color is.
I'll give you a hint: There's an Aerosmith song by the same name. And a pop star with a Top 40 hit right now on the pop charts. And a Victoria's Secret clothing line.
"I wear pink every day," says Woods. "I love pink."
She will generally pair her pink with black — like she did on this day — or she'll pair it with lime green or purple.
This week, Justin got himself an all access pass to the 102nd COGIC convention, and, quite possibly, the last in Memphis. Though the church is headquartered in Memphis, and has been holding its Holy Convocation here for more than a 100 years, next year it will move to St. Louis.
With that, Memphis will lose its access to fabulous November fashion. I mean, let's be honest, the convention is known as much for hats as its economic impact or spiritual message.
So the other day, Justin let me tag along with him. Unfortunately, it was mid-morning and there weren't that many hats out and about, but on the other hand, a lot of the outfits sparkled in the mid-morning sun. There were diamonds and rhinestones, iridescent fabrics, beads, sequins, jewelry. Take Shelia Sewell's outfit, for example.
She was wearing a cream-colored three-piece skirt suit in lace. But her leopard print hat includes a big satin bow and a rhinestone trim.
And her jacket clasp is completely inlaid with rhinestones, as well. Which matches her necklace and earrings.
Cute little Faith Jackson was in town from Chicago to attend the convention and wore this gray skirt with a short-sleeved black cotton blouse because she thought it was going to be hot.
(Funny how our perceptions change depending on what we're used to. See the next item.)
"My skirt looks like it's wool, but it's actually cotton," she says.
She says her style is simple, but sophisticated. I especially liked her silver name necklace.
Texan Christin Gordon was one of the vendors out on the Main Street Mall this week.
(I think I'll let you guess what she was selling.)
I loved her mix of high and low — what she called her "Chicago" coat, the stripey tee and jeans, and her Texas A&M/Aggie camo cap.
"I wanted to be warm," she said. "It's beautiful now, but when the wind starts to blow, it gets cold."
She also brought a number of different scarves with her, not just to Memphis, but to the booth.
"I love scarves. I have a bunch," she says. "You can still be cute in the cold."
I don't know if it's something about us or something about Memphians, but Justin and I have a singular talent for finding and photographing people who are not from here.
The latest was Toronto resident Rachel Hilton.
We first noticed her lovely Virginia Johnson silk-screened scarf — "it's cold in Canada," she said — then her simple cloth and sequin necklace.
"I like jeans and t-shirts, but we've been wearing those all week," she said. "We're going to dinner and McEwen's and we thought we'd put on something nice."
The other day, Justin and I were hanging out at South of Beale when we saw this very fashionable woman striding past.
We quickly signaled the bartender for our tab and struggled to get our stuff together — cameras, notepads, pens — before we lost her.
"It's no use," Justin said and sighed. "She's walking at a pretty good clip."
"But you just ran a marathon," I reminded him. "And finished! You can probably catch her. Just leave me here. I'll be okay."
He looked back toward the street as if to assess the situation, but she was already gone.
[That's basically what happened anyway.]
We had already gathered up all our stuff and paid our tab, so we wandered into the streets of downtown, and who should we see a little while later but the same woman, Meredy Carnahan? Only this time she was joined by her four-legged friend, Idgie.
Carnahan, an interior designer with Looney Ricks Kiss, was wearing an American Eagle vest, a Free People hoodie, a tank, a skirt from H&M, and Camper boots.
"I wanted to wear my boots," she said of the outfit. "This is the first time I've worn them this season."
I have to admit: With just a chill in the air, it was perfect weather for layering and boots with skirts. I especially loved the cute little beads hanging from the zipper of Carnahan's hoodie. So fun!
Idgie is wearing a collar Carnahan bought off etsy.com.
Okay, actually, while we were at South of Beale, we thought waitress Carla Quin looked cute as a button.
She got both her pants and her embroidered tunic from Plato's Closet while her little ballerina flats came from Shoe-Nami. And her shell necklace, which I really liked, was from Florida. The whole thing — especially with the color and detailing of the tunic — is so casual cool.
"I'm a single mom so I don't buy anything more than $20. It's a rule," she said.
She said her style was kind of Midtown, but not too indie or provocative.
"I like to look like a mom, but at the same time, I'm 23," she said. "It's hard to pull off."
I think that might make these "mom jeans" but in a good way.
My friends at Lansky 126 are having a special 7 Diamonds event Friday, October 23rd from 4 to 9 p.m., where they'll be showing 7 Diamonds fall line and serving cocktails. It should be fun.
Until then, you can enjoy this preview. (Also you might have seen 7 Diamonds in the Flyer's fall fashion issue. I love the shirts and generally use at least one each year.)
Ann-Sofie Johansson's mom loves Elvis. Which is how the two Swedes ended up walking around downtown Memphis on a rainy summer evening.
Now sometimes we (and of course here I mean "I") see tourists and we think something along these lines: That is really unflattering, but I guess it's comfortable and you're a visitor to our city and you're walking around and getting on buses and eating strange foods and you're just trying to be prepared. So, okay.
But this needs no translation. Or rationalization. It's lovely.
Johansson says she usually wears jeans and a sweater, but she and her mother were going to have dinner at Flight, so she decided to wear this white cotton dress and matching sandals.
I especially like the tie in the front.