This is Elizabeth's favorite dress. It's also from Martin + Osa, which you may recall is where the dress she wore at the "beginning" of the week was from.
"Unlike the tomato-soup-red number, this one looks good by itself," she says.
"It also looks good with everything in my closet," she says. "I paired it with a gray sweater — I have about four gray sweaters — patterned tights from Target, and my trusty black boots."
This week, I learned that Target has great patterned tights and, obviously, you can never have too many gray sweaters!
Thanks again to Elizabeth Alley and her photographer Shannon Dixon for participating in Fashion Week. Maybe we'll see some more of them later. Elizabeth has already asked me if she can do this again in warmer weather, so she can show off some of her cute shoes. I don't think I have to tell you what I said. I love cute shoes.
What did we say about suits yesterday? Three outfits in one? Here's another outfit that proves the math.
This pencil skirt is from Banana Republic and has a jacket that goes with it. Only that's not what Elizabeth is wearing with it.
The sweater is also from Banana Republic, and Elizabeth got it from Garbo's "for about $8!"
"The boots were an unexpected purchase for me by my husband, and the tights are patterned and gray, because as I have said, gray goes with everything," she says.
I have to say, Elizabeth wears orange better than anyone else I know. Orange, to me, is one of those tricky colors, like yellow or lavender, that people sometime shy away from. Elizabeth wears it often enough that I think of it as "an Elizabeth color" and it never looks garish or young when she does it. It always looks sophisticated.
Her advice for wearing orange: wear a slightly muted version — not UT orange — and wear it with neutrals.
"I only wear orange with black if I have a third color along with it to tone it down, such as the orange dress with black boots, also worn with a gray sweater," she says. "Also, try to be aware of the tones of colors that you wear — a less saturated orange (or lavender or yellow) will be easier to wear."
One of the best things about buying suits is that you don't *have* to wear both pieces together. It's like getting three outfits out of one. (provided there are other clothes in your wardrobe, of course!)
In this picture, Elizabeth is wearing a dark blue sweater from Old Navy, with patterned tights, and a cute little skirt that is actually half of a suit.
During her tenure as interim director for UrbanArt, she says she went on a suit buying spree. She had to attend a lot of meetings at the time, and made a rule that she would never attend a meeting at City Hall without wearing a suit.
"I believe people not in suits are overlooked in those situations," she says.
But that left Elizabeth with a closet full of suits.
"For everyday wear, I found the idea of them better than the reality. It's just too matchy-matchy," she says. "I like pairing the jackets with jeans or other skirts, and the skirts with every top I own."
I have to say, none of my skirt suits are this cute, but at least it gives the rest of us (or, just me) something to aim for.
Elizabeth Alley recently ended her more than 10-year tenure at UrbanArt for a position in the corporate world.
Before she left UrbanArt, she wore this one recent Friday:
Along with Friday's ubiquitous jeans (Look down. Aren't you wearing a pair right now?), she paired a cute jacket from the Banana Republic outlet and a long-sleeved tee.
She also added a pair of cowboy boots.
"My husband's aunt gave them to me about 15 years ago. At the time, I had no interest in wearing cowboy boots, but luckily, I had the foresight to keep them for when I did," she says.
Just goes to show, some pieces you might want to hang onto for a while. Although, on the other hand [gratuitous plug], if you have pieces that are in good condition and professional, but you don't wear anymore, you might bring it to Style Sessions' Swap and Shop in April to celebrate Earth Day (and refreshen spring wardrobes)! More deets on that later, tho!
Artist Elizabeth Alley has been described as "Memphis' answer to Audrey Hepburn," and I think in the following week, you'll see why.
In fact, it's Elizabeth who deserves credit for the Fashion Week concept.
Elizabeth and I were on the same team back when we played for Memphis Roller Derby and we still get together for meetings of what we call the pizza buffet binge-eaters club. But no matter when I see her, she always looks chic and well put together. And she always has the cutest shoes!
Which always leads me to say, "Where is Justin when you need him?" (B/c I can't take a good picture for anything.)
The end result, of course, was this feature.
This particular day Elizabeth was wearing a dress from Martin + Osa, which she got online, on sale. Because she thinks it looks a little like a St. Agnes uniform by itself, she paired it with a gray sweater from Target.
"I bought it for the warmth factor, but it's gray so it goes with everything," she says. "When I button it up and wrap the built-in scarf around my neck, it looks like something an old lady would wear in a sci-fi movie."
I know Charlize Theron isn't old, but I couldn't help but throw this in there, from Aeon Flux. Just to give people an idea of what it *might* look like, buttoned up.
But Elizabeth obviously isn't wearing it the sci-fi way.
"When not buttoned up, the built-in scarf makes the sweater asymmetrical, which if you know me is weird," she says, "but then I don't have to worry about losing a scarf."
For starters, let's just say how cute that cat is, right? Now that that's out of the way ...
On this particular day, Amy was going to the Grizzlies Academy benefit at Boscos. She wore an FCUK blouse under a Banana Republic dress and tights. With yes, her boots from Crazy/Beautiful.
"Man, I wore those boots a lot last week," she says. "Oh, well, they're new."
I'm a fan of this dress and, given Amy's skill at layering, I'm thinking this is one that can be worn all year round. The bodice has a very pretty lace overlay, and she included a little roadrunner broach.
"I think that black dresses can be a little blah, and this one is pretty conservative, but popping a pin on there adds a little fun," she days.
Thanks so much to Amy Gregory for being my first fashion guinea pig to do the Fashion Week feature (and to her husband/photographer Joey Miller for taking the snaps). I think she really showed how different a person's style can be from one day to the next, even if some pieces, such as the boots, remain constant.
Also I think I may have to go into Crazy/Beautiful.
Amy calls this a typical work outfit:
She's wearing an American Apparel tunic over a Target long-sleeved tee, Chica stretch jeans, and her boots from Crazy/Beautiful.
"My job is pretty physical so comfort is very important to me," Amy says. "This allows me to move around and stay cool while working."
While the rest of us are grumbling over our coffee and cursing the Mondays were ever invented, well, I don't know what Amy's doing. But I know she's not working.
As an esthetician at Hi Gorgeous, she has Monday's off.
"Monday is my Sunday," she says. "It's my day to lounge around the house."
This particular Monday, she donned a Hello Kitty sweater, American Apparel denim tights, a scarf from Target, and Melissa jelly flats.
"This oversize sweater is comfy and cozy, and I added the scarf for a little color," she says.
For Fat Tuesday, Amy wore another dress she picked up at Crazy Beautiful.
(I posted it on Friday to give you ladies some inspiration for your weekend "going out" outfits.)
She paired it with a pair of fuschia peeptoe heels, which I think would definitely fall under "shoes that pop." I love the little tuxedo ruffle down the front.
I've also heard that short sleeves are the next big trend for dresses (look for them at the Oscars next weekend) and I love them on this vintage-inspired, belted dress. It has a classic feel, but with the chunky neckline and shine of the material, it also has a lot of visual interest. Plus, it's hot.
In the real world, Fashion Week is over.
Over here at Style Sessions, Fashion Week is just beginning.
We're not stopping that. Oh, no, don't you worry about that. We will continue to jump out at people and randomly compliment them on their outfits. And then snap the poor thing's picture while they're still too discombobulated to say no.
But today we're starting something different.
We've asked some of the city's most stylish people to show off a week's worth of their own personal style.
We'd like to introduce you to Amy Gregory, an esthetician at Hi Gorgeous. We first met Amy at her wedding reception, where like all brides, she was wearing the most awesome dress. Unlike many brides, however, her reception was the day after her wedding. The dress was a light confection that took its lines and cues from a traditional wedding dress, but was shorter and more wearable for an early evening garden party.
Last week, to meet some friends for drinks, she wore a Trashy Diva dress, tights from Target, a belt and boots from Crazy/Beautiful and a vintage Girl Scout sweater.
"This outfit is casual and fun," she says. "I'm into the black/brown combo these days."
The dress, which she got in New Orleans, is one of her favorites, but here's the part that I love: the Girl Scout sweater!
She got it at a thrift store when she was in high school, and it's survived several closet purges since then. And, yes, it might be made for a little girl, but it totally works on her.