Thursday, April 22, 2010

Swap & Shop Tonight

Posted By on Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Just a friendly reminder that Style Sessions' first ever Swap & Shop is tonight at the Hunt-Phelan.

It begins at 5:30 and goes until 8:30. We'll be giving away a lady's bike from the Peddler and a gift certificate to Tsunami.


What's a Swap & Shop, you ask? Well. Let me tell you. In several easy steps.

1. You bring up to FIVE gently used ladies' clothing items, preferably for work or play. Please no shoes, jogging suits, lingerie.

2. We give you vouchers for each of the items you donate to us.

3. You hit the Swap & Shop store where each voucher entitles you to an article of clothing ... or, an entire suit, b/c it just breaks our heart to split up suit pieces. It's like splitting up a litter of kittens.

4. You still see other things you want, but you've used up all your vouchers. You can buy a voucher for $5 each.
(4b. Take a break at the bar with a little refreshment.)

5. Hit the Swap & Shop store again.

6. Go home happy and with brand-new-to-you clothes.

All proceeds go to Dress for Success Memphis.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rumor Alert

Posted By on Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:48 AM


I was on South Main on Saturday for the Strange Fruit Vintage launch party (see Shalishah "Petey" Franklin's Fashion Week below). Despite a little incident with some blue candy, I and I think everyone else had a great time.

While I was there, however, I heard a rumor that Charlotte Memphis — which has been located in Saddle Creek for several years and sells really cool interchangeable jewelry such as these rings — is moving onto South Main. I'm not sure where exactly, but that's exciting! I might just get another piece for my Charlotte21 ring.

I heard that a graphic tee store also might be opening, but I don't have any more details.

Sweet Sunday Brunch

Posted By on Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 8:30 AM

This is one of Shalishah's Sunday brunch favorites.

"It's super sweet and vibrantly colored so it subliminally makes me feel happy," she says.


(Does this remind anyone else of their entire childhood summed up in a dress? Really? Just me?)

For this or similar pieces, you can check out Shalishah's online boutique, Strange Fruit Vintage.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Faves

Posted By on Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Shalishah describes her personal style as multi-faceted.

"One day, you could see me in 5-inch high heels, then the next day, in Chuck Taylors," she says. "I do things a bit more daring at times. I think a bit less about what people say, and I get inspiration everywhere."

Strange Fruit actually began as an event production company, so it would stand to reason that Shalishah would know what to wear on a night out.


"I'd pair it with a matte red lipstick and hair tussled like you didn't try very hard, but really you tried extremely hard to make it look so darn carefree," she says.

The outfit is a vintage black and white ribbed spandex dress — which I swear I saw some really similar things in the stores in the last few months — with a red blazer.

"I thought the blazer would add a bit of formal to the flirtiness of the dress. I'd wear this to a luxe spot in Memphis like one of my faves, Mollie Fontaine."

Also, since we're talking about going out (and you may have missed it the first time) Shalishah's online boutique, Strange Fruit vintage, will be having a launch party Saturday 7 p.m. at Mpact Memphis, 506 S. Main

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Swap & Shop April 22nd

Posted By on Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 1:55 PM

A few months ago, I had what I can only describe as a brilliant idea.

I thought: Why don't I organize a clothing swap with all of my lady friends? We could clean out our closets, hang out, drink some wine, get some "new" stuff for spring on the cheap ...

And then I thought: Why limit it to just my friends?

With a little help from my pals at the Flyer, as well as Berryman Cleaners, the Peddler, and the Inn at Hunt Phelan, we're putting together what I can only say is going to be a fabulous time.

The Flyer's first Swap & Shop will be Thursday, April 22nd, at the Hunt Phelan from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. We're doing it on Earth Day because it's not only economically friendly to trade clothes, it's environmentally friendly. We'll also be giving away a ladies' bike from The Peddler — speaking of environmentally friendly — and a gift certificate to Tsunami.

Here are the basics: Bring up to *five* gently used ladies clothing items (please, no shoes) to the event. For each of those items, you will receive a voucher. With that voucher, you can "buy" something from the Shop & Swap inventory.

If you want to get a jump on the competition, you can bring your items to the Flyer's offices (460 Tennessee St. #200, downtown) or to Berryman Cleaners (4430 Summer Ave.) to get your vouchers early.

Now, let's say you don't want to get rid of any of your stuff, but your friends are coming to the event and want you to tag along. And when you do, you find something you love. You can pay $5 (CASH only, please) to buy a voucher.

If we had lawyers, we think they'd make us point out that the the vouchers don't offer any guarantees that you'll find something you like or have any cash value.

On the other hand, the event benefits a good cause: Dress for Success Memphis. All proceeds from voucher sales and unswapped clothing will be donated to them.

Want to see what people are trading? Click HERE to see a slideshow!

Save your wardrobe. Save the world.

Try and See

Posted By on Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 8:30 AM

"I consider this my 'try and see' outfit," says Shalishah.


"We all have these visions in our heads of how we want things from presentations to outfits to furniture arrangements in our living rooms," she says. "What I am beginning to realize is that it never really hurts to try and see if it works."

For this outfit, she put a multi-colored blazer *underneath* a pleated linen dress and then added black leggings.

"I didn't want to stop there so I added the necklace, belt, and the shoes," Shalishah says. "I used to be heavily in love with accessories like hats, purses, shoes, and jewelry. I still am, but now I feel a little more free clothes wise."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Meet Shalishah "Petey" Franklin

Posted By on Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Last November, Shalishah "Petey" Franklin was in Las Vegas visiting her mother when the two of them went thrifting.

"I saw so many things I wanted, including a huge boom box," Shalishah says. "I realized I couldn't keep all of this stuff. But more importantly, I couldn't pass up on it, either."

Instead, she decided that she wanted to open a boutique in Memphis that specializes in vintage clothing from the 1980s to now.

"Since then, I have traveled throughout the country, thrifting, digging, and seraching for amazing finds," she says.

The end result is the upcoming online boutique Strange Fruit Vintage, which will be having a launch party this Saturday, April 17th, at 7 p.m. at Mpact Memphis on South Main Street.

But here at this portal, Shalishah is going to teach us a little bit about being your unique self, defining your own style, and dancing to the beat of your own drum this week.


Would you believe this red and black tropical print is a one-piece jumper? Shalishah paired it with a grey leather belt to "wrap it all together."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Boyfriend Blazer

Posted By on Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 8:30 AM

"I'm currently having a love affair with the 'boyfriend blazer' trend. It works with just about everything," Lauren says. "When I purchased [this one from Macy's], it had some weird decorative pins on the collar. I promptly removed them."


With this boyfriend blazer, Lauren wore a purple print BCBG skirt and a white tank that came with a multi-chain necklace attached. She says she removes that from time to time, too.

It's an outfit she says she typically would wear to a party or on a fun night out with the girls.

"The shoes are from ... ahem ... Charlotte Russe. Can't beat a shoe bargain from time to time," she says, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Thanks once again to this week's Fashion Plate Lauren Mabon, and photographer Annabella Brandon of Asian Bees photography for doing such a fab job shooting Lauren all around the Peabody.

I think we learned a lot, again. For me, this week made me think about the importance of finishing an outfit with a belt or a nice jacket. And Lauren also has a reading recommendation for us: Nina Garcia's "The Little Black Book of Style."

"It discusses style and fashions for every occasion," Lauren says. "It sits on my coffee table, making it easy to find when I want to reference it ... and believe me, I do."

I'd say it's working.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Style Quotient

Posted By on Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 8:30 AM

As part of this week, Lauren sent me several style quotes that she lives by:

"Fashion fades, style is eternal." —¬†Coco Chanel

"Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world." —¬†Better Midler


"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." — Leonardo DaVinci

I think the last one is especially pertinent with this a dress from Cache that Lauren bought for New Year's Eve:


"I love the feel of the fabric and the jewel-encrusted one-shoulder feature, and the color really pops," Lauren says. "It definitely makes me feel very feminine and somewhat empowered."

This is a great dress. It's a very basic, but very flattering cut. And when you add in the visual interest from the single sleeve and the ruching, I think it's very sophisticated.

Also, the bangles are from the not-so-super-secret hometown favorite, importer Jun Lee on Summer.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What Every Girl Should Own

Posted By on Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Lauren says every girl should own a trench coat and a white tank top. I agree, but I also think every girl should also own a close-fitting leather jacket. They're cool; they're hot; they work with just about everything.

And I've been looking for one forever so you can imagine my jealousy when I saw this one from Bebe that Lauren is wearing:


"It's very soft," she says, "perfect for the fall or spring."

She put it over the afore-mentioned white tank and a pair of AG skinny jeans from Indigo, to create what she calls her go-to outfit for the weekend. (I know it's Thursday, but it's spring. And weekends start earlier in spring and summer.)

"The leopard print shoes are BCBG. I love animal prints ... in moderation, of course," Lauren says. "I like the fact that my shoes don't exactly match my bag. It's fun to mix and match prints and colors."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Meet Lauren Mabon

Posted By on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Lauren Mabon is a belter.

For those of you in the vocal arts, I'm not talking about a mezzo-soprano (tho, for all I know, she might be that, too).

No, Lauren, the very stylish marketing and communications person for Leadership Memphis, like belts.



"I like to belt everything," Mabon says. "Not only does it cinch the waist, it completes the outfit."

The outfit, in this case, being a black pencil skirt that is actually part of an Ann Taylor "interview" suit but rarely gets worn as a suit, a gray cardigan from Express (please note the buttons on the sleeves), and a purple tank that is "actually a not-so-safe-for-work piece purchased from ... ahem ... JCPenney."

"But it looks very appropriate layered underneath the gray cardigan," she says.

Her accessories include the belt, silver BCBG heels, a metallic clutch that her aunt gave her for her birthday, and an XOXO watch that she wears to work everyday ... even though it's not set.

"This is my typical work day outfit: professional, yet somewhat chic and trendy," she says.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Don't Mess With Texas

Posted By on Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Sarah says she felt obligated to get some cowboy boots, what with being from Texas and all.

She got these at ... one guess ... Buffalo Exchange, a thrift store I'm thinking might be worth a visit to Austin.


I know it's a little late for scarves (these photos were taken during a colder part of spring called, um, winter), but this is one of American Apparel's circle scarves.

The coat, from Free People, has a great half-length sleeve that I love with the layering.

"I wish the inside was visible," Sarah says, "because it is blue silk with a gray unicorn on it."

(In that case, I wish the inside was visible, too!)

Underneath, she is wearing a pair of patterned tights from Target, a pair of jean shorts that she made out of her dad's old jeans, and a striped shirt from the DAV on Summer.

"Stripes are so fun to wear and this shirt is perfect because it is so classic," Sarah says. "It fits into so many different styles from nautical to grunge."

I love the way this could be a summer outfit very easily, just ditch the tights and outwear and trade the boots for the pair of sandals Sarah wore earlier in the week.

I also love the way Sarah layers layers on top of layers. It's hip and it can be so helpful in those weather transition weeks, when the morning is one season and the afternoon is completely another.

Thanks again to this week's Fashion Plate Sarah Knowles, and to whoever the wonderful person was who took her picture.

Have a candidate for Fashion Week? Email me at

Monday, April 5, 2010

New & Used

Posted By on Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Okay, so I might have put these photos up in the wrong order, and I *might* have done it on purpose.

But I pretty much love the way Sarah had her photo taken in front of her closet. Not only can we see some of the items she's worn in previous photos (the faux fur coat! the flannel shirt!), but there's a fashion textbook sitting right there on the shelf by her right knee.


This outfit is a combination of new and used, but mostly used. In addition to her Urban Outfitter jeans, she is wearing Doc Martens from Buffalo Exchange in Austin.

"I had been looking for the perfect pair of Docs and finally found these: Maroon and a steel toe. What more could I ask for?" she says.

She also got the plaid blazer from the DAV on Summer; the denim shirt was actually one her mom got at the Gap during the '90s.

"I may or may not have sneaked it out of her closet before I left for school," Sarah says.

And then she topped the whole thing off with a hat from Target.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Different Angles

Posted By on Fri, Apr 2, 2010 at 8:30 AM

In addition to thrift stores, Sarah isn't afraid to hit up a garage sale now and then.

Which was where she got this red and black flannel.


"I paid $3 for a paper bag and got to fill it up with as much stuff as would fit," Sarah says. "I got a black and white one, as well."

She's wearing the flannel over a Free People tank top.

"You can't really tell, but it's cut at different angles and lengths and crosses in the back, which makes it really nice for layering," Sarah says. [I kind of wish we could see this tank without the flannel and from the back, too, because it sounds really interesting.]

She's also wearing black jeans from Urban Outfitters, platform sandals from Target (which she also scored in a darker brown, because they were about $5), and a necklace she got from her grandmother.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Name Brand

Posted By on Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Sarah loves to mix brands and styles, so it makes sense that thrift shopping is one of her favorite hobbies.

(It also makes sense, with all the mix and matching, that when I asked my two Rhodes interns if they had any candidates for this section, they both suggested Sarah.)

Sarah says about half her closet — including these black ankle boots — is from Buffalo Exchange, a thrift store in her native Austin where people can buy, sell, and trade clothes.


But she also mixes what I call highs and lows, i.e. things from Target with designer pieces.

For this outfit, Sarah paired an eye-popping blue Madewell skirt with a Target blouse and accessorized with a studded clutch.

"I was so sad because they only sold this [clutch] at 'select Marc Jacobs stores,' but I found it on eBay! It's funny," she says, "because inside it has a tag that says Jacobs by Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs in collaboration with Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs. Longest name EVER!"

I haven't actually seen the inside of this fun clutch to verify that, but I'm already imagining my new byline.

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