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!
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.
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. DW
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.
Is it just me or does anyone else get mad Jenny Humphrey Gossip Girl Vibes from this retro Gucci dress? Yellow can look good on about anyone, especially with a golden tan, making it my favorite spring color.
This Asymmetric look-a-like masterpiece 2. For Chic, Silk, & Simple click here 3. I am LOVING this A.L.C cutout gown from Intermix. Seriously considering this piece for Prom!
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!
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.
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.
Click the image to view all the Royal Wedding fun!
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!
Dresses: 1. I love the bows on the sleeves of this dress! 2. This dress is perfect for those on a budget. 3. I am OBSESSED with this color. 4. The floral on this dress is perfect for summer and spring.
Hats: 1. How FAB is this fascinator? 2. I feel like Audrey Hepburn would rock this. 3. This hat is simple, yet elegant, much like ones featured in the segment. 4. This headband is so cool.
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??