From one Southern gal to another, it’s always fun to get together and talk fashion. And that’s what Dallas (society!) stylist and blogger (recently in the running for America’s Most Stylish Blogger) Valerie Elizabeth of Society Stylist and I did just recently. Famous for her “Little Black Dress Experiment” where she spent 31 days in her favorite LBD and styled uniquely each day, we caught up on our favorites, including the LBD, of course. 😉
IHH: What’s it like styling outside of the realm of NY or L.A.?
VE: It is certainly a little more work to stay in tune with what’s going on in the fashion world in L.A. and NY but the fashion community here is a pretty small, tight-knit group. I travel a lot to stay connected and am at or aware of most major fashion events in L.A. and NY. I also subscribe to most major fashion publications and spend a lot of time following fashion trends online.
IHH: Do most of your clients come to you for everyday wardrobe, or do you style clients for events and other things?
VE: I can do whatever, though I specialize in wardrobe overhaul and educating the client on how to shop and style themselves. As any stylist can tell you, you just can’t be everywhere at one time. My main focus now is more on mass style education though rather than individual styling. This is achieved through my blog, television appearances, written articles and in-person group presentations.
IHH: What are your go-to shops in Dallas (I must know!)?
VE: I actually shop more often when I travel than at home but here are my favorites. Retail: 4510, Elli Grace, Neiman Marcus, Stanley Korshak, Henri Bendel and Intermix. Resale: Buffalo Exchange, Clotheshorse Anonymous and Revente.
IHH: How did you become a “Glambassador” for Glamour – and what does that mean?
VE: I was part of the first group to be selected, and I applied in response to an ad they ran in their magazine back in March 2008.
IHH: Let’s talk about “The Little Black Dress Experiment!” Tell me a little bit about how you got the idea, and what was your favorite look from the “collection?”
VE: The last week of July I was retained to do a style session for Michele watches at one of their trunk shows. That night, I also watched the premiere for the movie Julie and Julia. As I thought what a great idea it was for Julie to write about a specific topic for a year and then about how I was going to show people how to style a watch with different straps, I wondered if there was something I could do to show people how to style via my blog. I then came up with wearing the LBD, but thought a year was too long and a week was too short, so I decided on a month. Within 24 hours I spoke with the designer who designed the dress, designed the artwork for the future book “The Dress Diaries,” retained a publicist and four days later the “experiment” began. (Check out Valerie in her favorite look above – day 18!)
IHH: Do you ever reveal where you found that now-famous LBD or any parts of the looks that go with it?
VE: The dress is called “The Valerie Shift” (named after me!) by Elli Grace. It’s available for $150 at the store or online in black and a variety of other colors. (Click here to read up on each day, view the outfits, price them and find availability.)
IHH: For those interested in styling, what was literally the first thing you did to start your styling business off the ground?
VE: Selecting a name that was catchy, memorable, not trademarked and had an available Web site. When creating a company, it is important to plan to build that company to the top. If you aren’t planning for your company to be “big” from the beginning, don’t bother creating one because running your own company is too much time and money to not really want to take it all the way. It isn’t easy; you work harder and longer than anyone else, you have no days off, it takes a long time to see the results financially and you’re rarely commended for your work. So, like I said, you REALLY have to want it. If you do want it, you have to realize the ONLY person limiting your success is you. So often we hold ourselves back from opportunities. If we would just take those opportunities we’d hardly believe what we could accomplish.
IHH: Congrats on the America’s Most Stylish Blogger competition! How would you describe your personal style?
VE: Thanks! It was a lot of fun! My personal style is classic-eclectic. I pair traditional looks with trend pieces, tend to stick to solid colors and have a wardrobe created around staple pieces. I tend to dress up a bit though, and I add a bit of casualness to most looks with denim. My everyday look in the fall is some sort of denim jean, a standout high heel (the higher the better!), a cute top and a great jacket. I throw on a statement belt, necklace or ring and wear my standard stack of gold bracelets with my gold Michele Couture watch.
IHH: Have to ask. Ever run into Jessica Simpson in Dallas?
VE: Nope, though she is here quite a bit. I have run into a few other celebs, and Owen Wilson is around a lot.
IHH: Heels or flats?
VE: Heels. Preferably with red soles. 🙂
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