Archived Story

Fashion forward for fall

Published 11:59am Friday, September 7, 2012

Fashion is on my brain this week. All of the heavy, ad packed September fashion magazines are on the racks, it is the start of New York Fashion Week, I have covered a story about a clothing line for the September issue of Lake Martin Living, and I am working to bring you In the Loop’s Southern Style each week.  I hope everyone is enjoying that, by the way.  It has been a fun project.

I was never the girl in the crowd to be considered exceptionally fashion forward in my younger years. My parents would have laughed 15 years ago to hear I was involved in anything fashion related. As a kid, I embraced the tomboy aesthetic. I shunned hair bows and dresses in favor of boys Fil-A tennis shoes and backward hats. At least I had staples, right? That tomboy side still exists, but I thankfully spruced up once I discovered boys.

My BRHS years were marked by lots of lycra tops from the mall, low slung Express Jeans and stretchy black pants. I wore glitter on my eye lids because Britney Spears did.

College was slightly grunge and conformist. I learned that you did not have to wash your hair every day or even shower before class. One might only shower the bar funk off their body or that Mexican restaurant stench that often lingers long after the quesadillas. You know the one. I wore T-shirts to class and tank tops or casual dresses for nights on the town. Everything was North Face or Polo, and Rainbow flip flops were worn year round and upon every occasion. Looking back, it was not very original.

Post-college my style evolved. Once in professional environments, I eagerly took to tailored pieces, lady-like pumps and the J Crew sale rack. I spent a fair amount of time at a desk job where I discovered fashion blogs (that I only read on my breaks, of course) that inspired me daily. When the recession hit, both blogs and magazines began to do features on how to re-work things already in your closet. I began to experiment with layering and trying to figure out ways to make weekend wear appropriate for work. A jacket, scarf or vest can be thrown over just about anything. A button down shirt under a t shirt can class up tomboy style. Pinterest inspires me daily with fashion ideas that I would never dream up on my own. Somewhere along the way, I got into it. If you enjoy indulging your eccentric side, explore Ebay and consignment shops for unique looks. My $100 vintage Frye cowboy boots I found on Ebay may be my proudest shopping moment. I have also scored vintage Lilly Pulitzer on the cheap, because clothing with lots of tiny animals on it excites me.

This fall I am searching for the perfect black turtleneck and am into polka dots, blazers and the whole LL Bean-Maine vibe. Give me some cozy hipster flannel and a seaman’s sweater. I am eagerly awaiting my Shwood sunglasses arrival in the mail. Sometimes I just want to be different. Ever feel that way?

In conclusion, you can tell a lot about people by their style. It is a form of self expression. For example, if I have on all black, maybe I am having a “fat” day.

I encourage you all to put your most stylish foot forward, because you never know when I am going to SPOT you!

Howell works as an advertising representative for Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., in addition to writing this column. Contact Howell at to keep her In the Loop of events.