Avant Garb: Summer Stars

Avant Garb: Summer Stars

A few weeks ago, I stopped by the Canton Swim Club for an event supporting various non-profits in the area. I got lucky and happened to run into two very stylish ladies. The first was Lexi, who was hanging out poolside and rocking a very chic and modern-looking grey suede dress by Max Mara.

This dress immediately caught my attention because the design is so simple yet interesting. And it looked great on her. She rocked it in a very effortless and sophisticated way that definitely intrigued me.
It turns out there’s a real story to her style.
“I love clothes and the stories they tell. I gravitate towards unique pieces found in interesting places. My mom and the history of this region has been an influence in my personal style journey. We would spend weekends visiting museums, strolling Maryland’s historic sites and perusing antique stores. It’s the textures and colors from those experiences that I look for when shopping. The dress I’m wearing is suede with deep patch pockets and simple lines, which reminds me of a utilitarian apron that could be used by a farrier or iron forger. The woven leather Bottega bag and structured leather heels follow the notion of utility with a feminine touch. Virginia Woolf wrote that clothes change our view of the world and the world’s view of us. I can’t think of a more perfect way to describe my relationship with style,” she told me.

Lexi’s strappy black heels with the woven texture and cut-outs work well with the dress by helping to elevate the look. She said she picked up these Charles David shoes while visiting Charleston. They’re interesting, and the structured, bold feel of the shoe adds a strong feminine flare to her look.

Another part of Lexi’s look that I adored was her vintage rings that were passed down to her from her grandmother, and the other from her mother. These are precious family heirlooms that are exquisite, and while they’re vintage, they both look so modern and blend perfectly with the rest of her look.

Next, I ran into Marie who looked summer ready in her white lacy floral dress from Nordstrom. I also loved her “cat eye meets Wayfarer” sunglasses from Warby Parker. They added that extra fabulous touch to her look and helped pull it all together. Her dress feels delicate and preppy – perfect for a poolside occasion. It’s work appropriate, yet totally transitional into a dinner or evening out with friends.
“The dress was actually my sister’s rehearsal dinner dress, but she gave it to me when she was pregnant because she was too big to wear it,” Marie told me.
“In true sister fashion, I haven’t returned it, even though she could fit into it again easily. I’m hoping she doesn’t remember that I have it (and that she never sees this article). If I had to wear one brand for the rest of my life, it would be Madewell. I’m usually a very simple dresser, so I find their style fits my love of a clean, but comfortable, look. Generally, I look for clothes that suit a trip to the office, a loop around the park with my dog, and a drink in the city with friends, since these activities are what you can usually find me doing.”

Her black zip-top crossbody bag from Madewell is one of my favorite Madewell pieces. This is a staple bag that looks great with any outfit – it’s practical, versatile and perfect for the working gal! It’s a simple design that allows you to focus on the dress. And the simplicity of it feels so modern.

Her bracelet is also from Madewell. It’s clean and simple – a great piece for those who want to wear jewelry, but aren’t into diamonds or lots of sparkle. It’s casual but modern, and has a very earthly and natural feel to it.

FOUND – Later in the week, I made a stop into the Free People in Harbor East. Free People can be great for finding pieces that look young and on trend. It’s often very feminine pieces with lots of earth tone colors with a bohemian-chic and flowy feel.

While I was there, I saw a pair of jeans on the mannequin and immediately tore them off and had an associate place them in the dressing room for me. I fell in love with these flared blue jeans and had to have them for myself. They are so 70’s and fabulous . . . It was love at first sight. The red stars add a sexy retro flare and makes a powerful feminine statement. Put these on and you’re ready to own any adventure you have ahead of you. Super cute with a tight t-shirt and paired with a fun pair of slip-ons, heels or platforms.

To my pleasant surprise, the purchase also came with this free tote bag that I thought was super cute and functional! I will definitely be re-using it for a day to the pool/ beach or to bring my lunch in to the office. It’s nice and light, and the design is nothing short of adorable!

Elizabeth Massing

One look at Elizabeth Massing and you see her fabulous sense of style and artistic self-expression. She combines old and new, classic and trendy, luxurious items and vintage steals.  “Fashion and what you wear should be a statement of who you are and how you feel. You shouldn’t be scared to take risks. It should be fun and make you feel good, no matter your budget or fashion experience,” she says. For Elizabeth, fashion is a way to tell her story.  “I like my stories full of fun and excitement, history and romance, and - from time to time - a little drama. Bold fabrics give me a thrill. Couture makes me swoon. Daring pairings are a magnetic force I cannot overcome,” says this B-more native. Elizabeth also loves to see the “stories” other people tell, which may come from her work in publishing and media as HR Director for The Agora Companies, where - she says - creativity and originality is always encouraged. Now, she’ll be relaying some of those stories to us in her column, “The Haute Find.”  “It’s about finding style on the street, in homes, and out-and-about. It’s an adventure looking for textures, fabrics, and how people add layers of details and interest to their wardrobe.” So, ramp it up, Baltimore. Maybe Elizabeth will be “telling” your story!