Newly mother of a gorgeous baby daughter, passionate Chanel lover (I mean it, she truly is a Chanel girl) and stylish lady, Alexis, who pens the blog North On Harper, is my today’s guest on Chic Files. I love Alexis’ honesty and strong voice when she writes about fashion, which is why I thoroughly enjoy every visit on her blog, an “exploration into the chic, the fulfilling and the audacious”. Welcome, Alexis!
How would you describe your style? I am a big fan of contrast. I like to pair bohemian inspired pieces with more structured/urban finds. Throw in 1920s detailing and somewhere in there I am a happy girl!
Who are your style models? There are so many classic ones, I wouldn’t know where to start. Instead, let me focus on contemporary examples. Design House wise, I am beholden to Chanel – there is something very independent, feminine and capable in a Chanel girl. Plus, Karl Lagerfeld makes me laugh. In terms of individuals, I love Taylor Tomasi Hill’s playful attitude toward fashion, Victoria Beckham’s understanding of fit and proportion and Diane Kruger’s eye for glamour.
Your signature day outfit: I try to stay away from a signature look, or else I can find myself in a sort of uniform. But I do like a flowy maxi skirt with a classic tank or t-shirt paired with a piece of vintage jewelry. Easy to move around in (I have a baby to chase after), but still looks put together!
Your signature evening outfit: I love a dress. Shape wise (and depending on the occasion), I’m especially fond of a dress with long sleeves and a short hemline. If the event is more casual, skinny dark jeans, sky high heels and a sleeveless blouse with unexpected details.
Is there an item you don’t leave the house without? Sunglasses! Having spent much of my life in the Southeast US & Southern California and now Singapore, I can’t imagine going outside without them! Plus, they make a great accessory and have the power to cover a multitude of sins… Don’t worry, I don’t wear them at night!
Your favourite wardrobe item: Oooohhh… this one was trick! One item I have loved for a while is a Tibi dress that I originally bought for one of my bridal showers (in 2009!). It is cream colored, has the long sleeve/short hemline combination, and a bohemian feel to it. It never felt too “on trend”, so when I wear it today it still feels new. I grab it when I am going out and don’t know what else to wear. And, because of its flowly shape, I can wear it even if I am feeling bloated or whatever. I always feel special wearing it and it continues to garner lots of compliments.
5 pieces a woman should have in her closet:
1. Amazing jeans – a darker wash super flattering pair of jeans can be the most versatile item in your closet.
2. Statement heels – Shoes that turn heads and that can elevate even the most average look.
3. Black leather/pleather (as long as it looks good!) jacket – Okay, so I live in the tropics. But before I did, this was my go to jacket in my closet – It would complete an urban look or give a bit of edge to something more bohemian!
4. Feminine blouse – there seem to be a whole slew of women who don’t own blouses. But I think once you let go of the work-wear, buttoned-up connotation, you will see there are so many fantastic options!
5. Versatile dress – It doesn’t have to be an LBD, because while I do believe they are a staple, I think several other dresses can also prove to be versatile. I am speaking more to a dress that you feel good in and that can be dressed up or down for a variety of occasions.
What is the most underrated piece in a woman’s wardrobe that should deserve more attention? Undergarments. This always seems to take a back seat when people are creating their wardrobe budget. Of course a well fitting bra will make a world of difference even if you are just wearing jeans and a t-shirt! Plus, they are your secret – what they look like, how they fit – and a person with a secret is always more intriguing.
My quick Q&A:
Flats or heels? I love an excuse to wear a heel.
Shoes or bags? Shoes, no bag, no shoes….you get the picture!
The 20s, the 30s or…what is your favourite fashion decade? Why? I could pick several, but I am going to say the 20s, because that is when Chanel truly became established. Plus, I love when beading is done right!
Neutrals, pop of colour or colour blocking? Neutrals and other muted tones. Although, with my new tropical environment, I have been working to add more pops of color!
Stripes, polka dots or florals? None of the above- unless the floral is restrained and/or ambiguous. I prefer graphic prints and solids.
Above the knee, knee-length or mid-calf? Above the knee or to the ground.
Audrey or Marilyn? Audrey (You thought I’d say Marilyn because of my love for all things Chanel- didn’t you?)
The LBD or something else? I think I own 10 LBDs… does that answer the question?
Paris or Milan? Paris (again, I love Chanel!!!)
An item you want to invest in this summer: new bikini (I didn’t lose the baby weight for nothing!) and the perfect denim shorts. I need a new bag as well and would like a cute small crossbody. But I am toting around diapers and bottles right now, so I am holding off temporarily…
A quote you live by: “You can be the chicest thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans — it’s up to you.” Karl Lagerfeld
Thank you, Alexis, for accepting my invitation. It was lovely having you over.