For Variety’s Sake

It’s carnival time y’all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you have any idea what this means? It’s my favorite time of year, and I can’t freaking wait. This year I’m going to be documenting the creation of my Mardi Gras costumes, since so many people always ask me for tips on how I make mine. Fashion designer I ‘aint, but I know enough to make ’em look good. In fact I wrote a DIY Mardi Gras costume article for this month’s issue of New Orleans Magazine, pick up a print copy or read it online here.

Photo courtesy of Charle’

I’ve been working on my Mardi Gras costumes since Halloween and I already have a jump start on next year. Yea, I might be slightly nuts but this is serious stuff.

 I took a trip out to Jefferson Variety last Saturday to purchase some important finishing touches for our costumes. Normally I try to thrift and re purpose everything, but sometimes a girl just needs to buy brand new sequins. Enter Jefferson Variety, an unassuming building in an industrial looking part of town. 

Walking into this place is like dying and going to Mardi Gras Indian heaven, or beauty pageant queen heaven, whichever you prefer. Everything was starting to get picked over when I went, but there were still mountains of sparkly trim, appliques, and fabrics luxurious enough for Carnival royalty. 
Appliques for days
No idea what I’m using these for, but sequined shrimp had to come home with me.
Rhinestones in every shape and size
Sparkles everywhere
So many bolts, the options were endless

So have you started working on your Mardi Gras costume yet? Any idea of what you’re going to be yet?

Jefferson Variety
239 Iris Ave.
Jefferson, LA
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Hidden Treasures of the Cabildo: Carnival Edition

This post was written by Elizabeth McNair, one of Slow Southern Style’s interns. You’ll get a chance to meet her in the upcoming weeks but for now check out her blog, Life of Lovely, and be on the look out for her bio soon.

Now that the holiday festivities are finished, you might be wondering what to do on your quiet evenings in January.  Why not view Hidden Treasure: Carnival Edition at the Louisiana State Museum?

The Carnival Collection at the Louisiana State Museum will allow a small number of visitors to see the museum’s large collection of costumes and other pieces related to Carnival.  While the public does not usually have the chance to view the entire collection, Wayne Phillips will take visitors through the museum’s storage rooms to get the full experience.  The location for these tours will be the Museum’s Collection Storage Facility at 1000 Chartres Street in the French Quarter.

This special opportunity is hosted by the Friends of the Cabildo.  For two days only, January 17th and 19th, tours will take place at 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm.  The cost for this exclusive tour is $15 per person or $10 for Friends of the Cabildo members.

If you’re interested, you will need to call Rebecca Duckert at 504-523-3939 to make the required reservations.  Call soon because spots are limited.  

Interested, but can’t make it to this tour?  Another event Hidden Treasure: Decorative Arts Edition is planned for March 20th and 22nd showcasing Newcomb Pottery and led by Curator of Decorative Arts, Katie Hall.  

Elizabeth McNair

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New Year, New You, To Heck With Everyone Else

Technically it’s winter, but damn it’s hot in the south. Instead of being enrobed in a goose down cocoon every night I’ve been sleeping with the windows wide open. Just kidding, I’m too afraid that my cats will jump onto my roof to open the windows but you get the idea. Instead we are experiencing something more akin to a spring renewal, which I guess is appropriate for New Year’s resolutions. Lately I’ve been inspired by Advanced Style, the fashion blog with a focus on exquisitely dressed women in their 60s-100s. I’m having a “to hell with everyone else” moment, just wearing whatever I want and not caring about what others think. It’s quite liberating, and I highly recommend it.

To help you get a jump start on jumping the “I dress for myself” ship I rounded up a few recent favorites that I’ve stumbled upon.

I’m deathly afraid of the eye doctor, so getting new glasses is a real ordeal. In 2011 I broke down and had an eye exam and lived to tell about it, so this year I might do it again. These Oliver Peoples frames at St. Charles Vision would be a great second pair of frames for me, that is if I get the guts to go.

I can’t help but notice a lot of art deco designs, especially in jewelry for next spring. Why not get a jump start on the trend with this Lulu Frost for J. Crew art deco bangle. I love how classy this design is, especially in white. Not that I’ve ever claimed to be a classy broad, but still I’d wear the heck out of this bangle.
Image 1 of ASOS Slot Through Portfolio Clutch
Oversized day clutches are one trend that gained momentum last spring and are still going strong.  This ASOS portfolio clutch is super sleek, and the blush color keeps it feminine while the gold metal hardware keeps it from being too twee.

I definitely know my favorite dress when I see it, and this color block dress from Urban Outfitters is certainly my dress shape of choice. A strapless, fitted bodice with a pleated and slightly flared skirt? Yup, that’s all me baby. When you’ve got a good thing going, why mess it up? Find what’s flattering and roll with it, make it your signature look!

I always have trouble finding my iPhone in the bowels of my purse. This leopard print Rebecca Minkoff phone cover lends a fun factor and is bright enough to spot from a mile away, or at least an arms length.

Committed to giving yourself a refresh for 2012? I’m giving away a free closet overhaul session to one lucky lady. Read the giveaway post here to learn how to win but hurry, you only have until Friday the 13th to enter.

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Styling session: How to Land a Big Girl Job

At some point in your life, you’ll have an “Oh shit! I’m an adult” moment and suddenly feel the pressure to dress like one. My sister had one of those moments recently, and I was more than willing to help her out.

Christin has been living in scrubs or sweatpants from undergrad through the master’s program, and needed some clothes, not only for job interviews but for weekends as well. Given that she just graduated and hasn’t started working yet, we didn’t want to spend a lot of money, something that I’m really good at.

This is a fun weekend look that we put together. We bought the dress and tights on a shopping excursion, so all we had to do if find something she already owned to pair with them.  This entire outfit cost less than $100 and each piece is incredibly versatile, which is important when you are building a wardrobe from scratch.

These are two interview appropriate looks that are both flattering and comfortable. Not shown is the blazer we purchased. Christin is 4’11 so it was difficult to find clothes that didn’t overwhelm her small frame. We picked up a 3/4 sleeve version from The Limited,  one in camel and one in black, which worked perfectly for her figure. She wore the first outfit to her interview and nailed it, scoring her first big girl job in Savannah, Georgia. She starts in a few weeks and I couldn’t be more proud of her. 
If you’re in need of a makeover, whether you want to look more polished or want to get out of your style rut, or even add some quirky touches to your conservative style I can do it all. Check out my wardrobe consultation services at Slow Southern Styling if you are in the New Orleans area, and don’t forget that I’m giving away one FREE closet overhaul session for the new year!

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The first 2012 giveaway- Closet Overhaul from Slow Southern Styling

New year, new you, resolutions, blah blah blah. We all know the drill. You are going to write down a list of approximately 3,492 things that you are so pumped  to do in 2012 and by the time January 31st rolls around you’ll have completely lost motivation.

Well, I want to help you out. I’m giving away one free Closet Overhaul session from my wardrobe consultation service, Slow Southern Styling. All you have to do to enter is send me an e-mail at stating why you’d like a styling session. Did you lose or gain weight, and now nothing fits? Are you bored with everything you own? Does the word shopping induce fear? Want to change up your look for a new job? We can work on YOU together.

Maximize what you’ve got

What the heck is the Closet Overhaul? I help breathe life into your existing clothes and fill in the gaps to create a fully integrated wardrobe to make getting dressed a cinch, no matter what the occasion. We carefully weed out what doesn’t work, create outfits based on what you’ve got then I make recommendations on what to buy that complements what you already own. How’s that sound?

To learn more about the services go to my Slow Southern Styling site where you can check out some testimonials, browse my portfolio and read my FAQ to see if this is the right thing for you. It goes without saying that the winner must reside in the Greater New Orleans area. You’ve got nothing to lose, except for that pile of clothes sitting on the floor collecting dust.

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What I Wore: Xmas Eve in the French Quarter

No doubt about it, I love the French Quarter. When my husband told me he had downtown in mind as a last minute gift destination, I eagerly volunteered to accompany him. Some locals think of the Quarter as a haven for tourists, but I worked off and on in the Vieux Carre for years and personally love it. The history of the place permeates the air, and wandering the abundance of antique shops that fill the Spanish style buildings always bears hidden treasures. You can read my archived article in New Orleans Magazine for some of my favorite French Quarter shopping destinations. 

Outfit details:
sunglasses, Buffalo Exchange
retro Liz Claiborne blouse, Funky Monkey
Forever 21 denim moto jacket, Funky Monkey
Forever 21 skirt, Buffalo Exchange
reversible leggings, c/o Life Yoga + Boutique
Born cowboy booties, Buffalo Exchange
Via Spiga shoulder bag, Buffalo Exchange

Mardi Gras Indian Finery at Greg’s Antiques
A sea of mermaids at Voodoo Authentica
Drinks? Nah, more like an appetizer.
Eggs Benedict with fried oysters at Stanley!

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