Today’s How She Styles It post features Lesli Douglass from Knoxville, TN. Lesli has collected several pieces of ExVoto. These recent snapshots are great examples of how she wears her ExVoto both dressed up and down. In this photo, Lesli is wearing an 18″ Classic in polished gold link with an antique pendant on a casual, Saturday morning, shopping trip to her local farmer’s market. I asked Lesli a few questions so we could all get to know her better, and since this is the week of Mother’s Day, I also asked her to share with us her thoughts on Mother’s Day. She was an English major and former teacher and I thought her own words said it best.
E– What does your average day look like?
L–I’m a mama to three beautiful children–ages 10, 7, and 4–and I have the privilege of focusing my day around caring for them and my husband, which can be manic, at times, but I’m so thankful to be able to do it. Meal-prepping, order-maintaining, and problem-policing mixed in with hugs, time for rest, and usually chocolate, at some point. Sometimes I think, “this is too good to be true!” Other times I think, “I need a one-way ticket out of crazytown!”
E–If you had a “free day” what would you do?
L–If I had a “free day,” I would probably choose to be by myself–alone time is a rare commodity in this phase of my life, but it’s essential to bringing a balance to everything else I do. The kinds of things that fill me up are: lying on my porch swing for an hour, strolling our local farmer’s market, choosing plants for my garden at a nursery, a leisurely lunch with a book or my Bible study notes, antiquing alone, or ducking into a darkened theater for a movie, popcorn with extra salt and a full-strength Coke.
E–What is your favorite go-to outfit on an average day?
L–Unless I am actually going to work out, I loathe wearing workout clothes. Putting together an outfit is sometimes the only creative thing I get to do all day, so I usually try to make an effort. It makes me feel like I’m not losing myself in the mundane and repetitiveness that can be found in many of my days. In summer, a sleeveless dress or skirt and v-neck tee with flip-flops feels great and in fall, I love jeans and a button-down with ballet flats.
E–What is your favorite go-to outfit on a date-night or girls night out?
L–I love the chance to “dress up” because my days don’t usually call for it. I have a good number of dresses and skirts in my closet. I’m 5’9″ and married to a man who’s just a smidge taller than I, so heels aren’t something I normally go for, but lately I have a thing for kitten heels that give me just a little lift and dress me up without making me feel like I’m towering.
E–How would you dress up a white t-shirt?
L–The easiest way to dress up a white t-shirt is with jewelry. Whether you’re wearing jeans or a cute skirt, a simple gold locket or cross mixed with a single strand of pearls and some pearl studs feels special and not overdone.
E–Do you have a personal style philosophy and what is it?
L–Go classic or go home.;-) Be feminine, wear clothing that flatters your figure and be careful about trendy things. I often look at clothes through the lens of “what will this look like in a picture 20 years from now?” Ha. It “is” possible to choose from current styles without instantly dating yourself. The best kind of styling showcases the person within–it doesn’t block your view of what that person has to offer internally. And all the adornments in the world won’t make you shine if you’re not radiating from the inside. It seems like a lot of women overuse fashion and beauty treatments to camouflage the deficits within their own hearts–and it doesn’t work.
E–Do you have a beauty or fashion “secret weapon”?
L–Sunglasses. Don’t leave home without them in my purse or on my head. And three years ago, I decided to quit buying 2-3 pairs of $20-30 ones from Target per year (because they got lost or broken), and decided to splurge on some nice ones. Best decision ever. I’ve kept up with them for three years and I got to choose the ones I really loved that fit my face the best. I’ve found that knowing I paid more for them has motivated me to keep up with and take care of them better.
E–Who do you consider your style icon?
L–Hands-down, Jackie Kennedy. One of those people who just “got it” when it came to choosing pieces that were feminine, timeless, current without being trendy or looking like she was trying too hard. This is probably too much information, but literally I stand in my mirror sometimes as I’m trying to put together an outfit and try to imagine what Jackie would do! Did I just say that out loud?
E–Which piece of ExVoto would you like to collect next?
L–Now that I have a couple of the gold and pearly pieces with one-of-a-kind lockets (which I could not love more!!), I’d love one of the leather wrap bracelets with a charm or locket on it. I recently hosted an Ex Voto show here in Knoxville and I wore one around the whole day. It’s definitely next on my list! (is my husband reading this??);-)
E–What is your favorite quote:
L–There’s no way I have just one, but this one’s near the top: “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
— C.S. Lewis
(Lesli, on the far right of the photo, wearing the 64″ opera length pearls in white with an antique locket.)
E– In your opinion, what is the best way to celebrate Mother’s Day?
L–Mother’s Day, for me, is best kept really simple. I always tell my husband the most important thing he can get me on Mother’s Day is a card–with his words added. Not to say he doesn’t go beyond that with a gift or flowers or both (oh la la)! But I say that about the card because that’s the stuff I really hang onto–words. And I keep cards forEVER. In this modern age, the written word is scarcer and scarcer. And now that my kids are old enough to voice thoughts and sentiments, I literally treasure their written words and thoughts. I love going out to lunch with my little family after church and just reveling in my “place of honor” for the day. It always makes me so so thankful for the chance to even be a mother!
Isn’t this a great shot (below) of Lesli and her daughter, Mamie? Lesli is wearing the 64″ white pearls with a white button down and jeans in this photo. ExVoto pieces have so much versatility across the entire spectrum of your wardrobe and lifestyle!