#STLFW - Ready, Set, Go...

by June Ann D'Angelo

The kickoff party was a few days ago, but yesterday we kicked off the first fashion event for #STLFW! This is my first STLFW, so I really wanted to bring it! So, yesterday, I spent the day (outside of trying not to blow up the lab I work in) finalizing my outfit for the first night of festivities at Neiman Marcus and getting my hair-do switched up a bit. This to the right was my raw material. My starting material was raw...super raw...headed to my hairstylist in my favorite old oversized Roots sweatshirt (shout out to my Canadian friends) and Free People cut offs topped off with boots from my new favorite boot company, Bakers! I was ready to be ready and get this STLFW on!!!

I decided to wear a dress that was going to require my most uncomfortable pair of heels, as per wickedwallflower's suggestion! (Thanks for creating a blog post with style tips for each event, Sarah Stallman!) I actually received the dress from eShakti (www.eShakti.com), which is a really cool online boutique that has millions of styles (boho to classy, young to old) from sizes 0-36! Not only do they offer awesome styles, you can customize any of the choices. So, you can choose to add a sleeve or cut your dress into a mini or make it into a maxi! Even more awesome, is you will get your custom made dress in about 2-3 weeks! I have to say that I was not expecting much because this is definitely an every-woman company, but they execute that philosophy extremely well!

The dress that I picked had this amazing forest pattern on the dress that I thought was super forward and bold. As with anything you order, the fit is always the first concern! When I ordered the dress, I closely followed the sizing guidelines. I am a 33-34C/D-24-34.5 and I went with a size 2, which put my bust right at 33 and the waist and hips were an inch or so bigger. But, I knew the bust was the most important measurement with the style of dress that I was receiving. I had 3 sleeve options: cap sleeve, mid-sleeve or a full sleeve and I went with a cap sleeve so that I could wear this in any season. For the length of dress, I had 3 options as well: mini, knee length or maxi. Although on my 5'3" frame, I am partial to a mini cut, I went ahead and went with the knee length, because of the pattern on the lower portion of the dress and I did not know where the pattern would be cut for the mini version. (And, you can always take away, but you can never add!) 

So, I have a dress...now I need the perfect hair. So, on a whim, I called my ombre' expert, Kristen Parks, and told her that I needed to see her ASAP! I told her that I wanted a super blunt cut and the bottom inch of that cut to be fire orange. Of course, mama worked her voodoo magic and custom mixed my root touch-up color and the color for my ends and gave me exactly what I wanted. Sometimes when I change up my hair color, I can be at the salon for up to 6 hours, but this was a quickie! I was out of the salon in under 2 hours! I don't even know how this is possible, but it is!



Now, it's time to get dressed! After trying the dress on, I could not ask for a better fit! The material is super heavy-duty. I felt like I could work all day in this dress and then take it for a ride at a cocktail party that same day. The stitching and hem work is also totally on point! I was not super excited about the cap sleeve or cut of the neckline of the dress...I wish this dress had a halter top or strapless option and, if I could have either of those, then i would have gotten the maxi skirt option! So, to draw less attention to that neckline and cap sleeve, I threw on a long black cardigan that I've had in my closet for some time. And I had just received this amazing Ella hat from the Christy's collection with Free People, so I HAD to wear that! Anything from Free People gets worn the same day immediately as I get it! Topped off with a pair of nude lace up booties and I was ready for my first #STLFW event! Off to Neiman Marcus I go...