We stumbled upon the very glamorous Alexis Barton last year at her gig as fashion blogger for AL.com, the online home of the Birmingham News and wow, are we glad. Not only is Alexis firmly plugged in to all that is haute in the Magic City, she is truly an entertaining writer whose work we always look forward to reading.
As mentioned, Alexis the in-house fashion blogger at AL.com, but she’s also got her own home on the web at Same Chic, Different Day where she posts fashion items of interest, haute Birmingham events, her take on the fashions of celebrities (the good and the bad) and even some fabulous give aways.
A graduate of the University of Alabama, Alexis has volunteered with Rape Response and is now active with the Junior League of Birmingham and was recently named one of Birmingham’s Most Beautiful People by Birmingham Magazine, a honor much deserved.
Without further ado, we present the Alexis Barton Interview.
Alexis, we love your blog, Same Chic, Different Day! Tell us how you got started.
I began blogging in 2008 as a hobby. I had lots of experience with student publications (yearbook, newspaper, etc.), and I wanted to write professionally but had nothing “current” to show that I could. I literally just decided one Sunday evening that I was going to start a blog, so that I could get on regular writing schedule, and gain some new skills. So I started out on Blogger, then began blogging as a Skirtsetter for skirt.com – the online arm of the national women’s magazine which was in print here at the time – writing what can basically be described as “my life, your entertainment” type posts. It just kind of took off from there; one of my posts was voted best blog post of 2009, and I was featured as one of skirt.com’s Muses. That was a big boost and made me feel like I should continue. I started blogging about fashion for urbanham.com, a Birmingham-based urban lifestyle website. But I wanted the experience of starting a professional website from scratch, and to get more experience in the nuts and bolts of social media, building an independent audience and carving out my own place on the internet, so that led me to begin Same Chic Different Day.
What inspires you to blog? Do you ever get writers block?
I love to write, and having blogged before I knew I didn’t want to write about myself every day. I love fashion, and felt it was a topic I wouldn’t get bored with; no matter the season or event there’s something to write about. I really go with what inspires and excites me (or even what irritates me), and what I hear about or see that I feel others will be interested in reading or seeing reflected. I get ideas and am inspired just walking down the street any given day…just by living! There are absolutely days where I’m at a loss as to what to post or when I think “nobody is gonna read this but my mom” but I plan posts in advance to work around times when I’m tired, sick, out of town or just feeling lazy. Planning and scheduling content in advance definitely helps.
You’re such a good writer, do you also use those skills at the “day job?”
Thank you! Communicating effectively, directly and with professionalism is definitely a skill I use at work. But I don’t have as much of an opportunity to write creatively there, and that’s what appeals to me about blogging. What readers get from the blog is my “real” voice; it’s where I really have the freedom to express myself and show my sense of humor and personality.
Describe your fashion sensibility/style.
If I had to describe my fashion sensibility, I’d say I aim for chic sophistication and femininity with a slight edge. I’m not a slave to any particular label or designer, although I do rely on a few in particular because they suit my body type and preferences in terms of fabric, silhouette and overall craftsmanship. OldHollywoodglamour and the 1960s are sources of inspiration, and if I had to pinpoint certain people, I’d name my mother, aunts, and grandmothers, Jackie O and Michelle Obama. I don’t try to dress “like” anyone, but I do like simple lines and unexpected touches. I like clothes that will be stylish 20 years from now, that I won’t be embarrassed to be seen wearing in photos in another decade or two. And I love sequins and vintage items! Great shoes, a lovely handbag, and well-chosen jewelry are musts, as is having the number of an excellent tailor. I enjoy wearing things people might look at and say “I could never pull that off!”…like the vintage sequined harem pants I just bought. Those are a definite risk, but I think outfits should be appropriate to one’s activities yet still memorable. I haven’t a clue where I will wear those pant, but when the opportunity presents itself I’ll be prepared!
Tell us about your shopping habits.
I shop everywhere: the mall, big box stores, boutiques, discount stores like TJMaxx, consignment and thrift stores, Ebay, online shops…and in my mother’s closet! I tend to stay away from outlets, because I never really have much success there. And I don’t linger in stores. So it’s hard to for me to shop “with” people sometimes because I can walk into a store, give it a once-over and know if I see anything that appeals to me quickly and either try it on and buy it, or leave. I have to be in the mood to roam the mall for hours. I get lots of ideas from old movies and from current magazines…I mark up my copies with a Sharpie and fold back pages of things I want to try. For online shopping, I sign up for email blasts from my favorite stores so I get the sales notices, and I utilize Retail Me Not and ShopStyle to monitor sales also.
Tell us about your fashion activities and/or events
I don’t have any “set” activities or events. I’ll generally go to the opening of an envelope if my instincts say it will generate a good post.
What’s your number one fashion rule?
I don’t buy things I don’t love, and I never just “throw something on” to go out. It’s very important to feel confident in what you’re wearing, and if you’re on the fence about your outfit, why bother? Getting dressed is much more fun when you are excited about what’s in your closet.
Thank you Alexis! We look forward to many great fashion insights at Same Chic, Different Day.