Once again, I’ve been invited by Darlene Real Higginbotham of Appearance Matters, to feature their fashion show at The Club in Birmingham, AL. Appearance has always mattered here in the dear ole south, evidenced by the character Clairee Belcher, in the movie Steel Magnolias. Imagine this quote in the sweetest southern drawl, y’all.
“The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.”
Well, today Darlene separates us from the animals with a show straight from the sales floor of Charming Charlie. In Birmingham, the store is located at the Summit and on the coast, you can find them at the Eastern Shore Centre of Spanish Fort, AL. And, of course, you can always shop online at Charming Charlie.
The models in this show are as follows:
Coco Chanel once said that, “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance,” and that is just what Darlene has put together with her models today. A few simple accessories can take a basic wardrobe to one of true elegance.
On the left, Darlene added a lace swing cardigan, a multi-strand pearl necklace and earrings to take a basic black skirt and top to new levels. Kay also looks so polished in the orange jacket on the right. Accessories from Charming Charlie include a fabric necklace, handbag tied with a scarf, along with a watch and bracelet. As you see on Kay, Darlene doesn’t always choose to add earrings, which is a novel idea. With pierced ears, I never leave home without them, but she has shown here that they aren’t always necessary. Stunning!
With the lovely Barbara, Darlene adds an aqua, crocheted vest to all black to show that we really don’t have to have a closet full of clothes to look chic. From Charlie Charlie, she layered the nautical necklaces, aqua watch and handbag for a bolder look. Since Barbara wears clip earrings, she adds her own. We also find a cute, unexpected addition to a little black dress with the tribal necklace on the right. A pop of color in the bracelets, handbag and scarf tie everything together.
Billie is a tiny lady, who can wear anything. Starting with basic black skinny jeans, Darlene adds a slightly mod touch with a striped-lace, sleeveless top and fringe handbag. The statement necklace, single bracelet and sunglasses have her stylishly out the door with an effortless look. My personal favorite is the flouncy, ivory top on the right that highlights Billie’s gorgeousness. The scarf has just the right amount of bling with gold threading and tassels, with a (barely shown) gold, over-the-shoulder bag and ivory bracelet that gives her an easy breezy look for summer.
Colleen is the perfect contrast between a casual day and a night out. On the left she is sporting a darling color-block top with her own white jeans. Her accessories balance this patriotic look with all red from Charming Charlie. One of the fun things about shopping there is that they have everything separated by color. If you need a bright red accessory, it is easy to find. On the right, Colleen has added a sparkly scarf, evening bag with rhinestone belt and jewelry for sheer enjoyment on her night out. Lovely.
Staci’s signature accessory color this week is white hot! To her own black dress on the left, Darlene added a statement beaded necklace in white, which is all she needs. And…. who doesn’t love blue and white? Staci is ready for a pool party or a night out at the beach in this super fun look of the season. Blue and white. A warm weather wrap.
Trish always looks fabulous in black and white. With her first set, she introduces Stripes to Aztec. Mixing patterns can be difficult to pull off, but Darlene does it perfectly. And next, Trish is swinging across the stage in an ivory vest and accessories. For a fun addition, an animal print scarf is added to the collection. This pattern should be a staple in all of our wild wardrobes.
Dallas loves to dance and has all the right moves on every stage. Today, she is wearing a solid green dress found at Charming Charlie and used to give her two different looks. Don’t you just love the green, white and black bag? Oh, the possibilities!
Maxi’s are a go-to item in Ginny’s closet. She has the beautiful shape and height to wear one everyday if she chooses. And aren’t they just “tie-dye” for? Both of these dresses are sold in the store and only need a few accessories to make them pop. All handbags, wraps and jewelry are refreshingly simple.
If you are addicted to black and white, then mixing it up is simple with Charming Charlie’s neutrals. The tan and brown accessories Ellen is wearing on the left takes this maxi into fall. All black and white as seen on the right is a favorite.
With style like this, Raven will have us all wishing for an endless summer. The blue dress on the right is hers with a few orange/blue accessories that are as calming as a sunset. On the left, this chevron print is appealing as a swimsuit cover or a dress. White accessories, like the sunglasses, keep the look light and airy.
Judy knows her style and wears it very well, whether in a casual or formal setting. This black dress can be rocked with studded shoes and glamorous accessories or houndstooth and white beads.
Favorite spots for hanging out in Alabama are somewhere with Cindi. This lovely lady is a grandmother of three who remains edgy enough to be seen in short lace dresses and polka dots. Both dresses and accessories can be purchased at CC.
Dr. Patty shows us how a simple sheath dress can prevent this professional from ever looking amateur. Simply changing accessories gives her a whole new look. The dress is hers, but all accessories are from CC.
Thanks to Darlene Real Higginbotham and Charming Charlie for keeping us all in stylish form – all because of our ability to accessorize.
Darlene is the founder of The Real Model Connection and President of Appearance Matters, Inc. She is also a fashion stylist and coach. If you would like to contact her for a style update, call her at 205-902-4808.