fashionable talk with aubrey ballard
BY KIANA MORIDI
When you think vibrant spring style, you should think local style blogger and online jewelry shop owner of the Dandy Stone, Aubrey Ballard. Her eye for unique handpicked jewels is just as curated as her gift for boasting a fashion trend well before it even becomes one. At age 15, Ballard noticed her boss in a show-stopping top—one so memorable that it eventually changed her own personal style. “One day my boss showed up to work in a black Prada puff-sleeve blouse straight off the 2002 ready-to-wear runway show,” says Ballard. “It was love at first sight. After that, I remember making it my mission to amass a collection of puff-sleeve blouses, and I haven’t looked back since.”
Most days, you’ll catch Ballard sporting a dramatic puff sleeve, a burst of color, or an unexpectedly cohesive print combination like a chevron sweater complemented by a pastel tie-dye trouser. From cotton candy-colored cocoon coats to the importance of color, Ballard takes us through her fall style guide.
FLARE: What is your favorite fall trend?
Ballard: Not your typical fall trend, but the pastel hues that have carried over from Spring/Summer. Right now, I’m digging pastel-colored organza scrunchies worn in my hair or on my wrist as a bracelet. I’m also all over pastel-colored eyewear in angular shapes.
FLARE: What is your go-to fall outfit?
Ballard: My go-to fall outfit would have to be a pair of high-waisted cropped flares, preferably in soft or bright colors, and a lightweight crewneck sweater, and a well-tailored blazer. And with them, I’ll typically pair neutral-colored flats with some kind of interesting detail, like a bow or buckle.
FLARE: What's your favorite fall/winter piece in your closet right now?
Ballard: I would have to say a blue and green plaid double-breasted suit. It’s so versatile (I can wear the suit as a set, or separately with other pieces) and timeless!
FLARE: Any fall/winter pieces you have your eye on?
Ballard: I'm currently on the lookout for the perfect cocoon coat in a pale yellow or cotton candy shade. I've been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel lately---Mrs. Maisel seems to have the perfect coat for every outfit, and it all feels so fresh!
FLARE: How do you like to accessorize in the fall?
Ballard: I'm not one for big chunky scarves, so I opt for silk scarves worn every way imaginable: as a head scarf, in a pony tail, around my neck, draped over a purse handle. Another timeless, go-to accessory for me is pearls. Sometimes, all I need to complete a look is to add a pearl choker or a fabulous pair of pearl earrings.
Photography by Aubrey Ballard
FLARE: When I first met you, you mentioned the importance of color in your wardrobe. Tell me a bit about that.
Ballard: Let me answer it this way: I would have to deliberately try to not incorporate color into my wardrobe. Because of this, I actually struggle with not having enough neutrals in my closet. Color, for me, is a way of life. It invades everything I purchase and create.
FLARE: What are your favorite colors to pair right now?
Ballard: Honestly, there isn't a color I won't wear in fall. I find that as the days get shorter and the nights get longer, I reach for bright, happy colors to brighten my day. In general, I tend to stay away from dark colors or neutrals.
FLARE: If you could pull pieces from anyone’s closet, whose would it be?
Ballard: Oh, that’s an easy one. Leandra Medine of online magazine, Repeller’s wardrobe is certainly the most enviable.
She has such an incredible eye for statement pieces, and really knows how to pair runway with vintage and streetwear.
FLARE:Puff sleeves are a major trend right now, and I know how much you love them. Tell me a bit about why you love puff sleeves, and how it makes you feel when you wear them.
Ballard: I feel like a badass-- like I own the place. Perhaps because they are as outwardly bold as I often wish I were on the inside. As an introvert, I enjoy how puff sleeves do a lot of the talking for you. I lament the fact that puff sleeve blouses are now considered a “trend” when I see it as such a timeless piece. But alas, as with all trends, it will fade from everyone’s minds as the fashion cycle evolves. And I will continue to wear my 20-year-old dramatic puff-sleeve blouses with pride.
Check out Ballard's fashion and style blog, The Dandy Liar for stories on skincare, lifestyle, fashion, and more.