Here we are again! Style session #2 featuring none only than my cousin, and Texas’ finest, Kai! (Instagram- @Hi_imkai) She is a 27 year old who is the lead UI/UX designer for Sherri Hill over in Austin, Texas. I absolutely loves Kai’s style because she creates an eye catching, yet classy, look on a daily basis. Something I also strive to do! She has great taste in jewelry/accessories and rocks a statement hat better than anyone I know! She was gracious enough to carve out some time from her busy schedule to answer some questions for me regarding what drives her love for fashion.
She explained that she loves fashion because she can channel every woman she has ever idolized and still be herself. “I can be classic and elegant like Princess Diana but still cozy and chic like Audrey Hepburn. I can emulate an effortless Parisian woman but randomly throw in a chunky statement necklace on my way to work because no one needs an occasion or an excuse to wear sparkly jewelry.” (PS I agree 100% with that statement – if it sparkles, WEAR IT. She continues to say that when you know the rules, you break them because afterall, that is what differentiated fashion icons from the masses. Her broad view of fashion is admirable, she really loves to test the limits by adding her own twist to her previously inspired looks.
I asked her if she had to describe her style in one word what would it be, she states “simple-ish”. She states that fashion means beautiful products, but style communicates to her louder. How someone uses something has more meaning to her than the fact that they simply possess it. I can relate to Kai in this sense, I love seeing how people use what they have. One of my favorite Instagram bloggers, Alexis @alexisatarian, uses the phrase “work with what you got”. I love that, don’t just possess a piece of clothing, or an accessory. MAKE it something more, make a statement that helps people see who you are and what you are passionate about.
One thing I am always curious about is everyone’s favorite “season” for fashion. Kai says that fall is her favorite for a few reasons. “Scarves hold my perfume scent all day long and nothing is more comfy than a sweater.” Oh, and a tip for a good sweater? She recommends Cotton On’s sweater collections. She says they are relatively cheap, for a good cause and really comfortable when you break them in. (@cottonon) When it comes to comfort Kai said that she loves when she looks tiny. “I have an athletic/wider build with a D chest so my go to is normally something that shows my long legs and hides my chest to make me simply appear slender and tall.” This is actually a great point, I have always said you want to accentuate the top or the bottom. I am very tall, and also have a D chest. If I’m going to wear a top that shows off my shoulders, or has a lower neckline, I always make sure that my legs are more conservative. If I’m wearing a shorter dress/skirt/shorts I always want to make sure to wear something more conservative on top. Less skin is classic, if I want to show off my long legs you can bet 100% of the time my top will be more conservative.
I have many go to pieces that you can always find a plethora of in my closet. Kai says that she is a sucker for some well fitting skinnies or a knit sweater no matter what the season. She also loves black lace (I DO TOO!) and even jokes that she may even wear a black lace dress to her wedding someday! Well, we know her go to pieces… now where does the inspiration come from? She jokes and says “Pinterest” but really, she said that she tends to gravitate towards a preppier vibe but likes to “disturb it with a little edge”. She states that she may be wearing all black but it will be an oversized, thin, batwing sweater with AG Contour 360 black High Rise skinnies and Simmi or Steve Madden boots. The silhouette is classic but the color combo (or lack-there-of) is edgier. She also states that she thinks that “styling is PERTINENT!” because it changes your look from the girl next to you.
I like to try new fashion trends and step out of my comfort zone. I don’t like to be stuck in a box, if you will. Kai says that she flirts on the line of trying new things. She says that she knows what works on her body. She gives the example of how she cannot go out and buy a romper made for a 5’6 girl’s proportions. (I also can relate to this!) “It’s all about fit for me. I may love it on you but that does not mean I have to force something ultimately unflattering on myself”. That statement is dynamite and really resonated with me. I know sometimes I want to make myself fit into a certain look SO BADLY that I will try just about anything until I “think” I can squeeze myself into it. One thing that we, as women/lovers of fashion, need to remember is that fashion is timeless and has no limit. However, there is a limit to what we can wear depending on our body type, height etc. Make your look flatter YOU.
Window shopping? Kai window shops daily via ecomm and her Instragram feed. She is a firm believer in retail therapy so sometimes window shopping on a gloomy day will make her happier. Should she still be gushing over a particular item she left in her cart a few days later she may just go back and get it. When she is shopping she tends to be caught up something that may fit into the Hamptoms or a classic European category. She explains that “this may range from a cropped jean to a leather jacket but each is definitely a specific “girl” with specific pieces.
Where to shop? “I’m an ecomm girl but that comes from my field and knowing from the business side what “true-to-size” may mean, or how something may sit on me by analyzing how it fits on the model’s body.” She loves Revolve and her cheaper go-to is Tobi. As far as brands are concerned; JBrand, AG Jeans, Madewell, All Saints and Theory are a few of her favorites. When it comes to a fashion icon she has many, some she has listed earlier in this interview. She does mention that her #1 girl is Arielle Not Charnas “AKA Something Navy”. She then says boldly how she “LOVES HER STYLE!” Kai explains that she is so lovable and unpredictable; the products she buys, her pairings and her personality. She cannot help but watch her Instagram stories, no matter what the length is. So be sure to check her out!
Now some of my “guilty pleasure” questions! One of my favorite questions is “diamonds or pearls?” Because I love both! Kai replies with “evening or day? I wear pearl earrings next to Kendra Scott bar earrings most days”, paired with her grandmothers diamond necklace.” You will notice from my last style session that my last two questions are pertaining to every day life “fun facts” and my icons height. As a tall gal, I have a hard time finding clothes that are the right length and fit. Kai is 5’11 (TALL COUSINS UNITE!) which is one of the reasons that she is obsessed with well fitting jeans. (as am I!) she hates how maxis rarely ever are long enough for her to wear heels with. “Most luxary brands run long because they expect pieces to be tailored so normally I try to find specific brands where the cuts cater towards my size but it’s not easy.” But when she does find a brand that suites her, it makes her a loyal customer!
Finally – a fun fact! Kai shares “I was able to get off the ground in Crow pose this week in Yoga!!!! VICTORY!” you go girl! We should have her and Casey (featured last week) teach us some fun yoga poses to try – keep them simple for people with zero flexibility like myself! Be sure to follow Kai on social media and take a part in her daily journeys and fashion adventures!
Xoxo – Style by Leanne