Streets Fashionista

Categories:  Fashion   
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Streets Fashionista by Leslie McAllister

A good red wine, a camel hair trench coat (Kim Kardashian hasn’t been able to take hers off as of late), spaghetti and meatballs, a crisp white button-down – all classics. Even the word classic describes a perfect example of a particular style; that of lasting worth or timeless quality.

Here is the fun thing about these basics: mixing them. Stay with me for a minute – take the basic white button-down, now add a neutral pattern, like a metallic, then take trouser pants and add clean lines and a funky print. Put those two together with a black pump and a black blazer, and you have just taken crisp and clean to a whole new level.

It really is easy to do. Stick with easy silhouettes, like a blazer, slim pants, button-down shirts, or even cashmere sweaters and pencil skirts, then put a twist on them. Maybe the pencil skirt is leopard and the cashmere sweater is black and white striped now throw on that black blazer and voila! This is called pattern play and it can be done on numerous levels.

Guys, you can do this too. Instead of a basic black blazer, make it satin, silk, or velvet. Instead of a white T-shirt, try a heather grey v-neck and cinch it up with a pair of tapered black pants or denim jeans. Now add unanticipated elements, like an out-there pair of shades and an ethnic scarf. Before you know it you have an instantaneous, dressed to impress look.

This is all you have to take away from today’s lesson: classic pieces + unexpected elements = Kate Moss... (Or just a really cool, effortlessly chic and unforgettable outfit that will have people chasing you down the street to get your style advice.)

Who? Marilyn Goellner

Where? Film Society of Northwestern PA’s season opener “The Bling Ring” at the Erie Art Museum

 Why Marilyn? Here’s the fun tidbit – the Mercyhurst University Fashion Department got in on the fun and chose best dressed female of the night, and Marilyn won! And I myself couldn’t have picked a better dresser. Marilyn was not only kind with a ready smile – which we all know is my favorite accessory – but she had the look to go with it all. Sophisticated and playful. I love the statement necklace that compliments the silver polka dots on the breezy button-down. Her slim-fitting pants have a classic pattern that ties in with the enviable black trench coat. The t-strap on her black pumps is a breath of fresh air. Like the cherry on top, Marilyn carries her pop of color, a red leather handbag. Bellissima!

What We Want to Know:

Describe your style. I don’t know if I have a style! But if I had to describe what I like, my style is classic and relaxed. New trends really have to appeal to me, and quite honestly, they have to be age-appropriate. Work trends have really changed over the years from matching suits to sporty pieces that can be mixed and matched, which can be much more interesting. I like the looks that the TV show “Mad Men” brought back – pencil skirts and feminine blouses and cardigans. My closet is primarily black, white, and grey, but I will add trends that catch my eye. I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

Your favorite fashion icon? Seriously, I have never thought about it. I just browse through magazines and window shop. I take notice of what others are wearing. My daughter lives in Miami, and the fashion style there is extremely different from Erie.

Favorite accessory?  A Pandora charm bracelet from my daughter with charms that have a special meaning to both of us. Coming in second would be my dog, Cooper.

What excites you about fashion? I used to be a big “Project Runway” fan in the early seasons because I was fascinated by the creativity and talent. My guilty pleasure is the award show red carpets! Who can resist critiquing the gowns, shoes, hair, and jewelry from the comfort of home, lounging in yoga pants.

In reference to the movie “The Bling Ring,” if you could take an item from the closet of Paris Hilton, what would it be and why? Haha! I would never take anything like those spoiled little criminals, but I would, however, love to have her actual closet. It was amazing!

Favorite fall dish to prepare? Spicy vegetarian chili

You are packing for a weekend getaway to the Poconos – what do you bring? I actually will be packing for a weekend to the Gateway Lodge in Cooks Forest soon! It is relaxed and serene with amazing food. I will pack jeans, turtlenecks, a down vest, and plenty of scarves and hats. I admit to being a little obsessed with winter hats and scarves because they can be inexpensive accessories to change up your look over the long Erie winters.

Tell us about your involvement in the Erie community. I’ve worked at Edinboro University for 20 years, and I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing individuals. I feel fortunate to work with great colleagues and Edinboro students. My job is truly rewarding – raising funds for much needed scholarships. I am also on the board of the Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania, and recently trained as a volunteer for ‘Reading Buddies’ as part of the United Way of Erie County’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library. It is a fantastic program that helps to improve literacy for children in Erie County.

Find me out on the town and challenge yourself to get noticed by the Erie Reader!Leslie McAllister can be contacted at, and you can follow her on Twitter @ShopJuJu. 

Erie Reader: Vol. 7, No. 21
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