In 2015, I added a fabulous feature to The Dressed Aesthetic where I introduce you to smart and stylish woman I find inspiring and show you a portal into their corner of the interwebs (you can read about my last SSS Lady here). It’s been amazing to get to know these femmes better, and add to a growing community of beautiful, amazing women that I draw inspiration from daily. So, here’s the latest installment of Smart, Sassy and Stylish!
I have to admit, I’m a bit stupid excited about this feature. Because it represents one of those moments where you see things come full circle and it gives you the opportunity to look back, brim with gratitude, and see how far you’ve come. How lifting one woman up can lead to bigger and better things – and in my case, can lead to me taking a leap I always wanted to take!
Meet the lovely gal who inspired me to be a better me, Lindsey of Have Clothes, Will Travel.
Way back when, when we had launched our app Dressed and decided to venture into the dark waters of social media, I was a total newbie. Places like Instagram were completely foreign to me, but I started posting photos of my daily outfits on our app pages by way of promotion. Lo and behold, I started to build a small community of women who seemed to appreciate my style and celebrated in my nerd-meets-vintage aesthetic. In my world, though I wore vintage every day, I had never found a space where my love of both could overlap, and the freedom to do so was downright euphoric. In other words, I fell in love and the desire to start a blog that had always had a few, tiny embers over the years started to spark.
Partway through my incredulity that women were excited to see what I might wear the next day, I was contacted by a lovely blogger named Lindsey I followed on IG who wanted to interview me for the Featured Fashionista section of her blog. Admittedly, I had received accolades in my professional life, but the part of my heart that sung for vintage and loved getting dressed every day had never been put in the spotlight by anyone other than me. So, the fact that Lindsey admired my style enough to want to interview me about it – it was a pretty exciting moment. Needless to say, I agreed and spent ages crafting my answers to her questions. And in doing so, I found my voice during that interview. I found common ground between the science-me and the fashionable-me, and realized the two had been merged all along – I just finally found a way to articulate it. And I can’t say exactly why, but doing that feature and answering Lindsey’s interview questions lit a fire under me to really go for it and start this blog.
So introducing you guys to Lindsey is sort of like introducing you to the person who helped me find my voice (even if she doesn’t know it). She gave me the first platform I needed to verbalize my aesthetic and reminded me how much I love writing and fashion and science and that none of those things need be mutually exclusive. And because I am not the only fashionable nerd out there, it made me realize I could give a voice to all of the other ladies in their lab coats, who somehow felt they couldn’t be both feminine and smart. With that, I had a purpose and The Dressed Aesthetic was born.
And the crazy part? As I went back to my interview on HCWT to get the link for this post, I realized that it happened a year ago today, exactly. Unplanned, other than I recalled it was sometime last February. Kind of amazing how circular things are sometimes just meant to me.
Needless to say, featuring Lindsey was a no brainer for me. Her blog is fun and insightful and as down to earth as she is. I love how she unabashedly embraces her love of Marvel Comics and Star Wars, and commingles it with her love of fashion. A quick scroll through her posts shows outfits ranging from quirky and cute, layered in tulle or rugged up for winter. With no style category for herself except to wear that which makes her feel awesome that day. Vintage-inspired girlie meets superhero badass. And because she doesn’t categorize herself, it reminds you that you can be every aspect of yourself and can defy all labels.
Have Clothes, Will Travel is a mixture of outfit and travel posts (and sometimes how to put together a fabulous outfit while traveling!). As you’ll read below, she and her husband don’t call one place home, but rather travel all over and see the world, staying as little or as long as they like in one place. But there’s something about the way Lindsey write her posts that makes you feel like you’re chatting with one of your closest friends. Tucked into her suitcase and on an amazing adventure with her.
So pack your bags, put your tray tables in their upright and locked position, and give your full attention to Lindsey:
Q: Tell me a little about yourself – where you live, what you love, who tags along on your amazing life adventures
Lindsey: “I am actually currently in “home limbo” at the moment. I had been living in Princeton, New Jersey, and had come home to my family in Wisconsin for the holidays and then expected to be moving again shortly after the New Year. However, we are still waiting to find out where we are heading to next! So, Wisconsin is currently home (again). And when I say we, I mean my husband. We are always together on all of these wonderful life adventures. It certainly would not be the same without him!
As for things I love (other than my husband, family and travel), I also really love clothing and personal style. I have an incredible soft spot for bulldogs (all animals, really). I would die without black coffee. And other random things that make my heart happy, include: running, Star Wars, Jane Austen, ModCloth, everything Marvel related and Game of Thrones.”
Q: When & why did you start Have Clothes, Will Travel? Can you pinpoint a moment or event that finally inspired you to take the plunge?
Lindsey: “I don’t know if I can pinpoint the exact moment, but it all started with my husband suggesting I start a blog and offering to help me with setting up WordPress about a year and a half ago. This was because I took a few photos of outfits for ModCloth’s Style Gallery and they seemed to go over well on the site, and I really enjoyed taking the photos and putting the outfits together. I also had wanted a way to keep in touch with my family and share my travels, and sharpen my writing skills. So, this was really something I should’ve started a long time ago!”
Q: I know you and your husband move around quite a bit – can you tell me a little bit about why? How many different cities have you lived in?
Lindsey: “3 years ago my husband and I took stock of our lives, and we realized neither of us were happy in our current situation. We didn’t love our careers (he was working at a local insurance company, and I was working at a local news station as producer). Something was missing. We were both so caught up in our careers and rarely saw each other…and we NEVER travelled anywhere (because I didn’t have enough vacation time). So, we sat down, figured out what we could do…and decided my husband’s career was the one that would offer more travel opportunities. So, he went on a few job interviews, and was hired as a consultant. Most consultants travel 4 days a week and fly home on the weekends. However, my husband and I decided we were going to go where ever his job takes us, and we were going together. So, I quit my job at the news station, and it’s been an adventure ever since! We’ve lived in Foster City (just outside of San Francisco), Oklahoma City, Stevens Point, WI, Princeton, NJ and we’re currently waiting on our next city!”
Q: Given that you move around so much, how do you manage your ever-growing wardrobe?
Lindsey: “When I originally started moving around, and I had a very minimalistic wardrobe and had purged a ton of clothing. However, now that I’ve had this style blog for over a year…my wardrobe has definitely expanded, haha. Storage totes and space bags are my new friends. And usually every time I move I donate things that have gotten worn out or just don’t get enough use. The hardest thing is to not to buy bulky items. I would have a bajillion coats and boots and purses, if I had the room for them…but I don’t (and not even space bags can help those). So, I try to keep it to just a couple coats and boots. Same with purses. I have a few smaller novelty bags and one larger bag and that’s all I currently own. It’s hard to accumulate things when you don’t physically have anywhere to go with them in the corporate style housing (or hotels) we typically live in.”
Q: You must be a brilliant packer – any advice for how to pack the perfect capsule wardrobe to wear while traveling?
Lindsey: “This one would make my husband chuckle. I have definitely improved in the packing department, however, I’m not sure if I can say I’m brilliant. The big thing to keep under the 50 lb mark when packing a bag is to avoid too many shoes. When I’m going on trips I try to limit myself to 2 pairs (one comfy, one dressy – both neutral colors), only 1 or 2 pairs of pants and skirts that I can wear with multiple outfits. Maxi skirts are my favorite because they are so lightweight, comfortable and they pack really well. And of course lightweight tops..maybe a couple lightweight dresses and couple scarves & necklaces to make it look like I’m not wearing the same outfits over and over again (even though, that’s typically what I’m doing). My workout clothes double as pjs. I put all of my bath items in the tiny little containers (because, holy smokes do shampoos, lotions, etc. get heavy!) And I wear my coat and boots on the plane, if I need to bring them. So, I guess nothing ground-breaking, but this is definitely an improvement from trying to bring my entire closet!”
Q: I love that you recently moved towards a full time career as a Personal Stylist – what motivated you to start your own business?
Lindsey: “This actually started after I had been introduced to a start-up company called Side by Style. They gave me a nice little start into the personal styling business, and after they closed a several months ago, I decided to continue my business through my blog.”
Q: What do you love most about styling clients?
Lindsey: “I guess a couple of different things.
1. I really enjoy the challenge. No two people have the exact same style, so putting myself in their shoes (quite literally) and selecting pieces they love is so much fun.
2. Every time I work with a client is an opportunity for me to help build their confidence. Everyone has insecurities about their bodies, and being able to find clothing that makes someone feel empowered, is really fantastic.”
Q: Juggling a career, friends, family, and blogging (all while being constantly on the go) sounds pretty hectic. Do you have any tips and tricks for staying organized?
Lindsey: “This going to sound ridiculous, but my favorite thing is a little notebook I keep next to me at all times. So anytime I think of something, or someone asks for an appointment, I can just write it down. I can’t bring myself to use any electronic planners when it comes to keeping straight what appointments I have, flights, deadlines for the blog, random things I need to accomplish during the day, etc. Being able to physically write them down and then cross them off, is just so rewarding to me. ”
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your fashion aesthetic? What inspires your personal style?
Lindsey: “My fashion aesthetic is I don’t exactly have one, it’s always changing. (I even took a fashion aesthetic quiz on Buzzfeed to confirm this, haha.) There are some days I want to deck myself out in head to toe vintage inspired clothing, and the next day I want to rock tight pants and a leather jacket, and the next I’m wearing a Star Wars t-shirt dress and galaxy leggings or a sweatshirt. It’s hard to put a label on it. I wear what makes me happy that day. And lately, I’ve been getting my personal style inspiration from a wide variety of talented style bloggers. I’m really not sure what I even did for inspiration before I started following style blogs.”
Q: You’ve gotten to work with some incredible brands & bloggers – what’s been your favourite collaboration?
Lindsey: “Oh, this is a tough one. As for bloggers, I have loved every single talented lady I have had the pleasure of collaborating with. However, for companies I can narrow it down to ModCloth and Machi Footwear. ModCloth is a company I have always admired and is the main reason I started blogging. I love that they are a socially conscious company, and how they are always looking to involve their community in their ad campaigns. So, when they asked me to collaborate with them on the launch of their first ever namesake clothing line – I almost fainted. (If you would like to read more about this, see this post.) And Machi Footwear, has helped me expand my shoe horizons. I usually base my outfits around a dress or skirt and the shoes are an afterthought to match. However, thanks to them, I’ve started basing my outfits around their awesome heels! Machi Footwear was also the reason I had been invited to my first ever fashion show at New York Fashion Week. Now, that was one of the best moments of my life! (You can see more about that in this post.)”
Q: What was the best piece of advice you‘ve you’d received while blogging? What would you tell someone else who’s thinking about taking the plunge themselves?
Lindsey: “Listen to your gut and be yourself. I know that is so cliché, but anytime anyone has come along and questioned what I was doing, or how I was going about it…my husband has always said to just listen to my gut. I get a bit worried about not having a signature, consistent style (which I’ve been told multiple times is a style blogging no-no), but if I wore dresses every day or Star Wars t-shirts every single day…I would get bored with it. It’s not who I am. I’m also spending countless hours each week creating content, monitoring analytics and tweaking things appropriately, researching, networking, etc. I’m getting to a point where I’m always open to advice, but I also have a good understanding of what is best for my blog and me.
As for someone who’s thinking about taking the plunge themselves, I would say just go for it! It is so incredibly terrifying to put yourself out there, I know. But I can 100 percent promise you it will be worth it. The blogging community is an incredibly supportive place that continues to build each other up, instead of tearing down the competition. It’s really incredible. It’s also important to take inspiration from other bloggers, but not try to copy them. Be true to yourself, or you will get exhausted trying to keep up with the façade of emulating so-and-so of a blogger, and eventually you’ll burn out. If you’re being yourself and pouring your heart into your blog, people will notice and gravitate to you.”
Q: You’re outfit photos always seem to be in amazing locations – what’s been the craziest experience with passersby on a photoshoot?
Lindsey: “Oh boy, let me think. Fortunately, people are usually pretty courteous and just leave me alone to do my thing. One of the most amusing experiences, though, was at Fashion Week this fall. I was doing a little photo shoot with Machi Footwear, and once they were done, there was a steady stream of people coming over to me asking to take photos of my outfit. Apparently, they thought I was far more important than I actually am, haha.
I do have a kind of funny photo, of getting photo bombed by a biker, too. This actually happened all the time on this dead end road in Princeton for some reason…but I did manage to get this guy in a whole bunch of shots. Haha…how did people not notice me and the tripod on this lonely road?”
Q: Dressing outside of what is considered “normal” will always garner comments. What’s been your most positive and most negative experience in the blogosphere? How do you respond?
Lindsey: “Once again, I’ve been really fortunate. The majority of people who speak up and voice their comments to me are very, very positive. The blogging community has been incredible! I can’t honestly think of one negative comment I’ve received. I did have multiple unfortunate experiences of having my photos stolen for tights/leg fetish sites, which is beyond bizarre and makes me feel incredibly violated. I’ve disabled the right click option on my site…but if people truly want photos of my tights/legs they’re still going to steal them. I’ve just learned to accept it, and continue to post outfits regardless of whether or not some unsavoury individual may steal them. The good outweighs the bad. Speaking of good, the most positive experience I’ve had I would have to say was from you Kara! When you told me you decided to start a blog after your feature on my blog, I was so blown away. It was really flattering to think I had anything to do with the push for you to start this lovely blog.”
Q: Do you have any advice for women who haven’t quite grown into their confidence yet?
Lindsey: “Very few people are born confident. I know I sure wasn’t. I honestly don’t believe I truly became confident in myself until I started this blog, and I still question myself some days. But I think the first step is being able to accept a compliment. When someone comments on your cute shoes or how you did your hair that day, instead of downplaying it, say thank you and compliment them right back. That’s something that sounds easy, but seems to actually be incredibly hard for many women to do. I still struggle with it. But making a habit of it has really helped to boost my confidence in myself.”
Q: What songs would be in your life soundtrack?
Lindsey: “On The Road Again. I don’t usually spend my time listening to Johnny Cash. However, that song seems like it would be quite appropriate for my life. We are always on “the road again,” and I always “can’t wait to get on the road again.” Haha.”
Q: And finally, as I end all of my interviews, finish this sentence: When I grow up, I want to be…
Lindsey: “A superhero. Can that be an acceptable answer? Haha. I’m honestly already doing the career I love and living my life exactly how I want to. So, if I could grow up and be a superhero… that would be great. I’ve decided I would really like to have super-strength for my superpower too, please.”
Seriously, isn’t Lindsey the cutest? Though I’m not sure the world is ready for it, I can’t wait for the day when we meet in person!
I see her as one of those amazing women who simply sees what she wants and makes it happen for herself – she’s a blogger, a personal stylist, and a world traveler. And though she may not realize this – she is working every day to build other women up and celebrate their style. And that is an amazingly powerful thing (and truthfully, something we need a lot more of). You can read about some of her latest Featured Fashionistas here, here and here – her features are on scientists, travelers, bakers, models, bloggers, women with diverse backgrounds and personal styles, and each is celebrated for their individual awesome.
So, thanks Lindsey – for not even realizing you were taking my hand and leading me into the blogosphere. And for reminding all of us every day through your blog to take the adventure, pack the suitcase, start the journey.
Supplied where possible. For the rest, check out Lindsey’s fabulous blog!
All photos in this post courtesy of Have Clothes, Will Travel