Motto:If I like a piece of clothing or accessory and feel comfortable in it, then I'm going to get it.
Lauren Smith, a social strategy specialist for BrandHoot, a Rochester digital solutions company, puts social media and fashion at the center of her interests.
"I have an Instagram account that I document every outfit I wear each day," she said. "My account name is 'outfit_a_day_365.' It's been fun to see what outfits I have created, and I vowed not to repeat one."
Born and raised in Detroit, Smith moved to Rochester four years ago to attend the University of Minnesota Rochester. A member of the first graduating class in 2013, she earned a bachelor of science in health sciences.
"I interned with Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, with their marketing and communications department," Smith said. "That's where I got my social media marketing interest and experience."
Engaged, Smith said she is happily planning her wedding and looking forward to life in Rochester.
"I recently bought my first house," she said, noting she lives with her fiance, Eric Scott, and three animals: a yorkie poodle, a rescued lab shepherd and a rescued cat.
Please tell us about your brand of style.
I can't say that I have a specific style. If I like a piece of clothing or accessory and feel comfortable in it, then I'm going to get it. I'm a little bit of everything; classic, sporty, bohemian, tribal, rocker — you name it. I have no fears with mixing styles, too. I'll wear a tough leather motorcycle jacket with a feminine, floral blouse and skirt.
Did family have an influence on your style strategies?
I am blessed to have amazing women in my family who are fashionable! My mother, grandmothers and even great-grandmother have an excellent sense of style, but all in their own way. My mother wears fabulous outfits, mainly Ralph Lauren. I love how she shops; she is savvy and has an eye for picking great patterns at low prices. My grandmother has a bohemian style, great for Florida, where she resides half the year. I love the breezy and flowy outfits she can create. My great-grandmother recently passed away, but she is my biggest role model. She had such a classic and sophisticated look, like Audrey Hepburn. (She was) an expert at accessorizing. I could find hundreds of scarves, necklaces, earrings and bracelets in her closet. I even knew when I was a little girl how wonderful she dressed. I would sneak into her room and play dress-up.
Do you have especially sentimental pieces?
I do! I was blessed to inherit beautiful pieces of jewelry from my great-grandmother, including my vintage Lanvin bracelet that I wear almost everyday.
Has your style changed with your places in life ?
When I was younger (middle and high school age), I wanted to wear stuff that was considered "cool." Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle and Aeropostle were popular brands; the bigger the logo the better. I know now that I don't have to have a brand labeled across my chest.
What do you hope to say through your style, including professionally?
I want people to see me as a trendsetter and fearless with my fashion choices. I hope my personality shines through in whatever I wear. From a pair of hot pink heels to a studded motorcycle jacket, there's a unique, statement-making piece that screams my name! Even when I dress up for client meetings, I love to add a little something special and colorful. For instance, I'll throw on a pair of snakeskin high heels and bangle bracelets.
What should every well-dressed woman have?
A pair of high heels that fit well and can be worn for hours. Truthfully, I would spend every day in heels if I could. The taller the better!
Organize your closet. Then you can see exactly what you have to work with. Never be afraid to add color and mix prints. That's how the best outfits are created, when adding the unexpected. Don't be afraid to shop consignment or thrift store. I once found a Ralph Lauren ball gown with all tags, never worn. Originally $400, I bought it for $10, and wore it to a black tie wedding. And last but not least, when in doubt overdress. Who doesn't love an excuse to wear that over-the-top gown that's been hiding in the back of your closet?
Do you know somebody who's got special style? Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Life section editor Jeff Pieters at 507-285-7748.
Anne Murphy is a Rochester freelance writer who has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years.