Inside My Closet

What do you do during the day?
I’m the VP of Operations Finance at Sprint. I’ve been at Sprint for 19 years now.

Outside of work, what are some of your interests and pursuits?
I’m on the board of two nonprofits: The Children’s Place and the Alzheimer’s Association – Heart of America Chapter. I love spending time with my family, especially my 4-year-old son. Other interests: tennis, working out, wine, fashion, travel. I’m an avid tennis player; I played growing up and played college tennis at K-State.

What are you wearing in this photo?
Jacket – A.L.C., blouse - L’Agence, skinny black jeans - Baldwin Denim, House of Harlow necklace and ring, Prada shoes.

Why do you love this outfit?
I love pieces that I can wear to the office and also style differently to wear out. One way or another, I can wear all these pieces in a very professional manner, or spice them up for a night out. I love all the “color” associated with this summer’s fashions, which is why I chose this lime green blouse and jacket. I love my black Baldwin skinnys and wear them quite often. They are very comfortable and I can dress them up or dress them down so easily. I think House of Harlow has very unique affordable jewelry, and I find myself wearing these pieces frequently.

What are some fundamental elements of your overall personal style?
When I buy clothes, there has to be a wow factor. I have to really love the piece to buy it.
And there has to be something unexpected or unique about the item. Right now, I’m into colorful pieces, fun jewelry, bold prints, amazing shoes, fun blazers and jackets, skinny jeans … and did I mention amazing shoes? I’ve definitely transitioned to spending my money on high-quality pieces vs. just buying a ton of average clothes. I don’t like to always dress the same; I like to mix up my look—skinny jeans, skirts, dresses and shorts.

What are a few of your favorite beauty products?
Some of my favorites are Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage, Stila hair refresher, Kai lotion and Chanel base mascara.

How do you transition from your professional self to your off-the-clock self?
When I get home, it’s family time. I put comfortable shoes on (flip flops or flat sandals in summer) and change into shorts and tee (in the summer) or something less casual like a maxi dress if we are going out to dinner. Playing with my son, making dinner with my husband and enjoying a glass of wine is my perfect way to unwind after a busy day at work.

Your job must be very demanding in myriad ways. How do you dress for success on the job?
I think it’s always important to dress nice and professionally with an on-trend look whether I’m at work or not. I think through my outfit every morning, including accessories, to ensure I portray myself in a positive, professional manner with a good sense of style.

Where do you like to shop for hidden treasures in South Johnson County?
My three favorite boutiques in KC are Standard, Feng and In Clover.

Do you have any fashion tips you might offer?
Clean your closet out and organize it twice a year—either on your own or with a professional. Donate or sell pieces that you don’t wear, don’t like or that aren’t current or don’t fit. You’ll be left with a closet full of pieces you will actually wear and know where there are “gaps” in your closet, so you don’t buy things you don’t need. Since I’ve started doing this, I’ve really pared down my closet to high-quality pieces and feel like I wear everything. No more complaining I don’t have anything to wear!


photos: Laurel Austin