We like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens as much as the next person, but a great pair of jeans comes in pretty handy too. Meet a few of Abilene’s stylish locals as they share their best recommendations for products that help keep them polished, comfortable and feeling their best on a daily basis. Brown paper with string packaging optional.
Lisa and Jamie
- Jon Hart Large Pouch, Grande bags: “They are great for everyday and travel.” Available at The Arrangement. (Lisa)
- Louis Vuitton messenger bag: “It’s also great for everyday and travel.” (Lisa)
- Coco Chanel Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum: “My favorite.” (Lisa)
- Moroccan oil: “It brings your hair to life.” (Jamie)
- Chanel concealer: “Hides my dark circles.” (Jamie)
- Flowers: “Because they brighten every day!” (Jamie)
Lisa Bailey-Cedillo (43) and her sister, Jamie Bailey-Arrington (41), have been styling the community via their sparkly-fun taste and innovative floral designs for 20 years this October with their floral shop and clothing boutique, The Arrangement. Whether putting together flowers for a wedding, hosting an event at their adjoining celebration venue, or dressing and accessorizing some of the stylish women in town, these two know just what to do to help people feel their best.
Cedillo describes both of their style as casual and trendy but adds that Arrington wears dresses more often. They frequently travel to market to stock their clothing boutique, and they do much of their clothing purchases there. They also like to shop at boutiques. The sisters agree that style is an extension of one’s personality.
“I have a weakness for bags, and shoes always fit no matter if you put on a few pounds,” Cedillo said. “I love jewelry, old and new.” Their go-to item for feeling put together is Dear John Denim. “Their jeans are the best.”
- Animal print blazer by Michael Kors with animal print hat: “I just love this. I can dress it up with black pants or a skirt or just dress it down with jeans.”
- Multi-color two-piece jacket and pants by St. John Sport by Marie Gray: “I can wear various different colors with this outfit. My favorite is with my navy turbine and navy hat.”
- Black three-piece evening wear by Exclusively Misook: “I love to wear it with a hat by Makins New York and black gloves. I can just wash and wear it, and it looks wonderful each time.”
- Mary Kay skin products
- Mary Kay lipstick in Rouge Red
- Cream purse by Coach: “I love this purse because it is small.”
Neomia Banks has lived in Abilene since 1968 and is an owner/agent with State Farm Insurance. Always impeccably put together, Banks has a style she describes as “conservative classic with flair.” Or, as her friends have told her, “classy and sassy with flair.”
She enjoys shopping at Northpark Mall in Dallas and Hulen Mall in Fort Worth, as well as Laura’s in Abilene, but not as often as she used to because “You begin to run out of space!”
“Style is important because it represents your personality without actually speaking and saying who you are,” Banks said.
Some of the most distinctive pieces of her wardrobe are the hats she has been collecting for about 33 years.
“When I became a business owner, I wore them every day, because I could,” she says. “Wearing hats makes me feel like myself. If I don’t have one on, something is missing.”
- Wooden watch, Treehut.com
- Cross necklace, James Avery: “It’s special because it’s a reminder of my role here on earth and that is to be living a life of Christ-likeness every day in all that I do. My brothers and I wear it as a reminder.”
- Rayban sunglasses: “I love them because they go with any outfit. I wear them frequently because I love being outside.”
- Photo/ring: “A constant reminder of love, family and what’s important.”
- Brown wingtip shoes, purchased at Dillard’s. “They can be worn casually or formally.”
- Classic Travel Journal with Strap Closure from Rougejournals.com: Craver uses this journal for inspirational documentation – quotes, scripture, or just simple thoughts.
Travis Craver (34), the meticulously dressed director of spiritual formation for Hardin-Simmons University, has lived in Abilene for 16 years. Craver’s favorite places to shop are Brooks Brothers, Southern Tide, ASOS, JCrew and Banana Republic.
“I mix and match but prefer to keep things classic, as it is timeless, or give it a more contemporary twist by paying attention to little details including cuts, textures, patterns, colors, and accessories,” Travis says. “I favor the preppy look, dressing in layers as temperature varies. Jackets, vests, sweaters, ties, and bow ties are all integral components of the sartorial makeup.”
He collects bow ties and clip ties and looks to GQ, Instagram, and Polyvore to get inspired. Style is important to Craver because “it gives us a chance to express ourselves, to fit in, to stand out, to attract others, to create mood, to adhere to necessary uniforms of professionalism and authority, to aspire and to inspire. Certainly, fashion and style also allow us to have fun!”
Jennifer and Forrest
- Hat, found at Books-A-Million: “It is my favorite hat ever! I wear it every time I leave the house.” (Jennifer)
- Purse, Target: “My husband surprised me with it, and I love how it goes with everything.” (Jennifer)
- Mustard yellow cardigan, Target: “I’m definitely a cardigan gal. My husband teases me about how I have every shade of yellow, but hey, it’s all about feeling cozy, right?” (Jennifer)
- Sunglasses, purchased at a gas station. (Forrest)
- Bandana, thrift store purchase: “Bandanas keep my mop (of hair) out of my face, especially on hot days when I’m working in my shop.” (Forrest)
- Birkenstocks, also a thrift store purchase: “I’m basically just done with laces, so a slip-on is great, but ever since I found Birkenstocks I’ve loved how comfortable they are.” (Forrest)
Jen and Forrest Harmel
The Harmels are co-owners of The Food Park in addition to their separate careers. Jennifer is curator of A People Party Productions, a social media promotions and event marketing business, and Forrest is owner/maker at Forrest Woodworks. They have created craft fairs here and in Austin and work to shine light on the community and its makers. Also parents of two children, they do it all with style.
Both enjoy vintage and thrift shopping, and Jen, 33, also likes finding items at Target. The two are advocates of supporting local and handmade goods as well.
Jen says Forrest’s style depends on his mood. “Sometimes, he’s all about those hippie vibes with a floral bandana and cut off jean shorts. Other times, he styles a simple button up, sleeves rolled up, and jeans, which is my fave.” Forrest describes Jennifer as “classy vintage with a side of spunk.”
Do clothes make the man/woman? Jennifer says no. “I think it’s important to consider how the things we wear make first impressions, whether we’d like to believe that or not. But it should never add or take away from a person’s value.”
Forrest agreed. “Clothes may give a glimpse into a person’s personality, but really, clothes are just costumes. The heart makes the man/women. I know so many amazing people who don’t care one bit about what they wear.”
- Booties from jshoes.com: Jessica wears booties year round and chose these for their great heel height and nude color.
- Basic white tee by Splendid: “White tees are always classic. This one is very worn in and so comfy.”
- AG skinny distressed black jeans. Similar available at Betty & June.
- Batiste dry shampoo: “It is great between washes and adds volume.”
- OPI Nail Polish in My Vampire is Buff: “It is the perfect creamy, nude shade.”
- Denim cutoffs, by One Teaspoon: “My summertime staple.” Available at Betty & June.
Jessica Jackson, 39, creator and owner of the effortlessly chic Betty & June boutique in downtown Abilene, has a self-described style of “classically edgy” and says her interest in fashion began early.
“Style has always been a part of me,” Jessica said. “When I was little, I loved watching my mom get ready. She’d arrange her clothing and accessories on her bed. I could tell it made her feel good when she was dressed up and ready to go. It’s the way it can change your mood, the way it makes you feel, that touch of confidence it can give someone.”
Aside from her expertly chosen attire from her six-year-old shop (she personally chooses every item for sale), Jessica likes to shop for clothing at Madewell, Topshop and Zara. She also likes supporting local shops in Abilene as well as Goodwill for vintage Levi’s. Her style philosophy is about wearing pieces that make her happy.
“Style should be a positive thing, something that makes you feel great,” she said. “You’ll drive yourself crazy if you read all the articles about trends and rules.”