Photos Courtesy of Laura Boswell
I may live in New York City, but my college experience in Maryland has given my style a Southern charm, complete with monogram detailing and a Lilly tumbler, thank you very much. When I stumbled across Walking in Memphis in High Heels, I became obsessed with Laura Boswell's flair for color and her ability to pull off a tutu without looking like a four-year-old.
Here, Laura tells us how she juggled blogging, a full-time career, and studying for her MBA, and discusses why it's important to come across as real to readers.
College Fashion: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Laura Boswell: My name is Laura Boswell, and I am a 31-year-old Credit Manager and style blogger. I am currently 7 months pregnant with my first (a little girl!), and I have two adorable Yorkies. I just graduated with my masters a few months ago, and am excited to finally have my nights free again!
I began blogging about a year-and-a-half ago to step outside of my fashion comfort zone and to share my personal style and good shopping deals that I found.
CF: How would you define your style?
LB: Girly, classic and fun.
CF: How did you find your style?
LB: Oddly enough, I really started developing my style more recently, when I starting working full time as a credit manager. I wanted to dress professionally, but still feminine and age-appropriate. But I didn’t want that to mean boring suits or pencil skirts every day.
That is when I started gravitating towards skirts with modern and fun shapes, like a full skirt or skater style, and I also started mixing patterns a lot. I think it is a good way to dress professionally while still having fun and showing your individuality and style in the workplace.
Photos Courtesy of Laura Boswell
CF: What inspired you to start a style blog?
LB: I started my blog in December 2012 after my husband suggested it. I had recently started reading style blogs and fell in love seeing all of the inspiration each day. I was on Christmas break from school and in slow season at work, so I thought, why not?! I cannot believe how much it has changed my life in such a short time!I have made so many new connections and friends, and I truly love expressing myself through fashion.
CF: What motivates you?
LB: My readers, friends and family. I love connecting with people each day and sharing my style on my little piece of the internet. I love reading their comments and input, and I also get some great style tips and ideas from them. It helps me to push my fashion boundaries and try new things that I wouldn’t have normally.
CF: Did you go to college? If so, where did you go to school and what did you study? What was your college experience like?
LB: University of Memphis. I just graduated with my MBA a few months ago. It definitely wasn’t the typical college experience at all. I worked three jobs through the first several years of college, and through the last six of undergrad and grad combined, I worked full time at my current company as a credit manager and was married, so it was work and school every day, and then repeat. I can honestly say it was definitely worth it. Hard, but so, so rewarding!
CF: Where do you like to shop?
LB:DVF, J.Crew, Ann Taylor, Nordstrom and BCBG are definitely my favorites. I have had to alter that just a little since I’m 7 months pregnant right now, but I am sure I will more than make up for it this fall and go on an after-baby shopping spree!
CF: What advice do you have for being stylish on a college budget?
LB: I mainly only buy things that are on sale. Check out sales, and also search for printable coupons or promo codes on retailmenot.com. Also, when you’re looking for a certain item, be sure to check out eBay and Poshmark. You can find the same item for much less many times.
Look for items on clearance that are too big. If you scored an Equipment blouse on clearance at Marshalls for $30 and then spend $7 at the tailor, it is still an amazing deal for a $150-or-so silk top!
Photos Courtesy of Laura Boswell
CF: What are your favorite pieces in your wardrobe?
LB: Probably my huge skirt collection and my shoe collection. I also love jewelry! I think the jewelry really helps complete any outfit. The shoes can make a killer statement, and the skirt is such a classy piece that instantly makes me feel put-together.
CF: Who/what inspires you most?
LB: I don’t really have a particular person whose style I really follow, but as far as fashion goes, I would have to say Gwyneth Paltrow is definitely my style icon or inspiration. She has such timeless style, but she also knows how to have fun with it. She can pull off a casual glam look or a gorgeous and sexy look, all the while looking as classy as ever.
CF: Any advice for new bloggers or college students starting a blog?
LB: Be real. I try so hard to make sure that I’m accurately portraying who I really am, what I do, what I like and my style. It can be easy to get caught up in everyone’s pretty pictures and clothes, but make sure you stay true to who you really are.
If you wore an outfit and then later thought that it was a huge fail, tell your readers that. I’m the first to admit when I wear an outfit that looked so much better in my head. Hey, it happens!
Everyone likes a pretty picture, but more importantly, I think they will like when you put yourself out there instead of trying to be someone you’re not. Step outside of your comfort zone, but make sure you are still yourself.
CF: What's writing a blog really like?
LB: I spend at least 12 hours per week working on my blog. That includes taking outfit pictures, linking to the items I’m wearing, typing up content for the post, making collages for posts, emailing back all readers who comment on my blog, sharing all my posts on social media, and responding to every Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook comment. There is definitely a lot more that goes into it than I ever could have imagined! But it is definitely my favorite hobby. = )
CF: Could you describe a typical day?
LB: A weekday is completely different from a workday, but during the week I usually leave the house for work at 6:00am and get home at 6:00pm. When I get home, I try to shut it all off and just relax with Shane, Spike and Lola (my two Yorkies).
I am definitely an email person, so I am pretty good about responding to those immediately throughout the day. I usually try to schedule my posts the weekend or night before, but that doesn’t always happen. It definitely makes the work week much nicer though when I do. = )
On the weekend, I will usually try to work on the blog early in the morning when Shane is still asleep, but the rest of the weekend, I usually try to hit the pool, go for a bike ride with Shane or play with the Yorkies.
Do you read Walking in Memphis in High Heels? Who should I interview next? Let me know in the comments section!