It’s fun to visit 40+ style blogs and ooh and awe over all the great outfits, but what’s really fascinating is to discover the influences behind a blogger’s particular look.
Today we’re going Inside Outer Style with Dixie Lincoln-Nichols. Dixie is a 43-year old blogger from Pennsylvania with an eclectic style that reflects her busy life as a blogger, health and wellness coach, and beauty entrepreneur behind Dixie Bits Bath and Body Products. Enjoy my chat with this Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer.
Deb: Tell us about your love of dressing. Where did that come from, and why is it so important to you?
Dixie: As a little girl, I was naturally drawn to women who wore heels, beautiful clothes, and had nice handbags. I believe the church had a great deal of influence on my initial love of style. I loved looking at the older women dressed up in heels and pretty clothing. I also loved flipping through old magazines and admiring the fashion, and I would think, “I’ll be like that someday, stylish.”
My mother also fed my love of style by buying me the cutest shoes and clothing, which, of course, I loved wearing to church and out and about. In essence, dressing means so much to me because there was and still is a great wave of confidence, excitement, and passion when I’m about to get dressed, and it does not dissipate until I’m out of my clothing.
Deb: How would you describe your style? Whose style do you admire, why?
Dixie: My style is eclectic. I dress the way I feel or want to feel. However, it’s always done with panache. I can wear sneakers and make them look stylish. My style inspiration comes from a host of women, both past and present. To name a few: Jenna Lyons, Michelle Obama, Gwen Stefani, Diana Ross, Diane Keaton, Halle Berry. These women are all plus forty, effortless, and look stylish regardless of what they’re wearing, and I’ve admired their way before I turned 40.
Deb: You always find a way to inject color into your outfits. Do you think it is important to have a colorful wardrobe?
Dixie: Color is so important. It can invoke positive emotions. Red makes me feel powerful. Blue calms me. So I try to inject some whenever possible.
Deb: I notice you wear a lot of hats. What’s the story behind that?
Dixie: Ah, the hats. That’s a habit I picked up from my grandfather, whom I grew up with. He had two pairs of hats, one he wore to work and another he wore everywhere else. I secretly admired what I considered was his suave style. I always felt something special, distinguished, and finished about his look and demeanor, when he added the hat, and I wanted to experience that. Needless to say, I started by trying on his hats, then eventually I asked him to borrow the going out one, and he allowed me to wear it. The rest is history.
Deb: You were a science educator, now you are a beauty entrepreneur – has that changed the way you dress?
Dixie: I was always the stylish science teacher. My students would say to me, “Mrs. Nichols, you don’t look like a science teacher, and you don’t dress like one either.” I remember wearing my hat one day, and the union representative dropped by and said to me, “You know you’re not supposed to wear hats in school?” I looked at him and said, “ My principal/my boss is ok with it, so I guess it’s o.k.”
Switching careers only meant I felt more comfortable as a beauty entrepreneur than as a science educator. The way I dress now is how I dressed as a teacher, which is why I guess I looked and felt out of place at times. However, when we were dissecting pigs and frogs, I’d wear sweatpants and tee shirts – stylish ones, of course.
Deb: What’s a typical work outfit? How about a typical casual weekend go-to outfit or are the lines blurred between the two?
Dixie: Currently, I work mostly from home. I travel to the city two, sometimes three times per week for meetings or events. That being the case, my dressing up has not changed. I have a daily, get up and get dressed philosophy. Daily, I dress as if I’m leaving the house to go to the office. I get so much more done and feel part of the role I’m in. When I have to leave the house, I grab my handbag, and I’m out the door.
Wearing sweats or a robe makes me want to go back to bed. It’s become a joke in my immediate circle because if anyone drops by, I answer the door all dressed up, and I’m often asked, “ Where are you going/are you going out?” I think everyone’s used to my mantra now. There is no typical work outfit. It’s whatever I feel like wearing that day. What you see on the blog is how I dress. On weekends, it’s usually flats or sneakers. Unless I have to go to an event, I’m never in heels. Joggers – not to be confused with sweat pants – are my favorite. They are a trend that I’ll maintain for a long time.
Deb: Where do you shop?
Dixie: I’m not particular about where I shop. I find pieces that accommodate my style in so many places. If I see something I like, and it appeals to my style and personality, and it’s within my budget, I’ll buy it. So that means I shop at the likes of thrift stores, Old Navy and Neiman Marcus. I also get mileage online in shops like outnet.com, shopbop.com, etc.
Deb: What is the one thing you can’t resist when you shop?
Dixie: More than anything else, shoes are my weakness. If I have to choose between items, shoes always win out.
Deb: What’s your biggest fashion challenge?
Dixie: It’s maintaining my sense of style in the midst of winter. The east coast is so long and cold, which leaves me with the urge to hibernate constantly. I go through a tug of war with myself. I want to dress up. I don’t want to dress up, but dressing up always wins out. When I awake, it’s with a blank slate. It’s a new day. So, I remind myself how I want to feel, which helps me decide quickly.
Deb: Has the way you dressed changed since turning 40?
Dixie: I permitted myself when I turned 40 to continue to be authentically me. I love fashion and style, and I still embrace that. I’ve not made any changes regarding my style, though I’m certain that will change in the future. I have, however, noticed that I don’t feel the need to buy as much as I used to. That crept up on me in 2014. I can’t wait to see if the feeling evolved in 2015.
Deb: You have 2 daughters. Do they share your love of fashion? What do they think about the way you dress. Do they give you tips or ever critique your style, like most daughters?
Dixie: My daughters each have their own unique style. My 23-year-old is into more grungy looks and doesn’t really express her opinion about my style, although she’s has raided my closet in the past, so I’m assuming she appreciates some of my styles. My 10- year-old, on the other hand, is very vocal and criticizes my choices every chance she gets. “Wear this, wear that, I don’t like this, that does not look good.”
Currently, her style is on the chic side. She likes Zara and JCrew, though that may change as she approaches her teenage years. But for now, she’s very stylish and contributes greatly to my style these days. She’s also a constant visitor in my closet. What’s neat is that I find myself asking her opinion.
Deb: What do you want women to take away from your blog?
Dixie: Forty should not mean forget me or curl up in a corner somewhere and conform to what society thinks you should do. I want women to be comfortable and confident in their beauty and style, be authentic, love and accept themselves for the creative and unique beings they are, and if that means being stylish and loving fashion, so be it.
Deb: You talk about how beauty is individual. What makes you feel beautiful. How do you define beauty for yourself?
Dixie: God made all things beautiful, and that includes me. It’s more of the knowledge that I am beautiful as opposed to feeling that I’m beautiful. The feeling is an emotion, and emotions change. I don’t ever want to feel that I’m not beautiful, so I prefer knowing I’m innately beautiful; that way, it’s constant, and others or situations won’t make me feel anything but beautiful. Since we’re all born beautiful, the trick is to maintain that beauty. In my opinion, beauty is authenticity, generosity, confidence, boldness, uniqueness, health, and other selfless inner qualities that diffuse from the inside out.
Deb: Thanks for sharing your beautiful style with us, Dixie! Ladies, be sure to stop by Dixie’s blog Inside Outer Style to see more of her fantastic looks.