While working as press during Austin Fashion Week (for Her Campus Texas) I saw one of the volunteers near the front of the runway in a skirt that was too fabulous to not give due compliment. After a short discussion, I discovered that she (Sara, who just moved back from San Diego) and her sister (Cristina, who just moved back from New York) were authors of style blog “You Are Lovely”, and knew instantly that I’d likely met two of the most naturally stylish people in Austin. Even while meeting them at a coffee shop for this interview I noticed something dynamic; in a sea of shorts, leggings, oversized gold watches, and T-shirts, they stand out as polished and stylishly charming.
Can you tell me about your blog, You Are Lovely?
C: It really came out of us needing a creative outlet. We come from a really creative family, our mom taught us to sew when we were very young, and we’ve sort of been going from that ever since. It really just started out as something fun to share with family and friends and it kind of took off from there.
S: Tina and I, she lived on the east coast and I lived on the west coast, so it was kind of a way for us to keep in touch and another way for us to have something in common while being so far apart.
What kind of things can we find on your blog?
C: Latest trends, trends that we think sort of encompass Austin style but can be taken outside of Austin. A lot of how-to’s; we really enjoy taking trends and doing it in a less expensive way whether we’re buying stuff at like thrift stores, or taking things that we own and refurbishing them. A lot of latest trends, and then also any charities or benefits that we want to promote like our brother’s doing Movember, now so we did a blog on that.
S: Industry news. When Target came out with the Missoni line we were all over that, and Karl Lagerfeld for Macy’s…just industry news that the everyday girl will be interested and excited about.
What are some of your favorite trends for fall?
S: Well I am on the search for the perfect cheetah wedge booties. [To her sister] We were talking about this earlier…
C: Your fur!
S: Yeah, I’m obsessed with fur…I’m trying to find a long fur vest, maybe like a fur snood, that’d be perfect.
C: Definitely oversized everything. Coats, I’m really into ponchos—I just bought my first poncho at Francesca’s—over-the-knee boots…just a little exaggerated I guess.
What are some tips for college girls trying to be stylish but functional at the same time?
C: Find something that is you, that you can carry across any look; for me it’s red lipstick, it always makes me feel a little better. I know when I was in college here (editor’s note: Cristina graduated from UT in 2005) it was a lot of like shorts and T-shirts, but if you put on a lipstick you’re always going to feel a little better, you’re going to feel more confident, you’re going to feel like you have attempted to look nice for the day.
S: I think having really great core pieces makes it easy for you to buy less expensive trendier pieces. I always invest in a great pair of jeans because I’m a curvier girl, so it’s harder for me to find less expensive jeans…
C: And blazers!
S: Oh yeah, I’m obsessed with blazers. I probably have like, over 20 blazers, but I just kind of pick them up wherever. Denim is definitely an investment piece, a great coat, and the rest you just kind of pick out and try not to spend that much on.
I met you guys during Austin Fashion Week, you were volunteering. Do you have any suggestions for students trying to get into the fashion industry?
S: Well my sister is a great example, she moved to Austin and she just put her guard down and emailed every single person that she found in the fashion industry. You have to just, put yourself out there, and she’s reaping the benefits. I was really impressed by how she just said “Okay, got to do it, this is my dream and I’m going after it.”
C: When I moved back to Austin, having been gone for so many years, I didn’t know the industry or exactly who I should contact. So I just got online, I checked out newspapers, magazines, I emailed editors and sent them my portfolio, I sent them my website—I think that’s another big part is just having social media, having all of your websites, your Facebook and Twitter, hooked up, and don’t be afraid to email people and be humble, you know? Say “I’m looking to work as an assistant or an as an intern,” and hope that can maybe grow into a position at some point.
Do you have any suggestions for anyone that’s trying to start fashion blogging?
S: I think when we started we kind of just kept it private and we would just write, whether it was good writing, bad writing, we would just write and try to practice our skills and try to get a voice and once we felt like we were on track, we made it public and started introducing it to our friends, and it just slowly grew.
C: It’s all trial and error, and it should be fun. We enjoy reading other people’s blogs. We’re not competitive bloggers, [laughing] we steal ideas from people just like a normal blogger. We really just do it to have fun; just find your voice and make it unique to you.
So who is your style icon?
S: Well I guess lately, people have been saying my style is similar to Kourtney Kardashian because she is very like blazers and structure, and I’m a very structured person, like you’ll probably never see me in a skintight mini. I’m like in three pieces and just tailored.
C: I would say Drew Barrymore. I feel like she can kind of pull off anything. Her style sort of changes day to day but she always goes back to that bohemian, comfortable, easy but with kind of an edge, and I think that sort of inspires me.
What’s a favorite day and night look for you?
C: Day look is comfort for me because I’m always running around, pulling looks for shoots; a comfortable pair of shoes and probably a maxi and a T-shirt. I might throw on some red lipstick and a leather jacket.
S: My go-to is boots, tights, and a tunic. For night I’m pretty much always in skinny jeans, and some gladiator wedges, and like a loose fitting tank or a knit.
Whether Cristina and Sara are working on photo shoots, industry events around Austin, or running errands in MAC “Ruby Woo” lipstick or NARS “Orgasm” blush, they remain in a word: lovely.