haley hoover, Holiday, Spring/Summer

First Saturday in May

 

Many days, lately, go by without me thinking once about the little farm where I grew up. City life is busy; balancing a full-time job, business on the side, marriage, friendships, fitness, ministry, etc., often take precedent over my old Kentucky home. But when the weather turns warm and the grass smells sweet (you know, before the infamous New York summertime trash smell overtakes), I start listening to a little more country music on Spotify and begin to reminisce over Thursday riding lessons and weekends schooling my Thoroughbred over 4-ft jumps across rolling hills.

Last year when nostalgia set in, I invited as many people that could fit in my apartment over so we could watch The Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. Eager to introduce all of my buddies to what life was like back home, I cooked and baked every dish that even so much as nodded towards southern hospitality: pulled pork, Kentucky Caviar, sweet tea, strawberry salad, Mint Juleps, and Kentucky’s own Derby Pie (you must make this pie, it’s divine). The Derby is all about tradition, so I preemtively wrote “First Annual” on the invitations. You can imagine how excited I was when the first glimmer of spring rolled around and I received a text asking if I was having the party again. Duh.

This year our party roster was comprised of new and old friends, a fresh menu: ribs, chicken and waffles, Hot Brown Sliders (an actual sandwhich type—see above), and some crowd pleasers: Juleps! Pie! We crowded in our one bedroom and all became racing experts for about 20 minutes.

I highly recommend overspending on food and drinks and fresh flowers, just once a year. Draw names out of a hat and scream at the TV. And give everyone pie. Pro tip: after the race, take a camera and all of your friends up to the roof to watch the sunset.

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One time, my husband had an interview in which he was asked, “What is the fabric of you?” We laughed hysterically afterwards because #WUT. The joke’s on me though, because I’ve realized that the South is in the fabric of me. That’s why I always look forward to the first Saturday in May.

See y’all later! – Haley

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Cold Weather, Daytime Look, Holiday, Real Talk, Recap

Best & Worst of Times – 2015

Hoovers (12 of 31)

I’ve always liked the little newsletters that come in Christmas cards. Maybe I’m nosy, but I like knowing what’s going on in people’s lives. I like the context, I guess. This is my last post of 2015 and a long overdue one at that. So, in honor of the season I thought I’d write my own newsletter.

In January I was thrilled to interview for an editorial position at the magazine I had always dreamed of working. (Think: Devil Wears Prada). After a—no joke—8 minute interview I learned the position I was interviewing for had been filled already. I was crushed.
In February I went through 3 weeks of casting for a well-known fashion reality show and learned why they say acting is not for everyone. I also learned that reality TV is for SURE acting. After just barely missing the final cut I stood weeping in the kitchen in Ryan’s arms. Crushed. Again.
A dear friend moved away in February and after watching two dreams slip through my fingers by what seemed, at the time, by my own doing, I felt like God had tricked me. Life didn’t feel fun.
In March, through a series of unexpected events, Ryan’s company shuttered and he very quickly (thankfully) started working at that same magazine I had interviewed with 3 months prior. I struggled to juggle  my genuine happiness for my husband finding his place and panicked anxiety —why I wasn’t good enough to land that job in January? The year wore on and I continued to look for work that excited me but nothing came.  During my 26th birthday weekend, while watching the sun set over Brooklyn with some of my dear friends, I decided I had to let go. It was time to love myself fully and to trust the Lord’s plan for me fully-er.

Hoovers (11 of 31)

That’s when things turned. When you open your palms up to God’s way and just stop trying, amazing things can happen. Honestly that statement is more deserving of a full essay, or a compilation of them, than one, trite sentence. It has truly taken me 20 years to arrive at this realization.

Hoovers (16 of 31)
Here’s the rest of the story –
In July, Ryan and I opened a business back home with our friends. Although it’s a random field in the entertainment industry, we’ve enjoyed six very good months of business with our three counterparts. Come to find out,  a new business keeps one very occupied, so you can imagine my surprise when it was the end of October and there was still no change to my full-time work scenario. I began to question how to move forward in my career. Should I freelance again? Should we move back home? Should I quit writing on the side? Was I wasting my time? No sooner did Ryan and I begin to pray about next steps when I received a call from the publishing company that I had interviewed with in January, this time for a different position at a different magazine.
After three rounds of interviews, I tearfully happily accepted a position in a role that seems to have been designed perfectly suit to my skill set.  Here I was, at the culmination of everything, towards the end of the year and finally my context arrived.

Hoovers (8 of 31)

So of course, the moral of the story is that it all works out, but more so, the moral of the story is that I just walked through a year that seemed so wrong for so long only to be peacefully led into a place that is perfect. I learned how to love myself, realized that “not now” doesn’t translate to “not enough,” and that all those bumps in the road shouldn’t load up as chips on your shoulder, but rather, boosts to stand higher on.
I wasn’t joking about my impatience. The struggle is SO real. And your twenties are SO weird. But God is good. I’m overwhelmed by His grace and abundant love. I’m thankful for one of the hardest years of my life. When I think of how He loved me hardest when I felt rejected, I about go weak in the knees. I’m most thankful He gifted me with my kind, patient, best friend of a husband, who, by the way, totally rocked out this year. Seriously, Ryan is the best.

So if want, you can fold up my newsletter and put in in your back pocket or you can throw it away. As for me— I’m boarding a plane to fly to my family’s home in Kentucky and I couldn’t be more excited to watch what unfolds in 2016.

Merry Christmas,

Haley

KEY PIECES: Sweater – Banana Republic // Boots – DSW // Vest – Intermix // Ryan’s Jacket – Jack Spade // Ryan’s Boots – Billy Reid // Ryan’s Glasses – Warby Parker

Per usual, all photos taken by Julia Hembree. Isn’t she great?

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Holiday, Shopping Guide, Spring/Summer

Easter Cravings: What To Buy

Easter is upon us and some may even argue the same thing for spring!* The change of season, promise of renewed life, and even a warm, albeit brief, breeze is all the motivation us shopaholics need to pick up some refresher pieces for our closets.

It’s a holiday weekend so that may mean several or all of the following things: 1) a half day of work, 2) the arrival of parents or friends into town, 3) a lazy Saturday afternoon at the mall or Fifth Ave and 4) a Sunday morning at church followed by a big old ham cooked by Grandma. Before you suit up and eat up, I’m going to show you the Easter Cravings of which you need to stock up.

*Those of us in New York City seem to be living in a perpetual snow globe. I’m moving back to Nashville if I see so much as a flurry this weekend.

Easter Cravings

1. Sunday Best rand dress Aritzia
Why: Nothing makes you feel sweeter than a classic cut in femme florals. Bonus Points: There are super sassy cutouts in the back of this frock.

2. Silk Boatneck Tee
Why: Lavender sings spring and looks flattering with all skin types.           Bonus Points: Can be styled with the season’s IT-pants (the culotte, shown here) or with skinny jeans, a wrap-around skirt, or worn underneath a sheath dress. Hello, Springtime Warrior Tee.

3. J Crew j crew jewelry
Why: Is your Caribbean cruise still a few months away? Channel the island with these chunky statement earrings. Pull your hair into a low pony and let these guys steal the show!
Bonus Points: Plays for both teams!Dress up a tee-shirt or de-business a button down.

4. Edu Culotte
Why: Skinny pants be gone! Wide legs and shortened hems are on every style editor’s list. I hope you’ve done your ankle workouts because it’s time to show em’ off!
Bonus Points: For wearing a fitted top with these voluminous bottoms to keep yourself from getting lost in billows.

5. BP infinity scarf
Why: Layers are still here, just in a lighter set. Wear cropped jeans, a muscle tank and a jean jacket and finish it all off with this lavender cherry on top. This is your Easter Saturday Shopping look.
Bonus Points: Pair this scarf with a lavender top (see above) and rock the ever illusive, “oh I just threw this on” monochromatic look.

6. Nail polish
Why: Childhood memories are sweet aren’t they? Even if you’re not dip-dying eggs this year you can still relive your early Easter years with this pastel shade.
Bonus Points: Match your nails to your handbag – this is a thing, again! (See below)

7. Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody – Mini MAC

Why: I’m a longtime fan of this popular crossbody. It’s tiny, but punchy and will hold the necessities for a leisurely Spring day. This creamy mint color is so yummy!
Bonus Points: Channel T-Swift; wear with an all-white ensemble for a sweet and chic look!

8. Jessica Simpson ‘Caela’ Platform Sandal (Women)
Why: Two Words: Sandal. Season! Put your boots under the bed and take these vibrant stilettos for a spin! Wear with wide leg culottes like the ones shown here or with a pair of distressed boyfriend jeans.
Bonus Points: Wear these sandals with printed socks to keep everyone guessing! (Just make sure the socks are clean and not dingy, please.)

9. Floral Sandals
Why: Last season’s Birkenstocks are making a victory lap and the price on this pair is perfect!
Bonus Points: Wear with a super feminine, flippy skirt to keep from looking too campy.
My work here is done, now get to shopping! Happy Easter everyone! We hope your heart is full and blessed this weekend. There’s a reason for this season and I’ll give you a hint, it’s not about bunnies. 😉
XX – Haley Hoover, SMP Stylist – NYC
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Holiday, Night Out, Nighttime Look

Half Past Midnight

Tomorrow night, like it or not, we will all be ringing in the year twenty fifteen. Some find the prospect of another year daunting, or exhausting, but I’m one of the ones who finds the prospect relieving. Fresh page, fresh start, new goals to set and eyes hopeful with the promise of spring. (At this point I’m officially OVER winter because without Christmas it’s just not a cute look.)

Last night, we had a bit of a New Year’s Eve Dry Run with great friends in Memphis, TN. My best friend suggested that we “suit up” and look our absolute best. I, of course, was more than game. Quick recommendation rundown if you ever find yourself in downtown Memphis: dinner at The Majestic Theatre where you can take in old black and white movies over steak and Prosecco, then wander to the famous Peabody Hotel for hot cocoa or what have you, and then hit BB Kings on Beale to take in honest-to-goodness soulful jazz and dancing. Then go home and stay up until 4am for no reason.*

*This part is optional, but very recommended.

With the encouragement of very good friends under my belt and a very new year looming ahead, I feel ready. I know what I need to do in 2015 and I’m ready to tackle it with relish. My secret to keeping motivation? Do everything in a fabulous pair of shoes. The only thing I’ll be worrying about at half past midnight is how much longer we’ll dance and if there are cabs to be had.  I don’t care if you’re staying home on Wednesday night or ringing in 2015 with Ryan Seacrest himself – just do it in your favorite dress, red lipstick and a very open heart.

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Happy New Beginnings to you, darlings. Auld Lang Syne and all that jazz. Keep your eyes up and your heart full and I promise, there’s no possible way to go wrong.

xoxo

Haley Hoover, SMP Stylist

Wearing: Jacket – Ralph Lauren (sold out, similar), Dress – H&M (old, similar), Belt – Vintage (love this), Tights – Nordstrom Rack, Shoes – Brian Atwood (old, similar), Handbag – Longchamp x Bloomingdale’s

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Fall/Winter, Holiday, Shopping Guide

Holiday #WANTList

It’s very fair to say we are now in Holiday crunch time. At this point, Secret Santa exchanges are about to go down. Christmas party partaking is in full swing. Oh and yeah, the big day is less than 2 weeks away. The hardest thing about crunch time is the shoppers-block. You know, the thing you get when you’re either in a sugar-cookie induced mental coma OR you’re so frazzled from fitting work and play and the rest of life’s activities in that you cannot figure out what to get your bestie….your mom….your hairdresser….your daughter. (To my mom: look alive, Annie!) 

A major part of my job as a stylist is to remove stress away from my client’s lives. So here I am, shopping for you and removing hopefully a little extra stress. I’ve got gift guides for the hot-footed traveler, the glam gal, your cuddly-bud, and for your girl that has stars in her eyes.

Best part? Everything shown is under $50 bucks. Get ready to win Secret Santa this year. You’re welcome.

A note on shopping our Polyvore Gift Guides – click on the small box below each guide to access the website link we shopped. If it says the item is sold out, don’t believe it – head onto the website anyway.
Scroll down the the bottom of the page for discount codes to three sites!
She's On The Go Gift Guide
  1.  Packable slippers because hotels can be sketchy and also just because these bad daddies zip up into their own, stinking, cutesy pouch! Kate Spade Saturday, $30
  2. A soft and light eye mask because again…sketchy hotels and also the adorable pouch thing. JCrew, $17
  3. Dance Party anyone? Best given to your friend that is a professional bridesmaid and needs to pump up the party at the drop of a hat. JCrew, $12
  4. A cool, edgy bangle that pairs well with her fit-bit OR her Rolex. & Other Stories, $22
  5. Any smart girl on the go knows the number one rule of life is HYDRATE! JCrew, $19
  6. How about a fill-in-your-own globe so she can mark off where she’s been and where she’s headed to next?! Anthropologie, $36 for Small
  7. Pocket sized moisturizers are TSA and SMP approved! & Other Stories, $8
  8. A girl who travels light needs items that pull double-duty, how about a saturated silk tank that can layer under a cardi for day and look sleek with a mini-skirt? Aritzia, $35
  1.  Because we hear the Midas Touch can tackle any table-top mess with ease. Anthropologie, $28
  2. You know what they say: buy new ornaments, but keep the old – the old one’s silver and the new one’s gold! JCrew, $16
  3. A little candle light gives every girl a golden glow! Kate Spade Saturday, $30
  4. She can play the trendy meets classic card with these reversible statement pearl earrings. Bauble Bar, $28
  5. Let her have her Taylor Swift moment with a red lip in a too-die-for gold tube. JCrew, $28
  6. All that gilded glory is literally dripping off her with this dainty bangle. & Other Stories, $28
  7. Maybe just one glass more? Crack another open with the most directive bottle-opener ever. Kate Spade Saturday, $25
 
Warm and Wooly Gift Guide
  1.  We recommend these for your city-dwelling friends. Let her put her feet up every. single. night with these. Just make sure she doesn’t leave the house in them! JCrew, $39
  2. Send a thousand warm wishes with Buffulo Plaid Stationary. CWonder, $18
  3. These tech-friendly beauties really go the extra mile..or should I say ELBOW mile? C Wonder, $58 –  share for 20% off + 30% site wide
  4. A girl wearing a sweater of a dog wearing a sweater?? Great warmth doesn’t sacrifice great cuteness. CWonder, $98 – share for 20% off + 30% site wide 
  5. Can you picture it now? Cute plaid shorts, cozy slippers and fire in the fireplace – hint: Give these on Christmas Eve!  JCrew, $37
  6. Her ears will never be freezing with the most luxe earmuffs I’ve ever seen. Anthropologie, $50
She's Seeing Stars Gift Guide
  1. Star cookie cutters for a STAR baker. Hopefully you’ll reap the benefits! JCrew, $8
  2. Don’t let her forget who she is with astrological phone case. Could also come in handy when star gazing. Kate Spade Saturday, $25
  3. For the fashionable Interstellar fan – rose gold orbiting chicness. Bauble Bar, $28
  4. Tiny studs make a huge impact for the girl with a pixie cut or in favor of the topknot. Etsy, $24
  5. Just because it’s a catch-all doesn’t mean it can’t be informative; educate her in astronomy with one starry tray. C Wonder, $34

Discount Heads Up – Get 30% off at JCrew with code GIVETHIS

Get 25% off at Kate Spade Saturday with code: RSVP

Get 30% off at C Wonder site wide

Happy Shopping everyone, tag us @stylemperfect with what you pick up to give out this holiday season!

xo – Haley

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Daytime Look, Fall/Winter, Holiday

On Friendsgiving & Sneaky Dressy Looks

If you are in your 20’s and living in a city that is not your hometown, there is a very good chance that you will be participating in a Friends-giving celebration. Due to the fact that we are still bound to the constrains of a iron-clad, total black out date work schedule, Ryan and I will be staying in the city and celebrating the coming together of two cultures with non other than our fabulous Aussie friends. How fitting! This year, I’ll be feebly trying my hand at stuffing from scratch and perfecting my mother’s amazing apple pie recipe. We will jam into the sweetest Nolita apartment with a half dozen other displaced city-folk and be warm and cozy with our friend-amily.

I’m thrilled.

I’m thrilled because this means we are settling in; settling into this city, into our marriage, and into some sort of life-rhythmn. Of course, we’ll miss our parents and siblings – nothing can replace those memories. But this season, I’m OKAY to not hold my mom’s hand as I navigate through yet more unmarked territory. This season, I’m HAPPY to cook and be a do-er and have a hand in the famed meal. Mostly, I’m thankful because Friends-giving means you’ve found your people and it means you have friends. We’ve been blessed to find quality, smart, ambitious, humble, and Jesus-loving people in a city that is so vast and huge and wild.

So here’s what I’m wearing.

I think I’ve mapped it out right this year – black tee and fancy sweats with a chic heel and blazer combo means you make a lovely entrance at noon…but at the end of the night you’re just wearing sweats. Let the feasting begin!

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Wearing:

Blazer – H&M. Vest – Intermix (sold out, similar). Tee – JCrew. Sweats – Current/Elliot. Shoes – Vera Wang x Kohls. Bag – Alexander Wang. Necklace – J.Crew (similar). Earrings – Ellen Hayes x Mamselle Boutique.

Here’s to a stylish, metamorphic year in the big city or small town or where ever you are. Here’s to family and health and friends-givings. I am thankful for this blog and for the joy of fashion and getting women dressed for a living. I am thankful to chase a dream, even if my chasings seem fruitless at the end of some days. I am thankful to work beside a smart and talented team of wardrobe and beauty stylists and big-picture visualizers. I’m thankful for this one life and the chance to give it all I got and receive all the millions of things it has to give.

Cheers to you and all your pals,

Haley + Ryan Hoover

SMP Stylist + Marketing Manager

Need outfit ideas, or help with your wardrobe? Get Haley, or one of our stylists to style some looks for you directly from your closet, or have her personally shop some new looks for you – in-person, or completely online. We can get you all set-up right here – no appointments necessary. Select the option that’s right for you, and let the styling begin!

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Holiday, Shopping Guide

Christmas Cuddle Duds

‘Tis the weekend before Christmas…. so I put together some snuggly-cute options, appropriate for a few different scenarios on the Big Day next week!

Christmas Cuddle Duds

Christmas Cuddle Duds by style-me-perfect

Up at Dawn: Now, many of you, sweet readers, have lots of sugarplums that will be up before the sun next Wednesday, ready to see what Santa brought! If you are anything like my parents, you will have stayed up ’til 2am wrapping gifts, so looking pulled together for 6am gift-opening pictures won’t be the first thing on your mind. This is why I love the classic pj set. They always look adorable – there is a reason why Audrey Hepburn wore them in her old movies! Preppy and simple always does the trick. Put these cuddle duds on when you take your post-gift-wrapping-speed-nap, and be prepared to stay in them until it’s time to take the ham out of the oven! Slide-on slippers will keep your feet comfy-toasty, too.

Guest for the Day: Some of us girls may be traveling with a significant other, or a close friend, and might be meeting new family for the first time. Either that, or maybe pants just aren’t your thing? Get festive in a plaid sleep shirt for Christmas morn! They are sooo “The Night before Christmas,” and when you put on the fluffy bootie-slippers or socks, you’ll feel cozy and covered, without overheating. A lot of families gift each other pajamas on Christmas Eve, and now I get why. Who wants to open gifts and sip hot cocoa in last year’s soccer championship t-shirt? We only get a month to feel Christmas, and just one DAY to celebrate – live it up, snugglers!!

Home for the Holidays: Now, there are lucky ones, like us Hoovers, who will be holed up at home on Christmas. After a long, long work week, lounge clothes are just what the doctor ordered. What’s better than mix-and-match? Honey, as long as it’s jersey cotton for flannel, I’m good. If your home is of the icebox variety, go for the leggings and graphic print by Kensie. For the inferno home, such as mine, choose the shorts from the ever-faithful-pajama-making Victoria Secret. Seriously people, Vicky does not skimp on the cutest jammies! Note: If family is stopping by, make sure those shorts aren’t TOO cheeky.

That’s it folks! Being stylish even pertains to loungewear. Your favorite t-shirt is the softest one in your dresser, isn’t it? The holidays are about home and joy and new life and tradition. Here is my Christmas hope for you: that all is calm, all is bright, that you get to cuddle with those that you love dearly, and that you know that unto us a Child is born. For a moment, in pj’s or not, all is right in the world.

Cheers. I wish you a Merry Christmas!

-Haley

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Holiday, Shopping Guide

Perfect Hi-Lo-Ho Ho Ho Gifts for Him

I love the Christmas season for many reasons: time with family, permission to sing cheesy songs (I hope?), festive outfits, and the excuse to shop…. for everyone! Often, it’s difficult to shop for the boys in our lives. Guys are typically SO easy to please, that they are, in fact, difficult to please. If I had unlimited spending funds, I would happily pick up all of these goodies for the boys in my life. Take a look, and hopefully some of these picks will jog your shopping cap, too!

Gifts for HIm
Tie Bar $15
These shorty tie bars make the perfect stocking stuffer! They add a little twist to his everyday suit, too!
Persol Round Sunglasses $310
Oh geez, don’t we love our guys in a pair of cool shades? Boyfriends, husbands, best friends – any guy deserves a grade-A pair of frames like these from Persol.
We love our husbands for getting up everyday, and bringing home the bacon. What exactly does he bring said bacon home in? Maybe it’s time to upgrade his briefcase. No backpacks, no zippy, black computer bags here.

The gym bag probably needs an upgrade while we’re at it, too, huh? OBEY makes a roomy duffle that will fit everything your buddy needs to train for that 5K he’s talking about running. Or just for playing basketball on the weekends, or whatever.
Cool kicks are in, and what guy doesn’t want the green light to wear sneakers with his chinos? These sporty tennis shoes look cool and collected, even off the court.

Billy Reid is such a manly line of clothes. Exhibit A – his stores. These polos come in a range of colors, and are soft, soft, soft. One for Dad, and one for your brother.
So, it’s true; good headphones really do make a difference in the music. Tom Petty will sound sooo much better to your uncle on these headphones.

Lucky hat alert! Ebbets makes amazing flannel hats with throwback logos. Buy him a hat that you’ll be fine seeing every weekend.
The Boys of Summer $13
SPORTS. Guys love them, girls…. learn to love them? Give your man a break from reading spreadsheets, and the New York Times; put a little sports-related literature in his stocking. It’ll be a (wait for it)…. HOME RUN.
I see alot of people downsizing in what they are putting into their pockets these days. No bulk with this little wallet. It’ll fit the money and cards you need, without looking like you are sitting on a flattened baseball.

Most of these items you can just add to your list, and pick up while you’re out. OR just pick them up online – easy-peasy, and you still have plenty of time to get everything wrapped, and under the tree. Happy shopping you guys, and please enjoy this wonderful time of year we are in!

Jingle-jangle, and everything good!

Cheers,

Haley

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