Smashing! Fashionista believes in dressing to sparkle

Herald-Leader fashion writerJuly 11, 2014 

Meredith Swim will tell you that one of her favorite sayings these days is "sparkle."

She even has a necklace featuring the word. It ties in to her philosophy about fashion, too.

"When it comes to style, I think everyone has their own unique way to express themselves," she says. "And you can look at trends and pick a trend that works for you, but stay true to yourself. And add your own sparkle.

"I love telling my friends to 'sparkle on.' So I think that fashionistas should sparkle in their own special way."

Swim, 24, works as the youth outreach and volunteer coordinator at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning under the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

The Carnegie Center, she says, allows her to be expressive with her clothes. On Thursday, Swim wore a cream-colored dress accented with a wide belt, a long peach cardigan and metallic flats.

"I'm inspired by street scenes, by what the locals are wearing," said Swim, who also teaches a community class at Barefoot Works Yoga Studio. "I'm not into designer brands. I'm more interested to see how people express themselves through accessories or through prints I want to put together. I feel like people watching gives me the biggest insight into fashion."

She also takes the advice of legendary designer Coco Chanel and keeps her look stylishly simple.

"I think it's Coco who says 'Less is more.' So when you look in a mirror take something off," she says. "I've tried to follow that recently. Even with my makeup, less is definitely more."

Swim is a fan of Gabriel Cosmetics, which uses natural ingredients. The company's mascara and Tea Rose lip color, a pretty, soft red, are favorites.

What she wore

Dress: Featuring a lace bodice and sheer feminine skirt, from Marshalls.

Cardigan: One of the easiest cover-ups for year-round, this long peach-colored style is from Forever 21

Shoes: Metallic flats from Forever 21

Ring: Her mother's Henry Clay High School graduation ring. "It fits me perfectly. I feel like it's a sign."

Necklace: Accented with beads and crystals, a birthday present from her sister.

Sunglasses: Fun heart-shaped shades from Street Scene.

Belt: Swim paired a wide, cinched belt from Black Market with a feminine dress for a modern look.

Favorite products: Gabriel Cosmetics mascara and Tea Rose lip color. Available at Whole Foods.

Harriett Hendren: (859) 231-3175. Email: hhendren@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @harrietthendren.

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