Liz Swanson doesn't shy away from color, or from patterns, for that matter.
On Tuesday, the architecture professor and artist wore a silky Zara shirt with a lovely floral print. Layered on top of that was a bright-red art smock decorated with 1970s-style trees and snowflakes.
It totally worked.
"I like eclectic mixes, mixing prints and patterns and textures," says Swanson, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky School of Architecture.
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Many times she chooses items, such as the Zara shirt, that can be worn year-round. "I don't buy clothes all that often. I don't keep a very big closet," said the mother of two young children.
She buys local when she can. The smock was a Goodwill find. Her pants, with a soft brocade print, are from Figleaf in Chevy Chase.
Swanson, 41, shops at Good Foods Market for its natural products, including her favorite moisturizer by Kentucky-based Sassa Bella. A go-to item is the company's facial serum for long-lasting hydration.
Last summer, Swanson and her husband, Mike McKay, an assistant professor at UK's School of Architecture, travelled to Montpellier, France, to teach a summer studio.
On a weekend trip, the couple visited Barcelona, one of her favorite spots — a city that, like Swanson's style, is filled with life and fun and light.
"Barcelona is, for me, the perfect place, because it's urban, it's pedestrian, there's a beach, amazing culture, history, architecture," she said. "Everything's old and new and classic, tons of contrasts."
What she wore
Shirt: Floral print button-up from Zara.
Art smock: Found at Goodwill. "I love art smocks. ... Most of the ones I have are real '70s. I am a real sucker for all '70s prints — everything my mom used to wear."
Pants: Brocade-style pants from Fig Leaf in Lexington.
Shoes: Vintage, $28 at Street Scene in Lexington. "Murray Bender Custom Made" reads the label inside. Swanson spotted the like-new vintage shoes posted on the store's Facebook page one day. "I darted over there the minute I got a free moment."
Layered necklaces: A long tasseled chain is from a shop in Montpellier, France. A shorter, sculptured style accented with turquoise-colored beads is from a shop in Barcelona.
Earrings: Arty, exotic hoops from Montpellier.
Scarf (draped on banister): From Mulberry & Lime in Lexington.
Favorite hair and body products: "I'm pretty devoted to Moroccan Oil just because I have curly hair," Swanson says. For moisturizers, it's Kentucky-based Sassa Bella natural products, including the company's face serum, about $9 at Good Foods.