You could say that Abby Dobson was born to retail. Omar + Elsie, her boutique on Old Lafayette Avenue, is named for her maternal grandparents, Omar and Elsie Case, who had a men's clothing store in Maysville for 50 years.
It was a dream come true when the 37-year-old University of Kentucky graduate opened her store on Feb. 12, 2014, her late grandfather Omar's birthday. And Dobson has stocked it with brands that she is passionate about, including Lulu Frost jewelry, Loeffler Randall shoes and James Perse T-shirts.
Growing up in Lexington in a house of five sisters, including Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, and a mother who shared clothes, Dobson's wardrobe was a family affair.
"I felt like I was very blessed to have a very nice closet, but at the same time it was even better because I had the luxury of five other people's clothing or accessories," said Dobson.
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Most of the time, "we were very good about sharing," she said. "And our mom is excellent to this day. She has no problem lending out her goodies."
Dobson has her own family now and is a mother to three small children. In addition to running Omar + Elsie, she also works for her family's business, Lundy's Special Events. So comfort is just as important as style when it comes to dressing for active days.
Her go-to outfit is "a pair of jeans, most likely, a pair of running shoes, in all honesty. I have three small children. ... A T-shirt and a leather jacket. And a wonderful big old scarf."
One of her favorite skin-care products is La Prairie Anti-Aging Eye and Lip Perfection À Porter. "It's a little lip gloss and eye cream to carry along and dab," she said. "This is always within my reach. I'm not always a huge makeup wearer, so I always think that anything on your lips, whether it's a little gloss or a little color, always makes you feel a little bit better about yourself."
Another favorite, which is available in her store, is Malin + Goetz Peppermint Body Scrub.
"It's ridiculously fabulous," she said. "This is my get-up-and-go in the morning. It's very light."
For some, style is all about layering on the trendiest looks, no matter how painful that five-inch heel. But Dobson knows that there's more to fashion than passing fads.
"I just think that you should be comfortable and it shouldn't feel like work," she said. "Beauty is sometimes within and it really shouldn't feel like you're making this huge effort. So anything that's effortless is even more special."
What she wore
Dress: The Odells
White tank: James Perse
Shoes: See by Chloé
Favorite products: La Prairie compact and Malin + Goetz peppermint scrub
Cuff bracelet: Lulu Frost
Watch: David Yurman, Personally Designed Gold Bangle
Initial necklace: Maya Brenner
Horseshoe necklace: Lulu Frost
For Smashing! we go inside the closets of stylish Central Kentuckians. Do you know a style maven we should feature? Maybe it's you. Let us know by sending us a photo of the fashionista, dressed to the nines, on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the tag #smashinglex.