The winner of ALIVE’s “What’s Your St. Louis Style?” contest, Lauren Reise, firmly believes that “everyone has their own style.” But, perhaps third runner-up Erica Jackson sums it up best: “Typical St Louis style is super hard to describe, because everyone expresses themselves differently. If I had to put a name to it, I’d probably just call it eccentric.”
Eccentric is exactly the word we’d use to describe the variety of looks that cam out in the entries for our “What’s Your St. Louis Style?” contest in the weeks before Saint Louis Fashion Week. Everyday St. Louisans demonstrated their own varied definitions of St. Louis style, including several fantastic fall ensembles. Boots, fur, knits and unique accessories all made popular appearances.
After sorting through more than 50 photo entries submitted through Twitter and Instagram over a 12-day period, we selected our top five candidates: Lauren, Tina, Erica, Sarah and Marcus. Here’s what they showed us.
You our readers, voted for your favorite looks by liking their images on ALIVE’s Facebook page, and when the final count came down, Lauren was the winner by a landslide with 406 likes. A big congratulations to all of our finalists, and a thank you to everyone who participated by submitting photos or by voting!
Some of you were curious to learn more about the finalists’ thought behind their creative entries and their senses of style, so we had a brief chat with each of them.
What do you think is typical of St Louis style?
Sarah: St. Louis style depends a lot on the wearer, but around town you see a range, from typical to really funky.
Tina: When I think of St. Louis style, I think eclectic. From edgy leather jackets to tricked-out Nikes. St. Louis fashion is just as fearless and varied as the people who live here.
Describe your own style.
Erica: I like to think that I just wear what I feel like wearing when I feel like it! It’s so great in St. Louis because the weather is always different, you never know what you’re going to get! It gives me an excuse to wear something different all of the time.
Tina: I guess I’d say just like St. Louis style, mine is eclectic. Some days I like to channel a hippie vibe with flared jeans, a fringed purse and a flowy top. Other days I could be decked out in head-to-to black with leather boots and jacket. Most of the time you can find me in neutrals and a mix of quiet patterns. Since it’s fall I’m living in sweaters, boots and scarves right now.
Sarah: Casual classy and dark is my go to. In the summer I’ll wear more ridiculous things like crop tops and patterned pants, that type of thing.
Lauren: I am into almost everything. Skinny jeans, high-waisted shorts, platform heels, cut-out dresses, leather, neon, prints (American flag, crosses, leopard), over-the-knee socks, long cardigans and fur.
Marcus: My style fluctuates with my mood, the occasion and weather. I would say that I am mostly inspired by whatever film, painting, drawing or scenery I’m into at the time. I guess it’s safe to say that my style is very contextual.
Describe a little about the concept of your outfit entry?
Erica: That day, I was going to watch a friend’s son play football. I wanted to be comfy and warm, but obviously still look good!
Tina: Like many of the outfits I wear daily, the one that was chosen to represent me as a finalist was a mix of old and new pieces. I wore skinny jeans, brown oxford flats, a grey blazer with navy blue details and a Doobie Brothers shirt that actually belongs to my Mom. I dressed up the beat-up t-shirt with a blazer—a look I love for fall. I really like mixing up pieces that you wouldn’t normally wear together for a unique look that anyone could pull off.
Sarah: The outfit I’m wearing in my picture was really just a few of my favorite items worn together, then accessorized to make it a bit more interesting.
Marcus: In this particular photo I was going for a vintage ’70s look. I was inspired by a poster from the ’70s that had some ordinary guys hanging out on a stoop playing music. I said to myself, “Aye, I gotta put an innovative twist to their outfits!”
What has the experience of being a My St Louis Style finalist been like?
Sarah: I think the fact that I was even recognized as stylish enough to be in the contest was cool enough for me.
Marcus: It has been encouraging to know (through this contest and being a finalist), that you’re doing something right fashion-wise. It’s been bitter-sweet though. My competitors looked awesome and “fly,” and I was proud to know that St.Louis has some serious style!
Our winner, Lauren, was very excited about her prize of two week-long passes to Saint Louis Fashion Week. She was diligent about lobbying her social media friends and followers for votes—a level of effort that certainly payed off! “There was no way I was missing Fashion Week!” she says. When we spoke with her, Lauren wasn’t entirely sure what she would wear to the events, but she indicated that it would be along the lines of “dresses, heels, lipstick. You can never go wrong with those three.” True to form, we spotted Lauren at our Fall In Fashion event at Saint Louis Galleria Thursday night rocking some seriously cool high-waisted jean shorts and knee-high socks.
Thanks again to all who participated in the contest, and everyone who attended any Saint Louis Fashion Week shows. We hoped you enjoyed it as much as we did!
You can check out all What’s Your St. Louis Style? entries by searching #mySTLstyle on Twitter or Instagram.