“Style is expression, NOT consumption.” – Alex Evjen of AVE Styles

Earlier this week I had the privilege of modeling at a women’s ministry event and hanging out with Alex Evjen of AVE Styles.  Alex is a talented stylist in Phoenix who has worked with magazines (currently the fashion editor at Emma magazine and styled me for the shoot I modeled for here)  and branding companies for their campaigns and photoshoots, and works with modeling agencies in the Valley.  I adore her for many more reasons aside from her sweet personality and it was fun to let her rummage through my closet to ensure I had the closet staples.

My favorite message from Alex as she presented at her lab was, “Style is expression, NOT consumption.”  I love her philosophy and she told me earlier she didn’t want to promote consumerism, but instead encourage that having a few key pieces you could easily walk away with almost two weeks worth of wardrobe.

I wanted to share the basics that she selected from my closet that she mixed and matched that evening in addition of a few links to items in every budget – the expensive stuff I share because I loved the style but you can easily find a comparable like within your budget.  Alex and I do love bargains but we also agreed that some staples are absolutely worth the splurge for the closet longevity.

  1. Classic button down:  Sheer snap button top $19.80 at Forever 21
  2. Chambray button down: Pearl snap chambray button top, $24.80 at Forever 21
  3. Colored cardigan: Green button front stretch cardi, $25 at Old Navy 
  4. Colored blazer: Red Schoolboy Blazer in Linen, $175 at J.Crew
  5. Black blazer: Classic 2-button blazer, $98 at Gap
  6. Denim jacket: Nolita Indigo Jacket, $118 at J.Crew
  7. White cami: V-neck layering cami, on sale $7.50 at Old Navy
  8. Lightweight scarf: Tassel paisley scarf, $8.80 at Forever 21
  9. Black pants: Slim crop Pants, $49 at Gap
  10. Dark skinny jeans: Hudson Jeans ‘Collin’ Skinny Jeans in Eddy Wash, $189 at Nordstrom
  11. Simple dress: Sleeveless Racerback Maxi Dress, $22 at DrJays.com
  12. Black pencil skirt: High waisted pencil skirt with belt, $12.80 at Forever 21
  13. Gold belt: Patent Leather gold belt, on sale $19 at J.Crew 
  14. Statement necklace: Bubble Necklace, $150 at J.Crew
  15. Nude shoes: BCBGeneration Cielo pump, $89 at Piperlime.com
  16. Black shoes: Kitty by Joe’s, $69 at Piperlime.com
  17. Metallic wedges:  Marc by Marc Jacobs, $198 at Piperlime.com

Visit Alex’s AVE Styles website and see her original list here.  Alex is also available for a hourly fee of $40 to help you go through your closet, and decide what you need and gives you a list of what to buy.  She’ll even go shopping with you if you need help!

Diana Elizabeth likes the quote by fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, “Buy less, choose well.”