Citizen Glam, Chesney Matthews
Happy March! I continue with my new blog series called Citizen Glam. I’ve decided to do this as a monthly installment instead of weekly.
This month, for March, I have asked Chesney Matthews to join us. I met Chesney a little over a year ago when I started my new job/career in retail. She works as a Visual Manager for a well-known department store in Huntsville, Alabama.
Since I’ve known Chesney, I have always wanted to ask her questions about her style and to be honest, she is probably the inspiration for this new series.
Enough from me, let’s hear from Chesney.
Citizen Glam, Chesney Matthews
What is your definition of style?
I define style as ones embodiment of the world through fashion. I like to believe that we all dress to what makes us feel good at the time. Defining style is the way you view yourself and your personal flair, within your environments. I define my style and my style defines me. How one dresses on a day-to-day basis is the way the outside world will embrace them. Current trends, textiles, moods, and fashion references all define my understanding of style.
Describe your personal style.
Whereas some individuals have a specific style, I embody several. I do not tend to think that I have just one sense of style, but many. I like to change it up daily, seasonally, and socially by embracing all forms of clothing. And honestly, I simply wear what makes me feel good. My style can be eclectic, confusing, daring, simple, sexy, trendy, a multitude of things. Every morning, I wake up, step outside, read the weather and focus on my current mood. These are the factors that determine what I put on my body for that day. Style is so very important to me because I care how I feel first and foremost, but how others see me. I like to represent myself through what I put on my body.
Style can tell you a lot about a person. And without saying much, other people can get a feel for who you are as a person. They may not understand it at all, and nor do they always need to, but what you wear is a direct correlation to your mood, or, at least, mine. I might be feeling bold, daring, and sexy, so I will rock a red lip and winged eyeliner. I might feel rugged and need to move comfortably and with ease, so I’ll rock my favorite overalls and some combat boots. This is what my style is. Not just letting my clothes wear me, but truly wearing my clothes.
I accessorize everything! Even if my outfit doesn’t need it, I accessorize. Wearing the right jewelry, makeup, and the perfect shoe completes me, and makes me feel whole! I know it seems excessive to some and like it takes to much effort, but when you love clothes and fashion like I do, it doesn’t seem like a long drawn out process to get dressed for the day. It is more like having fun before the day gets started.
What top 3 items should be in someone’s closet?
I don’t know what top 3 items should necessarily be in everyone’s closet, but I do know what has to be in mine. A watch, for one, is the best type of accessory. Not only can they be extremely fashionable, but also they serve a purpose. There was a time where I never even owned a watch and I am not sure how I made it through my day. Once I realized how much I needed to know the time, watches hit my radar fast. I was buying them every season. I have many that I stare at that need batteries, but I won’t wear it unless it is running!
The second item I would say is having the perfect jacket/blazer. I have always thought that every woman, and man, needs that one go-to third item. For me, it has always been a blazer. Sometimes your outfit may seem finished, but not fully complete. That’s when layering comes into play. I like to layer everyday and blazers are the perfect way to do so. It doesn’t have to be black, or denim, but can be one that is neutral and goes with everything. Or it can be so bold that it becomes your statement piece for the day. Either way, it is vital to have a blazer or jacket in your closet.
And for the third item, I would have to say a sexy pair of heels.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from everywhere. I know that it seems very cliché, but it’s true. Fashion inspires people, and coincidentally people inspire fashion. I look at blogs and read magazines. Sometimes my inspiration will come from a single item. From there I get inspired to find other pieces to complement. Outside entities are sometimes influential to my personal style. Things such as color variants, nature, work environments, and outside cultures are influential to me. Music and art also inspire my style and give me inspiration. Things like my favorite paintings or the words and lyrics of a song. Art and how it correlates to the fashion world is probably my biggest inspiration to date.
Who were your style icons growing up?
My style icons were often times people I did not know. I mostly paid close attention to models that I would research from various runway shows. This was way before social media, and blogs and Instagram were popular. But honestly, my biggest style icon has to be my mom. She has always been on top of her game and had the flyest closet of anyone I knew. She inspired me daily growing up and taught me that having style was owning you. She wore what made her feel good and what looked best on her, and I always admired that about her. She taught me to be different when she saw that I naturally was and to be true to myself in everything I did, especially my fashion choices.
What is your favorite place to shop?
I do not have one favorite place to shop. I of course like many, frequent thrift stores and consignment shops, where I can find interesting and unique items that are one of a kind. I shop where I work, and I love to shop at TJmaxx. I love to shop the Internet for interesting pieces, and many of my clothes and shoes have come from eBay, quite honestly. All of the things in my closet come from a multitude of places. I think that if you find yourself shopping at only one store, it limits the scope of items in your closet and individual style is compromised. So that is why I shop at many places because I am inspired to have the wardrobe of many colors.
Is there something you would not mind spending a lot of money on?
Of course, there is always something worth the money. For me, it has always been the same and always will be. The perfect leather jacket has no money limitations. If I had all the money in the world, I would still shop smart, but if I came across a leather jacket that I couldn’t live without, then it’s coming home with me! I love the look of leather, I love the way leather smells, and I love most importantly how leather ages.
I have had several leather jackets since I was in middle school. One specifically that I can’t get over losing was pink and pretty perfect. I took it off and laid it down in the New York airport and haven’t seen it since. I was heartbroken, but since then have purchased 2 more. As long as they fit, I will never get rid of the ones I own. Talking about having a third item, a leather jacket is usually mine!
What is your advice to someone trying to find their personal style?
I would say to stay true to themselves. Be different and don’t feel obligated to be like everyone else. Find a person or decade in fashion that suits your interests, and try to find things that reflect that sense of style. Most importantly, feel comfortable in what you wear. This means look for clothing that you feel like yourself in, and focus on items that complement your body and shape. Once you focus on these small things, it becomes much easier from there, and your personal style is created.
Tell us about the first time you had the style bug.
I can’t remember a time where I didn’t have the style bug. I’ve always enjoyed fashion, I’ve always been obsessed with it. I was focused on being the most stylish kid and teenager I could be. I didn’t like to leave the house unless my outfits were perfect. My mom and grandmother did their best to make sure I always had the latest trends and the clothes I wanted when I was little. I was voted best dressed in middle and high school, so that can tell you something right there! I don’t remember the first time I had the style bug because growing up with my mom, I like to think I’ve always had it.
How has your style changed or developed over time?
Well, I have definitely changed over time. I used to love denim, tight clothes, and heels. Growing up, I wore trendy clothes. Now I don’t care if something is trendy, or in style. I just wear what I want and what I like. My makeup/ eyeshadow used to match the color of my clothes, and often times looking back at old photos, I laugh. It was so extreme. I wanted all the jewelry to match and I went over the top a lot. Now, I’m much more mindful of what complements one another. I didn’t know that I looked ridiculous in my youthful days, but for the times, it was excepted. Now that I’m older, I experiment with more styles and pieces, and I mix patterns and textures every day. This is how my style has evolved and gotten better and much more refined. Honestly, growing is evolving and my sense of style was part of growing. Everything good comes in time, right!
Do you have a favorite designer, and if so who and why?
Of course I have a favorite designer. Alexander McQueen hands down. If I could push the boundaries of fashion and had the means to afford his extraordinary artworks, I would have a closet filled. That’s exactly how I fill about his fashion, they are like works of art. His lines are so unique and completely unparalleled. I am obsessed with the eccentricities and daring nature of his clothing. Alexander McQueen’s sense of style is sexy, confusing, different, over the top, and often times too much. His clothes are not for everyone, but for me, there’s no designer better.
Ciao mio Amore,