Happy One Year to E of E!

 

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On this day in 2017, we took a leap and published our first-ever blog post. Writing this one year later, I truly cannot believe where that blog has taken us. During that time, we created some truly meaningful content, met countless incredible people, hosted our first ever fashion show, launched our online store, and have now joined the team behind Romás by Linda Rowe Thomas, a world-renowned fashion designer right here in Little Rock.

Not every step of the way was easy—in fact, most of them weren’t. We spent almost an entire year working our asses off with little to show for it before everything started to fall into place.

But I would not trade one minute of it—good or bad–for the world because it has brought me to where I am today. To be honest, we may not be able to dedicate quite as much time to creating full blog posts for E of E this year with our other responsibilities, but we would rather do fewer, better posts than compromise on quality.

We are incredibly excited for all of the opportunities this year holds, and if you want to see even more of our adventures, head over to Instagram and follow @romasbylrt !

-S

 

 

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Happily Grey Inspired Street Style

Did you know that we almost didn’t start our blog on this day last year? Sabrina and I were both having doubts about it, and I remember Sabrina turning to me and saying that we just weren’t ready, that the website wasn’t just right, etc (she’s a bit of a perfectionist). I remember telling her that we will never be ready, but that it was time.

And man, I am so glad we started Ensemble of Elan.

From writing about the might of femininity in one of our first posts, “There’s Power in Pink & Polka Dots” (still one of my personal faves to this day) to discussing science and going green in “Science Not Silence,” I’ve poured my heart and soul into this blog, and it’s given back to me tenfold. It’s given me a voice, it’s given me endless opportunities in the fashion industry, but most of all, it’s given me an amazing family of creatives who share the same passion as I do.

-H

 

Our one piece of advice to you–if you are trying to convince yourself to take the plunge and go after your dreams–is to just do it. You would be amazed at what you can accomplish in only a year. Even if you are afraid of wasting your time on something that may never come to fruition, just remember that that time will pass by regardless. It’s up to you how you use it.

We’ll leave you with some of our favorite quotes from blog posts past:

“If you do feel way out of your league or completely terrified that people are going to discover that you actually aren’t as intelligent or creative or whatever as people think you are, keep going. Someone (probably a lot of someones) saw something in you, even though you couldn’t see it yourself. Try to give yourself a little credit, and if that’s still difficult for you, remember it’s better to be humble and keep striving to better yourself than to think you are the most amazing person who has ever existed and stay exactly where you are.”- Half the Story

 

 

 

 

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“To us, dress with purpose means to present yourself to the world with intention. Intention to freely express your true self. To empower yourself and inspire those around you. And to shine a light on the issues that are near to your heart.”

Dress With Purpose

 

 

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“We’re encouraged to step out of preconceived notions for what is traditionally feminine in order to rise up the ladder, but I think in doing so we’re ignoring the fact that there’s a lot of power in femininity. There’s a lot of power in polka dots.”

There’s Power in Pink & Polka Dots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by: Errick Jacson, The Gray People Photography, The Green Brothers, Rainwater Reflections Photography, Nicole Morgan, Demetrius McCullough, and yours truly 😉

Winter Outfit Ideas That Are Anything But Dreary

 

Are you in a winter fashion rut? (Don’t fret, it happens to the best of us.)

By the time mid-January rolls around and you’ve exhausted the number of sweater and jeans combinations you can throw together, what on earth are you supposed to wear and feel amazing in?

We’ve got you.

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Throw in a Pop of Color

 

Many people tend to gravitate towards neutrals in the wintertime, but you don’t have to wait until spring to start rocking your favorite hues! 

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Pull that brightly colored sweater out of your closet and wear it with pride.

Lavender is Pantone’s color of the year, so you might want to get a head start by wearing this shade before you start seeing it everywhere.

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Wear Something Metallic

 

Yeah, yeah, we know you’re wondering how we can consider an almost entirely gray outfit to be “fun”, but let us prove it to you.

 

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The key here is adding something metallic, like these sneakers.

The eye-catching metallic combined with the on-trend plaid trousers and an edgy beanie makes this look unconventionally exciting.

 

 

 

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Rock Your Spring-iest Embroidery

 

Embroidery has been going strong for a while now, and it isn’t poised to slow down anytime soon.

 

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So, look forward to spring by wearing your favorite embroidered pieces now!

A pair of embroidered booties or an embroidered leather jacket adds a fresh touch to any outfit (and will remind you that spring isn’t far away!)

XOXO,

S & H

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Sabrina’s Wearing:

| H&M Embroidered Top (similar) | H&M Camel Cardigan | H&M Gray Duster Coat (similar) | Goodwill Plaid Trousers (similar) | Dolce Vita Metallic Sneakers | Zara Crossbody Purse (similar) | Target Knit Beanie (similar) | Rue21 Circle Sunglasses (similar) |

Hannah’s Wearing:

| TJ Maxx Off-the-Shoulder Lavender Sweater (similar) | H&M Black Jeggings | Who What Wear Collection Puffer Coat | Dillards Embroidered Ankle Boots (similar) | Amazon Embroidered Purse | Aldo Classic Sunglasses (similar) | Amazon Abstract Earrings |

T’Neria Ransom’s Wearing

| Goodwill Lavender Sweater (similar) | Goodwill Knit Pencil Skirt (similar) | Monroe Velvet & Sherpa Jacket (similar) | Amazon Embroidered Ankle Boots (similar) | Goodwill Leather Purse (similar) | Kohl’s Gold Sunglasses (similar) |

Moving Up

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2017 brought about many great moments, but it was also one of the most challenging years of my life. From starting Ensemble of Elan to putting on our first fashion show and opening our online store–it flew by in a whirlwind of hard work and dedication.

Now going into 2018, I am simply elated for the new opportunities that are in front of me.

I’m going into the last half of my junior year, and I’m taking classes that challenge me as a creator and a student. I’m taking my first watercolor class, braving Spanish ll, and diving deeper into my marketing minor.

I’m also starting an internship with local fashion designer, Linda Rowe Thomas. I can’t wait to be in an environment surrounded with beautiful fabrics, innovative design, and raw inspiration. In this internship I’ll get a first-hand look at what it means to be a designer and to assist in editorial shoots.

On top of all of this, I have finally gathered the courage to pursue modeling professionally, and I put in an application to be a model at Sculp agency. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed modeling for our own photoshoots, and I think I am ready to take it to the next level.

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When I was a kid and used to think about what I wanted to do when I got older, I remember knowing that I wanted to be in the creative industry- and that still hasn’t changed.

There’s something amazing about your childhood dream beginning to come into fruition. I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store.

-H

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When people ask me what I do, I usually tell them “many things.” I work as a personal stylist and shopper for Google’s innovative new app, Tailor; I (obviously) operate this fashion blog and our online store; and I am about to embark on two new adventures: interning at a fashion house and pursuing modeling professionally.

When I want something, I will do whatever takes to get it.

For a long time, I yearned to work in the fashion industry, but being from Arkansas, I didn’t know quite how to do it. So, in 2017, I took some leaps of faith and planted the seeds that have blossomed into the opportunities I have before me now.

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I want to learn the ins and outs of the fashion industry from every angle: designing, marketing, modeling, merchandising–all of it.

So, this year I am doing all of it. With my master’s degree under my belt at last, I can fully focus on growing in both my craft and my character (yup, I did just borrow that line from my cover letter).

We are almost to the one-year mark of the blog that started it all, and I would not have traded this past year for the world. We’re moving up, and I’m so grateful to all of you reading this because it would never have been possible without you.

-S


Sabrina’s Wearing:

| Forever 21 Cropped Sweater (similar) | Express Portofino Shirt | Goodwill Wool Coat (similar) | Goodwill Knit Scarf (similar) | Zara Patterned Trousers (similar) | Steve Madden Velvet Ankle Boots | H&M Leather Gloves (similar) | Zara Faux Fur Backpack | Amazon Face Earrings | TJ Maxx Sunglasses (similar) |

Hannah’s Wearing:

| Goodwill Turtleneck Sweater (similar) | Goodwill Knit Pencil Skirt (similar) | Old Navy Burgundy Pea Coat | Goodwill Multicolor Faux Fur Clutch

More Than Just a Pretty Face

 

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Gigi and Bella Hadid. You probably know them as the faces of fashion houses and the faces on magazine covers. The ones who jet set around the world to glamorous photoshoots and post Instagram stories of themselves with teddy bear face filters.

But, they are more than that.

Why is it that when someone is naturally inclined towards playing the piano or building a model rocket, they are applauded for it, but when someone has a talent for modeling, they are dismissed as just a pretty face?

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Let us tell you, modeling is a helluva lot more work than you think it is. It’s standing out in the freezing cold for hours to get the perfect shot. It’s putting on some hip hop music and practicing different expressions in the mirror for hours on end.

It’s essentially creating and embodying an entire character in just one still frame.

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Gigi and Bella are some of the best at it, and we frequently turn to them for both modeling and fashion inspiration (can you guess who was inspired by whom?).

Sure, having a pretty face helps, but not everyone can do it.

There are plenty of beautiful people out there who don’t know the first thing about modeling.

 

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But we do know a few things about it, and it is still a daily challenge for us. If you don’t believe us, just come shoot with us sometime! Or think back to the last time you had photos done and recall that the way you held and moved your body naturally did not look natural on camera.

Modeling is an art, and it’s a skill. And it’s one that deserves your respect.

xoxo, S & H

 

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At Long Last, An Ensemble For You!

 

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We started Ensemble of Elan almost a year ago, and our intention was never for it to be just a blog.

We always wanted to do something more and provide our fans with a tangible way to join in on this experience with us.

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Over the course of 2017, we learned that starting a business takes a lot of trial and error. We began by offering a wardrobe creation service where we helped clients clean out their closets, alter their current clothing items, and find new ones from our original collection. That did not last long, so we then thought about starting a clothing rental service where fellow fashion bloggers could rent clothes for their photoshoots.

 

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Long story short, neither of those ideas turned out to be feasible because they cost too much money & effort, and we could not make it profitable and keep it affordable.

So, we decided to go back to an idea that was simple and relatively inexpensive: an online clothing shop.

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We launched our debut collection last Friday, and we will be releasing new items on a weekly basis. Almost all of the clothes we are wearing in this shoot are from the collection (Save for the metallic coat. We did not have a warm enough coat in our collection for the below freezing temps, so sue me -S).

We hope you love these pieces as much as we do, and please let us know if there is anything else you would like to see in the shop!

Xoxo, S & H

 

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Photography by: The Gray People

Editing by: Hannah Lewter

Hannah’s Wearing:

Ensemble Open Back Sweater (coming soon) | Ensemble Wide Leg Pants (coming soon) | Ensemble Military-Inspired Jacket (coming soon) | Ensemble Metallic Heels (coming soon) | Ensemble Chunky Knit Scarf (coming soon) | Amazon Embroidered Purse | Aldo Classic Sunglasses |

Sabrina’s Wearing:

Ensemble WANG Sweatshirt | Black Tiered Mini Dress | Who What Wear Metallic Puffer Coat | Marc Fisher Ankle Boots (similar) | Zara Crossbody Purse (similar) | Rue21 Cat Eye Sunglasses (similar) | Forever 21 Duster Earrings (similar) |