Style Icon: Elizabeth Boldin

Elizabeth Boldin

Account Executive with Luckie & Co.

by Tracy Robinson    Photography by Chuck St. John

Upon entering Elizabeth Boldin’s all-white, shabby chic, neat-as-a-pin apartment, one gets the impression her housekeepers may be bluebirds and bunnies beckoned by the petite Southern charmer from a thrown window sash. Born in South Korea, Elizabeth arrived in Alexandria City, Ala., at four months old and grew up relishing the small-town lifestyle. “Lake Martin is the best-kept secret in the South,” Elizabeth gushes. Her father was a competitive waterskier, thus the family logged hours upon hours on the lake, and Elizabeth herself was a skier by age two. Her athletic pursuits continued via cheerleading from junior high through college at Boston University, where Elizabeth studied on a full scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Now an advertising executive in Birmingham, Elizabeth recently invited me to her magazine-ready abode to cool off with a minted orange Italian soda. Over a lovely tray set with fruit and pimento cheese, we discussed one of her favorite topics: style.

Q: How would you describe your personal style?

A: Edited, classic and colorful. My closet is filled with sleeveless shift dresses, three-quarter sleeve tops, cardigans and pencil skirts. Color is a major factor in my purchases —pinks, yellows, greens, blues, oranges. Oh, and white. At a very early age, my mother instilled in me a true love for white.

Q: Do you have a signature piece of clothing or jewelry?

A: Pearls, pearls, pearls. My pearl ring, layered bracelets and pearl studs—I wear these pieces daily.

Q: Speaking of pearls, tell me about your blog, A Classic Pearl.

A: I started A Classic Pearl three years ago as a result of needing a creative outlet  and a space of my own to share personal adventures in fashion, decorating, cooking, gardening and parties—all of the things I enjoy. Sharing my ideas has been a joy, but I love receiving feedback even more. The sense of camaraderie and community in the blogosphere is amazing.

Q: Do you have a style icon or celebrity whose look/sense of style you admire?

A: I’m clearly an old soul. My style icons are Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. Each of these ladies possessed a classic sense of style; it’s undoubtedly why they continue to inspire today’s fashions. I love watching 1950s and ‘60s movies to see the style of dress: the oversized buttons, roll top collars, coordinating dress and coat ensembles. I’m thrilled about the revival of this era inspired by the TV show Mad Men.

Q: Has your personal style evolved over the years? If so, how?

A: My mom was so worried that I would lose my Southern-ness while in school at BU. That never waned. During my freshmen year, I lived on an all-girls floor in the dormitory. They couldn’t get over all the monogrammed items and the fact that I rolled my hair everyday. Clearly, Mom had nothing to worry about. By the end of the year, I was either rolling my floormates hair or showing them how. In preparing for the move, I knew Boston winters would require coats and jackets. If I had to brave the Noreaster winds 6 of the 12 months, I thought I should have a pretty coat. I had vintage coats with covered buttons and, of course, gloves to match.  I also learned the value of scarves, not just in keeping me warm but as a stylish accessory!

Q: Do you follow fashion trends?

A: Unfortunately, trends are not equal opportunity.  I think it’s important to determine what works for you and what doesn’t.  So while I do like keeping a pulse on fashion trends, I don’t adopt them if they don’t work with my style.

Q: Who are your favorite fashion designers/brands?

A:  Kate Spade. I love her colorful, whimsical designs. Lilly Pulitzer. I love the playful patterns. I love Milly’s retro designs. Trina Turk for sophisticated color.

Q: Any clothing/accessories on your wish list?

A: On my wish list right now are the Tory Burch tumbled leather Reva Ballet Flats in red—every girl should have a pair of red shoes—and the new Kate Spade Bixby Bag. In the future, a Louis Vuitton International Wallet and a classic Chanel Black Quilted Flap Bag.

Q: I noticed some famous quotes on your blog. Any words to live by?

A: A favorite is from Coco Chanel: “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” How true. Style is a personal choice. Why try to be like someone else when you can be yourself?

Photo credits: Photographer, Chuck St. John; Stylist, Tracy Robinson; Clothing from Icon’s own wardrobe. Photographed at Icon’s home.

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