Welcome to Librarian Lifestyle’s Style Profile Series! Each month, we highlight a fashionable information professional and study their style philosophy. This month, our series features University of Texas Business Librarian, Librarian Lifestyle contributor, and Bizologie Co-Founder and blogger, April Kessler.
Great style seems to come naturally for April Kessler, the Business Librarian at The University of Texas. Her design sense extends from her diverse collection of dresses to her beautiful mid-century modern home furnishings. In the following interview, April gives us an insight on how she puts it all together.
Peggy or Joan?
How would you characterize your style?
I like to think of it as classic with a little retro flair. I do like bold color and I like to wear solids, but I try to mix in a few prints. Love the Mad Men style of the 50s/60s, and I’m a cross between Peggy and Joan.
What’s your favorite, or go-to, clothing item in your closet?
A dress is always my go-to so I don’t have to figure out separates. My favorite is a black and white faux wrap dress. I splurged on this dress, but it’s machine washable and I’ve had it for 5 years. Worth every penny — looks brand new. I can wear it in the fall with boots or in the summer with pumps.
What’s your secret for transitioning seamlessly from day to night?
I wear dressy jeans and a cute top on Friday so I can just swap out the dress shoes for flip-flops and hit the town for Happy Hour.
Do you have any style icons?
I would love to have access to Reese Witherspoon’s closet. Her red carpet looks are always classic and she also looks adorable and put together in her casual wear.
Does your profession have any influence on your workplace style? How do you maintain your sense of style in the library?
The cardigan is a staple for me, but that is because I’m always cold. I learned early that you dress for the job you want not for the job you have. So even as a student I was wearing nice, professional outfits to work.
What spring and summer trends are you looking forward to?
Color blocking is always a favorite of mine, so I’m glad to see it as trend. Stripes are great. I usually like bold colors, but I’m giving pastels a try this season.
Black and white, accented with a fun, green belt
Are there any librarian style “stereotypes” that you purposely avoid (i.e., cardigans, cat sweaters, Danskos, etc.)?
Well, I love my cardigans, and everything I put on instantly has a little dog hair on it, but you’ll never catch me in a cat sweater. No appliques of any kind really. I love the idea of glasses as accessories, but I still only wear my contacts.
Max, one of the (adorable) sources of the dog hair
Where do you like to shop, both locally and online?
I love a good deal, so I hit up the outlet malls, Target, and DSW. I have tried buying shoes online without much success. Still keep trying though. My new favorite online store is eShakti. They will make you a custom dress for around $60. That is hard to beat and the styles are so me.
A custom eShakti creation
Do you have any personal style rules that you live/dress by?
My one personal style rule as I age is: If I wore the style the first time it was trendy, I’m not allowed to wear it again. So you won’t catch me in the neon trend this spring. I rocked it hard during the 80s and now it’s time for me to put it away.
Many thanks to April for the insight into her closet and style tenets. Check back next month for our next Librarian Lifestyle Style Profile!
By Arianne Thigpen. Arianne is the Reference/Serials Librarian at Concordia University Texas in Austin, Texas. She received her MSIS from The University of Texas at Austin. Her interests include reading, style, cooking, fitness and nutrition, classic films, and emerging information technology. She tweets @arilib_atx.