Hannah Riles is the truest valentine
I get that other people have best friends but... not like Hannah. Hannah is the ultimate bestie. Anyone who knows Hannah knows that she is amazingly talented, smart, genuine, and all that other stuff. BUT I know the REAL Hannah. She knows every word to Mo Money Mo Problems. She cares more about Fitzgerald ( both Ella and F. Scott) more than most. AND she honestly believed she was Baby Spice at one point in life (probably still does). So back story- Hannah and I met our senior year of high school. Someone introduced us and we have been besties since. We have been through breakups, trips, haircuts, hair colors (let us never forget that we were once both very very blonde), weird outfits, Taylor Swift records, colleges, and a billion other things together. She is just the best. Love you Riles!
About Hannah by Hannah:
- Lived in New York City and interned for ELLE Magazine last summer
- I currently have pink hair
- Started my blog in 10th grade over Christmas break
- I have two really sweet [children] dogs, Tilda and Franny
- My love for fashion started when I was a toddler. I was picking out my outfits before I was even big enough to get into my closet. Mom had to hold me up so that I could see/sift through the racks of clothes.
AH:I look to you for style inspiration, but who do you look to?
HH:Why, thank you, love! I suppose most of my inspiration in styling comes from the past. As you know, one of my favorite ways of passing time is watching period piece films (I’ve only recently understood that this is not the case for everyone – thanks Anna :). Don’t get me wrong, I love to read, too, but I’m an incredibly visual person. So historically set movies or old photographs are my favorite. There’s something about the past I just find terribly enchanting. I don’t feel the modern world takes as much time and appreciation to put in the level of detailing that past eras have. But from the past, it’s not just the clothing that inspires me, it’s the décor, the architecture, the dishes, the language; it’s all just so much more elaborate and beautiful.
AH: I have seen your closetS so I know about your collection of clothes, but for those of us that don’t have the closet of ever girl’s dreams, what are the 3-5 things every girl should have in their closest and why?
- Black leather jacket – There’s really no way I can say how much of a staple I consider this to be. Why? Well, because it’s the ultimate cool, but I really didn’t try at all piece. Plus, it’s multi-seasonal, being that you can were it in fall over lighter layers, winter with a warm scarf, spring over floral dresses, and even occasionally on chilly summer nights.
- Black ankle boots – Like the leather jacket, black ankle boots for the everyday, yet still effortlessly stylish. I prefer a slight heel (as in no more than two inches), or no heel at all. I’ve yet to find an outfit that doesn’t look that much better with a pair of ankle boots.
- An absolutely incredible pair of jeans – You know, the kind that makes you feel completely comfortable but also undeniably confident. This one is a new one for me. I haven’t always been so devoted to denim, but something changed this past summer while living in New York City. Just seeing all of the incredibly stylish women around the city, and how they always toned down too trendy with a lived in, tried and true pair of denim. There’s something about clothing that comes across as a second skin that I find intriguing.
AH: Tell me about your daily styling process, how you put pieces together, etc.
HH: When I was in high school, my styling process was much more elaborate than it is today. For fun, I would come up with outfits every night and even on the weekends. Yes, I was that girl wearing six-inch platforms, about ten necklaces (at a time), and even more layers of lace to school daily. But as college came along, my free time got much more tied up with homework and enjoying the presence of new friends (yay for finally discovering a social life). So now, I would say my process is much different than it used to be. Basically, I wake in the morning (only after enjoying every possible minute of extra sleep I can) and start trying to think of an outfit. I might think of a look in its entirety, or possibly just a piece of clothing I have been wanting to wear. Then, I start trying these things on. I would say this is the most essential part of the process, actually putting it on your body and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Items can be incredibly deceiving on a hanger, and actually seeing how they fit and mix with the other components of an outfit is incredibly important in achieving a desired silhouette or an overall feel to a look.
AH: You have a very distinct personal style, for anyone who may be searching for his or her signature look, what is your advice?
HH: Practice, practice, practice. I know that may seem dumb to say when it comes to styling, but it definitely requires it. It takes time to find out what it is you like. Trust me, I’ve been through many style phases before I finally found what I consider to be my personal style. My advice is get in your closet and get creative. Try things on and see what works and what doesn’t. Find inspiration of styles you like and break down the components to see what exactly about it you connect with, and then find ways to interpret that into your own style. Most of all, never be afraid to wear exactly what you want. Only then, when you dare to push your creative boundaries, can you really understand what your personal style is, and what you really enjoy wearing. The most important part of finding your personal style is having the confidence to actually wear the things that makes you feel like you. Anybody can pull anything off as long as they have the guts to do so.
AH: Thrift stores play a huge part in both of our wardrobes, what are you looking for when you are having a thrifty day?
HH: Since only the strip of a sleeve or pair of pants is visible while passing a clothing rack in a thrift store, I pay attention to fabrics, prints, and colors that strike me. But I’m always looking for the diamond in the rough while thrifting. I think there’s always a gem to be found, as long as one has the patience to find it.
AH: Can fashion be affordable? Explain your opinions on this subject.
HH: In my opinion, style doesn’t have anything to do with money. I’ve always been much more interested in having a sense of style that you own and that identifies with you, rather than being in with the latest fashion. Take advantage of local thrift, resale shops, and even hand-me-downs. Just because something wasn’t of value to someone else doesn’t mean it’s not the perfect piece for you.
AH: I am guilty of wearing all black everyday, even though you love a good all black outfit you also hold color to a very high standard. Is there certain colors you go toward or ones you avoid? What role does color play in your daily looks
HH: Perhaps subconsciously there are colors I avoid, but I don’t think there are colors that I purposely stay away from (well except those of the neon nature). My stance on color is this: yes, go for it, but always while toning it down with grounding neutrals.
AH: Fashion has brought you so many amazing opportunities, what would your life look like without your love of fashion?
HH: Not only would I have missed out on opportunities that I have been fortunate enough to take part in, but my life would also be a lot less enjoyable. Fashion has never been just about “going shopping” for me, but has always served as my source of creativity and expression.
AH: What has been your favorite(s) opportunity you have experienced thanks to your dedication to style?
HH: There have been a few opportunities that I thought, “Holy cow, is this real life?” But likely my favorite was being asked to style a feature for the Teen Vogue April 2014 prom issue and TeenVogue.com, where I styled fifteen looks for prom. At this point, I had known Andrew Bevan, Teen Vogue’s Style Features Director, for about a year, but his asking me to do this meant the world to me. There was a great deal of trust that he placed upon me, my styling, and my entire photography and editing process. The whole opportunity, from start to finish, was incredibly rewarding. I still have to pinch myself.
AH: Okay, my blog is brand new. A tiny new born baby blog. But your blog has been around for awhile and it is gooooood. What advice do you have for new bloggers (or for me) when it comes to blogging?
HH: Here’s the thing, blog because you love it. Simple as that. It’s really easy to let your mind focus on numbers and getting exposure, but at the end of the day, remember why you started it. The rest will come in time.
AH: Dos and Don’ts of blogging?
HH: I’m not sure I have many dos and don’ts, but I suppose my do would be to create exactly the type of blog that you envision and don’t limit yourself to the types of blogs that are already out there. The beauty of blogging is that it’s your very own platform to create exactly what you want.
AH: What are a few of your favorite items in your closet?
HH: My black leather jacket, my black patent leather Chelsea boots, a pair of destroyed jeans that were my mom’s in the 90s, and probably, most of all, my faux fur cheetah coat. Oh, and all my rings; I feel weird without them.
AH: How has your style changed through the years?
HH: Well, let’s see… There was the preppy Abercrombie phase, the skateboarding phase, the flower child phase, the cloaked in lace eccentric fortuneteller phase (as coined by you), and whatever now is. I suppose I would define today as a bit more masculine, but always with feminine detailing (think Victorian gentleman). There’s more structure than past phases. I’ve definitely had the style transitions, but I believe all of those were necessary for me to discover what my style actually is.
AH: Where do you shop?
HH: Lots of thrift, vintage, and Unclaimed Baggage, but other than that, mostly online. I like Free People, Asos, Forever 21, and Topshop a lot. I find shopping to be much more enjoyable lying in my bed in my pajamas in the middle of the night. Plus, you get to try things on from the comfort of your own bedroom, and actually take the time to properly evaluate the piece. Dressing rooms are just much more stressful than they should be, you know? The lights are always too hot, rooms too small, and I always feel rushed. Nothing like a fitting room to really just zap you of that last bit of self-confidence. So yeah, online shopping for me.
AH: What are you plans/goals/etc.
HH: My main goal at the moment, being a panicked senior in college, is to figure out what my plans are. A weird feeling, as I’ve always seen myself as one who had a definite plan. But the beauty of life is that plans can change, and those changes usually produce paths much more fulfilling. Right now, I’m hoping to enjoy my final months in college, make travel plans to destinations I’ve long wanted to visit, and just enjoy moments of being young and having the world open up before me. Very vague, I know... It’s terrifying.
AH: Not everyone in the world gets a best friend that is as amazing as you, for anyone who doesn’t have a Hannah what do you think is important to look for in friends?
HH: Trust. That’s by biggest thing. Finding someone that enjoys the same beauties out of life as you do is huge, too, but that means nothing without truly having trust in that person to never betray you. And life’s taught me that trust is extremely difficult to come by.
AH: Should every pair of bffs have their go to songs?
HH: Um, yes, absolutely! There’s nothing quite as therapeutic as going for a drive, stereo turned up loud, windows down, singing your favorite songs with your best friend (you). Remember that freezing cold night at 2 A.M. that we first listened to T Swift’s Red together? It soothes the soul.
AH: Will you be my bff forever?
HH: Til death do us part.