The Refined Woman

Sneak | New York Fashion Week...

Lauren Scruggs + Shannon Yoachum of Lolo Mag

Emily and I have been in NYC for Fashion Week since last Thursday; it has been non stop and full of wonderful little surprises (one being the BLIZZARD that rolled in with conviction on Friday)  I cannot wait to write more, but for now here's a little sneak...

Our view from Billy Reid Fall 2013.  Every single piece of this collection I die over.

Our view from the second row at Monique Lhuillier Fall 2013.  Ladies get ready for Emerald; it's here to stay.

Em shooting backstage at Monique Lhuillier after the show.

My sweet friend Hilary of Dean Street Society connected me with Anna of In Honor of Design.  This lady is a gem.  We took pictures in the snow at Union Square and grabbed coffee at Joes.

I got to meet and shoot Miss Courtney Kerr.  She is such a lovely person, has some awesome sass, and she's from Texas...I knew we'd hit it off!

More to come folks...just wanted to give you a little sneak!


The Refined Woman has Moved...

There's a pattern I'm starting to see in my life:  the path I least expect to go down seem to be the ones that God leads me down time and time again.  Never would I ever have thought 'hey I'm going to start a fashion blog', yet here I am launching a fashion blog with my dear friend Emily Scott. To be honest I feel inadequate.  When I began to move forward with The Refined Woman all these insecurities came flooding in:  why would people want to see my clothes, I'm not fashionable enough, skinny enough, well connected enough, the list goes on friends.

One thing I am committed to is following dreams regardless of fear.  I never want to look back on my life and realize I didn't pursue a dream because I was scared.  In The War of Art by Steven Pressfield he says:

The more scared we are of a calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

If this is the case, and I think it may be then I must move forward with The Refined Woman.  My phrase for 2013 is New Beginnings, and with the launch of The Refined Woman it is already proving to be just that!

Our hope is that The Refined Woman can be a space to empower young women to embrace their femininity within the workplace.  Please check out the new home of The Refined Woman...




The Refined Woman | Hunter Boots

Happy 2013 to all the wonderful Refined Woman Readers!  The past few months into this journey of connecting with other working women has been such a blast, and I must say there have been quite a few times I have pulled ideas from other looks some of the ladies have submitted.

For example, who can forget Dara of Trent Bailey Photography and her fabulous Pencil Skirt, button up and wedges?

Or Emily's of EmtheGem Photo's High Wasted navy blue trousers with matching tailored blazer?

Karlin of Karlin Perez Photography had one of my favorite classic looks with chinos, button down, and her lovely fuscia pashmina.

This year we have some big goals for The Refined just hold on for a bit and we'll be letting you know some fun news!

Now onto my latest outfit.  This outfit was clutch for the last wedding I photographed in San Francisco with Emily Scott.  Literally from the moment we drove up to the Bride's house until we left the reception it was RAINING.  Not misting but pretty much pouring buckets, and need I remind you that it is winter?  My hunter boots were one of those purchases that I was not so sure about because of the price, but over and over again they have come through to shining victory for me!

Photographed by:  Emily Scott

  • Why did you choose this outfit? First of all, it was freezing.  I tried to figure out how I could wear the most amount of clothes with out looking like I was in my snuggie and Uggs.  So Blazer, scarf, and tights it was.  I saw the forecast was rain so I quickly snagged my Hunter Rain Boots, and am so glad I did.
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  I would say this outfit was a success and a failure.  Success because my Hunter boots totally came in handy, and they still manage to look classy and professional; it doesn't look like I am wearing gardening shoes.  Failure because although I love my denim pencil skirt, I realized after the fact that I wished it was a few inches longer.  In no way was I hindered while I was shooting, I think the skirt would look more flattering if it was a little bit longer.  Also, the sides of it puffed out a bit at the top which was not the most flattering either.
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look?  Blazer:  Zara; Top:  Similar (Zara); Skirt:  Anthropologie; Tights:  H&M; Infinity Scarf:  Handmade by a friend find one Similar; Boots:  Nordstrom's

Holiday Par-tay Time | The Refined Woman

Next Week is Christmas. Honestly, where did this fall go?  For me, I'm neck deep in Christmas shopping, finishing up those last few client projects, and mainly just eating lots and lots and lots of holiday treats?  Who's with me?

Also, it's that time of year when we get to bust out our Party Dresses for those annual Holiday/Christmas parties that our friends, families, work, etc. host.

Holiday parties is the time when we women photographers actually can wear super high and uncomfortable heels, bright colors, and short-er hems because we know it'll only be a few hours and we know we're not having to blend into the background  at a shoot.   Emily and I were chatting, and we both just wish we had super fancy lives that we could wear fun one-of-a-kind party outfits everyday.  Either that or be on the show Gossip Girl.  I'll take either.

Enjoy our Christmas outfits.  Which one if your favorite?  Also...get ready for 2013 because we have some fun surprises for you here at The Refined Woman.

Miss Emily Scott a.k.a Em the Gem...

Photographed by:  Kat Harris

Noteable Pieces from Emily's Look:  Dress:  Thrift Store $5.  I cannot EVER get over this fact.  Necklace:  Kate Spade, Shoes:  Christian Louboutin

Mae of Bryan and Mae Photography

Photographed by:  Jillian Bowes

Noteable Pieces from Mae's Look:  Plaid, Sparkles, Navy Blue Blazer...JCrew's Jenny Lyons would be proud. nailed this look.

Miss Emilia of Emilia Jane Photography

Photographed by:  Kina Wicks

Noteable Pieces from Emilia's Look:  Cynthia Rowley Leather Dress.  Ugh.  I die.  Shoes:  Christian Louboutin

And now me:)

Photographed by:  EmtheGem

Noteable Pieces from My Look:  Gold Vintage Dress and Bow Bracelet:  JCrew; Belt:  Thrift Store; Tights + Earrings H&M; Shoes:  ColeHaan

The Refined Woman | Rebekah

It's always sunny in Palm Beach Florida. Depending on where you are right now, you may be in the throws of a snow flurry, bitter wet rain, or just plain cold.  December is upon us, and we are right in the thick of it.  BUT, then there is Palm Beach Florida where Rebekah of Kallima Photography is based.

Rebekah, I mean come on, you're adorbs.  Yes I just abbrev'ed adorable, because that's how cute she is.

You may remember Rebekah's royal blue pleated dress that I D-I-E-D over, and I am just as in love with this outfit.  The mix of colors and textures makes this outfit a winner in my book.  I think the skinny belt with the orange skirt is the perfect touch, and the patterned scarf adds that extra pop of fun!  What do y'all think?

Photographed by:  Kallima Photography

  • Why did you choose this outfit? I am constantly on the hunt for skirts with a little length on them. A piece with color and flow, that moves with me and lets me breathe in this tropical climate. Even though the skirt is polyester its so cool and comfy. Knowing I'd be outside for half the day in the Islamorada sun and sand, I knew a tank would work well for the laid back feel of the wedding as well as keep me cool. I always wear a scarf if I'm sporting a tank, to dress me up and keep me looking professional. I also knew the color of this skirt would work year round for where I live, keeping me from being drab in the winter, and making me relevant and colorful for the summers.
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  I'd venture to say this is my favorite shooting outfit thus far in my 7 years of doing this. The skirt is long enough to keep me a lady even when I have to crouch and crawl and climb. (because its all about the shot people.) A cotton tank with the little cami underneath kept me cool, and my scarf doubles as a professional accessory as well as sweat rag for the groom should he need it. (and he will need it. I'll sacrifice my clothing any day for clients). I love wearing a belt with this skirt because it keeps me feeling confident and put together. These gold heeled sandals are comfortable and bend with my foot and I can make it until almost the end of the reception without busting out my gold toms. I find that the more and more I dress up, keep modern,  and stay hip for weddings, the more the parents love me and respect me and TRUST me to capture their kid's special day. Not only can I show my individuality and stay true to my style, but I can inspire confidence in guests and family that I really am legit!
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look?  Top: Target; Skirt: Modcloth (Similar); Infinity Scarf: Anthropologie; Sandals: Lucky; Belt: Ann Taylor Loft; Watch: Michael Kors



The Refined Woman | Karlin

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  Karlin has IMPECCABLE style.   If she did not live on the East Coast I would probably try and invade her closet every single day.  She is all about tailored looks, and  quality over quantity. No, you do not need 8 different pairs of skinny jeans you need that 1 or 2 that fit you like a glove.  And, while the blazer on sale may be tempting, save up for the blazer that fits really well and then take it to your tailor to get an even closer fit.  Building your wardrobe is a marathon not a sprint ladies!

Photo by:  Karlin Perez

  • Why did you choose this outfit? I chose this outfit because I needed some color in my life. I get tired of the same all black outfit and I wanted to break it up while still looking professional and being comfortable at the same time. And a little bit of color blocking never hurt anyone!
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  Complete success. This pair of pants have some lycra stretch in them so I'm able to move easily and they still maintain a tailored look. Unless it's a slower day I am constantly moving and tend to be hard on my "shooting clothes".  These pants were a fantastic find because they moved well, looked trim and well fitted, and were completely inexpensive!  I'm also warm enough to shoot into the late fall without having to break out the bulky sweaters that I ultimately sweat to death in.
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look?  Pants: These were one of those amazing Target finds. Shirt: Ralph Lauren Shoes: Neiman Marcus years ago Belt: JCrew Jewelry: Bauble Bar and my weddings rings (Cathy Waterman), which I chose because they are stackable and stay out of my way while I'm shooting. Perfect for me because I tend to wear very minimal jewelry while I'm working. Scarf: Pashmina Nails: Shellac new found love. They last weeks! Now I can actually show up to shoot with a great manicure without ruining it.

The Refined Woman | Dress to Impress

It's been quite the week for The Refined Woman.

From San Francisco Client Meetings to LA all the way to Paris we've some some classic looks from some of my favorite ladies:  Emily Scott, Sarah Shreves, and Emilia Jane.

Happy Friday folks, and stay tuned for some uber fun Holiday posts for The Refined Woman.

Emily Scott Photographed by:  Simply Jessie

Find full details on her look HERE.

Sarah Photographed by:  Kat Harris

Find full details on her look HERE.

Me Photographed by:  Sarah Shreves

Find full details on my look HERE.

Emilia Photographed by:  Emilia Jane

Find full details on her look HERE.

The Refined Woman | Emilia

Chicago based Wedding photographer Emilia, of Emilia Jane Photography is quite the jetsetter.  Recently I asked if she would be interested in submitting an outfit The Refined Woman, and she was neck deep packing to shoot a wedding in Paris.  After begging if I could squeeze into her suitcase, I settled on her sending us the outfit she shot in while in Paris.   Sigh...that just sounds romantic doesn't it? To me everything about this look is flawless.  This tailored Ralph Lauren dress fits Emilia like a glove, and I adore the gold accent buttons on the side of the dress brought in nicely with her gold jewelry.  Emilia you ooze effortless class through and through.  I cannot wait to see more outfits from you!

Lastly, time you go to Paris to work...can I puh-lease come?

Photographed by:  Emilia Jane

  • Why did you choose this outfit?  I chose this outfit because I think it fits my style and much more importantly, it's comfortable enough to wear all day and work in! In terms of style, I try to always look like a guest who just happens to be the photographer for the day instead of sticking out. And I don't know what it is, but Ralph knows how to make a dress I feel great in.
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  It was definitely a success! I love shooting weddings in this dress because I can move around easily and feel fashionable. Added bonus, bridesmaids and mothers of the bride and groom have complimented both the dress and shoes! Not planned, but who doesn't love a compliment on their outfit :-)
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look?  Dress:  Ralph Lauren (Similar), Shoes: Nine West (Similar), Watch: Michael Kors (Similar). I always start the wedding day in heels and bring a pair of flats if I need them later in the day.

The Refined Woman | Dress to Impress

Client Meetings. First impressions.

Gulp...this can be scary right?  Well, in my opinion it doesn't have to long as you stay true to who you are.  You'll notice that all three of us:  Emily, Sarah,  and myself have quite different styles, but check out our websites and our client base and you'll find that we are each trying to stay true to our brands through and through.

My business is called Kat Harris Photography.  My name is my brand, just as many of you who are in the creative world.  While it is a top priority and non-negotiable to hone in on your craft and have a solid product/service to offer your clients; it is a mistake to solely focus on your photography.  Everything about me, Kat Harris, embodies my brand.  People are hiring not just a finished product, but an entire experience that only YOU can offer.

Because of this, what you wear when you meet with potential and existing clients is extremely important.  It reveals something about your brand:  your style,  your target market is, your brand personality, etc.

My goal when I go to meet with a client is to be: classic, tailored, with a hint of bohemian.   In essence my goal is to represent myself as fully as I can.  The right client will connect not only connect with your finished product but the entire package.

Photographed by:  Sarah Shreves

  • Why did you choose this outfit? I chose this outfit because I wanted to look tailored and put together.  The pencil skirt really allowed me to do this.  To add some bohemian flares I chose to wear my suede booties (which are so comfortable), my 31 Bits necklace, and a blousy top.
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  Success! What I will say though is that after wearing this skirt to a meeting I know I cannot wear it to shoot in; it kept shifting around as I was walking.  For meeting purposes however; it was just fine!
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look?  Silk Jacket:  Club Monaco; Blouse:  Madewell; Skirt:  Talbots; Shoes:  Urban Outfitters; Necklace:  31 Bits; Bracelet:  Kiel James Patrick 

Onto Miss Emily Scott:  San Francisco Wedding Photographer

Photographed by:  Simply Jessie

  • Why did you choose this outfit?  This was a good outfit challenge for me because growing up in LA I never had to layer like you need to layer in San Francisco. I chose a pencil skirt / tights / sweater combo because it blends professional and casual perfectly. It allowed me to feel put together but not too formal for a client meeting.
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  It was a pretty successful outfit, though I did have a bit of trouble when I hit the steep SF streets in my 4" heels...
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look? Sweater + Pencil Skirt:  JCrew; Top:  Nordstrom BP; Shoes:  Zara; Bag:  Dooney&Burke

Los Angeles Lifestyle photographer + Stylist Miss Sarah Shreves

Photographed by:  Kat Harris

  • Why did you choose this outfit?  When i meet with my clients,  I want to give them the truest representation of me. and this is it.  I rarely wear heals especially with clients because im tall to begin with and I dont want to be towering over them! probably more casual + laid back than people would assume, my style is simple.  Most of my clients are that too:  driven, creative and bold but also easy going, know how to have a good time (on the dance floor) and not too cool for school.
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  Yeah, you cant go wrong with a statement tee and skinnies.  These pants are actually more of a legging so i do wish they had some pockets on them.  I need to find a good pair of stretchy, high waisted black pants.  Anyone have recommendations?
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look?  Shoes: Alexander Wang (Similar);  Pants: F21 (Similar)  Tee: Vintage Weltenbuerger  in Venice ;  Jewelry:  all vintage finds

The Refined Woman | Emily

Dear Emily Scott,

I cannot get over how flawless your style is.  Please dress me everyday.  Thanks,


San Francisco based wedding and lifestyle photographer, Emily Scott aka EmtheGem, has become a dear friend, confidant, and style mentor to me over the last few years.  She has a heart of gold, and an eye for putting together clean, fresh, and wonderfully tailored looks.  Aside from her awesome style, she has a beautiful soul and loves people so well.  Her images exude authenticity, light, and intimacy.  Basically I'm so thankful to be featuring her today on The Refined Woman.  Please check out her work HERE, and let us know what you think of her killer Fall All-American look.

Almost every piece of this look is made-in-America.  I'm in love.

Photo by:  EmtheGem Photography

  • Why did you choose this outfit? For this wedding I was going to be lugging a photo booth setup in addition to my normal gear and I just knew a skirt or dress wasn't going to work for that. After I got the blazer as a gift from my (amazing!) husband I went on a search for pants to go with it and I love these navy high waist trousers from J. Crew. The color and the cut feel more exciting than regular black dress pants. Since it was still unseasonably warm a few weeks ago, I went with a short sleeve button up to keep from overheating.
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  Success! I felt put together and polished, and it was a very comfortable outfit. The only drawback was that the pants need a heel and during the last hour I had to ditch them. I blame that on the end of wedding season.
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look?  Pants - Hutton trouser:  J. Crew (they come in long inseam too!), Schoolboy blazer:  J. Crew, Button up shirt:  American Apparel, Watch: Michael Kors, Wedges:  Salvatore Ferragamo, Camera Strap:  Apolis; Glasses:  Warby Parker

The Refined Woman | Kat

Now it's my turn in the hot seat. Discovering my style over the last few years has been quite a journey.  I've tried to copy other people, dress the way that I think people expect me to dress, and even pretend to like certain clothes that I really don't like just because they were trendy.  What I've come to realize is that I simply cannot keep up with the trends, and it's exhausting to dress for other people.  This has led me on a journey to figure out who I really am, and what I am naturally drawn to.

Hence I've labeled myself a classy-boho.  All-American prep is deep down in my core.  I love blazers, chinos, collared button-ups.  BUT also I have this inner hippie child that I cannot seem to shake.  Lace, frills, and flowy skirts and tops make me feel like a woman.  Today's outfit seems to be just that to me:  classy-boho.

What do you think?

Photographed by:  Sarah Shreves

  • Why did you choose this outfit? Fall is my favorite time of the year for fashion.  I love browns, blues, greens, and warm colors and I can wear them all the time in the fall.  This outfit is not only a go-to for shooting, but even in my everyday life.  The chinos are a little casual, however I think my blazer and red lipstick makes it a little more fancy.  This look is clean, classic, and the 31 Bits necklace adds that boho flare so I feel as though I'm staying true to my brand all in all!
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  Success! Because I am wearing pants I can maneuver quite comfortably, and my Tory Burch flats come to every wedding with me.  Although expensive; it's well worth the investment.  You only get two feet so I want to make sure I really take care of them on those long 12 hour days.
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look?  Blazer:  Zara (this is my go-to place for blazers!); Top:  Forever 21 (old); Pants:  JCrew; Belt:  No Rest for Bridget; Shoes:  Tory Burch; Necklace:  31 Bits

The Refined Woman | Sarah

Sarah Shreves:  LA Lifestyle + Wedding Photographer, Wardrobe Stylist.

Style wise Sarah puts me to shame.  She oozes LA through and through.  Basically she's so much cooler than I'll ever be.  What I love about Sarah is that no matter what she stays true to who she is, which in essence attracts her target market.  Please please check out her work HERE, she has shot some really rad stuff!

Photographed by:  Kat Harris

  • Why did you choose this outfit?  This outfit is all me:  comfortable, contemporary and clean.  I chose it because its all my go to pieces in one outfit.  You cannot go wrong with these staple pieces.
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  Total success..only for socal weddings that are super casual though.
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look? Jacket:  Theyskens Theory (Similar); Shirt:  Zara (Similar); Leggings:  Zara (Similar); Shoes:  BCBG (Similar); Jewelry:  Feliks and Adriks

The Refined Woman | Southern Weddings

Today I am so excited to feature Miss Marissa and Miss Kristin of Southern Weddings Magazine on The Refined Woman. These two ladies are the dolls I got to traipse through NYC with last week for Bridal 2013 Market.

One thing that stood out to me is that they stayed true to the Southern Weddings brand.  I think that is extremely important even as we photograph weddings, editorial, or meet with clients.  Our name and our whole person represent our brand, and yes that means the clothes we wear, and even the colors we choose within our wardrobe.

Now onto some yummy (that's my new word from Kristin) wardrobe selections from the Southern Weddings Ladies as they took over NYC last week.

Above is Miss Kristin in her to-die-for Lilly Pullitzer dress.  Can you get more southern than Lilly?  Here's what she had to say about the look:

  • Why did you choose this particular look for NY Bridal Market?  Shift dresses are one of my go-to favorites because they look professional and simultaneously functional.  I knew we would have a crazy first full day, so I wanted something withstand all the shuffling and still look respectable.
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  I thought it was a huge success because I felt comfortable and trendy, while definitely not ‘New York Chick’, it was true to my classic Southern style.
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look? Dress:  Lilly Pulitzer (similar); Shoes:  Nine West ; Jewelry:  Pearls (gift from my parents)

This is what happened when I told them to be serious.

Sunday morning after the Ines di Santo show we hustled over to the High Line to grab some shots of Marissa.

Marissa your polka dots and sequins could not have been done in a more classy way.  (Side note folks notice her nail polish; it ties everything together quite nicely).

  • Why did you choose this particular look?  I chose the polka dot shirt because it made me feel like I came out of a Kate Spade look book! : ) I love Kate Spade, but the prices are a little steep, so the sequined collar + polka dots felt very KS without the price tag. I also chose paints that day because it was quite cold and I was refusing to wear a coat!
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  Both outfits were a success in my book:)
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look?  Polka dot shirt:  Nordstrom Rack;  Black pants:  Loft ; Shoes:  Tory Burch; Belt: Nordstrom; Watch:  Michael Kors;  Necklace:  Moon and Lola; Bracelets:  David Yurman

All images photographed by:  Kat Harris

The Refined Woman | Bekah

This past week I've been in New York shooting runway at Bridal Market with the lovely ladies of Southern Weddings.  (I cannot wait to share pics from my time out here!!)) I kid you not, all week the ladies and I have been talking about pleats.

Pleats.  Pleats. Pleats.

I love them so much.  Pleats are classic, feminine, and there's something that feels very distinguished about them.  When I opened my email and saw the images of Bekah's latest Refined Woman outfit I did a little song and dance.  Why you may ask?  (Well, of course because Bekah is so lovely first and foremost)  And also...because of those FABULOUS pleats).

Bekah, of Kallima Photography in Palm Beach Florida, has nailed it this week with this classy, flirty, pleated dress.  What do you guys think?

  • Why did you choose this outfit? I love to shoot in dresses because it keeps me feminine and put together, and also causes me to be a bit more refined while shooting:) My vice is that I always find cute dresses that are too short, so I'm always throwing on leggings underneath. This time, I was looking for a few dresses that were tailored and fitted on top, but free flowing on the bottom to offer me ease of movement. This dress from LOFT is that dress, with a perfect length to keep me lady-like. (I wear some blue biker shorts underneath just incase…don't tell anyone..). I'm a big advocate of flats on the wedding day and these navy patent leather ballet flats were too cute to pass up. I can wear them with almost anything except black, so they are a true staple lately.
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  Success! I wasn't restricted in shooting because the dress is loose and flowy. I kept cool with the sleeveless top (super important here in south florida) but stayed looking fresh to death as this material doesn't show sweat. (praise you Jesus!!) Its also a great option to wear a cami underneath without anyone being able to tell. Double bonus! The flats gave me little trouble, rubbing in certain areas, so I might have switched to gold sparkly TOMS for the reception…
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look?  Dress:  Ann Taylor LOFT , Necklace:  Target, Blazer:  The Gap, Shoes:  Bjorn


If you are interested in submitting an outfit for The Refined Woman, please email me at!  Can't wait to see your outfit!


The Refined Woman | Karlin

Karlin.  I could talk about her impeccable style all the day long.  We met through a mutual friend of ours a little over a year ago, and although we have yet to hang out in person she has become a dear friend. To say that I have a style crush on her is putting it lightly.  She is such a class act, while at the same time has so much fun with her wardrobe.  When Karlin told me about this outfit she wore to shoot in she told me her inspiration was Ricky Lauren.  All-American, Classic, put-together, feminine.  I think she nailed it.

This is a a great look to photograph in whether it's summer or fall.  If you're in SoCal...then you know it's still super hot and you could wear the outfit as is.  But if you're on the East Coast  or somewhere where the weather is getting a bit more crisp, this dress could be paired with a a tailored blazer and boots.  Viola.  Versatility my friends.

Photographed by:  Katie Holley

  • Was it a success or failure?  Why?  This outfit really, really worked, especially for my summer weddings! It was super comfortable but flattering in a way that I still felt put together. The only thing that didn't work well was the length. I stepped on the flowy hem a few times and realized that I probably should have gotten it hemmed. Other than that is was a dream to shoot in because I stayed cool and flowy without looking like a sloppy mess.
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look?  Dress:   Sparkle and Fade (sold at Urban Outfitters surprisingly...I hardly ever shop there!) ; Belt:  Ralph Lauren Key Necklace: Katie'sthat she made out of two keys and an old chain....she's crafty like that.
    Shoes I wore: (I actually forgot she photographed me in my sandals! Ooops!) I actually wore brown Cole Haan flats to shoot in.


The Refined Woman | Dara

There's no better way to kick of my first post of The Refined Woman, than with the lovely NYC Photographer Miss Dara...
Photographed by:  Trent Bailey
  • Why did you choose this outfit? I love this particular pairing of pieces because it allows me to be me, while still looking like a professional (and a girl).
  • Was it a success or failure?  Why? This outfit has been a total success for me this year.  I have even paired this skirt with various tops and it works every time. I love the double-serge cotton fabric that J.Crew uses for these pencil skirts (I have a few other solid colors that I LOVE). The stretch of the fabric and fit of the skirt makes it so easy to run around in and squat and get every angle I need on the wedding day. And this print camouflages everything, so I never have to stress about whether or not I have dirt on me. The cotton/lenin blend button down is perfect for summer weddings because it's loose, breathes well, and is just plain comfy. And due to the nature of the fabric, no need to worry with ironing. The wrinkles and rolled sleeves totally work in its favor. The only downfall with this top is it will show EVERY drop of perspiration! But unless you wear white, black, or navy, that's pretty hard to disguise. Add a basic leather belt and P&O bowtie and you're good to go!
  • Can you list the brands of all the major/key pieces from the look?  Skirt: J.Crew    Top: Uniqlo   Bowtie: Preston&Olivia  Wedges: Gianni Bini

I myself am a total fan of the JCrew Pencil skirt, and love this look!  What do y'all think?

The Refined Woman | The Ladies

I'm so excited to introduce to you the rad ladies that are participating in The Refined Woman. Without further are The Ladies of The Refined Woman.

Dara Kent-Cobb: NYC Wedding Photographer of Trent Bailey Photography, founder/creative director of Preston&Olivia.

Photographed by:  Trent Bailey

  • If you could describe your style in 5 words what would it be? That would depend on the day. I feel like my style is all over the place because I wake up each day and decide who I want to be. But if I were to look at my wardrobe, I would say my pieces as a whole are: Classic, tailored, fashionable, downtown, girl-meets-boy (the hyphens make it one word :) )
  • If you had no budget what 3 places would you shop at. My three B's: Barney's, Bergdorfs, Billy Reid
  • Let's be real, wer'e all on a budget...where do you really shop at?  Zara, J. Crew, ASOS
  • What draws you into the art of photography?  I love history and photography allows you to document history by capturing a moment in time and keeping it forever.  I love wedding photography because it enables me to document a very special day in the life of couples so in love, that they've decided to commit their lives to one another, and I don't think there's anything more beautiful to capture than love.

Sarah Shreves:  LA Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer and Stylist

Photographed by:  Heidi Burkey

  • If you could describe your style in 5 words what would it be? Subtlety masculine, contemporary, clean, and modern boheme.
  • If you had no budget what 3 places would you shop at.  Anaise, Philip Lim, Lauren Moffatts.
  • Let's be real, wer'e all on a budget...where do you really shop at?  The clearance rack at zara, sales at nordstroms rack, tjmaxx contemporary section, my favorite amvets thrift store in san diego + estate sales.
  • What draws you into the art of photography?  The relationships and spaces i can create; it’s a powerful thing to photograph someone, to create a space in which they feel empowered to just "do them", to be free and own who they are in front of my camera. When they do, the creative process moves from a one sided ‘ im photographing them’ to, they are being photographed and creating art with me.

Rebekah Hood:  West Palm Beach FL. Wedding Photographer, Kallima Photography

Photographed by:  Kat Harris

  • If you could describe your style in 5 words what would it be? Classic, relaxed, comfortable, colorful, feminine
  • If you had no budget what 3 places would you shop at?  Anthropologie, JCrew, Madewell.
  • Let's be real, wer'e all on a budget...where do you really shop at?  Target, JCrew Factory, H&M
  • What draws you into the art of photography?  Being a creative is a hard thing to categorize and compartmentalize.  I love art because I love color, movement, and things that are full of life.  Photography gives me the opportunity to harness my art and translate that color and life and movement into something that is forever.

Kat Harris: LA/OC Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

Photographed by:  Angi Welsch

  • If you could describe your style in 5 words what would it be?  Classy, prep with a hint of bohemian, tailored, diverse (before I buy an item I go through in my head how many different ways/outfits I could wear it with).
  • If you had no budget what 3 places would you shop at?  Club Monaco, Marc Jacobs, JCrew.
  • Let's be real, wer'e all on a budget...where do you really shop at?  Zara, JCrew and Anthropologie sales racks.
  • What draws you into the art of photography?  Ever since I was little images moved me.  There’s something so powerful about capturing a real moment.  What keeps me falling deeper and deeper in love with photography is the art of capturing real life moments between people, whether it be a quiet moment in between actions, a burst of laughter, or the movement of a tendril of hair when a slight breeze passes by...I love everything about it.

Emily Scott:  San Francisco Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Photographed by:  Sarah Shreves

  • If you could describe your style in 5 words what would it be?  Simple. Classic. Colorful. Bold. Polished.
  • If you had no budget what 3 places would you shop at?  Marc Jacobs.  Celine.  Chloe.
  • Let's be real, wer'e all on a budget...where do you really shop at?  JCrew, Nordstrom, Madewell, Urban Outfitters, and Thrift Stores.
  • What draws you into the art of photography?  I love being able to capture beauty in the everyday and ordinary moments. I am drawn to emotions and colors and being able to hold onto the good things to savor later.

Karlin Perez, North Carolina Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer

Photographed by:  Katie Holley

  • If you could describe your style in 5 words what would it be?  Minimal and classic but a touch unrefined, with a little bit of androgyny...I don't have a fifth, remember, I'm a minimalists :)
  • If you had no budget what 3 places would you shop at?   I have to only pick THREE?! Alright...Ralph Lauren for the classics (I miss my discount), Alexander McQueen for the edge and Valentino, well, because every girl needs one Valentino...
  • Let's be real, wer'e all on a budget...where do you really shop at?  I will always stand by the argument for "quality vs. quantity". It doesn't mean it has to be designer...just made well! So I save up and invest in classic pieces that will last a lifetime. The kind you can pass to your kids. But in between the investment pieces....Allsaints, Gap for the basics, My husband's closet.
  • What draws you into the art of photography?  Simple...the lives that are behind the pictures that we make.

The Refined Woman | Intro

It’s been one of my goals to find that ‘ideal’ outfit to shoot in while still staying true to my fashion sense, and being a woman. What does it look like to be a woman in the work place?

How can I celebrate my femininity while still being professional?

What are the it shoes to wear on a 12 hour day of shooting that won't kill you're feet, but also aren't those awful black reeboks?

As I have pursued photography over the last several years these questions and more have come to mind countless times.

One of the first weddings I shot I wore a little black dress and pointy toed black shoes from Target.  I looked the part, and was ready to be a real photographer.  By the end of the almost 12 hour day I was locked in the bathroom trying not to cry because my feet felt like they were going to fall off. ‘This must be what it feels like to have two broken feet’, I kept telling myself.

The guy photographer I shot with must have thought I was crazy for wearing what I wore, but he was in a Prada suit for crying out loud and looked like a million bucks.  It seemed really unfair, because I felt as though if I would have worn anything less put together I would have looked like his kid sister who got ready 5 minutes before she left and just picked up her camera for the first time that day.

Being a woman it can be difficult to find an appropriate, functional, professional outfit, with comfortable shoes for a 12 hour work day--let alone a wedding--while at the same time looking feminine and fashionable.

There has to be a way to have both femininity and functionality...there just has to.  Are you with me ladies?

This is going to be an ongoing series of posts where I will be living out this little goal of mine with you.  I’ve had outfits that have totally failed over the last several years, skirts that have flown up in the wind, dresses that I thought I almost ripped while bending over to get that perfect shot of an invitation, and...well you get the idea.

BUT I have also found some outfits that have surprisingly totally worked.  This will be a place where you not only see my successes and failures, but also the wardrobe of some rad lady photographers in major cities throughout the US.

What I am really excited about is that each woman that I have invited to be apart of this project has a distinct style, and take different risks within their wardrobe.  These are all women that run successful photography businesses, consistently create moving images, and have impeccable fashion taste.

With each post I would love to know your thoughts, questions, and reactions as well.  I am excited to share this journey with some pretty amazing ladies, and hope to challenge and encourage other women to not only rock it when they’re shooting, but also to stay feminine, and true to who they are throughout the whole process!

Lastly, if you have a look you would like to submit, please email me at for more information.

Get ready for my next post tomorrow where I'll be introducing the LEGIT LADIES involved with The Refined Woman.