As native Houstonians, Felice Sloan and Shanna Jones have been writing about fashion for over three years in their popular blog Urban Swank. In addition to being fashion mavens, Sloan and Jones know just where to get the best brunches, happy hours, dinner, lunches, breakfast spots, and more. Their popularity has been contained in Houston so far but that is set to change since the dynamic duo posed as secret diners in Austin restaurants on four episodes of the new Bravo TV competition series Best New Restaurant. We caught up with Felice and Shanna to talk about how their everyday styles translate into the space where creative juices make their way onto the screen.
What is your go-to topic for a blog post?
Felice: That would be food, fashion, and beauty. They are all my babies and this momma is not picking one over the other.
Shanna: From a fashion perspective, accessories, specifically watches, would definitely top my list. I have been collecting watches for over ten years now and with the many designers, brands, and features, there is so much to share. In addition, it gives me the chance to highlight some of my favorite timepieces and the stories behind them.
How would you describe your personal style?
Felice: Confused at the moment. Since I wear two different career hats the lines have gotten a little blurry here lately. The Urban Swank me is eclectic-chic with a whole lot of Funk. I wear what I want and follow my own rules. That’s what being a grown-ass woman gets you!
Shanna: I am all about comfort and tend to start with a flattering base and add color for the pop and/or wow factor. Accessories are then added to dress it up a bit and take my look to the next level. I don't leave the house without earrings, a scarf, and a watch. And oh yes, mascara!
What trends are you looking forward to in 2015?
Felice: Red, red, and more RED. Did you see all of it at the Golden Globes recently?!?! I was so excited because it’s one of my power colors.
Shanna: The seventies have returned and I am super excited to be able to give life back to my retro-inspired pieces. Everything will be updated with a modern twist, but expect to find me rocking contrasting patterns and prints with chunky heels and boots for a vintage feel.
What is your favorite place to shop in Houston, and why?
Felice: I’m more of an online shopper. However, a local shop that I heart would definitely be Stash Co. They have amazing leather goods that are all made by hand. Plus they are just all-around good people. It’s a place that when you walk in you want to buy everything in the store.
Shanna: For casual shopping I like Nordstrom but I also have my favorites when I am shopping for something specific. For example, I will visit Kendra Scott for jewelry, Langford Market for pieces to finish an outfit, Stash Co. for leather handbags and accessories, and Elaine Turner for shoes.
Where do you get your fashion/style/design inspiration?
Felice: This is a hard one because I find inspiration from many different places and things. The things that I’m most inspired by are architecture and texture.
Shanna: Most of my style inspiration comes from street fashion. I browse through fashion magazines for ideas but my inspiration comes from what I see on a day to day basis. I’ll see something and think “that’s hot” and want to find it right away.
What is your favorite post that you've done, and which post got the most attention?
Felice: It was called "MY FAVORITE THINGS...SHOPSTYLE & MY PERSONAL STYLE." The article was about the shopping site ShopStyle’s new look. The way they promoted it was by having a select few fashion bloggers showcase their own personal style, and I got to do it. It was lots of fun! The most popular post would have to be my first boot post, These Boots Are Made For Walkin. Its' boots; enough said!
Shanna: My “Get Your Watch Game On” post was my most popular fashion article on Urban Swank. It discussed how to get your watch collection ready for the fall and included categories like your office watch, your “go to” watch, your date night or night out with the girls watch, your special occasion watch, and the always handy backup watch with examples of each.
Do you have any fashion rules when putting an outfit/room together?
Felice: Yes, it very simple: Own your style, strut your stuff, and DO YOU!
Shanna: I don’t have many rules as I feel your individual style is your own. However, regardless of what you decide, it should be cohesive and fit with your body type (for outfits) or fit with the space (when designing a room). If you follow a theme, it typically falls into place.
What's the one style item that every girl/guy should have?
Felice: The little black dress! You could go an entire week with only this one dress and change the look each day. It's an essential wardrobe item that every woman must own
Shanna: A watch of course! They make a statement and easily complement your look whether it is casual or dressy.
Name a place that has a look or design that you love, and why.
Felice: That would have to be Hotel Sorrella in San Antonio. It serves up modern designs and old world sophistication in the architecture that is highlighted using lot of texture and reds, grays and charcoals. This place speaks to that inner cool chick inside me.
Shanna: Brasserie 19. It is dramatic and begs to be seen and you will look...several times. The décor is focused on clean lines and adds a layer of sophistication all while being very classy. I belong there.
Who is your celebrity style crush?
Felice: That goes to Victoria Beckham. This chick’s style displays levels of bad-assery that should be illegal. Let’s also give her extra credit points for that sexy and stylish husband of hers.
Shanna: Solange Knowles. It is less about the outfit and looks that she chooses and more about the confidence she exudes. She can wear just about anything and look fabulous in it. I am personally a fan of her use of bold colors, her wild/big hair choices, and use of vibrant prints. Her look always seems polished whether she is wearing a paisley short suit or a textured dress. She embodies style.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Felice: Shoes and scarves! Wait am I allowed more then one pleasure?
Shanna: Reality TV, chocolate cake, and splurging on a designer bag every now and then.