It can be a little hard to keep up with Dee Brown, who in the course of our time together conducted side conversations with the following: her younger self, her husband (not present), a gold necklace she would never buy, and, most tellingly, her closet. It was this kind of energy that brought the always-smiling Brown to Texas Southern University on a track scholarship, and later sent her to New York and LA to break into television. Now she’s back as an associate producer at KHOU Channel 11, where she conducts the occasional style segment. Catch her on Saturday mornings, teaching Houston how it’s done, gracing us with the playful confidence it takes to talk smack to your entire wardrobe.
Henri Bendel link bracelet, BCBG studded bracelet, Zara shoes, thrifted top, necklace from H&M, blazer from H&M, camo pants from Nordstrom.
What’s your aesthetic and how has it evolved?
My style is masculine chic, boyish with a girlish twist. I was a tomboy through college, a track athlete in Houston. I was like, “I sweat from class to class, do I want to change clothes and take off makeup, just to go to track practice?” Not my style. Once I graduated I started coming into my own.
And you got your girly back?
I’ve always been a girly girl at heart because my mom was a huge influence; she could dress her tail off. I remember being a toddler and looking at the word Gucci on one of her blouses, thinking, “what in the world?”
You could go through my purse right now and find 20 tubes of Mac lipstick. That’s the girl in me—the makeup, the hair. Hair is an accessory that a lot of women don’t utilize. Your hair can be the one thing that makes your outfit rocking. Or, you know, add a red lip. You add a red lip and a pair of shoes to a T-shirt and jeans, people say, “oh my god, where’d you get that outfit?”
What’s it like to shop with you?
Right now I’m in search of the perfect white blazer. I haven’t found it. I have a vision, I know exactly what I want, but I’m not going to buy it until I get it. I shop with a purpose. Is it something I need that can contribute to my style? I’m not going to go buy another gold necklace. I mean, that’s cool, but you’re not going to get worn and then I am going to give you away.
Are you this decisive when you get dressed?
I try to have a drama-free relationship with my closet. The night before I have an idea of what I want to wear. And sometimes I wake up and something happens. Something rips or the fit is off. I’m like, “you know what? This is not cool. This is not what I planned.” This is when we bump heads. I’m a grab-and-go girl. It shouldn’t take more than five minutes to put an ensemble together.
How do you fight fashion ennui?
To me, style should be a form of art, a form of self-expression. It’s just so beyond who can I look like, who can I be like, who can I compete with, how much does it cost. You can get inspiration from music, from art. I can listen to something and think “I’m feeling real girly, you know, let me do Carrie Bradshaw,” or I can listen to something badass and I’m like, “you know what? Let me pull out the camo pants and big hoops.” Or I might hear something classical, something soft, and say, “I’m gonna do pastel colors.” I have an acid-wash jean skirt that goes perfectly with “Like a Virgin.”