On Friday, I met my new BFF, Stephanie Simons. Stephanie tweeted something about looking for bloggers to send her new book to to read. I’d been following her on Twitter and had already taken note of her wit and charm. I didn’t even realize she was coming out with a book until that moment (thank goodness for social media right?!), but after a very long day of arms racing my inbox, curling up on the couch for the rest of the evening seemed like a fabulous idea. The book ended up being literally the best thing I have ever read!
Composed of brocabulary terms, closet confessions, an explanation of trends with benefits, classic panty lines, plus size cocktail recipes and even a Curate-A-Date application so that you can “curate your suitors the way you curate your wardrobe,” no matter what your current dating dilemma is, All’s Fair in Love and Wardrobe will help get you through it.
Let’s face it, boys are a mystery, but by disclosing her fashion editor’s rules on shopping for love, finally someone has put it into terms us girls can actually understand. Considering Manolo Blahnik addressed Stephanie as “the real Carrie Bradshaw,” she’s definitely someone we can trust for quality love advice.
But not to worry, with truths in this book “as blunt as Anna Wintour’s bob” she’s not playing the role of that girlfriend who always tells you what you want to hear. For example, just like when you are struggling to find the perfect fitting pair of denim Stephanie explains, “relationships and skinny jeans should allow room to breathe. Being exceptionally tight is one thing, but suffocation is another. Don’t let him cut off your circulation from the rest of the world.”
In other cases when you’re in need of some positive reassurance, Simons reminds us to remember that “when God closes a door, he opens a Neiman Marcus,” “most of your socks are single and loving it” and also that “you can’t tailor a man to your specifications, no matter how hard you try.”
All these pearls of wisdom are styled with drop-dead gorgeous watercolor illustrations by Malia Carter of DeepFriedFreckles.com, whose work has been featured on Teen Vogue’s website as well as in numerous fashion blogs worldwide.
Stephanie was kind enough to answer a few interview questions I had for her, so without further ado, I introduce you to one of the most inspiring, passionate, and entertainment women I have ever met!
Allyn Lewis: How did you get started in the fashion and beauty industries?
Stephanie Simons: I was a freelance writer traveling in Paris in the fall of 2005. My friend and I went shopping on the Champs–Elysées and I thought How do I hold onto this feeling everyday for the rest of my life? The closest thing, I decided, would be to start writing about fashion, so I decided to pursue that topic exclusively upon returning home. It’s definitely a niche, and with my particular style of writing, which tends to be more humorous, I’ve had a lot of copywriting opportunities with ad agencies and also retailers like Piperlime and Benefit Cosmetics. It has been a whirlwind and a blast.
AL: As a fashion and beauty writer and editor, you published more than 500 articles! Which one was your favorite?
SS: I was beside myself when I got to interview Manolo Blahnik and he put me in a pair of his $1,000 shoes for the day. He’s honestly the most exquisite man I‘ve ever met (Manolo, if you’re reading this, I still want to marry you). But in general, my favorite articles are the ones where I get to document a crazy experience in the first person. I loved writing about my adventures on The Bachelor and my stint as a first runner-up at Miss California USA. Not every “contestant” in that kind of situation looks at it from a bird’s eye view, or with the perspective of writing a story that people will relate to. I’ve always been an observer of people and an avid note-taker of life’s craziest lessons.
AL: When did you realize that fashion and dating were so alike?
SS: Even as a little girl, I knew they were somehow linked. My mom would send me to school every day in a dress. I attribute that to the fact that boys entered my life really early. Honestly, I think I had my first date in pre-school. Men are inherently programmed to love a woman in a dress, but it’s only when they get older that they understand their reasons more clearly. It didn’t hurt that I used to wear them while climbing the monkey bars and exposing my underpants to the entire class. What’s the opposite of a Man Repeller? Ya, that was me, haha. The doorbell was ringing off the hook for play dates.
*Stephanie is pictured above on her first date in preschool*
AL: What inspired you to write All’s Far in Love and Wardrobe?
SS: I can’t really describe it any other way except to say that I had a book inside of me that needed to come out. I knew it had to be illustrated and it had to be about fashion and dating. Beyond that, I don’t even know how I was able to write two books in one year, which is apparently unheard of (my second book Chic-tionary releases Fall 2014).
AL: When you were jotting down notes on your experiences, did you always have plans to make a book out of them someday?
SS: I found some old journals in my storage that made me think okay, it’s time. Look at all of the amazing (and by amazing I mean amazingly hysterical) things that have happened to me. Look at all these men who are now out there doing the same thing to a bunch of other women. I decided we all need a Gospel. And why not speak to women in a language they understand—lipstick and dresses? People are asking, How is this book not a chick flick starring Katherine Heigl? So I know I must have done something right.
AL: Can you also tell me about the second book you’re releasing later this year, Chic-tionary?
SS: It’s like the Urban Dictionary of style terminology, a total satire. If you don’t speak chic now, this will ensure you are properly initiated.
AL: What happens now? Do you think you’ll continue writing books or do you have other paths you want to venture down in your future?
SS: I have a third book on the horizon. I probably won’t stop writing. Ever.
SS: Women should think about dating the way they think about their shopping missions—even if you don’t find what you’re looking for, the thrill is in the hunt. It should always be fun or you’re doing something terribly wrong.
And honestly—just ask any married person—when you’re single, enjoy every minute of it while it lasts. The whole world is your department store, a veritable playground of revolving doors and escalators leading you into the heavily fragranced unknown. Who knows what kind of glamorous possibilities are in store for you tomorrow? That kind of adventure doesn’t last forever.
Make sure you head over to amazon.com to pre-order your copy of All’s Fair in Love and Wardrobe!
You can also follow along via social media with the hashtag #LoveAndWardrobe.