Maggie Lanham, 28
A Lexington Fox Interview by Lauralee Crain Estill
What are you thinking about you get dressed in the morning?
Comfort is always key. I thrift so often, I usually have a piece I want to style, so I ask myself how can I make that work?
What kinds of questions do you think about when getting dressed?
Does this hide my muffin top? Can I suck my stomach in this long-haha! No, it’s can I wear this outfit and participate in many different kinds of activities? I usually envision this cool, calm collection woman in my head–which I very much am not– and I ask, what would she wear? I put in a character and the question is what would she wear to do these things?
Where do you start your outfit? For ex. Shoes first or shirt, etc.
I am an avid thrifter. Thanks to my roadtripping, I collected a trunk of clothes. After I got home, I decided okay it’s time to put these to good use. The outfit doesn’t necessarily start with a top or bottom, but rather what did I find.
Are you aiming to say anything when you put together an outfit?
Yes, I search etsy, instagram, your store, other vintage stores for amazing finds. I am a firm believer in that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look stylish. If you have just a little bit of creativity you can really make thrifted pieces and vintage pieces sing in a really modern way. Using these unique pieces I am channeling that cool, calm collected woman. And the 90s are so in right now, you can find so many good silk and linen things to make those dreams come alive but in a very economical and green way.
What’s your go-to outfit?
On days when I don’t feel like thinking, my go to is a pair of skinny jeans, a men’s oxford, a pair of menswear shoes and these tiny hoop earrings. And an easy bun. I always feel myself.
What’s an outfit that never works?
I cannot stand bodycon things. I don’t know if it’s just because I don’t have the confidence to pull it off. I love it on other women, but to me it looks like a character I was never meant to play. Anything super tight–aside from skinny jeans is an always fail.
What are you wearing when you feel most yourself? Why?
I don’t like anything that clings too much. Something that’s loose and easy in black and white and a flat shoe.
So, you’re a groomswoman soon? Right? Are you wearing a tuxedo?
Yes! And heels.
When do you recall coming into your own personal style?
I would say, if you’re not always evolving your look you don’t know yourself. You change so much as a person, so your style changes with you. Now, more than ever I have an idea of what I like. I definitely have go-to’s now, but five years ago I definitely did not. I think I’m getting closer to having a personal style, but maybe when I’m older. Maybe when I’m 80 and wearing nothing but cool wigs and all-sequined outfits.
Do you dress to reflect your mood or to change your mood?
I’d say reflect.
Are there ways you wish you could change your style?
Yeah. We’ve talked Gucci. And I’m just so obsessed with the direction it’s taking. I have always loved hot pink. He does beautiful sequins, and florals and it’s got this real vitality to it. And a playfulness that I lack with my go-to outfit. I’ve been trying to inject a little of that. I can be calm, cool and collected but also super kooky. Why not? I just thrifted these beaded tassel earrings that I haven’t worn yet. But I’ve got a personality that pops and my outfit could reflect that a little bit more.
What would you say to someone who wants to experiment with kooky style without being too much?
I think that’s what I’m trying to go for. I love a good blouse. But if it’s got an extra ruffle or two, that’s great. Elevated basics.
Have you ever gotten bored with your closet? How do you get out of a style rut?
The easiest way to get out of a rut is to look at street style. I also follow a million vintage instagrams and there’s inspiration there.
You are a person with a large wardrobe at hand, so is your instinct to go shopping or go back in your closet?
I shop a lot, but I don’t purchase a lot. So I look to figure out how I can rebuild a look I’ve found. The really nice thing about my job is that for six months I live in a capsule closet– 40 pounds of clothes and shoes. I’m at my best minimalism then. But then when I get home, I go through every single piece in my closet again and that helps to make things feel fresh. Because I’ve been fashion starved for months.
Are you thinking about style at all in Antarctica?
Yes, I still bring a few special pieces. Even if you don’t wear them very often it’s nice to have something special while you’re there. I’ve gotten a reputation for being stylish there, but it’s not something I can think about too often or else I’d get sad about being so clothes deprived.
What are three places on the internet do you consult for fashion inspiration?
You recently submitted a piece to Man Repeller. How did that go?
Yes! Man Repeller has a Writers Club, and every month there is a theme. This month’s theme was New Beginnings– which I am very familiar with having gone to Antarctica, so that’s what I wrote about. It wasn’t about my time there, but the build up, coincidences and feelings about going down there. If they keep the title I put in there it will be called “Life On Ice” about my decision to go to Antarctica and do contract work.
What are places not on the internet do you find inspiration for fashion?
Traveling is the easiest way to see what’s out there. Getting out of your comfort zone to see what other people are coming up with. Old movies. My mom and I have been on this Kim Novak kick. I’m looking back at these movies. There’s a sense of glamour. It’s hard for that to be relevant today for every day of your life, but it’s cool to find inspiration in it. As far as films go 40s, 50s, 60s are the best.
What’s something new in fashion that you’ve discovered that has you excited?
Aside from the new Gucci. Fashion has become democratized where you have access to everything. And anything goes. You are totally free to just do you.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done in the last week?
The most fun thing that I’ve done this week was getting dinner and drinks with my friends. And a photoshoot today.
What’s the best place to eat in Lexington?
Where’s the best place to shop in Lexington?
Who in Lexington inspires you?
It’s not necessarily one person. It’s women in Lexington. I’ve known a lot of people here for a long time and people have really grown into themselves. Women who are comfortable being themselves and who are moving forward.
Before this interview, Maggie and I spent the day collaborating on a photoshoot of Fox House Vintage. Maggie spends half of the year in McMurdo Station, Antarctica and the other half in Kentucky. Her outlook on life and style is refreshing and uplifting. You can read her article from Man Repeller here. Instagram. Blog. Photos from this blog were taken by Susan Stewart-Jordan. Blog. Instagram.