Classy Colorful Confidence:

“When choosing what to wear, I am trying to project friendliness and happiness. I believe a confident use of color is my trademark. Also, I believe it is always best to be appropriate for the occasion. Better to be a little overdressed than underdressed.“ – Shannon Holmes

Shannon Holmes | @StyleShennanigans

Shannon is a cheerful wife, mom, grandmother, and Realtor who lives and works in the Birmingham and Auburn areas of Alabama. She enjoys sharing her love for fashion, color, and life on her Instagram @StyleShenanigens.

Her confidence is unwavering, every day is an opportunity to be her best, and it truly shows in the playful professionalism of each outfit she wears. Her classy silhouettes elude her high standards for herself, and every pop of color gives way to her warm, open personality and kindheartedness. She’s incredibly sweet, passionate about life and people, and her upbeat attitude is inspiring.
When i asked what word she believes best describes her style, she told me: “Classy. Always being a lady was instilled in me by my Mother. Also, I think we tend to dress a little more formally in the South.”

The most iconic thing about Shannon’s style is the juxtaposed combination of refinement and flamboyance: “I would have to say my style is ladylike and eye-catching. It’s fun to make an entrance.”

This is so very Shannon. Her style strongly displays her personality. She’s never felt misunderstood based on her looks and she says: “I think my wardrobe consistently telegraphs who I am … I think my style does speak to who I am. I love classic style but with happy colors. Happy and approachable is how I would describe my feelings about what I want to achieve for my style.”

“I think I project classic style,  but with a happy edge. Warmth. Connection and awareness of others around me. I am often asked my opinion. Crying babies run up to me, and people strike up conversations with me in lines. I’m glad they do. I like the connection. I like helping. To my mind, people in drab clothes look less approachable. … I think that, generally, I dress “up” more than down. I am never in tee-shirts and I rarely wear tennis shoes anymore. Because I make an effort every day, it gets noticed. Also, I tend to use a lot of color. I think walking into a room in a bright shade draws the eye.”

“I think I project classic style,  but with a happy edge.” – Shannon Holmes

Another Post You Might Like:  Quiz: What is Your Style Personality Based on How You Perceive Different Moods?

There’s a lot of thought that goes into Shannon’s outfits, because there’s numerous things that matter to her in displaying her best self. From the personality traits she projects and how she makes people feel, to the appropriateness, practicality and comfort as she goes through her work day:

“When choosing what to wear, I am trying to project friendliness and happiness. I believe a confident use of color is my trademark. Also, I believe it is always best to be appropriate for the occasion. Better to be a little overdressed than underdressed …  I am a Realtor in my everyday life, so I usually choose pants for practicality on most days. Easier to get in and out of cars, walk up stairs, etc.”
Bold florals are her favorite pattern to add to an outfit, for their femininity, and she prefers classic beauty over trends–Always wearing clean, time-honored pieces. 

Because of these same traits, her favorite, must-have accessory is pearl jewelry: “I love pearls. Long, short, baroque, cultured; I adore them all! … Pearls are classy and feminine, and are beautiful with everything from jeans to formal wear. They are also elegant in a sophisticated way that is less obvious than gemstones like diamonds.” 

She additionally told me “I don’t think you will ever see camo on me. I also never was a fan of cold shoulders or super distressed jeans.  Cute on others, but I would never feel comfortable in them … I like the cleaner look of jeans without distressing. The idea of deliberately wearing holes in my jeans just seems silly to me. I find that as counterintuitive as scuffing up white tennis shoes because they are too white.”

Shannon looking chic and classy in a black and pale pink outfit with pearls and floral heels.

The best compliment Shannon could receive about her style would have to do with her sophistication: “When I was in college, my sorority made me the Charm Board Chairman, which technically made me the Fashion Police. The point of my job was to review outfits for appropriateness and suggested edits. Being ladylike was considered very important. I think that is a high compliment – chic and classy.”

She truly is never seen without a beautiful display of effort in her self-representation: “If I’m not motivated, then I am taking a sick day. I’m probably too OCD to not put effort into dressing. I won’t even go out in public without makeup on. I don’t hold anyone else to those standards, but Murphy’s Law says that the one time I look horrible, I will run into 10 people I know. I just don’t want to go there. I will take the extra 5 minutes to look better.”

If she could dress as “crazy” as she wanted to, without a care, she said: “Crazy for me would probably be braless, but with a jacket over it, of course.”

Shannon Holmes looking regally sophisticated in purple and gold.

On the first day of our interview she wore “a yellow blazer, purple floral top, and white pants with bold gold earrings and a layered pearl necklace.” which made her look bright (in more than one way) while she spoke at a seminar with her colleagues.

The outfit made her feel “confident, happy and feminine” and her favorite part of it was the floral top, which conjures mental images of a “summer garden bursting with blooms”, she said: “It is a beautiful color, feminine, and the sleeve detail makes it special. It also has a V neck, that I find is the most flattering on my body type.” She also expressed feeling youthful in it: “I have always thought wearing flattering colors takes years off.”

You’ll find her in nearly every color under the sun, but the ones that make her the happiest are bright pastels as well as “bright pink, turquoise, lemon yellow, soft lime green, deep lavender, ocean blue.”

There are a few colors she’ll avoid; Colors that she doesn’t consider flattering, in shades that lack both tonal clarity and an emotional response of pure cheer: “Though I will wear peach and corals, I really do not like muddy colors, especially rusty oranges and browns. There are tricks to make them more wearable by combining them with more flattering tones around the face, but I think it drags me down emotionally when I wear them.”

One example of how Shannon can wear colors, like brown, that she doesn’t normally love, and styles the outfit in such a way that it’s still classy and beautifully flattering on her.

I asked if she owns anything that she absolutely loves, but thinks others wouldn’t like. She said: “’No’ to owning something that would make someone uncomfortable. But to me, a genuine smile is the most important thing to wear with someone. It puts people at ease.”

This kind of genuineness, the display of a “beautiful spirit”, is what she thinks makes a person truly gorgeous: “… Happiness, kindness, and love will shine through, and give a warmth to the eyes and make a smile genuine.”

As long as she can remember, she’s lived confidently in the truth of who she is, what she loves, and how she wants to express these things: “I think I have always been able to walk into a store and go right to a beautiful piece that I will happily wear for years.”  Though she’s only human and has had moments of insecurity (including sickness and surgeries), confidence has nonetheless been a constant companion:

“I am the oldest of 5, and the daughter of two people who always were leaders. They set the bar and were always so interesting to me. I enjoyed being around adults at a young age, and I loved to read, so I was confident in most situations. When I was nine, I went through the chubby, pimply 6 months before my growth spurt. That was tough, but I got on my bike and rode everywhere until I passed that phase by. In 2013, I had 4 colon surgeries (no cancer, just sick) and had to wear a colostomy bag for ten months. That was really the worst. I would not wish it on anyone. Your whole life revolves around that illness. We all have that moment in time where life isn’t perfect. You just have to count your blessings and keep pushing forward.”

Her style journey has been simple and sweet, because she’s always been surrounded with encouragement to be herself. She told me stories about her earliest personal style memories:

“When I was about 2, my Mom took me to buy black Mary Janes, but I saw a pair of red ones. We left with both because I insisted they were ‘my shoes’, So 2 years old is when I had defined my style. 😁👠 … When I was 4, a similar incident occurred over a bathing suit. I think we were shopping for a simple tank suit, but I spotted a turquoise and white print suit with ruffles. I loved it and still remember modeling it for my Dad. I think I have always just known who I was inside, what makes me feel great, and had parents that let me go with it. “

It wasn’t hard for her parents to be supportive, either. She had a lot of stylish people in her life to emulate, and though she has her own bold style, she’s meshed it seamlessly with the elegance she’s seen growing up. She told me:

“I really never wore anything controversial. I have always loved clothes, have instinctively known what was appropriate, and could zero in on the perfect thing for any occasion. Both of my grandmothers were always well-dressed, and my Mom always looked fabulous, so being tasteful was just a way of life. I guess there was a ladylike code that I absorbed.”

She seldom ever wears anything that doesn’t suit her personality, but in the times she has, it has been color and fit that make or break whether the piece speaks to who she is as a person. It doesn’t matter how much others like it on her if she herself doesn’t feel it’s suitable for her: “I have a short-waisted Fall jacket in a rusty shade that I really do not feel comfortable wearing. I get compliments on it, but only wear it about once a year. My husband likes it, and talked me into purchasing it. The fit and the color are not me. It will probably get donated soon. … Right now, my weight is my insecurity, but I have learned to dress my body, and just go with it.”

I asked her what advice she’d give to those aiming to improve their confidence. She said:

“Finding out where your talents and interests exist as fast as possible is a great way to build confidence in life. We are all good at something, and once that is found, [it] will bring happiness and excitement to life. Become an expert at that one thing. Gain knowledge. Figure that out and it will boost confidence.”

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This is from my birthday weekend in 2014. It came up in my facebook feed today. I’ve never spoken about this before, but from late ‘13 through early September of ‘14, I was very ill and required 4 surgeries. I spent most of the year recovering at my parents’ home, where I could have around the clock care while my husband worked. It was a real struggle to go out, but my sweet husband picked me up, drove me 2 hours back to Birmingham, and took me out for a wonderful evening. It was also the first night I got to be home in months. I can see the bruising around my eyes and the pain in my face. What I also see is the love my sweet husband has for me. He was incredible during this time, as well as the rest of my family. On Monday, I will have a milestone birthday. All is well now. I am so grateful to have the love of my family, and to have experienced so many wonderful things in the last 6 years; 3 of our children’s weddings, 3 beautiful grandchildren, our youngest son’s college graduation, and so much more. I don’t feel old. I just feel triumphant! I don’t take a single moment for granted. So here’s to 2020! Have a great one, my friends! ❤️ . . #testimonial #ootd #styleover60 #styleblogger #styleoftheday #whatiwore #60plus #fashionover40 #mystyle #over50 #outfitoftheday #styleatanyage #colorfulstyle #liketoknowit #fashionista #over50style #over50blogger #winteroutfit #fashionover60 #50plusstyle #50plus #agelessstyle #fashionover50 #styleover50 #over50andfabulous. . *As a footnote, my silver jacket, pink satin top, and necklace are all @lovechicos! This is, after all, a style blog.🤣

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She told me, something people couldn’t know by just looking at her is: “I have been acting and singing since I was young. I’ve been in a lot of local productions with other members of my family.”

Against all common stereotypes and regardless of her bold colors, confident flamboyance, how much fun she has making an entrance, and how deeply she loves people and consistently makes that known–She’s actually an introvert.

She told me she wishes people could see in her that “Life is more of an attitude. I really am an introvert, who loves to observe and learn by watching and listening. I prefer small groups to large parties. At large gatherings, I tend to sit back and wait to be approached and included in conversation. My husband is outgoing, so I often trail on his coattails and get into conversations because of him. I like the intimacy of conversation with just a few. Getting to know people on a deeper level is easier in a smaller group.”

When i asked what she’d think if she saw somebody dressed like her, she said: “It is human nature to be attracted to similarities. So if someone dressed more like me, I would probably assume we had things in common.” Those commonalities would be in shared values–Including her effort, determination, and responsibility, fervor for life, and love for family, she said: “That is hard to put into words. I think possibly a value system. Taking responsibility and trying to do things well, because I love my husband and family. Not that others don’t. I just try to never take anything for granted. Making memories for them that will last a lifetime.  It permeates everything in life, really. Going the extra mile.”

She told me what she considers to be the most beautiful thing about life:

“I love the way the world has of renewing itself. No matter what, the world keeps spinning and life keeps going. There may be a healing process, but life always finds a way. I am not making a political statement, merely an observational one about life, in general. Recently a friend had a baby, while her Dad was in the hospital near death. There are the most beautiful pictures of him holding his grandchild, just a few days before he passed. He got to meet that sweet child, and know that blessing would help everyone heal, and have a new beginning.”

She told me, out of everything in all of life: “There is no question that my family is the most important thing in the world to me.” She has a deep connection with her family, from her parents and grandparents, to her husband, to her children and grandchildren. Her most sentimental pieces were gifted to her by her parents and will be gifted again to her children: “The pieces that I most enjoy, and will always have, are the opal and diamond ring my parents gave me for graduation, and a custom opal and diamond necklace my Dad had made for my grandmother, that I inherited. These will go to my daughters. Not my birthstone, but I love them.”
She told me more about these pieces of jewelry and the story behind them that makes them so priceless to her: “My Parents are very sentimental, and talk about going into the jewelry store to find something special for my graduation. I am the oldest, so was the first off to college. There has always been a kind of psychic connection between them, and all of the children. They could not have known that I had wandered into the store on the way to a movie, and fallen in love with that ring.  I just looked at it in the case, but never said a word to anyone. And yet, in the whole store, my Dad went straight to that ring and bought it. I have worn it every day since. Sometimes he looks at it and starts talking about seeing me for the first time when I was 6 weeks old. He was in Japan with the Air Force when I was born, and we did not join him until then. With both of my parents, I think that ring represents endings and new beginnings.”

Opal and Diamond ring, gifted to Shannon by her parents for her graduation in 1972.

Custom Opal and Diamond heirloom necklace, handcrafted by her father for her grandmother.

The simple pleasures are what makes life so worth living. She’s content with her life, and loves where she lives for many, many reasons:

“Birmingham has a wonderful dining scene, with some of the nation’s top chefs, such as Frank Stitt and Chris Hastings. Our entertainment and art communities are wonderful and diverse. Hugh Martin wrote ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ here, one of my favorites, and we often have movies filming locally. The people are some of the friendliest on Earth. We have charming historic homes, and also many beautiful and affordable homes across the city. We are sports enthusiasts on a scale not to be believed.  Our two main Universities, Auburn and Alabama, regularly win National Championships and excel in more than just football, but also swimming, gymnastics, basketball, equestrian pursuits, and more. We are the home of Southern Living magazine, which spreads the heart of Southern culture around the globe. This is a sophisticated town, with a great appreciation for architecture and interior design. People who move here fall in love with it, and [the] cost of living allows families much better lives. We have some of the top ranked schools in the nation here, too. UAB hospital has been at the forefront of many discoveries and medical advances. There is a sweetness and politeness in the locals that is very endearing. We make visitors feel welcome.”

Auburn, Alabama is called the “Loveliest Village of the Plain”. ESPN says that it is their favorite city to visit when they come to anchor games. This is a college town. When I was in school here, Bob Hope hosted our homecoming show, Elvis did one of his last concerts, and Elton John’s Yellow Brick Road Tour was my first big date with my husband. So many fabulous memories. My husband and I married in the Auburn University Chapel, a historic church built before the Civil War. My husband’s fraternity brother was a Space Shuttle Commander, and we have Academy Award winning Actors who are graduates. Tim Cook of Apple is an Auburn graduate. This community is extremely close knit, and produces life long friendships. We stay in touch with those we were in school with decades ago. The Auburn experience never really leaves you. We even have a name for it: The Auburn Family.”

“My parents chose to retire there, and most of my family is there now, a sister, two brothers, our middle son and his family. It’s a beautiful and friendly town with immense charm. Great nationally ranked restaurants, too, such as Acre (the chef beat Bobby Flay, I believe.)”

She wishes for “… good health, and abundant time and resources to enjoy life. With those things, most anything is possible.” and she told me what the best day would look like for her:

“There are so many possibilities for a perfect day. Any combination of these would be fabulous:

  1. A drive with my husband while great music is playing.
  2. A cup of tea and a good book to read, with a puppy in my lap. 
  3. Time with my grandchildren. 
  4. Having my family to dinner.
  5. Watching a wonderful old movie that makes us laugh.
  6. Shopping or antiquing.
  7. Napping in front of a fire while soft jazz plays. 
  8. Trying out a new restaurant in a beautiful outfit.
  9. Anything to do with designing and decorating a home.”
What she values most about herself is her ability to make people happy:

“I think I make people happy.  I like helping wherever I can. … I enjoy teaching and mentoring, so taking the time to help others would be something I would consider to be a great compliment. … I want to leave a legacy of kindness, wonderful memories for my family, and a value system that lives on in the next generation.”

“One of the things about growing up here [in Alabama], is that there is a civility, gentility, and respect for each other, that was instilled in us from birth. That is what I hope I have passed to my children and grandchildren. What I would say to the younger generation, is to learn to listen. Your ideas are not the only ideas. You learn by listening. There is also a great deal to be learned from the experience of others, as well as history. Learn to be unselfish. Be kind. Just the act of smiling can change the world of the person on the receiving end of it. 😁”

Full Interview Transcript:

Alissa: If you had to describe your style in one word, what would it be? – Why?

 

Shannon: Classy, Always being a lady was instilled in me by my Mother. Also, I think we tend to dress a little more formally in the South.

 

Alissa: What matters most when you’re choosing what to wear?

 

Shannon: When choosing what to wear, I am trying to project friendliness and happiness. I believe a confident use of color is my trademark. Also, I believe it is always best to be appropriate for the occasion. Better to be a little overdressed than underdressed.

 

Alissa: What kinds of clothes do you feel most comfortable in? 

 

Shannon: I am a Realtor in my everyday life, so I usually choose pants for practicality on most days. Easier to get in and out of cars, walk up stairs, etc.

 

Alissa: What are you wearing right now?

 

Shannon: I am wearing a yellow blazer, purple floral top, and white pants with bold gold earrings and a layered pearl necklace. I chose it today because I was going to be in a seminar with a lot of colleagues.

 

Alissa: If you had to describe this outfit in one word, what would it be?

 

Shannon: I would call this outfit bright.

 

Alissa: What’s your favorite part of this outfit?

 

Shannon: I think I would have to say I love the floral top. It is a beautiful color, feminine, and the sleeve detail makes it special. It also has a V neck, that I find is the most flattering on my body type.

 

Alissa: How did you feel when you got up and put on this outfit? 

 

Shannon: This outfit makes me feel confident, happy and feminine.  I have always thought wearing flattering colors takes years off.

 

Alissa: When you look at the color/s and print/pattern you are wearing, what does it make you think of?

 

Shannon: I think my outfit makes me think of a summer garden bursting with blooms.

 

Alissa: Does this outfit differ much from the other outfits you wear?

 

Shannon: I think what I am wearing is very evocative of my day style.

 

Alissa: What colors do you gravitate most towards wearing? – What are your “happy colors”?

 

Shannon: I love all of the bright pastels most. I love bright pink, turquoise, lemon yellow, soft lime green, deep lavender, ocean blue.

 

Alissa: What colors do you avoid?

 

Shannon: Though I will wear peach and corals, I really do not like muddy colors, especially rusty oranges and browns. There are tricks to make them more wearable by combining them with more flattering tones around the face, but I think it drags me down emotionally when I wear them.

 

Alissa: What kind of fashion item would you consider to be a “must-have”?

 

Shannon: I love pearls. Long, short, baroque, cultured; I adore them all!

 

    – Alissa: When you think about pearls, what comes to mind?

 

    – Shannon: Pearls are classy and feminine, and are beautiful with everything from jeans to formal wear. They are also elegant in a sophisticated way that is less obvious than gemstones like diamonds. 

 

Alissa: Do you have any patterns or symbols that you especially love adding to your style?

 

Shannon: I love the femininity of large scale florals. I don’t think you will ever see camo on me. I also never was a fan of cold shoulders or super distressed jeans.  Cute on others, but I would never feel comfortable in them.

 

   – Alissa: What do you think it is that makes you feel uncomfortable about the idea of wearing camo, cold shoulders, and distressed jeans?

 

   – Shannon: I think camo is ugly. I just don’t like it. I think cold shoulder tops are a fad and won’t stand the test of time. I like the cleaner look of jeans without distressing. The idea of deliberately wearing holes in my jeans just seems silly to me. I find that as counterintuitive as scuffing up white tennis shoes because they are too white.

 

Alissa: What do you think is most iconic about your style?

 

Shannon: I would have to say my style is ladylike and eye-catching. It’s fun to make an entrance.

 

Alissa: Do you have any favorite pieces that are sentimental to you? What’s their story?

 

Shannon: The pieces that I most enjoy, and will always have, are the opal and diamond ring my parents gave me for graduation, and a custom opal and diamond necklace my Dad had made for my grandmother, that I inherited. These will go to my daughters. Not my birthstone, but I love them.

 

     – Alissa: Are there any memories you’d like to share that come to mind when you think of your opal and diamond graduation ring and/or the opal and diamond necklace your dad made?

 

     – Shannon: My Parents are very sentimental, and talk about going into the jewelry store to find something special for my graduation. I am the oldest, so was the first off to college. There has always been a kind of psychic connection between them, and all of the children. They could not have known that I had wandered into the store on the way to a movie, and fallen in love with that ring.  I just looked at it in the case, but never said a word to anyone. And yet, in the whole store, my Dad went straight to that ring and bought it. I have worn it every day since. Sometimes he looks at it and starts talking about seeing me for the first time when I was 6 weeks old. He was in Japan with the Air Force when I was born, and we did not join him until then. With both of my parents, I think that ring represents endings and new beginnings.

 

Alissa: How well do you think your style encapsulates who you are? / What do you think your style says about you?

 

Shannon: I think my style does speak to who I am. I love classic style but with happy colors. Happy and approachable is how I would describe my feelings about what I want to achieve for my style. 

 

Alissa: Have you ever worn something that didn’t feel like “you”? – What was it like?

 

Shannon: I have a short-waisted Fall jacket in a rusty shade that I really do not feel comfortable wearing. I get compliments on it, but only wear it about once a year. My husband likes it, and talked me into purchasing it. The fit and the color are not me. It will probably get donated soon.

 

Alissa: When did you start feeling like your clothes said something real about who you are?

 

Shannon: When I was about 2, my Mom took me to buy black Mary Janes, but I saw a pair of red ones. We left with both because I insisted they were “my shoes”. So 2 years old is when I had defined my style. 😁👠

 

Alissa: What did it take to define your style? What was your journey?

 

Shannon: When I was 4, a similar incident occurred over a bathing suit. I think we were shopping for a simple tank suit, but I spotted a turquoise and white print suit with ruffles. I loved it and still remember modeling it for my Dad. I think I have always just known who I was inside, what makes me feel great, and had parents that let me go with it. 

 

I think I have always been able to walk into a store and go right to a beautiful piece that I will happily wear for years.

 

     – Alissa: Have you ever had a time in your growing-up years where your parents didn’t go along or show approval of a style choice?

 

     – Shannon: I really never wore anything controversial. I have always loved clothes, have instinctively known what was appropriate, and could zero in on the perfect thing for any occasion. Both of my grandmothers were always well-dressed, and my Mom always looked fabulous, so being tasteful was just a way of life. I guess there was a ladylike code that I absorbed.

 

Alissa: What do you think people’s impression is of you and your style?

 

Shannon

I think I project classic style,  but with a happy edge. Warmth. Connection and awareness of others around me. I am often asked my opinion. Crying babies run up to me, and people strike up conversations with me in lines. I’m glad they do. I like the connection. I like helping. To my mind, people in drab clothes look less approachable.

… I think that, generally, I dress “up” more than down. I am never in tee shirts and I rarely wear tennis shoes anymore. Because I make an effort every day, it gets noticed. Also, I tend to use a lot of color. I think walking into a room in a bright shade draws the eye. 

 

     – Alissa: Do you ever experience a lack of motivation to put effort into your outfits? What keeps you motivated to keep expressing yourself so beautifully on a daily basis?

 

     – Shannon: If I’m not motivated, then I am taking a sick day. I’m probably too OCD to not put effort into dressing. I won’t even go out in public without makeup on. I don’t hold anyone else to those standards, but Murphy’s Law says that the one time I look horrible, I will run into 10 people I know. I just don’t want to go there. I will take the extra 5 minutes to look better.

 

Alissa: What do you wish people would understand when they see you? / What do you wish people could see in you?

 

Shannon: Life is more of an attitude. I really am an introvert, who loves to observe and learn by watching and listening. I prefer small groups to large parties. At large gatherings, I tend to sit back and wait to be approached and included in conversation. My husband is outgoing, so I often trail on his coattails and get into conversations because of him. I like the intimacy of conversation with just a few. Getting to know people on a deeper level is easier in a smaller group. 

 

Alissa: We all have insecurities… It’s part of what makes us human, and i believe it’s actually a huge thing that helps people connect and understand each other. What do you struggle with?

 

Shannon: Right now, my weight is my insecurity, but I have learned to dress my body, and just go with it. 

 

Alissa: Do you own any fashion items that you absolutely love, but think others wouldn’t like? – What is it?

 

Shannon: “No” to owning something that would make someone uncomfortable.  But to me, a genuine smile is the most important thing to wear with someone. It puts people at ease.

 

Alissa: Have you ever felt misunderstood because of your style or how you look? – How does it feel to be misunderstood?

 

Shannon: No. I think my wardrobe consistently telegraphs who I am.

 

Alissa: What type of people or group of people do you feel most misunderstood or judged by? (this question isn’t meant to judge other people, but instead to give an audience perspective for me to write from and help understand you more deeply.)

 

Shannon: I can’t think of anything that I own that would put people off. 

I am really conservative and modest in my attire. Would that make someone else uncomfortable? Possibly, I guess.

 

Alissa: If you saw somebody dressed just like you/in an outfit similar to yours, what would you assume about them?

 

Shannon: It is human nature to be attracted to similarities. So if someone dressed more like me, I would probably assume we had things in common.

 

     – Alissa: If you had to make a wild guess; if you saw somebody dressed like you, what would you guess you have in common with them?

 

     – Shannon: That is hard to put into words. I think possibly a value system. Taking responsibility and trying to do things well, because I love my husband and family. Not that others don’t. I just try to never take anything for granted. Making memories for them that will last a lifetime.  It permeates everything in life, really. Going the extra mile.

 

Alissa: What did it take for you to come to have the confidence you now have? Was there a particular time in your life that a lack of confidence weighed heavily on you?

 

Shannon: I am the oldest of 5, and the daughter of two people who always were leaders. They set the bar and were always so interesting to me. I enjoyed being around adults at a young age, and I loved to read, so I was confident in most situations. When I was nine, I went through the chubby, pimply 6 months before my growth spurt. That was tough, but I got on my bike and rode everywhere until I passed that phase by. In 2013, I had 4 colon surgeries (no cancer, just sick) and had to wear a colostomy bag for ten months. (If that is too graphic, just edit it out.) That was really the worst. I would not wish it on anyone. Your whole life revolves around that illness. We all have that moment in time where life isn’t perfect. You just have to count your blessings and keep pushing forward.

 

Alissa: What are your tips for young people to improve their confidence?

 

Shannon: Finding out where your talents and interests exist as fast as possible is a great way to build confidence in life. We are all good at something, and once that is found, will bring happiness and excitement to life. Become an expert at that one thing. Gain knowledge. Figure that out and it will boost confidence.

 

Alissa: What do you think makes a person “beautiful”? 

 

Shannon: Definitely, a beautiful spirit! Happiness, kindness, and love will shine through, and give a warmth to the eyes and make a smile genuine.

 

Alissa: What do you think is the most beautiful thing about life/in the world? 

 

Shannon: I love the way the world has of renewing itself. No matter what, the world keeps spinning and life keeps going. There may be a healing process, but life always finds a way. I am not making a political statement, merely an observational one about life, in general. Recently a friend had a baby, while her Dad was in the hospital near death. There are the most beautiful pictures of him holding his grandchild, just a few days before he passed. He got to meet that sweet child, and know that blessing would help everyone heal, and have a new beginning.

 

Alissa: If you could paint a picture of what you wish life was like, what would it look like? 

 

Shannon: I wish for good health, and abundant time and resources to enjoy life. With those things, most anything is possible.

 

Alissa: What would a perfect day be like for you? 

 

Shannon: There are so many possibilities for a perfect day. Any combination of these would be fabulous:

 

  1. A drive with my husband while great music is playing.
  2. A cup of tea and a good book to read, with a puppy in my lap. 
  3. Time with my grandchildren. 
  4. Having my family to dinner.
  5. Watching a wonderful old movie that makes us laugh.
  6. Shopping or antiquing.
  7. Napping in front of a fire while soft jazz plays. 
  8. Trying out a new restaurant in a beautiful outfit.
  9. Anything to do with designing and decorating a home.

 

Alissa: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

 

Shannon: I love Birmingham and Auburn, Alabama.  I am very happy where I am.

 

     -Alissa: What are your favorite things about living in Birmingham and Auburn, Alabama?

 

     -Shannon: Birmingham has a wonderful dining scene, with some of the nation’s top chefs, such as Frank Stitt and Chris Hastings. Our entertainment and art communities are wonderful and diverse. Hugh Martin wrote “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” here, one of my favorites, and we often have movies filming locally. The people are some of the friendliest on Earth. We have charming historic homes, and also many beautiful and affordable homes across the city. We are sports enthusiasts on a scale not to be believed.  Our two main Universities, Auburn and Alabama, regularly win National Championships and excel in more than just football, but also swimming, gymnastics, basketball, equestrian pursuits, and more. We are the home of Southern Living magazine, which spreads the heart of Southern culture around the globe. This is a sophisticated town, with a great appreciation for architecture and interior design.

People who move here fall in love with it, and cost of living allows families much better lives. We have some of the top ranked schools in the nation here, too. UAB hospital has been at the forefront of many discoveries and medical advances. There is a sweetness and politeness in the locals that is very endearing. We make visitors feel welcome.

Auburn, Alabama is called the “Loveliest Village of the Plain”. ESPN says that it is their favorite city to visit when they come to anchor games. This is a college town. When I was in school here, Bob Hope hosted our homecoming show, Elvis did one of his last concerts, and Elton John’s Yellow Brick Road Tour was my first big date with my husband. So many fabulous memories. My husband and I married in the Auburn University Chapel, an historic church built before the Civil War. My husband’s fraternity brother was a Space Shuttle Commander, and we have Academy Award winning Actors who are graduates. Tim Cook of Apple is an Auburn graduate. This community is extremely close knit, and produces life long friendships. We stay in touch with those we were in school with decades ago. The Auburn experience never really leaves you. We even have a name for it, The Auburn Family.

My parents chose to retire there, and most of my family is there now, a sister, two brothers, our middle son and his family. It’s a beautiful and friendly town with immense charm. Great nationally ranked restaurants, too, such as Acre (the chef beat Bobby Flay, I believe.)

 

Alissa: If you could go all out, dressing as “crazy” as you want and not having to care about whether it was practical or not, what do you think would be amazing to wear? 

 

Shannon: Crazy for me would probably be braless, but with a jacket over it, of course.

 

Alissa: Life gives us a lot of worthy things to pay attention to–Which are the most important to you? /What do you value most? 

 

Shannon: There is no question that my family is the most important thing in the world to me.

 

Alissa: What do you hope your existence brings to the world? 

 

Shannon: I want to leave a legacy of kindness, wonderful memories for my family, and a value system that lives on in the next generation.

 

     -Alissa: What are the values you hope to instill in the next generation?

 

     -Shannon: One of the things about growing up here [in Auburn, Alabama], is that there is a civility, gentility, and respect for each other, that was instilled in us from birth. That is what I hope I have passed to my children and grandchildren. What I would say to the younger generation, is to learn to listen. Your ideas are not the only ideas. You learn by listening. There is also a great deal to be learned from the experience of others, as well as history. Learn to be unselfish. Be kind. Just the act of smiling can change the world of the person on the receiving end of it. 😁

 

Alissa: What’s something you love/value about who you are? 

 

Shannon: I think I make people happy.  I like helping wherever I can.

 

Alissa: What’s something people couldn’t possibly know by just looking at you?

 

Shannon: I have been acting and singing since I was young. I’ve been in a lot of local productions with other members of my family.

 

Alissa: What would be an AMAZING compliment regarding your style? 

 

Shannon: When I was in college, my sorority made me the Charm Board Chairman, which technically made me the Fashion Police. The point of my job was to review outfits for appropriateness and suggested edits. Being ladylike was considered very important. I think that is a high compliment – chic and classy.

 

Alissa: What would be an AMAZING compliment regarding your personality?

 

Shannon: I enjoy teaching and mentoring, so taking the time to help others would be something I would consider to be a great compliment.

 

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