Best of Indy 2016: Art & Culture

(Originally in the December 2016 issue of Indy Monthly in the cover feature: Best of Indy 2016; Below is what I contributed to the feature.)

Best Instagram Follow: The Dottie Models


Known to Indy shoppers as the “Dottie Models,” the young ladies who promote Dottie Couture’s wares on Instagram have become style icons in a city short on them. Showing off tops and skinny jeans from the boutique, they make a commission from online sales. They post, you like the picture, you buy the outfit, they make a few bucks. We followed three of the local models and asked what it’s like to be Insta-famous.

•Sarah Knuth @sarahknuth: “I love when people recognize me and come up and say hi. It makes you feel good to know you have real followers out there—they’re not just a ‘like.’”

•Hollie Woodward @holliewdwrd: “It’s like a friendship—you give advice and answer questions, and you ask for advice, too. I really enjoy talking to other people who have Instagram accounts dedicated to fashion and beauty.”

•Jordan Underwood Washburn @jordanunderwood: “It definitely makes the world a little smaller. It’s a fun way to network. People can feel your vibe from just looking through your feed.”


REI Sales Manager on How He Gets His Rugged Look

(Originally in the October issue of Indy Monthly for the article: My Look- Brett Gentry)


Where’d you get that hat?

It’s by Iron and Resin out of Ventura, California. I got it at James Dant.

How would you describe your style?

I kind of embrace the American workwear look. I like clothes that are classic and cool … sharp and comfortable. I like American workwear because it’s built to last, and it also ages beautifully.

What are your favorite American-made brands?

Taylor Stitch, a shirtmaker out of San Francisco. I also like Filson, which is out of Seattle. My chore coat is from Pointer Brand L.C. King, and it’s made in Tennessee.

Any style advice for men?

I think the most important thing is to be comfortable in your clothes. Get something and make it your own—don’t feel like you have to look like everybody else. That’s much cooler than ripping off somebody else’s style.

Indy’s Best New Shops

(Originally in the September issue of Indy Monthly for the cover story: Indy’s Best New Shops; below are the shops I wrote.)

Grab your purse and your car keys: If you aren’t already shopping at these recently arrived Indy gems, you’ll want to start now.

When it comes to shopping, there’s something to be said for the old standbys—the stores where you know you can walk in on any given day and leave with a bag in hand. But the Indy shops on these pages, all of which have arrived in town within the last couple of years, have us rethinking our rut. From cool, comfy athleisure wear you can live in, to a beauty shop that stocks more than 20 types of moisturizer alone, to some of the hippest menswear this town has ever seen, we’ve never been more impressed with what’s out there. Here’s where to find the best clothing, home goods, gifts, and all-around fun stuff in town.


Shop owner Jen Russell started her business four years ago out of her home, but has since moved to a location on Emerson Avenue in Greenwood. That means more room for her boho-chic clothing, jewelry, and home items for women—think floral and striped maxi dresses ($45), cozy pashminas ($15), and little lacy tops ($25). Russell selects items from New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, but the store also exclusively carries The Lemon-dime, a local crafter and designer.
Bestseller: Lemondime chain necklaces emblazoned with inspirational quotes and verses.
1279 N. Emerson Ave., Greenwood, 317-889-1150,

The Small Mall

The Small Mall has moved fast—after debuting on Mass Ave in late 2015, the store packed with goods from a variety of local vendors has already relocated to the northeast side. Tables are some of our favorite finds here: industrial-rustic varieties from Iron & Elm that are right on trend, and decorative ones from Bella Bella with mosaic-esque patterns sealed with resin. With its inventory constantly changing, keep The Small Mall’s mantra in mind: “The item you saw today and want to think about tonight will be sold later today to the people who saw it yesterday and thought about it last night.”
5060 E. 62nd St., 317-870-3403,

Hot List: The Early Fall Edition

(Originally posted on Indy Monthly’s website on August 31, 2016)

Cute clothes and accessories to ease you into autumn.


Layering is a must for the fall season, and the muted tones of this scarf will match any jacket you throw on. $32, Delaney’s Shoppe, The Fashion Mall, 317-218-4414


Cozy up by the fire in this soft Cartonnier “Vista” poncho. $128.Anthropologie, The Fashion Mall, 317-574-0803


These TOMS perforated booties are the perfect fall shade of olive. Plus, buying TOMS means giving a child in need a pair of shoes. $118.95. Nordstrom, The Fashion Mall, 317-810-9809


Floppy hats were the perfect accessory for sundresses—and they’re still great for cardis and sweaters. This wool hat will be the cutest addition to your fall closet. $29. Dottie Couture, for locations



Keep warm—and stylish—in this adorable Oliver Twist utility jacket. $110.Lily & Sparrow Boutique, 11720 Maple St., Fishers, 317-578-2445

Hot List: The Indiana Pride Edition

(Originally posted on Indy Monthly’s website on August 24, 2016)

Cool stuff that makes it fun to be a Hoosier.


This Hayes & Taylor tee is for all of you Andrew Luck fans—and Peyton Manning die-hards. $22. The Shop, 920 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-426-4899


We love of vintage feel of this IU cap, perfect for anyone who wants to cheer on their Hoosiers on game day. $25. Lids, Circle Centre, 317-972-0694


Add some Indiana pride to your room decor—like this faux-suede pillow, designed by the owner of Boomerang BTQ. $30. Boomerang BTQ, 845 Massachusetts Ave., 317-966-7373


Indiana and beer = a Hoosier’s two favorite things. This Fosterweld bottle opener is third on the list. $15. Silver in the City, 434 Massachusetts Ave., 317-955-9925


Your littlest ones can show off their Indy pride, too! This United State of Indiana onesie is perfect for game day—or any day. $24.50. Roman & Leo, 8664 E. 116th St., Fishers

Hot List: Wedding-Guest Style

(Originally posted on Indy Monthly’s website on August 17, 2016)

Head-to-toe outfit cost: $308.


To tone down the whole “wearing white to a wedding” thing, accessorize this cute cream Dottie Couture frock with casual and colorful pieces like the ones shown here. $44. Dottie Couture Boutique, for locations.


These tan Michael Kors wedges pair perfectly with practically any summery dress. $150. Nordstrom, The Fashion Mall, 317-810-9809


Add some pop to your outfit—this Thirty One Bits “Dharia” bracelet, handmade in Uganda by underprivileged women, breaks you apart from the crowd. $32. Lily & Sparrow Boutique, 11720 Maple St., Fishers, 317-578-2445


An essential for any wedding—with its multiple internal pockets, this petite pouch holds everything. Wrap it around your wrist so you can hit the dance floor with ease. $54. Delaney’s Shoppe, The Fashion Mall, 317-218-4414


Hair that stays neatly pulled back for an evening of dancing but still looks pretty? Yes, please. The ever-reliable Anthropologie has lots of hair accessories to choose from, including this beautiful golden metal-and-glass headband. $28. Anthropologie, The Fashion Mall, 317-574-0803



(Originally from Indy Monthly’s website on August 10, 2016)

… And guys, we didn’t forget about you.


Simple, yet elegant: The soft purple hue trimming this Kate Spade “Cameron Street Candace” tote somehow can match almost any outfit in your closet. $378. Kate Spade New York, The Fashion Mall, 317-708-0236


Yes, this is actually a Little Unicorn “Rotunda” diaper bag. And yes, moms can be stylish, too. $85. Nordstrom, The Fashion Mall, 317-810-9809


How fierce is this Coach “Swagger” purse? It adds spice and sass to any outfit and occasion. $650. Coach, The Fashion Mall, 317-575-8007


We love how this American Eagle Outfitters “mini-tote” is big enough to be a weekender bag, yet small enough to carry around  town. $40. American Eagle Outfitters, Greenwood Park Mall, 317-888-6697


No, it’s not a European carryall. But this Howl & Hide leather messenger bagis the perfect work bag for men. $400. Howl & Hide Supply,