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Rachelle Pownall-Brown Discusses Consciously Chic Style

Rachelle Pownall-Brown. Photo by Jim Coarse

Buccini/Pollin Group marketing manager Rachelle Pownall-Brown knows her own brand and emphasizes conscious fashion choices.

What drives your style?

Strength and femininity. Everyone needs to have a power suit. But sometimes I can go frilly—whatever makes me feel powerful.…It’s definitely changed along with my budget. I started with secondhand shops—I still like vintage and secondhand, for sure. Now I can purchase new pieces.

Favorite fashion era:

The 1960s and 1970s—the folk festival look. I always loved the movie Dazed and Confused. My mom was a teacher in the 1960s, and she wore culottes. She said it was taking a chance fashion-wise at that time. I also like the styles on Stranger Things.

Best secondhand finds:

Tower Hill School resale is a gem. They have a great selection of secondhand things—high-end, good quality and very reasonably priced.

Frequented boutiques:

Francesca’s in Greenville has some cute things, and it’s great for last-minute pieces. I love the curated items that Peter Kate offers. I love Shoe Tech in downtown Wilmington because they do a great job repairing belts and bags, and I trust them. Spaceboy Clothing in Wilmington has a cool vintage selection. And then there are my friends’ closets!

Source of inspiration:

Issa Rae on Insecure. I love all the characters’ fashions on the show. But to watch her style evolve reminds me of my own style.

You’ll never give away:

A secondhand 1920s flapper dress that I got from my cousin. She had it tailored and added rhinestones to the straps. It feels great. It makes you want to move and dance. It represents a time when there was a different silhouette for women. I would never give it up.

Classic gems:

I like pearls. I have a pair of Gucci studs and a thin gold chain that I wear all the time. I don’t want to feel encumbered by jewelry. But I will branch out here and there.

Rachelle Pownall-Brown by Jim Coarse

Top accessories:

I’m a hat person. I bought a Russian hat with actual fur at Briggs Auction. It’s warm and functional. Scarves are so versatile. You have light and heavy scarves and can wear them in your hair. They add a pop of color.

You never leave home without:

I have an aluminum canteen that was my cousin’s that says: “My Glass Is Half-Full.” We lost her to cancer in 2015. It’s a great representation of her outlook and her spirit. I also have a cowskin tote bag that I get so many compliments on. I’ve had the straps replaced three times. It’s always with me—it’s almost like an accessory to a room.

If money were no object:

I would have all my clothes made for me.

Trusted brands:

Patagonia is one of my favorite brands because of what they represent, and they do more as a company instead of doing less. They support local networks and communities. I have respect for Patagonia. It’s quality stuff. I want to put my money where my mouth is.

Style icons:

Bianca Jagger and Georgia O’Keeffe. I love O’Keeffe’s art, but she was making her clothes at one point out of silk and cotton in black and white. She represented a new woman. I respect women that took those risks with strength.

Past faux pas:

I’ve learned to embrace my body and not wear the latest trends if they don’t suit me.

Related: Fashion-Forward Teen Nadia Lombardo Shares Style Inspirations