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Dressing up in Dallas

By Ashley Strickland, Special to CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jaclyn Welch's street style blog shines the spotlight on Dallas' flashy fashion
  • Rather than cowboy boots, Dallas women dress in designer duds for every occasion
  • Neiman Marcus and Forty Five Ten contribute to the designer scene in Dallas
RELATED TOPICS

Editor's note: There is fabulous fashion beyond New York, Milan and Paris. In this series, CNN showcases trends in threads around the globe. Blogger Jaclyn Welch of StreetsofSparkle.com shares the Dallas style scoop.

(CNN) -- Everything may be bigger in Texas, but it's not all cowboy boots and big hair in Dallas. Streets of Sparkle fashion blogger Jaclyn Welch won't be stopping to snap a photo of stereotypical style any time soon.

"Your big hair? Not getting on here!" Welch said, laughing. "It's the football season look: cowboy boots, jean shorts. But the great thing about Dallas, since we have the stereotype in place already, is that you can get away with wearing cowboy boots."

Instead, the downtown Dallas scene is all about dressing to the nines in designer duds. Welch uses her blog to celebrate the flashy and classy women who treat the sidewalks as their stage. Even in the extreme summer swelter, Dallasites won't be caught without their heels and decadent ensembles.

"It's like a Southern preppy twist, depending on the neighborhood," Welch said. "Everyone is wearing some sort of a classic piece. It's a Neiman Marcus/J. Crew mix."

Below, Welch explains the Dallas look.

CNN: What's the style vibe in Dallas?

Welch: People's perception of Dallas is really funny when they've never been here. And when they come here, I guess they don't expect women to shop -- like we're all walking around in cowboy boots.

Neiman Marcus was started here, so that's the vibe. The women here love to dress up. It's very classy, mixed with flashy -- a timeless look with a statement piece, like your shoes or a bag. Women here really appreciate that one designer piece. A lot of people in Dallas aren't from the area, so it's a lot of bringing things in and mixing with what we already have.

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CNN: In addition to Neiman Marcus, what other stores are popular for Dallasites?

Welch: Forty Five Ten brings in a lot of designers that you can't find anywhere. Our vintage stores are really good: Lula B's, Dolly Python, Buffalo Exchange. We are a one-stop shopping type of people -- so NorthPark Center is where most Dallasites shop (they have everything, including our very first H&M, opening in August).

CNN: The temperatures are spiking in Dallas. How has that affected the street style?

Welch: The funny thing is, it's 104 degrees and women still put in the effort to look good. To me, it's kind of a celebration of style in this weather. The vibe is always going to be the same, and it's a polished look.

Here's the thing about Dallas: Everyone is getting in their cars and walking into air-conditioned buildings, so it's really hard to do a street style blog here. It's not like Chicago or New York, with tons of people passing you by. You have to wait around and see what you find.

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CNN: How do you approach people to take their picture?

Welch: In Texas, we like to talk a lot, so everyone I stop has a story about what they're wearing. Every piece is like a drawn-out conversation. A lot of street style blogs are just about the photography. For me, it's the entire experience -- having that moment with someone and paying them a compliment, which is maybe a Southern way of doing things.

Dallas women, because they dress up, want to be seen. When you walk up to them, and they got dressed for a reason today, they want somebody to say, "you look good." Imagine going your whole day and you're like, "I look so fabulous and not one person has told me I look good." Then, imagine the day when somebody wants to take your picture. I think of it as "this is your moment, make it yours." That's how it is in Texas.

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CNN: What made you want to begin street style blogging?

Welch: It was always about the person, celebrating women who take the time to dress up and look good. I approach the people that I want to ask, "where did you get that?" It's me communicating with them, asking what they do, where they're from and then talking about the style in itself.

I like the stories behind everything. It's my favorite part, like a treasure hunt. There are a lot of people that I think look great and I don't take their picture. So it's not always about that, but an attitude you get from them. It's walking down the street and whatever makes me go "whoa." First, it's "what are you wearing?" and then, "who are you, what's the rest of the story?"

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