Who better to flaunt our styles than the women who really wear them?
Member: Laura Rau
Lives in: Fort Worth, TX
Size: 10 – 12
Member since: March 2014
Jessica Howard Long Sleeve Chevron Print Shift Dress, sizes 10-24W
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am currently working for an architecture firm in Fort Worth. I spend my time reading, playing with my two dogs, and spending time with my family. My biggest hobbies at the moment are hunting and shooting, and working on the house that my fiancée and I just bought.
What I love most about hunting is not pulling the trigger, but everything that leads up to that. I love sitting outside in nature, watching animals, seeing the sunrise, watching the wildlife. My fiancee’s family owns several hundred acres, and I love going out there and being “unplugged” from my everyday world. When we go, we cook all our meals outside, sit by the fire, watch the stars, tell stories, and just spend time connecting with each other, and with nature.
I love the sport of hunting, and I love sharing the information with other people. Most people have many misconceptions about hunters—the sportsmanship of hunting is all about taking only what you need, and conserving and preserving the natural resources we have.
I also belong to a women’s shooting club, called “A Girl and A Gun.” We are a group of gals who meet about twice a month at the shooting range, and then head to dinner. We talk about guns, life, and about everything in between. It’s been a really great way for me to become more confident in myself.
And of course, I love getting dressed up, getting my makeup done, and other “girly” things. Most people are shocked to find out that I can go from “all glammed up” to sitting in a field in head to toe camo.
Jessica Howard Long Sleeve Chevron Print Shift Dress, sizes 10-24W
Talk to us about your experience at the photo shoot.
The photo shoot was wonderful. We started with hair and makeup of course, and I just loved the makeup artist, Meagan. She took the time to look at the different outfits I had, and made sure to complement the outfits with my makeup. It was also my first time having airbrush makeup applied, and it was just amazing to watch her work.
I don’t think I would have had the same experience with a different photographer. Even though I had just met Amanda Dykan, she immediately made me feel at ease. It was as though we had been friends forever. She could tell that I was nervous about the posing, and she was able to talk me through each pose and each outfit. Throughout the shoot I became more comfortable, and by the end I felt like an old pro. Amanda’s gentle guidance was perfect, and the photographs definitely show it!
It was a windy but warm day outside, so we were fighting the wind the entire time. Amanda’s studio is right in the Near Southside district of Fort Worth, and there are so many beautiful shops and historic buildings in that area. We were lucky to have that area as our playground.
Three Dots Dress — Coming soon!
How would you describe your sense of style?
I would describe my sense of style as classic and simple. I wear a dress every day, and I keep my accessories simple and classic. If I’m not wearing a strand of pearls, I usually have just a simple gold chain necklace on.
My closet is full of black dresses and cardigans. I have been slowly building my “little black dress” collection, and that’s what you can find me in most days. A fit and flare style black dress is my go-to, but I have also been wearing more florals lately (with black accents, of course!). I have recently been branching out into different colors and patterns than what I am used to, and Gwynnie Bee is a great resource for expanding my wardrobe. The fact that I can “blue bag” a dress after one wear is fantastic. In the winter, black leggings and black tights are my best friends, and I usually pair them with black mary-jane heels or black leather ballet flats.
London Times Embellished Paisley Print Shift Dress, sizes 10-24W
Which GB brands are your favorite and why?
Gwynnie Bee introduced me to the joys of Karen Kane, and since I pulled on my first soft Karen Kane dress, I’ve been hooked! What I love most about her garments are that they are very easy to wear. Most of her dresses you can throw on and instantly look put together and well dressed. Also, the fabrics she uses in her garments are always so soft and comfortable. It’s the perfect match of great cuts and cozy fabrics that make her dresses my go-to.
I enjoy London Times dresses because of their flattering cuts and prints. The cuts of their dresses are very flattering to an hourglass shape, and I closet practically every London Times dress that GB offers.
Leota has become a fast favorite for me. Gwynnie Bee just started carrying their dresses, and I have to say that I have loved every single one. The most recent line has been equestrian themed, which is very near and dear to my heart. I love the cute horse-themed prints because they are still very classic and appropriate, not kitschy at all. Of course, I’m a sucker for a good fit and flare, and the Leota Illana Dress in Saratoga was an instant purchase for me.
Leota Ilana Dress in Saratoga, sizes M-XL
Which GB piece has been your favorite? Any stand-outs?
I have two stand-out favorites. The first is the Eloquii Mixed Stripe Dress that I am wearing in the photo shoot (see photo below). This is a classic example of why I love Gwynnie Bee. When I saw this dress coming, I was wary of the stripes and the cut. Curvy women have always been told to stay away from stripes, because they can make the body look larger. This dress breaks all the rules and is the most flattering garment I have ever worn. The second I put it on I fell in love. I rushed to my computer and bought it almost instantly. It is my “feel like a million bucks” dress, and I can’t get enough of it. A little part of me believes that this dress was designed and made just for me. I’ve had several offers from women wanting to buy it from me, but I think I may have to (selfishly) take this one to the grave with me.
My other favorite is the Nic + Zoe Lithograph Jacket. The craftsmanship and the detail on this jacket is just divine. It goes with everything, and I can dress it up, or dress it down. I don’t think it’s spent even a day in my closet. It’s either with me in my car, or hanging by my front door, ready for me to wear. It’s a classic piece that I am glad to have as part of my wardrobe.
Eloquii Mixed Stripe Dress, sizes 14-24
Any words of advice for the GB community?
My words of advice for the GB community are to use the service for what it’s good for. The beauty of the rental subscription is that you can try garments that are outside your comfort zone.
I used to be very picky about what I closeted, until I realized that in order to step outside my usual “black dress” outfit, I needed to see what looked good on my body. Closet anything that you want to try, and don’t be afraid to step outside your usual style. There are plenty of items that I never thought I could wear, that I have fallen in love with.
For the New-Bees (get it? hehe) don’t get discouraged at the beginning. It will take some trial and error in order to find your size for each different designer. There will be things that come that don’t fit, but eventually you will know exactly what size you are for each different designer. It will take some time, but it is worth it in the end!
Interested in getting out in front of the camera for your own GB photo shoot? Email Gwynnie@gwynniebee.com, subject line: “Member Photo Shoot”