Outré Mode: Joie de vivre!

Once upon a time, three best friends made their dream of owning a fashion, lifestyle and beauty blog come true. It all began in October 2014, when Alex Jones, a senior at the College and advocate for purple lipstick, was confronted by her best friend with an idea hotter than haute couture. After seeing Jones’s impressive work on the women’s lifestyle blog Best Kept Self, Thomas Robertson, a junior at the College, suggested that they collaborate to establish their own blog. The two danced around the idea until their fellow best friend, Tyler Brockington, mentioned over winter break she was itching to write – a coincidence that birthed a blueprint. All at once, their mellow break developed into a buzz session. They put their heads together and toiled their nights away, swapping verbs along with Christmas gifts until they created a mission statement that would characterize themselves while also defining their target audience. On Jan. 5, 2015, Outré Mode, or “ultra fashion,” launched with their sights set on the audacious millennial.

But what exactly is an audacious millennial, other than the unifying faction on which the trio founded a blog? The audacious millennial is someone who is not afraid to be his or herself, someone who is not confined by society’s conventions under the understanding that conforming can inhibit one’s potential. This living soul is both a male and female who has clear life goals and frequently takes risks to make them realities. He or she is confident, self-assured and ambitious. But, most importantly, he or she is a member of the audience that Outré Mode is trying to cultivate through social media. While Robertson invests in the power of the trending hashtag on Instagram, Jones is busy getting retweeted by Marie Claire. Meanwhile, Brockington is keeping it weird, reposting away in the limitless underground world of Tumblr.

Robertson’s added expertise in the Outré Mode fashion arena was inherited through the many years he has spent working retail. From Juicy Couture to Lucky Brand, he has developed his own unique skill set and emphasizes style diversity. He believes mixing trends and playing with textures are key to feeling fresh and claims that  they are essential to building a super fashionable yet functional wardrobe for every lifestyle. This blonde bombshell is constantly on the cutting edge of developing trends and continuously researching what is new and exciting and how he can apply it to his lifestyle. When it comes to sharing his prevailing taste with the audacious millennials, he wants them to know that he would never provide fashion advice that he would not be willing to take himself. “It’s a lifestyle that I live myself; I couldn’t tell people to do these things if I weren’t willing to try it personally, and the important thing to remember is that you never stop learning. You should always be reading up on different subjects on how to improve yourself. That’s why I continue to research,” he said.

For the always-on-the-move Brockington, it is all about practicality. Her style stems from how she is feeling when she hops out of bed. It has to be both cute and comfortable to assure that it is going to help her get through daily events. Her taste is inspired by what she likes to call “sassy-vintage.” Brockington is inspired by the 60s revolutionary trends of stripes, checks and wavy prints. Round toe shoes, straps, open heels, cat-eye sunglasses and a little bit leggy appearance is what she is all about. This look provides her with a touch of class, elegance and chicness. Because she is always on the go, she has mastered the aesthetic of looking good and feeling good while still managing to be on time, qualifying her as the perfect author for the beauty section of the blog. She often takes part in sharing make-up hacks, color trends and how-to’s.

Jones has come a long way and she is not afraid to share her journey. Her sense of style is like a Pokémon, always evolving. She claims that she has morphed from an “obese Harry Potter in adolescence”  to a bona fide woman who refuses to waste time on the opinions of others. Her sense of snark and cheesiness (after all, she hails from the Cheese state), makes her website personality shine through as easily relatable. Through all of life’s awkward experiences and thrown lemons, Jones takes them in, laughs and shares them with the world. “Embracing this lifestyle is bold enough, and it’s also because I feel everyone should do this. I felt so much happier after I blatantly stopped caring about what others think. I used to be shy and reserved, then I started wearing purple lipstick and felt like I could rule the world,” she stated. Jones encourages everyone to feel like that, too.

Although the trio have their own unique approaches to fashion, they are constantly learning new ways to improve themselves through one another. Together, their mission is to transcend the standard of the stereotypical Southern belle or gentleman by writing about topics that everyone can relate with and benefit from. If it is the latest beauty-business scandal, Outré Mode has your back with their ethical shopping series. When it comes to controversy, they are around to give you the details. From the Lime Crime scandal to the Wet Seal employee let-down, they keep you in the know.

One of the trio’s biggest goals is to relate to their audience. Jones, going on more Tinder dates than she would like to admit, found humor in them – a situation in which many other college students have found themselves, as well. She made headlines when she created  “Confessions of a Tinderella,” three installments documenting her horrors for everyone to follow. Even though she knows a number of people who have successfully managed to find relationships on the dating app, exposing bad dates is great.  Her success with the installments influenced one of her matches to contribute his own experience with the app, launching “Confessions of a Tinderfella.” “People like hearing about my misfortunes. It’s so relatable,” Jones stated, while also adding that she even got a text from her dad saying that he loved the story, but not to go on so many dates.

If there is ever a topic  the trio feels strongly about, they write about it without sugarcoating their opinions or appeasing a certain group of people. They understand the importance of using the blog as their platform to write truthfully. One thing they want everyone to know is that with Outré Mode, ingenuity is never an issue. People who know them understand that their writing exemplifies exactly what they would say. What they wear is exactly what they wear. “We do this so that we can build trust with our readers,” Brockington added.”As far as the long term, “My ultimate goal is to get paid for this,” Jones claimed. Brockington added, “We have a headquarters, maybe an office?” They are striving to be the new and improved EliteDaily. “We are tired of articles that are lists here at OM!” Brockington exclaimed. Robertson sets his aims high, wanting to see the blog one day morph into a big-time magazine.

Today, the three fab audacious millennials are in the process of evolving their brand by increasing their readership and establishing connections with social media professionals. Starting with WordPress and now an established website, the blog is an ongoing evolution that just keeps getting better. Even if you don’t qualify as an audacious millennial just yet, the team is there to provide you with the tools to get you feeling more confident, free and bodacious. Ditch the year-round Carolina Cup style and start diversifying yourself. Learn how to look polished and poised while dressing inexpensively, grasp the opportunity to connect to others and learn how to let your inner and outer beauty shine by improving your lifestyle and beauty routine by following Outré Mode so that you can jump on the bandwagon of finding yourself and becoming a better you.

This article was first published in the April 2015 issue of The Yard.

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