Jessi Afshin could not have picked a more appropriate name for her blog, The Darling Detail. The teensy Austin-based blogger’s aesthetic is head-to-toe sweet and, yes, just plain darling.
Crochet-trimmed linen dresses, worn-in striped button-ups and oversize totes in coral and teal are part of her regular wardrobe rotation. Favoring minimal jewelry and few layers, the secret to Afshin’s unfussy style is in the details: a bold palm-tree print here, an intricate lace overlay there. Afshin focuses on rich fabrics, peppy colors and fresh silhouettes to make her sartorial statement.
Just don’t write her off as too-cutesy. Afshin knows that keeping her edge takes nothing more than throwing a fringed bag over her arm or donning an unexpectedly sexy, shoulder-baring blouse. These surprise flourishes keep her look interesting and inspiring to her readers.
We checked in with the 22-year-old former fashion student—who once took classes from Iris Apfel!—to talk style icons and Austin hotspots.
How did The Darling Detail begin?
I started my blog in February 2013 as a side hobby during my junior year of college. I was a fashion major at the University of Texas and found myself constantly dreaming of outfit combinations, searching endlessly through Pinterest, and putting together inspiration boards of visual designs. I had a lot of suppressed creativity at the time and founding a fashion blog as an outlet for that creativity was the perfect cure-all. I didn’t make a penny in blog income for the first year and a half, and my sweet mom was taking all my outfit photos on a weekly basis. It was just a relaxed, fun side project. I didn’t start The Darling Detail for it to really go anywhere. I started it (and continued it) because I simply loved doing it.
Who are your style icons?
Olivia Palermo, Miroslava Duma, Coco Chanel and Miranda Kerr. These ladies all incorporate elements of classic, timeless designs with trendy, in-vogue styles—which definitely represents my personal brand image as well.
What is the best style advice you’ve ever received?
The best style advice I’ve ever received is from my UT professor, Iris Apfel—you know, the chic 93-year-old with oversize circle glasses who is beyond famous. She was my professor during a trip to NYC, and she always told us, “When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else.” Her advice is key to standing out—especially in the blogosphere, where the outfits become so overdone and so over-saturated. Standing out is key!
Does living in Austin influence your style choices?
Absolutely! Austin is one of the most casual cities around (seriously, y’all!), and has totally changed my way of dressing on a daily basis. Throwing on a comfortable yet chic outfit and accessorizing with fun, bold items is the way to go in this city. You’re comfortable all day long and you look good.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Elizabeth Street Cafe is the most darling cafe with a Vietnamese and French influence—plus the food is to-die-for.
Any must-see Austin landmarks?
This is the capital of Texas, so the Capitol building is an absolute must. The grounds of the Texas State Capitol are gorgeous and it sits on one of the most famous streets in Austin, Congress Avenue. You just have to hop into Lake Austin while you are here. Cruising on the lake is one of my all-time favorite past-times. Make time to visit the University of Texas, which stands on 40 acres of history, and take a peek around the campus.
What are you reading right now?
I’m a huge fan of Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone Girl. Any book having to do with a psychological/murder mystery or thriller is my current guilty pleasure. Although, I hate scary movies…
What is on your playlist?
My playlist always boils down to the top 50 pop songs. I’m pretty much your average radio listener, however, I like Lorde, Sia and Lana Del Rey while I work at home. All great, chill music.
What is your summer beverage or cocktail to cool off with?
Moscow Mules are light, refreshing and have just the right amount of carbonation. Plus, those copper glasses are just too cute!
Fast & Furious Fashion Quiz
Bikini or one-piece?
Neutral or red lip?
Beach or pool?
Red or white?
Bodycon or boyfriend?
Skinnies or flares?
Night out or in?
Sweet or savory?
Instagram or Snapchat?
Why did you choose the Vince Camuto Cora2 Bag?
Versatility is key when it comes to finding the right handbag for my wardrobe, and this gem fits perfectly into my everyday arsenal. I’ve already dressed this bag up with a little white dress and heels, and also taken it out for a midday spin with casual drawstring pants and a light tank.