Before she was a blogger, before she was a stylist, before she was a PR pro, Stephanie Hill was an aspiring ballerina.
At 19, Hill left her hometown in Houston, Texas, to pursue her professional dancing dreams at a ballet company in West Palm Beach, Florida. But after two years of rigorous, relentless training, she hung up her pointe shoes. The company was floundering, after being dealt a devastating double blow by the rocky economy and an abrupt withdrawal of arts funding. Add job insecurity to an aching body and Hill had her list of reasons to bow out.
She took the opportunity to return to school, earning a degree in dance and communications. After graduation, Hill worked at a corporate public relations firm. After cutting her teeth in the PR world, she set out as a PR freelancer, teaming up with a local stylist to broaden her fashion experience. Armed with industry savvy and an inherently sharp eye for style, Hill launched her blog, The Style Bungalow, in 2014.
The blog features her take on elevated beachwear—outfits as chic on the sand as they are on the streets. Hill regularly sports beach-friendly fabrics (cotton and raffia) in classic and polished silhouettes. Swinging coral dresses, fawn-colored cork wedges, and oversized straw clutches are staples in her tropical and trendy—but never OTT—wardrobe.
We tap into Hill’s years of fashion experience to glean some style advice—just in time for these final days of warm-weather dressing.
What is the story behind your blog’s name?
This is no joke: I was watching a GoDaddy commercial during the Super Bowl last year when I came up with the name of my blog. At that point, I knew I wanted to start a blog but didn’t know what to call it. The second I saw the commercial, I Google-searched “beautiful words” and found “bungalow.” That spurred me into thinking that “bungalows” are typically small, like me, and common in coastal cities, like West Palm Beach, where I live. I threw in “style” and next thing you know The Style Bungalow was born. I wish I had a better explanation behind the name, but that’s how it happened!
How would you describe your personal style?
This is always a tough question because I feel like my personal style is constantly evolving. Things like travel, meeting new people, music and trends inspire me all the time. I also find inspiration living in South Florida. Locals are known for wearing bright colors and loud accessories. That said, I’d say I’m classic with a twist—and lots of accessories!
Who are your style icons?
My mom, who raised me to always look my best because you never know who you’ll run into! Emma Watson and Emma Stone, because both take big fashion risks. Iris Apfel—she’s aging so gracefully and isn’t afraid to stand out. Carine Roitfeld for her no-fuss, Parisian vibe. Also bloggers Julie Sarinana of Sincerely Jules for laid-back style, and Arielle Charnas of Something Navy for East Coast style.
What are your top five style and grooming tips?
1. Stick to what suits your body type, and find a good tailor.
2. Never leave the house with chipped nail polish.
3. Stick to the classics, and be loud with your accessories.
4. Don’t look like you’ve tried so hard. Sometimes tousled hair or a red lip by itself can be sexy.
5. Buy a portable steamer and travel with it everywhere you go!
What is the best style advice you’ve ever received?
Someone once told me that style is all about confidence in who you are and what you’re wearing.
What are you reading?
I just finished Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell and In My Shoes by Tamara Mellon. Now I’m reading Going Off Script by Giuliana Rancic.
What is on your playlist?
Currently, I’m all about Hype Machine to curate my playlist, which is a mix of everything. You can follow me there @thestylebungalow.
What summer beverage do you like to cool off with?
Fresh coconut water is best! It's so hydrating.
Fast & Furious Fashion Quiz
Bikini or one-piece?
Neutral or red lip?
Neutral during the day. Red lip at night.
Beach or pool?
Beach, all the way. I love the ocean!
Red or white?
Body-con or boyfriend?
Skinnies or flares?
Skinnies. But lately I’m digging flares too.
Night out or in?
Night in. I’m a homebody at heart.
Sweet or savory?
Instagram or Snapchat?
Insta! But you can follow me on Snapchat @stylebungalow.
Why did you choose the Vince Camuto Hevelli sandals?
Lately I’ve been obsessed with wearing gladiator sandals with just about everything I own! The second I saw the Hevelli sandals, I knew they would take my gladiator game to the next level because they are so chic and can be dressed up or down. I plan to wear them with a cute trapeze dress or ripped jeans and a white tank top.