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A Bellweather Friend: Emily Goodin

by Christopher Lester |

Emily Goodin is a Wardrobe Stylist and Creative Director based in Nashville, TN. Emily’s career in fashion began when she opened a fashion-forward bridal and formal wear boutique in Chattanooga in 2006. Emily honed her skills styling for everyone from musical artists, to brands, to magazines. Her store, Boutique Couture, was even mentioned in Sara Evans novel, “The Sweet By and By”.

In 2015, Emily moved to Nashville to begin styling individual clients full time. Now Emily’s focus is two fold, acting as owner, creative director, producer and stylist for her agency as well as continuing to serve her individual styling clients. 

We became friends with Emily soon after the launch of Clifton+Leopold and after years of appreciating her work. We'd ask who styled a shoot and continued to hear "Emily Goodin . . . you just have to meet her". And as the fashion gods wished, our paths crossed and allowed us to work together early and often. 

As the fall/winter fashion season approached, we knew she was the perfect match for our latest installment of Bellweather Friend, so we sat down with a bottle of Veuve and had a little chat. 


C: Emily I am so thrilled to spend a little overdue time together.  And I don't think I've ever asked you this but I'm stoked to learn what drew you to fashion? I know you owned a store and you clearly have a fashion point of view . . . but where did your fashion journey begin?


E: Looking back, I realize it was always there.  Because my mom and grandmother loved to sew they made me learn to sew, and even make my outfits for certain events. Then when I got older I was like – NERDVILLE! So I didn’t want to make my dresses or whatever because I didn’t have the patience in front of the machine. I asked what if I designed and my mom could sew it for me. She said "yes".

I remember my 8th grade dress. I loaded it up with fringe and I wanted a really high slit but my mom sewed the slit shut and I was like – YOU’VE RUINED MY DESIGN!


C: I love that your mom went for modesty while you were thinking 8th grade fashion-forward. (haha) That’s where the journey began but you’ve lived several iterations along the way. Looking back at that map what jumps out to you?


E:  Like many people I grew up thinking you had to go to college then get a job then work hard then happiness would come along the line somewhere. For me I went to college and had the desk job but hated it . . .  it wasn’t really me. I remember thinking if I stay here forever how bad that would feel later in life. So I made a change and followed my passion.


C: Cheers to that! I’m a strong believer in a hard stop in life to turn the page to Chapter 2 or even Chapter 3 or 4.


E:  Yeah and the best part is, once you’ve done it once . . . once you face the fear of not knowing but making the jump . . . it gets easier to do it again. The fear that holds you back loses its power. 


C: Taking risk changes you. You start to find your people, and what felt freaking scary begins to feel like power and momentum. And this is a great transition to something I am dying to ask you . . . I would describe you as someone who makes others look and feel great. I want to know and understand more about that process. What is the process of helping someone see themselves in something they couldn't have before? How do you give them the courage to try?


E: Sometimes they don’t know how deep what's limiting them goes. Our process together can even be a therapeutic moment because we’re all unaware of the mental barriers we build up or tell ourselves. This is especially true with how we dress – from weight loss to weight gain to having children to getting older . . . our mind is always telling us stories but not all of them are true. I hope to provide my clients with a fresh mirror. A new way to look at themselves. My hope is to help them step into a new and more confident space.


C: That’s powerful and probably not the first thing folks expect when thinking about working with a stylist.


E: Here’s what I’ve learned – you could put three people with three very different body types on a pedestal and all three of them would have things about their body that they don’t like or that they are quick to point out as a flaw. Most of us have something we want to change. My goal is to help my clients find looks and a fashion identity that makes them feel confident and proud.  I hope for them that they start to forget the hang-ups that are on repeat in their head.

When you own your look and you feel good, you are going to get noticed. You’re going to find yourself in interesting conversations. And that is the kind of moment that leads to the next big life event you've been waiting on.  


C: So, as you think about the upcoming fall/winter season, I’m loving the continuation of the bright palettes that are now combining with warm taupe and grays. What are you excited about?


E: You know I am a little bit trendy when it comes to fashion I like, but I tend to think more along the lines of – what vibe do I want to have this season? Like, what theme am I on right now?


C: Consider me super intrigued.


E: Well for me this season is Parisian. It comes with berets and scarves and outerwear that make me feel confident and classy. That’s what's stunning about mixing classic pieces with key seasonal trends you love. The result feels effortless.


C: I love a stunning trench and a twilly.


E: Oh yeah me too! A classic trench in a solid color that you mix a twilly scarf . . .  that’s my jam! It’s also a look that is great on everyone. And it's a great example of something I love about the fall/winter season – layers. Building a look based on several layers that ends in a stunning coat and twilly.


C: I love layering. Daniele, my besty, gives me a hard time about it.  She’s always saying things like -  "it’ll be 100 degrees outside and you’ll have on three shirts". Or -  "officer Christopher is missing . . . I'm not exactly sure what he’s wearing but he’ll have on several layers and a scarf  . . . now please go find him".


E: Haha! Seriously though, It’s a great way to make a look complex and interesting. Again, walking into a room you've already said a lot.


C: I hear you that color isn’t always where you start but are there any trending color themes you’re excited about?


E: Well I love the rich burnt oranges, wines, and maize varieties we’re seeing. They just feel autumnal, but they also look great on just about everyone. These colors are showing up in fun ways this year, unexpected ways. I’m looking forward to that.

It’s this pop of color against your classic gray, browns, and taupe that create a sense of fresh timelessness. It also gives you the ability to completely change a look by adjusting the accessories – that’s what I Iove so much about what you guys do at Clifton+Leopold . . . you provide a pop of interest and color and complexity that blends well with both the bold and classic.


C: Brilliantly said my friend! And how fun this has been! Thank you so much for spending a little time with me to talk about all the things we love. As we wrap up here, what parting words of advice would you want to share.


E: I think it would be to drive home the idea of clearing the closet of the things that aren’t working for you or you don’t love anymore. Make room for the new, and then start with a few classic pieces that will serve you well. Not just this season but for longer than the next four months. Then push yourself with brilliant accessories . . . try something new with color or pattern or both!

Look around. When you see someone at the store or park or wherever and if you’re drawn to what they’re wearing try it out. Also If you're changing your looks through accessories, you aren’t investing so much that you can’t afford to be bold . . . you'll get it right way more than you'll miss.


C: Thank you so much Emily. Knowing you is a joy! So if someone wants to connect with you to learn more about what working with you looks like what's the best way to make that happen? 


E: They can email me at, or text me at (615) 962-3428. or visit my website , or they can always start by stalking me on Insta at @EmilyGoodinStyles 


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