Spring is coming and we can barely wait for warmer temperatures, outdoor events and fun-filled days with family and friends! This edition of “What to Wear” is set in the gorgeous, light-filled entertaining space, The Nest, and stars two fabulous women from The Exceptional Foundation and an extraordinary — and totally adorable — little one rocking some precious looks, perfect for the little lady in your life! Take the stress out of dressing for March events with these nine looks from local Birmingham boutiques.

Today’s models are the brilliant and fabulous Executive Director of The Exceptional Foundation, Tricia Kirk, and the beautiful and accomplished Christi Burrus, an Executive Assistant at Northwestern Mutual of Alabama. Through their work at The Exceptional Foundation, Tricia and Christi have dedicated their lives to working with special needs adults and children, enhancing the lives of the foundation’s participants through a variety of activities and providing a community for the mentally challenged population and their families. The Exceptional Foundation’s premier annual fundraiser, the 13th Annual Chili Cook-Off, takes place Saturday, March 4, at Brookwood Village. More than 11,000 people flock to this wildly popular event to sample the culinary stylings of approximately 100 chili-cooking teams, each fighting for the title of Grand Prize Winner, Spirit Award and People’s Choice Award! Don’t miss this fun and tasty event! Our third model is the creative and precocious Miss Lilah Helmer, daughter of StyleBlueprint Birmingham Editor Lauren Helmer. This 9-year-old exudes confidence and hopes to become an author, fashion designer or women’s rights activist. We are inspired by Lilah’s optimistic view of the world and cannot wait to see how she changes it for the better!

Our February What to Wear models are 9-year-old Lilah Helmer, daughter of StyleBlueprint Editor Lauren Helmer; Tricia Kirk, Executive Director of The Exceptional Foundation; and Christi Burrus, an Executive Assistant at Northwestern Mutual of Alabama and Exceptional Foundation volunteer.

Our February “What to Wear” models are 9-year-old Lilah Helmer, daughter of StyleBlueprint Editor Lauren Helmer; Tricia Kirk, Executive Director of The Exceptional Foundation; and Christi Burrus, an Executive Assistant at Northwestern Mutual of Alabama and Exceptional Foundation volunteer.

Today’s looks come from the experts at The Clothes Tree by Deborah, Mia Moda Boutique and GiGi’s Tween, who deliver ideal looks for three upcoming March events: STARS Presents Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr. at The Virginia Samford Theatre, The Heart Ball and the Taste of Teal Gala.

The Event: STARS Presents Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr. at The Virginia Samford Theatre

  • March 3-12, 2017
  • Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays & Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
  • Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for students
  • For more information, visit virginiasamfordtheatre.org.

Kids will delight in seeing their peers perform the tale of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr. at the Virginia Samford Theatre. STARS, or Students Take A Role at the Samford, is an arts education program that fosters and showcases the talents of Birmingham’s best young performers through high-quality theater education and performance opportunities like this one. Don’t miss the wild and whimsical adventures of Alice as she falls down the rabbit hole into a world of enchantment, challenges, new friendships and catharsis. Young aspiring performers in the audience will surely come away inspired by this family-friendly musical.

What to wear: With this wacky weather, it might be 75 or 35 degrees, and the Virginia Samford Theatre is a welcoming come-one-come-all venue. So given the weather and the theatre’s encouragement of personal expression, you’ve got some leeway to wear what you fancy! From a casual romper to a more formal frock, rock the look that makes you feel most “you,” so you can sit back and enjoy the show! Gigi’s outfitted Lilah in three terrific looks.

Look #1:

From GiGi's: Colorful floral romper with embroidered details and tassle ties, $54; Yummy Gummy scented bucket bag with bracelet, $36.

From GiGi’s: Colorful floral romper with embroidered details and tassel ties, $54; Yummy Gummy scented bucket bag with bracelet, $36

Look #2:

From GiGi's: White denim ankle jean, $39; Off-the-shoulder top, $36; blue floral choker (comes with a solid blue choker and stud earrings), $16

From GiGi’s: White denim ankle jean, $39; off-the-shoulder top, $36; blue floral choker (comes with a solid blue choker and stud earrings), $16

Look #3:

From GiGi's: Blue floral choker (comes with a solid blue choker and stud earrings,) $16; White dress with multicolor feather pattern, $98; Pink fringe wristlet purse, $32; Sparkly emoji headband, $20.

From GiGi’s: White dress with multicolor feather pattern, $98; pink fringe wristlet purse, $32; sparkly emoji headband, $20

The Event: The Heart Ball

The 2017 Heart Ball is an unforgettable evening of hope and entertainment. Community members, medical professionals and corporate leaders come together to celebrate the life-saving work of the American Heart Association. Raising over $71 million nationwide last year through the Heart Ball campaign, the American Heart Association was able to fund research and prevention programs both in our community and across the country. Join them for another amazing year of dining, dancing and getting dolled up for a good cause!

What to Wear: Elegance is key for this event. The Heart Ball is a black-tie affair, so gorgeous, flowing gowns and tuxedos are in order! Thankfully the gown gurus at The Clothes Tree by Deborah helped us to create three absolutely stunning looks that will make you feel simply gorgeous. Christi models these lovely looks.

Look #1:

From The Clothes Tree by Deborah: Jovani blue off-the-shoulder gown, $550

From The Clothes Tree by Deborah: Jovani blue off-the-shoulder gown, $550

Look #2:

From The Clothes Tree by Deborah: Muted champagne quarter-length sleeve gown with stitched top, $770

From The Clothes Tree by Deborah: Muted champagne quarter-length sleeve gown with stitched top, $770

Look #3:

From The Clothes Tree by Deborah: Rene Ruiz turquoise gown with mesh and teal appliqués, $1,525

From The Clothes Tree by Deborah: Rene Ruiz turquoise gown with mesh and teal appliqués, $1,525

The Event: The Taste of Teal Gala

  • March 11, 2017
  • Event begins at 6 p.m.
  • Tickets are $100 per person
  • For more information, visit thinkoflaura.org.

The Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation carries out the legacy of Laura Crandall Brown by raising awareness and funding research, especially in the crucially important area of early detection of ovarian cancer. The annual Taste of Teal Gala, which celebrates Laura’s life and the foundation, is a beautiful evening honoring all of those who have volunteered their time and service to the foundation’s mission to raise awareness and funding for research. Many of these fine folks have dedicated their lives to those with ovarian cancer, and a night of dancing, drinks, dinner and more is the type of “thank you” they deserve!

What to Wear: Teal is the deal for this event. All attendees are encouraged to wear dressy ensembles spotlighting the color teal, from casual with subtle teal notes to a turquoise sparkler! With help from the style mavens at Mia Moda Boutique, we put together three stylish teal-inspired looks, modeled by the lovely Tricia. These looks are perfect for dancing the night away!

Look #1:

From Mia Moda Boutique: Multicolor mermaid sequin dress, $89; CZ hoop earrings, $29.

From Mia Moda Boutique: Multicolor sequin dress, $89; CZ hoop earrings, $29

Look #2:

From Mia Moda Boutique: Black palazzo pant, $79; White tie-front top, $39; One-of-a-kind iridescent beaded necklace with handmade crystal pendant, $79; Gunmetal hoop earrings, $24.

From Mia Moda Boutique: Black palazzo pant, $79; white tie-front top, $39; one-of-a-kind iridescent turquoise beaded necklace with handmade crystal pendant, $79; gunmetal hoop earrings, $24

Look #3:

From Mia Moda Boutique: Teal embroidered caftain, $49; Sterling silver CZ studs, $29; Made in the South necklace featuring a repurposed 1950s broach-turned-pendant on a 1960s sterling silver necklace from New York, $500.

From Mia Moda Boutique: Teal embroidered caftan, $49; sterling silver CZ studs, $29; Made in the South necklace, featuring a repurposed 1950s broach-turned-pendant on a 1960s sterling silver necklace from New York, $500

Don’t miss these March events, and be sure to check out our Fashion & Shopping articles for more of the stylish looks that Birmingham boutiques have to offer!

Thank you to Eric and Jamie Gay of Eric & Jamie Photography for the fabulous photos of Tricia and Christi of The Exceptional Foundation and spunky little Lilah. 

And thank you to The Nest, the dreamy event space in Avondale, for letting us use the airy, light-filled room for our photo shoot!

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For more on what’s going on in Birmingham this month, visit our Happenings page. And for more on the boutiques that provided these style suggestions, visit our SB Guide or download our FREE SB App.