Today I’ve got a much overdo introduction for you Ugly readers. She is our newest contributor, and a very dear friend of mine, Mckenzie Dowler. Initially I had met Mckenzie through friends at a party. We didn’t speak much but I recall she was wearing a black dress with a plunging neckline and bows on the back (the bows may have been on the front… my memory might not be as good as I want it to be… either way I feel creepy for even slightly remembering any of that). The rest truly is history. 

We connected via fashion blogosphere and every other form of social media and instantly clicked. After various lunch dates on her trips home to Salt Lake, and me spending some time with her in New York, I have become enamored with her sense of style. She holds her own in anything she wears, and she needs no definition. Mckenzie has got the ability to take that tomboy style and transform it into something unique and flirty, all while keeping it simple and effortless. 

I’ve always admired her confidence and her knack for finding unique items that no one else has. I am delighted that she has decided to work alongside us at Ugly. With her job in New York at Rag & Bone, and her constant exposure to the most fashionable people on the planet, I don’t doubt her contributions will be ones to watch for.
Q :: How would you describe your style? 

A :: I find this to be an incredibly difficult question to answer, because I don't have a definitive style to describe. And, I know that some people describe their style as "always evolving," which is true, but I argue that there is some consistency to everyone's style. For example, a consistency of mine (or rather, one of my “general guidelines”) includes no skinny-heeled shoes. Of course, this may change later on down the road. But for now, there has got to be some chunk on my stems.

As for now, my style is adaptive; and, it is incredibly tomboy-ish. I say it is adaptive because I haven't quite figured out how to look and feel like a New Yorker. Everyone here (in Manhattan) is so polished and put together. It looks like New Yorkers have been planning their outfit’s weeks in advance, but then again, it all looks so effortless and easy as if they pulled pieces off their clothing-strewn bedroom floor. I don't know how they do it, but I'm learning. I'm also learning how to dress and adapt to the weather here. Dressing for the weather seems simple, but the drastic changes in temperature and random wind storms really through me for a loop. New York much resembles a mullet, it is hot and sunny in the day, and then cold and stormy at night. But again, I'm learning and adapting.

The tomboy nature is just innate. Not only am I a daddy's girl, I also have two older brothers. Thus, while growing up I always wanted to wear baseball caps, jeans, and sneakers like the boys. But, don't get me wrong, I love twirling in a dress just as much as the next girl.

All in all, my style is a simple balance between masculine and feminine. I wear all black while at work as required, switching off between wearing jeans and high-top Converse, or little black dresses and motorcycle boots. And, you better believe that I go a bit crazier with color, prints, and band tees on the weekends. Lord knows I need to incorporate more high heels into my wardrobe. And, I try to be a bit more bohemian here and there; depending on the people I am with or event I am attending. My style is adaptive, that is the only want I can think to describe it nowadays.

Q :: Who/what influences you in fashion?

A :: As I mentioned above, my surrounding influence my style, whether it be what the weather is, or the people I am with, or the place I am going; but that is obvious, I know. I consciously try not to be influenced by fashion itself, or anything/anyone fashion related. I find that my fashion creations are more interesting and more pungent when I take from outside sources. My main influential sources are literature, music, the places/spaces I encounter, and of course, people. It all sounds either cliché or generic, but it is all true. I have a keen sense of awareness that helps me funnel all of this down into things I can incorporate into my wardrobe, or into the photo shoot I'm doing. When you are talking to your friends, really listen to what they have to say. When you are reading a book or listening to the Stones, do some background research, and then do background research on your background research. Take it all in, because it will all come in to play eventually.

Q :: Favorite places to shop?

A :: It's funny, I live in a mecca of fashion and shopping, but I do the majority of my shopping back home in Utah. I make a point to stop
 by Decades every time I come home; I always find something here. I also love shopping at Bastille, Lolabella, Koodeker, and The Green Ant (in the back of the store). And, although I don't condone doing all of your shopping at corporations, I love going to Target and Walmart to get your basic Hanes tees and thermals. Walmart does not exist in New York City, and going to Target is quite the trek. Otherwise, I like to invest and embrace the brand I happen to be working for; clothing allowances definitely help with this however. My not-so-secret secret online shops to find designer pieces for great deals include Yoox, The Outnet, Barney's Warehouse, and Last Call.

Q :: Favorite Trends? 

A :: I have two favorite trends: I was obsessed with the fashion blogging trend, and I will be forever grateful for the vintage clothing trend. These two "trends" have changed the fashion industry forever. When fashion blogging first became a "thing," of course I took part in it, and so did other fashion aficionados worldwide. We were suddenly linked together in real-time, able to see each other and able to start a dialogue; thanks Internet! The closest thing I can relate this to (similar but not equal to), is when the transatlantic telecommunication cables were installed. Now, fashion bloggers are synonymous with the makers and shakers of the industry, almost celebrity-like. They are speaking up, showing off, calling the shots, and reaping the benefits in the best way possible.

Now for the vintage clothing "trend." Vintage clothing has always been present within the fashion industry, but before it too became a "thing," it was far from widely accessible; it was a very minimized market. But once it finally became the “it” thing, vintage shops popped everywhere, both physically and on the World Wide Web. Suddenly everyone is wearing vintage T-shirts, dresses and jackets; embracing the past, embracing the unique, and finally recycling! Again, vintage clothing forever changed the fashion industry. As I mentioned before, the industry now has a fully functioning vintage retail sector, and new brands are arising solely based on the reinvention of vintage items; taking something old and making it new. And the best thing about vintage? It is completely renewable!

Q :: Any fashion tips? 

A :: My fashion tips may sound cliché, but regardless, they are relevant. A really good friend of mine keeps telling me to do this, and it is also Elisha Cuthbert's tagline given to Emile Hirsch time and time again in The Girl Next Door: Just go with it. Wear that sweatshirt inside out; layer that dress over jeans. Truthfully, it doesn't matter, as long as you are happy. Enough things are dissected and nit-picked in this world, and your personal style shouldn't be one of them.

And lastly, if you got it, then flaunt it. I mean, why the hell not, right? Really though, if you have killer legs, then please wear those miniskirts. If you have an incredible ass, then wear those super-duper skinny jeans. Again, why the hell not?

Photography by Dylana Suarez (

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