15 Minutes with…Gerome Stephens

Gerome Stephens//Program Coordinator for Student Leadership//Universtiy of Louisville 

Gerome Stephens is a Program Coordinator for Student Leadership at theUniversity of Louisville.  He serves on the Board of Directors for the Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies, and he recently was named one of Nfocus Louisville Magazine’s New Faces of Philanthropy.  He spends most of his time working with students to find their strengths and discover their passions.  Being lucky enough to work with Gerome on a daily basis, I often find myself not only admiring what he does in the community of Louisville, but how stylish he looks while doing it.  He has a signature style that doesn’t go unnoticed.  Mixing prints and untraditional fabrics with ease, Gerome gives me something to look forward to each morning.  Asking myself in anticipation, “what will Gerome be wearing today?”

Gerome agreed to sit with me for fifteen minutes to talk about his style, the love of his life Dolly Parton, and how he can so easily rock a signature fedora.

15 Ounce: Who is your celebrity style crush?

Gerome Stephens: Dolly Parton. [Pause for laughter from both of us.] Here’s the thing, I’ll never dress like her…unless it’s Halloween.  She has all of her clothes made, and she never fits any kind of style, and there is nothing about her that is “runway” or even normal.  She makes them to what she likes, and they are very costume-y, but they are always fun.  Even if she has on jeans, it’s always dramatic.  Her personal style is her own, and she knows what she likes, and she does what she wants.

As far as someone I would like to style my fashion after…if I could dress like Sherlock Holmes, all the time, I’d do it.  Strong tweeds.  Awesome plaids.  I love wearing brown and leather.  When I’m older, I’ll probably add monocles and pipes to my wardrobe.  There is something that I like about extremely traditional clothes.  I’ve gotten more secure with myself and wearing a fedora on a regular basis and dressing a little older than I am, but not in a way that is “old.”  You’ll never catch me in a pair of Duckheads.


What’s your favorite style trend right now?

Ummm slap bracelets!  I’m glad they’re back.  I love a slap bracelet!  I remember thinking they were so cool.

I also like that girls are wearing tall, brown leather boots.  I’m not going to wear them, but I’m glad that they are.  I just like boots.  I often wear a pair of zip boots that go under my jeans that were my grandfather’s.  A really nice clean, classic boot is fun.

What’s new on your iPod right now?

I’ve added some more Whitney since her passing.  Adele is someone that continues to get stuck in my head.

What’s your favorite way to wear denim?

If I’m dressing up, I like wearing denim with a button-up oxford and then oxford type shoes.  If I am going casual, I’ll wear some Chucks.  I love my Chucks!  But I’m rarely dressed down.  I also recently bought a denim jacket; it’s zippered and fitted.  I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I think it’s okay.  I also bought another denim jacket from a vintage store that’s very traditional, very straight lines.  I won’t wear either one of those things very often, but I’ll be able to pull them out from time to time.  I don’t need them, but I’ll enjoy them.

What was the last movie that you saw in the theatre?

I think it may have been Joyful Noise (with Dolly Parton)…but I’ve seen something since.  Oh!  I went and saw  The Artist.  And I loved it.

What’s your best style tip?

Wear what you’re comfortable in and what makes you feel good.  Buy your clothes to fit.  Don’t try to wear someone else’s outfit.  Wear what makes sense on you.  Always dress a couple steps above the occasion.

If someone told you that you won your dream vacation.  Where would you be going?

Dollywood.  Duh.

If you found out the world was ending tonight, what would you wear?

A tux and a top hat.  Cause an event that big is only happening once.  Or a plaid bow tie and Chucks so as to not blend in too much.

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