‘It changed my life’

A day at the races is one more hat-wearing opportunity for Ramona Holloway.
A day at the races is one more hat-wearing opportunity for Ramona Holloway. Courtesy Ramona Holloway

One decision or purchase or technique can change your fashion life. But don’t take our word for it: Take the word of these Charlotteans, in our latest installment of Game Changers.

Ramona Holloway: Toppers are tops

With inspiration from the quirky Denise Huxtable character on “The Cosby Show,” I fell in love with one of my grandfather’s hats. It matched his coat perfectly and when I wore it I felt like the epitome of chic.

That was 1985 and when you fast-forward 30 years you find a woman who still believes that the right hat defines a good look. Whether going to church or the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase, a stylish hat doesn’t just hide a bad hair day. It makes its own statement.

My favorite new topper is a brown brim that I found in the men’s department at Roses. If, like me, you’re a woman with an extraordinarily large head, hats made for men are your best friend. Ross Dress for Less, TJ Maxx, Citi Trends and thrift stores like Great Things on Beatties Ford Road have led me to fabulous hat finds. If you’re just trying to protect your hair from the elements, waiting for an appointment with your colorist or looking to stand out, hats are the ultimate accessory.

▪ Holloway is cohost of “The Matt & Ramona Show” on WLNK-FM (“Link” 107.9).

Bob Scheer: Shaved head leads to edgier style

I shaved my head because I was losing my hair, and I found I had a decent shaped head for it.

I first shaved it 10 years ago on vacation, and it was nice to know I could pull off the look. I still had enough hair to validate hair, so I grew it back.

Four years ago I was getting to the point where I had wings, and then the horseshoe, and I was never going to stand for that. By the time I shaved it I wasn’t blonde any more, and it wasn’t worth keeping. So I shaved it and I love it. I was 47.

After my head was shaved, my look transformed to an edgier, sleeker, more masculine look.

The look that I like, and that I strive for, is a much more fit look. When I put on weight it shows in my face, and now I don’t have hair, so it makes me focus on keeping in shape.

I save a lot of money on shampoo and hair products. I shave my head every Saturday morning all the way down to the skin with an electric razor.My favorite thing about shaving my head is that I can do it myself.

Brigida Mack: Clarisonic – ‘Mind. Blown!’

Full disclosure: I’ve always been a skin-care junkie. I can remember giving myself facials when I was in junior high. What can I say? I’m obsessed with having good skin! And in my line of work where you wear heavy makeup five nights a week, a good skin care regimen is a MUST.

That said, when I discovered the Clarisonic Mia 2: Mind. Blown!

Talk about a game changer!

Here’s what I like to do: I wash my face with Purpose Gel Cleanser ($5, Target). It’s super gentle, doesn’t irritate my contacts and won’t dry out my skin if I have to wash my face a second time to get rid of any stubborn TV makeup. Then, I pull out my Mia. She’s purple, cute and most importantly, POWERFUL. I wet the brush (Mia is waterproof!), dab a bit of St. Ives Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange Scrub on it, hit the power button and go to town on my face! Just let it glide over your skin – no need to press down: That could irritate your skin over time. Mia also has her own timer so it will shut off after 60 seconds. When she does, rinse your face AND the brush head THOROUGHLY. I like to leave my Mia leaning over the edge of my shower caddy to make sure she dries out in time for the next use. Pat your face dry with a towel (NEVER rub), apply your serum or lotion and marvel at how smooth your skin looks and feels!

I initially got the Mia as a gift. But after just one week of use, I was sold! My skin is smoother, brighter and more even than it’s ever been.

Bottom line: you only get one face. So, I look at tools like the Clarisonic Mia 2 as an investment.

▪ Lists for $149 online. Mack is an anchor/reporter for WBTV News.

Rodney Hines: Magnetically modern

I like wearing collared shirts, but sometimes the collars flare out, even with those little plastic collar stays.

So eight or nine months ago, my friend Jeremy Carter showed me these magnetic collar stays called Power Stays from Würkin Stiffs. The little strip that goes in your shirt is metal, instead of plastic, and there’s a magnetic dot that you put just inside of your shirt. The two clamp together, and it makes the collar stand up perfectly. So instead of looking like I’m in the ’80s, I look put together.

For me, that was a game changer. When I shop, I look at the shirts and if I don’t see a place for the collar stay, I don’t buy it.

I bought a pack at Nordstrom for $40 and I’m going to ask for them in my Christmas stocking every year.

▪ Available at $40 for a pack of three. Hines owns High Cotton Home and Furniture Connector.

Whitley Adkins Hamlin: A classic gift, to herself

The game changing fashion item for me is my black quilted small Chanel purse with gold chain. It is certainly the most expensive thing of its size that I’ve ever purchased. This iconic symbol of timeless, classic style is one that for as long as I can remember, I daydreamed of one day owning.

Finally, at the age of 31, in celebration of five successful years of owning and operating my previous business, I decided to give myself a nice gift. I’ll never forget walking into Neiman Marcus at SouthPark Mall, palms sweating, hands shaking. When I walked into the little Chanel purse boutique, I couldn’t believe what I was actually about to do. I could afford it, but I could not imagine spending that much money – $1,750 – on myself. After all, it was a purse! Not a car, not a house, not an education, but a handbag! I pulled the trigger and ... I have carried my purse to all evening and special occasions since.

That little bag has brought me great joy. Far beyond any material possession, it symbolizes so much more: hard work, dedication, reward, patience and achievement.

▪ Hamlin is a wardrobe stylist and blogs at