Designer for Hire

Me, My Clothes and I

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Style. It’s all around us – and especially on the streets. Adiba Nelson – fashionista, blogger, and self-confessed Nosey Nelly – goes in search for it. Photos by Adiba Nelson.


Adiba Nelson. Photo by Michelle Rooney Photography.

There is something magical about a person who is unabashedly comfortable in their own skin. When that person is a 6-year-old-girl, spinning and twirling like the world is hers, well, MIND. BLOWN. That is exactly what I happened upon as I scoured Tucson’s Museum of Contemporary Art last month, looking for my next style savior. There she was spinning and twirling and beng hoisted through the air, wearing a zebra print tutu skirt, pink leggings, a black tank top and princess heels. When I approached her to compliment her fashion choice, her boisterous ‘THANK YOU!’ hooked me, and I knew in that instant that I had found THE ONE.

Tucson, your sweet whirling dervish of the month is Miss Ellis Eshelman, Mermaid Princess daughter of Hilary and Andrew Eshelman. She is a sprite and a force du jour. That is the only way to describe her. Equal parts sass, sweet, and self-assuredness wrapped up in rainbow fairy wings, princess dresses, and red cowboy boots. I dictated the interview, she dictated the photo shoot, changing outfits approximately six times, as any young stylista would. I have no doubt that Ellis is going to take the world by storm, but for now, let her rock yours.




Describe your look. I don’t know how I would describe it! I just felt like wearing a dress that night. I was excited to see my Uncle Jim and so I wanted to wear it for him. He likes dresses.

Where do you shop? My mom does most of my shopping at Savers and Target, but it costs more at Target. But it IS my favorite place to shop – they have the coolest toys! I also shop in Omni’s closet. She’s my grandma – and she’s thrifty!

Fave piece of clothing – ever? My Elsa dress, and my mermaid skirt that I swim in. I love my mermaid skirt because I look like a real mermaid when I wear it! You could get a mermaid swimming skirt, but it would take a while to get to you. Mine took forever!

If you could dress anyone, who would it be? You! And Mommy and Daddy and THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD! I could go all around dressing everyone! I don’t know what I would have you all wear, but I would do it!

Ellis - Red Boots 2 What is your staple/go-to item of clothing? My red cowboy boots. They didn’t fit me for a really long time, but they finally do! And I love them!

Who is your style icon? YOU! (Me?) YES! FROM WHEN I SAW YOU AT THE PARTY!! (At this point I all but fell out and crowned Miss Ellis the Interview Queen.)


Can I have your mermaid fin? NO!! It’s too small, you’ll break it! But if it fit you, I’d let you borrow it. If you wanted to keep it, I’d have to keep one of your things. (Miss Ellis got a serious side-eye with this one.)

If the house is on fire, and you HAVE to get out – what do you save? Hooper! My cat!



* Read more from Adiba Nelson at her blog, The Full Nelson. You can also read her at The Huffington Post.

Love Ellis’ bold and girly style? Try these looks.

1. Custo Barcelona silk embroidered dress, $34 from OZMA Atelier

2. Rose leggings, $10.80 from Forever 21

3. Eliza J faux fur stole, $98 from Nordstrom