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Texas Influencers: Ashley Hargrove

Dressed to Kill

Ashley Hargrove is dressed to kill. The fashion blogger’s Instagram handle is an acronym for the adjective, after all. Hargrove is a commercial wardrobe stylist who has styled and modeled for brands including Neiman Marcus, BMW, Bud Light and many more.

She joined Instagram way back in 2010 as a personal style page, but nowadays she posts stylish photos of her outfits — often head-to-toe black — elaborate nail art, home and accessories, dogs Steven and Walter, behind the scenes of photo shoots and her travels. She says she doesn’t follow trends and feels that she stands out against other fashion influencers for her fondness for the color black — although white outfits will pop up in the feed occasionally.

When do you feel like you became an influencer?
“Oh gosh, at times I still don’t even think I’ve made it as an influencer! I think I started feeling a little more ‘influential’ when I began to receive messages saying that sharing my style started making others feel more comfortable with themselves. When someone says how they never really felt comfortable in what they wore, could never figure out what to wear, just didn’t feel confident in certain pieces until they started following me, that was a huge game changer for me. I really felt that I was doing something a little bigger than just sharing clothes for fun but maybe making a very small difference in someone’s life.”

How do you describe your style?
“My style is more on the edgy side with lots of black and pieces you could easily wear for any type of occasion. I try to stick to classic silhouettes and timeless pieces.”

What fashion trends are inspiring you currently?
“I actually don’t really follow trends. I focus on pieces I truly love that will last me season after season. I am all about quality over quantity.”

What goes into getting the perfect shot for you?
“First and foremost, I have to truly love what I am shooting. I remember back in the day when I would just create mindless content, and I wasn’t really in love with what I was creating. Now, I am way more focused and intentional on what I want to put out there for myself and my brand. But after that, what doesn’t it take to get the perfect shot?! We have to find the perfect location that will complement the outfit or product, then we have to think of lighting and the time of day we’re planning to shoot. Thankfully my house has been the shooting location for 90 percent of my photos lately, so it makes it pretty easy. Getting that perfect shot is harder than most people think, but I’m pretty OCD about how my photos look.”

Hargrove shares her personal style through her beautifully-curated Instagram page @dtkaustin.

What do you wish your followers knew about you that they don’t already?
“A lot of people don’t really know that I own my own company and have a career outside of Instagram. I also don’t think a lot of people know how much of a tomboy I actually am! I started my @justabadash Instagram account to show some of that edgy/nerdy side.”

How do you like to connect with your followers?
“I absolutely love connecting with my followers whether it is via social media or even in person, if I see someone out and about. I try to engage and talk with my followers for hours each day via DM or commenting on their photos and showing them some love. I adore the little community we have all created and absolutely love getting to know the people who have been following me for years or those who just stumbled upon my page. It is truly amazing that people enjoy following along with my crazy life with my crazy dogs! Actually, my two dogs, Steven Jalapeño and Walter, are way more popular than I am!”

How do you balance your life with your relationship to Instagram?
“I always prioritize ‘real’ life and the needs of myself, my family and friends before anything Instagram-related. I have no problem ‘shutting it off ’ during those times, and I really think that is necessary for my mental health, as well as for anyone else consuming content on social media.”

What makes you stand apart from other influencers in your industry?
“I don’t really follow trends and I stay true to myself and my aesthetic, which I have found really sets myself apart from other influencers. Not to mention my affinity for the color black is quite different from most!”

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