Heather Saba

Heather Merriman Saba has been a fixture on the Sarasota fashion scene for years. She began her style ascent as a Black Tie editor at The Observer, in which she photographed Sarasota's chicest people and events, and has since transitioned into a lifestyle blogger extraordinaire, chronicling her adventures in all things fashion and beauty on her popular blog, Chic in Sarasota

Now we're excited to share that Heather's also joining the Sarasota Magazine team as our new fashion blogger. You can expect new posts from her each week, and trust us, you're going to want to bookmark her style tips. Until then, here's a fun Q&A with Heather to get to know her a little better—she spills the details about her background, her favorite piece of clothing, and the best fashion and beauty advice she's ever received. 

Tell us a little bit about you and your background.

I grew up here in Sarasota and went to Cardinal Mooney High School, where I met my husband, Tim Saba. We've been married for three years and we have two precious daughters, Liv and Lyla. I graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in psychology and a minor in sociology, and after college, while I was job searching/hanging out at home watching Sex and the City all day on E! and wishing I was Carrie Bradshaw, my mom sent me an email she received about a job opening at The Observer. It was the Black Tie assistant editor position, and it seemed like my wish to be Carrie Bradshaw could possibly come true. I interviewed, got the job and moved back to Sarasota to start my career as a journalist and photographer. After having my first daughter, Olivia (we call her Liv), I realized my job wasn't exactly conducive to mom life, so I left my position to embark on my adventure as a stay-at-home mom. I was really sad to leave my career and knew I needed a creative outlet to keep me busy, so I decided to start Chic in Sarasota.

How did you get into fashion?

I've always loved shopping and clothes. When I was 10 years old, I pitched the idea of a having a shopping spree instead of a birthday party to my parents. They said that was fine (and I now realize why—birthday parties are so annoying to host!), and every year after, that's what I opted for. I liked my friends, but I liked clothes more! 

That said, I wasn't always fashionable. You can love to shop and love clothes, but be pretty awful at actually styling yourself, and that was me for a long time. Tim always likes to remind me that I once wore a bubble-gum pink Juicy Couture jumpsuit with gold hardware with brown Tory Burch ballet flats—also with gold hardware!—and I thought I looked so good...yikes! I started figuring out what I liked wearing and how to style myself when I was in college, and my style has been evolving ever since. I've always been able to recognize fashion, however, so writing about fashion and learning about others' styling tips and secrets is something I love doing, and I'm excited to be featuring others, as well as my own style, with Sarasota Magazine. 

What's the inspiration for your Chic in Sarasota? 

 
Anything that makes me happy that I think will inspire someone else, even if it's not entirely related to fashion, beauty or motherhood. If I think someone can use something somehow, some way, from me sharing it and it excites me, I share it.  

What excites you about the Sarasota style scene?

There's always been exceptional style in Sarasota. But now, with the access to so much style inspiration on the Internet, I feel like I see even better style in Sarasota and that excites me. Style isn't limited to just those with a built-in, amazing fashion sense... people without any fashion knowledge can figure out how to dress and dress well. I think influencers on social media have really helped that. Instead of having to look at professional models wearing outfits, or looking celebrities in magazines or on TV, you have real people doing real life things influencing fashion, right at your fingertips. Plus, times have changed and now it's OK, and actually cool, to share your fashion. People want to inspire others, people want to share where they bought something or how they styled themselves. When I was growing up, you couldn't be inspired by others because it was considered "copying." But I love when I see people wearing the things I wear. For me, it's rewarding to see that I inspired someone, and in turn, I love being inspired by others and letting them know. 

This might not be a popular opinion, but I'm also happy to see Sarasota becoming looser with dress codes. You see denim being worn to cocktail-attire-suggested events and to upscale restaurants, and I'm loving it. Fashion can be so limited when you have a dress code. As long as you're dressing tastefully and stylishly, being more casual is totally acceptable in my opinion. When your style is on point, you can get away with a lot more when it comes to pushing dress codes. People are getting so trendy here, and I love it. 

What piece of clothing do you own that do you feel like represents you the most? 

This is a hard question—so much of what I own represents me somehow. But if I had to choose, maybe all of my sneakers?! I can't choose one pair because they all are so different, yet still just sneakers. But sneaks are my favorite—they are unassumingly chic and can be worn so many ways, and I feel like that's a lot like how my style is. 

What is the best beauty and/or fashion advice you've ever received? 

The best beauty tip I've ever received changed my life: fill in your eyebrows. A makeup artist told me this years ago and I bought an eyebrow pencil and  never looked back. Honestly, I looked like a different person after that, and it was all because of a tiny, dark brown colored pencil. I fill in my brows even on no makeup days, which brings me to the other best beauty tip I've ever received:  have a lot of no makeup days if you can. I try to only wear makeup a few times a week and I make sure to remove it the second I get home to let my skin breathe. Except for the eyebrows, of course! 

The best fashion advice I've ever received would be to keep it simple. And when I say simple, I don't mean boring. I'm not sure who gave me this advice or where I heard it, but it's something I always try to remember when I'm putting an outfit together or while I'm shopping. I've worn plenty of outfits that I look back on now and think "Wow, that was a lot." If your gut is telling you it's a little much, it probably is. So keep, it simple, but never boring. 
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