House of Style
305 N. Second Ave., Ozark, 417-551-4253, shophouseofstyle.com
Open Tues.–Sat., 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Shopping local has never been easier, especially in Ozark, where the downtown square has quickly filled in with new restaurants, bakeries, antique shops and clothing boutiques. One of the newest storefronts to welcome shoppers is House of Style, a cozy women’s boutique that specializes in simple but chic pieces that can be layered for year-round style.
Owner Jessica Swofford, who moved to Ozark from Austin, Texas, is the bubbly redhead behind the store’s welcoming atmosphere and inventory. It was always a dream of Swofford’s to open her own store, so when she got word that the two-story shop off the Ozark square was up for sale, she jumped on it. With the help of her mom and dad, who helped rehab the building, Swofford got to work sanding floors, painting walls and setting up racks of patterned leggings, fitted denim, loose-fitting tunics and a smattering of accessories and jewelry.
The rehab part of the business was more than familiar to Swofford, who helped her dad, a contractor, on job sites. “I’ve helped put up dry wall and sanded floors,” she says. But remodeling the building to fit her new store’s needs was a whole new experience—and an exciting one at that. With the walls painted, inventory up on display and the open sign switched to on, Swofford started working to build up a clientele of regular shoppers.
“I love the fabrics and the illustration side of fashion,” she says. And the fabrics and color palettes that especially catch Swofford’s eye are simple and timeless. According to Swofford, the key is layering, and Swofford, herself, is a walking endorsement for this multi-piece look. Her style is casual but elegant with a dash of comfort thrown in. From cozy sweaters and collard shirts in the winter to loose and flow-y tunics and vests in the spring, Swofford keeps the store stocked in pieces perfect for any wardrobe.
Shoppers won’t find too many loud, vibrant colors or prints here. Instead, you’ll find more toned-down hues like blacks, grays, oxblood, navy blues and olive greens—the starting blocks to any stylish ensemble. Softer prints mix with a dash of fringe in the spring and summer as tank tops and maxi dresses make their way back on to runways. The selection of apparel is welcoming and can be mixed and matched with ease to fit just about any style.
Just up the road from Brown Eyed Girl and Torn Boutique, House of Style is a welcome addition to the growing Ozark shopping scene.
Q&A with Jessica Swofford
417 Magazine: What is one staple item every woman needs in her closet?
Jessica Swofford: A basic white blouse. This is a great piece to build off of, and it’s great year-round.
417: What’s one trend you’re excited to see coming up?
J.S.: Modern geometric lines and patterns. These are more artistic, and you see this more in high fashion, but it’s coming our way.
417: Since you carry a lot of layering-friendly pieces, what advice would you offer shoppers about how to layer?
J.S.: I tell everyone, don’t wear it if you’re not comfortable with the way you feel in an outfit. Some people think layering is too fussy, but for me, this is the most flattering style for my body shape. It’s all about how you feel in your clothes. That’s the key.
417: What’s your worst fashion mistake?
J.S.: In high school, I wore a chunky belt over my T-shirts. My friends called it my wrestling belt.
417: What’s one trend you’re happy to see go?
J.S.: Parachute pants. They remind me of MC Hammer, and they’re not flattering on anyone.