Louisville style blogger Nicole Green shares her fashion favorites, beauty must-haves, and go-to Derby City spots

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Nicole Green
Credit: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Cynthia Laws/Zenobia; Hair and Makeup: Bethany Tiesman/Zenobia

When Nicole Green first started scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest, she discovered many style bloggers she admired, but she realized something was missing: "There wasn't really anyone who looked like me," she says. "I had an opportunity to change something I'd struggled with my whole life." So the self-proclaimed introvert started her own blog, What Nicole Wore. Three years later, the Louisville, Kentucky, business marketing student hopes that her over 16,000 Instagram followers (@whatnicolewore) feel like they are represented. She wants them to think, "This is so cool seeing someone who looks like me or is my age or lives near me," she says.

How I Choose My Outfits

I love classic feminine styles and enjoy mixing things up with funky patterns, bold colors, and unexpected textures. My favorites are gingham, stripes, and plaid, but I also can't resist the wide range of fun novelty prints—like the Dalmatian pattern on my blouse (shown bellow)—popping up. We've seen so many more textures come into play lately, whether tweed or velvet, and it's fun to embrace those and include more than one in an outfit.

My Style Icons

These days, I'm taking my cues from women like Priyanka Chopra, Blake Lively, Sophia Bush, and Chrissy Teigen. They look beautiful all dressed up, but I love seeing them off the red carpet too. You will find them in a lot of mix-and-match pieces, and I think that's what many women are looking for. They want to see something that's attainable and that they can re-create in their everyday lives. For instance, when I see Blake Lively or Sophia Bush wearing pieces like a fit and flare skirt or a moto jacket, I think, "I can wear that too!"

The Best Style Advice I've Ever Received

Don't listen to the rules. Just wear what you feel comfortable and beautiful in.

The One Product I Absolutely Can't Live Without

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo—I hate leaving the house without my brows filled in.

A Favorite Quote

"Empowered women empower women."

What I Love about Louisville

It has a reputation for offering the best of both worlds: It's kind of Southern and a little Midwestern as well. It's a bit of everything. It has Southern charm and a traditional side to it, but Louisville also has a lot of funky, fun things that really play into my personal style.

Nicole Green
Credit: Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Cynthia Laws/Zenobia; Hair and Makeup: Bethany Tiesman/Zenobia

Why You Should Visit Louisville Now

This city has a lot to offer. If you haven't been here, add it to your list! There's so much more to it than just horse racing. We also pride ourselves on being a restaurant city. (I am always telling people to eat everything when they're here!) I love going out to brunch with friends, and one of my favorite places is called Toast on Market—they have a mimosa menu that's phenomenal. I like trying different spots as well. My friends and I are constantly checking out weekend markets or visiting a new food truck that has popped up. There's always something to do here.

Her Louisville Must-Dos

1. Louisville Cream
2. Merle's Whiskey Kitchen
3. Toast on Market
4. Mussel & Burger Bar
5. Evan Williams Bourbon Experience
6. Please & Thank You

The Style Staple Every Southern Woman Should Have in Her Closet

A good pair of jeans.

WATCH: Stylish Items Every Southern Woman Needs In Her Closet

The Beauty Fad I'm Currently Loving

Face masks! I'm always playing around with a new one—the mud masks, the sheet masks. I'll try any of them.

The Style Rule I Tend to Break

No wearing white after Labor Day. I think it's such a good neutral!

Nicole's Quick Picks

Bold Lips or Neutral
Bracelets or Earrings
or Daisies
Shorts or Skirt
or Movie
Beads or Sequins
or Sneakers
Coffee or Tea
Clutch or Tote
or Umbrella

My Nail Polish Preferences

I use OPI. I especially love their Infinite Shine collection. I'll paint my nails at home, and it will last a solid 10 days. Plus, I don't have to pay to get my nails done, and I can change the color whenever I want.

The MVP of My Skin-Care Routine

I really swear by Murad Clarifying Cleanser. I've been using it for years, and I always have an extra bottle of it stored in my bathroom. I never want to run out!

The Reason I Blog

If I show confidence in everything I do, then I am encouraging my followers—women both older and younger than I am—to do the same thing. Blogging isn't going to save the world, but I believe that if I can help people to be confident in themselves and also feel empowered to make a change in their own communities, then that's an important thing to do.