by Whitley Adkins | photographs by Amy Kolo
Charlotte philanthropist and style maven Meredith Dolhare founded the nonprofit RunningWorks in 2012 to support individuals and families experiencing homelessness and poverty with their physical, emotional and social needs. As an ultra-endurance athlete and high school cross-country coach at Charlotte Country Day School, the mother of two is also well-known among Charlotte’s running community. So, what’s all that got to do with fashion? Not a whole lot. But personal style? In Dolhare’s case, everything. In sports and in life, Dolhare breaks the mold with her one-of-a-kind style.
Comments have been lightly edited.
How do you describe your personal style?
I do not follow any trends. I couldn’t care less what anyone else has on, and I do not care if anyone likes what I have on — I like what I like. I do like to mix patterns. I like to keep things for a long time, because I feel whatever you have always comes back.
Where do you like to shop?
Capitol has a great selection of clothes. [Personal shopper ] Roy [Planty] at Neiman Marcus finds things for me. I use The Outnet and Net-A-Porter quite a bit for online shopping, and sometimes I use Farfetch.
Whose style do you admire?
Robin Wright’s style on House of Cards is very classic. Also, Kerry Washington on Scandal. I always like what she has on — period, on a show or otherwise. I like your style because you don’t give a sh*t what anybody thinks. You wear whatever you like — I appreciate that.
What is your best style tip?
Buy things that are timeless, even if you think it is a splurge. If you think you are going to wear it a lot, it is worth it. If you buy good designers and invest in your wardrobe, you don’t have to worry about your clothes going out of style. If I splurge on something and I end up wearing it a ton of times, then it is worth it. If I splurge on something and I never wear it, I feel like an idiot.
Do you have a uniform?
I tend to wear a nice pair of skinny jeans, long boots or booties, and a sweater and long jacket. I have a Missoni sweater jacket I have worn like crazy for the last 10 years. I have a Chanel long jacket that I throw on with everything — that was a birthday present to myself when I turned 40. These are two of my favorite things, along with a Rick Owens cognac leather jacket that can go over any sweater. For my sporty everyday attire, I have about six pairs of Lululemon black joggers, three or four black sweatshirts, about five T-shirts, and a RunningWorks or Charlotte Country Day baseball cap.
Do you have a closet-organization trick?
There was no rhyme or reason to my closet, and then I let in Effie Loukas of Neat Freaks, who is one of my best friends. She weeded out all of the things that I did not need. Now I can just shop in my closet.
THIS OR THAT
Best splurge: my Hermes boots
Go-to designers: Oscar de la Renta and Chanel, because they are timeless and well-made. I love Alex Perry, Rick Owens, Safiyaa and Erdem.
Jewelry: I like Balmain quite a bit — their stuff is random and flamboyant — and Gucci. Ben Simon at Windsor Jewelers helps me with my jewelry.
Best thrift: Coclico boots — the best boots I have ever bought in my life. I have worn them 5,000 times.
Favorite handbags: My Celine bags — I can put files and a bottle of water in them and take them to work. Also Prada.
Pants or skirt? Pants
Heels or boots? Boots
Boots or sneakers? Depends on my mood. I’m a big hi-top girl.
Clutch or handbag? At night, I always use a clutch. During the day, I always have a handbag that looks like luggage.
Patterns or solids? Depends on my mood. I’m often patterned and solid, and sometimes I’ll mix it all together with stripes and cheetah and everything. But sometimes, I’m all black.
Most interesting pieces? My Chanel coat and my Luis Machicao dress that was on the runway in Paris. It is really bad-ass — it’s low cut and has these crazy feather sleeves with a mermaid shape. SP