Style & Beauty

Shoulders above the rest: A “peasantly” chic look

Shoulders above the rest: A “peasantly” chic look

Shoulders above the rest: A “peasantly” chic look

A few weeks ago, I RSVP’d to attend a fashion meet and greet here in Tampa. As I thought about the event, there were two major issues I had to consider: 1) the 4 p.m. start time and 2) the invitation’s instructions to “dress to impress”.

Generally speaking, I have a pretty good idea about what dressing for a networking event should look like. For a morning coffee, I might opt for some neutral toned slacks paired with a button down. It’s simple, yet crisp and transitions to the office well. For lunch, I might consider adding a pop of color to that same outfit by throwing on a jacket or accessorizing it with a pair of statement pumps. During the dinner hour, you can never go wrong with the LBD (Little Black Dress). It’s a classic.

Given that none of these scenarios applied, I started to think that I might have bitten off more than I could chew. What could I wear that was simultaneously fashion forward and appropriate for the specific time of day? I didn’t want to look over or under dressed.

I knew whatever I ended up wearing didn’t currently exist in my closet and I wasn’t interested in spending a lot of money. So on a whim, I decided to stop into Target on my way to the mall. And lo and behold, I snagged this comfy, yet stylish peasant dress for less than $30!

Off the shoulder blouses and dresses are a huge trend this summer. And, to glam things up a bit, I decided to pair it with a hat I picked up for my spring break vacation and a pair of lace up heels.

I think the look turned out “peasantly” perfect.

PEASANT DRESS: Target | SHOES: Steve Madden | CLUTCH: Lodis | BANGLE: Oldie but goodie | HAT: Nordstrom Rack

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Make me a deal: What time is the right time to find bargain prices?

Make me a deal: What time is the right time to find bargain prices?

Make me a deal: What time is the right time to find bargain prices?

I’ve never gotten hung up on “in-season” and “post-season” styles. My approach has always been fairly straightforward: If it fits, is stylish and priced just right, I’m probably going to buy it.

On a recent trip to the mall, I found these babies on sale at Shu Shop for less than $30!

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I wasn’t necessarily in the market for a pair of summer sandals, but they held true to my criteria: they fit, they were stylish and they were priced just right. So, I bought ‘em!

Did you know mid-summer is an ideal time to find some great deals on apparel at a fraction of the cost you’d normally pay? That’s because during this time of the year, between late June and July, many retailers are starting to gear up for fall.

imageSo, in order to clear space on shelves and make room for seasonal items like back-to-school gear, stores will sell post-season summer items like sandals, shorts and t-shirts at deeply discounted prices.

And, people like me – you know the ones who love a good bargain – benefit.

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What about you? Any secrets you have and want to share about finding great deals at great prices? Let me know about them in the comments below.

This is not a sponsored post. The views expressed in this article are strictly my own.

 

A quick trick for combining color perfectly … every time

A quick trick for combining color perfectly … every time

A quick trick for combining color perfectly … every time

While it’s true that my favorite color combination is black and white, I will on occasion mix things up a bit by adding a little color. I purchased this skirt thinking that it would look great coupled with some vibrant tones. I was right! I absolutely LOVE the styling for this midi skirt. The red and yellow pieces complement each other without being too overwhelming, which is always a goal of mine when using color.

If I’m being honest, I’m still learning about pattern and color matching and mixing. That’s why I don’t wear a lot of it. But, one of the tricks I use to get my color combos perfect ever time is this:

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That’s right! My trusty color wheel has never let me down! One quick glance tells me what the best color combinations are, such as orange and blue or red and green.  Most of the time, though, I use it for suggestion purposes only.  In my world (almost) all rules are meant to be broken. So, I went slightly off the grid when I styled this outfit.

I picked up the yellow no-name clutch from a local boutique a few years back. Unfortunately, it’s no longer in business. But, I still love shopping boutiques and upscale consignment for accessories. You never know what kinds of treasures you’re going to find. In this case, I absolutely got the result I was looking for. What about you? Any color combos that captivate you? Tell me about it in the comments below.

MIDI SKIRT: The Loft | SHIRT: Bebe | CLUTCH: Oldie but a goodie | SHOES: Steve Madden | NECKLACE: BCBG

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White, the official color of summer

White, the official color of summer

White, the official color of summer

If it isn’t already, I think white should be the official color of summer. It’s cool, clean and crisp. And, it just makes you feel good. At least, that’s how I felt about this dress when I first saw it about five years ago in a local boutique, which sadly has since closed.

I know. It’s not what comes to mind when you think about the typical summer dress. But, that’s what’s so great about it. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before.

Right there, in the middle of the floor, stood this beauty draped proudly on the display mannequin. Of course I asked the shop owner to remove it immediately. I mean, what if someone else were to walk in at that very moment and experience the same sense of awe that I did?!? I couldn’t let that happen!

Needless to say, I walked away that day with a beautiful dress that’s given me lots of beautiful moments in return. What about you? Have you ever had a “love at first sight” moment with a particular piece? Tell me about it in the comments below.

DRESS:  Samuel Dong  | SHOES: Nine West | BELT: Oldie but goodie

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When conventional meets carefree

When conventional meets carefree

When conventional meets carefree

I did it!

A few posts back, I talked about hot fashion trends this season; one being tulle skirts. I expressed my skepticism about being able to integrate such a non-conventional piece into my wardrobe, but I committed to keeping an open mind to it. And, I’m glad I did.

I saw this little cutie a couple of weeks ago and even though I had no idea what I would do with it, I bought it anyway. Although I don’t necessarily agree, my style has been called conservative by some. For me, conservative is equivalent to boring and I try never to be that.

Really, though, I think my style is about me liking what I like; conventionally clean lines and structure. Staple pieces like statement necklaces, collared shirts, pencil skirts and tapered jackets give me life!

When styling an outfit, though, I have one rule I try always to adhere to. And, that’s to pair a staple or conventional piece with something a little more fanciful and carefree. That’s why I chose this black, collared shirt to wear with my new tulle skirt and I have to say, I really liked the results.

What about you? What styling standards do you abide by when putting together your signature look? Leave me a comment below and tell me about it.

SHIRT: White House Black Market | TULLE SKIRT:  Windsor | SHOES: Chanel | PURSE: Coach | NECKLACE: BCBG | CUFF BRACELET: An oldie but goodie

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The secret to finding a better fitting dress

The secret to finding a better fitting dress

The secret to finding a better fitting dress

This shift dress I picked up at Nordstrom a few years back has become a must-have during the late spring and summer months when the heat and humidity in Florida make being outside for any length of time downright brutal.

This particular style of dress is cool and comfortable and the simple lines make glamming it up or toning it down an absolute breeze. And, with temps in the low 90s, I’ll take one any way I can get it!

I have a classic “pear” body type; smaller on the top and larger on the bottom and ironically, I’ve always avoided wearing these types of dresses because they just never looked quite right on me.

I’ve got “junk in the trunk,” and this style of dress was frustrating for me because it wasn’t very accommodating in the hip area. I thought curvy girls weren’t meant to wear dresses like this.

Then, I discovered the secret to getting a better fit: buy a size or two larger. The initial shot to my ego quickly dissipated when I saw how effortlessly the material fell into place. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s never to put too much stock into sizes. None are altogether true or absolute. What matters most is how you feel. Let me know if you agree by leaving a comment below.

SHIFT DRESS: An oldie but goodie bought at Nordstrom | BRACELET: Coach | SHOES: Gianna Bini Shoes | NECKLACE: Old | WATCH: Coach

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Summer essentials from head to toe

Summer essentials from head to toe

Summer essentials from head to toe

It’s hard to believe, but summer literally is right around the corner.  And, I’ve started thinking about the types of ensembles I’ll need to get me through the hot summer months in style.  In my opinion, nothing completes a casual, chic look better than a classic pair of sunglasses.  They’re mysterious — and between you and me — a little sexy too. Some of the hottest trends in sunglasses for the summer include cat eye frames, circles and my all-time fave – aviators. I got mine from Tiffany & Co. But, if you’re looking for a more economical version of these styles, check out these, these or these. Then, let me know which style you like best in the comments section.

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