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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Eve

 
It always comes and goes so quickly.  One second, you're thinking, "I have weeks to shop".  The next, you're racing against the Christmas clock.  With all the rush, be sure you're ready for it with a stylish and functional holiday wardrobe.  Kind of a place where festive fashion meets Christmas function.  A place where you blend all the things you need to do with all the things you want to do and still look good doing it.

If you're anything like me, the days leading up to Christmas can be a bit chaotic.  The kids are out of school (in my opinion, for way too long), so you're not only juggling all your cookie making, holiday shopping, Christmas caroling, gift giving, party going, etc., but you're doing it with kids in tow.  One second I'm at the grocery store getting all my ingredients for fruitcake and the next I'm bowling, then shopping, then wrapping... Is it cocktail time yet?

Yes it is.  Champagne, please?  With all the Christmas chaos, we sometimes forget what the holidays are really about.  There's so much emphasis on what to buy, what to wear, who to see.  Let's get back to what's really important... being with the ones we love.  In black faux leather pants, an oversized white checked sweater and lug sole booties, I can forget about all the running around and present buying and focus on my friends and family.  Once again, comfort and function trump contemporary fashion.

This year for the holidays, I'm throwing on functional and fashionable pieces that allow me to focus on what's really important.  Don't forget that this time of year is meant to be spent with the ones you love.  If you can't be with the ones you love (my sister and her family live in Atlanta, GA and I only get to see her every few Christmases, so I get it) make sure you call them and wish them a very Merry Christmas.  Before you know it, it will be 2016 and we will be busy fulfilling our New Years Resolutions. 


Make an early resolution this year and give your time and love to the ones that really matter in your life.  Children don't stay small forever, so cherish them now.  Our elders too will not be around forever.  Make sure you reach out to them.  Forget about all the grudges you hold and offer joy and forgiveness in your heart.  This is a time of year to reflect and spread Christmas cheer!  I offer everyone that reads this special Christmas blog a very Merry Christmas.







Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sparkle

 
It's no secret that I LOVE sparkle.  A pretty dress is one thing, but when you add some bling to it... Ohmigod.  This time of year is the ultimate time to sparkle, so get your shine on!  I know you have at least one holiday party this year.  Everyone is looking for that perfect red dress, or white cashmere sweater, but why not really stand out this year and wear some sparkle?
 
Not sure where to start?  Don't want to look like a disco ball?  There are some simple guidelines to wearing sparkly clothes and accessories this season.  Limit your shine to one piece, like a blazer, a blingy necklace or pumps.  Head to toe sparkle will look a bit outrageous.  My girl, Zephi* (photographed above) looks show stopping in her INC gold sparkly dress.  She kept the rest of her look clean with black pumps.
 
 
This incredible silver sparkly dress is the perfect way to bring your bling to any holiday party.  Wear it with sheer black tights and heels, and your look is complete.  You'll turn every head in the place with a full on sparkly dress.  This one is from Forever 21.
 
 
Don't want your sparkle from top to bottom?  No worries.  There are lots of other ways to feature a little bling.  This skirt from H&M has blue and gold tones and is the perfect compliment to a black blouse and heels.  It says sparkle, without screaming it!  My favorite pair of holiday pants are leggings I got from H&M last year that are covered in silver sequins.  If you'd rather highlight your top half, the easiest way to pull sparkle off is with an embellished top.  Keep your look streamlined from head to toe and throw a little sparkle on your top with a pin, a scarf or even a bold statement necklace.
 
For the totally timid sparkle enthusiast... wear your sparkle on your feet.  It says, "I'm fun, but not over the top".  There's two ways to show off sparkle on your feet.  Either with your shoes, like these peep toe pumps from Target or my favorite which is painting your toe nails with some glittery paint.  People might just notice your sparkle, if you get out on the dance floor and show them what you got. 
 
However you like to show your sparkle off, 'tis the season.  Bring a little bright shine to your next holiday party, or just to cocktails with friends.  Either way, it's definitely sparkle season.  Show it off!  
 
*A few thank you's:
 
-Thank you to the Westin Hotel in Portland, Maine for allowing us to do our shoot in their stunning lobby.  If you're looking for a beautiful picture, the Westin is the spot.
 
-Thank you to my stunning model, Zephila McDonough:
 
Zephila McDonough is mother of a beautiful 5 year old. In addition to having a full family life with her daughter and husband, she is an entrepreneur who is dedicated to becoming a better version of herself everyday. She loves being of service to women in her community through mentoring. Zephi has an extensive background in the restaurant industry at many capacities. Her love for fashion and beauty brought her to becoming an esthetician and make-up artist in Boston. She is now owner of her future through a network marketing company called Arbonne.
 
-Thank you to the incredibly talented hair stylist and makeup artist, Christine Libby:
 
5 years in the beauty industry providing hair and makeup services.
Have a passion for making people both look and feel beautiful
Love providing services for all types: photo shoots, weddings, special occasions
Fun, energetic, outgoing
 






Thursday, December 10, 2015

Stand Out at a Holiday Party


I'm always a huge advocate of standing out from the crowd with style.  Looking like everyone else is lame.  This mentality has been embedded in me since I was a toddler.  My parents believed that independence in a young child is extremely important and allowed me to dress myself every morning as young as preschool.  As long as I was warm enough, pretty much anything went.  I took full advantage of having a stylish mother and older sister and would layer satin pajamas and sequined scarfs over everything.

Of course, having a "different" sense of style didn't come without harassment.  Kids really can be so mean.  Eventually, I got to an age where I just wanted to fit in and shopped at GAP exclusively.  Such sad days.  Luckily, college arrived and my fashion balls came back full force.  Those Southern girls would all wear the exact same thing.  Hair in a pony tail, pearls, t-shirt, jeans and flip flops.  Lame.  Super lame.  I made it a point to stand out in my super short mini skirt and "What Boyfriend?" t-shirt.  I liked the shocked looks and jaw drops.  Looking different is cool people.  Make them look.

With holiday parties coming up (tonight is my first one of the season), my philosophy of standing out runs strong.  There will absolutely be an element of bling, maybe some fur, maybe a romper?  A little black dress just doesn't cut it.  There's tons of great ways to stand out at your next holiday party.  Here are some ideas:

A Black Jumpsuit
One thing to keep in mind if you're wearing a back jumpsuit... pair it with heels.  The key is to elongate your legs and keep the jumpsuit looking fresh and dressed up.
 
Embellished Heels
Can't wear high heels?  I'm almost six feet tall.  I get it.  Invest in a pair of kitten heels (the shoe looks just like a pump, but the heel is only 1/2-1" high).  Wedges are really easy to walk in.  There's no gap between the ball and heel of your foot.  Just make sure they have some sparkle or they are brightly colored.
 
Feathers
Feathers have been all over the fashion scene the past couple years.  I've even seen them on wedding dresses!  Just want a little feather embellishment?  Try a pair of feather earrings or embellished heels.  Love the feather look?  A feather coat or clutch is the perfect statement piece.
 
Picture credit: Pages from People Style Watch!  It's my favorite fashion magazine right now.
 
 
 



Monday, December 7, 2015

Your Holiday Party Look


This picture looks straight out of a magazine, or a movie or a Christmas card.  The cool part is, I took this picture.  Although I can't take all the credit.  The stunning model you see is a dear friend, Zephila McDonough and she did have her hair and makeup professionally done by Christine Libby.  Be sure to scroll down and read their bios*. 

Achieving perfect isn't the name of the game when it comes to your holiday party look.  Simplicity is the key.  Making one piece of your look the star, and keeping the rest simple is what it's all about.  Take Zephi's red dress, for example.  She knew that the dress was going to be the star of the show, so she left her accessories simple.  Black heels, a pearl choker and a sleek side pony allow Zephi's red strapless midi ruffled dress to do all the talking.



What you wear to your holiday parties this year depends so much on the type of event.  They key is to not show up to an Ugly Sweater Party in anything but.  If you are dressed inappropriately, people will be talking about your look... and not in a good way.  A work event? depending on the venue, professional attire is always appropriate.  A party at the office?  Just exchange your pumps and blazer for a silk button down and strappy heels.  The party is at restaurant, hotel or holiday venue?  I'd up my game and go for a dress or something with a little sparkle.

 
Zephi is so "boss" in this dress.  She owns her look and is confident in what she's wearing.  If you're not a "dress person", there's a million ways to still shine at your holiday party this year.  And when I say shine, I mean it.  A little bling will take your look up ten notches.  Try a sparkly statement necklace with a sheer button down blouse.  A pair of sequined pants/leggings with a cashmere sweater is always a head turner.  If you like to keep your look a little understated, layer on a light sparkly scarf over your outfit or make a statement with some show stopping shoes.  A little pop of sparkle or color will really complete your holiday look.
 
This year, put a little extra effort in your holiday style.  Finding your holiday party look is as easy as letting one piece be the star.  Whether it's a red strapless dress, or an ugly sweater or a sparkly necklace.  Know your venue, dress appropriately, wow them with a statement piece and for heavens sake, have a very happy holiday!
 
-A few thank you's:
 
*Thank you to the Westin Hotel in Portland, Maine for allowing us to do our shoot in their stunning lobby.  If you're looking for a beautiful picture, the Westin is the spot.
 
*Thank you to my stunning model, Zephila McDonough:
 
Zephila McDonough is mother of a beautiful 5 year old. In addition to having a full family life with her daughter and husband, she is an entrepreneur who is dedicated to becoming a better version of herself everyday. She loves being of service to women in her community through mentoring. Zephi has an extensive background in the restaurant industry at many capacities. Her love for fashion and beauty brought her to becoming an esthetician and make-up artist in Boston. She is now owner of her future through a network marketing company called Arbonne.
 
*Thank you to the incredibly talented hair stylist and makeup artist, Christine Libby:
 
5 years in the beauty industry providing hair and makeup services.
Have a passion for making people both look and feel beautiful
Love providing services for all types: photo shoots, weddings, special occasions
Fun, energetic, outgoing

Contact: Christine Libby: Big Day Beauty
(207)272-0381
christine_haeger@yahoo.com
 
 
 
 








Monday, November 30, 2015

Guys: What She REALLY Wants For Christmas...


Years ago, I made THAT mistake.  The one that most new wives make, thinking selflessness will lead to generous spontaneity.  I remember my husband asked what I wanted for Christmas, and I foolishly said, "nothing, Dear", thinking he would WOW me with something.  It only took one Christmas with "nothing" under the tree to learn that honesty is the best policy.  What I REALLY want for Christmas is something luxurious and thoughtful. 

Your girl wants to know that you still think of her as sexy, beautiful and cute, like you did the day you fell in love with her.  She wants to be warm, but also have something she can show off.  Luckily, she's not asking for something expensive, she wants something you picked out just for her.

Here's what she really wants.  A sparkly piece of jewelry and some faux fur (real if that's what she likes and is in your budget).  Unless she asks for something specific (in that case, thank your lucky stars), jewels and fur are the perfect combination of what she really wants for Christmas.  Below, are a few suggestions and direct links to sites that will have exactly what you're looking for.  What you decide is the right style for her, makes it perfect.

The Statement Necklace
Whether she's wearing a cocktail dress, a white button down shirt or nothing at all, the perfect statement piece for any occasion is a MIRINA COLLECTION statement piece.  All their pieces are handmade and completely unique.  You can choose from gold, silver or pewter.  Statement necklaces are all the rage right now and you'll definitely wow her with any MIRINA COLLECTION statement piece.  Each piece ranges from $50-$200 and lucky for you, I'm an Mirina Ambassador so I can offer my 20% OFF discount to you.  Just type in: Chelseak20 at checkout.  Click HERE to see Mirina's entire collection of statement necklaces.
 

(Faux) Fur

 
I own at least three faux fur coats.  And in the winter, I wear them all the time.  Not one person has ever asked me if it's real.  Don't get me wrong.  If my husband came home with a beautiful REAL fur coat, I would be thrilled.  It's not about the animal, it's just that they're outrageously expensive.  My absolute favorite faux fur coat is the one pictured above.  It hits right at my hips and is the warmest thing I own.  I got it at H&M for around $40.  I got it years ago, but was able to find one similar that I know she will love from Forever21.  Just click HERE to see their entire selection of faux fur coats (many under $50).
 
Okay Gentleman.  Now you know exactly what to get her for Christmas.  If you still can't decide, I'm a Personal Shopper and would happy to take you to the Mall and show you incredible options and help you find the perfect fit for her.  I don't put a personal guarantee on much, but a statement necklace and a faux fur coat will definitely be something she'll smile about every time she puts it on.  Not to mention both items have major bragging qualities, so all her friends will think you're the BEST boyfriend/husband on earth.  Merry Christmas!
 
 






Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Attire


Happy Thanksgiving!  Who doesn't love a holiday that's based on getting together with everyone you love and eating a delicious meal?  This year, I'm taking some advice from one of my fashion magazines and keeping my Thanksgiving attire, casual.  People: Style Watch focuses on celebrity fashion that's affordable and accessible to everyone.  Which is SO in line with my Blog.  I was inspired by a spread they did in their recent Holiday Edition.  It encouraged a casual and comfortable style for the holidays.  Honestly, I love it.

Of course it's extremely important that I point out that casual Thanksgiving attire is only appropriate if you are celebrating in a casual way.  Going to your boyfriend's parent's house?  I'd think more along the lines of "dress to impress".  Going to a restaurant to celebrate?  Wear something you would to any other nice dinner out.  But if you're lucky enough to be celebrating thanksgiving at home with your closest family and friends (like I am), then being comfortable and looking cute IS possible. 

I grew up in a home where you always wore your Sunday best to holiday parties and I still keep that mentality.  Holidays only come once a year and it's respectful to dress up.  This year, my parents are in the Dominican Republic, so I'm doing Thanksgiving my own way.  Wearing jammies to Thanksgiving dinner, although sounds amazing is just something I can't do.  But wearing some jogger pants, my favorite kicks and a cozy fur vest over a tee sounds just about right.

Thanksgiving is a time to be with the ones you love.  If you can't be with everyone (which seems to happen more and more as our family grows older and older), appreciate the ones you can be with.  Make sure what you wear is in line with the venue and crowd.  A little luxurious comfort goes a long way.  Layer a little sparkle or fur on your cozy separates.  Wear a cashmere beanie.  Wear wedge sneakers.  Wear a fit n' flare skirt with an embellished sweatshirt.  If your Thanksgiving party is casual, take full advantage of it.  Lots of uncomfortable holiday parties are on their way!




Sunday, November 22, 2015

Layering Up For Winter


I'm beyond sad to announce that winter IS coming this year.  I was hoping to pretty much avoid it like I have in past years and just escape to Florida, but with my youngest son in Kindergarten, it was suggested to me that we stick around if he wants to proceed to first grade next year.  Darn it.  Reality has hit me and as it gets colder and colder... it hits me harder and harder.  Some of you may think I'm being a bit dramatic.  I mean it's just one season, right?  Well, you must not live in Maine.  We're talking a full six months of frigid temperatures, obscene amounts of snow and gray skies. 

Most Mainers live here full time for two reasons.  One, they enjoy outdoor activities like skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, etc.  The reason why I'm here is because one of Maine's biggest natural resources (lobster) is our number one source of income.  Looks like I need to just suck it up and endure a long Maine winter.  Luckily, I WAS born here and have learned that warmth trumps fashion.  This picture is probably the last time I'll be able to go out without boots and a coat.



From now on, two pairs of socks will be layered underneath all my stacked heel boots.  Stems do not work in snow.  A down jacket will always be layered over any outfit.  A down jacket with a hood that is long enough to cover my bottom.  Skinny style pants will exclusively be worn, so I can tuck them into my stacked heel boots.  Otherwise that hem drags through the snow and becomes frozen pants.  Now, since I'll be wearing skinny style pants all winter, I need to find pieces that I can layer on top.

Layering is all about proportions.  If your top is fitted, wear a flared skirt/pant or wide leg pant.  Same thing goes for if your pants are a skinny style or you're wearing a fitted skirt, your top should have some flow and some layers.  I describe my body type as an apple.  The middle part of my body is the biggest and the part that I want to conceal.  In the picture above, I do just that.  My fitted flare pants are tight around my thighs and hips, my cropped sweater is fitted around my ribcage and shoulders and my middle is concealed by a loose fitting hi-lo t-shirt.


Winter is coming fast and furious and layers are essential.  Don't sacrifice fashion for warmth.  It's not worth it.  You'll look ridiculous and freeze your bottom off.  Double up on socks.  Invest in a down jacket.  Embrace yourself.  Layer up.  Say hello to winter.

Canvas Sneakers: Target
Flare Pants: Forever21
Hi-Lo T: H&M
Cropped Sweater: Urban Outfitters
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Stunning Wedding Dresses Under $500


Honestly, I didn't believe it until I saw it.  My wedding dress was well over $1,000 and that was almost ten years ago.  A site that has every style wedding dress you can imagine ranging from $200 to $500.  What?!  That's impossible, right.  Nope.  BeFormal has hundreds of stunning wedding dresses, at prices you won't find at any of your local bridal boutiques.  They carry every style you could imagine, even the most popular, mermaid.

 
Like lace?  They have it.  Like beading?  Yup, BeFormal has it.  Like feathers?  Or how about a backless wedding dress?  You can get every style and size from BeFormal
 
I absolutely love weddings.  My husband and I went to three weddings just this Fall.  The brides looked stunning in each of them, but I bet they wished they had known about BeFormal before they spent thousands on those gorgeous wedding gowns.   
 
 
Looking for something a little more understated?  BeFormal has simple lace or satin dresses that will make his jaw drop.  Need plus size?  No worries.  BeFormal Plus has a size to fit every bride.  Not getting married, but need a formal dress?  BeFormal has formal gowns for any occasion.  Prom, holiday, bridesmaid, mother-of-the-bride, all dresses, all sizes for prices you can't believe.  Visit BeFormal for all things formal at prices so good, you can even make a dress change for your event.
 


 


Monday, November 16, 2015

Bold Accessories


I love making a statement.  Whether it's with my quick tongue or with my fashion sense, being bold is just who I am.  I don't mind standing out from a crowd, and to be honest, not being part of a crowd sounds way better to me, than fitting in.  If everyone is doing it, I'm probably in the corner doing something else.  Call me a rebel without a cause, but I kinda like having my own sense of style.

One of my boldest statements I've been making lately is with accessories.  Usually, fashion rules say limit your look to one statement piece.  But the rebel inside of me says, "Self.  Heck with fashion rules.  Let's break them and wear as many bold accessories as my little heart desires."  The result: A retro style black hat from The Flowerman and a statement necklace from Mirina Collections.

 
If you haven't yet checked out The Flowerman Online Boutique, you absolutely must.  It's filled with bold accessories and fashionable clothing items at prices that you won't see at any of your local boutiques.  On top of their amazing prices, The Flowerman is offering my followers 10% OFF your entire order.  Just enter code: INSTA15 at checkout. 
 
I've been getting compliments galore on this bold statement necklace.  You may remember it from a post I did a couple months ago, titled Mirina Collections.  My necklaces I've been wearing by Mirina have gotten so much attention, they've titled me Brand Ambassador, which allows me to extend my discount to my followers for 20% OFF your entire order!  Just enter code: CHELSEAK20 at checkout.
 
Bold accessories are definitely in style and in my opinion, be brave and wear more than one at a time.  Stand out from the crowd, make a statement and love your unique look.  If you're not sure if a combination works, you can always e-mail a picture at chelseakray@hotmail.com and I'll reply within the hour.   
 


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Trending Now: The Lumbersexual Look

I wish I could take credit for this amazingly well written piece on The Lumbersexual Look, but all the credit goes to Peter Minkoff, Editor of High Style Life.  I absolutely love this men's look and I hope it doesn't go anywhere.  It's about time  men put in as much to their look as women!  Enjoy.


We all know real men wear beard, right? Hence, the only logical way to live a respectful life (if you are a man OR Conchita Wurst, no disrespect) is to grow one and stay in grace and the image of your Creator.  Just kidding.  It is a thought-provoking parallel though, you’ll admit!
It appears that the trend of bearded men has overtaken the planet and things may just be getting out of hand. Why? While the trend of long beards was at first pretty interesting, hot, sensual and exotic it may seem like some guys have taken it to another level. But hey – different people, different likes – and who are we to judge!

The lumbersexual look is trending for some time now, with so many guys adopting the style, upgrading it with their sartorial sense of harmony and masculinity. These boys and wannabe lumberjacks, with their impeccable killer sense of style are dreamy in their own right; their rough handsomeness and captivating charm are probably the reason why we collectively can’t get enough!

If you are not sure how to spot a lumbersexual, here are some pointers that will make things clear:
 
1. Plaid shirts are their bible
 
One simply cannot be lumbersexual if he’s not sporting a plaid shirt in as many occasions as possible. These guys have closets full of plaid shirts in variety of colors and are more than happy to flaunt them around. And, for some reason – this wannabe Canadian lumberjack wrapped in a sensitive, somewhat opinionated but mostly creative and dreamy shell – is surprisingly chic, despite the repetition of patterns he wears.
 
 
2.  Their hair is slick back, the beard long- and they're not afraid to show it
 
 
Nothing says lumbersexual like a long, well groomed, and in-all-the-right-places-trimmed-beard. If you can’t grow a beard, you can’t go lumber, sorry! For their beards to stay bushy and healthy enough, they use a beard comb; beard oil and variety of products that keep it looking awesome are also a party of their beauty routine.
By the by, unlike a lumberjack who’ll be spotted deep in the forest, chopping woods and heavily sweating, a lumbersexual will be spotted sitting in the corner of the hip (and probably hipster) cafĂ©, scrolling through his iPhone or simply thinking about the meaning of life… pardon, Instagram. Oh well! A lumbersexual will also never let his body parts (yes, all of them) stay unattended in terms of the grooming routine – you gotta keep those hairs in check!
 
3. They are a bit narcissistic
 
 
It doesn’t really come as a surprise that these men are self-obsessed. Committing to a particular style and this hard – definitely screams narcissism! This fixation  on looking spectacular at all times comes with a pressure, though – lumbersexuals will undergo non surgical nose jobs or even laser treatment for freckles to even out everything that may stand out in the context of the expected lumbersexual look! Oh, well!
 
 
4. They love to accessorize

Where would a lumbersexual be without his glasses (most likely Clark Kent ones), a fedora, a backpack and a camera around his neck! I mean… all those wonderful photos of croissants and streets filtered through the latest analogue filter won’t find their way to the latest photo blog themselves, will they?
Oh and – let’s not forget about one of their favorite accessorize - all the highbrow tattoos!
 
 
5. They are very particular about their shoes
 

Cold times ask for Canadians, hiking boots or (fringe) boots while warmer days ask for something lighter, like flip flops or loafers. Simple, almost a no-brainer!
Stylists have agreed that the lumbersexual of today resembles the every other north-Minnesota-born-and-raised-guy. In recent take on lumber fashion explored in CityPages, we get to enjoy Minesota-born Andrea Sega’s (the century-old maker of rucksacks and luggage) awesome point:
"I guess stereotypical of what most people would say of our guys would be like a classic wool or plaid shirt, some boots, rolled-up jeans, probably rocking a good mustache or a beard, combed-back hair, and I could see some kind of urban-looking glasses!"
Anything to add? Not really!



 





 



 



Friday, November 6, 2015

The Flowerman Leggings


I'm totally digging on a site that I recently found.  It truly embodies everyday fashion on a budget.  It's called The Flowerman and they have an incredible selection of apparel and accessories at prices you won't find at any of your local boutiques.

I've been longing for a pair of (I call them) "Beetlejuice leggings".  They're really hot for winter and as we all know, vertical stripes elongate your legs.  You can usually find leggings like these for anywhere between $30 to $100.  I just can't justify buying leggings for that.  That's why when I saw The Flowerman had them for $10, it was meant to be.



I placed my order and expected it to take at least two weeks.  Usually orders that come from China can take up to a month to receive.  I was pleasantly surprised when my leggings arrived in one week!  I put them on immediately and they fit perfectly.  Long enough to wear with my favorite black booties and short enough to let a little ankle show with my favorite sneakers.  So versatile, I love it. 

Of course, leggings aren't all you can get from The Flowerman for an incredible price.  Right now, they have an incredible selection of winter coats, trousers, boots, bags, sweaters, dresses... you name it.  The cherry on top, is that The Flowerman is offering all apparel and accessories (on top of their incredible prices for 10% OFF!  Just enter code: "insta15" at checkout.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Most Versatile Dress, Ever


I have found the most versatile dress and I'm beyond excited to share with my followers.  I won't keep you in suspense.  The dress is from TJMaxx, and it was $14.99.  I got it recently, so if you totally love it, you can probably find it still on the rack at that price.  I don't think they'll last long though, so scoop one up soon. 

There are a few reasons why this dress is so amazing.  First of all, the length on the hem and the sleeves are perfect.  Short enough to show some leg on the hem, but long enough to not show more than "some" leg.  The sleeves are the perfect length to lend a bit of bunching at the cuff.  I love that look on sleeve cuffs and skinny pants at the ankle.  The heathered blue color gives the dress a bit of a casual feel, which gives you the ability to dress it up or down as much as you want. 

 
I did a lot in this dress yesterday.  It all started with a trip to the nail salon.  We're headed to Vegas for a wedding and beauty prep is essential.  I then went grocery shopping, had lunch with my husband, got my little guy some new sneakers, picked him up from school and ended the evening by going to dinner after we shook hands for our friend running for City Council.  I was comfortable, confident and never once needed an outfit change.
 
I styed this dress yesterday with my favorite Chelsea Booties and my suede vest that I can't stop wearing.  It was warm enough to go without tights or leggings yesterday, but in the future, you'll probably see me layering either underneath the dress.  Tights with black booties and a leather jacket and it's a perfect nighttime look.  Leggings, sneakers and a cardigan and I could wear it all weekend.  I'll actually probably wear it on the plane trip to Vegas.  It's so versatile, I'll style it casual for the plane and then layer necklaces and heels with it for evening.
 
 
You get a lot of bang for your buck with versatile pieces.  Once you find one that works several ways, you'll wear it all the time.  The best part is, if you style it in different ways, each time you wear it, no one will notice you wore it a couple days ago.  I wish I had found this dress in a couple more colors.  I really love it and I think you'll love it too.  Enjoy!
 



Monday, November 2, 2015

On Halloween: Oh Yes I Did!




Halloween is over, but I want to remind everyone that it's only one night a year that you can dress up as ridiculous as you want.  Take advantage of it, people!  This year, I was Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony.  I was warm, I was bright and the kids loved it.  Actually, I'm pretty sure my Rainbow Dash costume will have lending requests next year.  Hope everyone's Halloween was as fun as ours and make sure you dress up next year.  You know who you are!
 






Thursday, October 29, 2015

Furry Booties or Slippers?

 

It's a rare moment when a Fashion Blogger asks for fashion help.  Usually I have confidence in my ability to walk out of the house knowing my look is on point.  Yesterday, I couldn't decide.  I needed some warm, black, flat booties.  I've been looking everywhere and was impressed to see Target's selection.  They had Ugg-Style boots, designer-looking rain boots, lumberjack boots, booties, fringe boots, leather boots... I could go on, but I'll stop.  You get it.  I instantly fell in love with these black furry booties for less than $35.
 
 
They're adorable, right?  It was a frigid day, so I knew layers were essential.  I layered leggings, a fitted, brightly colored tunic and a drapy hi-lo sweater.  I thought the booties worked perfectly, until I walked out the door and sort of felt like they looked like slippers.  This could be because they are so darn comfortable.  It could have been because they're completely flat.  It could have been the folded down fur.  Honestly, I don't know what it is.  A feeling I guess?
 
 
Here's where I could use your help.  I can't decide if I need to retire my furry booties to inside the house only or if they're appropriate enough for casual daytime looks?  I know what I want to hear, but I'm smart enough to trust that I've educated my followers to give me the right advice.  I'm too biased.  I love them too much to decide on my own.  Comment, text, call.  Let me know if these are furry booties or furry slippers?  Thank you!
 




Monday, October 26, 2015

Suede Vest

 
There's always at least one seasonal trend that I don't initially like and swear that I'm not going to sell out on just because it's popular.  Like gladiator sandals.  Two summers ago, they were all over the scene.  I swore I would stand true to myself and never buy a pair, no matter how popular they got.  Ugggghhhhh... I now have two pair.  One black, one olive.  Crap!
 
In High School, puffer vests (down) were all the rage.  They were so hot that when my parents made me decide if I wanted a vest or a jacket for winter (because they weren't buying both), I struggled through the entire winter... in a vest.  After that ridiculous winter, I swore off vests FOREVER!
 
Until now.  Crap, crap, crap!  I'm a sell out.  But when I really think about it.  Who am I selling out to?  My teenage self?  Let's get real and talk about this incredible suede vest I got from Shop Priceless.  I really wasn't wild about this style of vests when they first came on the scene.  Probably because of my preconceived notions of vests in general.  But when I saw this one, I had to have it.
 
 
I've only had this incredible suede vest for a couple weeks and I've worn it a million times.  It's a light tan suede on the outside and a white faux fur on the inside.  There's no closures, so it drapes in the front and is incredibly warm.  Talk bout an upgrade to the black down puffer I wore for the entire winter in High School.  The vest has a bit of a casual feel, so I pair it with my distressed denim and suede booties.  I let the vest be the star of the fashion show by pairing it with a plain white long sleeve tee underneath. 
 
I love my new suede vest and don't feel like a sell out wearing it.  I actually feel very fashionable and warm.  Warm is key.  If you like this style of vest, I highly suggest you check out Shop Priceless.  I got both my jeans and vest from their online boutique and they always send a free accessory with your order.  This time I got a pair of front-back pearl earrings that I absolutely love. 
 
I will probably continue to dislike certain fashion trends and then eventually love them.  It's part of the fashion evolution.  I'm constantly progressing towards the ultimate fashion goal: to look and feel amazing.  This suede vest was a fashion risk I'm happy I took.  I'll be wearing it all Fall, Winter and Spring.  Break down preconceived notions, open your mind and for gosh sakes, get yourself a suede vest.



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Instant Wardrobe Update: The Belt Wrap


People!  You need a belt.  You probably need a few.  I've never seen more people come to me with a garment and not know why it doesn't look good.  Nine times out of ten, it's because your look needs a belt.  Gone are the days of belts being for function rather than fashion.  Now belts are one of the hottest and most flattering accessories out there.

Belts can cinch your waist, make the appearance of your hips smaller and instantly update your look.  In the early 2000's, wide belts were everything.  They had big embellishments and were usually worn either tightly around your waist or slung low on your hips.  Fast forward about eight years and the skinny, brightly colored belt was all the rage.  These days, it's all about the 1 inch.  Sort of a hybrid of the wide and skinny.

The 1 inch has some fashion rules.  The movement is a waist cincher, buckled, then wrapped (as seen above), over all your layers.  That's right.  No belt loops required.  Once you put on your blouse, your sweater, your pants/skirt... layer that belt right on top of it all.  All those layers can sometimes make your look bulky and the smallest part of your body (usually a person's waist) is lost.  Cinch it all in with a brightly colored belt and your look is instantly current.  You can even layer your belt over your coat, if you're feeling extra fashionably forward.

A little tip to those of you who aren't exactly sure where the correct placement of your belt should be... throw on a pain shift or A-line dress (something that falls straight from your underarms).  Try your belt on at the waist, then try it down on your hips.  Depending on your body type, you'll immediately see which placement is right for you.  I have a thicker waist and more narrow hips, so a belt is actually more flattering on my hips.  Most women's waist is the most narrow part of their body, so their belt should be worn just below the ribcage. 

Next time you're in the mirror and you feel like your garment is lacking something (it's usually shape), buckle and wrap a belt around that waist.  Nine times out of ten, it's exactly what you needed.




Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall Obsession: Ribbed Flare Pants


 
 
Let's get real here.  Comfort plays a role in everyday attire.  I'll attempt almost every fashion trend, at least once.  The chances that I'll wear it again depend on three important factors: (1) How many compliments I get, (2) If it was conducive to my lifestyle and (3) If it's comfortable enough to wear all day.  My ribbed flare pants (which are totally on point for Fall) exceeded all of those factors.  So you'll probably see me wearing them A LOT.
 
I saw these pants all through my fashion magazines last spring.  I remember thinking, "I need a pair of those", but I could only find them for well over $200, and that's not fashion on a budget.  I will spend that on a timeless piece that I know I'll wear for years, but on a trend that I'm not totally committed to... Nah.  Well, low and behold, as I'm shopping at the Mall for a Client, I come across these pants (pictured).  Shut up! There they are.  For how much?  Yup, that's right.  Forever 21 had them for under $30.  Now that's fashion on a budget.
 

 
They fit perfectly, and depending on where I wear them on my hips, they can be paired with casual canvas sneakers or dressed up with a pair of wedges.  I LOVE them.  The comfort level was a 10, but the compliments were a 12.  When I can't walk down the street without being stopped constantly to receive a compliment or be asked where I got them, you know you hit the fashion jackpot.
 
One day I wore them with black wedges and black chunky sweater.  The next day I wore them with my favorite Nike sneakers and a graphic t-shirt.  Pictured here, a white t-shirt, canvas sneakers and a sheer cardigan was all I needed.  There are some rules to wearing this kind of pant style.  Make sure that your hem line skims the ground.  Too long and you'll not only trip over them, but you'll step all over the hem and ruin them in one wear.  The hips and waist of these pants fit a lot like leggings, so treat them like leggings.  Cover your butt, with a looser and longer fit top.
 
 
I predict I'll be wearing these pants for all seasons, although taking a break in the super slushy months, to avoid wet ankles.  If you live in a colder winter climate, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  They're officially my favorite pants and I have invested in a black pair as well.  Fall just got a little more comfortable with my new obsession: ribbed flare pants.
 
Pants & necklaces: Forever 21
Canvas sneakers: Target
T-Shirt: H&M
Sheer cardigan: Urban Outfitters



Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Universally Flattering Jumpsuit


Jumpsuits, although totally on trend, can sometimes be difficult to wear.  I know, all you shorties have the same defense, "Of course it looks good on you.  You're tall.  I can't wear that because I'm short."  Lame.  Lame excuse for not trying a jumpsuit.  Lame excuse for not trying anything!  Jumpsuits can look just as good on me as on any body type.  You just need to find a style that compliments your body type.  What's that?  I have done the work for you?  Say thank you and keep on reading...

You actually may have seen this style jumpsuit on me before.

Like HERE:
 
Or how about THIS ONE:
 
Before, I thought I had to go to Miami, FL to get this amazingly flattering jumpsuit.  Now, I found it on one of my favorite sites T Marie's Online Boutique.  They have an incredible selection of apparel, accessories and gifts at prices that won't break the bank.  Now I don't have to travel to Miami to get anything but a sweet tan and eye candy.
 
There's a few reasons why this style jumpsuit looks so good on everyone.  First, the wide leg pant style is roomie enough to conceal even the widest hips.  The waist has a drawstring, which allows you to adjust the length of the inseam and also, cinch your waist at the smallest part that's right for you.  I have long legs and a thicker waist, so cinching at my hips works perfect.  If you have a small waist and shorter legs, cinch just below your rib cage to elongate the appearance of those legs.  Lastly, the shoulder straps are also adjustable.  Have a short waist?  No problem.  Just adjust the straps a bit tighter.  A long torso?  Let the shoulder straps out a little.  The material feels almost like silk (but isn't, so it doesn't wrinkle).  It's the ultimate packable piece for any occasion.
 
You can wear a jumpsuit.  You should wear a jumpsuit. If we know anything about the 70's, they won't be around forever.  Don't break the bank on this trendy item.  Order one from T Marie's Online Boutique.  This universally flattering style will work on any body type... including you! 
 
 
A message from T Marie's Online Boutique:


We offer an interest and penalty free Buyers Layaway program to our customers that are on a budget. With our Online Boutiques In Store Concierge customers are able to chat live with an in store sales woman in regards to any questions in size, fit, material, shipping, layaway, payment, or inventory etc. Every Friday we have our Retail Therapy Fridays where we have featured merchandise on sale for 40%-50% off, new featured items are posted every Friday and the deals last all week long. You can learn more about our amazing features at our website.