Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Nooo... when I title my blog "Stretch", I'm not referring to my nickname (although it would be appropriate considering my height).  I'm referring to the most considered factor when I'm purchasing clothing.  That's right, stretch.  When I'm shopping, I start with my eyes.  I look around to see what I like and then instantly touch the material for softness and stretch.  If there isn't a small percentage of a stretchy material (like spandex)... I'm out. 

I will make a small exception for formal wear, but I'm seriously uncomfortable all night.  A little stretch in anything will make it so much more comfortable.  All of our bodies are different.  I have an extremely short waist, which makes for a thick waist.  My hips are the width of a teenagers and my limbs are so disproportionately long, that almost nothing fits, unless it has that element of stretch.  Nothing ever comes off the rack, made to fit my body.  I'm sure you feel my pain, at times.

When a piece of clothing has some stretch to it, you can usually buy a size up or down to accommodate the parts of your body that are disproportionate.  I'll buy a size up in long sleeve shirts (as long as it has stretch), because they'll usually go a 1/4 inch longer on the sleeves and the stretchy material will be more fitting.  Same thing with pants.  I have no waist, so there's nothing more uncomfortable than putting on a pair of pants with no stretch and them pinching my stomach and love handles.  With a little stretch in pants, I go a size up and get the extra length and no pinching.  If you're short, go a size down (this is general advice... I always suggest trying things on).

I focus my blog and my life on everyday fashion that is accessible and affordable to everyone.  Stretch is something you'll want everyday and is accessible in every price range.  You must check out (which is where I got the stunning teal dress pictured above), for tons of affordable options with lots of stretch!  Buy clothing with stretch.  When you sit down you'll be happy you did.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Backless Dress 2

Love your back?  This Backless Dress is stunning.  Check out my blog post about the importance of showing off your back side here. Can you believe you can get it for under $20?   

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Shopping Tip #5: Consign

I don't want to dis-encourage anyone from donating their clothes and other goods to a worthy cause, like Goodwill and Salvation Army.  Actually, I probably donate the most fashionable stuff they get all year.  BUT, when I have designer anything, I consign.  You spend top dollar for designer fashions, might as well get some of that money back. 

When I say some of your money, I mean SOME.  You're NOT going to get what you spent on it.  As soon as you take the tags off a garment and wear it, it losses about 50% of it's value.  Then, you pay 50% or more to the retailer for selling it for you, so you really walk away with a fraction of what you spent.  BUT in the grand scheme of things, getting money for something you no longer have use for is pretty awesome. 

My absolute favorite local consignment shop is What The Frock on Washington Avenue in Portland, ME.  They specialize in designer dress consignment and I can't stay away.  I walk in and hand off a few pieces I haven't worn in years, in exchange for racks of gorgeous dresses you can't find anywhere else.  The best part is that if I find something that I can't live without and it's a size or two off, they have an in-house seamstress that works magic.  If you aren't local, check out to consign online.

*The dress pictured above is from What The Frock, the boots are Franco Sarto and the thigh highs from DSW and the hat is from Forever 21.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Tassels & Distressed Denim

This summer, tassels and distressed denim are everything.  Want to get the look for less?  How about under $30?  Check out this adorable Tassel Top and Distressed Denim Shorts available at

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cold Shoulder

A trend that I'm totally loving for Spring and Summer is the "cold shoulder".  It's a fun and flirty way to show skin, without revealing too much.  When I'm shopping with a Client, I always ask what parts of their bodies they like and what they want to hide.  In 10 years of shopping, I have yet to hear one person say they hate their shoulders.  Arms, yes, but shoulders, not one.  They are such a sexy and forgotten body part.

The cold shoulder trend can be worn in many different ways.  The dress (pictured above) has slits that reveal my shoulders and the tops of my arms.  Not ready to show off your upper arms yet?  No worries.  I've also seen tops with just a couple of inches showing the tips of the shoulder.  I've also seen a more romantic take on a cold shoulder by having a neckline, but then the sleeves fall to she sides, revealing the shoulders but still covering the arms. 

This trend of came in style about 5 years ago, and I love that it's back in full force.  I love the cold shoulder on a dress, but I'm also obsessing over the sheer romantic tops that have the look too.  I like to pair an off-shoulder floral sheer top with a pair of mid-rise flare jeans (also back in style and for another blog).  Try the cold should look and you'll instantly feel sexy without feeling too revealing.

*Dress is Bar III from Macy's, silver wedge sneakers from Target and blue aviators are from

Monday, April 13, 2015

Busy Moms Style

I was lucky enough to have a Guest Blogger write for me this week.  A big thanks to Katie for reminding us that busy Moms can do it all and look good while doing it!  Also, be sure to check out her amazing line of Chloe + Isabel.


I am a merchandiser with a jewelry company that has found a reputable spot in the fashion world. The results is that I know about things like the Pantone fashion colors for Spring 2015. I had never heard the word Pantone before working for Chloe + Isabel. I have a love for fashion, but the extent was magazines and shopping my own style. I'm a unique person (as we all are) and I embraced coming up with my own style from an early age. I needed a blue, crushed velvet beret for my eleventh birthday. At fourteen I was obsessed with Audrey Hepburn and wore gigantic, round black movie star glasses and a scarf to school. A classmate asked me if I was dressing up as an aviator. I wore Doc Martens when they were trendy, but I was never scared to rock my style the way I was feeling it. My style was the outward appearance of the kid who loved old movies, classic books (ok, ANY book), went to musical theater camp, and was a transplant from West Hartford, CT to a small, Maine town.

Fast forward 20 years. I am a divorced mama to two sweet cherubs, Liam is almost 5 and Nora is almost 3. I work full-time as a teacher and along with working as a Chloe + Isabel merchandiser, I have just started up a wellness coaching business. Busy Mom may as well be my middle name. Or just my name. Nothing strips away your sense of self like becoming a Mom. I love my children with the kind of love that has no poetry. I've wanted to be a Mom since I breastfed my Cabbage Patch dolls. I was a nanny and an elementary teacher; but anytime you clump a group of people under a one-word umbrella they become a generalization.


Mom. You see a tired woman with kids hanging off her and cereal stuck to her shirt. Her clothes are probably yoga pants and a long tee shirt. Actually, what does it matter? Her style is nondescript, because we assume she doesn't have time for style. Whether Mom is working out of the home or trying to get the kids to a playgroup within an hour of the suggested start time, Mom doesn't have the luxury of seconds it takes to put on a pair of earrings.


But what if you did take those seconds to throw on some easy jewelry? What if you had a few staple pieces that were easily accessible and you knew it would work with pretty much anything you wore? You will accomplish so many things during the day, even if it's merely keeping your children fed, but imagine if you had that “pulled together” feeling while you were doing it. Maybe you're walking through Target with your kids hanging off of the cart and someone catches that sparkle around your neck and thinks, “Wow, she's one of those Moms that has her sh*t together. She wears jewelry.” And you can relish in the fact that it literally took you 45 seconds.


And let me tell you, as a mom who works out of the home, when I pick my kids up from preschool and the little girls see my sparkly jewelry...coolest mom e.v.e.r.


There are quite a few reasons that Chloe + Isabel is the jewelry company a busy mom should shop with. Affordable, nickel-free, lead-free, hypoallergenic. There is truly something for everyone; the whole reason for the company name is that there is jewelry crafted for the “Chloe” and the “Isabel.” Chloe is the trendsetter who takes fashion risks and Isabel has a classic and refined style. Mix and match between the styles if you are like me and love it all!


The best part about the jewelry, though, is that it has a LIFETIME GUARANTEE. Talk about jewelry made for a busy mom! I have, in fact, had to replace a pair of earrings that my 2 year old daughter found within reach and (obviously) decided to bash them into the coffee table until a stone fell out. The jewelry is quality, but not much can withstand the wrath of a 2 year old. Thank goodness for the lifetime guarantee and a customer care team that provides the fastest and most pleasant experience I've ever had.


What does a busy mom wear for jewelry? I think it depends on a couple of factors: how old your children are and your personal style. I will recommend some staples, but if you think you would hate to wear a long pendant or a sparkly collar necklace by all means, go for the sterling silver pendant. When you visit my e-boutique (insert link to you'll see four “collections” at the bottom of my boutique page. I can personalize these collections so that when you click on one the jewelry I've chosen for that collection pops up on that same page. I've made things easy for you and made a “Busy Moms Style” collection.


If you have toddlers you may choose to wear studs instead of tempting their grabbing fingers with some of the dangly earrings. I, personally, had a hard time wearing chunky or sharp-edged bracelets when I was nursing, because of how I held the baby. Once you're past the toddler age I'd say you're in the clear for just about any jewelry that catches your fancy.


Here are my recommendations for investing in a small, accessible collection that will make this style thing easy for you.


-crystal headband

            When a shower is not going to be a reality, throw your hair in a bun and add a studded or sparkly headband.


-small statement necklace

            It's not too heavy or dramatic, just enough to make it look like you added some effort.


-matching studs

            When I wear any sort of statement necklace, large or small, I tend to go for a stud earring as opposed to a large earring.


-1 pair of drop or chandelier earrings

            If you're skipping a necklace, or wearing a delicate pendant, you may choose a flashier earring.


-simple pendant necklace

            Goes with just about everything. Quick, easy, and adds a little something without calling attention to the fact that you are wearing the same shirt you slept in.


-leather wrap bracelets

Easy to put on, goes with just about everything, and looks so casually cool. If you ever watched Californication they all wore leather wrap bracelets.


When you have a date night, a party, or a wedding to attend, see me to style you with a little more sparkle. Moms who work outside of the home can easily wear any of these options with work clothes as well. I also have a collection of work style ideas on my e-boutique.

Chloe + Isabel's slogan is: Be confident. Be creative. Be you.

Find who you are as this new creature called Mom and boldly, confidently share her with the world.

*Photo Credit: Wylde Photography


Thursday, April 9, 2015

15% OFF Gift to My Followers

One of my favorite online shops is letting me extend my blogger discount to my followers.  For looks like the one above, type COLLAGEGIFT as the promotional code for 15% your entire order. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015


I'm on vacation with my family in Miami, Florida.  Something I love almost as much as Miami are ruffles.  The black racer back lace dress* is adorable on it's own, but with the two layers of chiffon ruffles at the bottom, it's a show stopper.  I spent the entire evening walking around with a little extra swing in my step, because of the movement of the ruffles.

Ruffles can add to any outfit.  I'm a bit small chested, so I absolutely love bikini tops with ruffles.  They add a bit of illusion that my barely B's might be teetering on a C.  Ruffles around your hips can also add some curves to a more boyish figure and strangely, they can also hide large hips too.  My favorite ruffle is one around the waist (called a peplum).  It hides any belly paunch and adds a feminine dimension to any look.

To avoid looking like a little girl when wearing ruffles, keep them to one focused area on the body.  Ruffles head to toe can look ridiculous.  Also, keep your accessories edgy and sophisticated.  Pairing ruffles with cute flats and pearls can make you look like you're trying to look 5 years old.

*The black racer back lace dress is from HAVANAIAS on Lincoln Road in Miami.  The shoes are from Famous Footwear.