Monday, September 28, 2015

Everyday Fashion on a Budget

Last week I did a photo shoot... Immediately after the shoot, I took my hair down, changed into something that I wear almost EVERYDAY and said, "this is something the people need to see".  What I really wear when it's time to pick the kids up from school, quickly run them home for snack and an outfit change before running to football practice.  This is REAL everyday fashion on a budget.

Every piece I feature on my blog, I wear.  Don't get me wrong.  I wouldn't endorse anything that I didn't believe in.  That was my #1 blog goal, to never sell out.  But I really do have a sort of "uniform" that I stick to.  T-Shirt, skinny jeans and sneakers.  In the summer, the skinny jeans are substituted for denim cut-offs and in the winter, the sneakers are swapped out for boots.  It's the perfect blend of comfortable and functional, while still looking like I know what I'm doing.

A few tips for my everyday look.  If you're pairing your skinnies with anything but boots, roll the hem a little to keep your look updated.  Also, a quick front tuck (tuck your hand just in the front of your pants in one spot, middle or to the side a little) will help to keep you looking current.  I call this fashion trend, the Tuck & Roll (which was featured as one of my first posts in 2014).  A soft cardigan is a casual way to stay warm, but you can also wear a blazer or light jacket for a more structured look.

My sneakers are from Target, my skinny white jeggings are Express, my t-shirt that says "MIND YOUR BUSINESS. THANK YOU" (which I love) is from Forever 21 and my cardigan is from H&M.  This is the ultimate everyday fashion on a budget, and you'd never know that I didn't break the bank of any of these pieces.  If you're interested in being featured on my Blog, send me a picture, a quick listing of where the pieces are from and your contact information.  I'd love to show your everyday fashion on a budget look!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Boutique of Molly

I LOVE rompers.  This is no secret if you read my blog.  There's something so fun and current about them.  I was looking for a romper for an evening event and immediately went to visit one of my favorite online boutiques, Boutique of Molly.  They always have an amazing selection of rompers (they're a UK based company, so they call them playsuits), dresses and everyday apparel.  I was just about to buy a cocktail dress, when what do I see?  A black, backless semi formal romper!

It was perfect, and I knew that Boutique of Molly would have it to me in a few days.  Their quality and fit are always on point, so I quickly ordered it with confidence.  Not only was the backless romper adorable and sexy, but it was really comfortable too.  I did the dishes, rode a bike and played with my little boy for a little while wearing it... all while anxiously awaiting my ride.  The romper was an absolute hit and I got more compliments than I can count.  I always do when wearing any piece from Boutique of Molly.

I help represent Boutique of Molly, so of course I get a discount on all apparel.  And this week, they have allowed me to extend my discount to all my followers!   E-mail me at to get this exclusive offer.  Below are a couple pieces that I'm totally crushing on for Fall from Boutique of Molly.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Sharp Dressed Man

Okay, he's technically not a man just yet, but when you stand face to face with Connor, you'd never know it.  His deep voice, his six foot frame, his quick wit... It's hard to believe he hasn't even graduated high school yet.  I'm pretty impressed, he's totally dialed in on a lot of things most adults haven't even figured out. 
Connor has realized that hard work earns you money, which gives your independence.  Something every 17 year old is dying for.  He learned that a lack of hard work at school has a direct effect on getting into certain colleges.  And he's learned that being a sharp dressed man gets you respect. 
When Connor first started at Deering High School, he was focused on wearing shorts year round, hoodies and camo Crocs.  I would cringe every morning as he walked out the door, saying, "people are going to think we don't care about you"!  It took a few years, but now when Connor walks out the door in his slim fit button down oxford, chinos and boat shoes, I can't help but be a proud Step-Mama Bear.  My little cub figured it out.
Once Connor finds a style he likes, I buy a TON of it in different colors and patterns.  Luckily, Connor looks great in Old Navy oxfords and chinos, so we didn't have to break the bank.  And, I bought him extra pieces, knowing half of them would go missing by mid-year.  Boys will be boys.

Now, Connor can walk into any situation, knowing he looks as incredible on the outside, as he is on the inside.  Putting your best foot forward and looking your best will make you feel like you can accomplish anything.  Be a sharp dressed man.  Get the respect you deserve.  And for goodness sakes, do it on a budget.
*Photo Credit: Kimberly Paulin Howard

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Juicy Couture + My Blog

It's hard to believe that Juicy Couture, the once glamorous LA-brand created in 1997, would find itself exclusively at Kohls department store in 2014.  I remember Juicy Couture tracksuits being everything in the late 90's.  It took me almost ten years to be able to afford a Juicy suit and finally when I could, I realized they were not made for anyone over 5'8".  Over the years, I've scooped up a couple zip down velour hoodies and accepted defeat... That I'd never be able to wear Juicy Couture head to toe.

Flash forward to 2015 and here I am.  In Juicy pants, top and backpack all for around $150 (some pieces were on sale).  I'm all about featuring high end designers at department store prices.  It gives the rest of the world the ability to rock a style they normally couldn't.  Kohls actually carries several designer lines that are featured specially for the average consumer.  Vera Wang, Lauren Conrad, Rock & Republic... just to name a few. 

The Juicy Couture leggings I'm wearing have a silver waistband and logo, which elevates it from your everyday black skinnies.  The brightly colored pineapple top has a terry feel with sheer fishnet embellishments.  The backpack is straight fly.  I'm a huge fan of being hands free, but a lot of times, backpacks can make you look a bit frumpy.  This pink, sequined bag is fun, fashionable and can be carried year round.  I love that.

I believe that Juicy Couture is on to something.  Being more affordable and accessible makes your brand more popular.  Some people may believe that Juicy "sold out", but if I've learned anything in the fashion industry... Putting yourself out there and taking down preconceived notions opens doors to unlimited possibilities.  My blog and Juicy have the same idea.  Brilliant! 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Look For Less: Workwear Essentials

Please welcome Guest Writer, Peter Minkoff, Editor of High Style Life.  In this post, Peter has laid out the perfect recipe for work wear essentials on a budget.  Enjoy!
Workwear should be a mean for success, and not a goal by itself.  Spending all your salary on it, seems pointless.  Still, there is no reason not to look stylish in the office and simply blend into a dull crowd.  The clothes you are wearing at work send different messages about you.  In fact,  a number of surveys done with managers shown that employee’s choice of work-outfit has significant influence on possible promotion and salary increase.  That still doesn’t mean you have to wear a suit to the office.  Balancing fashion and work related clothing, while keeping your expenses under control, is a special kind of art. We would like to teach you how to become a master in it.

Investing in Timelessness

You know that one piece you are wearing year after year, and it never seems to get old? Well, you need several similarly classical items in neutral colors that go well with just about anything. That kind of clothes is worth the investment, so don’t be afraid to spend a few extra bucks. In the end, it is made to last and survive different fashion trends. Essential workwear colors are black, white, beige and brown. Having one timeless piece in every one of those colors will save you a lot of trouble when combining it with different clothes. Now that we’ve covered the “whys” let’s see the “whats”. Your worth-of-spending-the-money pieces are: trousers, pencil skirts, blazers, basic shirts, jackets, statement accessories such as earrings, leather bags and flats.
Adding a Twist

One easy and affordable way to add a twist to your workwear is by accessorizing. Depending on how formal your office is, you can always opt for colorful conspicuous jewelry to fight the monotony of office clothing. If there is no corporate fashion rules, why not opting for yellow shoes paired up with your classic black pencil skirt and a white buttoned-down shirt? When there is creativity allowed in your workplace, try to use it. Don’t go overboard, though. Some statement necklace, paired up with shirt and trousers will be enough. Accessories can elevate the otherwise monotonous outfit without making it inappropriate. You shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with scarves, belts, earrings, bracelets or bags. You can also add a twist by wearing patterned or bright colored clothing pieces.
Shopping Wisely
Save even more money by being smart while you do your shopping. The mentioned investment in classic pieces is one of the ways. You can even save more money by shopping out of season or in outlet stores for the clothes remaining in storage. As your pieces of choice are classical, there’s no way they are not fashionable this year the same as the last one. Don’t steer away from the consignment stores either, you can find great designer pieces at incredibly low prices. If they don’t fit perfectly, you can always visit a tailor. Hunting for coupons and discounts is one more road to go.
Menswear Section
Boys have it simple. They just need to put on a suit, and that’s it. Right? Wrong. A little fashion experimenting is recommendable for gentlemen to. Girls go mad for Mad Men, and their bosses are constantly giving them more money. If you want that for yourself, choose an inspiration and work on it. It doesn’t have to be Don Draper, Ginsberg’s creative outfits will work fine, depending on your work field. A good pair of custom jeans will take you a long way if you combine it with a nice and lightweight pullover or a shirt. Depending on if your office is somewhat relaxed when it comes to clothing, you can rock a leather jacket or opt for a work-appropriate jacket or a coat. Wide legs pants are always a good way to go, and let’s face it, no matter how modern are you, you should always have one or two nice (if possible custom made) suits. A wrist watch will show that you are a serious and ambitious man. Shop for clothes made to last, when it comes to fashion and endurance, and you’ll save more money in the long term.
Now, go! It’s time to conquer the office with your impeccable (and affordable) stylishness!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Loungewear, workout clothes, weekend attire.  Call it what you will, but it's officially my favorite type of clothing.  Of course you can't wear it for all occasions, so let's go over some instances that loungewear would be inappropriate... Cocktail hour, dinner out, holidays, special occasions, etc.  You get the picture.  Other than casual situations, please don't go out in your loungewear.

Now, let's go over the instances that I DO wear loungewear... Dropping the kids off at school, running errands, working out, lazy weekends, heck, I'd even wear my loungewear to a casual brunch with the girls.  If your loungewear is stylish, it really knocks down all those preconceived notions of "gym only" attire.  Because I wear loungewear almost daily, I have really invested in some key pieces to keeping my look fresh and not frumpy.

I first started with two track suits from Victoria's Secret.  They carry an incredible selection of loungewear and the quality is solid.  You'll definitely have your VS tracksuits for years.  I chose a slim jogger style pant, but you can choose from boyfriend (which is long and loose), they have every style yoga pant you could imagine (boot cut, flare, cropped, skinny, etc.) and they carry sizes all the way through XL (which fits more like a XXL, because they run a bit big).  Definitely check out Victoria's Secret's selection of loungewear.
Next up, I went to Old Navy to get my little guy some uniform pieces and of course, they were completely out of everything I needed for HIM.  SO, that means I had to use my coupon on something, right?  Well, to my surprise, Old Navy carries a new line of loungewear.  I was pretty pumped.  I got four bralettes in lace and bright colors and a few tanks with fun sayings on them.  They're a bit sheer and long, so with a bralette underneath and a quick front tuck into my VS pants, my look is almost complete.
Lastly, I throw on my high tops (from Target) and mirrored sunglasses (from Daily Dazzle Deals) and I honestly feel like I can accomplish anything.  I mean, maybe not a full workout, because I would break my ankle in those wedge high tops, and I'd definitely need more support with a sports bra, rather than a bralette, but Target, bills and brunch are under control.  Loungewear is my love and you will see me sporting it daily.  I highly suggest you find your perfect loungewear look and roll with it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Work Wear on a Budget

My professional attire usually consists of whatever is in high fashion at that moment, so I recognize that I had to bring in someone who knows more than most about work wear on a budget... my sister Danielle.  Ever since we were little, Danielle has always had a flare for fashion.  She truly is my inspiration for my blog.  A few years ago, I remember her saying, "my husband said I can buy anything I want, as long as it's from Target".  Bravo Damon.  He too recognizes that great fashion doesn't have to cost a fortune.

Danielle sent me this picture, with "Head to Toe Target and Payless" in the subject line.  I was like a proud Mama Bear.  I mean, she gets up at the crack of dawn every morning, gets her three small children ready for school and still has time to look this good for work.  Mad props, Danielle.  You are proof that women can do it all.  Although, I'm sure being tall, thin and stunningly beautiful helps.

Danielle did point out that her skirt is from her Stitch Fix subscription.  What is Stitch Fix you ask?  It's probably going to put me out of business, is what it is!  Every month, Danielle receives a box of hand selected clothing and accessories within her budget and preferences, straight to her door.  She can try pieces on in the comfort of her home, evaluate if the pieces will work with her current wardrobe and if she doesn't like anything, she sends it right back.  It's a pretty awesome solution for busy women who can't hire me as a personal shopper.

Danielle's work look is a total 'DO' for a few reasons.  First of all, she shopped on a budget, which means she saved money.  Smart.  Also, her aqua patent leather flats from Payless add a pop of color that lends her outfit an element of fun.  Her multi-layer pearl statement necklace dresses up the look by adding sophistication. 

You don't have to wear a suit to look professional.  And you don't have to spend a fortune on your work wardrobe.  Shop smart like Danielle and put multiple uses to your work pieces.  With brightly colored flats and a statement necklace, she made her look perfect for the office.  On the weekend, she can wear the exact same look in a more casual way by pairing it with some canvas kicks and a cardigan.  Work wear on a budget means more money for the things you love the most... like more clothes!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Floppy Hat

I'm in 'floppy hat' love.  I don't think I know one girl that hasn't woken up a little late and thought about how much faster her shower would be if she didn't have to wash her hair.  The struggle is real people!  I know I'm not alone when I wake up just a few minutes later than usual and know I'm either going to be late, or I'm wearing at hat.  Luckily, a floppy hat solves more than just a "late wake up hair" problem.  The front tilt of the brim even lends forgiveness to a not so perfect make up application, as well. 

Now don't get me wrong... The floppy hat's purpose is not to conceal, it's actually to enhance.  I believe that as soon as you put a hat on, it becomes the center of attention.  Women so rarely wear hats these days, that when you sport any type of hat that's out of your usual look, it's going to get attention. Be sure to draw positive attention with a hat that is flattering to your skin type and appropriate to your outfit's overall theme.
The tan suede hat I got from Heart and Sole in the North End of Boston was a total whim buy, but has proven to be a Fall staple.  If you like the floppy hat style and can't make it to Boston, I've seen them at Macys and Forever21.  It's an automatic outfit update and you'll be sure to get loads of compliments.  My booties and hat are from Heart and Sole, flare jeans are from Express, cold shoulder top is from Expressively Trends (Exchange Street Portland, ME).


Thursday, September 10, 2015

FALL TREND ALERT: Fringe & Distressed Denim

I'm totally crushing on two of the biggest trends for Fall: Fringe and distressed denim.  I've always loved fringe, and to see it on everything this season, is like a dream come true.  Fringe lends a bit of a boho feel, which is right up Fall's alley.  I've seen it on boots, bags, skirts, dresses, tops, even earrings and necklaces.  Basically, if you have fringe going on, you're on point for Fall.  I got my fringe top and bag from a site that has fringe on almost everything, Shop Priceless.

Distressed denim has been around for a while, but the destroyed look is almost a better description of this Fall's big trend.  Although skinny jeans are still totally in, a more relaxed and looser fitted style are all the rage this year.  The distressed jeans I'm wearing are also from Shop Priceless.  They're super stretchy, true to size and I can tell already, are going to be my uniform for Fall.  Distressed denim is super popular on boyfriend style jeans, but keep in mind to pair a more fitted top if you're going to go with a looser denim bottom. 

Want to try the fringe or distressed denim trend, but not sure where to start?  Fringed booties are everything right now.  I've seen them everywhere and you can get them in any style.  From cowgirl boots with a layer of fringe at the top to knee high boots with several layers of fringe!  It's all in and the trend won't be going anywhere for a while.  Also, you're guaranteed to look fashionable in a pair of distressed skinnies or flares.  Pair them with your fringe boots and you're set for Fall. 
I have to give a shout out to Shop Priceless for gifting me with a free pair of chandelier earrings to match my outfit I purchased.  I'm extremely impressed with the selection and quality of clothes and accessories on their site, as well as fast shipping.  The name eludes that it's cheap, but that only reflects the prices.  I got my entire outfit (and a pair of free earrings) for just over $50.  I highly suggest you check it out for all of Fall's hottest trends.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Blogger Interview Series

A few days ago, I was nominated by a fellow Blogger to participate in The Blogger Interview Series.  They'll be a short paragraph after the interview in regards to the picture above.* 

How did you get into blogging?
I have a Fashion Consulting business where I provide Clients with closet organization, personal shopping, fashion advice, etc.  My Clients wanted a personalized source of information that keeps them current on fashion trends.  My blog: Everyday Fashion on a Budget gained huge popularity, and now I'm a successful Fashion Blogger.

What advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?
There are millions of bloggers out there.  Set yourself apart by finding your niche.  Also, the more you put into your blog, the more you get out of it.  Participate in promotions, guest posts and apply for blogger programs.  The more you put yourself out there, the more you'll get noticed.

What would be your dream campaign?
I participate in a lot of fashion blogger programs.  The one company that I have yet to collaborate with, but I buy a lot from is H&M.  Their clothes and accessories are right in line with my blog's purpose.  Designer fashion at an affordable price.  Love H&M.

Do you have a plan for your blog?
Absolutely.  I want to continue to collaborate with clothing companies, and potentially expand into the beauty and lifestyle industry.  To become an International Fashion & Lifestyle Brand, would be my ultimate goal for my Blog.

What do you think about rankings?
When I first began blogging, I thought it would be easy to gain the numbers needed to collaborate with brands.  I quickly realized that it takes hard work, time and dedication to become successful (just like any other business).  I believe that rankings are a reflection of how hard you are willing to work and they are necessary to measure that hard work.

*The picture above is of my close friends, Maureen and I, from a Reggae Concert on the Maine State Pier in Portland, ME.  Although not planned, Maureen and I both showed up in a one piece, which is everything for summer and fall concerts.  Read my post titled Is Romper Season Over?

Monday, September 7, 2015

You NEED a Blazer

A blazer is one of the most versatile pieces you will own in your closet.  I always encourage my Clients to have at least one black blazer and then one brightly colored, printed or embellished blazer in their wardrobe.  My two blazers that I wear the most (I must own 4 or 5), are a black tuxedo style blazer and a cropped red one. 
For a while, blazers were strictly a men's suit piece, only worn outside the house.  As women became more recognized in the workforce, so did the acceptability of them wearing blazers.  Eventually, the blazer became a status symbol for the white collar working class.  These days, a blazer can be worn in any stylish situation and lends a bit of sophistication to an outfit, on men and women alike.
A few guidelines for blazers... Fit is extremely important.  Make sure your blazer fits well in the shoulders.  If you're blazer fits in the shoulders, the waist and arm length an easily be altered.  Traditionally speaking, a blazer's hem should fall at your hips, but with new lengths emerging all the time, be sure your blazer hits a contrasting line to your shirt underneath.  A tucked in oxford looks great with a blazer that falls to your hips, a looser and longer top looks great peaking out under a cropped style blazer.
Next time you go to grab a light jacket, sweater or hoodie, consider dressing up your look with a structured blazer.  They truly do lend an element of sophistication to any outfit.  Over a dress, blouse, jeans, you name it.  A blazer is always a great and versatile piece.  I'm absolutely crushing on this gold studded blazer from Boutique of Molly

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Embellished T-Shirt

I LOVE wearing t-shirts.  They're comfortable, they're practical and gone are the days of them being just for casual situations.  They're actually a lot like sneakers.  Once believed to be for running, sneakers have taken a fashionable role in everyday apparel.  Read my blog post Fashion Kicks to see how sneakers aren't just for running anymore.

Although t-shirts are normally thought of as casual attire, there are ways to dress up even the most basic of tops.  The top that I wear more than any other is a plain white t-shirt.  I have to constantly buy new ones because I wear them so much.  They really go with anything, but unless I'm going for a very casual look, a plain white t-shirt is quite boring. 

Last Friday at 10am, my husband sprung on me that we were headed to Boston for the weekend.  He said we were leaving at 11am and to have the bags packed (if you think this is insane, please read my blog Spontaneous Attire).  I had no idea what the weekend was going to entail, so I really needed to be dressed for anything.  I threw on this adorable embellished white t-shirt from H&M with a pair of striped sailor shorts and flip flops (packed my heels for dinner) and knew I could take on anything Boston had to throw at me. 
Normally, if I was wearing one of my plain white t-shirts, I'd be comfortable in the car, going to Lego Land, walking through Boston Commons, but would insist I needed to change for cocktails and dinner.  Because I had on my embellished t-shirt with sequins, all I had to do was throw on my heels and go out for the night.  It's amazing what a little bit of embellishment will do.