Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New at StyleWe

Done Holiday shopping for everyone else?  Feeling a little flat from all the hustle and bustle?  You need a new amazing wardrobe piece that no one else has, but everyone wants.  StyleWe is committed to providing shoppers with original, high quality and exclusive fashion that you won't find anywhere else.  The site gives customers the ability to communicate with designers directly, to offer a more customized shopping experience.  

"We believe the fashion trend should not be controlled by the few, but rather be guided by the collective actions of every designer and fashion customer.  At StyleWe, our goal is to empower designers so that they no longer feel hidden behind the brand, but are able to proactively communicate directly with their customers throughout the entire fashion life cycle.  We believe fashion should be personal and diversified.  Fashion designers should not cater exclusively to the rich and famous.  We have dedicated ourselves to enabling talented fashion designers to build their own brands and achieve their dream.  Together with our designers, we will deliver high quality designer fashions to everyone."                                                                                                       

Now you know the story behind StyleWe, but did you know they have the best collections of everything you want?  From two-piece dresses, bag and accessories, the ever-famous faux leather leggings, coats, athletic wear, your most-needed StyleWe kimonos and so much more.  Here are a few StyleWe pieces that I can't live without this year:

Yoga Pants & Wrap Athletic Top

Flirty Cocktail Dress

Kimono for Vacation

Faux Leather Leggings

Down Coat

Leather Backpack

Sporty Suit

Interested in learning more about StyleWe and their featured designers?  Check out their YouTube page HERE.  After all Holiday insanity, don't forget to treat yourself this year in the season's hottest trends from StyleWe. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Let the Holiday Parties Begin!

I LOVE this time of year.  There's a smell in the air.  A feeling, if you will.  People are a little kinder.  Children are a little sweeter.  And there's a Holiday party around every corner.  I LOVE Holiday parties.  Love, love love, everything about them.  The excitement of seeing your friends or family, getting dressed up, the food, the cocktails.  Bring it on!

Of course all these parties do have their drawbacks.  Like running the risk of over indulging, finding a babysitter night after night and probably the most challenging, which is looking fabulous for each event.  The first year I attended multiple Holiday parties, I thought one holiday look was sufficient.  Oh was I wrong.  I thought I was being smart and no one would notice.  Well, people not only noticed, they commented.  Jerks!

Luckily, you live and you learn.  I'm not suggesting you buy a different outfit for each and every party.  We're not Billionaires here and the Holidays are probably one of the most difficult times of the year to buy yourself anything.  Instead I'm going to suggest some budget-friendly ways to stretch your Holiday party wardrobe dollars.  From experience, here's what I've learned over the years:
  • I wore this (pictured above) same look last year, to a dinner party.  To draw attention away from the pieces that I'm re-wearing (i.e. statement necklace and sequin skirt), I swapped a faux leather top for a red blouse I already had in my closet.  Boom!  No one noticed.
  • Burlington Coat Factory carries cocktail dresses for next to nothing.  You'd never guess.  I've scored floor-length gowns to fashion forward holiday dresses for under $30.  They also carry a large selection of very affordable shoes.  
  • Change up a cocktail dress you've already worn with different accessories.  Over-the-knee boots are all the rage right now.  Instead of wearing tights and heels, consider a pair of boots that are even warmer and functional.  A statement necklace or earrings will draw attention away from the dress and make your look completely different.
  • Buy and sell consignment.  That dress with the feathers was all the rage a few years ago, but now would stand out like a sore thumb... Sell it.  And if you purchase from the store that you sold at, they'll most likely give you more money in trade than cash.  One woman's old dress is another's treasure.  
  • Lastly, consider trading/borrowing.  I have a ridiculous number of dresses and all my girlfriends know it.  I'm usually the first one they call when they can't find what they're looking for.  If you have a friend or family member that wears a similar size, ask if you can paw through their closet.  Just a piece of advice: Dry Clean whatever you borrow.  If you damage it, buy them a new one.  Mistreated or stolen clothing is an immediate unfriending, in my opinion.

Okay, so you have three Holiday parties this week.  No worries.  You got this.  No one will notice you're wearing your black work trousers, because you popped into H&M and scored a silky red blouse for under $20.  Next party, you look amazing in that second-hand dress you got at the consignment store that you didn't pay a thing for, because you traded an old one for it.  Luckily, the last party has a different crowd than the first two, so all you needed to do is swap out those heels for some boots and layer a bold statement necklace... That second-hand dress steals the show.

No need to stress.  Let the Holiday parties begin!  If all of this is still overwhelming, call me.  I can transform your look into an affordable and head turning night.

My Holiday looks consists of:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Holiday Shopping Special

The holidays are are a wonderful time of year.  Filled with family, friends, traditions... and stress.  The pressure of buying the perfect gift and looking amazing for all those holiday parties can build up and take the fun out of the true meaning of the celebration.  I can help.

My name is Chelsea K. Ray and I'm a Fashion Consultant.  I specialize in Personal Shopping and Wardrobe Organization.  With a Degree in Fashion from USC and over ten years experience helping Clients, family and friends with their shopping and styling needs, I can help.  There are a few variations of Personal Shopping services I offer, along with a holiday special that you may not know even know existed.

Wracking your brain, thinking of the perfect gift for that special someone?  Consider giving (or asking for) the gift of Personal Shopping and Wardrobe Organization to a friend or family member this Holiday Season.  The first hour is always FREE and Gift Certificates can be sent to you or directly to the person receiving.

Personal Shopping Services*:

*All Personal Shopping services begin with a FREE Client Consultation to determine Client's needs, budget and goals.  The Client can decide whether they would like to purge items at that time, or schedule another time to organize wardrobe.

Option 1:  Client hires Personal Shopper to assist in shopping.  Sticking to budget and previously discussed goals, Personal Shopper will help Client achieve a more fashionable wardrobe, while teaching techniques in efficient shopping and methods to flatter Client's body-type.
*This option requires Client to be present in the shopping process.  Client will need to try clothing on in store.

Option 2:  Client hires Personal Shopper to purchase pieces for them.  Sticking to budget and previously discussed goals, Personal Shopper will select pieces and present them to Client in the comfort of home or office.  Client purchases pieces they want to keep and Personal Shopper returns any pieces the Client does not want or does not fit.

Special Occasion Shopping:  Client hires Personal Shopper to purchase a full look for a special occasion.  The Client can decide whether they would like to use option 1 or option 2 for this process. 

Holiday Personal Shopping Special:  Client hires Personal Shopper to purchase gifts for them.   Sticking to budget and items listed, Personal Shopper will select gifts and present them to Client in the comfort of home or office.  This process saves Client time, frustration of lines, parking and stress.  Personal Shopper will also beautifully wrap presents, upon request.

If you're interested in hiring a Personal Shopper, please give me a call or e-mail.  In the meantime, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for weekly fashion Blog posts that specialize in affordable and accessible fashion.

Chelsea K. Ray
Fashion Consultant & Blogger

Business Hours:
Monday-Friday  8am-5pm

Follow me on Social Media:

-A special thanks to my stunning Model and friend, Zephila McDonough.

Friday, November 11, 2016


The topic of bodysuits is very personal to me.  Growing up, I was insecure about my height and weight.  See, in sixth grade I was six feet tall.  In the process of growing a foot in six months, I never gained a pound.  I had no hips, no boobs and if pants fit my waist, they were way too short.  I like to call it my "awkward years" and the result was a young girl who became very self-conscious.  Sad story.  I know.  It gets better, I promise.

Half way through sixth grade, my mom could tell I was struggling with my appearance and took me shopping.  She took me to my favorite store, KMart (I still love KMart, by the way).  Ironically, what was in style then, is almost parallel to what's in now.  Bodysuits were all the rage and I discovered that boy's pants come in different inseams (what?!).  It was my uniform.  Boys colored jeans, super tight bodysuits, a pair of chucks and a choker... and my first fashion compliment.  Not only was it my first fashion compliment, but it was from a boy.  A boy I liked.

I want to thank that boy for that moment that changed my life.  It may sound dramatic, but at that moment in sixth grade... I realized the purpose of fashion.  When you look good, you feel good and dressing your body to compliment what your mama gave you is what it's all about.  Knowledge is power and fashion works exactly that way.  Luckily for me, the boys eventually caught up with my height and I finally got some boobies and hips.  It took a few years, but my awkward body balanced out and my love for fashion grew.

Back to the topic at hand, bodysuits.  They're totally back in style from the 90's and you'd think I'd be sporting them daily.  Ironically, I only own one because my body now is completely different from my sixth grade body.  See bodysuits are designed for girls with exact opposite body type as mine.  I'm an apple.  Thin arms, thin legs and a thick waist.  Not exactly a flattering garment with a fitted bodice and predetermined length.  A bodysuit should be paired with a bottom that is either high-waisted or loose-fitting for balance.  I did find one bodysuit that fits perfectly once matched with a fit and flare faux leather skirt.

If you do have a slim waist and a normal length torso, bodysuits are great for you.  If you have large breasts, a long torso or a fuller waist, I highly suggest to avoid this trend.  I will give bodysuits credit that they were the start of my love for fashion, but as I get older, knowing what works and what doesn't, you probably won't see me in many.  The snappy crotch, the breast flattening aspect... I'm good.  The bodysuit has a much more powerful meaning to me, than fashionable purpose.

My bodysuit is from Target.  
The skirt is from TJMaxx.  
The boots are Aldo 
The black choker is Forever21.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Ryka Boots

Prime example of what I've been telling y'all for years... "Read fashion magazines for inspiration, (beyond my fabulous blog)".  I subscribe to three major fashion magazines (InStyle, People- Style Watch and Glamour).  None of which are known for high-end brands and all are known for featuring high-end... for less.  As much as I love Chanel, it's just not in my budget to bathe myself in it.  So in the meantime, I look for practical and unique pieces that I can actually afford.  

I wish I could take the credit, but Style Watch featured these Ryka: Microfiber and rubber boots in their November 2016 Issue (pictured above).  I instantly fell in love and ordered them in navy.  I knew they were going to be comfortable, but these boots are beyond.  The sole of them is made of a light rubber material, sort of like Crocs.  The microfiber top part is waterproof and you can lace them up to keep snow and rain out.  At $70 ($60 if you sign up to receive their e-mails), these boots are an amazing deal and incredible quality.

A few things to keep in mind when ordering these Ryka boots: They come with a second color of laces, so you can change the look of them depending on your outfit.  They run true to size, or maybe a half size big, but in the winter that just means you can layer an extra pair of socks under them for an extra cozy look.  They're super light and a cross-over from a sneaker to a boot, so expect to run, jump and take the stairs in them.  I'm completely in love and I've already fair-warned my husband that I'm ordering another pair in black.  A girl has to have options.

Winter is fast approaching.  Make sure you're ready with some fashion meets function Ryka boots.  Click HERE to shop all the amazing colors and sizes Ryka offers.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Shop Toko Indo

Although staying in line with "what's on trend" is something I find important in my line of work, wearing fashion that is different from what everyone else is wearing is equally important.  I'm always on the search for pieces you won't find anywhere else, and they have to be affordable.  What trumps (excuse the ironically political pun) all fashion rules, is comfort.  I refuse to wear something that pinches, bunches, squeezes, rolls, etc.  Life is too short to be uncomfortable and your clothing's lifespan is too short to pay a lot.

I love shopping locally.  My husband and I own a local business and we are big advocates of supporting Portland, Maine's economy.  Before I hit the Mall looking for fashion, I always sweep the local boutiques.  Toko Indo is a boutique on Exchange Street that has an incredible selection of hand crafted jewelry, accessories and gifts.  But what I'm in love with, is their line of clothing.  The pieces remind me of Free People.  A very boho vibe, trendy and the best part is, it's super affordable.  No need to go to the Mall and overspend.  Toko Indos got it, plus it's a local business and a portion of their proceeds benefit charities in the area.

Don't live in Portland, Maine?  Toko Indo has six locations all down the East coast.  Each location has different pieces specific to their region.  I always like to pop in when I'm looking for a unique gift idea for a friend.  Their selection of beaded and silver jewelry has something everyone will like.  Looking for a cozy winter hat and scarf?  I'm loving their knitted accessories.  Especially the beanies with a big flower or pom pom.  My favorite clothing items at Toko Indo usually have a hippy vibe with unique prints like paisley or floral.  

The long sleeve white knit top and knit gray flare pants (pictured above) are both from Toko Indo and were under $50 for the entire look.  It's something that I'll wear all Fall and into winter (until the snow comes).  I usually suggest a look to have contrasting fits.  For example, if you're wearing a loose top, pair it with some skinny pants and vise versa with a more flowy bottom.  But, this look works for a couple reasons: 1.) The pants are tight from the waist to the knees, so I treated them like a pair of leggings, and 2.) The top is asymmetrical, so I paired the flare pants to work with the shortest length of the top.  Balance is key and this casual look has just enough.  

I'm a huge advocate of Toko Indo and will continue to shop there regularly.  Unfortunately, if you don't live around one of their six locations, they do not sell their merchandise online.  No one piece is uniform, because it's handmade.  You'll just have to visit Portland, Ogunquit, Provincetown, Portsmouth or Key West to get their unique and stylish pieces!  

Friday, October 14, 2016

Happy Birthday to ME!

When did it become socially unacceptable for an adult to celebrate their birthday?  There's such a stigma with getting older that we've started hiding the day that represents it.  Almost like, if no one knows you're a year older then it might actually not happen?  It's just a number, people.  Today, my number is 35.  I'm okay with it.  I've accomplished many of my life goals and haven't totally fallen apart doing it.  35 is the new 25, right?

This birthday, I'm going to throw myself a party, dance like a teenager (minus the grinding) and wear a birthday crown so everyone knows who the birthday girl is.  It's one day.  My day!  So wish me, "Happy Birthday".  Of course, I have to have the perfect outfit for my party.  Something that says, "I'm a grown up, but I'm not old yet!"  Something that is sexy, but not too revealing.  Something that is fashionable, but I can still dance the night away in.  I got this.  Over the knee, block heel boots paired with a fit and flare dress that has an inverted triangle cut out at the rib cage.  Check.

This look didn't just come to me in my birthday dreams.  I shopped long and hard for it and lucked out at one of my favorite local boutiques, Expressly Trends.  I've shopped there for years.  They used to be located in the basement of another boutique on Fore Street in Portland, ME.  You almost had to go searching for all their amazing pieces.  Now, they have one of the most prime locations (street level) on Exchange Street and it's always the first place I pop into when I'm looking for something "on trend" that I can actually afford.  Thank you Expressly Trends for my "birthday suit".

It's not the end of the world.  It's my birthday.  I look forward to celebrating with my friends and family, in style.  I hope you do the same on your big day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mommin' Aint Easy

Someone (who hadn't seen me in a long time) told me I looked great after just having a baby.  I smiled and reminded them that my son was seven, but thank you.  I believe the last time this particular person saw me, my son was less than a year old.  A time when all of my being was put into caring for a tiny person that couldn't care for himself and my appearance was the least of my priorities.  So, how the heck does Teresa (pictured above with her one year old daughter Cecilia) always look so darn good?  I mean, matching flamingo outfits?  Stop.  Just stop and look.

I feel as though some moms make this "mom thing" look so effortless and Teresa is definitely one.  So give me your infinite wisdom, Girl.  Tell me how you manage to put on lipstick while your toddler is tearing every single one of your pots and pans out of your cupboards.  What it comes down to is time management and the fact that Teresa has always had an incredible sense of style.  Just because she had a baby, doesn't mean she's dead.  She's just learning to shift priorities and still look bomb while doing it all.

Teresa makes this mommin' thing look easy, but again, it's because she's strategic.  When I asked to come over and snap a few pics of she and CiCi, she was smart and worked around her nap schedule.  When your baby sleeps, your productivity level goes up 100%.  Also, Teresa wears fashionable pieces that also are functional.  Ever worn a pair of pants that you constantly have to adjust?  Or a pair of shoes that you just can't walk fast in?  That stuff gets packed away and replaced with stretch pants and sneakers, once your kids are mobile.  Practicality is essential when you're chasing a tiny person in diapers.  They're deceivingly fast.
If you are a mom and you're anything like me, just taking a shower when caring for a baby or two is a huge accomplishment.  If  you're like Teresa and make this "mom thing" look good, here are a few tips to surviving motherhood, while being stylish and functional:
  • Your body will continue to change.  I put on 50 lbs. when I was pregnant with my son.  It took a full year for my body to resemble it's original form and two years for my weight to go back to where I felt comfortable.  Buy pieces with some stretch to accommodate your changing body.
  • Wear flats, small wedges or a block heel if you're carrying your baby.  My worst mommy moment was when I twisted my ankle in 4" heels while carrying my one year old.  We were both okay, but I didn't wear heels for a long time after that.
  • You are tired.  It's okay.  People understand if your make-up and hair isn't perfect.  Find a cut that's easy to "wash and wear" and a make-up routine that takes less than 2 minutes.  If your toddler is being quiet and you can't see them, they're probably coloring on the walls or climbing up on the fridge. 
  • Lastly, an outfit that matches your baby or toddler gets you extra bonus points.  Check out how precious Teresa and Cecilia look in their matching flamingo looks.  Matching print or color theme will give the illusion that you put a lot of thought into your outfits. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Sweatpants.  To wear them or not?  That is the question.  I feel like sweatpants got a bad rep.  It's like a few lazy people ruined it for all of us.  You see that one guy who thought no one would notice he's wearing sweatpants to Church.  Or your cousin that always shows up to Easter dinner in her yoga pants.  These sweatpant villains blurred the sweatpant lines and made it so people won't even walk out of the house in them.  I'm here to tell you, sweatpants are not jammies and they are appropriate in certain situations. 

The gym, for example.  If you're working out, sweatpants are totally fine.  Going to or from the gym?  Yes, your sweatpants are still okay.  A lazy Sunday?  Yes, sweatpants required.  I'll even run to the grocery store on that lazy Sunday to pick up what I need to make chili, in sweatpants.  Not feeling well and took the day off from work, appointments, etc?  Sport those sweatpants.  Going to your kid's sporting event early Saturday morning?  Some people may not agree, but I say wear sweatpants... then make sure you go home and shower and put on jeans before you proceed with your day.  Going shopping and having lunch with your girlfriends?  Don't you dare.

I struggle everyday with wanting to wear sweatpants.  I know it's not right, but the comfort temptation is there.  And now that I've found a style of sweatpants that are adorably flattering and finally long enough, the temptation is even stronger.  I mean, these sweatpants look better on me than some of my jeans.  So why don't I wear them for everything?  Because we just went over that!  Sweatpants are only for the most casual of situations. 

If you are going to wear sweatpants, and you aren't sick, I suggest making your look more interesting with a top that contrasts your sweatpants.  Above, I paired my flare sweatpants from Victoria's Secret with a lace bralette under a long sleeve burgundy top and matching Kangaroo sneakers.  The top has cut outs in the back that give the look some interest.  Don't like the peak-a-boo look?  Keep your top more fitted to contrast a more loose fitting pair of sweatpants.  Do love the cut outs in my top?  It's from Forever 21's active wear line.

Sweatpants will continue to be abused by unknowing fashion villains.  Don't be one of them.  There are plenty of places you CAN wear your sweatpants, but make sure that it's a very casual situation.  Try to pair your sweatpants with a fitted top for balance and definitely check out Victoria's Secret for a huge selection of sweatpants for all shapes and sizes.  I will be wearing sweatpants for the coming cooler months, but I promise to resist the temptation to wear them daily.  Fashion restraint is always necessary.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Autumn Accessories

I have many reasons why I love Autumn.  The crisp evenings, apple picking, foliage, my birthday... But fashionably speaking, it doesn't last long enough.  There's something to be said for being able to pull out your suede booties and layering your sweaters without a jacket on top.  I wish this feeling could last just a little longer.  But winter comes quickly, so let's cherish all that makes this time of year so special.

Autumn trends haven't changed a whole lot since last year.  I love that.  It means I can pull all my pieces out of my "Autumn Bin" and update them with a few appropriate accessories.  Number one: Booties!  Living in Maine, suede and leather booties can only be worn on dry days before the snow comes.  So annoying.  So while I can, I'm going to rock every piece of suede I own, because suede booties are a must for Autumn.  Feeling extra fashion forward?  Layer a pair of warm socks underneath your favorite summer sandals to transition into a Autumn look.

Jewelry is another great way to accessorize for Autumn.  I never thought I would say this, but chokers are all the rage right now.  From vintage looking pieces to hard metal, chokers have totally made a comeback and are  probably the most sought after accessory for Autumn and Winter.  You'll want to keep in mind your neckline of your top, when wearing a choker.  Sporting a turtleneck (which have also made a huge comeback from the 90's this season)?  Skip the choker and layer several chains over it.  

My new favorite Autumn accessory is this stunning gold, emerald and moonstone leaf bracelet from Bug Bee Boom.  I fell in love with it on the website, but when I received it in the mail, it was even prettier than I thought.  It's the perfect Autumn accessory and I can't wait to get back on their site and order several more pieces.  Bug Bee Boom has jewelry for every style.  Are you a Boho girl?  I'm loving their beaded chandelier earrings.  Their signature front-back bee earrings are the perfect conversation piece and stacking rings are made easy with a four-in-one ring.  Definitely check out Bug Bee Boom for incredible jewelry that you can wear all year.

Last but not least, don't forget to switch out your summer purse for a more Autumn one.  I sported a white cross body leather bag all summer and just realized last week that it's time to make the switch.  I headed over to TJMaxx and scored a small leather BCBG cross body (because I gotta be hands-free) in a warm gray that will match everything this Autumn.  You carry your purse everyday, so make sure you invest on one that is a perfect combination of fashion and function.

My booties are Seychells, from a little boutique in Boston.  The rust corderoys are from Forever21 and the floral top is from Target.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Shop StyleWe

The ultimate fashion goal: to walk into a room wearing something that everyone wants, but nobody has.  No easy feat, but luckily, I have discovered an online shopping platform that features independent fashion designers.  StyleWe is committed to providing shoppers with original, high quality and exclusive fashion that you won't find anywhere else.  The site gives customers the ability to communicate with designers directly, to offer a more customized shopping experience.  

"We believe the fashion trend should not be controlled by the few, but rather be guided by the collective actions of every designer and fashion customer.  At StyleWe, our goal is to empower designers so that they no longer feel hidden behind the brand, but are able to proactively communicate directly with their customers throughout the entire fashion life cycle.  We believe fashion should be personal and diversified.  Fashion designers should not cater exclusively to the rich and famous.  We have dedicated ourselves to enabling talented fashion designers to build their own brands and achieve their dream.  Together with our designers, we will deliver high quality designer fashions to everyone."                                                                                                       

Personally, I'm loving the concept, and the styles.  StyleWe features pieces that are cutting edge and can't be found at any of your local retailers.  I love following StyleWe on YouTube.  They feature runway shows by their fashion designers, new pieces for the coming seasons and beauty & styling tutorials.  I love seeing a runway show in the comfort of my own home.  Nothing pretentious about that.  Right now you can check out one of my favorite StyleWe designers, Anastasii Ivanova's Fall and Winter runway show, which features all my favorite pieces.  

Just like my fashion blog, StyleWe has their own blog you can follow.  Getting first hand testimonials, product reviews and insight into new designers is something every fashionista should be on to. I like that they don't just focus on their own brand, but also what all encompasses fashion and beauty.  There are tutorials on make-up, tips on how to style seasonal trends and breaking news in the world of fashion.  I know my morning routine will be coffee, then the StyleWe Blog.

My birthday is coming up soon and I've been searching for the perfect piece to wear to my party.  I obviously want to turn heads and have everyone asking, "where did you get that?".  Shopping at StyleWe will make finding the "of the moment" and unique piece easy, so that I can focus on what's really important at my birthday party... ME!

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Noooo... That's not my nickname for my model/friend, Julie.  It's the name of the clothing company she's wearing.  Haven't heard of it?  It's probably because before six months ago, you could only find FATFACE in the U.K.  The Owners, a couple ski bums, named the clothing company after their favorite black diamond trail, and began selling pieces they designed to support their passion for skiing.  Twenty five years later, FATFACE has made it's way over to the U.S., with stores in Portland, ME, Newport, RI and Lynnfield, MA.  

FATFACE clothing is a combination of fashion and function.  Made to be worn for an active lifestyle, but can also easily transition to any daytime or evening look.  I love the pieces Julie got from FATFACE here in the Portland, Old Port.  Rolled up with sandals, Julie's jeans are a flattering wash that will carry her through a busy day.  Pair them with some booties and they transition perfectly for a cool Fall afternoon.  The white embroidered peasant top has precious details (like a row of buttons from the neckline to her shoulder) and compliments her casual daytime look.  Layered with a cardigan or blazer, that same top can be worn for even the most sophisticated events.

FATFACE carries a full line of women's, men's and kids clothing.  Although, don't be confused or thrown off by the odd sizing.  U.K. sizing is about four sizes larger than U.S.  For example, I wear a size 8 normally, but would grab a 12 at FATFACE.  If the number bothers you, just cut the tag out.  The fit is what matters.  Julie was impressed that a lot of their pieces fit right off the rack, considering she's a peanut.  She was so impressed, she said she'll probably order online for a bigger selection, once she found out that she can return anything she purchases online, in-store.

"As a petite, one perk as I see is I can shop from both the regular size and petite size sections.  However, many stores don't carry a petite option so finding pants and jeans that fit properly can be especially tricky. Even most "short" inseams are just too long for me.  On those lucky occasions when I find something that fits well, I just buy multiples of it.  It may be an item I buy in different colors or fabrics, but if it works, I save myself the hassle of trying on lots of things and focus on the great things I do find.  The top and jeans I'm wearing are from from FATFACE and both fit right off the rack.  I also purchased a couple other items from FATFACE that day.  Added bonus, was all were on sale.  I'm a happy customer and even though there were no petite options, with little guidance from the helpful employees on European sizing, I easily found some great things."                        

A huge thank you to my model and friend, Julie.  I've been begging her petitieness to be featured on my blog for years.  It's not easy to shop when you're body isn't the "standard" size, and Julie has always been able to achieve fashion success... Even with 28" inseam.  Julie was the one who told me about FATFACE and now I highly recommend stopping in next time you're in the Old Port in Portland.  They're located right on Exchange Street and their prices are "Mainer affordable".  Or check out an even bigger selection of FATFACE clothing online.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Online Shopping

Online shopping can be convenient, fun and offers styles that you can't find locally.  As a Personal Shopper, I always suggest my Clients try things on before they buy them.  It's much less time consuming to try things on the first time, instead of having to make two trips to the Mall.  One to buy the items and another to return what doesn't fit.  One down side to online shopping is just that...  you can't try things on.  I shop online a lot and have several tips and tricks to saving time and building confidence in buying without the convenience of trying on.

I had been searching high and low for the highly sought after frayed jeans I'm wearing in the picture above.  I found them at Nordstrom for over $200.  No way.  I don't pay that much for anything, let alone a pair of trendy jeans that will probably be out of style by Spring.  I searched high and low and was about to give up, when Forever 21 sent me an e-mail suggesting some new styles to shop.  There they were, for $32!  As quickly as I felt inflated... I was deflated.  They were sold out in my size online.  Ugghhhh!!!  No problem.  I'll just pop into their store and purchase them there...

No luck.  The Manager at Forever 21 informed me that they did not receive that style of jeans in-store, but to sign up for an e-mail notification when they re-stock in my size.  We're talking jeans here, so there were no tears shed, but desperation crept into my soul and against my better judgement, I ordered the jeans in one size too small.  Normally I would advise a Client against such a reckless purchase, but this time... It worked out AWESOME!

See, I told you I have some tricks to this online shopping thing.  I didn't just blindly purchase those jeans a size too small.  I did my research.  First of all, when you look at an item, be sure to read the details about the garment.  What the material is made of, what the model's dimensions are and most importantly, the reviews.  The denim had a 2% elastane.  What elastane is, I don't know, but I do know it's another word for stretch.  One of my favorite words when it comes to clothes.  I knew that even though the jeans were a bit small, they may stretch enough to fit.

The next thing I did was consider the model's dimensions.  She was 5'9" and wore an extra small.  Well, that right there told me something.  That they probably run big, because they looked a bit loose on her hips.  The best indicator of how a piece of clothing will fit is to read the reviews.  After a garment is purchased, a customer will post on the site how satisfied they are with the fit, style and whether they would recommend it to another customer.  These jeans came highly recommended, but it was suggested to order a size down, because they ran a little big.  Cha ching!

A few other things to consider when ordering online are:  How long will your items take to ship?  Where is the Company located?  What is their return policy?  I frequently order extremely inexpensive dresses and tops from a company called Shein.  Although, I didn't have a very positive experience with my first order.  Shein is based in China.  That means their garments tend to fit smaller on the bottom and larger on the top (I suppose their bodies are different than Americans).  It took a month to receive the order and the return process was pretty difficult.  I learned quickly, read reviews, order pieces that will still be in style next month and buying bottoms (because my size 8 butt doesn't fit in their Large) isn't an option.

I love to shop online and now that I have all the tools I need to do it successfully, it beats a crowded Mall any day.  I'm still going to make my Clients try things on, but the good news is once you get familiar with your sizing with that Company, ordering online becomes a breeze.  My ribbed crop top and frayed jeans are both from Forever 21.  My flannel is from Target and my lace-up sandals (which also look great with brightly colored socks for Fall) are Steve Madden from DSW.  Shop on, Friends.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


The first time I vacationed in Vegas was for a Family Reunion in 2006.  Luckily, when I went back  in 2016 for my College best friend's wedding, I knew exactly what to pack.  Vegas is very glamorous, so I threw everything I owned (with sequins) into a suitcase and flew out, the day of the wedding.  Sparkly bikinis, super high heels, statement jewelry and of course, a gown to turn all my old College exes head's.

I always like to dress respectful for weddings.  No white, no flip flops.  An evening Vegas wedding...  That required a floor-length gown.  I felt like everything was so prom-y when I went shopping the week before my trip.  With little shopping luck on my own,  I called a friend, asking where she shops for her formal pieces and she suggested David's Bridal.  I guess I hadn't realized that they carry a huge line of dresses designed for "going to weddings", as well as bridal.  I grabbed several options and found a backless floor length piece that had sheer cut-outs at the waist.  It was perfect.  I layered a Mirina Statement Necklace over it and threw on heels.  The look was perfection and I danced all night.

The next morning, I was exhausted.  But, Vegas never sleeps so I did very little of it.  I kicked myself in the butt and hit the strip.  Man, has it changed since 2006.  I remember dangerously running across the main drag, while cars flew by.  Now, they have overpasses everywhere, so it's much safer to walk from casinos to shopping to lunch.  With all the walking, I was really happy I wore my black skinnies and sneakers.  I was able to hit every place I wanted to.  I found Elvis, rode the massive ferris wheel, saw Celebrities, went to Old Vegas for the first time and even walked down the street with a huge frozen margarita (something you can't do in most vacation spots).

Definitely make a visit, there are some great hotel and airfare deals for Las Vegas.  Pack comfortable clothes for daytime, glamorous clothes for evening and check out for a huge list of all the amazing things to do in Las Vegas, Nevada!


Friday, August 12, 2016

Affordable & Cute Activewear

It's hot.  I swear it didn't get hot like this last summer.  I remember longing to jump in the ocean last year and it never got quite hot enough to do that.  This summer, I've been swimming like a fish in Maine's beautiful Old Orchard Beach ocean since July.  Which means, it's hot.

When I'm not swimming, (life doesn't stop just because it's summer) I'm sweating.  I'm not going to stop doing the things I love because of a little sweat.  Most mornings, I start my day with a walk through the City.  Unless there's snow on the ground or it raining really hard, I gotta workout outside.  Something about the fresh air, the rush of traffic, the interesting sights of Congress Street... I love it.

But, City wear is a little different than gym wear.  See, on my City walk, I walk through Deering Oaks Park, past the Preble Street Resource Center and around the Joe's Smokeshop construction.  A sports bra and lycra shorts are not going to cut it.  Even though it's hot, modesty is important.

I found an activewear line that is fashionable, super affordable and the quality is surprisingly good.  Forever21's Activewear line isn't just for 21 year olds.  They offer three levels of support in their sports bras: high, medium and low impact.  I wear their low impact bralettes for daytime support when I'm running errands.  Their high impact bras will give you plenty of support for a workout. 

Cutouts in activewear right now is huge.  Let your brightly colored strappy bra peak through an interestingly draped tank.  Don't like the idea of letting your skin peak-a-boo through your leggings?  Forever21 has tons of options for leggings.  Between mesh panels, lace-up ballet leggings and waistbands with motivational sayings, there's a pair for everyone.

You're going to sweat this summer, so why not look good doing it?  Check out Forever21's incredible line of activewear HERE.  My sneakers are from the Nike Outlet, the lace-up leggings and bralette are from Forever21 and the tribal tank is from H&M.  You don't have to spend a lot to stay cool and active this summer.