Friday, January 29, 2016

Stunning Wedding Dresses from COCOMELODY

I got married almost nine years ago to the love of my life.  At that time, there weren't a lot of affordable options for wedding dresses.  There were a couple high-end boutiques with dresses starting at $10,000.  There was a chain bridal store which had a huge selection, but if you wanted a dress different from all the rest, you'd have to pay the big bucks for one of their designer dresses.  And big bucks I paid for a stunning ball gown. 

If only I had known about Cocomelody back when I was wedding dress shopping!  Their selection is incredible.  Everything from destination wedding dresses to the most popular backless Wedding Dresses.  Each dress can be made-to-order, so they custom fit your dress perfectly.  It's a one-stop-wedding-shop, offering all your bridal accessories, suits for the groom and groomsmen, there's a designer selection and even the bridal party is covered with bridesmaid dresses and mother of the bride looks too.

I learned a few things on my wedding day.  Do a test run of your makeup and hair before the actual day.  My hair fell out during pictures and the brown eye shadow that was used for my makeup made me look tired.  I should have made sure all that was figured out BEFORE the big day.  Also, if your wedding gown you are walking down the isle in is uncomfortable, heavy, has a big train, etc. be smart and have two dresses.  One for the ceremony and one for the reception.  My stunning ball gown must have weighed 100 lbs. and I could barely move by the end of the reception.
Cocomelody's incredible prices on their gowns give you that option.  I could have bought two equally beautiful Cocomelody dresses for the price of the one I wore.  I even saw dresses on Cocomelody priced as low as $89.00!  At that price, you could change more than twice.  I'm obsessed with an open back wedding dress they offer and their selection is stunning and impressive.  With the right undergarments (which Cocomelody offers), and priced under $400.00 this backless dress (below) is everything.
For my husband and I's 10 Year Anniversary Party, we're going to renew our vows in the same place we did before, but this time, I'm going to be prepared.  I'm going to buy two gorgeous and affordable dresses from Cocomelody.  One ball gown for the ceremony and one backless number for the reception.  I'm also going to get all the men's suits there too.  I'm just hoping they still have this amazing offer of $15.00 OFF your order when I'm ready to purchase (use code: WEDDING15 at checkout).  Happy wedding dress shopping!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In a very proud Blogger moment, I'm excited to announce that my Fashion Blog's name is officially:
And slightly embarrassed that I hadn't done it earlier.  Now it's time to order new business cards!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Go Backless


I've heard it a million times, "I can't wear that because I can't wear a bra with it".  I get it.  I've been there.  Approaching my mid-thirties and having nursed a baby, I get it.  The girls are not what they used to be.  But, we're not dead... yet.  When you put restrictions on yourself, you're only holding yourself back.  The backless trend is totally fierce AND here to stay, so I say embrace it and invest in a backless bra.
I remember visiting my friend, Ali, at What The Frock, a high end designer consignment boutique.  I had this amazing backless dress that I couldn't wear a bra with and was hoping her in-house seamstress could do something with the straps to hold me in better.  I put the dress on and they both kind of laughed at me.  Ali got out some double sided tape and a backless bra and said, "here".  Boom!  My girls looked amazing, felt completely secure and the backless bra was more comfortable than my strapless. 
I couldn't believe it.  All those years, struggling with going braless and feeling uncomfortable every time a breeze went by.  There was a simple solution to all my problems.  I now have invested in a couple backless bra.  One is made of silicone and has the same feel of moist skin.  It's the best solution for backless looks that are very revealing.  The only problem with it, is it's sticky on the entire inside of it, so at the end of the night when it's time to take it off, it practically feels like you are peeling your skin off.  My favorite backless bra is the Soma Backless Strapless one pictured above.  It's only sticky on the side panels and has an underwire for extra support.
Backless bras don't come cheap.  Both of my backless bras were shy of $45 each, BUT they are totally reusable, as long as you reapply the backs to the sticky parts.  Be sure to store it back in the box or on the mold it came with and you can probably get 5-10 uses out of each.  I mean, it's really a small investment in the grand scheme of things.  You buy a $200 dress that you can't wear because you don't have the right undergarments... Wouldn't a $45 backless bra be small potatoes knowing you look and feel great?  Confidence is priceless.  Go backless!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Stay Golden

I can't stop.  And why should I?  Just because the Holidays are over, why do I need to stop wearing my sparkles?  I mean, a red blingy satin gown might be a bit much for January, but my golden sequin top from H&M... She'll keep shining all Winter.  Speaking of gold, the 24 carat gold woolly mammoth skeleton behind me in this picture is on display at the Faena Hotel on Miami Beach, if you're interested in seeing something spectacular. 

I struggle a bit this time of year, working in the fashion industry.  I live in Maine where the cold temperatures hang around until April, but am constantly surrounded with Spring fashion.  My philosophy: Wear what is appropriate to your region and climate.  Which means that Spring fashion will have to wait until Spring actually comes. Or, I'll just have to keep traveling to Miami, Florida.  I'll take the latter. 

Getting back to my golden top from H&M... I scooped it up for almost nothing.  I actually scooped up five pieces from H&M last week, all priced at $10 a piece!  The golden sequin top had a matching golden sequin pencil skirt, so I had to get the set.  I also scored a green long sleeve sequin dress for next year's holiday parties, a pink satin drop waist dress for Valentine's Day (to be featured next month) and a pair of black pumps (which are surprisingly wearable). 

I left H&M with my five "unseasonable" pieces and $50 (plus tax) less in my wallet, feeling high as a kite.  There's something to be said about getting a great deal.  If you're smart, you'll shop like I do and scoop up holiday pieces at a fraction of their original price for next year's season.  I do the same thing for late summer sales.  Once August rolls around, all summer clothing and accessories are put on clearance and you can get some incredible deals.  After I come home with my unseasonable purchases, I put them in my summer bins and have a delightful surprise come spring when I open my bin and have NEW clothes to wear.

It's okay to shop smart and it's okay to wear your sparkly pieces after the holidays.  Wear what is appropriate to your region and climate.  What I wear in Maine is totally different than what I wear at the same time in Miami (mostly because of the temperature difference).   Scoop up all the deals you can and stay golden.

Gold Top: H&M
Jeggings: Express
Lace-up Heels: Steve Madden

Monday, January 4, 2016

Oh Deer, 2016 is Here!

Happy New Year!  I can hardly believe 2016 is already here.  I find the older I get, the faster time flies by.  2015 was a great year for me and my fashion blog.  I learned a lot.  Hard work and persistence pay off, and attention to detail and following through are extremely important.  I have achieved my goals for 2015 and am now focusing on the year ahead.
As you can see from the picture above, I'm on vacation in Miami.  When I get back to Maine, I have set some goals for 2016 and I'm excited to share them with my followers.  I find if I actually write them down for the world to see, I'm held accountable for what I say.  My first goal is to purchase my own domain.  I really should have done this years ago, but have recently seen the advantages (or disadvantages of not having my own).
My blog will still focus on fashion that is affordable and accessible, but my brand will become Chelsea K. Ray.  Everyday Fashion on a Budget is truly what I live by, and I will continue to wear everything I feature on my blog, but to keep things consistent, I am my brand.  The consulting side of my business is gaining momentum and my blog continues to gain followers everyday.  Thank you for your love and support.
Another goal I have made for 2016 is to feature more diversity on my blog.  It will still have affordable fashion, but you (hopefully) won't see me modeling as much.  I understand everyone isn't in their 30's, six feet tall and has my body type.  I believe my followers would like to relate to different styles on different bodies, at different ages.  With that said, I'm looking for models!  The job is unpaid, but I promise you'll have fun doing a photo shoot and I always promote you and your business in each post.  The pictures I take are yours to keep.  E-mail me in you're interested.
Good bye 2015.  I'm getting better at everything with time, so 2016 is sure to be a great one.  I'll continue to share my ups and downs and hopefully gain more and more success as the year progresses.  I love what I do and thank my lucky stars everyday that I have the opportunity to do it.  Happy New Year!
Romper: Top Shop
Platforms: Steve Madden
Bag: Michael Kors