FOURTH OF JULY

So this is a pretty patriotic month – World Cup and the Fourth of July – which means there are a lot of red, white & blue moments.  Here are some fun outfits to wear during your World Cup parties and Fourth of July bbq.

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There is pretty much no outfit more American than jeans and a white top.  It’s true, you can’t question this. Add a couple of your own unique touches, like layering gold necklaces and some bright red shoes, and are now “put-together”

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Because fireworks are at night, bring a patriotic scarf along!

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Cowgirl boots are also quite American, in fact – go ahead and feel free to substitute out one of the three colors for cowgirl boots if you feel led to do so. I don’t need any red here, I have boots!!

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If in doubt, wear simple jewelry like this tiny gold triple heart pendant necklace or tiny star post earrings to be more patriotic!

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Of course I support wearing a dress on the Fourth as well. Here are 3 different looks with the color of your choosing:

First up, the red dress:

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Put it with a white statement necklace and some cobalt shoes (or vice versa) and you have the perfect Fourth of July get up.  (Of course have a jean jacket on hand if it gets chilly)

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Navy Blue dress: I love these because they are like the casual little black dress. (And if you spill salsa on it you can see it as much)

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Just chilling and “swooshing” my hair around.

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White Dress: The classic summer staple.  Of course it works well for Fourth of July, it is part of the color trio AND it is super feminine.  I put it with the Blue and Red Rayon Polka Dot scarf and bright red sandals.  And again, have a jean jacket handy in case it gets cold at night!

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Need a more fashionista approach?

Try a black skirt with a sleeveless chambray shirt (patterned or not), red sandals, and a statement necklace.

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OR a similar look but with a bright red skirt. Also I must point out how awesome these taupe summer booties are…. I just got them at Nordstrom Rack a couple weeks ago for a very good deal – go check it out!

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This white necklace really is perfect for your summery outfits!

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You could also take a statement skirt and put it with a tied up t-shirt:

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AND a cat– he’s wearing red too!

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How about a navy eyelet lace skirt with a white cotton tank top, red sandals, and a red patterned scarf? Why yes, I believe this works too!

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Or let the skirt do all the work for you and put a simple top (and belt if needed) with it.

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Here is another fun outfit my great photographer picked out for me, thank you Lyssa!

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Oh yeah, sequins, lace, cowgirl boots, AND a sleeveless military jacket! YAY AMERICA!

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Tie a belt around it for extra points.

Here are where you can find some similar pieces to put together your Fourth of July wardrobe!

White Tank Top – Similar

Jean shorts – Madewell

White Dress – Similar

Red Dress – Similar

Sleeveless Chambray – Similar

Sleeveless Military Jacket – Old Navy

Navy Dress – Similar

Blue Lace Top – Similar

Red, White & Blue Skirt – Similar

Cobalt Skirt – Similar

Red Mini Skirt – Similar

Black Mini Skirt – J. Crew

Navy Eyelet Skirt – Similar

Red Sandals – Similar

Blue Flats – J. Crew

Fourth of July Accessories:

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Fluted Green Skirt- 8 Ways

Well I didn’t plan this post for St. Patricks Day, but I guess it worked out! I have been eyeing this skirt for months, and it finally went on sale in the store, yay!! I don’t think the staff at J. Crew understood or shared my excitement. This skirt it amazing and I want it it every color. Definitely splurge worthy!

When I was walking out of the store with my “final sale” purchase I got a ping of fear as I realized, I wasn’t even sure I had anything to match it. (I realize there are many more things in this world to fear than not having anything in my closet to match this skirt–don’t judge me!) So I came home, put on some Britney Spears, and started tearing through my closet.  I also drooled my way through the J. Crew catalogue to get some inspiration.

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First of all, I put the skirt with a t-shirt.  Pretty much the easiest way to wear the skirt.  Tuck it in, half tuck it, or tie it to the side, it will all look right.  Add a necklace, a scarf, or BOTH, and you have an outfit.

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The easiest way to try the new crop top trend is with a high waisted skirt.  So although I am still too afraid to bare any skin, I did put on a cami and threw a crop top on with it.  And also this awesome scarf.

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J. Crew puts pullover sweaters and sweatshirts with this skirt in all of their catalogues, so I decided to try that look myself.  Definitely a great way to dress it down for every day wear!

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I thought maybe I could wear this skirt to work, but clearly it is too short.  However, I did put together a corporate look that can easily be worn out with your friends. Also, all three pieces are on sale, right now.

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If you are a little more hipster–try tucking in a chambray or white collared shirt, buttoning it all the way up, then putting a statement necklace right up under the collar.

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Of course as a sucker for white lace, I put it with the green skirt as well. AND IT GOES! Duh. Basically, if you want to look feminine, wear some white lace.

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I also wanted to show how a cute scarf can make such a difference and really pull a whole outfit together! During the summer, put the skirt with a simple tank and a bright silky scarf. (Add a jean jacket when it gets chilly at night)

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There are many more ways to wear this skirt, but it is all about proportion. Try something new or stick with your basics!

To find:

J. Crew Fluted Green Skirt

Black & White Tweed Jacket –Similar

White Lace Top–Similar

T-Shirt–Similar

Graphic T-Shirt–Similar

Polka Dot Chambray–Similar

Crop Top–Similar

LOFT White and Black Ruffle Cami

Polka Dot Scarf

Triangle Scarf

Floral Scarf

Clear Bead Statement Necklace

Chunky Gold Chain Statement Necklace

Simple Spiked Gold Pendant Necklace

One Dress, Eight Looks

You guys, I GOT A  JOB! Like, big girl, business suit, water cooler, kind of a job. That is why I have been silent the past week.  But do not despair! I still care about your fashion needs.

Because I lost my camera, I enlisted the help of my gorgeous friend…. AGAIN.

I mean seriously, how awesome is this girl?

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Ok enough silliness.

Even after I took all the pictures for this post I kept finding more and more ways to wear this dress, it is SO versatile. This is the kind of dress that you could find at almost any store, for almost any price point.

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Here are 8 looks you can make with this dress! (And there are many more, get creative!)

1. Bright belt, simple necklace, COWBOY BOOTS

2. Camo Jacket, bright belt, Gold Chain Statement necklace, nude flats

3. Jean jacket, bright belt, Gold Chain Statement Necklace, sandals

4. Floral Jacket, gold belt, Gold Chain Statement Necklace, black tights, black booties

5. Bright cardigan, gold belt, Gold Chain Statement Necklace, nude flats

6. Cropped pullover sweater, Gold Chain Statement Necklace, black tights, black booties

7. Braided belt, simple necklace, toms shoes, bright cross body purse

8. Boyfriend Sweater, gold belt, Gold Chain Statement necklace, black tights, bright flat

Here are some great black & white striped dresses!

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1.Forever21 2. ModCloth 3. Anthropologie 4. LOFT 5. OldNavy 6. LOFT

You can also add a cat to your look, they make great accessories… Okay maybe I wasn’t done with the silliness.

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And if you didn’t know how to rock cowgirl boots… this is how!

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Basically, a simple patterned dress will make a huge difference in your closet. The great thing about black & white is that you can wear almost any color with it, even brown, and it is season-less.  As we get closer and closer to vacation season, think about how easy packing could be with a staple like this! Get creative and have fun with it!

Playing with Proportions

Something I have noticed lately while people watching, is that dressing well is all about proportions. With everything in life, you must learn moderation (except with cheese, there is never too much cheese), but you can have too many sequins.

You do not want to wear too much sparkle or too much lace, or too much texture, or too many loose fitting layers.

This dress is very loose, so I had a couple options: Wear a belt with it or wear a structured jacket.

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If you just wear a loose fitting dress or top, it is only going to make you look as big as it is. It will only create more volume, when you want to create shape.  So put something with it that creates the shape you want to have.  A great structured jacket will make all the difference.  However, watch for unflattering jackets as well…. for instance, don’t get a jacket that hits right at your hips.  Get a jacket that gives you a small waist and creates an hourglass shape for you.

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A cropped moto jacket is a great place to start.  Make sure you try on a few to see what styles flatter your body the best.  I love jackets that are a teeny bit higher in the back than in the front — they make my waist look smaller. I plan to put this floral, quilted, moto, cropped jacket with a loose top and skinny or boyfriend jeans.

More proportion tips to come soon! Happy Friday!!

Where to find:

Cropped Jacket: 1. Anthropologie  2. Forever21 3. Anthropologie 4. LOFT20140207-132507.jpg

White Floaty Dress: 1. American Eagle 2.Free People 3. Free People 4. Forever21 5. CharlotteRusse 6.Old Navy (Yes, I’ve fallen back in love with my college sweetheart Free People… )20140207-132513.jpg

Black Booties: Similar

Gold Layered Statement Necklace: Niloulu

Chunky Gold Chain

So I was on Pinterest last night and found something Pinteresting (see how I did that? I made Pinterest into an adjective…).  In a capsule collection by Giuliana Rancic at LOFT there is a gorgeous chunky gold chain that looks VERY similar to one that we have at Niloulu!

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So I thought I would take the look that Brittany Snow was wearing and do it myself.

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Now of course I am not  Brittany Snow, but the look was pretty easy to put together.  All you need is a white blouse, patterned pants, a bright clutch, and of course the Chunky Gold Chain Necklace from niloulu.

Here are similar styles:

Chunky Gold Chain from Niloulu

White Blouse– Similar

Party Pants:

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Clockwise from top left: Forever21, Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor

Nude Pumps

Bright clutch–similarsimilar

How to find GOOD deals.

Merry (late) Christmas and Happy New Year!

My family is oddly good at getting me clothes I like for Christmas (well, maybe not that strange.. they are good at getting me gift cards, which are the same thing).  So many people feel odd giving gift cards, but like I’ve said to my family, it is really two gifts for me:  1. I get pretty new things. 2. I GET TO SHOP (and without feeling guilty). What better gift COULD there be??

So of course, I went shopping bright and early the morning of the 26th! I thought this post would be a good place to share when and how I find good deals and steals.

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My first major trick is just following the stores and items you are loving.  It has become an almost daily routine that if I see something I want, I check in on it while I am drinking my morning coffee (mmmm Nespressoooo). Do this especially if you get an email about a sale or that items have been added to clearance.  Also, if you see that the store you follow says that they have “new arrivals”, it probably means they have some “new arrivals” to the clearance section, if you know what I mean…

Most stores have items on sale in the store that are not on sale on line, or vice versa.  So, check both occasionally, you never know when that pair of Italian leather shoes at J. Crew will be on major clearance in the store but still full price online!  Most of my good deals are in stores as opposed to online.

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(This dress is still full price online, but I got it in the store for $35!)
If you live in an area that has multiple malls or if you are visiting a new area, check out the stores you love in multiple places.  I assure you they will all have a different selection.  It is also interesting to see how a different demographic can change the store selection.  For example, in some areas one item will be sold out almost immediately, but at another store, no one wants that same item! So that dress you wanted during the summer but was too expensive and sold out too fast, might be five dollars at another store when you go home for the holidays. VICTORY!!

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(These shoes were $178 and I got them for $42!)

Lastly, although some shopping at outlets is good, a lot of times you will find better deals at the real stores.  Most of the stores at the outlets have a different clothing line made just for the outlet stores, and usually it is not as good of quality.  They will automatically mark down all the items in the store to make it look like you are getting a good deal, even though they were never sold at the original price on the tag.  So, spend the extra five dollars at the real store to get a better deal. Quality over quantity friends!

Enjoy your family, enjoy the good sales, and enjoy the last days of the holiday flavored drinks at Starbucks!

Sales I’ll be shopping:

Ann Taylor (Right after the holidays they will have some great deals because it gets really slow in January! Check for some 40-50% off sales)

J. Crew (right now they are having 40% off of sale styles, and I have found some great summer styles I wanted but now are very cheap!)

Madewell (They are doing 40% off of sale, and in stores the sale is very good.  Also, you can use a student ID on top of the sale!)

Anthropologie (Their sale section will start to get larger and after the holidays they will probably mark down the prices)

LOFT (They have been doing 50% off the whole store… seriously, get it while you can!)

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HOLIDAY.

I can finally think about the holidays now that the semester is over and I AM LOVING IT. I know a lot of people despise Christmas parties, but I look forward to them all year.  Christmas parties are the best excuse to wear sequins, lace and all the bling you have!

Also, I love chips and dip.

Here are some of the outfits I would wear!

WINTER WHITE.

One of my favorite colors to wear during the holiday season is winter white. It is basically just off white, but why would you call it that when you can call it winter white? So much more fun.  If you have a lace dress with a slip underneath, try putting a sequin slip underneath to add more sparkle! When you have a lot of sequins in an outfit make sure to put on simple jewelry.

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To get the over-the-knee look without buying new boots, put tall socks with your booties–just make sure they are the same color.  This will also be super warm and comfortable!

RED.

Of course red is always a good option for holiday parties and dinners with your family. Be careful what you put with the red.  too much black will make you look like santa, but too much brown will make you look too matronly.  I like to put nude or gold accessories with red to add a little sparkle, but not overwhelm the outfit.  Let the red speak for itself–it knows what it is talking about.

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If you want to dress down your red dress to go to coffee with a friend, just put some brown booties with it!

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GREEN.

Of course green.  Green is great with black for the holidays.  My mom got me these UH-MAZING black sequin leggings, and there is nothing more perfect to put them with than a holiday tunic.  I also put a simple necklace with it to add a little sparkle, and some black booties.  (Recent purchase, aren’t they so fun?? Thank you Lesley and Emily for talking me into them!)

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Another great way to wear sequin leggings is to put them with a long slouchy t-shirt.  Always go for something a little unexpected.

GOLD.

One of my favorite color combinations is gold and winter white. (I keep wanting to spell “winter” with an “h”–“whinter”)  Gold sequin anything goes great with winter white, navy, black, or chambray.  Add black tights to this look if it is freezing where you live!

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BLACK VELVET.

This is one of my favorite dresses, I just always feel chic when I wear it. Any black velvet dress will do.  Wear simple gold jewelry with it, maybe layer two or three simple necklaces to add interest.  If it goes past your knees, make sure to wear heels, whether it be booties or pumps! Also, if you dress is longer, make sure to wear a short jacket with it.  That will give you a small waist as opposed to a frumpy look.

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ANIMAL PRINT.

I don’t always wear animal print, but when I do, I wear Ann Taylor Loft.

This is pretty much true actually! I love the way Loft and Ann Taylor do animal print.  This dress is great–it has dolman sleeves and a sweet animal print with a hint of coral.  Put this Black Niloulu statment necklace with it and some black booties, and you have a party worthy outfit. You can do this for almost any animal print.  Look at the prints they have at J. Crew, Ann Taylor, and Loft to get an idea what classy animal print looks like.  Let them be your guiding star.

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SEQUIN MINI.

This is pretty self explanatory.  Wear it like you would any other black mini skirt, but add festive accessories to make it more appropriate for holiday events! For those who want top suggestions: Chambray (of course), white blouse, striped t-shirt, bright t-shirt, cropped sweater…. and many more!

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PANTS.

For the days when the temperature gets into the teens, wear a festive top and pants!  This year I ventured away from my skinny jeans *GASP*  and got these amazing skinny ponte pants with leather details from Ann Taylor.  When you have hard details like leather, put it with something super feminine and dainty, like lace.  This contrast will create a head turning outfit.

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Of course you can wear your dark skinnies to a party too! Just put it with a festive sequin top and a simple necklace.  Wear boots, booties, or pumps.

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DRESS–> TOP.

If you have a dress that has a fabulous top, try tucking it into a skirt to create a new dress.  If you are worried about the outfit falling apart, put a belt with it to make it more secure.  Get more out of your clothes!!

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With any of these outfits you can put black tights with them to add more warmth.

Take your christmas party invite as an excuse to wear fabulous clothes you never get the chance to wear! Wear sequins, wear lace, wear bling!!

What I wore:

Ann Taylor Ponte Pants with leather details

Loft Lace Peplum Top

Loft Black Sequin Mini

Red Dress (similar)

Free People Festive Tops

White Lace Dress (similar)

Animal Print dress (similar)