Friday, July 29, 2011

Just Cruisin'

I'm back at my parent's house today to help my mom pack (once again) for another trip.  This time they are cruising to Bermuda and will be docked at the lovely island for 5 days.  So jealous!

Since my mom is kind of a "mom"-onista (mom+fashionista...I know, I'm a dork ;) ) already, she didn't need much of my help.  What we were able to do was finalize a few outfits she had in mind and make them standouts.

For a dinner one night, my mom had already planned on wearing this grey shift and jacket.  

I spiced it up with the option of either a green  or a bronze belt and a statement necklace.  
(Check out J.Crew's Fall jewelry line if you're into '20's/art deco inspired!

 Another Dinner Outfit
My mom had already picked out this black and white shift for another dinner night.   In order to make it fun I added another belt and a necklace.
(Noticing a trend?  All you need to liven up a normal dress is a colorful belt and an interesting necklace!)
We decided that we liked the version on the left best because of the color scheme.  In close second place, the pink belt on the right still adds a much needed pop of color.

 Sail Away Outfit

My mom wanted to wear a white skirt to board the ship. I absolutely love this color top!  It needed something else, though...

I tucked in the shirt and added a green belt.
(the same one from earlier, we are packing a suitcase remember!)
It didn't take much to take this outfit from blah, to yeah! 

Another Day Outfit
Using the same skirt and belt, to make the most use of space in the suitcase, I found another top that would look great!  I used the same belt from before to add another pop of color and finish the outfit.  So chic!

Another way to save on packing space...
We found a coral colored cardigan that would go great with both of these tops.  The wonderful cardigan- sometimes unnecessary, but always good to have along!

 These are the best invention! Reversible belts...who would've thought.  I think I made fun of my husband for buying one before, but now I'm a believer!
These belts may also have the most versatile colors to reverse.  And they save on packing space!

Can't wait to see pictures of these fun outfits with Bermuda in the background!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Got Lace?

pictures c/o

I love to search different shopping and designer sites to get new ideas; lately I've noticed a lot of lace popping up: on the runways, on celebrities, at events... This got me thinking, if they can do it, why can't I?  I decided to wander over to my own closet to see if this delicate fabric was amongst my hangers.  Sure enough, I've got some lace just hiding in the recesses waiting to be worn again!  

Here are some new ways to wear your old lace:

 I found an old Express lace v-neck that I know I've had for YEARS.  To update it, I paired it with dark skinny jeans, a boyfriend blazer and black ankle booties.  I added the edgy necklace to toughen up the look.  Lace is no longer "girly"!
 As I kept searching, I realized that I really don't have a lot of lace in my closet!  I did find a navy dress with a black lace inset at the top.  Perfect for incorporating a tiny bit in this outfit. To keep the dress from being too feminine, I paired it with a skinny black patent belt, grey cardigan, black ankle booties and some sparkly bracelets.  I envision this outfit at work with some black tights this winter.  
I absolutely love this skirt! It also kind of gave me the idea for this DIY post. =)  
There are so many options with a lace skirt, this picture only shows a few.

Option 1: pair it with a white button down and a fun necklace.  Add a belt to dress it up or down (black dresses up, brown would dress down).
Option 2: Wear it with a denim shirt.  Perfect for keeping the lace casual.
Option 3: Wear a denim jacket over top of a tee.  Add a fun necklace or scarf to keep it interesting.
Option 4: (not shown) Wear a colorful tee (tucked in, of course) and sandals. Girly, yet still says "I just threw this on and I look put together."  Don't forget to accessorize! 
Option 5: (not shown) Wear a black turtleneck with a necklace over top.  
(I live in black turtlenecks in the winter.  I will for sure be spotted wearing one with this skirt, black tights and black ankle booties...maybe even a pair of riding boots depending on my mood =) )

If you have ANY lace hiding in that closet of yours, I hope this helps!  
Feel free to post pics for other ideas!

To the Honeymoon and Beyond!

What a fun day we had at TL's place going through her closet and helping her pack for the honeymoon! We even, inadvertently, created her rehearsal dinner ensemble.  So much to share!
So here goes...

 Liz LOVES to online shop.  She's not really a "go to the mall to see what I can find" kind of girl.  This being said, she had bags (no joke, plural!) of online orders that she had yet to go through.  You can only imagine my excitement as we tore through those!

Out of the orders came this adorable striped top from Gap and a strapless navy dress from J.Crew! Using SJP as my inspiration, we created a casual, hip look for the honeymoon.  I paired the stripe shirt, under the navy dress, and belted it empire style.  Metallic sandals finish the look.

We decided this outfit would totally work for a casual day at work, especially with a tan cardigan thrown over top.

*Now, ladies, head to your closets and find your t-shirts!  You'll never look at them the same again!*

Also out of the online bags came a pair of white pants.  Liz had ordered them excited for "marshmallow-white" pants; instead this pair was closer to "meringue-white".  She voiced her apprehension to wear them during the warmer months due to the color.  "I thought since they were more of a 'winter white' I couldn't wear them right now."  I reassured her the only time you have to worry about white pants is in the winter: as long as they're lined, they're fine. (For us Michiganders, that is.  Any other state that doesn't go below 50 degrees, you're lucky!)

#1...To play off the white, I paired a bright mustard top with an infinity scarf in black and white.  I love the combination of black and white with yellow.  Especially when a metallic is thrown in there, like the sandals here.

#2...I used the white pants as a background for the colorful top that she bought.  We layered a gold and wood necklace on top to keep it accessorized and voila!

I love this color combination.  Yellow and Purple.  Mustard and Eggplant.  Lemon and Lilac. I could go on and on.  I also put a bracelet with a green stone with these two tops to bring in a third color.  
Color-blocking without being too bold.

 Chambray or denim shirts are an easy piece to add to other colorful items in your closet.  I found a pink twill skirt in TL's closet and paired it with a deep blue/chambray-looking button down and a green
v-neck cardigan.  We added tan flats and a necklace to finish off the look.  A perfect outfit for casual Friday when you don't want to wear jeans!

This dress is so versatile!  I created an outfit that TL can wear right now in the summer months and another one paired with boots to carry this dress into fall.  

#1...The navy dress is cinched with a silk tie belt from J.Crew (lime green, pink and white are the colors) and finished with strappy heels.  She had some cute green drop earrings that I paired with the dress and added a multiple strand beaded necklace to show off the neckline.

#2...To make this look more "Fall" I added her riding boots and an equestrian leather belt.  To liven up the brown and navy, I topped it off with a turquoise beaded necklace.  All this look needs is a cardigan, or turtleneck or tights to keep it going into winter!

 This top was hanging in the closet and hadn't been worn "in forever" I was told.  TL said she bought it "for fun times out" but didn't feel it was quite appropriate for work attire.  I think we changed that!
I layered a black tank under the top (to conceal the low "v"), added an ivory cardigan on top (to cover the spaghetti straps of the tank), paired it with black pants, a black necklace and gold bangle.  POW!  Work appropriate!

This picture doesn't do this look justice, unfortunately. :( Hopefully my description will!  She had just bought a fuchsia halter dress to take on the honeymoon to Hawaii.  What better color combination than pink and blue!  I used the blue necklace and green cuff from before to do some more color combining, added a skinny black belt to cinch the waist, and a white linen blazer to top the look at night.

 The rehearsal dinner dress!  
TL had the dress and the great shoes, all she needed were some accents to top it off!  I found a sash and some jewelry to complete the look.  Two necklaces are better than one; I paired a stone drop necklace and a layered chain to create this look.

If you have a layered necklace that clasps at the top like the one on the left, try unclasping it and spreading it out as one long circle chain.

Now you have a longer necklace that you can layer as many times as it will fit over your head!

Thanks TL for letting me help you organize, outfit, and pack!  Have a wonderful time on your honeymoon...make sure you take pictures of those outfits in action!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Closet Challenge

On Friday, I went over to my friend Beth's house for a play-date with the munchkins, and while they were napping, we decided to do a closet overhaul.  Beth wasn't kidding when she said, "I think this will be the biggest challenge for you!"  Ever since she had her lil' man, Beth hasn't felt totally comfortable in her clothes again;  I needed to find some outfits in her closet that would help her look great and, most importantly, feel great in what she's wearing.  It was quite the closet "fashion fix"!


After emptying her entire closet, drawers, and under-the-bed box, we had 3 piles: one for  donating, one to go in the "maternity" box, and one to see what we could do with.  This last one is the pile I started with (pictured).  
Beth found this skirt that had been in her box-under-the-bed "for ages" and wondered if there was any way that we could make it work.  Of course!  To keep it simple, I paired the purple floral skirt with a basic white tee, an eggplant scarf and a very cool "stone" necklace.  Beth's favorite part was the necklace, as she told me, "See! At least I have good jewelry!"  Maybe this wouldn't be too much of a challenge after all!
 This purple shirt is absolutely adorable.  
Beth informed me that I had chosen the exact outfit that she wore to her bridal shower!  So, I gave it a little twist...
 I paired the top with skinny jeans, to balance out the "blousiness"of the top, a green graduated bead necklace, and a green bangle bracelet.  
Happy, hot mama!

 Ok. So Beth totally knows how I feel about crop-tops. I'm not a fan. But I'm also not one to turn down a challenge, and she had just bought these and had been waiting to wear I had to help!

In order to scale down the oversized shape of the crop top, I had to put a skinny black tank underneath.  With these, black is always slimming and we needed to show off her great shape!  In order to keep the line going, I added a long necklace to draw the eye down to the rest of the outfit.
Another hot outfit!
Closet tip: 
With big shirts like these always remember, 
big on top = slim on bottom
ie. leggings, skinny jeans, pencil skirts, crop ankle pants, etc.  
Absolutely no trouser pants, wide legs or flouncy skirts!  They will swallow you!

 Another fun one...
This is the necklace in the second picture above.  
Beth warned me, "It's not as long as you think it is!"and she was right.  In order to make this necklace longer I took another plain silver chain that she had and linked to the ends of the chunky necklace.  
A simple fix for a longer necklace!

By now we were exhausted.  It was a lot of work to go through every piece she owned to find these few outfits!  We also created a list of "need to buy" items that Beth should have in her closet to make getting dressed easier for her.  I'll include the list at the end because I think it has some important things that would help anyone!
I found these two great bright tops in the closet and paired them with brown pants that she never wears.  The necklaces add some color to a normal outfit.  She needed a little extra "spice" to her work wear.

 This skirt is awesome; it has built in shorts!  ahahaha. Because of that, and because Beth challenged me, I had to do something with it!  I found a black tank with flower details at the neckline ( :-( you can't see it in the picture), and used her necklace and wood bangles to dress it up.

After many questions of "Do you have ____?" and "What about _____?" Beth and I realized that she desperately needs a trip to the mall.  Here are the staple items that her closet could use to help her get dressed in the morning:

1. Cardigans in different colors other than black or grey
2. Black ankle pants. A perfect compliment to all the flowy blouses she owns
3. Basic black and white tanks and v-neck tees to layer with
4. A few more colorful necklaces to give her old clothes new flair

Thank you Beth!  Let me know when you want to go shopping!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Beating the Heat

It was a hot one today!  Not gonna lie, I had the HARDEST time figuring out what to wear for my "mom's day off" of running errands.  With temperatures of 102 degrees, looking fashionable and staying cool was quite a challenge!

I searched for some inspiration and here are a few of the photos that helped me with my final product...
White pants, black and white tank, statement purse.  3 things we should all have in our closet!

A colorful maxi and neutral sandals.  If you have a black maxi, spice it up with a colorful or metallic belt like this picture shows.

Broken-in boyfriend chino short Military tunic Silk tide tunic

A sleeveless tunic/beach cover up and a pair of shorts.  These types of tunics are usually lightweight and cool to begin with, adding a pair of shorts is all it takes to make them errand- running worthy.

After all my inspiration searching, here is what I came up with from my own closet...
A pair of white pants, a colorful tunic-y top, statement shoes and complementary jewelry to bring out the colors in the top.

Closet lesson learned today:
Using staples such as a pair of white pants, a maxi dress, a tunic top, or a colorful statement piece, there are many options to "beating the heat" and still looking great!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mom's Chicago Trip

My parents were taking a trip to Chicago for a friend's 65th birthday party.  My mom asked me to come over and help with her packing for the weekend, and of course, I eagerly agreed!

She needed an outfit for Friday dinner, casual but chic, one for a trolley ride around the city during the day on Saturday, and then another for a trendy dinner out on Saturday night.  Since my mother has some fun pieces, but "just doesn't know how to put them together like you do!" we were able to come up with 3 great outfits for her weekend getaway!

Friday Night Dinner
For a casual but chic dinner (the last time we went to this restaurant, Vince Vaughn was there!) I found a fun top from Anthropologie and paired it with black skinny ankle pants.  Because that wasn't enough, we had to add some jewelry.  To my mom's dismay, "Really? A necklace too?", the crystal necklace worked perfect for some sparkle and we added color in with the bangles in blue, yellow and gold.
Saturday Trolley Ride
Another bright option found in mom's closet!  This dress is the focal point of the outfit and since it was going to be a hot day, colorful sandals and fun bangles did the trick!  No need to compete with the neckline or colors in this dress.

Saturday Night Dinner
This colorful jacket (noticing a trend? I love color!) was my immediate inspiration for an outfit.  My mom wanted to pair it with black pants and a black top.  Instead, I asked if she had a black sheath dress, and sure enough, she did!  "Are you sure this will look ok?" she asked, with one eyebrow raised.  I assured her that with the right accessories, this outfit would be great and, I think, it was!  I found a metallic belt to break up the line under the jacket, gold mesh jewelry, and peep-toe wedges to finish it off.
**After trying the outfit on, something looked off.  We realized that rolling the sleeves of the jacket gave it a more updated look, made it look less boxy, AND showcased her bracelets. Problem solved!**
The Saturday outfit in action! 
(Sorry mom, had to cut off the top of the picture, your eyes were closed.)

"It is so much easier to pack for a weekend away when someone else does it for you!" ~Mom