Monday, October 31, 2011

Autumn Mix

I love finding new ways to wear some of my favorite items that I own.  For this outfit, I combined a long sleeve crewneck tee in "poppy"(the color of the season, in my opinion, of course) with a plaid button down.  I planned to wear the button down with the navy blue wool skirt anyway, but I wanted to make the outfit different and new.  With the bright colored tee underneath, this outfit became totally reborn!
  In order to keep it more than casual, I decided to add my pearls, tons of gold bangles, and bow heels.  Even my husband commented on this one...score!
The ensemble.

These were the best find ever at Charlotte Russe for $14!  I love discoveries like that!

I tied the shirt at the waist '80's style because it looked way better than being tucked in.

This skirt is OLD.  It was almost ready to be donated a few years back, when I decided I should give it another try.  I took it to my tailor and now it's in regular rotation with all of my other pencil skirts.  I had them take it in around the waist so it had a more flattering fit and had it shortened above the knee to keep it from being so dowdy.  The end result?  A piece that I would get more years of wear out of.  Totally worth it!

Closet Tip:
When working with pieces you know just don't fit right, don't get rid of 'em, trust me, take them to a tailor.  FIT IS EVERYTHING.  Even a $20 item can look like $100 when it's tailored to fit your body perfectly.  Find one you know, can trust and isn't unreasonable with their will love them and your closet even more!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Autumn Pictures

Today we had our family photos taken by friends of ours who are wonderful photographers.  It was a beautiful day to be outside and have our pictures taken.  I felt like we had our own paparazzi following us!  Between my husband and I, two photographers and Kennedy as the model, I'm sure people wondered who this kid really was!  Toddlers and Tiaras look out! Haha...NEVER!  I must say, Kennedy was absolutely adorable and photogenic...for the most part.  We are so looking forward to seeing how they turn out.
Autumn Pictures
For my outfit, it was so hard to decide on what to wear.  I had to keep reminding myself that today was not about me and my fashion, but my daughter's cuteness.  I finally decided on a simple pants and turtleneck outfit.  Classic and timeless.  That way when I look back at these photos, I won't be constantly critiquing some part of the outfit.  You cannot go wrong with a tried and true look like this.  I added my own spin on the outfit by adding in some color and fun extras. Wouldn't be a true Courtney look without it!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Never Fear, Color is Here!

You'll never believe where the inspiration for this post came from... the latest Talbots catalogue! I know, I know, that store is totally for "moms" and "older ladies", but I'm not so sure that's the case anymore.  I loved the colors they are featuring this season and how they would punch up an LBD for any holiday party occasion! (PS...right now if you order anything online you can get 30% with the code JUST4U)

Report flat
Report Flats (Nordstrom)
A way to show off your style without compromising comfort.

The royal hues are back.
This regal green looks amazing on black.  (Or navy, or camel, or orange, or purple...but I digress!)

This clutch comes in 4 bright colors and is only $89!
I love it for that colorful accessory you may just need to have.
Charlotte Russe
This scarf adds a punch of color in a showstopping way.
(and it's less than $15!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Faves for New Inspiration

I've been searching for new inspiration to re-wear last year's fall items.  Here are some of the inspiration photos I came across in my searching- thought I'd share!
I have a silk skirt just like the one on the left.  I'm thinking denim shirt and cargo jacket...
not sure about the tie, though. :)
The glasses I hope look as awesome on me!
The fur jacket is similar to the style of one I bought last year.  Now if only I had those cool specs!
(I'm actually waiting for my free try-ons from classicspecs)
I totally have a sequin shirt from last year in a blush color.  I'm thinking it could be re-worn in a whole new way!
This picture just inspires me to get creative with color.
Even if it doesn' t seem right, it can totally work!
Flowy skirt with casual comfy sweater and flats. Easy and confident.
A cable sweater. A pop of color.  A maxi skirt.  I can do all three!
The bright pants are the best part about this outfit.
I love the idea of pairing an dress with a comfy sweater and boots.
Add tights and you're set for Michigan weather.
This fur vest is so fun!
I like the layering in this outfit.  Not really practical for indoors, but if you're heading to an outdoor event, perfect!
The collar of this sweater is the best part!
Another great sweater dress combo.  This made me think of the outfits many friends have been searching for for their engagement photos.
This would make a perfect layering piece.
All you need is a (faux) fur scarf to make an old sweater and jeans outfit look new again!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

9 Months of Fashion

Finally, a maternity-wear post!  I know so many gorgeous women who are "with child" lately, it only felt right to pair up with one of them to make some pregnant worthy outfits that would make any stylish women jealous.  I went over to my friend, Jen's house to see what her closet had in store: I was amazed by how organized it was!  Although, I should have known, being a kindergarten teacher and a professional maker-of-the-list, I should have expected nothing less!  Jen had a great assortment of basics and color to make MANY outfits that would last her until at least month 8. After that, I feel like pretty much all you get is maternity wear and is about your only savior, and by that point I was so tired, I'm not sure I even put that much thought into getting dressed!

Outfit #1
This outfit is a fun blend of casual separates that would make any pregnant girl happy!  A striped cotton tank dress, bright hoodie, leggings, and on-trend ankle boots that are not too high to walk in.  Add a funky knit cap and sparkly jewelry to make this outfit a perfect mix of dressy casual.
 Outfit #2
We have the same dress in our closets!  I love this gap denim dress with the ruffled placket.  For fall, I paired it with the mustard colored scarf, braided leather belt and heeled boots.  A shawl cardigan completes this look for the cooler temps.  Another chic way to stay comfortable and still look cute while you're "carrying" a child. :)
 Outfit #3
If you are a "belt" person while pregnant, (or anytime for that matter) this outfit is for you!  This dress is not maternity and looked fantastic on her! (See the final outfit picture...this is the outfit Jen chose as her favorite!)  I took the two flower brooches and put them on the red belt (buckled in back to keep from competing with more hardware).  Paired with silver and black bangles, leggings and pointy kitten heels, this outfit would look great on anyone...pregnant or not!
 Outfit #4
Pregnant women cannot neglect the impact of a maxi skirt!  It's an easy way to change up the "pants" routine and make an outfit new again.  I paired her black maxi skirt with easy layering pieces: plain white scoopneck tee and a purple vneck cardigan (insert any color cardigan here!)  The grey flats, flowered bib necklace, and bracelets complete the look.
Outfit #5 
Colorblocking for the cute mama-to-be!  Jen had a great royal blue tunic shirt that would be cute on its own with a pair of leggings, but I wanted to take it up a notch.  I paired it with this citron colored cardigan and some necklaces. You can't see it, but the layered necklace is actually two that I took apart and then hooked together, end-to-end.  This is an easy way to make one necklace longer and then you can loop it as many times as you want!  To finish, once again, leggings and flats.  Always comfort first!
Outfit #6 
This is not a maternity top!  I love the pattern and ruched sides on this top; perfect for a growing belly.:)  I paired it with her black trouser pants, metallic striped scarf, layered bronze chain necklace and black flats.  You could easily throw on a cardigan over this outfit to change up the look or interchange a skirt.  So many ways to re-wear your maternity wear!
 Outfit #7
I love this outfit!  The mix of coral, grey, and military olive are the best part about it, I think.  Skinny jeans are a pregnant girls best friend.  They definitely help balance out your top half.  For this outfit, I used yet another non-maternity top with side ruching, paired it with a comfy-cotton-military-inspired cardigan/coat (so many options in one piece!) and layered on some gold-tone necklaces.  Great for a night out or a chic casual Friday! 
Outfit #8
I love this floral, flirty dress.  In order to try and keep it in the maternity-wear sector, I layered it with a long sleeve tee.  All it needs is a scarf on top to cover up the neckline.  One more piece saved from being packed away for a year. 
This is a perfect example of the phrase "just a top".  I would easily go with a pant or skirt.  I wanted to make it different so I added a royal blue floral brooch to it.  

Closet Tip:
Any brooches or sashes need not be forgotten!  They are an easy way to make something old, new again!  Pair a brooch with a belt; just find one skinny enough to accomodate the pin.  Put a few complementary brooches on a sweater or top to add some flair.  Take that sash from your old bridesmaid dress and tie it on as a belt...or a scarf!  There are so many options just waiting in your closet.

Outfit #9
Doesn't even look like a pregger outfit, huh?!  How To Be a Hot Mom 101...never neglect the trends that you can still rock!  A floaty bohemian top, skinny jeans, and bohemian sweater vest are a great combination for anyone.  I added a chunky necklace and brown flats to complete this look.  Jen also has a pair of brown riding boots that would look great with this outfit. 

Outfit #10
I wanted to put together an "easy" outfit.  I definitely remember those days when you are not so fond of your belly and just feel blah.  (Be honest, you felt that way at least once too!)  An easy way to snap out of the blah, or at least help it, is to have a comfy fall back outfit.  A pair of fluid grey trousers, striped tank, printed scarf and bow flats can elevate any belly-blahs to belly-ahs!

Outfit #11
Layering, layering, layering.
That's the theme of this outfit; I took a purple dress/tunic and layered it underneath a maroon sweater.  All this outfit is missing is a long t-shirt underneath to keep it through the cooler months.  With leggings, heels, and long layered necklaces, it's just one more cute combination.

Outfit #12

 For this outfit, I wanted to show how you can take an empire waist tunic (non-maternity) 
and turn it into a flirty outfit.  

To colorblock with the fuschia top, I paired a royal blue scarf over a turquoise necklace.  Add some leggings and studded bow flats...wham!  Typical maternity outfit? I think not!
 Outfit #13

This sweater had admittingly been "tried on and washed so many times" in hopes that it would somehow just work one day!  The neckline was the issue here...and we fixed that! Wrap a scarf around and over that visible weird neckline anymore!  A jean skirt, tights and suede boots make this look perfect for a stroll, registering, or an evening with the hubby.

Here it is!  The outfit she chose to show off...We added a cardigan to give it more shape. (Why does pregnancy do such weird things to our bodies?! LOL)   Super cute and comfortable.  Who says you can't look hot for those long 9 months?!

Lastly, a few unsolicited maternity fashion tips that I found helpful while I was rockin' a bump...
  • Everyone needs a good stash of ruched layering tanks. The ones with the gathered seams on the sides.  I found the best ones at Target and Destination Maternity.  (Any Motherhood Maternity Outlet always has them on sale!)  These will get you through the end and beyond.

  • Skinny pants were my friend.  In order to balance out the bumpiness on top, I tended to stick with slimming pieces on the bottom.  Skinny jeans, black skinny pants, and leggings all worked for this part.  My favorite places to find them?  Gap Maternity, Target, and BP @ Nordstrom (of all places?!)  They used to carry a brand called JOLT that had elastic waistbands at the top of all their pants.  Genius!

  • Invest in long sleeve tees.  One in white, black, and dark heather grey.  Preferably scoopneck or vneck.  Crewnecks usually just make your busty top look even bustier.  Just sayin'.   These are worth a little extra because you'll wear them with soo much.  And they'll be washed soo much.  You want them to last.

  • Don't forget the impact of accessories.  You already have some items I'm sure that can keep you comfortable and stylish in the apparel department, but what about your jewels and shoes?  A statement necklace always calls attention elsewhere and says, "I still think I'm hot!"  A pair of metallic flats are comfortable and can go with anything.  I always found my favorites at Old Navy...I knew my feet would not be 1.5 sizes bigger after baby and only needed them for the time being.  Plus, they're surprisingly comfortable for long days!

  • Lastly, you DO NOT need to wear maternity for 9 months.  I didn't start wearing all maternity until at least 8 months.  There are so many cute tunics, empire waist tops, floaty dresses, and layering sweaters out there, there is no need to splurge on all the styles at the maternity stores.  Plus, most are waay overpriced. (In my opinion)  

My favorite stores were:

 Cheap and trendy.  I found the majority of my non-maternity items here.  I still wear some of the pieces I picked up while I was pregnant! (They even carry a maternity line now!)

My jeans all came from here.  Their styles ALWAYS go on sale.  I rarely paid full price.  Sign up for their emails, too. 

Good prices, trendy pieces, and the bohemian look is perfect to float over a bump!

Tanks, leggings, and other affordable pieces are always a mainstay here.  I loved perusing the racks for maternity pieces here while I was supposed to be shopping for everything but!

Their maternity section wasn't too bad for denim skirts and cardigans.

Longsleeve t-shirts and the line Loved by Heidi Klum were my typical purchases here.

Sales only!  But when they did have them, they were good.  Designer maternity wear for normal prices.