style · travel

Cruise Ready – How I Pack for a Seven-Day Trip

As I look ahead to my Caribbean cruise, my mind comes down to the one question that matters most of all:

What will I wear?

Now, I’ve packed for many (MANY!) trips over the years so I’m a bit of a packing pro. However, I don’t think I’ve ever written down my luggage logic. Until today.

luggage

I’m going to break down exactly what I pack for 8 days. Warning: there are some pieces that will be worn more than once. Fortunately, the ship has a laundry room, as does the hotel that I’m staying in when I return from the cruise. Also, the ship has laundry and dry cleaning service, so you can leave the washing to someone else, if you’d like.

The outfits I’m packing are as follows:

  • 2 “anytime” dresses
  • 1 formal/semi-formal dress
  • 3 tops
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 skirt or 1 pair of capris (haven’t decided which one will make the cut yet)
  • 1 set of pajamas
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 2 sarongs/pareos
  • 10 sets of undergarments (bras and panties); 4 pairs of socks
  • 1 workout ensemble
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 pair of heels

It’s important to remember that I’m wearing an outfit onto the ship, so I’m not counting that ensemble in the items above. For my 1st day/boarding the ship ensemble, I’ll be wearing:

  • long pants
  • blouse
  • ballet flats
  • small scarf

I want to keep it simple, but the truth is, it’s easy to run out of things to wear when you are doing a capsule wardrobe. Just because I’m keeping it simple doesn’t mean I want to be bored when I get dressed. I also don’t want to have to wear the same exact outfit 4+ times before I get home . . .

I’ve usually consulted The Vivienne Files for help with planning my travel wardrobe. I found a cruise-specific capsule wardrobe that may be of interest to someone. While I wouldn’t wear the colors and pieces specifically included, it still provides a good visual of what kind of items would give you the most versatility when packing for a cruise.

That’s my list for now. I’m actively trying to see if I can pare it down even more. If I can, I’ll let you all know! How do you all pack for travel? Let me know in the comments below!

style

The Only Two YouTube Style Gurus That You Need to Know About

Happy Friday, friends! I’ve recently spent a lot of time on YouTube, getting additional style ideas for this fall/winter transition. I have a good sense of the major items that I want to incorporate into my wardrobe, but I love getting additional inspiration so that I can look my best during the cooler months.

fashion

Through the many videos I’ve watched, I’ve learned that there are only two YouTube gurus that I’ve seen who have extremely comprehensive information that can apply to anyone. These YT creators are informative, thorough, and engaging. If you need a basic style education, I recommend these two ladies highly.

Aly Art

Aly is a favorite because her channel explains the Kibbe typing system in detail, and extends the concepts from clothing to hair, makeup and accessories. This Russian cutie makes content that really delves in how style can be used to flatter and enhance our natural attributes. She’s charming and stylish, and I love how her channel makes sure that a wide variety of women are well represented.

One of my favorite Aly Art’s favorite videos is the one about signature looks for the different body types:

 

Justine Leconte

I don’t know if it’s her French sensibility or her actual content that I love more, but I adore Justine. She is a fashion designer so she has a professional background in the style industry, and she, like Aly, has a flair for breaking down fashion concepts for regular folks like us. She covers fashion, color theory, beauty, and cultural concepts on her channel. There’s a lot of good information here, so visit when you have a good amount of time on your hands. Justine also has a website that you can check out here.

This video about planning your capsule wardrobe is great:

These two YouTubers are my go-tos for style information. Listen to these two ladies and you can’t go wrong!

That’s all for today. I look forward to chatting with you all tomorrow. Take care!

luxury · style

My Fantasy Fall Fashion Wish List

Happy Wednesday, beloveds! I’m back into the swing of things at work and daydreaming about my next holiday!

Yes, I’m longing for another day off but I’m also daydreaming about what kind of fashions I’m enjoying this upcoming fall and winter. Despite the fact that I dread the cooler months, I do like most of the fashions that the chillier weather makes possible, like gorgeous coats, snuggly sweaters and stylish boots.

I started compiling a mini-wish list for the fall, and I’m looking squarely at the Duchess of Sussex herself, Meghan Markle, for fall fashion inspiration. We have different body types (she appears to be a Natural, while I’m a Soft Classic, per the Kibbe typing system) but we both favor clean lines and exquisite construction.

The Duchess of Sussex in Black Halo and Goat Fashion (both photos from Elle Magazine)

She’s been spotted wearing several well-crafted pieces from Black Halo, Goat Fashions and Altuzarra. She always looks perfectly groomed and effortlessly stylish – the same effect that I’m going for.

From Black Halo, I’m swooning over the Mindy Sheath, the ¾ Sleeve Jackie O Dress, and the Sambora Sheath. For those that don’t know, Black Halo dresses have a wonderful liner so they are great for the cooler months. I have two Black Halo pieces but both of them are sleeveless, so I’m looking for something a little different for the fall.

The Mindy and Sambora Sheath Dresses

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The ¾ Sleeve Jackie O Dress

Another one of the Duchess’s favorites is Goat Fashions, another British brand. Duchess Meghan favored the Flavia Dress, which is just my speed: soft, feminine, and elegant. I’m also loving the Greta Blouse and Venus Dress.

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The Flavia Dress

Greta Blouse and Venus Dress

While Altuzarra makes to-die-for dresses and separates, I’m loving the coats made by the label. The Higgins Coat and the Elvin Coat both have enough tailoring in the waist to suggest an hourglass silhouette but are fully lined and perfect for chilly days. I’m leaning more toward the design of the Elvin Coat, since I fear that the pinstripe design of the Higgins Coat may be a bit too “boxy” on me, even with the cinched waist.

The Higgins Coat and the Elvin Coat

That’s my fantasy fall fashion wish list! I’ll do another post about fall accessories that I plan to incorporate into my wardrobe.

culture · style

Learn About Royal Fashions

Happy Monday, darlings! I hope you all had a satisfying weekend. I spent some time perusing one of Daily Mails’s many articles about the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. The public is fascinated with the California-born beauty, and the Daily Mail recently ran an article on her clothing budget and latest fashions. The truth is, the public LOVES watching what the wealthy wear, especially if the wealthy ones they are observing happen to be members of a royal family.

royal

In line with this fascination, I just came across another FutureLearn course that I thought you all might want to check out. A History of Royal Fashion is a course available through this online provider until September 1st. The course explores the fashion and symbols enjoyed by 5 different dynastic families. Yes, this course also includes the current royal family, the Windsors.

guard

A royal guard – yet another fashionable dressed extension of the British monarchy

I’m far too busy to take this course myself, but I figured that I’d pass along the information for anyone interested. The course sounds really fascinating, so if it is offered again, I hope I’ll have enough time to check it out. But for you all that have the time and the interest, lucky, lucky! You can enjoy this course for free, just by signing up on FutureLearn. And, if you pay a fee, you can access the course indefinitely, so you really have nothing to lose by checking it out.

This is shaping up to be a busy week, but I’ll still be on my daily post scheduled. In any case, wish me lots of sleep and plenty of productivity when I’m awake. Thanks in advance! Talk to you all tomorrow.

style

Summer Style Musings

These warm days have made me come ALIVE! I thrive during the summer months: I’m more energetic, more creative, more ME!

You all probably recall my Preparing for Spring style post back in March. I listed several items that I wanted to add to my wardrobe this year. I anticipated these pieces would work for my Kibbe type (Soft Classic) as well as add some more options to my style repertoire. Those items are as follows:

  • Pale taupe/light gray duster
  • Magenta blazer
  • Bright yellow a-line dress
  • Pale blue/green chiffon skirt
  • Oyster/champagne/ivory satin wrap (drape-y) top

I have been casually searching for these items, and I have updates (including a purchase!) on the status of my shopping list.

  • Pale taupe/light gray duster

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Naomie Harris at Calvin Klein (from Business of Fashion)

I’m still looking for this piece. The trick is finding it in a color that suits my neutral/cool undertones. Most of the dusters I’ve seen are dark (navy or black) or the undertones are all wrong (a little more warm than neutral). Fortunately, it’s warm enough where I don’t need a jacket anymore, but I’d love it for when the seasons change again and we’re experiencing cooler days.

  • Magenta blazer

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Naomie at the 2014 BAFTA Awards (from Elle)

This was the “toughest” item, meaning, I thought I’d never find it. Imagine my surprise when I found my blazer by “accident”. I was browsing JCPenney’s website and found this beauty – on sale!

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The blazer is Black Label by Evan Picone. The shade and design was perfect and the quality is superb. This was a clearance item and I purchased it for $23 (originally priced $75). I’ve been wearing it weekly and I always get compliments. I generally wear it with a solid tank top and jeans: I prefer clean, uncluttered lines and designs.

  • Bright yellow a-line dress

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Naomie Harris at the Spectre press conference (from Vogue UK)

I am on the fence about acquiring a yellow dress for the summer, because I really do have enough dresses and I aim to keep my closet as uncluttered as possible. *If* I can manage to part with at least two of my current dresses, then I’ll supplement my wardrobe with a yellow one.

  • Pale blue/green chiffon skirt

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Naomie at the Mandela screening (from The Fashion Spot)

I found two great options, and I’ll be ordering one of them as soon as I “make room” by getting rid of one or two of my other skirts.

This skirt by CoutureBridal is the perfect length and fabric, but I’m unsure if I want this particular shade of blue (I was hoping for a slightly dustier hue).

This seafoam green skirt by Fancy-Bridal is great, as well. I may just flip a coin and see which skirt wins!

  • Oyster/champagne/ivory satin wrap (drape-y) top

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With Olivia Palermo at the launch of Maison Makarem (from Getty Images)

I haven’t seen this yet, though I’ve gotten pretty close to what I’m looking for. I have a few other websites and shops that I’m going to check out over the next few weeks. However, if my desire for this blouse fades before I find it, then I’ll simply cross it off of my “want” list.

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That’s it for my updates! Do any of you make shopping lists before the beginning of the season? Let me know what you’re searching for in the comments below!

luxury · style

Nude Garments for Brown Skin

I’ve spent the better part of 10 years trying to find undergarments that match my complexion. Traditional “nude” is too light, and black isn’t suitable for some ensembles. Years ago, I searched for companies that offered nude garments for deeper brown skin, and I was highly disappointed.

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Nude options as available through Target (photo from Target.com)

I’m happy to announce that this is no longer the case, and there are several retailers that consistently offer bras in deeper skin-toned hues. Here are a few of them that I’ve found. These range from extremely affordable to luxury, but all of them have inclusive shade ranges that accommodate women all of skin tones!

Savage by Fenty

Unlined Lace Bra in Brown Sugar , Spiced , and Cocoa (photos from Savage X Fenty)

Musical superstar Rihanna recently launched Savage X Fenty, an inclusive lingerie company that seeks to flatter women of all shades and sizes. Much like her Fenty Beauty line, Savage X Fenty is committed to catering to customers that are traditionally overlooked. I was so excited to see this line: I just placed my first order and I’m eager to see how nice the items are. Brava Rihanna!

Naja

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Anais bra in Nude 05, Nude 06 and Nude 07 (photos courtesy of Naja)

Naja goes beyond being inclusive, and jumps headfirst into being ethical and socially responsible, as well. Their bras are made by single mothers and impoverished women, ensuring that these women earn above market wagse and get benefits that make it possible for them to continue to be productive citizens (such as healthcare benefits and childcare assistance). Kudos to Naja!

Nubian Skin

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Classic Lace Push-Up Bra and Classic Lace Short in Cinnamon; Classic Lace Push-Up Bra and Classic Lace Short in Caramel ; Classic Lace Push-Up Bra and Classic Lace Short in Berry (photos courtesy of Nubian Skin)

Nubian Skin was one of the earliest companies to focus on inclusivity in their designs. Their elegant bras and underwear are flattering to many brown skin shades. This is another line that accommodates women of all sizes, with bras ranging from 30A to 40G. Along with undergarments, the company offers hosiery and shoes in a variety of nude shades. Nubian Skin takes the cake for having such a comprehensive list of nude offerings.

BeingU

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Stick on Solutions Bra in BeingU02

BeingU is a UK-based brand (just like Nubian Skin) offering undergarments in 5 skin-toned shades. What’s unique about this company is that they offer a stick-on bra, a strapless/bandless alternative that gives wearers even more style freedom. The company is currently running low on stock in several items – here’s hoping that they restock soon (fingers crossed!)

Target brands Gilligan & O’Malley and Xhilaration

Women’s Everyday Racerback Bra and Women’s No-Show Laser Cut Hipster in Coffee Bean by Gilligan & O’Malley (photos from Target.com)

Women’s Perfect T-Shirt Convertible Lightly Lined Plunge Bra and Women’s Cheeky Laser Cut with Lace Boyshorts in Cocoa by Xhilaration (photos from Target.com)

Target offers some extremely affordable bras and underwear in varying nude shades. Particularly, Gilligan & O’Malley and Xhilaration offers some fun designs at reasonable prices. For those of us that want to pick up these undergarments in person (as opposed to waiting for an order to arrive), stopping in a local Target is a perfect solution.

Do you know of any other retailers that offer varying nude shades? If so, drop the links in the comments below!

style

My Next Shoe Purchase

This is going to be a brief post, because this is a BUSY week!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I LOVE a creatively designed pair of shoes. I also love supporting true artisans, so it was only a matter of time before I sought out shoes that marry my love of creative design and excellent craftsmanship.

I was recently introduced to Aminah Abdul Jillil from a fashionista on FB. I didn’t realize it, but I’d been seeing Aminah’s designs all over a bunch of blogs but I never knew the name behind the designs. So yeah, I’m late to the party, but I’m glad I arrived. Her shoes are DROOLWORTHY. Just look at these beauties:

ChampagneOpenToe

Champagne Open Toe Pumps by Aminah Abdul Jillil

Considering the cost of most designer shoes, Aminah’s designs are downright affordable. These will be perfect for showing off the results of my foot exfoliation treatment. I can’t wait to purchase my first pair! When I get them, I’ll be sure to share photos and review them.