style

Social Wardrobe for Soft Classics

During the holiday season, you all may find that you have more invitations that you expected . . . At least, that’s been my experience. With all of the parties, galas, and gatherings this season, I realize I needed to assess my wardrobe and see if I had the clothing I needed to stylishly sail through it.

clothing

I figured that it’s important to have a basic “social wardrobe” that flatters my Soft Classic Kibbe type (more about my Kibbe type here and here; click here for general information about body typing). My social wardrobe takes into account my Kibbe type so if you have a different type, you may want to ignore some of the highly personal suggestions and just think about the concepts overall. Even if you have a different Kibbe type, you still will likely benefit from assessing your social calendar and what few items you’ll need to look your best.

  • A fitted sheath

The silhouette should be fitted but not tight: the goal is a structured look that emphasizes the waist without looking overly exaggerated. I really like this very affordable option by Muxxn: it comes in a variety of colors, and it’s easy to dress this up with glamorous jewelry and ornate shoes. However, there’s always the possibility of wearing this with a blazer and nude pumps and then you have a great ready-for-work ensemble.

  • A sleek turtleneck

This is a versatile piece that goes from work to social settings with ease. I love turtlenecks with little extra details that make it look festive. I recently got a turtleneck from White House Black Market that is positively divine. It has small buttons on the sleeves that add a feminine touch. This looks great paired with ankle-length pants or tucked into a voluminous skirt in a dressy-looking fabric (like faille or satin). Sadly, my turtleneck has since sold out, but perhaps they will eventually make it available again. . . Until then, this lovely turtleneck with inset sleeves by PattyBoutik is a pretty, unique interpretation of the traditional turtleneck.

  • 1950s style dress

Fitted bodice, A-line (or fuller) skirt – think swing dresses – and perfectly coiffed hair are all timelessly chic elements of some of my favorite looks from previous social events. I really love how Amazon has a lot of 1950s-inspired styles for reasonable prices. I wore a lacy blush dress by Dressystar when I was a bridesmaid this summer, and I fell in love with the design. However, if you’d like something a little more luxurious, there are many vintage-inspired retailers that have incredible offerings. Unique Vintage has a great swing style coat dress that would look elegant at a variety of events. If coat dresses aren’t your thing, then check out Scarlet Rage, Modcloth and Bitter Root Vintage (full disclosure – many of the dresses on Bitter Root are identical to designs being sold for much less on Amazon. So if the designs start looking similar . . . That may be why).

Dressystar Floral Lace Dress

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Retro Style Black Double Breasted Swing Coat Dress by Unique Vintage

Full skirt (any length)

The trick with full skirts is to make sure that the top you pair them with is fitted. The contrast of a fitted top with a full skirt can give you the look of a 1950s-style dress (discussed above) but it allows you to customize it more. The full skirt can have any color or print that you like, and you can easily pair it with tops that have different colors, sleeve lengths, necklines, etc.,. The options are endless! I really like this pleated skirt by Girstunm, which comes in over 40 designs.

Those are some of the basics that I think would be a good starting point for creating a solid social wardrobe. There are probably a few more pieces you’d recommend – if so, let me know in the comments below.

Take care, and enjoy your Tuesday!

beauty · style

8 Easy Ways to Look Luxurious

Happy Tuesday, folks! Despite some unseasonably warm weather yesterday, I’m still fully aware that winter is upon us and we’d do well to not let our beauty routines lapse. Sometimes, a little warm weather will make us less diligent when it comes to our cold-weather routines – don’t fall for the trap! After all, we only get one body: we have to take care of ourselves.

Along with caring for our bodies internally (diet, exercise, caring for our mental, spiritual and emotional health), we must care for them externally, too. And after we care for our external selves, we may find that basic care just isn’t enough to put a little pep in our steps. Let’s face it: usually, the basics aren’t enough to make us feel luxurious. It doesn’t matter if your face cream costs hundreds of dollars or if you’re using SPF2000: basic care isn’t always enough to make you “sparkle”.

luxury

However, enhancing your sparkle is easy! Here are 8 simple ways you can look more luxurious on a daily basis. Keep up with these, and you’ll be glistening effortlessly in no time!

  1. Groomed brows – I selected this as the top item because it’s so easy to neglect our brows in favor of other body parts. However, well-groomed brows create a gorgeous frame for your eyes, and can instantly make your whole face look more polished and refined. Groom your brows to instantly see a more luxurious you.
  2. Moisturized skin – Dry skin will never be luxurious. Using a good moisturizer that leaves your skin soft, supple and non-greasy instantly enhances your look. Walking the fine line between glowing and greasy is tough, so you may have to sample a few different formulations to find a good one. It’s worth the effort, so start looking now so that you can be well on your way to a more luxurious appearance.
  3. Freshly manicured/painted nails (on hands and feet) – Polished, cared-for nails and feet make a world of difference when it comes to cultivating a luxurious look. Nails that are even, polish that has no chips, lumps or gashes, and cuticles that are trimmed and moisturized quickly give hands and feet the appearance of luxury. This takes a bit more time than some of the other luxurious enhancements mentioned, but it’s worth the investment.
  4. Clothing made from all natural fibers – This can be challenging, since we live in a world full of polyester, spandex and other unnatural fibers. Natural fibers require more maintenance but look infinitely more luxurious. All within reason, though – everyone must consider their personal budget and level of investment when deciding what kind of fibers to purchase. However, cotton is inexpensive and feels great next to the skin, and more expensive fabrics (like leathers, silks and cashmere) can be purchased at a discount if you are a wise shopper. For a truly luxurious look, keep in mind your personal ethics (leather isn’t for everyone!) while shopping for all natural fibers for your wardrobe.
  5. Red lipstick – Perfectly applied red lipstick can immediately make a face look more luxurious and polished. Red lipstick in the perfect shade for your undertones and complexion is a powerful tool to make any ensemble look more glamorous. Red lipsticks are available at all price points, so this luxe accessory is truly available to anyone!
  6. Whitened teeth – A bright, white smile can do wonders for enhancing your overall appeal. And, whitened teeth are very luxurious looking. Whitening formulas can be as simple as baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide, or as elaborate as a few rounds at the dentist’s office. Whatever it takes, make sure to remove as many surface stains as you can from your teeth, so that you can have your brightest smile.
  7. Large sunglasses – Give a nod to Jackie O, one of the most elegant women ever, by throwing on a large pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses are practical – who ?doesn’t want to protect their precious eyesight from the suns’s harmful rays – and mysterious. They shield your eyes in the most stylish way. The right sunglasses add a level of polish to any look. Try on a few pair and see for yourself!
  8. Gloves – An oft-forgotten accessory, gloves are another one that is truly practical and still adds a stylish, luxurious touch. Most people won’t reach for their gloves until the cold months, but lightweight cotton gloves are great for protecting hands from the sun when you’re out and about during the warmer seasons.

Can you think of anything else that makes you look or feel luxurious? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

style

Black Friday Deals and Musings

Happy Black Friday, friends! If you were able to spend time with your family and friends yesterday (on Thanksgiving), consider yourself very fortunate. I was able to visit one of my good friends, and I think it did us both a lot of good to share some time with one another.

Today, however, is Black Friday, the only day of the year where people are expected to act insane while trying to save a little money. I used to work in retail many years ago, and I worked several Black Fridays in a row (5 years straight, to be exact) and I haven’t physically gone out on Black Friday since then. I really lost my taste for shopping on this day, after I saw how wretched some people acted over “stuff”.

Don’t get me wrong: I like “stuff” as much as the next person. But I always found the Black Friday riots to be degrading and, to be frank, truly asinine. I never wanted my face to be caught up in that foolishness when the media covers the brawls and stampedes happening at big box retailers.

shopping

Instead, I’ll peruse the sales at home and if I see something that I truly want, I’ll purchase it online. As an introvert, buying from home saves me the hassle of forced human interaction but also reduces some of the visual stimuli that can overwhelm me when I’m in disorganized, overcrowded stores. Today, I saw that some of my favorite retailers – White House Black Market, Black Halo, and Macys – are all running some pretty great sales this Black Friday. Even if you (like me) aren’t keen to interact with the crowds, this is a good time to purchase something that has been on your list for a while.

If you find some awesome deals, let me know in the comments below. Or, if you find that you just can’t hang with the Black Friday crowd, I’d love to hear all about it. Enjoy your day, and happy shopping!

style

Fall Fashion Post Run-Down

Hi guys! Now that the cool weather seems to be here to stay, I want to share some fun fall fashion posts that I’ve seen over the past few weeks. This will be a brief post, since I’m currently working on a few other things and have to keep it brief so that I have time to work on the pressing stuff. In any case, enjoy, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

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The best part about fall: leaves changing color

If you’re curious about your fall color palette, check out this post over on Best Life Facts. These colors are sure to work perfectly as you transition from summer’s warmth to autumn’s coolness.

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Geek Refined is serving up five different fall looks for your enjoyment. The cool thing about this post is that these are all great transition looks: not quite warm enough for the coldest days, but perfect for the weather right now.

If you’re looking for individual fall pieces to add to your wardrobe, check out Haley’s Beauty Room. This list has a bunch of ideas for filling the gaps with your ensembles. I especially love the trench coat recommendation.

Have fun checking out the links!

 

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.