Christmas Day Look!

I love oversized sweater dresses! They’re amazingly comfortable and have a certain city chic look about them. Make sure if you buy one that it’s not too long, or too short. Mid to low thigh is perfect. They’re versatile to wear, think sneakers, flats or even sandals, in warmer climates. This is a great piece to have in your closet!

Pair your dress with some chic ankle boots and chunky accessories for a fun, laid back look. I draped a oversized military style coat over the shoulders of the dress to ward off the cold.

Shopping tip: If you can’t find a dress you love, try sweaters that are bigger than your size. They’ll be longer but still have a good shape, though you may have to roll up the sleeves.

Check it out!

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Some street style looks for inspiration..

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Summer to Winter: White Pants 

I love wearing white/ivory/cream in the winter time. It feels fresh and whimsical. Taking classic summer pieces and working them into a winter wardrobe is easier than it seems.

For these pants I wanted to go dark and cozy on top, layering a charcoal grey wool sweater with the scarf created a really nice textured look that was season appropriate.

To make an awesome outfit remember things like the texture (does it have things like tassels, is it woven, have special details etc.), or color scheme, patterns, think about unlikely pieces that “go” together. A flight jacket, pencil skirt and cute booties make a great outfit, though you wouldn’t classically think to put them together.

Check it out!


  

You Have Great Clothes, Crippling Debt and No Money. What Do You Do Now?

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It’s the ugly elephant in the room and the silent anxiety that follows us around. And although you fear the elephant, you also really love your latest clothing acquirement. However, you’ve had to freeze half of your credit cards because the debt is overwhelming, your credit is smashed, and your extra cash is going towards utilities and rent, and you stopped eating. Raise a hand if you’ve ever been there.

The struggle to be trendy and have the latest fashion pieces is super real, and your worst enemy is that things actually cost money. I’ve always loved clothing and sometimes would skip a meal or two because I had just snagged a new top or a skirt, because I had forgotten that I needed to eat. The secret to being successful with your finances isn’t to make more money because the more you make, the more you would inevitably spend. Marrying a wealthy man/woman is also not the answer to your woes because he/she might not be as spendy as you are (that’s why they’re wealthy….). The secret to your success with finances and fashion is in how you spend and how you save.  In order to be successful you’ll need a few things.

1. Work on getting rid of debt and get an accountability partner.

This is someone who can help you creep out of your debt by keeping you accountable for what you’re spending, someone who helps you make a budget. Total honesty and transparency is needed, because you’ll have to tell them everything. You might not think you need one, but trust me, it feels so amazing knowing that someone has your back. They can encourage you, ask you the hard questions, and also praise you when you’ve made a small victory. It has to be someone you trust, and someone who’s a little more savvy when it comes to money. Being honest, transparent, and willing to change is the key to success. If you don’t work on getting rid of debt now, it’ll always hang over your head.

2. A solid budget plan.

I was always useless when it came to budgeting, until my bills were falling behind and I had no clue how much money I had spent on dinner and drinks that month. After I started making a budget, it was so much clearer to see where my money was going, and what it needed to be saved for. It was also way easier to carve out a little shopping money, because every penny had been allocated. Whether it was food, rent, transportation etc, it all had a dollar amount attached to it. If you spent too much in one area, you had to take it out of another. Credit cards weren’t an option (at one point I had maxed them out). Take any left over money and put it into savings.

3. An aggressive attitude towards finding the best deals.

Don’t take Uber just because it’s convenient. If it’s costing too much to travel, then it’s time to look for a cheaper alternative. Is it less glamorous? Yes. Will it probably take longer? Yes. Will it save you money in the end? Yes. Sometimes it means moving closer to work, or if that’s not an option then car pooling with friends, taking the train, or even finding something closer to home. Is it within biking or walking distance? Those are great alternatives if you live in the city.

4. Learn how to differentiate between needs and wants.

There are certain wardrobe items that we all need. And as a style-loving girl, you’ll know exactly what wardrobe basics you should have. If you don’t, then it’s time to choose a wise friend and go through your closet together. Purge all the nonsensical things. It’s much easier to live off the “needs” with a few “wants”, than to have a closet brimming with random things that were pretty once or twice but have since lost its glimmer. When you’re out shopping, ask yourself if you need the Giambattista Valli sandals or whether you just want them. Can you find similar styles elsewhere, or get them secondhand. Are you buying them because of the brand, or because of the style.

5. Downsizing.

Your clothes are a great asset and selling things you don’t wear is an excellent way to get extra cash. That includes items that are still amazing, but that you haven’t worn in a while. If you didn’t wear it in the last 3 months (basic weather related clothing aside) then it can probably go. If you have shoes that are cute, but you know aren’t really in style, then sell them. Get any extra cash you can out of your wardrobe and use it to pay bills. Some great sites for selling is Vestiaire Collective, Tradesy, Vinted and obviously Ebay.

6. Thrifting, H&M, Forever 21, Zara and sale racks.

These are your new best friends. As gut wrenching as that sounds to the girl who spends freely and expensivley, you have to face the consequences of your decisions, and you’ll realize that the brand names are a no-go for now. I actually love going into consignment or thrift stores because I always find amazing things at a fraction of the cost, and it feels like treasure hunting. I found my all time favorite vintage silk blouse at a thrift store for $1.00 and it was perfect. These places are great for vintage pieces as well, especially denim. H&M and Forever 21 and a slew of other bargain stores have really great stuff for reasonable prices, and they have great sales. These places are musts.

Society teaches us that we deserve to be instantly gratified, and that if we want something, we should just have it. Sadly, this isn’t what builds long-term wealth and it causes more frustration and headaches, especially if you’re married. Think long-term solutions so that you can enjoy the finer things in life when it actually matters. You don’t want to be old and totally down and out because you threw all your money at $20 drinks and hundreds of dollars at a pair of shoes when you couldn’t really afford it.

Yay to financial freedom!!

Let me know if this article was helpful! Do you agree? Disagree? We’re all on the same journey.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER

I love SJP! She’s a true style icon.

ANAMI BLOG

sjp, carrie bradshaw, sex and the city, woman, style icon Source: Pinterest

ENG: As she celebrated her 50th birthday recently, let’s just stop and reflect on Sarah Jessica Parker’s always fabulous looks both as the actor and as Carrie Bradshaw. Now, she might not be the most talented of them all in Hollywood, but certainly is (was) the perfect Carrie in the city.

I loved every episode (have my own pink collection), even though the last movie was a bit awkward. But generally, Sex and The City showed us that it is more than OK to be free, independent, sexual, successful and even single. That it is OK to be a woman and want it all while staying a woman. That it is OK to express ourselves, to communicate our thoughts and to shift away from social conventions for our own good.

SJP has become a style icon, she made several unlikely trends chic, and established Manolo Blahnik shoes as…

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Much Ado About Cindy: Body Image and the Big Screen

The Cinderella movie just came out, and though I haven’t seen it yet, twitters’ all abuzz about the size of poor Cindy’s waist. Comments from it being airbrushed, to how the actress, Lily James, needed to go on a liquid diet to fit into the dress, and how it’s a terrible role model for children. The part that really gets me is where she is a “bad role model for children”, mainly because people come in all shapes and sizes, and because you’re not that size, you’re unaccepting of her as a person.

I feel passionate about body image because I didn’t always love myself; I knew I was pretty because my mom always said so, but I felt like an outsider at school because I was bullied, which made me terrified of people. Today it’s a different story. I love my body, I love myself, and I have a healthy (maybe too healthy..) level of confidence to where I can be in the buff in front of my hubby and not feel ashamed or ugly. Though to be honest, when I see a truly fit girl, I do feel a pang of dolefulness at my lack of discipline when it comes to working out. But nevertheless, I’ll tell you how I got to a place of loving my body.

I have a gorgeous mother. She has the body of a woman who had two kids but she’s beautiful and very fit. When I was growing up, I’d watch her faithfully put on makeup every day and refresh her lipstick before my dad got home. She believes that you must always look your best for your husband. She took care of her body in that she ate heartily and healthily, she was very active and is still quite fit for her age. She washed her face with amazing skin care products and later on would switch to all natural oils, lotions and potions. This paid off in that her skin looks like a 45 year old’s and she’s well into her 60’s. I watched her religiously put body butter on her whole body when she got out of the shower in the morning, and before she would go to bed at night. She would put lotion on her hands the second she got into the car, every single time. She was the woman that always had fabulous hairdressers, and I remember thinking that she was at the cutting edge of fashion and style. A real modern woman.

She had clothing for every situation, and her wardrobe was impressive. She could find amazing clothes anywhere she shopped and I would prance around the house in her clothing that she brought back from Greece and Israel. I stomped around in her high heels and played the “I’m so beautiful game” as a humble 5 year old, and my sister and I would pretend that we were princesses with the scarves she had gotten from some far away land. My mother didn’t only dress well though, she lived well, and she was the embodiment of a confident, loving, beautiful woman that I wanted to be one day.

She and my dad complimented my sister and I endlessly, and she would give us manicures and pedicures and put lotion on our hands and we would watch her spend time on herself like that. She championed our independence when it came to picking out our own clothes. She wasn’t my favorite person when she disciplined us, but I always knew without a doubt that I was my mom’s (and dad’s) princess, and that my sister was their rose. Those were her nicknames for us and they still are. Sure there were times when it wasn’t all rosy and things were hard and unfair. My dad and her would be gone a lot on business or really busy with work, but I remember the good times.

When we moved to the United States, it all got worse, compared to what it had been at school back home. I didn’t know who I was, where I belonged and I felt like I really stood out. I went into a bit of a grunge phase and, though I was confident and strong, I felt like I wasn’t being myself. After 4 years of painful high school memories and so many bad moments, I graduated and I knew that I could choose who I wanted to be. After a year of detoxing from school and being thrust into a new life in a city surrounded by amazing people, I finally stepped into “myself”. I knew who I was and started acting accordingly. I started being like that princess my mom always called me. I started doing my hair and makeup every day, had a nice wardrobe and really started loving myself. I changed my outlook on life, and decided that it was fun and I was meant to live it to the fullest.

When I’m about town I notice things, and I see moms who don’t love themselves, they don’t take care of themselves, and their outward image speaks of “I don’t care, I don’t know how to care, why does it matter” etc. I see wives who don’t try to look their absolute best for their husbands. I also hear moms who never compliment their daughters for fear that they might grow up with a false sense of self. They don’t want to pressure them into being someone specific, rather let them have the freedom to choose whatever. What they’re doing, in fact, is not giving them a framework to thrive in; those girls, therefore, will be the ones who succumb to society’s “ideal woman” and they will be the ones struggling with their body image because it was perpetuated through their mothers’ insecurity.

It’s those same mothers who are offended at the Cinderellas’ of the industry. You see, although in principle it might sound nice to give a child the choice of who they want to be, you can’t expect them to make decisions like adults do. They haven’t been given the options, seen the consequences, made the mistakes, intellectually derived solutions to problems, and lived through years of regret, understanding, knowledge of wisdom, like adults have. All they see are unicorns, flowers, fun, not fun, sad, happy. They don’t understand, or can’t comprehend, the “choose whatever” lifestyle. Why? Because they’re kids. Their brains haven’t fully formed to a place where they can decide for themselves. All they’re doing is absorbing, like sponges, information around them. They aren’t deciding anything, just absorbing.

What role model are you being for your daughter or son, so that the information they’re absorbing is information you can be proud of. The information I absorbed about body image around my mother, was that I could be beautiful, that I was a princess, that I had a good heart, that it mattered that I loved myself for my future husband’s sake.

So it all starts at home. Mothers, love yourselves. Show your daughters that you love yourselves. If you don’t love yourself then do something to change it. Change your diet and start working out. Those endorphins will immediately change your mood! Find the things about you that you love and if you’re having a hard time, grab a girlfriend and chat about it. Be open, honest, and real. The best thing you can do for your daughter is give her a proper framework for what true beauty is. Actually, be an amazing role model for her. Teach her what you think she should know about beauty and body image. Rather say something than nothing at all. Teach her to love her body, in whatever shape or size it is, whether it’s tall and willowy or a little tubby.

Before I got married, I weighed a very slight 125lbs. For a 5’9″ girl, that’s quite skinny. After marriage I quickly gained the “marriage weight” and clocked in at a solid 140lbs. That felt like a lot to me. You guys. It was real. I was so ashamed. My husband didn’t really care because we were both in the marriage muffin boat. I went from prancing around the house in my undies as a single girl to wearing t-shirts to bed. This was so not me! I loved being free and loving myself! I knew something had to change, and drastically. First I cut out the pizzas and Krispy Kremes, the chocolates, and the drinks, and I joined a gym. (Although, you haven’t lived if you haven’t had a freshly glazed hot Krispy Kreme donut right off the belt.) That was fine but I realized that my mindset concerning myself wasn’t changing. I decided that I would stare at myself in the mirror until I could accept myself and love my body. I continued to faithfully put lotion on every night, and I would stare at myself until the day came that I realized I looked like a cherub. I kid you not. Those little angels in Michelangelo’s paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Those ones. I laughed so hard the moment I realized it, because I loved it. I started feeling playful again, and then soon after that I felt sexy. I felt like the models in those old paintings, the ones lounging lazily on a couch with grapes in their hands. When I saw myself like that, I started loving my body. My sexiness hadn’t diminished with the extra love. It was there all along; I just had to realize it.

I’m closer now to the size I was when I got married and I remind myself every now and then that I might not look like a Victoria’s Secret model, yet, but I sure do feel like one. And that’s what counts.

Inuit Tribes and Tattooed Ladies: Dsquared2’s Breathtaking Collection

I’ve been harping on and on about texture, color, style, layering, etc. and happened upon Dsquared2s’ collection for fall/winter 2015. Needles to say I was drooling. Their collection is absolutely amazing, and not just one or two looks either. Every article of clothing is unique and perfect.

From first glance it seemed that they drew their inspiration everywhere from native american culture to matadors to inked ladies from the 1800’s. When I finally read where they had in fact drew their inspiration from, I wasn’t surprised. I had hit the nail on the head. They designed their collection around their Canadian roots, and imagined something like a plane that fell from the sky with suitcases with clothes from old Europe, and imagined an Inuit tribe incorporating what they found into their own dress-ware.

I’m completely obsessed. They utilized layering in a major way, using different textures and styles to compliment each other and created this visually stimulating collection that takes your breath away. You can easily incorporate a piece, or several pieces into your day to day wardrobe with some fun styling, to make a look thats fun and appropriate for todays street style.

Check out the looks below and tell me what you think!

Images from style.com

The Style Bloggers Conundrum.

When I started blogging about style and outfits it was because style was a major passion of mine. As a child I’d play in my moms closet and I remember wearing her clothes to church even though they were miles to big for my 9 year old frame. I loved stomping around in her high heels. Style is the art of putting something together well. It comes from years of playing with clothes, or having a special affinity for design and construction. From the basics all the way to a statement outfit; styling is when you use the design, color, pattern, cut, etc. to produce something great. I love that some designers this year were inspired by vintage pieces, or by a certain culture or people group. It’s thinking outside the “what will sell” box.

It’s easy, as a style blogger, to get caught up in the high-end fashion, the expensive and name brand things. Style, however, doesn’t have rules. It doesn’t require you to have pricey tags or renowned names in your closet. As a style blogger I’ve fallen into the fast-fashion, easy to buy, “styled for me”, name brand pieces trap that actually takes the art and effort out of street style. I remember the thrill of finding an amazing vintage piece at the local thrift store and making it work till it looked like a thousand bucks. I love the branded pieces as well, but more so I’ve rediscovered the opportunity to create a unique impression by blending clothes from any and every type of retail establishment. Whether it’s the flea market, Banana Republic, that weird thrift store, Zara, wherever. I half lost that love in my desire to appear as on trend and culturally relevant as possible. Street style won’t be street style if what we’re wearing was just on the runway or in H&M’s display window. We have to do better than that.

Perhaps this is my call to return to our roots as artists and lovers of all things material. Let’s wear what we want, when we want, and lose our fear of being outside the box. It’s not about the tags, or even the box, it’s about the expression and the lifestyle. Be you.

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The Oscars: What They Wore

When it comes to award shows, street style, premiers etc. I find myself quite quick to point a finger at the celebrity wearing the crazy dress or weird outfit and in fact I find a sense of joy/sympathy knowing that they wore something that I never would have chosen. I never stopped to think that maybe they love it. Maybe they think it’s gorgeous, and maybe they feel like a queen.

I’ve been writing about style and fashion for a long time now and realized something. It’s quite easy to have an opinion at the cost of someone elses’ dignity, but if it came to it I would never in a million years say those things to their face. I would be a classic a**hole and they would be mortified. For instance, I thought Emma Stones’ dress this year was too yellow and didn’t do much to show off her amazing complexion. But then I stopped and thought that maybe she loved that specific color. Maybe she chose it because she felt beautiful, and if so, then, who am I to take away her freedom of choice by judging her and calling her out on her inferior choice of attire. I actually have absolutely no right. Instead I look at the girl and realize that she radiates in that dress, that she does actually look quite stunning. This same thought translates to non-celebrities as well, if that wasn’t obvious.

We hold onto our freedoms so tightly and are willing to fight tooth and nail for the right to be someone and have our voice and choice be heard without so much as a negative eye glance, (think the anti-vaccine movement, LGBT movement, feminist movement, you name it) yet here we are, taking their choice and throwing it back in their face as if it were inferior to our own wisdom. Now sure, there are some who wear clothing brought to them by stylists and some who follow blindly; trusting that the decision suggested to them will hold up in front of the clicking cameras and babble of opinionated voices. We should offer encouragement to them, then, and say that their beauty far outshines any dress they could wear, or, have we the chance and relationship, we offer an honest but loving opinion.

When it comes to someones identity and self-esteem we should be careful that we aren’t wounding with our words. What if the same were said about us. What if we were thrown in front of a camera and our hair, makeup, skin, body, dress were mercilessly torn a part. The majority of us couldn’t survive it.

Maybe we should encourage and exhort, say kind words, and if even if we think it hideous, we look not at the dress but at the soul wearing it. We would then see beauty and we would lavish them with compliments. It’s what’s right, what’s fair and what makes us beautiful not only on the outside, but also the inside.

What I love about style and fashion is that we can play and have fun with it. You can be anyone or anything you want to be. This is the freedom that we all have, we get to choose. Let’s not take away another persons right to choose simply because it’s not what we would have done. Let’s celebrate their uniqueness, individuality and ability to be creative.

What are your thoughts on how we treat celebrities? Do they deserve our criticism or should we be more forgiving?

This written by a very opinionated and choosy fashion bunny.