The Best Spring/Summer Dresses

I’ve decided that it’s imperative that I invest in a few dresses this season. The options are just too dazzling. We’re talking metallics, whimsical whites, florals etc. You name it, it’s on the street and I need it in my closet.

I’ve picked out my top 6 favorite styles and fabrics including a whimsical white, which will always be in style, a truly timeless and classic piece. I’m also loving denim dresses for their laid back, vintage vibe.

Metallics have been a fun addition this season as well; from shoes, bags, and now dresses. This shift dress is the perfect design for a metallic color because it’s simple but the shimmer is eye-catching. Florals are huge this season as well, especially in more structured looks, like these shirt and body-con dresses. Last but not least we have the off-the-shoulder number from Mango. It’s the perfect throw back to 70’s style, and paired with lace up sandals makes it the quintessential summer look.

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How To! Wear Flirty Lacy Tops Like An Adult

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I’m turning the big 3-0 this year and my nerves are almost shattered. Apart from it meaning that I have to admit to being half a real adult now, it means that there’s certain things that I just really can’t wear anymore. (An article about that later…)

During New Years, one of my closest darlings came to visit us in the UK. Whilst out shopping I found the cutest little white lacy number that would’ve looked adorable on her. Her opinion was different because she felt that she would look like a child in such a dear little top. (She’s gorgeous btw). I, however, disagreed, and have since made it an effort to come up with a way to wear a flirty little number without looking like a desperate 16 year old. (If you find that I do, please tell me!)

The first order of business is to find a top that fits you really well in all the right places. This goes without saying.

Secondly, the bottom. Right now destroyed denim is everywhere, especially high and mid waisted, also boyfriend and flared styles. Any of these are a great companion to your little top, but if destroyed denim isn’t your thing, then try a solid dark blue (or black) pair of high-waisted (or mid, depending on your body type) jeans with a nice wide belt that stands out. Then add your shoes. I’d go with a strappy heeled sandal to distance your self, in this case, from the sneaker wearing youths.

Hair and makeup is next, and I currently love doing a low semi-messy bun.  Think Dolce & Gabbana. (I tug at the back of the hair so it’s not super neat looking.) I love this demure look because you can wear anything bold and that low bun tames it right down. For makeup, I did a bold smokey eye with a soft, natural lip and dewy cheeks to lift the overall look and again, and add age to the top. This is the one good time where you want to add age. Doing a neutral, no makeup look is good for the beach in the middle of summer, but any other time and your overall look will appear more juvenile that necessary. (Unless you were to do the other elements of this look, in which case you could probably get away with it.)

Last but not least is statement jewelry. A cuff bracelet and heavy (think huge) earrings add a touch of sophistication and timeless style. (Again, Dolce & Gabbana esq)

Check out my look below!

Fall Obsession: Oversized Cardigans, Capes and Ponchos

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Yes, yes summer did just finish and we’re headed into fall, BUT where I live at the moment it’s chilly and it feels as if winter is actually just around the corner. This is my self assessed justification in loving all things fall.

The benefit of cooler weather is that I am inspired to start building a fall wardrobe, and to stop obsessing over summer apparel. My go to item at the moment for are boyfriend cardigans and capes. I’m obsessed! Mango, Zara and H&M all have great options as does Abercrombie & Fitch (randomly enough..has anyone noticed how their style has majorly changed?)

Chunky wool knits  give off a great vintage chic vibe that’ll help your summer boho style transition nicely into fall. You don’t have to wave goodbye to your suede and flared goodies yet.

Check out some of my favs found at the above stores.

Here are some outfit ideas!

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Retail Stores Reviews, and Where You Could Be Shopping

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Retail stores are places that we have interesting relationships with. You’re dependent on some or you feel indifferent and unattached about others. Whether it’s the price point, or the styles that they offer, you’ll find yourself always gravitating to that one store where you always find the good stuff.

I love the shopping experience. I love walking around retail stores and looking at the set up, the price points, the styles, whether its shop-able and if the employees are nice people. Here are my personal opinions about 3 stores I’ve visited on numerous occasions and either had a dependent relationship with or an indifferent and unattached relationship.

 

 

JCrew

I wish I could love JCrew! They have great products and their stores are set up in an attractive way. But when I see a blouse and guess that it’s probably $30 (it’s polyester and the design is a normal sleeveless blouse, also H&M sells something similar), only to see that it’s actually $80, my heart breaks a little. You’re not paying for the garment, you’re paying for the JCrew name. And is the JCrew name really that special to you? To me, it’s not.

JCrew doesn’t seem like it’s geared towards to the woman who loves fashion, and who would then want to by multiple garments so she can have the whole look. As a woman, shopping at JCrew regularly could mean that you have an expendable budget and aren’t too worried about the quality of what you’re getting, or you’re oblivious. It might be for the girl who doesn’t really care about style and fashion, she just needs an outfit that looks good.

I, however, am not that girl. I’m looking for a bargain, for amazing clothes that are fashion forward and trendy with quality and prices to match. As it turns out, JCrew had to fire their lead designer due to massive financial losses, and hire a lead designer from their other company, Madewell. Perhaps we’ll see a change of friendliness to the average consumer in prices, or at least have quality that matches the price point. I would pay $80 for %100 silk or silk blend sleeveless blouse any day.

 

Mango

I’ve recently rediscovered my love for Mango. They’re at a higher price point but their garments are well made and you get what you pay for. The average top ranges in the $40 to $50 range with tee’s being in the $20 range, and then raw material tops being $80’s and up (suede etc). They have great pieces that you wouldn’t feel guilty purchasing, because the price point makes sense for the garment. I’d expect to pay $130 for the suede biker jacket but probably not much more than that. What I love about their price points is that it’s inviting and doesn’t smack you in the face. You feel like you can do business there without the shame of having to stick it on a credit card.

They also have the upper hand in that their clothing seems to be aimed at a more developed and mature woman. Their garments mostly don’t have the wild prints and abstract designs that you might find at places like Forever 21, where you wade till you find something you could actually wear as a late 20’s something girl and not look like a teenager. They do have cutting edge trend items, great garment designs and those one of a kind pieces that are must-haves. (Disclaimer: I do love some of Forever 21’s items and definitely their prices!)

Having Penelope Cruz and her gorgeous sister at the helm doesn’t hurt either. There’s a face that you know and trust. I’ve never been let down by Mango, but my gripe is that they don’t have enough brick and mortar stores!

 

Zara

I’m skipping right to Zara because they’re worth mentioning. Zara was the euro fashion house that found its way to our shores, and it’s introduction into american culture (as well as shops like H&M) was a breath of fresh air to our stale Abercrombie and Fitch and American Eagle counterparts. We loved the fresh cutting edge trends,  and the other companies saw an unfortunate downturn in sales as a result of the fast fashion movement, and amazing price points.

You might not believe me but Zara and H&M are quite similar in some respects. Both are vying for global domination, it seems, and are constantly battling the top charts of who’s bigger and has  more reach. They also have similar styles in some departments, though at different price points, and that’s where they differ.

You’ll be paying more for items at Zara, but to some style bloggers having the Zara name is more bearable than the other fast fashion giants like H&M and Forever 21, who are notorious for angsty crowds wading through stores looking for a bargain. (H&M’s saving grace, however, has been their collections and collaborations with major high end designers, which is what makes them unique in their field. They’ve made fashion accessible.)

The Zara customer is more refined and demure, they don’t beg for scraps and Zara has the attitude of you’ll either like or you won’t, and if you don’t it’s not our problem. Whereas places like H&M and Forever 21 have multiple departments each offering a vastly different style from the next. They want to cater to the masses. They want everyone. Zara only wants the style icon, or at the very least to make you into a style icon.

 

 

Let me know if you agree or disagree!

 

Where I Shop

Places I easily and willingly shop at are H&M; you can’t beat the collabs, and their Trend section is usually to die for. Their premium products are also usually amazing and their other stores like COS are amazing too. Also Zara, Mango, Next (amazing UK store), Forever 21 (I’m loving their Contemporary collections), and then the usual department and consignment stores. (TJMaxx, Macy’s etc). I also love theoutnet.com, asos.com, amazon.com (right??), shopbop.com and a host of other websites.

I love fashion, but because I’m a financially savvy person I’ve learned to shop for items that are great quality and at a fair price point. Know your materials! And invest in things like shoes, denim, coats, knit sweaters and basics. Everything else is just for fun and shouldn’t break the bank.

 

 

 

Coat Craze Continued..

Remember how in that last article how I mentioned my major obsession with this seasons winter coats. Well I just can’t stop. This outfit is preppy youngster meets seasoned sailor and it’s too die for. Try mixing and matching items that come from different backgrounds, like boho meets chic, or rocker meets classy english lady sipping tea. If it’s done right you’ll always end up with killer looks that totally stand out.
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White sweater
2020ave.com

Zimmermann coat
zimmermannwear.com

H&M black jeans
$40 – hm.com

Black boots
$725 – youheshe.com

Michael kors handbag
shop.harpersbazaar.com

A Flannel How-To

I’m not sure about nations abroad, but here in good ole ‘Merica we do love our flannels. It’s the perfect combination of crisp fall weather, orange and red leaves, misty mountains, cold oceans and total coziness. Weather you’re male or female, you own a few of these. As much as I love my flannel and leggings combo, I decided I needed to spice up some outfits and show a flannel how to. I wore mine with black skinny’s, a precious kitten heel and a moto inspired jacket with a large structured bag. This way you don’t lose the coziness and patriotism but you also look fit for the city.
Enjoy!
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H M white shirt
$24 – hm.com

MANGO white jacket
$115 – mango.com

Acne Studios black skinny jeans
$225 – youheshe.com

Pierre Hardy black pumps
matchesfashion.com

Michael Kors handbag
neimanmarcus.com