Preggo Vibes 

It being that I’m practically 9 months pregnant, I’ve rediscovered my love for linen pants and loose shirts. I feel a little boheme in this look and not super edgy, but I imagine if I were to gather the strength to leave the house I’d throw on large, oversized black sunnies and killer wedges. None of that’s happening today, let’s be honest.

I’ll sashay around the house with a vacant longing-for-the-sea look on my face while I drink smooth move tea (#realtalk) and pray this baby comes soon.

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Today’s Look 

I can’t get away from doing a really glowy, natural look for my hair and beauty regime. I have a feeling it has something to do with that effervescent feeling that pregnancy can give you at times.

Here’s a list of beauty products I used today for this look!

1. Vitamin C oil

This will change your life. My skin is so soft and dewy it’s unbelievable.

2.L’Oreal Foundation

I mix mine with a dab of that Vitamin C oil to thin it out and give a more luminous finish. Since it’s so thin then I also use it on my eyelids instead of eyeshadow and a primer.

3. NYX illuminating stick

4. theBalm Hot Mama Blush

5. NYX Bronzer 

6. Your favorite lip balm, mascara and brow!

Remember to contour and you’ll get a breezy summer glow!

Preggo Blues – How To Spruce Up Your Style 

I’m currently 7-ish months pregnant. As a style lover (check out my Instagram – @theluxurie) living in the most tumultuous 7 months of my life thus far, in terms of my body drastically changing all the time, hasn’t just been hard to deal with, it’s been downright unpleasant at times.

Don’t get me wrong, the joy and privilege of carrying a little human hasn’t gone unnoticed. It’s special and exciting. But there are days when pulling on yet another pair of leggings with an oversized  sweater has me looking wistfully and my “other” wardrobe and dreaming of putting on that little high waisted denim skirt with the cropped blouse and some kitten heels.

I’ve had to fight somewhat hard to keep my sanity in and amongst all these changes at a time when I usually would’ve found some solace in my wardrobe, I now too don’t have that. Most days I feel frumpy, tired and super un-sexy. (My ladies have changed so much that I’ve resorted to wearing sports bras…this is sacriliage. I miss my little satin and lace lovelies!)

As a result, I’ve come up with a plan of action to assist my sanity, and by direct extension my husbands sanity, as he has to hear me quietly mutter at my ever growing bump and ever shrinking wardrobe options.

The keys to not feeling frumpy and unsexy in my book is then as such:

1. Build your inner confidence.

The first step is reminding yourself that you are creating possibly the most special and magical experience you’ll ever experience. Your body is growing a human. This surpasses any insecurity and thoughts of self-doubt and fear. You are a warrior! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get on with it.

2. Frequent pampering sessions.

This may seem small, but setting time aside once a week to fully pamper myself has been life saving. Doing full body exfoliations and baths, pedicures, manicures, face masks, you name it has not only made me love my crazy looking body more, but it gives me time to reflect. To reflect on my connection with my hubby, my new sweet baby, my new life. Taking time to soak it all in is all you need to manage this major transition smoothly. There’s also something about a good mani/pedi that just makes a girl feel put together.

3. Shoes.

Down to the details. I used to insist that I would never wear just sneakers or sandals when I was pregnant, but alas, it being winter, I’ve practically salivated over anything totally flat and boot like. However, the seasons are changing and I’m busting out my super cute kitten heels (an inch or two never hurt anyone) and am committing to commit. An adorable pair of shoes never did hurt a girls morale.

4. Accessories.

Fun accessories will be a life saver when all you can muster is a sweater and leggings. I’ve elevated my looks many a time by simply adding statement earrings or a bold handbag. You can also play with necklaces, bracelets and rings. Remember to have FUN. Minimalism be damned.

5. Outfits.

I refused to buy an entire wardrobe of maternity clothing simply because I knew I wouldn’t wear half of it for longer than two months. Instead I invested in two or 3 maternity jeans and pants, some super long tank tops and an abundance of sweaters from H&M’s Basics section. I’ve also managed to squeeze into some of my other sweaters, t-shirts, dress shirts, cotton dresses and leggings. The days that you get sick of wearing the same thing again are days to get creative! My low rise boyfriend jeans still fit through all this time so I wore those with a tee and kitten heels for a fun but semi polished look. Or belt a maxi cardigan over a dress or leggings to give yourself a figure. The options are not endless, but they do exist.

Remember to wake up in the morning, to put on a dab of mascara and lipstick, brush your hair and face the day. Doing these little things will help set the standard for what I’m assuming will be a crazy first few months. I’m preparing myself for sleepless nights, lots of throwing my hands in the air and deep breathing. But I know I can set myself up for success by creating healthy habits and routines now that are flexible enough for mommy-hood.

Let me know some things that you did as a new mom to help keep you sane!!

No Fear For the Fringe

Fringes, tassels, boho, 70’s glam, 90’s grunge, etc etc.. These have all been styles that’ve been around for a few years now. Our obsession with all things tassel reached fever pitch circa last year with women salivating over anything suede and fringed, but thankfully we’ve settled into a happy balance. Unless you’re a street style star or a insta-stylist it can be hard to style a fringed look without looking like a wash-up from last years Coachella trip, or a wild west woman who is really wild, and really west. It also may appear to be a challenge to grab, let’s say, a fringed hand bag, and worry that you’ll get severe stares at Target. But don’t fear the fringe. Embrace it.

Styling fun, spicy things can be an enjoyable experience, and it adds that certain pop to a look that takes it from here… to HERE. Knowing how to style fringed things will take you from “girl-next-door” to “Paris-here-I-come”, and getting those style basics down will ensure that you don’t suffer from buyers remorse when you see your garment or accessory hanging in the closet.

My general rules for styling fringe:

  1. Keep it simple, keep it sweet. Don’t over fringe. Keep it to one accessory or clothing piece.
  2. Keep it neutral. Let your tassel do the talking, and if it’s colorful, then keep the rest of the colors in your look muted.
  3. Elevate your look with elegant shoes. Try flat mules,heels or booties. I reserve a sneakers and tassel combination for the street style queen. She’s being photographed, whilst we on the other hand, are not.
  4. Rules are made to broken. Have fun!!

 

Check out some outfit ideas with the Barbara Bonner “Lilith”. It screams iconic fringed bag and makes for a great accessory.

 

The Essential Wardrobe: Dresses & Jackets

You’ve made it so far! We’re finally on dresses and jackets, the essential ones every girl should have in her closet.

Dresses are one of those things that, although perhaps not worn often, are essential in our wardrobes. In my ebook, The Essential Wardrobe, I tell a story of when my husband told me, very last minute, that we actually had a christmas party to attend the next evening. He had bought tickets for his companys’ annual affair and was naturally looking forward to the festivities. I would’ve been in a major flap about it because I don’t like surprises that include me having to be dressed a certain way, but luckily I had gone shopping that summer and decided to invest in a classic, fancy LBD that would be business appropriate but also very soiree appropriate. I had something to wear! No stress. This is why having those classic pieces come in handy, you never know what will come your way! A surprise date night, a spontaneous night out with your girls, who knows!

Dresses:

  • Something fun! I love this little metallic shirt dress because you can throw heels on and it’s dressy and fun, or white converse and it’s casual and cute.
  • A good every day dress. This wrap dress has stolen my heart! It’s easy enough to toss on in the morning if you’re running out of the house, paired with suede sandals. Or throw on some heels and you have a fun casual dinner look.

 

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  • The bombshell! Every girl needs a bombshell dress! This is for those special occasions, date night, “you want to make your man swoon”, dressy parties etc. If you wear this with stockings and a cardigan in the winter with super fun accessories, you have a more demure and classy look. Throw a boyfriend blazer over your shoulders in the summer! You can also wear super cute black kitten heels and loose chignon to tone down the sex appeal if you need to.
  • The formal dress. This dress is perfect for functions, business meetings, formal occasions where you need to be a bit more serious. Do tousled beachy hair and big earrings (I’m talking Dolce & Gabbana status) to make this dress a bit more light-hearted if you need a black dress, but not quite at the bombshell level.

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Jackets

I’m all for fun trendy jackets, but I’m also a sensible girl. And being sensible means you have things that prepare you for the elements. Here is a list of must-haves!

  • The trench. This is a no brainer. If you want something that’s a bit edgier, opt for a black trench. This is for work, going out, visiting friends.
  • The “muck about” coat. This is a waxed coat that can handle any weather, is sturdy and can get some mud on it and it’ll be ok. This is the coat you wear when running errands, going on walks, going to the gym, all round doing life in not so fair weather. This is not for work, visiting friends, dinner parties.
  • The boyfriend blazer. This jacket goes with EVERYTHING. It’s a perfect spring/summer/fall coat when it’s too hot to wear an actual jacket, but you want to look a little more put together, or have your shoulders covered.
  • Denim jacket. My choice here is a black one because I love wearing black. But get a classic denim jacket that suits your personal style. Also goes with absolutely everything.
  • Leather jacket. Also can be customized to suit your style, but a good leather jacket never does anyone wrong! If leather really isn’t your thing then try a suede option in a more neutral color.

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Hope this was helpful! Let me know what you think!!

The Essential Wardrobe: Creating Looks With Your Essential Pieces, Part Two

So far, we’ve covered tops, denim, pants, tank tops and skirts. Creating outfits out of your essential pieces should be the easiest thing in the world. You’ve purchased things that will always go together, no matter what. Below are a few examples of outfits from the previous articles’ pieces that you can easily create using your own things that you’ve picked up. Remember you can choose your essential item pieces based on your own style preferences, following the basic guidelines of material, colors and basic style.

Look One:

I call this my “brunch” look. I love wearing a cozy sweatshirt with unexpected pieces. Here we have this gorgeous white skirt (or color of your choice, if white isn’t your thing), a black silk tank, black flat mules and a cute clutch. I am also a major fan of clutches and have a few in different styles.

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Look Two:

Here we have the black pencil skirt, a linen tee, nude heels, dressy sunnies, fun earrings and your black hand bag. I created this look to show that with the right accessories, you can dress down a pencil skirt with a tee, but still look put together. You could even substitute the heels for the black flat mules and have a similar effect.

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Look Three:

Here we have all the same accessories as Look Two, but now with a simple black silk tank and the black chinos. This is why it’s important to have really great accessories. Simple outfits are transformed into really stylish looks when you have the right accessories.

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Look Four:

Here we have your “fun” jeans, your “fun” tank, same nude heels and a “fun” bag. In my essentials list I always include picking a “fun” item. Something, that is good quality and timeless, but not necessarily those neutral colors or simple designs. They’re a little out of the box. I chose, for my “fun” items; these distressed jeans and the striped cropped tank with a bold and colorful bag. I’d consider the bomber jacket one of my essential pieces (more on light coats and bags later on), and also the nude heels as an essential item.

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Look Five:

Your “fun” skirt, in my case denim, with the essential white blouse and fun accessories. Notice how these nude heels are being recycled through a lot of the outfits, despite them being quite busy. Also notice I’m using primarily two sunglasses; a dressy pair, and a casual pair.

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Look Six:

Your pencil skirt, sleeveless white blouse, and accessories. Notice how all the pieces in this look are the same as Look Two, except for the tops. That’s how easy it is to recycle looks. Simple by adding a dressy blouse to essential the same outfit, you’ve created a stunning dressy look.

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Look Seven:

Here we have the bomber jacket, white skirt, blue linen blouse (in place of denim, more on that here), black mules and a fun clutch. This is another way to dress down a dressy skirt, tuck the front of that comfy blouse in, toss the jacket over your shoulders and you have a really simple but nicely put together look.

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Look Eight:

The splashy look! Grab that sequin skirt, bedeck yourself in all things sparkly and have fun!

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Let me know if this was helpful in the comments below and check out my Essential Wardrobe ebook on Amazon!!

 

The Essential Wardrobe: Sleeveless Tops & Skirts

If it were winter, this title would read “The Essential Wardrobe: Knits” . But lucky for us it’s summer and so our wardrobes must reflect this.

In the ongoing “Essential Wardrobe” series, we’ve covered denim, pants, blouses, tees and even under garments. Today we’re going to focus on sleeveless tops and skirts.

Tanks or Sleeveless Tops

  • White cotton, linen or brushed silk. Don’t just find a plain white tank top, get something truly special.
  • Black silk.
  • Something fun! Stick to good materials and choose a style or color that you feel is timeless and suits you extremely well. Nothing can every surpass an item of clothing that fits truly well.

 

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Skirts

I love skirts! They are a vital part to any wardrobe. Here are some essentials to have.

  • Black pencil skirt. Always. Whether for work, funeral, meeting, dressy date, etc etc. You can never go wrong with a black pencil skirt.
  • White pencil skirt. The same goes for this. In regards to white clothing; if you have small children or a terrible knack for spilling things and you know that white is not your friend, then opt for another neutral color. Whether it’s a flowy cream, hunter green or something along those lines. Make sure then that the rest of your neutrals are all in the same color family so that your outfits go together regardless. (Creams and reds, or creams and greens, never reds and greens as essential pieces).
  • A splashy dressy skirt – something with sequins or gold. This is your party skirt. Every girl needs at least one.
  • A fun every day skirt. Cotton or linen are good choice and I also love denim because it’s hardy and ages well. Choose a style that suits you that you can live in.

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Next time we’ll do some outfits! Check out my new ebook “The Essential Wardrobe: How To Have the Perfect Closet“!!

The Essential Wardrobe: Creating Amazing Looks With The Essential Pieces

We’ve written a few articles so far detailing those essential wardrobe pieces, and talked about how they’re the bones of your closet. With these pieces, or pieces like the ones I’m about to show you, you can create innumerable looks with a few of your choice accessories.

So far we’ve talked about tees, blouses, denim and pants. So with those four categories, here a few looks that incorporate pieces from this, and this article.

You’ll notice that I recycled the shoes and accessories in these looks. As much as I love shoes, it’s not always necessary to have 30 pairs. Check it out:

First Look: You’ll notice I grabbed the striped blouse and my “fun” denim with classic espadrilles, a shoulder bag and sunnies. Your “fun” denim is the piece that you choose outside of your black, blue and white classic denim. Choose one that had distressing, or is a fun wash or shade of color. Something that speaks to who you are, your style.

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Look Two: Here we have those cigarette trousers. Paired with your essential striped tee, espadrilles, sunnies and shoulder bag. Your look is dressy casual. This is perfect for grabbing lunch with an acquaintance or an informal business brunch or coffee date. You decide.

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Look Three: I love this look because it’s summery and breezy. I would tuck the front of this blouse into the pants. This top is one of the essentials and takes the place of a denim shirt. I don’t particularly love denim shirts so I’ve chosen a light blue linen one in it’s stead. It still serves the same purpose. The pants are gorgeous for any occasion, and in this look you have another casual, but dressier outfit. Notice I recycled all the same accessories from the previous looks.

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Look Four: Your classic silk shirt and black-ish denim from your essential pieces are spruced up with fun earrings, an adorable clutch and belt that really pop and then some minimal black heeled sandals. This style of heeled sandal is easily my favorite and I would own it in at least three different colors if I could. They’re chic, simple and classic.

 

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In your wardrobe, your accessories are everything. Because my wardrobe tends to have a lot of neutral colors, I opt for accessories that are really unique and special. They create the frosting for an amazing look.

 

Much Love!

Summers’ Best Tops

I always have trouble collecting stylish tops and blouses since I mainly revert back to the ole t-shirt and denim shorts situation. It actually takes effort to not be lazy when it comes to looking great! (I raise my hand in guilt).

Other than your basic wardrobe t-shirts, blouses and tops, it’s fun to invest in great tops that you can also easily wear with any other item in your closet. When you have your basics together, try tops like these that are easy to style!

Anything orange sorbet. I love this color, it’s so fresh and looks great on a summer complexion.

Little lacy tops. Feminine, adorable, and can be worn with either an undone look or put together.

Silk tank tops. This is my go-to summer top. It’s light, airy, easy to wear, and stylish.

Vintage polo shirts. No I’m talking Hollister or Ralph Lauren, but go for one in a flimsy cotton material thats light and airy. This number is making quite a comeback as a stylish item and can be worn with just about anything.  I love this royal blue as well, it’s fresh and clean.

70’s inspired blouses. You know it’s true and you know that this specific one has my heart. Perfect for breezy summer days.

Knitted tanks. This tank by Zara is perfect in every way, but anything like it is also awesome. It gives some texture to your outfit instead of just wearing a plain t-shirt.

The sailor boy-friend tee. Striped tee’s will never not be in style, and there’s no greater way to ring in summer by declaring your love for all things nautical.

The wrap. Flattering to the womanly figure, breezy to wear. Is there anything greater?

Denim. This Tibi top is playful, flattering and so easy to style with either skirts, shorts or jeans. Picture yourself in a sleeveless denim, front-tie top drinking pimms in the park.

 

Summer tops

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.