Spring/Summer Trend: Pointed Toe Flats and Loafers

And all the women rejoice! Flats and sneakers have pretty much become staple closet items in the last year or so and that certainly won’t change going into spring and summer. Specifically, pointed toe flats and loafers which we’re seeing in all shapes and sizes. Get yourself a staple pair and get ready to live in them. I love this black and white snake skin motif because it’s so much more eye-catching than a regular black pair. Mix and match your prints and textures as well. This lace embroidered blouse with the tassels are great with these flats and make your overall look interesting and fun.

Play with patterns, textures and prints, don’t be afraid to experiment!

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Take Me Back To The Summer Of Love

Winged eyeliner is the animal that almost can’t be tamed, but it’s also the animal, that once tamed invokes a feeling of mysterious glamour. I love cat eyes for summer, with a relatively makeup free face, it reminds me of Brigette Bardot and her laid back style, even though she it seems like she never sacrificed her chic.

I had to buy emergency makeup since mine got lost so I had the ELF liner with me. (We recently moved to the UK). It worked alright but I’d definitely go back to getting something more solid. Benefit has a great waterproof liner that’s easy to apply.

How To Wear That Everything White Outfit

There are so many articles detailing the all white trend, who’s wearing white and which white items you should be wearing, but not everyone is actually explaining how not to look like a wafting cloud. The key to an amazing all white outfit lies in the texture, tone and contrast. Unless you’re wearing a dress, these 3 things will give you an amazing all white look.

If you’re simply wearing a white tee and white jeans you want to break up that blank wall, so throw on a belt that contrasts that, for instance a brown or black, or show a sliver of skin with a cropped top. Accessories are a great way to add a bit of contrast but you don’t have to go overboard with really bold items, stick to neutrals for a simple and cool effect.

In terms of texture; mix lace and knits with other material types. Try to create interest for the eye. For tone, try layering different shades of whites and creams, for instance with a sweater over a tee with a skirt. Play around with these and you’ll see some really amazing looks come about!

Check out these street style looks for inspiration!

Your Guide To The Top 10 Spring/Summer Shoe Must-Haves

Every year we wait eagerly to see what the trends will be come spring and summer, “will those high-waisted denim cut-offs still be trendy? What about those wedged sneakers?” Nothing is more infuriating than investing in something that’s only stylish for a short season before it becomes a faux pas. One season might be sporty and athletic, another might be minimalistic and simple.

This year is no different. We saw colors, suede and texture on the runways this year along with some major street style vibes from fashion bloggers world wide, and it all seems to point in one direction (R.I literal P Zayne?). Apart from still having a foot in the norm core scene, trends seem to swinging back towards a more feminine approach to style with a sprinkling of that 70’s gamine look with a smack of bohemian.

That’s not to say we’ll all be walking around with flowers and feathers in our hair (although nothing surprises me anymore), but you’ll be seeing suede everything, denim everything and white embroidered everything. Along with all of this, naturally, comes the shoes. Though I wouldn’t suggest purchasing 10 pairs of shoes (for your banks sake), I would look at these and find similar items that speak to this seasons trends.

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I’ll be creating some outfits in the coming days and weeks with these along with more season appropriate closet must-haves.

Here’s a list of all the shoes from top to bottom:

1. ATP Liv Flat Sandal at NELLY.COM

2. Rag & Bone Sullivan Buckel Detail Suede Bootie: Caramel at INTERMIXONLINE.COM

3. Gianvito Rossi Black Suede Lace Up Sandal at SHOP.HARPERSBAZAAR.COM

4. COLLECTION by John Lewis Capri Leather Loafers at JOHNLEWIS.COM 

5. ASOS Laboratory Pointed Mule Black Ballets at ASOS.COM

6. Chloe Black Lace Up Sandals at SSENSE.COM

7. Guiseppe Zanotti Suede Fringe Booties: Brown at SHOPBOP.COM

8. Gianvito Rossi Suede Sandals at FARFETCH.COM

9. Vans Canvas Slip On Sneakers at NET-A-PORTER.COM

10. Tibi Fringe Front Mules at FARFETCH.COM

Inexpensive and Adorable; Your Guide to Outfits on a Budget.

We all know that it’s never realistic to spend $$$ on outfits or outfit pieces that cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars/pounds and we can sit and drool or go into massive debt, but you’ll never feel totally satisfied.

Here are four looks then with each of the pieces being less than 100 GBP or Dollars (depending on where you live) and they’re totally trendy and chic. Being fabulous doesn’t mean spending tons of money to get the latest trends, it does mean being a little more style savvy and possesing the willingness to hunt for great treasures in every nook and cranny.

Links Below!

Accessories:

Monki Dora Sunglasses at MONKI.COM : 8.00GBP (Great Britian Pounds)

River Island Black Shaker hat at RIVERISLAND.COM : 25.00GBP

BlackFive Concise Solid-tone Fully Line Leather Tote at BLACKFIVE.COM : $49.99

Crossbody Suede Bag at MANGO.COM : 29.99GBP

Outfit 1.

Zara Crepe Tank Top at ZARA.COM : 12.99GBP

Zara Flared Jeans at ZARA.COM :  29.00GBP

Asos Hall Leather Heeled Sandals at ASOS.COM : 35.00GBP

Outfit 2.

Mango Soft Denim Shirt at JOHNLEWIS.COM : 29.99GBP

Zara High-Waisted Culottes at ZARA.COM : 39.00GBP

Midi Sandals at NEXT.CO.UK : 30.00GBP

Outfit 3.

Zara V-Neck Tank Top at ZARA.COM : 19.00GBP

H&M Skinny High-Waisted Jeans at HM.COM : 29.99GBP

H&M Loafers at HM.COM : 19.99GBP

Outfit 4.

Unisex Sheer Jersey Short Sleeve V-Neck at AMERICANAPPAREL.NET : 20.00GBP  (H&M sold out of the cream one shown here, but the American Apparel one is close-ish)

Wrap Skirt at HM.COM : 12.99GBP

H&M Platform Sneakers at HM.COM : 14.99GBP

Summer Mood Board

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I’m sure I could make about 10 of these, but summer is my absolute favorite season. Here’s this years mood board; my summer wardrobe/life/fun/love inspiration.

I’m loving denim everything, knit tops and tees, light skirts, suede everything, tropical colors like reds, soft yellows and pale pinks. I’m slowly moving away from the harsh lines of minimalism and that industrial look and more into feminine but sexy edgy lines and colors. Let’s see if I can make it happen!

xx

The Office: What to Wear Without Sacrificing Your Personal Style

Nothing makes me cringe more than woman’s business professional clothing. Unless your budget allows you to purchase high-end tailor made suits or outfits, most business professional clothing for woman feel oversized and badly made with horrible material. After watching my husband get dressed for work everyday, I understand the wish to be able to throw on clothing and walk out the door without worrying whether your outfit looks ok and put together and I also understand what it means to buy on a budget.

When you’re working in a professional environment you want people to see that you take your job seriously, that you are capable and able to handle any task given to you. You also want to dress for the position you want. Dress like a manager, instead of a person who drags their feet to the office. Stand out of the crowd with great clothing instead of that faded grey oversized suit you had to buy on the cheap. Wear outfits that are fresh, new and exciting that draws the attention to you, without breaking your offices rules. I love black, creams and emerald colors like blue and green in the office because it speaks of authority and capability. Stay away from soft colors that make you blend into the wall behind you, like greys and pastels.

When you’re trying to stick to your budget, it’s important that you don’t purchase pieces that can only be worn once every 3 weeks because it’s such a statement piece. Try to stay within a certain color palette so that your wardrobe is easy to mix and match, and you can make countless outfits out of just a few pieces.

You don’t have to sacrifice your personal off-duty style for your office, all it takes is some know-how to make your wardrobe work for you, including incorporating some of those weekend or evening pieces.

Here are a few outfit suggestions!

Wardrobe tips:

1. You should have at least one or two great suits. Make sure that they are fitted and accentuate all your good parts. I love seeing a tailored blazer, and cigarette leg black trousers that end at the ankle. Never wear trousers that are baggy, drag on the floor or are beige or grey colors. You want to stand out.

2. Trousers. I love these cream trousers because they are fitted and they would go with any of the above tops and jackets. I don’t love boot cut or flared trousers because I don’t believe that they are flattering to the female figure, especially if they are the wrong size. They also don’t feel very professional when they’re dragging on the ground. You want to look trim and neat.

3. Pencil skirts are amazing because they are versatile. Own at least two, a black one and a fun one. You can get away with wearing one that has a bold but simple pattern on it, so long as the shoes, top and cardigan or blazer are basic in color. I paired this bold one with this peplum top because it’s a great day to night transition outfit. Throw on a blazer or cardigan over the top for the office.

4. I love this black dress because it’s fitted, and very professional. Again, you want to look trim and neat. You can also wear a button up shirt like the white one underneath to create a layering effect. Pair it with any of the cardigans or blazers for a nicely put together look.

5. Friday outfit! Some companies allow jeans on Fridays, and this look is perfect for it. You still want to be taken seriously, this isn’t your ticket to wear your mom jeans and slouchy sweater. That look is great for the weekend, but you still want to show your boss that you take your job seriously. Pair it with this sleeveless turtleneck for a fashion forward, flawless outfit.

6. Cardigans: Don’t wear slouchy, old looking sweaters. Make sure that even though they’re boyfriend fit, they are snug around the waist when buttoned. I love this belted cardigan because it’s super cozy, but the belt makes it neat and sculptured. You don’t want to look like a wafting ghost floating down a corridor.

7. Tops: These tops are great even though they’re not very bright or colorful, but they do have amazing texture. What’s also great is that they can totally be worn in off-duty ensembles. The trick to make a “off-duty” top work is by throwing that blazer over it. I would stay away from cropped blazers because they don’t have that same “power suit” effect that longer blazers have.

8. Shoes: It breaks my heart when I see woman wearing plain old shoes with their outfits! Unless your job includes a lot of walking, you can totally get away with wearing a heel. Stay away from bright, colorful platform shoes as they don’t convey that you take your job seriously. I once saw a woman wearing a beige pencil skirt with 4 inch snake skin peep toe platform shoes; it was overwhelming. Stick to fun styles in simple colors. Kitten heels are a great way to get that heel in while sill being comfortable.

When you’re shopping for clothing, don’t automatically go to the section with the “business-y” clothes. Hunt for these items in the regular sections and you’ll see you’ll find some real gems. Take a look at the quality, if the material looks cheap, then you will look cheap.

Have fun shopping!!

Vintage Inspiration and la Femme en Danger

I woke up this morning with an idea to do a shoot that was vintage inspired and centered around the femininity, fragility but strength of a woman. It doesn’t feel like anything fancy but it was fun to shoot and edit nonetheless. I actually like the idea of playing with style and creating characters that tell a story. It makes fashion interesting and fun and it’s where it becomes an art form instead of just a pretty dress. I asked myself what the opposite of art was and I couldn’t easily find a word that perfectly described it but I knew I didn’t want to do that thing. To make something that is art takes a sense of vulnerability because you’re not so much worried about the beauty or prettiness, but rather the feeling, and capturing that feeling rightly is what makes it beautiful, in my opinion. It’s why we love photoshoots in the glossy magazines, they give us a feeling which we then want to replicate in our personal lives. Whether it’s whimsical, fierce, minimalistic or wild. Just some musings..

I’m wearing a Neiman Marcus cashmere sweater, H&M belt, and a cotton pencil skirt with Guess heels.

Take a gander and let me know your thoughts! Do you dress for your mood or whatevers’ trending?

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.

7 Steps To Healthy, Glowing, Summer Skin

I can honestly, and positively say that I love my skin. I’ve putting oils and all sorts of lotions daily on my skin since my teens because I love having that fresh summer glow. My tried and proven ways of having great skin has been tested from the winters in New England to the hot, hot, hot summer days in California.

Here are 7 steps to amazing summer skin tried and proven by me!

1. Wax!

If you haven’t gotten into the habit of waxing, I’d say to just do it. I always hated it immensely, but having done it a couple of times I honestly couldn’t go back to solely shaving. Shaving is fine for emergencies, but I love waxing anything that can be waxed including my legs, bikini area and sometimes the tops of my arms because it gives a much smoother look and feel compared to shaving. It also lasts a whole lot longer (up to 4 weeks). When you shave you irritate the top of your skin and quickly develop bumps, in grown hairs, not to mention nicks and scratches etc. Ouch! Waxing also takes off dead skin and leaves you with a nice smooth glowing finish. Now you’re on your way to that summer glow! My favorite wax is Moom wax. 

2. Moisturize!

This is the mother of all things to do as a woman. At night after a shower I prefer to use oil all over, and I find that all natural and organic coconut oil is the absolute best to use, but I’ve also loved using a mixture of essential oils with vitamin E and so on. The company Yves Roches has an amazing selection. (Their Monoi Oil is to die for).  Your skin is immediately infused with moisture as your skin soaks in the goodness. In the morning I use an Argan oil infused body butter like this one all over, and almond oil for my face. The almond oil is very light and doesn’t weigh on the skin. I always try to use lotions and body butters that are free of parabens and other harmful chemicals. Burts’ Bees also makes an amazing super thick moisturizer for ultra dry skin. Here is where I find the coconut, essential and argan oils.

3. Exfoliate!

If you’re not waxing, or between waxes, it’s critical that you do this. Use a loofa sponge, a pumice stone or even a back washer brush to scrub your body all over, at least once a week. This way you get rid of dead, flaky skin that gives you that ashy look, and it also prevents in-grown hairs. Remember to be gentle, no need to take all your skin off!

4. Baths

I love taking hot baths infused with whatever oils I have on hand. I love those coconut, argan or essential oil mixture. When you’re in the tub your pores open up to reduce over-heating, and your skin is soft and supple allowing the oils to soak in nicely. When you dry off you’ll find your skin feeling extra soft and glowing beautifully.

5. Drinking Water

We all obviously know that drinking water is the best way to get healthy, glowing skin. It cleanses you from the inside and washes away all those impurities.

6. Self-Tanner

If you’re ready to have a nice summer tan try this self-tanner, I’ve used it before and it’s amazing. It’ll look extra great used on top of your now gorgeous glowing skin!

7. Bronzer

When I have a nice tan I like to high-light parts of my body with a very subtle bronzer. Usually the tops of my shoulders and arms, collar bones and naturally the cheeks. This give your overall appearance that dewy summer skin look.

Now you know how to get that amazing summer glow! Give me feedback and let me know if you have questions and how it worked for you!