Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Classy Fashion Favorites for October

Welcome back to our fall edition of classy fashion favorites, focusing on the transition into early fall. I love everything about autumn! I grew up in the north and so miss the changing of leaves and crispness in the air early in the early morning and evenings. I love the look and feel of layering up and cozying up to a fire, baking pumpkin pie, enjoying a mug of hot apple cider or a pumpkin spiced latte and a chance to change up my wardrobe and color scheme.  

Most of us are not quite into the 'bundling up' weather (especially not if you live in the south like myself where we're still experiencing high 80's and 90's in Florida!) but we did get the very first hint of fall this past weekend and even though it warmed up from 62 in the early morning to 79 degrees at the peak of the day, I still rocked my riding boots and long sleeves for a change of pace. Today's post focuses on what to wear right now before it's too cold to wear open toed shoes and when a coat is truly a necessity and not just a fashion statement. Since I'm so inspired by everything fall right now, I think this is my largest 'favorites' post yet!

I've been purchasing a few pieces for fall and have been most excited about getting to wear boots. These gorgeous booties arrived in the mail today and I immediately tried them on and they fit perfect so I planned today's outfit around them. Here is a pic of me wearing them and here's an up close detailed shot via Instagram. They also come in 2 other colors-navy and khaki green-I honestly want a pair in every color now! If you see your size available, I highly recommend grabbing them because they won't last and all sizes in the coffee color are currently out of stock! I read a lot of reviews before purchasing them which turned out to be true-that they fit amazingly well especially at under $100. They truly are a must-have item for the season! Whether you have a thicker ankle or wider foot (or thin ankles with narrow feet like me) you will love these because they accommodate all of the above which is rare. I ordered them in the coffee color in my usual size 9 and they fit true to size. What I love most is that they can be dressed up or down-with skinny jeans (cuffed up or not), with skirts, leggings topped with a long tunic, dresses and even shorts. I'm looking forward to styling them many different ways.

Speaking of boots, I'm IN LOVE with these burgundy wine color heeled boots. They are definitely an investment piece to be enjoyed for many years to come and they're at the top of my wish list right now. Loving this leather trim wool cape and wish it was within my budget-it's so classy. I love the St. John brand in general, you can always expect quality & elegance.

In addition to my booties, I  also recently purchased this rose midi skirt which I've seen for a while and love and this floral print dress in a heavier weight-perfect as it cools down. I also have another pair of these black patent Tory Burch sandals on their way because I wear them so much and they needed to be replaced as I wear them nearly every single day at some point-I love an easy, flat slip-on sandal for chasing after my little one.

Below I'm sharing a few current sales to take advantage of while you add new pieces to freshen up your fall wardrobe.

  • ANN TAYLOR: Extra 40% OFF sale styles
  • ASOS: Up to 50% OFF!
  • GAP: 40% OFF your purchase w/code: LOVE
  • J.CREW: Extra 30% OFF final sale items (40% off for cardholders) w/code: SHOPSALE
  • KATE SPADE: Extra 25% OFF sale items w/code: SWEET (ends: 10/12)
  • LOFT: 50% OFF all fall favorites w/code: FALL50 + extra 40% OFF all sale styles
  • LORD & TAYLOR: 20% OFF regular-priced + sale items w/code: COLUMBUS
  • NEIMAN MARCUS: Denim Event- $25 off 1 pair jeans, $75 off 2 pairs, $125 off 3+ pairs
  • OLD NAVY: 25% OFF any purchase, 30% OFF $75, 35% OFF $100 w/code: MYSTYLE 
  • RALPH LAUREN: Add'l 30% off for up to 50% OFF ends: 10/12.
  • TOMMY HILFIGER: 30% OFF outerwear /sweaters + 20% off $150 OR 10% off entire order

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Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

10 Benefits of Being Well Dressed

While the classy woman has many different facets to her, I continually receive the most requests for content on how to dress elegantly, and with good reason. Although it is not the most important aspect of who we are as a lady (our internal characteristics are), our overall appearance is what others will see first when they meet us and how we choose to put ourselves together speaks volumes. It is important to convey who we are through many means including our personal sense of style, which is a first glimpse that draws others in to continue to learn more about us. My goal for today's post is to share with you the reasons why it is so valuable to dress well as often as possible.

There are many times in life when we may not necessarily feel like putting in the extra effort to dress up. Maybe we just need to do a quick late night run to the grocery store for a loaf of bread or gallon of milk, perhaps we're headed to the carpool lane to swing by and drop off/pick up the kids from school, or we may not feel the need to wear anything fancy to workout in since it's 'only the gym'. Whatever our reasons, I'm going to reveal why it is worth your time to put in a little extra effort, which goes beyond just being aesthetically pleasing to others.

Like you, I'm only human, and while I love a good reason to dress up in a chic new outfit or wear my Sunday best but the truth is, with a little one to chase after these days as I know many of you can relate to, sometimes the additional time required to look pulled-together before leaving the house (and not like a frumpy mommy whose been sitting on the floor playing with a toddler and picking up crumbs and spills all day), can sometimes feel unnecessary and time consuming. One thing I promised myself before my daughter was born was that no matter how tired I was or how crazy things got with a wee one, I wouldn't go out in public in sweats and milk stained t-shirts and daily showers were non-negotiable. I also vowed to be as presentable as possible for myself and my husband inside our home. It's so important to keep that piece of yourself regardless of how life changes after children, and it definitely changes.

No matter what we do for a living or how we spend our day (whether it's spent in the workforce, at home solo, with our kiddos or even in retirement), the truth is that what we wear, although exterior, matters and as the saying goes you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Like it or not, a big factor in how others perceive us is our physical appearance. We send a subtle message to others with how we speak as well as our non-verbal cues along with our attire. The good news is, like the other two forms of communication, our attire is definitely something within our control. Dressing well can be made simple if you know a few tricks allowing you to get out the door quickly so a frumpy, disheveled look will never be an option again!

Dressing well doesn't mean you need to don head-to-toe designer labels nor does it mean you have to be outfitted in a dress or skirt everyday all day, there are many ways to dress up even the most casual outfit in jeans. However, your clothing does need to be well cared for and of quality even though hefty price tags are not required. In today's post I'm focusing on why you will want to dress well, followed up by a post next week on the specifics of what constitutes a 'well dressed' look so that you can nail it every time!

1. People Will Take You Seriously - When we are well groomed we become more approachable to others. Not only in everyday personal life but especially in the workplace, you'll notice a difference when you up the ante on your outfit game. Superiors at work will pay attention and take you more seriously. When you are new to the workforce and still quite young you'll appear older and more sophisticated which can be advantageous and the reverse is also true in that as you mature, you'll be viewed as stylish and ultimately more youthful-both are definitely a plus. On the contrary, dressing without much consideration says one thing only: that you didn't care enough to put in the effort to dress better. No matter what level of income we earn or our occupation, we can all agree that clean, pressed, well-fitting clothing that is appropriate for our daily routine and is also in good repair just shows that we take pride in our appearance and respect who we are as a woman. It all comes down to this: Dress how you want to be Addressed. 

2. Your Self-Confidence will Increase -We all know how it feels when we wear a brand new pair of killer heels or a beautiful new dress. It gives us an extra swing in our step and boosts our spirit and in turn we stand taller, lift our head high and exude self-assurance not to mention the fact that you may even receive some compliments along the way. Why wait for a special occasion to look fabulous, it's something we can do for ourselves each and everyday that radiates to those around us and can positively impact our life in so many different ways. Confidence makes others feel as though we are capable and will only help bring new opportunities our way.

3. You'll Appear More Trustworthy - This may sound like an odd point to consider, however if you had a choice between loaning your car to a well dressed person for the day or to an unkempt person, who would you choose? Exactly. If it appears we cannot take care of ourselves properly, why would someone entrust us with a great new career advancement that comes with an increase in responsibility? When people see that you take pride in your appearance they know that you'll do the same in every other area of your life also, they can rest assured that their business (or in the case of friends-personal possessions) are in good hands.

4. You'll Be More Prepared - How many times have you gone to run an errand looking your worst and that's precisely when you bump into someone you know? We've all been there. What's worse is that sometimes the person you meet is someone new, you get chit chatting and find out they're hiring for your dream job or equally as cringe-worthy, you bump into a handsome stranger who you can't be yourself around because you're feeling so self-conscious the whole time about your poor wardrobe choice and lack of even basic makeup that you can't focus or think about anything else. Like setting the tone for an interview before you've even opened your mouth, dressing well and early can ensure that your day begins in an organized fashion, so you're not caught off guard but rather well prepared for whatever comes your way. Personally speaking, the days I'm inside and don't get dressed into something decent first thing (this is often typical for those who work from home), it just makes the rest of the day drag and I always feel less productive.

5. Others Will Feel Respected - For the same reasons that you wouldn't want to invite someone into your home or car at its absolute worst (at least I hope you wouldn't! *If this is you, definitely read my post on how to keep a clean car), you don't want to offend others by wearing dirty, wrinkled clothing that appears as though you've slept in it. There's a reason why people spend a lot of time preparing to get dressed up for big events such as weddings and take extra care in choosing an outfit for church, because they are attending an event that calls for respect and want to honor that. When people feel respected around you they'll feel more comfortable around you.

6. You'll Become More Engaged in Life -There have been a number of times that I haven't wanted to go somewhere, have my photo taken or to be in a family video because I didn't love what I was wearing at the time or hadn't put on makeup that day (I just always feel better when I at least have the basics working for me-a little blush, mascara and tinted lip gloss on). Those uncomfortable moments of not wanting to be in front of the camera or just front and center in your own life change when you choose to put in the extra effort to dress well and do so early in the day. You then are essentially 'ready' for life and will have so many more wonderful memories and experiences to reflect back on in years to come instead of wishing you had been more prepared, polished and joined in on the fun. Let's face it, when we look cute, we want to document it! Am I right?

7. You'll Maximize Your Wardrobe Investment -We all know people who have rooms in their home that nobody ever uses or sits in (I always think that's such a waste of square footage) or fine china that only sits in the cabinet collecting dust. We can often be the same with clothing in that we own beautiful pieces and they sit awaiting the perfect occasion. Guess what? The fact that you are living and breathing is the perfect occasion. You can easily get more wear out of dressier pieces by wearing them to more than just the office or a special event. There are so many ways to dress a garment up or down so that a variety of looks can be created thus expanding your existing wardrobe. Speaking of stretching your wardrobe, ready my 8 tips to maximize your wardrobe budget so you can stop buying clothing that you'll never wear.. 

8. It Increases Your Standards - People who dress in a polished manner typically treat all of their spaces and possessions in a similar manner. Their home is neat and filled with the best of what they can afford at the time and their car is tidy and well maintained. You expect more of yourself in a good way. One area of your life spills into another, so it's important to lead with your best foot in all areas including in what you choose to wear.

9. You'll Be Motivated to Get & Stay Fit - One of the side effects of intentionally being well dressed is that you'll want to wear those pretty pieces that have been hiding in your closet and drawers which are just a touch too tight or that you would feel more confident in if your stomach was a bit flatter or if your arms were more toned (you know, the pieces that have been pushed to the back of your closet for that very reason in the hopes of losing a few pounds). It's unfortunate to have beautiful garments not being worn due to a few stubborn pounds. This ties into increasing your standards, you set a higher standard for your own health and fitness too because we feel best in clothing that fits us properly and comfortably. Let's not forget that when you do get into great shape, you'll want to show off all the hard work of creating your newly updated physique as often as possible.

10. You'll Be More Focused on Quality vs. Quantity- A good wardrobe has a mix of many different classic pieces along with some trendy statement pieces also, over time some may wear better than others. What you'll find is that again and again you'll reach for the pieces that keep their color instead of fading, don't tend to have loose threads after a few washes, are properly lined, keep their shape, aren't slightly see-thru (unless that is the look of a particular piece), are comfortable and soft, have buttons that don't need to be re-attached because the washer has pulled them off. You'll also stop buying cheap shoes realizing that this is truly an area where you get what you pay for. As such, your wardrobe will become smaller as you increasingly become more discriminating in your taste. This is a good thing though! Less clutter lets you get straight to the essential pieces without wading through your closet hanger after hanger avoiding a collection of mediocre blouses or ill-fitting jeans that used to be your go-to but don't flatter your curves anymore. When buying new pieces, you'll also notice that you are more selective about bringing home garments that will last, saving up and investing in them vs. buying what happens to be on sale, available in the moment or just a great deal you can't pass up.

I hope today's post helped you identify new reasons to make dressing well a priority. Ultimately though, at the end of the day it comes down to good manners- the cornerstone to making others feel comfortable in our presence which goes beyond just how we act, speak or treat someone. Being well dressed truly is a beautiful form of politeness.

*Update: I've already started to receive a few messages asking where the burgundy lace dress in the photo above is from. While I don't have the exact match, I'm linking to some very similar lace and lace overlay dresses for you from a few of my favorite designers in varying lengths. Many come in the same burgundy tone (this dress in auburn along with this dress in auburn with a bit more sparkle are two of my favorites!), but there are so many other colors options to choose from that are equally as elegant, most are offered in both regular + petite sizing plus some are currently on sale. You can click on any image below to be taken to its source. These are all such beautiful, timeless styles.

Stay tuned for the next post where I'll be sharing the components of dressing well. I'd love to hear what you think. What tips do you live by for dressing well? Leave a comment below and share it with our community. Like what you're reading? Feel free to share it with a friend or pin it to Pinterest for future reference. You can also subscribe to have each new post delivered straight to your inbox.

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Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kate Spade 75% Off Sale!

If you love all things Kate Spade as much as I do then you're going to be pretty excited to know that they are having their huge end of season up to 75% OFF Surprise Sale (*update: I'm linking to their 'up to 50% off' sale page since the 75% off sale ended.) I did a little happy dance when I found out the news because the last time I scored in a big way, scooping up 2 bracelets and a wallet for under $100!! *Please note that this is an exclusive surprise sale which is not available on their main site. They create a special new page for this sale every year. If you go straight to their website you will not get this sale I'm mentioning! *update: Since the 75% off sale ended on 09/26. I've updated my favorite item links below plus added new sale items in the gallery items so you won't hit a dead end to their old sale link. Use any link below and you'll see all the other amazing items they have for grabs too!

I'm sharing both some true summer season favorites along with other black and neutral bags and clothing that can be worn year round, perfect for fall. Here are the updated options for 09/27 and beyond which are all part of the new sale.

My favorite handbag from the sale is this one-such a classic shape. I also like this bow crossbody bag-you can't beat the price! (and its matching larger bow tote), this gorgeous LBD, these cute classic wedges (which also come in chambray). Speaking of chambray, this bow blouse really make statement!

My laptop case is super bulky so I have my eye on this leopard print one. This tablet case in tiny black & white leopard dot is really cute for the iPad air!

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Happy shopping & thanks for stopping by!


Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day Sales!

ONE  || TWO ||  THREE ||  FOUR ||  FIVE
SIX  ||  SEVEN  ||  EIGHT  ||  NINE

My inspiration piece for today's style board was this colorful and beautiful dress front and center. It might just be the most perfect dress to transition into fall. Am I right? I'm a huge fan of dresses year round but I also love the look of perfectly coordinated separates too, which aren't always easy for everyone to achieve. What I most love about this dress is it provides both a polished, put together look without a lot of fuss, making getting dressed in the morning a breeze! The best part is it's currently 50% OFF! It has received top ratings, fits true to size for most and is available in all sizes still from 0-10. I guarantee this one won't last!

This modern, ladylike dress can be dressed up or down. Here I'm showing you some colorful as well as more neutral options so it can serve every purpose from being office appropriate paired with pumps, an elegant option for church with sandals along with a colorful clutch or out on the town with a more casual and edgy vibe when coupled with the leather zip moto jacket and black booties. If you wanted, you could easily layer up the top portion to wear it as a skirt with a bulkier black sweater when the cool weather really hits so it's quite versatile. I'm always looking for ways to stretch new pieces in my wardrobe.

  • ANN TAYLOR: 60% OFF fall styles & sale styles w/ code: SHOP60
  • ANTHROPOLOGIE: Extra 30% OFF sale items w/ code: EXTRA30
  • BANANA REPUBLIC: 40% OFF your purchase w/ code: BRFALL
  • BAUBLEBAR : Up to 70% OFF all jewelry w/ code: SALEONSALE
  • GAP: 40% OFF everything w/ code: LABOR
  • J.CREW: 30% OFF $125+  w/ code: GETSHOPPING
  • KATE SPADE: Extra 25% OFF sale items w/code: DELIGHT + free shipping.
  • LOFT: 30% OFF new fall styles + extra 50% OFF sale items
  • MADEWELL: 30% OFF fall essentials + extra 30% OFF sale w/ code: YESANDYES
  • NORDSTROM: Up to 40% OFF end-of-summer clearance sale (ends: 09/13)
  • REBECCA TAYLOR: 40% OFF sale w/ code: LABORDAY40
  • SAKS 5TH AVENUE: Up to 80% OFF during their summer sunset sale. 

Here are a few other pieces that I had my eye on while browsing along with the pieces shown above:

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Happy Labor Day! I hope you're all relaxing and enjoying the last long weekend of the summer season. We celebrated a little bit early by heading to the beach to meet up with my in-laws. This had been a pretty low key weekend for us otherwise as we recently returned from a week-long road trip throughout the south. I've shared a few of my photos via Instagram but I'm working on putting together a little recap of our time away. As always, thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Lily's Baby Dedication

This past Sunday was such a special day for our family as Paul and I had the honor of dedicating our sweet baby girl Lily to the Lord! Although we had already done so privately the day she was born as my husband had lifted her up to God, we wanted to do it publicly and were so happy that her grandparents could join us.

I think my favorite part of the day was watching Lily dance and twirl in the front row while holding my hands during praise and worship as she usually does. For this ceremony, we chose a church that was not actually our home church as the Pastor is a personal friend of my husband's and he had prophesied a year ago that Lily would be a worship leader one day and encouraged us to play worship music for her often as she really enjoys it. He was definitely accurate-music is one of her favorite things to do and she asks to listen to the radio and 'dan' (dance) every day. After a lot of rain everyday here for the past few weeks we were so grateful to have the most perfect sunny day to celebrate (even if it was over 100 degrees and we felt like we were melting trying to capture a few photos!). Paul was dying to take his jacket and tie off once we got to the car. 

My Outfit: Sundress (old) similar styles: here & here on major sale! // gold shoes
Lily's Outfit: Dress  //  headband (this one is also really pretty)  // shoes 

After the ceremony (which was pretty casual as there were many other families on stage dedicating their little ones also so I'll spare you all of those photos), we headed over to my in-laws' house which is just around the corner from the church to have lunch and enjoy some cake followed by Lily entertaining us by chasing bubbles all over the front porch after Grandma brought out a bubble machine. We changed her into a more comfy dress for playtime and I traded my gold strappy heels for a pair of white slip-on bow sandals to make it easy going in and out of the house. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen this snap below that I shared a few days ago.

I always order our birthday and special event cakes from Whole Foods since they use more natural ingredients and I know there will never be any food coloring added or crazy chemicals. It was delicious as always and they did an amazing job once again creating the simple, classic cake that I had asked for which was then topped with a DIY gold glitter cross which was very easy to make along with pink rose accents. Our gifts to Lily were a preschool devotional and this adorable pink and gold glitter scripture plaque which matches her bedroom.

I originally intended to wear a new dress for the occasion, however when the one I ordered online had arrived and was not the right color or fit I was expecting, I shipped it back and spent most of Saturday at the mall with my girl however once again came up empty handed so I shopped my own closet instead once I got home. In case you're interested in our outfit details from the day, I've linked above and you can also click on any image below to be taken straight to its site. We got so many compliments on Lily's dress and although my sundress is from Banana Republic a few years back, because it's a classic shape and length, I know I'll have it for many more years to come. I've linked up to a few of my current favorite dresses (including 2 floral midi dresses which are currently 40-55% off) along with some coordinating shoes in case you're looking to add a few new pretties on sale or getting ready for a late summer wedding or another special event yourself.

Speaking of Banana Republic, if you love their clothing as much as I do, they currently have some amazing sales going on such as 50% off sale for women w/ code: BRSALE at checkout plus up to 40% off bottoms along with free shipping over $50 and free returns. I love this time of year for end of summer sales and stocking up on new dresses, especially because living in Florida means that I can wear them for a few more months.

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I hope you're all having a wonderful week! As always, thanks for reading!


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