This California weather is really giving me some whiplash. One day is scorching hot and the next its raining. To accommodate that unexpected weather change I paired my long sleeve crop top from H&M with distressed boyfriend jeans from Cotton On (They were only $10!! Talk about a steal!). The top was able to keep the chills away but because it is a cropped cut I didn’t have to worry about overheating. Since I am baring some skin the boyfriend jeans really balanced out the outfit and toughened up the look. The silver necklace from Earthbound added that subtle boho vibe and an extra texture to the overall ensemble. The black mules are from Forever 21. I love them because they have a thick heel and are easy to just put on and go. Lately I have been wearing this half-up half-down top knot. It keeps the hair out of my face and is easy to do when you are in a hurry. To finish my look I put on my Elton John Lennon (see what I did there?) inspired sunnies from Forever 21.
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Ever stumble across a fashion article/blog that has the title “Affordable Essentials” or “The Affordable Brand Celebs Wear”? After reading that article/blog did you ever think to yourself “That’s what they consider affordable?”. Nowadays I’ve been coming across more and more blog posts or newsletters featuring stores and brands that they say are affordable but my wallet seems to disagree. What exactly is affordable? Sure, everyone has a different price bracket of what they consider a bargain, a steal, and a splurge. But sometimes when reading these articles I feel like I am in some way not making the type of money I should be making. Or maybe I’m supposed to focus more on the quality of the items I am shopping for instead of the quantity.
If I had $100 to spend, my ideal would be to get as many items possible for that amount of money. And there are definitely places I could go that would give me a bang for my buck. On the other hand, I could also “invest” that money into a single item. A higher quality item. An item that will last me multiple seasons and multiple years. But that’s the struggle. Quantity vs. Quality. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand and respect the choice of choosing a higher quality item. It just makes more sense to put your money to an item that you aren’t going to donate in a couple of months or hide in your closet for the rest of your life. It is just easier to spend $15 than $70 on one dress.
So how do you decide? Here is my plan:
1. BUDGET: WhoWhatWear has an ideal guide on what to spend monthly on clothing. They have suggested 5% of your take home. This is just a guide so if you feel you need to spend less or more, that’s your choice.
2. PLAN YOUR WARDROBE: What items do you need? What items need to be replaced? What items do you have too many of? Planning out your wardrobe is a long and tedious process, but in the end it will help you figure out what pieces you wasted money on and what pieces you can invest in. If you find yourself wearing the same items over and over again, those are your foundation pieces. You can invest more money on a quality foundation piece that you will wear forever.
3. SHOP SMART: Ask you self these questions before buying: Can I build at least 3 different outfits with this? Will I wear this for more than 1 season? Is this my style? These questions will help you when you are at a crossroads when purchasing. You want to be able to put every item in your wardrobe to good use. So if you can’t wear it 3 different times for different occasions, you might want to pass. Items that are too trendy will lose value as time passes and will eventually get lost in your closet. Be mindful of your personal style. There is no sense in getting a pair of paisley bell bottoms if your more of minimalist or prep. If you want to experiment with other styles I suggest getting accessories.
Hopefully these tips help you make better wardrobe choices. I am still trying to live by this guide so don’t feel bad if you relapse and come home with a new pair of Vans when you already own 5 pairs. Let me know what you do to shop smart. Any tips I can add? Do you think its better to save your money and splurge on higher quality items or are you a die-hard Forever 21 fashionista?
Last Thought: Keep in mind that an “Investment” piece does not always mean “Designer” piece. More on that another day…
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A couple days ago I was approached by travel expert Kendra Thornton to help her come up with some outfit ideas for her trip to the Big Apple. Kendra has been featured on shows such as Tyra Banks and Nate Berkus sharing her savvy traveling tips. Here’s what she wrote in:
I am afraid that I need emergency clothes help. I am a mom with 3 kids and have nothing to wear. In the past few years, I have been a little lax about keeping up with the latest fashions and trends. However, in a couple of weeks I am headed to New York City to meet up with a group of friends and all I can think about is clothes. I want to look my best while visiting the fashion capital of the world. I came up with a great idea though. I created the Kendra Fashion Challenge to get some wardrobe help from the industry’s hottest fashionistas.
My friends and I wanted to do something different and exciting while visiting the Big Apple, so we decided to visit Standard Plaza. This cool public area in Lower Manhattan offers an ice-skating rink during the winter months. While I am not an Olympic skater, I can hold my own. After a little skating, my friends and I can grab some cold weather, comfort food from the Alpine Kaffeeklatsch and check out the large-scale art installations that line the plaza. Some of the past exhibits have included work from such artists as Erwin Wurm, KAWS and Kenny Scharf. I know we are going to have a great time!
When planning this trip, I turned to my expert source that everyone should use, gogobot.com. This new travel website features real reviews from other travelers who have recently visited New York City. It made finding a hotel and the best sights to visit a snap. I know that looking my best will make the entire trip so much more fun. Whether we are going to diner, a show or walking through the lobby of the Standard High Line Hotel, one of the best hotels in the city, I know I will be turning heads with my new look.
As always, I’m happy to help. Below are some of the outfits I would suggest for her.
At the Rink: For ice skating I find it is best to stick with skinny jeans. They will give you just enough warmth and fit nicely under your skates. I chose this Pins and Needles Slubby Pointelle Sweater from Urban Outfitters because it isn’t too thick. Since you’re moving around skating you don’t want to be wearing anything so heavy that you’ll end up wanting to take it off. Bring a smaller bag to the rink to carry your essentials in case they have small lockers or none at all. This Bucket bag from Urban Outfitters is on trend and will go with a variety of outfits. Wearing boots to the rink makes it easy to change to your skates. These Chelsea Boots are perfect for everyday and have a little flair with a metallic panel on the heels.
Grabbing some grub/Observing Art: Trade in those jeans for a midi skirt. This Illustrator Skirt is perfect and gives an artsy touch to your outfit. Pair it with slinky sandals like the Shoe Cult Adore Sandal from Nasty Gal. Add some texture to your outfit with this Lace Crop Top also from Nasty Gal. Wear a simple cami underneath or be daring with a bustier!
What would you wear to a Night Out in the Big Apple?
Nasty Gal had an amazing sale going on during Memorial Day weekend. A sale so amazing that I couldn’t pass up the
deal steal for 2 Unif Hangover Shorts for the price of 1 that was already on sale. These babies are going to be my go-to’s for the summer. They have the perfect relaxed fit and distressed look.
Lately I’ve been feeling a little uninspired. When that happens I usually spend all day on Pinterest. Making several inspiration boards for anything and everything. I even have a board just for mermaids (because I’m a little obsessed). I find that when you spend all day pinning pictures and then check back at the entire board, you can see the direction of what style you tend to go towards. My color inspiration board is full of iridescent blues and greens. You can view my whole Color Inspiration board here.
I liked this idea of belting your sweater. It gives a polished finish to the entire look and make the sweater a little more dressed up.
Photo Cred: bubble-sweater-with-belt.jpg 680×1020.