July 29, 2014

Style: Summer Faves with Raise.com

When Raise.com contacted me to participate in their summer interactive campaign, I was intrigued, 1.because the concept of their website is fabulous, and 2. because sharing my summer favorites with you guys sounds like a blast!

Raise is the first online marketplace to buy and sell gift cards, where you can buy gift cards (at a discounted price, mind you) for your favorite stores, or sell those pesky ones that grandma keeps sending over for Christmas (Talbots again? Really?!?) for cash.
The website stocks gift cards that fit a wide variety of wants and needs, and the fact that you can get a $100 value JCPenney gift card for only $80 has me sold! Also, their Careers page has me sold, but that's an entirely different story! 
Now, without further ado, here's a peek into my summer clothing and accessories essentials (and all the links for some sweet gift card deals you can use to purchase your favorites):
decree-by-jcpenney-striped-crop-top



Decree at JCPenney crop top. Crop tops are such a great summer staple, especially with high-waisted skirts or shorts (as seen here). Add a body chain underneath for an unexpected peek, or just layer it on top for a rebel vibe.


forever-21-distressed-denim-shorts

Forever 21 high-waisted shorts. These are so versatile! They can be dressed down with a casual tee and sandals, or up with a fancy top and heels. I loved wearing these on the beach with a simple blue crop top here

forever-21-greek-maxi-dress

Forever 21 Greek maxi dress which is perfect for a quick outfit- just add chandelier earrings for evening or understated jewelry for day. Even though the neckline is strong on its own, I love pushing it further with a statement necklace, like here.
revlon-color-burst-matte-balm-orange

A bold lip color is a definite must for the summer. Sometimes, makeup can be the best accessory, keeping everything else understated. You can purchase this item with a Walmart gift card, and still have funds to spare on more brights! 
bella-jack-nautical-charm-bracelet

This Bella Jack bracelet from TJ Maxx is by far my favorite summer purchase! An oversize jewelry piece is a great way to update a basic outfit, or add to an already statement-making look. In this post, I stack this bracelet alongside understated jewelry to elevate my simple day look.
diy-nautical-body-chain

Last, but not least, I love this DIY body chain made with supplies from Michaels. Thanks to Rihanna, I've been inspired to rock body jewelry and elevate simple beach looks, such as here. Body chains are a great way to get noticed- they can be worn under a dress for a more subtle look, or over pieces for a bolder statement. 

It's not too late to stack up on more of my summer faves, and thanks to Raise, I can get more bang for my buck via gift cards!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off on a gift card purchasing spree!

July 25, 2014

Outfit: Flower Skirt + Black Cami.

nm fashion blogger- flower skirtnm fashion blogger- black cami and flower skirt
nm fashion blogger- cute earrings

nm fashion blogger- beaded statement necklace

nm fashion blogger- elle bag and wet seal shoes
Photos by Leo Petriu
earrings + necklace: unknown
cami: Wet Seal
skirt: thrifted (orig. Cherokee)
bag: Elle
shoes: Wet Seal

Hi, everybody! 

I'm not gonna go on my usual outfit rant tonight because I am absolutely exhausted, but I still wanted to do a quick post this evening. I wore this outfit on a long shopping trip and it definitely fulfilled all of its duties. Shoes were comfy, cami didn't drench me in sweat, skirt didn't reveal any underwear when breezes would sneak up. A perfect 10, I would say!

Also, can we just take a second to admire this beautiful statement necklace? I think it was purchased somewhere in Romania, but I can't remember for sure. Wherever it's from, I'm absolutely in love with it.

Thank you so much for stopping by! :)

July 24, 2014

Lifestyle: The Wardrobe Purge: Trimming Down Your Wardrobe.


Hello, party people!

Toward the beginning of the month I introduced my new series, called The Wardrobe Purge, in the hopes of enlightening those poor souls that, like me, became slaves of consumerism to the point of hoarding unnecessary stuff.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to live in a place that gives me so many choices and allows me to be stylish on a poor college girl budget, but there comes a time when hoarder girl over here needs to put on her big girl panties and stop spending money on irrelevant things.

My first purge post goes into a bit of detail about the decision-making process for the purge, but I felt that a more complete overview was needed. So, here we go!

First off, pick your purging time wisely. Long weekends, summer break, winter break, anytime you are likely to be bored and therefore stick with the task at hand. Summer + winter are also prime motivational purging time since most people see back-to-school and the new year as a fresh start.

Now that you've worked out the motivation, it's time to start the process. We've got 4 piles to work with: keepers, maybes, donation/sale, trash. 

You've got a keeper if:
  • it's a basic piece that fits you well and can be paired with loads of things in your closet,
  • it's something you find yourself going back to and wearing constantly,
  • it's something comfortable that you love to gravitate toward on lazy days,
  • it's a special-ish occasion item that you're not crazy over on a day-to-day basis, but you don't have anything else of the sort (e.g. job interview outfit- if the job interview comes up and you find yourself buying items that you like better, this moves to the donation pile- but just as a backup, it should stay for the time being).
Remember, everyone's basic pieces and preferences are different. Go with your own opinion, not your friend's.

You've got a maybe if:
  • it's something you've worn once or twice but is never your absolute first choice when creating your outfit,
  • it's something that you haven't worn because you didn't know it existed in your overflowing closet, but now that you've rediscovered it, you find yourself excited about the item,
  • it's something that you're feeling iffy about, but you can imagine it paired up with at least 3 different items in your keepers pile.

You've got a donation/potential sale if:
  • it's something that has been gently worn, not your style, but you could see someone else rocking it,
  • it's something that hasn't been worn and still has the tag on after a few months, 
  • it's something formal that you've already worn but don't want to part with because it's pretty,
  • it's something ill-fitting on you, but still in wearable condition with the potential to work on other body types,
  • it's something you've been wanting to part with for a while, but haven't yet for fear of your mother's wrath- "but it's so beautiful and you look like an adult in it and yadda yadda yadda" (this one was the determining factor in plenty of my discards),
  • basically, if it's in good condition and you're over it, don't throw it in the trash- one man's trash is another man's treasure.

And finally, you've got a trash contender if:
  • it's unintentionally ripped (i.e. not distressed boyfriend jeans, etc.) or has wear holes in it,
  • it's stained beyond repair (e.g. yellowing from deodorant stains...or plenty types of different alcohol stains on the pretty red formal dress that I wore to my cousin's wedding- HARDEST GOODBYE),
  • it's an undergarment that has touched your body (underwear, bathing suits, socks, etc.) 
I hope you enjoyed the second part of my Wardrobe Purge, and you're at least mildly inspired to make a change in your wardrobe. Next up in the series: what to do with your unwanted clothing! Stay tuned!

As usual, thank you for stopping by! 


July 23, 2014

Style: Wedding Attire with Paul Fredrick

Hi, everyone! 
One of the things I love doing most- but rarely get to actually do- is dressing up. So when Valerie Williams of Paul Fredrick asked me to share my thoughts on wedding attire with you all, of course I jumped at the mere thought of pretty wedding outfits (and foods, and decor, and the bouquet, and...).
Paul Fredrick specializes in smart styles for professional men at affordable prices. Their website promises to offer the highest quality items and my favorite: clothes that get you noticed for looking SMART and CONFIDENT. After browsing around, I sure agree with that statement! Dressed up men are so fine! ;)

Val kicked off the party with her "Summer Wedding Season Has Returned" post on the the Paul Fredrick blog, and if you're a guy looking for some wedding inspo (or a girl that wants to make sure her wedding date is on point), I recommend checking it out!

As for my own take on summer wedding trends... Well, I believe there's two ways you could go. 
Defining traits:
-understated hues/pastels
-delicate fabrics + textures
-dainty accessories
-'nice guy/gal' attitude

Key pieces:

Men:
-whimsical bow-ties
-pastel colored button-down dress shirts
-patterned cuff links
-lightly colored/patterned suits

Women:
-precious headbands
-lace + ruffle details
-dainty jewelry
-lightweight blazer or cardigan
                                                                                                               

Defining traits: 
-rich hues
-luxurious fabrics + textures
-bold accessories 
-feisty attitude


Key Pieces:

Men:
-sharp ties
-crisp (but light-colored) button-down dress shirts
-simple cuff links
-white, gray, or tan suit

Women:
-shiny hair accessories
-cutout + sheer details
-statement jewelry 
-structured blazer

General Rules:
-wear shoes that are dressy, but comfortable.
-the best skirt/dress lengths are right above the knee for formfitting, and midi/tea length for a-lines.
-whether you're going classic/crisp or whimsical, choose light colors (the hues will make the difference).
-delicate stripes, polka dots and florals are safe bets in terms of pattern.


Hope this gave you wedding goers a bit of inspiration! Thank you so much for stopping by! :) And thanks, Paul Fredrick, for the invitation!

July 21, 2014

Style: First YouTube Lookbook!



Hi, everyone! Super quick blog post here, but homegirl's got a YouTube channel now and uploaded her very first VIDEO! This lookbook is a compilation of looks already featured on the blog, perfect for a summer vacay. We've got a beach look, daytime (lunch) look, and of course, dinner!

I'm excited to start digging into the YouTube life! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)


Outfit: Traditional Top + Cherry One Piece.







Photos by Aidan Bradbury-Aranda
headscarf: thrifted (orig. Neiman Marcus)
swimsuit: ModCloth
cover-up: Romania

Hello, internet friends! Today marks the last of my Mexico vacation posts, so I'll be going back to posting regular everyday type outfits for the rest of the summer. Hopefully you guys have been enjoying my boyfriend-generated images, cause my little brother is about to take those over.

I've been wanting one of these retro-looking bathing suits for YEARS, but could never justify spending that much money on a bathing suit (I will not say how much I spent on this. My poor mother would faint. I almost fainted, too). I feel like many people wouldn't consider it to be a whole lot, but you're talking to someone who's grown up on garage sales and thrift stores and taught that everything over $10 isn't worth its price. I've moved up a bit since those days, but I'll be keeping this suit for many years to come so I can justify its cost!

Anyway, the item I REALLY want to talk to you guys today is my cover-up. It's actually called an ie, and it's a traditional piece of handcrafted Romanian clothing. I've been wanting one of these for SUCH a long time (also an expensive piece of clothing if you want the real deal). My grandmother very kindly sent this to me and I was beyond ecstatic!

I feel so proud to be able to wear this top out in the world. It's so airy, and the detailing is carefully placed and beautiful! While I've seen the general style of this top very on the rise lately, the detailing on everything in stores isn't nearly as intricate as this, and I would assume most people don't have such a sentimental connection with these types of tops. However big this trend gets, I'll still view this top as an unique little part of my heritage. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! :)



July 16, 2014

Outfit: Crop Top + Body Chain.





Photos by Aidan Bradbury-Aranda
sunglasses: Kenneth Cole Reaction @ TJ Maxx
earrings: Forever21
crop top: Wet Seal
body chain: DIY
shorts: Forever21

This super cute DIY body chain has been, by far, my favorite accessory this summer! I've worn it under a generous cleavage-bearing dress, over my Calvin Klein one-piece, and now, over this adorably simple crop top I purchased at Wet Seal for $3 (!!!). 

I believe the beach is one of those places where you should choose your accessories wisely and only stick to a few. Have you ever run into an overly accessorized (think hat + wedges + 1,000 bangles + sunglasses +++) lady on the beach? Surely she didn't leave the best impression behind. 

Besides, whether you're just soaking up some rays or engaging in water-related activities, the beach is a place for comfort. The sunglasses are a must no matter what, and the earrings, however large-looking, are airy and comfortable to run around in. The body chain is tight enough that it moves with your body, but lose enough to not make beach activities uncomfortable!

Happy summer days, lovely readers! :)
Thanks for stopping by!

July 14, 2014

Outfit: Rope Necklace + Stripes.








Photos by Aidan Bradbury-Aranda
headband: unknown
earrings: Forever 21
necklace: Meli Melo
bag: thrifted
t-shirt: thrifted (orig. Gap)
skirt: Wet Seal
sandals: Merona @ Target


Can I just say I HAVE BEEN WAITING TO SHOW OFF THIS NECKLACE FOR THE LONGEST TIME?!? And by longest time, I mean at least 2 years! I bought it on clearance while on vacation in Romania, and it was incredibly cheap considering prices there- definitely under $10. As someone who's really into the nautical theme, this necklace is a winner- the rope, the colors and textures, the everything. I'm excited to style it with loose white tops and cute maxi dresses!

With such an attention-grabbing piece, it was only natural to mellow out the earrings, as I didn't want them competing. The bag size and minimal sandals feel appropriate, not overwhelming. I tied the t-shirt at the middle to get use out of it as a crop top without actually cropping it. It's so adorable, versatile, and comfy! 

Thank you so much for stopping by!

July 11, 2014

Outfit: Black One-Piece and Ombre Shorts.





Photos by Aidan Bradbury-Aranda
sunnies: Kenneth Cole Reaction @ TJ Maxx
body chain: DIY
bathing suit: Calvin Klein @ Ross Dress for Less
shorts: Decree @ JC Penney

Hi, everyone! 

I'm excited to bring you guys my first-ever swimsuit post! I feel that a lot of people are under the impression that bikinis are the only way bathing suits can fall into 'hot' territory, but I'm here to argue on behalf of the good ol' one-piece. 

I'm team bikini at heart (you get a better tan, you don't feel like you're wearing too much, etc), but this trip was all about the understated flirty look (didn't want to overdo it with boyfriend's parents present, ya know?)! Hint: my bikini collection involves items that are appropriate for A. college pool parties, or B. a couples' getaway. 

Anyway, a classic black one-piece with a whole lotta cleavage is a whole lotta timeless on its own. Add current, trendy pieces like a simple body chain and ombre shorts, and you've got yourself a beach bombshell outfit! Switch the shorts with a pastel skater skirt, add a headscarf, and the entire vibe changes! The little black one-piece is definitely a worthy summer investment! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!