Sunday, October 16, 2016

How to Make a Dress Look Casual Yet Classy


DRESS: Shein  c/o  //  SNEAKERS:  Adidas  //  EARRINGS: Majorica
 SUNGLASSES: Target (Designer version here)  // BRACELET: Kate Spade old (similar here)
CLUTCH / CROSSBODY BAG: Nine West old (similar here, herehere + love this one) 


One of the things I love most about living in California is the true change of seasons, something I've missed during the last 10 years while I lived in Florida after moving down from the north. It feels great to be planning my fall wardrobe and experimenting with different outfit combinations once again as layering is half the fun! Earlier this week during one of our  typical 75-degree days, I paired this ultra comfy dress with sneakers-something that is normally outside of my comfort zone. The key is making sure to get the right footwear, a running shoe intended for training would come off as frumpy.

With the Bay Area offering a more casual vibe and my increase in outdoor activities along with the amount of walking (especially up and downhill in SF and in our neighborhood's hills), being what it is, unless I need to wear a heel, you'll find me in flats almost daily. When it comes to our dress wardrobe, it need not be reserved for only when we're wearing heels, how we can make a dress look more casual is by changing a few accessories whether it's a belt, a pair of shoes or the chosen handbag or all of the above. By wearing flats, booties or the right pair of sneakers, it instantly provides a put-together yet relaxed outfit that works for a variety of occasions that results in a classy look that isn't too dressed up or fussy.

With the continued trend of athleisure, I knew it was time to add a new pair of sneakers that fit the bill. There are a lot of great options that are both practical and yet stylish (a running shoe would look awkward and would ruin the look, but with the right footwear, you can pair this comfy option with not only jeans but also dresses and skirts which make them a great addition to one's wardrobe. I had a flashback of my high school days when I had my first pair of Gazelle's, these Adidas Superstars are so comfortable and go with so much in my closet.

You've probably seen them everywhere by now, I'm never one to follow a crowd but when a shoe is comfortable and it makes my size 9-9.5 foot look smaller, I'm sold! I chose the classic white & black stripes (they also make a solid white version and a pretty gold stripe which I nearly bought. I ended up ordering a size 8 as these are unisex and they fit perfectly-I recommend sizing down one full size than what you're used to. I started off with a size 7.5 and was able to take advantage of not only free shipping but the return/exchange for free too by ordering them on this site. I plan on adding to my casual sneaker collection, below are some others I considered and may eventually add in time.

I stumbled upon this SheIn gray/taupe-toned dress recently (I still can't believe it's just $21!) and thought it would be perfect year round. I love the overall modesty and simplicity of it yet polished and elegant look-the drop shoulder and elbow-length sleeves are are the perfect length for the warmer days of fall and the 3" slit on either side of this knee-length dress is feminine and sexy without showing much skin. I was surprised to see the sizing was labelled 'one size', I wasn't quite sure what to expect or how it would fit, I was delighted to see that it is so flattering on.

Unlike thin jersey material, this knit dress is super soft and comfortable yet provides the kind of coverage that doesn't cling to your body in all the wrong places. While I'm sharing a casual look in this post, I have wedges, riding boots, ballet flats and booties that I look forward to wearing with it in the future. It really is quite versatile and because of its neutral color, you can either create a monochrome vibe or add a pop of color anytime of year. For fall,I recommend pairing it with red, burgundy, navy, cobalt or even a dusty rose or blush pink for maximum impact.

I'm a huge fan of clutches that double as a shoulder bag or cross-body bag (as is the case of this old Nine West oxblood patent faux croc version). When I'm walking all over the city while in San Francisco or during outings with Lily I like to have my hands free. I enjoy having the option of a more sophisticated look of a clutch and will often tuck the strap inside while out on appointments or when I'm out on my own. This particular day involved a little of both so this particular bag was a great choice.

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What new looks have you been experimenting with this fall?

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend. Thanks for stopping by!


*Brought to you by SheIn Clothing.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

First Day of Autumn

BLOUSE: SheIn $26! (c/o)  //  JEANS: 7FAM (old) flare leg version, lighter version
SHOES: Tory Burch  //  BAG: (Local shop) similar: herehere, here, here + here
SUNGLASSES: Target on sale under $14! (Designer version here)  // EARRINGS: Majorica


Happy October everyone! The first day of Fall in the Bay Area certainly didn't disappoint! The leaves have already begun turning colors, the air has that crispness to it in the early morning + late evening and during the day we're warmed by the sun's rays on even the chilliest sounding temps-the 60's actually feel more like 80's. We've already begun stocking up on white mini pumpkins and other fall decor. If you've been following along on instagram, you may have seen that we are actually growing our own pumpkins and have already harvested 9! They grew from seeds in the compost on our property and were transferred so they had already turned orange weeks ago and were ready to be picked.

I find that September and early October fluctuate so much in most parts of the country (as evidenced by the 66 degrees we had last week only to experience a heat wave of nearly 100 degrees just a few days later during the weekend. I've always said that my perfect place to live would be where I could wear a dress and jeans + a  blazer or cute blouse daily and I'd say that I've found that here. Since my wardrobe necessities in California are different than that of Florida, I've made it a point to focus on both transitional and layering pieces to get me through the next couple months until warmer coats are truly needed daily. In my last outfit post I shared this floral dress to take you from summer to fall and now I wanted to share a casual yet pulled together look that does the same job.

When I'm not at a playground with Lily, tending to the garden or working from home, I like to dress up my denim whether it's with the addition of a blazer, putting on a pretty blouse or a fab pair of heels. This is a pretty typical everyday look for me, as a mom I prefer to wear flats to chase after my little monkey and they're the perfect choice for weekends when we're doing a lot of walking. I save my heels and wedges for when I'm flying solo for the day while she's at school.

I'm loving this black and white striped bow wrapped blouse that I ordered a few weeks ago. It has a slight ruffling at the bottom and of course a pretty side tie bow which would pair equally as well with a black pencil skirt or even a pair of shorts when those hot days roll in again. The material is thicker, so coupled with my wide leg jeans, I didn't feel cold once during the day. I've had these 7 For All Mankind jeans for a few years  and I find wide leg jeans really comfortable, I'm glad to see that wide leg pants and denim are on trend again this season, I especially like pairing them with a fitted short sleeved or long sleeved tee along with a belt. They currently offer a lighter version of the same style here. I just stocked up a bunch of these super affordable and ultra soft pima cotton tees which are currently on sale and perfect for layering!

I've also been experimenting with some new hair styles (inspired by a more bohemian, relaxed look here in California I suppose), which actually originated from my need to find new toddler styles for Lily's long hair. Not long after, she'd see something I experimented on in my own hair and ask if I could do the same to hers so she could have 'hair like mommy'. This hairstyle is super easy and takes about a minute to do. It's essentially a series of flips. secure a low ponytail (I use tiny clear plastic elastics from the drugstore) then create a part in the lowest part of the gathered hair above the elastic and feed it through the center hole and pull. Add another elastic about 3 inches under that and do the same thing, pulling the pony through each time. It creates a braided effect without any complicated braiding techniques and if you're on the go and it gets a little bit too messy,  it takes just seconds to redo it. I like to pull out a few pieces of hair to frame my face so it doesn't look to perfect.



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What are you enjoying most so far about the fall season?

Thanks for stopping by!


*This post was brought to you by SheIn.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Long-Sleeved Navy Floral Dress

DRESS:  Make Me Chic  c/o (also here) //  BOOTIES: Sole Society (in coffee) 
CLUTCH: Nine West old (similar style)  // SUNGLASSES: Target (Designer version by Tom Ford
EARRINGS: Merona old (I love these ones)  // BRACELETS: Forever 21 

Happy September!! Is anyone else wondering where the summer went? Speaking of time passing quickly, I just realized it's been two whole months since my last post here! Some of you may have gathered I took a bit of a summer sabbatical as I attended to some family needs. I'm glad to finally start writing here again and going forward you'll notice a change in my fashion posts as we recently moved across the country last month from Florida to....... California! More on that to come soon but in the mean time I'll give you a little sneak peek into my backyard. :) Today's outfit is very much inspired by my new surroundings. As the Autumn season has been hinting at its arrival here in the bay area with maple leaves falling daily coupled with cooler morning and evening air prompting the need for layers, I couldn't help but wear this new long sleeved floral dress with my favorite pair of suede booties, something that would be an impossibility in the sunshine state this time of year.

Welcome to my backyard! Behind our new house are these beautiful rolling hills, home to families of deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife. I couldn't be more in love my surroundings. It's not uncommon to see deer here on a daily basis, sometimes even walking down the street. After school, Lily always asks to go see the 'reindeer'. ;) 

On weekends when I'm not wearing jeans I prefer longer dresses with a denim jacket or cardigan so this long sleeved floral dress from Make Me Chic combines the best of both worlds. It's lightweight enough to keep me cool when the sun is its most intense and warm enough once the temps dip. I love that it buttons down, it would make a great option for all of you nursing mamas. 

You might remember these booties I shared with you last year that sold out in record time. Great news!! They have been fully restocked again this year in all sizes and 4 gorgeous colors. They fit both wide (and narrow feet like mine) as per the reviews and are comfortable to boot-no pun intended. They are my go-to pair, I love the simple buckle detail and they pair with everything from dresses and skirts to skinny jeans and shorts too. I couldn't resist pulling out one of my favorite faux croc clutches to pull out the purple color in the flowers on this dress for a dressed up casual look.

I've been experimenting a bit lately with a slightly bohemian, yet still classic style. The west coast has inspired some of my recent new purchases, I'm enjoying the relaxed vibe here and drier climate. 

If you're still experiencing the heat wave of summer, this dress is easy breezy and would be complemented equally as well with a pair of gladiator sandals and a crossbody bag for a classic weekend look.

This sweet family of deer (it's hard to see in the photo above but there are actual 4 present) were my audience the entire time I was shooting in the hills. They were so sweet, wagging their little tails and watching my every move. You can see see the mama and her baby really well here.

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I believe every woman should own a collection of dresses that make her feel comfortable yet stylish, but most of all-feminine. Case in point, this floral maxi dress for just $28!

What are your favorite wardrobe pieces for transitioning from summer to fall?


Friday, July 1, 2016

Classic Black and White Gingham Dress

DRESS: Make Me Chic c/o  (also here)  //  HANDBAG: local boutique (similar herehere, here ) 
SHOES: Nine West old  (similar style here + here) // SUNGLASSES: Target (designer version here)
EARRINGS: Merona no longer available (love this style)  //  BRACELETS: Kate Spade 

When I think of summertime, an array of images come to mind. Visions of bronzed sun-kissed skin, lazy beach days, strawberry picking with the family, relaxing with a big glass of sweet tea or lemonade in hand to beat the heat, making s'mores by the campfire at night and of course eating lots of juicy watermelon slices and picnics in the park. Summer is a time to kick back, relax and opt for less fussy attire and there's something about gingham that just reminds me of those picnic in the park (likely the red and white iconic picnic blankets and tablecloths). When the hazy, humid days of summer are ushered in, there's nothing better than a gauzy or breezy dress in a lightweight fabric like this one to keep things both comfortable and cool while still looking polished and ladylike. 

As a lover of classic style, I tend to focus on staple fabrics, patterns and colors such as black and white (which my closet is filled with!) in a variety of patterns such as striped tees, solid blouses and dresses along with polka dots. When Make Me Chic recently reached out to me to collaborate with them, I couldn't resist adding this ruffle top spaghetti strap gingham dress.

Although off-the-shoulder looks are on trend and everywhere right now, I'm a practical gal at heart and with a toddler to chase after all day, not having to readjust my clothing often is important to me. The thin straps on this dress solves that issue and provides just the right amount amount of support while still giving it that strapless or off-the-shoulder vibe. The ruffle top adds a flirty, romantic feel (that accentuates your bust area-a nice perk for those who want a little extra oomph in that department) and because it's covered, while I wore a strapless bra, you could technically go bra-less and find them uncomfortable in the heat like I sometimes do. I also love how this dress cinches at the waist, it's quite figure flattering with a retro, ladylike vibe. You also can't beat the price at just $32!

Yesterday, Lily and I headed out for the day but I did't feel like carrying a large tote as I often do to carry both of our necessities. I decided to pair my new gingham dress with a red cross-body bag for a pop of color to hold my essentials (which can be worn as a shoulder bag too). I discovered it at a local FL boutique but I found some very similar options like this two-tone version, this slightly larger version, and this one that features the same type of gold hardware.

After heading out early for a couple short appointments and running a few quick errands, we made our way over to Julie's Waterfront, a very casual restaurant situated on the water with great food and service along with a cute patio area and of course a view. It was such a stunning day with the most beautiful blue skies and fluffy white clouds that often resembled popcorn. I couldn't resist snapping a few photos while there of this adorable summery mural below that was painted on the fence near the entrance.

After lunch, Lily fell asleep in the car (as she often does when we run errands midday) so I read and caught up on a few e-mails. Next, I swung by the house and loaded up on water, juice and snacks to make our way to the park after first swapping out my heels for my favorite pair of black flat Tory Burch sandals which are the ones I wear most often. I typically make shorts and a tee my go-to for our park days together so I can slide with her and worry less about getting dirty but there's something so lovely about getting to still feel feminine even in places where you might otherwise typically dress very casually. Because this dress is so lightweight, it was the perfect option, especially since we made some new friends there who just moved here from out of state and we ended up staying for a record 3 hours!

What I like most about this look is that it's easy and with it being black + white, you can add virtually any color to change up the look each time you wear it-yellow or hot pink are other fun options. I have long loved the versatility of separates, however, I usually end up with more dresses than skirts because they're something I can throw on without spending too much time coordinating, add a swipe of lipstick, a pair of heels (or flats) and out the door I go! This dress can easily transition from day to night by adding a cardigan as the temps drop along with a clutch for a slightly dressier look.

Here are a few other similar classic black + white gingham dresses for summer at varying price points (some are on sale right now), including this adorable toddler/child version (on sale!) which matches the style of my dress almost identically and would be perfect for you mamas who like to match with your daughter. 


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As always, thank you so much for stopping by! Wishing all of my Canadian friends a Happy Canada Day today and my American friends a Happy 4th of July weekend! Since I'm a dual citizen, I'll be celebrating both. Have fun and stay safe everyone. :)


*Thank you to Make Me Chic for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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