On Saturday, I had the joy of styling the fashion for a photo shoot with my dear friends Hannah, Lauren, and Ashlynn. You see, every now and then we decide to get together with creative friends in the area for a collaboration we call You Sparkle to make some beauty together. (We hadn't done a shoot together since Valentine's Day!)
Here are some behind-the-scenes shots from Hannah and my iPhones. I can't wait to share the professional shots from Lauren's camera with you! I absolutely loved the wild woman in the woods vibe we created.
I'm heading to PA later this week to attend my cousin's baby shower. She's getting married soon, and I spent Saturday with another dear friend who is recently engaged! So I've got weddings on the brain, and I'll share some of my ideas with you in the coming days and weeks in case you do, too. As always, if you're planning a wedding or looking for a mother-of-the-bride outfit, feel free to reach out to me! I offer online personal shopping as well as in-person and am the queen of finding the perfect alternative to what every other woman will be wearing.
I love these interchangeable pieces from the PomPon Collection by Plum Pretty Sugar,
don't you? I fell in love with Plum Pretty Sugar while searching for a
beautiful dressing gown to wear while getting ready for our wedding. I
decided to wear my mom's vintage kimono instead, and I hadn't visited
this site in a long time.
Aside from the models being extremely skinny, I love the look of these
pieces and wanted to share them with you! I can picture a set of
bridesmaids wearing these easily since they mix and match and feel
cohesive without being the same fabric.
I love these sort of off-kilter skirts they've got going here in this collection. They also have a huge collection of unusual dressing robes on the site, and I'd love to style a wedding party in them and have the bride wear one of the robes herself.
Like the look but want something a little more wearable as a bridesmaid or just a wedding guest? Try a more forgiving fabric like this solid maxi on Etsy or this floral stunner. I love the casual white tanks they paired the skirts with for an easy spring wedding next spring when it's already getting hot.
This Virginia wedding looks gorgeous and full of life and fun, but I'm also sharing it with you because one of the brides has the most perfect back to a pixie cut you'll ever see. If you have or might ever want a pixie, save this image! For some reason, the perfect length in the back is hard to find!
Betty was sharing this image for the sunglasses, but I can't stop looking at that perfect, just-had-a-popsicle lipcolor! Divine. The key to replicating this look at home? Make sure your skin looks flawless and don't wear any blush or bronzer. Let the color shine.
You may have figured out by now that Byron Katie is one of my major gurus. I loved this from her blog! If you start listening to her podcasts, reading her books, and/or watching her videos, this will crack you up at the truth of it!
The Hunt for Comfortable and Stylish Shoes Continues
For most of my life, I thought I had "easy" feet. My sister has very, very wide, flat feet, and my mom has always struggled with her feet (she's a Pisces, she'll explain). Relatively, mine seemed not that flat and pretty much, well, fine with any old shoes.
As a result of that belief combined with my general lack of funds as I went from college to a masters to a JD, I spent the first thirty years of my life wearing whatever cheap-o shoes I could find. As my husband said once, "you like shoes where your foot is flat on the ground." Flats, he meant, and cheap ones. Like these! Or these! Or these!
I've since realized that my feet are slightly wide-and in bad shape. Between the shoes and the long commute, my hips have started to act up, and it's just time to pay more attention to my sweet piggies. I'm growing up! About time, right?
Earlier in the summer, I wrote about wide summer shoes and even ordered two that were moving in the right direction. I ended up returning both, though, since they were actually not comfortable enough for my new standard.
This week, I ordered two pairs of shoes from Zappos and then got two with a coupon at Macy's. I'm keeping three for sure and am undecided about the fourth.
I grew up in Vermont, land of Naots with socks (not Berkinstocks, the story about hippie politics about Germany v. kibbutz is too long for here) and clogs. All clogs, all the time. I wore them in middle school for awhile, but mostly they were mom shoes. So it was with great trepidation that I ordered these Danskos. But, I love them! They're very comfortable, nice and medium wide around the toe box, and a great neutral that's not skin tone.
I wore them with a big, full skirt from H&M, a sweater from Loft, and my gorgeous crepe murtle. The first day of wearing something I'm worried doesn't fit my style, I try to pair it with an outfit that I love. It casts a certain "me" vibe over the new item, and then I fall in love with it.
These are the shoes that I'm not sure about, on the other hand. I liked the green and the height along with the idea of comfort, but I think the arch is too high for my feet. I wore them around the house wondering if maybe shoes should feel that supportive? But they just hurt, and I won't wear them. They're not as clunky as they look, but they are quite casual with the cork and the velcro. But, you can adjust the velcro, which is great for wider feet. And the emerald green is gorgeous!
Keeping with the jewel theme, I grabbed these sandals by Born. I wish the sides didn't have that odd wood grain look, but they're so darn comfortable! They're casual, and I needed supportive casual shoes. The open toe works well for my wider feet. Keeping these!
For Born shoes, I also really liked these. They were less casual and very comfortable, but I fell between the whole sizes on this fit and didn't get them. Macys had them in black, which I loved but can't seem to find on the website.
I also loved these red sandals, but they didn't have my size. They were a more true red in person and very comfortable. If you're looking for casual, supportive, summery shoes that are not sandals, these topsiders are incredibly comfortable. The blue striped sides seem to be sold out everywhere, though.
The pair above are very comfortable, similar to a lot of the old ballet flats I used to wear but have a solid bottom and nice support. I can't find them online and will need to do more searching for you if you're interested!
Thanks for bearing with me as I grow up and come to care for my feet. I hope you're doing the same!
And have a great weekend! I'm spending it with one of my best friends, the incredible Hannah of Love Always Hannah. We have time by my gym's pool, lots of trashy magazines, and a photo shoot with friends planned. I can't wait! Follow me on Instagram if you want sneak peeks of the shoot!
I think we're all working through what to call sizes, and there are some alternatives to "plus size" that I really like. Personally, I wish more stores just mixed all of their sizes and models together instead of having "women" on one page and "plus size" on another. I'm often browsing the "plus size" or "curve" sections and wishing those same styles were represented in more sizes, and I know the opposite is certainly true. And I'm not sure that "curve size" really explains anything since curves occur on many sizes of women, and separating plus size or curve size from "women" implies that the women who wear those sizes are somehow, what? Not women? I have a feeling that we're getting to a better place on all of this, and I look forward to being a part of that conversation.
Mango just recently launched a line they call "curve sizes," titled Violeta. I have not seen any of their clothing in person so I'll be reviewing their site and their look today.
First, the website. It's a bit confusing because their sizes listed on the main US/English page are 40-52. If you click into the individual images of the clothing and go to select your size, you'll see American sizing (sizes 8-20) as well as a size guide. I think that could be more clear on the main page. I'm not sure most American women in a size 8 would click on the "curve size" tab, but it appears that size gets to double-dip: there are size 8 mediums in the "women" section as well as in the Violeta section. That's a bit confusing.
Next, their style. Here are a few things I'd like you to know about shopping at Mango-in all of their sizes.
First, their styling can seem a bit dowdy, especially the images they choose as their main images. I'm not sure why they do this, but it's really worth it to take the time to click on anything you might like. If you hover the mouse over each image, you'll see it off of a model, but that often doesn't tell you much. Once you click through, you'll see a few ways to wear each piece, and the second images are often much more stylish. Here's an example from Violeta.
Last weekend, my husband and I decided, spur-of-the-moment around Thursday morning, to do a "staycation" in downtown DC. We live about nearby in Northern Virginia and are down there often for work and play, but we rarely spend the night and have never spent more than a single night downtown since moving to NOVA.
This weekend was the best! Here are some highlights in case you want to come to DC to visit or do your own getaway if you're local. Heads up-I took a lot of pictures for you!We did a mix of touristy, cheesy, and local things. I highly recommend the following.
Stay at the Hotel George.It's a Kimpton Hotel, and if you don't know that chain of hotels, thank me now. We stayed at the Hotel Palomar, also a Kimpton, in Philadelphia a couple years ago, and we love them. Some highlights from the Hotel George include their complimentary wine hour from 5-6pm every night in the lobby, plush animal print robes, first-come-first-serve free bikes (with locks) to use around town, and really fun decor. Oh-and it's right by Union Station, which makes getting there and getting around town by Metro and on foot very easy.
I love a hotel with plenty of towels and a nice big bathtub!
The decor extended to every detail. Very tongue-in-cheek!
How to Pack the Perfect Bag for Vacation: By Theme
Yesterday, we talked about one way to pack: by color. Today, I'm excited to share with you a second way to pack the best vacation bag of your life! This is an idea I put into practice this summer when we went to the Outer Banks, and it's packing by theme. In this case, think of things like boho chic, nautical, sporty, preppy, or edgy. I find that the theme can be dictated by the type of trip you're having. If you'll be rafting or biking, a sporty style is a natural fit. For many trips, a boho look helps you to feel relaxed and at ease. I chose this style for our trip because I didn't want to wear anything constricting or anything I'd normally wear to work.
You might look through your clothes if you're not sure what theme you'd like to pick. Get a sense of what types of clothing you have that you'd like to wear. Then, follow the same practice as yesterday. First, pull out everything that you own that's right for the season that fits your theme.
Here, a nautical/preppy theme worked well for me because I have so many stripes! This would be a great bag to pack for a weekend trip to
How to Pack the Perfect Bag for Vacation: By Color
My favorite way to pack for a trip, whether it's of a few days or a couple weeks, is by color. Bringing all one color grouping (think black&white, shades of orange, whites&brights, greens&blues, red, white, and blue, etc) means that everything is interchangeable. Your shoes will go with everything; your makeup will work no matter what you wear; and all accessories will work no matter which outfit feels right during the day or night. Not only is it a fun, creative way to pack, it results in a low stress way to dress during your vacation.
I know myself and know that I have a lot of black&white clothing. But, if you're not sure that you have enough clothing of one type, take a look through your drawers and closet and pull out everything that's the same color family. Then, organize it on your bed or floor by category (remember short sleeves, tank tops, a long sleeved top for nighttime, dresses, bottoms for summer).
Here, I went with black&white. I started to think about bright red or coral lipstick, about painting my toenails a color that would pop, and about the brightly colored sandals I could bring. This would be a fun trip to take pictures all in black&white, wouldn't it?
Good morning my sleepy bears! Don't you just feel that way on Monday morning sometimes-like the weekend was this great hibernation period, and now you're stretching and coming out into the bright sun? I can't wait to tell you more about the "staycation" that my husband and I had in DC this weekend! We stayed in a Kimpton Hotel (our favorites!) called Hotel George. I'll share pictures later this week.
Let's get down to my favorite things that happened in the style, body image, and even fashion, realm last week online. All week long when things catch my eye that I'd love to sit down over an iced (flax milk for me) chai and talk with you about on my back deck, I tag them. Then I pick my favorites and share them with you here.
I have to start with one of my very favorite people in the entire world! One of my best friends, Hannah of Love Always Hannah, is the inspiration for my business. It was through her eyes that I saw that I could take something I'd done for friends and family for years and introduce it as a personal styling business to the public. Last week I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek of some of the outfits that she planned to wear for her recent photo shoot. She's re-branding and re-launching her event styling & coordination business, Picadilly, and I can't wait to see what she's got up her sleeve.
I loved every single outfit she chose, and I can't stop looking at how gorgeous she is! You HAVE to go look at the rest of the images she shared in her sneak peek!