Fashion, Summer Fashion

A Big Bag, A Swingy Dress, & Pink Shades

With the onset of summer, I always gravitate toward carrying a bigger bag.  Do you?  I mean, there’s something to be said for being prepared when the weather warms up.  Throw in a bathing suit … a pack of peanut butter and crackers … a water bottle … a pair of flip flops … a Little Debbie or two or three  (give me a break, I am from the south!) … and you’re prepared for anything the day may bring.

For me, there’s no better choice for summer than a crochet bag that goes with everything.  This hobo bag, offered by The Sak, is the perfect size for slipping in those extra somethings.  The long slender handle welcomes you to carry your belongings comfortably beneath your arm.  This bag is roomy, spacious, and can be dressed up or down.  And best of all, on Amazon, you can get it for a steal by clicking here.

summer purse 3

While most of the time I’m touting the fit and flare dress, every summer wardrobe must have a solid colored, semi-short, swingy dress.  I chose black, because I’m so basic, but any solid color will work.  Gently kissing your knees when you walk, this timeless style is subtly flirtatious and can be utilized in many ways.  Do you need to wear your bathing suit to and from the pool or the beach?  Well, lucky for you, this dress stands in perfectly as a cover up.  (From much experience, by the way, I know that no one will ever guess you’re wearing a bathing suit underneath it) …. Are you planning to attend an outdoor concert or to have dinner at your favorite restaurant?  Pair this dress with some fun jewelry, a dressy belt, and cute sandals to have a romantic night out on the town while looking fantastic.  Running errands?  No problem.  Pull on a pair of Converse chuck sneakers and go.  I wash and hang my dress so the cotton won’t wear.  It will be on my body once a week during the months of May thru August.  It’s a must have.

Summer Purse

Last, but not least, let’s talk about sunglasses.  Confession:  The most I’ve ever spent on a pair of shades is fifty dollars.  (Do the words fifty and shades, when used in the same sentence, make you stop in your tracks for a moment?  Or is it just me?  haha.).  Anyway, some eyes will roll right here, because fashionistas take their designer sunglasses seriously.  But my top end falls far short of the higher end price tags, because I’m the worst about losing and/or misplacing them.  Most often, to be honest, I pick up a few pair for fifteen or twenty bucks each and keep them all in the glove compartment of my car.  I’m functional that way.

These rose colored sunglasses by Nine West are my latest find:

summer purse 2

For thirty dollars, they are also a great deal!  They look very trendy, and in my humble opinion, rival the top brands.  The pop of color makes them more interesting than a traditional brown, black, or gold … while the rose shade compliments most any hair color and skin tone.  They can be found here  .

So there you have it, peeps.  Allow a crochet hobo bag, a swingy dress, and some rose colored shades to be your inexpensive solution to versatility, comfort, and style.  Don’t dawdle for too long, because the heat is rolling in.  And for gosh sakes, don’t forget the Little Debbie’s.  They won’t improve your swimsuit body, but they sure do taste awfully yummy.  Treat yourself!

Just my thoughts,

~Melanie

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Summer Fashion, Summer Sandals

Choose The Dress

“I can’t afford to dress the way you do.”

“I can’t wear a sleeveless summer dress, because my arms look gross.  What would you suggest I wear instead?”

“Do you ever wear any bright colors?  Or do you always stick to basics?”

Those are some questions I’ve recently been asked by peeps who read my blog.  And in this post, I’m going to offer an answer to all.

First, I’m a bargain shopper.  In my former life, I earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance and worked as a series seven licensed financial planner. (Big yawn, I know.)  Let’s just say the value of money has been chiseled into my brain by a professor or two.

Before finishing college, though, I worked extensively in retail.  My favorite and most valuable experience was when I went to work for a small fashion boutique.  It was there that I was allowed to see behind the wizard’s curtain.  Until that time, I’d walked into retail wonderland with a skewed belief that each price tag represented true value.  The owner of that sweet boutique, however, took me under her wing and showed me everything that had made her a success … including the mark-up in clothing.

The fit and flair dress I’m wearing in this blog post is made by Elle .  I got it at Kohl’s for five dollars.  So basically, I could’ve had a Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha Venti OR this cute dress.  Same price.  And I chose the dress.  You should choose the dress too!

I understand the value of money and am unashamed of my penchant for hunting down a good bargain.  So if you believe you can’t afford to dress like me, you are 100% incorrect.  It may take some time to uncover a good deal, but if I can do it, you can too.

summer blog post 2

Second, if you’re not comfortable wearing a sleeveless summer dress, then go for capped sleeves like the ones on this dress.  A benefit of capped sleeves is that they draw the eye away from the rest of your body … in addition, they make your shoulders appear more broad, which makes your waist and hips appear smaller.  Win. Win.

Third, on the question about color, I do wear color sparingly.  I typically prefer solids, and my go-to colors are black, gray, army green, white, and navy.  However, I make exceptions, and my exception is usually red.  This dress is coral, out of my color comfort zone, but it was too cute to pass up.

Since I’m calling this upcoming season “The Summer Of The Dress”, I’m pairing most of my dresses with flat sandals to dress them down and to make them more sensible for every day errands.  While any flat will do, choosing a nude color tone will make your legs appear longer.  I think this goes without saying, but legs, ladies, are important when wearing a dress.  Take good care of them!  I’ve gone crazy over the vanilla shaving cream by EOS.  It smells like a sugar cookie and leaves your legs feeling smooth and super moisturized.  You can find it for a great price on Amazon by clicking here.

To close, this week has been one filled with the highest of highs and lowest of lows.  My two youngest kiddos, both who have Down syndrome, began regular school this week.  And to my utter delight, they rocked it!!!  My house and my car were broken into.  Two laptops were taken, one of which held a 100+ page novel I’ve been writing for six months and the back-up USB thumb drive.  Someone I dearly love moved away.  Someone I once held in great regard pushed a boundary and disappointed me beyond words.  A friend stepped up and honored me by offering the act of selfless love.  And to top it all, I was given the opportunity to watch in utter amazement as an adult friend of mine who has Down syndrome carried his beloved father’s casket to what would be his grave site.  Before walking away, he kissed the casket and looked toward heaven.  Tears literally popped from my eyes.

Aren’t the highs and lows what make the journey so interesting?  Life is too short to worry about what to wear or what not to wear.  There’s too much to see and experience to be concerned about what others may think or say.  Choose the dress. Wear the dress.  Feel good.  Know that you are special because you are uniquely you.

summer blog post 3

Just my thoughts!

~Melanie

Fashion, Summer Fashion

The Perfect White Pants For Summer

hue pants 2Finding the perfect pair of white pants for summer is not an easy task.  Can we all agree white pants are a summer necessity?  And can we also agree they are a short term purchase?  I mean, white pants collect dirt like the local public swimming pool collects toddler pee, old man body hair, and buckets of sweat.  (Insert a gag here.)  Please, for the love of all things somewhat sanitary, tell me we’re advancing beyond the masses gathering to public bathe.  I know I’m digressing here … but are any of you now picturing those little gray curly hairs floating in the water?  Oh my Lord, chills!!!!  (And not the good kind).  Back to the short lifespan of white pants, what I’m trying to point out is this:  We know going in that we’re gonna chuck those puppies come September when Labor day rolls around.  No matter how much Tide, All, Gain, or bleach we use on those pants, by the end of summer, they will look dingy.  It’s a fact of life.

So.  Should we just buy a cheap pair of white pants and not have high expectations on style?  No, no, no!!!  That’s definitely not the answer.  I’d argue we should keep the cost down, but that we always strive for a look that reflects who we are … and especially for a style that isn’t outdated.  Summer’s heat brings on the time of year when we feel more daring and free with our fashion choices … when we can show more skin and embrace sexy.  Settling for a pair of white pants that are so cheap you can see every dimple in your behind is not a choice. Purchasing a pair of white pants that look like they belong on Aunt Pearl isn’t an option either.   But no worries, ladies.  I’ve searched and have found the holy grail of white pants:

 

 

Made by Hue, these cute ripped knee jeggings are less than $50.00.  And if you don’t like the ripped knees or the frayed ankles, Hue carries them without those trendy extras.  First, they’re super comfortable, don’t sag or bag, and look way more like jeans than leggings.  Second, because they’re stretchy, you can pour that extra butter on your bag of popcorn when you wear them out to the movies without worry.  Third, they are wash and wear.  I wash and hang, because I don’t want to take a chance on them losing their shape … but the point is, they’re easy-peasy to take care of.  And fourth, for all the ladies who like to be nicely squeezed in when you wear pants, these suckers will tuck you in like a newborn in a swaddle blanket.  You will look a size smaller.  I promise.

On that topic, if you are of the mindset that loose, flowing clothing will hide what you perceive as flaws, it doesn’t.  No matter your size, tighter fitting clothing will always make you appear more fit.  And jeggings that have been designed with that goal in mind, do the trick even more.  So … try to avoid going for big and baggy … instead, show off your curves.  If you’re too self-conscious to get over the hump, as a compromise, you can always pair your jeggings and tank with a light and airy button down shirt or a breezy duster.  The key is to believe in yourself.  You can pull off any look if you’ll see yourself for the beautiful creation you truly are.  It’s how I see all of you.  There is no such thing as a perfect body shape or size … only a perfect heart, which is the most valuable fashion staple of all.

I paired the white jeggings with a buttery soft tie dye tank from American Eagle.  So plush, this shirt honestly feels like something you’d sleep in.  Underneath the tank, I’m wearing a white lacy bralette from Altar’d State.  I’m a 36C and can get away with wearing bralettes all summer long.  Full disclosure, yes, they do flatten your chest a bit and don’t offer a lot of support, but bralettes are much more comfortable than bras … and comfort counts when it’s as hot as Hades outside.  Last but far from least, my comfy clunky sandals are Dansko.

What are you waiting for?  Go get yourself some white pants!

hue pants 4

Just my thoughts,

Melanie