Working the Trend: How to wear a Bouquet of Vintage Florals

Welcome to a new series, “Working the trend.” In this series, I will provide tips, tricks, and inspiration for working a current trends.

One of the current trends I adore is the floral trend. I’ve noticed many of them have a vintage feel—ranging from a new take on Victorian to florals that look picked from the 60s and 70s. These are so much fun and have so many ways they can be worked a stylish wardrobe.  Florals tend to give a more feminine and pretty feel, but can be integrated into a variety of different styles, can work for anyone, and, while they are often thought of as spring or summer prints, they can be worn year-round.

Off-the-shoulder Outfit

Off-the-shoulder Outfit

 

Tips and tricks to work florals

Mixing prints:

Flirt outfit

Flirt outfit

  • Do mix florals with other prints! If you are unsure of mixing prints, looks for perforated or embossed shoes or a handbags in a neutral color and wear with your florals for a way to try out mixing prints—and check out my previous post on mixing prints (check out the Matinee outfit or the Off-the-Shoulder outfit)
  • Or go with stripes or a plaid—both are always a nice contrast for florals.
    • For a put-together look, match the main color in the floral with a main stripe color, as show in the Striped trench outfit
    • Or go for a plaid shoe with a floral top for a fun print mix  made easier because it is separated by a solid, as shown in the cold-shoulder cami outfit

 

 

Accessorizing:

Do you think he is posing too? Dress outfit

Do you think he is posing too? Dress outfit

  • For floral tops, think of accessorizing with a statement cuff or bold shoes to draw attention first to the top (for examples, see the Parlor outfit, Crush outfit)
  • Or go for a striking necklace on a bold print for a statement outfit, such is in the Dress outfit
  • Put a hat on it or a jacket to polish off the outfit and weather-proof those flowers, as in the is in the Dress outfit and Flirt outfits
  • Complement your florals with some funky, fun, sparkly, or otherwise interesting shoes to make a statement from top to toes (as shown in all outfits)
 

Working the colors:

  • Look for soft muted colors, for a more subtle floral that can work as a neutral (also the Matinee outfit)
  • Or look for bright florals for a pretty pop of color (as in the Crush outfit)
  • Or go for bold florals on a neutral, such as navy, to pop the flowers and add a level of sophistication, as we see in the Off-the-Shoulder outfit
  • Pop the flowers by wearing a solid bottom in the same background color of your floral top (or solid top in the background color of you print bottom)—this will also add some length and look put-together (see the Cold shoulder outfit)

 

Florals to look out for:

  • Look for unexpected florals, such as the Crush Top (shown below) in vibrant red with delicate, Victorian-inspired roses in pinks, blues, purples, yellows, and oranges
  • Look for a top and a bottom in the same floral so you can wear them together for a dress or jumpsuit/romper look or separately with other pieces (following these tips) for versatility, as you can see in the Flirt outfit

 

Styling the flowers:

Matinee Outfit

Matinee Outfit

  • For an edgier look, wear the florals with destructed denim (check out the Matinee outfit or the Parlor outfits for examples)
  • Update the vintage florals with modern cuts and styles, such as these wide-leg crop pants from Ann Taylor (Marina) (check out the Off-the-Shoulder outfit for an example)
  • Combined striking floral top or bottom with a neutral bottom or top to focus on the floral (check out the Crush outfit or the Kimono Outfit for examples)
    • Feel free to match the color of the florals with your shoes or accessories, but consider keeping everything else subtle or natural though to not overwhelm (as shown in both the Crush top outfit and the Parlor Outfit)
  • Or pop some florals beneath a striped trench or long jacket for a touch of pretty, such as in the Flirt outfit
  • Mix the florals with practical and even more masculine pieces, such as utility or cargo pants,  safari style, and military style for a strong yet pretty look, which is shown in the Off-the-shoulder outfit
  • Dress down a flirty cold-shoulder top with skirted-leggings or other comfy, casual bottoms, as shown in the Kimono outfit
  • Go easy and comfortable, with soft knits in neutrals, leggings, and a drapery floral topper, such as a kimono, such as in the Kimono outfit

 

Winterize or fallize your florals:

  • Look for florals in colors of that season, such as the rich colors in the Off-the-shoulder outfit
  • Wear florals that may seem spring or summer with winter or fall layers and colors, like a long burgundy sweater, brown leather jacket, or dark olive pants (the latter shown in the Off-the-shoulder outfit)

Mix with other trends!

Parlor Outfit

Parlor Outfit

  • You can add a military/explorer feel by wearing your florals with the on-trend new neutral, olive. I love the toughness of the military vibe olive can provide mixed with the feminine feel of the florals, such as in the Off-the-shoulder outfit.
  • Go cold shoulder or off-the-shoulder with your florals to combine two trends in one blouse! Florals seem to work particularly well with the peek-a-boo trends. They add some sweetness to the sexy of the bare shoulders, such as the Dress outfit, Cold shoulder outfit, and Off-the-shoulder outfit
  • Or wear your florals with a split back, such as the Parlor Top, to add a chic and fun element that adds some interesting when you turn around—look great coming and going!
  • Rock the trends on your toes too—those funky, fun, sparkly, or otherwise interesting shoes can be trendy too. Consider a funky heeled sandal in the bootie style, lace-up heels, or jeweled sandals, as shown in all outfits.
  • Mix the soft, feminine florals with the edgy, tough destructed denim for a play on contrasts—see the Matinee outfit.
  • Wear your florals on a kimono—the very on-trend topper (see the Kimono outfit).

Some florals I am currently loving:

Matinee Outfit

Matinee Outfit

Matinee Top: This color and print of this top reminds me of something my grandmother would wear, in a very good way. She was an artist and the watercolor floral print is something she would have loved and the colors would have looked great on her.  The print feels a bit 70s or maybe 80s to me. The button-up style works well for work, but the flowy swing shape works well casually too. The three-quarter sleeves are perfect for summer and add to the uniqueness of the top. While a lovely chiffon, this fabric is sturdy enough to handle hanging with my nearly-four year old.

Full outfit: Matinee top and cami from cabi along with older Chelsea Charm earrings. Distressed rollup slim crop from JustFab. Franco Sarto Honolulu Perforated Ghilly Heel from Stitch Fix.

 
Crush Outfit

Crush Outfit

Crush Top: Another cabi piece, this is such a fun top that mixes bright red with delicate feminine roses in colors such as pink and purple. I’d expect these flowers to have a different color background, but the red makes to modern and not sticky sweet. The ruffle is a chic addition. This top works week casually, under a blazer or cardigan for work, or dressed up or down for a date. It’s a versatile, enjoyable top.

Full outfit: Crush top and the Hutton pants in sand dune from cabi clothing. Pink gold bow earrings from Kate Spade (similar). Ivy cuff, older, from Stella & Dot. Cole Hann Adair Bow Cap Toe Wedge from Stitch Fix.

 
Off-the-shoulder Outfit

Off-the-shoulder Outfit

Off-the-shoulder Top: This JustFab top is already sold out, but they have a few others that have a similar feel. I love the striking tropical-colored florals in the dark navy background. It really pops the florals without being too bold. The print works well in the off-the-shoulder style—it might be too much if it had the extra fabric covering the shoulder and upper chest! This top also have a lovely tie in back for added interest (and more of that looking good coming and going trend!).

Full outfit: JustFab Tropical off-the-shoulder top (no longer available, but check out the Smocked Top and the Island Top). The wide leg Marina pant from Ann Taylor in dark olive. Seahorse cuff, Anchor earrings, and Anchor necklace from cabi clothing. Franco Sarto Honolulu Perforated Ghilly Heel from Stitch Fix.

 
Parlor Outfit

Parlor Outfit

Parlor Top: This exotic and lovely top always gets compliments when I wear it. The print reminds me a bit of a postcard from the tropics in the 1950s or 1960—vintage and striking. I adore the colors: pinks, cream, warm brown, green, turquoise, and blue. It’s a soft flowing chiffon, with merrowed edges, a slit back, and cap sleeves. I love it with destructed jeans for a mix of soft and edgy. It’s also a great layering piece or summer top.

Full outfit: Parlor top, Seahorse cuff, and Sea knot necklace from cabi clothing. Distressed rollup slim crop and Kateryna pump from JustFab.

 
Flirt Outfit

Flirt Outfit

Flirt Cami: This was one of my first purchases from the cabi Sprint 2017 collection and is a favorite. The floral print on the navy background reminds me of a calico in vintage quilt, but more striking. The navy also make it highly versatile and easy to mix with other pieces and layer. It is comfortable with jersey lining and an easy, fit with some forgiveness, but is still flattering. It’s got a little keyhole or peek-a-boo element in the front that is still fairly demure. I’ve worn it as a top alone, or under a jacket or cardigan for work. You can also make it into a dress with the Flirt Skirt.

Flirt Skirt: Made of the same chiffon floral print of the Flirt Cami, this skirt is equal versatile. It’s a mini skirt, but not too short. The wide elastic smocking is both flattering and forgiving. It make a nice dress with Flirt Cami, a lovely skirt to dress up or down, or even can be worn as a sleeveless top!

Full outfit: Flirt cami, Flirt skirt, Maritime Trench, and Sea knot necklace from cabi clothing. Franco Sarto Honolulu Perforated Ghilly Heel from  Stitch Fix.

 
Dress outfit

Dress outfit

Off-the-shoulder Dress: The smocking on the top of the dress reminds me of this 1970s sundresses and dresses. Together with the floral print, this dress is reminiscent of a smocked calico dress I had in my dress-up box as a kid. This modern take on the 70s classic has the trendy of-the shoulder style, a bolder print, and a side slit. The midi length is playful, on-trend, and easy to wear. I tend to dress this dress down, but it is also fun as a date night style. Here I show it with some boho for a festival vibe.

Full outfit: Off-the-shoulder floral dress and Metal Mama Necklace from JustFab (the dress is not currently available, check out the Cold Shoulder Floral Dress instead), Riviera necklace  and Seahorse cuff from cabi, Sole Society Straw Panama Hat from the Zoe Report Summer 2017 Box of Style (save $10 off your first box by using my referral), and the sparkly Florecita gold sandals from fibi & clo (via Kathy Roush, our style challenge sponsor this month—so you can win a pair of fibi & clow footwear!).

 
Cold Shoulder Outfit

Cold Shoulder Outfit

Cold Shoulder Cami: Another navy background floral—these are so versatile. Navy is a color for every season, but with a fondness for summer as a softer dark summer natural. The bigger, bolder florals are striking, yet feminine. This is lined with a comfy knit and the easy fit makes it comfortable. I love dressing it down, as shown, with the m’leggings or destructed jeans.

Full outfit: Cold Shoulder cami, M’leggings, and Sea knot necklace from cabi clothing. Plaid tassel flats from J. Crew.

 

 

 

 

 

Gwenifer Kimono: This pretty, flowy Paradigma kimono has a lovely pink, blue, purple, teal, and green vintage floral print that is heavy on lilies.  The white back ground makes it easy to style. It’s become a go-to for me this summer. I love it with these m’leggings or the distressed rollup slim crop. The easy flow is fun and feminine. It can be worn as a cover-up too. I tend to just throw it on whenever I need layer.

Full outfit: Gwenifer Kimono by Paradigma from Stitch Fix. M’leggings, Iris TankSt. Tropez Earrings, and St. Tropez necklace from cabi. Older L.L. Bean flats.

 

 

 

 

Interested in any of the cabi, JustFab, or Stitch Fix?

JustFab: Use my referral code so you and I can save some money. Becoming a member is great, but I can give you some tips and tricks to make it work best for you. Feel free to contact me about this or with any questions.

Stitch Fix: Use my referral code here too—this will give me a credit and should give you a deal.

Cabi: Unfortunately, I am posting this after the cabi Sprinf 2017 season has technically closed, so you may not be able to purchase any of the cabi via the traditional means. However, if you must have any of the cabi, here are some ways you may be able to get it:

  • First, always try your stylist. She may have a sample available, know of another stylist with a sample available, or have other ways to get it. If you do not have one you may reach out to my stylist Joni Allen (via email or phone: 770 502-5243 [call or text]), Leigh Cheatwood-Harris (a friend’s stylist whom I have worked with also and can recommend: email and her site), or find a cabi stylist near you.
  • Second, check out resale, such as the Facebook groups or apps that allow people to sell their cabi or ebay.
  • Third, wait until January, when the outlets will get the Spring 2017 line and to go or call an outlet to see if they have this. Many outlets will allow you to order over the phone and then ship it to you.

What is holding you back from being the stylish fashionista you know you are? My Personal December Style Challenge

We all have things we could work on with our style. Maybe we have safe outfits we default to. Maybe we are a leggings and tees person. Maybe there are some colors we avoid. Maybe we don’t mix metals or mix patterns. Or we don’t know how to. We all have our own personal style challenges—things that we feel are limiting our ability to be the stylish fashionistas we really are. Whatever your challenge, and whatever your reason, here in as opportunity to grow.

background image credit: James Mann " Winter Fog From the River " on FLickr.

background image credit: James Mann "Winter Fog From the River" on FLickr.

Take part in my Personal Style Challenge for December. Think about how you want to grow and evolve your style. Think about what is holding you back and Work It! Choose to work on that one area for the month of December. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. So, you can change this style challenge into a style strength, in just one month. And even win some Jamberry!

I tried this idea before, in February, and have made it a monthly challenge starting in December. I have many personal style challenges to work on. This way I can master one, two, or more a month!

 My challenges:

Since December is the last month of the year, I’m going to try three challenges, one of which is an ongoing challenge that I have been working on this year (maybe I can kick it before 2017!), one of which is more fundamental, and the last is necessary:

  • Fewer ponytails: I have done this one before, but I need to work on it some more. Ponytails are my default hairstyle, and more so as a toddler mom. So, I challenge myself to wear fewer ponytails in December!
  • Expanding my style: I wouldn’t say I am stuck in a rut, because ruts are small and I have a fairly diverse style. But, I’d like to broaden my style in a few ways. I’d like more truly casual pieces and outfits. This includes wearing more leggings and tunic or long shirts. I’d like to have more cozy fun with my style. In many ways this works with my third challenge.
  • Wardrobe revamp with closet clean out: I have a lot of clothes. Many of them are from before having a baby. My body has changed.  I’ve been waiting until I got back to my pre pregnancy weight, but that has been complicated by health issues that have prevented me from running and medicines that have put on weight. I’m actually now close to my pre pregnancy weight, but my shape is different. I need to go through all of my clothes and get rid of stuff that no longer fits my body, my lifestyle, or my evolving style.

My plan:

Fun and cozy, right? Wearing my newbeloved  Wellie Rain Boots  from LL Bean and their  Signature Cotton Fisherman Sweater .  Pleated Star Skirt    from Canvas by Lands' End.

Fun and cozy, right? Wearing my newbeloved Wellie Rain Boots from LL Bean and their Signature Cotton Fisherman Sweater. Pleated Star Skirt from Canvas by Lands' End.

  • Fewer ponytails: I’m saving some ideas for other ways to wear my hair on Pinterest. I also recently purchased some Lila Rose hair accessories from Abby Harding McEllroy for some hair clips that will increase the different ways I can wear my hair.
  • Expanding my style: I am trying out some new brands (posts forthcoming) including Lula Roe, which focuses on cozy fun. I also recently ordered from this small little shop I discovered through mutual fashion interests on Facebook: Little Raven Clothing. She had a wonderful cyber Monday sale and I am getting some fun and cozy pieces from her.
  • Wardrobe revamp with closet clean out: I am ready to go for this. I bought some hangers and organization stuff. I just need to find the time and be well enough to have the energy. I have a day off planned later this month which would be perfect for tackling this. I will do some sort of closet clean out sale, so stay tuned for that. Most of what I own is cabi and in the medium size range with some small. Plus, I recently bought some Jamberry, and funky nails will help!

I may report back and post pictures (probably less of wardrobe revamp). I’ll certainly be talking about this on Instagram, so follow me there for more!

So, what about you? Do you have any personal style challenges you want to conquer? If so, join me! Select a challenge for you to work on, develop a plan, and let’s kick those style challenges to the curb! Use the tag #WorkingMyPersonalStylechallenge to show us how you are doing on Instagram. Or, leave a note for me in the comments here.

This month, there will be a prize! I will randomly select one winner from the December Instagram and blog #WorkingMyPersonalStylechallenge posts for a $25 Jamberry gift certificate! One of my good friends, Jenny, just started selling. So we can help launch her business and work our own style challenges at the same time!

Stitch Fix Review: Diamonds, Sailboats, and Sneakers Fix Three

As discussed in my last (and first) Stitch Fix review, I joined Stitch Fix recently, thanks to an Instagram friend and fellow cabi addict, Jenni. Stitch Fix is a subscription-based  personal styling service.  For more on how Stitch Fix works, do check out my first review. After two good Fixes, I decided to keep on going with my subscription. I continue to love Stitch Fix and look forward to the delivery of each box!

Keeping with “tradition,” I figured I would review for you my third Fix! My style profile and requests stayed nearly the same, although I did make two requests unique to the fix:

  1. I asked for comfortable shoes to run around in
  2. I asked for bra-friendly sleeveless tops

The first, because I did not have decent options and had been looking for a while. I want cute and comfy. The second because I have a lot of sleeveless tops that do not have bra-friendly straps and I can only wear a strapless bra so many days week before we all suffer (me and anyone around me). I need more I can wear a normal bra with!

Let’s see how my stylist did!

Unboxing

Interested in my initial reactions? I made a video of the unboxing (disclaimer: I’ve only ever done two other videos before—including one for my second Fix--and I used my laptop, so it is not high quality). It’s casual and you get to hear my voice and learn more about me.

 

The Five Items

I received two tops, one pair of shoes, one skirt, and a dress. Since I am posting this after I decided, you get my final decisions.

Kedavra Colorblock Cami Blouse, Leena Printed Skirt, Monterey Lace-up Sneakers all from my Stitch Fix, along with older  Stella & Dot  earrings.

Kedavra Colorblock Cami Blouse, Leena Printed Skirt, Monterey Lace-up Sneakers all from my Stitch Fix, along with older Stella & Dot earrings.

1. Kedavra Colorblock Cami Blouse by 41Hawthron: First, is this bra-friendly? No. I’d need to wear a strapless or have the strap show. I love the soft black (or navy?) mixed with lavender and light pink—it gives it a vintage feel. The waist and draping are flattering, covering my tummy and complimenting my chest. It’s a light cool fabric and would be good for work under a jacket or cardigan or for a date with a cute pair of jeans or pencil skirt. The problem is, I have a lot of tops that fill this niche in my closet. This is the type of top cabi specializes in. I like it, but don’t love it, and I don’t need it. Especially not for near sixty dollars. Now, if it had wider straps and I could have worn a bra with it, I would have probably gotten it. Honestly, asking for bra-friendly and getting this was enough of a disappointment that I was less inclined to purchase it.

Cost: $58.00

Verdict: Did not purchase

 
Tammi Print Dress from Stitch Fix along with  along with older  Stella & Dot  earrings and  Bow Ballet Flats  from Canvas by Land's End.

Tammi Print Dress from Stitch Fix along with along with older Stella & Dot earrings and Bow Ballet Flats from Canvas by Land's End.

2. Tammi Print Dress by 41Hawthron: Better, but still not bra-friendly (I might be able to wear a racer-back, but highly bra dependent). So, disappointment there. This dress was a bit of a surprise on. The print was not really me—nautical I love, but often less literally. And the orange made it seem… cutesy rather than cute. But I did like the dress on. The cut was fairly flattering, and the fabric soft. I loved the side waist tie—fun and different. But, I’m not sure where I would wear this. My sundresses don’t get worn enough. I have other dresses that work better for work. And, while I liked it, I didn’t love it. Even my husband thought it cute, but limited in use.

Cost: $68.00

Verdict: Did not purchase

 
Visperas Crochet Back Top,   Leena Printed Skirt, Monterey Lace-up Sneakers all from my Stitch Fix, along with older  Stella & Dot  earrings.

Visperas Crochet Back Top, Leena Printed Skirt, Monterey Lace-up Sneakers all from my Stitch Fix, along with older Stella & Dot earrings.

Visperas Crochet Back Top (back) and   Leena Printed Skirt from my Stitch Fix, along with older  Stella & Dot  earrings.

Visperas Crochet Back Top (back) and Leena Printed Skirt from my Stitch Fix, along with older Stella & Dot earrings.

3. Leena Printed Skirt by Renee C: This was an instant love! My concern unboxing it was fit. Pencil skirts and my hips do not always agree (but when they do! Bliss!). But it fit! The fabric is a very stretchy knit. I love the below-knee length—it looks a bit classier and sleeker this way. I love the diamond print. It looks 60s to me, without going overboard. This skirt easily dresses up or down (as you will see later). It’s perfect for work or a date. It’s also great with some sneakers and a fun tee. My wardrobe needed this skirt and I didn’t even know it! (I wore this in all pictures except the dress one)

Cost: $54.00

Verdict: Purchased!

4.  Visperas Crochet Back Top by Skies are Blue: The back of this top is fabulous! The crochet is so pretty and flattering. But look! It’s not bra-friendly! This is three for three. Such a disappointment. I loved the pretty crochet with the small triangle print—nice contract. But the fit of the top was not great. My chest was too big and pulling to top oddly. Plus it did not flow over the belly as much as I would like. And this has the same problem as Kedavra top. My closet is full of these types of top (not with the crochet back, of course). I will buy more, but they have to fit well and be special enough to kick some of the others out of my closet. (top in both pictures in this group)

Cost: $48.00

Verdict: Did not purchase

 
Leena Printed Skirt and Monterey Lace-up Sneakers all from my Stitch Fix, along with older  Stella & Dot  earrings, the  cabi Spring 2016  Sleeveless Swing Tee, and  Pendant Necklace with Teardrop Stone  from Target.

Leena Printed Skirt and Monterey Lace-up Sneakers all from my Stitch Fix, along with older Stella & Dot earrings, the cabi Spring 2016 Sleeveless Swing Tee, and Pendant Necklace with Teardrop Stone from Target.

5. Monterey Lace-up Sneakers by SeaVees: These are just what I asked for—practical comfy shoes I can run around in. And I love the “light purple” color (what they called it; I might go for “dusky lavender”). It’s a kick of fun, but in a near neutral that will go with so much. I adore them with the Leena skirt to dress it down. I actually had ordered some Converse in a similar, but less neutral, lavender, but they did not fit. It’s like the stylist knew just what I wanted here! Perfect for me and my wardrobe! You can see these also in some of the other pictures--I wore them with each outfit, except the dress.

Cost: $68.00

Verdict: Kept (although I exchanged them for a size up)

 

So what do you think? Did I choose wisely?

I loved the Leena skirt and sneakers so much, I modeled another fun look with a Spring 2016 cabi top. See how versatile the shoes and skirt are? How fun are they with the Sleeveless Swing Tee from cabi?

If you are interested in Stitch Fix and want to try it out, please consider using my Referral link: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3492600. I’ll get a $25 credit and you’ll get my gratitude here and elsewhere (which can include links to your social media, if you would like). I highly recommend Stitch Fix for an easy and fun way to get styled! Even when I get pieces that are not keepers, I get some I adore!

 

 

 

Check out my other Stitch Fix Reviews for more!

swingtop.jpg

Stitch Fix Review: Yellow and Wood Linen Fix Two

I recently joined Stich Fix on the advice of an Instagram friend and fellow cabi addict, Jenni. As anyone who has read this blog knows, I am a HUGE cabi addict. I wasn’t sure about branching out. But this blog has made me try new things. So, I decided to try it.

I loved Stich Fix! For those who are unfamiliar, Stitch Fix is a personal styling service. You fill out a profile, provide links to your social media and perhaps a Board on Pinterest of your style and things you like, and you get a box of five items shipped to you. You set the price point for the box and the frequency of the boxes. Stitch Fix hooks you up with a personal stylist, who sends a note and styling suggestions each time. You can leave the stylist a note before she prepares your box, letting her know your clothing needs, plans, and so on that may impact her choices. You can get clothing and shoes (and perhaps jewelry and other accessories, but I have only gotten shoes and clothes so far). There is a $20 styling fee, but this is taken off anything you purchase. Also, if you purchase all five items you get a 25% discount.

I received my first box in June and was impressed. I couldn’t wait to get my next box. I finally have, and I thought I would share it with you.

 

My Style Profile and Requests

My default pricing is $50-100 per item (it can be adjusted based on type, but I keep it the same), but I asked in my note for lower cost items (because of my recent cabi purchases), keeping it at or below $50. I let my stylist know about my upcoming Georgia beach trip. I also requested no jeans (I have so many great cabi jeans). In addition, I said I was currently between a medium and large and may need to size up if it buttons (due to the girls) or is clingy. My default shirt size is a medium.

 

Unboxing

Interested in my initial reactions? I made a video of the unboxing (disclaimer: I’ve only ever done one other video and I used my laptop, so it is not high quality). It’s casual and you get to hear my voice and learn more about me.

 

The Five Items

I received three tops, one pair of shoes, and one pair of shorts. I’m posting an initial review and will later post (or update this post) with my decisions.

Shown: 1, 2, & 3

Shown: 1, 2, & 3

  1. Cindie Printed Linen Short by Level 99: I love these shorts. The print is fun. The fabric is amazing. It is a made of Tencel a “new age fiber” made from wood! It’s an amazingly soft linen-like fabric. I don’t think it will wrinkle as much though. My stylist, Jaime, saw I pinned some yellow to my board, so she added these. I’m not a huge yellow person, but the amount in this is just fine. The short will go well with some of my cabi spring pieces, such as the Gemma Top and Sleeveless Swing Tee. The shorts are a bit lose around the waist, but stay up. This honestly may make them even more comfortable. They are a bit shorter than I like, as my legs are not what they use dot be, but I can work with this length. These are great shorts for play and casual wear. I see playground trips in their future! Cost: $78.00.
  2. Jorgenseon Crochet Top by Daniel Rainn: This is a pretty white lace top with a liner. I’m undecided on this piece. I already have the Needle Lace Shell from cabi Spring 2014 and I’m not sure if I need another white lace top. Plus, as I mentioned in the video, white does not go well with being a toddler mom. It has a cute tuck in the front of the neckline and drapes nicely voer my problem areas (for the most part). I love how the lining stops short, leaving a lace edge. I do love it with the short, which my stylist suggested (shown together). This would be a fun beach outfit. This top will easily dress up or down, and would work for work. Cost: $68.00. 
  3. Davina Metallic Thong Sandal by Dolce Vita: Thong! That is what it is called. I had no clue in the video. But now I think I just blanked and forget. I am to a fan of thongs. I don’t find them comfortable between my toes (more on this in the video), and these are not exception. I’m also not sure of yellow shoes, but I do love my orange Newport flats and wear them more than I would imagine. Also, I love the gold accents. The shorts, lace top, and these shoes are a great outfit. However, the shoes are slippery, both my foot on the foot bed, and the sole on the ground. As a toddler mom, I cannot be slipping and sliding everywhere (anyone know why some shoes have that fuzzy fabric on the bottom now? My kid’s shoes do this. The last thing toddler needs is slippery shoes!). I want these shoes to work for me. But I don’t think they do. Cost: $39.99.
 
Shown: 4 and older  cabi  capris and Target shoes.

Shown: 4 and older cabi capris and Target shoes.

4. Castillo Embroidered Trim Detail Top by Skies are Blue: I nicknamed this top in my pictures “That 70s Top” because it reminds me of what people wore in the 70s. Granted, it is updated. But the embroidered yoke just brings me back to my childhood. I liked this top better on that I thought. It’s a nice gauzy fabric and the trim is fun. However, it is clingy to the girls and a bit to the belly. The arms also look (but do not feel) a bit tight. I think I need to size up. Overall: cute, fun, summery, seventies style, but not me and not very flattering on me. This looks great with jeans and could be cute shorts. Cost: $54.00

 

 

 

 

 

5.       Lonni Crochet Back Knit Tank by Papermoon: Just recently I was thinking I wanted a bra-friendly flowy top that I could throw on. And look! This is just the thing. I love the turquoise color with the antique white (color) crocheted trip on the bottom hem and work on the back. This is fun, practical, and has a modern, pretty vibe. It will easily fit into my wardrobe (which tells you that I plan to keep it). This is a dressy casual shirt, perfect for play, fun, dates, and more. Cost: $38.00.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what do you think? What should I keep? What should I send back?

If you are interested in Stitch Fix and want to try it out, please consider using my Referral link: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3492600. I’ll get a $25 credit and you’ll get my gratitude here and elsewhere (which can include links to your social media, if you would like). I highly recommend Stitch Fix for an easy and fun way to get styled!

Updated 9/13/16: I kept the Cindie Printed Linen Short by Level 99 and the Lonni Crochet Back Knit Tank by Papermoon. I have loved wearing them both! Checkout my Instagram @drJennB for some outfit of the day shots with me wearing them. I opted not to get the Jorgenseon Crochet Top by Daniel Rainn because it I did already have a white lace sleeveless top. I just could not keep from sliding out of the Davina Metallic Thong Sandal by Dolce Vita, and the Castillo Embroidered Trim Detail Top by Skies are Blue was just not flattering.

Cute back, right?

Cute back, right?

Not just for fireworks: Nine Versatile Pieces for your Fourth of July and Patriotic Wardrobe

The Fourth of July is quickly approaching and many of us may be thinking about what we are going to wear.  Here are nine pieces you can buy now for a great Fourth of July look that will also work in your general wardrobe. A few of these I regularly wear to work!

 

1.  Kris Top: This cabi spring 2016 on-trend cropped (but not too short) top, has a crossover asymmetrical hem. It is a light navy knit—perfect for hot summer celebrations. Consider rocking it with some red shorts (such as the Picnic Short) and patriotic accessories (such as this Star Print Scarf!).  Or pair it with a pretty skirt!

2. Star Print Scarf: This festive and fun scarf has blue stars with pops of red ones. It works wonderfully for the Fourth, but can add a fun touch to any outfit year round. It pairs wonderfully with the picnic shorts and either the Kris Top or Striped Favorite Tank. It would also be fabulous over a red dress, blue dress, or white dress for a pop of patriotic.

 

 

 

 

3. Picnic Short: These cute cabi spring 2016 shorts have red, purple, and pink in them. With some blue or white they are perfect for the Fourth or other patriotic holidays, but always work perfectly with summer tops and tees. The subtle print mixes easily with stripes and other patterns.

4.  Striped Favorite Tank: This easy, casual tank by Merona at Target, is a great piece for a casual Fourth of July look. I love it with the patterns for the Picnic Short and Star Print Scarf for fun,  patriotic pattern play. You could also wear with white, denim blue, or red shorts. Or dress it ups with a fun skirt for the Fourth.

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Pleated Star Skirt: I love this skirt from Canvas by Lands’ End! It is so pretty, fun, and feminine. I also love stars and am delighted to find them on a work-friendly skirt! This skirt is perfect for a dressier Fourth of July celebration. It works well with the Sleeveless Double Drape Tee for this. Or dress it down with a tee and some causal shoes.  This is even on sale right now. Stay tuned for more on this skirt.

6.  Sleeveless Double Drape Tee: This is another cabi spring 2016 garment. It is an incredibly flattering tee that will add some “va va voom” to your fireworks. It dress up nicely, as shown with the Pleated Star Skirt. But you can rock with jeans, shorts, or whatever. It’s cute with the Picnic Short too!

7. Bow Ballet Flats: These timeless flats can add a pop of red (or blue) to your patriotic outfit, and also work every day. They are cute and comfortable. They work well with shorts, jeans, or a skirt. I love them with a mostly blue and white outfit, for a burst of red. I do suggest sizing up a half a size.

 

8. Butterfly Print Scarf: This pretty summery scarf by ITB Design can add blue and flow to your Fourth of July outfit. It’s large and works well as a warp when the temperature drop as you wait for fireworks. It can also be worn around the neck during the day, as I have shown with the Star Print Scarf. The butterfly deign works wonderfully for spring and summer. Consider wearing it over a red dress for a fun and unexpected Fourth look.

 

 

 

 

 
Cruise Jacket  with older cabi tee, Target short, and Aerosoles shoes. Boston Red Sox hat.

Cruise Jacket with older cabi tee, Target short, and Aerosoles shoes. Boston Red Sox hat.

9. Cruise Jacket: This classic, high-end styled jacket is also one of my favorite cabi pieces of the Spring 2016 season. It easily works for a dressy Fourth of July look, but can also be a fun addition to a casual outfit, as I style it here. Consider rocking it with ripped jeans; linen pants in your favorite patriotic color; a navy pencil skirt; a red dress; or with a casual tee shirt, cut-off shorts, and a ball cap! I love rocking it casually. This nautical piece works wonderfully for the office or special occasion too—not just for fireworks!

 

 

 

 

 

If you want of these cabi pieces, contact your cabi stylist ASAP! I believe the season ends June 30th. If you do not have a stylist, please contact me in the comments or via email, reach out to my (Joni Allen via email or phone: 770 502-5243 [call or text]), or find a cabi stylist near you. If you miss out, try contacting your stylist to see if she has samples or access to the retired season pieces.

 

 

Plume Week in Review

Our sixth POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2016 Plume Top. With this pretty and casual cap-sleeved blouse, we learned about a pretty strong casual business look, a Chanel-inspired career dressing, adding your favorite decade to a date night look, comfortable and classy special occasion dressing, styling for travel, a safari princess look, and the white-out trend. While casual and easy, Plume Top can be styled for a everything form casual, to travel, to work, and even special occasions.

For your viewing and styling pleasure, here are the seven looks!  Which is your favorite?

Manic Pretty Strong Monday: Mix a military-inspired jacket with skinny jeans and a feminine top for a strong, pretty, casual, yet professional work look

Outfit: Plume Top from cabi Spring 2016. Knight Skinny Jean from cabi Fall 2015 and the Olive Jacket from cabi Spring 2015 (both not available). Metal Statement Necklace with Cabs from Target. Orange Quartz Bracelet by Solid Treasures and Graham Hammered Wire Wrapped Cuff from Cents of Style. Shoes are old favorites. Check out the post for alternative, tips, and styling inspiration.

April 04, 2016

Staying or Leaving Home Tuesday: Travel in versatile, comfortable neutrals and add pops of color for fun and adventure.

Outfit: Plume Top, Adventure Anorak, Traveler Pant, La Belt from cabi Spring 2016. Restricted Newport Flat from DSW. Wander Necklace and also the Demi Earrings by Stella & Dot (no longer available). For more travel dressing and my travel experience with these pieces, read the post.

April 12, 2016

 

Working It Classic & Modern Coco Wednesday: Create a career outfit with the same put-together professionalism as a suit with a few modern interpretations of classic pieces.

Outfit: Plume TopLoren Sweater, and the Lido Skirt from cabi Spring 2016. Fall 2014 cabi Contessa Necklace and Vintage Stud Earrings (no longer available). Beige suede pumps from Target last year.  Rectangle Sunglasses – Brown at Target. To find out more about incorporating classic Coco style in a modern career outfit, do read the post.

April 06, 2016

The Stylish Safari Princess Thursday: For a trendy outfit with masculine and feminist touches, mix tulle and military/safari style.

Outfit: Plume Top and the Explorer Vest from cabi Spring 2016. 6-layer Tutu Ballet Ruffle Bridal Petticoat Princess Skirt Mini Dress on Amazon. Audrey Brooke Glenda Pump from DSW.  Grey Shell Statement Necklace by Solid Treasures, Cubist Bracelet by Bauble Bar, and the Ivie Bangle by Stella & Dot (purchased in 2014, not available). Leopard Print Belt is the Kipling Belt from cabi fall 2015 and skinny belt is the metallic skinny belt from cabi Spring 2013—both no longer available. Learn more in the post!

April 14, 2016

 

Touch of 70s Date Night: Reference your favorite style decade to add fun, glamour, and sex appeal to your night out looks.

Outfit: Plume Top from cabi Spring 2016.  Frolic Skirt from cabi Fall 2014 and not available.  Audrey Brooke Glenda Pump from DSW. Yellow Jade and Hematite Chain Earrings and the Faceted Glass Bead Bar Silver Chain Necklace both by Shine Chaser Jewelry. Cubist Bracelet by Bauble Bar and some older pieces. Check out the post for more details and bracelet & skirt alternatives.

April 08, 2016

Whites Out Saturday: Try out the whites trend by mixing various whites in one or more garments, your, shoes, and your accessories

Outfit: Plume Top, Blanca Cardigan, Destructed Slim Boyfriend jeans all from cabi Spring 2016. Gilded Leather Cuff Bracelet by Bauble Bar. White Stone Sutton Necklace from Stella & Dot and is not available. Unisa Eavvi Sandal sold at DSW. Earrings are older. For style details and tips, see the post.

April 16, 2016

 

White & Bright Sunday Best: Look for comfortable, classy clothes you can dress up with  good pants and accessories.

Outfit: Plume Top and the Portico Shrug from cabi Spring 2016. The Everly Pant from cabi Spring 2014 and Vintage Stud Earrings from cabi Fall 2014 (both no longer available). Crosby Link Necklace and then White Stone Sutton Necklace bith from Stella & Dot and not available. Marissa Stretch Bracelet in white by Cents of Style and beige suede pumps from Target last year.

April 10, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go-To Week in Review

Our fifth POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2016 Go-To Trouser. With this practical, modern, and chic take on the classic black trouser, we learned about black and white style, preppy & professional nautical style, a simple date night look, classic and simple special occasion dressing, dressing down for casual fun, versatile blackout looks, and styling denim on top. While clearly professional, the  Go-To Trouser can be styled for a huge variety of events.

Without further ado, let’s review this classic week! Which is your favorite?

Manic Black & White Monday: Rock your black pants in a long, lean, chic, and cropped black & white outfit.

Outfit: Go-To Trouser, Crop Top, Piazza Jacket, Dolce Charm Earrings, all from cabi 2016 and the Acme Bootie by Crown Vintage sold at DSW.

March 21, 2016

No Place Like Tuesday for Sky & Earth Explorers: Dress down those work-appropriate black pants with a boxy tee, explore vest, and handmade jewelry.

Outfit: Go-To Trouser, Sky Stripe Tee, and Explorer Vest from cabi Spring 2016. Bronze & Gray Druzy Earrings by Live Love Boutique. Citrine Crystal Wire Wrapped Pendant on Vintage Brass Chain by Shine Chaser Jewelry. The bracelet is the cabi Fall 2015 Heirloom necklace. These are older shoes and I’m not sure of brand.

March 29, 2016

 

Working It Classic Nautical Wednesday: Combine the perfect black work trousers with a classic nautical jacket for chic, preppy, and professional look that implies success.

Outfit: Go-To Trouser, Marisa TopCruise Jacket, Dolce Charm Earrings, and the Locket Necklace from cabi Spring 2016. The shoes are beige suede pumps from Target last year.

March 23, 2016

The Versatile Blackout Thursday: For a trendy yet classic versatile look, choose black pieces with a twist.

Outfit: Go-To Trouser, Tivoli Top, and the Sorrento Cardigan from cabi Spring 2016. Acme Bootie by Crown Vintage sold at DSW. Brynn Lariat Necklace by Stella & Dot. Gilded Leather Cuff Bracelet by Bauble Bar. Old antique gold style hoops with hoops.

March 31, 2016

 

Simple Affairs Date Night: For a simple date night look, take your wardrobe essential black pants, add a romantic & sexy blouse along with a few accessories and you are good to go!

Outfit: Go-To Trouser and the Vita Blouse from cabi Spring 2016. Ice Infinity Pendant & Pisces Strands from Bauble Bar. Old clutch from Coldwater CreekCherry Quartz Gemstone Earrings from Shine Chaser Jewelry. Ivie Bangle by Stella & Dot purchased in 2014. I think the shoes are very old Aerosoles. 

March 25, 2016

Denim on Top Saturday: Wear your denim on top with classic black pants for a casual, fun, and modern outfit with a touch of class.

Outfit: Go-To Trouser, Bardot Shirt, Layer Tank in Tiger Lily, and the Flora Scarf from cabi Spring 2016. Long Multi Beaded Necklace with Suede Tassel from Target. The earrings are made for me by Solid Treasures. Restricted Newport Flat from DSW.

April 02, 2016

 

Classic Pearls and Lace Sunday Best: Sometimes simple is special—keep it simple with black pants, a lacy sweater, and classic accessories.

Outfit: Go-To Trouser and Sophia Sweater from cabi Spring 2016.  Simple Cami from a previous season of cabi. The pearls were a wedding gift from my husband and they are from Robert Lance Jewelers. The L&M convertible reversible black and gold handbag or clutch. Unisa Eavvi Sandal sold at DSW. This lipstick is Sizzling Red by Mary Kay.

March 27, 2016

 

 

 

What is holding back your style? My Personal February Style Challenge

We all have our own style challenges. You know, those things that we just are not good at. Those things outside our comfort zones. Those things we should do, but don’t or do do but shouldn’t. Maybe we always wear pants. Maybe we never wear heels. Maybe we don’t wear orange. Or maybe we love the spikes so popular right now in jewelry, but are just not sure if they are us. Maybe we only wear our hair down. Or up. We live in yoga pants.

I know I have a lot of areas I’m not good in or I’m down right lazy about. I have my own style comfort zones. But I want to get better. I want to be aware, and then I want to change it.

So, I’m starting my own personal style challenge. Join me! Each month I’m going to come up with a personal style challenge and I’m going to work to correct that challenge over the month. I’ll report back (and maybe along way) on how it went. Maybe I’ll share pictures of my success or failure.

 

This month, I’m giving myself two challenges:

  • Posture: My posture has gotten bad. I blame it on work (I work on the couch too often and hunch over the computer) and all the breastfeeding and holding of my Griffin when he was younger (plus I went up a cup size permanently and several while breast feeding). I think the bad shoulder dislocation I suffered two years also led to me hunching more to protect it. Look at my excuses! No more excuse. I am working on it now. If my posture is better, I will look (and actually be) taller, thinner, and my breasts will look bigger and firmer. My back will hurt less. My head will hurt less. I am already working on this, but I thought I would include it to give myself more accountability.
  • Ponytails: I hate having my hair in my face. But I love long hair on me. So I tend to throw it back in a ponytail. It’s quick, it’s easy, and my fly-away thin hair is likely to stay more or less out of my face. Great. Except boring. I need to do more with my hair. So, I’m going to work on being less lazy and do other things with my tresses.

 

Game plan:

"Without a plan, there's no attack. Without attack, no victory." - Curtis Armstrong
See a pony tail. And probably bad posture.

See a pony tail. And probably bad posture.

Posture:

  • Awareness and self-correct: Simply being aware of the problem helps. The I can correct it when I notice problems.  
  • Yoga with a back and posture focus at least three times a week: I love the Yogamazing app and will use this. I already did a tight shoulder one this morning. 
  • Plank: I’ll do the plank twice each day
  • Exercises: I’ll do my shoulder and back exercises I should be doing in the afternoons
  • Advice: I will talk to my massage therapist (who owns the Posture Project—good choice, right?) for other ideas
  • Massage: I’ll get two massages, because we have to make it enjoyable

 

Ponytails:

  • Limit: No more than two plain ponytails a week
  • Braids: I suck at braids, but I will try one a week
  • Research: I will check out cool hairstyles and tutorials
  • Try: I will try those new styles

 

I am giving myself a minor exception to this style challenge. I’m having outpatient nasal surgery on the 10th and am going to give myself a few days, if needed, to put my hair back in a ponytail and not do yoga or other stretches, which might be rather painful for a bit. Recovering is more important.

So, what about you? Do you have any personal style challenges you want to conquer? If so, join me! Choose a challenge, develop a plan, and let’s kick those style challenges to the curb! Use the tag #WorkingMyPersonalStylechallenge to show us what you are doing.

 

Do let me know your challenges, plans, and how it goes!

Another ponytail. Doesn't this cute guy deserve a mom who stands up ovelyy tL and can do more than ponytails?

Another ponytail. Doesn't this cute guy deserve a mom who stands up ovelyy tL and can do more than ponytails?

Lovely picture, right? Cute kid. Cure jacket. Lovely falls and rocks in the background. But, look! A ponytail and bad posture! Photo taken at Screw Auger Falls, in Grafton, Maine. 

Lovely picture, right? Cute kid. Cure jacket. Lovely falls and rocks in the background. But, look! A ponytail and bad posture! Photo taken at Screw Auger Falls, in Grafton, Maine.