Find Your Glitter Belt

Isn’t it weird how style works…how you buy something out of your stylistic comfort zone and then end up questioning your entire personal style? Is that just me??

As amazing as it is to know and OWN your personal style, I would argue that an equally as amazing feat is taking style risks. It’s also a great way to break up a mundane daily wardrobe.

I love black, gray, and olive…I’m admittedly a neutral-loving fool. But I am also very intrigued by blush pink and have been really into velvet as well. Enter blush colored velvet Amelia dress.

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I love a structured jacket…in fact, I’ve been talking about them for years as one of my favorite closet staples. But since I have several basic jackets in my rotation (six LuLaRoe Jaxons and counting…seriously. It’s that good.), why not add an embroidered one? Better yet…why not add one with embroidered unicorns?

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My daughter Johanna is in a unicorn phase, which I LOVE, and I get major style points from her on this one.

Another way to break out of a style rut and have a little fun in your wardrobe is to think back to your old self and what you once loved stylistically. When I was in high school, I had this glitter belt I would wear every day. I have always loved glitter, but let’s face the harsh reality that glitter isn’t always workable in a wardrobe of a 34-year-old working mom. Admittedly, a little glitter goes a long way. That’s why when I found these ankle booties accented with glitter, I fell in love.

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I purchased mine from Groopdealz at a major discount, but I’ve linked the same pair at Kohl’s.

So now it’s your turn. Think about what you have been considering adding to your closet, but you have been reluctant to do so because it’s not your norm. Sometimes those little wardrobe additions make all the difference. Also take a minute to think back to your former self. What was that one piece or one accessory that you seriously loved in your younger days? What essentially is your own personal “glitter belt”? Unfortunately, I think we all get very caught up in these unwritten societal rules of what not to wear. I think there’s always a way to add in what we love and make it appropriate for any occasion or age.

The Easiest Way to Accessorize with Black

It’s no real surprise around here that I love the color black. It’s slimming, a bit mysterious, and simple.

And it doesn’t really matter what season we’re in…I will find a way to wear black.

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Now several people have asked me over the last few years why I wear so much black. See reasons above. We all have this idea in our heads that black is an intimidating color. But black doesn’t have to equate to goth, unless that’s your thing. It actually can be a power color for some, like me! But what’s a foolproof way to accessorize an all-black look? Just add a touch of leopard print.

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Top: LuLaRoe Gigi (size medium), Skirt: LuLaRoe Elegant Jill (size small), Booties: Apricot Lane

There is something so timeless and current (I know…oxymoron) about the all-black + leopard print look. It’s very chic and works on women of all ages.

The key here is JUST A SMIDGE of leopard print, in a key accessory, like an ankle bootie.

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Crushed velvet gives me life. Also, my necklace is from Express. 

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I also can’t say enough about LuLaRoe’s Elegant line. It came out right before the thick of the holiday season, yet I see myself wearing pieces like this black velvet Jill skirt year-round. Such a great find.

Wearing Confidence

A few people throughout my adult life have actually said to me, You carry yourself with such confidence. It took all of the self-composure I had in the moment not to laugh! While I was incredibly grateful for the compliment, I thought that statement could not be further from the truth.

I have always struggled with body confidence, and I think most women actually have at some point in their lives. I have always been way taller than most women I’m around, and I also have an athletic frame. I have my dad to thank for my incredibly muscular legs. But as I learn more how to dress myself to play up my assets, slowly that confidence has trickled in one little droplet at a time.

But I’d like to argue that your confidence also strengthens when you wear something you’re not completely comfortable in but is actually a fashion risk for you. You can choose to wear confidence. A lot of days when I get dressed, I have learned to not even allow my mind to go where it wants to go… to that negative head space that will tell me that I look like I’m trying too hard, or that you can see my belly in that top, or that my legs look exceptionally big today. In all actuality, I can’t let my mind even go there because I am always late and have literally no time to change!

When I saw that LuLaRoe came out with the Elegant Debbie dress, I absolutely LOVED the look. I loved the sleeve length. I wanted one (OK, I ended up with two) in my closet for weddings, fancy date nights, or other special occasions.

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LuLaRoe Elegant Debbie (size small)

It is not something I would normally wear. A lot of you who follow my blog know that my typical uniform is LuLaRoe top + jeans + ankle boots.

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Target ankle boots (last year)

 

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Another look somewhat out of my comfort zone is wearing a metallic skirt. I am very drawn to anything with shine and sparkle, but a full-on metallic skirt was a little intimidating. I bought it last holiday season and couldn’t figure out how to style it until August.

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Stitch Fix tank, LuLaRoe Elegant Jill skirt (size small), Billabong booties

I ended up wearing it in Vegas but also needed to winterize it as well.

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Old Navy top, same Elegant Jill skirt, and Johanna’s entire look is from Old Navy.

I wore it with a buffalo check top for my sister’s baby shower, and a little side note: as I was walking in to the winery where my sister’s shower was held, about four college-aged kids starting giggling and pointing at my skirt. Five years ago, that may have upset me a bit, but venturing out in my style several times in the past few years has helped me wear my confidence.

 

I always look forward to a new year, just like most everyone else. As a teacher, I have some extra time off and can stop to examine parts of my life that need a little fine tuning – one such area is my closet/style. I would suggest you take some time before the new year starts and think about the styles you’ve always wanted to try but have been intimidated by. Take some time to venture through Instagram and Pinterest to find pictures of styles you love but have told yourself you can’t pull off. As your friend, I’m just going to tell you, actually, you probably can pull them off.

 

Fun Winter Layering

Though winter is pretty much horrible (not my fave, to say the least), your winter look doesn’t have to be. I have been recently experimenting with layering and wanted to share a great option with you, along with a little print mixing tip!

The best addition to my closet in recent months is for sure my LuLaRoe Jaxon jacket. The length is so flattering (hitting at the hip), and the denim is stretchy, soft, and basically dreamy.

For a fun and unexpected look, I have started layering my Sarah (duster cardigan) underneath my jacket. I love the length variation for unexpected interest! Try it with similar pieces in your closet.

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I’m also loving print mixing to add interest to any outfit, especially polka dots and stripes, since they pair so well with nearly any other print. I just make sure my two prints I’m mixing vary in size and scale.

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Outfit details:
LuLaRoe Sarah cardigan: size small
LuLaRoe Jaxon jacket: size small
LuLaRoe Lynnae top: size medium
Old Navy Rockstar jeans (these come in tall!!)
Target booties

 

Navigating Fall Trends: Ones You Will Actually Wear

Since fall is officially upon us (as in the sweater can actually be worn out of necessity instead of accessory), I thought I’d put together a quick post on three of my favorite fall trends right now. But before we dive into the trends, though, let’s be honest. Navigating trends…most of us don’t have time for that, right? Or we second guess ourselves: Am I too old for that? Do I actually like that? 

Here’s the deal. I want to empower you to make your own decisions on trends. What works for your Instagram blogger crush may not be your style. What that blogger is crushing on may not excite you. Don’t wear anything just because someone tells you that you should. Yes, I realize I’m probably defeating my own purpose in writing this post. However, it needs to be said! Wear what you love. Wear what excites you. But if you trust me as your friend in style, let’s proceed!

The first trend is velvet.

Velvet was HUGE in the ’90s, but I love all things ’90s that make a comeback. I think the velvet texture makes for great formal wear for the holidays (so super excited to see what velvet treasures come out of the LuLaRoe Elegant Collection), but what about everyday wear?

Enter glorious Target flats.

I snagged the pair of wine colored velvet flats (linked above) that I plan on using as my “pop of color” in some of my more neutral outfits. These flats can easily dress up your jeans and sweater for date night and multitask for work.

Next, enter chambray.

Trust me. You need a denim top in your closet. I’ve worn mine (purchased two years from Twirl Boutique in Cedar Falls, Iowa) countless times. It’s honestly true that it’s a closet staple for a reason.

I have tied it over a LuLaRoe Carly dress on a summer night, and I would simply swap sandals for booties and add leggings if necessary for an easy fall look.

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The denim top also looks great tucked into a skirt for a work look.

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The third way I’ve worn the denim top recently is with a printed pant (camo…yes, my obsession) and a taupe bootie for a simple yet fun casual look. No picture because…life…just trust me on this one. I’d love to see the denim top with a pair of leopard skinnies as well.

Speaking of leopard, try camo and/or leopard as a neutral this fall. Pair either with florals, stripes, or polka dots. Just be sure the size/scale of the two prints differs so your look has visual interest and depth.

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Or you could let the camo print stand on its own and appreciate its glory.

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And one final trend I’m itching to try is to wear a floppy, fall-appropriate hat. Target is (of course) killing the game in floppy hats under $25. However, my son told me I looked like a man (his exact words) when I tried it on. I LAUGHED SO HARD. If you want the truth, ask that kid. I then tried it on for my husband, and he shook his head no, which is very unlike him, as he usually keeps his dissenting opinions to himself. Not this time. But I’m not counting the floppy hat out just yet.