Last Call: Winter Coats

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! January is almost over, which means we only have a couple months of winter left, which means Spring! Which then means Summer! Not that I’m counting down the days or anything… except, OK, yes I am. Summer and me, you guys, we are friends. We get along. Summer and me, we have a great relationship. So, it’s no surprise that I’m excited for it to get back into my life.

But until then, I will finish using my snowboarding season pass – gotsta get my money’s worth – and I will keep drinking as much hot chocolate as my tummy will let me and I will keep washing my car after every snowstorm and I will keep my winter coats in the forefront of my closet. As should you… as should you.

So (and my summer-loving self is saying, ‘thankfully!’), this is the last call for winter coats. A winter coats roundup of sorts. And if you’re in the market for a new winter coat, now’s just about the best time that you could be looking! Winter coats and jackets are starting to go on sale to make way for all the spring items that stores are getting in stock, but it’s still cold enough in most places that there is still a good variety to choose from. And the best part (or worst part, depending on how you look at winter) is that you still have a couple months to wear them, depending on where you are. But then, they won’t be so worn that you can’t get use out of them next year too.

LastCall

A couple of things you may want to remember when shopping for winter coats at this time of year:

1) Search for a sale. If you find a coat you like, but it’s not quite on sale yet, either search somewhere else for a similar one or just wait for the one you like to go on sale. Odds are it is on sale somewhere or it will go on sale soon. After all, like I said above, spring is quickly approaching (yay!) and stores are going to want to get rid of their winter coats sooner or later.

2) Keep in mind the season… after all, it is still winter for just a bit longer. Try to find jackets that are versatile enough that you can wear them to finish off this winter season, but that maybe you can keep wearing into spring – you know, maybe something that’s not too dark or too heavy – and that you can, again, wear when winter inevitably makes it way back into your life.

Below, quite a few options of winter coats – several of them are on sale or clearance – to get you started. We aim to please, mostly is what this post is.

(Also, let it be written, let it be known that my love for the Target clearance section surpasses my love for most other things. Just to throw that out there.)

Denim

Dark (Clearance) // Light // Dark (Splurge)

Wool

Gray (Sale) // Maroon (Clearance) // Hooded // Melange // Blue (Sale)

Trench

 

Tan (Clearance) // Tan // Red (Sale)

Stripes

Black & Grey (Clearance) // Red

Rain

Blue // White (Splurge)

Quilted

Navy // Teal (Splurge)

Plaid

Red (Clearance) // Black (Splurge/Sale)

Peacoat

Red (Clearance) // Grey // Striped (Sale)

Parka

Maroon (Clearance) // Red (Splurge/Sale) // Blue // Green

Military

Green // Blue (Super sale!)

LeatherSleeves

Fur-trimmed Black // Funnel-neck Black (Splurge)

Leather

 

Black // Pink // White

Random

Leopard // Biker // Blazer // Camo // Floral

 

Winter Coats

This post comes to you by reader request. We had a request to see, specifically, “cute jackets”. So, I did some shopping my research of winter coats and have compiled some of my findings here, so as to assist you in all your winter coat-searching endeavors. These coats below are all my favorites of the coats that I found. Some of them, I love the “splurge” option more. Others, I actually like the “save” option more. In fact, I actually own one of the “save” option. I got mine on Super Sale at H&M.

Speaking of H&M. You guys, H&M is ab. so. lutely. killing it in winter coats right now. KILLING it. Seriously. If you find a coat you like from H&M below, definitely check in the store location closest to you to see if it’s on what they’re calling “holiday deal” in the store. I got my new favorite winter coat from them just a few days ago — originally $69.95, super sale in store $19.95. Yep. I saved a whole $50. I mean!

So, anyway. For the purposes of this post, the “save” options are all under $100, while the “splurge” options are all over $100. The categories of winter coats we have for you are as follows:

Coats

Wool – 1) Splurge 2) Save // Leopard – 1) Splurge 2) Save

Faux leather – 1) Splurge 2) Save // Drawstring waist – 1) Splurge 2) Save

Faux fur – 1) Splurge 2) Save // Peacoat – 1) Splurge 2) Save

Tribal – 1) Splurge 2) Save // Trench – 1) Splurge 2) Save

Fur-lined parka – 1) Splurge 2) Save // Quilted sleeves – 1) Splurge 2) Save

Asymmetrical zipper – 1) Splurge 2) Save // Plaid – 1) Splurge 2) Save

Wool coats. A good wool coat has recently moved to the top of my wishlist. I’m dying over the leather-trimmed “splurge” option above. Seriously, if the thought of spending that much on a coat didn’t give me heartburn, it’d already be in my closet. Maybe one day, self.

Leopard. I love leopard print, as long as you don’t look like a common street… Snooki when you wear it. I promise, there are ways to wear leopard and still look classy.

Leather. In the case of this post, both options are faux leather. But they both are amazing. I own a faux leather jacket, and just know, they are definitely worth the money spent.

Drawstring waist. The elbow patches on the “splurge” option are killing me. I love them so much. Like, put this coat on, and pretend you’re in the Hamptons, playing croquet and eating Maine lobster. Or, actually go to the Hamptons and do those things while wearing this coat. I almost think this coat requires it. Also, the “save” option is the one I bought. I love love loooove it.

Faux Fur. I don’t particularly like faux fur coats. At least not on me. But, some people can pull them off just grandly. If you’re one of those people, options above.

Peacoat. There is nothing quite like a good peacoat. I have the H&M option below from last season and I love it. I can wear it with anything. Also, that Michael Kors version has me drooling. Gold-zippered pockets, for the win!

Tribal. Tribal print is very trendy right now. Both of these coats play off that trend in a definite chic way, which I think is difficult to pull off with such a bold print. These winter coats are both definitely tribal done right.

Trench. Definitely a classic. When I think of trench coats, I think of Burberry. But, after finding these two non-Burberry options, I’ve realized that only thinking Burberry is a bit close-minded.

Fur-lined parka. So even though I’m not huge into the actual faux fur coats, I love the fur-lined hoods. And parkas are just so practical! That maroon one is turning into the heart-for-eyes iPhone emoji.

Quilted sleeves. I didn’t realize this was a trend, and I guess I’m not sure that it actually is or not. But I’m going to claim it as one and keep going. I found several options of quilted sleeves in my research. And I kind of am really, really loving them. What a unique way to mix textures and prints!

Asymmetrical zippers. Uhm. Did you see those coats? I’m pretty sure they speak for themselves.

Plaid. Plaid is a huge trend right now. HUGE. It’s everywhere. I’ve seen plaid pants (love), plaid shirts (double love), plaid scarves (sooo much love), plaid dresses (not sure I could pull that off, but still love), plaid skirts (loooove), and now! Plaid jackets. Both of the options I’ve got here, seriously. I just wish my wallet was fuller. I’d get them both. Insert hashtag FirstWorldProblems here.

So enjoy these options. Let us know what you think of these and leave some links in the comments of any coats you’re loving this winter! Also, check out our “Wear” board on Pinterest, because we are in the process of pinning some amazing coats, including but not limited to the coats in this post. Erika, over and out.

My Ultimate Christmas Wishlist

If you’re anything like my husband, when you saw the word “Christmas” in the title of this post, you scoffed audibly and rolled your eyes. If you’re anything like me, when you saw the word “Christmas in the title of this post, you gasped in joy and your heart started beating with excitement.

If you’re like my husband, you won’t even think about Christmas until after November 29 this year. But if you’re like me, you’ve already been listening to Christmas music for several weeks. You’ve already bought your first bag of Christmas candy (Butterfinger jingle bells, for the win!). You’ve already accepted that Christmas lights are going up and the most stores that have started selling Christmas trees. You may have started decorating (unless you live with someone like my husband who won’t let you). And if you’re anything like me, you have definitely already thought about what you’re going to be asking the fat man in red for.

But, if you’re like my husband, you haven’t started thinking about what’s going to go on your Christmas wishlist yet. And, in my Christmas-loving mind, that’s quite the tragedy. So, I’m here today to help you out. You may think it’s a little early to be thinking about this stuff, but I’m a planner (remember my post on being organized?), so this post is coming at the perfect time.

This is my Ultimate Christmas Wishlist. If money was no object, these are the items I would except under my tree this year from Santa Clause himself. Hopefully this will get your creative juices flowin’ so you can start putting items on your own lists. Santa is going to be so pleased with you for starting early!

Clothes

1) Michael Kors watch 2) Phillip Lim bag 3) H&M sweater 4) ASOS swing dress

5) ASOS kitten heels 6) Urban Outfitters hat 7) H&M peacoat

8) Ray Ban Erika sunnies (see what I did there? ha!) 9) Tilly’s boots

 

Gadgets

1) MacBook Pro 2) Sewing machine 3) Bluetooth music-playing showerhead

4) Kate Spade iPhone 5 case 5) Dyson DC50 vacuum

(yeah, I’d ask for a vacuum for Christmas; that’s the sign of an official adult, you know.)

Home

1) Reclaimed wood chalkboard 2) Pillow 1 Pillow 2 Pillow 3 3) Rug

4) Blanket 5) Silpat silicone cookie sheet 6) Non-stick mini loaf pan

7) KitchenAid cordless immersion blender 8) Hurom slow juicer

Entertainment

1) The Longest Ride 2) Giada’s Feel Good Food 3) I Am Malala 4) Gatsby

Stay tuned for Tracey’s wishlist next week! And we may even have a Christmas Wishlist for Men and a Christmas Wishlist for the kiddos comin’ atcha too ; )

How to Wear Boots with Skinny Calves

I have skinny legs! I don’t say this to try to brag or get attention — I actually hate being the center of attention. It gives me anxiety. So, yeah. Most times I’m OK with my legs. I’ve come to terms with the fact that that’s just the way it is for me. It means less surface area when I have to shave, and what could be bad about that? Other times I really, really take issue with the whole thing. For example, when I have to listen to someone saying, “Your legs are toothpicks!” C’mon. How am I supposed to respond to that? “Uhm… thanks?” Also, when I’m trying to find a good pair of jeans. A lot of times, jeans just are baggy in my calf area. Finding jeans that fit just-right has been a lifelong struggle for me. Darn my toothpick legs. AND also, when I’m trying to find a good pair of boots.

I love boots. And from reading the responses on some of our recent fall posts, most people love boots the most about fall! Most times when I try to wear boots, my ankles or my calves just slosh around inside, like putting a single rose inside large vase. Or like a straw in a 32 oz cup without a lid to hold it in place. It’s not cute, I tell you.

But! I have solutions. And I want to share them with my fellow skinny-legged friends out there who also struggle with the dilemma of loving boots.

Calves

Uggs — Here’s the thing. I know a lot of people who have very strong feelings about Uggs. And a lot of those feelings aren’t great. I get it… they’re not the most beautiful of boots. But they are comfortable and warm and very practical in snowy weather, I have found. Which I guess is kind of the point of boots, isn’t it? So, since I love my Uggs and because they are as practical and comfortable and warm as a man should be, I am going to include them on my list. When I first started shopping around for a pair of boots like Uggs, I was looking in places like Target and Costco. Because, budget. I didn’t want to spend the ridiculous amount that Uggs cost on a pair of boots that aren’t all that cute anyway and that was more than likely going to get ruined in the snow.

But what I found was, as a skinny-calved shopper, that the Target and Costco brands really aren’t made as well. And by that, I mean, the fur lining isn’t as thick and the boots are much wider as actual Uggs. That is a no-go for a skinny-calver like me. So, I splurged and got me some real-life Uggs and I have been so happy!

So, solution #1 = splurge on the brand name.

P1000736 Now, I understand sometimes you may not want or may not be able to splurge on the brand name, and that is just fine! Brand names, shmrand names, is what I say. Why pay more for what you can get just as good of for less, right? And for that, I have a solution also. Socks! Get you a pair of knee-highs and roll them down around the opening of the boot. It adds thickness around your calf and it hides the fact that maybe your skinny calves look a bit ridiculous right now.

Solution #2 = Socks! Of the thick and knee-high variety.

P1000741

Ankle boots/booties — Super trendy right now. And I love the way they look! I bought myself a pair of ankle boots last season (when I found them on super sale at Forever 21, shhh with my secrets!) and it was really love at first sight. But when I got home and tried them on, the opening was just too big for my ankles and I couldn’t make them look good. The best way I have found to make my ankles look not so ridiculous in the wide opening is to avoid skinny jeans when I wear them, and wear something like boyfriend jeans instead. And cuff the jeans so the bottom of your jeans just barely hits the top of the shoe. It sort of works to hide the fact that your ankles are hangin’ out all willy nilly somewhere inside those jeans and wide boots.

Solution #3 = Boyfriend/baggier jeans, cuffed.

Side note, I may or may not still feel a little bit ridiculous in these when I wear them, but I get compliments on them every time. So definitely, invest in some ankle boots. Odds are people will love your trendy boots so much they won’t even notice your tiny ankles.

photo 3 photo 4

Knee-high boots — Ah, my first love. I remember the first pair of boots I had. They were knee-highs. They were tie-up and had some fur on ’em. They were totally 2005, but I loved them! Thankfully, knee-high boot fashion has come a long way since then.

There are tons of styles of knee-high boots to choose from, but I have riding-style boots, so that’s what I’m focusing on here. Shopping for knee-highs can be pretty intimidating if you have skinny calves, but don’t give up! I found these amazing knee-high boots that have a slit in the back, so it’s like the boot is saying, “Look at me, I am made to look wider at the top which gives you an excuse to wear them with your skinny calves!”

Solution #4 = Get boots that give a good excuse to have skinny legs, like a slit in the back. If all else fails, see Solution #2 and just add knee-high socks.

P1000758 photo 1 photo 2 (1)

Rain boots — I think rain boots might be the worst boot for us skinny-calved folk. For years, I was afraid of buying and/or wearing a pair of rain boots because of how ridiculous I thought I looked in them. Then, I found a pair of slim-fit Hunters. And my life has never been the same. They literally hug my calves! They are perfect. They’re so good I can’t even think of anything else to say about them.

Solution #5 = Find boots that have “slim” in the name. Solution #1 also applies here (I had to get brand name Hunter Wellies to get the exact fit I wanted).

I forgot to take a picture of them for the post, so you get just a random picture of me wearing them.

IMG_2884

Combat boots — I have several ways of wearing combat boots. 1) Laced only halfway up, with socks. 2) Laced halfway up, with cuffed jeans. 3) Laced all the way up, with cuffed jeans. 4) Laced all the way up, with jeans tucked in. 5) (Not pictured) Laced all the way up, with socks.

The beauty of the combat boots is that you can wear them sooo many ways and no one will ever be able to tell you have the skinny calf. It’s brilliant. I have combats in black and brown because I love them so much.

So, solution #6 is just = Combat Boots! Mixed with all the other solutions already written 🙂

P1000748 P1000751 P1000754 copy

Fall Maxis — How to Wear Them

So, we got a pretty big response from the maxi post I did a while back. So, Tracey and I said to ourselves, why not give the people what they want and do another maxi skirt post? This time, I’mma concentrate on fall maxis, it bein’ fall and all. Which, side note, have we over-talked the topic of fall? Sometimes I think I’ve posted too much about fall in the past week and that I should stop doing that. Then I just think, eh, better not. (Reference, anyone?) If you don’t like fall, then I’d make a pretty good case for that you’re un-American. Or un-human. Whichever ; )

So, moving forward, back in the aforementioned maxi post (see above), I briefly touched on how to fall-ize your maxi skirts. But I will go into quite a bit more detail in this post. I mean, try to contain your excitement, please. If you don’t really feel like reading this and want the easy way out (not recommended), then just look at the guide from last time and instead of wearing sandals, wear boots or close-toed shoes. Then add some layers (a scarf, or a jacket, or even a hat) and voila! You have fall maxis.

But if you do want to keep reading (highly recommended), then below are 5 different ways that you can wear fall maxis to look on point and be warm, all at once. What could be better, my friends? What could be better? And if in doubt, maybe these guidelines for wearing your fall maxis might help?:

1) Mix and match — colors, patterns, prints, fabrics, whatever. Have fun! Step outside of your comfort zone.

2) Layer — odds are it’s starting to get chilly outside where you are… that’s the beauty of fall. Wear layers to add depth and practicality to your outfits!

3) Substitute — If you struggle with the concept of maxis, imagine you’re putting together an outfit with jeans, then substitute a maxi in their place instead. More often than not, the outfit won’t just work, it will look great!

4) Accessorize — One of the best ways to bring maxis into fall is to add fall accessories. Scarves, hats, boots, jackets.

HowToWear

Ok, so if you have read any of the other clothing posts I’ve done, you know that I love cardigans. Like, loooove them. I have way too many of them and I’m not mad about it. One way to wear maxis this fall is to take your favorite summer maxi outfit and add a cardigan to it. And if you’re feeling daring, add some fall accessories (see #4 guideline above). Example below. And remember, play around with colors. Black purse and booties and a grey scarf would also work well with this outfit.

CardiganAh, the jean jacket. So much practicality and fashion in one item. One of my favorite staple pieces of clothing. Pair a jean jacket with a tee and maxi skirt for the perfect fall look. A scarf would also work well with this look. And again, if you know me, you know I looove stripes. Probably more than cardigans. (Yes, I have several striped cardigans… so.) The outfit below is one of my favorites. It’s so simple, anyone can pull it off. And really, I’m dying over these boots. Again, play with the colors and accessories — black boots, scarf, and purse would go well here also. Or any color, really. Maroon? Sure. Forest green? Yep. Mustard yellow? Of course!

JeanJacket This one’s for all you corporate, working women out there, God love ya! Same rules as the first two outfits apply here also, but instead of the jacket or the cardigan, just substitute in a blazer and close-toed heels. And there you have it, a perfect fall maxi outfit for the corporate world. (And maybe bring a jacket or a blanket with you. Because I’ve been to Corporate American before, and it’s freeeezing! Brr.)

Blazer1 If you don’t have a leather jacket yet, go buy ye one stat. Because you need one to pair with your fall maxis. And all your other fall outfits too. The one below is from Target and it’s perfect. You’re welcome. This outfit is awesome. I love the pattern mixing, something we should all take very seriously always. I love all the colors that tie in together, including the deep red in that skirt that just screams to me “it’s fall!” I love that this outfit is dressy enough for work or going on date night or casual enough for running errands or hanging out with friends. It’s the perfect in-between. To fall-ize it a little more, remember your accessories!

LeatherJacketWhat says fall more than a sweater? I submit to you that nothing does. So, add one to your maxi skirt! Pick any sweater in your closet and pair it with some booties (Steve Madden hits another out-of-the-park homer with these fringe booties) and a maxi and you’re set! I’m seriously lusting after this outfit, somethin’ bad.

Sweater

And there you have it, five ways to wear fall maxis. The end : )

Fall Basics

It’s possible you are wondering what items exactly you need in your closet for this fall. If so, this post is for you. If not, well, stick around anyway. Because who doesn’t love imagining their closet is bigger/fuller than it actually is?

I have oh so generously put together a list for all you wonderful readers of what I think are the perfect fall basics that every female should have in her closet. I myself have at least one of every single one of these items (only some of them are the exact ones listed below), and let me just bear witness to you that these fall basics are just that—basics that get rotated through every single fall outfit I put on my body. I always include at least 1 of these items into my fall outfits (example—I always at least wear a cardigan or a pair of boots); but usually, I manage to include 4 at a time (a cardigan over a plaid, with a scarf and boots; or a sweater with a jacket, beanie, and boots). See what I’m saying? Basics. Fall basics!

On the first row, we have the tops. You need to have at least one cardigan, one sweater, and one button up (I prefer a good plaid or gingham, myself). You can mix and match these basics with just about anything. Wear a cardigan over your favorite tee or the sweater over your favorite tank. Or pair these with each other! Wear the cardigan over the plaid. Wear the sweater over the plaid. Wear the sweater or the plaid by themselves. The possibilities are just about endless. And, as a cardigan hoarder, I have to say, probably get cardigans in every color if you can manage it. I have so many cardigans it should be embarrassing. But, as Socrates once said, “You can never hard too many cardigans.” Or, wait….

The second row is probably my favorite. Everyone needs to have a good jacket. My favorite fall jackets are the three I’ve included here. A double-breasted peacoat, a utility jacket, and a leather jacket (or in my case, faux-leather). I use my peacoat for fancier outings, perhaps a date night. I use my leather jackets (I have one black and one tan) for fun nights out that aren’t quite so fancy. And I use my utility coat for everything else. Seriously. Everything. I am always cold, so I bring this thing with me everywhere. The colors I included below are colors I am currently lusting after, but you could buy these in just about any color. I mentioned my black and tan leather jackets already. My peacoat is an olive green color. And my utility jacket is grey, but I wouldn’t say no to a green or tan one also.

Third row, we have accessories. Tights, scarves, and hats, oh my! Get yourself a good pair of tights—they keep your legs warm and you don’t have to shave if you wear them! Win, win—am I right, ladies? Scarves. Another thing I have way too many off. I think Socrates said something about these too, once. Then again, maybe not? But either way, you can’t have too many. And if you think you can’t pull off a scarf. You’re wrong. Just… that’s all there is to it. Anyone can wear a scarf. Also, hats. I love floppy felt hats for fall, but also beanies would work.

And last but not least, we have boots. I don’t really wear much else in the fall. I hate having cold feet, so they go into hiding as soon as the air gets that faint hint of a chill. But really, it’s not a bad thing, what with all the cute boots you can find everywhere! I say, have a pair of boots at every height: ankle, calf, and knee. Since it’s not quite snowing yet (hopefully), a pair of rain boots is a must. I have a pair of dark green Hunters that I love and can pair with just about anything. These black ones (below) would also be on my list if I thought I had any chance of the husband buying me another pair. (If rain boots aren’t your thing, you can never go wrong with a pair of riding boots. Same height as the rain boots and just as cute…) For the calf-height boots, these Steve Madden combat boots…? *Drool* I have these exact pair and they haven’t come off my feet since I bought them. (OK, yes, I take them off to sleep, smart aleck.) I think I’ve mentioned before, but Steve knows what we girls like on our feet. He just knows! Comfort and cute and practical all in one shoe? Dreams do come true, my friends. And as far as ankle boots go, how perfect is that black bootie with the buckles? I’m pretty sure I would only ever take off my Steve combat boots if I knew I had those bad boys to put on next.

And the best thing about ALL these items? They are great as fall basics, but they transition into working as basics for winter too! Although I may not love being cold all the time, I love luuuuurve being able to dress in all the cute warm clothes. So, do yourself a favor—pick some of your favorites below; go shopping; come back and tell us what you get and how you wear it and how. much. you love it!

fallmusthaves

 

Cardigan // Sweater // Plaid

Peacoat // Utility Jacket // Leather Bomber Jacket

Tights // Scarf // Hat

Ankle Boots // Combat Boots // Rain Boots

Fall Fashion Trends – Thursday Wishlist

Lazy post, comin’ atcha today. I just got back from my trip to DC late last night. It was just grand! And let’s hear it for the awesome posts from Tracey and Sarah while I was gone! But now, it’s my turn again. And well, piles of laundry and dishes and grocery shopping and such things have dictated that my post today is a lazy one. While contemplating the fall fashion trends, I put together a quick outfit wishlist of things I have my eye on. I mean, my birthday is this month. A girl can dream right. And with fall right around the corner, I’m drooling over these boots and the sweater. And, well, basically, everything here. How perfect are these boots for a late summer/early fall outfit?! What are some of your favorite pieces for the transition between summer and fall? Are there any specific fall fashion trends you have your eye on?

Fall Fashion Trends Wishlist

1. J. Crew Collection Denim Jacket

2. J. Crew Confetti Donegal Sweater

3. Ray Ban Sunnies

4. Anthropologie Tegan Cut Out Heels

5. Anthropologie Stacked Stripes Ponte Skirt

6. Steve Madden Bdroplet Handbag

 

Extra! Extra! H&M Opens US Online Store!

Something amazing happened yesterday. Something I’ve been waiting for a very a long time.

I wasn’t always a lover of clothes and fashion. Growing up, my mom always picked out my outfits for me. If they were cute, great. If not, whatever. And for my first couple years of high school, my family was living in South Africa and I still didn’t give a hoot about fashion. I mean, I lived in Africa. I had more important things on my mind, like my family’s next safari vacation. Hellooooo! Then, between my sophomore and junior year, my family had to move back to the States. I was devastated to be leaving Africa, but that’s a story for another day.

We found ourselves in Northern Virginia, and I was so intensely bitter about that move, that I tried everything I could think of to make myself happy. And that is when I really discovered clothes. I discovered that, in my new high school, if you weren’t wearing American Eagle or Hollister or Abercrombie, you might as well have just eaten in the bathroom by yourself at lunch. (Yeah, my high school experience was eerily similar to Cady Heron’s. OMG Karen, you can’t just ask people why they’re white!)

So, anyway, back to… South Africa. Virginia. Clothes. And more specifically, H&M. What a discovery H&M was! I lived 10 minutes from it, and I didn’t even realize that some people didn’t have H&M in their lives until 2 years later when my family again moved… this time to Utah. And lo and behold, there was NO H&M in Utah. Say whaaaaaa? But it’s ok, I can just shop online. Except, uhm, nope. There was no such thing as shopping at H&M online. For the next 6 years, I managed to get by on just a few H&M shopping trips: every time I passed through Vegas, every time I was in Scottsdale, one time when I was in Seattle.

But yesterday, you guys! Yesterday, H&M finally opened the very long-awaited (at least by me) U.S. online store! And I already am coveting about 89% of the things I’ve seen on there. I managed to pick a few of my favorites for you gals and your guys, and I have included them below. (Getting it down to just these few items was rough, trust me.)

But honestly — wallets be warned — if you haven’t been to the website yet, just go now!

And if you want to thank me for the heads up on your new wardrobes, my wish list is below. I kid, I kid.  Oh, and also, my birthday is next month ; ) Jokes.

HMwomen HMmen

Summer Must-Have Trendies: Part 3

SummerTrends

This post may seem long, but that’s only because it’s long. But this is the third and final part of my Summer Trends series, and guys, I definitely saved the best for last. I am SOO excited about this one. Today, I’m featuring prints. And it was almost impossible for me to narrow it down to the 7 prints that I did. There are so many fun prints to chose from — and they are everywhere. Just about any clothing store you go in will have some sort of print to chose from. So just pick your favorite (or favorites… my favorites happen to be all 7) and get shopping. Stat!

I love prints because they are so versatile. You can use them as neutrals. Or you can use them as statement pieces. Prints can stand alone in an outfit, or they can be paired together (oh yes, I did just say that two different prints can be paired with each other… just stay with me, I’ll get to this). Since I have seven different prints below, I’m going to write just a little bit about each one to help you on your way to including prints in your summer wardrobe (although I’d be surprised if some of you don’t already have at least one of these in your closets).

1) First, stripes. O.M.G. Stripes. Stripes are my all-time, number-one favorite. Vertical or horizontal stripes. Even as I sit here typing this, I am wearing a striped shirt (which isn’t surprising considering that probably 50% of my clothing items have stripes on them). Even before my husband was my husband, he and his little sister would make fun of how many striped things I owned. (If I was ever shopping with his sister, she’d pick up anything and everything with stripes and say, “This looks like something you would wear, Erika!” Hardy…har…har, Bethany. Har.) Selecting only 4 striped items to include below was just about impossible — there are so many great striped things to chose from. I couldn’t find it online, but H&M has this great stretchy, striped t-shirt that is right around $5. I have 2. Just, make your way to your local H&M and buy yourself one, now! Since I already included striped pants in my first summer trend post, I didn’t include them here, but they’re definitely still on my list. Just know that if it has stripes on it, you should probably just buy it. Immediately.

2) Leopard is my next favorite. I love what a little bit of leopard does to an outfit. But, leopard-wearers beware! Too much leopard can look trashy. Or too Jersey Shore-ish. (Those two adjectives are synonyms, aren’t they? I did love me some Jersey Shore though—don’t judge.) Someone once told me (as I was wearing leopard shoes) that leopard belongs in the bedroom and nowhere else. I respectfully disagree with her, the ignoramus. I have 2 leopard-print scarves, 2 pair of leopard-print shoes, a leopard-print belt, a leopard-print cardigan, and a leopard-print skirt. I think as long as you keep it classy, and use it mostly as an accessory, then leopard is a wonderful addition to any outfit. (Hint: I love wearing leopard and stripes together.)

3) Floral is lady-like. Floral is beautiful. Floral is very summery. Floral is definitely huge this summer and every girl should have at least one floral item in her closet. (Hint: I also love pairing floral and stripes together.)

4) Polka dots are fourth on my list. I’m not as crazy about polka dots as I am about stripes and leopard print, BUT I do own several polka dot items. I’m dying over the pink, polka dot, peplum top I included below. It’s gotta be as close to perfect as a top can get. (Hint: I love polka dots and stripes together. I know—shocker! Polka dots and leopard OR polka dots and floral would each also look great together.)

5) Graphic tees are huge this summer. If you don’t have one, get one! All the tops I included below are pretty inexpensive (thank you, Forever 21) and they’re all so super cute. I now own 3 and am so excited for all the outfit possibilities I am going to get out of them! A graphic tee and striped shirt. A graphic tee and blazer (not included in this post). A graphic tee and floral jeans. A graphic tee and leopard belt. Get it yet?

6) Camo. The one thing I don’t have in my closet yet, but definitely something that’s on my shopping list. I’m drooling over the camo destroyed jeans (see last week’s post for more destroyed denim options). (Hint: I’d love to pair a graphic tee with some camo jeans. Or, you guessed it, camo bottoms with a striped shirt.)

7) Last, but definitely not least, tribal prints. I included a maxi skirt, because what says summer better than one of those babies? And those wedges?! How could you just not adore them? Tribal prints are so fun and so must-have for this summer. Since most of the tribal prints are so busy, I’d say you’d probably be better off just pairing them with a neutral.

Prints

STRIPES: (1) Shirt // (2) Skirt // (3) Shoes // (4) Sunnies

LEOPARD: (1) Belt // (2) Shoes // (3) Scarf // (4) Shirt [sale!]

FLORAL: (1) Jeans [sale!] // (2) Shirt [sale!] // (3) Skirt // (4) Necklace

POLKA DOTS: (1) Shirt [sale!] // (2) Pants [sale!] // (3) Jacket [sale!] // (4) Dress

GRAPHIC TEES: (1) Love // (2) Anchor // (3) Mickey // (4) Blessings

CAMO: (1) Jeans // (2) Shoes // (3) Shorts // (4) Shirt

TRIBAL: (1) Skirt // (2) Shoes // (3) Shirt // (4) Earrings

And, in the interest of preserving the tradition from the past two weeks, here is a selfie shot where I paired two different prints: gingham (not featured in this post; it was originally, but I thought I had too many items already) with stripes.

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While this next “trend” may not actually be a trend, I am including it in this post because we had a request to. And we give our clients what they want, gosh darn it! And because, this is a series about summer, and there’s nothing better to include in a summer series than swimsuits. And because a lot of these swimsuits are pretty trendy in and of themselves.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure (gentlemen, beware!), as I was searching for these swimsuits, I searched with the idea in mind that the wearer would have little in the way of chestal endowment. (Pretty sure I just made up the word “chestal” since it’s being underlined in red whenever I type it.) I figure, I fit into that category myself (thanks, mom!), so below are some ideas (“The boob tip”) for those who, like me, have no boobage to speak of, but still wanna look hot (“The trend”) in their swimwear.

1) The trend: the cutouts. The boob tip: this suit is padded (a must! for anyone with a small chest) and it has a strap  that goes around your neck to keep it up. (This is the suit I own, so I know it works for the no boob thing.)

2) The trend: It’s mint. The boob tip: It’s a push-up swimsuit.

3) The trend: Chevron! The boob tip: It’s padded (see #1 above) and it’s got a sweetheart neckline, which outlines curves, giving the allusion that you do actually have boobs.

4) The trend: Gingham (a print!) The boob tip: It has a sweetheart neckline too (see #3 above) and padding (see #1 above).

5) The trend: It’s a print! and it’s bright! The boob tip: Its drawstrings make it cinch around your waist, making your waist appear smaller and accentuating your chest. Plus, it has padding and a strap to go around your neck (see #1 above).

6) The trend: Teal ikat (a print!) The boob tip: Sweetheart neckline and padding (see above), plus there’s a neat twist on the bustline that would accentuate the shape of your bust.

7) The trend: Bandeau The boob tip: It’s a bandeau top, so it accentuates the bust area. Plus this particular suit has an underwire, so it’s basically a push up, and that’s never a bad thing for us boobless.

8) The trend: Polka dots!! The boob tip: The entire suit is ruched so it gives the allusion that your bust is bigger than it actually is. Plus, that neck strap is never a bad thing!

ModestSwim

(1) Kenneth Cole One-Piece with Cut Outs // (2) Mint Ruffle Push-Up One-Piece [on sale!]

(3) Fuschia/White Tankini* // (4) Gingham Swimdress [on sale!]

(5) Ruffle Drawstring Tankini Top* // (6) Robin Piccone Teal Ikat One-Piece

(7) White Bandeau Tankini Top* // (8) Ralph Lauren Polka Dot Scrunch Swimdress

*Bottoms sold separately

Summer Must-Have Trendies: Part 2

SummerTrendsYou guys. I am sorry for the overload in this “part 2” post. (Except, really, I guess I’m not). I have been internally debating ALL week on whether to talk about pastels or to talk about neons. And then, just last night, I decided, why limit it? This is my post, and I’ll do what I darn well please with it. Insert hashtag thatsthebeautyofblogging here (for Sarah’s thoughts on that, see this). So, today, we’re talking about both pastels and neons. And also, distressed denim. Because I love them all. And I think they are all great for this summer.

You can do so many things — I repeat, sooo many things — with these three items. The outfit possibilities are endless. All three trends can be worn together. Or they can all be worn separately. Get crazy with it. There are no rules in fashion. You could pair some distressed denim with a bright neon shirt, a white or neutral blazer (not featured here), and some pastel shoes/belt/accessories. Or you could pair some pastel skinnies with a neutral shirt and a neon cardigan or neon pair of shoes/belt. Seriously. I could go on and on. And on and on. So I’m just going to stop and let you guys do the rest of the imagining and putting-together-of-outfits yourselves.

And once you come up with something incredible (because I know you all will), share it with us! Email it to us or post it to Instagram with the appropriate hashtag (#NeonOpinion #PastelOpinion #DistressedOpinion). If we get enough outfit pics, we’ll feature them in a future post! Until then, here are the guides to help get you started…

Pastels

(1) Yellow Pencil Skirt // (2) Blush Bellflower Skirt

(3) Mint Skinny Jeans // (4) Blush Pink Jeggings

(5) Polka Dot Chambray [on sale!] // (6) Yellow Chiffon Short Sleeve Shirt

(7) Blush Cashmere Sweather // (8) Mint & White Striped Shirt

(9) Hinged Pastel Bangles // (10) Lavender Spiked Clutch

(11) Mint D’Orsay Pointed Flats // (12) St. Lucia Lilac Essie Nail Polish

(13) Mint Candy Apple Essie Nail Polish // (14)  Starter Wife Essie Nail Polish

(15) Borrowed & Blue Essie Nail Polish

Neons

(1) Coral Knit Zipper Jacket // (2) Neon Lime Cashmere Sweater [on sale!]

(3) Blue Boatneck Blouse [on sale!] // (4) Neon Azalea Gingham Button-Up

(5) Neon Colorblock Cardigan // (6) Zippered Tie-Die Neon Tee

(7) Lime Skinny Denim // (8) Yellow Stripe Strapless Maxi Dress

(9) Neon Pink Skinny Jeans [on sale!] // (10) Teal Cutout Maxi Dress

(11) Neon Pink Pencil Skirt // (12) Joie Blue Tank Dress

(13) Yellow Cap-Toe Slingback Heels // (14) DV Orange Sandal Wedge

(15) Steve Madden Green Sandal // (16) Pink Pointy-Toe Heel

(17) Teal Sandal // (18) Neon Green Quilted Patent Crossbody Bag

(19) Pink Skinny Leather Belt // (20) Bright Coral Infinity Scarf

(21) Bobbi Brown Neon Lip Glosses // (22) Fuschia Bow Wrap Bracelet

(23) Neon Yellow Stone Necklace

DistressedDenim

(1) Light Distressed Cropped Denim // (2) A&F Destroyed Boyfriend Denim

(3) Black Acid Wash Skinnies with Rip Details // (4) Acid Wash Destroyed Mini Shorts

(5) Paige Denim Destroyed White Skinnies // (6) 7 for All Mankind Oceanside Destroyed Skinnies

(7) Paige Denim Blossom Destruction Skinnies // (8) J Brand 811 Salem Distressed Skinnies

And since I included a few of these last time, here’s another shameless selfie-mirror shot of a time I paired a neon yellow shirt with a pastel-blue-striped sweater.

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