Tag Archives: fashion

Wear What You Want

IMG_3537I love seeing people embrace their own beauty. In a world of impossible beauty standards, the role models I want to embrace are the people who celebrate doing their own thing while opening doors, rather than closing them, for others to find what’s right for them too. I follow campaigns like Tess Holiday’s #effyourbeautystandards. I’ve been a user of #StitchFix for awhile and love how detailed their style profile is and that they allow clients to play with fashion. So when Dia & Co. asked me if I was interested in participating in their Try Day challenge, I said yes.

The Try Day challenge is about the clothes in your closet you haven’t found the guts to wear yet. The items you chose to buy, but haven’t worn. The clothes you’d love to try on and try out, but always second guess yourself or change out of at the last minute.

Dia & Co., like Stitch Fix, is a personal styling business that sends five items to your home to try out with your existing wardrobe. They specialize in plus size fashions which is awesome because no one should have to forgo personal style just because of size. Having worked in the retail industry for several years, I know how hard it can be to find as many options in special sizes. Everyone wants to look and feel great in what they wear. Shopping and sporting your style shouldn’t be as degrading or frustrating as the fashion industry, and let’s not forget misogyny, sometimes makes it.

I say, WEAR WHAT YOU WANT. 

I grew up the youngest child of four, so a lot of my clothes and fashion sense came from my older siblings. Acid wash jeans, anyone? This year it dawned on me, I didn’t really know what my fashion style was because I never actually thought about my personal style. I got the same kind of pieces I always got, bought some trends, but didn’t necessarily have a signature look.

To be honest, I’m still figuring that out, and it’s cool with me if it changes over time. Clothes are just another way to be creative. At my core, I’m a jeans and tshirt kinda gal. But I love the feeling I get when I wear a suit jacket. A nice, well fitting blazer makes me feel like a badass.

Still, I have clothes in my closet that I never wear too. Specifically, two leather jackets. So when I thought about the Try Day challenge, I knew I had to incorporate one of them. Another look I love is denim on denim, but since I don’t live on a ranch and professionally rope cattle, I wasn’t sure I could rock that style either. So, there was my challenge. Wear denim on denim with a leather jacket, and rock it.

IMG_3500I styled my look with things that I loved, and paired them with things I wanted to try. I wore dark denim skinny jeans with a lighter denim shirt. I scrunched up my socks on the outside of my boots (because 80s girl). I threw on a leather jacket, a scarf, and some teardrop earrings and went out with the hubs.

I loved my look and felt good in it (until we went outside, because this outfit is not winter weather appropriate for Wisconsin, but hey it’s called a “challenge” for a reason, right?) All wind advisories aside, I loved doing something that pushed me to try a new look. We could all do with a little more self confidence and creativity, don’t you think?

What items are hiding in your closet, begging to spend a night out?

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Five Reasons to Fall In Love With #StitchFix

I’m in love with Stich Fix. The delightful in home personal stylist company that sends five items picked just for you each month.

I blogged about them before when I first signed up.

Since then, I’ve received a dozen fixes and have so much fun seeing what’s inside each box.

15536165707_21e4b6d04e_z (1)For Newbies: 

Stitch Fix is a personal styling business that sends a box of handpicked items just for you each month (or less if you prefer) for the cost of $20/month.

Using a style profile you fill out, their expert team of stylists hand select items for you based on your preferences and notes to your stylist.

You don’t pay any shipping to or from. And your $20 styling fee goes toward any items you wish to purchase. If you keep them all, you get 25% off the box!

Pretty sweet, right?

You can sign up here using my referral link. 

Love it? Refer your friends and get a $20 credit for each person that signs up!

Not convinced? 

Here are five reasons I think you should try out Stitch Fix.

(And no, they’re not paying me to do so. I just really like this company.) 

1. Your stylist WANTS you to love your fix.

My first 6 fixes or so had a different stylist each time. But after I got a fix from Alix, I was hooked. She has been styling for me ever since. She pays great attention to my notes – which I make specific to help guide her. And she checks out my pinterest board for more inspiration on what looks I like. I have kept more items because she pulls colors and details I like. By pinning things of Stitch Fix’s profile, I’ve also received some of the items in my shipments.

Like this pom pom scarf.

Like this pom pom scarf.

And this tank top.

And this tank top.

2. Avoid malls, fitting rooms, and try things on with what you already own!

If malls and fitting rooms overwhelm you, or you often suffer from buyer’s remorse. Stitch Fix could be a great solution for you. When your shipment arrives, you get 3 days to try stuff on – AND DO TRY IT ALL ON! And since you’re at home, you can mix and match the items they send you with what you already own to see various looks and feel good about your purchases.

And bonus, you’re stylist also sends you style cards with two looks for each item she sends you. This will give you tips for how to wear the looks and what colors are great to coordinate with it.

I nabbed this lace kimono top and dressed up a basic tee and print scarf.

I nabbed this lace kimono top and dressed up a basic tee and print scarf.

3. Feel pampered.

Everyone deserves to feel good about their wardrobe and that it expresses their unique style. I love that Stitch Fix feels like a treat. The items are packaged neatly and their customer service is exceptional. I had one bad fix that was not my style at all. I left detailed notes about why the items weren’t right me and I immediately got an email apologizing and thanking me for my feedback. I was not turned off and found my next fix much improved.

Plus on the style cards you receive, your stylist also writes you a personal note. I love that Alix always refers to the events I have coming up and how she picked out pieces to wear for them. Makes me feel like I am shopping with a good friend.

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Here’s how beautiful the fixes come wrapped and one of my style cards.

4. Find unique pieces for your wardrobe.

I grew up in a small town, and even now, there is one mall where everyone shops. It’s nice to have some unique pieces in your closet that you won’t have to worry about someone else showing up in the same thing. I tend to ask for workwear in my fixes and I love the bright colors and unique prints my stylist sends me.

This bright magenta top has lace sleeves making it fun and romantic with jeans but easily dressed up with black pants or a skirt for work.

This bright magenta top has lace sleeves making it fun and romantic with jeans but easily dressed up with black pants or a skirt for work.

Pardon my headless horseman shot. LOL - But this tank and skirt came from Stitch Fix. The tank has lace detail on the back and shoulders and the skirt is a navy and cream comfy knit but very dressy for work.

Pardon my headless horseman shot. LOL – But this tank and skirt came from Stitch Fix. The tank has lace detail on the back and shoulders and the skirt is a navy and cream comfy knit but very dressy for work.

5. They are great social media friends.

I follow Stitch Fix on multiple platforms. Their blog has great style tips for every season and occasion. They share what’s new on Pinterest and Instagram. They tweet back to clients when you write about your fix. And they have a photo contest every friday where you can enter to win a Stitch Fix credit. Just tag your photo with #StitchFixFriday!

Here is one of my #StitchFixFriday photo submissions. The sweater and jeans were in my fix.

Here is one of my #StitchFixFriday photo submissions. The sweater and jeans were in my fix.

*****

What are you waiting for? The most you can lose is $20.
Give Stitch Fix a try

*****

Want to see what else came in my fix? Here are a few of my fave fix items.

photo 1 (9) photo 2 (8) photo 4 (6)

Happy fixing! Be sure to send me pics of your first fix so I can seeeeeee!

What is your most dire wardrobe need?
Mine was shorts. Why do they make them all so… so short? 😉

I’m Addicted to Stitch Fix

Have you tried or heard of Stitch Fix?

It’s a personal styling business for women based out of San Francisco, CA. I first heard about them on Twitter and started ogling all the cute pictures people were taking of the new clothes they received. I had to check this out.

The Scoop:

Sign up for an account, which is free, and fill out your style profile. It’s an in depth assessment of what YOU want and like, but it’s not too time consuming. I promise. It shows you pictures and lets you enter your sizes and comfort level with showing off various body parts. You input budget guidelines. You can also link to your Twitter and Pinterest accounts so the stylists can better get to know you when they select items for your fix.

Which is honestly why I started a pinterest account…but there’s writing stuff on there too!

The Cost:

$20.

For $20 a personal stylist will select 5 items for you and mail them to your house.

That’s right. To your house. No driving in circles for a parking spot at the mall, clothes shopping in places where it smells like big pretzels. You get five items personally selected for you to try on in the comfort of your own home. No shipping fee.

If you buy the whole fix, you get 25% off everything, but otherwise keep what you want, and send the rest back. Again, no shipping. Stitch Fix boxes come with a prepaid envelope inside. And that $20? Goes towards your purchase!

Stitch Fix 1This was my first Stitch Fix box. I asked for fun summer outfits to wear on my honeymoon, and the stylist wrote the sweetest personalized note to me.

style card note

The Deal-io:

Stitch Fix Founder and CEO, Katrina Lake, has always worked in some capacity with retail, but she always dreamed of starting up her own project. Her passion was in the potential for digital fashion sales. She partnered with tech wizards in Silicon Valley to create style algorithms based on people’s responses and worked with up and coming fashion designers to lower expenses of the clothes while still granting mass exposure of their labels.

Here’s a quick interview with Katrina – this woman knows her stuff.

A common thread she kept hearing from clients was how busy each woman was. Stitch Fix to the rescue! When you can try clothes on in your own home, you have your entire closet with you to see if that new top really does pair well those paisley gaucho pants you bought two years ago and have yet to match anything to. 😀

The Fun:

Photo-ops! Take one look at the twitter hashtag #StitchFix, and you’ll see women all over the country gleefully unpacking their Stick Fix box, which by the way is packed adorably and professionally and comes with style cards for your new potential wardrobe items.

style cardsI’m Addicted:

This is fun! And you should Stitch Fix with me. The most you have to lose is $20. But I’m betting you’re gonna like it!

Stitch Fix 2Stitch Fix box #2. I kept the skinny jeans and the black top.

Still curious? Try it yourself!

*****

And, the winner of Roni Loren’s e-book, Still Into You, is… brickhousechick!!! Congratulations!
Your summer just got more sizzlin’!

Throwback Thursday: Blossom was my Idol

Do you remember the TV show, Blossom, about a girl who grows up in a house of all men and imagines what a more normal life would be like?

This is Blossom.

This is my Blossom impersonation.

This is my Blossom impersonation.

It has all the wrong right elements, don’t you think? Clothes that hang down too long (I was going for the no shoulder look), hideous prints, and a floppy flower hat.

I was obsessed with that show. Blossom was a bookworm who didn’t know much about the world, and I could empathize.

Who were your style icons when you were young?

Best Dressed: A Guilty Pleasure Review

I have an addiction.  To the Oscars.  Every February when the red carpet rolls around, I get over the top urges to cook gourmet appetizers involving olive oil and fine cheeses.  I demand suggest to all my friends that they dress up and drink wine with me!  And for the four hours of awards and 2 hours of pre-show, I make them deal with my company!

It is an extreme guilty pleasure of mine to ooh and aah over the dresses worn at the Academy Awards.  So for this Guilty Pleasure Friday, allow me to REALLY INDULGE and share my favorite, and not-so-favorite, looks of the evening as well as provide the decadent recipes you all asked for in my previous Oscar post, A Red Carpet Affair!

For Outstanding Achievement in Evening Wear, the Nominees Are:

Penelope Cruz

Stunning, Penelope; I love it!  Gorgeous and unique color for the evening.  Classic hair and Hollywood glamor!

Sandra Bullock

While Sandra appeared on some blogger’s Worst Dressed list, I wholeheartedly disagree!  I adored the unique silhouette of her gown, loved the beading at the waist, and thought she looked sleek and beautiful.

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams, this year’s Natalie Portman!  She looked darling and youthfully vibrant in this coral gown, both fun in silhouette and super girly.

Kristen Wiig

Her first big Red Carpet event, and Kristen nailed it!  Gorgeous gown with subtle texture on the bodice and frilly femme fatale in the skirt.  A knockout look if you ask me!

Ellie Kemper

While Ellie’s bangs are an extreme ‘do, I LOVE her gown.  A simple shape is made bold and fiery with these red and gold sequins.  Hot, hot, HOT!

Glenn Close

Best Actress Nominee, Glenn Close, looking so chic and pardon my french, DAMN FINE in this pleated bodice and form fitting gown.  I love that she topped it with a suit jacket!  She looked radiant!

The Oscar for Outstanding Achievement in Evening Wear Goes to:

Viola Davis

I’m completely biased towards anyone who wears a bold color at the Oscars, and Viola looked smashing!  I adore the emerald green gown with beading in the bodice and mermaid-like pleats in the skirt.  To accessorize, she even wore emerald earrings.  Voila, Viola!

My Nominees for Poor Achievement in Evening Wear Are:

Rose Byrne

I am a fan of Rose Byrne’s acting, but this look is too harsh for me.  Everything about it is too blunt.  There’s no whimsy at all.  The hair is too sharp, the gown too garbage bag saggy, and the shoes look like geisha shoes to the point where I’m afraid she’s going to tip over.

Angelina Jolie

Tell me this doesn’t remind you of the scene in The Little Mermaid where Ariel makes a dress out of ship sails and rope, and I’ll give it another try.  I think my bigger issue is poor Angelina’s body.  Her arms and legs are much too thin for my liking.  She looks ill.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Not bad, but not great either.  A little lackluster for such a graceful face and frame as Gwyneth.  I like the cuff bracelet, but that’s about it.

And the Award for Poorest Achievement in Evening Wear Goes to:

Melissa Leo

Last year, she won an Oscar!  Now look at her!  It’s like someone bedazzled her pajamas!  I hate the top!  It isn’t flattering, and that bow just doesn’t go.  The shoes are about all Leo’s got going for her.

And now for the sharing of food!  Cause you can’t talk fashion on an empty stomach!

Fresh Mozzarella with Toasted Garlic and Capers, Garnished with Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic and Mint

Fresh Mozzarella with Toasted Garlic and Capers (from Bon Appetit Magazine)

  • 12 oz fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 t dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 T minced fresh oregano
  • 1/4 t coarse salt
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 2 T capers, chopped

Overlap cheese slices on medium platter.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in small skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and crushed pepper and stir just until garlic begins to change color, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in oregano, salt, and pepper.  Cool.  Stir in capers and remaining 4 tablespoons oil.  Spoon over cheese slices.

Slow-Baked Tomatoes with Garlic and Mint (from Better Homes and Gardens magazines)

  • 1 1/2 lb cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled, split lengthwise, and green shoot removed
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, trimmed
  • 1 to 2 t coarse salt
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 325° F.  Wash and drain tomatoes well.  Pat dry with paper towels.  In a nonreactive 2 quart baking dish, place tomatoes in a single layer.  Pour on olive oil so they are well coated and there is a thin layer of oil on bottom of dish.  Toss in garlic, mint, salt, and pepper.  Bake uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes or until skins split and soften but tomatoes still retain their shape.  Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.  Spoon or mash over slices of bread or serve with warm goat cheese.

Godfather Crostini

Godfather Crostini (from Simple and Delicious magazine)

  • 1 loaf (8 oz) French bread, cut into 16 slices
  • 2 T plus 1 t olive oil, divided
  • 8 bacon strips, halved
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 T minced chives
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • 16 oil packed sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 2 T shredded parmesan cheese

Brush bread slices with 2 T oil and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 400° F for 5-6 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp in a large skillet.  Remove to paper towels to drain.  Combine mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice and remaining oil in a small bowl; spread over toast.  Top each with a basil leaf, tomato, pesto and a piece of bacon.  Sprinkle with cheese.

There you have it!  My picks for what to wear to the Oscars, as well as what NOT TO!  And some delightfully easy and delectably tasty appetizers you can serve at your next guilty pleasure soiree!

What have you been indulging in lately?

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