Think Outside the Belt

Belts are usually the first step to really having a handle on good, sound styling. There are tons of ways to wear them creatively, but also a ton of ways to wear them disastrously. I am always searching for fun, clever ways on how to wear belts that flatter, keep things in place, and generally help our outfits looking as awesome as we dream them to be. Consider the following list of tips and tricks as an inspiration guide to thinking outside of the belt loops!

Just Say NO to the Mom Jeans

It makes me very sad when I see a woman wearing “mom jeans” at the grocery store or running errands. You may look at these jeans and think there is nothing wrong with them, but let me begin at the top and work my way down this pant choice. The very high waist is making your hips look larger, and then the tapered leg is also adding volume to the hips. I also have issue with the length. They are just too short, so we see the foot or sock extending from the shoe, which further visually shortens the legs. In comparison, if you look at regular jeans these days, the waist is lower, and has a straight longer leg. You can see how much more flattering they are and how the legs look longer and the hips slimmer. So if you still have your “mom jeans” – please throw them out now, and cease and desist from buying more! They are frumpy and unflattering!

Inspiration from Pinterest.

HOT Trend ~ Dresses with Pockets

There is something about pockets that lends you a little bit more security. Sure, you can use it to store your lipstick or your phone, but you can also slip your hand into one, striking a confident pose. Pockets are a detail that often goes unnoticed, especially on a dress. But, there is no doubt that they offer a little something extra. And, right now in the middle of summer, when we are tired of wearing the same old sundresses, that is exactly what we need.
Inspiration from Pinterest.

Flatter Your Figure – The Midi Skirt

I had a girlfriend ask me this week how to pull off a flattering midi skirt ensemble. She thought she had to be tall and thin to wear them, which is so not the case! Trust me, I know exactly where she was coming from. It took me several attempts in the fitting room before I finally got the guts to actually purchase my first midi skirt. Sure, this girlie and classy skirt is perfect for bridal showers, baby showers and weddings, but if you do not feel comfortable and stylish in it, then what is the point? I have found three of my favorite midi skirts currently on the market below along with a few tips on how to achieve maximum flattery when rocking them.
A key component to achieving a visually pleasing printed midi look is a simple top. Say no to closed toe heels as well. In order to balance out the extra fabric, less is more when it comes to footwear. Unless you have legs for days, I suggest opting for a heeled sandal. You will be shocked how much more slimming the whole look instantly becomes.
A full volume midi evokes the ultimate ‘70s ladylike look. When styling a solid colored skirt, try incorporating a subtle print into your top or add a pretty scarf to balance the proportions. When it comes to sleeves, I strongly suggest avoiding any top that exceeds a three quarter length sleeve for maximum flattery. Another tip for stomach conscious ladies, and this is a total game changer….If your skirt comes with a sash belt, wear the ribbon so that the bow falls in the front, instead of the back or side. The added detail will distract from any insecurities.
For those of you who love to show off your curves, a calf skimming pencil skirt is a fabulous option for you. To elongate your figure, I suggest finding a pencil skirt that sits an inch or two below your bust. Layering on a denim jacket, vest or structured blazer is a terrific way to balance a hip hugging pencil skirt and give the illusion that your waist is smaller than it is.

I Love Summer Dresses

There are so many flattering options when it comes to summer dresses, finding the right warm weather dress is a breeze. Here are some of my favorites for this summer – super cute and affordable.

The Block Party. The bold print may be boxy, but your body in this dress is anything but. A built in tie cinches your waist into a feminine hourglass shape. Do not worry about feeling constricted, though. The spandex material allows plenty of movement. You can find this at JCP for $35.
Dressed to Frill. Frame your upper body with girly ruffles that take this short dress from simple to sensational. Tiny dots break up the all coral look. With a dress this pretty, you just might make your date blush! You can find this one at Piperlime for $49.
Get in Line. One of the rare items that flatters every figure, this dress has all the right cuts with its V-neck and A-line. The striped print also helps achieve an extra sleek physique. Since the knee length is modest, you can wear it almost anywhere. Saw this one at Sears for $36.
Garden Party. Who needs a bouquet of flowers when there is a lush landscape printed on your dress? Thanks to a scoop neckline and dolman sleeves, the style is equal parts classic and trendy. Hitting right above the knee, it is super comfortable. You can pick this one up at Target for $28.

Wardrobe Staples for Summer Pregnancies

I have a couple of girlfriends who are pregnant this summer, and they have asked me what they should be wearing or not wearing this season. I know when you combine summertime heat with pregnancy hormones and a bunch of baby pounds that is a recipe for one hot mama. Since going naked is not an option, I suggest dress wisely in clothes that will help you look and feel cool. So here is a quick guide on what to buy, what to skip, and what might already be in your closet. My first suggestion is to purchase a couple of lightweight, flowing maternity dresses in natural fabrics and neutral colors. These will likely be your warm weather favorites, so look for styles you can dress up or down. A simple dark hued cotton shift with cap sleeves works for both the office and your neighborhood BBQ. To avoid the muumuu effect, cinch the dress above your bump with a bright scarf or skinny, shiny belt.
Empire waist maxi dresses are perfect for pregnant ladies. Non maternity dresses that are not nipped at your natural waist might have enough room to accommodate an expanding midsection. Keep in mind that your bump will hike up the hemline several inches, so it is best to save dresses that are knee length or shorter until next summer.
You might want to avoid form fitting dresses in bold patterns. A bump hugging dress in a funky, floral print might seem fun in early June, but a few weeks later, you will probably be sick of both the clingy fit and the look at me pattern.
If pants are more your speed, think cotton or linen in a capri length that lets the breeze brush your legs. Opt for styles with a narrow stretchy panel up top — the kind that rides under your belly — rather than a panel that hikes over your bump. A touch of spandex will help the pants hold their shape. Before you shop for all new pants, check your closet for skirts and shorts with stretchy or drawstring waistbands. Bottoms that used to rest closer to your waist might still be wearable if they can sit comfortably under your bump. Pair them with a tailored or fitted top to keep your outfit from looking too tent like.
Further, rather than wrestling with your non maternity tops, buy some inexpensive cotton tanks and tees in basic colors, a size or two up. Unless your office is an absolute icebox, you probably will not want to come within ten feet of a sweater this summer. However, at restaurants where the AC is bumped up or for a breezy night by the sea, a looser cardigan you already own worn over a maternity top will be welcome to cut the chill.

How to Wear a Chambray Top

If I had to pick a few fashion staples that every woman should have in her wardrobe, a good chambray shirt would be near the top of the list. Chambray shirts are so cute and versatile. They can be styled so many different ways, and they can also be worn during any season. And let us not forget about the fact that they are super comfy, especially if you find one made with soft denim. My recommendation would be to get one in a dark wash and a lighter one, because they are so great to have and each will feel fresh in it’s own way. I love the darker wash for fall and winter, while the lighter wash is perfect for spring and summer. The best part about chambray shirts is that they are usually super affordable. You could spend $80 on one at J. Crew, but you could also get a great option at American Eagle, Old Navy, The Gap, H&M…basically anywhere. Here are some great examples of styling the chambray shirt below.
Inspiration from Pinterest.