What Gretchen Wore

Guess who went shopping last weekend? I swear it is one of my favorite activities, besides blogging. I found this blue and white dress in a modern houndstooth print with ruched straps at Lane Bryant for $55.96. Since I am wearing this dress to the office, I added a navy cami for $19.95, also from Lane Bryant. However, on a night out with the girls for a cocktail, I would probably forgo the cami and add a chunkier necklace. Today I paired my dress with a red three strand necklaces and my new red patent leather peep toes heels from DSW ($49.95). This outfit is super comfortable, and can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion. I will be adding a jacket this coming fall to get the most out of this dress.
Houndstooth Dress

Five Fashion Misconceptions

I have noticed there some misconceptions that people have about fashion and style. So I feel like I need to just come out and talk about them. Here are the top five misconceptions people have about fashion and style. The first misconception is that if it is designer then it looks good. This is so ridiculously wrong, yet so many people follow this idea religiously. The whole reason Joan Rivers and the Fashion Police even has a job is because this is not true. A price tag and brand name is not an indication of whether or not something actually looks good. If you know how to put together the right pieces and add some statement jewelry, the label on your clothes is irrelevant as to whether your outfit works or not! The second misconception is that if it is affordable, it cannot be fashionable. Absolutely not. You can just as easily find something trendy and fashionable at TJMaxx as you can at Oscar de la Renta. It is all about your eye for fashion and what you pick out of the mass of clothes, along with how you put it all together. The third misconception is if you are not rocking all the latest trends, then you are out of style. I personally believe that trends exist as a guideline for people who are not sure about which direction to take their style. They are also a good way to set a theme for every season. However, this does not mean that you have to be a part of every single one. The best way to take full advantage of trends is to take the ones that most suit you and tailor them to fit your personal style. It is alright to change trends up a bit to make them your own. Nothing is worse than being part of the copy and paste culture. The fourth misconception is the more choices the better. Buying everything you see is not going to instantly make you more fashionable. It is just going to cause a huge mess in your closet. You do not need to have 500 different tops to avoid wearing the same thing over and over again. It is all about the way you put an outfit together. I guarantee, if you pick the right things to buy, you can wear the same thing in many different ways. The fifth and final misconception is someone saying “your style is wrong”. This one is the absolute worst misconception out there. Do not let anyone ever let you think that your style is wrong….unless it is wearing PJ pants in public of course. There is no such thing. Your style is your own style. It is all about you, how you feel, and how you choose to express yourself. Trust me, fashion and personal style is not as snobby as people may think, there is a lot of lightheartedness in it if you just let loose and do it your way.

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.