What Gretchen Wore

This past weekend, I attended a winter wedding.  I decided to dress fairly conservatively…..and definitely comfortable.  My grey dress is from the Loft Outlet, cardigan from Cato and my grey booties are from Steinmart.

 

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Wednesday Wearable ~ The Belt

A belt is one of the hardest working items in your closet. It is fashionable and most importantly, accents your curves when worn properly. With so many options available, the most important advice on what belt to choose comes down to what is most flattering on YOU.

When should you wear a belt?

As often as you would like! A good rule of thumb is to help break up the transition between a loose top and tight bottom (or the opposite), when you want to hide waistline imperfections or when you want to accentuate your waist. Add a belt to define your curves under layers including a top and jacket or cardigan.

Gone are the days of matching the belt to the shoes and handbag. In fact, a belt works best when it stands on its own, drawing attention to the waist it cinches so well. Because we are all different, the most important advice is to try different ways of wearing a belt until you like what you see.

If you do not normally wear belts, they make take some getting used to at first. If you are comfort minded, start off with a stretchy or elastic belt. And always buy a belt that fits you properly — not too tight or so long that you have to use the last notch in the belt to wear it well.

Where to Wear a Belt on Your Body

On the Waist ~ 

Find the narrowest part of your torso. That is your waistline and the spot you want to accentuate. Some ideas on how to wear a belt on the waist include:

  • With a flowy long skirt
  • A belt over a cardigan (dressier skinny belt version vs. chunkier wide belt for a more casual look)
  • With a form fitting skirt or cocktail dress
  • To cinch a bulky fall or winter jacket

 

Worn at the Hips ~

When trying a low-slung belt at the hips, medium or wider belts work best. Try wearing a hip belt with:

  • A maxi dress
  • Layered over a casual boyfriend sweater look
  • To dress up jeans and a t-shirt
  • With a short, summery dress

 

Sitting Closer to the Ribs ~

Wearing a belt just above the waist line elongates your legs and accents your bust. With a loose or flowy bottomed dress, wearing a belt closer to the ribs also hides small belly flaws.  This is one of the trickier looks to pull off since the rib cage expands and contracts, causing a high belt worn too tight to constrict breathing or slip down your torso. A stretchy or fabric belt is more comfortable worn high. Belt loops are helpful to keep the belt in place, or add a bit of double stick tape to the inside of the belt to keep the high belt in place. Just be sure the fabric you’re adhering the tape to is not fragile, like some silks can be.  How and why to wear a high waist belt:

  • To accent the bust
  • To lengthen legs paired with a flirty, loose or A-line dress

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Are you ready to rock a belt yet? Here is more advice on what type of belt to select, according to body type:

If You are Tall and Straight ~ 

  • Wide belts create the illusion of hips and curves
  • Lower skinny belts add to hip volume
  • Try high contrast by using a belt in a different color or a patterned belt

If You are Petite ~ 

  • Match the belt color to the pants or skirt to lengthen the legs
  • Select a thin or medium belt so it doesn’t overpower your frame
  • Hip belts hide if you’re short-waisted or to create the illusion of being curvier than you are

If you are Curvy ~

If you are curvy, you are lucky! Of all the body shapes, you can create the most impact with a belt. Show off your sexy, feminine figure by selecting:

  • Belts with stretch that cinch the waist and define your silhouette
  • Belts in dark colors to visually slim your figure
  • Wear belts at the narrowest part of your waist to create an hourglass figure
  • When sporting a wide, high belt, keep the belt 2 inches lower than your bustline if you are busty

Types of Belts ~ 

With the variety of belts including leather, elastic, woven or a combo of all, as long as you are conscious of what belt is most flattering on you, wear any style or color. Belts with some elastic are comfortable because they cinch your waist while still managing to move with you.  Try different belts with a variety of outfits to find your signature look. The latest trends involve knotting a belt in a unique way, choosing metallics, or wearing a high contrast belt in a complementary color.  See a belt as a great accessory to accentuate your shape in ways that other accessories can’t. It’s okay to take risks with bold belts, in the end, whether you wear a belt for fashion or function, you cannot go wrong. Have fun accessorizing — belts create a look that is one of a kind, just like you.

Six Fashion Tips Every Woman Should Know

There is more to life than just dressing up. There are some tweaks and adjustments one must do to look her very best. If you always want to look impeccable, then make sure to follow these fashion tips every woman should know.

Be Smart in Choosing Fabrics ~

An outfit’s style or appeal alone should not be the only factor you should consider when shopping. Picking the right fabric is one of the essential fashion tips every woman should know. When you choose the wrong fabric, you can either look too boxy or skinny, or the fabric could adhere to your hidden bulges. For a stunning look, make sure to opt for clothes made of cotton, wool gabardine, wool microfiber blends, wool crepe, or silk and cotton blends.

It’s All About Proportion ~

Yes, your clothes might fit you like a glove, but playing up proportions is one of the fashion tips every woman should know. The rule is this: short over long, or long over short. By keeping these tips and tricks in mind, you can always look your best – wherever you wish to go.

Do Not Go Overboard ~

Yes, statement necklaces and blings can be enticing to wear, but if you want to look sophisticated, do not go overboard. This is one of the fashion tips every woman should know because it can help you whatever age you might be. Remember, too many embellishments can reduce the versatility of your outfit. Worse, it can make you look heavier.

Be in the Dark ~

Patterns are fun to wear, but the wrong style and shape can make you look heftier. When picking a patterned outfit, choose styles with darker backgrounds or tonal patterns (i.e. pink mixed with red.) If you want to appear slender and still be able to wear patterns, then remember these fashion tips every woman should know.

Play with Colors ~

While the color black looks elegant, you might find yourself wanting to wear colors every so often. Should you decide to with a color blocked outfit, remember these fashion tips every woman should know: stick with a maximum of three colors, and that is it. You would not want a hodgepodge of hues all over your body.

Brush up on your Basics ~

Basic outfits, such as a plain white shirt or dark-colored skinny jeans, are must-haves for every woman. While they might be simple, they can be glammed up as long as you follow the fashion tips every woman should know. Wear these basics with ornate pieces for a balanced yet elegant look.

Tips on Wearing Ankle Booties

It took me a little while to get on board with the ankle bootie trend, mostly because I felt like they made women’s feet look chunky, and cut off their legs right above the ankle, making their ankles look wide. Who knows what happened … maybe I just saw too many other bloggers looking fabulous in them that I could no longer resist? I am not sure. But now I own three pairs and practically live in them. Also along the way, I have discovered a few ways to wear them, so they are flattering and do not make me look like I have fat ankles.  There are so many fun ones out there: wedge, heel, flat, cut-out, laced, buckled, and the list could go on. And they are so big for fall / winter — you really should own a pair……or two.

Tucked ~  Tucking your pants into your ankle boots creates a long, lean leg line. Most jeans are not quite fitted enough at the ankle to allow for this look to work, so a long pair of leggings are your best bet.

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Rolled ~ Rolled or double cuffed jeans are a cute look with booties and allow for a little bit of your ankle to show through, and highlighting that skinny area down there.  This look works best with skinny jeans. Straight-legged or wider-legged jeans shorten your leg line when rolled.

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Cuffed ~ When wearing jeans with booties, an exposed ankle is key to keeping your ankles looking as slim as possible. One of the ways to create this gap between the jeans and boots is a cuffed hem. Try this look with a longer pair of skinny jeans, rather than an ankle length pair. A larger cuff (2-3 inches tall) is more flattering.

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Layered ~  The sock trend was hard for me to get on board with, too, but I am kind of loving it these days. It is a tough one to pull off though, since it adds bulk to your ankles. But layered over leggings makes for a cute wintery look. Go for a neutral-colored sock to avoid drawing too much attention down there.  Shorter socks are easier to pull of as well. There is less to bunch, and therefore less bulk.  Do not ever layer socks over your jeans when you are wearing booties. Unless they are jeggings and are very thin material, it will add even more bulk to your ankles.

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Monochromatic ~ A monochromatic look is a great way to wear those taller ankle boots. I have a hard time styling my black pair sometimes because they are a bit taller and cover up my entire ankle. But a pair of black tights and a black pencil skirt creates a sleek long black line that makes it so the height of the boot is irrelevant. Try a fun patterned top to offset the monochromatic bottom.  Try brown tights with brown boots, gray with gray, or mustard with your light brown boots.

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Inspiration from Pinterest.

 

Fringe Friday

When you think of fringed clothing you might think Coachella or jackets from the ’80s.  However, the trend is not only for festivals and hair band concerts. If styled correctly, fringe can be sleek, feminine, edgy or glamorous. It is all about the piece itself and how you wear it.  Here are a handful of ways to wear fringe that keep you on trend.

Inspiration from Pinterest.

Transitional Pieces to Take You From Summer to Fall

Mother Nature cannot make my her mind lately.  One day it is super chilly, and then the next day it is summer like.  Here is my guide on what to wear when it is not quite warm, but not chilly either.

Long Sleeve Dress ~ Add boots and a scarf if it is chilly.  Add ballet flats and a statement necklace if it is a little warm….and scrunch up the sleeves.

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Cropped Jean Jacket ~ A cute jean jacket is the perfect layer to just throw on when it gets colder at night. Pair it with a shorter sundress when it is warm or with dark denim on a crisp day.

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Midi Skirt ~ It’s probably a little too cold for a mini skirt, but a longer hemline, like the one on this floral pencil skirt, will keep your legs from spiking with goosebumps. A plain white tee and leather jacket would be the perfect finishing touches to this piece.

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Lightweight Leather Jacket ~ Leather is just as versatile as denim when it comes to adding layers. Pair this one with a cute pair of skinny jeans or a colorful midi skirt.

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Maxi Dress ~ A longer shirt dress like this one, keeps you covered while being breathable enough to prevent over-heating.

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Laid Back Denim ~ Tuck a plain long-sleeve knit or tee into these boyfriend jeans for an easy, go-to look.

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Inspiration from Pinterest.

 

 

What Gretchen Wore

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to get all dressed up.  Our annual Boots & Bling fundraiser was last weekend.  It was the perfect opportunity for me to wear sequins.  I found this red sequin dress on Amazon.com for $25!!  The boots are from Off Broadway Shoes, and there were on sale for $149.  I added gold earrings ($10) and some gold bracelets ($10) from Belk.  What a fun night!!

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