Staple Series: Fit-N-Flare

A great fit-n-flare dress looks amazing on any and every body type. You can select any hem length you like from mini to maxi and this dress is sure to make you look your best and bring in all the compliments. A great basic fit-n-flare dress will also allow you a wide range of versatility. They’re great for weddings, brunches, and even just a trip to Target because your shoes and accessories are really whats going to pull together the vibe for this classic cut.

The great thing that I love about a fit-n-flare dress is how flattering the cut is. While I have a few different options, this chambray one especially looks great. The midi-length makes it an awesome option to wear with either wedges, flats, or sneakers for a more laid-back outfit. I also love that this one *gasps* has pockets! Dresses with pockets > than everything basically.

As the term states, these dresses are FITted to the natural waist, theN FLAREs out around the hips, giving you extra room for tacos when you wear it, and hiding those baby lbs still hanging around my hips. On a smaller frame this cut accentuates a naturally tiny waist and gives the area around curves a little more volume, creating that “perfect” hour-glass shape.

For brunch with my Style Collective Sisters, I paired this button-down chambray fit-n-flare dress with a top knot, bandana, and my Marc Fisher espadrille wedges. This dress also looks SO adorable with white chucks, an oversized cardigan and a side braid for days where you want to look cute but don’t want to put too much effort into it.

 

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The Right Shorts for You

Picking the right pair of shorts can be especially difficult, especially if your a mom like me that’s particular about how unflattering shorts can be for chunky thighs. Picking the right length and rise if your shorts can make all the difference in how you rock shorts, and I’m here to tell you can body size CAN rock them!

First off, the most important part of rocking shorts is to pick the best inseam. “Inseam” means the length of the shorts, measured from the inside of the crotch to the bottom hem. I am 4’10” and inseams that are on the longer side, tend to make my legs look shorter and wider, so I like smaller inseams: if the rise of the shorts sits on my hips “low-rise”, I’ll go with a 2 inch inseam, if it’s a mid-rise short, which sits slightly above the hips, I go with a 3-3.5 inch inseam. I suggest this same inseam to anyone with shorter legs, or long legs and high confidence.

For anyone taller than 5’5″ that doesn’t want their shorts to be super short, going with a 4 or 5 inch inseam is best. A 5 inch inseam should hit right where your fingertips touch the bottom of the stores. “Dress Code” shorts if you will hahaha. I just suggest that if you go with a longer short, try more of a chino fabric on them, 5 inch denim shorts can look a little dated without the right outfit, so chinos are the easiest route in a longer fit.

Another way to go about it, for chunky thighs like myself, is to measure the length on the outside of your leg, from your hip to the point where your thighs stop touching if you’re standing feet hip width apart. Those inches will give you a great base for selecting a perfect inseam that keeps you comfortably covered but cool for the end of summer.

I also must say and even though it’s a huge hassle sometimes, it’s important to TRY ON every pair of shorts, unless you’re buying multiple colors of a pair you already tried and loved. Between different materials, brands, and rises, each pair  can fit differently, so don’t just assume that because the inseam and size are your normal ones, that you can just walk out with them and they’ll be perfect. If you want to be very satisfied with a pair of shorts be sure to try them on and even walk a little bit to see how they feel while you’re wearing them.

Also pro-tip: if your thighs tend to rub together while you walk in shorts (a problem I’ve had since grade school), rubbing stick deodorant over the insides of your thighs can help prevent the dreaded “chub rub”. It works REALLY well! I did Disney for a whole day in shorts with no issues doing this!

I only own 3 pairs honestly, because I make sure that I love each pair I own, there’s no use in having a bunch of stuff that doesn’t make me feel confident, I have a cute light wash embroidered pair, a distressed black pair, and a high-rise button front mid-rinse denim pair. I wear them all in several different ways and always feel great! Details on this adorable embroidered pair from Target linked below.

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Style Trend: Wide Leg Pants

wide leg pants

wide leg pants

So wide leg pants have become a thing, and I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. On one hand, they look super chic on basically every IG blogger I’ve seen rock them, but on the other hand, those bloggers don’t have my already wide thighs, so I wasn’t 100% about trying to pull them off. Would they make my legs look bigger? Would the bold pattern draw attention to an area I’ve been trying to mask for some time now? I decided to find out.

wide leg pants

I picked these babes up at Target with a matching crop that just didn’t seem appropriate to wear to the donut shop with James last weekend. These have a side zipper and I had to size up one size to make sure they fit properly, but they are very comfortable!

I have to say shape wise I found these wide legs pants to be extremely slimming, it’s almost as if the shape of the pant actually disguises wider thighs and the pattern made my hips look much slimmer than I think they are in regular jeans. haha

Since I didn’t want to wear it as a two-piece set like it came, I paired the pants with a great flowy white sheer top from SheIn. This top was less than $15 and I LOVE how feminine the tiers and slight ruffle on the sleeve makes it! To keep the look super casual I wore my Sam Edelman sneakers and added a beaded bracelet stack to finish it off.

flowy white top

So the verdict is in: Wide Leg Pants are a total win in my book. What do you think about them?

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Basics x Tampa

Sometimes all you need is a great outfit filled with the basics to look your best. I have 3 go-to pieces that I’ve bought in several different colors that always look incredible on! All you need is a great sneaker, skinny jean, and baggy tee and you’re all set with the most basic, comfortable and casual outfit. This look is great for a casual weekend out shopping, a laid-back dinner with friends or family, or just perusing the farmer’s market on a lazy Sunday.

While we moved to Celebration in March, I still come back to Tampa often because let’s be honest: a) Nordstrom and b) Celebration is part of Kissimmee which is basically one hour from Tampa or 45 minutes from Downtown Orlando, so it’s not that much farther of a drive, and I have so many friends in Tampa that it’s nice to get together and catch up.

I’ll be in Tampa much more often since I was recently selected to be the Regional Leader of Style Collective for the Tampa area. I’m currently in the process of putting together our next 4 blogger events, so if you’re a blogger in the area check these out because they aren’t JUST for Style Collective Sisters (i.e. you CAN sit with us)

on 9/17 After everyone has calmed down from Fashion Week, we’ll be having a photography meet-up in Celebration

and on

10/06 We’ll be having a themed Halloween Costume Party! This party is going to be a blast, as we dress up and celebrate both Halloween and Fashion with this fun event!

 

Back to the basics:

Skinny Jeans. I probably wear these distressed black skinny jeans more than I should but I can’t help it! They fit SO incredibly well. I can’t say it enough ladies: mid-rise rockstar skinny jeans from Old Navy are really bae. The denim is really high quality but has an amazing amount of stretch to it for comfort. They also make these in so many different fashionable colors, rises, and distressed levels, so they look like legit designer jeans for a fraction of the price!

Baggy Tees. I am NOT brand loyal when it comes to an oversized tee shirt, if it looks like it’s got a lot of room and is under $15, it’s basically coming home with me. This happens to be one I picked up at Target when they were 2/$9, but I also love basic tops from LOFT so much! They are always the perfect soft cotton with the baggiest most flattering fit!

Sneakers. I feel like your sneakers should really reflect your personality. They’re your own shot in an all basics outfit to really stand out and make it your own. These Adidas Superstars I feel sum up my style as a blogger: slightly vintage, slightly preppy and classic. I had a pink version when Superstars rose to popularity in the early 00’s and I’ll have a different version every year until they stop selling them I swear to you.

Being fun and fashion forward is such a blast, but honestly it’s not what I dress like 70% of the time. If you run into me at Target I’m most likely in an outfit just like this or my “mom uniform” lol.

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Tuesday Shoesday Round-up

Hey All! #tuesdayshoesday is probably my favorite weekday on Instagram because I get so much inspiration in finding great and unique shoes. Shoes are such an easy way to change up anything you wear! So I’ve gathered together my favorite #tuesdayshoesday moments from myself and other bloggers to share with you today! <3

First off: my moment. I’ve most recently gotten in to ordering one pair of shoes per month from ShoeDazzle. I’m always so indecisive when it comes to making a shoe investment in-stores that having it narrowed down for me really helps, and I love that they have wide calf/wide width options because since these two kids, I have had the most Fred Flintstone wide feet ever. I got these olive cut-out boots with my last ShoeDazzle credit and I KNOW I’ll be wearing these not only to NYFW, but also basically every other day come Fall. (Click this link if you’re interested in 75% off your first purchase with ShoeDazzle)

 

Next one of my favorite Orlando Fashion bloggers, Miki of Miki a la Mode makes SUCH a statement in these amazing Gucci Embellished Mules. She knows all about high end fashion and I’m literally drooling over here over every single detail of these luxury shoes. They’ll never go out of style and always be sure to impress anyone. This shoe makes such a statement that it would seriously be okay to wear with basically anything. Check out Miki’s post all about these amazing kicks here. IG: @mikialamode

Miki a la Mode #tuesdayshoesday

Next up is Anna of AnnaMariaHouseFavThings. She’s one of my favorite Tampa Bay instagrammers, her boho-chic outfits and acai-bowl loving lifestyle make her such a fun social personality to follow. She’s seriously such a fabulous individual who models and promotes all sorts of local shops and makers, and I love her dedication to supporting local businesses. She’s rocking these adorable Steve Madden sandals, the tan color makes them great for the summer-to-fall transition as they look awesome with jeans and maxi’s too!

Another one of my favorite Tampa Babes is Kahla from Keeping up with Kahla. She makes the cutest YouTube videos for her blog along with writing fun content and cultivating a wide variety of interests on Instagram. She knows where to brunch, and we recently had the pleasure of hanging out for brunch, when I arrived late she had already ordered a Bloody Mary so I knew she was my kind of people. 😉 We discussed her #nsale finds at brunch and these adorable loafers were a part of her haul. Nude shoes do a ton in elongating one’s legs, and Kahla proves just how effortlessly these shoes can put together basics in a chic way! IG: @keepingupwithkahla

Tian of TianShanae is one of my Style Collective sister’s in Orlando. She always goes on the most amazing looking trips as a Travel and Lifestyle blogger, and I don’t believe this gorgeous lady ever has an off day. She takes sneaker street style to a new level adding preppy pops and bringing out the bold red in her accessorizing with these AHHH-MAZZING Gucci Ace tennies. I bow down to these shoes, seriously. IG: @tianshanae

Next is someone I’ve recently come to count on as a constant source of photography, community building, and blog resources, Nikki of The Fashionable Accountant. This girl is legit a ray of sunshine and her feed is always full of fun bright and colorful pics with super feminine outfit ideas. She’s an accountant by day and blogger babe at night and this girl kills it! I recently became the Style Collective Tampa Regional leader and Nikki heads up the Orlando team, we’re working together on one huge meet-up for both groups to come together in the middle of September! She’s such a fun person to hang out with and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her! She looks amazing in these Aquazzura suede sandals and you can get that same high fashion look for less here if the originals aren’t in your end-of-summer budget 😉 IG: @thefashionableaccountant

Last but certainly not least is my #mamamotivation Stacie who blogs at Will Work For Fashion. She has the most killer post-baby body and she’s incredibly open about how hard she worked for it! Her style is very late 70’s boho chic with this awesome mix of South Florida street style that she somehow fuses together to create this amazing unique style. She also has the CUTEST house and interior design inspiration. Legit, she is my aesthetic and so are these fierce red Adidas Gazelle’s. She paired them perfectly with a light maxi, ya’ll I’m dead. <3 <3 IG: @willworkforfashion_

Hope you enjoyed this round-up. Which is your favorite pair/more your style? Leave a comment below and let me know <3

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Denim on Denim, with a Polka Pop

There is nothing wrong about a good solid denim on denim look. The right amount of contrast to an all jean look makes it super fashionable for any occasion.

While I love doing denim on denim in several different ways, breaking up the mid-rinse skinny jeans I have with a layer of polka dots and my light wash denim jacket on top, was the cutest casual weekend look when the James and I went with the boys to check out Avalon Park.

I chose to accentuate the feminine details of the polka dot top with my Kendra Scott necklace, the tassel and gold color adds just the right amount of polish to the laid back ensemble.

I’ve also been carrying my Henri Bendel Crosby bag basically non-stop since getting it in may, and the sea salt color brightened the denim up a bit. I finished the look off with blush colored lace-up flats. I love how these flats can add just the right amount of pink to any outfit, and the lace-up detail gives them that extra Ballerina flare that brings us all back to playing dress up as kids. <3 Fun Fact: I wanted to be a Ballerina for far too long as a child, but constantly being the shortest kid in class wouldn’t have gotten me far on that road. hahaha

 

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Wear Now & Layer Later: Cream Lace Dress

A cream lace dress is such a great piece to invest in. It can be worn in so many different ways that you’ll really be able to style in for every season! In Florida, I’ll be honest, it’s not like we have to stress too much about it getting too cold, but I still like to dress seasonally appropriate when I can.

During the Summer and Spring this dress can be styled with minimal simple jewelry and either a fun loafer/flat or a great espadrille wedge depending on your mood. I added a denim jacket and great fringe block heels for a nicer night out with my Style Collective Orlando sisters!

Wearing it much more laid back with all the same accessories just a swap in sunglasses and shoes shows just how easily this dress can transition from dressed up and jazzy to laid back and casual.


When fall rolls around and there’s a constant breeze I’ll wear this with a tan or burgundy oversized cardigan and some cute ankle booties. Then, for the week we have cold weather, I’ll dress is up with sheer tights, over-the-knee boots, and a black leather jacket.

all photos taken by Nikki Arnold of The Fashionable Accountant, my Style Collective Sister & Orlando’s Regional Leader. 

I found this dress on CLEARANCE at Ross for only $5, and my maroon fringe bag is from last fall’s line at Express, but I have linked similar options as well as accessories that will help transition this dress throughout each season! <3

 

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White Before Labor Day

For all of you who follow this “can’t wear white after labor day” (which honestly is just a ridiculous rule because hello, winter white is what’s up) there’s only 33 more days left to get your fill of solid whites. Since we’ve all got our base tan in already, I wanted to share with you the perfect way to wear white before labor day. I picked up this gorgeous vintage style white sleeveless dress at the Express Outlet for under $40, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

For starters, wearing white makes you look SO much tanner than you actually are, so for anyone with a lighter complexion, a white dress is the perfect way to make yourself look like you have a little color without risking a sunburn or orangey false tan look. It’s the perfect way to show off that summer tan, and unless you’re going to a wedding, its appropriate for any occasion.

I wore this out to brunch with some girlfriends in Tampa. To make it dressier I added a lace bandeau and brown espadrille wedges that I love for summer. The dress speaks for itself, so just popping on a couple Bourbon & Bowties bangles along with my go-to Kate Spade State of Mind necklace made accessorizing clean and simple.

This dress also looks really adorable with flats and a colored cardigan for more of a work-week look, or with a denim jacket & converse for a really laid back feel. The ABSOLUTE best part of this dress is that it has pockets!!! Like seriously, all dresses and skirts should just come with pockets honestly, they make the look so much more functional.

I seriously felt all the Marilyn Monroe vibes rocking this dress, and the fit is SO flattering to every body type. For me it accentuated my good parts while concealing my hips, making it super slimming. On smaller frames it helps to give the illusion of a more curvy figure by accenting a small waist, making other curves look larger, in a good way . This fit-n-flare style is such a winner for any woman’s figure.

Unfortunately Express Outlet doesn’t offer online shopping so I can’t link this exact dress, but if you live close to one, I can tell you it’s still in-store and it comes in white AND maroon, so pick one up for now, and one up for fall! I’ve linked dresses below that are very similar in fit, and rank under the $75 price range. All other outfit deets are linked below as well. <3

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Staple Series: Floral Sundress

In my personal opinion, a floral sundress is one of the most fun, flattering, and crucial pieces to have in a woman’s wardrobe. Whether you work in an office all week and want something to kick back casually cute with on the weekends, or spend your days in yoga pants and want to stay comfortable but have something a little nicer for a date night, a sundress is a great go-to when you want to feel cute.

While I have quite a few floral sundresses, today I’ll be sharing with you my absolute favorite of those. This tiered floral sundress from target with adorable lace inserts was only $24.99! It comes in navy with a pink floral detail or cream with peach and green florals. While I have the navy I have added the other color to my cart several times, because I get so much wear out of the one I already have!

The length is absolutely perfect on my short frame, but honestly if you’re anywhere under 5’7 as long as you don’t wear it with wedges it’ll still look great. The tiered style it very flattering to my post-baby body, as it is slightly more fitted at my natural waist, and more roomy around my hips. It’s also got a great little sexy neckline, that’s subtle enough to still wear to playdates. I always pair this with either lace-up flats or low-key white tennis shoes, and simple accessories for a more casual laid back vibe. When dressing it up I like to pair it with wedges, a bright cardigan, and curly hair.

Not only is this dress the perfect spring and summer staple, it is easily worn throughout the seasons. For fall pair it with a bootie and a denim jacket, and for winter add some opaque tights, over-the-knee boots and a chunky sweater. The possibilities are really endless as far as styling goes with this must-have staple. The only question really is how many do you need?! Floral sundresses come in a variety of patterns, styles, and colors. I typically gravitate to blue based dresses with season-neutral patterns to really make it versatile, but honestly, you can never have TOO many floral sundresses in my personal opinion, so the more the merrier!

 

 

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Stress-Free Braid Updo

Since going from Brunette to Blonde, my “bad hair days” have started to decrease more and more. One of the main reasons is that I don’t wash my hair as often, and because of that I get really creative with my hair styles on a day to day basis. One of my go-to hair looks is a quick braid undo that’s so simple to pull off and turns the worst hair days into fabulous ones!

My hair was an actual disaster so I didn’t take “along the way” shots of this hairstyle but it’s so easy, you don’t really need them!

  1. Brush your hair, and divide it into two sections where your part naturally falls that day.
  2. Smooth some de-frizz serum into your hair, working it through your ends first.
  3. Braid both sections of your hair, secure braid with small hair tie or bobby pin.
  4. “Criss Cross” your braids in the back of your head. Meaning to pin the end of one braid to the opposite side of your head and vice versa.
  5. Give your braids some volume by fluffing them out. Hairspray to finish the look.

This hairstyle was so simple to pull off and I got so many compliments! I loved wearing it around for a Sunday Stroll through the Farmer’s Market with James and the boys. It looked super elegant with this adorable black fit-n-flare dress and these awesome studded gladiators.

What’s your go-to hairstyle for a bad hair day!? I’m also a huge fan of hats!

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