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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Rompin’ around: Romper Shopping Tips for Larger Thighs

I’m pretty blunt about my body. I’ve got 40 lbs of baby weight to lose, I’m super short, and my legs have cellulite. While I’m super confident in who I am and how I dress, these aspects have prevented me from rocking the cute romper trend. Mostly because when I walk my thighs touch, and the shorts part of the romper rides up in the middle: not cute.

I’d always assumed that a romper was just not something I was going to be able to wear because of the way I’m built, but after finding this steal at T.J.Maxx I’ve learned what to look for in a romper when you want to look your best, but want to avoid the awkward fit.

  1. Material: While adorable, the denim romper isn’t going to work, you want to stick with lightweight materials such as cotton/poly blends that leave plenty of room for your legs to breath while you walk.                                                                           
  2. A fitted top Portion: Elastic is your best friend when trying to find a perfect fitting romper in a larger size, especially if you’re shorter like myself. Having an elastic waist allows you to adjust where on your body it hits. I pull mine up to my natural waist (just under my chest) to ensure the shorts part of the romper doesn’t look too long. Shorts that are long on short legs make you look SO much stumpier, so having a small inseam is crucial to elongating your portions.
  3. Size Matters: If you purchase one with a fitted top portion, make sure you’re buying a size that gives you LOTS of room below. I always say one size bigger can make you look two sizes smaller (stolen quote from Stacy London and it is SO true). I didn’t have to size up in this romper as it fits really true to size, however, don’t be afraid to size up if need be. Sizing up in a romper gives you a little extra material and wiggle room around your thighs, which will help prevent the dreaded riding up and chaffing.                                                                                                            
  4. Perfectly Patterned: A solid black or navy romper is great as well, but for me to hide that little extra baby weight around my hips, I’ve found that a busy pattern is a really helpful disguise. The eye is seeing an all-over pattern which helps everything blend and look put-together and solid as opposed to lumpy, if ya know what I mean.
  5. Never fully dressed without a smile. This is always my last tip when rocking any new to you trend. You HAVE to feel comfortable and confident otherwise you can’t rock it. If you feel awkward and out of place all day, you’re not going to be able to enjoy yourself, so talk yourself up girl, and be sure before you purchase you KNOW you feel great in it!

I kept my accessories more laid back when rocking the romper this time around. White sneaks and my Kate Spade “State of Mind” necklace have been my go-to this Summer, along with this amazing Henri Bendel Crosby Crossbody.

 

This romper could easily be dressed up for a brunch, bridal shower, or summer party with wedges, dangly earrings, and a fun clutch too!

I found this romper in-store at T.J.Maxx so unfortunately it’s not linkable. However, I’ve scoured the inter web and found fits that are very similar in fits and  in an under $50 price range!

 

 

 

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Staple Series: The Perfect Peplum

Peplum tops have been big for about 4 years now, and their popularity grows each year. If you’re like me with a little extra “love” around your hips, a good peplum top is great at covering up the area you’re most self-conscious of, without looking like a tent. I honestly always have a tough time finding tops that I love, so when something fits me great and I feel amazing in it, there’s no question that it’ll come home with me.

This Free People peplum meets all my “must-have” criteria. It’s long enough to wear with jeans, made of easy-to-care for cotton, and has the greatest baggy scoop neck. The fit runs large, while I typically wear a L or XL in tops, I was able to size down to a M for this top, so smaller ladies definitely go with an XS.

I snagged it up in this great coral-y red color, but the top is so great and so comfortable I may end up purchasing a few more colors! It comes in 5 different color options including a great bright white and a really awesome dark gray while will be great with maroon denim come fall.

I love pairing this color specifically with my white distressed Old Navy Rockstar skinny jeans, and it also looks really good for warmer weather with this white denim skirt from Target.

I wear the top slightly off-the-shoulder for a fun and trendy style, and make sure to pair it with a neutral lip color, so nothing distracts from the awesome vibrancy of the top. While this top is a little pricier than most of my wardrobe picks, the amount I’ve worn it in the 2 weeks since purchasing make it well worth the money. I look at it as a price-per-wear cost instead of the total cost in general. I was buying a TON of stuff that was inexpensive, but I’d only wear once or twice. Being that I’ve already worn this 4 times in 2 weeks, my price-per-wear is going down more and more!

Moral of the Story: Sometimes it’s more important to grab key pieces that make you feel great that you get a lot of use out of, rather than buying a ton of things that don’t give you a lot of wear time.

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Vacation Style Round Up

If you follow along on my Instagram (which if you don’t DO IT, it’s where I spend most of my time!), you already know that James, the boys, and I spent the last week at Topsail Beach in North Carolina. We loved how simple and laid back the whole community was, while a lot of people were there on vacation, it didn’t feel overly touristy like Florida beaches.

We spent the majority of our days on the beach, then at night walked around the town and hung out with some of James’ cousins that were also in Topsail that week! It was a great time full of relaxing, laughing, cheat meals, and casual style.

In an effort to be more authentic, I’ve decided to not photoshop my body in pictures anymore, I’m working on being a healthier person, and I want people to know the REAL me. I have been afraid to wear shorts in the past because of cellulite and flab, and my arms are super giggly so tanks have always been hiding my arms with cardigans. However, since I started working out 6 days a week and eating better, I’m more confident in my body because I know it’s not going to look like this forever, so I want to show more of it off as it changes.

I’ve rounded up my favorite vacation looks in this post and linked them for you. I (surprisingly) packed in outfits this time with the help of followers on my Instastories, so I was able to pack just enough and not overpack for the week. It was the first time in my life I didn’t take 20 outfits for a 5 day trip and I felt really good in all my picks!



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Casual Kicks

Ever notice how shoes can just completely change up an outfit? I’ve recently gotten super into sneakers, and let me tell you, my casual side is really enjoying these comfy kicks. Sneakers are no longer just for a sporty look. Summer’s trend of white leather sneakers means you can look adorable in a day dress, and stay comfortable walking!

I found these perforated white leather Sam Edelman sneakers on such a good sale at TJ Maxx I had to get them! They go really well with sundresses, skirts, and jean outfits, so I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth out of them.

I love how easy this sporty summer look was to put together! I got this grey and white striped tee from Target and love how laid back and comfy it is. To polish the look up a bit, I tucked the tee into a slate blue high waist skirt from LOFT. I basically wear my gold arrowhead necklace everyday of my life, because it’s just that piece that I love to wear all the time, so adding it as the finishing touch to this ensemble seemed appropriate.

The Sam Edelman kicks were the perfect way to run out the door looking cute & casual. This is a perfect outfit for a daytime shopping trip or errands run. Making sure you look put together enough to walk into Target, but cool enough that you “don’t really care”. TJ Maxx isn’t the only place to score some major great white sneak ideas for Summer though! Check out my outfit details and some other really adorable white kicks options below!

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Maxi-mum Summer

You know what I’ve been avoiding?! Maxi dresses. I’m like, 4’10” and that’s being generous, so since Midi dresses hit the scene, I’ve forgotten all about it’s longer, older sister. Maxi dresses are so awesome during the summer months, because they give you a comfortable breathable look, while still maintaining your chic-ness.

I found this maxi dress through a fellow fashion Blogger, Blair Driscoll of Rose Gold Outlook. She wore it for Easter and it was so adorable. I love how she styled it in a super dressy way on her blog, but when I saw the vibrant colors I thought it would be so perfect to not only dress up, but also dress down with a more boho vibe.

I wore it out to lunch with the family on a lazy Sunday afternoon before heading to hang at my Grandmother’s house for a while. It was the perfect laid back outfit that still looked cute enough for pictures after stuffing myself with all the carbs.

I love the tassel tie detail, and the slit in the front gives it the most perfect amount of movement. This dress is so flattering and so versatile. So keep it a little more chill, I wore my simple gold arrowhead necklace, bangles, and the easiest blush lace-up sandals.

According to my measurements I was right in-between sizes, and so I went with the larger of the two, so the dress was actually a little big to start with. However, I washed and dried it in my dryer and it shrank to the perfect size/length miraculously. If you’re not a risk taker like me though, I suggest going with the smaller size if you’re in-between like I was. <3

(couldn’t link exact one in widget so here are some of my favs, you can find the exact one in the 2nd paragraph link)

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Lovely Lavender

I’m going to be 100% honest. I have never liked the color Purple, no I’m not talking about the amazing Oprah movie either, I’m talking about the physical color. I’ve used a ton of plum eye liners and shadows to make my green eyes pop. But I’ve never owned an article of clothing in this shade because, well, I hate it. Until now. I found this lavender dress at Forever 21 and it fits SO well!

The shade is just the right amount of pastel mixed with vibrancy to it’s not so springy, and just right for the spring/summer transition. The dress hangs so naturally lightly off the shoulders, which is great for me because with most of my OTS pieces I do end up fighting to keep the arms in place for a good portion of the day.

Not with this dress though! For a lunch out with my mom, brother, and Cash, I dress it a little more laid back with bush perforated lace-up flats. It came with this amazing little fabric belt to cinch in my waist for a really flattering fit.

Accessory wise, I wore some great white beaded dangles, making the look a little more elevated with curls in my hair for the nicer restuarant we were dining at. I also threw on my 3 Bourbon & Bowties bracelets, because they just look great with everything, and the “State of Mind” Kate Spade pendant I haven’t taken off since Mother’s Day.

I love that this dress has a great amout of versatility. To dress it up a little more for a brunch out, I’d pair this exact look with wedges instead. To dress it down for running errands or just getting out of the house for a coffee run, I’d simply throw on a denim jacket, some white sneakers, and a messy bun.

This dress definitely opened my eyes to the gorgeousness that is the color purple, and how great it looks on every skin tone. PS- it totally did make my green eyes POP! <3

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Summer Midi

I’ve found that one of the most flattering sundress styles is the midi length sundress. It’s such a perfect length for Summer, and if you select your midi in a lightweight fabric, the dress actually keeps you super cool.

Since I’m short, I always like to pair my midi sundresses with an open toed shoe to elongate my legs. I feel this style actually gives me a lot of length and like an optical illusion, makes me look so much taller than my 4’10” frame.

I paired this amazing baby blue cotton sundress from the Loft Outlet (ps it has pockets!!!) with my go-to Spring/Summer Marc Fisher espadrilles. Wearing a tan shoe also helps to make your legs look leaner and longer, and heels always give you the best posture, so I love how flattering (and easy to walk in) these are.

Accessory wise I wanted to keep things simple and let the dress speak for itself. I threw on my Bourbon & Bowties bangles along with the FL Kate Spade necklace and I was done!

I’ve been carrying this Henri Bendel Crosby crossbody since James got it for me for Mother’s Day and the Sea Salt color goes with everything! It’s got a great amount of room in it for a lipgloss, cash, keys, cellphone and sunnies, so it’s the perfect size for a small bag without being toooo tiny.

What I love about this whole look is that I could easily take this outfit from day to night by added a cropped moto-jacket and dark lips.

While this actual sundress is sold out currently. I’ve linked some of my absolute FAVORITE midi sundress options for under $50 as well as the rest of my outfit details below.

 

Have you tried the midi length sundress yet?

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Yellow Florals

Nothing says spring like a floral dress right? Wanna double the spring-i-ness of the look? Make it a yellow floral dress. I didn’t think with blonde hair I’d be able to pull of yellow, but this particular color is just the right shade. It’s not too “mustard” and not too pale, making it the perfect shade for my blonde not to blend in.

James bought me these Marc Fisher wedges for my birthday and I have been in LOVE with them ever since. They are so easy to walk in, and give me just the right amount of extra height. I love that the carmel color goes so well with everything, and small perforated details on the top make them super on-trend for 2017.

This dress really makes a statement and the material is so light, that I didn’t want my accessories to overpower the outfit, so I finished this look with my Kendra Scott Tassel necklace, and Bourbon & Bowties bangles.

If you’re looking for cute brunch attire ideas this is a great one. Especially with Mother’s Day coming up this weekend. The fitted top accentuates my bust and smaller waist, and the pleats underneath the bust give me plenty of room for pancakes.

This outfit feels so perfect for the Spring to Summer transition. What do you think?

 

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