The Scandal Collection

The Limited has teamed up with the TV show Scandal to produce a line of clothes based on Kerry Washington’s character.

Umm… Why haven’t we done this before?!

Getting to shop looks from a character who has great style is, in a word, magnificent. I so wish someone would do that with Gina Torres’ character on Suits! But in order for other shows to get the hint, we need to buy up clothes from this one.

So I’ve pulled three items from the line that will flow beautifully into your everyday life, even if it doesn’t involve running a crisis management firm and apparently juggling many high-powered crises of your own…

This elbow sleeve sweater in pink is so feminine yet so sexy. Good thing too, because that’s what they were going for with this entire collection (I just thought I’d wow you there with my description). You could wear this so many ways – pair it with boyfriend jeans, leopard heels and some diamond encrusted earrings for a fabulous breakfast out with friends, or wear it with tapered black pants, flats and a low bun for looking chic while running errands.

pink sweater

Whether you report to an office or not, this gorgeous drape neck shell is begging to be part of your wardrobe. Why? Because it wants to get in there and fix that blazer crisis that happens when you have a fabulous blazer but nothing to wear underneath it.

drape front blouse

From what I hear, this draped front open cardigan would be something Kerry Washington’s character would wear when lounging and drinking wine. I typically don’t lounge around in something so chic (ok well sometimes I do). But I would wrap up in this soft son of a bean for all kinds of events…shopping, meetings, Tuesdays.

waterfall sweater

 Like I said, the whole collection’s about looking smart and sexy. I’m not going to go all women’s lib on you, but that is a great combination of adjectives. So even if you don’t think you’re going to have any important meetings with the President next week (check your calendar just to be sure), you should definitely these pieces to your fall wardrobe. Good thing they’re all available at The Limited in West Town Mall. *sly grin.

Mani Monday

 black nails

You can say things like “gray is the new black” or, “orange is the new black”, but the fact remains, black still dominates. When you’re the color all other colors are trying to replace – you are boss. Think about it, does, “gray is the new yellow” work? No. It doesn’t.

I thought black nails would be a fitting mani color for the first week of fall. But I didn’t want to stop there. I wanted to liven it up with a mattifier and give it that cool flat black edge – not that black needs more edge, but you get my drift.

The mattifier I use is Essie’s Matte About You. OPI makes a version as well. The trick is to wait until your mani is completely dry because sometimes the mattifier can make it malleable. Ha. Then you end up with a malleable matte mani Monday.

….aaaand I’m out of “M” words to add to that.

Try this with one of your favorite nail colors. It gives it a whole new look and really adds dimension…or I guess in this case, takes it away!

What to Wear to Work in the Fall

what to wear to work

So you may not be able to match my level of excitement about the fall season, but let me get you to at least admit that having a seasonal shift is a nice closet refresher.

While tank tops and flip flops are great, just think back to how good it feels when you slip into a comfortable pair of boots and a big cozy sweater. Mmmm yeah. Welcome to the dark side.

Let’s talk about building an easy fall work week wardrobe.

What I have pictured is a great base for getting you through a full five day work week (all of which can be found at West Town Mall). Each top can be worn alone or layered, giving you a great variety of looks. And because there’s a great mix of pattern and texture, they’ll keep you looking modern and seasonally appropriate.

Notice I have a pair of ankle length pants (these are “So Slimming” pants by Chico’s). They are so perfect for fall weather…I’ve already explained why here. I added a pair of wide leg pants because they’re growing in popularity. I’ll give them a little more air time on my body, but my main squeeze is still my skinnies (pun so ridiculously intended…”squeeze” get it?) These wide leg trousers are from The Limited, who have the perfect selection of classic/trendy/well-made work pants this side of the Mississippi.

The striped shirt (far left) is from Tommy Hilfiger and I don’t know about you, but looking at it makes me want to run down to a college campus and stand under a color-changing tree while drinking a pumpkin spice latte. It really couldn’t be more fall appropriate if it were made out of pumpkins. It would also look just as fall-ish under that chic GAP blazer too!

That checkered black and white plaid (or gingham) print shirt from American Eagle Outfitters is a great layering piece. Get ready because you’re about to see this pattern explode all ova-tha-place…even into spring. For now, wear it alone or peaking out from under that gray sweater. Oo then add the blazer on top of the whole thing. Boom. (Grab about 40 other sweaters like this gray V-neck from GAP. Get one in every color, trust me. They’ll go far).

And let’s all take a vow to stray away from boring black flats. The taupe and leopard flats pictured from Rack Room Shoes will add such pizzazz to your looks! Think about how cute those leopard flats will look with either the striped or the checkered shirts!

Yum. Getting dressed for a fall work week is so delicious. Have fun with it!

 

This is Where We Talk About Wearing White

wearing white after labor day

I know it still probably rocks your world to the core, but you CAN wear white after Labor Day.

White it up! Add cream to everything! The old rules of how to dress have gotten thrown out with our flip phones.

This White House Black Market ensemble is a great example of how to do white even now that it’s officially fall (Whoooooo Hooooo!) Even layering whites like this a great idea. It really helps give the spotlight over to some great layered necklaces, like she’s got on here (this pic is from the Back to School Fashion Show at West Town Mall, by the way).

What I love about doing light layers like this, is it keeps you dressy (and warm) without making you look too fancy.

Even though she’s wearing black pants and heels, this look is totally daytime appropriate and looks pulled together without being over done.

The key to pulling off a look like this is to try and keep your whites as close in color as you can. If one is a little bit off it’s no big deal, just make sure you’re not pairing almond with bleach white. Also, vary your textures a little bit. I like how the shirt she’s wearing has a ruffled collar and pleats down the middle. That adds more visual interest and really pulls the look together more than flat white top would.

Most of all, have fun and don’t give your whites the stink eye. We have a right to wear white – anytime we want! ;)

Beauty Secret: Baking Soda

baking soda for your hair

When I started to write this blog it triggered memories of my first science project.

I was homeschooled at that time and when the curriculum called for me to do my first project, it sent both my mother and I into a panicked tizzy. It seemed like such an insurmountable thing this “science project,” but thankfully we got through it swimmingly. In fact now I’m wishing I could go back to that day when my biggest hurdle in life was a science project. Ha!

The baking soda reminded me because for that project I decided to test what cleaner works best on counter top stains. I’m pretty sure baking soda won out.

20 years later, I’m starting a new project with baking soda, however this time I’m going to put it in my hair.

According to the Arm & Hammer website, there are a myriad of ways we can incorporate baking soda into our everyday lives. They even have a long list of ways to use it in your beauty routine.

Besides your hair (which I’ll get to in a minute) you can also add a bit to your facial cleanser where it will act as a mild exfoliate (you could do this over your whole body really). It also helps to really clean out your hair brushes. Simply add one teaspoon to a sink full of water then let your hair brushes soak while the baking soda breaks up the oily build up.

For it to help your hair, simply sprinkle a quarter size amount into your shampoo and it will de-crud all the product buildup. I tried this myself and I could feel a difference when rinsing out my hair. It had that squeak to it when wet, which to me makes it feel completely clean. Afterwards I didn’t have any tangles even though I normally would have.

Baking soda is probably something you have in your pantry already, so why not give it a try! (If you have it in your refrigerator to soak up odor, do not use that one. Use the room temperature baking soda only).

My Favorite Fall Pants

ankle pants

fall outfit inspiration

Deep breath. It’s officially fall. And when I say “deep breath” I mean, SCREAM OUT LOUD, IT’S OFFICIALLY FALL!

If I got paid for the number of times I said I love this time of year, I would be richer than Justin Biebers bail bondsman.

I thought the best first-post-of-fall subject would be these tuxedo stripped pants from J. Crew in West Town Mall. I bought them last year and spent a little more than I normally do on pants, but my reasoning was I could wear them all year round. But really, these pants are for fall.

You can tell the moment that you slip into them that they are well made pants. Sturdy, comfortable. I’m a big fan of the length. Ankle pants this time of year are absolutely perfect for balancing out heavier sweaters or blazers that might start to get worn more often. Somehow that extra inch or two of leg showing at the bottom lightens up your whole look and allows you to get away with wearing more winter-esq tops without looking like you’ve dressed for Alaska.

You do have to be careful to not pair these with shrunken pieces like a crop sweater or jacket – that will just make you look like you went through a growth spurt over night.

Something else that’s great about this length is that it really gives your shoes the spotlight. And leopard heels like these really do crave their time in the limelight.

It’s officially fall! Let’s start dressing like it! :-D

Swingy vs. Statement Necklaces

Styling can be the hardest part of getting dressed, but it can also make or break your outfit. So no pressure, but get it right every time. Ok?

No, that’s a joke. You need to get it right 90% of the time.*

*Also a joke.

I want to help you get in the swing of knowing what necklace to wear, so take a gander at these two looks from Ann Taylor in West Town Mall (this picture was taken at the Fall Indulge event in West Town Mall).

how to accessorize

ann taylor

On the right, we have a great LBD with lace detailing. In this instance the statement necklace is best because she’s got a solid stripe there at the top, providing the perfect backdrop to showcase one of Ann’s gorgeous accessories.

If the top strip had been the lace portion, that would have been enough going on visually so earrings would have been best.

The look on the right calls for a long necklace, because she has all of that great real-estate right down the center of her body. The coat (or sometimes sweater) draws the eye in towards the center, making it the perfect spot for something long and swingy.

If you’re in need of more accessory know-how, click here for my last post and stay tuned because there will be more. Oh, there will be plenty more.

A Blazer Covers a Multitude of Summer Pieces

pink blazer

track pants

fall blazer

As much as I want to pile on the fall clothes the moment September strikes, there are a few pieces from summer I’m going to miss.

These track pants are on that list.

They’ve got an elastic waist band AND a cute black and white pattern. Oh and they’re made out of a super light material so it’s virtually impossible to get hot while wearing them. Gah, why didn’t I LIVE in these this summer?

Oh, right. They look a like I forgot to put actual “public” pants on when paired with flats (at least on me they do).

But they look killer with black pumps. So I’ll continue their farewell 2014 tour into fall by balancing their lightness with a blazer. Because a blazer covers a multitude of summer clothing options and makes a lot of things perfectly acceptable for fall.

And a colored blazer? Well that’s just a party.

Sweaters to Bulk up Your Collection, Not Your Body

sweaters for fallI’ve already started planning how I’m going to celebrate when the clock strikes 10:40pm next Monday and fall officially arrives. So far included in that plan is dancing, confetti, and then some more dancing (ok I never said I was lavishly planning).

Looking at sweaters just gets me so giddy about getting to walk out of the house all comfy and cozy. They’re such a comfortable way to add texture to your looks for fall.

Here are 7 sweaters that can really fill up your whole week with cute/comfortable looks!

1. Sunday: This GAP sweater is a classic. It’s iconic. And since graphic t-shirts and sweaters are so popular right now, why not get into it with something that will always be in style. I love how this one has the GAP letters in a matte cloth, that totally updates the whole thing to 2014.

2. Monday: Aero (or Aeropostale as we know it) has a really awesome selection of sweaters that can really update your basics. Like this v-neck pink number. I’d wear this with some polka dot skinnies for a cute look, or pair it with gray hounds tooth slacks for a softer look for the office.

3. Tuesday: A floral pattern is such a fun way to add personality to neutrals. This floral sweater from Aerie (not to be confused with “Aero” …apparently vowels are cool) would be an unexpected piece when worn over  a white button down, or a button down with tiny polka dots if you’re feeling the need to pattern mix!

4. Wednesday: Now that Tuesday’s had all the crazy pattern mixing fun, let’s tone it back down with some soft gray for Wednesday. Wait…this is American Eagle knit let’s a little light, so be sure to wear a colorful tank underneath.

5. Thursday: I’ve got this exact sweater in an off white/sparkly color and I love it. It’s from Aerie and the cowl neck and slim sleeves makes it so that you don’t feel frumpy, but rather very dangerously cute. And feeling very dangerously cute on a Thursday is a must.

6. Friday: I’ve tried on this muted hounds tooth waterfal cardigan from Aeropostale, and I’ve fallen in love. It’s super duper uber soft, and needs to get in my closet.

7. Saturday: A great henley sweater, some boyfriend jeans, a long necklace and some Keds is the formula for good Saturday dressing. Get your Saturday collection started off right with this one from American Eagle.

Did I mention yet that all of these can be found in West Town Mall? No? Well now you know.

New Store: Fiore

fiore

fiore

There’s a new store in town and they’re featuring a gorgeous pink skirt. I want that skirt.

But I should probably tell you more about the store in general…

They’ve got a lot of cute things not only for you to wear, but also for you to put in your house. I’d like to walk by a whole line of those light up letters while wearing my new pink skirt.
It’s definitely the place to go for uber trendy pieces, some really cute TN orange items, and unique gifts/items for the home!

One line of products I was quickly drawn to was their planners. I L.O.V.E a good agenda that I can write in and make notes on, and they’ve got some beautiful options by Kate Spade (the owner said they’ll be getting even more of her stuff in), and they have a whole cabinet full of items from Lily Pulitzer. Cute. Stuff.

So if you’re keeping track, I want to sit around in my new pink skirt and write in a jumbo agenda by the light of those really cute glow letters.

Fiore is located at the mall entrance closest to JCP. It’s where AT&T used to be and is right across the hall from a soon-to-open Charming Charlies! Go check them out!

Before you do, watch my segment from this week where I talked about a whole slew of skin care products from great face wash all the way to lipstick – all of which can be found at Dillard’s in West Town Mall!