From Brunch to Business: Cute Tops from Express

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I even talked myself into one of these cuties.

If you haven’t walked into Express in a while, you need to change that. They have a hot selection of clothes that tip on the dressy scale of dressy/casual (and a beautiful collection of business pieces) but they also have polished casual clothes, which you’ll see below.

I walked away with one of these pieces (and have already worn it twice in one week). And as I loaded these pictures I regretted not having taken home another top.

At the time I tried these on (which was a week ago) these tops were all under $30. They may be even cheaper now – clearance was an extra 30% off (isn’t that a beautiful sentence?)

Here’s the top I’ve worn twice now… Once with leopard pants and once with ripped gray jeans and pink heels.

Sorry the quality of the picture isn’t great – it was low lighting in there. This top is a satin material and I absolutely feel in love with the long, un-done tuxedo feeling sleeves.

Of all the tops I went to try on, this was lowest of my list of “need”, however trying it on I realized how many holes it would fill in my closet (case in point: I’ve already worn it twice). So my advice? If you’re headed towards the dressing room anyway, grab something you never would have thought about, it may be your favorite piece.

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This is more a lavender color in person, and I thought I would love it more once I tried it on, but it’s still something beautiful that could get tucked into a skirt or some high wasted jeans… You could also balance it out with torn jeans and booties.

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This is the piece I’m now wishing I would have grabbed. Love that it’s a higher quality material (silky feeling) and not just another striped top.

Another great thing to do, is style something you’re trying on. Don’t just throw it on and say no. Play around with it for a second. Don’t force yourself to like it, but give it a chance!

It’s got a t-shirt hemline which I’m typically not a fan of, but it’s long enough to overcome my annoyance.

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express, west town mall, striped top, knoxville blogger, knoxville fashion blogger

 

The next two are tops that fall in the “casual but still polished” category. Such a fan of the silver thread in the button down shirt. Gosh, that with a pair of ripped jeans or shorts and some slip on sneakers – you are ready to stylishly pound down some brunch.

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express, west town mall, ootd, knoxville fashion blogger, knoxville blogger

 

Like I said, all of these tops were under $30! You can find them (except for a small in that black one *muahaha) at Express in West Town Mall!

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Watch How to Wear One Simple Outfit (you own) 4 Different Ways

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Oh, oh it’s magic! Or just accessories…

Walking into Charming Charlie in West Town Mall for this segment makes my mouth water in excitement.

I get so excited putting different looks together because I believe it will help you next time you get stumped with what to wear. It’s amazing how different a basic outfit of a white shirt and jeans can look with a few simple switches of accessories!

 

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Key Questions to Ask to Determine How to Accessorize Your Dress

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The difference between looking like Easter candy and Easter EYE candy.

So you found yourself an Easter dress, but you don’t know how to accessorize it? Let me help with that…

In browsing for my own Easter accessories, I came across a TON of jewelry that I wanted from New York & Co., so I’ve pulled all my ideas from there. (And if you’d like to donate to my accessories fund, just shoot me an email ;)

But before I show you what I found, we have to first ask a couple of key questions to figure out what accessories you need…

When wearing your dress/outfit, where is your eye drawn?

Is there an area in your look that needs balance?

Do see any blank spots about your outfit?

Maybe you’re wearing a solid color dress and you don’t know how to jazz it up. Girl, with that, the options are endless…

Think about sticking to a monochromatic look by adding a necklace of the same color as your dress. And talk about cool…I love the mix of beads and edge with this one…

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The heavy strands of this one makes it perfect for a neckline that’s just calling for “something.” This would work with an outfit that incorporates a smaller pattern, like small flowers, or any thing that includes this shade of pink.

 

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Maybe you’re going with a kimono this Easter? Pair it with a simple look underneath and then this fabulously layered necklace. It can go as high as choker status then layers all the way down to a tassel. Perfection.

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Here lately I’ve been all about statement earrings. In fact I’d like to clear out my whole earring collection and start over, but that’s probably not wise. I do adore the options New York & Co. has right now like these sparkly beauties that would pair perfectly with a cobalt blue dress or an intense fuchsia. Boom, these would really set off some visual fireworks.

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If you’ve decided to go with a floor length floral dress, these would dangle just perfectly above the neckline.

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Maybe you are going with something navy, or a solid shift dress and want to add some floral? I think it’s so chic to do a floral stud like these, but with your hair down and tucked behind your ears so you can show them off – or better yet, pin one side of your hair up so you really showcase one in the coolest way possible.

 

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I feel as if it would be a whole other post if I got into showing which bracelets I love. Just remember to let your jewelry echo itself. Don’t pair sweet floral earrings with something too edgy. And when all else fails, edit. In the case of jewelry, less is more. Most people don’t look at you and are startled by your lack of accessories, more often they’re startled by too many.

Above all, have fun with it! You want to be most comfortable and feeling like you are adequately representing yourself and your style, so even if that’s no jewelry at all, own it!

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Why Your Whole Body Needs These (Natural) Products

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Delicious smells, pronounceable ingredients.

Last year I lost some weight. Turns out carbs and sugar aren’t as good for your butt as kale and exercise is – DANG IT. In doing that, I took a hard look at what I eat and have made some changes. In the past, I’ve never been able to really think about ingredients or chemicals being bad for me, because ridding my life of them seemed overwhelming.

But once I saw how easily I could change how I eat, I started slowly taking a look at everything I was putting ON my body and not just in.

Which is why I’m super excited about Fresh Kale Bath Company. I first wrote about them here and am again writing about them simply out of a love for their products.

I’m currently using their lavender “Sleepy Time” lotion, pillow/body spray (same scent), their solid perfume (in Gold), and this, their facial moisturizer in “Silk”.

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I won’t bore you with all the ingredients, all though it wouldn’t be a bore, because there are so few in each one. I will tell you that they’re all recognizable and pronounceable. The knowledge of which makes lathering on this silky smooth lotion all the more relaxing.

It soaks in quickly, it leaves my skin feeling soft and it’s going to take me forever to finish that tiny bottle because a little goes a long way. All the benefits of a very expensive moisturizer without shelling out all the cash. This facial lotion was $20.

Recently I read that it’s the simpler products that really do your skin the most good, so I’m glad to have that peace of mind with these items from Fresh Kale. I’m also happy to support a family owned business! It’s a mother/daughter team that head this store up – and they make all their products in-store. Friends, IT DOESN’T GET FRESHER THAN THAT.

Do you skin a favor and stop in to see them.

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Spiffy Spring Jackets

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A great way to wean yourself off of winter clothes.

Maybe you’re ready for tank tops, but everyone in my life knows I’m going to wring every minute out of winter clothes. Meaning the only reason I enjoy spring is because I get to still wear winter-type clothes (jackets, boots, scarves) just in a lighter/newer way.

In fact, I’m currently on the hunt to replace the jacket I’m wearing in the picture above. I bought it at Forever21 years and years ago and it’s age is starting to show. I’ve got my eye on this J. Crew version (below), I just need them to pretend like they’re Forever21 for a day so I can get the jacket for $24.99 – Okay? Okay.

If you don’t own a green “field jacket” then you don’t know that they make a white shirt, graphic tee, patterned tank, patterned maxi, jeans, white pants and a striped pencil skirt look effortlessly cool (not all at the same time, that would be quite the feat).

The reason I’m in love with this J. Crew version is the hardware. Hardware can truly make or break a jacket. This hardware MAKES jacket for sure…

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Purple will be voted prom queen of spring, no doubt. So why not get in on the action with this sweet jacket from Altar’d State?! The peplum detailing takes it to a whole new level of sweet, and if you’re a pencil shape this will give you some curves. Some pear shapes can pull this look off as well, because the peplum ruffle will make your hips look small in comparison.

 

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Before you go thinking you just “can’t with this next jacket” let me sell you on a metallic piece like this super cool jacket from Express… The details of the jacket are minimal which means it’s not going to look too busy, it’s just…Oh I don’t know…going to take anything you pair it with up a thousand notches in the cool factor NO BIG DEAL. Wear it with a simple t-shirt and jeans to simply pick up your child from school and you’ll look so pulled together. Or wear it with an all black outfit, a gray shirt and white jeans and some sneakers!

In other words…I need to go get this jacket…

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 Denim Options…

I came close to changing this whole post to be about unique denim jackets because I kept bumping into them, so that might be coming at you in the future. Love this laid back version of a denim jacket. It’s a bomber so it’s got that cool, breezy shape to it and the denim will go for miles in your closet. Pick up this one at New York and Co.

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Again if you’re firmly in the peplum camp – here’s a sweet peplum staple for you to wear on repeat. It’s going to lend shape and instant style to anything you wear it with. Snag yours at Francesca’s!

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Did you notice a theme with each jacket? I wanted to say (and just about did) that each jacket can add something to a simple t-shirt and jeans look, which is exactly why I like them. Leaving the house I want to maintain my style, but be comfortable and not looking like I took forever to get ready. That’s what a jacket does – besides giving you warmth it allows you to translate more of your taste without having to layer on or “create” a bunch of looks.

So try one of these out this spring and let me know what you think!

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