Adding Some Color to My Life

Happy Friday loves!

I’ve been noticing that I wear a lot of muted colors and neutrals lately so when I saw this dress go on sale for $30 I grabbed it. Lord and Taylor was positively giving stuff away that day! The price has gone up a bit since then, but it’s still a great deal at $64 (half price!). It’s also available here and here (as low as $56.40, depending on the size).

I like how the pleats on this dress are limited to the front and back – you run the risk of looking bigger if there are too many or if they are wide. I tried it on with a thin gold belt I own and really liked it, I’ll probably add some gold ankle strap heels and a gold clutch for a dressier occasion.

Here’s a shorter, similar option by the same brand. I also want this one sooo bad! I’m all about the femininity of pleats right now. Though I have so many dresses now that I need to be really choosy going forward if I want to actually be able to fit all of my clothes into my closet. If it goes on super sale I might not be able to resist.

I love listening to audiobooks when I go for my daily walks and lately I’ve been listening to some books that I would have described as “out there” in years’ past. One talked about how colors give off different vibrational frequencies and this made me think about how my clothes make me feel.

I only buy clothes or accessories that make me feel confident, but I’d never really thought about anything beyond that before. But now that I think of it my energy level does feel a little different, depending on the colors I’m wearing.

If this sounds intriguing to you check out this article for more info. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic in the comments!

Speaking of bright colors, I looove these pumps! I’ve mentioned them before, but they are worth mentioning again. They’re the perfect height (in my opinion), they’re very comfortable, and they’re offered in so many colors (I also really like the dusty pink). They offer this red pump in wide widths here. I love adding a pop of color to my otherwise neutral outfits. They do a great job of jazzing things up a bit! Plus they are very affordable.

During the summer I’m all about clutches as I like to travel light. This one is old, but here’s a similar option that’s still available.

Which colors do you feel best wearing?

Thanks for visiting, hugs! Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

FP Simone Cami/Wardrobe Trick

How cute is this floral cami from Free People? Get it here for under $25! Also available here (also on sale!). There is a red and black version that’s really cute as well. It’s actually a floral pattern, but for some reason I always think of palm trees when I see it. What about you?

I found a very similar tank, also from Free People – note the lower cut back and thicker straps (great for wearing with a regular/non strapless bra!). Both are nice options for those who want to camouflage a little tummy.

On this day I wore my cami with my super old denim skirt, but I’m really looking forward to wearing it with my white shorts. How cute would that combo be? White shorts are a summer staple! FYI American Eagle is offering a 50% discount on all their shorts right now (online only)!

These shoes are an old purchase from INC International Concepts (a fav brand) and no longer available, but I found these (love!!), this black pair, and this sparkly option. Good news – they are all on sale! A low wedge is the perfect way to add a little height without sacrificing comfort.

Random thought, but how funny is it that my hair looks black or blonde/light brown, depending on the lighting? Oh well, I guess it is about time to get some new highlights. Am I the only one who waits as looong as possible to get my hair did? I love my stylist (Toi at Hair by Stacie in Miramar), but I just can’t be bothered to drive down there more than once a year. Besides I wear my hair up pretty much all the time throughout summer. *shrug*

My Vince Camuto Ayla bag went really well with this look. I’m still in love with it! It holds the perfect amount of stuff. I can fit my big zippered wallet AND my sunglasses case, in addition to a compact and some other small items. I love that it can also be worn crossbody. This girl needs options 😉

Speaking of options, do you ever find yourself thinking – what the heck do I have to wear? I have a feeling all of us have been there. My trick for always having some inspo available is to save the online images of the clothes I buy in an album within my pictures on my phone. I can sometimes forget about the things I have so this is AWESOME to remind me of what I have and get me thinking about how I might combine things. It’s also a way to avoid overbuying items similar to what you already own. It’s like a low rent version of Cher’s closet situation from Clueless – anyone else remember that? If only!

How adorable is this fence btw? You know how you’ll buy a car and then all of a sudden you see a zillion cars just like yours, when before you didn’t really notice all that many? I’ve always enjoyed good landscaping and nature in general, but since starting this blog I’ve found myself noticing an amazing amount of awesome backdrops for photo shoots. They are everywhere!

Have a fab day y’all! Stay cool!

Photo credit: Leo Amar

Donna Morgan Maxi Dress

I’ve heard of Donna Morgan, but for some reason I thought she only made dresses for fancier occasions. When Kathleen from the blog Carrie Bradshaw Lied did a post on this dress (best price right now here, also available here and here – all on sale!) I knew it had to be mine. If you haven’t visited her blog, I recommend you check it out. It’s great! Check out this Donna Morgan dress too, it could be a great formal option or even a wedding dress in white and it’s on major sale (the purple version is almost $200 off!).

It’s so flowy and girlie, I just love how it feels to wear it. It ended up being the perfect length for me with a small heel, so no need to hem it. Yay! I’m 5’7 and wearing a 10, but an 8 would probably have worked too, so I’d size down if you’re in between sizes.

Yet again I’m wearing my newish block heeled Aldo pumps that I got from DSW. I had no idea how much I’d wear these shoes, but I’m finding they go with everything – plus they are very comfortable. They are available in black too!

My choker is from F21. They have sooo many good ones for cheap prices right now! This one is a cute trendy option and this one is similar to mine, but a little more substantial.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts you know I’m all about versatility so I wanted to mention that you can also wear this dress under the arms – it’s helpful for avoiding weird tan lines if you’re in the sun all day.

Do you love maxi dresses as much as I do? Not only are they ultra feminine, but they are great for those days you just don’t feel like shaving!

Enjoy your day, I hope you come back soon! Muah! Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

Every Girl Needs a White Sundress

Do you have a white summer dress in your closet? It’s a must have for every woman, if you ask me. I’ve had this dress for years – I can’t even recall when I got it, but I know it’s been at least 5 years and I still reach for it when the temperatures rise. This one is from Anthropologie, from the brand Maeve (love this brand!), and no longer available, but you can almost always find a good white sundresses at any price point. Woo hoo!

This one is adorable and affordable – it would be my top pick if I were in the market. I also love this white maxi (also available in navy). This one is a super cute option for ladies who wear size 14-24 and this one has a breezy boho feel to it.

One of the nice things about a white dress is that you can easily personalize it/dress it up and down with accessories. A jean jacket (Levi’s makes a great classic one) is the perfect extra layer for those indoor spaces with air conditioning, but you could also throw an oversized sweater, a cropped cardi (so many colors to choose from!), or a bolero on top.

This one from Kut From the Kloth is the perfect jean jacket IMO. They offer it in darker and lighter washes and in white (all available in regular and petite). Here’s the plus size version and the white plus version  – it’s SO stylish and it’s on sale! I might have to snag the white version one of these days.

These sandals are an older purchase, but I found these (available in so many colors and sizes and sooo cute!), these (love the block heel), and these options online. You can’t go wrong with the cognac brown/white combo!

This is a vintage Coach purse (so fancy, I know! Haha) that I snagged from Poshmark, but I spotted this similar crossbody bag from the Gap and this Sole Society saddlebag – both of which are very affordable!

What’s your go-to outfit when it gets hot?

Thanks for much for stopping by! Love, Kate

Photo Credit: Leo Amar

The Perfect Sweater/Curate Your Closet Exercise

Hello! I hope you’re enjoying this holiday week – I sure am!

Can you describe your style in 3-5 words? If not, you might enjoy this excerpt from the “Curate Your Closet” workbook I’ve developed. It takes you through a six step process to hone in on or develop your personal style and then create a closet that will get you excited every time you peek inside. Isn’t that the holy grail of dressing? It is in my book!

Here’s the exercise:

Which 3 (or more) adjectives describe your personal style? If you’re not sure, replace the word “style” with “personality.” What we wear is the first indication others have of who we are on the inside, after all. 

Once you have your key words you can then use them as a double check before buying anything new. Ask yourself if the item you have in mind fits with your key words/overall style.

If the item you have in mind doesn’t seem to fit, ask yourself if it’s something that you’re really excited about. If so, put it on hold, add it to an online wish list, make make a note on paper about it and sleep on it, or just buy it if you feel you can’t live without it.

If it’s not something that excites you it’s likely best to move on. You’ll usually known within a few days if it’s a “must buy” or not. This approach has saved me a lot of buyer’s remorse. Who needs that?!

This Free People Sweater (on sale!) is such a “Kate” piece. Not only is it pink, which is a girly color that I love, but it’s comfy, effortlessly chic (at least I like to think so), and classic with a touch of edge. Those are the key words that best describe my overall style so of course I had to snap it up when I saw that it was over 50% off. I’m so glad I did, I can’t stop wearing it!

These sunnies (listed as purple on the site for some reason) are a departure from my go-to aviator, but I’ve found myself really liking them and wearing them quite a bit. They are super lightweight, which is nice since they don’t end up sliding down my face like some other pairs, the subtle cat eye shape is flattering on just about everyone, and the pink reflective lenses are just plain fun. Don’t they just scream “summer?” If you see any shades you like on www.NoraNYC.com here’s a code to get 10% off: NewShades

My shorts are from last year, but here’s a very similar option from this year and here is a high waisted option with a shorter inseam if you really want to show off those stems.

The cami you see peeking out underneath the sweater is the same one from this post. It’s still available in 3 colors. It’s perfect for the hot days of summer.

I got this bag earlier in the summer and it’s already sold out, but here are some super cute straw bags that won’t break the bank. I love all the cute details! You could also DIY a bag like this by getting a basic straw bag and adding your own tassels. The tassels on this one are removable so you might see them again in some other form. Versatility is another one of my key words.

These wedges are really old, but here is a similar pair that’s on sale. This wedge is awesome and comes in 2 colors. I also really like the ankle tie on this one (both are on sale!).

Would you like to see more excerpts from my workbook? If so, please let me know in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by! Love, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

Not Your Basic (Free People Long Beach) Tank

I’ve been a hardcore fan of Free People’s clothing for many years now and I’ve seen this super popular tank around for ages. I never thought it would work for me as I’m curvier and so many of the reviewers that love it have more slender body types. Since I mainly shop online I finally got the chance to try it on recently and I was happy to find out I was WRONG!

I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but wow. I love this tank! The cut of this shirt really sets it apart from your standard “wife beater” (ugh, hate that term) tank. At only $20 (full priced) it’s by far one of the more affordable FP pieces – plus it comes in a plethora of colors. I might just have to get the “petal pink” next.

I love versatility and this tank can be styled in so many ways. I like it worn casually with a pendant necklace, tied in a knot to show a little more of the wearer’s shape, or tucked into a maxi skirt (stay tuned for an upcoming post). Great style is all about the details – and wearing clothes with confidence of course!

My necklace is from Forever 21, but it’s no longer available. I found a few affordable options here, here, and here. I rarely wear shorts as they just never seem to be comfortable, but these (slightly darker wash than what I’m wearing) and these (love the color and distressing!) are an exception. They are stretchy and so very comfy! I wouldn’t mind adding this black pair to my closet. FYI www.AE.com currently has a BOGO 50% off deal going on for shorts!

These booties are by Sam Edelman from a few years back and no longer available, but here’s an affordable look-a-like option and here’s a super high quality pair for 60-70% off! Frye makes awesome footwear that really lasts.

The clutch came with my reversible faux leather tote from Nordies and it’s the perfect size for a phone, money, a key, and some lipstick. I have had the tote for a couple of years now and it’s held up amazingly well. It comes in tons of colors and is not very pricy. I highly recommend it!

I used to be a lot more hesitant to show my arms or even a peek of my stomach but as I get older I care less and less. I am what I am and hiding under clothes is silly. Here they are world 😉

I met up with my friend Sarah in Solana Beach this past weekend and it was so dead (possibly due to the thick marine layer or the Del Mar fair) that we ended up spending most of our time “scouting locations” and shooting these pics. There are so many lovely homes and backdrops in North County San Diego that I can spend a whole day just driving or biking around and enjoying the scenery. Does that mean I’m getting old? Ha!

What’s your favorite low budget weekend activity? I’m always looking for new ideas.

Thanks for visiting!! Xoxo, Kate

Photo credit: Sarah Jordan

Spring Fling Dress, Part Deux

This pretty little number is one of the three versions (same cut, different colors/patterns) of this Sanctuary dress that I currently own. I posted about one of the other ones here. There are so many different versions available and almost all of them are on sale!

I also own the midnight garden color, which is perfect for Independence Day and it’s on sale (also available here). I really love it in the sun bleached tile, cameo pink sprout, and bluebelle as well. I haven’t seen one I don’t like! There are almost too many too choose from 😉 The shape, dual layers, and pleating at the bust and on the back are my favorite features.

Owning 3 versions of the same dress might sound like overkill, but the fit is so comfortable and flattering – plus I was able to snag them for much, much less than the original price.

I mentioned this bag (on sale for $30 right now!) in a recent post and I still love it! It really does go with just about anything and the multicolored tassel detail gives it a little something extra. Plus it can be worn in multiple ways due to the adjustable strap.

I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but Shoptagr.com is my secret weapon for snagging the stuff I want at deep discounts. Just install a button on your web toolbar, save items that catch your eye, and they’ll alert you when they go on sale in your size. Could it get any easier?

I’ve saved massive amounts of money using this free service. Now I just can’t justify paying full price for anything. I usually will add items to my list and then when I get an alert I will have had enough time to decide if I really want it. Then I can delete it or take the plunge. It’s a good system! A cooling off period is never a bad idea when one has a budget to stick to.

These shoeties are from my recent shopping bonanza at DSW over Memorial Day weekend. I was blown away by the deals and this pair is a particular favorite. They are crazy comfortable, even at a heel height of 3.5″. I was SO tempted to buy them in grey as well, but I came to my senses. I might snap them up at some point down the line – even at full price they are only $65. Say what?!

This bracelet (also available in other colors) is a recent impulse buy and I’ve found myself wearing it a lot. I usually stick to pretty understated jewelry and let my clothes and shoes do the talking.

Speaking of accessories, this yarn belt came with a different dress, but I loved how it looked with this dress. It brought out the colors in the dress and accentuated the waist, which is always a good thing! I can see this being an easy DIY project. Just braid 2-3 pieces of yarn together and boom – you’ve got a belt.

This necklace is from INC’s Mix and Match Charm Necklace Collection from Macy’s (on sale!). You can use the chain over and over and just swap out the pendant for some variety. Once again, I love versatility! How do you get the most bang for your buck when shopping?

Thanks for stopping by! Much love, Kate

Photo credit: Sarah Jordan

Midi T-Shirt Dress

Even though I have tons of dresses (I’m not gonna lie, I have a dress obsession), I still like to feel like my clothes are versatile. While the material of this dress is pretty thin and the overall vibe is pretty casual, I wanted to see if I could make it a bit fancier by adding some dressier accessories. I’m pretty happy with the result!

This clutch is an old buy from Loft and no longer available, but here’s a similar option that’s 50% off and available in 4 colors! This one is also really nice and likely higher quality (also on sale!). The collar necklace is also old, but here’s a look-a-like option that’s on sale. And here’s the gold plated (i.e. pricey) dup.

This dress is perfect for the summer months; it’s very lightweight, but not sheer, and it dries super fast. The material has an almost faux suede-like quality to it – it feels really nice to the touch.

Forever 21 is so dangerous! The prices can’t be beat of course, but have you seen their selection of summer dresses lately? I had to force myself to close my browser before I bought the whole lot. In case you’re in the market here are the ones that I would buy, if I could: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

A midi dress can sometimes be hard to pull off, especially when one is “vertically challenged,” but I do think that they can work for everyone. The key is to hem it if needed so it doesn’t go lower than mid calf and wear some shoes that offer a little extra height. Bonus leg lengthening points if the shoe is nude like these block heel pumps.

FYI In case you’re wondering what that line across my bust is I wore this dress to the dentist’s office before snapping these pics and I didn’t notice it until I started writing this post. Whoops! I’m not gonna say it’s slobber, but I won’t say it’s not either. Haha, it could have just been a mark from my crossbody bag too 😉

Thanks for stopping by! Have a fab day!

Photo credit: Leo Amar

Wedding Season

 

This time of year many of us find ourselves with at least one wedding invitation and then we have to figure out what to wear. Considering that weddings can run the gamut from super casual to black tie, it can sometimes be tricky to chose the right wedding attire.

I recently “rediscovered” this pink maxi dress in my closet and realized it would be a great summer wedding-attending dress. While this dress is no longer available, I’ve listed a few similar options here (on sale!), here (super affordable!) here, and here (obsessed with this one and it has sleeves!).

IMO these heels are the perfect shoes for any formal-ish event. I can’t believe how comfortable they are! Plus, they are very affordable! Kelly & Katie is a new brand to me, but I’m so keeping it in mind for the future. The 3 inch heel and wider toe strap help the comfort factor a lot. They’re not real leather, but for the price I’m okay with that.

The pearl bracelet I’m wearing is from J.Crew, I bought it for my own wedding. But I found a very similar one that’s majorly on sale!  The clutch actually came free with some Victoria’s Secret lotions. It’s pretty darn cute for a freebie! I also love this trio of pouches that could easily double as clutches and this oversized clutch, which comes in 3 colors – both currently on sale! For a really dressy occasion I would carry this minaudière or this sparkly clutch. I love rose gold.

Not all invites will specify a dress code and when that happens you can usually get an idea of what’s most appropriate by taking the venue, style of invitation, and time of day into account.

For example, for a church wedding you’ll want to make sure you cover your shoulders and keep hemlines appropriate for a place of worship. This one would be a great choice. Also, if it’s a daytime wedding it’s usually a good idea to avoid wearing black and go for brighter colors instead.

I spotted this purple maxi dress, which is quite similar to the dress I’m wearing in this post. Here’s an adorable cocktail length option. And how cute is this black and white number for daytime weddings and beyond? I love a dress that can be worn for many different occasions.

Even when an invite does offer a dress code they can sometimes be hard to decipher. Here are some tips on the different terms you might encounter in order of dressiest to most casual:

White tie: floor length gown

Black tie: floor length gown or dressy knee length cocktail dress

Formal: long gown or dressy cocktail dress (keep in mind separates can work here too, as long as they’re not too casual)

Semi-formal: cocktail dress

Casual: this could be anything from BBQ attire to a cute summer dress, depending on the couple

When in doubt I say it’s better to err on the side of fancier than risk being too casual.

A knee-length cocktail dress is almost always a safe bet. My go-to place for wedding appropriate dresses is White House Black Market. They have a ton of classy options and the website even has a section for “wedding guest dresses (FYI they are all on sale right now!).”

If you have any other wardrobe related quandaries let me know in the comments. Hugs, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

Going Gray/Old Navy Sale Alert

I love these pumps! I haven’t worn this kind of shoe much since I started working from home, but I’ve been catching myself finding excuses to wear these. They’re so cute! I can tell these are quality shoes too. They’re a little pricey, but I got them for over $100 off – woot (thanks DSW)!

I love the d’Orsay cut (which means the arch is exposed on one or both sides and has a low cut vamp, i.e. they show more toe), the half suede, half leather, and the height. I have a wide foot so I’ll need to break them in a bit before they are fully comfy, but I’m ok with that. They still are quite comfortable.

These jeans/jeggings are from Old Navy and a part of the “Rockstar” line. They are a few years old, but I’ve listed a few options that are currently available here: 1, 2 – I’m seriously considering buying these!, 3.

FYI Old Navy is offering 30% off today only, no code needed (the discount is applied automatically at checkout – free shipping on $50)! I really like the cut of this line, just beware that the fit can vary a lot from pair to pair, depending on the materials used and amount of lycra/spandex. Most are super stretchy so while these are a 12, I need a 10 or maybe even an 8 in certain colors.

I love a mid rise jean! I’m short waisted so you might not think they’d work for me, but they’re awesome for eliminating the dreaded muffin top! What do you like best, a low, mid, or high rise jean?

This is a tad embarrassing, but this is the 3rd (yep, third!) Vince Camuto Ayla bag I’ve bought (I already have the crossbody and satchel – both currently on sale!). I broke down and got the tote version when I spotted it on sale for over $200 off. At that price I couldn’t resist. There’s something about the braiding and overall style of the Ayla bags that I’m obsessed with. Obvi, right?! I love that this version is large enough to stow a pair of heels!

This top is an old find from Anthropologie. I shopped there a lot back when I worked downtown and they have an awesome selection of work appropriate and more casual pieces that have a lot of personality. I’ve listed some great options that are currently available here, here, and here.

Tip: go to an Anthro store on Wednesdays and shop online on Mondays to check out the “fresh cuts.” Those are the days they put out fresh sale items! I have rarely paid full price for anything at Anthro – I’m not made of money!

Normally I’d wear a cami under this shirt as it’s pretty sheer, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and go a little risque – well, risque for me anyway 😉 My limit for sheerness without a base layer is if the old belly button shows, I’m not down with that.

FYI this is not my house, but I wish it was! We took these pics in Bressi Ranch, a super cute little neighborhood close to my apartment. You’ll probably see a lot more of this little community in my upcoming posts because each house is beautiful and has so much personality – not to mention beautiful landscaping, which I am a sucker for! I can’t wait to have my own house one day, I’ll probably spend all my time in the yard.

See you next time! Xoxo, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar