Dressing up Denim Shorts

This summer has been really humid so far, it’s been really weird! We’re usually on the dryer side here so this weather actually has been giving me a tropical getaway kind of vibe – which is fine by me! It’s probably a good thing as we’re approaching fire season. To beat the heat I’ve been all about flowy tops and shorts lately.

I’m not usually one to wear heels with shorts, but I just can’t do jeans in this weather and for some reason I just haven’t been wearing dresses as much as usual. So I thought I’d create a date night look using one of my favorite pairs of shorts.

These shorts are super soft and I love the slightly longer length. There’s a reason this pair has a cumulative review of 5 stars. American Eagle’s Denim X is where it’s at! I can’t believe I spent so many years wearing jeans that have no give. No more my friends!

I showcased this double layer cami from Express in an earlier post and while it’s no longer available Express has some other really cute options right now. Here are my top picks: 1, 2, 3.

You can’t go wrong with a black cami, it’s so versatile! Just make sure you invest in  a good strapless bra – visible bra straps kill a look so quickly. This one is my fav for good support and comfort.

How fun are these colorful heels? I’m obsessed with the embroidery. Even though they’re pretty darn high, they’re more comfortable than you’d think thanks to some well placed padding.

I don’t think the pictures online do them justice. Check out the reviews, others seem to love them too! FYI they are available in wide, woo hoo!

And of course what says summer ’17 more than a great pair of tassel earrings? These are from F21 and sold out quickly, but I found these, these, and these that are similar and also very cute. They add instant pizazz to any basic look.

What’s your favorite summertime look?

Thanks for visiting! Kisses, Kate

Photo credit: Sarah Jordan

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

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

Making June Gloom a Little Less Gloomy

Can you believe it was 64 degrees when we shot these pics? That feels crazy as so many places are getting hot right now. However, it was a great opportunity to pull out my Free People “Malibu” thermal one last time before it warms up. FYI Nordies still has brown in stock for only $40 and this site has a bunch of colors, almost all of which are on sale!

I also have the “Sunset Park” and I almost bought the “Kate.” Free people makes great thermals and they come out with a new version each year. I love how the back of this thermal just hangs. It’s also extremely comfortable. Just make sure to hand wash it or use a washing bag to keep it from fraying like crazy.

Almost all FP stuff tends to be oversized so if you don’t size down the neckline can dip a little low. I like to wear a lacy cami underneath so it can peek out a bit and my new cami from Express was perfect! I saw it’s only available in M in black right now, but the “chianti” and “cardinal red” are both cute and still available. Here’s an affordable option that would probably be great for layering.

These low block heel pumps are not a style I would normally go for, but since they were an exact match for my skin tone, have a flattering pointy toe, and I found them in the clearance section of DSW over Memorial Day weekend I just couldn’t resist taking them home with me. They are so darn comfortable I can see myself wearing them quite a bit. Probably next time with a dress.

My jeans are from a while ago, but AE still offers some very similar styles. This one is the closest to mine (40% off and still available in a few sizes), this is a cute cropped option (currently 50% off), and this is a similar pair without the rips (40% off, only a few sizes available).

Keep in mind that the distressing varies from jean to jean so the rips/distressing might look a little different than the pictures online. I love a cropped or ankle jean for showing off great footwear!

What’s your go-to gloomy day outfit?

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

Photo credit: Leo Amar

 

The Oh-So Trendy Neckerchief

Welcome to my bandito moment! Lol

I’ve been looking to get more creative with my scarves (usually I’ll just tie one on my bags to add a little extra pizazz to a simple outfit as shown in the pic below) as I have so many of them lying around and it was fun to try this trend. I’m not one to jump on every trend that comes around, but I have to say I liked this look more than I thought I would.

Jean from www.extrapetite.com turned me on to this scarf from Express and it’s so cute! The also offer it in black and white. I love the pattern and colors – I have a feeling I’ll get a lot of use from it. It can also be tied around the neck like a choker, worn around the wrist or arm, wrapped around the handle of a bag, or even as a headband…there are lots of possibilities!

This sleeveless top (under $11 and available in 4 colors!) is a recent find and I am in love! It may sound weird to be obsessed with such a simple top, but as they say, it’s all in the details. I find myself returning to classic pieces more often than anything else so a good white/off white/ivory tank is a necessity. I have others that are okay, but this one is perfect!

It has 2 layers so it’s not see through, the back has a little button up top so it’s easy to get it on and off without getting makeup everywhere, it washes really well if you hang it dry, it has a flattering V-neck, it’s soft and silky, and – best of all – it doesn’t require a strapless bra. Hallelujah! I actually have a fantastic strapless bra, but let’s not kid ourselves, no strapless bra is as comfortable as a traditional bra. The Body by Victoria line makes the most comfortable bras, hands down. They make up the bulk of my bra collection.

It felt like summer for all of this week until today so I’ve been wearing shorts a lot. These are my go-to light wash pair. They’re from a past season, but I’ve listed look-a-likes here and here. Keep in mind the distressing varies a bit from pair to pair. I really like the midi lengths American Eagle offers. I just cannot do the super short shorts that seem to be so popular these days. Every girl should own at least a light wash pair and a dark wash pair IMO.

I broke out an old Steven by Steve Madden bag that’s been collecting dust in my closet and I’d forgotten how good the quality is within the Steven line! This bag is about 7 years old now and it still looks great. The only upkeep I’ve done is to slap on some leather conditioner (it also cleans the leather). The Steven bags and shoes are at a slightly higher price point, but they usually have a correspondingly higher level of quality and materials. How cute are these options (1, 2, 3, 4)??! And I can see this block heeled pump being a super chic work option.

This is totally unrelated to anything else in this post, but I spotted this  adorable pom pom block heeled sandal today while putting this post together and I immediately wished I had it in my closet. I can’t buy anything right now, but man do I want it! It’s 30% off right now due to Macy’s friends and family sale (FYI it ends May 7th). Just like how Steve Madden has different lines, Sam Edelman has a lower priced line of shoes and bags called Circus.

What are your thoughts on the neckerchief trend? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Photo credit: Leo Amar

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Crochet-Trim Cami

Being on the bustier side I usually stay away from tops that flow out from the bust or neckline as they can easily veer into maternity territory, but with this adorable cami I just didn’t care. It may not be the most flattering shirt I own, but I felt great in it. FYI it would look amazing on someone with more of a boyish body type – as you can see on the website. And it comes in 3 colors!

It’s so light and airy, it was perfect for this past weekend when we experienced a warm spell. It kept me nice and cool, even when the temperature climbed into the high 80’s. It’s slightly sheer, but not so much that it’s see through.

The back is just as adorable as the front! It does wrinkle easily, but it washes really well. I just put it in a wash bag on cold and hung it to dry and it worked perfectly. No ironing needed, woot!

It felt so summery to me that I chose to pair it with a light wash pair of ankle jeggings (no longer available, see some similar options here and here), but it can also be easily “edged” up a bit by pairing it with black or grey jeans or shorts.

I don’t always carry a purse as I like to travel light, so I often throw my necessities into this clutch, which came free with my vegan leather tote from Nordstrom. I like that it has a little strap so you can hang it on your wrist. It’s a great deal at under $50 and it really holds up. I’ve had mine for a couple of years and it still looks great. I want the grey one next!

I wanted to add a little height to this look to try and make it as flattering as possible so my go-to Sam Edelman Torrence sandals (42% off right now and still available in black and oatmeal in some sizes) helped a bit there. I love the comfort of a block heel! Here’s a very similar option with a slightly lower heel that would be great with summer dresses and beyond!

What do you feel best wearing during the hotter months? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Thanks so much for visiting!

Photo credit: Leo Amar

Matching vs. Coordinating

I have always had an obsession with making sure all of the colors within my outfits match – and I’m not just talking about the main pieces. Back in my school days I would even make sure my undies and makeup matched. Yes, I know that’s super weird!

Thankfully I’ve relaxed a bit over time, but I still find myself hesitating to put together an outfit if the colors don’t match exactly. When I added my orangey-red pumps this outfit I thought to myself, “but there’s no red in my kimono!” before I threw caution to the wind (heh) and went for it. Am I the only one who does this? I’m glad I did as I really liked this look.

I bought them from Macy’s as I had a gift card, but I noticed that you can get them as cheap as $25 from Bluefly with free shipping and $15 from Amazon, depending on the size. I even think they are a great deal at the regular price of $70. They are real suede, they come in multiple colors, they fit my wide feet in my usual size, and the heel height is great IMO.

Kimonos are an awesome layer for those days when it’s not quite cool enough for a sweater or jacket or to throw on over a swim suit (stay tuned for a future post doing just that). And I LOVE the fringe on this one! The sizing is generous due to the flowy fit so I could have probably made any of the sizes work, but I went with a M. FYI it also comes in a red version.

The most common way to wear a kimono seems to be over some kind of denim, but I liked how pairing it with these sateen X jeggings (currently on clearance, some sizes are still left) elevated the outfit a bit. They feel sumptuous! I’m rarely never accused of being too casual. 😉 Side note, American Eagle is having a 40% off sale on their new collection and BOGO 50% off for all jeans stores and online. Woot!

Sorry for the crazy hair, it felt like I was in a wind tunnel during this shoot. Grr.

I have worn this ivory camisole from Loft so much. My basics get a lot of use, so I try to buy stuff that’s of reasonably high quality. This one is old and no longer available, but I’ve listed some similar options from www.Express.com here and here.

Express is also having a sale today – 40% off and free shipping on $50! How cute is this black lace cami? I’d so buy that one if my husband wouldn’t kill me for it.

I am so into this mix and match charm necklace from INC. You just buy a full necklace and then you can buy as many additional pedants as you want so you can mix it up to your heart’s desire. What a clever idea! I wear it often and already have 5 pendants to choose from.

Yet again I’ve paired this outfit with my Vince Camuto “Ayla” saddlebag. More colors here. I wear it constantly and it still looks brand new! I love bags with a little shape. The ones I own that are unstructured just never seem to make the cut when I’m putting my outfits together.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings – or just checking out my pics. I hope you come back soon!

Have a great week! Xoxo, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar