Free People Retro Love Suede Dress

Can you believe I’ve had this dress for a year and this is the first time I’ve worn it?! It might just be my favorite blog look so far. After it sold out I wasn’t sure if Free People would bring it back the following season (like they so often do with their most popular dresses), but they have! They aren’t offering it in the color I have – rose – but they have 7 colors to choose from! I think the soft peach is to die for!

You might be wondering if a suede dress is functional and I can tell you it IS! Not only is it a steal, considering Free People’s pricing, but it’s comfortable and it has pockets! Once I got past the unusual-ness of the material I was hooked. Because it’s real suede it has just enough shape without being too structured. I’m in love!

What is it about suede that just feels super luxe? Is it just me?

At first I wasn’t sure how I’d accessorize it as there are so many options. It was popular amongst bloggers last year and I saw many ladies styled it with more mod accessories (it looks awesome with a turtleneck underneath) or with sneakers for a more casual vibe.

However, I wanted more of a rocker/boho look so I paired it with my fav booties (unfortunately black leather is no longer available, but there are still two suede options) and my new Sam Edelman bag that I snagged from the clearance section of DSW. What a find that was!

Of curse no boho look would be complete without a hat (haha), so I threw on my Free People Matador hat and I really liked the overall look. This particular hat is no longer available, but I found two lookalike options: 1 2. I also really like this felt hat, I can see it going with a lot.

Do you own any suede or leather items of clothing? I haven’t branched out into anything beyond this dress and moto jackets…yet!

Have a wonderful day! I hope to see you again soon!

Photo credit: Sarah Jordan

Sam Edelman Sylvia Satchel

This bag rocks! I happened to spot it at DSW in the clearance section after having put it in my shopping bag at Nordstrom.com to keep in mind for later – only it was MUCH cheaper. Score!! I get compliments on it every time I use it!

I tend to buy accessories in neutral colors for maximum versatility, but this bag is just so darn cute! And I’ve found it does go with a lot of my outfits, even with a somewhat bold pattern. I really love the global/boho feel it has.

I can’t recall if I’ve talked about this particular Free People tee before (now sold out), but it’s great! It is pretty sheer though, so I can see this one being a great, more opaque option. I haven’t really gotten onboard with the cutout tee trend, but this one seems cute and has a bunch of 5 star reviews.

These jeggings are still my go-to when I want to be comfortable. They seriously feel like yoga pants. American Eagle currently only has high rise, low rise, and cropped versions available in black ripped jeggings, but their selection is constantly changing.

I also wanted to mention a lip stain I’ve recently discovered. I have tried a few in the past and none of them were all that great, but this one seriously lasts all day long. I had the pleasure of meeting up wth an Instagram friend who sells LipSense and I ended up buying 2 shades (a pink and this red). Both are perfect!

There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the application, but once you get it right it doesn’t budge! Luckily there are quite a few YouTube tutorials. You have to get it through a rep (kind of like Mary Kay), so if you need help there let me know. Have you ever tried it?

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a fab day!

Photo credit: Leo Amar

New Earring Obsession

Thanks to this blog I’ve become aware that earrings are an afterthought for me – if I think of them at all. I often will start a blog photo shoot and only then realize I didn’t even bother with earrings. Whoops! Well, I think I’ve found my solution!

These little studs are so darling that I don’t want to take them out. Problem solved, right?! I found them at Nordstrom and they were on sale, so of course they are already sold out. However, there are a ton of similarly cute options out there. How adorable is this Friday set? And these sets (1, 2, 3) provide pretty much unending options to mix and match. They’re dainty, but they really do add a little something extra to an outfit.

My set actually didn’t include any matching pairs, rather there were 5 shapes and I’ve enjoyed playing with different configurations. I can’t remember the last time I wore earrings in my second piercings so I did work a little to re-open one enough to slip a stud in, but it was worth it!

My (Free People) dress is from a few years ago, but I found some options that have a similar vibe here, herehere, and here.

My booties (Sam Edelman “Maddox”) are also a little older and no longer available, but I did find a few pairs floating out there in cyberspace – as well as a newer version of the same type of bootie. These are also really cute – and very inexpensive!

Are you a big or small earring person? I have to admit every once in a while I do love a statement earring!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a lovely day! XO, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

Achieving the “Cool Girl Look” with Harem Pants

I’m not gonna lie, harem pants are a little hard to pull off. Between the baggy fit and somewhat awkward length they are not the most flattering of pants. However, they do say “yeah, I know I’m cool.” I recently had someone ask me about the tops that pair best with harem pants so I thought others might struggle with the same thing and it might make a good post.

You may notice that I’ve pushed them up my leg a bit in these shots, rather than leaving them to fall naturally – as in the picture above. This is because where it falls on the leg really matters when it comes to achieving the most flatting result. I personally like to have a good amount of room between my shoes and the hem, but others might find that they prefer them hem to almost touch their shoes.

The takeaway here? Play with it. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again -personal style is all about the details!

This particular pair is pretty old, but you can still find them in a few patterns and sizes on Poshmark and ebay. It’s a style that Free People keeps offering in different variations. This one is currently on sale and has a lot of great reviews! Just note, many of the reviewers suggested sizing down.

I’ve spent plenty of time on the web looking for the perfect top to wear with these pants and I’ve tried numerous types of tops with them and here are my top picks: a bodysuit (the exact one I’m wearing – love how cheap it is! Although it is quite thin so be warned. Here’s a shaper option), a crop top (on sale!), or a tucked in tee or tank. The key is to highlight the waist since the pants are billowy and lack structure.

If you’re not stick thin it’s also important to wear a heel with harem pants to achieve the most flattering result. I’m wearing these and looove them! So affordable and surprisingly comfy. BTW these sunnies are a fav of mine and they are half off right now!

I used to think bodysuits were only for for those with “perfect bodies.” I now realize there’s no such thing – if you don’t believe me ask a friend you think has a perfect body and they’ll likely tell you multiple things they don’t like about their body…sigh.

I say wear what makes you feel confident and beautiful. Don’t be afraid to branch out. Fashion should be fun!

Clothes really do affect one’s attitude – look at these poses! I was obviously feeling the cool vibe of this look.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you come back soon! Lots of love, 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

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

 

FP True to You Maxi Skirt

I can’t even tell you how much I love this skirt (on sale!)! It’s so light and airy; it feels great when I walk around. I love that it has an elastic waist – most of the maxi skirts Free People puts out don’t have this feature and for me it’s a must. Comfort is key! Isn’t the tassel detail cute? We shot these pics on a particularly cloudy day so it’s a little hard to tell, but it has a built in half slip as it’s a tiny bit sheer.

It’s also offered in dark blue. I had a hard time deciding between the two when I was determining how to use my gift card. I got it in a size larger than I would normally just to make sure it wasn’t restrictive so it’s a lot longer on my 5’7 frame than it is on the models online, but it ended up being perfect when worn at the natural waist with a lower heel.

I’ve had this maxi skirt for a while so I’ve already worn it a few ways. It looks super cute with a tank in a complementary color with a lace bralette peeking out on a warm day, with a chunky knit sweater on a cold day, or like I wore it here with a basic white tee. This one is a favorite. It’s very comfy and I like that the pocket isn’t too droopy. Those can sometimes look a little strange/sloppy on me.

I’m short waisted so maxi skirts can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. If I wear it at my natural waist with a tucked-in top it can make me look disproportionate, but by pulling them hem out a little and making it into a curve it keeps me from looking like I don’t have a midsection.

A crop top (if you dare!) can also work really well with maxi skirts. I have one very similar to this one and it works great. I also like this one and this one. A bodysuit (love this one for it’s smoothing properties!) is also a good option.

I used to stick to one type of metal at a time, but I’ve come to enjoy mixing metals. Isn’t this bracelet cute? I love rose gold and it’s only $8! I thought it complemented the pinky tones of the skirt quite well.

There’s something about maxi skirts that makes me feel extra feminine. What makes you feel girly? That’s my “what do you think?” look below. 😉

Have a fab day!

Photo credit: the awesome Mr. Leo Amar

All Out Comfort Without Sacrificing Style

Like any other girl I have days when I just want to be as comfortable as possible. I very rarely sacrifice comfort for a cute look anyway, but certain times of the month (ahem) I want to basically live in my pj’s (you can probably relate!). In order to avoid looking like I actually am wearing pajamas I usually reach for my absolute favorite leggings, an oversized tee, and a plaid shirt.

If paying $50+ for leggings scares you (I get it, I thought that way at first too), keep in mind these are thick enough to avoid the dreaded VPL, they suck you in without being uncomfortable, and they are equally suited to working out and lounging. Tip: check Nordstromrack every so often, they usually have quite a few discounted Zella options. I am allergic to paying full price and I’ve scored some great deals there!

This plaid shirt is made by B.P. (Nordstrom’s junior line – nope, I am not ashamed to shop the juniors section in my 30’s) and no longer available, but if you have the budget for it PAIGE and Rails make awesome plaid button downsCaslon, Sanctuary, and American Eagle are my go-to’s as they are at a lower price point, but still high quality.

I discovered Free People’s 757 tee a few years ago and fell so hard for the style that I bought it in 5 (!!) colors when they went on sale. Sadly they are no longer widely available, but this one (70% off!) and this one (I have it in white and love it!) are also great options. This particular one was a Poshmark find – I’ve had such great luck finding items there that are out of stock at the major retailers.

It’s funny how often people tell me I’m “dressed up,” yet I’m wearing the most casual of outfits. Seriously, what’s more casual than jeans or leggings and a tee? I think they’re reacting to the fact that even my casual clothes have a little something special about them. I know myself well enough to realize that even my most basic clothes have to get me excited if I want to actually wear them. Do you find yourself returning to the same  favorite items over and over as well?

IMO the highest style achievement one can make is getting to the point where they enjoy wearing – and feel confident in – everything in their closet. I am proud to say I am finally there and it’s ah-mazing! How do you feel when you look in your closet? If you could use a little help developing your personal style or refining your wardrobe give me a shout in the comments. I’ve developed a workbook you might find helpful.

Have a wonderful day and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses 🙂

Photo credit: Leo Amar