Gone Western//Free People’s Garden Party Maxi Dress

The hubs and I went to Tucson in November and I wore this outfit – I love a good theme when getting dressed! We drove so much that day that we just didn’t have it in us to do a photo shoot, but I got so many compliments on this look that I had to recreate it for the blog.

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This dress (on sale through multiple ebay sellers in various colors – you can also get the black version here) is so nice, it works just as well in the spring as it does in the colder months. Well, in a temperate climate like San Diego at least. The top can be a little tricky if you’re busty because the sides are so open, but you can remedy this by either tying the straps tighter/higher, wearing an adhesive bra (this one has great reviews), or wearing a bralette (my fav) underneath. I’ve also worn it without a bra and it worked surprisingly well! Do you ever go braless? It’s oddly freeing!

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For this outfit I threw on my go-to denim jacket, which I still love after 3+ years. Kut from the Kloth makes the BEST denim jackets. Here are some additional versions by this brand: plus size, lighter washblack, and white. I want the black one next!

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This dress also looks fab layered under a slouchy/oversized sweater. I love getting more milage out of my dresses by turning a dress into what looks like a skirt. It hasn’t really gotten cold enough for that yet, but it’s coming! When it does this is what I’ll pair it with. It would also look good with this ivory turtleneck.

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I am so into hats lately. They can change up the feel of an outfit so easily and they’re the perfect “completer piece.” I bought this hat on a whim after seeing it was on sale and reading the stellar reviews and I’m glad I did. It’s more western than I normally go for, but it’s fun to try new things. It’s also super packable as it’s “crushable.” The Nordies website made the “khaki” seem more of a grey color, but it was more green than I expected IRL. Here it looks brown somehow. *shrug*

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Doesn’t it have a totally different feel without the hat?

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When I first started wearing hats it felt a little weird, but I’ve found that trying anything new feels a little weird at first. Hats can be super practical – think of how many generations relied on hats before the advent of sunglasses. Now I almost feel like something’s missing if I don’t have some head adornment! Blogger problems…

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I love a dress that moves when I walk and this one is great for that. It makes a girl want to sashay a bit 😉

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Thanks so much for visiting! XO, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

FP Saturday Morning Cardi

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This Free People cardigan has been called the “it sweater” this year and I can totally see why. It’s awesome! When something is uber popular I am usually less inclined to get it – it’s always a bummer to enter a room and find that others are wearing the same item of clothing – but I knew I had to have this one as soon as I saw it on Caitlin from Southern Curls and Pearls.

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Unfortunately it’s a little hard to find on sale due to it’s popularity, but I saw the blush is still on sale at Saks and Nordies price matched the blue and blush, get them here. Warning: they will likely go fast due to the sale price! The blush pink is my fav color, but you can get it in 4 additional colors here. I really like that the pink is not super bright – it goes just as well with a black ensemble as it does with blue jeans.

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Most people will be able to fit into either size as it’s so roomy, but I much prefer how it looks in the larger size (unless you’re petite) as the proportions are so much better. It’s pretty substantial/thick, but it’s still a great layer for those of us in milder climates as the holes allow for ventilation.

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I adore the pattern of the knit, just be mindful not to snag it on everything as the holes are quite large. I have to be pretty mindful of my wedding ring for that reason. You can increase the warm factor by adding a thicker layer underneath, but you can also just throw it on over a tank and just pop it in your (large) bag when it gets a little too warm.

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Speaking of large bags, this one is so big that it can double as a carryon. It easily fit my sweater (which takes up quite a bit of space), AND it has a padded tablet/laptop compartment! What a smart idea! Many online reviewers noted this was a negative, but it can be a great option for those looking for a carryall. The price is great at less than $110, considering that it was originally almost $300. Honestly I’m surprised it hasn’t yet sold out at DSW as I bought mine a while ago. You can also get it on sale here and here. Another winner from Vince Camuto!

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I am still super happy I purchased this FP tank. It’s so much more than a basic ribbed tank top. The subtle flair at the hem and racerback details make it so flattering and stylish. I want it in pink too! You can get some colors/sizes of this tank for 50% off right now here. And Nordies also has some colors on sale here and here. I don’t often see them on sale as they are already pretty affordable, so grab them on sale while you can!

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These jeans are also a workhorse in my closet – they are the perfect color IMO. The cut is awesome – no extra material in the ankle and the mid-rise is especially flattering with a tucked-in top. My pair is old, but I would buy this one (on sale!), this one, and this one if I were shopping for a new pair. Be warned, the sizing for this style of denim varies wildly, so I recommend trying them on in store rather than taking a chance online. I haven’t worn jeans in a while due to the warm weather and I’d forgotten how much I love skinnies with some kind of a heel. Show those legs off girlies!

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My pumps are a little old, but here’s (on sale!) the newest version by Sam Edelman. Based on the online reviews, these are some crazy popular heels. They are a bit high for me, but I’m not generally on my feet a lot. You can tell it’s fall as they don’t match my skin tone. In the summer they’re actually a great match 😉

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I wore outfit this a few days before Thanksgiving to grab some food with the hubs. Yet again we had a scorcher on turkey day. Every so often we’ll have a chilly Thanksgiving, but more often than not it’s quite warm, thanks to the Santa Anas. I can’t say I really mind, as people throughout the country are freezing their  booties off and I was able to sneak in a beach day the day before Thanksgiving! But I do love being able to layer. That time should come soon enough, considering it’s already December. Where does the time go?!

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Have a splendid weekend my loves! XO, Kate

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Photo credit: Leo Amar

New Years Came Early this Year – Blondo Taras OTK Boots

I have to admit I don’t always do much for New Years. Both the hubs and I enjoy just chilling together more often than not. However, I always think about what I will/would wear and try to tackle the question of how to both look cute and stay warm.

Even in sunny San Diego it’s pretty much guaranteed that it will be cold on NYE and New Year Day. Well, cold for us. So that usually means one can get away with skipping a jacket if one is planning to be in and out of establishments, but there are some really chilly moments!

Of course, if you bring a jacket then you have to lug it with you or check it – if available. I think my new solution will be OTK boots! When we took these pics it was far from cold, but since I run pretty warm I think they’ll be just enough extra coverage to avoid frostbite (hehe).

I don’t go out very often as it all seems like such a pain to me. The crowds, waiting for service, the cost, no places to sit…(grumble grumble). But seeing as how I have so many pretty clothes I try to go out from time to time just to take them for a spin.

This dress is pretty old but you can still get some colors on Poshmark (Free People Embellished Slip Dress) and this seems to be this year’s version. I’ve placed some additional Free People dresses that are sure to get the party started here, here, here, and here. I could Google “Free People sequin dresses” all day every day!

I also really enjoy “rediscovering” things in my closet that I haven’t worn much (if at all) and creating new looks with accessories. I tried this dress with my Free People seamless romper underneath instead of the seamless mini slip shown here and I really liked it. It gives it an extra little edge seeing the short shorts underneath. I also like it with a blush or black slip underneath.

I searched for the perfect pair of over the knee boots for a while before I found these beauties. They are awesome!! So many of the OTK boots out there are cute but I wanted a pair that would be at least somewhat comfortable. These SO are due to the chunkier heel. They are 3.5″, but feel lower. I like that the pointy toe keeps them in the sexy and flattering category.

My favorite part is that they’re waterproof! What a genius idea. In SD we only get a few really cold days and many of them are when it rains so this was a big reason I bought them. Now I can stay warm and not worry at all about ruining them, like I would with suede or leather boots.

I am still really loving my Lipsense lipstick that I got from my Insta friend @kissablesense. Being a lazy-ish gal it’s so perfect for me. No need to reapply! I already have the Dark Pink and Strawberry Shortcake (the one I’m currently wearing), but I’ll definitely be getting a nude color for those days that I don’t want to go quite as bold. I’m thinking Roseberry, but it’s really hard to say for sure without seeing the color in person.

These sunnies (use coupon code: NewShades for 10% off) seemed like the perfect complement to my dress. The pink reflective lenses are just fun and a cat eye is flattering on everyone!

This bag’s fun multi-colored tassel also helped it go really well with this look. Sadly this particular version is no longer available, but this one is very similar and would go with just about everything.

What do you do to fete the new year?

Party on people! Much love, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

 

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