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

Free People Sequin Slip Dress

This summer dress is so versatile and easy to wear. Not only does it have sequins (what girl doesn’t like a little sparkle??), but it works as a beach coverup, a day dress, or a going out dress. I bet this could even work as a maternity dress if one isn’t too far along!

Free People’s dresses are almost always meant to be oversized, but that leads to the risk of being overexposed, especially if you’re not model-thin. If you check out the link above you’ll see what I mean. Luckily I’ve been able to just size down, like I did in this dress. It worked out great!

It’s no longer available in black, but they have “amber” and “dogwood” (aka red) versions available on Free People’s website. Both colors seem really rich from the pics online.

It is on the sheer side, as it’s technically a slip, but you can wear a bodysuit (how gorgeous is this one?!), a bathing suit, or a slip underneath to add some coverage.

I have FP’s seamless romper in black and ivory and I wear them a good bit. They are super soft and a great option for a base layer for dresses, just be warned – they don’t have an opening at the crotch so you have to take it all off to go to the bathroom. It’s not that big of a deal for me as they are really stretchy.

Since this dress is already embellished I wanted to keep the shoes relatively simple and my Sam Edelman Gigi sandals (some colors are currently on sale!) in “gold boa” fit the bill nicely. They are very comfortable! www.samedelman.com always offers free shipping too 🙂

I consider them to be my airport shoes, since they slip on and off so easily and can be worn all day with no pain. I’ve had the same pair for many years now and they still look great. I’m considering buying another pair – they have a ton of colors! FYI Amazon sometimes sells them for as little as $20, depending on the size and color.

I dare you not to twirl in this pretty dress!

What’s your favorite kind of sparkle?

xoxo, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

Patterned Tunic Dress

When I find an item of clothing I love I buy it in a few colors/patterns. I can’t help myself!

This is the same Free People “Penny Lane” tunic/dress I wrote about back in February. It’s no longer available through the major retailers, but there are still a few out there that can be purchased through ebay and Poshmark.  Note: it runs pretty big so I would size down for the most flattering fit. I’m wearing a M here and a S in the red version from February. It’s a lot of material so I usually belt the M one.

I’ve listed some similar-ish FP dresses here, here, and here. There’s never a shortage of cute, boho dresses at www.freepeople.com!

I love how a good dress requires so little effort. You just throw it on and suddenly you look put together. The bonus of this dress is that I can be comfy all day long – no zippers or constricting waistbands here! However, since it’s on the short side it can show a little too much when the wind blows or you bend over so I always wear my bloomers underneath.

You can buy Free People knockoffs pretty easily these days through places like www.Milanoo.com and Forever 21, but I find that I prefer to wait for the real deal to go on sale. The extra little details are what make their items special and most of my FP pieces have held up. They just need a little care when laundering.

On that note: have you ever tried laundry wash bags? They are amazing! Anytime I have an item that snags other clothes or is super delicate (it’s great for bras, etc.) I just throw it in a laundry wash bag and wash it on cold/delicate it keeps it nice and safe. But still read those wash instructions, some materials just shouldn’t be washed no matter what.

I felt like I needed to wear my FP matador hat with this dress to go all out boho. I always run into an issue when I’m heading indoors wearing a hat…do I take it off? Do I leave it on and feel vaguely uncomfortable? What do you think? First world problems, eh? Haha!

I’ve worn this dress with many types of shoes (knee high black boots, sandals, wedges, etc.), but I think I like it best with these (cheap) peep toe booties. I was blown away by how comfy they are! I can walk in them all day long, no problem. Comfort is SO important to me. I find I rarely wear shoes/clothes if they aren’t comfortable. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

I loved this spot, it’s actually only a few blocks from my apartment. I live in a great area where there are beautiful houses and amazing gardens. I am a lucky girl, it offers a never-ending supply of backdrops for my pics, not to mention great scenery for my daily walks!

While we were taking these pics we spotted a cute little hummingbird, but he had zero interest in me. He flew off as soon as I got close. Duh, right? I guess I was hoping for a Snow White moment or something. Maybe next time 😉

Have a fab day! Xoxo, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

Free People Babydoll

Is it possible to have too many Free People dresses? Based on my closet I’d have to say no way!

I have been tempted to buy some FP knockoffs at times (just search “boho” at www.Forever21.com and you’ll see what I mean), but I find that FP dresses have the extra little details that I really love.

Take this dress for example, I love the braided detail and the fact that it is fully lined. Plus the material is really nice – I find I gravitate toward the items in my closet that just feel good on. Is that true for you too? I’ve had this dress for a while, so it’s sold out in yellow, but it’s still available in ivory and black in Medium (65% off and under $40!). Ebay also has both colors in additional sizes available. I also have the red version and I love that one too!

We took these pics on the way home from my dad’s birthday brunch and we were a little rushed, so unfortunately we didn’t get any good pictures of the back. It probably looks best on smaller busted ladies who can get away with wearing no bra or a bralette, but this lady needs support! Since I have to wear a bra with it I just make sure it’s a pretty/complimentary color so it looks intentional.

I paired it with my vintage Coach purse that I got from www.Poshmark.com. It’s a classic and still in great shape. I have a feeling I’ll buy more vintage/used higher end bags in the future. In addition to PM, you can find designer used bags at www.tradesy.com and www.trendlee.com to name a few. It can save a bundle!

It’s tempting to throw a jean jacket over all of my daytime dresses, but I liked the way this looked with my American Rag jacket. It’s from a few seasons ago and sold old, but the new versions are here and here. I’m impressed by the quality for the price!

Again, I find that it’s the little details that make this jacket stand out. The drawstring at the waist offers some shape, the hood is actually functional, and the shoulder detail is super cute.

My shoes are also old and no longer available, but I’ve linked some similar-ish options here (love these!!) and here (I want these too!).

Thanks for visiting!! Xoxo, Kate

Photo credit: (Leo Amar)

Spring Dress, 3 Ways

It’s funny, I thought I liked this FP dress (old, some similar-ish options here, here, here, and here) best one way, but after looking at the photos I changed my mind.

Technically this dress is meant to be worn as shown in the picture below, but it’s my dress so I can do whatever the F I want, right?? Hehe. I do prefer it belted as I am somewhat curvy. But which direction do you like best? Forward or backward?

Ok, so it’s a little more revealing when turned backward due to the deep V, but I kind of like the peek of lace. And V necks are ALWAYS more flattering on bigger busted ladies.

I finally got to break out my new – oh so on trend – block heeled sandals (currently on sale and available in 3 colors). I din’t realize how trendy they were until recently. Everyone on Instagram seems to have a version. I love these! The heel height and the color are just right IMO. They are actually pretty comfy. I saw Caitlin from www.southerncurlsandpearls.com has them in pink and I thought that pair was super cute too!

I love dresses so much. I guess I am just a girly girl at heart. And I especially love the colors and flowyness of this dress. Thanks for another winner Free People (note: I bought it, no free stuff yet)!

I’m still all about the high low dress – provided the difference between the front and back isn’t too extreme. What about you?

I’ve gotten so much use out of this Vince Camuto crossbody saddlebag. I love the color (black cherry). It goes with just about everything, yet it’s a little more interesting than your basic black or brown. BTW, it’s 60% off right now!

Thanks for visiting!!! I hope you have a great Fri-yay!

Photo credit: Sarah Jordan

A Boho Kind of Day

Are you a hat person? I never really was until recently. Hats seem to be making a real comeback and I’m all about it!

I recently purchased this dress, which is currently on sale at Macy’s (also available in black) and at Bloomies for under $50 (best deal I could find right now) with a gift card I had saved since my birthday. When Shoptagr alerted me that it had dropped from $129 to $45 I jumped on it and I’m so glad I did! It’s comfy and flowy and I feel great it it! It comes with a detachable black v neck slip that I can wear with a lot of other things, so that was a nice bonus!

Once I had it on I knew it would be something I would wear over and over again. For a long time I bought things that were “a good deal,” but too often they would just sit in my closet unworn. I noticed that I had 2 issues: I’d buy things that were meant for occasions that didn’t really make sense with my lifestyle and I’d buy cheap things impulsively because the deal seemed so good.

Now that I keep a running list of items in my phone that I’d like to eventually buy to round out my wardrobe I find that I am much less impulsive with my shopping. And I actually want to wear ALL of my stuff. Eureka!!

I felt like this dress needed a little extra oomph so I grabbed my Free People Matador Hat, which has really served me well! It’s only available in one size and was a little loose so I had to get a little crafty to get the snug fit I needed – windy days would rip it right off my head. I ended up putting a foam strip with adhesive on the back that I randomly found in my house along the inner lining (I think they were leftover from installing my window A/C unit). Voila, fixed!

I would like to wear hats more often, but I sometimes end up feeling like I stick out a little too much. And I’m never really sure if I should take it off or leave it on indoors. A quick web search told me that most people just keep them on no matter where they go, FYI. Looking at these pictures now I’m even more inspired to wear hats. I like the look!

The only downside to this dress IMO is that it wrinkles easily. I have a steamer, which I 100% prefer to ironing, but still. Ugh, dealing with wrinkles is no fun. In this case I decided it’s still worth keeping, even though the dress started out wrinkle free before we got in the car to shoot these pics. Oh well, you can’t have everything I guess.

I hope you’re not sick of seeing this purse lol. Because it goes well with so much of what I own it’s on repeat. It was a great investment!

Smell ya later!

Photo credit: Leo Amar (thanks babe!)

Getting a Glimpse of Spring

Hello! The weather was so nice during the early part of this week and that means it’s time to break out some more dresses!

I love this Free People (Penny Lane) dress so, so much! It’s yet another example of how I like to buy in multiples – I have another Penny Lane FP dress in another pattern/color. I’m sure you’ll see it on here soon!

It’s no longer available in stores, but I did see it’s currently available in a few colors and sizes on…you guessed it – Poshmark! That’s actually where I got it back in April. It was originally $128 and people are selling it for as little as $25! I am so tempted to buy another but I will try to stay strong. FYI It’s pretty oversized so I think it fits best if you size down, although it is a bit short. I’m wearing a small for reference and I’m a M or L in just about all other brands.

I want to clarify that I don’t get any money from PM, I just have found them to be a great place to check when something I’ve wanted to buy has sold out, is kind of old and no longer available in stores, or when I want to buy a backup of a piece I feel like I can’t live without. I’ve had great success buying items that were listed as new or used, but in excellent condition. You do have to pay for shipping, but there’s no sales tax!

Since it’s bordering on scandalously short I wear my bloomers underneath to ensure I don’t have any wardrobe malfunctions 😉 They are under $10 and if you hang them to dry instead of using the dryer they last forever! I like that the lace at the bottom makes it so that you don’t mind if they peek out a bit when moving around.

Being on the curvier side I don’t usually go for things without a defined waist, but I get so many compliments on this dress! I’ve actually had people stop me at some really random places to ask me where I got it. I’m not mad at it!

The sleeves come with a button so you can roll them up, but I’ve found that it looks better with the sleeves left unrolled in the smaller size.

I paired this dress with my vintage (well, maybe not vintage yet – it’s from the 90’s) Coach bag and I think they’ve a great match. I got it for a steal through Poshmark and I use it all the time. Quality lasts!

I’m curious, are you a primarily dress or pants girl? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Photo credit: Kate Amar (yay for tripods!)

Going Girly in Free People

Hi all! I hope your week is off to a great start!

This past weekend’s weather was really nice, even by San Diego standards, so I jumped at the chance to wear one of my very favorite dresses – and of course it’s by Free People. Free People’s clothes aren’t always right for my body type or budget, but occasionally I’ll find something amazing that I just can’t live without. Like the dress below:

It feels like the silkiest, flowiest pajamas you can imagine and I just want to twirl and twirl every time I put it on. I bought it soo long ago and it’s still a favorite. It was originally over $200 (gasp!), but I was lucky and snatched it up from Nordstrom when it went on sale. Score!

I actually found the same dress in a small for only $45 (or least a super duper similar version) at Poshmark. If it was available in a medium I would have snapped it up. I guess I should be thankful it wasn’t available in my size since I’m not shopping right now though…

When I bought this dress I thought that the high low trend would be over relatively quickly but I’m so glad it’s still going strong! I found the following dresses (one, two) online today and while they aren’t an exact match, I felt like they had a similar vibe.

I paired it with my go-to denim jacket by Kut from the Kloth. It’s cropped, but I have a short waist so it hits lower on my 5’7 frame than it does on the model. It’s 2% spandex so it is extremely comfortable. I used to have a Gap jean jacket that looked great, but it didn’t have any give so I found I didn’t wear it a lot. Def not the case with this one!

My Charles David wedges are actually the only shoes I can wear with this dress as it’s so long, so I’m glad they go together so well. I still hesitate to buy expensive shoes (they were originally $149 but I got them for $49 thanks to Nordies price adjustment – woot!), but man have these wedges held up. I’ve worn them countless times and they still look great.

I’ve noticed that the higher quality makes (some, not all) more expensive shoes and accessories well worth a little extra money. Cost per wear is important! Here’s an option that’s really similar.

My Steve Madden purse is old and no longer available online, but if I were in the market for something similar I’d probably buy this one (it’s currently on sale!). I love the versatility of a bag that comes with shorter handles and a cross body strap.

I don’t know if you can tell, but the patten is actually little birds touching noses. I actually only noticed this when someone pointed it out to me! Silly Kate…

Do you have a favorite dress that you wouldn’t get rid of for anything? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Have a great one!

Photo credit: Sarah Jordan