My latest post on Project Gadabout is up! Click here to check out some of my favorite tips for an instant closet revamp. Take your wardrobe from cluttered and cramped to sleek and sophisticated in just a few quick steps. Enjoy!
First off, let me start by apologizing for my blogging hiatus. The Boston Marathon bombings hit close to home and took quite a toll on me emotionally. Stepping away, taking a breather and spending time with my family became instantly necessary. As the storefronts of Boylston Street opened their doors this morning I knew it was time for me to come back to Trendbetter and share my experiences with you. None of this is coming from reporters, you don’t need to worry about if what you are reading is true, I was there and this is what I witnessed first hand.
Last Monday morning, April 15th, 2013 was like any other Monday. Yes, it was Patriots Day here in Boston and yes the marathon would shortly be underway but the birds were chirping, people were grabbing breakfast and the weather was pleasant, mid 50’s. My apartment is a few blocks from the marathon finish line and I was looking forward to hearing the announcer out my window as the elite runners rounded the corner of Boylston and headed toward that joyous ribbon after a 26.2 mile sprint. Many Boston residents work from home on Marathon Monday due to road closures and the shut down of multiple public transportation stops. Phil fell into this category and was working diligently as I blogged and watched the marathon from the comfort of my couch.
At around 2:30pm Phil and I decided it was time to make our way towards Boylston Street for the chance to bask in the dedication and inspiration of the thousands of runners approaching the finish line. We bobbed and weaved our way through crowds of people and stopped to cheer and clap as runners smiled ear to ear with the finish line in sight. We stopped, clapped, walked a little, stopped, clapped, walked a little all while approaching out destination, the finish line. I had tears in my eyes as these runners ran past, men and women of all ages, running for charities and lost loved ones. The happiness and sense of accomplishment radiated from every single person, the joy was contagious.
At 2:50 pm Phil and I were ½ a block away, on the same side of the street as the first bomb when it went off. Immediately I thought it was a celebratory cannon, but soon after heard screams that took my mind to perhaps a blown transformer or generator as the explosion seemed to have gone off right where the overhead announcer was. Phil grabbed my hand and said, "we need to get out of here." In that moment in time everyone and everything was frozen. Runners stopped in their tracks and spectators were unaware that as soon as they turned around to go the other direction a second bomb would go off in their faces.
After the second explosion I was paralyzed with fear and the anxiety of not knowing where to go next was over whelming. The barriers between the street and the sidewalk were instantly dismantled and Phil and I made our way onto Boylston Street as to not be trapped on the sidewalk between the two explosions. The streets were covered in blood. There was a runner, a woman who was lying in the street, conscious, covered in ash, missing her leg.
It took the police a matter of minutes to get everyone off of Boylston Street and headed toward their homes. Phil and I hunkered down next to a cement planter in an effort to avoid any more explosions. We met a runner there named Todd, an older man who was concerned about the safety of his wife and family members who were waiting for him at the finish line. Phil offered Todd his phone and unfortunately his call went straight to his wife’s voicemail. We could see the panic in his eyes as the three of us sat there in disbelief. Phil immediately sent a text message to the number Todd had called letting his wife know that Todd was ok and his location. A few minutes later Phil received a response letting us know that she and the family were safe and were on their way to find him. Goosebumps covered my body as I felt such a sense of relief for this man.
It was next to that planter that I saw a mom leave her children sitting on a curb to go help the woman who had lost a leg and was lying in pools of her own blood. I saw an older woman trip as she was trying to get away from the smoke and instead of getting trampled by the terrified crowd was immediately scooped up and carried by a mob of moving people. You all have seen the images on television of the mass amounts of hero’s that saved the lives of so many last Monday.
As the crowds began to clear Phil and I were once again on the move and headed as far away as possible. We crossed through alleyways and side streets as we did our best to stay off of main roads and as far away from trashcans as humanly possible. We held tight to each other, walked in silence and could not wait to get inside.
As hard as it was to be there and witness such a terrible event in our nation’s history I was overwhelmed by how helpful and caring everyone was even in that moment of extreme and utter terror. Although this event proves that there are truly evil people in this world it is so important to remember that the number of good people outweigh the bad by multitudes.
Boston is a tough city and they have proven this past week that there isn’t much they can't recover from. In just one week One Fund Boston raised over $20 million for the families and individuals of those injured in last weeks tragedy. Keep these people in your prayers, as many of the injured were amputees, a life altering injury. Pray for strength and for peace for the people of this city.
Midi Skirts hit the racks this season and were both embraced and questioned by browsers. Their unique length set them apart from their mini and maxi counterparts but left many confused as to how and when to wear this trendy style of skirt. How to Wear a Midi Skirt
The length of a midi skirt is classic and modest while still remaining trendy. It also proves to be quite versatile when it is paired with the right items. Opt for a fitted top and tuck it in as to not get lost in the excess fabric and maintain your waist. I love a classic heel with a midi skirt, wedges and sandals are not my favorite when it comes to pulling off this look. A feminine, delicate heel is minimal and clean and does not fight for attention like a chunky modern shoe would do.
Where to Wear a Midi Skirt
A midi skirt can be worn in place of a maxi, mini, pencil, knee length or a-line skirt (ANY skirt for that matter). It is long enough to wear to the office but trendy enough to wear to brunch. Midi skirts come in a variety of fits, patterns, fabrics and colors and can be tailored to your lifestyle by the addition of your favorite accessories.
Keep you eyes peeled, and the next time you come across a midi skirt why not take it in the fitting room and give a go. You never know when you will find your next true love!
Deep breath! Feelings of calmness and serenity have once again entered my life. If you recall last week I mentioned that I had all of my shoes lined up in the living room, I was in the middle of a seasonal closet swap and was having a mini meltdown as I realized how poorly my dear shoes had been treated. I live in a TINY apartment in the city and storage space is less than limited. Unfortunately my sweet shoes have been residing in a crumbling box at the back corner of a storage nook since July. I opened the box to see that some of my most beloved pairs were getting destroyed from the pressure and awkward positions they had been stored in. I decided right then and there that that was enough, something needed to be done. I immediately hopped online and frantically began googling 100 variations of "shoe storage in limited space." Images continued to pop up and shoe containers from The Container Store caught my eye. I took a few minutes to browse their site and was blown away by the options available. After a quick trip to the next town over (and surviving a Coke can being thrown at my windshield, Boston drivers are the WORST) I was on my way home with a back seat full of varying shoe containers and a much improved anxiety level.
After hauling 20 classic shoe boxes, 5 boot boxes and 5 men's shoe boxes up four flights of stairs my arms were burning, I was out of breath and excited to start organizing! Each pair of shoes quickly found a home and I was more than thrilled to discover that 2 pair of full size boots fit into 1 boot box, and 3 pair of ankle/combat boots also fit comfortably in a boot box. I purchased the men's shoe boxes with the intent of housing my ultra high stilettos, which worked perfectly as each pair fit like a glove.
With my anxiety level steadily dropping back into a healthy range I began stacking and arranging the boxes on my closet shelves. In what seemed like no time at all every pair of shoes had found a new home free of claustrophobia and over crowding. Thanks to the clear boxes I could see what each container held and the fight to find the pair I was looking for was now over. It's the little things in life, isn't it?
The box of shoe horror
Lined up to see what I was working with
Geometric hemlines are a great way to spice up your summer wardrobe. Typically these fun pieces come in light, flowy fabrics, which are perfect for the scorching temperatures of the summer months. A geometric top can be paired with a skinny jean or jean short and create an instantly polished, pulled together look. Just keep in mind that when the top is loose and light a tighter fitting bottom constructed from a thicker fabric is your best bet to get the perfect balance.
Getting ready is a breeze when you have an airy dress with hemline detailing that draws interest while making a statement. Pair it with your favorite sandal or chunky heel and throw on as many bracelets as you can and you are good to go!
A geometric hemline is just different enough to catch the attention of onlookers who will definitely be admiring your style. Are you bold enough to try this fun trend?
Happy Tuesday and oh my goodness, today is my 100th blog post! I can't believe I am at 100, it seems like just yesterday that I started this little blog when in all actuality I have been going strong since the beginning of November. I had no idea when I first started writing that this blog would bring me so much joy and introduce me to so many wonderful people. The blogging community is welcoming, encouraging and beyond friendly and I have met some fabulous bloggers along the way. Thank you, my readers for reading and giving me the motivation to keep writing even on the days when I don't think I have anything left to say. Your positive feedback and loyalty is so inspiring and so appreciated. Thank you 100 times over, you are the reason I write.
Cheers to another 100...and many, many more!
Yesterday morning when I woke up Phil (boyfriend) let me know that he had plans for us. He told me to get dressed in a comfortable outfit that I would wear everyday, nothing special. After a quick teeth brush, comb through the hair and two spritz's of perfume we were out the door. He nonchalantly set his IPhone GPS and snuck frequent peaks as we began to head north. Now, I typically try to figure these kinds of things out but yesterday I was in an overly relaxed mood and decided to sit back and enjoy the ride. As we exited the freeway one hour later Phil introduced me to the quaint town of Rockport, MA. It's city center was like something out of a story book, each petite storefront was more adorable than the last. Ice cream stands graced every corner and the views overlooking the water were breathtaking. If any of you have ever seen the movie The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, know it was filmed in Rockport, MA. That should give you a better idea of yesterday's surroundings. There were art galleries, bead stores, knick knack shops and restaurants lining the entire waterfront but one specific corner store caught my eye.
The Wicked Peacock sat right smack dab in the middle of it all, and perhaps it wasn't the location that drew me in. I am assuming it was the "Accessories Boutique" sign plastered over the door that grabbed my attention. Upon entrance I was welcomed by the store's outgoing, friendly owner who informed us that this was her second day, her grand opening had been on Saturday. This instantly excited me as I am a fan of dreamers and their will power to execute their visions. After a quick look around the shop I was pleased with the trendy, unique and fabulously priced pieces she had on display. I ended up purchasing a cross ring that is long enough to lay over my three fingers, it's a conversation starter and unlike anything I currently own. I am already in love! We thanked her, wished her success and were on our way.
Our next stop was lunch! A seaside restaurant where you are your own waitress and you sit at picnic tables welcomed us with open arms and delicious smells. Two lobster rolls and a bowl of New England clam chowder later we were warm, full and ready to head home. My Rockport date was incredible and the discover of this little town is one I will not forget.
How was your weekend?
If you are a camisole fan I recently stumbled upon the latest and greatest tank, every cami lover needs a few in their closet. Cami by KENNEDY is a one size fits all (and they mean it) tank constructed from nylon and spandex that smooths and conceals every imperfection comfortably. Their tanks come in multiple different styles focusing on different straps and cami lengths. Cami by KENNEDY does this in order to meet every woman's needs. Kennedy offers a variety of colors ranging from basic neutrals to seasonal brights. If you are in the market for a quality cami that fits like a glove and is as comfortable as your pajamas then this is the tank for you. I swear by them!
As Boston continues to play its treacherous game of temperature roulette getting dressed in the morning has proven to be quite challenging. I leave the house and it is between 25 and 30 degrees, by noon it is hovering around the mid 50's and as I head home the temperature has dipped back into the 30's. With the unpredictable temperature spikes and falls comes the need for layering. Layering gives options and when the temperatures are wavering between winter and spring options are necessary. Spring Layering Options
- Layering on Top - When it comes to layering, layering pieces on top of one another is probably the first idea that comes to mind. A silky tank, graphic tee or long sleeve chambray shirt are all starter items that can be built on. Warm weather leather is huge this spring and a leather jacket provides a great way to keep warm while still looking bright and airy. Opt for a colored leather or light neutral to execute this look flawlessly. A blazer is my layering item of choice, I love the classic look and instant chicness a blazer brings to an ensemble. Choose colors that reflect your mood and the season and the blazer will become an instant layering staple. A cardigan is a quick, comfortable way to be prepared for whatever temperatures lie ahead. Cardigans are offered in a variety of colors and prints so have fun and play with different trends. Lastly, a scarf can be your make or break piece when dealing with temperamental temperatures. A cotton scarf can be wrapped around your neck for instant warmth in the mornings and can easily be removed and tied in a bow on your purse strap as the temperatures rise throughout the day and the scarf is no longer necessary for warmth but an adorable accessory.
- Layering Underneath - Layering underneath your starter items is often forgotten about in temperature limbo. The addition of a cotton tank or camisole (as long as they are tucked in) provides a surprising amount of warmth on those windy mornings! The next time you head out the door not knowing what sort of weather will hit you don't forget about layering underneath, it may be your lifesaver.
I am not quite sure what was running through designer's heads when they decided to put the tunic into production. Their blousy, loose fitting structure flatters very few and the unnecessary excess of fabric adds volume in places that volume is neither needed or desired. Tunics leave too much to be desired and act as an unsightly camouflage for women who think they are doing themselves a favor. Instead of hiding underneath oversized shirts opt for a form fitting top that accentuates your smallest feature. A properly darted and fitted top will enhance your true self far more beautifully than any piece that you are using to cover yourself up!
I am a firm believer in playing fair, so much so that I even use that philosophy when it comes to my clothing. True story, when I was about 10 years old I packed every single pair of underwear that owned for a one week vacation because I did not want to hurt any of their feelings by leaving them behind. If my parents didn't know then that fashion would be a major part of my life I don't know what more I needed to do. Although I still treat my clothing as if they have feelings and needs (I currently have all of my shoes lined up on my living room so they can "breathe") I have developed a sense of respect and admiration for a few key pieces that I cannot imagine living without. Every closet needs the 5 wardrobe essentials listed in this post. With their addition you will find it exponentially easier to get ready on an everyday basis.
5 Wardrobe Essentials
- Basic Top - A simple, elegant top with enough detail to stand on its own is a crucial piece in any wardrobe. A basic top will always save you in a time crunch. Pair it with a jean, dress pant, short or skirt and you are out the door looking chic and put together. A top like this H&M lace panel tank is an excellent choice, its detail and subdue tone make it the perfect candidate.
- Dark Jean - Whether you prefer a skinny, boot cut or wide leg jean make sure you own a solid dark wash denim. This essential item is sleek and forgiving and can be dressed up or down. Pair it with your basic top and sandal for a day of errands and transition into night with the addition of a sexy heel. A perfect fitting, dark wash jean is an investment and should be a piece you allow yourself to splurge on. Designer denim holds its shape and does not fade nearly as fast as a bargain buy. This Hudson jean will stand the test of time and give the idea of booty a lift thanks to Hudson's signature back pockets.
- Delicate Necklace - An understated necklace ties together a look the instant the clasp latches. I could not live without my David Yurman Initial Necklace. This necklace is perfect for everyday, its classic style yet delicate size complete every outfit without going over the top or causing me to waste time deciding between 3 or 4 other options. It is always the right choice!
- Black & Nude Flat - Black and nude is a favorite color combination of mine, the black provides an all time classic appeal while the nude adds a bit of spunk and style to the overall look. Flats are versatile, comfortable and adorable! Be sure to snag yourself a pointed toe flat in order to elongate and slim your leg. A black and nude flat can be paired with literally anything for sheer perfection. I currently am rocking a black and nude Adrienne Vittadini flat that I got for a steal at Marshall's but would die for this pair of breathtakingly gorgeous Valentino's.
- Flirty Dress - A comfortable, fun dress can take my mood from blah to bubbly in a matter of seconds! Owning a dress that tugs at your heart strings will take even the most dreadful of days and turn them around. A dress like this 100% cotton check print dress from Asos takes the anxiety out of getting ready in the morning, no matter the occasion. It is perfect for summer parties, Saturday errands, Sunday morning church, work, birthday parties, girl's night and date night! This dress will look great with sandals, stilettos or suede booties, add a cardigan or a blazer depending on the event and dress it up or down with diamonds and costume jewelry. This style of dress will change the mood of your closet and eliminate the phrase, "I have nothing to wear."
What in your closet could you not live without? Is there anything on this list that you're missing and need in your closet pronto?
I am excited to announce my collaboration with the ladies of the whimsical, flamboyant, sophisticated, slightly irreverent, cheeky guide to life known as Project Gadabout. Here I will be contributing monthly to their fashion focused section of the blog. My ideas, advice and current obsessions will be featured for women everywhere to relate and dive right into. Please head over to Project Gadabout by clicking here to read my first post titled "Everyday Emerald" where I advise and guide women into incorporating 2013's color of the year into their everyday wardrobe! Enjoy.
Mallory Miscellaneous giveaway winner Angelica sent me this lovely photo modeling her latest jewelry addition, the skeleton key necklace. Angelica loves her necklace and has worn it several times, she gladly accepts the compliments from her friends and the length is perfect, adding to its already versatile style. Thank you for the picture Angelica, you look fabulous and the necklace completes your look beautifully!
Temperatures are lingering around the high 40's and low 50's in Boston, which can only mean one thing, swimsuit season! Well almost, it is only a matter of time before my weekends are spent lying on the beaches of Duxbury and playing paddle ball on the Cape. Such activities require swimwear and like everything else in my wardrobe I prefer to stand out from the crowd in a trendy suit unique from other beach goers. One Piece Swimsuits for Every Woman
One piece swimsuits are no longer reserved for women in their 60's or those who see themselves as overweight. One pieces have taken a chic turn and are now drawing the attention of every woman. While one pieces are more modest and often more comfortable than a bikini their style has not been sacrificed, but improved.
Stylish One Piece Swimsuits
This black strapless one piece from H&M is one of my favorites. Its classic color and shape are flattering while the cutouts around the midsection add to the sexiness. My personal favorite of the group is this cream colored strapless Zeki one piece with taupe criss crossed straps. This swimsuit has enough class and sass to make any woman smile as she struts on the beach. For a fun flirty look try a suit like this MARC by Marc Jacobs peplum one piece. If you are looking to grab the attention of other sunbathers invest in this Sabz one piece. The black and white color block detail instantly slims and the gold fringe adds texture and volume for women with smaller chests.
Is this a trend you will try this season? If so, what one piece swimsuit is your favorite?
That's right, the 1980's are on their way back and the fashion world is letting us by the reintroduction of the white heel. These stark, stacked pieces of art are flooding the shelves of the trendiest shops signaling a triumphant return. How to Wear White Heels
It is important to keep in mind that while white is a neutral it also comes off as uniquely bold when done in a heel, so treat it as such.
- White heels are the perfect shoe pairing with colorful, busy prints. Its neutrality keeps the look new and fresh without competing for attention or being predictable.
- A white heel is also a complimenter of a colored denim when topped with a basic v-neck tee. The casualness of the clothing is bumped up with the sleekness and sass of a low profile white heel.
- I also love a white heel with a buttery leather. Whether it be a slim leather pant or a leather mini. The combination of the hardness of the leather and the softness of the white is a fashion forward, gorgeous combination.
- White heels are versatile and work with both dressy and casual looks. A white heel can wow at a wedding or steal the attention at a cookout. Either way they are sure to not disappoint.
Ladies, I am here to reveal to you your latest obsession. It is called Threadflip, learn it, live it, love it. What is Threadflip
"Threadflip is a social marketplace for buying, selling, and discovering new, unique, and pre-loved fashion. With a few clicks, users can upload images of pieces straight from their closet, and sell clothing, shoes, bags, and jewelry they no longer wear, creating a treasure trove of thousands of new pieces every day." This DIY boutique allows women to easily and efficiently sell items from their closets and purchase discounted pieces from women from all around the country.
Instead of gambling with places like Buffalo Exchange and Plato's Closet who offer a few measly dollars for designer duds, name your own price on Threadflip and be assured that your clothing is off to a loving home.
Spring is here meaning out with the old, in with the new. A good rule of thumb when it comes to closet clean out - if you have not worn it in the past 6 months it is probably time to say goodbye. Happy selling (and shopping)!
Today my little sister Chelsea will board a plane headed to South Carolina. This is no crazy spring break trip or all inclusive vacation, she will be spending the next nine weeks at Fort Jackson's boot camp for the United States Army. What a crazy amount of emotions our family is feeling. Excitement, fear, sadness and happiness all combined into one. Chelsea is ready, ready yet nervous and I can't say I blame her. The word boot camp makes me sick to my stomach, the thought of doing perfect pushups cracks me up and one second in the gas chamber would send me packing. She is tough and can handle anything they throw her way. We are proud of her, so proud! This is something she put a lot of hard work and thought into. She sees her bigger picture and knows what is important to her. Chelsea is smart, smarter than I will ever be and tested outed of this world on every exam the Army presented her. After her nine week stint at boot camp she will be off to California to attend the Defense Language Institute and become a Cryptological Linguist. Impressive, I know.
I will miss her terribly but could not be happier for her! Chelsea made me a sister, the best title in the world. Please say a prayer for her as these next few weeks will be tough. The support and love of all who know her is what will get her through the not so easy days.
I love you Chess - you will be amazing!
Chelsea, Kaylee and Myself loving Capri Suns
Me, Chelsea and Kaylee in Freeport, Bahamas
The family celebrating Mother's Day
Chelsea and I in Los Angeles, CA
Kaylee, Me and Chelsea at Kaylee's high school graduation party
My beautiful Mom and Chelsea.
Thank the Lord. Nordstrom Rack has recently opened its doors in Boston's Back Bay, 497 Boylston Street to be exact, and the shopper in me could not be more thrilled. The store is just fresh enough that it still has that "new store smell," the shelves are immaculate and the floors are sans scuffs.
Its two floors of heaven are stocked with name brand accessories, handbags, men's and women's clothing and a few home items all with price tags reflecting incredible markdowns. So if you are in the Boston area or visiting anytime soon be sure to make it a point to stop by Nordstrom Rack's newest location for incredible deals and beautiful buys!
Lately there has been a 2 sizes too small jean epidemic sweeping the nation's fashion elite. Ladies it is time we understand when a jean fits and when a jean (no matter its incredible price) stays on the rack. Jeans are not tricky and are not out to get any one of us, they do their best to make it clear if they are right for you! There are only two basic things to keep in mind while perusing the denim aisle to keep this overly snug fashion blunder from happening to you.
- Beware of the PULL - When jeans are too snug you will not only feel but more importantly see the fabric pulling and bunching. Look out for this right under each butt cheek and at the backs of your knees. If you see the denim creasing and bunching in these two places try a size up. If the next size is too big in the waist the cut and style of that particular jean is not right for you. The search continues!
- Conceal Love Handles - Women often wear jeans far too low for their age and body type exposing their not so flattering "love handles." It is important to keep in mind that the size of your jean is not the end of the world! At the end of the day you are the only one who knows what number is inked onto that tag. Don't sacrifice a smaller number for fit and overall look of a jean. A denim that conceals and flatters your imperfections is far more important than a number no one knows (or cares) about! So yank those jeans up and keep those pesky things at bay.
See, I told you, simple! Keep these rules in mind the next time you're out jean shopping. Keep an eye out for those who haven't read this post and need the advice, their mistakes will encourage you to take a second look the next time you are facing the mirror in the dressing room.
*All jeans pictured above can be found at Forever 21
Leather, studs and metallics have snuck their way into our wardrobe thanks to the edgy trend wave that we are riding. Incorporating these hard pieces into an otherwise classically filled closet can prove to be quite a challenge but when you mix the two you are guaranteed a polished, fashion forward result. How To Mix Hards & Softs
This is a simple concept but one you may not have thought about in the past. Often times people think that each outfit needs to have a specific "look" whether that be rocker, feminine, casual, etc. By mixing different textures and styles you create an effortless ensemble channeling perfect balance and trend.
To pull of this mix and match look simply pair a hard piece (leather, studs, metallics) with a soft piece (lace, sequins, florals). The below BCBG leather vest alone can come off quite harsh but when paired with the Anna Sui lace shorts it becomes a much more wearable outfit. The same goes for the studded skeleton tee. Who ever said lace and skeletons weren't a match? The Urban Outfitters lace collar swing tank is pretty and feminine standing alone but when paired with a sleek leather cigarette pant it becomes a much trendier with looking overdone.
Mixing and matching different styles can be daunting at first but after instant success you will see there is nothing holding you back!