If you’ve been reading my blog for the past few posts, you know that my life is constantly on-the-move. I’m running after my toddler son, going to the gym daily, doing videos for my Senegence business, meeting friends for playdates….so honestly, I don’t have a lot of time for picking out SWAYZE outfits (yes, I’m totally making up that word based on my childhood celebrity actor-crush – Patrick Swayze….I mean, have you seen Dirty Dancing? OMG). I want to look pulled together and cute, but I can’t spend a lot of time worrying about putting the right scarf with the right dress or the right bag with the right heels.
I just want it to look good when it’s on my body!
I have discovered that there are two things that I hadn’t relied on before for the “polished” look I was trying to achieve. So I am here to share my findings with you!
First, LAYER UP!
This statement may conjure up images of turtlenecks with cardigans and wonder whose lost her ever-loving mind? I mean, have you BEEN to South Carolina? We call where I live “Famously HOT” for a reason, ya’ll! It’s seriously HOT nine months out of the year. But when I say “layer up” I’m not meaning to dress for warmth, I’m saying dress with texture!
It’s taken me a LONG time (like 35 years) to pinpoint what I was missing all those years that I was trying to get my style in tact. And it was because I was relying on the clothing to do it all. I would go into a store and buy a shirt I thought was cute or a pair of cute flats that were on sale. And then I would wear it ONCE. Then those items would sit there in my closet until I finally decided to donate them or try and resell them. When I realized that all the outfits that were captivating my interest on Pinterest (PUN INTENDED!) were those that had layers or that were items that were being paired together to create depth and texture – I started trying it out for myself. WAL-LAH!
Let me explain further.
For my own personal taste, I love dresses and blue jeans. Those are my go-to outfits whenever I am heading out of the house. I have found two base dresses that I absolutely love and come in an assortment of colors and depending on your style – you are almost guaranteed to love one or both of these. They are universally flattering. See below the two dresses- the bodycon Ruched dress and the other is the jersey knit v-neck dress.
When I start with a dress, I have three options depending on weather and venue. I can add a jacket/cardigan (denim, leather, cotton canvas); I can add a vest (denim, utility or sweater); or I can add a scarf or jewelry. I then choose a pair of shoes that add another layer of texture or depth – whether it be a quilted pair of canvas shoes; a pair of leather booties with zipper detail; or a pair of studded mules. Lastly, I grab a bag (I am pretty boring when it comes to this – I am more of a function over fashion person when it comes to handbags) but I love a good quality leather tote. (You’ll see me carry my Daimer Azure Neverfull LV in the spring-summer and my monogram Speedy 35 LV in the fall-winter; oh and occasionally my Madewell Transport Tote that I’ve had for the last three years and adore.) I add my LipSense and head out the door feeling pulled together and confident! HURRAY!
Now, with blue jeans – that gets a bit more involved. I am just starting to become a bit more adventurous with the high-rise jean trend and adding details like knotted tees or button up blouses. I have two favorite pairs right now that I’m loving and they are a bit higher end; although I will give you a comparable pair at a lower cost that I love just as much!
My first and favorite pair is my AG jeans I’ve had for six years. They’ve been with me through two post-partum bodies and are still my favorites. I’ve washed them so many times and they’ve held up so well and they are a classic straight leg cut that I can roll up if I’m wearing booties. Seriously – the best.
My second favorite is a Madewell pair I got recently from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and they are so fabulous that I would’ve paid more than full price for them. They fit incredibly well and completely hold me in at all the areas that I need to be held in at- if that makes sense.
For a budget-friendly option – this pair from the Universal Thread line at Target is such a great deal. These jeans feel great on, they wash up well and they don’t stretch out! I also love the button fly detail and the raw hem at the ankle. For $30 – they are a STEAL!
This is going to sound crazy, but my favorite tops come from Old Navy and Target. They are well-made, inexpensive, and are consistent with the season. I love an occasional lace or ruffled blouse, but mostly, I’m a tee shirt and jeans gal. I love Old Navy luxe tees because they drape so nicely and come in a variety of fabrics and colors. Again, I choose a layer that will go with what I’m heading to go out and do. Jacket, vest, jewelry, scarf, bag, and shoes. And NEVER leave the house without lip color! Didn’t our moms always say this?!? Now, it’s so true.
2) ADD some statement jewelry to your wardrobe!
I’ve recently fallen in love with an Etsy shop called The Honeyblossom Shop, based out of Georgia. All of their items are on trend and are such great prices! ANY of their statement earrings are fantastic to pair with any outfit! Also, their beaded scarf necklaces are stuff dreams are made of! Honestly, you could rock one of those on top of a basic black dress or blue jeans and tee shirt and be all glammed up!
Another easy thing is create an ARM party! I pair a variety of bracelets often, but am most known for the Renegade bracelet because it adds so much character to everything! I constantly get messages and compliments on this bracelet! I think every woman needs one in her jewelry arsenal. I wasn’t always a fan of mixing metals, but am getting more daring in my more mature years! (WINK!) Choose THREE bracelets that pair well together and rock them! I’m also a watch person and usually wear my Michael Kors gold boyfriend watch on repeat.
Lastly, necklaces are something that I’m not the best at. I wear the same two or three necklaces all the time. I have one delicate necklace that I wear ALL.The.TIME. And then I accent it with the Kari necklace in gold or my Kendra Scott Rae necklace. I prefer lightweight necklaces because anything with weight gives me an instant headache, but I still love the look of them!
These are the secrets to feeling and looking polished in any outfit you wear! Pull out some staple items from your wardrobe and start creating some texture! Add a print that you normally wouldn’t pair up – like camo, stripes, or polka dots and mix it up! It adds a layer of depth that is necessary to looking like a walking PINTEREST ad! I can’t wait to see you all in my pins! 😉