A good soundtrack for your favorite summer scene is essential to getting the most bang for your enjoyment buck this season. Just as you want your music to perfectly suit your surroundings, your style should equally fit into the scene. The trifecta of song, scene & style will transport you into a state of summery euphoria, as you bop along to your preferred beat, sipping your favorite bev, looking like a cinematic doll.
Here’s a series of summer scenes, along with the perfect Songza playlist and outfit. We’ve still got two months of summer left, ladies - live.it.up.
Crush doesn’t even scratch the surface. There are humans in the world who wear clothes. And then there is Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson.
Real or holograms? Your guess is as good as mine.
This is all way too much for me. And I’m really okay with that.
Let the fashion just rain down on me.
Hand over mouth. Cannot speak.
Not a big deal. They’ve just encompassed every nook and cranny of worthwhile, killer trends & good taste on the entire spectrum of formal to casual.
I’m going with hologram.
There is a big difference between 20 and 30. Naturally, your swimsuit style should reflect your maturity and lifestyle as you float through this decade. This is especially tricky in your mid-twenties. As if there isn’t enough ambiguity and flux in your life, there is the added confusion of how to dress, which includes swimwear. Are we trying to hang onto our youth (i.e early 20s) as it slips away or do we embrace our Real Adult Woman selves and try to make a statement about how classy we are? What exactly does that balance look like? So many questions? Help?
Ok. Let’s breathe. I think, very, very generally speaking:
Early 20s - College, parties, first-jobs, getting into that whole “adult thing.” We’re still young & adorable, but we’re definitely not a teenager anymore. We should live it up
a little a lot.
Late 20s - Pretty much having our shit together, at least in a few facets of life. Whether we’re single, married, with child, without, there is a certain level of class that we’d like to exude.
Mid 20s - ?!?!?! So let’s just be really trendy because it reflects our tumult.
Again, I said that was very general, so please humor me and let’s just agree this is the easiest path to explore.
Onto the swimwear.
Now is the time for wild prints & bright colors. Small florals, chevron, watercolor or tie dye, and even a multiple prints in one suit - all fair game. On that same note, a solid top and printed bottom (or reversed) is super cute and allows you to mix & match a ton of pieces.
One-pieces should be bright and young, not uber revealing. A giant bow or a graphic print with a fun cut is perfect.
If you like the retro, under-wire bra style, opt for a print like polka dots in a fun color. No need to look like you’re actually swimming in your bra. A select few of your peers will take care of that task for you.
Other embellishments that are perfect for college & party days: Ruffles (both billowy and super textured), ruched fabric and side ties.
The classic triangle bikini works for your young bod, but go for a print in a trendy color, like neon.
Crochet, fringe, hints of hardware and more risque cut-outs are spot-on for your hey-I’m-pretty-much-a-woman-now phase.
Dig your heels into more mature florals (larger flowers, less bright, a little vintage) and try a retro, high cut bottom - as long as it’s in an edgy print, like aztec.
If you want a one-piece, opt for crochet in a classic color, or a deep v in a 70s print or bold color. This is the best time to push the envelope with the one-piece.
This is also a great time to get acquainted with stronger, bolder colors (black, white, red), in a basic cut (i.e no bows, extra ties, ruffles, etc) that really flatters your body type. You can pair styles like this with a giant hat or headscarf, bright lipstick, or lots of accessories.
Bra-style tops work in a deep, rich, solid color. Strapless tops are also a fantastic option; sexier than a halter or thin strap and which allows you to go for a bow or floral in a more mature way.
Move towards a collection of almost entirely mature colors, like red, white, orange, black and even a shimmery nude; in both prints & solids.
Perfect prints for your bodacious, womanly self: Leopard, retro stripes, peacock, Missoni-esque zig zags & other 70s-style prints. You can still do aztec and polka dots easily, just keep it black & white.
Fringe is still totally fair game in a timeless color like red. It’s a nice juxtaposition of trendy & classic. That’s kind of the goal with this age range. You’re still so young, but you’re definitely not 20 (and probably don’t want to harken that age, anyway). Keep it classy, lassie.
Padded, push-up tops in a bold color are an easy way to show off your curves in an adult format. Those tiny, triangle top days have passed.
One-pieces have shifted away from crazy cuts and crochet, to slyly sexy, like a deep v with coverage everywhere else and interesting details like a side tie or gathered waist. To avoid looking too mature (read: old) in this style, amp it up with wedges and eclectic accessories.
Just like the seasons, I love nothing more than getting excited about a different take on fashion at every phase. Beach it up, bitches!
Our quintessentially summer party holiday is upon us. No matter how you plan to spend the 4th of July, two things are for sure: You’re going to celebrate and you want to look cute. Am I wrong? It’s such a carefree, anything-goes holiday, which is the perfect invitation for a fun outfit to match whatever shenanigans you partake in.
I’ve put together four looks in four distinct styles, all with a nod to the classic colors of the 4th. It’s always fun to get into the spirit of a holiday with your outfit, but it doesn’t have to be childish or loud. There are a lot of ways to use pieces that you already have (or could buy & wear many times), stay within the patriotic theme in a relaxed, chic way.
Have a look!
P.S All the pieces in each look are $50 or less. Truth.
This look goes from day-to-night effortlessly. A light, white maxi will keep you cool during the day (that bun doesn’t hurt either). Pair it with a denim jacket to stay warm in the evening. Denim is a great way to incorporate blue into your 4th look in a subtle way. Plus, it’s insanely on-trend for summer. Aren’t you lucky. Try an orange-red nail and a classic red lip for depth and interest. Makeup that’s too matchy will look fussier and dressier than you want for such a chill look. Incorporating two shades of red will play up your features so you don’t get washed out in the white & light blue.
This is great for a backyard party or watching the fireworks downtown. It’s relaxed (maxi & denim) and a wee bit rustic (braided bun, crochet sandals), but it’s also very polished and put-together (red lips & nails, structured, modern clutch; gold jewelry). It’s insanely versatile.
Spending the day on the boat? Another day-to-night look that allows you to enjoy your day without a wardrobe change. The wedges and breezy blue dress are dressy enough to fit perfectly in a BBQ gathering or rooftop party; a floppy hat, trendy fishtail braid & aviators will help you get through a day of wind, water & sun without ending up disheveled.
An easy way to go red, white & blue without being too cliche is by deviating from the classic shades with cornflower blue and a hot, orange-red. A nude shoe & light straw hat take on the white role without being too literal, and balances the two bold colors nicely.
If there was ever a time to be really vintage and on-trend at the same time, it’s summer 2013. Choose this look for a dressier daytime soiree or a warm night out. White crochet shorts are cute as hell and this holiday is a great opportunity to rock ‘em. A bright, retro red is the best pair for a creamy white, so this classic chiffon blouse is perf. The bright light blue nail polish takes a huge detour from the classic 4th-of-July blue, so you can be cutely thematic and not tacky. Cat-eye sunglasses are way in right now and they also scream 1950s, so enjoy being everything all at once. I chose a white, streamlined clutch to tie in the shorts without competing and went for a popular shoe cut in a retro print. Rar. The black in the shoe ties into the glasses (sneaky, but important) so you’re coordinated head-to-toe. Lastly, finish the look with a messy bun. It’s young and not too serious; a nice balance for such a polished, pretty look.
If you’re kicking back at the cabin, going to a rock show or having a bonfire, embrace this summer’s wildly fun bohemian trend. It’s distinctly meant for ladies in their 20s, so take full advantage if you fit the criteria and feel like being a little edgy on the 4th. The late 60s/early 70s has been back for fall and winter the past few years, and now it’s made a move on the warm seasons. It’s also very Americana and super easy to do in red, white & blue, as you can see. Crop tops and cut-off denim are both in, but cover up (a little) with a roomy, crochet open cardi for texture and flair. Add a few chunky gold rings and a bangle with your long, beachy waves for a great juxtaposition of hard and soft; exactly what this style is about. Dark red nails to set off the classic flag-honoring stripes of the crop top; ivory crochet, blue denim, white sandals. Oh, the color theme is totally there, but it’s so naturally done, you’d never notice if it wasn’t the 4th. And have a beer because you look so flipping awesome.
Hopefully you’ve found a look to latch onto and inspire your summer holiday look!
I’ve waited far too long to say this, but summer is finally here. Let’s take a break from fashion appliCAITions, while I lecture you about the importance of protecting your skin and show you some pretty pictures to prove that if you’re feeling “too white” for the season, you need to check yoself.
What this annual post isn’t: Trying to show that it’s totally way more awesome to be pale over another skin tone. Because that would be silly.
And it really applies to everyone. Pale ladies are not the only ones who should embrace their natural coloring. As Jezebel so delightfully put it: Sunscreen stops time from stomping all over your face. All skin tones are susceptible to unnecessary aging and damage if we intentionally or accidentally burn or tan. Yes, even you hot mamas who are naturally bronzed. Or you olive-skinned beauties. Orrrr you sandy beige babes. You, yes. You.
Wear some damn sunscreen.
What this post is: Inspiration for the lightest ladies to stop trying to be something we’re not (super tan) and embracing who we are naturally (super pale), for the sake of our health. The imagery is meant to illustrate how gorg your fair skin is, even in the hottest months. Because I love you and don’t want you to get skin cancer. Resist the pressure to look tan! You’re bigger than that, sweet pea.
As a woman of only 26, who got two moles quite aggressively removed with two layers of fun stitches, lots of discomfort and purple scars (that’s what happens when pink skin scars, fun fact) as a beautiful memory of the event, I can now say with experience, that the effects of sun damage are SO NOT worth being the tiniest bit tan.
So, if you’re a fair maiden, this one’s for you.
Oh, side note: Rock a red lip this summer. After you see these photos, you won’t be able to resist. And I’ll join you.
Well don’t I feel special! My super-talented fellow blogger Rachel at Existation nominated me for a Liebster Award, which is an award given by bloggers with less than 200 followers, to other bloggers with less than 200 followers. I think we’ve all been cheating around the follower # BUT it’s the thought that counts, right?
Thank you Rachel!
Here are the current “official” rules for The Liebster Award:
Acknowledge the blog that nominated you in a post.
Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created. I’m just going to use the same questions that Rachel did.
Nominate bloggers that you believe deserve some recognition. I’d be happy to!
Post 11 questions for them to answer. Answer the same questions that I did.
Notify all the bloggers selected that they have been nominated.
And finally, you can’t nominate the blog who nominated you. Fine. How about if I brag about her right now instead?
This lady blogger is crazy talented at photography and has her own business, Ebb & Flow Photography. If you live in the Midwest or west coast and need some head shots, engagement or wedding photos, or just some general lifestyle loveliness, contact her! She won’t let you down.
And now onto the Q&A:
1. Why did you start blogging?
I’ve always been a writer. I started journaling when I was 10 and now have over 60 journals that chronicle pieces of the last 16 years of my life. I also have a degree in journalism, which lead me to some pretty fun editorial jobs & internships. My current job, however, is not exactly speaking to my soul. I describe my main motivation for blogging in my About section.
2. If a genie granted you three wishes that you could only use on yourself, what would they be and why?
1. A job that allows me to work from home (or anywhere) and fulfill my calling, see question #6.
2. A very healthy, long life.
3. A room closet. Like this:
3. What’s your favorite go-to snack?
Chips, guacamole & salsa. And a margarita.
4. Where’s one place you never want to visit and why?
There are just as many places that I have no desire to visit than places I dream of visiting. I hate to single out one place, so let’s just say anywhere that is over-populated and over-stimulating, or very dangerous. No thank you. What’s one place I DO want to visit more than anywhere else? PARIS.
5. Did you enjoy high school? Why or why not?
Not as much as college and certainly not as much as my life right now. As nostalgic as I get for “simpler days,” I realize those days were an emotional & social rollercoaster. A time of life that must be lived & experienced to the fullest to really mature & get to a place that is much less tumultuous. So, I appreciated high school, but I have no wishes to repeat it.
6. What do you believe your “calling” in life is? Do you believe in a “calling?”
I’d feel awfully high & mighty declaring that I really know what my calling is…but I do feel compelled to help others understand themselves better, to advocate for those who don’t have a voice (my journalism background, my desire to protect all animals, etc.) and to express my identity in a creative, true, emotionally-fulfilling way. Now, how exactly I go about accomplishing all those things…TBD!
7. Favorite guilty pleasure song and/or TV show?
I have zero qualms admitting to all the music I listen to. As for television…I think I could make more of a confession about my TV habits than any particular shows. Fact: I just watched the entire season of House of Cards in 24 hours. #NetflixFoLyfe. I also finished all seven seasons of 24 in just a few months. That’s literally a week of TV. Also facts: I have a full-time job, friends and a husband. I clean my house, make my own meals and often see the light of day.
8. Besides blogging, what’s your favorite social media outlet and why? Instagram. For suresies. I love the streamlined simplicity and it has the ability to be more artistic than Twitter or Facebook.
9. What’s one of your proudest moments or accomplishments? Any time I hear that someone digs my blog, I get pretty jolly. I’m also really proud of all my published articles and paintings that I’ve had displayed in public.
10. What are three qualities that are mandatory that your friends have?
1. The desire for deep chats. Enjoys hours of conversation over wine or coffee.
2. An understanding of my introvertedness. Without that, you will have a very inaccurate depiction of me.
3. An enormous sense of humor; a we’re-going-to-hell-for-this brand of humor. Coupled with a knack for sarcasm.
11. You can take a 12-day, all-inclusive vacation somewhere with four other people. Who do you pick and where do you go? My husband, parents & brother. We go to the Sonora Resort in British Columbia. Because look at it. I’d choose this over a hot, tropical vacation any day. You heard me.
And my Liebster Award blog nominations!
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies
Cassie @ Witty Title Here
Jill & Gene @ The Pease Pod
Erin @ Hooley with a ‘z’
Fran @ Being Fran(k)
After a long and arduous journey of mistrials and experimentation, I have finally found it.
The best red.
I won’t get too carried away…this isn’t the best red for everyone. But it certainly is for me & I know with all my nail-polish-loving heart it will be for many of you. Insanely easy to apply; rich, glossy, fiery. It’s classic and vintage. It’s saucy and office appropriate. Hot enough for summer, but refined enough to work for winter, too. For. reals.
One of the biggest challenges with red (besides managing to be so many things at once, as previously mentioned) is skin tone. There are blue-reds, orange-reds, cool and warm reds; and even more variations in our skin tones. SO. Don’t get discouraged when you feel like a lot of red nail polishes or lipsticks look bad on you. It’s not you, it’s them, my dear.
Generally, if you have pink or blue undertones and cool skin, you’ll want the red to have that same underlying base. This is most important when you’re trying to find a classic red, but it also rings true for coral, berry reds and dark reds.
To avoid getting overwhelmed, my strategy has been to nail a few shades that definitely work with my skin tone and stay true to those. There are general categories that we all fit into: Fair, medium & dark skin; cool or warm undertones. If you think that seems overly simplified, it kind of is. But surprisingly, paying attention to cool vs. warm is really helpful.
Another factor to consider is that it’s so damn difficult to really get a sense of a color in the store without opening up the nail polish bottle or lipstick tube and discreetly sampling it. Even then, you may be so rushed about testing it without someone giving you an evil eye, that you can’t really get a feel for it. That’s why, if I’m going to be real with you, there’s a fair amount of trial and error that will have to take place. Just use your best judgement and the basic guidelines of matching cool or warm hues with your skin and eventually, you will find the most perfect shade that will make your cosmetic journey worthwhile.
For me, that is Essie Lollipop.
Like most events in my life, creating the look is half the fun. This sentiment is not meant to take anything away from the moments themselves. Nay. It actually enhances and multiplies the enjoyment.
An electronic dance music (EDM) show is a prime example. My best lady friend (BLF) and I delight in the creation of our show looks. We consider this an opportunity to exercise our most creative and fun ideas. We don’t make any rules; we don’t have any expectations. We simply create.
When you’re in the right mood to create any look, the result is a mirrored reflection of your insides.
That is the ultimate achievement in styling yourself. Whether it’s for your wedding day, a solemn occasion or a night of pure shenanigans, that achievement is always the goal.
For this particular event, we were just out to have fun, dance around & enjoy the energy of the music. The result is an eclectic mix of uber trendy items and 80s or 90s aesthetic. It just kind of happens.
We are asked (incredibly often) if we’re sisters. That night, we were asked if we’re sisters from Sweden. From. Sweden. I want to believe that this person has a fantastic eye for ethnicity and characterizing features, but sadly, I think it was just blonde + braids. I had no idea that simplistic stereotype was still hanging around. Hum.
Hope you all had a fabulous Memorial weekend!
Wedding season is upon us, ladies. Just because I was only a wedding guest once this year, doesn’t mean the same is true for you! If there’s anything I learned from my wedding guest marathon last year, it’s that sinking into the mood and trend of the event is both fun and a great fashion opportunity! So embrace the chance to amp up your typical style choices and put some thought into your look.
These four looks exemplify the most common wedding settings and how best to create your look for the occasion.
If you’re attending a wedding in a modern, urban setting like a dressed-up warehouse or trendy restaurant, make sure you’re equal parts sophisticated and artsy. Look like you “get it.”
A print in a simple shape like the uber-trendy shift dress is perfectly modern chic. Pair it with classic pointed pumps and a patent clutch to stay classy and wedding-appropriate. A nice balance to the structured dress & dark accessories is long, beachy waves, fluffy eyelashes and bright, summery nails. Stay on the trend train with a set of thin, gold rings scattered throughout your fingers.
Nuptials in a very classic setting such as a golf club or ballroom call for something that cannot fail. Follow this formula to ensure you pay proper homage to the formal affair.
A timelessly-cut LBD is an easy win. Keep your hair sophisticated with a sleek, low chignon. Because the dress is so simple (in the best way possible), you can add an on-trend piece like a gold, cut-out collar necklace. Tie it together with a clean, gold clutch. Fuchsia pumps are so summer; do it in a subtle suede in a leg-lengthening pointed toe.
The super popular vintage, rustic wedding scheme shows no signs of stopping. Naturally, this wedding style seems casual, which may lead you to believe you can wear almost anything. Not so! This is still a wedding, guys, and a great chance to stretch your style muscles. You can be chic, dressy AND country, rustic in one fell swoop.
If you’ll be totally or partially outdoors, go for camel or tan accessories instead of black. Mixing materials like suede peep-toe booties and a classic leather clutch is a great way to avoid being too matchy.
This printed dress has a cute, prairie vibe and the young girl cut is a nice way to balance mature accessories. If you’re going to wear an a-line dress, especially in a short sleeve like this, make sure the rest of your look fits your age, or you’ll end up looking like a child. Avoid flats, delicate jewelry or a cardigan. A bulky, charcoal menswear blazer and glam, long earrings are an unexpected, but totally smart pair. Very reminiscent of J.Crew.
Crown braids completely pull together the rustic look and will keep your hair cute all night, no matter the weather. It’s also way on-trend and fun. Dark red nails also help solidify this eclectic look in a rich, warm way.
Maxis and the beach are a match just as perfect as the bride & groom. I’m loving the sheer panel maxis with a shorter skirt underneath. It will definitely keep your legs cool and gives you an opportunity to show off a cute pair of wedges that will show through the dress! Ankle strap wedges are a smart choice for possibly uneven terrain like sand or grass. Black with a fun, colorful floral print is both understated and fun.
Go for simple jewelry like a cute pair of rings and stud earrings. Huge, chunky jewelry might look a little high-maintenance at an affair like this. You want to look breezy, babe! Bring in some boho and tie the shoes to the bag with a straw purse. A round handle like this will fit easily around your arm, so you can hold a drink or your dates arm with no struggle. Don’t overdue the makeup either, so pick either a bright lip and nude nails, or reverse.
While it’s tempting to go with flowy, beachy waves, I suggest a wavy or looped chignon with tons of hairspray. This low, side hairstyle still looks relaxed and chic, but it will prevent you from getting a bunch of hair in your eyes or mouth while you’re trying to take a sip of wine or watch the ceremony.
Hope you have fun at any weddings you may attend this summer season!
Mmm, Cannes. You give me a hearty dose of red carpet when I’m jonesing for awards season to come back. Designers are not playing around at this southern France affair & there’s better fashion here than most of the year. I also appreciate the global collection of legitimate actors, producers, writers, etc., who show up in their chicest to give some well-deserved face time to great works in film.
And now, the classiest dames of Cannes.
Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior
Black and white was big at Cannes and this is a shining example. She’s really gotten accustomed to rocking the strapless throughout awards season and I appreciate her doing the dress justice with firm posture. Hair and makeup are killing it; keeping Jennifer young and bright. This dress could’ve been styled differently on someone 30 years older and still worked. It’s always about how you package a dress!
Julianne Moore in Christian Dior Couture
I went back and forth on this choice for a while, but this is just such a great dress for a woman of her personality and age, and she wears it sooo well. Jewelry, hair & shoes (except her pinky toe - what the hell?) are all great choices. It’s just really fun, formal & trendy.
Isla Fisher in Dolce & Gabbana
White is such a perfect choice at Cannes. I can hardly think of a better backdrop for Isla’s firey locks, pink skin and the warmth & luxury of southern France than a crisp, white dress. Insanely classic; love the laser cut detail.
Nicole Kidman in Dior
Hey Nicole, let’s have some tea while you let me wear those shoes. And later I will make curtains out of your ornate, pretty, midi frock.
and the hair
I’ve never seen this and it’s one of the most formal, appropriate ways to wear a ponytail on the red carpet. With Nicole’s look, it’s very chic and sleek, but this could easily work as an edgy hair choice with a more defiant, powerful look.
Carey Mulligan in Dior
So elegant. Stunning. Old Hollywood. I wouldn’t make a habit of wearing that color with such a light skin tone. Make it a moment. Like this!
Cara Delevingne in Burberry
Bam. Black lace, red lips & nails, diamonds. I don’t think this requires further explanation.
Freida Pinto in Gucci
and again in Sanchita
Twice. Because she is a red carpet stunner and can do no wrong when it comes to Cannes. Freida has an amazing track record of fantastic, on-trend, on-point looks every year. Classy, exciting, creative. Love her.
Zhang Yuqi in Ulyana Sergeenko
I’m slightly torn, only because I think this dress looses some refinement and class with the heaping serving of cleavage. It’s such an elegant gown in a gorgeous, saturated green, it’s kind of a shame. While she looks beautiful in it, I would’ve liked to see this on a very small-chested lady. I think that’s the only way you can pull off a deeeeep neckline.
This mani moment is courtesy of my new favorite pink. It’s like a glossy, fresh, frosted donut on my nails.
Essie Neo Whimsical for the win.
Between the Starbucks (which is a treat for me, not a daily thing, so I like to make a big deal about it & how happy it makes me) and this fresh mani, Friday is off to a good start. The little things, dolls.
Neo Whimsical is an opaque, cool, sweet light pink that’s darker than a blush and lighter than a medium pink. You may not realize it (because you’re likely not as nerdy about polish as me - count your blessings), but this shade of pink is extremely hard to come by.
Because of the pink undertones in my fair skin, I wear either a light blush pink or a dark, cool fuschia. Medium pink, bubblegum pink, mauve pink - completely blech on my hands. This might be a completely different scenario for you, but regardless, this pink.is.amazing. Flattering on any skin tone, it will pop without being too immature or obnoxious.
You’ll be surprised how many looks it blends into, even if you’re wearing another shade of pink. This polish color also looks killer with camel, ivory or gray. It’s super cute for spring & summer and pigmented enough to work on your toes, too.
I feel like I owe you a really solid post, considering I’ve been a bit less active lately. I blame the psychotic spring weather we’ve been having. From snow to heat advisories in a 10-day span, my head has been spinning and I’ve been in a fashion funk. Let’s just get to some consistency, please.
Now that a reliable warm season has arrived, we should chat about summer shopping. Even if you live in a climate that’s warm year-round, there are still summer-specific pieces you’re likely excited about. And if you’re anything like me, it’s easy to get caught up in the exhilaration of summer shopping. To be sure that you don’t go overboard or overspend on one piece, keep your eye on cheaper doppelgangers and implement some strategy into what you really must have.
Save vs. splurge
Summer, in my opinion, is not the best time to splurge. So a general guideline is to go for the save, every time. Warm weather pieces tend to be ultra-trendy and will last longer because they aren’t up against the harshness of a long & chilly fall/winter. Don’t you dare spend more on a pair of sandal wedges than you would on tall heel boots.
Here are a few trend pieces and proof that saving is easy this summer.
No disrespect to the higher-end pieces, but only go for a splurge if it’s exactly what you’re looking for (you’re certain nothing else will do), you need it for a special event (rehearsal dinner or another event where you’re the center of attention), and your summer wardrobe is already set. Otherwise, Savings City it is. Plus, no.one.will.know.