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Easy Halloween Costumes for Women

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I love Halloween, but to be honest, I’m not always great about planning out my costume in advance. Most of the time, I don’t even really know what I’m doing until the day of Halloween or associated party.

 

So, in honor of all you other ladies that procrastinate your costumes as I do, I’m presenting you with 5 easy Halloween costume ideas that you can make from clothes already in your closet.

 

And in case you don’t own some of these items, I’ll give you options below the pictures. Who says Halloween can’t be an excuse to buy new clothes?

 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link, I may get a small payout with no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

 

1. Goldilocks

Goldilocks Halloween costume

 

This costume is great looking and made from classic pieces- like a white shirt and colorful dress. Chances are, you have both in your closet. 

 

Quick hint: Bear costumes are easy to make! Simply get a brown hoodie and attach paper construction ears to the hood. 

2. Airline Attendants/Pilots

Easy flight attendant or pilot costume for women

 

After I drew this picture, I realized that this outfit could fit for both a flight attendant or a pilot. You can use any color suit or scarf you want; every airline has their own colors. Need a cute idea for a spouse or child? Try dressing them up like peanuts, coke, birds, clouds, or an airplane. 

 

Once again, this costume is made from really classic pieces! If you’re struggling to know what basics you need in your wardrobe, this makes it super easy.  

3. Farmer

 

Halloween outfits for women

 

One of my favorite parts about the farmer outfit is that it is little kid- thus school- friendly making it a great option for teachers. If you are a teacher to small ones, you’ll love this style e-book; it contains a full wardrobe and 12 weeks of workday outfit ideas!

 

This would be particularly cute if you had a bunch of kids dressed up as farm animals. The cow kid costume above is made from a white t-shirt and black construction paper dots. A headband with construction paper ears tops off the outfit. 

 

 

4 & 5. Mime & Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Audrey Hepburn)

 

Mime (left). Maybe it’s the francophile in me, but I’m a total sucker for the mime costume. The makeup is also super easy: cover your face in white powder (baby powder works) and then use black eyeliner to draw a triangle under each eye. Done! 

 

Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (right). Such an easy and classic look! Don a black boatneck dress (or skirt and top), add pearls, big sunglasses, and a topknot and you’re ready. 

 

Did you know?: Both of these are great outfits for pear-shaped women. Click here to get more pear outfit ideas. 

 

Mime:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Audrey Hepburn):

Have a great Halloween!

 

Cheers, 

Leslie 

 

Ps. If you love everything Fall, you need this. 

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How to Dress in your 40’s

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How to dress in your 40's

 

Several years ago, a movie came out called This is 40. Do you remember it? I made the weird choice of watching it (I was in my late 20’s at the time) and found it more depressing than comedic. In fact, I don’t think I laughed at all. ‘Watched in horror’ and ‘silently cried’ were probably more appropriate ways to describe my reaction to the movie.

 

With that said, I think it hit on a good point about your 40’s: they are this middle ground in your life that hit somewhat unexpectantly early (middle aged is after 50, isn’t it?) and can almost be a tipping point. This is the only age decade that is solely NOT about you.

 

Think about it. Your kids are in middle school or high school and you are a taxi service/therapist/referee/short order cook. Promotions in your job mean that you have more responsibility and more expected from you at work. Your spouse and friends still want your love and attention (because, you know, they’re normal human beings). You are being pulled in all directions at once and, most likely, none of them are towards you.

 

No other decade has SOLEY been about others until this point in your life, and to be honest, I see people start to move in one of two directions. They either put themselves on the back burner (never to be seen again) or they take time for a little self-care and love. Fashion speaking, this is the difference between women who ‘let themselves go’ and women who ‘look just as good as in high school’.

 

Because you’re in such an in-between zone, choosing what to wear in your 40’s can be really hard. You still feel sexy, but you are the mom of a 13-year-old daughter and don’t want to look too sexy. You need the versatility of workout clothes (and the comfort of yoga pants) on the weekends, but you also miss looking like a decent human being. How do you find a happy medium?

 

While I don’t have all the answers, I have a few that I think are incredibly important.

 

Here are my top 3 tips to dressing in your 40’s

 

1. Don’t forget to show yourself some love

 

It’s much easier said than done, but TAKE TIME FOR YOU! I know a man who wakes up at 4 am just to have an hour to himself every morning. It’s his way of grounding and refreshing himself before his two teenagers and wife wake up. You may not have an extra hour in your day, but 5 minutes of meditation or journaling in the carpool line can do leaps and bounds for your emotional health.

 

Likewise, doing small things for your fashion life can also make a big difference. Maybe resolve to wear one cute outfit (aka not yoga pants) when running errands this week. Maybe take an hour to go through your closet and remove anything that is damaged or stained. Take a weekend to go shopping with girlfriends and refresh your spirit (and closet!). Or if you don’t have any sort of rhyme or reason behind your wardrobe- make your life easier (and more stylish) by building up the basics in your wardrobe (here are 20 basics every woman needs in her wardrobe).

 

This is often the time women start falling into a fashion rut. Usually caused by pushing their appearance to a low priority, a style rut can (and will!) last until you decide to do something for yourself (fashion speaking). While your appearance doesn’t need to be your top priority all the time (that would be considered vanity) it should ideally stay around some sort of happy medium. Some days are yoga pant days while some days you put on makeup and steal the show. (Psst. Already in a rut? Here’s how to get out)

 

Case in point: don’t ‘let yourself go’! Find ways to show you, you care. Decide to do one thing for yourself this week (it can be big or small!) that will help keep your appearance at that ‘happy medium’.

 

how to respect yourself with your clothing

 

2. Mastering the balance between sexy and sleazy

 

This is something I get so many questions about, I literally just did a whole blog post on the topic. Essentially, you feel (relatively) young still, but you don’t want to look like your teenage daughter. How do you find a happy medium between sexy and too sexy? How do you look like you’re not trying too hard?

 

The key is an easy formula that I call the rule of alternating zones. Read the whole post and see examples here.

 

3. Dress Respectfully

 

As I mentioned in the first tip, your appearance is your message to the world- and it’s a message you get to choose! My big question for you is: does that message say you respect yourself? Does it say you respect others?

 

Does it say you care enough about yourself to buy quality jeans that fit your body shape?

 

Does it say you respect your kids enough to show them an example of a well-dressed adult?

 

Does it say you respect yourself enough to take the time to find clothes that make you feel happy?

 

Does it say you respect your significant other to the point of looking good so they can look even better? (This goes both ways, btw. I dress well because I know that the way I look reflects upon my husband. He dresses well because he knows the way he looks reflects upon me. It’s important to note that we don’t dress well just for other people’s comments. We take care of our personal appearances out of respect for ourselves and for the other spouse- who has to be seen with us!)

 

I know that all sounds really intense, but the big lesson to be learned in your 40’s (if you haven’t learned prior) is that: Your appearance shows how much you value yourself and others. People who stop valuing and respecting themselves are the ones that ‘let go’. People who learn to take time to love themselves and dress respectfully appear to look great for a longer time (even if they gain some weight, get wrinkles, and have to start dying their hair!) It isn’t about fitting a certain size or wearing the right brands…it’s about dressing in a way that shows you understand how powerful and incredible you actually are. 

Keep scrolling to see 3 ways you can easily upgrade your appearance.

 

3 tips to dressing in your 40's

 

If you’re looking to improve your appearance, here are 3 ways to do that (depending on how much time you have available):

 

If you have 30 minutes to an hour:

Look through a Style E-book like Building a Classic Wardrobe- the Basics and see which styles of the 20 basics highlighted work best for your body shape and lifestyle. Filled with pictures, like a magazine, this is both a fun read and informative. It’s great for waiting at doctor’s offices, carpool lines, and football practices.

 

If you have a free night:

If you enjoy reading, pick up a copy (available on Kindle or paperback) of Dressing Your Personal Brand. This book talks all about the message your sending and how to make it your own. It also discusses dressing at work and at home. This easy read is entertaining but also very informative and can easily be knocked out in a night on the couch with a good glass of wine.

 

 

If you have a weekend or more:

If you’re more a video person than a book person, you’ll really like The Ultimate #STYLE Guide E-course. It has separate videos on everything from ‘Dressing for your Body Shape’ to ‘Wearing Scarves’ and ‘Finding the right glasses for your face shape’. There’s also a whole section on making your life easier (ie: organizing your closet and stylist approved shopping tips). You don’t have to do the whole course at once- each section is made up of 15-20 minute videos discussing different topics.

 

The Style E-book, Book, and E-course mentioned above are all made by yours truly because I am so over the top passionate about the subject of looking great (and sending the specific message you want to send!). I want this message to be available to everyone no matter how much (or little!) money and time they have. If you have any questions about any of the books or e-courses, I’d love to answer them. I never want anyone to buy a product that isn’t right for you, so I love it when people ask me before they purchase! Just send an email to empowerme(at)leslie-friedman.com or leave a comment below and I’ll back to you ASAP.

 

TLDR: Your appearance is sending a message about who and what you respect. Make sure to take time for yourself and show YOURSELF a little respect. 

 

Cheers,

Leslie

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The secret formula to dressing sexy (without looking sleazy)

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How to dress sexy without looking sleazy- formula for women's fashion and style

It’s an age-old question and, quite honestly, a very fine balance: how to look sexy- without looking sleazy

 

Let’s face it. There are times we love to dress up and look pretty. Who doesn’t like looking pretty?

 

But as a stylist that works with people to find the perfect outfits, one question crops up every time when we are discussing going out/date night/sexier looks (whatever you want to call them!).

 

IS IT TOO MUCH?

 

As women, how many times have we gotten dressed for a night out (or even a coffee date if I’m being honest) and thought, “Is this too much?” You may not be necessarily dressed like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman pre-Gere (aka a prostitute) but that doesn’t mean you can’t still question the ‘too muchness’ of your outfit. The ‘is this too much?’ question is usually seen hanging out with the ‘is this age appropriate?’ question- but more on that later.

 

Although different people are comfortable dressing at different levels of showiness- I’m going to go over a general rule for keeping the balance between sexy and classy in an outfit.

 

The rule of alternating zones: Put together outfits with alternating sexy and conservative pieces.

 

*Note: For the clarity of this post, I am going to use the words sexy, showy, or revealing as synonyms. I will also use conservative, classy, and casual to mean the same things. I do not mean to use any of these words in a negative manner and will refer to the above sets of words as opposites rather than good and bad. Everyone has their different ideas of what constitutes sexy, conservative, etc. so please keep in mind that I am aiming for middle ground. Smile

 

This rule is one of those things that seems easier said than done, right? I know you have follow-up questions, so keep reading.

 

First, think of the body as three or four different zones (as shown below).

 

Zone 1: Your hair or face

Zone 2: Top (shirt)

Zone 3: Bottom (pants/skirt)

Zone 4: Shoes

 

Zones 2 and 3 would combine in the case of a dress.

 

Let’s go back to the rule: Put together outfits with alternating sexy and conservative pieces.

 

When I say alternating, I’m referring to alternating ZONES. Below are four examples of different ways you can alternate zones between sexy and conservative.

 

Example 1:

Edgy look | Turtle neck sweater dress with grey over the knee bootstarget athleisure, sweatshit dress, how to do athleisure, how do you do athleisure, plus size style, sweater dress with suede OTK bootsZone 1: Hair or face (More made-up face and hair)

Zone 2: Dress (Casual dress)

Zone 3: Shoes (Heels)

 

Don’t both of these ladies look amazing? Notice how zones 1 and 3 are sexier (makeup/fixed hair and over the knee boots) while zone 2 is more conservative (loose sweater dress).

 

If either of these ladies switched out their sweater dress for a skin-tight mini dress, the outfit would look a whole lot different. That’s not to say it would look bad, but (in my opinion) it would look less stylish and make the wearer appear like they are trying hard to look really sexy.

 

Love these Fall outfits and want some more inspo? Check out the biggest trends of Fall 2018 and 150+ ways to wear them here.

 

Image Credits: Left and Right pictures

 

The opposite works also.

Example 2:

Stay comfy and stylish as the season transitions in our plus size Indie Flair Maxi Dress. In a fall-ready color, you’ll love the ease of this floor length dress. Shop our entire collection at www.kiyonna.com. #KiyonnaPlusYouZone 1: Hair or face (Light makeup and ponytail)

Zone 2: Dress (Fitte/shorter OR fancier)

Zone 3: Shoes (Flats or sneakers)

 

This time, zones 1 and 3 are more conservative and zone 2 is sexier. We have a fancier dress and necklace that she has toned down with flat sandals. She still is pretty made up, but I’m taking these pictures off Pinterest and it’s hard to find images of women looking too casual in the makeup department. Haha.

 

Did you know: that you look better when you wear clothes that look good on your body shape? I mean, just look at how great this pear-shaped woman looks in her dress! It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d probably be surprised to discover how many things in your closet are working against your body shape. Take the quiz to figure out your body shape and see personalized advice for your shape.

 

Image Credit: Pinterest

 

 

 

The same concept works if you have a top and bottom rather than a dress.

 

Example 3:

Modest, Feminine Dressing for the Plus Size WomanZone 1: Hair or face (styled hair and statement earrings)

Zone 2: Top (jean jacket and tank)

Zone 3: Bottom (maxi skirt)

Zone 4: Shoes (flats)

 

In this picture, zones 1 and 3 are dressier with statement earrings and a maxi skirt. Zones 2 and 4 are more casual, featuring a jean jacket and flat sandals.

 

I love this example, because it shows that you can get dressed up without looking super flashy or (skin) showy. I don’t know who this woman is- this outfit may be her idea of dressing down. However, for the sake of this example, let’s pretend she’s a primary school gym teacher (speaking of, if you’re a teacher, you’ll want to check this out) who favors casual clothing over getting fussed up. If her everyday outfits are more along the lines of athleisure, a hip-hugging skirt and perfectly coifed hair give her a sexy look that isn’t out of character.

 

Image Credit: Pinterest

 

 

Example 4:

21 Pinterest recomended woman oufits

Casual-Work-Outfits-for-SummerZone 1: Hair or face (lighter makeup)

Zone 2: Top (off the shoulder/low cut shirt)

Zone 3: Bottom (jeans)

Zone 4: Shoes (heels)

 

This example is one I tend to gravitate towards when I have to attend a casual function but still want to look nice (without over-doing it, of course!)

 

It starts with more casual hair in zone 1 (although, once again, it’s Pinterest- so everyone’s hair is looking amazing…but it’s still not pulled back in a perfect french twist or anything) and then zone 2 alternates to a sexier top. For the woman on the left, sexier may mean an off the shoulder top, while for the woman on the right, sexier is a low cut v-neck. They are both wearing more conservative, casual pants (zone 3) and, lastly, they dress up zone 4 with heels.

 

Image Credits: Left and Right pictures

 

 

 

Do you see how alternating zones between classy and conservative not only keeps you from looking too frumpy or too dressed up- but it keeps your whole outfit balanced and visually making sense?

 

This is THE MAIN WAY you can dress sexy AND age appropriate. The rule of alternating zones can be applied to any body shape, body type, and age of woman. It works because it gives you just enough guidance, but also leaves room for you to determine what works best for you in terms of sexy and conservative. If you look at the last two pictures, you’ll see how two women used the rule of alternating zones to make an outfit age appropriate for 20 and 30-year-olds (left) and also 50 and 60-year-olds (right). Both are equally sexy, don’t you think? By the way- did you know that I dedicate an entire lesson to dressing age appropriate in my e-course? Check it out here.

 

Does this rule always work? Keep scrolling to hear my honest opinion.

 

how to balance sexy and classy clothing

Like this post? Share it with a friend!

 

Lastly…there is one big question: do you have to always keep the rule? What if you want two adjacent zones to both be casual or sexy? Is that okay?

 

The answer is YES! (Come on…you knew I’d say that) Fashion is meant to be fun! Try experimenting with different levels of sexy and see which one fits best for you. I personally know my comfort level of sexy and make sure to have at least one or two more showy options in my basic wardrobe that I can easily make into a sexy outfit at the last minute.

And don’t forget: the above is really only intended to be a good starting guide; don’t forget to have fun!

 

xoxo,

Leslie

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How to Dress in your 30’s

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How to dress in your 30's for women

 

In my humble (30-something-year-old) opinion, I think your 30’s are the most underrated decade of your life.

 

A bold statement? Yes, but hear me out.

 

During the years between 29 and 40, you have an exciting mix of life events, available opportunities, and deeper self-awareness. You’re probably making more money than you have in the past and are starting to get to the part of your career that is more than an entry level job that you sludge through to pay the bills. Your body is still in decent shape, and you might be able to continue pulling off fashions from college. On top of all that, you are really starting to figure out who you are and you are doing lots of fun exciting things like getting married and having families.

 

Maybe I’m an optimist, (okay, no maybe’s here. I’m definitely an optimist) but I think the third decade on earth is pretty good. However, like every other decade, the 30’s bring their whole new slew of dressing woes and questions.

 

Here are my top 3 tips to dressing in your 30’s.

 

1. Reassess your priorities

 

During this decade, it is highly likely that your priorities will shift. The person you wanted to be in your 20’s may not be the same person you want to be now.

 

That’s okay.

 

This is a great time to take a step back and think about how your identity is changing (wife, mom, aunt, boss, etc.) and how you want to approach your new titles.

 

In your 20’s we talked about sending the right message. What do you want to tell the world? Guess what? Just because you are in a better position in your career or you’re married or you have a family, doesn’t mean you stop sending a message to the world. This is a great time to reevaluate the message you’re sending and, if necessary, re-construct it to fit your current aspirations and identity.

 

You may be reading this thinking…” okay, Leslie, that’s great…but what does it have to do with how I dress?”

 

The answer? It has everything to do with how you dress! Your appearance is the first big broadcast of your message to anyone you meet. Everything from how you do your hair, to your makeup, and your outfits come together to send a message in that broadcast.

 

Look in the mirror. What is your current appearance telling the world? Is it what you want to say?

 

Want to learn more about constructing the message you send to the world (aka: your personal brand)? Check out this entire e-course I created for newbies who are interested in finding and sending the right message- but aren’t really sure where or how to start.

 

How to dress in your 30's for women

Don’t forget to Pin me!

 

2. Keep upgrading your basics.

 

In my previous blog post on how to dress in your 20’s, we talked about starting to upgrade your basics from college to career. This is no easy task, and depending on your budget, could take a decent amount of time.

 

Budget isn’t the only thing that can hinder your wardrobe upgrade- not knowing your style can also be a culprit.

 

Maybe it’s because I love fashion, but I experimented a lot with different trends and looks throughout high school and college. Some looks were really good, but most were quite unfortunate (see: sage green pleated mini skirt with homemade tube top). These looks not only made for some great laughs (in hindsight, of course) but they helped me figure out my sense of style. Over the years I figured out what I like and what actually looks good on me. If your style is all over the place (or you just have no idea what it is) check out this blog post on finding your personal style and be sure to take the quiz that’s halfway down the page!

 

Because of experimenting with fashion in my teens and twenties, I was able to figure out what style was best for me (and the message I want to send the world)! Now, I can really bolster the basics in my wardrobe because I am choosing garments that I will love and actually wear a lot. This adds a layer of confidence when spending more money on clothing.

 

Knowing what works for your shape and choosing clothes that fit you make A HUGE difference. I made the drawing above by tracing the same pear-shaped woman. Look at what a difference it makes when she’s wearing basics (like pants and a blazer) that actually fit! If you’re not sure what shape you are, read this blog post and be sure to take the quiz! 

 

If you’re not sure what wardrobe basics I’m talking about, you’re not alone. Most women can’t really pinpoint the essential items they need to create a killer wardrobe. To help you make better purchasing decisions, I created a style e-book that focuses on the 20 items every woman (no matter the age!) needs and what versions of those items will work best for each body type. Check it out and get a peek inside the book here.

 

3. Don’t forget to have fun

 

You may have a big girl job, a husband (or wife), and even a child (or a chinchilla and too many plants in my case), but that doesn’t mean you have to graduate straight to the frumpy clothes train. In fact, there is no reason for anyone of any age to be on the frumpy clothes train…but that’s a different rant.

 

Remember, you are still young- so have fun with your outfits! Once you have your basic wardrobe figured out and you know your style (these are game changers- I promise!) you’ll be able to experiment with your clothes in a way that will yield more results that you love.

 

What do I mean by that?

 

Think about this scenario. You are putting together a scrapbook. In scenario A, you have a collection of scrapbooking supplies that you’ve collected over the years along with more paper/stickers/etc from your Aunt and Mom. In scenario B, you go to the craft store and choose exactly the right color papers, stickers, and accessories that you know will look great in your scrapbook. Now, which scenario will lead to an outcome you love with the least effort and most joy? You got it right, scenario B. That is essentially what you’re doing when you start building a classic wardrobe.

 

Once you have classics you love, adding the small accessories that turn an outfit from basic to fabulous is easy and actually enjoyable (for those of you who don’t like the whole process of putting together outfits).

 

Case in point? Have great basics, but don’t stop there. Be sure to still have fun with your accessories- this will keep your outfits age appropriate and keep you from looking frumpy. Because no one wants to look like they wandered out of a frat house party or an AARP meeting when they’re 30 (something).

 

 

 

TLDR: You’re finally hitting your stride in life- make sure your wardrobe is keeping up. Keep upgrading your classic wardrobe to your lifestyle but don’t be afraid to have fun! 

 

Enjoy your 30’s! Hopefully, as I age, I will prove myself wrong and every decade will be more underrated than the one before it. 🙂

 

Your fellow 30-something,

Leslie

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How to wear plaid- at every age

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Plaid is a huge trend this Fall and here are just a few reasons why I love it (and think you should too):

1. It’s classic. If you don’t believe me, just look at Burberry. They are proof that a plaid can stay fashionable for decades (when done right, of course).

2. Any age can wear plaid! Continue reading to see how.

 

how to wear plaid at any age

 

When I was prepping for this post, I considered all the different ways I could show outfits for every age. I thought about just collaging pictures of outfits together online, but that seemed so…unrelatable (and a little boring).

 

So instead, I decided to go to everyone’s favorite store, Target and put together plaid outfits. That means that all the pictures below are made from clothing exclusively from my local store (Athens, Georgia, if you’re wondering).

 

It was a bit difficult to bring in a million outfits and accessories into the dressing rooms, so I left the purses and jewelry in the cart. As someone who has worked in retail, I know that bringing bags and jewelry into a dressing room is the #1 way to steal them, and I didn’t want the attendant worrying about what I was doing. With that said, I’ll put links to my favorite bags at the end, because they had some really good ones!

 

Without further ado…

 

Plaid in your 20’s:

There were tons of 20’s and younger plaid options at Target. The brand Wild Fable had no shortage of plaid tops, bottoms, jackets, jumpsuits- you name it, they had it. I chose some blue plaid cropped pants and paired it with a sleeveless hoodie and motorcycle jacket. Sneakers would have been perfect to complete this look, but I didn’t have any, so I just wore the shoes I wore to the store.

 

how to wear plaid in your 20's

I was a little leery of the pants (I don’t exactly make the 20’s age bracket) but they were actually surprisingly comfortable because of their elastic waistband and stretchy material.

 

Main point: there are lots of fun plaids out there; have fun!

Ps. Want to know more about dressing in your 20’s? I wrote this blog post just for YOU!

 

Plaid in your 30’s:

This cropped, plaid jumpsuit number was pretty amazing. It could easily look too young (it has spaghetti straps and is made from a cheaper fabric), so I kept the look minimal and sophisticated with a long black cardigan and white booties. I would add some long necklaces to finish off the look.

 

how to wear plaid in your 30's

Main point: Match ‘younger’ looking plaid garments with more sophisticated basics (psst: here are the best basics for your body shape).

 

Plaid in your 40’s:

Take plaid to work with you this season. There were at least two different plaid blazers (which seems like a lot for one store) at Target. I chose the brighter option (the other jacket was grey plaid) and paired it with black dress pants and black loafers. I love the menswear look, and I think this combination looks particularly good on women in their 40’s. It has sort of a demure power thing going on…like you spent the night at your boyfriend CEO’s and wore (and rocked) his clothes. Except there is no boyfriend and you’re the CEO.

 

how to wear plaid in your 40's

Main point: purchase something plaid that will make you feel (and look) like a boss. You won’t regret it.

 

Plaid in your 50’s:

This is a bit more dressed up of a look, but I think it still holds true to a sort of refined aesthetic. The lightweight blouse and pleated skirt are forgiving but still ladylike and very flattering. A pearl studded belt gives it a little more edge and makes the booties really pop. It’s an outfit that simultaneously commands respect and attention.

how to wear plaid in your 50's

Side note: this skirt was too big for me, so I’m holding it up and holding the belt on at the same time. Fun times! Haha.

 

Main point: Add plaid into your wardrobe in a refined way and it will look classy rather than trendy.

 

Plaid in your 60’s:

If you’re in your 60’s (or beyond) and living the retired life, this outfit is for you. Casual and comfortable but not too trendy. A classic plaid button down is worn open over a fitted (but not tight!) pair of wide leg jeans. The outfit is finished off with tan flats and (although not shown) would look great with a long necklace.

 

how to wear plaid in your 60's

Main point: Comfy doesn’t have to be frumpy. Choose clothes that fit your body and flatter your shape.

 

Keep reading to see my favorite handbags from Target this season (and picking favorites was HARD because I loved them all!!)

plaid outfit ideas

 

Lastly, I wanted to share my favorite bags at Target. I have always been a big fan of Target purses because you can buy a really expensive looking purse for next to nothing. They obviously aren’t as durable and well made as a true designer handbag, but they are about $2000 cheaper, so that has to count for something!

Merlot Mia Ring Handle Crossbody Bag - Universal Thread™ BlackTrapunto Flap Crossbody Bag - A New Day™Circle Handle Satchel Handbag - A New Day™

Ring Handle Bag (left), Trapunto Crossbody Bag (middle), Circle Handle Bag (right)

 

Round Clutch With Buckle - A New Day™New Band Satchel Handbag - A New Day™Knotted Top Handle Satchel Handbag - A New Day™

Round Clutch (left), New Band Satchel (middle), Top Handle Satchel (right)

 

Want to see more plaid outfits for Fall? Click here to check out the top 8 trends of Fall 2018 and over 150 outfit ideas and ways to wear them!

 

xoxo,

Leslie

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How to dress in your 20’s

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How to dress in your 20's

“Ahhh, to be in my 20’s again.”

 

I know you’ve heard people say it. Come to think of it, I think I’ve said it before!

 

But being in your 20’s isn’t easy for a multitude of reasons- not the least of which being fashion related.

 

You’re in this weird transition point in your life between college and ‘real life’ (aka: working). You have the body to dress however you want, but you need to look respectable at some point (like…when you’re going to work). Striking that balance isn’t easy. Oh, and bonus points: you probably have no money.

 

Given all that, how do you dress in your 20’s? How do you look professional without looking frumpy? How do you buy career clothes? How tight is too tight?

 

No worries 20-somethings! I have you covered. Here are the top 3 things you should focus on when it comes to clothes in your 20’s.

 

1. Focus on the basics

Think about what you wore in college. Sweatpants and baggy t-shirts to class? Skin tight dresses to clubs? Those clothes might have been comfy and convenient, but were they really you, or just what everyone else was wearing? Did they actually look good on you, or was it just the current trend? I can’t even tell you how many outfits I wore that were ‘the cool thing to wear’ which looked absolutely horrible on me.

 

It’s time to start thinking about what actually looks good on you, works for your lifestyle, and sends the message you want to send (see #3). Depending on the job you have after college, you may feel like your wardrobe is starting over from scratch. That’s okay. This is the perfect time for you to get back to the basics.

 

Here’s how to start upgrading your basics without spending an arm and a leg:

1. Think of your current lifestyle (your job or future job, daily activities, etc.) As you go through your closet, put everything that works with your lifestyle in one area. Put everything else to the side. (Example: Let’s say you are an entry level employee at an ad agency. The clothes you would wear for work are the ones that ‘work with your lifestyle’. The clothes you never really wear anymore are the ones that get put aside.)

2. Go through the clothes that work for your lifestyle/job. What pieces do you dislike? Does that button down shirt pull at the chest? Do your dress pants fit horribly (because you needed something for the interview…TODAY!)? Do your jeans all have holes in them? Make a list of the items that are in the ‘okay for my lifestyle’ pile, but that you aren’t really wild about.

3. Reorder your list so the items you wear most often are at the top. When you have extra money, only shop for things on your list, from top to bottom! This allows you to efficiently upgrade your basics and start building a foundation for an amazing wardrobe (not just a weird mish-mash of all the trends from the last 4 years).

 

Not sure what basics you need? This e-book has the top 20 basics everyone needs (and it even tells you what styles will look best for you body type) no matter what sort of ‘lifestyle’ you find yourself in!

 

2. Play up your youth!

You may be dipping your toes into the professional world, or spending your 9 to 5 acting like you’re older than you are…but don’t forget your youth! You’re still in your 20’s which means you can get away with a lot more than other age groups. The key is knowing how far to go, and WHEN. You can still wear those skin tight dresses out to clubs, but be sure to put them away before heading to the office. You can wear the newest leopard trend to work, but choose a leopard button down shirt under a black suit for a refined look. (Want to see all the new Fall 2018 trends plus great outfit ideas?? Click here)

 

You don’t want to look back at your 20’s and think: “Man, I looked like I was a stripper at work” OR (equally as bad, IMO) “Man, I looked like a 60 year old at work. I wish I had been a little more adventurous with my style.”

 

If you’re a little unsure about what items in your closet are appropriate in what situation, see the handy chart below:

Can I wear this (in my 20's)

 

3. What message are you sending?

For many of you, your 20’s are the first decade of your life that you get to make all your decisions about who you are. During high school and college you probably tried different lifestyles, trends, and even jobs, but as you get older, you start getting more comfortable with who you are as a person. You start understanding what you like regardless of what those around you like.

 

AND, here’s the biggie: you start thinking about how you want the world to perceive you.

 

Do you want people to think you’re professional? What about fun, intelligent, or carefree?

 

In our 20’s we start thinking about our reputation beyond the walls of our hometown or our college campus. What do we want our boss to think about us? What about our customers? What about future friends? What message do you want to send to these people?

 

You know how you only get 30 characters or something to write a description on your Instagram profile? That’s pretty much what it’s like getting dressed every day in your 20’s. You have a message about yourself, a description, that you want to tell the world. How you do your hair, makeup, the clothes you choose, and even your body language act as that 30 character description. It’s the first thing people see and it’s how they decide what kind of person you are…before they even look through your Instagram page.

 

So, when you go shopping or get dressed, think about what message you are sending. Is it the message you really want to be sending?

 

I know that’s a lot to think about, but don’t worry- you’re young and have plenty of time to mull this one over.

 

Like this post? Pin it!

 

TLDR: Start building a wardrobe of clothes that look great on your body type and send the message you want to send! Oh yeah, and don’t forget to have some fun. Smile

 

Cheers,

Leslie 

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How to wear Summer clothes in Fall

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summer to autumn outfits

It happened this week. Did you see it?

 

In an eager move to make as much money as possible from white girls, Starbucks started offering pumpkin spice lattes- before Summer can even think about being over. Do I sound bitter? I’m not bitter. [insert eye roll here]

 

As someone who appreciates marketing, I can respect Starbucks’ decision. As someone who loves Summer and hates every other season, I am less than thrilled.

 

That’s why today I’m talking all about styling your Summer clothes to work for Fall.

 

When you wear Summer clothes into Fall you…

1. Save money and get the most out of your clothing

2. Look seasonably appropriate

3. Get to hold on to every last bit of summer possible

 

Sounds like pretty much a win-win situation. Are you ready? Here are my top 3 tips (with pics, of course!) on how to transition your Summer clothes into the Autumn season.

summer to fall outfits

Tip #1: Layers

Our first layering instinct is usually to put a jacket or cardigan on OVER our shirt. That’s works great, but I want to remind you of other places you can layer…specifically, UNDER your shirts and dresses.

summer to fall outfit ideas

Here, I’ve kept everything the same, except for adding a fitted sweater under the dress. I could easily switch the tennis shoes out for boots and tights if I wanted to go for a more dressed up (and cold weather) look. Tennis shoes are going to be big again this Fall. To see the other top trends of Fall 2018, click here

 

 

A long sleeve blouse under a dress is an unexpected, yet very chic, way to dress for fall. Bonus: If it gets too hot during the day, you can always remove said shirt.

summer to fall outfit ideasThis is a simple dress that I added a button-down shirt to. I also changed out the shoes to warmer, calf-hair pumps. Adding tights or other hosiery is a good option if your legs get cold easily (or the temps drop low). 

 

The examples above show dresses, but you can easily layer sweaters and blouses under regular shirts. One of my favorite things to do is add a fitted sweater under a loose t-shirt. It has a sort of urban casual look and it keeps me warm!

 

Another great way to layer is to put a sweater on OVER a dress. You’ll see an example of this in the next tip.

 

Hint: When you have great basics in your closet- layering is super easy. Click here to find out what 20 basics every woman needs in her closet.

 

 

Tip #2: Shoes

One of the easiest ways to make an outfit look appropriate for fall is to switch up the shoes. Trade in sandals for closed toe shoes or boots and you’ll already look more Fall-ish.

summer to fall outfitsHere, I’ve switched out the summery wedges for boots and added a sweater and scarf over the dress. Fun fact: this is actually my wedding dress. I got married 7 years ago, and I’ve had so much fun experimenting with different ways to style it. 

summer to fall outfitsIn this outfit change, I traded my sandals in for boots and added a blazer. I love white jeans and I literally wear them for as long as possible into the Fall (and *ahem* Winter). 

 

The two examples above showcase riding boots. I absolutely love riding boots. They are not only comfortable, but they are so versatile- pairing with jeans or dresses equally as well. If you have one pair of boots, I recommend a neutral color (black or brown) riding boot. They are pretty much a fashion staple every Fall, so any shoe store should carry them. (My black pair are from DSW and the brown pair were from a thrift store!)

 

Tip #3: Scarves

Scarves were made for Fall and Winter. Adding a scarf to an outfit is an inexpensive and easy way to celebrate Autumn while still holding onto your summer clothes. They are also a great way to incorporate new trends without spending a lot of money! To see the new trends for Fall 2018 (plus, many more scarf outfits!) click here.

This thick, wool scarf is enough to make the outfit Fall appropriate, but I added a few more items to make the outfit more interesting. A felt hat (also very Fall), light jacket, and cowboy boots round out the ensemble and I look like I’m ready to go pumpkin picking. Another fun fact: Each Scottish clan has a unique plaid and this scarf is ‘Buchanan’ plaid, which is my maiden name and ancestry. 

summer to fall outfitsThis is a very classic *me* outfit. There’s nothing I love more than some black and grey. I’ve kept everything the same and literally just added a blanket scarf, showing you how easy it is to look great in cold weather quickly! I actually keep a scarf like this in my car at all times in case I get cold in a restaurant or the weather changes suddenly.

 

Lastly, I want to leave you with my biggest tip for layering EVER. It sounds really simple, but it’s very important.

 

Here it is: Anytime you are layering (or even putting an outfit together) add only one piece at a time. After each piece is added, asses whether you like it with the rest of the outfit. 

 

For example: Put on pants. Do you like the pants? If yes, then add a shirt. Decide if you like those two items together. If you do, add another item (jewelry, scarf, shoe, etc.) and if you don’t, replace the item you don’t like until you find one you do.

 

So many people get overwhelmed when dressing because they feel like they need the whole outfit mapped out in their head before they even get dressed. Well, that IS overwhelming! If you go garment by garment, it’s much less stressful and you’ll actually enjoy getting dressed. Like I said, it sounds simple, but I encourage you to give it a go- you won’t be let down.

 

Cheers!

Leslie 

 

Ps. I am so super excited because I’ve just completed the Fall 2018 Outfits + Trends Style E-book (picture below!!!) Click here to see the e-book and get your copy today. 

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How to get out of a fashion rut

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Raise your hand if you’ve been wearing the same shirt for the past week straight and the graphic below hits a little too close to home.

 

style rut graphic

 

Rest assured, you’re not the only one; I fall into fashion ruts and I’m a stylist!

 

In light of this issue that we all face, I want to share my top 6 tips for pulling yourself out of a style rut. First, though, it’s important to know HOW we got into the hole of monotonous fashion before we figure out how to get out of said hole.

 

How did we end up here?

 

Humans are creatures of habit. Just mess with someone’s daily routine and you’ll receive a backlash that is reflective of a person’s desire to avoid change. Our instincts tell us that change is bad, although, our minds know otherwise. Combine our dislike of change with our addiction to dopamine and you’ve got a style rut waiting to happen.

 

Here’s how it plays out:

 

You put together a new outfit. You like the way it looks and the way it feels. People tell you how good you look and this makes you happy (i.e. your brain is secreting dopamine- the happy drug).

 

You continue to wear your new go-to outfit because 1) your brain likes dopamine and getting compliments and 2) you like the outfit.

 

Once you have several of these go-to outfits that you like, you stop creating new outfits. Your brain tells you that change is bad and you have enough good options already. And, if you’re me, you’re too busy/lazy to put together more outfits. You end up wearing the same five outfits until you die (or buy something new and start the process over again).

 

 

How to get out of a style rut:

 

Now that you know how you got into the rut (more or less), here are my top tips for getting OUT.

 

1. Use the hanger trick

The hanger trick is something I use on clients to help them clean out their closets. It is also a great way to force you to wear every item in your closet and not just your go-to items. Here’s how it works: Every time you wear a garment, return it to your closet on a backwards hanger. Try to wear all your clothes on correctly facing hangers before re-wearing backwards hung clothes, if you can. At the end of each season, I remove any forward facing hung clothes (aka: the ones that haven’t been worn) and donate/sell them and start the process over again.

 

2. Give yourself extra time

One of the reasons I end up wearing the same outfits is because I know what works and I don’t have time to put together something new. I’ve found that giving myself even an extra 15 or 20 minutes in the morning allows me time to play around in my closet and try on a new outfit without feeling rushed.

 

3. Know what works for you

We tend to wear clothing that looks good on us and fits well while avoiding the clothes in our closet that are ill-fitting. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to find out what looks good on your body shape. When you have even the most basic clothes in silhouettes that flatter you, you have more options of outfits. This is because you actually like more garments in your closet and thus are more likely to wear more garments- resulting in more outfit options. To see the 20 basics I think every closet needs (and what silhouettes are best for each body type), click here.

 

4. Keep clothing and accessories visible

It sounds obvious, but the easier it is to see something, the more likely you are to wear it. Is it easier to put outfits together in Goodwill or a fancy boutique? The answer is: a fancy boutique. When items are displayed well, it’s easier to pull them from the rack and put them on (which is why boutiques look the way they do). Consider re-organizing your closet to make every item more accessible.

 

5. Get inspired

Inspiration can come in all forms, but two platforms I love are Instagram and Pinterest. I recommend finding someone (celebrity or instagrammer) who has a similar body shape/lifestyle/style to you. Watch what they wear and how they put outfits together. You never know what you’ll learn and what you might want to try! Instagram accounts I like are: @fashion_unfolded_by_mandy (40+ style), @sustainable_consumption (20’s/30’s urban professional), @round2it (plus size), @stylishprofessor (40+ and tall styles). There are also lots of boards on Pinterest focused on things like: Petite, Plus, Specific Body Shapes, and Work outfits.

 

6. Get a second opinion

Remember playing dress up as a kid? Who says that stops when you become an adult? If anything, you should play more often because you actually have things to dress up for! One of the easiest, and most fun, ways to get out of a fashion rut is to host a fashion party and invite a couple of close friends over. Uncork some wine, turn up some tunes, and have your friends play dress up in your closet. See what new and fun outfits they come up with! A casual get-together like this is the perfect incubator for creative outfit ideas.

 

 

What gets you out of a style rut? Who do you follow for fashion inspiration?

Share in the comments below!

 

Cheers,

Leslie

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Modest Dressing: Stay cool without baring all

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Many women choose to dress more modestly, whether it’s for religious reasons or simply personal preference. Motives aside, most modest dressers face the same fashion issues. That is why I’m so excited to bring to you a series of blog posts all about dressing conservatively…starting with this one!

 

Since it’s still hot in many parts of the country, I want to give you my top 5 tips to staying cool- without baring it all.

Tip #1: Choose fabrics wisely

 

Searching a garment of clothing for a fabric content tag isn’t something we necessarily do when buying clothing- but it should be if you’re trying to stay cool.

 

Generally, natural fabrics like cotton, linen, flax, bamboo (usually in the form of rayon), etc. tend to breathe more than synthetic (or man-made) fabrics. The exception to this being performance fabrics that are specially made for exercise (spandex and lycra) and wool (which is natural but very warm!).

 

So, what exactly do I mean by breathe more? It means that natural fabrics allow air to pass through the weave of the fabric, thus allowing the sweat to evaporate and cool your body. Materials like polyester, acetate, and acrylic (synthetics) don’t allow for air flow, leaving the sweat to pool on your skin under the fabric (ugh).

 

Choosing garments with the right fabric is one of the most important parts of regulating your temperature! All of your essential wardrobe basics (click here to read more about choosing the best basics!) should be chosen in the appropriate fabrics for the climate where you live.

 

Here’s a little cheat sheet on fabrics and which work best for hot weather!

Did you know? Legally in the US, garments must have a tag identifying their fabric source. The tag is required to be in the back neck or left side seam of all garments. 

 

Tip #2: Lighten up

 

Darker colors absorb light while lighter colors reflect light. This means that a black shirt is going to absorb the sun’s heat and a white shirt is going to reflect most of the sun’s heat.

 

This is why you always see the same types of colors pop up every spring/summer and fall/winter! A light pink will be cooler in the summer while a burgundy red will be warmer in the winter- if you’re exposed to the sun.

 

This seems really obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people chose to wear black in the summer and don’t understand why it’s making them hot!

 

Tip #3: Less isn’t always more (cooling)

 

Most people’s first reaction to hot weather is to take off as much clothing as possible. If you prefer to dress in a modest way, stripping down isn’t an option for you. AND- you’ll be happy to hear- it isn’t always the best option.

 

The sun’s rays are extremely powerful and can be very damaging to the skin. Keeping your skin covered is a great way to decrease the chance of skin cancers and other negative dermatological sun affects. Even walking from your parking spot to your work may result in sun damage- so it’s a good thing to cover up!

 

Lightweight fabrics are good options because they, not only help prevent sun damage*, but efficiently transfer sweat off your body and into the air, thus creating a cooling effect. Lightweight fabrics also dry faster, so you won’t be walking around with a soaking wet shirt all day.

 

The main point? Keep fabrics lightweight and make sure you have air flow (see tip #4)

 

*Clothing is usually not 100% effective at blocking all the sun’s harmful rays. Make sure you always wear sunscreen (even under your clothing!) when you are exposed to the sun.

Tip #4: Airflow is key

 

I’ve already said this a couple times, but it’s really important, so I’ll say it again. This is how sweat works: Your body senses that it’s hot and starts sweating. The sweat then evaporates into the air and the process of evaporation cools the body.

 

Obviously, this means that the less air exposure, the less evaporated sweat (making you hot and wet) while the more air, the more evaporated sweat (leaving you dry and cool).

 

Long story short: airflow is good AND the more airflow the better.

 

When you are putting together outfits, make sure there is plenty of air flow, and specifically, as much air as possible in between your skin and any garment. This is why loose tunics, skirts, and wide leg pants are all great options.

 

If you live in an area of the world that is hot most of the time, take potential airflow into consideration whenever you’re shopping for anything- but most importantly- those basics that make up your wardrobe (see more about the 20 essential basics here).

 

Hint: Want to tuck in a shirt or belt it? Choose a shirt with wider sleeve holes or a more open neckline. This ensures that air can still come enter through some other access point than the bottom of the shirt.

 

Tip #5: Add excitement with jewelry

 

For a lot of us, adding a scarf or creative layering clothes can be a great way to add interest to an outfit. However, in the heat of the summer, a scarf seems out of place (unless it’s a hijab) and layered clothes are too hot.

 

So, how do you keep your outfits from being too blasé? Let jewelry have its moment!

 

Long necklaces easily replace scarves and spice up outfits without trapping any heat. The also visually act the same as scarves as they tend to elongate the body making you look more slim and tall.

 

Earrings, bracelets, and rings are a great way to add in the dark colors you love- but maybe don’t want to swath yourself in this time of year.

 

Bonus: summer jewelry is an inexpensive and easy way to experiment with new colors and trends with minimal commitment.

 

LASTLY, here are just a few outfits to give you a little warm weather inspiration!

 

modest outfits for warm weather

What is your favorite outfit to wear when the weather gets hot? Share in the comments below!

 

Cheers,

Leslie

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The Best Clothes for Teachers

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It’s that time of year again! Can’t you just *smell* the crayons??

 

I remember back to school as one of my favorite times of the year- not because of the school part- but because I could get new clothes for the upcoming year. While I’m sure it’s just as fun for a lot of other kids, now that I’m an adult, I see a whole different side of back to school. Specifically speaking…the teacher’s side.

 

I’m going to be honest. I didn’t really understand how tough it was to dress as a teacher until I started having teacher clients and my friends became teachers. All of a sudden I understood the delicate balance that is teacher clothing: stylish but not (anywhere near) sexy, functional but not frumpy, easy to wear but not sloppy….and the list goes on.

 

To help you make that balancing act easy, I’ve written out the three most important steps to choosing a wardrobe that will work for your career as a teacher.

 

Step 1: Choose the right basics

Putting together outfits (no matter what job you have!) is going to be difficult if you don’t have the right basics.

 

The basics are foundational pieces of your wardrobe (think: black pants and white tees) that are the building blocks for all your outfits.

 

The two key attributes about foundational basics of any wardrobe are that:

1) they work for your body shape and

2) they work for your lifestyle.

 

To see my suggestion for 20 basics every wardrobe should have (and what styles are best for your body shape!) click here.

 

It seems pretty obvious, but it’s very important that your basic pieces look great on you and cater to your lifestyle because they are the key players in every outfit you put together. Just like a house, if the foundation is off, then the rest of the building (or in our case- outfit) won’t work.

 

 

Step 2: Embrace the capsule collection

Maybe you’ve heard of capsule collections. They are essentially a small number of clothing items that can all be interchanged with each other to create as many different outfits as possible.

 

There are several benefits to a capsule collection that make it appealing to teachers:

  1. Getting dressed is easy. With a capsule collection, every top works with every other bottom. Getting dressed in the morning is as easy as pulling a top and a bottom out of your closet and putting them together to create an outfit.
  2. Capsule collections save you money. These types of wardrobes are perfect for people on budgets because you are getting the most possible outfit combinations out of the least amount of clothing. That translates to more bang for your buck.
  3. You’ll always look appropriate. Teachers are people too and they *gasp* have lives outside of work. Because of this, not everything in your wardrobe may be appropriate to wear in a school setting. When you have a capsule collection of items for work, then you already know that everything in that collection is approved for work. You won’t have to stand in front of the mirror in the morning wondering if that one shirt is just a little too low.

 

Creating a capsule collection can be daunting. That’s why I wrote a style e-book (shown below) just for teachers! The book includes: an entire capsule collection of 20 items, 12 weeks of outfit ideas from that collection, helpful dressing for your body shape hints, and a practical step by step guide to creating your own teacher wardrobe. Click here to check out the book and learn more.

Step 3: Have fun with your accessories

Capsule collections tend to be more on the neutral side (although they don’t have to!). If you’re looking to spice up your outfits, try experimenting with different accessories.

 

Not only are accessories like jewelry, scarves, and bags fun, but they are also much cheaper than buying a whole new outfit. Bonus: scarves can be a great way to hide that coffee you just spilled down the front of your shirt.

 

Here are a few accessories that I love (with a price that anyone would love!):

 

Matte Bead Layered Necklace, RED, hi-resLina Splatter Tassel Oblong Scarf, , hi-res

Matte bead necklace $18 (left), Tassel scarf $15 (middle), Palm tree brooch $19.97 on sale (right)

Twig & Arrow Embroidered Parrot ClutchOpen Work with Faceted Stone Ring Set 3ct - Universal Thread™ Gold

Parrot clutch $12.97 on sale (left), Stackable rings $9.99 (middle), Floral neckerchief $9.99 (right),

 

Wishing all the teachers out there a wonderful school year!!

 

Cheers,

Leslie

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