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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 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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The pair of shoes you can wear with anything

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The only pair of shoes you'll need

 

Anyone who knows me (or follows my blog) probably knows that I’m a neurotic packer.

I absolutely love packing for trips. This, in and of itself, is weird (or so I’m told). But while the rest of world dreads packing and procrastinates until the last minute, I start planning months in advance.

My goal is to pack the least amount (I almost never check a bag!) but still have enough clothes to look really stylish and appropriate for my destination. Because of that, I approach packing like a puzzle. How many outfits can I make from the least amount of clothes? How many accessories do I need to make each outfit look amazingly unique, even if I wore it the night before? And, the question that brings us to today’s topic, what is the least number of shoes I can pack? (psst. My biggest packing tip is to only pack some of the basics from your wardrobe.)

Shoes are a big deal. For one, they take up a lot of room in a suitcase. They are also extremely important when it comes to enjoying your trip. You don’t want to get blisters on the first day from bringing shoes that don’t fit well.

I just went to New York City for the weekend to meet up with my sisters. Activities included everything from walking around the Met to going out and laying out. I needed a shoe that would look great with a fancy dress, jeans, and a swimsuit. It was a tall order.

What did I end up choosing? A cute pair of black mules. The picture below is the exact pair of shoes I wore.
target black muleBlack Mules from Target ($24.99)

Since I had copious amounts of time in airports and cars this past weekend, I got to thinking, “Is there one shoe you could pretty much wear with anything?” The shoe above did just that, but what happens when that shoe is outdated? And that’s when I got my follow up answer; it wasn’t about the exact shoe itself so much as the type.

The picture above, is a fancy flat. If you’re not familiar with that term, don’t feel bad, I literally made it up in the Delta lounge last weekend. More on what makes a fancy flat fancy later, but I want to hit on why this type of shoe will always be around:

When that fancy flat gets outdated, another fancy flat will take it’s place.

Just think about the last couple years of fashion when it comes to flats: ballet flats were all the hit (a la Tory Burch), then loafers, and now mules. In a few years (or months) another flat will take the place of mules.

So what makes a fancy flat fancy?

So glad you asked. It’s some sort of embellishment or attribute that takes the shoe from completely casual to gussied up. It could be an actual embellishment like tassels (see above) or rhinestones. Or it could be as simple as using leather or satin instead of canvas or some other cheap substitute.

This is the secret to having a shoe that can go back and forth from a maxi dress to a swimsuit.

Below are two flats. The one on the left is just a normal, casual flat while the other is one I’d consider ‘fancy’. Can you tell the difference?

Galinsky Loafer

Left (Toms $49.95), Right (Aldo $59.99)

The two shoes above are very similar, but because the one on the right uses leather instead of canvas and has a pointed toe, it looks fancier. Crazy how such a small change can make a big difference right?

Both shoes will look great with jeans, but only the one on the right will look good with fancier skirts, dresses, and even work pants.

Keep reading to see the top 3 reasons why fancy flats are so incredible.

you can wear these shoes with everything

 

The top 3 reasons why the fancy flat can be the only shoe in your closet:

  1. It’s a flat, so it’s easy to walk in. If you have one shoe in your closet, it better to be easy on your dogs.
  2. It’s fancy (or part of it is dressed up in some way) so the casualness of the low heel is contrasted with the more formal embellishments or materials. These two qualities ying and yang to create the perfect shoe that can work just as well with jean shorts as it can a silk slip dress.
  3. What’s en vogue changes enough, that by the time you wear out your pair of fancy flats, another pair will be on the market (which means you are always in style)

 

I love fancy flats, and think they’re so important, that they actually made my list of the top 20 items you need in your closet.

 

 

Looking for more fancy flat options? Try these:

Renzo Flat

DSW $44.99

Rodney Pointy Toe d'Orsay Flat, Main, color, Pink Snake Print Leather

Nordstrom $83

Sunflower Studded Mule Slide

Bergdorf Goodman’s ($347)

 

As you can tell, not all fancy flats have to be plain black (although that is pretty versatile!) Pick a pair that works well with the color scheme of your closet or opt for neutral colors like beige and black to get the most wear! They also don’t have to be fancy priced. The pair of mules I took to New York were less than $25. I’d say that’s a win-win.

Do you have a pair of fancy flats that you love? Tell me below!

xoxox,

Leslie

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How to dress an HOURGLASS shape

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Different styles throughout the decades tend to favor various body shapes. The 60’s claimed the rectangle, the 80’s the pear, and the 40’s were great for apples- to name a few. What about the hourglass, though?

If you’re an hourglass and you’re feeling left out because the decade of styles that looked best on your were from the 1950’s…DON’T. Your time has come again.

Thanks to the Kardashians, the hourglass shape is back in and hotter than ever. This is especially good news for extreme hourglasses (ie: you’re curvier than most) who might have trouble finding outfits to fit their bodies.

So, no matter what you think about the Kardashian kids, give them your thanks, because their celebrity status is driving fashion trends (which means you don’t have to rely on ‘retro’ style clothing to make your body look as incredible as it is!)

 

Keep reading to find out:

  • What an hourglass shape actually is (pssst, if you’re not sure, check out this post and take our quiz!)
  • Celebrity hourglass examples
  • What to wear 
  • What NOT to wear
  • Sample Capsule Wardrobe

 

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. I use affiliate links in the form of clothing suggestions in order to help you best discover (and locate!) clothing that will work best for your body shape. If you click on the affiliate links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost for you. Thank you for supporting us, so we can continue to give you quality content. ~LF

You’re an Hourglass If…

You know you’re an hourglass shape because you have these two attributes:

  1. Your bust and hips are pretty much equal widths
  2. You have a defined waist that is noticeably smaller than your hips/bust

 

If you’re still confused about your shape, check out my original blog post on shapes (and how to dress any shape no matter if you fall neatly into a category or not)

 

Celebrity Hourglasses:

I already mentioned the Kardashian kids (and I did throw one in for good measure) but here are several other stars with hourglass shapes.

 

See the source imageThis fitted dress is a huge success at showing of Salma Hayek’s hourglass curves. 

 

Source: New York Daily News

Sofia Vergara  

 

See the source image

Ah yes, and then we have Kim. What I like about Kim is that there are literally millions of paparazzi shots of her wearing everything from sweatpants to going out clothes (like above). This is nice because it allows hourglasses to see what they might look like in different outfits, without even having to try them on. Thanks, Kim!

The Main Idea:

In the original blog post about DRESSING YOUR SHAPE, I talked about my easy secret to always knowing what will look good on you regardless of shape. The secret is to always wear clothing that make you look like an hourglass. If you missed the post, you can read it here.

Essentially, dressing for your shape is all about using clothing, jewelry, and other accessories as an optical illusion to make us appear a certain way.

The optical illusion is formed when we distract the viewer away from one part of our body and attract their eyes to a different part.

Here’s the thing though. You don’t have to use any optical illusions to make you look like an hourglass because YOU ARE an hourglass. Your only job now, is to preserve your hourglassness.

 

 

What to Wear:

Remember the main idea here: preserve your hourglass shape. If you wear something voluminous up top, you need to match that visually on the bottom. For example, a loose t-shirt looks best tucked into fitted wide leg pants. Likewise, a full skirt is best evened out with some eye catching detail up top (off the shoulder shirt, statement necklace, etc.). Whatever you do though, don’t lose your waist!! Make sure it’s defined at all times. (Pssst: want some help picking out the basics you need in your closet? Click here to hear about the 20 basic items everyone needs)

Here is what to wear, when it comes to different types of clothing:

    • Tops/Blouses: Fitted shirts are going to look best on you. Make sure to choose shirts that have equal interest above and below the waist (example: the first shirt is off the shoulder AND has volume below the waist). This is really only important if you plan on wearing your shirts untucked. You can wear any neckline.

    • Blazers/Jackets: Wear anything that comes in at the waist, or accentuates the waist in some way.

    • Skirts: High waisted skirts are going to look best on you. Flared skirts or other types of skirts with volume at the bottom are also good choices because they even out the volume of your hips.

    • Pants: Wide leg, boot cut, and flare pants are your friends. Much like the skirts, the volume at the bottom of the pants evens out the width of your hips.

    • Dresses: Anything fitted (note! fitted doesn’t have to mean skin tight) is great and the simpler the better. If you’re really curvy, it may be difficult finding dresses that come in enough at the waist. If you have this problem, try belting the dress at the waist, or shop for adjustable dresses like wrap dresses.

  • Accessories: Belts are your friends. A good rule of thumb, is to choose belts that are compatible with your size. If you are a bigger build, choose wider belts. If you’re a smaller build, choose skinnier belts. This keeps the belt from overwhelming or underwhelming you. You can wear any jewelry that you want. Woohoo!
  • Purses: You also want to keep your bags in proportion to your body. If you are more a Kim hourglass, go for bigger bags. If you are a smaller hourglass (less dramatic curves) opt for a small or medium size bag.

What NOT to Wear:

  • Tops/Blouses: Anything baggy where your waist isn’t accentuated. (Like the baggy shirt below) Depending on the extremity of your curves, you may need to have a tailor on call to help make every item fit just right.
  • Blazers/Jackets: Avoid jackets and blazers, like traditional pea coats, that are straight up and down with no seams or detailing around the waist. They will make you look like boxes. (Exception: if the boxy jackets end above your waist or if you belt them)
  • Skirts: Low rise skirts that lie across the hips are generally not good.
  • Pants: Skinny pants make your hips/butt look bigger than it is. Low rise pants are also a bad idea. Rompers and jumpsuits are best to avoid as they will most likely not fit your curves without extensive alteration.
  • Dresses: You’ll want to avoid anything sack like.
  • Accessories: Avoid belts that don’t fit your body size!
  • Purses: Cross body bags that cut your body in half and take away from your figure!

Sample Hourglass Capsule Wardrobe:

A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of clothing where each piece can be worn with every other piece to make a maximum number of outfits. Below, we have put together a capsule collection for an hourglass with classic style.

You’ll notice that I tried not to pull anything over $200 to keep this wardrobe budget friendly!

Ps. Don’t forget to look under the collection to see how to put these pieces together for a week’s worth of activities!


Here are just a few combinations you can make for an entire week’s worth of activities.

Monday: (work) White dress + jacket + heels.

Tuesday: (work, then school meeting) Button down shirt + denim skirt + heels. Change from heels to sandals after work.

Wednesday: (work) Jacket + off the shoulder top + khaki pants + heels.

Thursday: (work, volunteering) Burgundy t-shirt + white dress (t-shirt is over dress) + gold belt + heels. Swap the dress for jeans and tennis shoes when you leave work.

Friday: (work, after work dinner date) Floral dress (safety pin the slit shut so it’s not so risqué) + jacket + heels. Unpin skirt and add gold belt at waist for date.

Saturday: (playground with kids) Burgundy t-shirt + jeans + tennis shoes.

Sunday: (baseball game, book club) Off the shoulder top + denim skirt + sandals.

 

Want more ideas for an hourglass shaped capsule collection? This e-book shows you how to choose the top 20 items every one should own, which versions you should wear for your body shape, and outfit ideas for work and play. Read more about it here! 

 

The Big Take-Away:

You literally have the shape that *everyone* wants. 

Long story short, don’t hide it! Make sure your outfits show off just how glorious your body is!

 

And most, importantly, you’re gorgeous. Never forget that. 

xoxo, Leslie 

 

PS. Now that you know the rules, you can break them. 😉

 

 

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Bralettes to Life Saving Jewelry- What I’m Obsessed with Right Now

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Call me picky, but it actually takes quite a bit for something to reach ‘obsession’ level with me. I’ve seen a lot of fashion trends and, while I like some of them, I usually don’t get super excited.

Every once in a while, however, something pops up out of the blue like a pleasant little surprise. I must be having a good month or two, because three of those ‘little surprises’ manifested themselves over the past couple weeks. So, without further ado, here’s the low down on what I’m loving right now.

  1. This specific bralette from Victoria’s Secret.

victorias secret bralette

Bralettes aren’t new. In fact, I own a couple and they weren’t even on my radar when I walked into my local VS the other day. The last couple bras I bought were either online, or I didn’t try them on, which led to less than great fit. Determined not to make the same mistake, I stopped by the VS store to try stuff on in person. You know, like a normal person and not the online buying millennial I am. This turned out to be a great idea because I came across this bralette that was perfect in every way. It fit great, it was unbelievably comfortable, AND it didn’t have underwire or clips in the back (it pulls over the head). I literally could sleep in this thing it was so comfy. The nail in the coffin was that they were 2/$30. That’s a freaking steal. Obviously I bought two, and I seriously thought about getting multiples as back ups. I loved it so much I literally took a half naked selfie in the bra to show to my two best friends…”You need one of these!!!” I think that qualifies as obsession level.

Click here to shop the bralette.     (This is an affiliate link. I receive compensation when you purchase through the link, but the cost of the product never increases because of it! I just have to put this here because the government and what nots.) 

 

  1. This jewelry company that helps save women from human trafficking

I came across the Starfish Project on Instagram and immediately fell in love with their business idea and their jewelry. This jewelry company helps women in Asia gain independence and break free from exploitation (usually sexual). The best part is, that the jewelry is really pretty (I like simple pieces, and they have plenty of them!) and it’s affordable. On their Instagram and website (starfish_project) they even say what each piece can fund. For example, one necklace can pay for health care costs for one woman, or housing for a week, etc. It’s really cool knowing that you can help out in that way and still only pay less than $50 for most of the jewelry. Here are a couple of my favorite pieces:

Shop the Tori Necklace (this is a choker <3 <3 <3) and the Carter Earrings.

Shop the Madelyn and  Kerry Necklace. (They have silver jewelry too, but I love all the gold)

  1.  Compression socks

Okay, you really weren’t expected that were you? Of all the fun fashion out there, my current obsession is…compression socks? Like, what old people and pregnant women wear? Yes, yes, and yes. I’m not even ashamed. My doctor had recommended CS (for POTS) so, I borrowed a pair of my husband’s compression socks that he had purchased because of a past knee surgery. LIFE CHANGED. My legs had been aching constantly and the socks immediately relieved all pain. It was crazy and I never want to take them off. I also proceeded to buy another pair from Amazon. This is the exact pair that he (and I) purchased:

compression socks

And here’s the link. I’m not saying that they’re going to cure all your pain issues, but if you have blood pooling in the legs you may want to seriously consider trying a pair!

 

In short-

All I want to do is wear my new bralette, compression socks, and gold necklaces. Nothing else matches the greatness of that outfit. Although, I may put on some pants if I decide to leave the house (you’re welcome). 

 

What are you obsessed with right now? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

Cheers,

Leslie

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Summer Scarf Trends You Need to Try Now!

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Don’t let winter have all the fun. Scarves are just as useful and beautiful in the summer as they are in the winter months. Don’t believe me? These new summer scarf trends may change your mind!

  1. Long and Skinny. Thin, simple scarves are anything but understated! Not only do they have a lengthening effect on the body, but they seem to add that right amount of interest without using jewelry. Stick to solid colors or matching prints to make a big impression.

How it’s being worn –>

(Rebecca Minkoff, Helena Bordon, NYFW attendees)

Shop the look –> 

(click on picture for more details about each scarf)

 

2.  Neck Scarves. I love a good neck scarf…especially when I’m feeling too lazy to put on a necklace (which, I know, is quite the low point). Any square scarf can be used as a neck scarf. Simply fold the square in half to form a triangle and then tie the two furthest points of the triangle together behind your neck. If you have a really big square, you can cross over those two triangle points in the back (with the big point in front) and then bring them around to tie in front.

How it’s being worn –>

At Fashion Week

(Wes Gordon, Instagrammer @lookdepernille, NYFW blogger)

Shop the look –>

(click on picture for more details about each scarf)

 

3. Large and Loose. You don’t have go small and dainty. In fact, the bigger built you are, the bigger your accessories need to be. The key to wearing larger scarves in the summer months is to focus on lightweight fabrics that are light colored. Look for scarves made from silk, chiffon, and gauze cottons. I bring a huge scarf with me on every beach vacation and use it as a scarf, wrap, beach cover-up, and barrier against unreasonable airplane temperatures.

How it’s being worn –>

(left: Can you find the scarves? Each girl is wearing one! right: street style photo)

Shop the look –>

 

(click on picture for more details about each scarf)

Scarves are one of the easiest ways to brighten up an outfit without having to totally commit to a crazy color or trend. Take advantage of it and let scarves take you right in to summer!

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5 Things Every Woman Needs to Know about Instagram Envy

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Instagram envy. It starts off harmless enough. You might be scrolling through your favorite social media app (be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…) casually looking at friends’ pictures and posts when you find yourself sighing and thinking any number of negative thoughts.

Why don’t I eat beautiful food like that? Why isn’t my closet that clean? I wish my kids looked that pulled together. I wish I could be in Paris right now. Why do I have to be so fat/short/tall/pale/dark/[insert insecurity here]?

I feel that women are especially prone to insta-envy. Maybe it’s our unparalleled ability to compare ourselves to any and everything. Maybe it’s the fact that we tend to downplay our own lives, achievements, and self worth. Whatever the reason, it happens. The following are 5 helpful tips to getting through the envy and embracing it to make you a better person.

what you need to know about instagram envy

Number 1: Not only does it exist, but it affects you.

This is for people who aren’t sure if they have social media fueled envy. This is for the women that are painfully aware that they do have it. This if for everyone who thinks that Insta-envy exists for everyone else except themselves.

Despite where you fall on the spectrum, there are two common truths: Social media envy exists and it affects you.

pierre

Even my Chinchilla, Pierre, can’t hide from social media!

Our surroundings and experiences are constantly shaping our current and future actions. You may be very aware that you feel sad when you look at her (you know, that frienemy whose jet setting, gourmet foodie lifestyle you constantly lust after) grams or read her Facebook posts. Alternatively, you may feel nothing at all save from basic observations (‘that’s a pretty flower!’ ‘That restaurant looks like fun’ ‘That’s a cute child’), but even at this point, your mind is identifying what is ‘good’ (well dressed children) and filling away assumptions as to what is ‘bad’ (kids in mismatched clothes). We are always in the process of reacting to what we’ve been exposed to (ex: you are more cognizant about the pictures you take because you like seeing the beautiful pictures on your feed) and Instagram is no save haven. Which leads us to the following…

Number 2. It can make you a sad, miserable person…

…if you let it. See that second part? It’s really important. While you can’t control what your mind takes in (not completely, that is) you can control what you do with the information. When you see a friend dressed to the nines in high end designer clothing, you have a choice. You could ignore it. You could get jealous and hold a pity party (whyyy can’t I have beautiful things like that?) Or, you could react positively (that blouse really brings out the color in her eyes. I’m lucky to have such beautiful friends!) I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure which option I would choose.

Number 3: It can make you a mindful, appreciative person…

…if you let it. There it is again. Remember what I said above? The choice between positive and negative is totally up to you.

Start by targeting the cause of your envy. When you find yourself feeling jealous from a certain picture or post, ask yourself: what about this picture/post is causing the envy? Would I actually want that [insert cause of envy] even if I had it? What in my life would someone else be envious of? For the sake of example, let’s say the said envy inducing picture was a young lady in (probably skimpy) workout clothes who has a very fit body with the caption, ‘can’t wait to workout today!’ You see the picture, get jealous, and then ask yourself the above questions.

Maybe the thing causing jealousy is her fit body (that you assume you don’t have), her enthusiasm to workout, or even the fact that she looks great going to the gym (presumably…we’ll discuss that in point 5). Now, really ask yourself- would you want that fit body knowing what you have to do (workout…a lot) to get it? Would you feel comfortable showing off your body in those revealing clothes (if not, does that make a difference? Do you care more about what other people would think than about you being healthy?) Do you really wish you were super enthusiastic about working out? Or do you actually want to look like a made up model on the way to the gym? Often times, I feel like we really wouldn’t even like the point of envy if we had it. Having a super fit body may mean spending time at the gym instead of with your family. It may involve forgoing your favorite foods or restricting alcohol intake. You’d be surprised at how often we get envious over things that we really don’t care about at all.

Here’s an alternative. Instead of getting jealous, simply think about the awesome things in your life. What would other people be jealous of? Believe me, there’s always something. That roof over your head (not to mention everything under it!) would be a luxury for far too many people. What you need to do is retrain your brain. You love looking at beautiful Pinterest and Instagram pictures, right? Well, go through each day with mindfulness and really try to see the beauty around you. Often times, great grams are because the person responsible has an eye for seeing beauty in everyday things.

coco

This was just your average Sunday at the local minor league ball park. Beautiful things (like this sky…and Coco) are all around you if you take the time to look.

If you notice a pattern in what you find envious, maybe it’s time for a change. If travel pictures make you insanely jealous, start considering what sorts of trips you can take with your time and budget (even short, weekend trips count!) If you are constantly coveting a fitter figure, get thee-self to a gym (or see a therapist if your body image concerns are extreme) and make an action plan to start eating better. When you are actively working towards a goal, you will start seeing those same posts and pics as inspiration towards said goal rather than silent shaming reminders that you aren’t working towards your dreams!

halfmarathon

Seeing half marathon posts from my friends gave me the (unintended and very indirect) encouragement I needed to run my first half marathon. This picture is now a reminder to me what I’m capable of. (Btw- the term ‘run’ is used very loosely here. Think of it as more of a quick walk. Also- thank goodness for great filters and well placed hat shadows!)

Number 4: It can help elevate your personal brand.

You know I can’t have a post without talking about the all important personal brand! Your personal brand is what sets you apart from every other person in your office, town, state, and world. It’s what makes you, you and social media is simply an extension of your ‘you-ness’. When you feel jealousy over someone’s post, that means they have done something to elicit emotion in you. Now, turn the tables and ask yourself- ‘what kind of emotion do I elicit in other people?’ Is it joy? A hunger for knowledge? Happiness? I personally, would like for people to feel relaxed, inspired, and empowered to positive change when they are around me. For that reason, I choose to share and post positive, relate-able, and helpful (or just happy) items on social media. So, stop being jealous, start figuring out what you want people to think when they see your posts, and act accordingly. Coworkers, future bosses, clients, and your network will all be watching eagerly.

mug

Something as simple as a to go coffee mug can help tell the world what you’re all about.

Number 5: Not everything you see is real.

This seems obvious, but a little reminder here and there is nice. A lot of grammers literally retake their pictures dozens of times to make sure everything is perfect. They Photoshop and filter their pictures far past the point of reality. While these pictures may be beautiful, they have deviated greatly from the original shot, and should probably be viewed more as art than ‘I woke up like this’ (which, you probably didn’t). Do you remember that gram from the half marathon above? While it’s not Photoshopped, I did look straight up rough in non-insta filter light…so believe me when I say not to believe everything you see. Oh, and that girl who is going to gym in full makeup? Yeah…she probably never made it there.

The big takeaway here? Use the power of Insta-envy to formulate goals (and action plans!!), become more mindful, and build your personal brand! Sure, you can delete Instagram or turn your phone off, but why do that when you could turn the tables and use it to your benefit? Now, go gett’m girl!

chaise

All Instagrams pictures are from my personal account: @leslie_friedman. The picture directly above was used on this blog with absolutely no consent from the subject. But she looks fabulous, no? I’m lucky to have such beautiful friends. 😉

 

 

*****Side Note****If you have major jealousy problems that affect your life significantly in a negative manner, you may benefit greatly from seeing a therapist or mental health professional. Likewise, seek out guidance if you have a self image that is drastically inconsistent with your peers (e.g. You think you’re fat and no one else does, you have an unhealthy obsession with traveling and wish to constantly escape your life, etc.) Additionally, if you feel that your self worth is based on the amount of positive feedback (likes, loves, etc) you receive on social media…talk it through with someone. There are trained professionals in every town who can help you retrain your brain and get the most out of life; use their expertise to start living a better, fuller life!*****************

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3 Things To Consider About Sexism in Hollywood and the #Askhermore Movement

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I’m not usually an awards show kind of person, but I did tune into the Oscars last weekend if only to watch Chris Rock hate on Hollywood. Even if you didn’t watch his opening monologue (or anything else) you know that Rock came down hard on Hollywood for being racist and really drove the #OscarsSoWhite stake into the coffin. He also addressed, albeit briefly, another -ism in Hollywood: Sexism.

For several years now, Hollywood has been shamed for asking women different questions on the red carpet (namely, what are you wearing?) than men (who get questions such as, ‘what did you enjoy most about your role?’) Actresses such as Reese Witherspoon have taken a stand and asked journalists to ask them more than superficial things like how long it took them to get ready for the red carpet. Not surprisingly, there’s a catchy little hashtag that goes along with this effort that is appropriately titled- #askhermore.

via GIPHY

Cate Blanchett calls out the E! camera crew in this famous GIF

While I agree with the fact that Hollywood is far from the point of gender equality, there are 3 important things to consider when approaching this topic:

1. It hasn’t always been this way.
In 2015, Hollywood Reporter wrote: “Ryan Seacrest tried eliminating the “Who are you wearing” question in 2010, and was criticized heavily for it. “Hey Ryan, Talk to the Dress” read a New York Times style column headline that detailed the backlash from fashion bloggers. ‘It was almost like he wasn’t that interested in the designers,’ designer Nicole Miller said. ‘He seemed more interested in the celebrities and their careers.'” The article goes on to say, “Joan Rivers once said that when she first asked “who are you wearing,” the New York Times criticized her for “improper grammar” and said nobody cared about what designers people wore. In 1999, the mother-daughter team were bumped off the carpet 30 minutes early and was replaced by Geena Davis. “And she gave all of these interviews beforehand and a press conference and guaranteed everyone that she would not ask actresses who they are wearing. ‘It is about the actors,’ ” Melissa Rivers told VF. “And then, literally, 10 seconds into her first interview with Helen Hunt, which I still remember, and [Geena] was clearly out of questions, she asked, ‘And … who are you wearing?’ ” (Read the whole article here.) To be clear, I’m not saying that because it’s been tried before with low rates of success we should abandon the #askhermore movement. Rather, we should try to figure out what is really happening here and dig a little deeper.

2. It’s not just “Hollywood”
‘Hollywood’ is an easy term to throw around (and under a bus) because it is an abstract idea that combines several different industries and lots of different people. Hollywood isn’t just famous people, but it’s the machines that give their fame a stage. It’s the movie industry (and the millions involved), the theatre industry, the music industry, etc. It’s also the people that help make the famous who they are. They are the stylists, the makeup artists, the public relations wizards. And then there’s the media. All of these people play into what we refer to as ‘Hollywood’ (and I didn’t even mention award show judges). It’s easy to place blame on something far away and abstract. Why do you think so many people blame the government for anything and everything? In order for racism, sexism, or any other -ism to disappear, each industry and individual needs to start thinking differently. They need to ask questions like, “why can’t an Asian play this role?”, “why can’t we ask everyone deeper questions on the runway?”, “why not write/nominate a film told from a woman’s point of view?” But here’s the thing. This isn’t just ‘Hollywood’s’ fault; it’s also our own. Why do you think the whole red carpet extravaganza exists anyhow? It’s not for the actresses and actors being honored. Hell, they’d probably rather have a private cocktail party with each other then peacock around answering questions. But, that’s not what we want. We, the general public, want to see the stars in all their glory. We want to hear snippets of their lives (even if it’s just what they are wearing). We are the force driving the ratings that decide the event. If no one tuned into the red carpet part of any awards show, do you think it would still exist? I guarantee it would get nixed as quickly as Joan and Melissa Rivers in 1999.

3. This is a great opportunity
Women (and men) should see this as an opportunity to stand out. The actors and actresses that go to award shows are both beautiful and talented. If they weren’t somewhat attractive, they wouldn’t be on the screen (sorry if you weren’t aware of this American reality/tragedy) and if they weren’t talented, they wouldn’t be at the award shows. What differs you from your fellow actress/actor isn’t necessarily how beautiful/talented you are, but rather, who you are. And what better time is there than on national television to show the world who you are. You might say that the stars can’t show their true selves because they aren’t asked the right questions. That’s like saying you did poorly at a job interview because they didn’t ask the right questions. In a job interview, you know what you want to get across to the audience, and you find a way to do it. Maybe you change the questions in your favor, maybe you take control of the conversation and lead it to where you want it to go. If you want the audience (the employee) to know what you’re all about, you find a way to do it. Likewise, if you really want to tell the world what you’re all about, find a way to do it. Obviously not many people are doing this, but the ones that do (Cate Blanchett, Reese Witherspoon) are really setting themselves apart (in a good way). We have a lot of control over what our appearance tells people. Actresses and actors have full control over what they wear. Why not turn it into a statement? “I decided to wear Diane Von Furstenburg tonight because I admire her activism when it comes to women’s rights.” “No one should have to die for a piece of jewelry and that is why I am only wearing Brilliant Earth diamonds tonight.” “The only thing important about my skincare regime is my sunscreen. One great thing about xyz movie [I was nominated for] was that I had the opportunity to talk to people in [insert area of film] about the importance of skin cancer screening and prevention. Every hour, one person dies of melanoma, and that is one person too many.” Why isn’t anyone answering those superficial questions like this? Regardless of what the nature of the question is and whether it will ever change- we will always have the power to answer in any way we please. The women that answer the questions in a way that is different and true to themselves will be set apart.

We can cry, shout, and complain as much as want about sexism in Hollywood, but nothing will change without action on all fronts. If you want things to change, understand that you may be part of the problem, take action to make a difference, and support the celebrities that take a chance by being vulnerable and integrating their passion into their presence.

What do you think about sexism in Hollywood and/or the #askhermore campaign? I’d love to hear your comments.

Leslie

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The best way to clean out your house is by asking this one question

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Ah, January. The time of new beginnings. The time of the year that we decide to be someone else who lives better, eats better, and is just a better person in general. Yeah, there’s always the smart aleck that pledges to start smoking and gain weight, but even these sarcastic jokers would take some self improvement if it was offered to them.

the best way to clean out your house

What generally pops up on the top ten list for New Year’s Resolutions? Lose weight, stop smoking, be healthy, get out of debt…GET ORGANIZED. Yeah, that’s right, get organized. Sometimes we choose it because it’s the least daunting of the goals (I mean…who really wants to give up hot fudge sundaes for the indefinite future?!?!) and it still seems like we are doing something worthwhile. Which we are…if we actually ever take action on it.

Image result for get organized

If you’re that person that has decided to get organized this year (motives aside) I can make things really easy for you. Here’s what you need to do:

1: Enter the space you need to organize

2: Pick up each item in your space and ask yourself, “Do I love this item?” or (if it’s a bit more of a utilitarian item…read: stapler) “does this make my life better?” If the answer is yes, keep it. If the answer is no, throw it away, sell it, or donate it. Yes, it’s really that easy.

You know that feeling you get when you pull out your favorite dress? Or your favorite pair of jeans? (for a long time this was a pair of Gap jeans that were xtra-long and wrongly sized in my favor). That flutter of love and excitement because you feel incredible in what you wear? That’s the love I’m talking about. Life is too short for, “It does it’s job, I guess”. Unless you’re talking about paper clips, raise your standards a bit. Follow in the words of Williams Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you don’t know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

When you start really questioning whether you like (let alone love) your own belongings, you’ll be surprised with how much you’re willing to let go. So, let it go. Maybe even sell it and then use the money to buy things you actually love. It will be much easier than you think.

Bonne Chance!

Leslie

Image result for william morris quote

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5 Fabulous Holiday Outfits

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No matter what your age, or your style, one of these 5 holiday styles is waiting for you this season!

1) Black and White with Pearls All Over

Black and White Holiday Outfit

 


2) Young and Wild

Walk on the Wild Side

 


3) Elegance Meets Comfort
Casual Elegance

 


4) Channel Your Inner Teen
Channel Your Inner Teen

 


5) Sophisticated in Silver
Sophisticated in Silver

 


Hoped you enjoyed the holiday dressing inspo. Have fun at your parties and stay safe!
xoxo,
Leslie
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