Favorite Investment Pieces

Picking out quality pieces for my closet has been a big change in how I am shopping this past year. I have started to not only shop for sustainable and ethical products, but also looking for more items made in the USA or high quality products. It’s been a task because high quality products are way more expensive than what I have spent on clothing before and fast fashion just seems a bit more interesting because it’s trendy and what most of you are wanting to see. But I just can’t spending between $20.00 and $40.00 on cheaply made clothing that is going to get holes or start to ravel and possibly be out of style next year. So I started buying things I actually like, that are fun, versatile and much better quality than fast fashion. So here are my favorite quality purchases I have made in the past year.

Lysse Denim– These jeans are amazing. They work perfectly for curvier ladies because of the actual denim used and the control top available in each pair. These are skinny jeans with a nice side pipping and a fun zipper detail at the ankle. Seriously if I could wear these every day I probably would. So comfy and so slimming. The best part about Lysse? They include sizes from XS to 3XL. So everyone can enjoy these jeans. Lysse jeans are a little over $100.00 a pair and tend to sell out quickly when updated on their website. Seriously worth the investment though.

Lack Of Color Hats– A new to me brand and I’m in love. Quality made hats with structure, so no floppyness with these. I haven’t had these hats for too long but they have held their shape very well so far. There are a ton of options on their website; different colors and styles. These hats are $80.00 and up but well worth it if you are a hat lover.

Yana K Dresses– Buttery soft, simple and versatile. I can’t say enough about this brand. From every day wear to dressing up. Each piece has the potential to be styled so many different ways. And so flattering on so many body types.

Custom Fox & Beaux Jewelry– Located in Asheville is a little jewelry boutique where all your jewelry dreams can come true. Carefully designed pieces are available for quick purchasing or you can work with the staff to create your own. This dangle choker was a custom design piece I created and they put together. Literally no one else will have anything exactly like it making it perfect for my daily go to choker.

These are just a few of my favorite investment pieces from the last year. And you will see them on repeat, styled different ways. Because sometimes having less is more.

Shop This Look: Jeans // Dress // Hat // Silver Necklace // Dangle Choker // Horseshoe Necklace

Star of the Show: Perfect Holiday Sweater

Are you still looking for that perfect outfit to wear for Christmas? Or even New Years Eve? Well time is running out but you can still snag this fun sweater if you find it in store!

This seems like the perfect sweater for a much more casual NYE look, but I really like it for Christmas because it isn’t your typical over the top green or red sweater. You can be comfy and super cute in this. I decided to take this look for a total 90’s feel by adding a denim skirt, tights and booties. Super easy to pull off and extremely comfortable. And topped it off with my newest obsession, this Lack of Color hat. Which I may be wearing to everything.

Simple. Festive. Stylish.

 

Shop This Look:

Sweater // Skirt // Tights // Hat // Similar Booties

Holiday Style: Casual and Funky

Just because the holiday season is here, doesn’t mean you have to dress head to toe frilly, in lace or sequins or even in the holidays “it” colors, red and green. Let’s face it, I’m just not in to dressing frilly anymore. So for me, the old holiday outfit ideas I used to have, are out the window. Dressing for myself is the number one priority and this year I made it a goal to do that.

Christmas bells are ringing and I’m over here still dressing in black, denim and stripes. But hey, that’s me. So for this holiday look I pulled together my new favorite look to show you how easy it is to dress for a casual holiday function without looking like a Christmas tree and being true to yourself.

If you are new around here, I have an addiction with stripes. It’s probably because I was always told women of size shouldn’t wear them and I love to break social rules. Besides the point. So I have paired this silky-ish blouse with a plunging neckline, boxy shape and my favorite print with my new favorite pants. These denim leggings I snagged from Lysse on Black Friday are my newest obsession. The perfect fit, slimming affect, pipping along the leg and the fun zipper detail all make me squeal with excitement when I wear them. A dressed up casual look but all while being oh so comfy and stylish. To make the outfit feel more festive I paired it with these adorable pom pom shoes that bring just the right amount of festive cheer to this outfit without going over the top. I would wear this during the non-holiday season, which is a point I make when I am shopping for pieces for my wardrobe. Topped it off with an edgy black necklace and a furry clutch. And a red lip takes your outfit to another holiday level right now. I love a red lip on any day, but right now, you just can’t miss it!

Perfect for any holiday event thrown your way or even just meeting up with friends.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season so far! I did just want to remind you that I am doing #instamas on Instagram where I am documenting parts of my life every day! Feel free to join in on the fun.

 

Shop This Look:

Top // Denim // Similar Shoes // Similar Clutch // Necklace

Holiday Styling With Versona

Deck your #ootd’s with red and green, Fa La La La La, La La La! Tis’ the season for festive dressing. Since we are just now at two weeks until Christmas it is time to pull out all the red and green garments you have and go wild with it. I don’t own a lot of red or green pieces in my closet. Shocker, I know right?! So when I recently had the chance to partner with Versona to pick up something for the holiday season and style, I was on a mission for something red or green and some statement earrings.

I tried on countless red and green pieces, many were out of my comfort zone and I shared them all with you on InstaStories (shameless plug if you aren’t following me you should). Nothing felt quite like me though. I was trying to pull together outfits in my head and decide on something festive yet that fit my personality and would work with my closet. Even when partnering with a brand, I always think about the long run. Like when will I wear this again and how will I wear this again. I am not wanting to fill my closet with pieces I don’t love and am not going to wear.

One of the lovely sales associate picked this green top for me and the minute I tried it on, I was like, yup this is it. Super basic, but the seaming makes the shirt extremely flattering, simple ruffled sleeves to keep the top trendy and a green I could live with. Something I knew I could dress up or down for the holiday season and get wear out of it past December. I immediately knew I would style it with this skirt I got from Versona last winter. A little edgy and a little more me.

Paired with these fun and festive statement earrings this shirt makes for the perfect holiday party look. I love, love these earrings. I’m so glad I scooped these up because I had been eyeing a pair like this from somewhere online for three times the price. Of course this couldn’t be a holiday outfit without my red pom pom shoes! So comfy, fun and festive. Sadly these are no longer available but I wish they were because everyone deserves some red pom pom shoes for the holiday season. So now I am ready for any type of holiday shindig thrown my way. Office parties, family parties, Christmas church services or even Christmas dinner. I am loving the simple, yet fun components of this festive #ootd!

Thanks again for Versona for having me create a festive look! And if you are in the need for any holiday outfit needs, make sure you check them out! Did you know we have a Versona in Asheville? It’s over by the Whole Foods off of Tunnel Road! And they do have red and green pieces galore! And also tons of statement earrings. And tons of gift ideas!

Holiday Style: Christmas Dress

I wasn’t looking for a Christmas dress, I was going to re-style something that was already in my closet, but then I randomly saw this dress. Bright red, flowy, ruffles and flutter sleeves. Loved it! Tried it on, felt good in it, but didn’t buy it. I didn’t need the dress. I wasn’t sure if I would wear something so bright, because hello, I’m the girl who wears black on a regular basis. But then I was working on a few things, planning some more things for the blog and got an invite to a party. I will also have a wedding to attend in the fall of next year that this would be perfect for, so I went ahead and bought it. Because after long contemplation, I would get my wear out of it.

This dress is perfect for any festive event you have coming up this holiday season and it’s even more perfect because I know you are spending a ton of presents and the perfect decorations. This dress is under $35.00 and would be flattering on so many skin tones and shapes. This can be taken really festive, retro glam or even just kept simple and all three ways to style it would still be great for the holidays.

I just paired this with an oversized fur coat and block heels for a simple 70’s glam look. Not overly festive but also I can say Happy Holidays in this without feeling like a grinch. Seriously if you are in Target, check out this dress, it’s worth the double take.

SHOP THIS LOOK:

Dress // Similar Coat // Heels // Necklace

Thanksgiving Outfit #2: Cozy Knits

Comfort food, pie, cuddling by a fire and cozy sweaters; exactly what any holiday should involve especially¬† Thanksgiving. To top it off, sweater weather is in full force around here! I love that they are tons of ways to incorporate knits in to your wardrobe these days but I have finally bought an actual sweater. Generally, I lean towards knit cardigans because I’m so hot natured, but this year I took a leap and invested in a nicer sweater to get me through the Fall and Winter.

A sweater is just the most simple way to put together an #ootd, making it especially great for Thanksgiving day! To make the outfit look less frumpy, I paired the sweater with light skinny jeans and over the knee boots. Now pass the pie!

Also sweater dresses and cozy cardigans would be great for some fun layering for Thanksgiving. These sweaters will help create some dimension to your look and add some texture, making your holiday style that much better!

Missed yesterday’s post where I styled athleisure for Thanksgiving dinner? Read it here.

Stay tuned for more outfits this week!

Shop This Look:

Sweater // Jeans // Boots // Bag // Similar Necklace

Thanksgiving Outfit #1: Dressing Up Athleisure Wear

I get it. On Thanksgiving you want to be as comfy as possible. Maybe even stretch pants need to be involved. No judgement from me! I understand. It’s a busy day of running around, traveling, cooking or even partaking in events around town before dinner time. And then there’s feasting and lounging. Even though the athleisure trend is very popular now, I still like to take the look to the next level so it doesn’t look like I just got done with a yoga class or that I don’t care about my #ootd.

To transform this outfit made for feasting and cooking, I’m taking three items from my closet to spice it up.

Keeping the same leggings and oversized long sleeve pullover, I transformed this in to a more chic and stylish outfit by adding a leather jacket, oversized printed scarf and over the knee boots. Looks like a totally different outfit. Much more chic. Still just as comfy though. Stretchy pants still included. You could easily cook sides, travel and then mix it up to show up for Thanksgiving dinner. Did you mention Black Friday shopping? This outfit is perfect for taking you in to that all night shopping frenzy.

If you want to be as comfortable as possible but still look stylish, check in your closet to see how you can play up the athleisure trend. Just mix and match pieces to go from gym look to dinner look!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a new Thanksgiving Outfit Idea!

 

Shop This Look:

Top // Leggings // Similar Scarf // Similar Jacket // Boots

Florals For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and planning outfits for the day have already been on my mind. Everything about Thanksgiving is so hectic from cooking, traveling and starting the holiday rush, so our outfit shouldn’t be a hassle. I’ve been trying to come up with outfits that are extremely simple yet festive or unique or fun for the day. Something to take you from lounging watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to traveling to see friends and family to feasting on comfort foods to being in a food coma afterwards to hitting the stores for Christmas shopping after your food coma breaks.

I love the idea of wearing a subtle floral for Thanksgiving. It’s so festive for a day of thankfulness. This is technically a dress worn as a cardigan paired with stripes and skinny jeans for a laid back look. Perfect for staying comfy yet feeling a little dressed up for the day. I paired the outfit with a fringe necklace, hat and mules to kick up the fun factor and to pull everything in the outfit together.

I love that this outfit screams Fall and is great to wear before being decked out in glitter, sequins, plaid, red or green. But this comfy easy outfit is so easy you can wear something similar to this throughout the holiday season.

Stay tuned next week for more Thanksgiving outfit ideas and the real start of the festive season here on 30 Shades of Stephanie.

Cozy, Warm Layers + Halloween Traditions

Fall I love you. Layering I love you. Car rides on the Blue Ridge Parkway to peep leaves, I love you. Rolling fog I love you. Scarf season I love you. Chilly temperatures I love you.

I feel like I’m always running around trying to squeeze in as much of seasonal activities that I can.¬† Lately I’ve been trying to see as much of the autumnal foilage, cross off lists from my Fall bucket list and see as many misty, foggy mornings as possible. But when running around I just can’t fathom getting dressed up for chasing leaves and walking around in the clouds.¬† So I go for my trusty favorites.

If I’m going to be doing any type of hiking of course I dress accordingly and will wear leggings, etc. But when I’m not going on a lengthy hike I go with my trusty skinny jeans and a common pullover. I actually acquire a few of these pullovers every season. I wear these fore everything from work, to adventures, to lounge wear. For this particular day, I knew I needed to run a few errands afterwards and was also having a lunch date so I threw on my favorite leather jacket I purchased from Nordstrom a few years ago and a scarf to keep my neck warm. I’m loving all the different earthy colors, textures and layers I have going on in this outfit. And though it may not look the warmest, it kept me warm in the below 50 degree weather.

Stay tuned to next week because I will actually share in more detail how I love styling basic pullovers for every day wear so it doesn’t look like you haven’t changed from pajamas all day.

 

HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS

Like most holidays, we all have our own traditions. Some times they change, some times we don’t stick to them and some times we are trying to find something new to add to your traditions. So I thought I would share my old and newer traditions.

When I was younger we always had typical family traditions. My family was big in to Halloween. We always went to my grandparent’s house where we had some kind of homemade soup. Oyster stew, chicken stew, chili or chicken noodle soup. No matter which one it was always soup. We always went trick or treating in the same neighborhood and always ended the night with scary movies. As I got older, the soup remained a constant but the activities changed, like parties and haunted houses.

As I’ve gotten older, live on my own and start my own traditions, I have tried to incorporate some old things and some new. Every single year I no longer do the trick-or-treating but instead am the lady who passes out candy and comments on each costume. All while each child asks about my cat and some kids have even just walked in to my apartment. It’s interesting to say the least. It never fails, I always try to make a soup I like because honestly I’m not the hugest soup fan (even though I had it every Halloween, still doesn’t mean it was my favorite). So I have a few recipes for soups (love this one) I actually like or I try to make a crock pot meal (Winter staple in my house) or a casserole of some kind (easiest one I have ever made). Some thing easy but warm and hearty. After the trick-or-treating is over, I make a wicked cocktail or have a pumpkin beer and put on a horror film. But no Halloween night is ever over without watching Hocus Pocus. Since moving to the mountains I have actually stayed up extremely late on Halloween to wait for the first snowfall of the season, it has happened a few times since moving here.

Let me know what your traditions are in the comments!

This Is Halloween + Spooky Playlist

The week leading up to Halloween is amazing! If you are a die hard Halloween lover the whole month of October could be amazing for your wardrobe. But leading up to Halloween you can literally just about get away with wearing anything. If you look crazy no one even bats an eye.

So since you can get away with just about anything I wanted to test out a few new items and see if I was going to keep them. Like these striped pants! A very bold statement piece. A very funky piece. So I threw on a blazer, mind you that I didn’t pair with a top or bra because testing out y’all. And two things I’ve come to realize. I love these pants and will be wearing them to a few events this winter. I can’t wait to style these for the holidays. Yes I love them. And secondly this blazer cape thing needs to be altered before I wear it again.

But I got to try out an insanely wild outfit and if anyone had said anything at dinner I would have simply told them I was Beetlejuice or Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas.

So since Halloween is a little under a week I also wanted to share a “spooky” playlist. Play this to get in the mood, play it while your passing out candy or play it while your dressing up. Either way it will add some Halloween fun to your life.