Summer Must Have: T-Shirt Dresses

The calendar doesn’t say it’s Summer yet, but it sure does feel like it lately. It’s only May and hot as all get out (it’s also extremely chilly some days) so not sure how I’m going to make it to Fall. So, since the weather has been off her rocker, I’ve decided to just go ahead and go through my closet and group all my Summer staples together, for ya know, easy grabbing. And I’ve noticed a general theme. I’m not a huge fan of shorts (I will wear them occasionally especially on beach vacation), I don’t need to bring attention to these thighs any more than it already draws, but t-shirt dresses are kind of my jam! Snug fits and flowy; I’ve got them both. And they are just perfect for Summer.

Easy and versatile, and hello: breezy! I don’t feel contained like I do in shorts or jeans. Also I love the fact that they can easy be dressed up or down. This grey dress looks fine, but plain on it’s on. I could easily throw on sandals and run errands with out feeling sticky and sweaty. This dress is also perfect for throwing on over a bathing suit post pool or biking riding from the beach to lunch or back to your hotel. And it’s versatile enough to throw on some layering pieces of jewelry (like this new piece I’m obsessed with or my favorite handmade bolo) and heels for a sultry night out on the town or a backyard BBQ. And y’all know how much I love pieces I can literally wear a different million ways because ya girl’s on a budget.

And speaking of budget. This dress is only $15.00 currently in stores, sadly there are only two prints available online. Such a good price you could stock up on all the colors and prints available!

Shop this look:

Dress // Wedges // Purple Necklace (only available at the boutique) // Fringe Necklace // Bangles // Sunnies (Best place in Asheville for funky, affordable options)

Bare Shoulders and New Favorite Piece of Jewelry

Top // Jeans // Sandals // Bag // Choker // Half Moon Necklace

Summer is near and it’s time to show some skin. And the skin I like to show is on the shoulders. And off the shoulder tops have been a thing for a long time, but just recently become popular. I remember wearing an off the shoulder dress in the Bahamas in 2009 and I bought an off the shoulder top for a beach trip a few years back. But because everyone and their momma is wearing one these days, you can easily find them in just about any print or fabric. When I saw this super simple one from Target (which can actually be worn off the shoulder or on) and of course in a stripe, it just jumped in to my cart.

I love the simpleness of this top. I can wear it anywhere and for anything. I can dress it up or dress it down. Paired with these killer white jeans and sandals gives an edgy casual look perfect for just about anything. Even a housewarming/ jewelry party as seen on my Instagram. This top is becoming a favorite worn piece that I am considering going back and getting it in the black and white version offered.

Another reason I love this top and off the shoulder tops is the ability to layer necklaces and it not be over kill. And a recent favorite is this little gemstone choker from a little downtown boutique, Embellish. I have been on the hunt for a choker that is not the standard leather cording. Something of sustainability, something different, something that will still go with everything and something adjustable to layer different ways. I had my heart set on a little gold choker from another boutique but couldn’t bring myself to actually getting it not sure if it would be worn or not. Enter this necklace. The moment I saw it, I knew it was actually what I was looking for. I actually received this as a gift but had planned on buying this for myself anyways. I love this because it isn’t gold or silver or your typical leather strap choker. It’s more feminine. I love the purple color even though there was a grey version offered. I love the way it layers with other necklaces and doesn’t seem to distract, it just pulls everything of a metal together. It’s simple and versatile and I’m in love. I wish the lady who made these, had a link for all of you, but she doesn’t; so now you just have to pop in and see the lovely Barb and check out this piece for yourself.

 

Toned Down Janis Joplin Vibes

Top // Jeans // Sandals // Bag

I’ve always considered myself an old soul and I tend to acquire a lot of my inspiration from old music and the ones who sang them. Even Janis Joplin. As crazy and outlandish as some of her outfits were, you can still pull inspiration from her. Always in the widest of flares possible, showing some skin, deep colors and the funky glasses. Hence how this #ootd was born.

I haven’t ever really considered flares or extremely wide pants until recently. The 70’s style is huge and I’m seeing more flares and wide pants than skinnies. I prefer to stick with snug pants for a slimming affect until I tried on something different. Game changer. Flares and wide legs if done correctly can be just as slimming and of course give you a groovy vibe.

With the jeans I decided to go with an off the shoulder top to channel that Janis Joplin “I don’t care” vibe and it paired really nicely with the extreme flares. Paired with some serious platforms and a dyed bag and I’ve got disco fever. Sometime’s the most unexpected fit and style actually works for you!

Where do you pull your inspiration from?

Autumn Neutrals for Spring

Just because the flowers are blooming and there are pastel hues on every rack, doesn’t mean you have to give up the Autumn hues just yet. Especially if you are a neutral lover. When I recently got to visit Versona to check out their new Spring Look Book, I noticed a theme. Of course your typical floral print, stripes and fresh pastels and brights, but also a ton of neutrals especially in the rust and olive family. And what can I say, I love it.

The trick to wearing these types of colors in warmer months is shape and fabric. When going with these neutrals, look for lightweight fabrics and sheer fabrics. Cuts that remind you of warmer weather like sleeveless and shorter cuts. Things you can easily layer and things you can wear on their own. Rusts, olives, greys, blacks and deeper browns can just as easily be worn in the Spring as they can Fall and Winter.

I paired these black skinny jeans with this grey top and threw on a sleeveless vest. Light weight and breathable. I wasn’t dying of heat exhaustion since the season in the mountains is extremely bipolar. A neck scarf in the same hues and my trusty booties for a day of working on fashion things. Pulled together and chic, but also on point for the new season.

 

A Closet Refresher

Outfit // Clutch // Shoes

Y’all know me and if you don’t, my name is Stephanie and I am addicted to black and neutrals. Almost every #ootd I’m caught in is minimalist and neutral. So with that being said, you might actually have just said “what the hell?” after seeing these pictures. Yes, I’m wearing color, pink on top of that. And I’m wearing white jeans! Who is this girl? To be honest, it’s strange. I just don’t have a bubbly personality to go with bright clothes, so that’s why I probably feel out of my element. But you also know what? I don’t completely hate it.

White jeans, what? I’ve never wanted to wear white jeans. Not only for the possibility of them being completely ruined as soon as I spill my coffee that I’m trying to drink while driving my stick shift car; but also if you are bigger (mid section or hips or hell both), you don’t want that attention drawn to those areas. And sadly white does that. But these jeans are made perfectly for anyone with some curves. The fit, the give and even the rips are just right and actually appear to have a slimming effect. Win, win for me.

This top is a perfect neutral (I know, I couldn’t get completely away from my comfort zone) but the fit is a million times better. Heck, I would probably wear this shirt in god awful bright yellow just because of the fit. The hem, the material, the shape and the areas it flows is perfect for anyone on the larger side. It’s a very slimming top! And just a basic so it could be worn numerous ways.

Now this bomber. Of course I have wanted to get on the bomber trend, but the prints have made me want to gag. I was kind of “forced” to try this on even though I don’t like pink. And to my own surprise, I didn’t want to take it off. So cute and a pop of Springness to my wardrobe. Fit is perfect as in tailored in just the right places but not tight in any places. I have so many different ways I’m wanting to style this little number.

For Sunday patio lunch and drinks, I threw on a choker, geometric ring, neutral clutch and strappy sandals. Everything just goes so well together and is chic. But also screams on trend for Spring. And can I just say I got more compliments than ever on my entire outfit, from the jeans to ring to shoes and of course endless compliments on this bomber. What can I say, it makes a girl feel good. Plus it didn’t make me feel like I had made a huge mistake by adding some color to my wardrobe. All in all an #ootd win!

So now that I am done going on and on about how much I love all these new pieces and how much out of my comfort zone they are, let’s talk about how I found these amazing pieces.

A new boutique is coming to Biltmore Village later this Spring and all I can say is you will not want to miss out. Nest Boutique + DIY Studio is going to be mine and hopefully your new favorite spot. One of the greatest things the lovely #girlboss owners are doing is offering a full size range of clothing in their boutique. So ladies of all sizes will be able to have that boutique shopping experience in Asheville. And the ladies might just become your new best friends. Because, let’s face it, they are the real reason I tried on colorful and bright pieces. And I didn’t hate it. And they have done amazing. I got a behind the scenes look at their clothes (their plus size line is amazing). Their accessories are also to die for. Nest ladies, can you just help me fill my closet with all new goodies?

Also stay tuned because closer to the opening date for Nest, I will be sharing much more goodies they have to offer, so you can make sure to get there as soon as they open to revamp that closet of yours. Because this entire #ootd minus the shoes and bag are going to available this Spring!

The “Everything” Dress

Dress // Clutch // Sandals

I’ve been looking for a dress that I can just about wear to anything. And I do mean anything. Cook outs, date night, showers, celebrations or even just running errands. And I’m pretty sure I found just the right one. Luckily I don’t have to attend any weddings, but a wedding celebration, so nothing overly fancy was needed. I have been searching and searching. Everything is just overload on floral and a lot of bright yellow. Neither I am extremely fond of. But I did find this dress, with a floral print, but not overly floral. Plus the base of the dress is black, making it extremely versatile.

The fit of this dress is what drew me in. I’m not the biggest fan of the straps, but could easily put a vest or cardigan over it. The rouging under the bust gives a nice silhouette and the flare helps cover up any unwanted attention to the mid section and the hips. The length is perfect. It’s not too short and not too long.

I paired the dress with some strappy sandals and this amazing clutch in the perfect Spring neutral for a fun night of patio dining. But the dress would go great with sneakers and denim, cardigans and booties, blazer and heels or just worn with casual sandals. The possibilities for styling and what to wear it for are endless.

Have you found your go to dress yet this season?

 

Blooming Into Spring

Skirt // Top // Similar Sandals // Necklace

The new season means new collections everywhere and picking just the right pieces to add to your closet. What’s popular this Spring? Florals ( GROUNDBREAKING ), the color blush, cropped denim and pants, flowy dresses, cold shoulder, cut outs, yellow and sandals (just about any kind). And to help me with adding some new Spring pieces to my wardrobe I got to visit Versona to check out all these new trends.

Now when it comes to trends I am very fickle because I’m more a neutral kind of girl and I like to find pieces that will transition with my wardrobe through the seasons so I get my money’s worth out of the pieces. So I always keep that in mind, and if it is something extremely trendy like the seventies style flowy floral dresses I make sure it’s affordable so it’s not a huge loss. But with Versona this Spring, you can actually do both. If you are unaware of Versona, it is a boutique shopping experience but not with boutique price tags. The same idea of limited supply, unique pieces, quality pieces and even indie labels are available. This Spring, I actually loved a ton of stuff in the store. They had all the trends, tons of floral, blush colors and dresses that hit the mark. I did try on several items from their new Spring Look Book, but nothing really hit the mark. The long flowy floral dress did absolutely nothing for my skin color. But the skirt I am wearing is in the look book in the blush color, that color also did nothing for me, but I also noticed it in black. And of course I was sold on the black.

Black is my color. It’s so easy to style. So when I found the black version of the Spring Look Book find, I knew this may be the winner. This skirt is so versatile to style and that’s what drew me in. Y’all know I have this obsession with stripes and that’s how I immediately planned to wear it. But when I got home, I noticed the different colors in the skirt. I could wear it with dark neutrals or light neutrals, which is perfect for me, hence why I chose a khaki striped top and broke out the cognac colored heels. And ladies, break out those caged sandals from last year because they are just as popular this year. But the reason I also picked this up, it will work into the fall and winter months for me. This would be cute with a sweater, tights and booties. And that’s how I really put together an #ootd, right there in the fitting room of the store to debate whether it’s worth it or not.¬†This skirt will be on repeat for me this Spring and Summer as I have several events to attend in the coming months and I can style it differently for each one, but also have a piece that corresponds with Spring trends.

If the trendy pieces are not really your style, Versona has a ton of versatile, neutral and quality basic pieces right now. I did pick up a few things that were not in the Spring Look Book that you will see next week on the blog. In the past they haven’t had a ton of these pieces, so it was refreshing to see that and it actually made the store feel a little more like a boutique.

So a huge thanks to Versona for letting me play dress up and pick the perfect pieces for a more Spring vibe in my closet!

Also messy curls are huge this year so head over to my Instagram Stories today to watch how I get my curls and all the products used!

Here’s this little number from the Versona fitting rooms that I love but didn’t make the cut because the arms were a little to snug for my liking.

 

The Accessories Make The Outfit

Scarf // Necklace // Booties // Triangle Ring & Amber Ring // Sunnies

I love a simple color palette when it comes to styling. For numerous reason, but one being the versatility of the outfit with accessories. Accessories can completely transform a look and are a great way of extending your closet without adding more clothing or completely breaking the bank.

Just like in this #ootd, it could look pretty drab. It’s just a basic black dress I got before Thanksgiving and some simple black leggings. But by pairing the right accessories it made it the perfect chic outfit for date day on Sunday. I picked fun and unique jewelry, a one of a kind scarf for added texture and color, and also because the temperatures were crazy on Sunday. Finishing it off with a print in the booties, a fun and wild print, but also a neutral so it pulls everything together.

It’s a fun way to show your personal style and a great way to transform transitional and versatile pieces. I love shopping at indie boutiques, shops I find on Instagram and small store fronts or small businesses that offer handmade and one of a kind pieces. Some things are more of an investment than others, but it also makes a difference if it is one of a kind and handmade. I’m okay with wearing the same dress as the girl down the street, but the way we present it with our accessories needs to be totally different. And that’s how I set myself apart from others. That’s what I like about my personal style. And it’s super easy. I find funky pieces that will work with my neutral color scheme wardrobe and that’s how I bring the fun in to outfits over bold prints, fits or colors.

These are a few items I have added to my accessory collection since Christmas and the things I plan to really experiment with into Spring. I am wanting to add a neck scarf (why oh why I still don’t know) and another bold but neutral necklace to play with for Spring! What accessories are you currently lusting after or which ones are on constant rotation lately?

 

Not Packing Away The Blanket Scarf Just Yet

The sun may be shining and daffodils and trees may have started to bloom, but Winter came back to the mountains this weekend. And it looks like it may be here for a little while. While other people were packing away their scarves, boots and sweaters; filling their closets with only Spring staples, I knew better. This has happened the past few years in WNC. So while I wish I was dressing in strappy sandals and fun dresses, I can’t because North Carolina weather can never make up her mind.

Sundays are normally a day for running errands and getting stuff done. Comfortable and chic is always what I go for on Sundays. This Sunday had a packed agenda with freelance work, errands, blogging, eating tacos and cooking dinner for Andrew’s mom so nothing fussy was going to work. All black is a great go to. I spiced it up with my burgundy leather jacket and a comfy and cozy blanket scarf. Because it doesn’t have to be over the top to go to the grocery store and still look chic. We were actually late since we thought the incorrect time for a freelance project so I pulled this outfit together in about 5 minutes and shades to block the sun and cover the fact that I actually didn’t have an extra 10 minutes to do my makeup. Sometimes the impulse decisions are the best ones when it comes to pulling together an outfit.

I hope all you lovelies have a great week whether you are enjoying Spring like weather or bundled up because Winter came back.

Statement Neutrals

Dress // Shirt Dress // Leggings // Similar Booties // Ring &  Triangle Ring // Bag // Necklace

Whoa, I’m wearing real clothes! This whole month feels like a blur, a blur of things I can’t even wrap my head around or still yet believe. But the one thing I believe in, to make yourself feel better and more like yourself, get dressed. Really dressed, even if you are going to have a pre-Spring burger cookout with your family.

This year I pledged to buy things that were versatile in my closet and to support small business (mainly those lady bosses out there). So that is where these two dresses come from. Y’all know I love a dark stripe, so it was a no brainer on these but also the t-shirt dress can carry me through every season and mixed with other things already in my closet to create plenty of different looks. When shopping, I like to see if things can be worn different ways, like this dress is a great play on a cardigan as well. So why not? These both make a pop together and I have a ton of different ideas for each of these.

I love, love, love this necklace. It’s probably my favorite piece in my entire closet and jewelry collection. It has by far been my biggest investment besides Winter coats but it was worth the splurge (I like to think of it as an extremely late graduation/birthday gift to myself). It is a huge statement piece but in a subtle way and I picked the more natural stone over the turquoise bolo so it would go with anything and everything. Bonus points for supporting a woman run business, Beach Bones Jewelry. So be prepared to see this styled in every way possible, because I’m going to do it.