Style Inspiration Muses

I get asked on a regular bases who inspires me for my clothing choices. Especially now that I have openly discussed being in a creative rut and verbalizing that I don’t want to look like every blogger or influenster out there. And it’s hard now because it seems like every person is shopping at the same places and styling the exact same pieces. So in times like this a Pinterest search or Instagram search has been unhelpful in helping me find inspiration for fashion this year. So, I decided to go back to my trusty girl crushes who always seem to inspire me and have grounded me in my individuality. And I thought what better time to share the ladies in entertainment that inspire my outfit choices. Even though they have amazing stylist, loans of designer pieces and a full bank account, I think their style is just as attainable as the person you follow along with on Instagram. Not only do all the women I constantly “seek out” for inspiration dress amazingly but promote self confidence, body positivity and being an individual through fashion. All what I am looking for these days.

  1. Florence Welch


The queen of individuality and unique clothing. Flowy fabrics and rockstar silhouettes. Always a go to when I’m in a rut.

2. Adele


Adele can we just be friends already? The first actual plus size women I had for someone to look up to. I think Adele really started the change in the plus size fashion industry. Always amazing, classic pieces and silhouettes and the person who made me think it’s okay to only work with neutrals in my closet (mainly black).

3. Lady GaGa


Gone are the days of insane outfits, insane make up and over the top hair. I think she really found her self and her voice and doesn’t have to hide behind all the “stuff” anymore. And I love it. Simple, rocker chic and letting her shine through. I have been pulling a lot of inspiration from the recent Lady GaGa.

4. Stevie Nicks


The original creator of the gypsy boho chic look. Flowy pieces and pretty much whatever goes, goes. Such a good inspiration. Gimme all the oversized dresses and dramatic sleeves!

5. Danielle Brooks


Another plus size muse doing great things for the plus size fashion industry. Never afraid of something body con or curve hugging, but keeping it simple. All things I can get behind.

6. Tracee Ellis Ross


So real and attainable except when she’s walking the red carpet. She dresses like any of us would. And I love that about her. Plus she created a size inclusiveness line for JC Penny that made me love her more. And she rocks pieces from her line. Which the line was simple capsule wardrobe pieces that any women no matter size, age or style could rock.



Why I’m Not In To Resolutions But More Goal Making + My 2018 Goals

I’ve taken a little break to refocus, spend quality time with those around me and recharge from a hectic holiday season with work; but in reality it was to sleep! A new year has yet again rolled around and everyone is making resolutions, coming up with words for their year and starting the “new year, new me” train. As for me, I’m currently eating a apple pie I bought out of the frozen section of the grocery store while I constantly see everyone posting about their new diet all while rolling my eyes and deciding whether I finish the champagne off or make a hot toddy. Yup, same old Stephanie in the new year.

Here’s the thing. I hate resolutions. Be honest with yourself and I with myself; you or I are going to give up on half of them unless you or I are extremely determined, it just sets us up for disappointment. And why make resolutions anyways? Because it’s the norm for the new year? Just because everyone else is doing them? Girl (or gent, all about inclusiveness here) be a rebel. Do what you want! And who needs a word for the year, when there are a ton of words in the English language to describe yourself every day! Like worthy, loved, amazeballs, pretty little young thang or dare I say a bad ass bitch. But you do you and if you feel inclined to create a word for your year, no judgement here. Though I hate resolutions, I do like to set goals. But I set goals on a monthly basis, it’s sadly part of my type A personality, so it’s not out of the norm for me to do so. Goals are more attainable in my opinion because they don’t have the word resolution or “this has to be achieved in order for me to feel fulfilled” looming overhead. So since it’s the new year and we are all about sharing what we look forward to, I’m going to share some of my goals for you.

On a personal level I would like to travel and explore more, work harder at the things I am the most passionate about, capture more memories but also be more present (how is this even possible) and dig deeper in to the hygge lifestyle. Nothing out of reach or that has specific deadlines. If it happens, it does, if not, I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

For 30 Shades of Stephanie, there are some big changes coming. And this is not something that I just randomly thought of or created with the idea of a new year rolling around. I have discussed before a creative rut and sadly it never went away. It wasn’t until I had a press event and got to speak with the lovely Sarajane over dinner and drinks. She said some things that struck me, like blogs are dying and stories are the new “it” thing. But I love my little corner of the internet, even if just a few people read it. It’s more an electronic scrapbook of things I have done and storing all the changes I have went through as far as style and life over the years. So don’t worry I’m not stopping. But things are changing. There is going to be way more info, posts and daily life situations on InstaStories and Instagram in general more so than on the blog. I like the idea of keeping my posting schedule to MWF but it may also change to just Monday and Friday. Who knows right now. Also video content (thanks Sarajane). I have talked about it but never went through with it, mainly because I think sometimes I have a manly voice. But it’s happening in 2018. Why? Because A) I want to connect with each of you on a different level and B) there are just so many things a shutter through a lens cannot actually capture. Like, sometimes I want to be able to laugh with each of you about weird fabrics or why things just don’t work, for you to get my real ahhh ha moment when something as far as fashion comes together just so, so we can all feel a little sense of wonder when I visit new places (or so you can see I’m not just a serious work lady) and so I can feel like I’m actually talking to you. Because you the real MVP if we get to talk in person or on the phone or facetime. So just imagine these videos as one big facetime session.

ANNNDDDDD, there is an entire shift itself in the fashion you will be seeing here on the blog or on any social media outlet for that matter. Last year I talked about one of my goals for the year was to stock my closet with more things I love and investment pieces. Well guys, I actually accomplished that goal. WHOOOAAA. Fast fashion is fun (and don’t get me wrong, there are still trendy pieces I buy at Target and Old Navy) but it has slimmed down a lot for me. I just don’t want to spend money on things that are going to tear in a few washes and be out of style next season or year. I’ve gotten really picky with what goes in my closet. I now don’t have a problem with investing a bit of money on one piece if I can get a lot of wear out of it and also it’s something that will continue to stay in my closet. So more things like this, capsule wardrobe pieces, best investment pieces and how to shop smart for bigger ticket items are coming your way. So there may be a lot of stuff on repeat and I won’t be showing you the same thing the other 5 bloggers a few sites over are doing but that’s okay. I’m changing, my views are changing and my lifestyle is changing. So it’s time the brand of 30 Shades of Stephanie also took that change that I have been wanting to make and have just been putting off.

Even though I have all these ideas for what happens here and else where that I have been jotting down for the past three months, I love the input of others. Duh, I want to make y’all happy and have an enjoyable place to visit (whether to read or watch or double click to like). So if you want to share your input, head on over to Instagram to cast your votes on my InstaStories today about the changes taking place!

Seeing Stars

SHOP THIS POST: Tank // Jeans // Sneakers // Scarf (in stores only in the Dollar Spot) // Sunnies

We’ve come a long way in styling an #ootd for the Fourth of July since our mom dressed us and our siblings in matching Old Navy Flag Shirts. Ohh you know exactly what I’m talking about. And if you feel so inclined to go down memory lane, they are still producing their classic flag tee every year, here’s this year’s version. So this year I opted for some classic Old Navy goodness to bring together my patriotic 4th of July outfit.

I went for a super casual tank, that has stars on it, duhhh. Extremely flowy, really faded and all the Americana vibes. And by faded, I mean real faded. You will only be able to wear a nude bra with this because the material is extremely lightweight (yes please for that hot, sticky day) and you can see through it, especially the star portion. I like this tank because it’s cliche enough to wear for fireworks and cook outs but I can totally style this all Summer longer for a little edgier look. And it’s also not over the top cliche. But it’s the 4th of July, so who really cares honestly.

I paired this tank with cuffed jeans for that perfect Summer touch and a more grown up and pulled together look than pairing this with shorts. Ohh I cuffed these jeans to have some sort of air flow because we all know it’s bound to be hot and sweaty on the holiday in the South. Threw on some white chucks and paired it with a festive scarf and I’m ready to go. Can you guys believe I found this scarf in the Dollar Spot at Target?!? Red, lightweight and it has the most adorable patriotic tassels along the edges. $3.00! Win, Win for something you won’t wear all the time.

This look is perfect for a BBQ, beer and fireworks. Also if you are in Asheville please let me know where you watch fireworks. Almost 8 holidays here and I still haven’t found the “perfect” spot. Bring on the sparklers!

What are y’all wearing and getting in to for the holiday?

I’ll be sharing a more sophisticated 4th of July outfit later this week, because some of us will still choose fashion and style over cliche holiday vibes.

Also make sure you are following me on Instagram because I am hosting a huge giveaway for a Summer makeover along with some other amazing blogger babes this week! Get yourself entered!


Hello 2017

I thought really long and hard about my goals for blogging for 2017; yesterday I really hashed them out. My mantra for 2017 is “Get It Girl”, which fits in with my personal life, work life and blogging. I’m going straight for it, not letting anyone stand in the way of what I want to do, including myself. This past year on the blog was a little rough. There weren’t as many posts, exciting posts shall I say, that I was truly proud of. I was really busy. For the first part of the year I was busy finishing school, working and doing an internship; later in the year I was just slammed with a ton of work life. This year that’s not going to be the case. I love blogging and therefore there will be a lot of things I love being posted.

As far as content, you will still see a ton of #ootd posts. However, I plan to shop a little more conscious so I will really be thinking about what I’m buying going forward. So you may see a lot of outfit repeats, but in a new light.

Also I plan to throw in a little more lifestyle posts here and there. The recipes I’m loving, because I’m determined to cook more seafood, the places I’m visiting because #wanderlust and inspiration.

Santa brought me a GoPro for Christmas, so this year I’m really hoping to get some video content on the blog! I’m not a professional vlogger so I have no idea how this idea will actually work out.

So I hope you are ready to tackle this new year with me, full of inspiration and style. 2017 will be our year!

Unconventional NYE Dress

It’s almost time to ring in the new year, which means reflections, resolutions, goals, dressing up and champagne toasts. Maybe even a kiss at midnight if you are one of those lucky ones.

But before you go and spend a fortune on a sparkly dress that you may only wear one night, let me just share my golden rule for #NYE dressing. YOU WEAR WHAT YOU WANT! You don’t have to wear a sparkly, fancy dress to celebrate the new year. You don’t have to go buy a new dress to celebrate the new year. I like wearing whatever I want, and to be honest I will probably be in my Old Navy plaid pjs by 10:00 anyways!

So pick something you like, even if the print is unconventional for NYE. I pulled this dress out of my closet, perfect for celebrating and perfect for the new year even though it’s a winter floral print. Paired with leggings and booties it looks fancy enough for going out, but adds comfort and my own personal style. I also love the idea of wearing a winter floral print for New Years, it’s symbolic. You want to bloom into a better version of yourself through goals in the new year.

If you are wearing a shiny, sparkly, sequin clad #ootn, you go for it, but don’t feel obligated too.

Holiday Giveaways Recap

So I wanted to round up all the direct links to everything I am giving away for my 5 Days of Holiday Giveaways I’m hosting on Instagram. You will have until 11:59 on 11/17 to enter to win and the winners will be announced late on Sunday evening. So head straight over to my Instagram and get yourself entered.

The first thing you are eligible to win is a blush and ultra matte lip from ColourPop. Find this picture on Instagram or go here!

The second item is a $20.00 gift card from Target. Find this picture on Instagram or go here!

The third item is a Rachel Weisberg choker in your choice of brown or black! Go to Instagram and find this picture or go here!

The fourth item you can win is this kimono scarf from Charmed. Go to Instagram and find this picture or go here

The fifth and final thing you can win is two tickets to Painting With A Twist that can be used at any location but gifted by the Asheville location. All you have to do is find this picture on Instagram or go here!

All you have to do is find the pictures and follow the instructions which are easy peasy! Good luck y’all!


His New Favorite Scent

His New Favorite ScentHis New Favorite ScentHis New Favorite ScentHis New Favorite ScentHis New Favorite ScentHis New Favorite ScentHis New Favorite Scent

Often times, we forget about the men in our lives when it comes to fashion and “beauty”. More times than not, they want to look nice and smell nice, just the same way we do. Andrew and I recently recieved Ralph Lauren’s Polo Blue Eau de Parfum to test thanks to Influenster. I’ve always been a fan of Polo Double Black for men so knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. And the consensus is, we both love this. The blend of fresh bergamot and rich vetiver is what draws me to the scent, those combinations create this manly sensual scent that my nose is really attracted to. Andrew likes the packaging since “it’s not overly fussy”, thinks it has a fresh scent, easy to wear every day (not just for special occasions) and also says it reminds him of something from when he was younger. No matter what we both pull from this we both love the intense and refined scent of Polo Blue Eau de Parfum, it may even be Andrew’s new scent.

Polo Blue is available at Macy’s and Sephora. We both highly recommend checking out this scent for any man in your life.

Utility Dress Normalcy

Utility Dress Normalcy Utility Dress NormalcyUtility Dress NormalcyUtility Dress NormalcyUtility Dress Normalcy

Dress- Versona // Ring-Elementality

This past week was rough. By rough I mean working every day and even picking up two third shift shifts to reset a store. I’ve been sleep deprived, grouchy, hungry and over worked in the past week. I literally haven’t worn anything besides work clothes until Sunday. On Sunday I soaked up the opportunity to put on “real clothes” to head out to a new restaurant. And this utility dress from Versona was the perfect thing to wear. Comfy, simple and soft fabric perfect for the heat wave we had in Asheville this past weekend. Honestly I would have worn a sweater dress this weekend if it meant wearing something besides jeans and work shirts. Actually that’s not true. Moral of the story. Appreciate your clothing. You don’t know how much those perfect dresses mean to you, when you can’t wear them for a while.

Happy Anniversary 30 Shades

Happy Anniversary 30 ShadesHappy Anniversary 30 ShadesHappy Anniversary 30 ShadesHappy Anniversary 30 Shades

Shirt // Skirt // Booties

The past 12 months have been extremely insane. I finished my last year of college, have taken on a bunch of fun and exciting projects and have put another year of blogging in the books. I feel like my blog has suffered tremendously this year due to my crazy schedule; final years of college are harsh and if anyone tells you differently they are lying. Even though I personally know my posting has not been as often or creative as I would have liked, it was one of my best years blogging yet. I look beyond all the “failures” I see in 30 Shades the past 12 months and see all of the great things that have happened this year because of blogging.

This past year, I have had the opportunity to partner with some amazing small businesses (and some large) and have met, interacted and spoken to some amazing, amazing people (a lot of them being #girlbosses). I have branched out and tried different things. I have interacted with people I would not have got to meet if it were not for the blog, some in person and some just an amazing support team through the interwebs.  The absolute best part of blogging this year has been the people I have met along the way. I’ve met so many people chasing dreams, empowering women, promoting body confidence and the kindest souls.

My style has been evolving, especially lately since I finally have a career path laid out, and am finally finding things I love and suit my lifestyle. I blame my lack of posting on this. My style has evolved the past 12 months more than it probably ever has in my life. I’m thankful for this, because finally nailing down your style makes everything easier. So this will make it much easier for me to post content I truly enjoy, am proud of and a fresh slate for the new year of blogging.

So my goal for the next year for blogging is very simple. Every post, every picture, every word I want to promote some type of joy, adventure, empowerment, laughter or confidence. I want you to walk away with something from a post you read. We are all more than what we did over the weekend, our #ootds or a new recipe. I want this to be an open community where we all interact, share and empower each other. I want this to be a platform for starting conversations, making new friendships and sharing with each other.

I want to thank each and every one of you for making this possible. I am forever grateful that any of you take the time out of your day to read what I’m writing, see what I’m wearing and follow along with my life. There will be a few slight changes to the blog starting in August, I will still be posting my mainly black wardrobe and hopefully saying something witty every now and then. Stay tuned because even though I thought this past year was the greatest year, I’m hoping the next 12 months for 30 Shades of Stephanie is the best yet!

To help celebrate the “birthday” of the blog, thanks to Cara from LuLaRoe, I am giving away a pair of leggings. See the initial post here!

Day to Day Wardrobe

Day to Day WardrobeDay to Day WardrobeDay to Day WardrobeDay to Day Wardrobe

Shirt // Shorts-Ross // Necklace- Versona (in stores only) // Sandals- Kohls (old) // Sunnies-Gifted

I wish I could say getting dressed in the morning every single day was like this scene from Cinderella but sadly it’s not. In the morning when I’m picking out my #ootd there is no magic to it. I flip through the hangers holding a majority of dark, striped and natural hues to pick out what I want to wear. I find something comfortable and dark. Generally I am in dark clothing unless there is another occasion and my bottoms are generally jeans or black leggings. It’s really that simple. And generally it comes together in something I like. Why do I like it? Because I’m comfortable and I’ve started to stock my closet with things I actually like and wear and fit my style. So while some may think it’s some magical force that puts together an outfit for the blog or every day for that matter it doesn’t.

This is something I would wear on a regular, normal day in my life. It’s easy enough to switch out jeans for work, it’s comfortable and easy enough for errands, but it’s also edgy enough for a casual al fresco date night.