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Friday Favorites: Shopping Edition

I’ve stumbled upon some GREAT sale items this week. Since my bank account isn’t padded enough to buy all the things, I figured I’d share the love.

Rag and Bone booties. Need I say more? The booties are on every fashionista’s lust list and they NEVER go on sale.Well, this pair is 50% off and there are many normal sizes still left.

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These Rag and Bone shorts are also half off making them just a few lattes more expensive than some Madewell ones. I’d pick these any day and they are so perfect and on-trend for summer. Cuff them if you’re feeling fancy.

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Rachel Pally has always been a go to of mine, both pre-preg, during preg and post-preg. Her stuff is so incredibly comfortable and holds up really well. This dress is marked down to $63. What a steal! You have to click through and see the back, too.

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Another Rachel Pally find because if there is one designer I trust to make a romper that looks cute and is comfy, it’s Rachel Pally. Plus, this one is on super sale so it’s pretty low commitment on the wallet front. If you can get over the fact that you have to get naked every time you have to pee, and you have $66 (normally $220), it’s a winner.

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Anthropologexercise

Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters are typically where I go to find a cute dress or quirky/emo clothing when I’m in the mood, respectively. Who knew they carried some really cute workout clothes? I’m noticing more and more and more that activewear is no longer limited to the gym. I think any of these pieces would look super cute at the gym or out and about.

Top. Wear that top in yoga class or with a high-waisted midi skirt.

Vest. Very cute as-is but I can also see it worn over a sun dress for nights that are still a little chilly when (if?) spring takes over.

Top. Cute to throw on after yoga class or wear with denim shorts.

Sports bra. I doubt this offers enough support for you busty ladies, but for those of us in the itty bitty titty committee, this is perfect for exercising or wearing under tops with an open back.

Top. It’s just plain cute.

Leggings. That little ruffle details on the back slays me. I would probably live in these.

What do you think? Would you buy workout clothes from Anthro/UO?

Fashion Forward

Last night was the Fashion Forward event at Belk and featuring Trina Turk that I told you about a couple weeks ago. It was SO fun, with all proceeds benefitting the Junior League of Raleigh’s charitable efforts.

You seriously can’t go wrong with a little wine, some fun shopping and giveaways, and a department store full of enthusiastic women. I really enjoyed running into a lot of familiar faces because lord knows I was nervous waltzing in their by myself, but I tend to take the Tina Fey approach and just say yes and figure out the rest later. I captured a few of my favorite moments and outfits from the show, so read on for pictures and details!

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This is the outfit I wore. My dress is from Plenty by Tracy Reese. Shoes are from Sole Society. The clutch is about eight years old but originally from a cute little store called Hallelu. My earrings are from Kendra Scott and because it wound up being a warm, beautiful day, I got my faux tan on with some Vita Liberata self-tanner. The BEST self tanner out there. I mean it this time.

I’ve been looking for a cute, nude wedge that can easily be dressed up or down and these Steven by Steve Madden ones I spotted totally fit the bill. Love them for wearing with pretty much everything this spring.

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Good news, Raleigh! We are getting a Jo Malone Counter. I’m not yet sure when it will open, but my house will be smelling gooooooooood when it does.

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After a couple glasses of wine, visiting with old and new friends and oogling the pretty clothes, shoes and jewelry, it was time to get settled in for the fashion show. There were three themes for spring:

  • Minimalist - think black and white everything
  • Jet Setter - think boho, flowing, and fun (this was my favorite)
  • Feminine Charms - think sweet, pretty in pink and white and lacy

I captured my favorite outfits using my trusty, yet sometimes blurry iphone.

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I actually saw these fun printed jeans during the pre-show shopping but I had no idea how to wear them. I loved how they were paired with a fun, patterned top. I think this is a boho look anyone could pull off. I’m so sorry but I don’t remember who made these jeans. womp.

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This dress is from free people. Here’s a better picture.

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The high/low trend is really hit or miss for me. I think the trick is that it has to be a slight high/low meaning no mini in the front, maxi in the back; and the fabric has to be loose and flowy. This dress fires on all cylinders.

My favoritey-fave-fave-FAVE(!!!!) outfit of the night was this set by Trina Turk. 

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I think it’s a really attainable way to take part in the crop top trend, plus the pieces are really beautiful enough to stand on their own. I tried this outfit on after the show and I had even less midriff showing than the model. I think most would unless you are also 6 feet tall and gazelle-like with extremely toned abs. You can buy the outfit here and I’m pretty sure that necklace is from Towne & Reese though Trina has a very similar one.

The highlight of the evening was meeting Trina Turk after the show. She is very glamorous yet also very personable. I am not really even sure what I said to her but I hope it wasn’t too dorky.

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A couple fun facts - she manages her own instagram (@trinaturk) and just launched footwear this spring. Imma need to find where I can get those sandals she’s sportin’.

This was a really fun event and I’m already looking forward to next year’s Fashion Forward spring fashion show. Thanks for having me Belk and Junior League Raleigh!

Style Evolution, not to be confused with a Revolution. Or Revelation for that matter

Since having Nora, I’ve really had to think a lot more about what “my style” is. Coming up with a uniform of sorts makes getting ready a LOT easier. My mornings these days are a mad dash of make the bottles, wake the baby, dress the baby, change the dirty diaper that happened right as you’re ready to leave the house, wipe the spit up off the blouse, where’s the baby’s coat damnit I just had it, get the baby in the car, oh crap I forgot the bottles inside, okay we are ready to go, shit she needs more diapers at daycare, is the dog back in the house and did I unplug my flatiron? And somewhere in there I chug some coffee and eat a banana and get dressed and maybe remember to brush my teeth. I do everything in that last sentence in approximately 45 seconds. 
When I started this blog, I had a completely different lifestyle and had the free time to contemplate outfits and come up with new, fun combinations of thing  to wear. Um, I also had the time to actually go shopping. These days, if I can’t buy it online I don’t usually buy it. And if it’s not on sale, I don’t usually buy it. Mama’s got daycare tuition to pay for. 
I work in corporate America, so my daytime work wardrobe is business casual. I focus on simple, neutral pieces that I can mix and match and punch up with a fun accessory. I typically try to stick to black and white pieces only. Discipline is freedom as Jane Fonda would say and the same goes for having an edited closet. Oh, and all items must be washable. There is a small corner in the back of my closet where I have stashed my dry clean only stuff. Hopefully, in 18 years it will still be fashionable. My go to brands for work clothes are The Limited, LOFT, Theory and BCBG. The last two I only buy on major sale. Shopbop created this really pretty photo roundup for me which basically sums up my work style in a picture. I’m just 20 pounds and a modeling contract and probably a really cool apartment in NYC full of artists and Jared Leto away from basically being that girl
My off duty, outside-the-house clothes are much more relaxed and bohemian. The looser, gauzier and softer the better. I think in my previous life I burned patchouli, smoked weed, and lived on a farming commune. In this life, I drink kombucha after too much wine, put green tea powder in my smoothies and wear free people. I rounded up a few of my favorites from Shopbop who is having a killer sale right now with some really choice Free People clothes. I had to do this one all on my own.

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(most of these are on sale, some are not but were too good to resist)

Want!

This bucket bag by Mansur Gavriel is everything 2014 hopes to be.

Simple, awesome and 5 pounds lighter….

…than my current bag.

Available here for way less than I would have thought, actually.

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Hot Damn

If you are like me and have been lusting after the Stuart Weitzman 5050 boot but have been wondering how you could purchase $600 boots without your husband noticing and have no good solutions so you continue to lust from afar, fret no more.

Stuart Weitzman version, $598

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Charles by Charles David version, $149

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Maj hat tip to Brooke who included this boot in her winter shoe guide. Which, btw, if you haven’t checked out her blog, you absolutely should. She’s the mom two a 2 year old and has one of the most refreshing fashion blogs I’ve seen in a while. It’s fearless and fun and not something you see on every cupcakescashemereglamouraiatlanticpacificwhoelseiscoolnow blog

It’s Selfie O’Clock

photo _outfit(dress: BCBG // tights: Spanx // boots: Coach, similar)

Can we talk about these boots for a moment? I learned a valuable lesson when procuring these suede beauties. I lusted after these boots for months last winter but with a baby on the way I couldn’t really justify the purchase of boots that were equal to a month of groceries. Winter came and went. Spring brought a new baby. And all thoughts of beautiful suede boots evaporated. Fast forward to sometime in May, I’m starting to get the hang of this mama thing and my daily routine involved walking around the mall between the hours of 4 and 6 (a.k.a. baby witching hour when NOTHING I did at home made her happy and I was about to go stir crazy). One day while doing my usual laps around the Bobbi Brown and MAC counter, I spotted these boots tucked away in the corner of the shoe section. Suede boots had all been forgotten when the shoe shelves promised espadrilles and strappy stilletos. But I had not forgotten about my boots. No sirree. I bee lined it over to the dusty boot corner to see that they were marked half off and then HALF OFF AGAIN (!!!!) making them 75% off the original price. I talked to the sales clerk and they just happened to have exactly one pair left in exactly my size. It was the precise perk me up that this new mama running on zero sleep needed. And now it’s finally cold enough to wear them. The moral of the story: Good things happen to those who wait spend a lot of free time at the mall.

(Also, rule of thumb: match your tights to your boots. Keeps your legs from looking all chopped up.)

(style) Maternity Dressing

I feel like that at 30.5 weeks, I’ve got enough experience dressing my belly that I can finally share what has worked for me. For reference, I work in a corporate environment where the dress code is business casual. Blouses and trousers make the cut, but legging and sweaters don’t. On the weekends, I am much more casual, so this post focuses on finding clothes that suit my entire life needs. Additionally, I didn’t/don’t want to spend that much on maternity clothing since I will only be able to wear it for a relatively short span of time. And finally, my philosophy on looking good while pregnant is that you didn’t look good wearing a sack of a dress or “babydoll” tops before getting pregnant, so why start now. I’m a big fan of showing off that belly and wearing clothes that hug rather than hang on it. 

So first, let’s focus on nonmaternity clothing that I have been making work a la Tim Gunn. Next, I’ll talk about what maternity pieces I picked up and have found to be essential. 

Non-maternity clothing essentials:

  1. Belly bands. These are stretchy pieces of fabric that you can put over non-maternity pants that are unbuttoned so that they stay up. I actually hated this contraption at first because I felt like my pants never stayed up like they were supposed to. Now that I’m much, much, much larger than I was when first bought the belly band, I have been using it more. In fact, I’m wearing my non-maternity skinny jeans in the post below, just with a belly band that I got at Target. So, I’d recommend picking one up but try it out at a few different phases of belly growth to see when you are most comfortable wearing it.
  2. Lulu Lemon Wunder Under leggings. My weekend uniform is basically leggings and some kind of long top or what used to be a dress on me and is now more of a tunic. I have two pairs of lulu lemon leggings from my pre-preg days that are going strong and I bought one additional pair in a size larger than normal. All pairs have done a great job stretching with my belly and since the wunder unders are basically the gold standard in leggings, I feel pretty confident that they will retain their original shape when I no longer need them to fit over my extra girth.
  3. Rachel Pally. Rachel Pally has been a favorite brand of mine since way before getting pregnant and I’m especially loving her stuff now that I’m expecting. Her jersey pieces are comfortable and easily stretch as needed, and I’m addicted to her maxi dresses. I know her items can be kind of pricey, but I regularly see Rachel Pally sales on HauteLook and Gilt Groupe and there’s no shortage on ebay either. Plus, it’s nice to know that you’re spending money on something that you can wear with or without child. #shoppingjustificationFTW
  4. Michael Stars. Michael Stars is another line that is great for the expecting mama, but also is something that you can wear after popping out the baby. His clothing is “one size fits most” and I especially like some of the longer tunics/tops for preggos. He also has a maternity line, too, and I have one dress that I picked up at a maternity consignment shop, but honestly I still prefer to wear the pieces from the regular Michael Stars line. 
  5. Skinny Tee tank tops. I have these in a few colors and wear them under my looser blouses and tops which really helps stretch the mileage on my pre-pregnancy clothes. One of the things about wearing clothes that aren’t made for maternity wear is that as your belly gets larger, everything hangs shorter in the front because it’s got to go around that tummy. Skinny tee tanks are nice and long and not too constricting. They just provide a nice smooth layer and cover up any stomach skin that might otherwise hang out.
  6. Jewelry. Let’s be honest - shopping is not really that fun when you are pregnant. Everything is larger and you notice extra blobs of your body in places you didn’t realize you could. But jewelry is size-independent and I love to wear a fun statement necklace both because it makes me feel a little spunky and also because it detracts attention from the basketball-sized bump below. J Crew (sale section, natch), Anthropologie and Bauble Bar are great resources for fun necklaces.

Maternity clothing essentials:

Most of the actual maternity clothes I have picked up have been so that I can still dress professionally for work. If I didn’t have a job, I could get away with maxi dresses and leggings forever, but such is not my life. Here’s what has been absolutely essential and what I’ve worn to death these days:

  1. Two pairs of maternity trouser and two maternity pencil skirts. Gap has been my saving grace for maternity clothing. They regularly have great sales of 30-40% off  and their maternity sizes match up exactly with your pre-preg sizes making it really easy to shop. I bought two pairs of trouser and two skirts - both in black and in gray - which I rotate around with different tops and jewelry for different looks using many of the same pieces. 
  2. One pair of nice maternity jeans. Since my office wears jeans on Friday, I picked up a dark wash, trouser style pair of jeans that I wear pretty much every Friday (Mine are by James Jeans and I really like them). I feel like I’m really getting the most out of my cost per wear and the dark wash ensure that the jeans can be worn for a lot of occasions besides just Casual Friday.
  3. Pea in the Pod tights. It’s winter, so the only way I can get away with skirts and dresses is with tights. I tried to wear my Spanx tights as long as possible, but that got old fast as my stomach continued to grow. The Pea in the Pod brand tights are really opaque, go over your entire stomach, and are extremely comfortable - all three of which are musts in my book.
  4. Hand me downs/consignment stores. I’ve been blessed that my sister-in-law was pregnant before me and also had to work in a corporate environment. She’s let me borrow some of her dresses and tops which have been a real lifesaver. I definitely recommend hitting up any female family members that have already been pregnant to see what they’d be willing to temporarily part with. Just remember, you’re borrowing so make sure to give it back at the end! Consignment shops have also been great. For local ladies, there is a great one called Babiology in Five Points. I picked up the aforementioned Michael Stars dress as well as a new with tags Isabella Oliver dress for $30 (normally almost $300)! If you’re going to spend money on maternity clothes, checking out a consignment store is key to sticking to a low, low budget like I am trying to do.

And that’s about it. Between working with what I have, picking up a few key essentials, and going slightly overboard with accessories, I’ve been able to maximize a lot of what’s in my current closet throughout the duration of this pregnancy. 

I’m definitely interested to hear what worked/didn’t work for you, too. Do tell!