Outfit Inspiration - LuLaRoe

Last August I was introduced to LuLaRoe by a friend of my daughters, who was a styling consultant with the retailer at the time. I purchased a few other pieces from her since then, and while she has moved on from the business to finish her nursing degree, I think the idea of a small business selling modest clothing for women and girls is a great idea. You can see my original post here, as well as this other post on a different piece, here

One of the other pieces I purchased was a dress. I was a bit hesitant to try the Julia dress (each style has its own name), because it has a more fitted silhouette. However, I'm trying to get outside my box (see my Thursday Outside the Box column) and be open to other styles and pieces that I haven't tried before. 

Outfit Inspiration - LuLaRoe

This lovely number has a blue colored background with aqua and white diamond shapes as well as white dots in the foreground. At first I wasn't sure how to style this, but once I pulled it on and felt how comfortable it was, I knew I wanted to evoke a casual, date night look. 

The LuLaRoe website describes the Julia in this way:

The Julia dress is a form fitting, knee- length, knit dress with mid-length sleeves and a high neckline. Its simple silhouette makes the Julia dress a great canvas for layering and accessorizing. This dress is a staple for every season’s wardrobe. It is feminine, flattering, and you may not ever want to take it off.

I think this perfectly defines this dress. I love the longer sleeves and it is so comfortable, I almost feel guilty wearing it, but not that guilty! Ha, ha.

I am wearing an extra large, because I prefer to not have a body con fit. You can see from the two photos below, the material, which is a mid-weight knit skims my hips, but clings in the right places. 

I went for my cropped slightly distressed denim jacket to wear as a topper. I think the jacket adds an extra dimension of interest and texture to the look and makes the outfit seem slightly edgier. 

Outfit Inspiration - LuLaRoe

Once again I reached for my textured blue clutch, which I felt paired well with the blue in the dress and the denim jacket. 

For jewelry I added a light yellow pendant necklace and a darker yellow bangle. 

Outfit Inspiration - LuLaRoe
Outfit Inspiration - LuLaRoe

While I could have went for a wedge sandal or a heel, I decided to keep the look casual with my blue SO flats. 

Outfit Inspiration - LuLaRoe

i was pleased with how this outfit turned out and I am excited to try a few other combinations with this dress. I think a chambray shirt tied at the front would look cute too or a cropped sweater or tee. I think there are many possibilities. 

Outfit Inspiration - LuLaRoe

Do you like this look? What do you think of this dress? Do you like to wear more form fitting dresses or do you like silhouettes that are more swingy and flowing? I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

I hope you all have a great weekend! 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style. Friday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane, and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots

 

Thoughts on Thrifting - Part 1 - The Stores

Since I am a bit behind and unorganized during the summer, at least this summer anyway, I am foregoing my Beautiful Blogger Best column this week. Believe it or not, watching a six year old every day does not leave me a lot of time for working on the blog. Usually, by the time he goes home in the evening, I do not have any brain cells left to put together dinner, let alone a blog post for the next day. In lieu of that, today I am writing a post on one of my favorite fashion activities, thrifting.

Stocksnap - Matthew Henry

Stocksnap - Matthew Henry

My husband is a detectorist. He owns a metal detector and loves to hunt for treasures buried beneath the ground. His favorite finds are rings, especially gold or silver, but he loves to find any type of ring, even a child's adjustable one. I guess you could call me a "thriftorist". Ha, ha. I made a new word. Just like my husband loves to find treasure, I love to hunt for treasure of the fashionable type in thrift stores.

In my town there are several thrift stores. Savers is the largest and the one I go to every few weeks. I have found they have a large selection of gently used items and their prices are fairly reasonable. They also have frequent sales and rewards programs that motivate a treasure shopper like me to stop in more often. We also have Goodwill, Salvation Army, and a number of others like Plato's Closet, Clothes Mentor and The American Cancer Society thrift shop. There are also a number that I haven't yet checked out. As far as treasure hunting goes, I have plenty to choose from.

When looking for the best stores to treasure hunt in you might want to consider a few thoughts. 

1. Location. Since thrift stores are dependent on their own finds and on donations, finding stores in high trafficked locations will usually yield better used goods. Most of the thrift stores that I shop in are nestled with other retail stores. That being said, you can occasionally find uniques treasures in second hand retailers in out of the way places. 

2. Size. I won't be so bold as to say that the bigger the thrift store the better, but the same reasoning I used for location holds true for size as well. Many of the larger thrift stores give you more options. Savers has everything from furniture and electronics to bedding and shoes. My grandson loves to peruse the toys when we go in there, knowing he will be able to find some little treasure that grandma will buy for him. Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing and unique small thrift stores. My Shop on Rugby Dr., is an example of a small boutique that features used upscale women's clothing and accessories here in Toledo.

3. Organization. This is a huge thing for me....not that I am so organized, but that I like my shopping environment to be. Clothing should be organized by type. For instance, groupings such as long sleeve blouses, skirts, and cardigans, are all helpful as I hunt for treasure. If the store is organized by a broader category, such as long sleeve tops, it will take longer to look through all the tops to find that one button up that I am searching for. It is also helpful when a store organizes their clothing by size, at least by small, medium, large, and so on. 

Another way various stores organize their racks of clothes is by color. I really like this, especially if I go in with a specific color item in mind. That way, I only shop those sections with the colors I am looking for, instead of combing through racks and racks of clothes. While it is true, you have to look for your size in the color you want, it does make shopping for the Pantone series that I do, much easier. 

4. Lighting. I don't know about you, but when I am shopping I like to have a bright environment. I want to be able to see the colors I am looking at, as well as be able to read the tags to check out sizing, materials and washing instructions. I also want to be able to check the item over for tears, stains or deformities. 

On a weekend trip earlier this summer my hubby and I checked out a few thrift stores in the area we went to. The one store was beautifully organized, but the lighting was very dim. While I did find a few things that I bought, I kept wanting to ask a staff person if they could turn on the lights. 

5. Cleanliness. While every thrift store has a bit of a second hand air to it, it doesn't have to look and feel like a dump. Floors should be fairly clean. I've been in thrift stores where I wanted to wash my shoes after I left. Changing rooms should be well attended, meaning the staff is removing clothing left behind and picking up things that were left on the floor. Believe me, people can be very rude when it comes to changing rooms...even at regular, full priced retailers!

Clothing should be clean. That doesn't mean it has been washed. Stores do not have the capacity to wash every item that comes in their donation doors. However, they can be particular about what gets put out on the floor. Find stores that take pride in the pieces of clothing they put out.

It is also helpful if the thrift store has a bathroom. I drink a ton of water and having a bathroom on site means they will get to keep my business. 

Thrifting is a great way to save money, find unique pieces that are just right for you and have fun. I love to thrift with my daughters and my best girlfriend back in New York. Of course it always involves lunch! You can find jewelry, purses, shoes and, of course, clothing for a fraction of the price you will pay at a regular retailer. 

Next week I'll be back with another post on thrifting where I'll talk about how to turn compulsive buying into shopping science. 

Did you like this post? Did you find it helpful? Are you a thrifter? I'd love to have your feedback in the comments section below. 

Have a great weekend!

 

Piece Perfect

I am playing with some new ideas on my blog. I feel the need to do a little more intentional posting about fashion related subjects. After all, there is so much more to fashion than just showing a picture of an outfit. Since I am truly a writer first and fashion blogger second, I thought why not put a little more emphasis on writing about fashion. I have no idea who will be interested, but the point is to use the ability I have been given, and if I can use that on an area other people are interested in, win, win! 

My intention, then, is to begin a series of monthly columns, if you will, on different fashion related topics. The first Thursday of the month I will focus on clothing pieces. 

Clothing is like a puzzle. Each outfit is a finished picture made up of a few, or many complementary pieces. An outfit is not as locked in as a puzzle, where the pieces have to go together in an exact way to make the intended picture. We have more freedom with our outfits to throw pieces together that, a few years ago, might have been considered taboo. Pairing a pair of jeans with a dress for instance (see my post of that here). We also can pair colors in an array as varied as the wildflowers along the highway (see my take here). The point is up to us. What am I trying to say with the outfit I put on this morning? If it is a jeans and sweatshirt sort of day, I am probably feeling a need for comfort. If I am wearing something I usually don't wear, I may be feeling bold or daring. This, of course, can transcend our closets and seep into our make up and accessories. I never wear red lipstick. The day I do, I will be saying, "Look at me! I have made a change and I am proud of it!" Ha, ha.

Photo credit  Rebecca Trumbull.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.

Clothing is part of our language. It enables us to speak without using words. Perhaps that is why I like bright colors and fun textures. It speaks volumes about the person I am on the inside, not just the woman on the outside. Colors speak to the deep inner joy I have found in my relationship with Christ. I expect that heaven will be filled with colors I can't even imagine. Color is such a powerful form of expression. On a drab, gray, winter day I often reach for bright pink or blue to chase the blahs away. Think of your favorite place to vacation or your favorite local coffee shop or restaurant. I bet one of the reasons they appeal to you has to do with color: the blues of the ocean on a sunny day, the oranges of a log fire on a cool fall evening, the calming greens of the coffee shop walls or the dark wood of that Irish pub. Color can speak volumes. Textures can also add a dimension to our clothing language. When I am feeling girly, I reach for ruffles or lace. When I am feeling cold and want comfort I reach for a heavy cable knit or a soft cashmere sweater.

Piece Perfect will focus on different pieces in our wardrobes that can be foundational for building a great outfit. I will try to have an outfit post to go with the piece I have selected. Occasionally,  I might show pictures of the piece along with possible complementary items and accessories. I hope that you will enjoy reading this new portion of my blog and that you will come back each month as I feature a different clothing piece. The first piece I will be styling next month will be a pleated skirt. Be sure to check back the first Thursday of next month.

Leave me a comment below about the colorful places you like to visit! Until next time.