Avoid Logo Vomit: Show Off Your Style (Not Your Money)

The fashion industry has been quite successful in making us unpaid spokesman for their label while we shell out a small fortune and live on an all-ramen diet the remainder of the month. But why is that? Why do we cut off our right arm to have a fancy logo all over our purse or plastered on the front of a t-shirt? Is it insecurity? Is it peer pressure? Is it some sort of animalistic ritual to declare dominance among the herd? I used to find myself regularly having to tear myself from this magnetic force that pulls in droves upon droves of unsuspecting victims daily.

But that’s not style.

The trick to living on a budget is to never let it show.

Zina at fashionvibe.net is known for putting together stylish outfits from inexpensive stores like H&M and Zara as well as thrifting finds.

Style cannot be bought. Trust me, I see on a regular basis the woman with a stained nasty shirt and leopard print leggings with dirty flipflops that her heels hang off of and she’s got a Louis Vuitton purse draped on her elbow. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: money can’t buy you class. Now, that’s not to say it’s wrong to have one of these bags. It’s not. But why do you have it or want it? Is it because you want to be noticed for your money? Is it because you want to flaunt it to the world that you can afford a designer bag? Or is it actually because you genuinely love the design? Just ponder that for a minute.

Now, while I have said in the past to invest in a classic designer bag if able, I want to reiterate that classic does not necessarily mean labels. I do have a number of designer bags but I can tell you right now that, unless you’re actually looking for it, you won’t notice the designer right off the bat. Good quality is the ultimate goal in buying staples. If you can’t nor will you ever be able to buy a designer bag, find quality elsewhere and treat it with extra tlc. Don’t make yourself an unpaid spokesman. They’re not paying you. You’re paying them to advertise for them! Madness!

But listen up ladies! There has been a revolution! Fashion and Style bloggers have taken over, slowly but surely erasing those ideas of label whoring and showing us how to look effortlessly chic in clothes from Zara, ForeverXXI, H&M, thrift stores, garage sales and more! So before you get sucked in to the appeal of that splattered logo, check out some of these great items that have a lower price tag and a high amount of style:

h&m embellished white top h&m pattern skirt black h&m pink coat h&m gray pumps forever21 gold cuff zara mini city bag

Vive la revolution!


In other news: I hope everyone stayed safe last night and made smart choices.



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Make it safely to 2015

new years eve betty white be safe 2015 do not drink and drive safety first be carefulREMEMBER: You are irreplaceable – don’t risk your life or the lives of others for your pride or your “right” to have fun. Use modesty and discretion and, most importantly, use your brain. Even if you are being careful, others are not. Have fun but don’t put yourself or anyone else in a dangerous situation. Do not act “on a whim” or “go with the flow.” STOP AND THINK FIRST.

See you in 2015, babes!

Tuesday Tips & Tricks: Nail Polish Does Not Always Make For A Polished Look

nailcareFor women on a budget the nail salon is most likely out of the question. However, painting our nails ourselves is a time-consuming art and usually we let too long go by before we strip the old and make time for the new and at that point we can’t promise a job well done. The result is either chipped, bubbly, and/or uneven nails. Why even bother?

For the chic Parisian woman, manicures mean high-maintenance; an impression they never want to give off. Not to say they never paint their nails because they most certainly do. It’s just that most of the time it’s best to go au naturel. The natural nail, however, does not mean bitten, jagged, and peeling. Proper nail care is of the utmost importance. But a few seconds a day is far better and easier than the several hours once a week keeping up with polish. Simple daily routine of keeping nails and hands properly moisturized and having cuticle cream handy can save you a great deal of money and stress in the long run and leave you with polished looking unpolished nails.

Here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks for keeping your au naturel look on point:

  • Find a shape you like and make every nail match.

  • nailscIf a nail breaks and must be refiled to a different shape or length, try to make the rest match that shape and length when you get the opportunity. Having one oval nail while the rest are square is quite noticeable.

  • Don’t listen to your brain when it tells you filing your nails will take forever. It won’t. It really just takes about 10 minutes of your life. If you don’t have 10 minutes I suggest reevaluating your life.

  • Keep a top coat on if you’re prone to breakage.

  • Hydrate – Cuticle cream every day. Then keep it up with your lotion or hand cream several times a day.

  • Take your vitamins. Biotin is one I’m sure you’ve heard a lot (and that’s because it actually works!) but don’t forget that your daily multivitamin, a healthy diet and lots of water also contribute to the health of your nails.

Long, short, polished or unpolished, the principle of the matter is that if you care for the little things, you can make a big difference in your appearance and not have to spend much, if anything, in doing so.


Sunday Best: The Secret to Wearing Red

reddress style fashion blog tips and trick guide budget

A woman in red wants to be seen.

She is not shy. She is not insecure. She is woman. She is sexy and confident and careless and brave.

Who doesn’t want to be that woman? She’s the Cinderella, coming down the stairs, catching the eye of every man, woman, and child. The beauty amongst the beasts. Ah, to be her.

I have a secret for you, though: she is you.

Her je ne sais quoi is her confidence. She has it. She is no more beautiful than you or I. She simply has “it” and the first rule of having “it” is confidence, even if it’s fake.

So be bold! Wear red and release your inner Cinderella and grab the eyes of all in red.


My Friday Fave: Head-to-toe Black

all black clothing shopping style fashion blogWhether it’s a night on the town or a trip to the grocery store, one of my favorite trends (although I don’t feel “trend” is necessarily an appropriate word for this timeless look) is the chic and ever-flawless head-to-toe noir. Not only am I too often lazy when it comes to waking up early to assemble an outfit but I  rarely ever feel emotionally capable of putting one together the night before (I like to live recklessly, what can I say?) so throwing on all black is an easy way to boost my confidence about 100%. I feel effortlessly chic and in-control of life. It’s my powersuit. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love color and I wear it liberally but when I’m feeling a little insecure or having trouble making a decision about what to wear then, to me, all black is always the answer.

Black is one of those fabulous colors that looks expensive no matter how much you pay for it (assuming you’ve followed my rules) and, this may be my personal opinion, but you can never really have too much black. Maybe four pairs of nearly identical boots is too much but you get the point. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall; black is always effortlessly chic and forever in style. It’s a look you don’t need jewelry with or perfectly styled hair or even makeup. Chapstick and clear skin (for some of us that’s fresh faced but for others it’s concealer or light foundation; only a few rare unicorns actually have great no-need-for-makeup skin) can actually be enough for this look and we don’t look like we’ve given up on life or gone through a bad breakup.

Now a couple variations to the all-black trend include adding a pop of color in a bag or statement piece of jewelry, a bright shoe or even just a pop of color on the lips. I’m in love with a good red lip and I think it amps up the look by about a billion or so. If you can’t find the right red lipstick or think you can’t wear it because of your skintone or it always gets on your teeth then there are solutions. Then there’s my personal favorite of the trends; the fur coat. Swoon.

Micah Gianneli_Best top Australian fashion style blog_Rihanna RiOkay, so the ultimate factor in wearing all black is this: confidence. If you’re wearing all black because you think it will disguise your hideousness, you’re in a losing battle. Genuine confidence (none of this fake confidence crap) is something that comes from feeling good about you. Not cocky or conceited or thinking you’re the most gorgeous person to walk the earth but confidence in knowing you are doing you and doing your best at it each and every day. A girl who sits on the couch crying about being overweight while eating a cheesecake by herself is not going to ever feel good about herself. A girl of the same size and complexion who’s eating healthy and trying to get into a good exercise routine is not wasting time getting comfortable with her unhappiness; she’s recognized a desire to change and she’s put it into motion. Ladies, If you want to feel good about yourself, give yourself reason to feel good. (Such sage advice, I know. That’s why it’s in bold.) I use weight for this example but really it’s for any problem we have that gets us feeling less than we are. Effort! Trying can be hard and exhausting and it is so much easier to give up and cry about it but the one problem with that solution is, oh yeah, it isn’t a solution! But really, to close this little rant off, no amount of clothing will give you confidence if you don’t have it in you to begin with. You can’t buy that. It just requires some emotional elbow grease and a lot of hard work and picking your self up again when you fall short. Never give up on trying to be a better you. (*Remember: We are all created differently. One girl might have more curves than another but that doesn’t make either of them overweight or underweight. A persons healthy body is unique to them and so when I mention someone being overweight I mean just that. There is a difference between curvy and healthy and overweight due to diet or health. Some also have medical conditions that make them underweight or overweight no matter what they eat and therefore they are not in control of that part of themselves and should not feel helpless or depressed because of something out of their control. Never would we want to put undue pressure on ourselves to be something we are not.)

And on that note (and completely disregarding this not-so-subtle segway,) start your all black wardrobe with some great inexpensive pieces like these from H&M:

h&m knit sweater black fashion style blog hmpleatherlegginghmblackwcoat

hmmonkstrapbooth&m black purse fashion style clothing bloghmbwhat

Knit Turtleneck Sweater – $29.95
Imitation Leather Pants – $24.95
Wool-blend Coat – $69.95
Monkstrap Boots – $34.95
Handbag – $39.95
Wool Hat – $29.95

(Or hunt for your own collection at thrift stores or items on sale/clearance at your favorite stores!)

X’s & O’s chickabiddies.


Equip yourself for battle: how to claim your victory while shopping

armor shopping victory success how to shopThe sales are coming.

You’re itching to go into the battlefield of your local mall and claim your spoils of victory. How, though, can you guarantee you’ll get the ripest of the spoils and not stuck with the unwanted leftovers? You must first prepare yourself mentally and physically for what lies ahead.

  • Know the plunder: Know what you need or want and don’t get distracted. Have a checklist beforehand of what items you’re looking for and certain stores you want to prioritize. You’re funds are limited and you don’t want to waste your money on items you weren’t looking for and not have the money when you finally find the item you actually did need.

  • Wear proper armor: Now is no time to look cute with lace up booties and layers of warm clothing. You must be equipped for speed. Jeans, leggings, maxidresses, sweatshirts. Forget the scarves and heavy coats! They’ll only hold you back and tire you out. Wear comfortable flats and easy clothing to maximize your endurance.

  • Don’t identify yourself: Want 800 emails a day that you never check? Then by all means continue giving out your email to everyone who asks. If you don’t, however, like an exploding inbox then embrace your rights and tell them no! It’s not a law that you give the store you rarely shop at your email address. Just. Say. No. Share that information with people who deserve it, not just because someone says “What’s your email?” Repeat with me: “No thank you. Not today.

  • Only take what you can carry: You have four navy skirts already. Honestly, you only ever find yourself wearing the one. So why do you need a fifth? You don’t! Yes, it’s “different from the others” but really, no, it’s not. Drop it and save the space for something that actually is different. Remember: don’t waste your money on items you weren’t looking for when you can spend it on something you do actually need or want.

  • Patience is a virtue: If you don’t find what you’re looking for or need then don’t claim just anything because the money is burning a hole in your pocket or you feel you need to be holding a shopping bag in your hand. If you’re dying to buy something, here’s my advice: 1) get some self-control or 2) go buy $25 worth of jewelry at ForeverXXI and don’t rob yourself. If you go into battle and there’s nothing good left, you don’t walk away with the cow manure just because you “wanted something.”

You’re all set now. You’re equipped to fight the crowds and keep your sights set on the bigger treasures while the rest struggle one another over the $11 fur coat with the hole under the arm. On to the battlefield my soldiers!

pc: Nyree Mackenzie


My Fashion Faves

converse black style blog fashion
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

For the last couple days here in Dallas, Texas the forecast has been gray, rainy, and cold. On days like these I want to stay in bed all day and read and drink hot cocoa but alas! there’s life to attend to. I thought a nice focus on some of my favorite items that I find myself wearing over and over again and never falling out of love with would be a great way to beat this dreadful gloomy day.

animal

To start us out I have some of my favorite cheery items that channel my inner adventurer!  My husband actually bought me this silk giraffe buttonup when he and I were dating and I love it! It’s great to wear with shorts, jeans, skirts and with belts or tucked in or tucked out or half tucked. It’s actually been a really versatile shirt that I get endless amounts of compliments on. The shoes I got at JCrew for a steal! They’re absolutely flawless paired with a white button down for a nice pop of color while still having a really classic shape to them. I can’t actually wear them out without getting complimented multiple times on them. The last three items are just some of my favorite accessories. The belt I got at DSW in a three pack for super cheap and the tortoise shell watch was yet another gift from my hubby while we were dating (he worked at Fossil at the time so he was always scoring deals) and last but not least is a pair of earrings I got at ForeverXXI and as anyone who has shopped at ForeverXXI a lot in their life knows, it’s a place of big hits or big misses. You either wear something a couple times and it gives out on you or it lasts forever with no real explanation why.

fossil lingerie panties bralette coach ipad case jewelry red nail polish bracelet watch fossil revlon

On to my tried and true’s. My ipad case is Coach (if you can invest in a good leather ipad case that will hold up then I highly suggest doing it) and I loooove it. It was a gift to myself after my car accident settlement and I wanted a good case that wouldn’t fall apart on me because, for me personally, it’s an item I never intend on replacing. If, however, you like changing that sort of thing up then definitely buy trendy and cute. The bralette and thong I bought from Nordtrom and they are actually super comfortable when it comes to lace underwear and the shapes are so flattering. The baseball tee I bought from JCrew and I love it for shopping trips, laid back gatherings with friends but also it looks great with a skirt! This is another piece in my collection I’m constantly getting compliments on. Oh and did I mention it’s ridiculously cozy? Because it is. On to the accessories! Revlon Velvet Rope nail polish is my favorite red to wear because it’s just darker than classic red and it gives me a super sexy color without being too vampy (which, by the way, I do love vampy but not all the time.)  Next up is this necklace with it’s gorgeous shades of blues and black and gold (that I wear way too much because it goes with everything I own somehow) I got on sale at JCrew and I thought I might be crazy at the time for spending $60 on it when I had no idea what I’d wear with it but it’s proved to be a wise risk. Again, compliments galore with this piece. The bracelet I also bought at JCrew (junky much?) and although I don’t wear it often, every time I do wear it I remember why I love it so much. And for the finale I have my (Fossil again!) rosegold watch that gives such an elegant vibe to my outfit and I love it.

See? Already I forgot how rainy and cold it is outside.

When the dog bites,
When the bee stings,
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad!

[enter majestic twirl on a lush green hillside]


Invest in timeless staples – go cheap for trends

lace clothes skirts shirts jackets fossil banana republic lauren conrad style blog fashion

There are certain items every girl needs in her wardrobe to make it well-rounded and complete. You may be familiar with the term “wardrobe staples” but you may not be exactly sure what that means for you if you’re one of those many who thinks “why would I ever need a white button down or leopard print flats?”

It’s because, while those are classics, they aren’t necessarily staples for every girl. So what makes any piece truly a staple? It’s timeless. Years later (assuming your weight hasn’t drastically changed) you should still be able to be wearing your staple pieces and not look outdated. Whatever trend is current, your staples should effortlessly go hand-in-hand with them. Let’s begin with these basics on determining your personal staples.

  • There are of course the basic basics like t-shirts and jeans. For jeans you should find a classic fit whether it be skinny, straight leg or bootcut that fits your body proportions and, most of all, you feel confident in. Invest in one dark pair and one faded pair. Abstain from any distressing or embellishments when it comes to your staple pairs and make sure they’re a good fit that allows a little fluctuation in weight gain and loss. For your t-shirts go gray, black, and white and stay away from anything too baggy, too long or short or has sleeve embellishment. Keep it simple. Your free to buy those but not as your staples.classic white button down and alternative silk top

  • Instead of the classic white button down which many aren’t comfortable wearing, invest in a nice silk blouse or something similar to take its place. I personally love white button downs and have a few because they’re easy and crisp looking but really, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. It should be something you can throw on with everything to make it dressy or casual or office-ready. Make sure it has sleeves otherwise it may not be appropriate for some occasions.

  • Don’t underestimate the importance of good sneakers. Converse, Keds, Vans, or whatever it may be, make sure it’s a good sturdy pair (no cheapies!) that will hold up for a long time and are your style. These are all shoe brands that go in and out of being trendy but at the same time are always classics so go buy which ones you love, not which ones are currently hot. Depending on how you style them, they can be super casual or make a haute couture statement. Timeless and adaptable.

  • While I recommend buying statement jewelry that’s inexpensive and can afford to be replaced often, I put it in here as a staple because it’s something you should regularly update and always have in your possession because it can make simple jeans and a t-shirt look super fashionable. Bold accessories can go a long way in completely changing something from drab to fab and it’s super easy.black Coach purse, nude Kate Spade purse and cognac Dooney&Bourke bookbag

  • Most girls live out of their purses and when it comes to bags I have one thing to say – go designer. Whatever bags are a necessity for you, invest in a quality one. I have a dark purse and a light purse and a neutral bookbag and I don’t tire of them. I’m set for all seasons and they are sturdy and classically shaped so they never go out of style. A great bag won’t have logos splashed everywhere or a lot of bells and whistles nor will it be too slouchy (which can turn into a black abyss) but will have good shape to hold everything you need.

There are tons of staples I could suggest even still but the bottom line is when you are looking to buy an item, ask yourself this: “Will this still look good in twenty years?” If not, buy an inexpensive version of it and put the rest of your shopping budget to good use. In the end, a closet should reflect who you are and what your lifestyle is. A woman who works in an office is going to have a very different wardrobe than a woman who works in a boutique but all the articles should be easy to wear with a variety of style options and be timeless. Use these guidelines in your future shopping adventures and you’re sure to save money in the longrun. Happy shopping everyone!


The dressing room guide to beating your buyers remorse

We’ve all been there.

You’ve been in the worst dry spell of your life with shopping where nothing seems to look good on you or isn’t in your size and you feel like you’ll die if you have to go to one more store of disappointing racks of let-downs. But today is your day. Your patience has paid off and now you’ve hit nothing but gold and everything you try on fits like it was made for you and you alone. You love 90% of it and buy that 90%. But it was all just an illusion. You realize days, weeks, months later…you wasted your money. But why? How? It all was so absolutely perfect in the dressing room!

Budget style chic clothes fashion blog

This phenomenon happens to even the best of us. We dig around for receipts and tags, praying we held on to something we can use as proof of purchase to return these causes for our sickening (and horribly pricey) case of buyers remorse. More often that not, though, it’s too late. Our friends and the neighborhood consignment stores all benefit from our poor choices and we’re left feeling robbed. Once again we’re back at square one and history repeats itself.

But there is hope for you.

Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years that help me think twice about my purchases when I’m under that dressing room hypnosis.

  1. Don’t make exceptions to your standards. If it doesn’t fit perfectly and you know you’re not going to get it tailored or it can’t be then put it back. We make exceptions for little details that are off whether it’s the fit, the pattern, the style or what-have-you and next thing you know, that little detail is the reason you never wear it or even inevitably hate it.

  2. Be honest with yourself. If you know you have a tendency to say you’re going to hem something, take things to the tailor, take your dry-cleaning to the cleaners but then don’t ever follow through then don’t buy the things that require any of that. Those little lies we tell ourselves end up wasting us the cost of the article of clothing as well as valuable closet space and time.

  3. Have an outfit. Don’t buy a shirt you have nothing to wear with. Have in mind a least one thing you know you can pair it with that you already own. If you buy a skirt that would go great with a certain type of blouse that you don’t actually own, you’re only setting yourself up for a loss.

  4. Don’t be dazzled by low prices. Just because something use to be $200 and is now on sale for $50 does not mean you need it. Yes, it may be a great deal but if you’re buying it and disregarding rules 1-3 then what good is it? You didn’t save $150 – you just lost $50.

  5. Set a safety budget. I know me and I know that I always go over budget. Because of this I always set my budget much lower than I can actually afford to spend. If my budget is $600 then I tell myself it’s $450 and this way I never go over and if something does come up that I absolutely need at the end of my shopping trip, I can usually afford to buy it because I still technically have more than I set aside beforehand.

  6. Don’t shop with just anybody. A good shopping buddy is an essential if you don’t plan on going alone. Most of us can attest to having that one friend that thinks everything either looks great or nothing does. They are your worst enemy in the shopping world. If they’re with you by default then make sure to not break down and ask for their opinion or allow them any say. Their company can cost you. A good shopping buddy is on your same wavelength and wants what’s best for you. They want you to be your best you. They aren’t going to waste your money or pull your shopping momentum down but they will give you honest and helpful advice.

  7. Remember there’s an end to your cash. There’s no rule that you have to spend all your money in one day. Consider it a victory to walk away with nothing knowing that your cash can go to something you really want but just haven’t found yet. Think about what you’re missing out on when you settle for something less than perfect and you’ll find yourself much happier with your closet choices in the future.

So there’s my advice to beating those post-shopping woes and gaining control of your wardrobe. Soon you’ll be on your way to having fewer feelings of “I have nothing to wear!” with a closet overflowing with clothes and closer to being able to say “I can’t decide which of these great outfits I’ll wear today.”

À bientôt!


You’re no Marilyn, miss Audrey

Just because your idea of beauty is one thing doesn’t mean that you are your own idea of beauty.

beyonce

Why are you dressing like a Marilyn when you’re clearly an Audrey? Embrace you! Trends are ever-changing and so are societies ideas of beauty so please stop getting hung up on who you think is beautiful and work on finding your own beauty. Audrey Hepburn was not pining away to look like Marilyn Monroe or vice versa. With all the different attitudes on body types today, those two ladies, with two bodies so different, have remained as icons of beauty to this day. Why? They embraced it. But no, that does not mean saying “my body type is yuck so I should wear sweats every day.” How we care for ourselves is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. You may look like Zoe Saldana but you’re so hung up on looking like Beyoncé that you’ve denied yourself from seeing your own true beauty!

All of this “real women have curves” nonsense is just another way to get you to feel bad about yourselves. Hello people! Real women are not defined by their bodies. Dress your body and love your body. Don’t confuse what society tells you is too skinny or too fat to determine your health. Every body is different so do you and do it in style.

zoe saldana

My tip for today? Try on everything. No, really. You don’t think it’s your style or you don’t think it will look good on you but trust me, you’re missing out when you tell yourself that garbage. My eyes were opened as a teenager when a friend took me shopping and I was able to see the body I had and just never knew how to dress properly.

I was an Audrey trying to be a Marilyn.

Now for the lesson. You ready for this? Your comfort zone is actually a prison. You’re suffering from fashion stockholm syndrome! Get out now. Ask for help if you need it. You will be liberated in ways I can’t begin to express. I can almost guarantee that (after a LOT of frustration and time, I’m sorry) you will eventually cry out from your dressing room with a strong, victorious “free at last, free. at. last!