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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Guest Post: Belting Your Curves

Like I said yesterday, Katie from Hems for Heris back with a second guest post!

During the Remixable Wardrobe Series I received a handful of comments saying that tucking shirts into skirts or belting outfits, etc. wouldn't work for women who are on the curvier side.  Having watched enough What Not to Wear (haha) to know that there is hope, I've asked Katie to show how belts can be your best friend, no matter what size you are!



If you are a lady who hates her midsection (like 99 % of the female population), then you’ve probably
been hesitant at some point to wear a belt because you feel like it will be drawing attention to the biggest part of you. But worn correctly, belts can add structure and shape to any outfit and actually flatter you, no matter what your shape!

Did you know that belts shouldn’t actually be worn to keep too big pants on you? I know it sounds crazy, but today’s styles expect your clothes to fit and your belt to be used for fashion not function. A year ago, I owned one belt that I never wore, but as I finally grew braver enough to wear belts my collection has expanded.

So if you are ready to expand your belt know-how, here are some tips for helping you get started!


Experiment With Different Widths
Play around with the width of your belts. Belts can be found in a rainbow of colors and a variety of widths. Don't be afraid to wear a skinny belt! One of my most beloved belts is my skinny mustard belt from Target. I wear it at least once a week. But I also love my wide belts. Experiment with different sizes.



Experiment With Placement
You also need to experiment with the placement of your belt. Most how-to guides will suggest wearing the belt around the narrowest part of the waist, but don't feel like that's the only spot for a belt. They can be worn around your natural middle or slung low around your hips.





Use a Contrasting Color
In the beginning you may want to stick with tonal looks- a black belt with a black dress, but don't discount the magic of contrasting your belt with your outfit- brown with black or mustard with coral or red with black. Belts can be better accessories than jewelry sometimes.




Layer Belts with Cardigans
This is truly one of my signature looks, especially in the fall with cooler weather. This is also helpful when you are uncomfortable with wearing a belt. You can layer it over or under the cardigan depending on what you feel most comfortable with.



If you want to keep in touch, check me out on Facebook, Twitter, and Bloglovin!



Big thanks to Katie for taking the time to show us that you don't have to be scared of belts if you don't like your mid-section.  In fact, they can cinch your waist and actually flatter your figure.  It's all about experimenting with placement and width, though!  So don't be scared to experiment, especially if it's just you in front of your closet.  Like I've said before, the worst that can happen is that you stand in front of your mirror, make this face, and change out of your outfit! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest Post: Tips for Flattering Your Curves

Today I'd like to introduce Katie from Hems for Her.  Besides having incredible style, one of the reasons I'm excited for Katie's guest posts is because she is a beautiful woman who embraces her curves.  I have a lot of friends who are on the more curvy end of the spectrum who feel stuck with how to dress themselves, so I've asked Katie to provide some tips for how to dress in a way that flatters your curves!




Today, Audrey asked me to talk about dressing to flatter your curves, and I was too happy to oblige. This is not a blog post about losing weight or disguising your extra pounds. I am not going to tell you how to lose ten pounds in ten minutes or how to reduce the size of your waist in minutes a day. This is a post about loving your body the way it is now, embracing the shape that you have, and working it to your advantage.

Over at my blog Hems for Her I show everyday women how I dress. I have run the weight gamut from thin to thick and everything in between. When I got pregnant, I was in the best shape of my life. I had just lost 55 pounds; I was working out 4-5 times a week; I looked great and felt great. After baby, my body was different. My boobs and belly were bigger; I had no time to work out. I started a stressful job, and the pounds piled on.  However, I have grown to love and appreciate my new fuller figure.

Confidence
The most important part of looking good and feeling good is CONFIDENCE! That’s the first thing you should put on every day! If you don’t believe you look good, then how do you expect anyone else to? Rock it and flaunt it! By identifying your body shape and learning what kind of clothing is most flattering, you will have the confidence to feel beautiful and stylish at any size!

Tailored, Not Baggy
One thing I’ve learned in dressing my curves, and documenting it daily over the past year is that the more tailored my clothing the better I look and feel.  Plus-sized women often feel like we need to hide our body under layers and baggy clothing, but that just adds bulk. It’s much more flattering to wear items that are tailored to your body. Structured pieces like pencil skirts and sheath dresses show off your natural curves while loose and flowing actually create the illusion of extra weight. Don’t believe me? Guess I’ll have to show you the pictures.


Told ya!


Belts
This is another reason why belts can be so essential to a plus-sized wardrobe. Round all over and carrying your weight in your midsection like me? Then throw a belt on and you instantly create that desired “hourglass shape.”  Fashion calls for belts to fall at the smallest part of your waist, so they draw the eyes upward. By defining your waist, you actually create an optical illusion of a perfectly balanced upper and lower body. Again a picture is worth a thousand words, so take a look at this series of photos showing how much a belt can change the structure of a dress. And check out my post tomorrow for more helpful hints about belts and the curvy gal.




Work What You Love
Finally, no matter what size you are, you gotta work what you love! Great legs? Then wear skirts to show them off and heels if you can suffer them. Love your arms? Yay for summer! Show them off in sleeveless dresses and tanks. Cleavage galore? If you got it, flaunt it- appropriately of course. I'm not wild about my pudgy arms and elbows, so you'll often see me in three-quarter length cardigans and tops. However, I love showing off my legs, so I keep that in mind when dressing in the morning.



If you want to get to know me better follow Hems for Her on Facebook, Twitter, and Bloglovin!



Stay tuned tomorrow for a second guest post by Katie specifically on how to belt your outfits when you are scared of drawing attention to your mid-section!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guest Post: Interviews & Wedding Outfits

Since I was traveling all last week and living off my 8 Pieces, 15 Outfits I've lined up a couple of guest posters for you this week!

I'm excited to introduce to you Lauren from Stylized Existence.  Lauren is a wardrobe consultant (my dream job!) with a fresh but attainable style.  Every now and then some of you ask me for help putting together outfits for things like job interviews and weddings, etc.  Honestly, I never know what to say when people ask for advice like that because I'm constantly wondering if my outfit is appropriate too!  With Lauren being a wardrobe consultant, I thought she would be the perfect person to answer these questions for us!



Hi there! I'm Lauren from the style blog Stylized Existence! Audrey asked me to guest post while she is away and I was happy to help! Audrey receives a ton of questions about what readers should wear for specific events, and since I am a wardrobe consultant, we both thought it would be helpful if I gave some input. Today I wanted to cover what you should wear to an interview and how you should dress for your upcoming summer weddings!


Interview Outfits
First, the interview looks. This can vary a bit depending on the type of company you're dealing with, but I ALWAYS say it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. Obviously, if you're applying to a super corporate (read: stuffy) company, you might want to stick with a full matching suit and a blouse, but if you're able to inject some personality into your interview look, go for it! As long as you are still formal enough, color and patterns need not be avoided for interviews. In fact, they just might help you be remembered instead of Susie with the MBA. Both looks below include my idea of the perfect feminine interview outfit. Interview Outfit Science: Pick a well fitting blazer, skirt, and heels. Add a top of your choice and some minimal jewelry and you've got yourself a respectable and memorable interview outfit.


Top outfit: One / Two / Three / Four / Five
Bottom outfit: One / Two / Three / Four / Five


Summer Wedding Outfit
Next up is an idea for a Summer wedding. My rule of thumb is, when you're attending a Summer event, feel free to go with a bold color. It's the perfect time to debut that coral or yellow dress you've been dying to wear. Save the black for Winter. Whatever you do, don't wear an ivory or white dress, it upstages the bride and it's tacky. My favorite combination is a nude shoe and clutch mixed with a bold dress and one pop of color in the jewelry (whether it be a necklace, bracelet, or earrings)!



Audrey, thank you so much for having me! Putting Me Together Readers, I hope you picked up some good tips for putting together your outfits this Summer! I hope you will come over and visit my blog!



Thanks, Lauren, for helping us out!  Be sure to check out Lauren's blog Stylized Existence for more inspiration like this!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Miracle of Miracles

Top: Forever 21  |  Skirt: Forever 21 (shop similar)  |  Denim Jacket: Forever 21 (shop similar #1, shop similar #2, shop similar #3)  |  Wedges: Kohl's (shop)

I combined three of my favorite recent (re)discoveries in this outfit: graphic tees, knotting tees over a skirt, and black and white.  Four, if you count my denim jacket.

I'm delighted to say that after nearly a year of starting this blog I've found myself increasingly feeling like I have an abundance of clothes.  I mean, I already knew that, but often times it didn't feel like it.  You know, like this:

This month I've returned a lot of things because I simply didn't feel like they needed to be in my closet.  When I've looked into my closet this month, the possibilities have seemed endless.  Maybe not all of them are "style-blog worthy" (whatever that means), but they are still good and interesting.

And, for probably the first time in a long time, I'm way, way, way under my shopping budget.  Miracle of miracles, people!  This calls for a celebration.  Perhaps a trip to the mall?  ;)




BTW, remember to enter to win $50 to Lisa Leonard!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Weaksauce

Sweater: J.Crew Outlet (shop similar)  |  Shorts: Target (shop)  |  Flats: Old Navy  |  Necklace: Forever 21  |  Totes: ebags.com (shop)

Wheeeeee, coral shorts!  I think they're my new best friend.

Having lived in San Diego for the last 11 years, I've grown accustomed to thinking that 70 degrees is too cold to wear shorts.  I blame it on the constant ocean breeze, but really, "ocean breeze" is secret code for "I'm weaksauce."  That said, I get a little unreasonably excited when I can wear these shorts, hence me dragging them along to every single trip I get to go on where heat prevails.  Obsessed much?  Absolutely.

But one way I get around it in "cold" 70 degree San Diego weather is to pair these babies with a lightweight sweater.  Boom bam, problem solved.

Remember to enter to win $50 to Lisa Leonard!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Double Dog Dare Ya

Top: Lace Affair (shop similar)  |  Cardi: H&M (shop similarsimilar #2)  |  Skirt: JCPenny (shop similar)  |  Wedges: Kohl's (shop)  |  Belt: Lulu's

Seriously, peeps.  I've said it before, but I really am digging using colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.  My tendency is to use opposite colors in my color palettes, so a whole new world opened up in my closet when I let myself put together outfits with like colors.  I originally paired this skirt with my mustard cardigan, but since I'm also digging shades of green these days, I went for it.  And I loved it.

Seriously, you've gotta try it sometimes.  I double dog dare ya.



BTW, remember to enter to win $50 to Lisa Leonard!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Win $50 from Lisa Leonard & GCOGH Winner!


This week's giveaway is brought to you by the lovely Lisa Leonard!

I don't know about you, but I'm not the type of person who is really into jewelry or has a sentimental or emotional connection with it.  However, when I received my necklace from Lisa Leonard, I could actually feel that it was made with love.  There is something really special about the pieces in her shop, and mine fills my heart with warm fuzzies!

You have a chance to win $50 to buy a piece of your own from Lisa Leonard!



To Enter:
Visit Lisa Leonard and comment here with your favorite item.

Additional Entry:
Tweet about the giveaway.  ex. "I hope I win $50 from Lisa Leonard over at @puttingme2gther! http://bit.ly/McM8L0"



And, the winner of the Go Chic or Go Home Giveaway is:

Congrats, Adele!  Email me for your prize.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mint & Orange

Tee: Target (shop similar)  |  Skirt: Forever 21 (shop similar)  |  Shoes: Urban Outfitters (shop)  |  Necklace: World Market

I just got back from a retreat in the mountains, and now I'm packing up to go to Texas tomorrow morning.  I'll be gone for a week, but I have a few backed up outfits to post while I'm away.

As simple as this outfit is, I loved wearing it.  The easy breezy nature of it and the mint/orange combo made me feel fresh and springy all day.  It was a much needed attitude booster since it's been getting stressful trying to get everything done that I need to do!  Don't you love how an outfit can change your mood?

Wish me well in Texas, and pray that I don't die in the heat!

P.S.  You seriously need to enter to win $50!  There are so many stores you can choose from to spend the $50 on!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Outfit & Seek First Winner!

Dress: Target (shop)  |  Wedges: Target (shop)  |  Cardigan: Target (shop similar)  |  Belt: H&M  |  Tote: ebags.com (shop)

Gotta be quick today because I've begun the first leg of my travels!

I wore this outfit when we took my mom out to dinner for Mother's Day!  This dress was one of the items I bought on a recent Target haul, along with the coral shorts from a few outfit posts ago.  I love the versatility of this dress.  It can be paired with so many different colors, completer pieces, and types of belts, so I knew it would be a keeper.  Have you had purchases that you knew instantly you'd keep?  What were they?  And what requirements make it a no-brainer for you?



Seek First Winner:


Congrats!  Email me for your prize.

Remember everyone, you can get 20% off your Seek First order with code TOGETHER!



Also, remember to enter to win $50 from Go Chic or Go Home to stores like Madewell, Banana Republic, ASOS, and more!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Win a $50 gift card from Go Chic or Go Home!



Happy Monday giveaway!

This week, Go Chic or Go Home is offering a $50 gift card to any of the retailers that Go Chic or Go Home works with, including Madewell, Banana Republic, ASOS, and more!

Let me tell you some things I love about GCOGH:
  • Inspiration and Community.  It provides a great community to share outfits with and to gain inspiration from a wide variety of people.  For example, there's a feature called "Monocle" that showcases looks with respect to a theme, such as "spring florals" or "stripes," from MANY different people all at once.  There's so much inspiration at your fingertips!
  • Easier than having a style blog!  If you've wanted to be part of the style blogging type of community but have been too intimidated or busy to maintain your own style blog, GCOGH is a GREAT place to gain those benefits without having to have a blog!  The community is really encouraging, too!
  • Remixing tool!  I also love that you can upload pics of your own clothing items to your virtual closet  and then remix, remix, REMIX virtually with the Create feature!  You can put together new combinations and create outfits with your own clothes and save them for later!
  • Earn rewards.  Also, just for uploading pics or commenting and being an active part of the GCOGH community, you can earn points towards gift cards to some amazing retailers!  (Like the ones named in this giveaway!)
  • The outfits are real and down to earth, which I know many of you PMT readers love!



Enter the Giveaway:
  • Become a member of Go Chic or Go Home in 2 easy steps:
    • Request an invite by clicking here!
    • Use your invite link to sign up on the website
  • Then leave a comment on this blog with something you like about the Go Chic or Go Home community.
If you're already a member, you can enter too!  Just log into GCOGH so that your account is active during the giveaway period.

Open to international readers!  Giveaway ends on Monday, 5/21.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Another Graphic Tee

Tee: Forever 21  |  Jeans: Gap Outlet (shop similar: here and here)  |  Blazer: Target (shop similar)  |  Shoes: Target (shop similar)  |  Necklace: c/o Lisa Leonard (shop)

From my recent dive into my pile of old graphic tees I was inspired to style this one, too!  This outfit is a spin off of an outfit I wore often pre style blog, but with some tweaks.  I had all of these pieces before style blogging too (minus the necklace), but I hadn't worn them together until now!  Discovering new outfits in your closet never gets old.  Nor does a blazer paired with a graphic tee.  

What are you up to this weekend?  My mom is in town, and then I'm off to all my trips.  Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there!  May you feel extra appreciated, blessed, and loved.  

Lastly, only a few days left to enter the Seek First giveaway!  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Just Breathe

Top: Old Navy (shop)  |  Skirt: MNG by Mango via JCPenny (shop)  |  Wedges: Target (shop)  |  Belt: H&M

Ohmigoshhhh.  This week, I'm trying to tell myself to breathe.  And eating a lot of chocolate ice cream.  Between preparing for 3 back-to-back trips over the span of 2 weeks and preparing material for a three-day long training that I'm in charge of teaching at, this week I will be relying on chocolate ice cream as my sweet escape to maintain my sanity.  Chocolate ice cream never fails me.

If I'm quiet on commenting on your blogs this month, it'll be due to all the traveling.  Two of my trips are in the mountains and one trip is to a retreat site in Texas!  Yup, you heard me.  I'll be at a remote retreat site a little outside of Austin (I think) for a whole week!

Any weather/wardrobe tips you've got for me for my upcoming trip to Texas?  


Enter the Seek First giveaway!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tees and Skirts

Top: Forever 21  |  Jacket: Forever 21 (shop similar: 1, 2, 3)  |  Skirt: JCPenny via Buffalo Exchange (shop similar: 12)
 Wedges: Kohl's (shop)

I have quite a few graphic tees sitting in my closet from a long time ago, and I haven't known how to incorporate them into my current style.  I have loved how Kristina J. wears graphic tees with her skirts, so I took a cue from Kendi and Kristina and put one of my tees to good use.  I love the idea of pairing them with skirts.  To me, it's a perfect mix of casual and chic!

And, just so that I can be a broken record, if my eyes hadn't been opened to tucking or knotting shirts, this look wouldn't have worked.   See the difference:


I'm excited to have even more outfit possibilities!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Win $25 to Seek First!


If you were around about a month ago, you should be familiar with Seek First.
Seek First is an Etsy shop filled with cute rosette and accessories.

I didn't think I could pull of rosettes, but after receiving a necklace from Seek First, I realized that they are great at adding something special to a normal outfit!

Here are some outfits I've worn my Seek First rosette necklace with:


This week, you can win $25 to Seek First to buy your own!



To enter:
Visit Seek First and leave a comment here saying your favorite item.

Extra entry:
Tweet it and comment here.
ex. "I want to win one of @seek_first's cute rosette accessories at @puttingme2gther! http://bit.ly/ISoR0n"





Friday, May 4, 2012

Hooky

Top: J.Crew Outlet (similar)  |  Jeggings: NY&Co.  |  Necklace: H&M  |  Ring: c/o Ellaine Calas, Stella & Dot (shop)  |  Tote: ebags.com (shop)  |  Wedges: Kohl's (shop)

It's true.  B, my brother, and our good friend all skipped work earlier this week to go to Disneyland.  That's just the kind of silliness that ensues when you live in Southern California and when your brother and good friend have season passes.  And it was awesome.  My favorite part: Our friend fake-screaming uncontrollably during the entirety of Space Mountain--in a fake German accent.  I laughed so hard that I cried.

I did not wear this outfit to Disneyland, but I did wear it 4 times last weekend.  I wish I'd worn it to Disneyland, though.  The extra 4 inches on these wedges would have made it much easier to watch World of Color at Disneyland while standing behind the man with the hat who couldn't stand still.  It was magical nonetheless.  

If you could skip work and venture off somewhere for a day, where would you go?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Purple on Purple

Dress: Target (shop)  |  Cardigan: H&M (similar)  |  Belt: Lulu's  |  Flats: Old Navy (similar)

This dress was last seen here and here.  

You know, I think in the past I only would have worn this dress with a grey or black cardigan.  Partially because those are the only two colors I owned, and partially because I thought it was "wrong" to pair such similar colors together in mass quantity.  But I learned through experimenting that sometimes it works, and the first time I dared do it was here and I loved it!  And I love it again in today's outfit.  

Sometimes you just need to experiment without worrying whether something is "right" or "wrong" in your rule book.  Throw the rules out the window and at least try it.  The worst that can happen is that you stand in front of your mirror, make this face, and change out of your outfit.  Or, you can discover new outfits that you didn't know existed in your closet.  I'd say a few of those faces is worth a FREE new outfit that makes you feel awesome.
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