A lesson in Anthropologie

Anthropologie is sort of an anomaly in my book…..it’s got the feel of a boutique with the convenience of a national store.  I love that when you buy something there, as is true with a boutique, you won’t see it on everyone you know. But because it’s a huge retailer, it provides you with the option of online ordering. The prices aren’t cheap, that’s for sure. But the quality and unique nature of their items is what keeps me coming back.

I stopped by yesterday to scope out what was on their sale racks, which were an additional 25% off, and found several gems I’m happy to share here. First up is this cute summer shorts and top combo. The high rise side-button shorts have a great stretch to them, are the perfect length, and I love the coral and navy color combo.  They are $37 with the sale and I’m wearing a size 2, so I think they run true to size. The tie-front navy top is also a winner with it’s cute bow-front detail and the back is just as interesting. I’m wearing an XS and could have probably still sized down and it’s under $30 with the sale.

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I also found several cute summer dresses on the sale rack that are worth mentioning. My favorite is this Kalyn Halter dress. The top is a thick white knit material and the bottom is a striped textile weave in super cute colors. It ran a little small in my opinion….I’m wearing a 2 but would have felt a little more comfortable in a size 4 I think. All in all though, at $75, this is a great dress for a summer party!

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I also really loved this teal tunic dress for $75. With it’s super comfy material and great details like front pockets and shirt tail hem, it was easy to picture this dress styled in so many ways…..dressed up with some heels and a long necklace or down with sandals as pictured below. Either way, it was coming home with me 😉  I’m wearing an XS so I’d say it runs TTS.

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Lastly, is this navy floral peasant dress. I’m not usually one to sport the bohemian look, but this one spoke to me with it’s off the shoulder sleeves and tiny floral eyelet pattern.  I loved it with sandals, but could really dig it with some platform wedges or even cowboy boots! I’m wearing a size 2, making it true to size, and it is on sale for a steal at $30!

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So, the lesson for today is how to make upscale fashion affordable at Anthropologie and there are four key things you’ll want to make note of:

  1. Shop their sale racks online and in person
  2. Sign up for email alerts so that you know when they are having additional promotions. For example, they will feature an extra 25% off of regular priced dresses, tops, or bottoms and the only way to know is to sign up to stay informed.
  3. Join Anthroperks and be the first to shop sales, get invited to special events, and even get a special discount for your birthday
  4. As an Anthroperks member, you can also get free shipping when you buy $150 or more. As long as you have a store nearby, you can return whatever sizes and items don’t work for free.

Class dismissed!

Bosom buddies

So strapless bras, in my experience, have been sort of a necessary evil for me. We all hate them, but we have to have them, especially during the summer months when strappy tops and dresses are on repeat. About two years ago, I bought this bra on the recommendation from another blogger, and it’s been my saving grace time and time again.

Main Image - Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra

It creates a smooth appearance, keeps the girls locked and loaded, and is pretty comfy to boot.   My only complaint, if there was one, would be the price. $65 for a bra isn’t that big of a deal since it does the job and does it well, but still…..I always hesitate when recommending it for that reason.

Fastforward to several weeks ago when I finally admitted I needed another strapless bra in my wardrobe. There’s only so much laundry this busy mama can do and about half of my closet requires a strapless bra now that it’s so warm.  I did some online research, read lots of reviews, and ordered multiple bras to try at home to see if I could find a cheaper alternative that was just as great as my trusty Red Carpet Convertible bra by Wacoal.  Good news people!  Mission accomplished!  Meet my new best friend….

Image result for b.tempt'd by Wacoal Women's B.Enticing Strapless Bra

 

The B Enticing strapless bra by Wacoal’s b. tempt’d line is every bit as supportive as the Red Carpet one I’ve been using for the past two years.  In fact, I kind of like it better and here’s why. First off, it has a wide hook and eye closure on the side under your arms so you don’t have any weird lumps down your back.  This, my friends, is pure genius!  The uninterrupted lace band this creates on your back just begs to be shown off! Why didn’t anyone think of this sooner, I wonder?

Image result for b.tempt'd by Wacoal Women's B.Enticing Strapless Bra side closure

Second, I love the pretty lace overlay, which is way better than the plain Jane material on the Red Carpet bra.  And it’s subtle so as not to create any strange bumps under your shirt.  Who doesn’t love pretty lingerie, right? And at $44, it’s about 30% less than the Red Carpet Convertible bra, making it an all-around great deal.  So, if you don’t have a strapless bra that you love, and chances are you don’t if you are in the vast majority, make this bra your next purchase!  You and the girls will both be happy, trust me!

 

 

Check please!

I love a good check……it’s classic and fresh all at the same time and practically goes with everything. What’s not to love? The other day I snagged this cute lil’ thang at Marshall’s (surprise! not!) for $12.99 and have been thinking about all the fun ways I can wear it: with white jeans like below……

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paired with denim shorts, on top of colorful skinny cropped jeans, with white shorts, over a great solid-colored pencil skirt……the options are endless! So I’ve pulled together some similar shirts from various online stores that are all affordable (under $30!), fresh and fashionable, just like my trusty new find.

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  1.  V-Neck bow-tie gingham top – $11.00
  2. Gingham peplum cami top – $11.00
  3. Split bow back button up gingham top – $26.99
  4. V-neck gingham peplum top – $28.00

Whichever one you choose, just remember to say, “check please”!

Slide into style

Gold slides are all the rage this summer and when something so effortless is considered en vogue, I’m an automatic fan.  I love that you can throw them on with shorts or glam them up with a dress for an easy-breezy look with lots of style. But there are so many to choose from–who can pick? Here are my faves to date….

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  1. Cammila gold cross slide – $26.98
  2. Report Farrel slide – $30.00
  3. Steve Madden Getdown slide – $40.16
  4. Lina strappy slide – $15.99
  5. Prudence by Mad Love Birkenstock dupe – $22.99
  6. Nine West Deasia slide – $34.41
  7. Boardwalk sandal – $29.50

Top tees

If you haven’t been in an H&M in a while, you might be surprised to find how much it has evolved. It used to be my go-to store for a night out on the town or a special occasion and was definitely a place I didn’t want or need to spend much money since everything was so trendy. But I popped in the other day on a whim and was shocked to find several t-shirts that were anything but basic.

This heather grey tee has a black and white gingham shirttail, which really dresses it up, and is a great background for a fun necklace. I’ve paired it here with my favorite white cropped skinny jeans for a lunch date with a friend. I’m wearing a small and it fit well in my opinion, but I am a little concerned about how it will do after a wash so am considering exchanging it for a medium. I can’t seem to find it online but they had plenty in the store so if you are interested, definitely head to your nearest H&M. It’s a must-try!

cropped skinny jeans // multi-strand necklace // rose gold sandals

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Next I tried on these two pink tops with ruffles—one on the sleeves and one on the waist. I couldn’t decide which one I liked more, so I just got them both. Problem solved! I’m wearing a small in both so I’d say they run true to size. Unfortunately, I can’t find the bell sleeve one online, but they had it in store so you can try your luck there for sure!

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And last, but not least, the dupe to one of my favorite tees from Nordstrom (the B.P. twist front tee). I found this great blush color in the store, but only white is available online. At only $12.99, compared to the B.P. one that is $22, this jersey tie top is a great value and will soon become a staple in your closet with both shorts and jeans. I’m wearing a medium, so definitely size up!

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Stripes today and always

I’ve never met a striped shirt I didn’t like (or have to have) but the blue and white variation is my newest obsession.  I keep thinking that I have enough only to see one more I just can’t live without. So in honor of Memorial Day, I’m highlighting some of my favorite blue and white striped tops of the summer because there is nothing more classic or patriotic than stripes…..okay, maybe stars, but you get where I’m going with this, right?

I wore this cute striped top to a baby shower a week ago and it was a Marshall’s find for $12.99 that I just couldn’t leave the store without. I love the cold shoulder style and the white contrast on the neckline, meaning I didn’t need a necklace and my tassel earrings became the focus.

Similar cold shoulder top // White cropped jeans // cage block heels //

pink tassel earrings

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I also picked up this great top with a tie front waist the other day at Marshall’s and while it was a bit more at $24.99, still a steal in my book. I love that although it’s blue and white striped like the first top, it feels like a totally different look. And that’s the thing about blue and white stripes. Depending on the cut of the shirt, the variation in the stripes, or even the fabric, they can feel completely unique, allowing you to buy several without feeling like you are always on repeat.

Similar tie-front top // similar coral jeans (40% off w/ code VACAY) // rose gold Birkenstock dupes from Target

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And here are some other blue and white striped tops you won’t want to miss in a variety of styles and cuts. Pick one or choose them all for a timeless look that is very on-trend right now!

stripe shirt collage

  1. Off the shoulder ruffle stripe top – $14
  2. Cold shoulder stripe top – $29.75
  3. Striped placket shirt – $29.99
  4. Striped one shoulder top – $34.99
  5. Pinstripe peplum top – $23.99
  6. One shoulder stripe top with bows – $39

Who What Wear have I been?

I don’t know where I’ve been but I totally missed the memo on the new “Who What Wear” line at Target. But the other day, I was strolling through the aisles just relishing one of my last kid-free days before summer break when my eye caught a glimpse of some of the most stylish pieces I’d seen in a loooong time at Target. Unfortunately, it looked like most were plus sizes, but I did manage to find one smaller size in this top and shorts combo.

I’m wearing an XS in both and they fit well, but they aren’t listed online anymore, so I’m guessing it’s either sold out or an in-store purchase only. But that did give me an idea…..when I got home, I checked out the online selection and was thrilled to find much more in my size. I quickly ordered a few items and when they came in, I was not disappointed.

Bell sleeve white crochet top dress // red gingham wedges

I love the classic lines but trendy details that these pieces offer. It’s effortless and chic and totally affordable. Plus, it seems really well-made for the price. The dresses were lined, the seams were finished nicely, and they did not skimp on the details. I will say that most of the items had more of a modest cut, which is kind of refreshing for Target, but may be an issue on petite sizes or anyone on the short size. I’m 5′ 4″ and I felt like I could have used a hem on both the dresses, but they were still “fine” by most standards. For reference, I’m wearing an XS in everything and had more than enough room.

Chambray tie sleeve shift // red gingham wedges

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Birdcage skirt // cognac wedge espadrilles

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So if you haven’t checked out Target’s new “Who What Wear” line, my advice is to head online for the best selection.  Nothing I chose was over $35 plus there’s free shipping with purchases of $35 or more.  You can always return it to your local Target store if it doesn’t work, so order multiple sizes if you are unsure what might work best for you.

It’s in the bag

I think I’ve finally reached the point in motherhood where I don’t have to carry a beach bag that’s the size of a suitcase to the pool. My kids are out of diapers, they are too old for Barbie mermaid toys and water guns, and I no longer need to bring three different types of snacks per child, praise Jesus, Hallelujah! But, I’m not quite in the “I’ll just throw a towel over my shoulder and grab some sunglasses” phase yet either. So in the meantime, I’m always on the hunt for a mid-size beach bag that is functional, yet cute, and not going to cost too much because, well, it’s going to get wet, sandy, and goldfish-encrusted and I don’t want to feel like I just washed a fortune down the toilet when I have to retire it at the end of the summer. This is where Target saves the day yet again. They have a ton of cute, affordable beach bags that are the perfect size for a few towels, goggles, a tube or two of sunscreen, and whatever else you are toting to the pool this summer. And did I mention how fashionable they are? Not a single one is over $35, so take your pick!

beach bag collage

  1. Mossimo palm print mesh tote – $9.99
  2. Merona feather tote – $34.99
  3. Colorful plastic woven tote – $19.99
  4. Black and white patterned tote – $29.99
  5. Navy stripe tote – 29.99
  6. Watermelon laminated tote – $17.99
  7. Pom pom straw tote – $34.99
  8. Neon yellow stripe rope tote – $29.99
  9. Purple and blue stripe mesh tote – $14.99
  10. Rainbow straw tote – $29.99

All in the details

I’m not a Kohl’s shopper. There, I said it. I don’t know if it’s the layout, the location of the store, or what, but I rarely go in there. But, there is one thing that lures me in from time to time and that’s the LC Brand by Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s. I’m showing my age here, but I’m a big LC fan from back in the OC and Hills days. I’ve followed her through the Stephen saga, the “Speidi” drama, and her evolution into fashion mogul, all the while admiring her style. Just like her “character” on the OC and Hills, the LC brand features lots of dainty details amidst stylish simplicity. She’s a girly-girl and her clothes are made for them.  Featuring bows, pintucks, pleats, and lots of ruffles, you can clearly see Lauren Conrad’s own style in her line for Kohl’s, and that’s a good thing!

The other day I stopped by Kohl’s and I was excited to find three different outfits that were full of LC’s signature details and better yet, all on sale! The first up is this denim and white striped pintuck blouse with a pretty pom-pom neckline and an adorable bow on the back. I’m wearing an XS, which is very generous in size and was on sale for $24.99. I paired it with some LC by Lauren Conrad cuffed jean shorts, which were on sale for $29.99. I’m wearing a size 4, so I’d suggest sizing up in these.

Striped pintuck blouse // Cuffed jean shorts

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Next, I tried on the same top in a solid denim and a frayed hem (but can’t find online) with these awesome floral cutout white skinny cropped jeans.  The top was again an XS and on sale for $24.99 while the white jeans were a size 4 (size up!) and on sale for $29.99.

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Last up was this romantic tulle peplum and seafoam green skinny jeans (which I can’t seem to find online). I just love the shirred detail on the top, which was on sale for $19.99, and felt like an absolute ballerina wearing it! I’m trying on a small in the top, but really needed an XS. The jeans, which were a size 4 (size up!) had a cute little covered button and then a great side-slit, and on sale for $29.99. Head to your nearest Kohl’s to see what little details you fall in love with with this line!

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The straw that didn’t break the bank

Everywhere I look lately I see this amazing straw purse– unique and funky, and totally on trend.

ark purse

So naturally, I looked it up to see who made it and how much it cost. Not only is it $128, which seems high to me for something that isn’t even made of leather, but it’s a pre-order!  No thank you! But I do love a good straw purse and I know it’s a summer staple. So for those of you who, like me, aren’t going to splurge on a purse made of popsicle sticks, here are some options under $50.

straw purse collage

  1. Similar straw clutch with fringe (one pictured is now sold out) – $13.99
  2. Cherries straw clutch – $17.99
  3. Similar pom pom clutch (one pictured is now sold out) – $29.95
  4. Au Revoir clutch – $46.25
  5. Kitty cat clutch – $35
  6. Straw Tassel Crossbody – $14.98
  7. Straw snail’s nest tote in darker color (original sold out) – $14.62
  8. Pom pom straw tote – $21.93
  9. Studded straw tote – $34.99
  10. Red lips straw bag – $11.99

So many options, so little time! Pick your favorite (or two) and make any outfit complete without breaking the bank.