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.

Loft lately

Loft by Ann Taylor is a go-to for me anytime I am looking for a specific item. Not only are their clothes current, yet classic, they are reasonable, even without the 30-40% off sales they run on a regular basis. In fact, they are currently running a 40% off storewide sale so I stopped by the other day to check it out in person.  First up are these precious blue stripe shorts. Trust me, you can’t fully appreciate how cute they are unless you see them in person. They have side ties and an elastic waist in the back which makes them uber-comfy. And I love this flutter sleeve top with tassel ties paired with it…..perfect for a summer day but how cute would this be for Memorial Day or the 4th of July? I am wearing an XS in the top and a 00 in the shorts (only because they have an elastic waistband in the back and they didn’t have my normal size of 0-2).

Side tie striped shorts // Flutter paisley top

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side tie shorts closeup

Next up was a gingham pair of shorts that I paired with a mustard-colored top with shirred peplum bottom.  I love the bold color with the classic gingham pattern, don’t you? I am wearing a small in the top, but I would have preferred an XS, and a size 2 in the shorts, but I think a 0 would have been a better fit.

Gingham shorts // Shirred peplum

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I also picked out this amazing dress for an upcoming wedding we have on the calendar this summer. I adore the one-shoulder feature, the eyelet material, and the blush color! Planning to pair it with some nude ankle strap sandals and fun earrings for a look that will be easy and fresh.  Unfortunately, it’s not available online, but there were several at the one I went to in Germantown, so check out the Loft near you! I am wearing a 0 Petite in this little number.

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And lastly, I keep seeing this top on other Instagram posts and drooling over the bold plaid pattern and dainty tie strap details, so when I saw it on the rack, I knew I had to try it on.  It was super cute on, I’ll admit, but every time I raised my arms, the whole thing came off my shoulders, which is a deal-breaker for me. Sadly, it didn’t make the cut, but I did go home with some other great items for a great price. Check out your local Loft store or Loft.com to see what’s available in your size before the sale ends!

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Made in the shade

When palm prints first emerged, all I could think of was “Golden Girls”. Don’t get me wrong–I love me some Sophia, Dorothy, Rose and Blanch! But I couldn’t help but picture old ladies sipping Mai Tais on a lanai in the retirement capital of the world. But, as most trends do, it grew on me. So when I saw that Old Navy had gotten in on the palm print fun, I knew I had to check it out for myself.

Y’all. When I say Old Navy had lots of options, I mean A TON! I could have easily left with everything I tried on because (A) It was so darn cute and (B) It was so stinkin’ affordable! Not only does Old Navy always get the price right, but right now everything is an additional 30% off (40% if you are an Old Navy cardholder!).

The one-shoulder white top is linen as are the palm print shorts–a super cool and comfy combo. The palm print sleeveless top on the right has a cute keyhole back and a flattering drape. The shorts are their semi-fitted 3.5″ rolled up white jean shorts, which have great stretch to them. All run pretty true to size and I’m wearing an XS in the tops and a size 2 in the bottoms. These outfits run between $30-$36 with the current 30% off promotion.

One-Shoulder Top // Palm Print Shorts // Palm Print Top // White Jean Shorts

In this cute navy and green palm print, I tried on a short dress with a tassel-tie neckline ($21 with discount) and a top in the same cutout sleeveless style as above ($17.50 with discount).  I paired the top with white Rockstar jeggings, which have this amazing lycra waistband that makes them super comfy and only $24.50 with the 30% off discount. I’m wearing an XS in the top and the dress and a size 4 in the jeans (size up in these!).

Palm tank //Rockstar Jeggings in white // Pintuck palm dress

I also tried on this cute midi dress in a palm print ($21 with discount), which I loved paired with or without this great stretchy jean jacket ($26 with discount). I’m wearing an XS in both, so I think they are true to size.

Midi Dress // Stretchy Denim Jacket

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And lastly, check out this adorable swim coverup in black and green. It has this precious pom pom trim and a tie to cinch in your waist. I would size up in this though (I’m wearing a small) in order to get a bit more length. The coverup is $19 with the 30% off promotion and just too great to pass up, don’t you agree? I mean, the only thing missing here is a fruity drink in my hand!

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Modern Cowgirl

Denim is my go-to on most days because it feels good, looks good, and pairs so well with everything.  I had a PTA board meeting this morning at the kids’ school (that I almost forgot) so I turned to my tried-and-true denim popover dress for an effortless look with an uptown edge. Mine is “Velvet Heart”, a brand carried at Macy’s and other department stores, which I scored at a trip to TJ Maxx earlier this year. But I’ve found its twin online here for under $60–not bad for an item you’ll wear from April through November, at least here in the South!

denim popover

The back is a little longer than the front as seen on the model below, and I love the tabbed sleeves that can be rolled up or left down, depending on the temps outside. This dress is precious with booties in the Fall, but here I paired it with cognac leather cross strap sandals from J. Crew (similar sandals found here). I am also sporting my trusty gold feather cuff bracelet, which is a steal at $10, and my favorite wood tassel necklace from Accessory Concierge, where you can save 20% with code REDBOOK20!

denim popover back

There is something almost rustic about the combination of denim, cognac leather and wood, yet still fresh–I like to think of it as my “modern cowgirl” look. If you don’t have a denim popover dress yet, put it at the top of your list. It will take you from school events to lunch with the girls and then dinner out with the hubs. That’s one hard-working dress if you ask me!

Denim Popover //  Cross Strap Sandals // Feather Cuff Bracelet // Tassel Necklace

denim popover flatlay

 

Denim and ruffles

“Denim and ruffles” may sound like the title to an 80’s country song, but they are the key features of this darling dress I snagged from J. Crew recently. At the time, it was on sale for $49.99 and I was thrilled to take it home with me at that price. But now, it’s an additional 30% off, making it $35.  $35!! Now because it’s on major sale, they don’t have a ton of sizes, but check it out for yourself and you might be in luck.

denim dress 1 full

I think it’s the perfect backdrop for some fun, playful earrings in bright colors, especially since the ruffles will make it hard (and unnecessary) to wear a necklace. Here are some suggestions…..

Fan earrings from “My Beloved Crafts” on Etsy – $5.99

And here’s a flat lay with all the details……I think it would be an easy, stylish option for everything from Sunday church to date night with the hubs. I am wearing a size 0, so I would say it runs big (like most items from J. Crew).

DRESS // SHOES // EARRINGS // SIMILAR PURSE

DENIM DRESS FLAT LAT

                                   

Love it or leave it: The Frayed Hem

I’m not exactly what a marketing exec would call a “first adopter” of trends, but I do get curious about how something might work for my lifestyle or my body and will usually (eventually) try it out. But if it doesn’t look good or feel good, no matter how en vogue it is, forget it. There will be another trend in a half second to replace it anyway. So when I started noticing the frayed hem jeans everywhere, I had to pause. “Was this for real?”, I thought? Were legs getting wider and less refined again? I had already tried the distressed denim trend, only to get a lot of raised eyebrows from my kids. I could almost hear their internal dialogue: “Mom would get so mad at us if our pants came home looking like that!”  But what about distressed hems? Could I pull that off or would I like look this poor gal?

Well, curiosity got the best of me and I’m glad it did. After a lot of research, I purchased these Carly Crop Skinny Jeans from Articles of Society, featuring a frayed hem, comfy stretch, and the perfect ankle length.  And like lots of other things I’ve been hesitant to try, I regret not doing it sooner. These are the perfect jeans to transition into Spring and wear all through the Summer too. They look cute and sporty with Converse or tennies….

 T-shirt // Jeans // Converse

Or sassy and fun with wedge sandals!

Bell sleeve top // Jeans // Similar wedge sandals // Statement Necklace

And here, the Nordstrom model paired them with booties for a look I would never have thought of!

Main Image - Articles of Society Carly Crop Skinny JeansWhat had been a try-and-see purchase for me, thanks to Nordstrom’s free shipping both ways policy, is now a go-to in my closet.  I ordered a size 27, which is my regular size, and I think they are perfect! Right now, a lighter wash version of the same brand/style jean is on sale here. My advice? Don’t be “a frayed” of the new trend in denim. What do you have to lose in trying it for yourself?

Charmed by Charlie

Until yesterday, I had never heard of the brand, Charming Charlie. But when I got a flyer in the mail with two great coupons for some fun Summer accessories, I decided to hop on their website and check it out.

flyer

Whoa! I was shocked to see several of the trending jewelry pieces like pom pom dangle earrings, seed bead tassel earrings, and fringe tassel necklaces for much less than anywhere else and I had a blast picking out which ones I’d use my handy coupons for. I decided on these colorful cuties and can’t wait for them to come in! Not a single item was over $20 that I ordered……how’s that for affordable?

By the way, they have the pom pom dangles in every color under the moon! At $10-$12 a pair, you could get one for every outfit in your closet!

Austin-earring-promo-tile

I am also loving these fabulous finds and am still thinking about adding them to my cart: The Austin earring in turquoise, The Fanette Silk Tassel Necklace, and Bold Thread Wrap bracelet

charming charlie collage 2

Has anyone else been charmed by Charlie? If not, what are you waiting for? Use promo code C97oEo or visit this link to get $10 off your first purchase of $40 or more! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Just right

One of the most coveted sandals from the last couple of seasons is the Chloe wedge espadrille, but with a $625 price tag, that makes it pretty unobtainable for most of us, right?

I mean, don’t get me wrong….they’re beautiful! The details are impeccable and they go effortlessly with everything from jeans to sundresses to shorts. But at that price, I could style a week of outfits. No thank you!

Last year, Marc Fisher came out with the Adalyn sandal, which gave the Chloe some hefty competition. Still beautiful, comfortable, and oh-so-stylish! At only $160, the sandal-of-the-season became even more popular, but for me, was still a little on the high side.

Main Image - Marc Fisher LTD 'Adalyn' Espadrille Wedge Sandal (Women)Fast forward to 2017 and Steve Madden has come out with its own version of this beloved sandal, the Jaylen, at right under $60. Now you’re speaking my language! I felt like Goldilocks trying out chairs in the bears’ home and this one, finally, was just right! I ordered my pair from DSW (link above) and got free shipping to boot. Now that’s a happy ending, my friends!  **UPDATE: The Jaylen from Steve Madden are 30% off at Macy’s right now, making them under $50! Colors include taupe or black only though**

Jaylen Wedge Sandal

Bright and white

Floral tops and white jeans are my go-to outfit as the days begin to warm up. From Memphis in May’s annual BBQ contest to wedding showers, it’s the perfect combination of fresh and classic for any occasion on your social calendar this Spring.

floral top white jeans

This fun and flirty sleeveless top with flutter sleeves is from J.Crew Factory Store online and at under $35 it’s a great addition to your spring/summer wardrobe. I got a size 2 so I think it’s true to size. While I think it would be super cute with jean shorts, white shorts, pencil skirts and more, I adore how it looks paired with my new favorite cropped white jeans from Wit & Wisdom. At $68, they’re not on sale, but for a staple like this that you’ll wear again and again, it’s worth every penny. I’m wearing a 2, so I find them true to size and oh-so-flattering with their patented “absolution technology”.  The hidden elastic waistband has you feeling like you are wearing yoga pants, which is a huge feat for any jeans.

I added a pop of color with this Multi-stranded beaded necklace in neon persimmon from J. Crew Factory store online for $24.99. I love how it complements the bright green in the shirt and have already found myself  pairing it with other items from my closet.

With so many floral tops out there right now, you can take or leave this one. And the statement necklace is fun and fashionable for sure, but not essential. But these white jeans? They’re a must-have in my opinion. Trust me. You’ll thank me later!