August 2016 - Sensible Stylista

My Latest Bargain Buys from Banana Republic

Yay for cute office-friendly attire! I absolutely love wearing colorful dresses to work because they're fashionable yet comfy.  I picked this fabulous dress up at the Banana Republic Factory Outlet a few weeks ago while it was on sale for $7 (!!!) Yeah, I purchased it without thinking twice.  Oh how I love clearance racks! 

There were a ton of other adorable pieces up for sale, but they (very unfortunately) didn't suit me. Remember, don't just buy an item because it's a steal.  Make sure you're going to get proper wear out of it.  Try to style it at least three different ways in your head!  You don't want it to gather dust in the back of your closet just because it was "an affordable buy."
Anywho, for today's post, DCP New York and I went to Bryant Park to shoot.  He tried to get me to strut, but it took a couple of tries...
 ...because I kept on cracking up, ha!  Modeling's just like performing.  Movements and angles are like phrases + markings in music.  You have to really exaggerate 'em to "communicate" effectively.  I was literally throwing my arms here.
Other fabulous printed dresses:

I styled my dress with a matching vest (another bargain buy from BR) and accessorized with a chic pendant necklace.  My outfit's fairly bold, so I threw on nude heels to finish off my look!
Shop my look:

A closer look at my heels! I picked these babies up at Ann Taylor a few years ago.  I don't know about you guys, but I absolutely LOVE their shoes.  I own several pairs, but I always wait to purchase them during blowout sales - they're too expensive otherwise.  Where do you guys like to buy kicks?
Dress + Vest:   Banana Republic Factory || Shoes:  Ann Taylor || Necklace:  Talbots

My First Fashion Video for YouTube

I'm so freaking excited to share my Trollbeads video with you guys today on SS.  This is my first fashion video for YT, and I honestly couldn't be happier.  Dennis Christians (my photo-taking partner in crime) did a ridiculously fabulous job shooting & editing.  I swear to god, the dude's magical. I'd also like to thank Flow Zen for the catchy tune.  Make sure you guys check him out!  "Together Again" is just one of many original songs listed on his soundcloud.  Now, without further ado,  let's take a look at my video.
If you enjoyed the video, make sure y'all give it a thumbs up and subscribe.  I'd also love you forever and ever if you took the time to share it with your friends!  Remember, sharing is caring *winks* To see more shots of my featured look, click HERE.  

Boho Vibes with Trollbeads

Hey guys! I'm super duper excited for today's blast because it's my first official post for Trollbeads' "Falling in Love" campaign - if you missed it, I announced the good news a while back.  If you're a fan of gorgeous jewelry - and let's be real, that's pretty much all of us - you'll absolutely LOVE their new collection!  
Let's take a closer look at my pretties.  All 6 baubles pictured (bracelets + rings) are available for purchase, and they're currently up to 35% off for the time being.  Each piece is handcrafted with care and has a special meaning behind it.  The pearl rings stand for beauty & honesty and the neverending ring represents neverending possibilities.
Feldspar moonstone (coral) represents calm & balance, milky quartz (white) stands for innocence & purity, and amazonite (turquoise) means courage & hope.  I recommend wearing them in a set of 3 or pairing one with a silver watch.  Which color's your favorite? 
Similar maxi dresses for you guys to shop:

Oooo, and make sure you guys check back tomorrow bright and early.  I'm blasting my Trollbeads video collab then so it'll be a goodie!  And one last thing - they're currently hosting a fabulous giveaway.  Two very lucky winners will score a piece from the Falling in Love collection.  Good luck, everyone.
Dress:  Off Saks 5th (similar) ||  Bracelets:  c/o Trollbeads || Bag:  Urban Originals (similar) || Cardigan:  Wet Seal

Photos shot by DCP New York

How-to Find the Perfect LBD

As I'm sure you all know by now, I'm straight up obsessed with BCBG!  I picked this gorg LBD up during a blowout sale at their factory outlet store a while back.  They were offering customers an extra 50% off already-reduced prices so I went a little cray.  I bought 7 different things for only $200. I say "only" because their clothing's usually ridiculously expensive - at full price, a haul like that would've easily cost $1500+.  
Their designs are second to none though.  Every time I walk into a BCBG, I just want to throw my money at 'em.  I mean, they might as well just take all of it from the getgo!  How many of you guys are fans? They've been one of my favorite stores for years now, but I only really shop their factory outlets. I guess that's the sensible part of me speaking!  I won't ever pay full-price for anything...unless it's an investment bag or a classic I'll wear forever.
Now, a perfect LBD is an absolute must-have - every woman should have a killer version in their wardrobe. This number's very "look-at-me," but that's because I have a dozen other styles hanging in my closet (from classic to jaw-droppingly sexy).  So, how do you find the right LBD for you? Simple - just consider the following factors:  fit, style, and pricing. 
Fit: It's important to know your body shape.  Figure out what your best physical attributes are and highlight them accordingly.  If you have killer legs, purchase a mini-dress to draw attention to your stems.  Want to cover your tummy?  Go for an empire waist.  It'll mask your middle and create a killer hourglass figure.  Looking to minimize broad shoulders?  Wear a v-neck or plunging design and avoid dresses that elongate them (ie. off-the-shoulder or strapless).

Now, ask yourself...

Am I comfortable in this number?  If you find yourself tugging and pulling at your dress, you'll never want to wear it again, no matter how great it looks.  Your ideal LBD should make you look and feel like a goddess.  You may look like a supermodel, but if you're uncomfortable all night, that'll shine through and you'll end up feeling self-conscious.

Can I wear it as is? Unless you visit a tailor regularly, this will most likely keep you from wearing your new LBD out and about.  The last thing you want is for it to gather dust in the back of your closet, and I guarantee it will if you're not a fan of the fit right from the getgo.  Think about it this way!  It's like purchasing something you want to wear once you lose 15 lbs.  How often does that work out?
Style:  For your first buy, I recommend choosing a dress that's both versatile and sophisticated so you can whip it out for any and every occasion - I'm talking dates, office parties, weddings, and so on and so forth.  It's important to keep things classy so go for a subtly sexy design...and please use common sense.  

If you know that you'll mostly be wearing your LBD for corporate events, seek a midi dress.  If you're in college and see yourself dressing it down often, opt for a shorter length.  You can easily pair it with tights and a cool moto jacket for a casual everyday look.  Avoid crazy embellishments and dramatic cuts (like plunging necklines).  It's best to keep things simple!  Remember, you can always expand your LBD collection after you find a reliable (but still fabulous) version.
Pricing:  You guys know that I'm all about saving, but I'm a huge believer in splurging on classic pieces because I view them as investments - the LBD just so happens to be one of them.  Plus, if you think about CPW (cost per wear), you're really not dropping as much money as you think you are. Now, since splurging means different things for different people, I'm going to list several stores below so you guys have options.

Where do I purchase my dream LBD?

TJ Maxx Runway:  Thank the shopping gods for this amazing store.  They carry designer items for MUCH less, and you can browse their collection in-stores or online.  In addition to cute clothing + shoes, they also carry investment bags...and I mean SERIOUS brands like Celine, Givenchy, and Bottega Veneta.  Also check Last Call Neiman Marcus Saks Off 5th for more designer finds.  Stores like Marshalls and Ross also carry name brands from time to time, but as I'm sure y'all deduced, not as many as the aforementioned shops.

H&M:  For those of you looking for (even more) affordable options, I highly recommend H&M. They carry high-quality designs that are wallet-friendly.  I purchase a lot of office-friendly workwear here - their blazers always seem to be on point.  

Premium Outlet Malls: Factory outlets are my go-to!  Be patient and wait for a blowout sale to get the most bang for your buck.  TIP: Go to customer service and pick up a coupon book in advance to further up your savings.  It costs $3 or so, but you can get it for free if you have AAA.  If you're paying for it, take a second to flip through.  After all, you want to make sure your favorite stores are listed! I frequent Nine WestBanana RepublicBCBGAnn Taylor, and Brooks Brothers.
Browse cute LBD picks here (varying price points):
Shoes:  c/o Guilty Soles (use code SENSIBLE30 to get an extra 30% off) || Dress:  BCBG Factory Outlet (similar) || Clutch:  Handbag Heaven (similar)

Photo credit:  Dennis Christians

25 Ways to Stay Alert When You're Super Tired

Alright guys, it's time for some real talk.  We all wish we could sleep 7-8 hours each night, but that just doesn't seem possible in this day and age.  We're all hustling to become the best we can be, and that requires serious sacrifice, which brings me to my latest.  For today's post, I'll be sharing my tips on how to stay fully alert throughout the day.
1.  Rest your eyes for a bit, especially if you're staring at a screen for a prolonged period of time.
2.  Practice acupressure - try stimulating different pressure points.
3.  Catch up with a friend during a short ten-minute break.
4.  Turn your lights up or get some sun!
5.  Take a minute to stretch.
6.  Watch ONE funny video on youtube.
7.  Squeeze in a quick workout or do a bit of light exercise.
8.  Take a break and play with a furry friend.
9.  Stand while you work - some swear by standing desks.
10.  Take a power nap - 5-20 minutes can do wonders for your focus.
11.  Switch tasks to avoid monotony.
12.  Chill in front of the air conditioner for a bit.
13.  Down a glass of water to stay hydrated.

14.  Sniff some peppermint oil.
15.  Look at flashing colors to stimulate your brain - you can even download an app for it on your phone!
16.  Munch on a healthy snack and avoid overeating at lunch.  Like Steve Jobs said, "stay hungry."
17.  Play a quick game on your phone.
18.  Keep your workplace cool.
19.  Down a cup of espresso (or a caffeinated beverage of your choice).

20.  Take a quick shower.
21.  Watch a motivational clip to stay inspired - sometimes that's all you need to get back into the game!
22.  Practice deep breathing to reduce anxiety and increase focus.
23.  Blast your favorite tune and sing along with it.
24.   Chew on some bubblegum.
25.  Splash your face with cold water.

And that's it folks! I hope y'all found this helpful.  If you did, please take a moment to share this post with your friends.  Also, if you enjoyed this post, you'll love "8 Ways to Maintain Your Health When You're Busy as Hell." Happy reading, everyone!  Sending lots of love from the DMV.

The Striped Long Shirt: Remixed Three Ways

You guys are probably sick of seeing this shirt on SS by now, but it was a serious fave of mine all summer long so I have to pay homage to it one last time.  I blogged about it HERE a few months ago, but I want to give you guys a quick refresher.  I picked it up at Doota in June during my month-long trip in Korea, and it was the ONLY thing I purchased there clothing-wise.  

I wanted to get more stuffs, but everything was either too expensive or straight up un-buyable.  I know "un-buyable's" a harsh, but not being able to try something on (without the option of return) is a dealbreaker for me. So, I exercised self-control and kept my shopping habit to a minimum. However, I ended up wearing it all the freakin' time, which brings me to *drum roll, please* today's remix.  I'll be sharing my fave looks with you guys on Sensible Stylista!
Shoes:  OASAP || Dress:  H&M

1. My first look's a work-friendly ensemble that's both comfortable and stylish.  I started with a fabulous dress from H&M and wore my long shirt on top.  I don't know about you guys, but I've always been a huge fan of summer layering and all that jazz.  There are a ton of cute deets happenin' in this outfit already (tassels + ruffles), but I threw on my Valentino-inspired heels to add more personality.  To see more snaps from this shoot, click here!

Shoes:  Steve Madden || Top:  Polo || Bag:  Chanel || Necklace:  JWholesale

2.  Look number 2's more of a casual everyday outfit.  I wore this out to lunch last month when I met up with an old friend from high school.  I was running super late so I only got to snap 1-2 pics of it with my cam - that's why I never used it as an individual post. In retrospect, I probably would've carried a different bag, but whatever, I was home visiting my parents in Pittsburgh so I wanted to take full advantage of my mom's amazing closet.

For this getup, I started with a cute faux-leather mini and paired it with a navy tank from Polo.  I picked up a bunch of them (tanks + tees) from their factory outlet in Grove City because they were on sale for $9 or so.  TIP:  always get your basics for less!  I refuse to spend a buttload of money on items that aren't "special."  The only exception IMHO is if you're investing in something you'll wear forever like the classic trench.

Sorry, I totally got off topic.  Let's get back to my OOTD!  This skirt has navy embroidery so it matches everything beautifully.  My neck felt a bit bare so I threw on a fabulous statement necklace. This gorg piece is available at Jwholesale.  If you're looking to purchase trendy jewelry for a fraction of the price, make sure to hit them up HERE.

Boots:  Nine West || Tank:  Polo || Shorts:  Aero || Bag:  YSL

3.  I'm oozing (or at least trying to, ha) casual cool for this ensemble.  I kept things very simple by wearing high-waisted denim shorts and a plain white tee.  The long shirt elevates the outfit and creates a cohesive vibe.  I went easy on the accessory front, but carried my faux-snakeskin YSL crossbody for a splash a print.  To top things off, I wore distressed boots.  To see more from this post, click HERE.

Alright guys, that's it for today!  I hope you enjoyed my latest remix.  Which outfit do you like best? And how do you feel about long shirts - are they a do or a don't?

Find of the Day: The Fringe Burgundy Dress

Hey guys, if you love fringe as much as I do, you'll absolutely adore today's find of the day! I discovered this gem while browsing, you guessed it, ASOS.  It was on sale at the time for like $65 (originally  $386) so I copped it quickly.  Since then, the price has (very unfortunately) increased to $123, but I'm sure it'll go down again soon.  I recommend "saving it for later" to keep an eye on the price!
This fabulous dress is made of 100% polyester, but it looks and feels just like suede.  If you want to make a super fashionable statement at a cool event or special occasion, pick this baby up STAT!  The fringe skirt and lace-up front ooze streetstyle star.  It's definitely pricey, but it's a unique and high-quality piece that's well worth the $$$. I own it in size S, and it fits true to size, but if you're worried about fit, just buy two at once.  ASOS offers free shipping + returns so if something doesn't work out, you can just send it back.  

NOTE: this is definitely a fall piece so keep that in mind when purchasing it.  You see that half-smile/half-scowl I'm sportin'?  It's because I snapped this picture in 95 degree weather so I'm sweating like a donkey in heat, ha!  In all seriousness though, let me know if you have any questions regarding this dress.  I'm here for y'all so just shoot me a comment or message.  For those of you interested, you can purchase this dress HERE!  If this dress doesn't tickle your fancy, here are some other fabulous options for your browsing pleasure (varying price points):


Cheers to Date Night

Oh yasssss! I'm all about sexy booties and LBDs today on Sensible Stylista.  I centered my latest around a fab new dress I copped at Amiclubwear.  I got it a while back so it's no longer available online, but I'm going to link similar + other cute options for y'all below so keep scrolling.

For today's OOTD, I styled my LBD with a fab floral bomber and threw on fierce booties for edge.  I carried a studded clutch and accessorized with a BAMF statement bracelet to match.  For those of you wondering, my cuff's from JWholesale.  They sell truly fabulous jewelry on the cheap.  Like, I'm not playin' around.  Y'all need to check 'em out stat!  Their pieces ooze quality, and their prices are un-freaking-believable.  Your inner sensible stylista will cry tears of joy, for realz.  To browse their impressive selection, click here.
Shop my look: 

Also, a huge shout out to Yotel for letting us (me and the fabulous Dennis Christians) shoot this ensemble in their baller lounge.  If you live in NY and want to check out a new joint for happy hour, head on over.  They're always super busy so they must be doing something right!  I haven't had a chance to try their food or drinks yet so I can't vouch for 'em myself, but I absolutely love staying at their hotel! I'll definitely make sure to hit up their bar the next time around.
Dress:  c/o Amiclubwear || Clutch:  Handbag Heaven || Jacket:  Stitch Fix || Shoes:  c/o Guilty Soles || Bracelet:  c/o JWholesale

Lady in Red

Feeling super glam today on SS wearing a fabulous strapless maxi courtesy of amiclubwear.  Have any of you shopped their site?  They're known for their clubwear, but they actually have a great selection of dresses, both casual and formal.  I've gotten a lot of really cute stuffs from 'em over the years.
To dress up my look, I accessorized with a fabulous statement piece from Berricle.  If you're looking for a new choker, head on over to their site and pick this baby up stat!  It's super versatile so you can pretty much wear it with any and every ensemble.  Shoot me a message if you have any questions!
Now, as I'm sure y'all guessed, today's post is yet another DCP New York collab.  Dennis and I went to Spring Street's Salt Shed to take these photos, and I absolutely love how they turned out!  Where should I shoot next? What kind of backgrounds do you guys prefer (city, suburban, etc.)?
Some other fabulous + affordable red dresses for you guys to browse:

Dress:  c/o amiclubwear || Choker:  c/o Berricle || Shoes:  Coach Factory Outlet

August Updates + Playlist

Alright guys, it's time for my monthly fitness update.  I'm proud to tell y'all that progress has been good.  I've been doing insanity workouts, extra cardio sessions, on top of my daily two-mile walk with my pup.  I can see a big difference in my bod so my hard work's definitely paying off.  I dread working out on most days, but after the pain, I seriously feel like I can take anything on.  This is going to sound really cheesy, but exercising makes me feel like I'm on top the world. It helps with self-discipline and grit so it's a useful keystone habit to develop.

Confession:  I haven't been following my Insanity calendar.  I've completed it in the past though so I don't feel bad jumping around.  I've been focusing on three modules as of late:  Plyometric Cardio Circuit, Cardio Power & Resistance, and Pure Cardio.  I've done one a day for the past 3 weeks...yet I'm still dead at the end of every one. I'm planning on moving onto harder workouts (aka the max series) in mid-late September.  I need to make sure I'm prepared for the destruction.  As for extra cardio, I elliptical it for 45 min. 2-3 times a week to help with stamina.  

As for my diet, I've been good overall, but I need to work on incorporating more veggies + fruits into my diet. I've been eating quinoa/brown rice and turkey patties for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the last, like, 2-3 weeks. Things are really busy right now so I like to microwave food and scarf everything down quickly.  I've gone out to eat nomtastic food once a week though to maintain my sanity.  In my opinion, weekly splurge meals are a serious MUST!  Do any of you indulge? If so, do you indulge in a splurge day or a splurge meal?

Oh, and I almost forgot to give you my August playlist!  Here's what I'm currently listening to on my pod-pod. I'm always looking for new tunes to sweat to so make sure you comment with your current fave songs, too.

Dress to Impress: What to Wear to Weddings

Hey guys, I'm beyond excited for today's post because I've partnered up with one of my all-time favorite brands. I'm guessing you're all familiar with ModCloth, but if not, they're all about fun, expressive and unique clothing + accessories.  Founded by high school sweethearts Susan Gregg Koger and Eric Koger, their motto is "fashion is for every body."  I abso-freaking-lutely love that because I'm all about the Body Positive Movement.  Their clothing's available in a full range of sizes, and they carry a huge selection of designs from hundreds of independent designers. 
Now, onto our main topic of the day: what to wear to a friend's wedding.  I'm gonna start with a few ground rules so without further ado, let's get to it!  Firstly, do not ever, ever, EVER wear white...unless you want to seriously piss off the bride.  She should be the ONLY one wearing white in the entire room. Obviously, you can wear an outfit with white accents or accessories, but remember that she's the star of the show, and you do NOT want to steal her thunder.  Go for understated colors and jewelry to keep things stylish yet tasteful.
I centered my wedding guest outfit around ModCloth's "Promise to Astonish" dress.  This navy blue A-line is seriously everything.  The lace overlay is super cute, and the surplice neckline shows just the right amount of skin.  Although it's super hot, I wanted to cover my shoulders a bit so I threw on a nude cardigan on top.   I accessorized with a layered gold necklace and carried a clutch to match!  To finish off my look, I wore my favorite beige round-toe heels to elongate my legs.  
For those of you wondering, I'm wearing a size small here, and it fits me quite nicely!  However, I typically wear XS-S.  If you're a solid XS, this may be a bit big for you, but no worries, I'll make sure to link other cute options for you below - simply get your scroll on to browse.
As promised, here are a few other wedding guest dresses I absolutely love! Which one do you guys like best - left, middle, or right?
This post was written in collaboration with ModCloth.