Sensible Stylista: Warmweatherlooks
Showing posts with label Warmweatherlooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Warmweatherlooks. Show all posts

Where to Buy Kate Spade Lookalike Bags for Less

Alright everyone, how many of you like Kate Spade bags? Now, how many of you guys can afford to drop $$$ on her designs on the regular? While I'm sure many of you can - and all the power to you if so - there's a store out there that sells stuff with a similar vibe for a fraction of the price, and that magical store is called *drum roll, please* Charming Charlie.

They're pretty big so I'm guessing a lot of you already know about them, but I wanted to blog about CC because I discovered them not too long ago.  I shopped their store for the first time a few months back at the National Harbor, and I was totally blown away by their selection.  It was like accessory heaven!  
The quality of their clothing's comparable to Forever 21 or H&M, they have a lot of trendy items in stock so you should definitely get your browse on if that's your thing.  I personally prefer their jewelry & bags, but not everything's super high quality so definitely take your time when shopping! 

The last time I was there, I purchased two evening bags: a fabulous faux-velvet handbag (aka the piece I'm carrying below) and an adorable starfish clutch.  Both pieces were under $20, and they looked exactly like something Kate Spade would sell:  whimsical, flirty, and fun!  
The designs I bought are no longer available on their website, but I've linked other adorable options for you guys! I haven't seen anything over $50, and most of their stuff's under $20 so it's definitely affordable.  

Dress: Asos (currently on sale for $47) || Bag:  Charming Charlie (similar-ish) || Shoes:  Jessica Simpson (similar)
Photos shot by the amazing Sung Shin.

What to wear to Summer Weddings: Your Questions Answered

I've been getting questions regarding summer wedding dress attire so I decided to write a post on the topic (featuring some of your questions) rather than email everyone back individually. I'm going to keep things simple for today's blast because the last thing I want to do is overwhelm you guys with rules.  Dressing up should be fun so let's try and keep it that way!
"What should I wear?"  

It all depends on the wedding! What's the dress code (ie. white tie, black tie, etc.)? Where's the wedding going to take place (ie. church, beach, someone's house, etc.)? What time do the festivities start? These are all factors you need to take into consideration!  For example, if your friend's having her wedding outside, you're going to want something airy to keep you somewhat cool in the sweltering heat.  If your buddy's having his in a church, you won't want to bare all for two reasons; a. it's a more conservative setting (obviously) and b. you don't want to upstage the bride.  

IMHO, the "safest" bet is a cocktail dress that hits you below the knees (like the midi dress I'm wearing).  You'll be able to re-wear this for all different kinds of weddings so it's the most practical option if you're looking to save money and only purchase one outfit.

"I don't want to spend a lot of money.  Where can I find something affordable?"

I actually wrote a post on SS a while back on dresses and where I purchase them for less.  That should give you all the information you need, but in a nutshell, I recommend Forever 21, Last Call Neiman Marcus, and TJ maxx amongst others.  Also, here are some cute designs I recommend (all under $50).
"Is it ok if I wear black?"

Absolutely - the only color you should NOT wear is white (or any variation of it, ha)!  With that said, I think pastels and florals are beautiful options for summer weddings.  Don't be afraid to experiment with long as it's not obnoxiously bright. Please, please, PLEASE do not show up in hot pink from head-to-toe - like I mentioned before, you don't want to steal the bride's thunder.  It's her day so you want to make sure she's the star of the show!

"Do I have to wear a dress if it's black tie?"

That's a great question!  Black tie's not as formal as white tie, but most women still sport floor length gowns for the occasion.  There ARE ways to avoid it though if you're not a fan of dresses.  Jumpsuits and pantsuits make great alternatives.  Throw in some killer jewelry, and you're good to go!

"I hate walking around in heels.  Can you recommend dressy shoes that are comfortable?"

I recommend wedges.  They're obviously not as fancy as stilettos, but they're dressy enough.  I actually wore a pair as my cousin's maid of honor years ago because I knew I'd be running around all day long, and it was such a good call.  Embellished flats or sandals also work - just make sure they're dressy and save your flip flops for the beach.

Here's an outfit I recently wore to a friend's wedding in PA.  As much as I love looking cute, being comfortable is my first and foremost concern - I truly believe that if you feel self-conscious, you'll look it.  So, I went with an adorable midi dress from ASOS.  I've put on a little weight these last few weeks so the A-line silhouette is currently my best frand.  

I don't usually like strapless pieces because they pinch my arm fat, but this dress was surprisingly flattering.  Plus, I have a weakness for all things girly so the bow totally sealed the deal for me - I even have a board dedicated to bows on pinterest, #sorrynotsorry. Ha!  To finish things off, I accessorized with a fun clutch for a pop of personality and threw on Valentino-inspired heels to match.  Anywho, I hope you guys found this post helpful!  If you have any additional questions, feel free to email me and ask.  I'm not than happy to play stylist for you all.  
Dress:  ASOS || Heels:  Qupid || Clutch:  Aldo
 Photos shot by the wonderful Sung Shin.

Where to Buy Cute Summer Dresses For Less

As I'm sure you all know, I'm head over heels obsessed with dresses.  I just can't get enough of them.  They can be bodycon, maxi, mini, midi, I don't care - I don't discriminate, and I love them all equally.  In fact, I like to think of myself as a professional dress collector, and I support my shopping habit by finding the best deals possible whether it be in-stores or online.
I recommend the following stores for killer deals:  Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, TJ Maxx, ASOS, Zara, Off Saks 5th, and Last Call Neiman Marcus.  There are definitely more, but these are the first ones that pop into mind.  I group F21 and CR together because they're similar in quality and price point.  So here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping their stores: 

1. Check out their factory outlets.
2.  Have the patience to sift through sale + clearance racks (applies to all the stores listed but especially for these two).
3.  Fabric is key - you may find a design you love, but if the material looks cheap, do NOT buy it.  $18 may seem reasonable, but it's expensive if your new dress falls apart after a few washes.
4.  Shop during blowout sales - I've found amazing pieces for ridiculous prices (like $5-7) at these stores!  
5.  Take advantage of text offers + subscribe to their email lists for coupons.
Next up, TJ Maxx.  Like F21 & Charlotte Russe, when I think of TJ Maxx, I immediately associate it with Marshalls and Ross.  I personally love the first two stores, but I haven't had much luck at Ross!  I do have friends who go there all the time though so don't let me discourage you from browsing.  They all carry designer items for less, but TJ Maxx takes it one step further with their runway line.

Lucky for me, I have one nearby so I can try everything on in person, but no worries if you don't because you can always shop their collection online.  They restock often so make sure you check back frequently, and on another note, I mentioned their designer handbags in a previous post called, "A Peek Into my Closet:  My Bag Collection."  I blogged about the various styles I owned and told you all a bit about where I bought each one!  Several were purchased at TJ so definitely give it a read.
Now onto one of my absolute favorites, ASOS.  I can't even begin to tell you guys how much I love them - their customer service is ah-maaaa-zing, and they carry the cutest designs that have ever existed.  I seriously freak out every time I shop their site, and they have SO much inventory...which is heavenly for some (ahem, me) but annoying for others.  

If you're looking for cute dresses, there will literally be thousands of options so it's important to filter.  Check your correct size, occasion, length, and so on and so forth to trim your searches down.  Also, I rarely pay full price for anything because I'm patient.  Star the designs you want and check back to see if they've been marked down.  

Yes, there is a chance that a style may sell out, but your wallet will be happier, and it's just the sensible thing to do (see what I did there, hardy har har).  Note: they have sales often so be vigilant!  Case in point, their current sale with pieces up to 70% off (!!!!) + free shipping/returns all day, every day.
Another fab store with great dresses (and deals for that matter): Zara.  I don't have one near me in MD or PA so I shop their selection online.  Like ASOS, they offer free shipping and returns so I can purchase without buyer's regret.  Their line tends to be on the more expensive side so I don't even look at their regular-priced merchandise. However, they have a tab called "special prices" - or something similar, I can't remember right off the top of my head and they replaced it with "sale" for the time being so you'll have to check back - with pieces on sale that slay so you can satisfy your Zara habit for a fraction of the price.
Last but not least, Off Saks 5th + Last Call.  If you're a fan of designer garb, these stores will be your everything and more.  They carry most of the same lines as their pricey counterparts but at a fraction of the price because they're older styles.  If you're big on what's current, you're probably not going to be a fan, but personally, I don't really care.  If I think something's cute, that's all that matters.  I could care less about trends - I wear whatever I want, when I want.  If something happens to be "hot," and I like it, count me in, but I'm not going to purchase something just because it's popular.  After all, the best accessory is confidence - right, guys?

What do you guys think about these stores - are you a fan or not so much?  Make sure you let me know in the comment section below!  Also, before I leave you all, I need to talk a bit about today's OOTD.  I purchased this dress online at - drumroll, please - ASOS for $32 a few weeks back, and I absolutely love it to pieces.  It's pretty much sold out so I've linked similar styles, all under $50.

Shoes:  Aldo || Bag:  Violet Ray || Hat:  Dynamic Asia ($13) || Dress:  Asos ($32)
Photos by the incredible Eva Liz.

Lace Makes Everything Better

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Marled by Reunited Clothing so I'm extra stoked to tell you guys about my latest OOTD.  I've featured yet another one of their fabulous tops, and this one may just be my fave - available at Bloomingdale's.  I love all things girly so the lace detailing kills me in the best way possible.  Plus, you all know that statement sleeves are my achilles' heel.
I paired the top with a mesh skirt (an oldie but a goodie, featured here several years ago) and tied it to emphasize the small of my waist - one of the many tricks I employ to look leaner with fashion!  If you want to read more on how to hide muffin top like a boss, click here.  If you'd like to browse other how-to articles, check out my gallery!
Other adorable designs from their line:
Shoes:  OASAP (similar) || Skirt:  Rebecca Minkoff (similar) || Top:  Marled by Reunited ($78) || Bag:  Chloe
Photos shot by the amazing Sung Shin.

How I Do Casual

I pretty much live in girly dresses and skirts, but on off days, I love wearing jeans.  There's nothing sexier than a plain white shirt + denim, but I wanted to jazz up the combo for you guys today on SS for funsies.  Instead of going with a simple tee, I threw on a fabulous ruffled number from Almost Famous Clothing.  It's a total must-have if you love cold shoulder cutouts as much as I do!  
I also wanted to incorporate more color into today's OOTD so I carried my new crossbody bag from Sugar + Style.  I feel like it adds SO much personality, and I seriously can't get over the bamf guitar straps.  FYI, it's detachable AND reversible so you can wear it with other bags in your collection or swap it for something a bit more "tame."  It all depends on your mood, but isn't it nice to know that you have options? Haha.  Use code KIM20 to get an extra 20% off your purchase.
Other cute tops feat. shoulder cutouts (under $50):
To finish things off, I wore perforated slip-ons from Greats.  At $179, these shoes don't come cheap, but they're worth every penny IMHO because they ooze quality.  Made of Italian leather, these kicks are available in 4 other colors: perforated blush, perforated white, white, and black.  If you're interested in purchasing a pair for yourself, remember to sign up for their newsletter to get 10% off your purchase!
Shoes:  Greats || Jeans:  Stitchfix || Top:  Almost Famous || Bag: Sugar + Style || Sunnies:  Covry
Photos shot by the wonderful Sung Shin.

Summer Loving

Ready for all sorts of summer fun in my new sundress.  Made of lightweight cotton, this flirty mini is perfect for the pool or beach!  It has a plunging neckline with an open back, and it fits true to size.  I'm wearing a US 4, and it fits me beautifully.  It's a halter so the top's adjustable - it should fit regardless of how big or small your bust is. Available online at ASOS for $38 here!
Other adorable styles (all under $50):
Featuring yet another fabulous sunhat from Dynamic Asia - if you missed my first feature on them, clicky here. Always remember to practice safe sun, guys.  You should wear sunscreen on the daily, but if you're planning to chill outside for an extended period of time, use one with a higher SPF and reapply at least every 2 hours.  Also, wear sunnies to protect your eyes!
A closer look at my Mermazing tote!  I got this bag from Beach'd months ago and still love it to pieces.  When I took it to the Caribbean, I pretty much carried it everywhere because it was heatproof (and cute, obviously).  They use globally sourced natural materials and work closely with women-owned factories to create ethically produced designs with unique weatherproofing details.  They offer beach bags, keychains, cosmetic cases, and wallets so make sure you head on over and take a look.  Sign up for their newsletter to get an extra 20% off + free shipping over $50+.
Dress:  ASOS ($38) || Shoes:  Amiclubwear || Hat:  Dynamic Asia ($8.50) || Tote:  Beach'd
Shot by the incredible Eva Liz.

Remix: The Metallic Mini

Alright guys, if today's dress looks familiar, it's because I featured it HERE a few months ago!  Back then, I styled it with a turtleneck and wedges because it was still pretty chilly out, but now that it's hotter than Dante's inferno, I can wear it all by its lonesome.  
The dress is fairly loud due to the color and style so I skipped accessories altogether.  I did, however, wear statement heels to add a bit of edge.  I'm not especially graceful in heels so ankle-strap sandals are a godsend.  I bought these a long time ago so they're no longer available online, but I'll make sure to link other cute options below.
Fabulous statement heels under $100:
To finish off my OOTD, I carried a mini crossbody from & Other Stories to match.  They opened a store in Georgetown not too long ago, but I haven't had a chance to go yet.  I'll definitely have to hit them up next month when I'm back in town!  If you're interested in the bag I'm sporting, it's available online here.  
Other stylish metallic minis:
Shot by the amazing Rey Marques.

My Obsession with Alexis Continues

I was and continue to be head over heels obsessed with all things Alexis.  I purchased this top a long while back but haven't featured it on SS so I thought no better time than the present.  This fabulous blouse was on sale at Saks so I scooped it up along with THIS dress during after-Christmas sales. The top's voluminous with billowy sleeves so I paired it with a bandage skirt for balance.  To finish things off, I carried my Gucci crossbody to match and threw on statement heels to elevate my ensemble.
Why I drool over Alexis:
A closer look at my bag! I know I featured it here recently, but I couldn't resist showcasing it again.  If you have a bag fetish like me, you'll definitely want to check out my entire designer collection here.  Also, I added a few pieces to my wardrobe since then so I'll be publishing part 2 later this summer - definitely make sure to keep an eye out!
Me asian as possible, ha.
Top:  Alexis || Skirt:  BCBG || Shoes:  Last Call || Bag:  Gucci via TJ Maxx
Shot by the wonderful Rey Marques.

Find of the Day: The Striped Romper ($29)

A few days ago, I published a post on SS called, "How-to Look Polished AF in 5 Minutes or Less."  I focused on my summer makeup routine because I was partnering up with Jordana Cosmetics, but I saved some pics for today's find of the day.  This romper is, hands down, one of my absolute faves; lucky for you guys, it's currently on sale online at ASOS for $29 (originally $42).
I can't even begin to tell you all how much I love this romper!  It's made of a lightweight woven fabric that'll keep you nice and cool during the hottest of days, and it has a relaxed fit so you'll feel super comfortable wearing it.  The fine folks at ASOS call it a "beach romper," but IMHO it works for all occasions.  Wear it with white sneakers for a casual everyday look or pair it with fancy sandals for a lunch date.  For those of you wondering, I'm wearing a size 4, and it fits me perfectly - purchase it here before it sells out!
Other styles that are perfect for summer (all under $50):

I topped my look off with a fabulous sunhat from Dynamic Asia because it's the ultimate warm-weather accessory anddd it's cool to practice safe sun.  They're wholesale though so you have to buy a minimum of 3 per style.  I suggest getting together with a few friends and splitting costs because they're selling super high quality pieces for helllllla cheap.  I own several so I can seriously vouch for their quality!
 Shoes:  Nine West || Romper:  ASOS ($29) || Hat:  Dynamic Asia
Shot by the amazing Sung Shin.