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

9 Ways to Hide Muffin Top With Fashion

Alright guys, let's be real.  It's wintertime, and many of us - ahem, me - have packed on a few extra pounds.  To be honest, I've always been really self-conscious about my mid-section, even when I was super in shape  - I was a fitness nut back in NYC circa 2008!  No one could tell because I looked fine, but it didn't matter because I wasn't happy with my body.  I've always wanted to reach the Hollywood standard but was too lazy and undisciplined. I'm taking major steps to change that all now, but I'll save that conversation for another time.  In the meantime, I'm going to drop some serious knowledge on y'all! Obviously, the best way to beat muffin top is to exercise, but the second best way is to read my post, ha!  Just to be clear, this post is NOT about body shaming - I believe beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.  So, without further ado, let's get crackin':

1.  High-waisted bottoms are a godsend.  Think of them as your wardrobe BFFs - reliable, comfortable, and flattering.  They mask your midsection by highlighting your natural waist while conveniently elongating your legs. Trust me when I say you want to avoid low-rise cuts like the plague.  Unless you have zero back fat, they'll cinch and accentuate your bod in the worst way possible.  If you're not a fan of the high-waist, try mid-rise.  It's not quite as forgiving, but it still works.  Note:  I actually mentioned this tip in my article, "How-to: Look 10lbs Lighter."


2.  Throw on a pair of spanx.  This may be a no-brainer for some of you, but I'm listing it anyway.  If you don't own shapewear at this point of your life, you need to go pick some up stat because you're missing out, like, this is where the party's at.  You will seriously look a size (or two) smaller with it on, and it looks super natural because it magically smooths your figure out.  I personally like high-waisted boyshorts, but camisoles work well too.
1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6

3.  Avoid cropped outerwear altogether.  Fight muffin top by covering it up!  A long cardigan will do wonders for your bod.  It'll elongate like whoa while camouflaging your midsection.  If you want more shape, belt your cardi for an hourglass silhouette!  A fitted blazer will also do the trick, and as a plus, you'll instantly add polish to your look.  

4.  Don't wear clingy tops.  Go for loose - but not baggy - pieces that have movement. Make sure you pay attention to draping.  Your top should have weight to avoid a potentially unflattering fit. Thick, structured tops are extremely forgiving.  Slinky materials, on the other hand, will enhance bulges. Stick with forgiving fabrics like chiffon and purchase a few long tops as well.  They should hit you mid-thigh to slenderize your thighs and cover your midsection.  


5.  Go for pieces with empire waists. They emphasize the narrowest part of your upper body, which in turn draws the eye away from your midsection.  Try wearing a peplum top - it's super girly and cute! If that doesn't really float your boat, you can create a similar illusion with flashy jewelry.  Throw on an eye-catching necklace to call attention to your neckline instead of your problem area/s.
6.  Rock a dress! In my opinion, they're far more flattering (and comfortable) than pants anyways. Keep an eye out for cute shifts and a-lines.  If you're not a fan of boxy silhouettes, no worries!  You can always throw on a skinny belt to create an hourglass figure.

7.  Sport darker colors up top.  Actually, when in doubt, just wear black, ha.  Just kidding but not really. I'm not going to elaborate on this rule because I think it's self-explanatory, but there's one thing you should keep in mind.  All black is obviously hella flattering, but you can wear the color strategically as well. If you're heavy up top, wear a black dolman shirt.  If you're looking to minimize your legs/booty, throw on a pair of dark high-waisted bottoms. The contrast will amplify the color's effect.

8.  Size up.  It'll make a huge difference - you'll look hotter and feel so much more comfortable. Frankly, I don't get why people obsess over sizing. Wear what looks best. Period.  It's not like you have your size printed on the front anyways, and even if you did, who cares?  If someone gives you flack about your body, it's a reflection on them, not you.

9.  Colorblock like nobody's business.  Choose pieces with black paneling on the side! They'll shave off serious pounds.  
I hope you guys find these tips helpful!  I'd love to hear your tricks so make sure you comment below!  Also, I'm currently taking requests for posts so let me know if you want me to cover something in particular.
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How-to work Poshmark like a Pro

I don't know about you guys, but I'm all about making easy money on the side! If you're looking to make some extra cash, clean out your closet and list your unwanted items on Poshmark. Now, when I say "unwanted," I don't mean ratchet.  I'm not telling you to list ragged stuff no one wants. I'm talking about gently worn clothing, clothing that's brand new without tags, or clothing that's brand new with tags.  I've sold my clothing and accessories for years now.  I've tried various platforms, and in my humble opinion, Poshmark is by far the best.  So, that brings me to today's post! I'll be sharing all my tips with you guys so that y'all can sell like bosses, too!
1.  Model your clothing.  Trust me, it makes a huge difference - you'll sell much more in the long run if you do so. Don't get me wrong, I love flat lays; they're super cute and all, but I've found that customers prefer to see others wear whatever it is they're looking to buy.  Remember to shoot from different angles and if you can, take your photos outside - natural lighting trumps indoor lighting any day. Also, make sure you take close-up shots of cute details.  Ex. if the buttons on your shirt are special, mention it in your description and snap a pic!

2.  List info on fabric and care.   I don't know about you, but when I'm out shopping I take everything into consideration regardless of the price.  I don't care if it's Forever 21 or Maxmara, I want to know what the fabric is and how to take care of it.  Everyone machine washes, but not everyone takes their stuff to the cleaners so if it's dry clean only, it could be a dealbreaker.  I mean, technically, if he or she doesn't ask, it's their "fault," but you want to make sure your customer's happy.  Take an extra second to enter this info in while creating your listing to facilitate sales in the future. Regarding fabric, study the label and enter it in exactly as written.

3.  Provide measurements.  I know this may seem like a hassle, but it's really not as bad as it sounds! Keep a retractable tape measure handy when you're updating your Poshmark closet so you can quickly enter 'em in as you create your listing.  Chances are, your customer will ask you what they are anyways.  I mean, think about it from their perspective.  They're shopping online, so unless they've tried the exact piece on in-person at another store, they don't know anything about the size since it varies from brand to brand. Save yourself time and do it while you're writing your description so you don't have to dig it out later on.


4.  Have some fun with your listing!  Make sure it's informative but interesting.  Don't just write, "blue shirt, size small."  Who wants to buy that? It wouldn't kill you to use some adjectives.  Is it a cobalt blue, a sky blue, or a turquoise?  Where can he or she wear it out and what should they wear it with? Remember, you want to be specific in your description.  Here's a sample for you guys:  "This teal top is super versatile - it transitions beautifully from work to play! Pair it with fitted dress pants for a chic, office-friendly ensemble or style it with a sequin mini for a fun night out with friends. This top is a size small, and it fits true to size - length: 23", shoulder to hand:  17", bust: 34".  This fab top's made of 100% polyester but it feels like chiffon.  Care: machine wash cold."  

5.  If you're selling pre-loved clothing, be honest and upfront.  Make sure you list ALL flaws! Also, avoid using filters on your pictures - as mentioned above, natural light looks way better anyways - because you might inadvertently mislead your customer by accidentally masking imperfections. Here's a sample for your reference:  "This maroon skater skirt is absolutely adorable - it's pre-loved, but I've only worn it twice so it's in near perfect condition with 0 flaws whatsoever.  It's a size XS, but it's made of rayon/polyester/spandex blend so the material has a bit of give. Perfect for a warm summer day!"

6.  Be active!  Poshmark hosts themed parties every night so share listings when applicable.  If you're looking to get more followers on the app, go on a massive follow spree.  Most poshers will follow back, and if they like what they see, the offers will start rolling in.  Also, if you're active on other social media platforms, cross promote!  Let your friends and family know that you're selling.  One last tip for y'all, make friends with other poshers by sharing cute items from their closets.  I'm convinced that posh karma's a thing, ha!  In all seriousness though, they'll usually reciprocate, and more eyeballs mean more money - cha-ching!

7.  Always follow-up.  Even if this isn't your main source of income, you're still technically running a small business.  If you plan on selling for a long time, you want to make sure that your customers are pleased!  Maintain good relationships with them, and always thank them for their business.  You want to make sure you hook them and turn them into repeat customers.  Now, how do you do that? Provide stellar customer service.  I've already taught you how to write a killer description so all you have to do at this point is be friendly, courteous and prompt!


8.  Ship your parcel with care.  Don't just shove your clothing in a box because you feel lazy - that's straight-up disrespectful.  Take time to fold your clothing nicely, and if you're shipping something pre-loved, iron it!  How would you feel if you got a crappy package in the mail with a wrinkly shirt stuffed inside.  You want your customer to feel special!  They spent good money on you, and they deserve a great product in return.  Go to Walmart and pick up some tissue paper - you can get 40-some sheets for like $3.  Then head on to TJ Maxx to get some thank you cards in the clearance section!  If you don't have any boxes at home, don't fret - just go to usps.com and have free shipping supplies delivered to your home. Wrap your package nicely, throw in a personalized card, place it in a box, and then schedule a pick-up with USPS.  Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!

If you guys have any questions, tweet me, email me, leave me a comment, whatever!  I promise to answer ASAP. I have over 129k+ followers on there (view my closet here) and quite a bit of experience so I'm confident I can help.  Anywho, what do you guys like to do with your old clothes? Are you familiar with Poshmark?

Photos are NOT mine - uploaded from Pinterest and Poshmark.
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How-to slay at holiday parties this season

I'm super excited to partner up with Hanes today on SS for a fun post on holiday survival.  I'll be sharing my 5 must-haves with y'all.  I promise you'll slay at any and every fancy function with the following...
1.  A sexy dress - show off your stems and sport a fabulous mini this season.  I'm wearing a gorg fringe dress from ASOS today on SS.  I copped it a few weeks ago online while it was on sale for $44.  Y'all know how I feel about bargain buys!  Stores like Charlotte Russe, H&M, and Macy's carry trendy designs for affordable prices.

2.  Hanes tights - Since it's cold as f***, it's important to bundle up!  If you sport a mini, you're def. gonna want to throw on tights.  I can't recommend Hanes enough!  They offer much more than extra warmth. I'm wearing a sheer version below, but Hanes sells opaque styles as well. Pair them with the right shoes, and you'll legs will look hella long, which transitions beautifully into...
3.  Black pumps - Honestly, black heels + black tights kill because they elongate your legs like whoa. I mean, who doesn't like a fabulous visual illusion? As a plus, black heels pretty much go with everything.  You can wear them to work or wear 'em out for a fab night out on the town.
4.  Statement Jewelry - it's no secret that jewelry can make or break an outfit!  I've always been a huge fan of statement jewelry, but dainty pieces can also do the trick.  For today's LOTD, I accessorized with a beautiful necklace, and it honestly makes all the difference in the world.  In case you were wondering, this stunning piece is from Lorraine Tyne.  If you're looking for affordable baubles, check out InPink, Charlotte Russe, and Baublebar.
5.  A killer clutch - last but not least, to complete your sexy holiday look, you'll need a BAMF clutch. The one I'm carrying below is actually from Charlotte Russe.  Their bags are really cute, and they're surprisingly durable.  FYI, mine's made of faux leather.  I'm also a huge fan of box clutches though!

A huge thank you to Hanes for kindly sponsoring this post.  All opinions are 100% honest and completely my own.

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How-to: look 10lbs Lighter

Hey guys! I'm extra excited for today's post because I think it'll be quite helpful.  As you all know, I'm big into visual illusions.  People often compliment me on my figure, but they don't realize it's not actually my body.  Well, technically it is, but I'm a lot "bigger" than I look.  To be honest, this is the heaviest I've been in years.  I just simply know how to dress myself.  I'm very picky about what I wear, and I always make sure to highlight my best assets and mask my flaws if necessary.  Keep reading to learn my secrets...

1.  Highlight the small of your waist with a skinny belt.  If you're wearing a dress, belt it to draw the eye upwards.  It'll create the illusion of longer legs and give you an hourglass figure.  Also, opt for high-waisted bottoms because they're comfortable AND flattering.  Go for dark skinnies - I personally own two pairs in this style (pictured below) - to conveniently mask your muffin top!
2.  Throw on a pair of nude heels.  Make sure they match your skintone - the closer in color, the better! You want to create one long line so you look taller.  You'll look skinnier by default because you're elongating your legs, creating a leaner silhouette.  For affordable options, browse Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Ross, and DSW.

3.  Wear the right undergarments.  If you haven't already, make sure you get yourself fitted.  I had issues with bra bulge and couldn't figure out why for the longest time.  Turns out, I was wearing the wrong size!  Regarding underwear, look for elastic waistbands with lace trim.  In my opinion, they're the most flattering, and as a plus they're super cute!

These are two of my favorites!  Left from Victoria's Secret and right from Kohls.

4.  Experiment with shapewear.  If you want to kill it for a special occasion, throw on a pair of spanx to look 1-2 sizes smaller.  It's not particularly comfortable, but you'll look good, ha. Bandage pieces work magic as well.  I own several mini-dresses and skirts, and they're basically wearable shapewear.  Don't skimp on them though!  If you want them to be "effective," you're going to have to purchase high-quality versions.  Check out BCBG, but don't pay full price.  Go to their factory outlets during blowout sales to get discounted designs.



5.  Wear black tights with black heels.  Like tip #2, this magical formula will elongate you!  Sport this combo with itty-bitty mini-skirts to look oh so chic in the winter.  Sub out heels with boots and tights with leggings if you're looking to get extra warmth!

6.  Befriend your tailor.  Fit is everything.  You can have a perfect body and still look "off" with ill-fitting clothing.

7.  Experiment with vertical stripes.  They'll lengthen like no other.  Remember, you want to create long lines. Theme of the day:  elongate like it's nobody's business!

Do you guys have any tips?  I'd love to hear 'em if you do!  
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4 Bags Every Girl Must Own

Alright guys, it's time to get serious up in here.  Today's post is all about *drum roll please* bags.  As I'm sure y'all know by now, they're my fave accessory by far.  I pretty much collect 'em.  Now, I'm all about being sensible, that is my name after all.  However, I believe smart shopping's all about knowing when to save and when to splurge.  Bags, in my humble opinion, are worth the moolah. We're going to talk about four pieces EVERY woman must own.

1.  The Investment Bag

Every girl needs a solid version - one that'll last them a lifetime.  Now, I'm gonna ask you to splurge here.  It's called an "investment bag" for a reason.  Don't cut corners here.  Go for the big designers if you can.  They're pricy so start saving now if you haven't already.


Consider three things when you're shopping for an IB:  style, material, and color.  Pick a piece that'll look chic even when you're 80 years old.  I don't know about you guys, but I don't have the funds to purchase 40 different designer bags.  If you have a limited budget like I do, you're not going to want to drop a ton of cash on the current "it" bag - it'll eventually go out of style, and you don't want to be stuck with an expensive bag you don't carry.

Moving on to material.  I recommend purchasing a leather bag because it's easier to take care of.  Pieces made out of suede and fabric can be a pain to upkeep.  Color's also an important factor as mentioned previously.  As much as I love bold hues, I'd stick with a neutral tone like black or brown.  White's also good, but it's a bit limiting because it's more of a summer color - personally, I don't usually like wearing a ton of white in the Fall & Winter.

Some amazing IBs are pictured above:  the Prada Saffiano Tote, the Hermes Birkin, and the Chanel Classic Flap.  Now, if these are too pricey, other brands like Coach, Michael Kors, and Tory Burch carry more affordable versions.  Here's a handy widget for your viewing pleasure:
2.  The Clutch Bag

If I had it my way, I'd buy 20 of these in varying prints, colors, and sizes.  Unfortunately, I don't have the means to do so, ha!  I've acquired 4 over the last few years - none of them were investment buys FYI.  They were all $50 and under *thumbs up*  It's not a huge deal for me though because I usually carry my YSL crossbody because I prefer to be hands-free whenever possible.  

I typically carry these for formal events and fancy dinners.  I recommend purchasing a chic, simple version in gold or silver to start.  If you already have a "standard" clutch, don't be afraid to experiment with different styles! Remember though, you want to make sure you can fit in your basics.  Here are some fab options for you guys (different price points):

3.  The Everyday Tote

I call this my Mary Poppins bag because it fits all my essentials...and non-essentials!  This tote is a must-have for college students and young professionals alike.  I have several different versions in my closet:  brown, black, gold, animal-print, and LV (my Louis Vuitton).  Purchasing the LV tote was a mistake on my part because I did a crappy job taking care of it.  It's all tattered up now, and every time I look at it, I die a little inside, ha.

If you're like me and you fling your everyday tote around, stick with more inexpensive versions because you'll go through them quickly.  I've learned my lesson from my LV though.  I now guard my tote from the rain and keep it OFF the floor - I usually place it behind me when I sit down or set it on a chair next to me.

Here are some awesome options for you guys!  Let's start with $50 & under...
And move onto pieces that are $50-$250...
4.  The Crossbody Bag

The crossbody's arguably my fave bag of the four listed above!  I have a bunch of these because I love being hands-free.  Although this is my go-to when I'm running errands, it's also a fave for a fun night out on the town so if you have the extra cash, I recommend splurging on a designer version in addition to the more affordable options you accumulate over the years!  I bought YSL's Cassandre tassel crossbody, and it's a serious staple for me because of its versatility.

Here are some affordable versions for you guys (under $75)...
...and some splurges to browse...

I hope you all enjoyed this post!  What do you think of my list of must-haves?  What would you add or omit? Also, where do you guys like to shop for bags?
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Wearing a Statement Necklace: 3 Tips

Re-featuring my lovely +Mint and Lolly necklace on SS today - if you'd like to see how I wore it previously, clicky HERE.  ANYWHO, y'all know how much I love wearing statement jewelry, especially bold necklaces.  Although I don't believe in fashion rules per se, I do have a few tips to share with you guys.  

1.  Keep thangs simple - let your main statement piece do the talkin'.  Don't wear giant hoops, loads of arm candy, and/or fistfuls of cray cocktail rings when sportin' a bold necklace.  You don't want all that stuffs to get in the way, and you'd be trying wayyyy too hard.  If you want to wear other pieces in addition to your necklace, stick with dainty pieces like thin rings or subtle studs.

2.  Big jewelry + solid clothing = winning.  This combo always works well. FYI: busy patterns may not be your best friend in this particular situation. It obviously varies case by case, but in general, take care when mixing loud prints & statement pieces.

3.  Wear it with a collar!  Button up your favorite blouse or oxford all the way up and let the necklace peek out underneath the collar.  A great way to jazz up a office-friendly ensemble.

Do you guys have any tips to add?  I could go on forever, but I won't bore y'all, haha.  Where do you guys shop for statement jewelry? I actually love copping pieces from independent boutiques like Mint & Lolly, Hanuel, Dainty & Bold, and InPink.  I try to supporting "small businesses", and their quality = just as good as any designer brand if not better.  The Mint & Lolly piece I'm wearing below ($59.99) is cuter than any J. Crew piece I own.  200% serious'!  Trust me, I have my share of designer jewelry, haha.  
Like I mentioned previously, statement jewelry looks amazing with solid colors!  I styled a formal look for you guys today on the blog.  The gown's from AMICLUBWEAR.  It's a lovely maxi dress, but it's a bit big?  The sweetheart neckline's beautiful and all, but the dress itself needs the help of a tailor.  However, the dress has a built-in bra which I love.  For $23.99, this dress is a nice value, but it'd depend on the occasion.  If you have any questions, just leave me a comment!  I promise to get back to you.
Dress:  c/o AMICLUBWEAR ($23.99)
Clutch: c/o Lily Rain
Necklace:  c/o Mint & Lolly ($59.99)
Earrings:  c/o Anjolee
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The Everyday Girl's Guide to Wearing Color

I'm feeling very Spring-y!  To celebrate the return of warm weather, I styled a summer dress for y'all.  I worked with a vibrant color scheme for today's post:  violet + magenta + white.  Do you guys like wearing bright colors?  Which hues do you shy away from and why?  I used to hate wearing brights.  I only wore neutrals because I didn't want to call too much attention to myself, haha.  As y'all know, that changed (understatement of the year).
If you'd like to incorporate more color into your wardrobe, here's how:

1.  Incorporate pops of it.  Don't try to go all out at once especially if you don't normally wear a lot of color.

2.  Wear colorful jewelry!  This is a really easy way to sport color in casual & formal wear.  Brighten up a neutral outfit with vibrant statement pieces.  Here's an example for y'all; statement earrings or necklace (depending on the neckline) with an LBD.  Because of the LBD's all black canvas, you can sport whatever color/s you'd like!

3. Color block like a pro.  If you're new to this technique, start with two colors to keep things simple and follow this formula:  bright shade + neutral shade (black, gray, white, taupe, etc.).  If you want to bring in a third or fourth color, try using a different hue of a color you're already wearing for a cohesive look.

4.  Experiment with neon.  Neon accessories add so much personality!  Try wearing a pair of neon heels with your jeans/graphic tee or belting your basic black skirt/neutral blouse with a hot pink belt.  A neon bag can do wonders as well!  I own a really cute version from Rebecca Minkoff (This in neon yellow).

5.  Try wearing colored denim.  I own SO many pairs of jeans.  I probably have about twenty pairs in different colors and prints.  If you're nervous about wearing neon bottoms (which I love BTW), stick with a pastel hue.  Style them with a neutral top (like an ivory blouse) and throw on a pair of beige heels.

I have a billion other ideas, but I'll stop there!  I don't want to bore you guys.  Let's get back to today's OOTD.
A closer look at my jewelry courtesy of SoCal Gems - so beautiful! They're def. my current fave pair of statement earrings!  TIP: when sporting bold earrings, keep everything else simple on the jewelry front.  If you really want to accessorize, try wearing a dainty necklace or thin bangles!

Yay for matching accessories.  My shoes are available HERE for $16.99 (originally $24.99).  Although these heels are hella cute - the mesh inserts are ridiculously adorable - they run large.  I recommend going a half-size down!  Also, these babies are surprisingly comfy for 4 1/4 heels, ha.

My magenta Givenchy's new!  I found it at TJ Maxx Runway *pumps fist*  I freakin' love that store.  Who else shops at the Maxx?  Have you guys found any designer gems there?
A full body shot for you guys!
Bag:  Givenchy via TJ Maxx Runway
Shoes:  c/o Pink Basis (on sale for $16.99)
Dress:  c/o Charlotte Russe
Blazer:  H&M
Earrings:  c/o SoCal Gems ($18)
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How-to: Organize Your Closet

For today's post, I've decided to share my closet setup with you guys.  I'm kind of OCD, so I always make sure my closet is meticulously organized.  It's so much easier to style outfits when things are in order.  
1.  Use shelves,drawers, and/or bins to store pieces that don't wrinkle.  I divide my clothing into 5 categories and fold accordingly:  skirts, shorts, tee-shirts, tanks, and pants.
2. Layer pieces of the same color & style on a single hanger, especially if you're trying to save space!

3. Color-code your wardrobe to style outfits with ease.  You'll never have to ransack your closet again.  
4. Store miscellaneous items in hanging storage racks.  I keep my socks, tights, and leggings here.  This may be too OCD for some people, but I like dividing them into sub-categories (i.e. patterned tights & black socks).  
5.  Invest in a belt ring or two.  I used to roll my belts up, but it's so much quicker to just hang them.  As an added plus, their shapes stay intact.
6.  I store most of purses in an oversized bin, but I like to place structured pieces upright.  I also like to stuff my bags with old clothing to preserve their shape.  
7.  Store your jewelry in pouches!  I hang most of my necklaces & earrings but store the rest in boxes and bags in a compartment.

8.  Hang statement necklaces on the walls with clear thumbtacks! It's a really practical way to display jewelry.  Plus it doubles as wall art.
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