Buy This, Not That: How to Make Your Outfits Look More Expensive

Happy Friday, loves!

Is it just me, or is this month basically flying by without any real slow down? I cannot believe we are already more than halfway through the first month of the new year, but I guess I should considering how much faster time goes by with four kids than it did before.

I’m loving it, though. This is an exciting year for me and my family with all that we have going on, and it’s so much fun to live through it a day at a time – even if it feels like those days fly by. Since it’s Friday, I’m going to keep this short and sweet and basically to the point.

Y’all know that I love high-end fashion. I love designer shoes, bags, and sunglasses – I’ve been collecting Louis Vuitton handbags since I was 20 (though I’m super guilty of rarely carrying anything other than my Neverfull GM the past two or three years). I have more Louboutins and Manolo Blahniks than most people have clothes. I loooove high-end designer fashion.

Mostly accessories – though I tend to always spend more for designer basics. Jeans, dresses, and coats (that I really only need for our twice-yearly winter trips to NYC). Other than that, I’m good buying the budget-friendly version of most things. If it’s trendy or it’s easily replaceable, I won’t spend much on it. It’s those classic pieces I cannot live with if they’re poor quality.

Because I like to mix a lot of high-end fashion with low-end items, I get a lot of questions about making cheaper pieces look expensive. The truth is that it’s so much easier than you imagine. You don’t need to have designer items to make your outfit look expensive if you’re on a budget. You just need to know how to shop for pieces that don’t look cheap – and how to mix and match.

red coat

Buy A Long Coat, Not A Short One

If you buy a long coat with a classic cut, you can make any winter ensemble look more expensive. Just be sure you’re not buying your long coats from the trendy shops you see on Pinterest or Facebook. You can get a good quality long coat with an affordable pricetag at Nordstrom, Macys, Dillards, and even H&M.

Try this one, this one or this one.

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Find a Tailor, Don’t Settle

Do not settle for pieces that don’t fit well. It doesn’t matter if you spend $500 on a dress or you spend $15 on it. If it doesn’t fit you well, it looks cheap. Find a tailor. Become her best friend. Have your clothes hemmed and fitted to your body type.

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Know What You Can Pull Off, And Don’t Be A Victim

So many women look gorgeous in those high-waist, wide-leg culottes. I, my friends, am not one of them. As much as I love them, you won’t find me in them because I know that I cannot pull them off. Know what your body can handle, and don’t deviate from that path. You cannot pull off every trend that comes your way. Know thyself.

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Wear Pointed Toes, Not Round Toes

I just don’t love a round toe when it comes to a classic heel. If you’re going to look high-end, the first thing you should do is throw on a pair of great shoes, but make sure those pumps have a pointed toe. They’re instantly more flattering because they help elongate your legs rather than making them appear squatty. They just don’t work – and they never look upscale.

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Think Basics, Not Basic

If you want to look expensive, try the basics. Think wrap dresses, fitted jeans and high-quality tee shirts with a blazer. Add classic pumps to an outfit, or get a few fitted oxford shirts. Keep your jewelry simple and sophisticated. Add a pair of oversized sunglasses. Get a structured bag. Stick to basic colors, and take off that last layer of whatever. Less is always more.

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Show Off One Body Part, Not All of Them

The quickest way to look cheap is to put every body part you have on display. Keep it classy by keeping everything else modest and only showing off one asset at a time. If your hemline is short, make sure your neckline is high. Show off those gorgeous legs, but keep everything else under wraps. If your neckline is plunging, make sure the length of your dress or skirt is at or below the knee. For example, a plunging neckline in a fitted sheath that hits just below your knees is one of the sexiest yet most sophisticated looks imaginable.

My gorgeous grandmother always told me that you attract what you put out there. If you want to be treated like a lady with class and elegance and attract people of the same nature, dress like one. If you want to attract low-quality people who treat you as such, dress like one. It’s that simple.

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Remember That You Attract What You Put Out There

Here’s the deal – your personal style choices are just that. Personal. Don’t let me dictate what you wear. However, always remember that you do attract a very certain type of attention when you walk out the door based on how you dress. Keep that in mind, and you’ll always be a step ahead of the game.

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Life Lately & An Instagram Roundup

Happy Tuesday, loves!

What about this week is so magical?! I love Thanksgiving. I love opening my home to the people we love, hosting a beautiful dinner, spending the day in the kitchen with my husband. I love so much about it. I’m not even that bothered by the kids being home this week because the weather is so beautiful that they just want to be outdoors, and we are able to work with the doors and windows open. It’s just…pretty. I love it.

Life has just been good lately. I know I say that a lot, and I know my enthusiasm for life probably invites a few eye rolls here and there, but I don’t care. Anyone who has any interaction with me on a daily basis knows there are a few things that Make. Me. Crazy. (safety patrol parents. my sweet little nephew. Science fair projects. Just to name a few). But really, I have no complaints and most of those I do have are pretty simple, so that’s something to be happy about.

This weekend was a good one. It was one of those weekends we didn’t have anything planned – and we needed that. We’ve not been home the past month or so on the weekends, and we were just tired. Every night last week was late…we were just tired.

Thursday night last week was a late one. I went with some of my girlfriends to the United Way’s Little Black Dress fundraiser at a local winery, followed by dinner with some of my girlfriends I ran into at the event. It was fun, but it was also 11 pm before I got home! Friday night was family date night, but the kids asked if we could just stay home for once. We were all about that, so we just picked up Olive Garden to go and relaxed at home for the evening.

We also decided to host an impromptu Gator Game Day party at our house. It was very casual with a sub bar and quick snacks, and somehow our luncheon/game day party turned into an all-day event, but it was easily one of the most fun days ever. Like, the kind of fun that leaves everyone saying over and over “This was the best day!” It really was, and I loved every second of it. Sunday ended with another impromptu plan when we went to a local brewery to judge our friend’s entry and turned it into a date night. He’s opening a brewery of his own in a few months, and we loved supporting him with our best friends…and a great dinner! I don’t care for dark beer at all, but he makes the least disgusting dark beer (but if you do love a dark beer, you’d have been in heaven).

Now it’s Monday. The kids are home, the day is beautiful. I’m cramming a full week worth of work into today, tomorrow, and a few hours Wednesday morning, and I’m kind of banging it out like a Rockstar. And that was with a two-mile run this morning, so I’m feeling pretty good. Which brings me to the point of today’s post – an Insta-Roundup.

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7Fam Raw Hem Ankle Jeans, Tory Burch flats sold out similar here, cardigan, tee shirt $5.99 from TJ Maxx, Givenchy Large Square Sunglasses sold out smaller version here 

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7FAM jeans here, Manolo Blahnik pumps, BlankNYC vegan leather jacket, black tee $5.99 at TJ Maxx, Givenchy sunglasses linked in first photo 

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Nordstrom faux leather leggings here, OTK boots here, cowl neck sweater here, Givenchy sunglasses linked in first photo 

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Dress the Population sequin dress (also available on Rent the Runway), Christian Louboutin bow front slingbacks are old, but my second favorites here 

 

Back to Basics: 3 Classic White Shirts That Are Anything but Basic

Happy Monday! There’s a saying about how if you love Mondays, you’re doing life right.

I don’t know about all that…but I do love a Monday this time of year. The kids are back in school, and that means I have 6 – SIX – uninterrupted hours to work without anyone bickering, asking for a snack every 7 seconds because they are starving, and I’m able to meet all my deadlines, get ahead, and really be able to put work away when it’s time to get the kids so I can focus on my family at the end of the day.

I like that a lot.

But I digress….you guys know I’m a huge fan of a basic piece. I love the basics. My style really focuses on the basic because I love timeless, classic pieces that never go out of style – and I really love when I find a timeless classic with a twist.

When I think of basics, one of the first things that come to mind is the classic white shirt. I love a white tee with a blazer and ballet flats for a little edge. I love a white tunic with heels and a clutch. And I really love a white button down that’s just a little bit more fun than your average white button down.

The thing about a white shirt is you can pair it with anything and everything without much thought or effort, and you can dress it up or down depending on your mood. I love when things are so versatile. Now that we’re working our way out of summer and into fall (I laugh every single time I write that. I’m from Florida. We’re transitioning from summer to still summer to that other summer to more summer), it’s time to figure out how to take your favorite white shirt and make it a little more than basic with jeans and the right accessories.

tee 1

(Jeans: Rag and Bone | Top: Stem {old – similar here and here }| Espadrilles: Tory Burch | Bag: Kate Spade | Sunglasses: Gucci {old – similar here} | Lipstick: Topshop “Fast Lane” )

The Basic White Tee

I love a white tee. Fitted, loose, a little bit on the tunic-y side. A basic white tee is a staple you must have in your closet. The key is to find one that’s not made cheaply so it’s not see through – and so it withstands numerous washes. My favorite way to pair a white tee like this one is with fun shoes and a bag for a pop of color. I also love it with a blazer to make it chic. Every woman needs at least three quality white tees in her closet.

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(Jeans, Sunglasses, and Lipstick Linked above | Shirt: BP  | Shoes: Christian Louboutin “So Kate”) 

The White Button Up

A white button up should be your number one go-to best friend. And this one is everything. I love it because it’s your basic white button up with a little flair thanks to these great bell sleeves. Wear it with a pencil skirt to a meeting, with jeans and heels for a fun night out with the girls, or with a pair of ballet flats and a floppy hat to the airport.

tunic 1

(Jeans and Lipstick linked above | Sunglasses: YSL old – similar here | Shirt: Lush | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Belt: Gucci {old – similar here} | Hat: Rag & Bone )

The White Tunic

With jeans and cognac ballet flats, you look perfectly polished. With this floppy black hat and matching Louboutins, the look goes from basic to beyond – perfect for a chic date night, an evening of cocktails, or a casual event – though I’d go with a much darker wash if you’re doing jeans at any casual event.

You cannot go wrong with any of the most classic basics, especially when it’s a white tee. What’s your favorite go-to basic you can’t live without?