Wednesday, June 20, 2018

8 Style Suggestions for the 4th of July

Hello! Out of all of the holidays, I'd definitely list the 4th of July as my favorite holiday to dress for- by far. It gives us a reason to play around with patriotic, red-white-and-blue color combinations and also gives me another excuse to refer to Wet Hot American Summer and the 70s for styling inspiration. I have a fondness for vintage fashion- styles from the seventies in particular- so it should come as no surprise that I love to experiment with retro seventies Americana styles. Patriotic red, white and blue fashions trended in the seventies for several reasons; a major reason being our 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1976. You can find many gorgeous vintage pieces from the 70s with major Americana appeal that are perfect for wearing on the 4th of July; I recall a red, white and blue zig zag striped dress from the seventies that I thrifted a few years ago in particular. 

I enjoy rocking red-white-and-blue aesthetics all year long but I know that not everyone shares my appreciation for the patriotic style. So I decided to round up a list of 8 style suggestions for the 4th of July- these tips will keep you fashionably festive- without feeling tacky- keep reading to check them out: 

Photo by Nicholas Von Throwerl

1. Tie a red, white and blue bandana around your neck. Gotta love this easy, effortless style tip! You could also tie your hair up in the bandana or tie the bandana around your purse. 

Photo by Diego Bustamante

2. Style a denim dress with red accents. A chambray denim dress makes a great choice for the 4th of July; style it to feel more festive with accessories in red hues. I paired a red belt, purse, sunglasses and bandana with the dress here for a patriotic appeal.

Photo by Nicholas Von Throwerl

3. Go all-American with a classic pair of blue jeans. You can't go wrong with blue denim! I love deep blue bellbottoms but you could also rock light blue denim shorts or distressed boyfriend jeans. Select a pair in a high-rise style for added retro appeal. 

Photo by Diego Bustamante

4. Swipe on a fierce shade of red lipstick. Easy! I actually really love Wet 'N Wild's lipsticks because they are extremely (!) affordable as well as impressive; the color stays on well, they're easy to apply and they look nice. Most of my lipsticks are from Wet 'N Wild. 

Photo by Nicholas Von Throwerl

5. Break out a piece of red vintage lingerie. I styled a red-hot, lace trim vintage camisole for this all-American look. A vintage navy nightgown or red bodysuit tucked into a pair of jeans would also work perfectly. 

Photo by Diego Bustamante

6. Wear red sunglasses. This is another easy style tip that will make any look feel more celebratory for the 4th of July. Rock a pair of red sunglasses with your bikini at the pool or with a pair of denim cutoff shorts and a white cropped top for a backyard barbecue. 

Photo by Nicholas Von Throwerl

7. Incorporate a pair of star-shaped sunglasses into your look. How fun! How could you turn down the opportunity to rock a pair of playful sunglasses like these?

Photo by Diego Bustamante

8. Accessorize with pops of red. Voila! 4th of July ready in a matter of minutes. 

Look #1:
Denim bellbottoms: Free People
Red top: Vintage
Yellow star-shaped sunglasses: c/o Giant Vintage
Platform heels: Jeffrey Campbell via Poshmark
Budweiser bandana: Vintage 

Look #2:
Red sunglasses: Thrifted (for just $1!)
Red purse: Vintage
Red belt: Vintage
Budweiser bandana: Vintage
Golden watch: Vintage 
Denim dress: Ashby


Photos by Nicholas Von Thrower (look #1) and Diego Bustamante (look #2.) Hover over photos for credit. 

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Chelfie: Instant Fashion Feedback

Photo by Elissa Rumford for Chelfie
Photo by Elissa Rumford for Chelfie
Photo by Elissa Rumford for Chelfie
Photo by Elissa Rumford for Chelfie
Photo by Elissa Rumford for Chelfie
Photo by Elissa Rumford for Chelfie
Photo by Elissa Rumford for Chelfie
Photo by Elissa Rumford for Chelfie

Hello! When it comes to selfies, you could say that I take my fair share- especially when it comes to outfit selfies; in fact, I actually probably take more selfies than the average person does (okay, okay, I definitely take more selfies than the average person does.) So when my roommate, Elissa, introduced me to Chelfie, a social shopping/fashion app, I immediately felt intrigued. An app that provides instant fashion feedback and gives users an easy way to make money? Count me in! I'm a-l-w-a-y-s down for another excuse to share my selfies.

Chelfie allows users to shop with friends and share mirror selfies privately with friends or publicly with everyone to get instant feedback. I downloaded the app this past weekend and think it's easy (and fun!) to use. The concept behind it is simple: snap a selfie, share it on the app and get feedback from either your friends- or all the other fashionistas on the app. 

I've already shared a few selfies but I think it's more fun to browse through everyone else's selfies. Sure, you can get instant feedback by sharing your own selfies but you can also get instant inspiration by browsing through everyone else's selfies. It's cool because you swipe through everyone else's selfies- you don't scroll. As opposed to Instagram, it's more like Tinder in the fact that you're presented with a user's #OOTD selfie and you can either swipe left if you don't like it or swipe right if you do. And if you do swipe right, it will be saved to your profile- and you can go back and check it out for inspo again later. It's pretty fun to swipe through everyone's looks- almost like playing a fashion game- and who wouldn't want to be a part of that? 

Another cool aspect of the app is that if you like a look you see, you can shop it directly from Chelfie. And if you share a #OOTD selfie that inspires another Chelfie user to make a purchase, you can even earn money from that. Earning money for sharing my outfit selfies???? Count me in!

Have you ever played around with the Chelfie app before? If not, I recommend downloading it & checking it out for yourself here

Photos by Elissa Rumford. You can browse through more of her work on her website here or her Instagram here

Dress: Forever 21 via Ashby
Feminine robe: Vintage
Pretty pink purse: Vintage
Pink heels: Jeffrey Campbell via Poshmark
Pink sunglasses: c/o Giant Vintage
Pink floral earrings: c/o The Gem Co Shop

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***Chelfie provided monetary compensation for this post but I wrote the actual post and all opinions written in this post are mine.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

7 Tips for Taking Your Best #OOTD Photos

Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography

"Let me take a selfie!" If you've ever met me, chances are that you've probably heard me shout this expression more than once. As a Leo, I crave attention and love being in front of the camera. I joke to my friends that I spend most of my free time snapping selfies but that can't possibly be true....right? I've been blogging about fashion for close to eight years now and photographing my personal style in the process for almost as long. 

I was recently working with a new photographer on a shoot when she mentioned she was impressed by how easily I flow through poses and asked me how long I've been modeling (I guess all my time spent taking selfies pays off??) I quickly responded that I'm not really a model per se but just your average fashion girl. Photographers that I haven't worked with before often react this way when working together, and I'm always flattered. It can be tricky to get good #OOTD photos but I guess after years of doing it, I've picked up some tricks along the way. Like hey ma, I can fool people into thinking that I'm a ~model~ now- how fun! 

When I first started blogging about fashion, not everyone photographed their personal style like they do today. In the Instagram world we live in, it seems as though everyone is snapping their own #OOTD photos these days- not just fashion bloggers. However, it can often feel awkward when you first step in front of the camera so I decided to round up a few of my tips for taking your best #OOTD photos, keep reading to check them out: 

1. Practice your ~poses~ in the mirror prior to shooting; practice does make perfect after all! I have many mirrors in my home and you can bet your bottom dollar that I practice my poses in all of those mirrors. Every look is different, and every look photographs differently. By practicing your poses prior to shooting, you'll see what poses make your outfit look the best. You'll also discover your angles. 

2. Create an inspiration board with pose ideas and #OOTD photo set-ups that you like. I save any photos I really like on Instagram to a collection and flip through those photos for inspiration prior to shoots. 

3. Don't be afraid to look a little bit ridiculous. Sometimes the BEST poses feel the silliest! And that's okay. Might as well try! It's important to try to tune out anyone else who may be around- they don't matter anyways so don't give them any thought. Focus on your #OOTD photo, girl! Throw a leg up to the side, rest one of your arms on top of your head, lean dramatically, get creative with your poses. Typically poses that create angles look the best; for example, if you have your hands on your hips or you're ~fake~ putting your hair up with one hand. 

4. Wear sunglasses. Y'all this is my FAVORITE tip on this list and probably also the number one reason I'm not a ~real~ model. Expressing emotion through your eyes in photographs, or "smizing" as Tyra Banks would say, is hard. It's really hard! Hell, it's hard sometimes to even get #ootd photos with your eyes open or not looking super wonky. Even if you've been snapping photos of your outfits for years. Sunglasses will hide your eyes- and make getting good photos SO much easier. You don't have to worry about what your eyes look like in the photo- just your outfit, body and pose. Sunglasses should be your #ootd photo BFF. 

5. Develop a couple "go-to" poses. Come up with a few poses that work for many different outfits and that you can easily move through whenever you're shooting your #ootd photos. It's easy to feel stumped at first but developing your signatures poses will help you feel less and less flustered. 

6. Pose WITH your accessories. Play around with your accessories to come up with new pose ideas;  slide your sunglasses just slightly down your nose, hold your purse across your body, slip your hands into your pockets, the options go on and on! 

7. Drop your bottom lip- just slightly. A photographer taught me this tip a few years ago and I still rely on it today. It makes your face look more natural, and less stressed/confused/nervous in photos. 

Most importantly, have fun with it! I'm a strong believer that fashion should be fun- and if you're not having fun snapping your #OOTD photos, what's the point? 

Photos by Rachel Dwyer. You can browse through more of her work on her website here or her Instagram here

Denim skirt: Zara via a clothing swap
Platform heels: Jeffrey Campbell via Poshmark
Burgundy top: c/o Shein
Boho purse: Earthbound Trading Company
Black cat-eye sunglasses: c/o Giant Vintage 

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Summer Chic: How to Style Vintage Lingerie as Everyday Wear

Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography

Hello! As temperatures (and humidity levels!) continue to soar here in Richmond, my free time consists of desperately trying to figure out how to beat the summer heat ~in style.~ Layering is out of the question and I can't even think about anything with a hem past my knees. So what's a fashion girl to do? Get a little creative, I guess. Staying stylish in the midst of the dog days of summer requires a little imagination plus experimentation with texture. (And yes, okay, we may not be in the dog days of summer yet but damn, doesn't it feel like it?) 

Playing around with texture is key to having your ~best dressed~ summer yet. Hot, summer days give us the opportunity to have fun with a variety of textures and fabrics that may otherwise not see the light of day outside of the bedroom. You're going to want to reach for lightweight, breathable fabrics and natural textures. Of course, cotton works wonderfully for summertime but you can also play around with silks, chambray and linens. My favorite suggestion for staying cool (with regards to both meanings of the phrase) would be rocking vintage lingerie/nightwear garments as everyday wear. Think silky robes, short slip dresses and bodysuits. You can find these pieces in plentitude at thrift shops for practically pennies. 

I recently scored the rich blue robe/nightgown set that I'm wearing above at a local "junk shop" for just $5. $5 for both pieces! I love how the pieces look styled together but I'm also excited to style them separately this summer. I may have gotten a few looks as I strutted down the street in the look but hey- that's par for the course in a day of my life. The pieces do feel very "bedroom" on their own but I styled them to make them feel more appropriate for an everyday look- and even wore the look out on a date later that night. However, styling vintage lingerie as everyday wear can sometimes prove to be a difficult task so I decided to share a few tips to keep in mind when doing so. 

1. Consider balance. Think about the vintage piece of lingerie that you're styling. What makes it sexy? Is it really low-cut or so sheer that it's on the verge of showing some nip? Or is it sexy in the fact that it's daringly short? Play up that one ~sexy~ element but play down the rest of the sex appeal of the look. For example, if you're focusing the attention on your chest with a lace camisole, style it with a relaxed pair of boyfriend jeans or modest shorts. You don't want to overdo the sex appeal or the look will just feel trashy. In the look above, I wanted to highlight my long legs so I paired a vintage robe with a short vintage nightgown; the robe provides more coverage up top while the short dress makes my legs look a million miles long. 

2. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Bedroom pieces will look like bedroom pieces if not accessorized well. And you certainly don't want to show up anywhere looking like you just rolled out of bed with your lover. Think about the vintage lingerie that you're styling as if it were just an article of clothing. What would you normally pair with your favorite blouse? Try styling those accessories with your vintage camisole instead. Adding a stylish purse, a few of your favorite pieces of jewelry and a pair of sunglasses will instantly make the look feel more everyday appropriate. My robe-nightgown combo felt very ~sleepy~ on its own but felt more polished immediately after accessorizing. And be sure to avoid excessive bling unless you're going for a distinctly ~glam trash~ look. 

3. Be picky about the shoes you select. Shoes matter a lot! Especially when styling vintage lingerie. You want to select shoes that will enhance your look rather than make it feel sloppy, or trashy. I'd suggest veering away from stiletto heels, super high chunky platform heels and anything slipper-like or super casual (like Toms.) Instead, reach for trendy sneakers or strappy sandals like I did for the look above. Again, it's all about balance. 

I'd never show up to the office in a piece of vintage lingerie but styling these pieces can be fun for looks for date night, photo shoots and thrift shopping with your gals. What do y'all think? Do you ever try to get away with wearing a lace camisole to Sunday brunch or a vintage nightgown to Friday night drinks? 

Photos by Rachel Dwyer Photography. You can browse through more of her work on her website here or her Instagram here

Blue robe/dress set: Vintage, thrifted
Feminine heels: Jeffrey Campbell via Poshmark
Neck scarf: Vintage
Boho purse: Earthbound Trading
Golden necklace: Vintage, c/o LA Retro Girl
Earrings: c/o The Gem Co Shop
Lipstick: Wet 'N Wild
Sunglasses: c/o Giant Vintage

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Poshmark: A Gold Mine for Feeding My Jeffrey Campbell Addiction

Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography

Hello! Expensive shoes dominate my wardrobe. They have the power to instantly elevate any look. And let's be real, I have a major weakness for statement booties and killer heels. I favor bold footwear choices and am always looking for deals on Jeffrey Campbell shoes in particular. I purchased my first pair of Jeffrey Campbell heels back in August of 2012: a black suede platform pair of heels that remained in my wardrobe for years- until they literally fell apart. I discovered the shoe brand in high school but my 16 year old self couldn't really afford a $150-$250 pair of shoes. Okay, 16 year old Tori couldn't really even THINK about buying a pair of $150-$250 shoes. So I snatched up that black platform pair of Jeffrey Campbells when I found them on sale for less than $60.

And that began the string of Jeffrey Campbell purchases that define my personal style today. I purchased a rich red leather pair of platform heels on sale shortly after the black pair followed by another pair on sale- beautiful nude heels. And those nude heels actually still sit in my wardrobe today.

So long story short, I was hooked after my first Jeffrey Campbell purchase but the thought of casually buying such expensive shoes is truly comical given my limited, broke twenty-something budget. However, if there's one thing that I've proved through blogging about fashion, it's that you can dress exceedingly well on a budget- you just have to get a little creative. I shopped shoe sales on Urban Outfitters and Nasty Gal for years after my first Jeffrey Campbell purchase but sometimes even those sales didn't offer me options that I could afford. I'm on a shoestring fashion budget, y'all.

In 2016, I discovered a Jeffrey Campbell gold mine: Poshmark. Poshmark, an online shopping app, allows users to buy and sell new and gently used clothing, accessories and shoes. And they have an INCREDIBLE selection of Jeffrey Campbell shoes- at great prices. Poshmark makes it easy to score a good deal on Jeffrey Campbells no matter what your style. I have a confession to make: I've actually bought 5 pairs of Jeffrey Campbells on Poshmark this year so far. The cute little orange espadrille heels that I'm wearing above were one of my latest Jeffrey Campbell Poshmark scores; I purchased them for just $25 in gorgeous vintage condition.

I styled them with a few other vintage pieces for an eye-catching, 70s boho look- a look that cost me less than $40. I purchased the gorgeous, vintage white lace dress for just $5 at a local "junk shop," I thrifted the pink butterfly sunglasses for just $1 and the retro suitcase and orange earrings were a gift to me from my parents. An outfit that cost less than my monthly wifi bill? Now, that's fashion that I support!

Photos by Rachel Dwyer Photography. You can browse through more of her work on her website here or her Instagram here.

White lace dress: Vintage, thrifted
Retro suitcase: Vintage
Oversize sunglasses: c/o Giant Vintage
Pink butterfly sunglasses: Thrifted
Orange espadrille heels: Jeffrey Campbell via Poshmark

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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Incorporating Color into Your Wardrobe

Photo by Belinda Farmer
Photo by Belinda Farmer
Photo by Belinda Farmer
Photo by Belinda Farmer
Photo by Belinda Farmer
Photo by Belinda Farmer
Photo by Belinda Farmer
Photo by Belinda Farmer

Hello! If you were to step into the bedroom in my home that I've dedicated specifically to serve as a closet, a variety of vibrant colors would jump out at you almost immediately. Years ago, countless black dresses would have greeted you if you stepped into my wardrobe. I used to favor dark, neutral hues; black was a go-to and only subtle hints of color resided in my wardrobe. For me, wearing color meant wearing a deep olive green top or pale blush pink dress. Far from the eye-catching, vibrant colors that fill my wardrobe today. 

For me, fashion revolves around one simple principle: it should be fun- and unapologetically true to yourself. I don't believe in following fashion "rules" and encourage you to write your own style rules.  Find your style confidence, embrace it and it will continue to flourish. When you put together a look that you really love, look in the mirror and tell yourself that you look damn good. After all, you always look your best when you're wearing what you really love. 

My love for color emerged shortly after I graduated from college- did my aesthetic tastes change or did perhaps a newfound confidence inspire me to embrace my true personal style and thus, also color in fashion? I've incorporated my fondness for color not just in what I wear but also in my lifestyle. Dreamy seventies hues welcome you the second that you step into my home and preside in every room. The bedroom in my home that serves as my "closet" has tangerine orange walls, a built-in bookshelf in a matching hue and a bright pink mod 60's TV table that serves to display an array of colorful sunglasses. I believe that surrounding yourself with vibrant colors- and ones that you really love at that- will inspire happiness and serve to create positive energy in your life. 

And when to comes to how to wear color? I suggest that you just go for it. Simple as that.  Confidence truly is key here. Try experimenting with different shades to find your favorites hues; for me, I prefer warm colors- think pinks, oranges, yellows and reds. And if it feels overwhelming at first, take baby steps. I'm not suggesting giving up your black dresses but encouraging you to have fun when getting dressed because that's what fashion is all about. And a brick red clutch or peachy orange cat eye sunglasses will always pop much more nicely against a little black dress than dark alternatives will. 

Photos by Belinda Farmer. You can browse more of her work here

On me:
Yellow dress: Vintage
Yellow star sunglasses: c/o Giant Vintage
"Tori" necklace: c/o Personal Necklace
Platform heels: Jeffrey Campbell

On Mika:
Blue dress: Vintage
White statement sunglasses: Rumors
White mod sunglasses: Nasty Gal
Printed scarf: Vintage
Pink purse: Vintage
Purple romper: Asos 

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