Chicly Casual

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Photos by Erin Valentine 
[shirt: Gap, long cardi: Lucy, leggings: Madewell, scarf: The Loft, boots: Gomax, watch: Francesca's, dangle earrings: Francesca's, stud earrings: Juicy Couture, necklace: Piperlime]

The casual chic look can be hard to master - it's a delicate balance between comfort and style, and therefore appeals to our touch senses (comfortable to wear) as well as our visual senses (attractive to look at). I find that when I'm trying to be as comfortable as possible, I almost always reach for my trusty black leggings or a pair of yoga pants. 

Leggings however, are best for that chic look because they can easily be tucked into boots and they deliver a clean sleek line, rather than having a flair at the bottom. Leggings are a go-to for me and I almost always pair them with some kind of boot and a longer tunic type top (let's keep it classy). 

Layering accessories (scarves, cardigans, long earrings, necklaces, a wristful of bracelets, a headband, etc.) is an effortless way to add major style to a more relaxed outfit. Accessories especially standout against a casual ensemble and highlight the fact that you're still staying stylish even though you're not even wearing real pants. 

In order to hone the art of dressing casually chic, do not skimp on the accessories, and always remember that a fabulous pair of shoes goes a long way (boots are perfectly fashionable without being uncomfortable). 

Lace Intricacy

Thursday, February 21, 2013

[dress: Forever2, belt: Forever21, wedge booties: Target, tights: Express, bow bracelet: BCBG, necklace: Ann Taylor, heart bracelet: Tiffany & Co., crystal and pearl bracelet: Ann Taylor, bow stud earrings: Juicy Couture]

Lace is a fairly recent trend that I am all for! It's pretty obvious that my girly-girl side is very dominate in my personality as well as my fashion choices, and lace just comes along with that territory. Lace is subtly romantic and ultra feminine. It transforms a simple navy dress into a gorgeously unique and delicate piece that can effortlessly be dressed up for a special occasion. 

When wearing a lace dress, there's no need to pile on the accessories - the beauty and intricacy of the lace itself is enough of a statement. My favorite part about this dress in particular is the sleeve lace - I love the look of lace contrasted with skin. And don't even get me started with how fabulous lace dresses look with cowboy boots...I'll save that rant for another post! 

Happy shopping! 

                               Forever21 $29.80

        Urban Outfitters on sale for $19.99                                                                   Target $24.99                                               

                                       Old Navy $29.97
                    JCPenny $45 

The Chambray Shirt Question

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Photos by Erin Valentine
[Chambray top: Urban Outfitters, shirt: Ann Taylor, jeans: Ann Taylor, booties: Style & Co., scarf: The Limited, earrings: Francesca's, stud earrings: Juicy Couture, necklace: Lia Sophia]

I love a good chambray top (chambray top = denim button-down), but one problem I always face when deciding to wear one is, what do I pair it with? I'm not a big fan of the whole denim on denim craze so I'm left with either layering a chambray top over a dress or with a skirt, or maybe, just maybe even with leggings...if the chambray shirt is long enough that is. 

But recently it hit me - colored denim! I know, I know, I'm late to the colorful jeans party, but now that I've arrived, I can't believe that I ever considered my wardrobe to be complete without them! Black jeans, white jeans, burgundy jeans, patterned jeans, you-name-it jeans: chambray goes with it all and compliments any look and any color scheme quite nicely! 

Chambray tops are perfect buttoned all the way up or worn open with a tee underneath, like I did here. In warmer weather I love a chambray top layered over a sundress instead of a cardigan for a more casual and effortless feel. Chambray tops really offer a lot more room for possibilities than you may have thought! Chambray for the win!