Make Room in Your Closet for These 3 Spring Trends

The time change yesterday is one of the last indicators that Spring is officially on the way! Goodbye winter coats, chunky sweaters and over-the-knee boots or OTBs. Hello Spring dresses, open-toe everything and pastel colors.

There are so many Spring trends popping up all over the place and it might be hard to figure out what trend will work best for you. Not to worry! I’ve scoured all of the latest blogs, magazines and clothing stores for you (you’re welcome) and have come up with a short list of three items that you should add to your wardrobe for Spring. Are you ready? Let’s go!

1. Polka dots
I know what you’re going to say. “Polka dots! Really?” Yes! Polka dots are big this season, but don’t feel like you have to go crazy and buy a whole polka dot ensemble. It’s definitely a statement making pattern, so you don’t want to go overboard. Too much can be overwhelming and a bit childish looking. Pick one polka dot piece…a blouse, pencil skirt or cigarette pants and pair it with a solid color. Maybe try polka dot accessories like a clutch bag or an umbrella (ella, ella, ella, eh) for those rainy Spring afternoons. Polka dots always seem to find their way back into the “on-trend” rotation, but this time they have returned with a twist. Instead of the traditional white dots against a black or navy blue background, we’re seeing white dots and multicolored dots against non-traditional colors like forest green and copper. Give this trend a try and after it runs its course, store them somewhere in your closet. I’m sure it will come back around as a “must-have” trend in the next few years.

2. Straw bag
Nothing says Spring/Summer more than a straw bag and this new trend comes in so many fun shapes and sizes. Up until this season, most of the straw bags I’ve seen were typically a large tote size. Now, I’m seeing them in clutch, bucket and medium size. And if you think, straw bags are only for the beach, then I beg you to think outside of the box. Straw bags are making their way into the corporate office, on brunch dates with your girlfriends and to happy hour with co-workers. Though I’m a big fan of a neutral color straw bag because they basically go with any and everything, bold colored straw bags can be the pop of color you need to break up a monochromatic ensemble.

3. Flare sleeves
I’m happy to report that flare sleeves (or bell sleeves) are still on-trend. I actually wrote about them in my last Spring trends blog and I guess they have now become sort of a classic. I don’t know if it’s the way they flow when you move your arms back and forth, but wearing flare sleeves always makes me feel really feminine and graceful. Nowadays there are so many flare sleeve options…from blouses to jumpsuits and dresses, and the flares come in various sizes from extremely voluminous to slightly narrow. Flare sleeves are the quintessential Spring piece because they normally come in light, breathable fabrics that provide enough coverage for those cool days, but not too much to where it seems like you’re dressed for a snow storm. Flare sleeves are a perfect Winter to Spring transition piece. Try pairing a flare sleeve dress with OTBs and a sleeveless duster.

Now that I’ve taken all of the hard work out of figuring out what you should wear this Spring, which piece or pieces are you going to add to your closet? Let me know below. Or if there is a trend that I didn’t mention, but you plan to wear, let me know below too.

xoxo,
shannon b.

If I Lived in Wakanda…

Two weeks ago…
Obviously, you can tell from the title of this post that I’m still basking in the greatness that was Black Panther. I, like millions of other people, had anxiously awaited the movie’s debut since 2017 and needless to say, I was not disappointed. I was so confident in how amazing this movie was going to be that I actually started writing this post before the movie even came out!

Present day…
So now that I’ve actually seen the movie and all of the beautiful costumes, I started to imagine how I would dress if I was a citizen of the technologically advanced Wakanda. Since my trip to Nairobi and Cape Town (read my last blog for details), I have been inspired by African designs and prints and have acquired more than a few pieces that I absolutely love! Check out a couple of my favorite designers below.

Chinero Nnamani
Vibrant! What more can I say about this brand? I was first introduced to this designer last summer as I spent my lunch break burning calories (sike!) walking through Tysons Corner Mall in McLean, Va. The clothes were beautifully displayed in a pop-up shop near one of the mall entrances. I normally don’t stop by pop-up shops in the mall, but I was lured by the bright colors. After giving a few of the pieces a thorough hand inspection (get your mind out of the gutter!), I was pleasantly surprised by the thickness and quality of the fabric. Each piece is durable and well made, and the best part is that I’m not nervous that they will completely fall apart when I throw them in the washing machine. Anyone who has ever purchased ANYTHING from Forever 21 (no shade) or H&M (serious shade INTENDED), you know what I’m talking about! I could definitely see myself wearing one of these gorgeous outfits wandering the streets of Wakanda. If you’re interested in any of these pieces, check out the Chinero Nnamani website soon. In honor of Black History Month and the release of the Black Panther movie, Chinero Nnamani is offering 50 percent off of merchandise through February 28 (woot, woot!)

Melange Mode
So, I’ve been eyeing the beautiful designs on the Melange Mode website for a few years now and I finally pulled the trigger and purchased the following jumpsuit. Two words…bomb.com! It fits so well and did I mention that it has…POCKETS?!?! Ughhh, I am literally on pins and needles waiting for the first 75 degree weather day to break out this hot number. Paired with some bold hoop earrings, a neutral clutch bag, and some sky high heels, I’ll definitely be Wakanda-ready in this look. The quality of this jumpsuit is also impeccable and will hold its own against the rigors of the washing machine. Even though I can’t wait to wear this look, I was a bit hesitant to include it on my blog, because I haven’t been able to find it online anywhere. I would suggest that you regularly check the beehive Atlanta website for updates. The designer, Yvonne Ghyselink Pearson also has other great pieces like maxi and midi skirts that would serve as great investment pieces for anyone looking to include original African print designs in their wardrobe. To add to her street cred, Mrs. Pearson’s designs have appeared on the likes of celebrities like Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams and Rev. Run’s daughter Angela Simmons.

Quick soapbox moment…
Black Panther and the beautiful setting of Wakanda gave me all of the warm fuzzies I felt when I visited Africa last year. And even though Wakanda is a fictitious country, it reminded me of the greatness that lies in the lush greenery, natural richness and thriving metropolis-feel so many countries in Africa already possess. Yes, television shows and movies will have you thinking that Mother Africa is all dirt roads, wild animals running amuck, and shanty towns with no running water or electricity. That could not be further from the truth. What I experienced was sophistication, elegance, and vivaciousness…which perfectly describes Wakanda, the beautiful African countries I’ve visited and the beautiful pieces from Chinero Nnamani and Melange Mode.

Off my soapbox…
For more warm fuzzies and a few “uh-huhs”, check out the #InWakanda hashtag on Twitter. You’ll thank me later!

xoxo,
shannon b. 

Where I Like to Shop

Have you ever been out and about and you see someone wearing something really cute? You build up enough courage to walk up to them and pay them a compliment and also to ask where they purchased such beautiful clothes or accessories and they say:

“Oh, thank you! This old thing? I’ve had it for so long, I can’t even begin to remember when and where I got it. Sorry.”

Now, there might be some people out there who genuinely forget where they bought certain things. I’m not one of those people! And I hate to say it, but sometimes I’m skeptical of their, quote-on-quote, “memory loss”. To emphasize my skepticism, I had to both spell out quote-on-quote and also include quotation marks (I’m petty).

My point is, I think most people do remember where they purchased their really amazing knock-out pieces…but (the clincher), they don’t want to let you in on the deal so they fake, quote-on-quote, “memory loss”. Get it? I know I should have more trust in humanity, but typically most people have about a handful of stores that they frequent on a regular basis. All I’m saying is, it’s easy to do a quick process of elimination and narrow down where you bought something.

I definitely don’t have a problem sharing where I purchased specific items in my wardrobe and will even let someone know if I purchased it a while ago (like years) to save them from wasting their time trying to find it. Along with asking where I purchase specific wardrobe pieces, people also ask me where I shop, which is the purpose of this blog. My list of shopping “go-to’s” is below!

1. Anthropologie

Anthropologie’s brick and mortar store is literally one of my happy places. I could actually move in and live there! They have a comfy bed (don’t ask how I know), plates and forks. What else does a girl need? Okay, I digress. The scent, the furniture, the diverse collection of books are all absolutely wonderful and I haven’t even gotten to the clothes yet. Clothing from Anthropologie helps me release my inner free-spirit. Even though I wouldn’t characterize my style as bohemian, I can always find something in Anthropologie that catches my eye…from a quirky blazer to a funky skirt or trendy sunnies. I never go wrong with Anthro!

2. Asos

I’m a big fan of Asos because their prices are reasonable and they have a big inventory of petite sizes. I also like that they update their looks fairly often. I definitely peruse through Asos to find trendier pieces. I’ve scored some nice dresses for work and accessories that I almost always receive compliments on. Asos sells styles for women of all of shapes and sizes. I will warn that it does take a while for their shipment to be delivered, so brace yourself. They help me practice patience.

3. J.Crew (aka the Mecca)

Of course, this wouldn’t be my list if J.Crew was not included. It would have been number one, but I put all of the stores in alphabetical order to refrain from showing favoritism; however, if you’ve even read at least two of my blog posts, you know how absolutely obsessed I am with everything about J.Crew. Their fabrics, colors, cuts, prints, styles, shoes, accessories, cardigans, dresses, shorts, jean jackets, pants, etc. I could go on and on. They are my everything store, meaning I can shop there for all occasions…work, travel, date night, casual day, etc. I love J.Crew!

4. Lulu’s

I can’t quite remember when I stumbled upon Lulu’s website, but I have been hooked since the first visit. Lulu’s is my favorite site to buy really cute dresses, especially for weddings. I think the dresses I’m drawn to the most in my closet (besides J.Crew) are from Lulu’s. They’re fun, flirty and feminine. They also have really cute rompers, jumpers and accessories. When my mother renewed her vows last year on a beach in Bermuda, I selected a dress from Lulu’s as my matron of honor attire. I think that says a lot about how I feel about their dresses!

5. Madewell 

I think the name says it all and their close affiliation with J.Crew doesn’t hurt. I love Madewell clothing for their simplicity in design. Simple patterns, clean lines, basic colors. I also really love their stretch jeans and totes. Madewell is perfect for the person that thinks J.Crew is too preppy, but H&M is too trendy. I think Madewell falls right in the middle. I think what made me love the brand even more was when they selected Solange Knowles as their spokesmodel a few years ago. She gave the clothes extra life!

6. TJMaxx

I am ABSOLUTELY a Maxxinista and have no shame! TJMaxx is one of those stores that I walk into without a real goal, but almost 75 percent of the time I come out with a great pair of shoes, killer dress or fabulous blazer. You definitely have to be in the mood and mindset to rummage through massive amounts of clothes and leave no stone unturned to find the perfect piece, but the takeaway is totally worth it. I usually don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of clothes because I have a strategy. I hit the shoes first, make my way to dresses, over to tops/blazers, I might make a slight detour to home accents and then I’m out. Don’t overlook TJMaxx! They usually always have a few precious gems.

Now, that I’ve taken the time to review my favorite stores and the specific things I love about each of them, I’m questioning rather I’m more trendy than I care to admit. Nah! Since this is a 50-50 relationship, I’d love to read about where you like to shop. If you had a limitless clothing allowance, where would you spend all of your duckets (do people still say that)? Respond in my comments box!

xoxo,
shannon b.