Get Me Bodied

Yes, I know. Another week, another old school song reference. But can you blame me this time? Who doesn’t love Get Me Bodied from Beyoncé’s B’Day album (pause…serious question here…what do we call collections of songs nowadays? Albums were before my time and no one buys CDs anymore. So, what should I say? B’Day stream? I’m seriously lost).

Okay, back to fashion. Can you guess what trend I’m highlighting this week? Yes! No? Okay, it’s bodysuits! They can be your best friend and worst enemy all at the same time. They’re great at sitting flush against your bust and midsection, eliminating the need to constantly tuck-in the extra fabric from your shirt. But, they can be your worst nightmare when you’ve waited a bit too long to go to the bathroom. Not that I’ve had any accidents…in recent history. There was that one time in middle school (don’t judge me), but I’ve learned my lesson since then. And yes, I had a drawer full of bodysuits in middle school. Back then I’d pair them with my Bongo jeans and Timberland boots.

Bongo jeans never made a comeback (I think), but bodysuits sure have! I’ve even rolled a few back into my rotation after a long hiatus. If you’re curious about introducing this convenient/inconvenient item into your wardrobe, check out my suggested pairings below.

1. Full skirts

A full skirt is the perfect complement to a bodysuit. Why you ask? Any item that has a lot of volume, á la a full skirt, requires a top that is more fitted. It’s all about creating balance in your look. Here’s a rule of thumb…if your top has a lot of volume, then your skirt should fit closer to your legs and vice versa.

full-skirts

Full skirts

2. Wide-leg pants

This is the same concept as the full skirt. It’s all about proportions. Body suits provide great balance to the fullness of wide-leg pants. Consider pairing the bodysuit with a blazer or long cardigan sweater, chunky heels and wide-leg pants for a day in the office. I promise you won’t have to worry about keeping your shirt tucked in all day long. 

Wide-leg pants

3. Paper bag waist skirts or pants

First off, what’s a paper bag waist skirt you ask? Don’t worry. It’s not made out of a paper bag! The name actually describes what the top of the pants or skirt looks like. See below. I love the paper bag look because it gives the average pant or skirt a little more personality. Not to mention this style is an easy way to achieve a cinched waist look and can expertly hide a bloated tummy.

Paper bag waist skirts and pants

Now don’t get me wrong. There are tons of other ways you can style a bodysuit. These just happen to be my favorite. You can just as easily pair them with skinny cropped jeans, a duster and open toe booties.

What say you? Are you on-board the bodysuit train? I’d love to hear how you’re currently pairing your bodysuit or how you plan to style it once you complete your massive bodysuit order from Asos.

xoxo,
shannon b.

P.S. – I’m really serious about what I should call music now. If you have any suggestions so I can stop sounding like a grandma, I’m all ears. Help me!

Who Spot Ya?

What’s with the title? It’s my lame attempt at relating a popular fashion trend with a classic hit from the late, great Notorious BIG. Get it!?! Check out this link. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, disregard my attempt at being somewhat clever.

Now, on to why you’re actually here. It’s obviously not for my trip down hip-hop memory lane! Let’s talk about a look that you’ve probably seen ten times over by now…leopard print! I’m sure you’re probably thinking that leopard print is always around, which in essence is true. But we’re seeing it pop up in more than just a sexy dress or skirt. The print is taking over every part of our wardrobe, from cropped pants, to belts and even booties.

With so many options, where do we even begin? Leopard print is a very busy pattern. It doesn’t take much for it to become too overwhelming. The key is to take a completely neutral look and substitute one item with something that is leopard print. See a few examples below.

The Reformation – Marlon Pant

A pair of black slacks or jeans can be very predictable. That’s why I’m really loving this cropped pant paired with a basic black short sleeve tee. It just makes this look a bit more bold don’t you think? Who doesn’t want more fun? Since it’s still winter (booooo!), try pairing these pants with a black or brown blazer. You could also pull in a fitted cashmere sweater in a fun color like candy apple green or pink.

Aren’t these loafers fun? Can’t you imagine throwing them on with some cropped jeans, a basic white tea, hoop earrings and a beige boyfriend cardigan before you head out to run a few errands on a Saturday? These loafers exude just the right amount of panache and upgrade the typical “running errands” fit (short for outfit) to look effortlessly cool.

J. Crew – Demylee™ X leopard-print scarf

Since the cold weather is still upon us (if you’re an east coaster), then you know a scarf will remain an essential part of our wardrobe at least for the next couple of months. Since that’s the case, why not have a little fun with it? I know heather grey is a safe, neutral choice, but let’s take a little risk! Try pairing this scarf with a green coat or on top of a denim collar shirt.

I don’t know about you, but I think this post was ‘spot on’, if I have to say so myself. Okay, okay. I’m done trying to witty. Let me know what you think about leopard print, if you already have it in your closet, or will be doing some online shopping immediately after reading this post!

xoxo,
shannon b.

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. 

In Case You’re Feeling Generous…

And have a few extra dollars to spend on gifts for the holiday season, I’m sharing my wish list below. We’re less than a week away from Christmas and I don’t want you to stress about what to get me, so I’m laying it all out for you. You’re welcome!

  1. Arimas Jewelry I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this handmade jewelry line, but I’ve been obsessed for months. Every piece from the Sparkling Chocolate Africa Ring II to the Africa in Bloom Earrings are absolute perfection and I can’t wait to start building up my collection. I’m super inspired by the African themes that are reflected in a lot of the pieces and hope to wear them on my trip to the Motherland next year. I’m typically drawn toward big, bold statement pieces, but I really love the subtleness of this particular line. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think! P.S. The Sparkling Chocolate Africa Ring is on back order, but don’t get discouraged (I’m talking to myself). There are still tons of other fabulous pieces that are in stock and waiting for you to purchase for me!
  2. Carmine Heel Slingback by Coach – I’ve had a pair of slingbacks on my “nice to have” list for a while now. I’ve just been holding out to find the right pair and I’m confident these are it! This slingback screams class and quality, which are two adjectives that come to mind when I think of Coach. Though it might be too cold to break these out just yet, spring is around the corner and I can’t wait to pair them with an off-the-shoulder top and skinny jeans. Also, good news to report… these slingbacks have been reduced significantly in price since I first spotted them, so I’m optimistic that they’ll magically appear under my tree. Don’t all jump at once now!
  3. Mae B. Stationery – Maybe it’s the old lady in me, but I have always collected different kinds of stationery. I am almost ashamed to admit how much money I’ve spent in Papyrus, Paper Source and Hallmark over the last several years. So, as you can imagine, when I found Mae B.’s online store I completely fell in love! From the personalized note cards to the thank you cards and the 2017 weekly calendar, I could totally add every item from the online store in my shopping cart. Since I go completely crazy for stationery, I couldn’t exactly wait for Christmas to unwrap these paper beauties, so my mom snagged a notebook and personalized note cards for my birthday. See below. I absolutely love them, but of course I want more!

So there you have it. A few items that are on my Christmas wish list. I really think this list is obtainable for you, but you have to order now so that I’ll get them in time for Christmas. Got it? Okay! Happy shopping!

XOXO,
shannon b.

My Favorite New Accessory

You might think from the title of this post that I’m going to rave about a new scarf I snagged during Black Friday (p.s. I almost never shop on Black Friday) or a beautiful lady handbag I was gifted on my birthday last week. Those are good guesses, but my favorite new accessory is (drum roll please)…my box braids!


I know you’re probably thinking, how can a hairstyle be an accessory? Well, I’ve learned that the right hairstyle can be the perfect complement to any outfit. Think about how a sophisticated updo can elevate the elegance level of a strapless gown or how a high ponytail can increase the sleek factor of a cropped jacket, skinny jeans and pumps. I’ve been experimenting with my new accessory for a little over a month now and before getting them, never really knew how much fun I would have coming up with styles to match my outfits.

From a top bun to a half up and half down style, my box braids definitely get me excited about getting up and getting dressed in the morning. Before getting the braids, I was feeling a little uninspired by the clothing and accessory options in my closet. As crazy as it might sound, my new hairstyle has inspired me to fall in love with my closet all over again.

Now, for a little backstory…I was EXTREMELY hesitant about getting box braids. Working in a corporate environment that lacks diversity really had me second guessing if getting this type of hairstyle would be a good move. I’m not the type of person that likes a lot of attention and I KNEW getting braids would cause comments, questions and stares (all things I wanted to avoid) from my colleagues. After weeks of contemplation, I FINALLY bit the bullet and decided to get my hair braided and I have not regretted it for a minute!

Since getting the braids, I’ve learned two things…

  1. The answer to an uninspired closet isn’t always a trip to the mall
  2. The (potential) reactions from others shouldn’t hold you back from trying a new style

So, if you’re stuck in a style rut or are on the fence about trying something new, don’t be afraid to jump over the fence and look for inspiration in unconventional forms.

Now, I’d love to learn about the new accessories you’re excited about. Leave a comment below and let me know!

Have a great week!

xoxo,
shannon b.

How to Dress for Wishy-Washy Weather

As I was driving home last week wearing a two-piece wool ensemble in 40 degree weather, I had a quick meeting with God. It went something like this:

“Aren’t we in April? Where’s the warm weather? Why am I wearing wool in spring?”

I’m still waiting on a response from him, but I understand he’s rather busy. I’ll just be patient. In the mean time I started to question myself about how to dress for this crazy weather. And I figured, if I had questions then I’m sure you do too. So I put together a few wardrobe pieces that I think will help us weather this inconsistent season.

Medium-weight scarf

I’m sure I made up the term medium-weight scarf, but I’m trying to emphasize the importance of the material. I wouldn’t recommend a wool scarf nor would I recommend a feather-light weight scarf either. You need something right in the middle. A scarf is a great accessory, but during those confusingly cold spring days, they can provide great warmth. I recommend getting a sweater long enough to wrap around your arms. Since I’m done with stockings for the rest of the year, I even used a scarf to wrap around my legs last week while I was in the office because I’m 100 percent sure the air conditioner was on!

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ASOS Oversized Scarf In Herringbone With Tassels

 

Open-toe booties

Soooo, for many years I was really against open-toe booties. I just didn’t get the concept. Boots were made to keep your feet warm. Cutting a whole at the top, seemed oxymornish to me…until I found a pair that I really fell in love with. Now, I have more than a few open-toe booties in my closet. Now that I’m reformed, I highly recommend open-toe booties for those wishy-washy weather days because they’re perfect in the morning when it’s still rather cold outside and you need something to keep your feet warm. By the time you head out for lunch and it’s warmed up a bit, your little toesies will be grateful to feel the warmth of the sun.

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Vince Addie Sandal

Long sleeveless jacket 

I’ve admired long sleeveless jackets for the past few seasons. They provide just enough coverage on your torso to keep you warm, but don’t extend down to your wrists like a typical jacket or coat. Sleeveless jackets are versatile and allow you to mix textures and colors. For example, the sleeveless jacket might be suede and the long sleeve shirt you wear under it might be satin material. Sleeveless jackets look great with a spring dress, midi skirt, flare jeans, a silky blouse, etc.  The key word here is versatility.

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Glamorous Stone Long Sleeveless Jacket 

Fingers crossed that the weather will stabilize soon, but in the mean time, I think these three pieces will help you get through the inconsistency. What staple item are you relying on during this wishy-washy season?

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.

If I Had To Do It Again

As my fifth-year wedding anniversary approaches, I’m reminded that wedding season is upon us and am crossing my fingers that I will receive at least one invitation because I absolutely love going to weddings! I have to admit that I was never one of those girls that dreamed about their wedding day nor did I have a hidden stash of wedding magazines and planners that I secretly obsessed over. I was perfectly happy heading to the courthouse to exchange vows and spending the rest of the money on an over-the-top honeymoon. If I had to do it again, I would pick a courthouse or destination wedding, but one thing that I wouldn’t change was getting a wedding dress.

I absolutely loved my wedding dress!! Truth be told, my mom actually picked it out and I knew it was the one as soon as I tried it on. It was a long, full princess dress with rouching from the bust down the torso and the train was full of silk flower embellishments. It was perfect!!  And my mom (thank you) paid a pretty penny for it. You would think that with all of the love and adoration that I have for the dress, it would be in pristine condition, stored in a glass box, sitting on a pedestal, in our foyer for all to see.

Wellllllll (in my Larry David voice)…that’s not quite the case. Believe it or not, my wedding dress is hanging in a closet in my parents house. I asked them to store it when we first got married because we didn’t have a lot of space in our small one-bedroom condo. Since then, we’ve moved into a bigger place and have more than enough space to store any and everything. So you would think that going to reclaim my wedding dress would have been top priority, right? Not exactly, it’s still at my parents house and in the same condition that I left it on my wedding day five years ago. I never even got it dry-cleaned!!! Isn’t that awful? Did I mention that it rained on my wedding day and my ceremony took place outdoors, which means there was some mud on the train of my dress!?!? And five-years later I didn’t have the decency to even get it dry-cleaned? Yep, that’s pretty much my truth. The dress that I absolutely adored and still do, has sat alone, dirty and probably shivering cold in my mom’s storage closet.

So why share this pitiful, heartbreaking (exaggeration) story with you? To save anyone out there that is planning to get married this season or any season in the future and is willing to spend their life-savings on a dress. DON’T DO IT!!! Especially, when there are so many beautiful and affordable dresses out there to choose from. I found a few that I absolutely love.

All of these dresses are absolutely beautiful and won’t break the bank. You might have to factor in costs for alterations, but depending on the extent of the tailoring, the price should be minimal.

So, the big question is, if I had to do it again, would I pick the dress I wore or one of the lovely gowns above?  I have to say that I would still pick the dress I wore, as long as mom paid for it again (wink, wink). Even though my actions show otherwise, I’m still very much in love with my dress and I couldn’t imagine my special day without it. I guess the moral of this story is, I’m a walking contradiction! I do think it’s wise to get a dress that is financially practical, but I also think you should go with what you love and what makes you feel special. My dress made me feel special from the first time I put it on, through many visits with the seamstress to the last time I wore it walking down the aisle. Look at how happy I was! I mean obviously I was thrilled to marry the best guy ever, but the dress definitely made me smile too!

XOXO,
shannon b.

Where Do I Start?

I recently provided “gentle” counseling to a friend who spent half of the money her husband gave her to shop for herself, on her daughter. If she’s reading this post, I’m sure she’ll laugh at my “gentle” description of our group text conversation.

Although I’m not a mom, one thing I know about the hardest working women on earth is that they never hesitate to put their children first. Especially when it comes to making sure that their little humans have the best of everything. While I appreciate the sacrificial love of a mother, because I am definitely a beneficiary, I think moms, and women in general, should put themselves first more often.

Back to my friend and the “nurturing” advice I provided…I asked her why she didn’t spend ALL of the money her husband gifted her on herself. Her answer was simple…”I didn’t know where to start.” I actually hear that a lot. Shopping can definitely be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what you need or what you should buy first. Here’s my answer…there’s no wrong place to start! Shopping is a journey, not a destination. It’s something that you will do on and off for the rest of your life. So, you have plenty of chances to start in different places.

If you rolled your eyes when I said there is no wrong place to start and are mumbling under your breath that I’m still not helping you, then hold on my friend. I’ve listed a few starting points for you below (in no particular order). You’re welcome…wink, wink!

  1. Bra department – I cannot stress how much a new bra can improve your look. I’m so passionate about it that I posted a blog about bras a few weeks ago. Check it out here.
  2. Jewelry department – When’s the last time you bought yourself a nice new pair of earrings or a new bracelet? They’re the perfect complement to everything in your closet. Jewelry is a girls best friend, so they say.
  3. Denim department – Out of  routine and convenience, a lot of us wear denim on the weekends. Why not invest in a new pair of black jeans or a chambray top? The number of times worn versus the money spent ratio will make the purchase worth it.
  4. Top department – Basic tees serve as the foundation for many looks. Why not throw away those dingy, discolored ones and stock your shelves with a few new tees in different colors? Check out the variety of options here.
  5. Dress department – Believe it or not, wedding season is upon us. Why not get ahead of the game and pick out a new dress in advance. P.S. Unless instructed by the bride, try picking a dress that’s not black and for obvious reasons, stay away from white!
  6. Shoe department – Spring wear is already taking over floor space in a lot of retailers, which means winter boots are being marked down significantly. Try to snag a deal before they’re all gone.
  7. Sunglasses department – Last but not least (and how fitting because it’s my lucky number) sunnies (my absolute faves) are a great investment too. Instead of taking the safe route and buying a black or tortoise shell pair, try a bright color like persimmon.

Whew! Okay, that was a lot. But hopefully now you have some ideas of where to start the next time you have a few hours to kill and some extra dollars to spend. As a reminder, these suggestions are in no particular order. Take your pointer finger, close your eyes and just point to one. That’s your starting point!

You’ve been challenged. Now go!

xoxo,
shannon b.

P.S. I’d love to see what you buy, so please share. In the words of my Parks and Recreation faves, Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle…TREAT YO SELF!!

treat-yo-self