Sensible Stylista: ootd
Showing posts with label ootd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ootd. Show all posts

Find of the Day: The Velvet Mini ($25)

I am super DUPER excited to tell you guys about my latest purchase! This fabulous minidress from ASOS is everything and more.  It fits me like a glove and flatters my body in the best way possible. Although it's only $25, the velvet doesn't look cheap at all - it could easily pass as "designer" IMO.  I actually bought it in purple first but returned it the second I found it in blush - I liked the color better AND it was cheaper...only by a few dollars, but still! Ha.
If you're looking for a sexy dress that slays, I highly recommend purchasing this!  It's comfortable yet figure flattering which is (obviously) ideal.  It cinches the small of your waist, exaggerating your curves and elongating your stems, while the draped bottom gives you extra breathing room.  This piece is perfect for a fancy date, a night out with friends or even holiday parties.
I accessorized this number with a dainty gold choker and carried a mini-evening bag to match!  Both pieces are from Charming Charlie, andddddd speaking of CC, I actually blogged about them on here a while back - the article was called, "Where to Buy Kate Spade Lookalike Bags for Less," in case you missed it.
Now, I know today's find is all about my new dress, but I gotta mention my shoes as well because I purchased them along with my mini.  If you're a fan of metallics like me, you're def. gonna want to purchase a pair since they're still available online for $15 (!!!!) They were originally $61 so scoop 'em up while you still can.  
 Dress:  ASOS ($25) || Bag:  Charming Charlie || Shoes:  ASOS ($15) || Necklace:  Charming Charlie
Photos shot by the incredible Sung Shin.
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How-to Pull Off Plunging Necklines with Class

This is the 2nd wedding I've gone to this month - 'tis the season for 'em I skapose!  I forgot to take OOTD shots for the first one, BUT I took this with my fab photographer Sung Shin a while back because I had already decided this would be my look at some point, ha.  I discovered this gem online while browsing ASOS and couldn't resist - not my most sensible purchase but embellished mesh and 3D detailing?  ...you can't expect me to pass that up! Anywho, I won't bore you any longer with my elaborate shopping excuses.  Let's move on to the heart of today's topic: plunging necklines and how to pull them off.  
First off, you need to wear the right undergarments.  A u-plunge bra works beautifully most of the time (love this one from Bare Necessities), but this baby has a plunge back as well so I had to wear nipple covers.  I don't really have a large chest so I didn't have to tape anything in place, but if you need the extra support, definitely make sure to do so!  On the other hand, if you have a small chest and want to create extra cleavage, tape can come in handy.  The Ultimate Bra Guide's post to Taping Breasts is super informative so clicky if you want to read more!
Now, I'm definitely not afraid to show skin, but plunging necklines still kind of intimidate me because I find them somewhat scandalous.  I know that's my inner goodie two shoes speaking, but whatever, it is what it is! Luckily, I know how to wear 'em and still look "classy."  Sidebar: For the record, I am NOT judging other women for the way they dress - this is just personal preference.  You should wear whatever you want, whenever you want!  As long as you feel comfortable and confident, you will look like a total rockstar.

Anywho, it's all about balance in my opinion.  Take this dress for example, it has a plunging neckline but the a-line skirt hits me below the knees = beautiful yet modest-ish.  If it was tight and short, it would've been a bit too much, at least for me!  Personally, I only like to "show off" one body part at a time, ha.  That sounds reallllly strange, but I promise it works.  It also depends on the occasion, too! I was dressing for a wedding so I didn't want to bare too much, but if I was hitting up NYC, I'd feel more comfortable wearing something a bit more risque.  How do you guys feel about plunge necklines - are they a do or a don't?
Other fabulous deep-v pieces for your browsing pleasure...
Dress:  Asos || Shoes:  Qupid
Photos shot by the fabulous Sung Shin.
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Where to Buy Kate Spade Lookalike Bags for Less

Alright everyone, how many of you like Kate Spade bags? Now, how many of you guys can afford to drop $$$ on her designs on the regular? While I'm sure many of you can - and all the power to you if so - there's a store out there that sells stuff with a similar vibe for a fraction of the price, and that magical store is called *drum roll, please* Charming Charlie.

They're pretty big so I'm guessing a lot of you already know about them, but I wanted to blog about CC because I discovered them not too long ago.  I shopped their store for the first time a few months back at the National Harbor, and I was totally blown away by their selection.  It was like accessory heaven!  
The quality of their clothing's comparable to Forever 21 or H&M, they have a lot of trendy items in stock so you should definitely get your browse on if that's your thing.  I personally prefer their jewelry & bags, but not everything's super high quality so definitely take your time when shopping! 

The last time I was there, I purchased two evening bags: a fabulous faux-velvet handbag (aka the piece I'm carrying below) and an adorable starfish clutch.  Both pieces were under $20, and they looked exactly like something Kate Spade would sell:  whimsical, flirty, and fun!  
The designs I bought are no longer available on their website, but I've linked other adorable options for you guys! I haven't seen anything over $50, and most of their stuff's under $20 so it's definitely affordable.  


Dress: Asos (currently on sale for $47) || Bag:  Charming Charlie (similar-ish) || Shoes:  Jessica Simpson (similar)
Photos shot by the amazing Sung Shin.
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Magical Denim that Won't Break the Bank

Sensible Stylista's all about shopping smart, and that means knowing when to save versus when to splurge.  A lot of people mistakenly assume that there's a direct correlation between price tag and quality, but I'm here to tell you guys that that's not always the case.  When it comes to denim, I opt for the more affordable options because they fit and feel better than the designer styles I own (...and trust me, I own quite a few).
My fave store for jeans is Aeropostale.  I know they have a not-so-great rep, but I swear by their denim.  I've purchased at least 6 pairs of pants from them, and they all fit beautifully.  My mom was actually the who got me hooked! They were having a huge blowout sale so she went in and got her browse on.  Their jeans were $15 at the time so she ended up purchasing a bunch: 3 pairs for herself and 2 pairs for me.  I was hella skeptical when she presented her haul, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt because she has fantastic taste in clothes.  Lo and behold, 5 years later they're still wardrobe staples.  No joke.  Definitely give them an unbiased shot!  You'll pay less than $20 for killer jeans that'll last you year after year.  You're welcome in advance.
Stitch Fix is yet another favorite, but since I'm super picky with pants, I didn't even bother ordering them in my fixes.  I just assumed they'd be fails, BUT when I visited SF for their 3-day influencer event, I tried on their jeans, and it's been a done deal ever since.  I now ask for denim every time I place an order!  Their pieces tend to be a bit more expensive than Aero, but that's what your style survey's for - just remember to set a budget for your stylist so he or she knows what you're comfortable with financially.
If you're still set on purchasing designer denim - which is totally fine BTW - be smart and don't pay full-price! Stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Last Call carry lines like Joe's, 7 for all Mankind, and the like for less.  Also, since denim's timeless, take advantage of blowout sales (ie. after-Christmas, back-to-school) and stock up. Anywho, that's it for today guys! I hope you found this helpful, and let me know what you think of their denim if you give either of 'em a try.

Photography by Sung Shin & Jared Wolfe.
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The BAMF Suitcase You Needed Yesterday

Holy freaking crap, guys.  I can't WAIT to tell you all about my new suitcase!  I'm not gonna lie, when I first saw the price tag, I kind of flipped the eff out, but now that I've experienced the magic that is Raden, I'd happily dole out more $$$ for another.  After lugging around heavy cases for years, this baby was a godsend.  Like, I don't even know how this is real.  It's ridiculously light yet hella strong, and I love that it glides effortlessly.  My model's an A28 check, but the A22 carry is also available for purchase.  
...the A28 check is (obviously) luggage you check, and the A22 carry is an carry on.  I know that's basic, but hey, gotta cover all my bases just in case.  Anywho, my beautiful case is bronze, and it only weighs 13lbs (!!!!)  The silver, gold and bronze cases are more expensive at $445, but the others (there are 7 additional colors available) are $395.  You can get them in either gloss or matte!
The A22 only weighs 8.4lbs and is available in 12 colors total!  Like the A28, the gold, silver and bronze hues cost more ($345), while the other shades are priced at $295.  I know it's a hefty sum, but think about it this way, you'll be using this for years - and I mean YEARS - to come.  Plus, it's built with kickass tech that'll do you good + give you so much peace of mind.   
Once you get your case, you sync it up with Raden's phone app where you can locate your case with bluetooth technology.  You literally NEVER have to worry about it getting lost because you'll be able to track it wherever you go.  You'll also be able to weigh it with its ergonomic handles, which is all kinds of awesome.  You guys have no idea how many times I've had to unpack my sh*t and stuff clothing into my carry on in front of Southwest's ticketing booth in order to avoid getting charged a ridonkulous amount of cash for my heavy @$$ bag.  On top of that, this baby CHARGES YOUR PHONE (!!!!) Soooo, lesson of the day:  go out and purchase a Raden suitcase because this will seriously improve the quality of your life.

...you're welcome in advance.
Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you about my OOTD!  My top's from Marled Clothing, my white skinnies are from Stitch Fix, and my adorable headphones are from Ankit.  I'm always cold on planes so I make sure to bundle up, even during the summertime.  Anywho, that's it for today! I hope you enjoyed my latest.  A huge thanks to Sung Shin for taking awesome photos like always!
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The Ultimate Special Occasion Dress for Summer

On Monday, I told you guys all about my favorite stores for bargain buys and luxe finds for less, but I'm doing something a little different today.  I've featured a pricier special occasion dress for spring events and the like.  This fabulous number is truly goddess-like with its sparkly mesh overlay, and it's a two-piece set, so you can wear something different underneath if you want.  If you're interested in purchasing this dress, it's available online at ASOS for $88.
Shoes:  Qupid (similar) || Dress:  ASOS ($88) || Clutch:  Similar
Photos shot by the lovely Eva Liz.
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What to wear to Summer Weddings: Your Questions Answered

I've been getting questions regarding summer wedding dress attire so I decided to write a post on the topic (featuring some of your questions) rather than email everyone back individually. I'm going to keep things simple for today's blast because the last thing I want to do is overwhelm you guys with rules.  Dressing up should be fun so let's try and keep it that way!
"What should I wear?"  

It all depends on the wedding! What's the dress code (ie. white tie, black tie, etc.)? Where's the wedding going to take place (ie. church, beach, someone's house, etc.)? What time do the festivities start? These are all factors you need to take into consideration!  For example, if your friend's having her wedding outside, you're going to want something airy to keep you somewhat cool in the sweltering heat.  If your buddy's having his in a church, you won't want to bare all for two reasons; a. it's a more conservative setting (obviously) and b. you don't want to upstage the bride.  

IMHO, the "safest" bet is a cocktail dress that hits you below the knees (like the midi dress I'm wearing).  You'll be able to re-wear this for all different kinds of weddings so it's the most practical option if you're looking to save money and only purchase one outfit.

"I don't want to spend a lot of money.  Where can I find something affordable?"

I actually wrote a post on SS a while back on dresses and where I purchase them for less.  That should give you all the information you need, but in a nutshell, I recommend Forever 21, Last Call Neiman Marcus, and TJ maxx amongst others.  Also, here are some cute designs I recommend (all under $50).
"Is it ok if I wear black?"

Absolutely - the only color you should NOT wear is white (or any variation of it, ha)!  With that said, I think pastels and florals are beautiful options for summer weddings.  Don't be afraid to experiment with color...as long as it's not obnoxiously bright. Please, please, PLEASE do not show up in hot pink from head-to-toe - like I mentioned before, you don't want to steal the bride's thunder.  It's her day so you want to make sure she's the star of the show!

"Do I have to wear a dress if it's black tie?"

That's a great question!  Black tie's not as formal as white tie, but most women still sport floor length gowns for the occasion.  There ARE ways to avoid it though if you're not a fan of dresses.  Jumpsuits and pantsuits make great alternatives.  Throw in some killer jewelry, and you're good to go!

"I hate walking around in heels.  Can you recommend dressy shoes that are comfortable?"

I recommend wedges.  They're obviously not as fancy as stilettos, but they're dressy enough.  I actually wore a pair as my cousin's maid of honor years ago because I knew I'd be running around all day long, and it was such a good call.  Embellished flats or sandals also work - just make sure they're dressy and save your flip flops for the beach.


Here's an outfit I recently wore to a friend's wedding in PA.  As much as I love looking cute, being comfortable is my first and foremost concern - I truly believe that if you feel self-conscious, you'll look it.  So, I went with an adorable midi dress from ASOS.  I've put on a little weight these last few weeks so the A-line silhouette is currently my best frand.  

I don't usually like strapless pieces because they pinch my arm fat, but this dress was surprisingly flattering.  Plus, I have a weakness for all things girly so the bow totally sealed the deal for me - I even have a board dedicated to bows on pinterest, #sorrynotsorry. Ha!  To finish things off, I accessorized with a fun clutch for a pop of personality and threw on Valentino-inspired heels to match.  Anywho, I hope you guys found this post helpful!  If you have any additional questions, feel free to email me and ask.  I'm not than happy to play stylist for you all.  
Dress:  ASOS || Heels:  Qupid || Clutch:  Aldo
 Photos shot by the wonderful Sung Shin.
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Where to Buy Cute Summer Dresses For Less

As I'm sure you all know, I'm head over heels obsessed with dresses.  I just can't get enough of them.  They can be bodycon, maxi, mini, midi, I don't care - I don't discriminate, and I love them all equally.  In fact, I like to think of myself as a professional dress collector, and I support my shopping habit by finding the best deals possible whether it be in-stores or online.
I recommend the following stores for killer deals:  Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, TJ Maxx, ASOS, Zara, Off Saks 5th, and Last Call Neiman Marcus.  There are definitely more, but these are the first ones that pop into mind.  I group F21 and CR together because they're similar in quality and price point.  So here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping their stores: 

1. Check out their factory outlets.
2.  Have the patience to sift through sale + clearance racks (applies to all the stores listed but especially for these two).
3.  Fabric is key - you may find a design you love, but if the material looks cheap, do NOT buy it.  $18 may seem reasonable, but it's expensive if your new dress falls apart after a few washes.
4.  Shop during blowout sales - I've found amazing pieces for ridiculous prices (like $5-7) at these stores!  
5.  Take advantage of text offers + subscribe to their email lists for coupons.
Next up, TJ Maxx.  Like F21 & Charlotte Russe, when I think of TJ Maxx, I immediately associate it with Marshalls and Ross.  I personally love the first two stores, but I haven't had much luck at Ross!  I do have friends who go there all the time though so don't let me discourage you from browsing.  They all carry designer items for less, but TJ Maxx takes it one step further with their runway line.

Lucky for me, I have one nearby so I can try everything on in person, but no worries if you don't because you can always shop their collection online.  They restock often so make sure you check back frequently, and on another note, I mentioned their designer handbags in a previous post called, "A Peek Into my Closet:  My Bag Collection."  I blogged about the various styles I owned and told you all a bit about where I bought each one!  Several were purchased at TJ so definitely give it a read.
Now onto one of my absolute favorites, ASOS.  I can't even begin to tell you guys how much I love them - their customer service is ah-maaaa-zing, and they carry the cutest designs that have ever existed.  I seriously freak out every time I shop their site, and they have SO much inventory...which is heavenly for some (ahem, me) but annoying for others.  

If you're looking for cute dresses, there will literally be thousands of options so it's important to filter.  Check your correct size, occasion, length, and so on and so forth to trim your searches down.  Also, I rarely pay full price for anything because I'm patient.  Star the designs you want and check back to see if they've been marked down.  

Yes, there is a chance that a style may sell out, but your wallet will be happier, and it's just the sensible thing to do (see what I did there, hardy har har).  Note: they have sales often so be vigilant!  Case in point, their current sale with pieces up to 70% off (!!!!) + free shipping/returns all day, every day.
Another fab store with great dresses (and deals for that matter): Zara.  I don't have one near me in MD or PA so I shop their selection online.  Like ASOS, they offer free shipping and returns so I can purchase without buyer's regret.  Their line tends to be on the more expensive side so I don't even look at their regular-priced merchandise. However, they have a tab called "special prices" - or something similar, I can't remember right off the top of my head and they replaced it with "sale" for the time being so you'll have to check back - with pieces on sale that slay so you can satisfy your Zara habit for a fraction of the price.
Last but not least, Off Saks 5th + Last Call.  If you're a fan of designer garb, these stores will be your everything and more.  They carry most of the same lines as their pricey counterparts but at a fraction of the price because they're older styles.  If you're big on what's current, you're probably not going to be a fan, but personally, I don't really care.  If I think something's cute, that's all that matters.  I could care less about trends - I wear whatever I want, when I want.  If something happens to be "hot," and I like it, count me in, but I'm not going to purchase something just because it's popular.  After all, the best accessory is confidence - right, guys?

What do you guys think about these stores - are you a fan or not so much?  Make sure you let me know in the comment section below!  Also, before I leave you all, I need to talk a bit about today's OOTD.  I purchased this dress online at - drumroll, please - ASOS for $32 a few weeks back, and I absolutely love it to pieces.  It's pretty much sold out so I've linked similar styles, all under $50.

Shoes:  Aldo || Bag:  Violet Ray || Hat:  Dynamic Asia ($13) || Dress:  Asos ($32)
Photos by the incredible Eva Liz.
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Lace Makes Everything Better

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Marled by Reunited Clothing so I'm extra stoked to tell you guys about my latest OOTD.  I've featured yet another one of their fabulous tops, and this one may just be my fave - available at Bloomingdale's.  I love all things girly so the lace detailing kills me in the best way possible.  Plus, you all know that statement sleeves are my achilles' heel.
I paired the top with a mesh skirt (an oldie but a goodie, featured here several years ago) and tied it to emphasize the small of my waist - one of the many tricks I employ to look leaner with fashion!  If you want to read more on how to hide muffin top like a boss, click here.  If you'd like to browse other how-to articles, check out my gallery!
Other adorable designs from their line:
Shoes:  OASAP (similar) || Skirt:  Rebecca Minkoff (similar) || Top:  Marled by Reunited ($78) || Bag:  Chloe
Photos shot by the amazing Sung Shin.
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How I Do Casual

I pretty much live in girly dresses and skirts, but on off days, I love wearing jeans.  There's nothing sexier than a plain white shirt + denim, but I wanted to jazz up the combo for you guys today on SS for funsies.  Instead of going with a simple tee, I threw on a fabulous ruffled number from Almost Famous Clothing.  It's a total must-have if you love cold shoulder cutouts as much as I do!  
I also wanted to incorporate more color into today's OOTD so I carried my new crossbody bag from Sugar + Style.  I feel like it adds SO much personality, and I seriously can't get over the bamf guitar straps.  FYI, it's detachable AND reversible so you can wear it with other bags in your collection or swap it for something a bit more "tame."  It all depends on your mood, but isn't it nice to know that you have options? Haha.  Use code KIM20 to get an extra 20% off your purchase.
Other cute tops feat. shoulder cutouts (under $50):
To finish things off, I wore perforated slip-ons from Greats.  At $179, these shoes don't come cheap, but they're worth every penny IMHO because they ooze quality.  Made of Italian leather, these kicks are available in 4 other colors: perforated blush, perforated white, white, and black.  If you're interested in purchasing a pair for yourself, remember to sign up for their newsletter to get 10% off your purchase!
Shoes:  Greats || Jeans:  Stitchfix || Top:  Almost Famous || Bag: Sugar + Style || Sunnies:  Covry
Photos shot by the wonderful Sung Shin.
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