own your style

Friday Find

Some of my favorite things were all combined this past weekend.  One of my favs from my family came to visit.  We went shopping.  We discovered a new local boutique together.  In a week where it's even more important to celebrate women I chose something I bought from the boutique as my Friday Find.  

The name of the boutique is Adored.  It's located on Cherry Street here in Grand Rapids.  Here is what the boutique is all about directly from the Adored website (www.adoredboutique.com).  The boutique carries clothing, accessories, shoes and more.  But today's find is all about the necklace I found.  

Here is a pic of the necklace alone and one of me wearing it (along with Stu).

The necklace is from a company called Mend on the Move.  (www.mendonthemove.org).  The jewelry is made from left over car parts by "women who have survived abuse and found the courage to begin again".

What I love:  

  1. Obviously the company that made it and the mission of the company 
  2. The same of the store where I purchased it- Adored Boutique
  3. Both are local to Michigan
  4. The necklace itself is  a simple, delicate piece so there are so many options of how to wear it.  Whether layered with other pieces or worn alone I have soooo many options.  The metal is neither gold or silver which, for me, means I can mix with all!  
  5. The price - under $30 
  6. So many reasons why this is the best Friday Find in a long time.  

What are some of your favorite things this Friday ???  




I was perusing thru social media and came across a gorgeous dress that immediately made me stop...see for yourself

Karl Lagerfeld Paris - Vogue 125 Rose Collection http://bit.ly/2r6GHGR

Karl Lagerfeld Paris - Vogue 125 Rose Collection http://bit.ly/2r6GHGR

Isn't it gorgeous?  Let me tell you why I L O V E this dress.  First, the color.  Second, the silhouette.  I love the midi length of this dress.  Next,  I love the cut and the simple details.  The neckline, the bell sleeves, the ruffles - this is everything to me!   I also adore the flowy feeling this dress has.  It's one of those pieces that looks effortless to wear.  Do you know what I mean?  Like, no matter how you feel that day, once you put this dress on, you will feel better.  So I love it!  It's available at Lord and Taylor, there is a sale right now, they have my size.  Did I order it?  No.  Why?  Several reasons of which 2 I will mention.  The price is obviously a concern and the other is I really don't have an occasion to wear a $200 dress right now.  If I had a special event that called for a dress such as this beauty we would be having a completely different conversation but I really don't right now.  I might however, find somewhere to where a dress inspired by this one if I could find it for, let's say, less of an investment :).  

I happened to be at Nordstrom Rack yesterday on another project and came across 2 beauties that really spoke to me as my inspiration from the Lagerfeld dress...and...they were both ridiculously on sale.  I am including a couple of pics :)

Top Shop Brit Ruffle http://bit.ly/2rMCMkB

Top Shop Brit Ruffle http://bit.ly/2rMCMkB

in the fitting room ....real life

in the fitting room ....real life

Top Shop He Loves Me  http://bit.ly/2rWm04G

Top Shop He Loves Me  http://bit.ly/2rWm04G

in the fitting room .... real life

in the fitting room .... real life

These dresses were both from Top Shop and both priced below $60 !  I saw in both the same color story, a similar silhouette, the pink family definitely coming thru, similar length and sleeve.  I tried both on (obviously :) ).  I did not purchase either...yet.  As much as I loved them once I tried them on the neckline wasn't working.  For me, and my height (or lack thereof) I feel like a v-neck as in the original, would be better.  I also wasn't completely happy with the uneven hemline for the same reason.  

Having stated all of that, I still believe I will find one that I love that I am inspired to purchase based on the Lagerfeld dress.  I love being inspired in this way.  I don't find this to be a "dupe" a term often used when someone finds usually a cheaper version of something they love but couldn't afford.  I wasn't trying to copy the Lagerfeld dress - I don't believe you can do that.  The Lagerfeld dress is a gorgeous dress that can't be copied.  I instead love to be inspired by it and find one that matches my style.  I talk about this often after watching a red carpet event as well.  I know I won't be wearing any of the gowns I fall in love in with but I do know the key elements of the gowns I love will inspire me to find something to wear from what I saw.  

I have a fashion challenge for you... page thru some magazines, some social media feeds, etc.  find a piece that inspires you then ...go find the perfect inspiration piece from your search.  Let me know what you decide upon.  Need help?  Need inspiration?  Let me know in the comments below.  Find the perfect piece?  Let me know that in the comments below as well.  

Be inspired!

Is it time to go shopping?

I posted a PSA (public service announcement) on social media a couple of days ago in regards to your summer clothes.  Though it's only June 1st, and the temperatures aren't quite steady summer temps yet, it is time to get whatever you need (want) for your summer wardrobe.  The selections, your sizes, your color preferences, will quickly dwindle starting now.  By July summer sales will be in full swing and before you know it - Back-to-school sales will start.  I know !  I know!  Don't rush it!  I don't want to, but I promise, you will thank me in July when you have just the shorts and t-shirt you want to wear :).

I traveled to our local outlet mall over the holiday weekend armed with some great coupons and my favorite college student.  We were both able to get some great deals at a couple of our favorite outlet stores in that center.  

With holiday sales and coupons (bonus!) I find it's the best time to not only replace those basics you need like t-shirts but it's also a great time to pick up a trendy piece or 2 without spending the bank.  JCrew Factory had an awesome storewide event and I was able to pick up a great basic t-shirt and a trendier one as well.  I spent less than expected, which is always great.  Of course, the sale is over and I am kicking myself for not getting a couple more of the t-shirts - they fit really well and wash equally as nice.  Here is a quick look at the t-shirt and how I have worn it already:

JCrew Studio T - gray http://bit.ly/2rYpnbr      

JCrew Studio T - gray http://bit.ly/2rYpnbr



There are still some great sales happening at many stores and online.  I encourage you to take inventory of your basics and get what you "need" in that category, at least, for now.  Top of your list should be shorts and tops as these are things that will disappear the quickest.  The other hot seller right now would be swimwear, but let's not even start on that topic now....


I would love to hear what you're buying and I would love to help if I can...leave a comment or contact me directly.  

Happy Shopping 

Flowers on a rainy day

It's gray and rainy one minute and then next, the sun pops thru.  I thought I would brighten the day with a bit of floral details.  I chose my new favorite jeans for summer -  these embroidered floral beauties from White House Black Market.

this pair sold out online, here is a similar http://bit.ly/2qXvEBq

this pair sold out online, here is a similar http://bit.ly/2qXvEBq

I added a simple white tie waist blouse and finished the look with a clear bangle, rose gold studded earrings and muted blush sandals.  I spent my day doing some of my favorite things - mentoring and then lunch with a dear friend.  This casual, trend right outfit was perfect and relaxed yet still put together for a great day.  For my style I love to remain current with trends and what's happening in fashion and then interpret those to fit my style and lifestyle.  These jeans are the perfect way for me to carry out the floral happenings that I love right now.  I must admit, I did live thru the floral trend of the 80's and no doubt "over-floraled" then ( I know that's not a word but I just made it one).  In case your forgot the florals from the 80's or weren't alive to see them, here is a quick flashback to some sweet floral jeans ...

In case you were wondering... I probably would have worn my gray stilettos and a top with huge ruffles to accent this awesome look!

Jeans are one of those pieces from your closet that I call a "workhorse".  The possibilities with jeans are endless.  So to have a pair with a little extra detail is just a bonus.  I have styled these jeans many ways already:  with a white tshirt, pink cardigan, and nude flats - with a white tshirt, gray knit blazer, and nude platform sandals - with a white blouse, gray knit blazer and oxfords just to name a few.  These jeans will be one of my favs for summer for sure.  

What are some early contenders for your summer favs?  I'd love to hear in the comments !  



The Mister recently took me to Chicago to celebrate my birthday and a "labor day weekend show".  While in Chicago we stayed at one of my favorite hotels there and did some great, yet limited, shopping.  I may share some of my shopping stories later but for now we will focus on where I had the most "luck".  

After working in retail most of my professional life, customer service is really number 1 for me.  If the service is poor I won't stick around to shop.  If the service is great, I will give almost any store a try.  Do you know what I mean?  There are stores that just aren't right for me whether it be my age or size or whatever but, of the stores I choose to shop it's the service that determines if I stay long enough to look around.  We visited one of my favorites first.  I was in the mood for some new shoes and this store is  known not only for shoes, but also for it's service.  I was looking for a particular brand and style.  I had to approach a sales associate which is not typical of this store.  When I inquired about the shoe in question she pointed to "where they would be if we had them".  Guess what I did next...well I typically would have exited.  But, I tried one more time....this time I got a different denial "nope, that doesn't sound familiar".  I replied that I had seen them on their website, after her shoulders shrugged,  I left.  

We traveled on.  The next stop was Loft.  Loft is a store I either have a ton of luck at or can't even find a scarf.  This time was awesome and it started the minute I walked in the door and was greeted.  The service was fantastic which caused me to try stuff on (key to making a purchase).  I was treated with respect, and had fun and some laughs while there.  It was a great experience overall.  I bought some great pieces for fall and never would have bought as much had it not been for the sales associate.  I thanked her personally before I left the store as she did not take care of my purchases, someone else did.  Folks in retail always hear the bad but don't hear the good often enough :)  

So on to the shopping and what I got (or as the folks say...my haul).  What caught my eye initially was a pair of cropped pants in the window that looked stunning....really. I immediately walked in, asked for that pant and chose them to try.  Here is what I bought:

A few things about each piece...

1)  The back button sweater.  The color is a lovely shade of gray, which for me is a great neutral.  The sweater is lightweight enough I won't sweat to death in it but truly says cooler weather.  It will be to layer or wear alone.  It will be great dressed up with pearls and a skirt or casual with a pair of distressed jeans.

2)  I don't remember the official name but this is a long sleeve tee "ramped up with style"  It's again gray (okay it's my new obsession).  It's long enough to wear with a lot of different bottoms.  Again, this piece can be worn alone or layered.  It can also be dressed up a bit with the scarf seen in the haul :) 

3)  You guys this skirt!  It's a great knit material.  It's got fantastic detailing with the buttons in the front.  The minute I put it on I had tons of ideas swirling in my head for what I could do with this single piece.  Dressed with tights, a turtleneck and my chunky Mary Janes.  Tights and high boots and a sweater.  Sheer hoisery, dressy Mary Janes or my SJP Carrie heels and dressy sweater or silk blouse, Long sleeve tshirt and booties and tights, or as pictured with a denim shirt and tights and brown boots....on and on.  

4)  The scarf...the picture does not do the colors justice.  There is a vibrant persimmon type shade in this scarf paired with the shades of wine in this.  It's beautiful.  It can be worn simply with a sweater, jean jacket or would look great with a camel blazer.

5)  The star ...the black pants.  I have already worn these.  The material is wonderful.  It's washable (yay) and soooo comfortable.  The cropped length is great year round with so many shoe choices.  (Including those shoes I was searching for at the fancy store).  I can't say enough good things about these pants.  Worn with a denim shirt and loafers for fall or paired with a beautiful silk blouse for New Year's Eve...both will work.  Win!

The best part of the whole deal...ALMOST all of it was 40% and I earned the infamous Loft Cash to spend later.  Go ahead, get out there and shop.  Shop wisely - get versatile pieces you can wear lots of different ways and more than one year.  Have fun!  Reward great service with a sincere thank you!  Have fun!  As always, if you need advice or tips don't hesitate to contact me.  

same outfit 3 ways

So, first I was going to title this "cheap pants, 3 ways" but I changed my mind.  However, that's what this is.  I picked this pants up at Old Navy for less than $15 bucks!  They are all cotton, washable, and comfy.  In addition, this style is "trend-right".  They will not only be wearable for more than one summer, they can also be paired with boots for a cooler time.  

The photo on the left is a look I would wear on a cooler evening for dinner with friends or perhaps a meeting with a client.  As a side-note, though this is not meant to be a story of budget but I must tell you the shoes cost more than the outfit but are one of my favs.  The middle outfit is something I would wear today.  The temperature is set to be in the mid-80's today but as I have mentioned, I am not one to go for shorts first.  The scarf as a belt softens the outfit a bit as do the shoes (another of my favs).  You could easily change this out with a cloth belt and sneakers for a more casual look.  The outfit on the right is perfect for date night in the summer on a cooler night.  I love the way that just changing to heels and adding a casual jacket you really can change the look of an outfit.  One final note, it is the final touches of each outfit (blazer, jewelry, and shoes) is where my money is ... versatile, high-quality, classic pieces.  

My challenge to you:  Shop your closet today and find some versatility!  Get the most of your stuff!  Need help?  Have questions?  Contact me!

Own it and fix it if you need to...

Listen, I am the person that says "own your style!"  "be yourself!"  But, I also know when something isn't right you need to fix it, or forget it!  Or...choose a different outfit.  I bought this beautiful silk, flowy, jacket-like, piece at the beginning of Spring.  I even wrote in a musing how I might wear it different ways including with just a tank underneath.  So, today when I put on a tank and then the beautiful, flowy, "jackety" (I know that's not a word) piece on top and caught a glimpse in the mirror...well let's just say I couldn't own it!  Here's what I mean:

I am pretty sure my face in the pic (both pics) gives it away but just in case:  pic on the left is bad... pic on the right....better.

So I layered with the tank just like I told me to.  I didn't, however, take into account the particular tank I had would be so form fitting and so transparent.  People!! Do you see my pale skin and my stomach?  Do you see all the "bumps" underneath from my jeans, the waistband and all?  Do you see clearly where my pale skin ends and the jeans start?  If you don't either the picture quality is bad or you might need a trip to get new spectacles!  I didn't feel good in this outfit.  I was not owning my style.  I didn't feel confident.  These are the characteristics I look for when I am helping clients choose their best looks.  It isn't so much about fashion rules as it is about how you feel.  So, I knew I had to change the outfit without changing the concept (and do it quickly).  I simply added a thin tshirt over the tank and that's what you see in pic 2.   The flowy colorful outer layer is still the star of this outfit but now the layer underneath looks good as well.  You don't see anything you aren't meant to see and the focus is not on the bad tank.  

This just goes to show that you must own your style!  You can do several looks with one piece.  You can be inspired but you have to make the look work for you!  If you want to capture the look but the first try didn't do it, fix it!  

Friday Find

Finally....here in West Michigan I believe Spring has Sprung!  

My Friday Find is this  awesome sandal I recently purchased from Macy's.  

This is the  Clarks Somerset Women's Caberet Charm Peep-Toe Flats in the color Tobacco.


What I love:

  • This sandal is so versatile both in color and style.  The combination of the brown and black makes it compatible with so many color combinations.  The peep toe style makes it perfect for now, when the temps are just starting to warm; yet it will still be great in the summer temps as well. 
  • The heel height is perfect... not a complete flat but barely has any lift at all
  • The fact that the upper part of the sandal is leather means this is a quality sandal that will give you fashion wear from season to season.  The footbed is made of a dark velvet-like material which not only adds comfort, but will hide that obnoxious "sweaty foot stain" ...or does that just happen to me ????
  • The overall style of the sandal has both classic touches with a bit of edge as well.  I love this tobacco color because it has the black combination of the back strap.  The outside stitching around the front half of the sandal adds a touch I enjoy.
  • The quality.  Clarks are a great go-to brand for me for long lasting quality and wear.  

I love this sandal...I have paired it today with skinny jeans and a cute linen-blend top.  That's right, I have even pulled a little linen out... Welcome Spring !!

Friday Find

It's Friday.  I think Friday is a great day to discover new treasures.  Here is a treasure I recently discovered 

Who What Wear lace up Dress available at Target or Target.com http://www.target.com/p/women-s-lace-up-shift-dress-who-what-wear/-/A-50379754#prodSlot=medium_1_2&term=lace+up+dress+who+what+wear

Who What Wear lace up Dress available at Target or Target.com http://www.target.com/p/women-s-lace-up-shift-dress-who-what-wear/-/A-50379754#prodSlot=medium_1_2&term=lace+up+dress+who+what+wear

What a great dress for a great price!  The dress is made of a cotton and polyester blend, which is great when it comes to care for the dress.  As a bonus, with that blend of polyester, wrinkling should be minimal.  

What I love:

Versatility - it can be worn now with a cardigan, jean jacket over it.  It obviously can be worn sleeveless anytime.  By pairing this easy dress with different shoes I think you can also achieve a totally different look.  Pair it with wedges and some chunky jewelry and it becomes more dressy.  Add flat sandals and some wood jewelry and you are transformed to a more casual feel.  This also means it would be a great dress to travel with because you can achieve different looks and therefore pack less :) 

Price - seriously - under $35 - need I say more?

Cut - the shape of this dress can be flattering on almost any body type - love that!

Where to buy?  - I love TARGET !  Even though this dress is available to everyone, if you add your own style, you won't "see yourself coming and going".  

This is a great find for Friday, I think you should check it out!  

Some Spring Wishes

Okay, so here in West Michigan we are under some sort of weather advisory.  There is snow to the north of us and some sort of "mix" here.  Oh, did I mention this is from today, March 23?????  Since the weather is so miserable I thought I would post my most recent wishlist for Spring.  

With the recent horrific news around the world, the current political season, and the weather all combined I went to my "happy place" for some spring inspiration.  Each year at this time for as long as I can remember until I was 14 years old, the time right before  Easter meant shopping for a new outfit.  Listen, when I say outfit - I mean out-fit.  New hat, dress, purse, and shoes. ( If you know me at all, you know I looked forward to the purse most, but I digress).  I thought in the same vein as that event I looked so forward to...I would share a little of my dreams for this Spring Season.  I am often asked my opinions or thoughts of what the current trends are.  I hesitate to answer in too much detail because I feel so strongly about women owning their own style.  I like to think of trends more for inspiration.  I think you will see what I mean when you take a peek at my wishlist below. 

It's funny, now that I look a little closer at my choices because most of the clothing choices could be seen to all come from one main trend/idea.  I think the boho chic feeling that is happening right now is reflected in so many of my favs.  I love love love the bell sleeve.  I would love it on a blouse or a dress either one.  The spring dresses with all the floral prints are so gorgeous to me.  You can find them in so many different shapes and sizes there has got to be one that is perfect for you too!  There are floral prints in maxi dresses, midi dresses, sheath dresses, shirt dresses, short dresses, skirts, and more.  You merely need choose the silhouette that suits you best.  The embroidery trend is also out there.  Two of my favs for me, are the poppy blazer and jeans I show on my wishlist.  Obviously, it goes without saying, I would not wear the 2 together but as separates they are awesome.  I think versatility is key when you are spending more money for a piece and I think both the jeans and the blazer can not only be worn a ton of different ways, but they will also carry thru the summer and in to early fall so ...bonus!!  

Shoes and Purses - (they need their own paragraph)  Mules - I love mules and I am so happy to see them making a a much wanted resurgence.  The Rose slip-ons?  Everyone needs a fun pair of shoes, no?  The sandals - In keeping with the current ankle interest I love these sandals for that feature but even more for the color combination of the sandal itself.  I am also a huge fan of comfort and quality and these sandals have both of those.  The handbags -- again, if you know me at all, I could do an entire series on handbags.  I have to say each year during that Easter shopping I spoke of earlier, the purse of choice was either straw or patent leather.  I already have both so I am looking for something new.  I love the slightly oversize/satchel/handbag feel to these 2 favs I have chosen.  (I also love any handbag with either a turnkey or kiss closure like the one shown on the front of the Coach bag).

I won't buy everything on this page (sad face here) but it does give me inspiration for what I will buy and for what I will  find by shopping my own closet. Also,  I will continue changing the seasons in my closet.  Part of this will be packing away winter in 2 different containers.  One for next year to keep and one for what I already know I want to consign (can't consign fall/winter until fall/winter).  But, again I digress.

I hope I have given you some inspiration to start your own wishlist...as well as to begin to change over your closet.  It's Spring!!