A floral wrap dress is the ultimate favorite for comfort, effortless style and summer chic. The simplicity of a one piece garment begs only the question of what accessories to add. Easy to pack and lightweight, so no worries on exceeding the weight limit for checked baggage if you're travelling, plus they need little or no ironing when you get to your destination. Cosy it up with a scarf in the evening, a denim jacket or even a leather jacket during the cooler seasons. Plus, a wrap dress accommodates both our fat and thin days with ease, and who doesn't need clothes that do that?
Mid length dresses go beyond the limits of a sun dress being equally at ease day or night. Eliminate the formal look with flat strappy sandals. White sneakers and an over-sized tote for a casual shopping trip to the flea market or even the super on trend flat bejeweled slides for a morning coffee with the girls. More formal pumps will turn the look into evening glamour.
If you had the extra piece of pizza you knew you shouldn't have had and you've blown up like a giant fermented wheat ball about to go off bang, the wrap dress is your saving grace. Let it out and nobody will be any the wiser, tomorrow you can pull it right back in again when you've deflated! The silhouette of the wrap dress is very forgiving and liberating so it works for most body types, as well as most dress sizes that we're likely to encounter in any given week in our mid life years!
So lets talk about underwear! I'm not a fan of bra straps intermingling with the spaghetti straps of my dress or camisole or any top for that matter. Unless it's a fitness top which is deliberately designed to show off your sport bra then avoid the display altogether. If you like your outfit to keep a fuss free chic look invest in a really good strapless bra. I have the same one in black and nude and I live in them all summer long.
This particular dress I'm wearing is from Topshop and has the tulip style cut at the front, so it gives a little sexy peak of the legs when you walk or sit. I just have to be mindful if it's a windy day and blowing toward me so to avoid a Marilyn Monroe moment!
Here are some links to create a similar look to the one I'm wearing in this post including the same dress from Topshop:
Here are links to some other super cute mid length wrap summer dresses:
So that's a wrap!
Wishing you all a wonderful week and thank you for stopping by!
There are some things in fashion that I've loved since I can remember despite the coming and going of current trends. Whether considered by those in the know as "in" or "out" I couldn't have cared less, I've been wearing pink since I was able to buy my own clothes, and animal prints have never really been out of fashion. I've undoubtedly made adjustments over the course of time yielding to a particular hue of pink or a varying print of leopard in order to stay on top of my game, but never have the two favorites waned.
Christian Dior introduced animal print into his 1947 collection officially naming it "haute couture", so for many including the wealthy fashionistas of Paris, leopard print has long since been a sign of luxury. Whenever I wear anything leopard print I feel luxurious with a certain power or fearlessness, it must be the animal instinct rubbing off on me!
Even though anything and everything is available in animal print, it does not mean you should wear it all at once. One piece in any single outfit is by far the chicest and easiest way to go. Less is definitely more with animal prints. Besides, trying to match up prints can prove very difficult as they all seem to differ just a little bit, in color, size and/or formation of spots.
Leopard print doesn't generally work well with other patterns, it's definitely not a choice for bold pattern mixing. It's better by itself and paired with solid colors. Black is a good color to wear with leopard as well as red or orange. For a summery vibe I've chosen to wear it with white jeans which works well since the blouse is a sheer fabric and therefore has a softer hue of colors. Leopard also pairs well with blue jeans, here's a LINK to a blog post I did last year wearing this same blouse with blue jeans which resulted in many compliments.
Add some pink into the mix and that big cat becomes a kitten. Pink is cute and girly and adds a little sugar to sweeten your leopard prowess. I'm a sucker for pink and it's the summer time, no further justification required! Pink is a relatively easy color to match. Plus, when you're wearing it as an accessory as in this example, each piece is far enough apart not to notice if it's not a perfect color match. Earrings, bag and shoes, something for the top middle and bottom - all nicely balanced so the leopard print still takes center stage.
I've linked the items below that I'm wearing in these photos, or similar if the exact ones are no longer available. If you're not ready for a lot of leopard just yet, consider an accessory in the print. A pair of leopard print shoes with an all black outfit, or perhaps a leopard belt on a red dress, or a leopard bag or clutch. With leopard print, no matter how small the piece you wear, you're still going to get a significant bang for your buck. It's sure to be your pop of luxury, the haute couture in a pret-a-porter world!
Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week my friends!
There are very few clothes that are comfortable to wear during the middle of the summer in Arizona, and very few clothes is about all that is humanly possible to handle when the temperature soars from anywhere between 105 to 120 degrees with the addition of humidity which increases during the monsoon months of August and September.
Pants are the last thing we normally contemplate during this season, but here's a pair that can happily take you from day to night without feeling that you're wearing pants or anything at all for that matter. They're light and airy, loose fitting, comfortable, don't crease, don't stick or show perspiration. Another great find from H&M at only $19.99 and they're bound to hold their own through a couple of seasons if not a couple of years.
If you've been toying with the idea of investing in some gingham to actually wear instead of lining your picnic basket with or laying it over your kitchen table, then consider a cute off-the-shoulder top such as this. Black and white seersucker gingham, light weight, hangs perfectly and has all the bells and whistles... literally! Bell sleeves, bow ties and whistle worthy off-the-shoulder. Whoot whoo! This top is from H&M and available in some stores but is sold out on-line. If you're signed up to receive the Above and Beblonde Newsletter, just enter your e.mail in the side bar and I'll let you know as soon as it's restocked.
Wow, who'd have thought eyelashes could be life changing! If you've ever wondered what's involved in having eyelash extensions, what's required on an on-going basis and whether you should take the plunge or not, then you need to read this. If you want a real reason to justify saying "I woke up like this", and you're looking to amp up your "hello gorgeous" factor all whilst wearing no makeup, then this is the beauty regimen for you.
Here's a romper that transcends age. I officially name it the "wide leg romper". The style is misleading, looking more like a dress, the perfect sundress that's mini but not minuscule. This little cutie, the Palma Romper from Anthropologie allows you to go romper all you like without the fear of losing your dignity and it has more than it's fair share of stylish details. But best of all it's currently on sale at 50% off and is still available on-line as well as in some stores.
There's something summery about clothes that billow in the breeze, loose fitting yet drape the body just enough to float airily and swing effortlessly as we walk. This Valerie Stevens blouse, courtesy of Stage Stores has it all, plus it's perfect for the soaring Arizona temperatures, and the best part - it's currently on sale for $9.99. Click on any of the pictures below to take you right to the store whilst it's still available.
White jeans are the go to when all else fails no matter the time of year. If it's cold outside they're considered winter whites and a wardrobe staple during the warmer months - the essential summer whites. Easy to wear, easy to pair with any color, can be dressed up or down and look glamorous, chic and cool.
Going in search of jeans can be a daunting task, not least of all the "great white" jeans. Here are my favorites, some that I own and some that I'd like to own! I hope you'll found some ideas worth trying.
Pilcro Script High Rise Capri
To start my Memorial Day weekend in style, I attended the official launch for the opening of the Tom Ford cosmetics counter at Nordstrom Scottsdale, located in the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall in Arizona. I was invited to have my makeup done and meet Allan Aponte, Tom Ford's National Artistry Executive, and of course the lovely staff whom I have come to know over the years due to my love of Tom Ford perfumes, specifically Black Orchid. I've long since been a fan of Tom Ford cosmetics, his lipsticks are one of the few that don't dry my lips, and the nail color lasts without chipping for days beyond other brands.
When a dress works in a casual setting, a smart setting and a few more in between you've got a pretty good deal. This Zara dress is the perfect style to turn into a host of different looks effortlessly and effectively and it's less than $50. But, you can just as easily take a plain dress you may already own and turn it into a stylish chameleon with a few tricks and inexpensive accessories.
Beside the obvious things like cleaning the house from top to bottom, the patio furniture, manicuring the garden, there are a host of other things you can do to make your guests feel loved and welcome. I moved to Arizona from England in 1999, so I've had more than my fair share of guests come off an eleven hour flight to visit me and inevitably stay at least two weeks to make the long journey worth their while! The truth is I love it, so I do everything I can to make them a return visitor - having a background in the hotel industry helps!
The Guest Bed
On a recent business trip to Houston staying two nights and two days, I was advised to take carry on luggage and dress comfortably as the days would be long and action packed. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect so I wanted to cover all my options and ensure I would feel confident and comfortable. Somewhat nervous that I wouldn't fit everything I might need in a carry on suitcase, I knew I had to be strategic in this effort. I'm happy to say I pulled it off with room to spare and an outfit for every occasion. Here are my tips on how to pack your carry on luggage to get the most into it, and ultimately the most out of it at your destination!
Living in a warm climate generally lends itself to casual attire, Arizona is no exception. It ranks high on the list of flip flop wearers despite there being no beach! However, there comes a time when a closet full of casual clothes isn't going to suffice. A pair of tailored pants is all you need to take you from meeting with your accountant to dinner with the girls!
French women have long been known for wearing silk scarves in the most stylish manner. Today the scarf seems to have regained popularity especially the little neck ties. I've recently found myself enjoying some silk scarves I've had in my closet for thirty years or so, as well as new ones more recently purchased. So here I share some of those looks and how I've used the scarf to change up an outfit.
A casual spring, summer and fall ensemble made up of two perfectly easy to wear items that are so on point not just from a trend perspective but also on price. A flat buttery soft slide shoe with decorative bow detail and a cold shoulder flow easy tee shirt. If you're not a pink fan, no worries, this tee shirt also comes in six other colors, and the shoes are also available in black.
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50