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OOTD: An Ode to Spring, All the Bright Colors, J.Crew, & My New Style Idol, Monling Lee

monling lee  colorindex jcrew

Her name is Monling Lee and she is my everything.

monling jcrew colorblock

She is an architect and urban designer with a passion for vibrant colors and a sense of style that is one of a kind.  I first discovered her via Instagram @monlinglee fell instantly in love with every single one of her photos.  She combines her unique and brilliantly colored personal style in perfectly coordinated urban environments. moonlingleecolorindex

 

By following her instagram account, I found out that she was teaming up with J. Crew to “Test-drive” Their new spring accessories on their blog: hello.jcrew.com. And was inspired to try to create my own color blocked outfit with my skirt I bought for a penny at Nordstroms Rack. JCrew and Monling Lee are having an instagram contest on how where you wear (and pair, and pile on) your J.Crew accessories with the hashtags #ACCESSORYFIX and #JCREWCONTEST for a chance to win one of three $1,500 shopping sprees. And although I don’t have a new spring accessory to actually join in…here are my outfits:
Processed with VSCOcam with 7 preset

 

color block jcrew spring

 

 

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Spring Style Trend: The Summer (and Spring) of the Sneaker!

spring sneakers style trend

Hallelujah! Finally, a shoe trend I can really get behind. Comfy? check. Stylish? Check. Versatile? Check. Fun? Check.

I’m a sucker for all things colorful and loud (It’s a problem I’m working on). so while scrolling through Free Peoples’ amazing online shoe collection,  I stumbled across these bad boys:

The New Balance Classics Women’s Precious Metals Classic Sneaker

precious metal new balance sneaker

and got about as excited as a guniea pig getting a special carrot treat:

guinea pig excitedSo,  I guess you could I got pretty excited. And because there was no way I was letting those suckers get away, I added them to my little shopping cart and kept scrolling and immediately saw these Asics trainers (also on free people):

asics trainers blue

It’s like they were made for me..kind of tacky and bright blue. So you can imagine how excited I was at this  point:
OTTER HAPPY LOL

happy otter level of excitement.


 

I figured since I found two pair of sneakers I loved by just looking at Free People, there were probably more I might love even more available to me on the world wide web….

Fast forward to about 4 hours later where I had roughly 20 different sneakers in 10 different shopping carts. Here are some of my favorites I found:

Nike Women’s Internationalist Mid in Metallic Silver/Black-Hyper Jade, available for pre-order on Nike’s website for $110.00

nike air pegasus turquoise

 

These New Balance Women’s Elite 90s Running 530 Classics Running Shoe, available on Amazon for $85.00

newbalancepurple

These Nike Women’s Air Pegasus ’83 Trainers for $119.00 on Amazon
coral nike air pegasusand also another color version of the Nike Women’s Air Pegasus 83 also available on Amazon

nike-air-pegasus-83-ltr-dark-obsidian-hyper-turquoise-03

These New Balance 620 Light Grey Sneaker

new balance grey

And one more brightly colored pair of nike womens air pegasus 83/30 running trainers available on Amazon

nike air pegasus 83 grape

 


After my evening of scouring the internet for the best and the brightest sneakers, I had to narrow down my options. I told myself I would only get one pair but my materialistic impulses won out in the end and I got two pairs and Interestingly enough,  I ended up buying the first two pairs I saw on Free People.  I really like idea of pairing white jeans with the Asics but of course it snowed the day I got them in the mail and the the ground was covered in over 6 inches of fresh snow, but not one to give up easy, I jumped!

asic trainers style

And although I found dry ground when I was trying out my OTHER new pair, I liked how the first picture turned out so I jumped again!

new balance precious metal

But here’s to hoping this trend sticks around for a bit so I can justify getting another pair…maybe purple? Or Turquoise?? The possibilities are endless.

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OOTD: Playing with Prints

ootd personal style mixing patterns floral slipit’s that time of the year when I begin to feel even more crazy than usual.I like winter but, a Midwest winter is a different kind of beast. There has been snow on the ground basically since Thanksgiving and by Mid-February the temperatures average below freezing and that doesn’t even include the windchill.

Going outside means putting on every single warm-ish item I can find in my closet and looking like Joey from the Friends episode where he puts on all of Chandler’s clothes: joey-3

and then on top of that, there’s the robber face masks, scarves, gloves and beanies to cover any exposed extremities, like kitty:

winter-is-coming-23184

 


 

I like hunkering down and having an excuse to do nothing, and a snow storm is the ultimate laziness excuse but even that is has gotten old by now and I’ve developed a serious case of cabin fever, going nuts, shuffling around the house, pacing in circles, starting out at the snow for long periods of time, and murmuring unhappily to myself (even more than usual).  My boyfriend took a picture of me while I was peeking in on him just yesterday:

Here's Johnny

har. har.


all that just to say that my already questionable fashion taste is even more questionable than usual, given the previously stated circumstances. But, this led me to mixing prints and layering in a way that I otherwise wouldn’t have out of boredom, coldness, or craziness….

ootd personal style mixing patterns floral slip Details: Floral Print Lace Slip from Dailylook.com, $22.95, Ryan Crewneck Pullover from Free People, $98.00, Stripped Long Sleeve Top, Forever21, $14.90, Bettye by Bettye Zap Booties, Nordstroms, $141.95

oh and here it is with jeans:

ootdprintsfloralstripes1

Floral Print Lace Slip from Dailylook.com, $22.95:

florallaceslip

 

Ryan Crewneck Pullover in Cranberry from Free People, $98.00:

ryancrewneckpullover

 

Stripped Long Sleeve Top, Forever21, $14.90:

stripedcrew

Bettye by Bettye Zap Booties, Nordstroms, $141.95:

wedgecaramelsuedebooties

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My Midi Dress Dilemma: 4 Tips for Wearing a Midi for the Body Conscious Woman

6 marvelou smidis(all 6 dresses available on asos top left: ASOS RED CARPET Premium Embellished Midi Dress With Plunge Front $227.40, top middle: Asos Midi Wiggle Dress in Paisley Print $113.17, top right: ASOS Baroque Embellished Midi Shift Dress $161.08, bottom left: Self Portrait Lucille Midi Dress  $473.75, bottom middle: ASOS Petite Wiggle Dress with Wrap Back $85.28,  bottom right: ASOS Gray Floral Drape Back Midi $94.75)


I really, really love the midi dress look and I emphasis the word look because the way a midi dress looks on a model (stunning) is not how a midi LOOKS on me. The models’ curves (or lack of them) are perfectly highlighted in the form fitting style of a midi and the length accentuates their slim legs. I don’t know if I really thought that I would look the same as the 100 pound 5ft 9 model did in the same midi.

Here is the midi dress I purchased:

jersey midi asos
Asos Midi Cami Body Conscious Dress

but…SURPRISE! I didn’t look anything like the model. It accentuated my curves alright, every friggin nook and cranny was on display. It probably didn’t help that the midi I bought was thin jersey fabric, which is probably one of the least forgiving fabrics there is. So I buried the dress in the back of my closet and tried to forget I ever thought I could pull the look off.

The thing is…I’ve never liked my body, but I also think most women in America have struggled with loving and accepting their bodies at some point. I’ve been working up to writing about the journey I am on to loving myself and it’s been a long, bloody battle for me but….(and I swear all this has to it has to do with the midi dress!)

But since I turning 30 this year, it really hit me how much of life I have wasted and how many experiences I missed out on because I’ve been to busy disliking myself and caring to much what people think.Doing these self-absorbed, materialistic Personal Style posts was a coconscious decision of mine to do what makes me happy and to (try) not to worry about whether or not people like it. Also, it’s nice to actually start caring about myself again 🙂


So, when cleaning up my closet, I stumbling on the crumpled up midi dress of disappointment and gave it another go (outfitted in my spanx body armor) and decided to give it another try and I came up with a few different ways to wear a form fitting midi with more confidence.

#1 Oversized Cardigans like this one from Revolve Clothing, are your friends.

drapey cardigan

Wearing a big, drapey cardigan helps me feel like I have a layer of protection and it keeps all my lumpy areas that I am self-conscious about covered. But the open front still shows off the cute length and style of the midi.

midi skirt winter outfit

#2 Wearing shoes with heels (booties are my favorite for winter) add much needed length to your frame.

Here are a few pair of booties that give me the warm fuzzies and that I think would look good with a a casual style midi dress:

Joe's Cutout booties

 

 

above: Joe’s ‘Abby’ Cutout Leather Booties available at Nordstroms for $119.37 (40% off from original price of $198.95) Sam Edelman booties

 

Above: Circus by Sam Edelman “Talon” Booties  available on sale at Nordstroms for $87.06 (originally $129.95)

wedge booties

Above: Naughty Monkey ‘Angle Tangle’ Toe Wedge Bootie also at Nordstroms for $129.95

For a dressier look here are a few heels I am currently drooling over:

Gucci Gold toe Heel

above: Gucci’ ‘Coline’ T-Strap Cap Toe Heels at Nordstroms for $398.98

capped toe heels

 

 

above: Joe’s  ‘Ali’ Ankle Strap Pump, on sale at Nordstroms for $72.95dark blue pumps

 

above: Louise et Cie ‘Sarmienta’ Pump at Nordstroms for only $79.95 (50% off)

Most midis cut off at around calf-level (depending on height) which I love but also has the tendency to make legs look shorter and bulkier.

#3 Layer it up to create different looks.

A midi is fun to play around with different looks and is a versatile dress that can be simple and classic or fun and trendy.  Adding colorful layers, like my favorite crazy plaid pants, creates lines, and helps to “distract” the eye from those worry areas.


IMG_6163 - Version 2
midiandblacktopA split sided basic top is perfect to throw over a midi because it covers my least favorite areas (my tummy and the booty) and I like the look it creates.

#4: Spanx is also your friend.

Good ole trusty spanx, instilling confidence into the self-conscious since the dawning of time.