#WIW 4.26.15

S&S WIW 4.26.15

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I have to say that this semester has been a crazy one, but all my projects are finally finished and turned in and I only have two finals to go!  If you know me, you know that I love (and I mean LOVE) some swimwear, so summer shopping is always my favorite. Here are some of my current cravings – be prepared for a ton more!

XOXO,

Lauren

Gift Guide: For Him

S&S Gift Guide For Him

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I don’t know about you, but I think that shopping for a guy can be one of the most challenging things during the holidays. I never want to fall into the whole buying him clothes rut, but I know that my husband won’t necessarily buy something that he needs – ok, maybe he doesn’t think he needs it, but I do! I’ve gathered some great options here for the guy in your life- whether it’s your friend, boyfriend, dad, husband or brother. If you find some great guy gift suggestions, feel free to comment below! I would love to hear them!

XOXO,

Gift Guide: Merry Wishes

S&S Gift Guide Merry Wishes

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I’m sure you’ve seen about a million gift guides advising you what to give your friends and loved ones, but I’ve noticed that very few focus on holiday stationery.  Honestly, I have a bit of a stationery obsession.  Seriously, I have collected all sorts of embellished writing paper, envelopes, and thank-you cards since I was young (and I still collect them), so picking the perfect holiday card is quite important to me.  I love ‘designer stationery’, which just seems like a fancy term for small business, high quality stationery, and it really isn’t that much more expensive than picking up a greeting card at your local grocery store or pharmacy.  I’ve included some of my favorite finds so far, and I am quite tempted to order all of them!  Definitely consider ordering single cards or a small box of specialty holiday cards this year- your friends and loved ones will probably love them just as much as you do.

XOXO,

Gift Guide: Happy Home

S&S Gift Guide 2014 Happy Home

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Home decor is an often overlooked gift category, but there are so many wonderfully creative options that you should definitely utilize some home gifts this year!  They can pair quite well with other gifts, like a bottle of wine with this Jonathan Adler champagne candle or feather lucite tray.  Cheeky wall art is always a good bet, and this pun-ny rose piece is absolutely fabulous.  If you need a few stocking stuffers, a great set of quirky coasters or a glammed-up desktop staple (get it?) are great ideas.  If you prefer a more traditional home gift, you can’t go wrong with a modern throw or decorative pillow, especially if they are as cute as these two!

XOXO,

Gift Guide: For Her

S&S WIWW 11.19.14

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It is officially that time of year, where the gift guide rules!  This week, I decided to focus on gifts for ‘her’ – an admittedly easy place to start.  There are so many great gifts for ladies out on the market right now, from the new Starbucks artist cup series to cheeky pillows and, of course, jewelry.  I have searched high and low for some fabulous and funky gifts that almost any lady would be sure to love!  An extra plus for you Raleigh readers: I know that a lot of these gifts can be found locally, particularly the Starbucks mugs and gifts from Furbish Studio (did you know they’re based out of Raleigh?!).

Happy shopping, my friends!

XOXO,

Frugal Chic Series: Invest Well

S&S invest well

With trends coming and going like leaves in a tornado, it can be easy to overlook some very important additions to your closet: the building blocks.  These are the pieces that you will keep for years and end up wearing over and over again – the bones of your wardrobe.  These pieces should be great quality that will last a long time, and in the long-run they are definitely worth dropping a bit of cash on.  The key here is focusing on which items you invest your limited budget in.

Now, I’m not saying that you should funnel all your money into these pieces (especially since they tend to be a good deal pricier than most things you’re probably used to buying), but I am saying that you can build a list of closet staples you need and work toward them.  Maybe it’s just me, but I would rather skip buying those three pairs of trendy earrings at Forever 21 if it means that I can save up to purchase a gorgeous cashmere sweater.

Now, there are many lists on the internet and in books of what constitutes a closet necessity, so I’m going to list some of the top contenders below:

  • Cashmere sweaters : They’re soft, cuddly and oh so opulent
  • Great fitting jeans : Because you will want to wear them every. single. day.
  • Men’s white button down shirt : For channeling a variety of personas from Tom Cruise to Jackie O
  • Little black dress : There’s a reason it’s so iconic
  • Ballet flats : Perfect for a girl on the go
  • A fabulous handbag (or two) : Because a fabulous woman needs a fabulous bag (or two… or three… or four…)
  • A classic heel : Goes with everything

A picture’s worth a thousand words, so here are some of the better closet-building guides I’ve found so far (Real Girl Glam had a great four part series that is being turned into an ebook – be on the lookout!):

 

(via Pinterest)

 

(via Pinterest)

 

 

 

(via Pinterest)

 

What are some of your favorite closet staples?

XOXO,

Frugal Chic Series: Buy Well

S&S buy well

  • Buy what you love:  One great buying strategy is to buy those items that you absolutely love.  Have you ever tried something on and you just don’t want to take it off?  Those are the items to splurge on and not pass up.  It can be difficult to discern whether you really love something, though.  A lot of times we mistake a feeling of belonging with love when shopping, mostly because we love the idea of belonging.  It can be easy to get caught up in a sale and make split-second buying decisions, but this often results in a closet full of clothes that you never wear more than a few times.    Buy what you love.
  • Buy what fits:  Shopping with a future size in mind is a sure way to end up disappointed.  It’s important to buy what fits now because fit is everything, and you can’t make sure something fits the future you.  Plus if you’re anything like me you will want to don your new purchase ASAP, and buying for a future version of yourself doesn’t let you enjoy your purchase while it’s still new and fresh off the rack.
  • Buy what makes you look and feel good:  This point is SUPER important – there’s no use buying something unless you think you look good in it and you feel good while wearing it.  Your besties may tell you that crop tops are so cute on you, but if you aren’t comfortable in them you’ll never end up wearing one without being self conscious, and that’s no way to live.  You want your clothes to empower you and help you become the best version of yourself, but ill-fitting clothing is not likely to empower you.  If you find something that you love, that fits, looks good on, and makes you feel like a million bucks, I’d say snap it up in a heartbeat!
  • Buy quality items:  Fit may be everything, but quality is what takes your look from cheap to chic.  Items don’t have to be the most expensive clothes in the world to be great quality (plus, price tags don’t give you a realistic picture of quality).  Quality can be measured by the fabric itself, the construction, and the overall design aesthetic.  Now don’t get me wrong, some things are totally worth the heftier price tag, especially if a certain brand or style makes you feel great, but don’t automatically think that all expensive clothing is worth the heavy price.

When shopping for the long-haul, avoid buying:

  • Items you don’t love
  • Clothing that doesn’t fit you right now
  • Clothes that don’t make you look and feel great
  • Cheap quality items

XOXO,

Frugal Chic Series: Shop Well

Stylish dressing is not as difficult of a feat as some may think- in fact, it is quite easy to hone and own your own look. As a woman on a budget, and a small one at that, I can’t afford the latest and greatest from my favorite big-name brands, so I’ve restructured my purchasing habits to maximize my closet’s potential. Over the last few years I’ve learned a few valuable lessons on how to achieve frugal chic without looking cheap.  A small budget is no excuse to fill ones closet to the brim with fast and cheap fashion – you can, indeed, build a beautiful, unique, and stylish wardrobe that won’t bankrupt you. This series is going to highlight some of the best ways to dress stylishly on a budget and highlight some practical things you can do to keep your closet looking beautiful without maxing out your credit card.

S&S shop well

      I frequently shop at retailers that offer really great products at prices that fit more easily into my budget, and I don’t just mean your typical retailers either. Over time I have located and frequented consignment shops and other resale stores to score some fantastic clothing and accessories for a fraction of the sticker price (I’m talking Rebecca Minkoff bags for $30-$60 a piece).  In addition to my consignment/thrift store digging, which I absolutely LOVE, I also tend to shop at stores that have off-season items, last-season items or discontinued styles.  If you frequent the right places, you can end up finding those pieces that you’ve wanted for ages but couldn’t justify paying sticker price for.

      TJ Maxx has become one of my recent obsessions, especially since I now live near a really great one that even has a runway section.  I will admit that not all TJ Maxxes are created equal, but searching for one that frequently gets the types of clothes you really want is totally worth it.

Websites worth checking out:

Some of my most loved deals:

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Rebecca Minkoff rabbit fur bag, NWT, $57

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Loeffler Randall handbag, NWT, $40

 

Stuart Weitzman flats, $35

Stuart Weitzman flats, $35

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DVF handbag, NWT via TJ Maxx, $189

 

 

Stay tuned for the rest of the series.  If you know a really great budget-friendly place for fashionistas to shop, drop a line in the comments below!

XOXO,

 

Altuzarra, anyone?

So, Altuzarra is Target‘s latest guest star and, being completely honest, I’m surprised at how the collection came together.  This collaboration is full of really great pieces, and there are even some with gorgeous beadwork – who would have thunk it at Target, right?  While I’m not completely in love with the entire collection, there were definitely some pieces that screamed “BUY ME NOW!”, so I just had to share them!

 

 

Um, yes please!

This is just velvet done right- and it’s absolutely sex-ay!

 

 

Such a gorgeous color!  I can’t help but think that this could even resemble a Burberry trench if you switched out the belt for something a little more luxurious and wrinkled it up a bit.

Want, want, want!

Heart, be still.

The jackets in this collaboration just look amazing!  Definitely check out the entire lookbook either on Target’s website or in Huff Post Style‘s article on the collection, and mark September 14th on your calendars, ladies!  Happy window shopping 🙂

XOXO,

*Images from Target.com and Huff Post Style – click through for links to sources

Back to (School) Fashion

S&S Fashionable Back to School Bags

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Back to school season is officially upon us, and it has sent me into an unsettled panic about finding the perfect school bag to lug my laptop and array of other items to and from NC State in.  Of course, I cannot just settle for something that is solely practical, it should be- no, MUST be- both fashionable and practical.  I’m tired of throwing away dingy old backpacks after a year of use, and I’m terrified of looking like I’m fourteen whilst pursuing my Master’s degree.  After much shopping around and scouring the internet, I’ve decided to compile a short list of some of the best fashionable back to school bags here, as well as a longer list on my Pinterest page.

 Now you might ask, “Hey, how do I figure out if a bag I found is both cute AND practical for school?”  If you follow these 3 guidelines, you’ll be golden!

  1. Size: You want to make sure your bag can fit your laptop comfortably, so I recommend making sure the dimensions are at least 13″ x 10″.  You’ll probably want some extra room for your charger, pens, agenda, etc. so make sure the depth is pretty giving as well.  I’d say aim for at least 4 inches in depth.
  2. Materials and Construction:  This is the time to really invest in a great beautiful bag, so make sure your materials are up to par.  I, personally, like leather since it’s extremely durable and ages really well, but if leather isn’t your thing, then faux can be a great option, too.  Construction is everything when choosing a long-term bag.  Flimsy, thin handles will absolutely not cut it, and you don’t want them to break under the weight of the small load you’ll be toting around. Look for bags with thicker, sturdy handles and reinforced seams (especially where the handles attach to the bag itself).
  3. Versatility: When investing in a bag, you want to make sure that this bag will translate will into your everyday life.  Honestly, this is why I shy from looking at actual backpacks- I know I won’t want to take a backpack to the mall or on a weekend getaway.  Look for a bag that you love, and I mean LOVE.  If you love the bag, you will use it.  Plain and simple.

Happy hunting ladies 😉

XOXO,

  • Insta Magic!

    76 degrees and wonderful ☉☉☉ The chihuahua races might have been the best part #SanDiegoTacoFest #ElChapo Reunited!!!! #HereWithLaunchParty Out on a school night ⚾🍻🎆
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