Monday, January 30, 2017

Splurging on a Budget

I absolutely adore today's dress, mainly because it has a few of my favorite features:

  • This wine/burgundy/Bordeaux color really complements those with dark hair and an olive skin tone. (I'm starting to think it might be my best color.)
  • The combination of a v-neck paired with a fit-and-flare silhouette is ultra flattering if you have curves.
  • The jacquard fabric makes the dress looks even more expensive.

I should add that I recently purchased this Erin by Erin Fetherston dress on Amazon at an incredible discount. I paid just $56, and the dress retails for $325. I think the fact that I bought it for such a low price makes me love the dress even more. Amazon definitely makes it easy to splurge when you're on a budget.

Outfit Details

Dress: Erin by Erin Fetherston Coco Jacquard Fit-and-Flare Dress

The dress is still available at the following retailers:

You can also rent the dress on Rent the Runway.

Shoes: Casadei Croc-Embossed Leather Slingback Pumps in Gold (no longer available)

I'm looking forward to reconnecting with an old friend tonight, one I haven't seen in about 20 years. We both went to the same high school, but she was a year ahead of me. She also attended Emory for her undergraduate studies, and she was so encouraging when I was thinking about going there. (I was deciding between Emory, Wake Forest and UGA.) We kind of lost touch during college, but we recently became friends on Facebook, and it turns out she still lives and works in Atlanta. One of my resolutions for 2017 is to put myself out there more, so I think this is a good first step. Plus, I love any excuse to go out to dinner.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Why Length is Important

When you're petite, the length of a dress can be one of its most important aspects.

Take today's dress, for example. I love the butterfly print, but the dress hits me right at the knees, making me look stout. If the hemline came up a few inches higher, showing more leg (to help elongate the frame), I'd probably look slimmer and taller.

Why did I ever buy this dress, you may be wondering? Mainly, the price was right; I purchased the dress for about $20 on Plus, ever since George passed away, I am definitely more attracted to anything with butterflies. (They are often said to represent the souls of those who have passed on.)

Dress: CeCe by Cynthia Steffe Payton Butterfly Organza Fit and Flare Dress

CeCe is the lower priced line from women's wear designer Cynthia Steffe. You can find the brand in major department stores like Belk, Lord & Taylor, Macy'sNordstrom and others.

I don't have many organza dresses, which is another reason I wanted to buy this dress. Organza is so light and delicate, and extremely easy to wear, especially in a fit and flare silhouette.

Shoes: Kate Spade New York Bow Wedges (no longer available)

I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Work was crazy this past week, as I was traveling for part of it (Atlanta to Philadelphia to Atlantic City and back again in 36 hours). Sleep is the main item on the agenda... and catching up on my TV shows. So many shows (Scandal! Jane the Virgin!) are running new episodes again.

I've been struggling to find a show to watch while I workout, so if you have any suggestions, let me know. I've been slowly making my way through the first season of The Crown on Netflix, but it's not "must see TV" for me. Mostly, I find myself watching 80s movies or old episodes of shows I've seen a hundred times.

Chapin and I have watched a few episodes of a show called Travelers on Netflix, but I haven't really gotten into it. The premise reminds me of Quantum Leap, but with a dark twist. Basically, people from the future come back in time to try to save humanity. This twist is they inhabit the bodies of people in the instant they pass away. They essentially take over the brain of the man or woman who has died, like a baton being passed. And for how long, I have no idea. We're only a few episodes in, and hopefully it will get better. As much as I like time travel stories, I'm not really impressed so far.

Have a great weekend. January is almost over!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Buttoned Up

My style isn't ultra conservative, but it is definitely feminine and fun, and that's probably why I fell in love with this velvet bow tie shirt dress from Alice + Olivia. It's professional but still sexy, showing a little leg through the multiple slits in the skirt. I also think the cap sleeves and small bow tie are sweet little touches on what is overall a very simple LBD (little black dress).

The bow tie is even removable if you're not in the mood for it!

Outfit Details

Dress: Alice + Olivia Black Carie Velvet Bow Collar Shirt Dress

Alice + Olivia is one brand where I'm often between sizes, so I decided to size up for this particular dress. (I just never know how something that is snug in the hips will fit me.) I think I chose wisely, although the dress did feel a little big.

I often feel like Alice + Olivia dresses are designed for tall women with tiny busts -- so not me -- so be sure to try on a piece from the Alice + Olivia line if you're really not sure about your size. For reference, I am normally a size 4 in Alice + Olivia, but I went with a size 6 here.

You can find Alice + Olivia in major department stores like Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdale's, and Neiman Marcus, and this particular dress is still available online at the following retailers:

I decided to keep the bow tie theme going with these Prada sandals.

Shoes: Prada Bow Tie Platform Sandals (no longer available)

Hollywood Loves the Dress

The dress has been worn on two TV shows: The Vampire Diaries and Elementary.

Of course, I don't watch either of these shows, but I did see the reference on one of my favorite fashion sites, It is a source of great inspiration for me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Color Me Happy

I love today's dress for its unique array of blues, yellows, reds, pinks and more. Just looking at this cacophony of colors brings up images of fireworks, a trip to the circus, being outside in summer... an overall feeling of happiness. Even though the Ikat pattern is one I've seen everywhere lately, French Connection still manages to make this piece stand out.

Dress; French Connection Matos Ikat Pattern Cotton Sheath Dress

As with any French Connection dress, you get what you pay for: the dress is cheaply made, and not lined. The cotton easily wrinkles, and I recommend you add Spanx underneath to smooth out your curves. The dress works for a day at the office or an evening out; you can dress it up or down with shoes and accessories.

I wanted to play on the fun color combinations of the dress, so I paired it with these Loeffler Randall Piper Wedge Scallop Sandals. I knew I would be spending a few hours in interviews today -- Local Marketing, Inc., is hiring! -- so I needed to look professional but still approachable.

You can buy the dress online at Nordstrom Rack (for just $39.50), the French Connection website, or

Atlanta is still enjoying temperatures in the upper 60s/low 70s, and I am definitely taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather. I even ate lunch outside today. OK, yes, it was a working lunch, but it was still lunch outside in January. I'll take it.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Tips for Shopping Designer Brands at Amazon

Over the years, I've become a very savvy bargain online shopper. Remember Carrie Bradshaw's mantra that "shopping is my cardio"? Well, online shopping is something of a sport to me, too... only I don't get to burn calories doing it.

Amazon is one of the best places to find deals on designer brands. Take today's dress, for example:

Originally priced at $218, I found this Eva Franco dress on sale at Amazon for just $38. And the dress, in case you can't tell from the photo, is absolutely beautiful. In fact, it could probably serve as someone's wedding dress if they wanted to keep things low-key. The dress is a gorgeous champagne color with a subtle silver pattern, and the overall silhouette is extremely flattering. It may be a little too dressy for work, but dressing up makes me feel so happy, so... why not?

Outfit Details:

Dress: Eva Franco Zander High Low Fit and Flare Dress

Shoes: Kate Spade New York Isa Ankle Strap Dress Sandals

The dress is still available at Amazon and a few other retailers (Zappos, Lord & Taylor, and Dillard's), though not for the low price I paid. It's also available in silver on Read my tips below for bargain hunting on Amazon.

A Fashionista's Tips for Shopping Designer Brands at Amazon

1. Start an Amazon Wishlist 

The easiest way to keep track of items you want on Amazon is to organize them in a Wishlist. If the item on your list has this notice -- Ships from and sold by -- then your Wishlist will actually note if the price has dropped since you added it! It will also tell you how many items are left in your size, creating a sense of urgency if there are only one or two left.

2. Use the App to Regularly Check on Items You Want

It's important to keep a close eye on the items in your Wishlist. Prices can change daily, and will fluctuate up or down depending on demand. I've seen items at 75% off jump back up to full price because there is only one left in stock. The Amazon app makes it really easy to peruse your Wishlist to see if those items you want have been reduced to a price you're comfortable paying. And remember: never pay full-price.

3. Be Willing to Take a Risk

Amazon will NOT price match on items like dresses and shoes, so once you pay for an item, you are paying the advertised price -- even if the item's price drops even further. Sometimes I feel like I am a stock broker, watching a dress like it's a stock on NASDAQ, waiting to see if the price will go up or down, and if it's time to buy or continue waiting. It's actually kind of fun.

4. Don't Turn Your Back Too Soon

I've definitely been in situations where I bought too early, and weeks or even days later saw the price drop again. It's harder for me to keep track of these items, since once you buy an item off your Wishlist, it's removed, but if you paid a lot or are having buyer's remorse, just add it again or add it to your favorites. It can't hurt to keep watching the price.

In cases where a dress or pair of shoes I've bought saw another huge price drop, I will return the item if (a) I have not yet worn it, and (b) I can save more than $50.

All I do is buy the item at the reduced price and return the previously purchased item. Yes, it's an extra hassle, but if I'm saving money, it's worth it. If you don't get free return shipping on your item, if you contact customer service and explain the situation, they will usually gift you with the free return shipping label.

5. Keep an Eye Out for Your Friends

Sometimes I may come across an item I love, but my particular size is still full-price, while another size is crazy cheap. (It happens all the time on Amazon.) If the dress is one I think a friend will like, I will send her the link. I'm happy to do it for anyone who is willing to tell me their dress or shoe size.

Shopping online is an escape for me. I work really hard, so when I'm home just sitting in front of the television, I'll often be browsing my favorite sites to see if there is a new deal to be found. Aside from my running, shopping is definitely my favorite sport.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Evolution of Tibi

I recently purchased my first Tibi dress from one of my favorite boutiques in Atlanta... or so I thought. It turns out, I sort of already have a few Tibi dresses in my closet, albeit under the label 4.collective.

After doing some research, I realized that 4.collective, another dress brand that I love, is actually Tibi in a slightly different marketing package.

Learning the best ways to market your own business is something I understand all too well. My company first started out as Meta Media, Inc., an e-commerce consulting business, then morphed into Local Marketing, Inc., around when the recession hit. The change was mainly to help open up our target audience; simply by changing our name, we could focus on a lot more potential business. We were using the same marketing techniques as on the e-commerce side, just using them to promote services instead of products for purchase.

The strategy worked, and Local Marketing, Inc. is now our main focus. You just never know where life is going to lead you.

Outfit of the Day

Dress: Tibi Felted Embroidery Lace Dress

The dress is a little itchy, but otherwise I love it. (I think I may actually be allergic to wool.) It's hard to tell in the photo, but the lace sides and top are actually in a beautiful mint green color. I'm a huge fan of that hue, and have the perfect mint green Kate Spade bag to match.

Shoes: Prada Laser Cut Leather Cutout Ankle Booties (no longer available)

The weather is already warming up in Atlanta, so I don't think I will need to wear wool any other day this week. By Friday, it's supposed to be 71 degrees! I know -- it's hard to believe -- but that's Atlanta weather for you.

Monday, January 9, 2017


Atlanta has had some freakishly cold temperatures the last few days, so this past weekend, I spent most of my time cuddling on the couch under a blanket with Norman and Wally. I'm behind on season three of The Affair, so I enjoyed watching the first five episodes of the season back to back, sipping green tea, and just relaxing. I don't think I ever left the house except to workout and walk the boys. It was a good (if low-key) weekend.

Today's dress is in one of my favorite colors: burgundy. I think it's also one of my best colors in terms of complementing my hair, eyes and overall complexion. My worst color, on the other hand, is light pink. Darker shades just seem to work better on me.

Dress: BCBGMaxAzria Aileen Lace Handkerchief Hem Dress

The dress is still available at Bloomingdale's, Saks and (in a powder blue color). It's a really comfortable dress, and I like that the hemline is a little different. I have so many fit and flare dresses in my closet, so things like an asymmetrical hemline help this dress stand out.

Sandals: Jimmy Choo Nude Tallow Sandals (no longer available)

I know, I'm crazy for wearing sandals in winter, but it really doesn't bother me. I'm really just sitting at my desk most of the day, and I'm all about "suffering" for fashion anyway.

P.S. If you look closely, you can see my neighbor's dog (pooping) in the background of the photo. Talk about a photo bomb!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cheering Up Drab Days

Winter -- January in particular -- is a difficult time of year for me. I hate the cold, and I especially hate dressing for cold weather. Atlanta is due to get some (possible) snow this weekend, and the temperature is already dropping.

The best way to cheer up a drab winter day is through color. That's why I chose this neon pink and blue Shoshanna dress to wear today.

I was reminded of this fact during a recent viewing of the movie Enchanted, which seems to be on Starz about every day. There's a line from the song, "That's How You Know," that goes: "Does he... send you yellow flowers when the sky is grey?" It's all about doing little things for the person you love, small signs of your affection, and that's one of my favorite lines. It works just as well with fashion!

Outfit Details

Dress: Shoshanna Laisa Tweed Dress (no longer available)

I wish this dress was a little shorter, and had a little more structure to it, but I bought it on sale (75% off), so I'm not complaining.  The material is quite beautiful in person. It's hard to see in the photo, but the color is eye-catching and vibrant. I love the silver thread interwoven into the chevron print, too. In the right light, it truly sparkles.

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik Didin Strappy Sandals in Pink

The sandals are still available in gold -- and they're on sale! Beware: they run narrow.

I have a particular fondness for the movie Enchanted, not just because it's a super cute movie -- how could you not love Amy Adams after seeing her in this role? -- but because it evokes such wonderful memories for me, of a time before life became really hard.

I remember watching this movie at home in the summer of 2008. I was home by myself, hanging out with George and Izzie. Grad school was winding down -- I would graduate in the next month -- I had cookies baking in the kitchen, and I just remember being so happy. I would twirl around with George, then Izzie, to the songs in the movie, giggling so hard I could barely catch my breath. Izzie wasn't yet sick, George was still healthy, and I had just turned 30. Life was good. I hope I get to have a lot more memories just like that one in this new year.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Kicking Off 2017 (in Bed)

It's been a busy (and sickly) few weeks. Although I love the holidays, I did not love being sick. I've basically been battling a cold, then a sinus infection, since we returned from our Cayman Islands vacation. I spent New Year's Eve, and the days surrounding it, in bed with hot compresses on my face, a box of tissues nearby, and a stream of pills to help keep my pain at bay (Tylenol, Sudafed, Alka-Seltzer Cold, and -- finally -- antibiotics). Today is the first day I truly feel like I'm on the mend.

Chapin was also sick, so we kept ourselves busy watching Netflix for the entire long weekend. We were a pathetic pair. The changing weather has also not helped things. It was cold, then warm, then rainy, and today's it's humid and in the 60s (as you can tell from my frizzy hair).

I'm hoping that things will only get better from here, even though we're in January, which has typically not been a good month for me. Maybe this year will be different.

Outfit of the Day

Today's dress is one I forgot I owned, because it was stuck in my second closet (and way in the back). It's a classic LBD (little black dress) with a little cap sleeve and square neckline, meaning it's perfect for a curvy figure. I also got quite a few compliments on these shoes!

Dress: French Connection Black Cap Sleeve Square-Neck Dress

The dress is no longer available, but here are two similar styles you may want to check out:

Pumps: Kate Spade New York Larisa Dress Pumps

This particular pattern is sold out online, but Amazon has the pumps in another print (sizes are limited) that you can still buy.

Here's hoping to a healthy and prosperous 2017!