Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Jennifer Aniston's Guide to Aging Gracefully

I recently came across The Bounty Hunter, the 2010 film starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, and after some quick research, realized I'm about the same age now as Ms. Aniston was during filming. Although her everyday fashion trends veer more toward California casual, Ms. Aniston has become my style guru (of sorts). I love how she mixes high-end and low-end pieces -- check her out in Dr. Scholl's sandals -- and I have always admired her red carpet style and dedication to staying fit and trim.

So it got me thinking... Does Jennifer Aniston know the secret to aging gracefully? After all, she looks about the same now as she did almost a decade ago! Here are some things I've picked up just taking note of her fashion trends and other choices.

Plastic surgery should be subtle.
While some celebrities look like a piece of molded plastic, Ms. Aniston, who most likely has had some work done (Botox? Laser Treatments?), looks more natural. She has wrinkles on her forehead and her face moves when she talks, but she still looks beautiful... and human.

Eat healthy -- but still indulge every once in awhile.
Being on a perpetual diet isn't fun, so you have to give in to your cravings. In interviews I've read with Ms. Aniston, she has admitted to being a big fan of Mexican food, not exactly low-fat food fare, and having the occasional cheat day. I try to follow that same philosophy, and have a "cheat meal" once or twice a week. It usually involves an abundance of sushi or chips, salsa and guacamole.

Regularly exercise.
Change it up, try different workouts, even different times of day, but do what you have to do to stay in shape. Ms. Aniston likes yoga and other activities. I run, lift weights and use the elliptical machine at a very high resistance. You have to get your heart rate up if you are going to burn calories. I stick with an exercise routine that works for me, going strong six days a week, and taking Sundays off.

Tanning is not an option.
Ms. Aniston always looks tan, and she has admitted to loving spending time in the sun. While I don't think that's the best way to look young -- the sun will age you faster than a pack of cigarettes -- she is somehow pulling it off. If I look tan right now, it's only by accident, via walks with my boys and from running outside on the weekends. I rarely go to the pool in my neighborhood, and always have a hat on to shield my face from the sun when I'm outdoors. Still, a tan, whether natural or bought in a salon, helps create that rosy, youthful glow.

Wear black.
Ms. Aniston is known for favoring black -- and there's nothing wrong with that. You don't have to automatically be going to a funeral (or feel like you are) if you step into a black dress. Black is slimming, it's easy to dress up or dress down, and it works on just about every skin tone. Yep, there is nothing wrong with wearing black.

Outfit Details

Today, I'm following Ms. Aniston's example and wearing black to the office, in a dress that I bought for just $39 on Amazon!

Dress: Trina Trina Turk Pernilla Perforated Scuba Dress

There are only select sizes still available -- I'm wearing a size two for reference -- and the price is now higher, but it's still an amazing dress. Remember, when it comes to Amazon, you have to know when to buy to get the best deal.

Shoes: Alexandre Birman Lolita Striped Sandals

I chose to wear these multi-color sandals to add a pop (actually, several pops) of color to today's all-black outfit. It's my first pair of shoes from the Alexandre Birman brand, and so far, I'm in love!

So, fair readers, what are your tips for aging gracefully? I need all the help I can get if I want to follow in Ms. Aniston's footsteps...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

London Calling

Today's outfit has inspired "London Calling," by The Clash, to play over and over in my head, as I wore the dress in London when Chapin and I went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Dress: Milly One Shoulder Anna Dress

I think this dress is so versatile, perfect for parties, cookouts or other daytime events, and the design is extremely flattering. The waist has an elastic band, for example! I also love the juxtaposition of such a manly print (pinstripes!) with the feminine one-shoulder silhouette.

I got this dress for a steal during an Atlanta boutique's going out of business sale, but you can still find it on Amazon.

Shoes: Stuart Weitzman Strutting Platform Sandals (no longer available)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

It's All an Illusion

Details like an illusion neckline always seem to be in style. In fact, I wore one to my senior year Homecoming dance in the Fall of 1995! Was that really almost 23 years ago?!

Today's dress, from Trina Turk, is a sweet little LBD that can work for day or night. Since I'm wearing it to the office, I dressed it down with ankle booties, but you could easily dress it up with strappy sandals and some bling.

I am a big fan of Trina Turk, but this dress wasn't completely in line with other dresses from the brand, and the first time I tried it on, I didn't love it. There's a lot of material at the hips due to the deep pockets, so it threatens to make you seem bottom heavy and hippy. I think maybe I had the wrong size, though. Size down here -- I'm wearing a size two -- and hopefully you won't have that problem.

Dress: Trina Turk Andy Dress in Black

I ended up buying the dress when it was marked down at Belk during the Phipps Plaza store closing. I think the store is open until the end of July, so hurry if you plan to go one last time. I will miss that store so much, not just because of the great sales, but because it was so much fun going with my Mom (and sometimes my Dad, too)! The last time I went, there wasn't much left, so I doubt I will go again. I'm glad I can at least still shop Belk online.

Similar Style:

This Maggy London dress on Amazon also has an illusion neckline if you like that style, but want something a little more formal. It's longer than the Trina Turk dress as well.

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

End of an Era

It's a bittersweet day. We closed on our loft today, finally letting it go after owning it for 16 years. I know it was time, but I can't help feeling sad. It was our home for 11 of those years. We weren't even married when we bought it back in 2002. I was 24 years old, and buying the loft made both me and Chapin homeowners for the first time in our lives.

The first week, before we even moved in, we painted. Chapin and his dad did the hard part (the ceiling), but I helped after work and on the weekend. We had to bring in light, because we had no light fixtures yet, and it would get so dark we could barely see.

Later, we added hardwood floors and brought in new kitchen appliances. Chapin painted the column silver. He updated the bathroom floor.

There were so many good times. We had our rehearsal dinner there, and after our wedding Chapin hung my dress from the ceiling for months until I had the dress professionally stored.

A Photo from the Rehearsal Dinner at the Loft: October 31, 2003.

I threw Chapin a surprise party for his 30th party there. I hosted a bridal shower for my friend, Erin; bachelorette party for my friend, Katie; numerous parties and get togethers over the years.

We brought George home to the loft, and Izzie as well.  I got my MBA while we lived in the loft, and I remember being home alone, trying to study but procrastinating. I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and danced with George and Izzie as we watched Enchanted.

I knew it would be a tough day for me, so I decided to wear something pretty to make myself feel better. Enter this Shoshanna floral dress!

Dress: Shoshanna Basilica Dress

The dress is still available for purchase on the Shoshanna website, Amazon and Saks.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Fearne Glitter Criss-Cross Wedges

I know nothing can last forever, and that I have so many wonderful memories from the loft. I just hope the new owner appreciates it, and makes it a true home in this busy, hot, crowded city. It was not just a place to live for us -- it was a haven, and I will miss it.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Electric Blue

This French Connection dress is one I picked up at Belk during its store closing sale at Phipps Plaza, so I got it at a huge discount. I didn't love the dress when I first tried it on, but the color and the way it hugs my body are really flattering, so it's growing on me.

The dress is very tight fitting, and the material is not forgiving, so I have a few tips for wearing it:

First, make sure your strapless bra is seamless. If it has any sort of special design, it most likely will show through the crepe material.

Second, even though the dress has a fit and flare design, wear Spanx underneath, preferably a version that goes up below your breasts. You don't want any lines or lumps showing at your waist.

Outfit Details:

Dress: French Connection Rose Mesh-Inset Crepe Fit and Flare Dress

The exact dress and a few other variations are available now at Amazon, and you don't have to pay full retail price. This dress in a beautiful magenta is on sale at Amazon for just $26, for example. (For reference, I'm wearing the Cobalt color in a size four.)

You can also find the dress in red, magenta, white and black on the French Connection website. There is also a sleeveless version.

This sleeveless version is also available in white only on Bloomingdales.com.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Nude Tallow Sandals

Somehow, we're already midway through July, and I feel like the summer is just flying by so fast. I'm trying to enjoy it while I can, though I'm working more than ever. I'll leave you with the song that inspired the name of my post today: the 1987 hit, Electric Blue.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Polka Perfect

July is my favorite time to shop. The sales during the beginning half of the month are the best of the year. For example, I recently bought a pair of Christian Loubouin shoes for just $350. That's a steal if you know fashion.

So, it's no surprise that my husband is not happy with me of late. Will men ever understand the allure of a new dress, pair of shoes or handbag? I think not! There is a reason the #sorrynotsorry hashtag was invented! ;)

Today's dress is one I scored in a recent sale on the Alice + Olivia website. I adore everything about this dress, from the flutter sleeves to the polka dot print, so I just had to have it. 

I was worried it would not fit -- I'm wearing a size four for reference -- but I think I have lost the extra pounds I put on during our trip to Europe in May, so it's a little snug, but fits fine.

Dress: Alice + Olivia Farah Polka Dot Flutter Sleeve Dress

The dress is no longer on the Alice + Olivia site, but you can find it at a few other retailers, including Neiman Marcus (in blue/white polka dots) and Saks. (If you're wondering where I scored those discounted Louboutins, it was Saks. It's my favorite place to be in July.)

Shoes: Sophia Webster Mika Polka Dot Leather Pumps (no longer available)

A Piece of Nostalgia...
Am I the only one who thinks about the movie Big Business, starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin, whenever I wear black and white polka dots? My sisters and I loved (still love) this 80s movie, and can quote pretty much every line.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Dressing for the Fourth

I know July Fourth is technically still a day away, but that doesn't mean I can't get my red, white and blue out! This dress from BCBGeneration is the perfect dress to show my patriotism. The chevron print boasts a variety of red hues, offset by black, white and royal blue.

Best of all, I nabbed the dress for just $13 at the Belk at Phipps Plaza. The store is closing at the end of the month, so everything is 40-60% off.

Outfit Details:

Dress: BCBGeneration Textured Knit Chevron Print Fit and Flare Dress

I almost didn't even try this dress on, since it's a size two, but I figured at such a low price, I had to give it a go... and then it fit me! It was a nice little pick-me-up to know I could squeeze into this size two dress.

You can still buy the dress online at Belk or Bluefly.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Lang Sandals

The shoes look more orange in the photo, but actually compliment the subtler shades of red in the dress extremely well.

I'm trying to hydrate today to get ready for the Peachtree Road Race tomorrow. I'm not anticipating a good run time, since it will be so hot and humid, but hopefully the fun atmosphere at the race will more than make up for the intense heat.

Happy Fourth!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Easy Summer Dress From CeCe

Dressing in summer should be light, breezy and easy, and that's why I love this gingham dress from CeCe. It's perfect for enduring the heat and humidity in Atlanta, and little details like the flutter sleeves and tailored fit mean it works equally well for both a day at work or a weekend adventure.

Best of all, this dress is very reasonably priced; I think I scored mine for about $35 from Lord & Taylor during a clearance sale. The store may still have a few sizes left!

Remember that the CeCe brand runs a bit large; I'm wearing a size two for reference.

Outfit Details:

Dress: CeCe by Cynthia Steff Flutter Sleeve Gingham Summer Dress

Find the exact dress at Dillard's or Nordstrom Rack, or a similar CeCe dress (in light blue with frayed flutter sleeves) at Macy's or Lord & Taylor.

Sandals: Schutz Hara Heeled Sandals

My husband even said I looked pretty today... and that's saying a lot!