Tag Archives: lifestyle

Loving This Outfit: Floral Summer Dress

During the sticky summer months, when donning a pair of jeans almost certainly means fashion-induced heat exhaustion, I live in light, airy dresses. The almost-not-there feeling of flimsy dresses gets me through those days when even air conditioning can’t stop you from sweating.

Now that the season is shifting to fall (thank goodness!), you don’t have to pack away your lightweight dresses. They make great transitional pieces between summer and fall—for those odd days when Mother Nature can’t seem to make up her mind on the weather. Take the dress and add a pair of tights, fall boots, maybe a tank top underneath for added warmth and a cardigan, and you’re set for that cool-ish, but not chilly autumn weather.

During the summer, I paired this soft floral-patterned dress from PacSun with a brown woven belt found at a thrift store, a vintage golden necklace and cutout white flats from Target. Stay tuned for my autumn-inspired outfit using the same dress.

[Short, lightweight dresses are my summer favorites.]

[The rustic quality of this woven belt complements the delicate floral pattern of the dress.]

[Fueling my vintage-everything obsession, I bought this vintage necklace at a flea market for $4!]

[Take that 100 degree-plus temperatures. This outfit shows you can look cute and stay cool during the dog days of summer.]

[Speaking of dogs…my dog, Andi, wanted to take part in the “photo shoot.” She’s wearing a lovely light pink harness that complements her tan undertones.]

What do you think of my outfit? What’s your favorite summer attire? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

For more fashion inspiration, follow me on Twitter @kirsten_hudson

Want to see more favorite outfits from everyday threads? Then check these out:

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Filed under Dresses, Fashion, Summer Fashion

Feel Good Fashion: Three Clothing Brands That Give Back to Charities

During the stress of the holiday season, I rarely give back to others more than dropping the occasional pocket change into an iconic red Salvation Army tin. After New Years, a wave of guilt usually starts to creep in and I begin to wish I had been more giving during the time of giving.

Luckily, there are year-round options for combining my love of fashion with helping others. These three clothing and accessories brands make donations to charities with every purchase. Now I just have to decide what to buy. Shopping never felt so good.

TOMS

Perhaps one of the best-known companies for its “giving back” ideology, TOMS donates one pair of shoes to a child in need with every shoe purchase through its One for One campaign.

[These delicate silver and white shoes are vegan-friendly (made with no animal products.) Photo Courtesy TOMS.]

TOMS offers a range styles of women’s shoes including lace-up shoes, slip-ons, wedges, botas (similar to high-tops) and vegan boots. Most styles range between $54 and $70.

Kayu

This ethically minded company started with a line of bamboo sunglasses. For every purchase of its sunglasses, Kayu donates $20 to fund a sight-restoring surgery in a developing country.

[These handcrafted retro bamboo sunglasses from Kayu offer 100 percent UV protection. Photo Courtesy Kayu.]

Bamboo artisans in China handcraft Kayu’s line of sunglasses. The line includes four styles all priced at $180. While this seems expensive, these sunglasses have great features that make the price worth it. They’re made from sustainable materials; bamboo, a fast-growing grass, is a more eco-friendly alternative to wood; the lenses offer 100 percent UV protection; and the company gives back to those less fortunate.

Today, Kayu’s collection also includes a line of straw and shell handbags. For every clutch sale, Kayu donates $15 to purchase a backpack and school supplies for a child in need.

[This clutch, made from natural and sustainable straw, features a funky turquoise clasp and works well for day or night. Photo Courtesy Kayu.]

Women’s cooperatives in Asia handcraft Kayu’s purses. The three styles of shell purses are made from mother-of-pearl and pen shells that are by-products of the food industry. These styles cost $280 to $320.

Kayu’s other line of purses, made from natural and sustainable straw, come in four distinct styles and cost $135 each.

Out of Print

What’s your favorite book? Out of Print lets its customers wear their favorite stories through its t-shirts and sweatshirts that feature classic, and often out of print book covers.

[This ultra feminine t-shirt references my favorite novel, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Photo Courtesy Out of Print.]

For every shirt sold, Out of Print donates one book to a community in need through its partnership with Books for Africa, a nonprofit that distributes books to children in Africa.

The book covers featured on Out of Print’s t-shirts include my personal favorite, Pride and Prejudice, along with everything from The Great Gatsby and Moby Dick to Nancy Drew, Fahrenheit 451 and The Outsiders. Out of Print’s t-shirts cost $28.

Out of Print’s sweatshirts, which cost $38, feature 1984, The Catcher in the Rye, Moby Dick, and Pride and Prejudice.

What do you think I should buy? Do you have any other favorite ethically-minded brands? Tell me about it in the comments section.

For more fashion inspiration, follow me on Twitter @kirsten_hudson

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Filed under Accessories, Bags, Clothes, Fashion, Green Fashion, Purses, Shoes, Sunglasses

New Years Fashion Resolutions for 2011

Rather than writing a New Year’s resolution list where I pledge to swear off chocolate, declutter my life and exercise more often, this year I decided to create a list I might actually keep—a style resolution list.

[Ring in the New Year with fashion resolutions. Check out my 11 style resolutions for 2011.]

Below are my eleven (ordered from what I deem least to most difficult to achieve) fashion resolutions for 2011.

1. To incorporate an animal print into my wardrobe.

Fall fashion in 2010 was all about wearing a cute leopard print flat or zebra striped scarf. My love for neutrals made it difficult for me to consider wearing an animal print, even though I love the idea. In 2011 I plan to go for this trend, probably with an accessory.

2. To wear a skinny belt.

When I was window-shopping recently, I spotted a mannequin at the Buckle wearing a cardigan belted around the waist with a thin belt. In 2010 I wasn’t brave enough to try this look, but maybe I’ll get up the courage in 2011.

3. To invest in a trench coat.

For years I’ve wanted this adorable coat that never goes out of style. The trick is finding one that won’t look ridiculous on my five-foot frame. Maybe 2011 will be my lucky year!

4. To get rid of old clothes.

This task sounds easy enough, but whenever I’m deciding what to get rid of I often wonder, “What if I need this sometime?” and it goes back in my closet. In 2011 I want to start fresh. If I haven’t worn it in more than two months, it’s going to Goodwill.

5. To mix up my accessories.

As this blog shows I adore clothes, but I’ve never been much of an accessories girl (other than shoes.) Sometimes coordinating jewelry and purses just makes me tired. But fashion is about more than just clothes and I want to put in a little more effort to make my outfits pop with accessories in 2011.

6. To wear heels when I want to (even if I feel overdressed.)

Many times, especially when going out, I want to wear heels, but I go for flats because I’m afraid of being overdressed. Well not in 2011! If I want to rock a pair of stilettos, then why not?

7. To not sacrifice comfort for style.

Too many times I’ve gotten progressively grumpier throughout the day because of an itchy sweater or a skirt that just won’t stay in the right place. For 2011, I’ve decided that just because an item is cute doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice comfort.

8. To not be swayed to purchase something just because it’s on clearance.

Sale racks can be wonderful resources for the budget-conscious. That said, just because an item is on clearance, doesn’t mean I have to purchase it. In 2011, I hope to reel myself in a bit when it comes to sales.

9. To only purchase items that I adore.

This resolution stems from resolutions seven and eight. I hate when an item sits in the back of my closet and I wonder why I even bought it. In 2011 I want to solve this problem by only buying clothes that I adore.

10. To buy sustainable clothing.

About a year ago, I was an editorial intern for Natural Home magazine, a sustainable lifestyles magazine. Working for this magazine helped me learn about how to lessen my carbon footprint. Since then, I’ve wanted to purchase sustainable clothing, but haven’t. In 2011 I plan to research this option.

11. To not be afraid to take fashion risks.

For a fashion blogger, I’m actually fairly conservative when it comes to style. I don’t take a lot of risks. Maybe in 2011 I’ll turn into a fashion daredevil (and chronicle it here.)

Do you have any fashion resolutions for the New Year? Feel free to tell me about them in the comments section.

Photo by Andrea Rinaldi/Flickr

For more fashion inspiration, follow me on Twitter @kirsten_hudson

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Filed under Clothes, Fashion, Trends

Question Of The Day: How Do You Transition Your Wardrobe Between Seasons?

During the end of September and early October, the weather likes to play a teasing game. At least in the Midwest, each day during these months could bring blazing hot temps or chilly winds or (not often enough) something in between.

So what do you wear when it’s not quite time for fall fashion? Combat Mother Nature with these tips to stay stylish even with erratic weather.

Light and airy

Keep your fabrics light. You want to wear something that’s breathable in case of a warm front. Fabrics like cotton, linen or silk are naturally breathable, but jersey and other knit fabrics can also stay cool.

[This simple cowl neck top from Old Navy has 3/4-length sleeves, which makes it a great piece to wear during the transition from summer to fall. Photo courtesy Old Navy.]

This cowl neck top from Old Navy is made of jersey fabric and has draping that keeps it pulled away from the body. Plus it’s only $17.50.

Layers upon layers

The hands-down best way to transition your wardrobe between summer and fall is to wear light layers. For this look, buttons, zippers and ties are your friends. You want clothes that are easy to pull off and on with unpredictable weather changes.

One of my favorite trends for fall is the slouchy cardigan. It adds a comfy, yet fashionable vibe to an outfit.

[Add this cute neutral cardigan to any outfit if the weather turns chilly. Photo courtesy Forever 21.]

This charcoal cardigan from Forever 21 has an open front, which keeps air flowing. But the cardigan still covers the arms and can be pulled closed if the weather turns cool. To balance its length, pair it with slim pants or a pencil skirt. This cardigan costs $20.

Pretty dresses

Not only are dresses easy to wear, (just pull it over your head and voilà: instant outfit) but they also are perfect transitional pieces. Wear a dress as-is for warmer days or add tights or leggings with a pair of great fall boots for cooler weather.

[Add some tights and boots and this pretty dress with ruffle detailing transitions easily from summer to fall. Photo courtesy Gap.]

At $45, this ruffle shirtdress from Gap is a little more expensive. This dress would move easily from summer to fall. It’s made of lightweight cotton, looks great by itself or with tights and has delicate details that keep it always in style.

How do you transition your wardrobe from summer to fall? Tell me about it in the comments section.

For more fashion inspiration, follow me on Twitter @kirsten_hudson

Are you getting pumped for fall fashion? Get your fix here:

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Filed under Clothes, Fashion, Question Of The Day, Trends

Tip Of The Day: Don’t Wear Band-Aids and High Heels

While out on the town last night, I noticed a girl wearing a cute striped wrap dress and pink stilettos so tall they were worthy of Carrie Bradshaw. This outfit would have received my nod of approval, and I would have returned to sipping my beer, had I not then noticed the band-aids.

[If those adorable shoes rub your poor feet raw please wear band-aids—just keep them covered! Nothing makes an outfit go from cute to tacky like a stray band-aid. Photo by ashleigh290/Flickr.]

The girl had placed a band-aid on the back of each ankle, right above the shoe-line. Presumably she did this to keep her shoes from rubbing, which would have been fine if the band-aids had been hidden inside her shoes. But they were quite obviously there. The one on her left ankle was even half falling off. Nothing says classy like a band-aid dragging behind you. At least they were nude-colored, but as anyone who has ever worn band-aids knows, they don’t exactly blend into the skin.

Ladies, this is another case of when not to wear high heels. Please, if you just can’t leave those cute heels at home and must wear band-aids in order to survive, at least wear pants!

For more fashion inspiration, follow me on Twitter @kirsten_hudson

Want more quirky fashion tips of the day from everyday threads? Get your fix here:

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Filed under Fashion, High Heels, Shoes, Tip Of The Day