Skirt Code: Why I Prefer to Wear Skirts, Reason 4

Hello friend! When I first saw the Victoria Beckham for Target Black and White Stripe Scallop Midi Skirt, I knew I had to have it. I wanted to add it to my arsenal of skirt outfits. The details of this skirt make it a poster child for my Skirt Code Reason 2 post. It also works to illustrate my fourth reason for wearing skirts: they are lighter and airier than pants.

Best skirt outfits & why we should wear more skirts. Victoria Beckham for Target black and white stripe scallop midi skirt.

While a pair of pants covers your entire leg, a skirt leaves some skin exposed. Furthermore, pants often stick to your skin all the way down. A skirt however, skims over certain areas and leaves the rest completely bare. Therefore, a skirt is definitely lighter and airier. So as the summer months creep up on us, I recommend wearing more skirt outfits to help keep you cool and comfortable.

Best skirt outfits & why we should wear more skirts. Victoria Beckham for Target black and white stripe scallop midi skirt. Best skirt outfits & why we should wear more skirts. Victoria Beckham for Target black and white stripe scallop midi skirt.

This skirt specifically exemplifies this reason because of its open panels. I adore how it moves when I walk. And it certainly keeps you cool!

Best skirt outfits & why we should wear more skirts. Victoria Beckham for Target black and white stripe scallop midi skirt. Best skirt outfits & why we should wear more skirts. Victoria Beckham for Target black and white stripe scallop midi skirt.

When I first set out to style this skirt, I was a tad stumped. Because the skirt is so unique, I wanted it to be the main focus. I decided on my fallback: a chambray shirt. It never fails to make an outfit look pulled together. Because this is more of a summer look, I chose a sleeveless chambray shirt (seriously one of my faves!).

Best skirt outfits & why we should wear more skirts. Victoria Beckham for Target black and white stripe scallop midi skirt. Best skirt outfits & why we should wear more skirts. Victoria Beckham for Target black and white stripe scallop midi skirt.

With the top decided, I moved on to accessories. The shoes were a bit of a no-brainer as well. I’ve always loved white accessories in the spring and summer (read more in spring transition post). Therefore, I often reach for my white pumps this time of year. Besides the shoes, I also adore white jewelry in the warmer months. Thus I had to wear my Yasmin drops and white enamel watch.

Best skirt outfits & why we should wear more skirts. Victoria Beckham for Target black and white stripe scallop midi skirt.Best skirt outfits & why we should wear more skirts. Victoria Beckham for Target black and white stripe scallop midi skirt.

And finally for the last piece of the outfit, the bag. I went with an old stand by, my Clare V leopard print clutch. As always, it adds some richness and warmth to the outfit.

Best skirt outfits & why we should wear more skirts. Victoria Beckham for Target black and white stripe scallop midi skirt.

I hope reason 4 of my argument for skirt outfits is proving strong in the court of fashion. I think wearing skirts provide visual interest as well as cool factor (both figuratively and literally!).

Color Crush: Pink and Yellow

Hello friend! Now that we’re well into spring, I am happily breaking out my spring colors. With this comes the chance to mix together new color combinations. This time I am pairing a pink blouse with my new HM yellow lace skirt. This combination results in the prettiest pink and yellow outfits, ones that would be just perfect for Easter!

Pink and yellow color and outfit combination featured on the color crush series on polished whimsy blog. A color blocking outfit with the HM yellow lace skirt and pink J crew blouse, making a perfect Easter outfit.

When I was thinking about what to wear for Easter, I knew I wanted to find a pretty color combination. I also knew I wanted to wear a fun new skirt. So when I saw the HM yellow lace skirt on a recent shopping trip, I snagged it up right away. Then came the debate of what to pair it with. I played with multiple options, but in the end settled for a solid pink top. I think pink and yellow is a perfect color combination for an Easter outfit.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy in pink and yellow Easter outfit featuring HM yellow lace skirt and J Crew pink blouse in a spring color combination. Everyday style blogger polished whimsy in pink and yellow Easter outfit featuring HM yellow lace skirt and J Crew pink blouse in a spring color combination.

Now let’s talk about the skirt. Seriously I cannot believe what a gorgeous skirt this is. The HM yellow lace skirt looks far more expensive than it really is. It sits comfortably at the waist, has a zipper closure in the back and an exquisite scalloped hem. I also like that there is a sheer panel on the bottom third. It adds an airy quality to the skirt while still keeping it modest.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy in pink and yellow Easter outfit featuring HM yellow lace skirt and J Crew pink blouse in a spring color combination. Everyday style blogger polished whimsy in pink and yellow Easter outfit featuring HM yellow lace skirt and J Crew pink blouse in a spring color combination. Everyday style blogger polished whimsy in pink and yellow Easter outfit featuring HM yellow lace skirt and J Crew pink blouse in a spring color combination.

I seriously just want to keep twirling around in this skirt. And I did…much to the annoyance of the joggers on this path!

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy in pink and yellow Easter outfit featuring HM yellow lace skirt and J Crew pink blouse in a spring color combination. Everyday style blogger polished whimsy in pink and yellow Easter outfit featuring HM yellow lace skirt and J Crew pink blouse in a spring color combination.

So needless to say, I will be happily wearing this as my Easter outfit this year. The color combination is too stunning to pass up! To keep the focus on the pink and yellow color block, I chose to wear a simple nude pump. However for my jewelry, I chose to echo the yellow in the skirt with yellow accent earring.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy in pink and yellow Easter outfit featuring HM yellow lace skirt and J Crew pink blouse in a spring color combination. Everyday style blogger polished whimsy in pink and yellow Easter outfit featuring HM yellow lace skirt and J Crew pink blouse in a spring color combination. Everyday style blogger polished whimsy in pink and yellow Easter outfit featuring HM yellow lace skirt and J Crew pink blouse in a spring color combination.

As for the rest of my jewelry, I kept the pieces minimal. I chose to wear my new rose gold favorites. That includes my Daniel Wellington watch (get 15% of all purchases with code “polishedwhimsy”). Along with the watch, I wore my rose gold Trellis Lane bracelets (the Aria and Olivia). Luckily I have another discount code, if you want, for those, use “polished25” for 25% off!

I hope you like the pink and yellow color combination for my 2017 Easter outfit. I am just so pleased that I found the HM yellow lace skirt so that I could play with this amazing color combination. If you like to see more colors, check out my color crush series.

The Ugly Side of Blogging: Working with Brands

Hello friend! As I continue my “Ugly side of blogging” series, I want to discuss some negatives that can occur from working with brands. My hopes are to raise awareness and to provide you with pointers. I do not think brands are evil. In fact, working with brands is usually fun and rewarding. Let me show you how best to do so!

working with brands, the ugly side of blogging per everyday style blogger polished whimsy

Working With Brands: No Follow Through

One of the most frustrating things about working with brands is when they don’t follow through. My first such experience occurred in November 2016. I received an email from a shoe company. Although I had not heard of them, when I looked them up I got very excited. The shoes looked great: they were all leather, seemingly good quality, and sold in nice department stores. I was thrilled they were considering me for a collaboration.

Because I really wanted to make a good impression with this collaboration, I spent a lot of time deciding on which products to choose. I examined every pair and painstakingly planned outfits to pair with the shoes. Furthermore, I researched each pair on multiple websites to ensure I was purchasing the correct size and color. Needless to say,  I spend hours planning this collaboration before I actually received the products.

I sent in my wish list of items and patiently waited. After two weeks when I did not receive the product, I emailed the rep. She replied that they were busy with the holiday season and for me to wait until January. I complied. In January, I inquired again and got no answer. I tried again a couple of more times and still no answer.

As you can imagine, I was thoroughly upset about the outcome. Its not so much that I didn’t get to work with the brand, it’s more about the time I lost planning it. So here is the lesson I have learned: Don’t waste time planning a collaboration until you actually get the product. To ensure picking something you’ll be able to work with, pick an item that’s in line with your style. Then you should have no problems styling it!

Working With Brands: Slow Communication

Similar to working with brands with no follow through, is working with brands with slow communication. This can affect your blog and posting schedule. One example is with a brand who wanted to approve my photos before I posted them. Within seven days of receiving the product, I had styled my shoot, taken the photos, edited them, and sent them to the company. And then I waited, and waited, and waited.

It took the company a full month to choose a photo for me to post. Now this certainly is not the worst problem when it comes to working with brands. However, it can put a kink into your schedule. Therefore, if you are working with a brand who is requesting to approve photos prior to your post, be sure to give ample time for them to do so. Don’t schedule your Instagram or blog posts until you have the all clear from the brand!

Working With Brands: No Guidance

Another difficult aspect about working with brands is when they want to collaborate but give you no guidance. Last year one of my favorite stores reached out to me. They offered to send me an item. They did not specify the kind of item or give me a choice. But I was still THRILLED! This was a large company whose items I adore. I was walking on air.

I wanted so bad to have a successful post that would please them. They are, after all, my favorite store! So when the product came, I went into overdrive thinking of creative posts. I kept asking them what they wanted from the collaboration, how many posts, what kind of post, and so on. They gave no information. This was also very frustrating in that I truly did not know what they wanted.

Therefore, I just did my best. I posted three photos with their product. I changed up each post so that it was fresh and unique, showcasing the product in a different manner. Unfortunately, I never got any feedback from them. My advice is to do your best and be creative while sticking to your aesthetic. If it’s a brand you truly love, take the time to post multiple times with the product.

Working With Brands: Too Hands On

Now looking at the other end of the spectrum, it’s just as frustrating when a brand is too hands on. I once worked with a brand who acted like they owned me just because they sent me two accessories. They kept telling me when to post, criticizing my blog post, asking for multiple extra posts after the collaboration post. It just got exhausting, and frankly, annoying. I didn’t want to feel like a puppet on a string.

Now when a brand I don’t know asks to work with me, I ask around about them! I look at other bloggers they have worked with and reach out to ask their experience. That way if a company is asking too much from a blogger, I can politely decline the collaboration. I thus save myself a lot of time and frustration!

In summary, while working with brands is mostly exciting and fun, there are sometimes some pitfalls. I hope I have given you ample guidance on how to avoid those pitfalls. If you have other hints to share, please drop a comment!

Beauty Beat: Oil Cleanser

Hello friend! As you know from my skin care routine post, I like to use an oil cleanser to remove my makeup. For years I have been using the MAC Cleanse Off Oil.  After trialing multiple products, I had chosen that product as my favorite. Therefore, I had no reason to try another one. That is until I saw an oil cleanser at Trader Joe’s. Because Trader Joe’s usually carries good products at fair prices, I decided to try their oil cleanser.

Trader Joes oil cleanser

 

Trader Joe’s Oil Cleanser Cost

The Trader Joe’s oil cleanser comes in a 4 oz. bottle and costs $6.99. That makes it about $1.75 per ounce. My old holy grail, the MAC Cleanse Off Oil is a 5 oz. bottle costing $32.00. Looking at the cost per ounce, that puts the MAC one at $6.40! Therefore, looking at it purely from a cost perspective, the Trader Joe’s product is much more cost effective.

Bottle Ergonomics

The bottle is well made and comfortable to hold and use. More importantly, the pump functions well. Compared to the MAC product, the Trader Joe’s pump delivers more product per pump. I prefer that instead of having to pump 3 times on the MAC one to get ample product.

Product Performance

I find that the product performs just as well as the MAC one. It dissolves the makeup and removes dirt and particles from my pores. The only small concern I have is that it doesn’t remove all of my eye makeup. The MAC cleanser did a better job with that. However, that is not a big deal for me, as I always do a double cleanse. Therefore, my second cleansing removes any leftover eye makeup.

If you’ve never used an oil cleanser before, watch my video on how to use one:

Overall Opinion on Trader Joe’s Oil Cleanser

In conclusion, I prefer the Trader Joe’s Oil Cleanser over my previous product. I am already on my second bottle and I see myself continuing to use it for a long time. Have you tried oil cleansing? Give it a go if you haven’t. This Trader Joe’s oil cleanser is a great one to try!

Color Crush: Light Blue and Red

Hello friend! With spring in full force, I am happy to start playing with new color palettes. One of my new favorites is light blue and red outfits. The original inspiration for this color palette was from a painting. Because the colors looked so pretty together, I vowed to make it into an outfit. So I hope to do the color combination justice!

Light Blue and Red Outfits: Floral

The simplest way to start to wear these colors is to find an item of clothing that already incorporates the two colors. Therefore when I saw this dress, I knew I had to have it. The result is a pretty mix of beautiful bright and soft colors. To further highlight the color combination, try adding light blue and red accessories.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red floral dress with light blue purse and red pumps Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red floral dress with light blue purse and red pumps

Light Blue and Red Outfits: Preppy

A fun outfit for work is this combination with a light blue and red plaid shirt. I paired it with a light blue pencil skirt to make it polished for work.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red Target boyfriend plaid shirt with light blue J crew factory skirt and floral pumps Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red Target boyfriend plaid shirt with light blue J crew factory skirt and floral pumps Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red Target boyfriend plaid shirt with light blue J crew factory skirt and floral pumps

Because I am always looking for an opportunity to pattern mix, I chose to wear my floral print shoes here. For the rest of my accessories, I chose to carry a navy purse to echo the navy in the shoes. And as for my jewelry, I decided to just wear one bold piece: my Zosma earrings.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red Target boyfriend plaid shirt with light blue J crew factory skirt and floral pumps Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red Target boyfriend plaid shirt with light blue J crew factory skirt and floral pumps

Light Blue and Red Outfits: Color Block

For the daring color lovers out there, I challenge you to wear the colors boldly in a light blue and red color block! Here I chose a light blue blouse and red pleated skirt.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue loft blouse and red HM pleated skirt and floral pumps Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue loft blouse and red HM pleated skirt and floral pumps Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue loft blouse and red HM pleated skirt and floral pumps

Once again, I chose my floral print shoes. I then added my navy clutch to contrast the blue of the top and coordinate with the shoes.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue loft blouse and red HM pleated skirt and floral pumpsEveryday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue loft blouse and red HM pleated skirt and floral pumps

Light Blue and Red Outfits: It’s In The Bag

Sometimes a fantastic color combination can be found in one small accessory. Case in point is this pretty floral clutch. It has baby blue and red together in one item. Therefore you can wear a neutral item and just grab this baby to add the color to your outfit!

Light blue and red outfits: light blue and red floral print Target Sam and Libby clutch with crossbody strap

I hope you enjoyed the light blue and red outfits. Below is a selection of items you can purchase to make your own versions of my light blue and red outfits. Let me know which one you’re planning on trying!

One Item Four Ways: Long Vest

Hello friend! Now that spring is here, I am officially transitioning my wardrobe. You can read my spring transition post first to catch up on my plans. Furthermore, I will simply give you an example here. I am taking one of my fun winter pieces, a camel long vest, and showing you how to wear it in the spring.

Long Vest for Cold Weather

First, let me show you how I styled it during the winter. One of my favorite ways to wear it in the cold, was with many other layers. Layering with a blanket scarf on top of the long vest was an elegant and eye-catching look.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing burgundy j crew pencil skirt, camel long vest, pink plaid blanket scarf and pink Kate spade pumps. Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing burgundy j crew pencil skirt, camel long vest, pink plaid blanket scarf and pink Kate spade pumps. Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing burgundy j crew pencil skirt, camel long vest, pink plaid blanket scarf and pink Kate spade pumps.

Long Vest and Leather Leggings

Another time I wore my long vest recently, was to make my Gray Monroe leather leggings work appropriate. Here I did a simple color blocking outfit with a chambray shirt and the leggings. You can read more about it in my leather leggings post.

everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing leather leggings, chambray j crew shirt long vest leopard print clutch for work outfit everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing leather leggings, chambray j crew shirt long vest leopard print clutch for work outfit

Casual and Distressed

A recent re-style I did was for this original red stripes and leopard print post. One of the key purposes of that post was to point out how you can mix and match pieces to get the same “feel” of an outfit without having to have the exact replica. To further prove that point, I used that inspiration to create this look here. This time, I used the long vest as my camel piece and paired it with my current favorite jeans.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing distressed high waisted jeans, camel long vest, red stripes tee shirt, red pumps and leopard print clutch for a spring ready work outfit.Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing distressed high waisted jeans, camel long vest, red stripes tee shirt, red pumps and leopard print clutch for a spring ready work outfit.Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing distressed high waisted jeans, camel long vest, red stripes tee shirt, red pumps and leopard print clutch for a spring ready work outfit.Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing distressed high waisted jeans, camel long vest, red stripes tee shirt, red pumps and leopard print clutch for a spring ready work outfit.

So if you’re loving the looks so far and are in need of a long vest, never fear friend, because I’ve rounded up a bunch for you right here:

Preppy and Spring Ready

Now we will move into our warmer weather looks. This first one is using shades of navy, with a pop of pretty spring florals. The long vest is still central to the outfit, but the entire outfit feels more spring-like now with the lighter fabrics.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing a navy striped top, navy pencil skirt, camel long vest and floral pumps for a spring ready work outfit. Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing a navy striped top, navy pencil skirt, camel long vest and floral pumps for a spring ready work outfit. Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing a navy striped top, navy pencil skirt, camel long vest and floral pumps for a spring ready work outfit.

For the accessories in this look, I added a second print with the floral shoes. They also served to add a pop of color while still looking unified thanks to the blue in the shoe. As for the purse, I chose my navy and gold stripe clutch. I’m not sure, but I think that counts as a third print. You know how much I adore a good triple pattern mix! And last for the earrings, I chose my eye-catching Zosma drops from Baublebar.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing a navy striped top, navy pencil skirt, camel long vest and floral pumps for a spring ready work outfit.Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing a navy striped top, navy pencil skirt, camel long vest and floral pumps for a spring ready work outfit. Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing a navy striped top, navy pencil skirt, camel long vest and floral pumps for a spring ready work outfit.

Spring Staples and Trends

Finally we come to my last look, if you’ve been counting, that actually makes 5 looks. I figured you wouldn’t mind another example… you’re welcome! 😉 For this look, I chose to combine spring staples (white jeans) with spring trends (embroidery). Therefore, I paired this pretty scarf with my gingham shirt, white jeans, and of course the long vest.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing white jeans, camel long vest, blue gingham shirt and floral embroidery scarf for a spring ready work outfit.Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing white jeans, camel long vest, blue gingham shirt and floral embroidery scarf for a spring ready work outfit. Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing white jeans, camel long vest, blue gingham shirt and floral embroidery scarf for a spring ready work outfit.

I hope you enjoyed the five looks I did with the long vest. let me know if you have a favorite or any other ways for me to style it! You can shop the rest of the outfit details below.

The Ugly Side of Blogging: Increasing Instagram Followers

Hello friend! Today I am discussing another hot topic in the blogging/influencer world: increasing Instagram followers. It’s understandable, everyone wants more followers as a marker of success as a blogger/infuencer. There are many ways to increase Instagram followers. I will discuss the three that I am familiar with.

First, I want to discuss why increasing Instagram followers has become such a hot topic. There is a lot of propaganda out there to “treat this like a business” and to be ruthless and “fierce.” There is a push to constantly advertise, push yourself, and grow. While all that is good, many have given up on the authentic and organic growth and are simply looking at cutting corners to get to the top.

To these people I want to say, there is no need to be cutthroat! There is enough business for all of us. Trust me; companies are always looking for new faces to work with. You will get noticed. You don’t have to stomp on others to get there! Truthfully, I have been patiently growing my account for three years while I see people come in and within 6 months surpass my numbers. Now, I’m not being jealous, but I’m also not stupid. Some of these accounts are definitely using questionable methods to grow.

Increasing Instagram followers: everyday style blogger polished whimsy discusses the ugly side of blogging including buying followers, loop giveaways and the follow/unfollow method

Increasing Instagram Followers: The Follow/Unfollow Method

Believe it or not, there is a paid course on how to do this! There are also programs (that you purchase) which will do this for you. While I have not read that course, nor would I use this method, I will explain it here.

The Method: You basically follow a bunch of people, keeping track of who they are. Then, after a certain amount of time, you go back and unfollow. The hope is that many of the people would have followed back. Furthermore, the hope is that they don’t notice you unfollowed them and will continue to follow you. What’s good is that your followers are real people. What’s bad is it will upset some people.

It’s obvious when someone does this. Their follower numbers go up and down drastically every week. Also, I have noticed that many of the programs that do this, unfollow on the same day. So I have a lot of unfollows on Sunday night. Another piece of evidence is when the same person follows and unfollows you a bunch of times (it’s almost comical!).

For me, this method is a bit heartbreaking in that I can no longer tell who truly wants to follow me for me. In the past, when I got a new follower, I would look at their profile and if we had similar interests, I would follow back to be supportive.

Now that people are using the follow/unfollow method and apps, I almost don’t want to even see who is starting to follow me. I just don’t know who is really interested in me or who is baiting me for a follow. I am tired of being fooled and wasting my time investing in people who do not actually want to socialize!

Increasing Instagram Followers: Purchasing Followers

The method: There are sites you can go to straight out purchase a certain amount of followers. Now understand, the followers you’ll get will not be true fans of your work. They are not even real people, just bots, there to be a number on your dashboard. The positives of this method are that it is fast and you don’t have to put much work into it. The negatives are that it can be costly and obvious to savvy bloggers.

I often suspect someone is buying followers when their numbers don’t “make sense.” For example, if they have thousands of followers but just a few hundred posts. It takes a while to be noticed on Instagram and to build an organic following. Furthermore, you can tell by the number of followers versus engagement on photos. Someone who has 20,000 followers but only 200 likes per photo seems suspicious.

Personally it’s hard for me to understand why people do this. I’ve heard excuses such as blogging is their job and they want a quick increase in followers in order to get better sponsorship. But this in essence is wrong. If you are doing this as a job, you are committing fraud. If a company wants to work with you, it’s because they think you have X amount of real followers, not a mix of real and fake.

Furthermore, this method of buying followers has in turn led to buying likes (more to come on that in my next post). Also, the bots are getting annoying. I guess it an attempt to look like real accounts they also start following many accounts other than just the purchased ones. I’ve had tons of fake accounts follow me. I know they’re not real and it’s such a nuisance.

Increasing Instagram Followers: Loop Giveaways

A loop giveaway, in essence, is a way to share followers with a group of people.

The method: A group of people get together to host a giveaway. The hosts pitch in to purchase an enticing prize. In order to be eligible to win, contestants have to go around and follow every host of the giveaway. The bigger the prize and hosts, the more followers you can get.

The positives of this is that the new followers you gain are real people. Also, if the loop has hosts of a similar niche, you can get a good number of followers. A friend of mine recently participated as a host in a loop giveaway and had great results. Besides the new followers, she made friends with some of the other hosts. This was a great way for her to increase her contacts on Instagram.

The negative aspect about doing a loop giveaway is that that many will unfollow you in the weeks following the giveaway. I think it is safe to expect about a 25-30% drop off rate. Furthermore, some of those who do stay, may have just come for the prize and won’t actually engage with you or your content.

This is the only method I have used to increase my following. I have done a total of three loops in my three years on Instagram. In my opinion, it is the most innocuous way of increasing Instagram followers. While it has worked, I don’t see myself doing it too often. That’s because I worry it annoys people. And the last thing I want to do is turn off my loyal followers.

Possible Solution

A simple solution Instagram can employ is to state when the account was started. If the account is only around for a few months and has tons of followers, that’s a tad suspicious. I think this will help companies to gauge how much experience the influencer has with this kind of “work.”

This has been my summary on increasing Instagram followers. While this is by no means an exhaustive write up about all of the ways people can increase their Instagram following, it is something I’ve observed over three years of being on Instagram.

Please also understand that I am not accusing individual people of using these methods. I have blogger friends who have used them, whom I still adore. That’s because I can understand their frustration with the slow growth of an organic account. However, I just don’t want this to become the norm of Instagram. Let’s stay as authentic as we can!

Make sure to stay tuned to its partner post coming next week on increasing Instagram engagement. The two often go hand in hand!

Wardrobe Winter to Spring Transition

Hello friend! As we are emerging out of winter, it’s time to start our wardrobe spring transition. While I do a similar transition with each change of season, winter to spring transition is my favorite! That’s because I love warmer weather and longer days of sunshine. So even though it’s a big task to change out my closet, I do so happily. Let me share a few key things I change in this transitional time.

Spring Transition With White Accessories

While I enjoy white jewelry, I tend to avoid wearing it in the winter. I just feel it is more of a summer item. I also do not mind segregating some items for certain seasons. It gives me something to look forward to with each change of season. It’s almost like getting something new! Also, white looks great on tanned skin.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing spring transition pieces such as white jewelry, cotton skirt and sleeveless chambray top.everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing white earrings and watch with Target Who What Wear sleeveless chambray shirt for a spring transition outfit

Besides jewelry, I will also be bringing out my white pumps. Before last year, I had not worn white dress shoes since I was a kid. But after seeing how versatile they were on Caryl, I decided to give them a try. It turns out she was right, and I’ve been wearing them ever since!

everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing HM tropical print midi skirt, chambray shirt and white pumps for spring transition outfit everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing HM tropical print midi skirt, chambray shirt and white pumps for spring transition outfit

Bring in Some Brights

While I will continue to wear pastels and soft shades from winter into Spring, I will also add some brighter colors. Bright aquas, pinks and yellows are the perfect spring colors. Case in point is this pretty bright pink dress. Its vibrant hues completely scream spring.

everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing devlin pink lace bell sleeve dress with clare v blue and gold stripe clutch, kate spade floral pumps, baublebar blue necklace and rose gold watch and bracelets for spring transition outfit everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing devlin pink lace bell sleeve dress with clare v blue and gold stripe clutch, kate spade floral pumps, baublebar blue necklace and rose gold watch and bracelets for spring transition outfiteveryday style blogger polished whimsy wearing devlin pink lace bell sleeve dress with clare v blue and gold stripe clutch, kate spade floral pumps, baublebar blue necklace and rose gold watch and bracelets for spring transition outfit

For the accessories in this outfit, I chose to wear my favorite floral pumps. Because the shoe has shades of blue, I then chose a blue clutch to complete the look. For the jewelry, I kept with my current obsession, the Trellis Lane bracelets (discount code “elsie25” still valid for 25% off).

everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing devlin pink lace bell sleeve dress with clare v blue and gold stripe clutch and rose gold watch and bracelets for spring transition outfit

Swap Out Textures

During winter, we were cacooning ourselves in woolen pieces and blanket scarves. But now that spring is here, it’s time to substitute those heavier textures with lighter ones. One of my favorite ones to bring out in spring is eyelet lace. Whether it is in a dress, skirt or top, eyelet lace is always a perfectly feminine warm weather texture! This pretty color-blocked dress is just perfect right now.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing devlin color block eyelet lace dress, Clare V leopard print clutch, white Sam Edelman pumps and baublebar yellow earrings for spring transition outfit Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing devlin color block eyelet lace dress, Clare V leopard print clutch, white Sam Edelman pumps and baublebar yellow earrings for spring transition outfit Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing devlin color block eyelet lace dress, Clare V leopard print clutch, white Sam Edelman pumps and baublebar yellow earrings for spring transition outfit

To further illustrate my first tip, I chose to wear my white accessories with this dress. What can I say, I am so ready for spring!

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing devlin color block eyelet lace dress, Clare V leopard print clutch, white Sam Edelman pumps and baublebar yellow earrings for spring transition outfit

For the rest of my accessories I wanted to add both texture and pattern with my leopard print clutch. I also chose a small (but effective) pop of color in my earrings.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing devlin color block eyelet lace dress, Clare V leopard print clutch, and baublebar yellow earrings for spring transition outfit Everyday style blogger wearing devlin color block eyelet lace dress and baublebar yellow earrings for spring transition outfit

Update the Shoes

My last tip to prepare for spring transition is to replace your heavy winter boots with lighter shoes. That means bringing out my pretty flats and sandals. Besides what I already own, I am also eyeing a few key items. One is the wedge espadrille everyone is loving. The second is a cute perforated spring bootie. With these two items, my feet will be ready to welcome spring with style!

The Ugly Side of Blogging: The Hard Sell

Hello friend! After almost three years on Instagram and now blogging, I have a good idea of how things operate. For the most part, I truly enjoy what I’m doing. However, there are some negatives that I would like to address. Hence the reason I am starting this series! Please understand, this is not an “air out dirty laundry” type post/series. I am hoping for it to simply be an informative post for other bloggers and readers alike!

For today’s installment, I would like to discuss the different ways bloggers/influencers can get paid (with money or product). This includes sponsorship and affiliate marketing. Please also note, this is not an exhaustive research paper nor a how-to post! It is however a quick and (hopefully) helpful synopsis!

Sponsorship

One way to get paid or free items is to get a sponsorship. This is when an influencer collaborates with a company. The company provides product (and sometimes payment) for an influencer to post the item. This can occur on any platform (blog, YouTube, Instagram, etc.).  To keep things clear to the consumer, the influencer is supposed to use the hashtags “ad” and/or “sponsored.”

So the rules are pretty clear, but whether or not everyone follows the rules, that is not clear. For my part, I assure you I do and will follow the rules. More importantly, I promise that I don’t take sponsorship or products that I wouldn’t honestly use/wear. Because I am a fashion and beauty blog, I concentrate on clothing and makeup items. However, I get offers for all sorts of products. If it’s not in line with my blog, I say no. I blog to share my passion, not to stock my house with free products.

I have yet to get paid for any collaborations so I cannot speak to that from personal experience. However, I do not see anything wrong with it, as long as the same above principles hold. After I started blogging, I realized how much time goes into a good post. A blogger is a one person stylist, model, photographer, editor, writer, and web designer. So to get paid for a good post is not an unreasonable thing to expect.

Affiliate Marketing

Another way a blogger can earn some income is through affiliate marketing. This is when a blogger joins in a partnership with a company. The company usually provides a code or a link for each blogger. The blogger in turn uses that code/link when they post about the company’s product. If a reader uses that code or link, the blogger gets commission (some in actual money, others in store credit).

In the past few years, we have also seen the emergence of Shop Style, Reward Style and Like to Know it. These companies are a way of uniting many brands under one affiliate linking group. So the influencer signs up with Shop Style or Reward Style and uses their methods to link the items. This can simply be a link on a blog post or other (such as Like to Know it on Instagram).

I remember when I first started seeing Like to Know it posts. It was on the mega blogger’s Instagram posts. Then slowly it started trickling down to the smaller bloggers. Admittedly I was late to join the party. But when I saw influencers with my size following get admitted to Reward Style, I decided to try. I applied without fully understanding what it was. At that time it seemed more like a badge of honor to gain.

My Experience With Affiliate Marketing

Now I am a member and I do like and appreciate what it does for my blog. With Reward Style I can use a variety of tools to link items to my blog. I like doing this not to make people buy things, but to have the options available if they are interested.

Furthermore, I don’t let the desire for sales fuel my posts. For example, when I wrote my Fall lipsticks post, I knew full well that nobody would purchase a lipstick from my post. I don’t blame them. People like to try on lipsticks in person. But that didn’t stop me. I decide my content based on what’s inspiring me and on what I feel will be helpful for my readers.

Besides Reward Style, I am also an affiliate with Gray Monroe. I was happy to join their program because I honestly like and wear their clothing. To me being a blogger comes with responsibility. I do not want to hawk any item that comes my way in hopes of a sale. I do however, like to share stores and items that I believe are good quality and well priced, stores where I have spent my own money! Gray Monroe is one of those stores.

Like to Know it

Once I became a member, I realized how much extra work came with the program. I had to learn multiple new technologies. Then I had to spend time finding the exact product to link. Then I make a post in the Reward Style app, then transfer it to Instagram, and then I can finally post. Sometimes it can take up to 30 minutes to put together one little Instagram post. All of that work for (maybe) some commission…

In my experience, it is a lot more work than compensation. Of course, I am a small blogger in a sea of gorgeous girls who are all doing the same thing. So, I can honestly say I don’t feel like the money I may make from affiliate marketing and Like to Know it sales is all that much. However, it may add up and help offset other costs of maintaining my blog, so I will keep it up.

The most difficult part for me is managing the constant push for a sale. I understand from their perspective… it’s a business. Reward Style makes money when I “sell” something. However, I don’t want to transfer that push on my readers. I try hard to balance giving you options to purchase without shoving it down your throat. I limit the “here’s a sale, go buy stuff” posts. Instead I offer true content with the option to buy.

An example of the above are my Spring trends posts. Instead of pulling together cute new items to buy and just putting photos and a link, I did research. I looked through multiple fashion websites and magazines to gather all of the actual trends. Then I analyzed them and chose the ones that I thought would be most interesting to my followers. Finally, after writing the post, I found items to link.

Others’ Perception of Like to Know it

I’ve had Instagram followers both like and hate Like to Know it. Again, it’s a balance of directing people to Like to Know it without upsetting them by withholding the brands of the items you are wearing. For my part, I try to still tag the item in my Instagram photo with the brand. That way if someone wants to shop in store, they can go directly there. And those who prefer to shop online, hopefully will use my link!

Final Thoughts

I have shared this information in hopes of allowing things to be transparent on my blog. Most importantly, I want you (my readers) to know that I am not here to make money off of you! I have a career that I love which pays the bills. However, blogging is an expensive hobby. Any money (so far very little!) I make from affiliate marketing goes into developing new content for the blog or for website maintenance.

In conclusion, the choice is yours. If you choose to support me through my affiliate marketing, I appreciate it. If you don’t, no worries. I’d rather you come here for the outfit inspiration! Because truly, in the end, that’s why I started this blog…to share my style and love for fashion.

Stay tuned for more posts in this series. I hope to tackle topics such as buying likes/followers, follow/unfollow and difficult brand partnerships. If you have anything else you’d like me to discuss, please let me know in the comments!

Skirt Code: Why I Prefer to Wear Skirts, Reason 3

Hello friend! If you’ve been following me for some time now, you know that I adore wearing skirts. While my penchant to wear skirts came around slowly, it is a style I have fully embraced. First, if you need to catch up, read my previous skirt code posts. The third reason that I opt to wear skirts is that it allows for me to have fun with tights. Pairing a skirt and tights is a simple way to increase the wear of your skirts.

Pattern mixing fashion blogger polished whimsy demonstrates why she likes to wear a skirt and tights by wearing polka dot tights with plaid shoes.

Because we have a relatively mild winter in Southern California, I can still comfortably wear skirts in the winter. That allows for me to use tights as a fun accessory. Choosing a skirt and tights over a pair of pants has many more possibilities for a fun outfit. Whether I choose a great color or a fun pattern, tights can bring an added element to the outfit.

Pattern mixing fashion blogger polished whimsy demonstrates why she likes to wear a skirt and tights by wearing polka dot tights with plaid shoes.

For this outfit, I specifically decided to wear solid colors in my shirt and skirt so that the tights and shoes stood out. This is to demonstrate my point that even with a simple outfit, patterned tights and shoes can bring in so much character.

Pattern mixing fashion blogger polished whimsy demonstrates why she likes to wear a skirt and tights by wearing polka dot tights with plaid shoes.Pattern mixing fashion blogger polished whimsy demonstrates why she likes to wear a skirt and tights by wearing polka dot tights with plaid shoes.

Now of course, you can be more creative and mix prints in your skirts and tights, or even include your shoes. You know I am always up for a good triple pattern mix. And this is my exact point, wearing a skirt allows you to have the opportunity to wear two patterns on your bottom half. Whereas if you were wearing pants, you would only have one item and thus one pattern! I rest my case!

Pattern mixing fashion blogger polished whimsy demonstrates why she likes to wear a skirt and tights by wearing polka dot tights with plaid shoes.Pattern mixing fashion blogger polished whimsy demonstrates why she likes to wear a skirt and tights by wearing polka dot tights with plaid shoes.

Since there is so much focus on the tights and shoes, I kept the rest of my accessories minimal. I added another pop of color with my gold purse. As for my wrists I threw on a fun arm party for one and let the other one go bare. Lastly for my earrings, I chose a bold pair, the Zosma drops from Baublebar.

Pattern mixing fashion blogger polished whimsy demonstrates why she likes to wear a skirt and tights by wearing polka dot tights with plaid shoes. Pattern mixing fashion blogger polished whimsy demonstrates why she likes to wear a skirt and tights by wearing polka dot tights with plaid shoes.

Because I love my arm party so much, here is a close up of it. I am wearing my Daniel Wellington Dapper watch (you can use code “POLISHEDWHIMSY” for 15% off of any watches). I am also wearing my Trellis Lane Aria and Olivia bracelets (you can use code “POLISHED25” for 25% off all jewelry).

Pattern mixing fashion blogger polished whimsy demonstrates why she likes to wear a skirt and tights by wearing polka dot tights with plaid shoes.

In conclusion, it really is fun to have another item of clothing to mix up colors and patterns. Wearing skirts and tights is an easy way of getting that opportunity. Hence the third reason that I prefer to wear skirts over pants! How do you feel about wearing a skirt and tights? Which one are you more interested in adding in a pair of tights: a pattern or color?