Pattern Primer: Styling a Cactus Print Top

Hello friend! Thank you for joining me as I continue my summer mini series. As I mentioned in my pineapple skirt post I’ll be featuring fun summer prints. Today I will focus on styling a cactus print top. This is my cactus print top of choice. Now let me show you how to style it!

How to style a cactus print top for work and play: Try a pattern mix or pair with denim shorts

Casual Cactus Print Top

When I first purchased this cactus print top, I immediately thought to pair it with denim. I just felt that the fun print would play well with denim. Because it is summer, I chose denim cutoff shorts, the quintessential summer item!

Cactus print top with denim cutoff shorts and kensa peep toe bootie Cactus print top with denim cutoff shorts and kensa peep toe bootie Cactus print top with denim cutoff shorts and kensa peep toe bootie

Besides the fun print, I like the fit and feel of this cactus print top. It drapes exceptionally well. I also like that the hemline is rounded. That makes for a nice look when it is left untucked.

Cactus print top with denim cutoff shorts and kensa peep toe bootie Cactus print top with denim cutoff shorts and kensa peep toe bootie Cactus print top with denim cutoff shorts and kensa peep toe bootie

I kept the look cool and casual with a fun summer bootie. Rather than always wearing sandals in the summer, I like to add in warm weather appropriate booties like these. The perforation and the open toe make it suitable for summer.

Cactus print top with denim cutoff shorts and kensa peep toe bootieVince camuto kensa peep toe bootie Vince camuto kensa peep toe bootie

Cactus Print Top Goes to the Office

Since I don’t shy away from bringing whimsy to the office, I had to style my cactus print top for work. I found it easy to do. That’s because the print is fun but not overpowering. Therefore, you can pair it easily with solids and other prints alike. I opted for pairing it with a second print. Is anyone surprised?

Cactus print top and anthropologie chevron printed skirt results in a fun and whimsical pattern mixing outfit Cactus print top and anthropologie chevron printed skirt results in a fun and whimsical pattern mixing outfit Cactus print top and anthropologie chevron printed skirt results in a fun and whimsical pattern mixing outfit

I chose a green chevron print skirt from Anthropologie (my favorite haunt for gorgeous skirts). But you can easily pair it with a black and white stripe (thin or thick). For an extra bold look, I’d love to see it with a large gingham print!

Cactus print top and anthropologie chevron printed skirt results in a fun and whimsical pattern mixing outfit Cactus print top and anthropologie chevron printed skirt results in a fun and whimsical pattern mixing outfit

For a more polished look, pair it with a green or black pencil skirt. If you want a fun pop of color, throw in some pink. Pink and green are gorgeous together! Hence the reason that I am wearing pink polish and lipstick!

Cactus print top and anthropologie chevron printed skirt results in a fun and whimsical pattern mixing outfit Cactus print top and anthropologie chevron printed skirt results in a fun and whimsical pattern mixing outfit Cactus print top and anthropologie chevron printed skirt results in a fun and whimsical pattern mixing outfit

I hope you enjoyed my styling of a cactus print top. But most of all, I hope to have inspired you to try something new. Whether it’s wearing a whimsical print to work, or pattern mixing, I encourage you to experiment with fashion! Stay tuned for more fun summer prints!

Beauty Beat: Fresh Lip Treatment Perfecting Wand Review

Hello friend! A few weeks back I had attended a Fresh skin care demo at a friend’s house. While I had used some products from Fresh, I hadn’t seen the entire line. I tried multiple masks and serums and purchased a few. However, my favorite item was the Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand. It is honestly a dream come true for me!

Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand demo and review

What is the Fresh Lip Treatment Perfecting Wand?

The Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand is a lip conditioner and exfoliator in one! It is quite simply a genius product! Because the tip of the wand has a textured silicone surface, it gently exfoliates as you apply the product. The core of the wand contains the lip treatment which is the consistency of jelly. To get the product out, you simply click the bottom of the wand, like some concealer products. Then the lip treatment comes out on the tip.

Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand demo and review Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand demo and review

How to Use the Fresh Lip Treatment Perfecting Wand

I find the best way to apply the Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand is to first dot it across my lips. Then I start moving the wand back and forth (or in little circles) to start the exfoliation. Otherwise, the product doesn’t get on my entire lip surface and it results in tugging.

My Favorite Ways to Use the Fresh Lip Treatment Perfecting Wand

  1. Exfoliate and moisturize. This is essentially the purpose of this product. You can choose to wear the treatment alone all day, which will be perfect for a five minute face. Or you can go over it with a lipstick. I find that most lipsticks glide over the product very smoothly. However, if you like a very matte finish, you may want to blot after using the Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand and then apply the lipstick.Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand demo and review
  2. Freshen up old lipstick. If after a few hours your lipstick has worn off and is patchy, allow the Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand to come to the rescue. Using it as instructed above will redistribute the lip color as well as add some shine. I often do this at the end of my work day to revive my lip color and therefore freshen my appearance. Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand demo and review
  3. Transition between two lipsticks. If you are wearing a long wearing lipstick and want to switch to another shade, this can be tricky! But never fear, the Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand can help! First, simply blot your lips to remove as much of the lipstick as you can. Then, massage the product on your lips as directed above. Then blot a few times more. This should remove the first lipstick and thus allow you to wear the next one without altering the color!

Would you Like to Try the Fresh Lip Treatment Perfecting Wand?

If you are interested in trying the Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand, you are in luck! Because I think everyone should try this product, I purchased an extra one for a giveaway. Simply leave a comment below and tell me your favorite summer lip color or product! Good luck!!!

Color Crush: Pink and Orange Outfit

Hello friend! I am so excited to finally bring you this color combination. That’s because I have been sitting on the idea for a long time. And now I have the perfect pieces to demonstrate this gorgeous color palette to you! Without further ado, let’s discuss the brilliant color combination of a pink and orange outfit.

How to wear a pink and orange outfit

Does a Pink and Orange Outfit Really Work?

Those of you who follow my color crush series know that I like to read about color theory. So of course I did the same for this color combination. I was happy to see that a pink and orange outfit abides by color theory combination.

This is an example of an analogous color combination. Therefore it works (or is pleasing to the eye) because the colors fall next to each other on the color wheel. In reality, red and orange fall next to each other. But because pink is just a tint of red, the theory still holds. Furthermore, the little yellow flowers adds a third analogous color, resulting in an overall harmonious color scheme.

So after color theory gave the green light for my look, I was hungry to style a pink and orange outfit.  After seeing this top on Debbie Matenopoulos on TV, I tracked one down on matchesfasion.com. I loved the saturated shade of pink and the pretty embroidered flowers. I knew it would be a perfect candidate for the outfit I was dreaming up in my head.

My Pink and Orange Outfit

After weeks of planning and tracking down, I finally got the chance to wear my own pink and orange outfit. Needless to say, I was not disappointed! As predicted by color theory, the colors are harmonious.

Pink and orange outfit with J crew orange pencil skirt, DVF pink top, Kate Spade pink shoes and J Crew gold clutch Pink and orange outfit with J crew orange pencil skirt, DVF pink top, Kate Spade pink shoes and J Crew gold clutch

I had initially paired nude shoes with the outfit, but they just didn’t pop. So I decided to be bold and wear pink pumps instead. While I was worried it would be pink overkill, I think it actually turned out great! The pink simply sandwiched the orange!

Pink and orange outfit with J crew orange pencil skirt, DVF pink top, Kate Spade pink shoes and J Crew gold clutch Pink and orange outfit with J crew orange pencil skirt, DVF pink top, Kate Spade pink shoes and J Crew gold clutch

For my purse, I chose to keep it neutral, but added another texture with my gold clutch.

Pink and orange outfit with J crew orange pencil skirt, DVF pink top, Kate Spade pink shoes and J Crew gold clutch Pink and orange outfit with J crew orange pencil skirt, DVF pink top, Kate Spade pink shoes and J Crew gold clutchPink and orange outfit with J crew orange pencil skirt, DVF pink top, Kate Spade pink shoes and J Crew gold clutch

Lastly for my jewelry, I chose to wear only earrings. A necklace would just detract from the intricate embroidery of the top. I also wore some fun bracelets, including my newly re-acquired renegade bracelet. The gold tones work perfectly with my pink and orange outfit.

Pink and orange outfit with J crew orange pencil skirt, DVF pink top, Kate Spade pink shoes and J Crew gold clutch Pink and orange outfit with J crew orange pencil skirt, DVF pink top, Kate Spade pink shoes and J Crew gold clutchPink and orange outfit with J crew orange pencil skirt, DVF pink top, Kate Spade pink shoes and J Crew gold clutch

After I got dressed, I was faced with a small dilemma. What color makeup to wear? With so many colors in the outfit, I didn’t want to clash. The safe path would have been to wear neutrals. However, I was wearing this outfit to a special occasion, so I wanted some fun makeup. Also, I’m not one to opt for the safe path (when it comes to fashion and beauty anyways!). Therefore I chose to wear a pretty orange duochrome eye shadow on my lids and bright pink lips! I also added a pretty glow with my favorite highlighter.

Pink and orange outfit with J crew orange pencil skirt, DVF pink top, Kate Spade pink shoes and J Crew gold clutch Pink and orange outfit with J crew orange pencil skirt, DVF pink top, Kate Spade pink shoes and J Crew gold clutch

I hope you enjoyed my pink and orange outfit color crush post! It feels great to cross this long anticipated color combination off of my list! Now on to the next! Don’t forget to check out the options below so you can make your own pink and orange outfit ASAP!

Pattern Primer: Pineapple A-line Skirt

Hello friend! With summer in full swing, I want to do a mini-series on fun summer patterns. Well nothing tops that list more than pineapples. Over the last two years, pineapples have really taken a hold of the summer trends. This year is of no exception with the release of the J Crew Ratti painted pineapple a line skirt.

How to style pineapple print items with the J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt and blue striped tee for a pattern mixing cute and colorful outfit

Chambray and J Crew Ratti Painted Pineapple A Line Skirt

When I purchase a skirt, I almost inevitably pair it first with a chambray top. I think it always produces a crisp and refined look. Therefore I immediately paired the J Crew Ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with some chambray. For the summer months, I gravitate towards this sleeveless chambray top. While in the winter, I will opt for this one or that one! But truly, all three make for perfect ensembles.

J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with who what wear sleeveless chambray top and j crew pink rattan clutch J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with who what wear sleeveless chambray top and j crew pink rattan clutch

My style trick did not fail, the outfit looks great. Of course I played up the fun factor with my bright pink sandals.

J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with who what wear sleeveless chambray top and j crew pink rattan clutch J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with who what wear sleeveless chambray top and j crew pink rattan clutch

I also added some more pink with my clutch. Because they are different shades, I think it adds some dimension to the outfit. The rattan also echos the summer feel of the J Crew Ratti painted pineapple a line skirt!

J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with who what wear sleeveless chambray top and j crew pink rattan clutch

As for accessories I kept it simple with a gold watch but added a touch of whimsy with my earrings. I chose to wear a pineapple pair to further reinforce the fun trend!

J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with who what wear sleeveless chambray top and j crew pink rattan clutch J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with who what wear sleeveless chambray top and j crew pink rattan clutch J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with who what wear sleeveless chambray top and j crew pink rattan clutch

Polka Dots and J Crew Ratti Painted Pineapple A Line Skirt

Now I’m sure no one is surprised that I wanted to pattern mix with this skirt. However, I do recommend exercising some caution with this mix. The pineapple print is quite bold. Therefore I would choose a smaller print to wear with the skirt. My first thought was a dainty polka dot. As I had hypothesized, the polka dots matched the J Crew Ratti painted pineapple a line skirt perfectly.

J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with J crew factory polka dot top and pink sam and libby sandals J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with J crew factory polka dot top and pink sam and libby sandalsJ crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with J crew factory polka dot top and pink sam and libby sandals J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with J crew factory polka dot top and pink sam and libby sandals

Stripes and J Crew Ratti Painted Pineapple A Line Skirt

Because I liked the pattern mix above so much, I decided to try it with stripes. The same rule applies: choose a small scale stripe! I had a blue striped tee, but a green one would also work. Or try a pink one for a more monochromatic look!

J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with blue striped tee J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with blue striped tee J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with blue striped tee

Since I was going for a more casual look, with a t shirt, I decided to wear studded strappy flat sandals. I think a cute graphic tee with blues, greens or pinks would also be a cute look (I’ll link some below)! I couldn’t be happier with the combination!

J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with blue striped tee J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with blue striped tee J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with blue striped tee

Trendy Slides and J Crew Ratti Painted Pineapple A Line Skirt

Another way to do a stripes and pineapple pattern mix is to wear striped shoes. I thought it would be great to bring in another trend, the slide sandals. The color and thin scale of the stripes work perfectly with the J Crew Ratti painted pineapple a line skirt. The overall effect is the same as above, but on a smaller scale. So if you’re not comfortable yet wearing a full on pattern mix outfit, try this instead. To get more pattern mixing guidance, check out my pattern mix 101 post.

J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with target sam and libby striped slide sandals J crew ratti painted pineapple a line skirt with target sam and libby striped slide sandals

It’s obvious I am adoring my J Crew Ratti painted pineapple a line skirt. There are so many ways to wear it. However, if you prefer another pineapple print, there are tons to choose from. I am linking my favorites below. Let me know how you are wearing your pineapple print items!

Try This: Boho White Dress

Hello friend! While I enjoy putting together fun work appropriate outfits, I also like to try new styles. One trend I’ve been playing with is the bohemian look. Although I can’t get too “boho” at work, I can bring in a boho vibe. The easiest way to do so is by wearing a boho white dress. My dress is from Shop Stevie. It is now sold out, but they have other fantastic bohemian style dresses.

Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutchBoho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch

My Take on the Boho White Dress

When I first got this dress, I knew it would be a perfect spring and summer look. Therefore I chose to pair it with my summer booties. I feel that boho is almost synonymous with booties! I love the way it came out. The booties temper the femininity of the dress.

Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch

I chose not to wear a necklace because the top of this little boho white dress is so pretty. It has delicate embroidery on the bodice and sleeves. Thus I didn’t want anything to cover it up.

Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch

Therefore, I only wore earrings and some bracelets.

Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutchBoho white dress with polished accessories inclucing Baublebar disco crispin ball drop earrings

Because the outfit was lacking in color and pattern, I chose to bring in a “polished whimsy” element with my choice of purse. Therefore I wore my snow leopard print clutch. I love how the snow leopard is softer than the original leopard spots. It works perfectly with the boho white dress.

Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch

All in all, I think this boho white dress outfit came together fairly well. I’m excited about styling it a few different ways, similar to what I did with this dress. Specifically, here are my recommendations (for this or another boho white dress):

Other Ways to Wear a Boho White Dress

  1. Belt with a cool multi-strand or fringe belt.
  2. Pair with wedges and a floppy hat.
  3. Layer with a crochet vest, oh so boho!
  4. Add a casual element with a denim jacket.
  5. Top it with a rich suede jacket.
  6. Accessorize with fringy jewelry and layer it on! Think lots of beaded bracelets and multiple strands of necklaces.
  7. Carry a large unstructured bag, preferably with fringe!

If you already love the boho look, be sure to check out my friend Mandy’s post (boho chic with 4 easy pieces) where she has great ways of achieving it. I’ve also gathered up some pretty boho pieces from this post and beyond below.

Pattern Primer: Rugby Stripe Pattern Mixing

Hello friend! As you know, I adore to pattern mix. In fact, I tend to do so every chance I get! Furthermore, stripes are one of my favorite patterns. Therefore it’s no surprise I wear a lot of stripes. Recently I have been playing a lot with rugby stripes (a thick scale stripe inspired by rugby uniforms). Therefore I want to share how to wear them. Specifically, I want to show how fun (and easy) it is to do rugby stripe pattern mixing.

How to style rugby stripe pattern mixing outfits

Rule for Rugby Stripe Pattern Mixing

The key to making these (and any) pattern mixes work is to pair prints of different scale (see pattern mixing 101 post). Rugby stripes are already fairly bold. So you need your second print to be significantly smaller or larger. I usually opt for a larger second print, but that’s my personal taste. Do what works for you! In case you’re in need of some rugby stripes in your life, I have rounded some up here:

Floral Midi Rugby Stripe Pattern Mixing

For me, stripes and floral print just always go together. Therefore I pair them frequently in my pattern mixes. I’ve done that here once again. Of course I kept my golden rule, by choosing a large scale floral print.

Rugby stripe pattern mixing with a mint floral skirt and black and white striped tee shirt Rugby stripe pattern mixing with a mint floral skirt and black and white striped tee shirt Rugby stripe pattern mixing with a mint floral skirt and black and white striped tee shirt

Leopard and Rugby Stripe Pattern Mixing

While I love a good black and white stripe tee, I have long been searching for a perfect tan and white one as well. That’s mainly because I’ve been wanting to wear it with this floral skirt. So when I finally found this one at Madewell, I purchased it right away. The outfit lived up to my expectations. It was worth the wait!

Rugby stripe pattern mixing three prints: floral, leopard and stripes with Anthropologie Tracy Reese green floral midi skirt, Madewell rugby stripe tee and Clare V leopard print clutch Rugby stripe pattern mixing three prints: floral, leopard and stripes with Anthropologie Tracy Reese green floral midi skirt, Madewell rugby stripe tee and Clare V leopard print clutch Rugby stripe pattern mixing three prints: floral, leopard and stripes with Anthropologie Tracy Reese green floral midi skirt, Madewell rugby stripe tee and Clare V leopard print clutch

While I have worn this skirt numerous times with black and white pattern mixes, I have always pined to wear it with a tan pattern. I am happy to see that my instinct was correct. It just makes for a softer pattern mix. I love it!

Rugby stripe pattern mixing three prints: floral, leopard and stripes with Anthropologie Tracy Reese green floral midi skirt, Madewell rugby stripe tee and Clare V leopard print clutch Rugby stripe pattern mixing three prints: floral, leopard and stripes with Anthropologie Tracy Reese green floral midi skirt, Madewell rugby stripe tee and Clare V leopard print clutch

For this outfit, I also chose to try a triple pattern mix by adding in the leopard print clutch. This was an easy decision as I often wear leopard print with this skirt (the colors just call for it!). It works, mainly because I follow my triple pattern mix rules. I also added gold toned jewelry to complete the look.

Rugby stripe pattern mixing three prints: floral, leopard and stripes with Anthropologie Tracy Reese green floral midi skirt, Madewell rugby stripe tee and Clare V leopard print clutch Rugby stripe pattern mixing three prints: floral, leopard and stripes with Anthropologie Tracy Reese green floral midi skirt, Madewell rugby stripe tee and Clare V leopard print clutch Rugby stripe pattern mixing three prints: floral, leopard and stripes with Anthropologie Tracy Reese green floral midi skirt, Madewell rugby stripe tee and Clare V leopard print clutch Rugby stripe pattern mixing three prints: floral, leopard and stripes with Anthropologie Tracy Reese green floral midi skirt, Madewell rugby stripe tee and Clare V leopard print clutch

Floral Pencil Skirt Rugby Stripe Pattern Mixing

Keeping with the floral and rugby stripe pattern mixing combination, I chose to pair the tee with a floral pencil skirt. It’s a tad bolder look than the one above. That’s because it’s not only bold prints, but also bold colors. But you know me: I don’t shy away from either. Therefore I adore this look!

Rugby stripe patter mixing with J Crew floral punk skirt and black and white striped tee shirt Rugby stripe patter mixing with J Crew floral punk skirt and black and white striped tee shirt Rugby stripe patter mixing with J Crew floral punk skirt and black and white striped tee shirt

Although the look is quite bold, I think it is still perfectly suitable for most workplaces. Hence the reason I chose to pair the outfit with simple black pumps, to further reiterate its work appropriateness! But I couldn’t resist adding some more color with the bright earrings (sorry!).

Rugby stripe patter mixing with J Crew floral punk skirt and black and white striped tee shirt Rugby stripe patter mixing with J Crew floral punk skirt and black and white striped tee shirt Rugby stripe patter mixing with J Crew floral punk skirt and black and white striped tee shirt

Double Stripe Rugby Stripe Pattern Mixing

At this point I had done plenty of floral prints. Plus I wanted to do another double stripes look (I had done a few on Instagram a while back). Therefore I decided to pair the rugby stripe tee with my skirt du jour: the J Crew pop stripe skirt. The result was a fun and uniform look.

Rugby stripe pattern mixing with J Crew pop stripe skirt and black and white striped tee shirt resulting in double stripe outfit Rugby stripe pattern mixing with J Crew pop stripe skirt and black and white striped tee shirt resulting in double stripe outfit Rugby stripe pattern mixing with J Crew pop stripe skirt and black and white striped tee shirt resulting in double stripe outfit

I hope you enjoyed my examples of rugby stripe pattern mixing. If you try such a look, please tag me on my social media so I can see!

Current Obsession: Colorful Striped Skirt

Hello friend! If you know me in real life, then you know that I don’t just have a mild interest in things. If I am into something, I am INTO it! Right now that something is the colorful striped skirt. It’s probably no surprise: I like color…I like stripes…I like skirts. Therefore it is very fitting that I like colorful striped skirts.

I have played around with colorful stripes before (multi-colored striped shirt). But recently my obsession has narrowed around skirts specifically. Let me show you how I am wearing my colorful striped skirts.

5 colorful striped skirt outfit ideas.

Bright and Work Ready Colorful Striped Skirt

When I saw the J Crew pop stripe skirt, I just had to have it. The bold colors and the stripes were exactly what I’ve been looking for. The cut and length of the skirt also ensured me that it would make a great work outfit. Therefore I immediately paired it with a scoop tee and heels for an office-ready look.

Colorful striped skirt for work: paired with a tee and heels the J Crew pop striped skirt adds color and pattern to an office ready outfit.Colorful striped skirt for work: paired with a tee and heels the J Crew pop striped skirt adds color and pattern to an office ready outfit. Colorful striped skirt for work: paired with a tee and heels the J Crew pop striped skirt adds color and pattern to an office ready outfit.

For accessories I thought it would be fun to bring in a second pattern. Therefore I added more stripes with my clutch. I also chose to showcase one bold piece of jewelry, my bib necklace. The necklace looks great here because the low scoop neckline of the top allows it to be the focus.

Colorful striped skirt for work: paired with a tee and heels the J Crew pop striped skirt adds color and pattern to an office ready outfit. Colorful striped skirt for work: paired with a tee and heels the J Crew pop striped skirt adds color and pattern to an office ready outfit.

Whimsical Colorful Striped Skirt

Another colorful striped skirt I have is a white A-line Kate Spade one that I purchased on vacation last summer. It was another case of love at first sight! The sweet pastels in these stripes make it so easy to pair with some of my favorite pieces. Case in point is this look below, where I paired up the stripes with polka dots, pattern mixing heaven!

Pattern mixing polka dot blouse with colorful striped skirtPattern mixing polka dot blouse with colorful striped skirt

It was equally fun to choose my accessories for this look: I simply used more colors in the skirt. I chose two shades of pink for my purse and shoes. As luck would have it, I also found a fun pink wall where I took the photos. With all of the colors in the outfit, I chose to keep my earrings neutral with a simple white pair.

Pattern mixing polka dot blouse with colorful striped skirt Pattern mixing polka dot blouse with colorful striped skirt Pattern mixing polka dot blouse with colorful striped skirt

Colorful Striped Skirt for the Weekend

Just in case you thought the colorful striped skirt was just for the work week, I also have a casual look. Here I am wearing the J Crew Factory sidewalk skirt with a fun graphic tee and denim jacket. I added a pair of pretty jeweled sandals and I’m set. Whether it’s running errands or catching up with friends, this look will work for the entire weekend.

Colorful striped skirt styled casually with the J Crew sidewalk skirt Colorful striped skirt styled casually with the J Crew sidewalk skirt Colorful striped skirt styled casually with the J Crew sidewalk skirtColorful striped skirt styled casually with the J Crew sidewalk skirt

The Colorful Striped Skirt Dresses Up

It is rare to find a colorful striped skirt for dressier occasions and styles. Therefore when I saw this long ball gown style skirt, I knew I had to have it. It is certainly not something I can wear daily. However, it is a long-term item, meaning that I can wear it for a long time. It’s not of a specific style or fashion that will go out of style. So as long as I’ll like color and stripes, I will like this skirt!

Colorful striped skirt styled for a special occasion with the Alice and Olivia Nicola skirt and Anthropologie denim corset cami Colorful striped skirt styled for a special occasion with the Alice and Olivia Nicola skirt and Anthropologie denim corset cami

I paired the skirt with a denim corset top. Because I wore the skirt with a denim top, I wanted to add more pops of color with my accessories. Therefore I wore my red pumps and fun yellow earrings.

Colorful striped skirt styled for a special occasion with the Alice and Olivia Nicola skirt and Anthropologie denim corset cami Colorful striped skirt styled for a special occasion with the Alice and Olivia Nicola skirt and Anthropologie denim corset cami Colorful striped skirt styled for a special occasion with the Alice and Olivia Nicola skirt and Anthropologie denim corset cami Colorful striped skirt styled for a special occasion with the Alice and Olivia Nicola skirt and Anthropologie denim corset cami

Neutral Colorful Striped Skirt

While I love a good colorful striped skirt, many of them are summer items (light weight material, pastel colors, etc.) and I feel like I can’t wear them year around. However this past winter I found this striped midi skirt. With its thicker fabric and darker colorful stripes, this skirt is the winter equivalent of the others! Hooray!

Colorful striped skirt for the office: add a chambray shirt and blazer for a pulled together work outfit Colorful striped skirt for the office: add a chambray shirt and blazer for a pulled together work outfit Colorful striped skirt for the office: add a chambray shirt and blazer for a pulled together work outfit Colorful striped skirt for the office: add a chambray shirt and blazer for a pulled together work outfit

For this neutral colorful striped skirt look, I paired the skirt with one of my go-to’s: a chambray button down shirt. I added a blazer and heels and the look is complete! I kept the jewelry minimal with a pair of pretty hoops.

Colorful striped skirt for the office: add a chambray shirt and blazer for a pulled together work outfit Colorful striped skirt for the office: add a chambray shirt and blazer for a pulled together work outfit Colorful striped skirt for the office: add a chambray shirt and blazer for a pulled together work outfit

So while I am very much obsessed with every colorful striped skirt I see, I don’t feel bad purchasing a few. Because they are so versatile and fit my style so well, I will wear them for a long time. I hope you won’t get sick of seeing them!

Try This: Spring Leather Jacket

Hello friend! During my spring wardrobe transition, I put away a lot of my winter items. However, there were a few things I kept. Specifically, my leather jackets. Although they are inherently a cool weather item, I think leather jackets can also be a perfect transition piece. Let me show you how to update your look with a spring leather jacket.

Styling leather jackets for spring work outfits. From pattern mixing with midi skirts to sharp pencil skirts.

How to Make Your Jacket Spring Ready:

  1. Wear your leather jacket with lighter pieces. With the chill of winter behind us, we can forego the sweaters and scarves. Instead, we can now pair our leather jackets with airy and feminine fabrics. So go ahead and throw it on over your pretty eyelet blouse or frilly off the shoulder top. The juxtaposition will be lovely, trust me!
  2. Along the lines of the above reason, also pair your jacket with shorter hems. Shorter hemlines, be it skirts or shorts, will automatically push the outfit into a warm weather look.
  3. Change out your jacket for a spring color. If you are on the market for a new jacket, consider a pretty color for your spring leather jacket! I’ve seen some gorgeous ones in pinks, blues and lavender!

Preppy Cool Spring Leather Jacket

In case you thought the spring leather jacket was only for the weekend, I made sure to style a work appropriate look.

Spring leather jacket outfit styled for the workplace with J Crew striped seersucker pencil skirt and blush leather moto jacket.Spring leather jacket outfit styled for the workplace with J Crew striped seersucker pencil skirt and blush leather moto jacket.

Therefore for my first outfit, I chose to pair this blush pink spring leather jacket with a seersucker striped pencil skirt, this year’s version here. The outfit is perfectly ready for work, but with a punch of personality.

Spring leather jacket outfit styled for the workplace with J Crew striped seersucker pencil skirt and blush leather moto jacket.Spring leather jacket outfit styled for the workplace with J Crew striped seersucker pencil skirt and blush leather moto jacket. Spring leather jacket outfit styled for the workplace with J Crew striped seersucker pencil skirt and blush leather moto jacket.Spring leather jacket outfit styled for the workplace with J Crew striped seersucker pencil skirt and blush leather moto jacket.

To play up the cool factor, I added a bold bib necklace and fun metallic sunglasses.

Spring leather jacket outfit styled for the workplace with J Crew striped seersucker pencil skirt and blush leather moto jacket. Spring leather jacket outfit styled for the workplace with J Crew striped seersucker pencil skirt and blush leather moto jacket.

Playful and Colorful Spring Leather Jacket

For a more colorful outfit with a spring leather jacket, try what I’ve done here. This time I went bold, opting to repeat a favorite color combination: light blue and red. Hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it, right?

Baby blue and red color combination with a spring leather jacket and pleated skirt. Stripes and floral print for a pattern mixing outfit. Baby blue and red color combination with a spring leather jacket and pleated skirt. Stripes and floral print for a pattern mixing outfit.

The light blue leather jacket is a quick way to update your wardrobe. It not only adds color, but also adds a different texture and even some attitude to the outfit. The outfit without the jacket is a sweet look with a tee and pleated skirt. But add the jacket and you’ve got a lot more going on. The leather and styling of the jacket brings a “toughness” and “coolness” to the look, both of which I can use once in a while!

Baby blue and red color combination with a spring leather jacket and pleated skirt. Stripes and floral print for a pattern mixing outfit. Baby blue and red color combination with a spring leather jacket and pleated skirt. Stripes and floral print for a pattern mixing outfit.

Of course I had to stay true to myself and bring in some pattern mixing. Therefore I opted to wear the pieces with a striped tee and my favorite floral heels.

Baby blue and red color combination with a spring leather jacket and pleated skirt. Stripes and floral print for a pattern mixing outfit. Baby blue and red color combination with a spring leather jacket and pleated skirt. Stripes and floral print for a pattern mixing outfit. Baby blue and red color combination with a spring leather jacket and pleated skirt. Stripes and floral print for a pattern mixing outfit.

And finally for accessories, I chose to add a fun pair of earrings and a few statement rings. Pops of red on the lips and tips completes this fun and colorful spring leather outfit!

Baby blue and red color combination with a spring leather jacket and pleated skirt. Stripes and floral print for a pattern mixing outfit. Baby blue and red color combination with a spring leather jacket and pleated skirt. Stripes and floral print for a pattern mixing outfit.

With the two foolproof examples I’ve shown here, you too should try a spring leather jacket! Let me know how you plan to wear yours!

The Ugly Side of Blogging: Increase Instagram Engagement

Hello friend! When I first started my Instagram account, I had no idea what engagement meant. Instagram was a place for me to quickly share my outfit, make connections with like-minded people and get outfit inspiration. But now, because of the potential to make money, Instagram is becoming a somewhat ugly space where people are resorting to many (some unethical) methods to increase Instagram engagement.

My hope in writing this post is to simply raise awareness so that we all know what is going on. Furthermore, it may serve to level the playing field so that everyone knows their options on how to increase Instagram engagement. Please note that I am not an expert nor am I selling anything. I am simply sharing what I have learned and observed. You can read more in my Ugly Side of Blogging series.

Blogger's methods to increase Instagram engagement: from comment pods to getting more likes.

 

Before we go any further, let’s discuss what engagement is. Engagement, in reference to Instagram, is a measure of how involved an influencer’s followers are in that influencer’s content. To calculate a specific number, it is the number of likes and comments on a post divided by the influencer’s number of followers. There are programs and apps that will give you your engagement rate and many other metrics.

A high engagement rate may be valuable to smaller influencers as a selling point to businesses. While they may not have high number of followers, they can claim to have a highly engaged audience. The understanding here is that the followers trust the influencer and are likely to purchase items that the influencer recommends. This in turn may convince the company to work with the influencer.

So now you can see why people are clamoring to attain not only a high number of followers (see Increasing Instagram Followers post), but also a highly engaged following. This has therefore led to a new phenomenon of influencers constantly seeking to increase Instagram engagement. Let us then look into the many ways one can increase Instagram engagement.

Like for Like to Increase Instagram Engagement

In its true meaning, a like for like is a benign way to increase Instagram engagement. It is simply providing a “like” on someone’s Instagram photo in return for a “like” on yours. This can be achieved in many ways. The simplest is of course going through and liking back everyone that likes your photo. As you can imagine this is time consuming and is only reasonable for those who have smaller accounts.

There are also those who use the hashtag #likeforlike or #l4l. This is with the hope/assumption that those who like a post under that hashtag feed will in turn get a like from all of those posters. I’m not sure how often the like is actually returned. But truthfully, I doubt that it happens at a high rate.

While I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with a like for like, I start to worry when it takes over someone’s reasons for being on Instagram. If you are only liking photos to get likes on yours, that’s insincere. It’s also not the purpose of what we do, I think! However, I know many others who blog as a job and perhaps it is different for them…

Like for Like Apps to Increase Instagram Engagement

Stemming from the idea of a like for like, companies have emerged to provide them. The ones I know about use an app. It starts with you earning points for liking other photos on the app. Then you can use your points to get likes on your post. The more you like, the more likes you can get on your post.

I knew someone who had tried the app and she showed me some of the fashion accounts on it. I recognized some of the girls. So it turns out this method is being used quite a bit. Now this was just one app and we recognized multiple people. So I can only imagine how much is truly going on.

I’m not upset or judging. Honestly, I am relieved to know how some are getting so many more likes than I am. Because for a while I thought it was my content that was failing. But now I know some are using these apps and that’s fine. However, I think people should be cautions. I have heard that Instagram does not like third party apps interfering with them. Therefore they may do something about it in the future.

Comment for Comment to Increase Instagram Engagement

Recently, I have noticed a natural “comment for comment” occurring. This is when one person returns a like and comment for one left on their post. I feel like this happens between bloggers. It’s almost an unwritten code of conduct. I have started to return the favor when I get a comment. I can’t promise it happens all of the time. But I do try to do so most of the time. I think it’s a show of respect and kindness to the person!

Comment Pods to Increase Instagram Engagement

Comment pods became popular after the start of all of the Instagram algorithm changes. Once Instagram changed from a chronological feed to this mystery algorithm, everyone wanted more comments and likes to get noticed quickly. I think new influencers also turn to comment pods a lot to get some engagement on their posts while they build their following.

The function of a comment pod is simple. Everyone engages with each other’s posts. While the specific rules of each pod are different, the concept is the same. You notify your group that you posted. The members then like and comment on your post. It is then expected that you like and comment when they post. It’s basically an “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” understanding!

I think comment pods are a simple and easy way to get some real engagement on your posts provided that they are done well. So how do you make a comment pod work for you?

  1. Get in a pod with active people who will actually participate! Some people join a pod but don’t really do the work. That won’t be any help to you!
  2. Encourage your pod to leave applicable comments. I’ve seen too many “great shot babe” comments. That kind of a comment just feels disingenuous.
  3. Don’t rely solely on a comment pod. If all of your comments are from the same people, that looks suspicious. Make sure to spend time building a real following so that you’ll have natural comments coming in as well!

Purchasing Likes to Increase Instagram Engagement

Now we get into the more questionable methods. First is to straight out purchase likes. You pay a fee for the number of likes you want on a photo. Then as soon as you post, the likes fly in (from fake bot accounts). The hope of this is to increase Instagram engagement quickly so that the post is deemed to be good by the algorithm. This in turn propels that post up to the top of the hashtag feeds.

Here I will give the same warning as for the like for like apps. While this method certainly works, you are putting yourself and your account at risk. No one truly knows how Instagram makes their algorithm. But most agree that they do not like “black hat” tricks (i.e. using bots and other programs). Therefore, be careful of how you go about all of this!

Comment Bots to Increase Instagram Engagement

The last method I know of is to use a comment bot to leave comments on other accounts. The bot spams a bunch of posts with the same comment. The hope of this is that the recipients of the comments will in turn like back, comment back or start to follow the account.

Because the bot uses the same comment on everyone, it has to be a neutral one. But it can still be obvious on some posts. I’ve seen posts when someone is discussing a sad topic and a bot has left a comment like “love this.” Another sign is when the bot is simply using emojis or single words like “nice” or “love.”

My take on this is to be careful. I’ve said it above and I’ll say it again. People are wising up to some of these tricks. Don’t let your desire to succeed get your account flagged by Instagram.

 Stay Positive and Blog On

 

Before I end this post, I want to thank you for sticking through it! I also want to end on a positive note. Blogging and Instagram can still be a fun place. Let’s focus on the positive. There is room for all of us. Let’s lift each other up and not knock each other down.

Color Crush: Pink and Red Outfit

Hello friend! A few weeks back I was inspired to wear a pink and red outfit. The idea came about quite candidly. I was trying to find a new way to wear my red pleated skirt for a night out. Because I wanted to make the color combination more spring appropriate, I thought to try it with pink. The outfit turned out just as I imagined it. Therefore I decided to share it with you here.

How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt.

Does a Pink and Red Outfit Really Work?

To make sure that a pink and red outfit is actually cohesive, I did a quick search on my color theory. {Side note: I adore color theory. If I had time, I would take a course in it!} Turns out pink isn’t really a color, oops! Its just a tint of red. So technically speaking, this is a monochromatic outfit. Kind of fun, huh? And monochromatic looks, including tints of the same color, work! Therefore this outfit abides by color theory!

How to Wear a Pink and Red Outfit

The way to make the outfit look purposeful is to be bold. Use the colors in big pieces so that it looks intentional. Therefore I did a simple color blocking look here.

How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt. How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt.

I love how each color stands out on its own, but also complements the other.

How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt. How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt.

How to Accessorize with a Pink and Red Outfit

When I went to add accessories to my pink and red outfit, I wanted to add a print or two. I first went to my floral shoes. These have been my go-to for a while now. They are perfect for this outfit because they have pink and red in the shoe. Then I used the shoe as a jumping off point for my purse. Because there is also blue in the shoe, I decided to wear my blue clutch. The stripe of gold in the purse also serves as a second print, win!

How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt.How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt. How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt. How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt.

For my jewelry, I decided to not wear a necklace as the top’s neckline already had pleats. I didn’t want to detract from that detail. Therefore I wore some hoops. My favorite at the moment are from Baublebar, a double hoop one named the Christiana Drops.

How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt.How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt. How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt.

As for the the rest of my accessories, I threw on a few statement rings from Baublebar. I decided to keep my jewelry rose gold toned to go with the color theme. Therefore I wore my rose gold Daniel Wellington watch (use code “polishedwhimsy” for 15% off any item on their website). I paired the watch with my  rose gold Trellis Lane bracelets (the Aria and Olivia). You can use the discount code “polished25” for 25% off!

How to wear a pink and red outfit. Blogger Polished Whimsy shows how to put together a bold color blocking look with a red pleated skirt.

I hope my pink and red outfit has encouraged you to play with some colorful outfits as well. Whether it’s this exact color combination, a red pleated skirt or a color blocking outfit, if you replicate this look, tag me on Instagram. I love to see what great looks you come up with!