Month: May 2017

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.