2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Hello friend! Continuing on my seasonal posts (see holiday dress guide and Cyber Monday shopping guide), I am discussing holiday gifts. This can surely be a stressful time for us busy folk. Fret not my friend, I am here to help you navigate these choppy waters. Avoid the stress of the mall and check off your list from the comfort of your home. With my 2017 Holiday gift guide, you can get your shopping done with minimum stress!

The ultimate gift guide for the stylish women in your life | 2017 holiday gift guide | Christmas gift ideas

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Sometimes we need little gifts we use as stocking stuffers or to hand out with a card at work. I always get a few extra of these in case I am surprised with a gift from someone. Instead of feeling like a complete jerk for not getting them a gift, I simply grab for one of these universal gifts and I am set!

First I get some hand cream. I especially like to purchase the L’occitane mini hand cream, like the one in this tri-pack. That’s because I can give the entire box as a gift, or open them up and give individually alongside a card. I often do that at work. Even the men at my work use this hand cream!

The ultimate gift guide for the stylish women in your life | 2017 holiday gift guide | Christmas gift ideas

I use the same concept for lip treatments and balms. The Sara Happ lip slip is an exceptional stuffing stuffer or gift for female friends. Also every year I look for the Fresh sugar lip balm sets. They come with multiple shades per box. Again, I can gift the entire box or give out individual pieces as a mini gift.

Once again I use the above concept, this time for mini candles. There are many collections of mini candles that you can buy. I like the Voluspa ones because they have a variety of scents, many of which are liked by men and women alike. Therefore they can be unisex gifts as well.

 

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Hostess Gift

Because we often have multiple parties to attend during the holiday season, you need to be armed with some cute hostess gifts. I love to shop at Anthropologie for unique hostess gifts. I recently spotted the marbled monogram cheese board which will make for a lovely and personalized gift. Any hostess would be thrilled with such a gift, especially if paired with the cheese marker set or the mouse card holder.

The ultimate gift guide for the stylish women in your life | 2017 holiday gift guide | Christmas gift ideas

Another option is to go with the cocktails theme. A pretty cocktail shaker plus a bottle of booze is always welcome. Alternatively you can also give a cocktail recipe book or this beautiful bar cart coffee table book. Along these lines, for the hostess with a passion for champagne, try these champagne gummies. They are beyond delicious and super cute to boot!

 

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Girlfriend Gift

Whether you’re doing a traditional gift exchange or a white elephant one, you’ll likely be picking up a few gifts for some of your gal pals or female relatives. Here are some cute options I have been contemplating.

First, I focus on accessories. Cold weather gear like these cute gloves or scarves are always usable. I especially like the Kate Spade scarves such as this nesting doll print or this leopard print one.

For another approach, you can opt for fun seasonal clothing. For example a graphic sweatshirt is perfect this time of year. Two of my favorites are the reindeer squad and the gift wrap sweatshirt.

Lastly, don’t overlook a beauty treat. This slip set of silk pillowcase and eye mask may be just what the doctor ordered after all of the holiday parties. I’m sure many a girlfriend would love to have this to come home to.

 

Whoever you’re shopping for, I hope my 2017 holiday gift guide helps you pick out some great gifts. But most importantly, I hope it cuts down on the stress that always seems to peak this time of year. Take it easy friend!

Holiday Dress Guide

Hello friend! With the holiday season comes the invitation to many parties. Sometimes finding what to wear to these said parties can be stressful. Well fear not my friend, for I am here to help you. While I usually enjoy wearing separates (so I can mix and match them!), this year I am crushing on many beautiful dresses. Therefore I put together this holiday dress guide to guide you through the season!

Holiday dress guide: What to wear to all your holiday parties, from a classic red dress to velvet, sequins or a little black dress.

Holiday Dress Guide: Velvet Crush

You may remember from reading my 2017 fall trends post that velvet is in style for fall and winter. Well then, what better way to wear it than in your holiday attire? Luckily there are so many beautiful velvet dresses out there. I am swooning over this gorgeous open back velvet midi dress. I think it strikes the perfect chord between elegant and sexy.

 

Holiday Dress Guide: Festive in Red

While a red dress may be expected, there’s a reason it is ubiquitous this time of year: It’s fabulous! The color simply screams “party.” Furthermore, red is one of the “it” colors for the fall and winter. Therefore it’s the perfect time to dabble in wearing the color. From a bright ruby to a deeper burgundy, there is a shade for everyone. Personally, I am eyeing this red floral dress because I love the combination of light blue and red.

 

Holiday Dress Guide: Sparkles Abound

Even if you prefer to wear more subtle dresses year-round, when the holidays come around, you should step up your game a little. Why not try a dress with some sparkle and sass? You can even take a baby step by choosing a dress with a small panel of sequins, like this white and silver dress. I think it is a gorgeous piece with an ethereal quality.

 

Holiday Dress Guide: Little Black Dress

Which dress works for almost every occasion? Why, a little black dress of course! The LBD has long been the reigning monarch of the dresses in our closet. So don’t fight it! Sometimes a black dress is just what you need. I’ve been eyeing this sexy form-fitting faux leather one.  I love the ruching on the sleeves and the sleek lines of the dress. The name is also calling me: “The Witching Hour” dress. So clever! Here are some other favorites:

 

Although I am usually a skirt girl, this holiday season I am tempted to wear more dresses. That’s because I am surrounded by so many pretty ones. I hope my round-up has helped some of you to decide on what to wear. Either way, be confident, be happy, be safe and enjoy yourself!

My Black Friday and Cyber Monday Picks

Hello friend! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday. I enjoyed my turkey and some fun with family. But now that the eating is out of the way, it’s time for the shopping to begin. Now we all know that black Friday and cyber Monday are huge shopping days. While I don’t love the crowds or the commotion, I do love a good sale. Let me show you what I am eyeing and purchasing this year.

Best picks for black friday and cyber monday sales by Polished Whimsy

My Stance on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

What used to be a clearly defined day of sales (both black Friday and cyber Monday) has now turned into basically an entire week of sales. This can be bad or good. What’s bad is that the sales may not be as steep and they may run out of some items. What’s good is that you have ample time to shop. Furthermore, most of these sales are online as well as in store. Therefore you don’t even have to go into a store, score!

So join me in my jammies as I spend the weekend comfortably perusing the online sales and purchasing my wants/needs. To see how I shop during black Friday and cyber Monday sales, check out my strategies from last year.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales: Banana Republic

I will be taking full advantage of the fantastic 50% off that Banana Republic is offering. First on my list is a fun red sweater with ruffle details on the shoulder. This will be perfect for any holiday parties. Of course Banana also has fantastic skirts, including this fringy blush one (also in black!). It’ll be a stunner at a New Year’s Eve party. See my other favorites below.

 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales: Anthropologie

If you know me, you know I love Anthropologie. The whimsy, the boho, the parisian chic… Anthropologie has it all for me. Therefore I always check on their black Friday and cyber Monday sale too. I will not miss out on any discounts they offer. This year they are giving 30% off of everything, yippee! I am looking at some fun skirts for holiday parties.

Besides clothing, Anthropologie has beautiful and unique furniture. Since I am decorating my new home still, I will definitely check out and purchase some items for it. I am particularly interested in this beautiful lucite shelf. It’ll match my bed perfectly!

 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales: Kate Spade

Kate Spade is having 30% off most items (code: givejoy), yay! So if you need a new purse (like this beauty) or pair of shoes, turn to Kate Spade. Also, don’t overlook their home section. I recently decorated my bathroom with Kate Spade. At 30% off, you can have a lot of fun!

 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales: J Crew

Next to Anthropologie, J Crew is my favorite store. While I usually love J Crew’s skirts, right now I am obsessing over their pants. There are two pair of camo pants that I particulary like. One is a wide leg, the other a skinny leg. I’m still debating between the two. I am also loving this tuxedo style chino pant. The tuxedo stripe adds such a fun twist. Lastly, the any day pant looks like the perfect alternative to leggings.

Besides the pants, I am also loving this jacket with plaid ruffles. J crew is always my go-to for cute cardigans and tops. Check out some more favorites below.

 

So these are the stores I’m going to be visiting (online) during black Friday and cyber Monday. Which ones are you going to be shopping from?

My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Hello friend! Do you feel it in the air? The sale of the year is here. Therefore we need to get cracking at our game plan! We must seek out the best pieces and bring them to our closet! Do not get overwhelmed or stress! I am your friend here, an avid shopper and quite experienced with this sale. Let me show you my Nordstrom anniversary sale picks.

2017 Nordstrom anniversary sale picks: categorized by fall trends

As I have done in previous sale posts, I will help you strategize which items to purchase. I spent hours going through the entire sale. Therefore I am familiar with all that is available. After looking through everything, I did notice some trends. Let me share with you what items are going to be hot, not just for the sale, but for the entire season.

My Nordstrom anniversary sale picks

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale General Strategy

Now if you’re reading my blog, it’s safe to assume that we both like to shop. But, we can’t truly buy everything we like (and girl, there is a lot to like in this sale)! We can however, strategize and shop smart!

  1. Think about the season ahead. The anniversary sale is a pre-season sale. That means most of the items are for fall. Therefore get your mind thinking about the next season and what you want and/or need.
  2. Look through your fall and winter items. Are there things you were planning on replacing this year? If yes, this is the time!
  3. Shop early. Believe it or not, items sell out! This is a big sale that a lot of people are shopping. Last year I missed out on the Rebecca Minkoff jumbo love bag… It’s still a sore subject!

Nordstrom anniversary sale picks

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Denim

Similar to past years, my Nordstrom anniversary sale picks have a few pairs of jeans. Denim is always hot. It also is important to update your denim seasonally. Because I wear jeans so much, I tend to buy at least one new pair each season. Therefore I perused the denim section carefully. One thing is for sure: the season’s it jean is going to be the diagonal hem jeans. But raw hem and distressed are also still in style and good options!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Leather Leggings

After my ode to leather leggings post, you’re probably not surprised that I am including them in my Nordstrom anniversary sale picks. Since I saw how fun and versatile they were last year, I will definitely be stocking up on another pair or two this year. I also encourage you to do the same. Really there are so many ways to wear them!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Tweed

If you have read my white jeans post, then you know I love a good tweed jacket in the cooler months. I think it makes for a good layering piece for work and play. I also wore it in my NYC trip. Because it is such a versatile piece, I will be looking for another one this fall. I recommend you check out the cute tweed jackets too!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Velvet

Another thing is certain: velvet is staying strong for the fall. There were quite a few pieces on the runways for this upcoming season. Therefore it’s no surprise to see more velvet in stores. If you don’t have some cute velvet pieces, get some now! There’s even a velvet pleated skirt like I wore in my velvet crush post.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Leather Jacket

If we are thinking ahead to cooler weather, we will start pining for a buttery leather jacket. This year I am planning on getting a butterscotch color jacket. But whatever the color you prefer, Nordstrom has a ton waiting for you.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Pleated Skirts

I am predicting pleated skirts are going to be big for fall. I am all for that as I adore a pleated skirt. In fact, put these last two categories together and you have a fantastic look: a leather jacket with a pleated skirt, just like I’ve worn here.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Layers

Now is also the time to add some layering pieces to your wardrobe. Some of these will work as a light layering piece now (poncho for the beach, vest for the office) as well as over more substantial items of clothing in the fall and winter. Also military pieces are big for fall, there are quite a few cute military style jackets. Therefore if you’re on the lookout for a cute fall jacket, take a look at one of those!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks:Leather Skirt

I have been craving a brown leather skirt for a few years now. This is going to be the year I bring one into my life! Luckily there are many options!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Shoes

Every year at this time, I tend to buy some shoes at this sale. It’s the perfect time to stock up some basics (leopard print flats) or try a new trend (mules). There are a few pairs of shoes I am considering. I have already ordered these cute giraffe print flats. And I will try out the mules in the store this weekend.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Boots

Since boots are the cornerstone of fall footwear, I must look at the new season’s assortment of boots. I have a good collection already, so I’m not in need of much other than a good brown boot. I am eyeing the Bolina over the knee boot. The corseting detail is right up my alley!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Splurge

Finally this may be the time to splurge on a fancy name brand, especially if you’re not buying much else. Brands that are typically out of your reach, may have a more reasonable price point now. It’s worth the time to take a look.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: The Damage So Far

Nordstrom anniversary sale picks

So far, out of my Nordstrom anniversary sale picks, I have purchased the diagonal hem jeans, the giraffe print flats, leather leggings, and the DVF dress. I am hoping to see the boots and other shoes at the store to finalize my purchases. I also purchased a few bras and panties, but I’m not gonna bore you with that. It was just good to get some of the fancier lingerie brands at a discount! So what are you guys getting? Let me know!

Outfit details from my shopping trip:

Lord & Taylor Friends and Family Sale

Hello friends!

Every year around this time, the boxes arriving at my door do not seem to cease. That’s because there are so many good sales going on. One of the ones I look forward to yearly is the Lord and Taylor friends and family sale. That is because, this sale is phenomenal: most items are up to 25% off! Consequently, the thought of such a good sale can make us giddy, almost to the point of impractical. For that reason, I try to plan ahead. That way, I 0nly purchase what I truly need, both for the season as well as to stock up.

I initially aim at purchasing my essentials that do not otherwise go on sale. The biggest example of this is my favorite bra. Because it is a luxury brand, it usually does not get marked down, except in the case of a color discontinuation. For that reason, I always stock up during the sale.

Besides bras, my other favorite essential to purchase are pumps. My favorites are the Kate Spade Licorice. Similar to the bra, the basic colors never go on sale. Therefore this is my opportunity to purchase those colors at a discounted price. Last year, I purchased a black and nude pair, both of which I’ve worn numerous times already.

plaid old navy peplum with seersucker j crew skirt and kate spade licorice pumps

 

topshop polka dot midi skirt

Once I have my essentials restocked, I allow myself to purchase some fun in-season items. I’ve been eyeing this bomber jacket, this moto jacket, and this block heel ankle strap shoe.

I have listed my top picks below, but the options are endless. Therefore, take your time and thoroughly shop the Lord and Taylor friends and family sale. Make sure to pick out some essentials as well as some fun items to add to your closet.

Shopping Tips and Accountability

Hello friend!

As lovers of fashion, we all want to keep on purchasing new items. We see something inspiring on a friend or blogger. There is always a new trend we want to follow. Or maybe we want to update our closet with the new colors of the season. We all want to shop, but we need to shop smart!

The reasons never end. But my clothing budget does. I cannot purchase every item my heart wants. So how do I shop smart and stay accountable? Read on for my tips.

  1. Sleep on it

    I try to not purchase something the first day I see it. I try it on, if it looks good, I put it on my mental wish list. Then I go home. If I find myself still thinking about it and wishing for it the following day, then I revisit the store. I make a point of trying it on again. Sometimes in our initial infatuation with an item, we overlook important fit and comfort details. Finally, at this point, if it still looks and feels as good as I remember it, I can purchase it.

    sleeping mask woman

  2. Make a season’s buy list

    Before each change of season, look through your items. See what you have plenty of and what needs to be replaced. Take note of what you’re missing. Look through magazines and decide which trends you’d like to participate in. Then make a list. Most importantly, stick to your list!

    Clothing wish list and packages

  3. Track your purchases

    Keep a list of your monthly purchases. Either on a large chalk board, white board, or piece of paper. Each time you make a clothing purchase, write it and the cost of it on that sheet. You will be shocked at how long the list may get. At the end of the month, go through that list and compare it with your buy list. If you see that you have strayed greatly, be strict with yourself and make some returns.

    clothing purchases list

  4. Remix what you’ve got 

    It’s so easy these days to quickly purchase something we see posted online. There are countless apps and emails that target our tendency to buy on a whim. While yes, often blogging is aimed at encouraging the reader to purchase the goods, you don’t have to comply every time. Part of being a smart shopper is to know when to NOT buy something. Go in your closet and see what options you have. You can often make a similar look with items you already have.

  5. Remember fashion lives on

    It’s simple but true: there will always be something new to buy. So don’t get caught up in having everything. Trends come and go. Just pick the ones that truly work for you and your lifestyle. Also keep in mind that this isn’t your last chance to participate in a trend or buy something new. There is ALWAYS something new in fashion. It is okay to sit out a trend once in a while. Something newer and better is guaranteed to come around.

I hope my hints have helped you to be more selective in your shopping. Keep these in mind next time you are itching to get something new. Remember to shop smart, not just shop!

If you have hints for me, please share in the comments. Also, while you’re in the sharing mood, please share this post on your favorite social media platform.

Current Obsession: Cut-out back dresses

Hello friend!

This session of current obsessions is about my new found interest in cut-out back dresses. Believe it or not, until this year I had not owned a backless or cut-out back item. This is in part due to a lingering insecurity from my teen years. As a teen I had pretty severe acne, including the dreaded bacne!

Thankfully after my early adult years, the acne situation resolved. But I was still insecure about wearing open back clothing (don’t get me started on swim wear!) because of residual scars and discoloration. Now that I am well into my thirties, I am letting go of all this self consciousness and embracing myself for who I am. Yes I may have some scars (don’t we all, somewhere?) But I am tired of making myself miss out on cute items to wear or fun activities to do because I am insecure about the way I look. I have done that far too long in my life. It’s time to live. It’s time to wear an open back dress and walk proudly!

topshop striped dress 2 (2)And walk proudly I did. I wore this Topshop dress to a concert just two weekends ago. It was a hot summer night. The side slits and the partially open back were welcome means of ventilation. The dress was perfect for the occasion. However, what was more meaningful to me was not just wearing the dress, but wearing it with confidence. I felt good and it showed!

With the success of the first dress, I did not deter from getting another that I had my eye on. This time it was a Loft dress. This dress had a criss cross back with a small cut-out underneath the criss-cross. The original one I tried on in store was a peach color. Two things were wrong with that item. First peach is NOT my color. Second, the light color made the dress virtually see-through. I’m all for embracing my body and showing some skin, but that colorway would have been verging on vulgar. So off to the internets I went and what do you know? It came in another color. My long time love. My favorite. My go-to … Chambray! I was all set to order. Sadly, my size was sold out online, but my good friend Kristen of Kleighstyle blog, was able to order one for me. The dress arrived in time for an outdoor family gathering. The dress proved to be perfectly suitable and appropriate for the event.IMG_7665IMG_7672 (2)

I chose to wear it with a chunky heeled sandal. I have learned not to wear heels for backyard parties. Why spend all night digging into the grass, not to mention ruining your gorgeous heels? I forewent a necklace for a gorgeous pair of  statement earrings from the fantastic jewelry designer Sheila Fajl. I loved the simplicity of the look with the wow factor of the back of the dress.

IMG_7692

What style or trend are you currently crushing on? Please share in the comments. Also, continue this topic with your friends by sharing this post across your social media feeds.