Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Are LuLaRoe Leggings Really All That?

About a week ago, I met with a local LuLaRoe independent retailer, Karina. While I plan on giving many more details about the brand over the next three posts, I just wanted to give you a heads-up that this is an LDS-owned brand, so all of the clothes are modest! I think that is so cool! That being said, this look features super-soft and stretchy leggings. Leggings have been an item of great debate for a few years now since they became mainstream. Are leggings pants? Are leggings modest? How does one wear leggings? So I just wanted to give you my brief, personal opinion and to answer some of these questions, in addition to reviewing this specific product. 

First, Karina kindly offered me these leggings without the intention of me posting about them. I saw them as something super-cozy and fun that I could lounge around and watch Netflix in. However, they were fun and unlike anything I would typically wear, so I decided to challenge myself to throw them into a wearable outfit. Does it match? Not so much because the shoes threw me off, but I enjoyed wearing it for these photos. I am not saying I would wear this outfit out and about, but it was fun to put together! Pairing super-casual and silly leggings with a top and shoes was no easy task.

I am going to start with discussing the few questions presented earlier regarding leggings. To me, leggings are pants because they function the same way as any other "pants," the only difference being that they are a fairly newer concept and they are TIGHT. I suppose the form-fitting-ness of leggings turns people off to the idea of allowing leggings to fall into the category of "pants." While I believe leggings are pants, tights are not pants, so if leggings are sheer in any way, they don't count. Also, while leggings are technically pants, that doesn't mean you should wear them as such. To me, I will wear them all day, every day, all year long but only with my bum covered (longer tops are a must). That is the way I believe they should be worn in public (unless they are for athletic-wear because I will wear those with my bum exposed, no problem). If you want to wear leggings as pants, butt exposed and all, more power to you. I think that is great but I just wouldn't feel comfortable doing so myself. I think leggings are modest if worn tastefully, as I previously mentioned, with the bum mostly covered! A longer, looser sweater with thick, black leggings and little black booties is my fall and winter go-to. They create a flattering, stylish, and comfortable look.

Pros: Now, this specific product is awesome. I've heard about LuLaRoe a million times but never purchased any of my own. I heard great things about the leggings yet I had no clue how soft, comfortable, and well made they were until I tried these. I was surprised to find my husband D was absolutely crazy about these pants too because of the fabric's super-soft texture and the fun pattern. The waist band, length, width, and overall shape was perfect. I got some Target leggings this past winter and they fit so stiffly and awkwardly. These are definitely the best I've tried. I would love to get some in black for the fall. More pros would be that the leggings are also affordable... in addition to literally everything else from LuLaRoe.   

Cons: They are leggings that fit perfectly so there are no foreseeable cons. My mom lightheartedly said they make my legs look "bigger" in the pictures but I blame the camera angle for that! My only possible con, if I absolutely tried my hardest to find one, would be that I am not a pattern lover in general. Although, the pattern of these is what I find so fun because I would never think to try them! 

The leggings are from Karina Jennings and I would highly recommend following her Instagram and Facebook pages! She is the cutest and I love seeing how she styles the different pieces. If you want to purchase some leggings from Karina you can contact her through any of these methods listed below.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lularoevirginia 
Instagram: lularoekarinajennings
Email: lularoevirginia@gmail.com
Cell: 434-962-7180

I have three more fun, modest, comfortable, affordable, and unique looks coming soon! This is just the warmup. (P.s my top is Urban Outfitters and my shoes are Lucky Brand, but you knew that because I've worn them in the past 100 posts) 

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Overlooked Dress

It is always a special moment when you're searching the clearance racks and find an amazing piece that is in your size (or at least close enough to make work) and it's the only one left. I almost never shop anywhere other than online, but if I do, the sale racks are my number-one destination and priority. I honestly don't even look at anything else. If I do look at the newer items and fall in love by accident (like what happened with D), I just make a mental note and wait for it to go on sale. This dress was a different story. I went to Target to help my mom get groceries and disappeared into the sale racks, as usual, only to find this denim dress in what appeared to be an infinite quantity of every size. "Something must be wrong with it," I figured. It obviously wasn't very appealing to the typical Target shopper, which made it more appealing to me. I grabbed my size, held it up to my body in the mirror, checked the ridiculously low price tag (somewhere around $12, I believe), and considered it a victory. I rolled it up around its hanger, and strategically slipped it into my mom's cart (some things never change). 

Pros: It is light, practical, perfectly modest, and machine washable. Therefore, I wear it weekly!

Cons: No pockets. 

I wasn't even intending on photographing this look because it is what I wore when I went to shoot the MSCB dress that I posted the other week, but I'm glad I did!

Are you sick of my Lucky Brand sandals yet? I hope not, because you'll be seeing them all summer! They're all I have and I love them. Plus, they lengthen my stubby legs. Whats the point of being an outfit repeater if you're afraid to wear the same shoes for every look?! 

Kindly let me know what you think in the comments below (but not anonymously, ya creeps). 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lucky Find Floral Jumpsuit

-Jumper-        -Jumpsuit-        -Romper-         -Bodysuit-       -Pants Suit-
I still don't know the proper name. I've seen all of these used, but for my personal sake, let's stick with jumpsuit. Jumpsuits only recently became incredibly accessible and acceptable. I remember back in 2010 when I saw a lady at a pageant wearing a charcoal-grey, jersey-knit jumpsuit. It was tacky, but I was excited to see something new. Of course jumpsuits have had their share of the trendy spotlight in various decades, but this was my first sighting in my lifetime. Soon after that, I spotted a full body "cat suit" at a Bebe store around Halloween. I figured it was made more for costumes, but I remember saying, "I hope one day it is okay and acceptable to wear full body spandex." I know that's a bit extreme. Since that time I've kept and eye open for cute jumpsuits, but never really seen anything I loved. At the Miss USA 2017 pageant, I noticed most of the contestants wore dressy, sharp jumpsuits for their panel interviews (those take place prior to showtime featured on TV). I don't love jumpsuits that much. but I definitely like the idea. The main reason I struggle with them is because it is surprisingly hard to find a fully-modest one! That's why this post is exciting for me! 
So, I am excited to show you this new, summer-weather ready,  G-approved (for my LDS readers) modest Jumpsuit. This is my first and only jumpsuit I could wear out in a dressier setting or even in hot weather. I do have another one, but it is a full body sweatsuit made more for cold-day loungewear. I posted it back in February HERE. Jumpsuits are usually hard for me to find because most of them fail to meet the modesty standards in which I strive to follow. It is always an open back, super low V,  sleeveless, strapless, etc. When I first saw this suit while browsing the racks at T.J. Maxx during my lunch break, I thought it was too cute to be true. I lifted the hanger and spun it around, positive I would find the catch. Maybe an open back or ridiculously low cleavage? Nope, it was modest all around. The sleeves were cutting it close, just at the border of sleeveless, but it was worth a try. I figured the price would be out of my small range. Nope, it was $19.99 at full-price and I rarely buy at full-price. I took it to the dressing room expecting a terrible fit or something else wrong. I slid it on easily, and waited for the permanent front to back wedgie. Nope, not only did it fit, but it was flattering and comfortable. It is the closest thing to being naked, while actually being fully-covered in a looser-fitting piece. It doesn't get better than that. 

Pros: Everything is covered. Maybe not my armpits but thats okay, I usually shave. It is loose so D and I could fill up on Vietnamese shortly after this shoot. It's one thin layer of a chiffon-like fabric, perfect for hot weather. Since the arm-holes are kind of big, there will be no sweat stains. It is dressy or casual depending on the way you wear it. 

Cons: The arm holes are so wide they show my bra/arm-pits a bit. I really don't care that much. I would prefer more of a sleeve but that is only because I hate that arched, cap-like cut. Totally unflattering on my buff arms. Lastly, you have to get naked to pee.  

My shoes are last season's Lucky Brand and I always wear them with every look because they are my only sandals right now. Even though they are yellow and orange, I wear them with everything.  
The dress is T.J. Maxx (which means I will never be able to find it again, online or in person).  I'm searching everywhere online for a comparable ("similar style") jumpsuit - equally modest, with a similar print, and similar price, but it is impossible. You know I love ASOS, but even they have absolutely no modest, cute, and affordable jumpsuits right now. 

This was a very lucky find. 

What do you think of this jumpsuit? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Why The Tie Needs to Die

Yesterday at church, while daydreaming, fidgeting, doodling, and bothering D, I looked down the aisle at every man (including my sleeping father) and looked at all their ties. Some featuring colorful prints, while others just simple, plain, and solid. Every man had one. I looked at the mother of a rambunctious toddler in the row in front of me as she held a tiny, forest green, clip-on tie. I leaned over and whispered, "D, why in the world is a one-year-old wearing a tie?!" Being the social norm hater that I am (thank you Sociology degree... I guess you were good for one thing), I began to heavily dwell on the fact that ties are the silliest "required" accessory of all.    

Me: D, why do you wear a tie?
D: I don't know.
Me: Why do I (and every other woman here) not wear a tie?
D: Not sure. 
Me: What purpose does it serve? Does it hold your shirt-top shut? Does it keep your head on straight?
D: I don't know.
Me: Do you like wearing one?
D: Not really.
Me: What's the history behind a tie?
D: Not sure. 
Me: Then why do you do it?
D: I guess I'm supposed to. 

I asked that same question to my dad. Our conversation mirrored that of mine and D's.

I called my classy, stylish, extremely social, intelligent, and kind older brother to get some more insight. He knows everything, so here is a pretty close summary of his reasoning.

Me: Why do you wear a tie? 
R: It's traditional and accepted. It's been the hallmark of a dressy outfit for years. It's just traditional. I have a lot of ties, and many that I really like so it gets me excited to wear ties. But it's a tough question. I guess I got used to wearing ties from my mission when I wore one every day for two years. Ties are not uncomfortable or comfortable. They are just there.

Me: Okay, so again, why do you wear one? 
R: I guess to signify to other people that you are taking an occasion seriously (church, a wedding, an interview, etc). You are showing others you appreciate the value of the event.  

"but WHY +  HOW?!" I thought. How can a strip of functionally purposeless fabric show you care?

Moving on...

Me: Could you look equally nice and respectful without one?
R: Sure, but I wouldn't want to walk into a job interview in a button-up sans tie whilst the nine other guys in the room are wearing ties. I wouldn't want to be the odd one out, looking too casual, or like I don't care as much. If you don't wear a tie, then you usually unbutton the top of your shirt, and when you do that, it gets really casual. 

Me: Would you be okay with not wearing a tie anymore?
R: Absolutely, but it would have to be large-scale movement for me to be okay with it. Not just me on my own. It stinks, and I totally get what you mean, but thats how it is. 

My brother made some good points while still acknowledging the fact that ties really serve no logical purpose. 

Look, ties don't look bad and I don't hate ties. I love when men are dressed their nicest and I especially love bow-ties. However, I hate seeing things done in society with no clear reason behind them. I considered researching and adding a short history of the tie for this post. I am sure there is a history to the reason behind a tie, but how is it relevant now? And since we don't already know the history behind it, then why do we do it? "We do it because we have always done it," and, "everyone else is does it," is not an acceptable answer. These kind of societal aspects and answers bother me. Tell me what part of the history of a tie makes it significant and necessary today, and I promise I will respect it. Tell me how and why that pencil-shaped fabric makes an outfit more formal. Sure, I am guilty of conforming to norms, but right now, I am just talking about the strip of fabric men are obligated to tie around their necks for certain events. 

If you still aren't following, let's break it down. What is a tie? Ties are a strip of somewhat-stiff, sometimes-silky fabric with a point at the end. They vary in width based on current trends. There are a couple super-complicated ways to tie one around your neck, "He can't even tie a tie?! What a loser!" If it is too long or too short, you will be judged. You may even loose out on a job-offer, so be careful. Ties come in an array of colors and patterns. Some specifically-colored ties are okay for some events, but not others. "I can't believe Bush/Trump/Obama/Whoever wore a RED tie to *insert event.* How classless!" Some ties have stupid pictures or prints. Some of these skinny fabric strips cost more than four months rent while others are under $5. See this designer ridiculousness HERE (an extreme example, but still). 

Let's discuss a ties functional, non-cultural purpose: They add a decorative pop of color which can increase individualism within cookie-cutter menswear. I think that is it, and it isn't a bad thing. The problem is that they are culturally-required accessories, in most cases. "But women wear jewelry and other accessories to serve the same purpose." Yes, but they are optional.    

It is important to question the little things we do every day. Next time you are at church, or waiting in line with the business men at the Tyson's Corner Cava during lunch hour, look at their outfits, or should I call them uniforms? Why do they all have to wear the same basic outfit plus tie, in general? Menswear needs a desperate update to break from traditional norms that we don't even understand the history or reasoning behind in the first place. Perhaps if enough people start asking these questions, we can do-away with things in society that serve no real purpose and are a waste of time, energy, money, and analyzation.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

My Sister's Closet Boutique

Happy June 1st, everyone!
I was fortunate to be able to team up with My Sister's Closet, a boutique based in Spanish Fork, Utah, to share with you another modest summer look! Now, I've never had the opportunity to visit their boutique in person, but their site is definitely worth checking out. They have affordable, modest clothes in a variety of styles made for just about anyone. In fact, this summer, MSC is launching a new campaign that focuses on the idea of offering styles for women ages 12-90. The idea of catering to such a vast group of women sets this boutique apart. I like that it isn't just for teens and young adults, like most other boutiques. The clothes are mostly modest and the styles vary enough to appeal to a wider audience. Another way this boutique stands out is that all of the items on the site are affordable. From what I've seen, the dresses hit a max-price of about $42, with most being less, which is perfect for me! Lastly, one thing I really appreciate is that this shop has modest clothes that are cute but still summer-appropriate. It is SO hard to be comfortable and cute in modest, hot-weather clothes for the Virginia humidity, so thank you MSC.  

Right now MSC is doing a $300 gift card giveaway. You could seriously get so many dresses with that... Anyway, customers can enter by tagging #mscismyboutique on Instagram. Easy. Find a fun dress and enter (and then share your gift card with me please). 

This exact dress can be found here! 
However, there are so many other styles worth a look. I selected this dress because I wanted something different than anything else I have. My last MSC dress was floral and more fitted, so I wanted this to be the opposite. This dress is 100% cotton and felt awesome on the super hot day in which D and I went out to shoot. I can see myself using it off-the-shoulder over a swimsuit at the beach or dressing it up with heels. The only flaw is that it is bulky because there is so much fabric. I knew that when I selected it though, so it's not a deal breaker.

My yellow suede sandals are Lucky Brand from last year. They are basically sold out everywhere but there are a few left here. I like the little platform-type heel because it adds height but doesn't feel like it. My flowers are from Trader Joe's because who doesn't love TJ's?!

Location: Charlottesville, Va
Makeup: Tarte shadow, NYX contour powder, drugstore liner+mascara, and Carmex chapstick.
Edit: Lightroom
 Accessories: lol I never accessorize 

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Lululemon "Runsie"

Rompers are fun. I would even go as far as to say that I am okay with guy rompers too. People get so weird about new things even when the overall idea is actually pretty simple. Anyway, a couple  of years ago, I had the bright idea to find a workout romper. Nothing came up with some in-depth google searches except a few super-tacky spandex jumpsuits. A little while later I found that Lululemon came out with a few styles of rompers for running. The one I prefered was called the "runsie!" Based on weird Lululemon forums, the "runsie" was a total bust (at least according to the boring/wealthy Lulu fanatics). I really have no idea why. Perhaps it is, just again, an instance of people being super hostile towards new things. Rompers for casual wear are literally everywhere, yet ones for fitness purposes are still really hard to find today. Through my favorite reselling and shopping app, Poshmark, I found myself a workout romper (or three). 

Anyway, I don't typically do direct sunlight pictures because I just wasn't made for any sort of contact with the sun, but this time I didn't have a choice. It highlights the bits of cellulite that I didn't bother blurring out. Real people have cellulite!  

My makeup is no makeup with the exception of Carmex because I ALWAYS wear my Carmex. I am actually really sweaty too in the photos because it was hot and I like to run full speed on my blades. 

My location is the Food Lion parking lot. hehe. 

My Rollerblades are from Sports Authority and D gets embarrassed to be seen near me when I use them. I have a deep-rooted love for Rollerblades. I even went out for a ride a few hours after I got my wisdom teeth out (also deep rooted). I've always had a pair even though I still can't stop properly. I think rollerblades are super cool. They are like high heels with fitness benefits for those shameless enough to wear them.  

This Lululemon "Runsie" originally sold for about $130. I bought mine for $40 on Poshmark. I have this bright blue one and a charcoal grey. They have built-in undies. So far I've noticed two flaws: they fill up with air when the wind blows (you'll know when you see the pic), and they show sweat with the most severe contrast I've ever seen (shocking, considering Lulu's high-end athletic wear reputation). 

What do you think of this "workout romper?" Let me know in the comments below! 
and YES mom ... I know "it needs to be ironed." 

(who irons workout clothes?!)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

White Suit No. 2: Bay Watch Cut

Of my two white suits, this one is most definitely NOT the grandma one. While this suit is significantly more revealing, it is still a timeless cut. By timeless I mean 80's. So I suppose not very timeless at all. Classic maybe? Anyway, I ordered this suit years ago in black from American Apparel. The suit since became a staple style for AA and one of the only stores that sold this style for quite some time. Just a couple months ago as AA was closing their stores, this one went on sale for 50% off. I knew it was high quality and I knew it fit, so I went for it. It's a one-piece so it is modest by default right? Maybe, but in my opinion this suit is more revealing than some of my bikinis. It has a low back, high leg (Hello thong spray-tan line), lower cleavage, minimal bum coverage, and definitely a lot of side "ribs," if you know what I mean. One hit from a wave and this suit is gone. It's literally resting so gently across my chest, a light breeze could expose me to the world. 

Pros: This suit is high quality and it was very affordable. It is light weight and easy to get on and off. It is flattering for many body types (at certain angles at least). Comparatively speaking, I think this suit is more flattering on my legs and waist, but the previous suit was more flattering on my chest.  

Cons: As I just mentioned, this suit is not very flattering (get it? flat) on the chest. It just loosely holds you down with no shelf, pads, lining, or peace of mind. Ex: "B, I'm cold. NO MORE PICS." Even worse than that, when I sat down on wet sand the particles got in my suit and never came out. My crotch and bum developed a grey speckled tint... like a 5:00 shadow in the worst place. This suit must only be used for pools and Instagram pictures I suppose. In the end, I still love this suit. 

So, as you can see, I have two different sets of pictures below. The first has great beach hair, bright lighting, an un-natural tan glow, and is set in a driveway. A beautiful driveway, but a driveway none the less. The second set has ratty hair, a sunburn, a faded spray tan, dim lighting, yet a gorgeous background. My best buddy, B, insisted we re-do this suit by the water. It was 7:30am, I woke up with a UTI, and I was so done with pictures. I deleted most of the pictures from that set because you could see how uncomfortable I was (scrunched face, sad brows, etc). Considering this suit rides up the crotch like none other, it was far from ideal for a UTI day. *Cringing thinking about it.* The last couple pictures are well focused candids of me rushing home as fast as possible. B, you are a great photographer. 

Thank you to my mom's lifelong best friend, Alex, for every natural UTI remedy in the book! (Literally... she had a book!)  

I have the suit linked here but American Apparel is going through a weird downsizing transition and they are sold out of everything. You can find it used on Poshmark or Ebay. There are also lots of cheap replicas around but I wouldn't recommend it. 

P.s I must confess I blurred out my excessive body hair, bumps, moles, sun burns, and stretch marks on my thighs. I just want you to know what you're getting with me. I edit my pictures with Lightroom to brighten them up thanks to an amazing friend at Adobe. Love you Sash ;)