Fashion Forward Friday [V.14] — Patriotic Lookbook

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY BLOGGERS!!!

I’ve been posting tons of OOTDs here on my blog and it seems like forever since I’ve posted one. I’m really into putting more looks together for the blog and I thought the 4th of July would be there perfect time. I  put together three looks, but future lookbooks will have more! Be sure to check out my Birkenstock lookbook HERE! Please excuse the photography, eventually it’ll get better (I have no one to take pics of me) Lastly be sure to click the links to take you directly to an item or an item similar. ENJOY!

Crop Top - Wet Seal Shorts - Forever 21 Shows - Forever 21 Necklace - Forever 21 Lipstick - Wet n Wild
Crop Top – Wet Seal
Shorts – Forever 21
Shoes – Forever 21
Necklace – Forever 21 (Vinted)
Lipstick – Wet n Wild, Red Velvet (910D)

 

Button-Up: J-Crew (Thrifted) Crop Top: Wet Seal Jeans: Forever 21 Purse (Day): JustFab Purse (Night): JCPenny Shoes (Day): Forver 21 Shoes (Night): JustFab
Button-Up: J-Crew (Thrifted)
Crop Top: Wet Seal
Jeans: Forever 21
Purse (Day): JustFab, Savant
Purse (Night): JCPenny
Shoes (Day): Forever 21
Shoes (Night): JustFab, Lorient

 

Crop Top - Wet Seal Skirt - Forever 21 Purse - Aldo  Shoes - Target Necklace - Forever 21
Crop Top – Wet Seal
Skirt – Forever 21
Purse – Aldo
Shoes – Target
Necklace – Forever 21 (Vinted)

Fashion Forward Friday [V.13] — Styling Birkenstocks

There is no denying that history repeats itself and fashion does the same. I remember being 10 years old and having a pair of double strapped sandals and going to South of the Border with my grandparents and taking a candid shot. Now here it is 12 years later and that oh so familiar sandal is everywhere and the latest trend for Spring/Summer 2014. The shoe, commonly known as the Birkenstock is the most popular sandal of the season and can range anywhere from $89.95 – $130. The Birkenstock sandals come in a variety of styles, but I wanted to focus on the double strap, the Arizona, which is the most popular of all.

Here are 10 cheaper/inspired alternatives that I found:

Target: Sam & Libby Steve Madden: Boundr-S Platform Steve Madden: Boniella Platform River Island: Gold Metallic Double Stap Mule River Island: Leopard Print Double Strap Skechers: Relaxed Fit Double-Strap Walmart: Faded Glory LuLu's: Soda Topshop: Heights Double-Strap Topshop: Fang Double-Strap
Target: Sam & Libby
Steve Madden: Boundr-S Platform
Steve Madden: Boniella Platform
River Island: Gold Metallic Double Stap Mule
River Island: Leopard Print Double Strap
Skechers: Relaxed Fit Double-Strap
Walmart: Faded Glory Double Buckle Slide
LuLu’s: Soda Jagger Taupe Buckled Slide
Topshop: Heights Double-Strap
Topshop: Fang Double-Strap

There are tons of variations of the Arizona Birkenstock and different ways to style it. I’ve put together SIX looks below on how I’d style them. Be sure to check out my Polyvore for direct links: ellekia. ENJOY!

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Then & Now Thursday (V. 12): Maroon 5

0d8ffd41ec46First, let me just give a round of applause to one of my favorite bands of all time, Maroon 5. I remember the first time I heard Maroon 5. I was listening to it on a CD which for the life of my I can’t remember. I do remember that I kept switching between ‘Harder to Breathe’ and Jet, ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl. Still I wasn’t sure who this band was until I saw ‘This Love’ as one of the morning videos on MTV. Then came the release and video for my favorite Maroon 5 song of ALL TIME, ‘She Will Be Loved’.

Still I didn’t know much about Maroon 5 and then I heard Songs About Jane (2002) which by the time I had heard it, it was two years old.  The entire vibe with Adam’s voice was just amazing. I became a fan instantly and couldn’t wait to hear more. To date the album has sold over 5 million copies.

As time went on with Maroon 5, Adam Levine became more AND MORE attractive. I think that his sex appeal really took off by the second album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (2007). That album featured ‘Won’t Go Home Without You’ and radio smashes  ‘Makes Me Wonder’ and ‘If I Never See Your Face Again’. What really took that album to the next level was the remix/collab with Rihanna of ‘If I Never See Your Face Again’. That video showed off just how HOT both Adam and Rihanna were. I love that version more than the original and after seeing them perform it live on FNMTV (Friday Night MTV) I could only anticipate that they would collab again (still waiting).

220px-Moves-Like-Jagger-Official-Single-CoverNext up came Hands All Over (2010) which had two of my favorites ‘Misery’ and “Never Gonna Leave This Bed’. It wasn’t until its rerelease that the album got real buzz and took Maroon 5 to the next level. They had officially become rock stars. The album was rereleased in June of 2011 and featured the mega smash hit and song of the summer ‘Moves Like Jagger’ featuring Christina Aguilera. The song was all over the radio and it was hard not to sing along. The collab was first performed live on The Voice as Levine and Aguilera were judges on the show. With a platform like that there was no denying that the song would take off. Aside from The Voice it was also performed at the American Music Awards and at the 2011 Victoria Secret Fashion Show as Adam held hands and walked down the catwalk with his girlfriend, now fiancé, Behati Prensloo.

I went to their concert at Jones Beach Theater in July of 2011 where they co-headlined with Train and it was AWESOME! I was close enough to the stage to see Adam’s face and the atmosphere of the crowd when this song came on was amazing. They ended their set and the show with ‘She Will Be Loved’ where the fans sang along as he pointed to the right and the left having each side sing something different. Awesome concert!

As Adam’s popularity skyrocketed due to the success of The Voice his sex appeal sky rocketed as well. He was always a good looking guy, but as time has gone on he’s gotten HOTTER and HOTTER! Hence why he’s became People’s, Sexiest Man Alive.

Their fourth album, Overexposed (2012). Click here for my initial review. I gave the album a 3.5/5 and here it is two years later and I can say that it’s still my least favorite Maroon 5 album and my favorite song off the entire album is ‘Love Somebody’. I don’t know with this album I just wasn’t really into it, but they had smashes on the radio such as ‘Love Somebody’, ‘Payphone’, ‘One More Night’, and ‘Daylight’. I’m so glad they stopped playing the Wiz Khalifa feature on the radio, then again they never really played it to begin with.

Now they’re back with a new track and count down to their fifth album, V, which is to have a feature Gwen Stefani. Their new track ‘Maps’ is a nice segue back to the radio airwaves and as the first single I like it so much better than that of Payphone’ from Overexposed. Take a listen below.

Maroon-5-PJ-Morton

I’m amazed with the success of Maroon 5 and the commercial success is really owed to that of the success of Adam Levine. He’s become like this sex symbol and there’s a whole bunch of ‘Maroon 5’ fans when it reality they’re just there for Adam. That’s fine, whatever takes the group to the next level I suppose. I just know that there are a lot of people claiming to be Maroon 5 fans. It’s ok, they’re really infatuated with Adam.

Collectively, Maroon 5 hasn’t done too shabby during their 12 year span as they’ve won three American Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards and three Grammy’s. I can’t wait to see how their album pans out. Fingers crossed it’s a smash. It all comes down to, did Maroon 5’s sound REALLY change? I wouldn’t say drastically, but with time a sound would change as artists take chances and experiment more. To me that’s not change, that’s growth. As for my favorite Maroon 5 album, Songs About Jane. 

Fashion Forward Friday [V.12]: College Grad OOTD [#Flashback]

It’s been exactly a year since I’ve graduated college with my B.A. in English Communications-Broadcast Journalism. I wasn’t sure what day this post would be falling on, but how appropriate of it to fall on a Friday so I could share my OOTD from my graduation.

I can’t believe how fast a year has gone by. I have had so many setbacks since graduation, but I refuse to let those keep me down. No I have yet to have my dream job, but I’m making a path of my own and this blog chronicles my journey. Graduating college has been the biggest achievement in my life thus far and I am so thankful and appreciative to have had the opportunity to go. I can’t wait to see where I’ll be this time next year. Of course I’ll still be blogging in the meantime.

Now for my Outfit of the Day; #FlashbackFriday edition:

Dress - JCPenny, Bissou Shoes - Target, Merona
Dress – JCPenny, Bisou Bisou
Shoes – Target, Merona

 

The dress has mixed a lot of my favorites all in one. I went shopping for a graduation dress and this was the first one I came across and I fell in love. It mixes cobalt blue, crochet, high-low, and a back zipper. I absolutely love it.

PicMonkey Collage

 

Fashion Forward Friday [V.11]: Paul Fredrick Summer 2014 Collection

3038074011._V380808986_SX300_I was pleased and surprised to see that I was contacted by Content Coordinator, Valerie Williams, from Paul Fredrick and asked to write about their 2014 Summer collection. I’ve never featured on men’s clothing on this blog before and I figured this would be a great opportunity and a great piece for Fashion Forward Friday segment. I will be discussing primarily the Summer collection, giving my styling tips, and giving details on the site as a whole. So, let’s get right to it.

“Smart Style for Professional Men.”

The slogan that says it all in five words and it could not be more right. Paul Fredrick was founded 25 years ago with a specialization in dress shirts and has expanded to a full out wardrobe of shoes, suits, ties, and more. The company abides by quality, style, size, price, and guarantee to please customers with every purchase along with a free exchange if need be.

When I initially went to the site to look at the collection, the first thing that caught my eye was the wide range in size that is offered. It’s very hard as a female to find quality pieces in my size and I know that is no different for a man. Having a signature suit is a staple in any wardrobe and this company offers a variety and stays true to the motto of valuing size with the clothing ranging from trim fit to 4XL tall.

The Summer 2014 collection features a wide range of items the speciality of the collection being pastel colored shirts with paisley print ties.Another great feature about the collection is that if you are unsure to match it with they have a matching tie option as well as option to add a monogram. It gets even better with a 2014 Summer Style Guide sectioned off in business attire and business casual.

Photo Credit: Paul Fredrick
Photo Credit: Paul Fredrick

The site does a great job at putting looks together so instead of putting my own looks together I’ve decided to share my favorite pieces from the collection that are not just Summer geared, but great additions to any mans wardrobe and are transitional pieces.

Stripe Woven Silk Tie; $62.50 Palm Tree Woven Silk Tie; $62.50 Pima Cotton V-Neck Sweater - White; $59.50, 2/$99 2-Ply Cotton Pinpoint Straight Collar Dress Shirt; $64.50 100% Microfiber Solid Flat Front Pants - Black; $89.50, 2/$149 Cotton Chino Pleated Pants; $89.50
Stripe Woven Silk Tie; $62.50
Palm Tree Woven Silk Tie; $62.50
Pima Cotton V-Neck Sweater – White; $59.50, 2/$99
2-Ply Cotton Pinpoint Straight Collar Dress Shirt; $64.50
100% Microfiber Solid Flat Front Pants – Black; $89.50, 2/$149
Cotton Chino Pleated Pants; $89.50

When looking at the site it might seem as if the clothing is geared towards older men more so in their 40s-50s, but I beg to differ. The pieces that I picked out are a great addition to a 20+ year olds wardrobe and great for getting signature pieces that will not only last, but work inside and outside of an office setting.

My favorite piece from the entire collection is the ‘Pima Cotton V-Neck Sweater‘. I chose the white out of my favorites but the other five colors offered are amazing as well. It’s a great piece that will transition from those chilly summer nights and work well through fall, winter, and spring. They are $59.50 each or two for $99 and to get the most wear I would suggest the blue and white.

I also love the ‘Solid Silk Satin Ties‘. There are so many colors to choose from, 13 to be exact, and if you’re not one for stripes, polkadots, or paisley this style of tie will give you a great pop of color yet still be subtle.

Prices do vary on the site depending on item of purchase, but there are deals where you get a lot of bang for your buck. There are deals where you can get shirts three for $169 or three for $109 (‘Pinpoint Oxford’). There are deals like these for pants, ties, and other options as well. The pricing is fair based off what you’re buying. The prices increase based on the items.

This is great brand for a woman looking for a Father’s Day or birthday present for that special man in her life. You can easily put a look together that will be long lasting and customize it to your liking without breaking the bank. In case you’re still wondering where to start, here’s my top 3 things that every man needs:

  1. Pants Suit – This will allow endless options from adding a variety color of shirts to having fun with ties. There are plenty of other options in a suit, but as a woman has a little black dress as a staple, a black suit is a staple for a man. It does not have to be a three-piece (jacket/vest/pants), but when buying the three-piece the vest just becomes an extra option.
  2. Black/White/Grey Button Up – Again this is a basic as you can get. A man can never have enough white button-ups as they get old and can stain with ease. It’s easy to throw in a pop of color as well so in that case I’d say a cobalt blue/navy or a pinstripe to be worn with plain slacks.
  3. Dress Shoes – If you haven’t caught on I feel that black is a staple in any and everyones wardrobe although adding pops of color is not only trendy, but a great addition as to adding variety to a wardrobe. A classic pair of dress shoes will take any outfit, business or casual, and give it sophistication.I recommend a loafer because you can make it business or casual.

I would like to again thank Valerie Williams for asking me to write about this summer collection. I hope you all enjoyed my selections along with my tips. Overall I think this site is great due to all the options you have to choose from. It can be overwhelming, but take your time and you should find something to your liking.

For more details on anything mentioned be sure to checkout the official Paul Fredrick site.

 

My Top 5 Nail Polishes: Spring Edition

I am a nail polish junkie and I’m proud of it. I recently downsized my collection and I am very content with the color selection I have. I wanted to share my Top 5 nail polishes for Spring and give a high end and low end option. Be sure to check out my nail polish collectioncloset downsize, and vanity posts for my nail polish journey.

1. Ocean Blue

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I love a dark blue for spring. It just makes my skin tone pop. I usually go for pink, but I wanted to switch things up. I’ll probably lean more so towards the pink in the summer. As for the three options I chose, it all started with The Sephora By OPI, ‘Slushied’ from the Glee Collection. Two similar colors I have in my collection are: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear, ‘Blue Me Away‘ ($2.99) and Zoya ‘Phoebe'(Matte) from the MOD Collection. ($9).

2. Teal/Turquoise

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One of the most infamous signature colors from Essie is ‘Turquoise & Caicos‘. ($8.50). The name gives away the underlying color, turquoise, but ultimately I think it’s categorized more as a teal. Sephora by OPI also has a very similar color called ‘Read My Palm’. Although they are similar as you can see from the picture the Sephora polish is a tad bit darker. This color is hard to come by but there are many other options similar online. This particular color is available in a gel polish.

3. Yellow

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I love a great yellow polish and I usually have about 3 or 4 in my collection and I wear them throughout football season (Steelers; Black & Yellow), BUT there’s nothing like a nice yellow on the nails for Spring. What I love about these two yellows is that the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in ‘Mellow Yellow‘ ($2.99) gives that hint of yellow that I love. The Zoya color ‘Pippa‘ ($9) gives me more pigmentation, but it’s not dark enough to be a mustard yellow. Love the different tones of both polishes.

4. LIlac

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If you couldn’t tell my now I am a HUGE fan of the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear line. I own quite a few of purple polishes, but this one is my ultimate favorite. This polish is called, ‘Lacey Lilac‘ ($2.99) and it surely lives up to its name. This color will work great for any and every skin tone. Essie has great lilac options as well with a price tag of $8.50 a bottle: ‘Bond With Whomever’, ‘St. Lucia Lilac’, and ‘Lilacism.’

5. GLITTER

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This is by far my favorite OPI nail polish to date. It was in the Serena Glam Slam Collection and I have been holding on to it and making sure it didn’t dry out since it’s such a beautiful color. I absolutely love it. The only dupe currently available that comes the closest to this color is Zoya’s ‘Faye’ ($9).

Be sure to check out my TOP 5 accessories & lippies for Spring.

What are your top nail polishes for this Spring?

Fashion Forward Friday [V.10]: Spring Haul (Pt.3)

This is my final installment in my Spring haul series. Be sure to check out parts 1 & 2. In this haul I will be featuring items purchased from Wet Seal, JCPenny, and eBay.

I have an OOTD coming up that will be featuring items from my previous spring hauls. I took advantage of the 5/20 deal and ordered 2 pairs of cropped leggings and 3 crop tops which I can’t wait to style. I did order a white one instead of the fuchsia pink one I received, but I guess it was out of stock. I’ll purchase it elsewhere. Click the links to get to the item.

Overalls Cropped Leggings Crop Tops: Black, Blue
Overalls
Cropped Leggings
Crop Scoop Neck Tees: Black, Blue, Pink

During Easter weekend I headed over to JCPenny and took advantage of the sale they were having. I knew I wanted a pair of converse, either blue or grey, so with a $10 off $25+ coupon I knew it’d be the perfect time to get them. These were $50, low tops are $45, so i ended up paying $40 for the sneakers which wasn’t a bad deal. I also purchased these with the dress featured in my OOTD #3.

Converse High Tops, Charcoal
Converse High Tops, Charcoal

Last but not least I have been eyeing the new palette from Urban Decay. The ‘Electric Pressed Pigment Palette’ is way out of my comfort zone and I won’t go into too much detail as I will be doing a ‘First Impression’ on the palette. Be on the lookout for that. I snagged this on eBay for $42 (+free shipping), regular price $49.

OOTD #3: White/Gold/Purple [4.27.14]

Happy Sunday everyone! I wanted to share my OOTD from church earlier today. I’m not one to wear white, but I snagged this dress from JCPenny on s great steal. It was a regular $70 and I got it for $32.

Not pictured is my jewelry. I work a NY&CO watch that was featured in my Easter OOTD & I wore gold hoop earring that were featured in my Spring Haul (Pt. 2).

Check out the details on the outfit below & be sure to click the links.

Coat: JCPenny Dress: JCPenny Shoes: Target Purse: Forever 21
Coat: JCPenny – ‘Liz Claiborne
Dress: JCPenny – ‘Worthington Peplum Dress’
Shoes: Target – ‘Merona Emily Braided Strap’
Purse: Forever 21

Fashion Forward Friday [V.9] — Spring Haul (Pt. 2)

Welcome to another edition of FASHION FORWARD FRIDAY! This week is yet another spring haul. I only have a couple more left in this mini-series. I took yet another shopping trip not really looking for anything, but I came out with a few goodies. I stopped at H&MWet Seal, and Hot Topic,

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In my previous FFF I stopped at H&M and I picked up a pair of flats. Yet again I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. I did see that they had leggings 2 for $10 and since they are regularly $9.95 I took advantage of the deal. I wish they had cropped ones, but the ankle-length was fine. Click here to purchase the Jersey Leggings. On top of that I got a coupon for $5 off my next purchase. Glad I didn’t toss the bag as soon as I got home.

Next up I headed to Hot Topic out of curiosity and everything in the store was Buy 1, Get 1 50% off so I headed straight to the t-shirts. I came across a few music ones that I wanted, but I decided on the Minion tee for myself and the Bob Marley one for my boyfriend.

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Total came out to $30.75 + $15 Hot Cash that I can use at the end of April to the middle of May on a purchase of $30 or more. I have a couple t-shirts I want so I’ll be going back for those.

Here’s the links to the shirts:

I couldn’t find the exact Bob Marley shirt, but click here to see what other Marley designs are offered.

Lastly I went in Wet Seal to see they were having a MAJOR sale. The sale included buy 1 shirt, get 1 for $5. All hair accessories buy 1, get 1 50% off, all jewelry 50% off, and on certain items an additional 60% would be taken off. To go with my Minion t-shirt from Hot Topic, I got a ‘Happy’ chain for $4.75 and the earrings were $3.75 a regular $7.50 for the set. I also picked up a few headbands. The daisy one for, $4.24, and the double headband set for $3.75 with the buy 1 get 1 50% off deal.

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There’s an outfit planned with the Happy chain & Minion shirt so stay tuned for that.Here’s the links I found to some of the items I purchased.

I went home and purchased a couple more items from Wet Seal so stay tuned for those in my Spring Haul Pt. 3. If you missed out on Pt. 1, click here.

OOTD #1: Casual [4.19.14]

HAPPY SATURDAY EVERYONE!

I want to incorporate more OOTDs (outfit of the days) here on my blog and I thought since I don’t work today I could give a glimpse of what I wear on a Saturday when I have a few errands to run. I spent the earlier part of my morning blogging and I will be going to the mall soon on the hunt for a lavender outfit & a pair of Converse. Hopefully I’ll be successful in getting what I’m looking for. Anyway, I wanted to share my OOTD so here it is. I

So not pictured I have on leggings from H&M that I will feature in a future haul and a basic black tank from Forever 21. I like to keep my outfits as simple as possible when I have nowhere important to go. Be sure to click the links under the pictures.

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Earrings – Wet Seal                                                Lip of the Day (LOTD) –                                       Wet n Wild Balm Stain, ‘A Stiff Pink’
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Shirt – Gap
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Shoes – GoJane
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Purse – Joyce Leslie                               Makeup Bag – Gifted                                 Wallet – Betsey Johnson
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Bath & Body Works– Beautiful Day                          Jordana – ‘Eggplant’            Revlon Lip Butter – ‘Fig Jam’    Wet n Wild Balm Stain –‘A Stiff Pink’                                                Sephora Compact Mirror (w/ light)