Spring Style Mashup: Outfits & Exposés

True story – a few months ago I got braces, and I haven’t posted since because I hate the way I look.  It’s pretty sad because I’ve shot plenty of outfits, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to post them. I feel like my whole face looks different.  My mouth definitely does, and it’s just too weird.  So I’ve been staring at these photos on and off for months, wondering what to do.  I straight up contemplated giving up blogging for the next year and half, but the problem is I like it too much and I’m not eager to quit.  So I’ve concluded that I have to suck it up and deal with my new look if I want to keep going. This isn’t easy for me because I’m image conscious (duh!) and I feel so awkward with braces – they’re ugly, and my mouth looks all poofy, and I feel like I’m 12 years old. PLUS if I want to get glammed up and wear lipstick, it draws even more attention to the problem.  And that’s just the superficial side of things – I’m not even addressing all the pain and discomfort at this point!  That being said, I’m absolutely loving what’s new this spring, and I don’t want to miss out on the fun…

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Maxi Dress Madness

I’m a huge fan of maxi dresses as it is, but since getting pregnant, I can’t get enough of them.  They’re super comfy and flattering (between the sumer heat and my growing belly).  This one (like most of my preggo clothes) is from H&M, and due to the drapey, voluminous style, I only had to size up to a 4 for it to fit comfortably.  At this rate I’ll probably be able to wear many of my pregnancy purchases even after giving birth – so much better than investing in a bunch of maternity clothes I’ll never wear again!!  I wore this dress recently to dinner with family and friends…

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Casual Cool | Weekend Vibes

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Let’s face it – life is busy in the world today.  Monday is manic and Friday is Fri-Yay.  We’re all on overdrive, and come the weekend, I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to lounge in your PJ’s all day, or run errands in your gym clothes.  On particularly packed-out days, even I’m guilty of workout wear errand running.  BUT I don’t usually feel good about it.  There’s something to be said for looking nice, even when engaging in commonplace activities like grocery shopping.  For a night out, I’m all about getting glammed up.  But a simple Saturday calls for a dose of comfy and cool.  All sumer long this would’ve looked like a breezy sundress, but now that Fall is (sloooooowly) trickling in, I’ve resurrected everyone’s favorite wardrobe staple – the black legging.

And since I’ve mentioned it, for the record, I’d like to settle the “Are leggings pants?” debate once and for all.  As a professional stylist, I feel I have the authority to weigh in on this issue, (and it’s a question I answer for clients all the time).  Whether you can wear your leggings as pants depends on two basic factors – fabric and fit.  1. Fabric: How thick is the fabric?  How sturdy is it?  If it’s in the least bit sheer, then NO your leggings are not pants.  If it’s so thin that we can see every detail of every lump and bump, then NO your leggings are not pants.  2. Fit: Are your leggings practically painted on?  If they suction to your skin like tights and we can see the outline of your thong, then NO your leggings are not pants.  I’m saying this because I’ve seen women out in public, in broad daylight, walking around in see-through leggings, and leggings where yes I can see the outline of their dental floss undies.  But let me be clear – when I see this, I am NOT judging the individual.  I don’t know anything about the stranger in her see-through leggings, and I really don’t care what she’s up to because it has nothing to do with me.  She can wear whatever she wants.  I’m simply stating that I don’t consider her leggings to qualify as pants.  To be pants, they need to provide appropriate coverage.

Sooooo, for this particular look, the leggings I’m wearing are a thicker ponte fabric with a tiny flare at the bottom.  I bought them more for layering with sweaters and booties, but it’s not that cold yet in So Cal.  Instead, last weekend I wore them with a pretty blue ikat print blouse by Rachel Roy.  I love the way this blouse splits open on the sides, and it’s slightly longer in the back.  Interesting silhouettes always attract my eye.  I layered the blouse with one of my favorite long statement necklaces, and added a fun mixed-metal cuff to the mix.  The color-block structured handbag is also Rachel Roy, and the black gladiators, by Report, are my hands-down favorite summer sandals.  This look is way easy to throw together, and yet looks pulled-together.  I’d love to know how all of you dress up your leggings for a cute weekend look – so share with me in the comments!!

SHOP THE LOOK  

Blouse: Rachel Roy (similar here & here) / Leggings: H&M (here) / Sandals: Report Signature (similar here & here) / Necklace: Macy’s (similar here & here) / Cuff: Macy’s (similar here & here) / Handbag: Rachel Roy (similar here & here)

Photography by Jessica Kircher

Summer Style, Fall Colors

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So far the heat has not let up.  I have to admit I’m a bit disappointed, because October feels very “fall” to me.  As soon as pumpkins start popping up in stores, (and with Halloween around the corner) it seems a given that the weather should turn cool.  I yearn to bust out my ankle boots and lightweight coats, but we’re not even close right now.  I can barely think about boot shopping, and that’s NOT normal.  I’m kinda over the bright colors and airy florals that define the spring/summer season, but I still need to dress comfortably for the heat.  Enter this slouchy shirtdress from H&M.  It’s super lightweight and breezy, but the olive color is very fall-propriate!  I chose to accent the dress with hints of gold and amber in my accessories, further emphasizing the autumn palette.  It might not be the cozy sweaterdress I wish I was wearing, but it’s a step in the right direction.  Out of curiosity, what kind of weather are you experiencing in other parts right now?!  Xxo Luisa

SHOP THE LOOK

Shirtdress: H&M (here) / Gladiator Sandals: ShoeMint (similar here & here) / Earrings: A/X (similar here & here) / Necklace: vintage (similar here & here) / Handbag: Juicy Couture (similar here & here)

Photography by Jessica Kircher

Vacation Packing For Florida

I’m heading off to Florida again tomorrow night!  To be honest, my dad is not in the best of health, so he asked me to fly back for another visit (I was just there in March).  But at least this time he’s out of the hospital and looking forward to enjoying some time with me and my hubby.  Florida is not a traditional vacation for me since I was born and raised there (in a tiny beach town halfway between Miami and Palm Beach).  But it’s still a nice resorty area and I will definitely sneak in some time for relaxation and meals with old friends.  Traveling there at this time of year is always a bit of a challenge because it will be SUPER hot and SUPER humid.  When I was there in March it was lovely, but not so for the end of May.  Hence I’ll be packing a lot of lightweight, airy pieces and of course a swimsuit or two…

~ OUTFITS ~

FL Collage 1We’ll be there exactly one week so I don’t need to bring a ton of stuff, but there are some key pieces I wouldn’t do without.  I just scooped up this boxy printed crop top at H&M.  It’s from the Conscious Collection and the material is super soft and light.  I’ll probably pair it with some crochet shorts or slouchy cropped joggers.  I’m also in love with the kimono/tank combo I scored at Kohl’s last month. Such a pretty print to pair with denim cutoffs (or simply throw the kimono over your swimsuit)!  And of course a resort vacation wouldn’t be complete without at least one maxi dress.  Stripes are a classic choice.  This dress is great because it’s loose and airy.  A bikini is an obvious must, and I love this floral embroidered suit from Topshop.  I also bought this adorable palm print sundress from H&M.  The fit is lovely, and it’s a perfect Florida piece that I’m really looking forward to wearing.

~ ACCESSORIES ~

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I try to be smart about accessories, especially for shorter trips.  No need to bring more than three pairs of shoes and two handbags, if you choose wisely.  For this trip I’ll definitely bring my strappy black gladiators, some trendy flat espadrilles, and a nice neutral wedge.  Between the three, I’ll have shoe options for all of my outfits!  I’ll bring one handbag in a pop of color and the Rebecca Minkoff MAB is a great choice.  It’s classic, and big enough for all my stuff, so this is probably the purse I’ll carry on my flight.  Then I only have to worry about packing a smaller bag, and I like the idea of a leopard crossbody.  The leopard is essentially neutral, but a little more exciting, and the small size makes is easy to dress up for an evening out.  Of course I can’t forget sunglasses, which are a must no matter where I go.  I love love love two-tone sunglasses in black and white because I feel like they go with everything. This pair is beyond cute!  I always take my grey suede DVF luggage everywhere I go.  That set is sold out now, but I absolutely adore this option, also by DVF.  I might have to scoop it up as a back-up!

Stay tuned, because I’ll make an effort to shoot most of these looks while I’m there, and I’ll definitely post what I’ve got when I get back 🙂

Crazy Week + New Hair Mashup

This past week was Hell.  My styling site (www.urbandarling.com) got a makeover, but unfortunately the transition did not go smoothly.  It looks great now, but initially crashed and was down for several days, which was incredibly frustrating.  In addition to that, I had a major health scare and was stressed out of my mind awaiting catscan results, which thankfully confirmed that I’m a-okay.  In the midst of it all I was having a bit of breakdown and finally decided to chop my hair.  It’s been longish forever, and I’d been debating on going shorter and blonder.  I loved my long hair, but was honestly tired of seeing the exact same hair day in and day out for nearly a decade!  Since summer is coming, I figured now is the time.  I loooove the cut, but I’m having second thoughts about the color.  Of course that can always be changed, and that’s the fun thing about hair – it’s easy to tweak as desired.  What do you think?  Love it or hate it?  I debuted the new look last night at a Marciano event at The Americana in Glendale.  I love that mall, but since it’s outdoors, the whole experience would have been soooo much nicer in warm weather!  Instead it was cold and rainy, which is very unusual for this time of year in So Cal.  Anyway, I love Guess and I love Marciano, and the beautiful Marianna Hewitt of La La Mer was hosting.  My darling assistant Purely Jessica came along, and we sipped champagne and got our hair done, so all in all it was a fun night out.  Just hope next week is a bit more low-key and relaxing!

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Get The Look

Sweater: H&M (old) / Scarf: Cynthia Rowley (old) / Bag: Henri Bendel / Jeans: Guess / Heels: Sam Edelman