Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Sparkle & Shine for the New Year

Purple Iridescent One Shoulder Bodycon Mini Dress - Mariah from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
I don't like to spend too much time looking back or looking ahead. It keeps me from focusing on what is right in front of me. Most of the time we think of something ending with sadness or relief or a mixture of both, while the beginnings of new things bring up feelings best described by bog words like excitement, anticipation, and, perhaps, trepidation. All those words aside, December 31st is the one night a year, just as the old year passes into the new that we are supposed to simultaneously look back and look forward. It's the one night a year when we should celebrate the ending as much as the beginnings. What better time of year to bring out the sparkle and shine than New Year's Eve?
Purple Iridescent One Shoulder Bodycon Mini Dress - Mariah from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
All the glitz and the glitter are meant to symbolize the celebration of all good things accomplished, all difficult things survived, and all new changes and challenges on the way. It is a moment of raising a sparkling glass and sharing a kiss for the good times behind us and the better times ahead. I can't think of a better way to style this wonderful evening than with a glittery Purple Iridescent One Shoulder Bodycon Mini Dress - Mariah dress from FemmeLuxe.
Purple Iridescent One Shoulder Bodycon Mini Dress - Mariah from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
FemmeLuxe's Puff Sleeve Tops and Slinky Dresses are amazing and they're always my go-to for mini dresses like this Mariah Dress. Ok, I know I keep fixating on holiday weight gain in my posts lately, but I really want to encourage you not to shy away from a bodycon dress. Let's face it, adding a few extra pounds during this season of decadent desserts and plenty of them, is something that happens to pretty much everyone, I know it definitely happens to me every year, so why not talk about it? 
Purple Iridescent One Shoulder Bodycon Mini Dress - Mariah from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
What better way to celebrate your holiday curves than something that fits your form? I chose to wear this dress, which is a bodycon dress and also a mini dress, just as it is today because I think it's pretty stunning as is, but if you're feeling a little insecure, shape wear is always an option and/or add a belt at the narrowest part of your waist. If you do decide to accessorize with a belt, for a luxe dress like this, the belt needs to be equally amazing. I'm thinking something gold and perhaps with a bow or geometric shape.
Purple Iridescent One Shoulder Bodycon Mini Dress - Mariah from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
The Mariah Dress has some really great style elements that I want to talk about. For starters, this is a one shoulder dress and there's something about the asymmetry of the neckline, the unexpectedness of the bare shoulder that one shoulder dresses have that create such a stand-out look; I love it! Remember to take your coat off and no cardigans, shrugs, or boleros, please. Let your style shine.
Purple Iridescent One Shoulder Bodycon Mini Dress - Mariah from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
If you've never tried a one shoulder look before you can visit some of my previous FemmeLuxe posts (here, here, here) for some tips on how to style this neckline. It's pretty simple really, but if you need a quick reminder on the number one rule for styling a one shoulder it's this: keep it very small to none at all on the neckline jewelry since the dress is doing all the work already, but feel free to go big on the earrings.
Purple Iridescent One Shoulder Bodycon Mini Dress - Mariah from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
Now that you have a standout element in the neckline add to it the gorgeous rich violet purple of this Mariah dress with the metallic gold glitter flecks in it and there is no party too fab. For a night like this, I definitely want to play up the metallic element of the dress with some metallic gold heels. Gold dangle earrings and a chunky cocktail ring or two would also look chic. Dramatic eyes? Dramatic lips? No shy violets tonight, put on that glam; after all it is a celebration.
Purple Iridescent One Shoulder Bodycon Mini Dress - Mariah from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
Now that we styled this perfect New Year's Eve party dress, it's time to bring the right attitude to the party with you. Put on that very best accessory-a smile. Not a fake smile, a genuine smile that says to the world I've had my victories this year; I've had my defeats. I've learned from all of them and I'm ready to let the old year go and embrace the new with a thankful heart. What are you most looking forward to in this new year? Comment below :)

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Velvet Dress

I have had a velvet crush going for months now and it does not show any signs of stopping, especially now that so many of my favorite shops are adding some fabulous velvet things to their winter collections.  That is why I am so pleased that many of my favorite shops like FemmeLuxe have added some velvet dresses, tops, and skirts to their winter line-up too.  I say “winter” instead of “holiday” because velvet should not be pigeon-holed into that narrow window of December festivities.  Velvet is thick and plush and basically an ideal cold weather fabric.  I start wearing it in October and it carries me all the way through February. 
Red Velvet Strappy Square Neck Bodycon Midaxi Dress - Sara from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
In the past few months I've done a number of #velvetcrush posts on the blog and on Instagram, but for the most part those outfits have involved a velvet tops and there was one skirt, but up until now I have not yet done a velvet dress.  Tops and skirts are a great way to ease in to any fashion trend, testing the waters as it were, I suppose belts and shoes are the equivalent of the kiddie pool with water wings, but there does eventually come a time to take the plunge.  Jumping in head first and head to toe on trend.  Today is that day for velvet and me.  The only reason that I've been waiting is simply that I wanted to wait for just the right dress and this Red Velvet Strappy Square Neck Bodycon Midaxi Dress - Sara from FemmeLuxe is definitely it. 
Red Velvet Strappy Square Neck Bodycon Midaxi Dress - Sara from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
If you read my post from Thursday (you can read it here in case you missed it) you may remember that I talked about cheering up your winter wardrobe with some warm rich colors like red.  Red has a wonderful effect on the mood in these bleak winter months and while you're adding that spicy hue to your closet, why not add it in a lush velvet fabric?  I love the look and feel of velvet.  It takes away the need to layer up and lets me keep the svelt silhouette created by a midaxi bodycon dress like the Sara Dress.  *quick note:  a midaxi is a midi-maxi combo! 
Red Velvet Strappy Square Neck Bodycon Midaxi Dress - Sara from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
FemmeLuxe has beautiful Glitter Crop Tops, Slinky Dresses, and PU Leggings,  and I know that anytime I'm looking for  confidence building bodycon dresses, FemmeLuxe has the style and fit that I can trust.  They've never steered me wrong and I have to admit there have been many times when I was pretty amazed at just how great my body could look thanks to their dresses, corset tops, and High Waist Jeans.
Red Velvet Strappy Square Neck Bodycon Midaxi Dress - Sara from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk 
The question for today's post is: Is there a right way to style velvet?  The answer is yes, and it’s so easy! So, here are just a few tips for styling velvet and don’t forget to check out FemmeLuxe’s new collection of Velvet dresses, tops and loungewear.
Red Velvet Strappy Square Neck Bodycon Midaxi Dress - Sara from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
As you can see from this post and most of my other velvet posts, I go pretty minimal on styling.  Velvet is a thick fabric, it can be bulky, especially if you have something that is loose fitting or has lots of ruching, and/or frills.  I’ve started with this SaraDress which is a basic, no frills bodycon dress and as you can see it does all the work of being a stand-out piece without adding accessories.  And the rich color that velvet creates is heavenly!  So, I don’t need to wear a lot of color with it because, once again, the dress does all the work.  I chose to add only a small delicate necklace, some small earrings, and a large rose hair accessory. 
Red Velvet Strappy Square Neck Bodycon Midaxi Dress - Sara from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
If you want to add a shrug or bolero, either would look nice, and I suggest something in black.  A small simple shrug could frame your waist nicely, but a belt thick or thin, would just be distracting and awkward, so beyond a shrug, I don’t see any need for more. 
Red Velvet Strappy Square Neck Bodycon Midaxi Dress - Sara from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk 
So, am I going to save this dress just for the December holidays?  Not a chance.  I've got plenty of events in January and there's at least one big day in February that this dress will be perfect for.  (it's never too early to start thinking about Valentine’s Day, right?) 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sunday, Simply

Rusted orange leaves and pale brown grass crunch under my shoes as I walk through town and this rusty old antique truck seems like the perfect place to stop and rest a while before I head back home. The town is sleeping now, they're hibernating, unaware that it's going to be a beautiful day. I'll just have to enjoy it on my own for an hour or so until the sunshine breaks through their curtains and lets them all know they can come out for a while.
Mid Wash Distressed Ripped Mom Jeans - Cora from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
I have to bring a sweater along, it's still winter after all, but it is warm enough that I left most of the layers behind and let the home fire burn out in the night. Normally I'm up once or twice in the night to feed the wood stove and keep us all warm and keep myself from having to start a fire from scratch while shivering in the morning. I don't want any extra chores now that all the holiday madness is over.
Mid Wash Distressed Ripped Mom Jeans - Cora from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
Personally, I look forward to this time of year. It's not the weather per say, I have always been more of a summer sunshine kind of person. Rather, what I like about this particular time of year is that this is the time when all the obligations and events of the holidays are over and I can kick back and take a few minutes to catch my breath. It's not that I don't love the holidays, I definitely do. 
Mid Wash Distressed Ripped Mom Jeans - Cora from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
But, I also love my peace and quiet. I compare this non-holiday season to my taste in clothes: I love all my beautiful dresses too, in fact I wouldn't part with any of them, but I also enjoy a nice pair of comfortable jeans. And this day at time of year definitely calls for a comfortable pair of jeans.
Mid Wash Distressed Ripped Mom Jeans - Cora from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
I know for most of the northern hemisphere, the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful, but I live in this odd little vortex where those bitterly cold winter days are broken up by these mild sunny days that pop up about once or twice a month. 
Mid Wash Distressed Ripped Mom Jeans - Cora from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
And I have come to count on these little breaks. I've learned over the last few years not to bury my bicycle at the back of the shed because chances are I'll get the opportunity to use it at least once or twice each winter. I've also learned to keep something light and comfortable easily accessible so I can go out walking around and soaking up the sunshine.
Mid Wash Distressed Ripped Mom Jeans - Cora from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
I'm a dresses kind of girl by nature (and if you are too, not to worry, I have plenty of FemmeLuxe Dress posts on the way). Dresses have been my go-to outfit staple for the better part of the past decade, but I always keep a little wiggle room in my wardrobe for other great staples like the perfect pair of jeans. For me the right pair of jeans is just as comfortable and a long flowy peasant skirt, and that's how I feel about these Mid Wash Distressed Ripped Mom Jeans - Cora from FemmeLuxe.
Mid Wash Distressed Ripped Mom Jeans - Cora from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
FemmeLuxe has some of my favorite styles in Slinky Dresses and  Glitter Crop Tops, but today's post has a more casual flare. (Use the term FemmeLuxe in the search bar at the side to see some of my FemmeLuxe outfits) In fact, tomorrow's post is going to feature the Mariah BodyCon dress, but I also absolutely adore their jeans. I don't even shop around for jeans anymore, FemmeLuxe always has what I like and a size and fit I can trust. In the past, I've gone for their High Waist jeans with the flare bottom, but when I saw these Cora JeansI knew they would be perfect for a quiet weekend at home like this one.
Mid Wash Distressed Ripped Mom Jeans - Cora from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
Just the right amount of rips give these Cora jeans that distress look and I love the raw edge cuff that I can roll up for a Capri length or leave down and wear with sneakers or sandals. The waist is mid-rise which is in my opinion the best rise for casual wear. These Cora jeans are going to be perfect for spring and summer wear as well as these unseasonably warm pop-up winter days.
Mid Wash Distressed Ripped Mom Jeans - Cora from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
Tomorrow's post will be back to dresses, but this jeans are perfect for today. Come back tomorrow for more FemmeLuxe goodness.
Mid Wash Distressed Ripped Mom Jeans - Cora from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
Shopping Info: Mid Wash Distressed Ripped Mom Jeans - Cora from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk, Maruchan Letter Graphic Ringer Tee from: SHEIN, CoolWay Kicks from ThredUp, Glasses from Claire's, Cardi is old

Friday, December 27, 2019

Blushing Rose

Continuing my Velvet Crush series in this new month of December, I thought I'd depart from the autumn colors of my recent outfits.  The forest is still filled with those reds and oranges, but in December our minds and wardrobes are ready to move on from pumpkin spice and all her hues.
Forever 21 Blush Rose Gold Pink Velvet Crop Top
When thinking of doing this velvet crush series, I started thinking about what fabrics pair well with velvet.  It's quite a heavy fabric, so  it seemed only natural to use something with a little weight to compliment it.  I was gifted this vintage wool tweed several years ago but had always been too nervous to cut into it.
Seeing that all typed out, saying that I'm nervous to cut into some fabric seems pretty silly.  It's just a piece of fabric!  But I don't like to waste things or needlessly ruin them and I have never worked with wool before so I put off making anything out of it until I saw this top.
I knew this beautiful blush (also known as rose gold) pink would look lovely with a little tweed and burgundy, so I set to work on what turned out to be the smallest piece of wool fabric in my supply, so there was hardly any waste.
I decided to play it safe with this fabric though and used an old familiar skirt pattern, Simplicity Pattern 1369 which I used to sew my very first skirt several years ago.  That skirt was knee length, but this time I decided to opt for the mini skirt version since as I mentioned I didn't have much fabric to work with.

With such thick, heavy fabrics, I think less is more.  A velvet top with lots of ruffles combined with a long wool skirt would just be too bulky and overwhelming.
I know my sewing projects can be a little hard to replicate sometimes, because I tend to go off book and combine things or change things, but this time the only deviation I made from the pattern was to make my own waist band.  The one in the pattern has so many pieces, I worried I wouldn't have enough fabric for them all, so I simply cut a long rectangular strip and folded over.
Truth be told, I cut that waist band a little to small and this skirt fits higher on my waist because of it, but since this is a crop top, the high waist turned out to be perfect for covering my midriff.  
Overall, I like this skirt and the way that it is very full even without a lining or petticoat, but for the rest of my wool fabrics, I will probably hunt for a pattern that is meant for wool fabrics.  That way I know exactly what to expect.  Happy accidents are nice, but I'd just as soon not take any chances.
Shopping Info: Velvet Off-the-Shoulder Top-$14.99 from Forever21, Tights and Heels from ModCloth, Skirt is handmade

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Warm Up to Your Winter Wardrobe

December 26th, the day after Christmas and I hope your holiday season was merry and bright. For some, this day can be a bit difficult to bear. The excitement is over and there's not much left to do but take down all the decorations, put everything back in boxes for another year, and try to find space for all those new gifts. That last part shouldn't be a burden, but I suppose it can be for some.
Personally I now find myself living in a house that is about one-third the size of the house I lived in four years ago, so even though I consider all gifts to be wonderful, I do occasionally struggle to find a place for everything, so I know how it goes. Add in the all the little things that have been left undone during the holiday rush, and one can easily be overwhelmed. If you find yourself experiencing a little post holiday gloom, not to worry, because it's FemmeLuxe week! I've got so many pretties on the way to cheer you up and a few simple tips for navigating those post holidays blues.
Black PU Plunge Bodycon Midi Dress - Sarai from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Beware of what you dwell on for that you shall surely become.” I agree with Mr. Emerson's assessment of this very basic human condition. I believe that what we think becomes words and then actions and I'm a big proponent of the idea that a person's outward appearance also reflects their inner state of being. The marvelous part is that you change all this.
Black PU Plunge Bodycon Midi Dress - Sarai from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
You can turn what would be a post-holiday slump into a very productive season. You can change your way of thinking and you fool your brain with into thinking it's feeling happy, sexy, confident, cheerful, organized, you name it, just by doing a little tweaking to your thoughts and your wardrobe. What's that you say? Tell you more? Done and done. Let's start with a few basic feelings and attitudes that crop up after the holidays.
Black PU Plunge Bodycon Midi Dress - Sarai from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
Maybe you're feeling a little schlumpy after all those decadent holiday foods and you feel like wearing something loose and baggy. Burn those baggy sweat pants if you have to, but whatever you do--DO NOT GIVE IN! Instead, turn it all around with some positive affirmations about how sexy you look with some curves (burning your baggy sweatpants might actually help with that) and maybe something in black faux leather to prove it like this Black PU Plunge Bodycon Midi Dress - Sarai from FemmeLuxe. FemmeLuxe has some amazing Puff Sleeve Tops and Glitter Crop Tops but when it comes to classy-sexy their BodyCon dresses are my first go-to.
Black PU Plunge Bodycon Midi Dress - Sarai from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
Maybe you're accepting your post holiday body with flying colors, it's everything else that's looking a little dreary. Take a cue from that body-positive attitude and add some rich color to your life. When you start with a neutral main piece like Black PU Plunge Bodycon Midi Dress - Sarai, the sky is the limit on the colors you can work with. I chose to layer Sarai with this warm red plaid top, because there's something about red that just warms my heart in these winter months. Notice the frilly lamb-chop sleeve accents to make it a little extra feminine. And then topped it off with a fuzzy red beret and red lipstick. Check out PU Leggings and Slinky Dresses from FemmeLuxe for some more great picks.
Black PU Plunge Bodycon Midi Dress - Sarai from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
What if you're the type who just hates the cold weather and tons of layers? To that I would say, I'm right there with ya. At this time of year, layers are a must, but who says those layers have to be boring or make you look like a crazy cat lady with a cold? That's why I love adding some fun, sleek, or vintage elements to my outfits. For today's outfit, I added vintage style tights with that lovely line down the back and ankle strap heels. On other days, I go for a colorful scarf or a funky chunky knit cardigan to keep it all fresh and fun.
So, keep your chin up and your shoulders back. The best is still yet to come and there's more lovely picks from FemmeLuxe on the way!
Black PU Plunge Bodycon Midi Dress - Sarai from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk
Shopping Info: Black PU Plunge Bodycon Midi Dress - Sarai from FemmeLuxeFinery.co.uk, Mock-neck Leg-of-mutton Sleeve Tartan Top - $9.00 and Tights from SheIn, beret and heels are old.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Ring Out, Wild Bells

In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 106

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
   The flying cloud, the frosty light:
   The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
   The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
   For those that here we see no more;
   Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
   And ancient forms of party strife;
   Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
   The faithless coldness of the times;
   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
   The civic slander and the spite;
   Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
   Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
   Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
   The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
   Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
Merry Christmas!



  Shopping Info: Red Bow Dress from Unique-Vintage.com

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Velvet Crushes from Asos

© Bleu Avenue. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.