I love being an ambassador for Reign Boutique. It is so important to support small businesses, and, in addition to that, women-owned businesses. This month, I picked each of these pieces with my current lifestyle in mind - working from home most days, but planning for local reopenings and getting out a little more.
I immediately fell in love with the olive joggers because I love joggers and the material was unlike anything I have because it’s lightweight cotton with a linen-like texture. I also felt like I could potentially dress them up to wear to work as well. After I expressed interested in the joggers, my appointment stylist suggested the white short sleeve top because it is also a super lightweight material that can also be dressed up or down. I love a crisp white shirt for warmer weather and I also loved the texture of the material, so I knew I had to get the top as well! I love these two pieces as an outfit, which would also be office appropriate in my opinion.
I also had never tried jeans from Reign before, so this month I really wanted to try some. I asked my appointment stylist what they had that would work for my height because I’m only 5’1”, and she suggested the above pictured ankle length jeans. I loved that they are distressed at the hem, so I was excited to try this style. When I got them they fit perfectly and I was impressed by how comfortable they are, as they do have a little stretch to them, which I really prefer with denim. These jeans are also great to pair with the white top I got for a more casual, weekend look.
The last item I ordered this month was the above flowy top, which was actually only available for preorder (hence the stock photo because I don’t have it yet). This is another item I think will be easy to dress up for work or dress down for a more casual look. I have been loving tops with kimono style sleeves, which I think lends to an effortlessly chic look. I think this top will be cute paired with jeans or even worn over a slimmer-silhouette dress.
You can save 10% off your purchase from Reign Boutique by using code MOLLY10 at checkout.
The Sampson Top in White
Serena Sage Pant
Monroe High Rise Slim Cigarette
Pink Dawn Button Up
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DIY Bag Fix for Petites
Have you ever fell in love with a bag and then tried it on, only to find that the strap doesn't adjust small enough to fit you? I have this problem a lot because of my petite size. Anytime I find a bag that I love that has a strap that only adjusts with a buckle, I immediately put it down and move on. I had never really considered whether or not that was something I could fix with a little DIY magic. But that all changed when I ordered a bag that I loved (for a fantastic sale price!), which come to find out once it arrived, only adjusted with a buckle.
I bought this Fossil bag online, after coveting it for quite some time, when I found it for a really great sale price. Although handbags are always something I'm willing to splurge on if they are quality products, I do not have a money tree growing in my backyard. So if I find something I love on sale, I jump at the chance to get it for less. That's exactly what I did with this bag. Just look at it - isn't it beautiful?
I was immediately disappointed when I noticed the strap was only adjustable by a buckle, and I thought for sure I was going to have to return it. After I had longingly stared at it one last time, I packed it back into the box. A couple of days passed, and I kept thinking about that bag and how I really didn't want to have to return it. An unexpected thought came upon me - what about a leather hole punch? Could I make additional holes to accommodate my size using one of those? I thought that type of tool might be expensive, but I searched for it online anyways, and you know what I found? They had them at my local hardware store for less than $8! Convinced that this was my best option, I ran to the hardware store one day after work and bought one.
The hole punch is a strange looking tool that didn't come with any instructions, but I figured out that I had to loosen the screw on the side to rotate the head to the size that best matches the existing holes on the bag's strap, then tighten the screw so that the head stayed in place. I will admit, it took me a few tries to find the right size hole punch on the head. Make sure if you're going to try this, start smaller, and then if the hole is too small, you can always go over it with a larger hole punch setting. But if you make too big of a hole first, there's no going back, so be careful not to do that. I ended up punching the holes from each side of the bag's strap, because the existing holes were more uniform front to back and I wanted mine to blend in nicely. (The hole punch settings are sort of cone shaped, so if I didn't punch both the front and back, one side would've had a smaller hole and one would've had a larger hole.)
Finally, I made enough additional holes that the bag could now adjust to fit me perfectly! I was so excited that this worked. I would suggest that you watch the length of the strap as you punch additional holes though, because if you add too many holes and have it buckled on the hole that makes it the shortest wearing length, you may end up with the end of the strap hanging out below the bottom of your bag.
How to Start Spring in Style
Here in the northeast, we are eagerly awaiting spring's arrival. We are dreaming of more mild weather, and with that comes a change in our wardrobes. A lot of us will be temped to break out our t-shirts as soon as the temperature rises a little bit, but here I have selected a few pieces that will be more appropriate for our mild weather.
Choosing tops in lightweight fabrics makes them look more spring friendly, but the longer length sleeves are more temperature appropriate. Three-quarter sleeve length is great for mild weather, or if the fabric is more airy like an eyelet, you may still want a full-length sleeve. The lighter weight fabric will transition well as we get further into spring and closer to summer, as it can be paired with capri pants, shorts, and skirts as the warmer temperatures arrive.
Also, try to look for classic prints, like stripes, or even feminine embroidery, like an eyelet. These are wearable year after year, because they are timeless and will never look dated. I prefer easy silhouettes that are slightly relaxed because this gives you an effortlessly chic look. (Bonus: they are also very mom-friendly because you have all of the ease of movement needed to chase after your little ones!)
If you are petite, you'll want something that falls at about mid-hip to prevent looking overwhelmed by a slightly relaxed fitting top, though if you are wearing a fitted slim leg bottom, you may be able to go for a tunic length. You can also look for something that is higher in the front and lower in the back (like the middle top shown above), that way it shows off your figure in the front but gives you a little extra coverage in the back. You'll know what works best for you when you try it on and feel fabulous in it. If you try on a top and feel like it is wearing you, move on and try something else. Don't get discouraged if things don't fit you quite right - just stay calm, move forward, and remember that it's not you, it is the clothing.
So I am absolutely obsessed with printed leggings. I probably have at least two weeks worth, which may be a little excessive (note these are casual leggings, not workout leggings). But what can I say, they are just so comfy, so I live in them!
I love to style my printed leggings with very classic pieces, so that I look modern yet polished, even though I'm wearing leggings. Above, I styled my floral print leggings with a pullover crewneck sweater with a turtleneck layered under it for extra warmth, and a super soft infinity scarf. I tried to match the hues in the print of the leggings to the rest of my outfit, so I chose pink, white, and gray, since those are the more obvious colors within the floral print. Floral is also a great print to transition into spring with. I've seen colorful floral prints as well as neutral floral prints, so if you're not necessarily comfortable wearing a print and color, then there are still options available for you.
What do you all think of printed bottoms? Are you as obsessed as me?
Ponchos and Petites
I love the poncho trend - every few years it comes back around, and I love it! But if you're petite, you have to be careful that you choose styles that don't overwhelm your frame. Even if you're not petite, some styles just have too much fabric and they are not flattering on anyone. Here is what I look for in a poncho.
I like styles that fall at the lower hip area, and I think that length is good on anyone because it is as versatile as your favorite tunic shirt. Personally, I feel overwhelmed if I don't pair this garment with a skinny or slim leg bottom. I find that taller people can pull off other styles of bottoms, but petites should stick to slimmer styles - unless you're going to rock some serious heels, then maybe you could pull off a boot cut style or something like that. I still wouldn't choose something too billowy, otherwise you may end up looking like you're drowning in your clothes.
I also like that the piece I am wearing above has fringe, but just around the arm holes and down the sides. It is not too much for a small frame. The way this particular garment is cut is very flattering, because it does have seams down each side under the arm holes, and it is slightly longer on each side, as you can see in the picture. I think this is the most universally flattering style. Even if someone is looking at you from the side, it creates long, lean lines, and it doesn't flare out like a tent. If you are still afraid that this will overwhelm your frame, try belting it - you can belt around the entire outside (though depending on the fabric, it may be too bulky to do this), or you can loop the belt through the arm holes so that it only shows in the front, to give you some extra definition at the waist.
What do you think? Will you try this trend?
Accessorize with Prints
If you are not sure how to wear prints, or maybe you just feel like they are too overwhelming, try accessorizing with a print instead. You can still pick a fun print that you wouldn't necessarily wear in your clothing, but look for them in bags or scarves or even in tank tops that you layer under things so they only show a little bit of the print.
Above, I chose a print bag, because I just love the colorful geometric print. I styled it with an olive french terry utility jacket, a berry long-sleeve shirt, and dark wash ankle-length denim, which make a nice outfit on their own, but the print bag adds something extra to the look. And the great thing about wearing a bag with lots of different colors in the print is that you don't need to match your clothing pieces to those colors - none of the clothing items are the same color as the print, buy they do happen to be different shades and tones of colors in the print, so it works together. But even if the clothing colors just look good with the colors in the print, that's ok too. You don't need to match the colors to your outfit to able to accessorize with prints.
For you petite girls, these types of clothing pieces can be useful in attaining a better fit, as they will work with your smaller frames. Look for jackets like this with an adjustable waist, which allows you to cinch it in as much as you need to in order to achieve the perfect fit. I also like these ankle jeans because they are full length on me due to my size - so consider ankle-length pant styles if petite lengths are not available. You may still have to find styles that run small in size if you have a very petite frame.
Let me know if you try any of these ideas - I would love to hear your feedback!
Classics Pieces That Never Get Old
One of the most classic looks I know is a cable knit sweater with a pair of jeans - it is effortlessly chic, especially with a few key accessories. I like to add a lightweight infinity scarf, a crossbody bag, and a pair of sunglasses.
The great thing about these pieces is that all shapes and sizes can wear them. If you are a petite girl, accessorize in relation to your size. I have a smaller frame, so that's why I chose the lightweight scarf and a crossbody bag. Look for a crossbody bag that is large enough to hold your essentials, yet won't overwhelm you like a tote bag or some other larger bag shapes could.
What other classic pieces do you love?
How to Make Neutrals Interesting
Even when I am wearing neutrals, I still want my outfit to look visually interesting. If I am planning to wear all neutrals, then I will try to add in one piece with a neutral print or some sort of detail that elevates the look.
Above, I styled all black pieces with a camel and black houndstooth print button-front cardigan. This makes me feel like even though I am wearing really basic pieces, I still look put together.
For those of you who tend to stick to your fail-safe black wardrobe, I encourage you to add a piece with a neutral print to add some visual interest. You don't have to wear an all-over print - the sweater I am wearing above only has a print on the front and on the sleeves, so from the back, it is still all black other than on the sleeves.
Go ahead, be brave and give it a try!
I love sweaters, so much so that I have an entire cabinet (that is about as tall as I am) filled with them. I am usually drawn to classic silhouettes, like cardigans and pullovers. It is very easy to find a boring neutral colored sweater, which admittedly would go with most of your wardrobe, but I prefer to find sweaters with beautiful details that give the piece visual interest.
Textures, marled knits, detailed buttons, and ornate prints all make the piece more interesting to look at. These details will help your outfit look more unique and upscale, because it is not unusual for designer pieces to include a lot of beautiful detailed work to make the piece worth it's hefty price. But now I am seeing chain retail stores offer products with a lot of lovely details, but still with an affordable price tag, which is great for those of us on limited budgets that still want to look our best.
What do you think about these details that add visual interest to your outfits? Do you get more compliments when you were pieces with more details?
Ease into Color
This post was inspired by my best friend. We had went out for dinner recently and one of our conversation topics was colors we like to wear. My wardrobe consists of many colors - some muted neutrals, some brights, some earthy tones, and even some pastels. In contrast, my best friend prefers black and, well, that's pretty much it. She was wearing a dark mulberry colored top, which she said was a new color she found that we likes to mix in with her black. She also admitted that she doesn't mind pieces in an olive tone either. This got me thinking back to when I worked in retail and checked out more than a handful of customers buying all black (maybe with some white or gray mixed in). I could never imagine wearing all one color or one shade of color like that - although to be fair, I did go through a blue phase in my early teenage years.
So here I have put together an outfit idea for anyone that usually sticks to their fail-safe black wardrobe. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone a little bit and try switching out just one piece for a colored one. You don't have to go for a bright color - ease into it with a neutral tone of a color, like mulberry, olive, or wine. These have been such fashion colors over the last few years that they have become the new neutrals to add to your closet. Plus, they do look especially nice with black. Above I have styled a black and white marled high-low sweater with wine colored leggings, a black waffle-knit infinity scarf, and black space dye slip on sneakers. This is a great look to transition into the more mild weather with, especially if you are into the athleisure trend.
So go ahead, add a little color into your outfits and let me know how it makes you feel!
My favorite pieces to wear on a cold winter day are cozy knits. I like to pair relaxed chunky knits with lighter weight knits for extra warmth to keep the chill out. I also love to live in leggings whenever I can, so if I have a tunic length chunky knit, I like to balance the shape with a fitted legging so that my small frame is not overwhelmed. Here, I combined a chunky knit poncho sweater, a fine-gauge cable knit sweater, and a pair of cozy leggings. This was my go-to outfit throughout this past fall (even for traveling) and remained a staple all through winter. The leggings also allow easy wear of boots, whether they are fall or winter styles.
These pieces were my favorites for more reasons that one. When it comes to choosing colors to mix together, one of my favorite combinations right now is olive, taupe, and cream. I find this color combination is fresh year-round (obviously in other temperature-appropriate pieces), and the cream-tone transitions well into all seasons. This is a pretty neutral look, but it is by no means boring.
What are some of your favorite cozy knit pieces? Do you prefer relaxed, easy silhouettes or more fitted, refined styles?
How to Balance Brights
I was out shopping back around Christmas time (looking for gift ideas for myself that I could give my boyfriend), and I came across this super soft long-sleeved tee with a high-low hem. There were many colors to choose from, but I needed to try it on to figure out what size I needed, and there were limited color choices in the sizes I was looking to try on. This bright orange-coral color was one of my options, and I was rather drawn to it. This particular shade does a fantastic job at bringing out your natural healthy glow, so maybe that was why I liked it, since my current skin tone is a glow-in-the-dark sort of shade.
Well guess what? Christmas morning came, and when I opened my presents from my boyfriend, I got this beautiful shirt!
Now I was faced with the challenge of how to style this bright shade, especially in the middle of winter. The first time I wore it, I ended up just layering a black tank top under it (which also had a high-low hem that fell about an inch below the shirt's hem) with the above dark denim leggings and a chunky-knit black infinity scarf. It was a darker look that seemed more appropriate for winter. Now that we are transitioning into spring, I decided to pair it with some nude-toned accessories and the same dark denim leggings, and that really helped to lighten the look, making it very spring-friendly.
Don't be afraid to wear bright colors. Instead, embrace them by accessorizing with neutral colors, which will help tone down the brightness. You will likely be surprised at how these bright tones make you feel - confident, happy, invigorated, energized, and so on. So go ahead, try on those bright colors - how do they make you feel?