style it better vol.1

shop the look

What began as part of a French Navy uniform has become a wardrobe staple for so many style icons...and everyday gals like me.   A Breton striped top is a neutral, and it is as versatile as it gets.  I love this classic paired with something a little dressy & girly like a lace skirt for a more approachable vibe. You know...to take it from Elle Woods to Jenna Lyons.  Also, I will often use a striped tee to take some of the edge off my leather jacket, or leather leggings or to make a black blazer a bit more casual.  It's all about pairing varying elements to create a unique aesthetic or signature style.

This signature style doesn't just happen for most of us.  Well, maybe for ladies like Sarah Harris and Gwyneth Paltrow!??  Do you think?  Or do even they have style struggles?  Ok, back on track.  Developing a signature style takes time, effort, trial and error, blood, sweat & blemishes (stress induced).  You get the idea.

 And, so my Style It Better series is born.  I want to share my journey with you, and this series is a way I can be more open about the times my outfits fall short of my intention.  Instead of becoming discouraged, we will assess the damage, devise a plan, and then execute a do-over.  Instead of just me learning from my mistake, we can all reap the benefit.  Also, I love the idea of documenting a lesson with pictures.  I feel like it has so much more staying power this way.   So, basically this is a win win for all of us.

I envisioned a more polished look, and a more dramatic & feminine silhouette. The long lean look of  flares & the classy vibe that a striped shirt always exudes seemed like a good combo to me.  I planned to wear a neck scarf (bandana) but for some reason I didn't do it.  I recall being concerned it would make the look appear too trendy.  Also, I planned on tucking my shirt in all the way, and then chickened out for fear it wouldn't photograph well (I have a short torso).   As I'm sure you can all relate, I was running late for church and didn't pay a ton of attention to my shoe choice.  Honestly, I never looked in the mirror after scrambling around to finish up my look.

The look I envisioned was much better than the result.  My initial styling instincts were on target, but I second guessed myself.  I focused on something I perceive as a flaw (my short waist) and allowed fear to creep in and steal my vision.  I definitely should have worn the bandana!  Finally, I know how I am about coordinating my shoes & bag and I should have honored that preference here.  It elevates a look instantly, and it is one of my top style formulas.

 So, why did I stray? 
I remember thinking about heel height and wanting a fall vibe so I decided against open toes.   Although they are open toe, me cognac espadrille wedges would have been a better option or these amazing boots which I have since ordered.

In looking back, my assessment is that I should have been more mindful and I should not have gone against my initial instinct regarding this look.  One of my major confidence blasters when styling a look for a shoot is my short waist.  It can translate  much less than stellar in photos especially with a top tucked in, yet I love that look so much.

I will not fret because this is an excellent learning opportunity for me, and for my readers.  I will be styling this look again in the very near future with all the improvements I have outlined in this post.  Also, I will set aside some time to play around with tucking my shirt in and experimenting with the most flattering ways to photograph this style.  I am repeatedly drawn to the polished lines of the higher rise with a top completely tucked in.   There is absolutely no reason for a silly hang up of mine to prevent me from achieving this look on myself.   AMEN!

Ladies, I am beyond excited to kick off this series.  Please let me know your thoughts, and feel free to ask any questions or provide suggestions via email or in the comment section below.


High Quality & Affordable Finds

These are so so good!  

Quality fabrics. Timeless styles with just enough of the moment flare...that don't cost a fortune!  This is exactly the sort of thing I LOVE to share with you.

A Few Fabulous Finds {H&M}


As many of you know, H&M is my go to for more affordable, basic pieces.  You also know that I am all about  quality.  In fact, I always scope out the fabric composition of any item I purchase.   I look for genuine suede and leather, 100% cotton, 100% linen, 100% cashmere.  I have found that lyocell (a form of rayon) usually measures up as far as softness and durability.   H&M does offer these quality fabrics at affordable price points.  As long as I stick to the higher quality items, my experience with this retailer has been great.

Although H&M is on my short list of retailers, I am always extremely careful in terms of what I choose to purchase.  Polyester is off limits, extremely inexpensive items are usually not a great option, and I avoid the Divided brand at all costs.

Most of what I purchase from H&M is part of the premium quality section, but sometimes I do snag other pieces that are 100% cotton.  Like the lace up sweatshirts pictured above.  These sweatshirts are part of the L.O.G.G line which I have found to be of great quality.

please note: this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.