Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Amanda on Thakoon for DesigNation at Kohl's

I popped into Kohl's last week to check out their latest DesigNation label, Thakoon.  I didn't end up buying anything, but if I did, it would be the black pants that you see below. They are very comfortable, and also flattering-a win-win! The line is very mix and match friendly, making putting outfits together easy for everyone. Thakoon has put a bit of a British spin on his Kohl's line; see the London sweater and mod shift dress below. Shop the Thakoon for DesigNation at Kohl's line for yourself here.

Kindergarten in Style!

I (Amanda) have always loved clothes, even at a young age. I can even remember several of my "outfits" from Kindergarten (before I had to wear a uniform every day). Apparently, I have passed this love of clothes onto my daughter (Eleni), who just started Kindergarten 2 weeks ago. She was so excited to try on all her new school clothes, and even more excited to pose for my camera! Here are some of her favorite outfits for the school year:

Sporty-chic, and don't forget the sunglasses! Jacket is from Uniqlo, shirt is homemade tie-dye, sweatpants from Carters, and sneakers are Sketchers.

She loves bunnies, and this shirt from Carters is one of her favorites! Hat from H&M, jeans from Kohls, sneakers are Carters.

Here she is ready for dance class after school. Dance bag from Payless, Jean jacket from Target, leggings, shirt, and sneakers from Carters.

Posing with her American Girl doll! Jean jacket from Target, Hoodie and sneakers from Carters, jean skirt from Children's Place.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Little Black Dresses in 2 sizes

Every woman needs at least one little black dress (LBD) in her closet as an easy go-to dress for a variety of occasions. Where have we worn our LBDs this year? Weddings, anniversaries, funerals, date nights, girls nights...the list goes on.  That being said, we are always on the look out for a great LBD that will flatter a variety of shapes and sizes.  We hit the Walden Galleria to check out a couple of LBDs that will fit and flatter a variety of sizes.

This dress we both tried on at Banana Republic. It is a simple sheath dress with a cross front hem. It was a nice heavy fabric with some stretch in it. The positives to this dress is that it hugs your curves in all the right places, and the fabric is thick enough that  it won't show all the lumps and bumps.  Alexis is rocking out the size 12, and I (Amanda) have on a size 6. This one was my favorite. You can shop for this dress here.

This dress (a favorite for Alexis) is from New York and Company. We saw A LOT of women trying on this super easy to wear, super comfortable, and most importantly, super flattering dress. It is a simple fit and flare dress. This dress also comes in a burgundy and cobalt blue color. We loved that the entire dress has a lot of stretch in it to accommodate and variety of sizes. Alexis is in a Large and I have on a Small. You can shop for this dress here.

 At Lord & Taylor we tried on this Calvin Klein sheath dress with cap sleeve.  Alexis is a huge fan of Calvin Klein dresses. They fit well, are lined, and look good on just about anyone. Of all three dresses, I liked the length of this one the best. It hits at the most flattering spot-right at the knee. The banana dress was a bit longer, and the NY&C dress was a little shorter. I have on a 6 and Alexis has on a 12. Curvy or slight, these dresses all fit and flattered our different body types. You can shop for this dress here.

Do you have a favorite LBD? Tell us about it!

Banana Republic

Friday, September 11, 2015

Alexis on Rent the Runway

Let's get one thing straight, this is not intended to bash Rent the Runway. I absolutely love the concept of this company- renting dresses and accessories for events for a fee and not having to worry about when you'll ever wear it again. I used Rent the Runway a couple months ago and had zero issues, but this past time around, all hell broke loose.

I had three weddings to attend in one weekend. No, I didn't stutter, I did say three! Crazy as that was, I knew that I could turn to the help of Rent the Runway.

I took my time choosing my rental dresses, as I have an issue that many fuller figured gals face- making sure it will fit in the chest. Many designer dresses also run small, so paying close attention to the measurements was a must. After scanning the website, I ended up falling in love with Badgley Mishka's Corundum Sapphire Gown and Rachel Roy's Swing It dress in a beautiful bright red. I knew I would stand out in both of these choices, which is a far cry from my typical "blend in with the background" little black dress. I also chose some jewelry to rent to finish off my looks and was so excited for everything to arrive. It made the idea of having to attend three weddings in one weekend slightly more bearable, because, let's face it, what girl doesn't like playing dress up with fancy dresses?

My Rent the Runway order was scheduled to arrive on a Friday evening, and I was going to wear the dresses on Saturday and Sunday. I had one of my own little black dresses ready for Friday's wedding, as it wasn't quite as formal as the other two. Now here's where everything began to unravel. I don't check my email as often as I probably should, and I was out much of the day Thursday and didn't bother looking at my phone until early evening while sitting down for a bite to eat. There was an email from Rent the Runway saying that there was a problem with my order. The email was received after 12pm, and I had to choose another dress as my Rachel Roy Swing It dress wasn't available. I started to panic. I was supposed to get back to them by 5pm with another choice, but it was well after 7pm. Tears welled in my eyes and I became very upset. Why wouldn't I be called about something like this? I immediately called their customer service line. After being put on hold for a good ten minutes, I found out that Rent the Runway sent me two other dresses, but was completely in the dark about that. I asked to be sent links to these dresses, as I wanted to make sure they would be appropriate for my figure, and much to my dismay, they were not. I surely would have been mistaken for a lady of the night in both, so I told customer service that I would like to take a few moments and choose a replacement dress of my liking to be sent. They thankfully agreed and I immediately started to browse the website. After careful consideration, I chose Carmen Marc Valvo's Limoncello Dress. I figured I could accessorize with a metallic belt and wear nude sandals and feel a bit more stylish. The dress would be overnighted to arrive Saturday by noon, and I was keeping my fingers crossed that it would.

After coming home from wedding number one Friday evening, I saw a RTR delivery at my door. I knew that the Badgley Mishka gowns would be in there. I had chosen two sizes, just to be safe. A word to the wise, these designer gowns tend to run on the smaller side, so if you are using RTR and are not petite, go one size up! I opened up the package to find the beautiful sapphire blue gowns along with the backups that were completely wrong for me, and a beautiful necklace, pair of earrings, and cuff. I put the size 12 Badgley Mishka on and it was too small. I luckily also ordered a 14, and it seemed to fit ok, except the zipper was busted! It wouldn't go past a certain point and after enlisting the help of my muscular boyfriend, the zipper wouldn't budge. A meltdown followed, a huge one. I'm a huge proponent of beauty coming in all shapes and sizes, but at that moment none of that mattered. Being left with zero options for Saturday's wedding and the slight possibility of my last minute back up for Sunday's wedding not fitting had me completely frazzled. I felt defeated, deflated, unworthy- all over a dress.

The following morning I returned my package of rentals and called RTR customer service to tell them what happened, while running to the mall to find something to wear that afternoon. Luckily I got a full refund for my conundrum and found a gorgeous black Calvin Klein sheath that boosted my self esteem and made me feel foxy. I made it back in time to change and head to wedding #2.

Calvin Klein at Wedding #2

After coming back from wedding #2, I saw that the Carmen Marc Valvo Limoncello dress was waiting for me, and I was completely relieved to try it on and have it zip up and fit me! I was able to sit back and enjoy the rest of the crazy weekend at wedding #3 the next day.

So, here are some tips that I can offer up after using RTR a couple times. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time, the dresses at RTR get reserved fairly quickly. Also, it helps reading the reviews of women that have worn the dresses. If they say the styles run large or small, keep that in mind. Utilizing the stylists help at RTR is a good idea, too, as there are so many options to choose from. Last, have something as a back up in your own closet that you know will fit you just in case your rentals don't work out. You'll save yourself from a massive meltdown. To visit Rent the Runway, click here.

Carmen Marc Valvo at Wedding #3