Monday, March 31, 2014

How to Make Your Outfits Work Year Round

One thing I'm always on the hunt for are pieces that can be utilized year round. I hate when I only get a few months of wear out of an item and I'm always trying to find ways to make them work from one season to the next. Who isn't on a budget these days?! We need to make our wardrobes stretch and here are a few looks that are very transitional, but can also be utilized when it's very cold and very hot out! And I'll tell you how!

This first outfit is a good one because it can be used year round very easily. As is, it's great for late Spring or early Fall. 
Top: Kohls, Scarf: Nordstrom Rack, Boots: Kohls (Gift from Hubby); Skirt: SexyModest Boutique for $19.99
How To Style For Winter: Throw on a leather jacket and tights (in any color! That's the beauty of this tan/taupe skirt) and you're golden. If it's especially cold or snowy, you could even replace the short boots for taller ones.

How to style for Summer: Replace the scarf with a statement necklace or bracelet and replace the boots with either flats or pumps and you're set for the blistering June/July/August time frame. 

This skirt is from SexyModest Boutique and is one that I realize I reach for time and time again! It's stretchy and comfortable while still coming across in a very put together/dressy way that only comes from a pencil skirt. I even wore this skirt throughout my pregnancy and because it is so stretchy it worked with my growing belly, and it also worked post pregnancy thanks to all those ruffles and ruching. I love it to this day, too and I'm 2.5 years post pregnancy! This is just a great skirt and it comes in more colors than you can imagine! It is a one size skirt and fits my size 7 frame just fine, and I have put clients in it up to a size 14. And like I Don't know how I lived without the sweat pants of pencil skirts! No really, it's that comfortable. (My advice is to wash this in a garment bag so that the stretchy material doesn't snag on anything else you may be washing with it, and lay flat to dry.)

Here is a look at the different colors available in this skirt and another way to style the same one I wear! 
Again, this skirt is only $19.99 and if you use the discount code "alyssahall10" you can get 10% off (OF ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ON THE SITE!). As always, free shipping!

This next outfit is one I just love. I actually wear it all the time and just swap out my accessories for variety. 
Leggings: Agnes and Dora; Jewelry: My Sister's Closet; Pumps: Justfab; Tunic: SexyModest Boutique  

These leggings are by Agnes and Dora and I would highly recommend them!! THEY ARE SO SOFT. The tunic is by SexyModest Boutique  and is one that I reach for all.the.time. The length is perfect for leggings, but not so long that it looks like it could potentially be a dress. I can pair it with skinny jeans, too. I probably wear this top once a week, no lie. I also love that I don't have to wear a camisole or anything like that under it. It's thinner/breathable for the summer months, but I never have to worry about it being too see-through. 
How to Style for Summer: Swap out the pumps for sparkly sandals or flats. You can even add a peachier lip color for the warmer weather! 

How to Style for Winter: Put a denim jacket over the top and trade the pumps for black moto boots. Put a big, wool scarf on for those especially frigid days!

Lastly, this is my favorite outfit of that photoshoot. I was comfortable, I was edgy...I could wear this to dinner with pumps or keep it as is for errands during the day. 
Lace Top and Denim Floral Stud Vest:SexyModest Boutique  
How to Style for Summer: Ditch the jeans for a pair of colored denim shorts (I would go with white or light pink). Wear sandals or keep the converse-up to you! The long sleeves make a summer look interesting but the lace keeps it from making you too hot. However, on one of those especially hot days, trade the lace top for a thick strap or racer back tank or basic tee!

How to Style for Winter: You can always make a look winter-worthy by adding boots, but be unexpected and put a fitted sweatshirt or sweater under the vest! You can also keep the look completely as is, and just add a scarf. The different layers and textures are great, and make the laid back look of the converse and cuffed skinnies an awesome contrast.

Jeans: Old Navy; Shoes: Converse; Lace Shirt and Vest:SexyModest Boutique  
The top and vest are from SexyModest Boutique and may be two of my favorite pieces from their boutique. As is, this is a great spring look. Here's what I'd do to keep it utilized all year.

Here are a few other ways to style the vest and lace top separately:

A big shout out to Malae Talley for her photography work, and to SexyModest Boutique for sponsoring this post! What do you guys think?! Head on over to the website using the link in this post and use the code "alyssahall10" for your 10% discount on ANYTHING on the site. (That includes the $5 jewelry section--check out that post here.)

Have fun shopping!

Though this post is sponsored by SexyModest Boutique, as usual all opinions are my own and nothing has been falsified for compensation or any other purposes. 

Wardrobe Styling and Makeup for JLH Photoshoot

A few months ago, I was contacted by a very talented photographer (Malae Talley) and a very talented hair stylist (Jessica Halladay) and asked to be the wardrobe stylist and makeup artist for a photoshoot that would be used to showcase Jessica's new line of hair extensions. 

I jumped at the opportunity, and was given complete freedom in terms of how I wanted to style this shoot. Um, hello. That's a wardrobe stylists dream. So, the angle I took was to find out and study each model's personal style and vamp it up just a notch or two for the shoot. We pulled items from either the model's own closet or my own closet (in almost every case, a beautiful mixture of both!) and created looks that each model felt proud to wear, and that helped showcase Jessica's talent as a hair stylist.

It was a blast! Without further ado, here are some of the shots!

We had a very limited amount of time to get these models from bare face, sweatpants, and undone hair to dressed, styled and ready to rock the shoot. But, we made it happen!
Makeup on Miss Jocelyn!
Another shot with Jocelyn
Lips for Olivia
Poor Jocelyn-enduring the application of false lashes!

This model, Jocelyn, was just great. This dress is her own, just upped a few notches with a few pieces from my closet. Jocelyn was so easy to work with, and with someone so naturally pretty, she was so easy to style. I love Jocelyn's features and it was a blast to be able to play them up.

Jocelyn's navy blue dress really brings out her gorgeous hair and skin tone. I paired it with some light grey (almost white) textured tights from my own closet, sky high nude pumps borrowed from the photographer, a paisley scarf and turquoise jewelry both from my own closet, and when Jocelyn asked me pre-pictures if she should take off her rings, I said, "NO WAY!" 
Jocelyn's makeup consisted of a neutral eye with a pop of green in her outer "v" and lower lash line, false lashes by Ardell, a full contour and highlight with just a sweep of a berry blush and a berry lip. I absolutely adore the way that the berry lip compliments both her dress and her strawberry blonde hair. This girl is so beautiful!
This model, Julie, was an absolute pleasure to work with. Don't you love it when beautiful people are actually kind?! 
Julie's top and pumps are from her own closet and I paired them with my own lace tights, and animal print pencil skirt by Agnes and Dora. Julie wears skirts or dresses daily to work, and it was fun to add a pop of something different for her with  textured tights and an animal print. I also put Julie in one of my favorite large cocktail rings and an oversized pearl bracelet. Her makeup was very neutral on the eye with a peach blush and coral/peach lip. She pulled off that peach lip so beautifully! I added some depth to her brows and together, Julie and I conquered her fear of eyelash curlers! 
This next model, Shyanne, was fun to style. Though you can't see her whole outfit in this picture, her style is one of self proclaimed "ease, and lots of t-shirts and jeans". So, we rolled with it! I put her in a dark wash skinny jean and crisp button up and loaded her up with gold jewelry and bold makeup.
Shyanne's look was a very typical red lip, softer contour, and bold eye colors. A silver liner was used and feathered out in Shyanne's tear duct, and a very strong outer "v" and a cranberry color under her lower lash line.

Olivia was my next model and she was definitely the most daring of the group! During my initial interview with her, she told me how much she loved "different" kinds of clothing and that her style consisted of lots of texture and patterns. We originally had a different outfit for Olivia but then I asked her if she was willing to be a little bit more daring for me, and she was definitely game!
Olivia is wearing her own strappy heels (not pictured) and black top paired with my jewelry and aztec printed harem pants by Agnes and Dora. She pulls the outfit off excellently. I wanted to have Olivia intentionally overdo it with gold bangles in different textures as well as wear layers upon layers of necklaces in different metals and lengths. 
Olivia's makeup was much more dramatic than some, consisting of a sharp black crease, gold lid, and full liner. Her lip color was a mixture of a ruby red liner, Rebel lipstick by Mac (a red/berry color) and a berry gloss. I wanted harsh lines in Olivia's makeup and since we had such harsh lines in her eye look and a dark lip, I went with a very neutral peach blush.
Let me just tell you about this next model. This beauty queen shocked and amazed me when she told me she is just 14 years old! This is Paige and she was more than a pleasure to work with. Paige had beautiful skin and hardly needed a lick of makeup at all to look like a movie star.
Paige wore her own aztec top and black jeans and I put her in my accessories, scarf and boots (not pictured). I loved the floral scarf as a contrast against her aztec print in her top and added a pink pop in her earrings. Paige has phenomenally gorgeous skin and with a skin tone like hers, I wanted to let the natural glow show more than makeup. I added just a peach blush over a very thin layer of BB cream and then filled in and sculpted her brows and paired her neutral eye makeup with a darker nude lip liner. Over the liner I put a very light lavender lipstick and the combo was this perfect lip color. Paige's lip color was one of my favorite moments of this shoot!! 
And last but not least I completely enjoyed my time working with Sarah. Sarah also has gorgeous skin, and wore very little makeup in this shoot. I loved the natural look she (and Paige) brought to the shoot in contrast with the ways that the other models were very glammed up. Both concepts are equally gorgeous. It was so fun to be able to experience both in one shoot!
Sarah's top, jeans and shoes were her own and I brought her a statement necklace to help pull it all together. I loved the way Sarah's outfit looked so glam yet so wearable. She was put together without being over the top
Sarah's makeup was a darker pink blush against a smoked out eye. I used a nude lipstick and liner on her lip and topped it with a light pink gloss. I kept telling her that her look was just begging me for a nude lip! She pulled it off so well. I thinks she looks gorgeous and effortless. 

Working with these women was a pleasure. They all looked so beautiful but more than that, they all FELT so beautiful. It was an honor to be able to tap into their own personal styles and interests and add my own twist to it. Each of these ladies let me into their closets and personalities and that's not easy for everyone to do. I appreciate that they would allow me into their lives so that together we could create some incredible looks that showcased each woman's style, Jessica's skill with hair and Malae's talent behind the camera. It was my pleasure to be asked to be a part of this project and work with these beautiful women. 

Mother/Son Photoshoot: Styling Madi and Maxwell

I had a blast styling my good friend Madi and her sweet baby Maxwell for a shoot a few weeks ago! It was great to dress these two, and great for Madi to have some phenomenal post-pregnancy pictures as well as pictures with her new baby, without worrying about any of the logistics. All the fun of a photoshoot without any of the anxiety or stress.

I could go on and on about their gorgeousness, but they say a picture is worth a thousand words! And though she wore several outfits, I kept the same lip color and hair for each. I was thrilled to be able to utilize one of my very favorite lip colors right now and show how it can be used in so many settings, with so many colors and during EVERY SEASON. And no, it's not a nude or neutral lip! Keep reading to see Madi and Max in all their glory and to see how Madi can pull off a dark purple lip color against so many outfit choices.

For baby Max, I put him in a studly little outfit and the photographer (Malae Talley) couldn't help but snap a few pics of baby with mom!
Khakis, White Button up and Woven Cardigan: The Children's Place

Next, I put Madi in a paisley Maxi dress and pulled the less promenant colors from the dress using her accessories, lip color and shoes. I purposely utilized a bold lip with very neutral makeup and pin straight hair. Her lip color pulls the purple from the dress and also ties together nicely with her shoes, pulling the whole look together, quite literally, from top to bottom. I'm all about contrast and with such a pastel/bright necklace so close to her face, a bold plum colored lip was the perfect contrast and also helps the necklace and dress pull the blue out of her eyes.
Dress: Alloy; Necklace: My Sister's Closet; Purple Pumps: Justfab; Makeup: Lipstick-Heroine by MAC cosmetics with Vision in Violet Lipgloss by Maybelline Elixir over the top.

For Madi's second look, I put her in a plaid/flannel shirt and black pants. I decided to make it more feminine with a pointed toe pump and scarf. The contrast of the prints in her scarf and top are one of my absolute favorite parts of this look. Without that, it wouldn't have been anything special but mixing patterns makes a boring or predictable look more interesting. It also just goes to show you that nothing in you (or your man's) closet is off limits! I kept the same lip color throughout her different looks but the reason I loved it here was because of the dark, vampy look it gives her as a contrast against such a masculine top. It's the same idea as the mixing of the patterns. We play up the "girlyness" in her look with her accessories and makeup (vampy lip, leopard print scarf, stiletto pumps) and then the skeleton of the look is very masculine and maybe even haphazard. Plus the purple and red combo are unexpected and yet...they work! This is my favorite look I put Madi in that day.
Top: Wal Mart (men's section); Leggings: Old Navy; Scarf: Nordstrom; Pumps: Charlotte Russe

Her last look was perfect for her. I put her in a very full skirt with a very fitted top. The look originally involved an oversized floral printed belt, but alas, it was left behind in the mass packing for the photoshoot. However, I think she pulled it off regardless. This is the same look she was wearing for the candid photos that were taken with her baby. The reason I stayed with this lip color for this look was because the contrast between the lip and her skin, and then her peach button up, was enough to make the look interesting without looking odd or out of place. Plus, the purple hue goes so well with the peach top, the same way that the navy skirt does. This is an outfit you'd typically see in the springtime or summer and it just goes to show you a bold lip is not taboo in the warmer months! And with such a full skirt, how could I NOT put her in t-strap pumps?!
Peach Button Up: Old Navy; Polka Dot A-Line Skirt: Cozy; T-Strap heels: Old (Store Unknown)

I had a blast dressing Madi and Maxwell! Don't they look great!?