Hello everyone! Meet Maddy Bates, the newest member of the Emma Approved team! Maddy is a long time member of the Highbury Partner’s Lifestyle group with her own successful business, Bates Financial Services, and Emma Approved is just one of her lucky clients. How did we become one of the lucky few? Well, knowing her since I was born might have helped. But seriously, we were in need of some help and despite having a packed schedule Maddy swooped in to save the day. Because she has the biggest, most generous heart of anyone I’ve ever met. And her fashion sense has always reflected her larger than life personality and sense of fun. Starting with this adorable, black and white, button up blouse. Worn with trim black slacks it’s completely professional in both style and fit, and covered in a pattern of tiny hearts. Because if there’s one thing Maddy understands better than finances it’s how to love. And what can top that? Just this lovely, V neck cardigan in a glowing shade of honey yellow. It’s snug fit shows off her awesome curves and the color is as happy as a sunset and welcoming as a hug. Paired with black skinnies and casual summer sandals, this sweater is prettily put on display. Maddy’s fashion sense is just one of a long list of talents I hope to learn from her in the days to come. Thank you Maddy, for being my hero, and welcome to the Emma Approved family!
Who says maternity has to mean giving up your favorite stores! Not that you can’t get some gorgeous. designer maternity clothes nowadays but shopping in pregnant-lady-only stores isn’t always convenient because you can only wear them in the short term. But Annie does everything right, always, and knew that if you buy loose fit tops a few sizes up you can continue to wear them after the baby is born. Especially while you try and lose that baby weight. Case in point, this simple and casual button up blouse with a light blue, grid pattern that gives it texture and helps distract from her baby bump. She wore it with low rise skinny jeans that goes under her belly so no elastic waist is required! Then a sturdy pair of brown strappy sandals she borrowed from me, with so many crisscrossing straps that her shifting weight is held secure and a large, roomy tote for all her pregnant lady on the town needs. From handling a friendship to expecting her first child Annie always knows just what to do, and looks beautiful doing it.
Although she’s had her moments of sadness, just like any of us, I think this step is the easiest for Harriet because of her naturally positive attitude. And never let anyone say you can’t dress optimistically! This sweet, classic dress in turquoise is soothing to the eyes and flattering in fit with a structured top and full skirt. It has a complementary., burnt orange, abstract pattern that looks to me like birds in flight, suggesting uplifting spirits and the freedom to soar. Her accessories are cute and practical as though she’s preparing for a busy, productive day. Camel colored Oxford lace-up flats with cutout sides for the ultimate in comfort, and a large, structured, two toned mauve cross-body perfect for carrying important documents and anything else you might need. If Harriet were going to enter our Make Your Life Better contest this might be what she would pick. Harriet wakes up every day and dresses as though this is the day anything and everything might happen, and I think that’s a great way to get the most out of your life!
See more of Harriet’s looks on her Style Gallery.
Onwards and upwards. Next up on the recovery to-do list is to learn from past mistakes and seek advice from those that know better. I’ve already taken a step in the right direction by beginning my round of apologies and trying to learn as much as I can from the wonderful Maddy Bates, the newest addition to our team. But there’s still a few more stops on this part of the ride, and as always I’ve tried to dress for the occasion. This proper and innocent, yet still fashionable, red plaid dress harkens back to the schoolgirl look. I hope it can bestow on me the fresh slate of being young and the studious dignity of someone trying to learn. Added to that black platform heels for confidence, a small black clutch, and this simple pendant necklace with two arrow shaped charms. Like cupid sending love out into the world the small arrow for the person I have been, and the large one for the person I’m trying to be.
Next up for Harriet and her quest for a happy and fulfilling life (outlined by several different psychologists whose articles she found online) is taking a break from trying so hard. I think that’s a struggle for a lot of us ambitious over-achievers, and can apply to fashion as much as life. Hard work is admirable, but if you just relax, you might find that things work out for the best. That definitely applies to Harriet’s outfit today. These silken, woven, floral harem pants are feminine and hang beautifully but their best advantage is how comfortable they feel. Looking good doesn’t always have to be constraining or difficult. After that, with her talent for coordination, the rest of her outfit just naturally fell into place. An equally silky tank in matching pale pink, with lace around the collar and straps. Low heeled, two toned, strappy sandals that complement the light brown strap that decorates the front of her top. And a small, compact, beige and black purse that brings it all together. I’d say this experiment was a definite success.
The road to recovery continues! I’ve finally ditched the sweats and turned back to my wardrobe for inspiration on my new path. And I think this outfit is a great symbol of who I want to be. The A line, drop waist dress is structured and conservative, just right for someone who’s serious and responsible. The simple black, white, and grey pattern is subtle and elegant, accentuated by this complimentary white structured satchel. Less flash and more substance, perfect for business and the business of fixing your mistakes. The frond pattern looks like floating white feathers, suggesting sensitivity and delicacy of feeling, but the colorful accessories give it a spark that can never be boring. Bright yellow heels with gold lock closures and a thick, layered, multi-colored statement necklace. I’m hoping that this outfit will help me be my best and make my life better. I’m also looking for inspiration from others by holding a contest in partnership with ModCloth. I want to be inspired by you and your lives (which are probably in better shape than mine) and the outfits that help you live it. Click here for the Make My Life Better Contest to see more.
Since I’ve started working on the steps to recovering from emotional upheaval, Harriet has been my rock. And I think she’s on her own journey, working on the steps towards creating a happy and fulfilling life. The first step is gratitude, but like everything else Harriet puts her mind to, she’s done way too much! Being there for me and the company the way she has says “thank you” for anything we’ve ever done for her and then some. Even her outfit is an expression of appreciation and inspiration. This adorable, red-orange, polka dot sundress with a cutout back is a celebration of the beautiful weather we’ve been having and just the sight of her brings cheerfulness wherever she goes. Paired with artistically designed, cut out, tan sandals and a structured, mauve handbag Harriet makes the most of every accessory, every opportunity to wear something beautiful. But nothing can ever express how grateful I am for her. Thank you Harriet, for being the greatest friend and coworker a girl could have.
I’ve said before that when life has you down it’s okay to wear something that makes you comfortable above all else. And just so you know I practice what I preach, at least when it comes to fashion. Recently I had some personal setbacks that brought me pretty low, but at the same time I found a company that makes the most comfortable, soft, and flattering sweats that I’ve ever seen or felt. So if tears, ice cream, and listening to sad music are in your immediate future you might as well do it right. These tiger print, blue and white, harem pants are made from cotton so soft it’s like velvet. Paired with a matching, equally soft, blue and white pullover. It has a draping cowl neck, and varsity style, contrasting sleeves that gives the impression of layered separates in one easy package. I may be ready to start putting my life back together but I really hate to leave this outfit behind. I could seriously wear this forever. Just don’t forget that a good, reliable friend is the best accessory!
So much has changed since the day we took these pictures, I kind of feel like Dorothy when she left Kansas. I guess it makes sense that I was wearing an outfit as bright and colorful as Oz. Plus the 1960’s flight attendant bag kind of fits, if you think about it – airlines, flying, “somewhere over the rainbow.” Sorry, that’s the best analogy I can come up with.
Mostly I picked this outfit because it’s classic and retro, and I liked how it made me feel. The top is so cute, all floaty and baby blue, with these tiny yellow flowers all over. And the skirt is amazing. It’s really long, and light, and full, and bright yellow like sunshine. Plus it ties at the waist, so it always fits right. I wore it with these cute, light brown, super soft wedges and this adorable Pan Am bag. I love it when purses are more than just purses – I’ve collected a whole bunch of them. I guess I just love the whole retro flight attendant look. It makes me think of flying away and having adventures.
Hi everyone, it’s Harriet again. This is my first attempt at writing a fashion blog. I’m not sure how much I know about this stuff, but Emma’s taught me a lot and I’ve read all her blog posts, so I’ll do my best.
One thing Emma is always talking about is how your clothes can make you feel better. When we took these photos the other morning, she was feeling a bit off because we’d had a big event the night before and everyone got stressed out. She said her outfit made her think of a fresh start, and a new day, and everything getting better. It kind of didn’t work out that way, at least not yet, but I can see why this look would cheer her up.
I think Emma picked this top because pink is her favorite color, and it’s comfortable because of the loose fit. I really love the back, kind of open with crisscrossing, drape-y straps, simple and elegant. And I think the skirt is really interesting. It’s a short white skirt that billows and floats like a dancer’s, and it has a cool multi-color geometric pattern. If I stand back and unfocus my eyes it kind of pops out in front of me like one of those 3D images. And then Emma has this small, studded, pink clutch that matches the top and is super light. I guess when you have a lot on your mind, the last thing you want is a heavy purse to carry around.