Tag Archives: fashion

Steps 9 & 10: Savor Joys, Commit to Your Goals

IMG_8266IMG_8236IMG_8298Top: ModCloth  |  Skirt: Lulu’s  |  Heels: Similar here  |  Necklace: ModCloth – Similar here

This is it! The final steps on Harriet’s journey and the wonderful woman she’s become. As she finally decides what makes her happiest, and chooses some very specific goals to focus on, her outfit today has a definite, specific theme. And that theme is birds. Trust me, it makes more sense when you know the particulars. Let’s just say that today birds represent hope, freedom, love and happiness. So we begin with this rich, colorful blouse in marigold with navy, magenta, and pink birds in flight. Then she choose to bring out the red, the color of passion, with a long and full, red and white, plaid skirt and burgundy, peep toe, Mary Janes. The final touch? A delicate, sparkly, silver pendant featuring a pair of lovebirds. Sometimes actions speak louder than words, and Harriet’s outfit today definitely speaks from the heart.

Step 1: Express Gratitude

IMG_8207 Ep_72Dress: See U Soon | Heels: Lulu’s | Bag: Similar here

It was a long road getting here but it’s finally over! I’ve completed all the steps of recovery and now, inspired by Harriet’s journey, I’m going to try for a happy and fulfilling life. The first step is gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for, have so many wonderful people in my life, that it makes me feel free, simple, and easy. This outfit captures all that and more. A refreshing, light, crisp white dress with a halter top and a drawstring waist. Plus, what could be easier than jewelry already attached? This dress includes a colorful, beaded, statement necklace sewn into the collar. Isn’t it great when someone does the work for you? Paired with sturdy, tan, multi-strap sandals with gold buckles and a compact, dark blue, envelope clutch, it took me no time at all to get ready this morning. Which meant more time spent enjoying my day and all the wonderful things and people in it.

Announcing the Winner of Our Make Your Life Better Contest

Amy Hayes

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Make Your Life Better Contest.  All of your creative outfit photos and inspiring stories blew us away! We’re excited to announce our winner, Amy Hayes (pictured above).  Congratulations and thank you for sharing your fabulous look and inspirational story with us!

“You know, self-love is an important thing to learn Emma, and fashion is the perfect way to give yourself a little TLC. Two years ago I graduated college and got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. It was a major change and I felt as if the world had toppled around me—I had to change my habits, my hobbies, my career path. I felt so isolated and trapped, like my body was something I didn’t recognize. I kept changing weight with my illness, and soon none of my clothes fit. Then a couple months ago I went shopping to replace some of my wardrobe. I tried this dress on and with its high neck, floral pattern, and beautiful coral color I felt like Grace Kelly. In this dress I began to love being in my body again. It was a turning point for me, and now I feel like I can take on the world! Paired with a sensible cardigan, statement necklace, a pair of vintage leather boots, and a playful mint-green hat, I’m ready for an anything life throws my way.”  - Amy Hayes

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Steps 6 Thru 8: Forgiveness, Coping, Go with the flow

IMG_8397 IMG_8418                           Skirt: ModCloth  |  Top: Color Block – Similar here  |  Bag: Cambridge Satchel                                                                       Necklace: ModCloth  |  Booties: Lulu’s

Harriet had a lot to deal with today, and once again she blew me away with her kindness, maturity, and keen understanding of the human heart. She is honestly one of the loveliest people I know, inside and out. And her outfit today is another great example of her lovely taste and self expression through fashion. What first appears to be a plain white blouse has a pattern of leaves underneath the surface, and matches these beautiful, white lace covered boots that give it a Victorian elegance. Her long, below the knee, pale blue, full skirt is covered in colorful blooms but the palate is deeper and jewel toned which has a certain gravitas. It is complemented by her deep burgundy briefcase bag and all together her outfit has the sweetness of spring but the depth of autumn. Perfect for her, and perfect for this time of year.

Step 7 – Helping Others Like You

IMG_8368Ep_71Top: ModCloth  |  Jeans: Similar here  |  Heels: ModCloth  |  Clutch: Similar here

Today turned out to be a series of heart-to-heart conversations. Some were planned and some were surprises. One even allowed me to give support and sympathy to someone who also makes mistakes. It’s definitely been a long day. So as far as fashion is concerned, all I can say is I’m glad I dressed comfortably. A pair of rich blue skinny jeans and a simple, bright, and refreshing tank top in pink and blue paisley. Sturdy, black and white platform sandals and a small pink clutch. All together pretty and practical, especially when there are more important things to deal with.

Step 6: Admit When Wrong

IMG_8773Ep_70Dress: Lulu’s  |  Heels: Betsey Johnson, ModCloth

I’ve been wrong, a lot. And that includes how I’ve been approaching this fashion blog. I’ve been using the theory that you should dress based on what you want to make happen. Which, if you have a big date or a job interview, still holds true. But trying to control everything doesn’t make allowances for being surprised or lucky. They say that you never know in advance when the big moments are going to happen, so I’m adding a new approach. Love what you wear every day, no matter how ordinary, as though it is going to be the biggest day of your life. Because it just might be. For example I had no particular plan in mind when I choose this sweet, pink halter dress with it’s romantically draping skirt. I just wanted to give myself a boost, and pink has always been my favorite color. I complemented it with these charming, designer, white satin heels with a floral T-strap design. Altogether a lovely, feminine look that instantly makes you feel special no matter how ordinary you day turns out to be. And if it’s not ordinary? You’ll be happy you made the effort.

Step 5: Make The Most

IMG_8162IMG_8177Dress: Lulu’s  |  Bag: Irene’s Story – Similar here  | Sandals: Similar here  |  Necklace: Lulu’s

Harriet’s lesson of the day is to work on nurturing her relationships. All of them. That includes co-workers, acquaintances, hope of future relationships, and old friendships that have been left behind. The thing about old friendships is that even when renewed, it’s never quite the same. That doesn’t mean different is bad, in fact, it might be better than before. That got me thinking about expectations and how there are a lot of things, including fashion, that are at their best when a little different from normal. Like Harriet’s outfit today. Blue and white stripes is a traditionally used pattern and a summer staple. First inspired by the navy, she chooses a fitted dress with a full skirt and sweetheart neckline. But instead of the traditional blue and white, this dress is an interesting combination of navy and beige. It gives the whole look a slightly more serious, somber tone and compliments her peaches and cream skin tone. Paired with woven wedge sandals with a zippered front and a matching dark blue handbag, Harriet’s outfit proves that different can be refreshing. And a color that might seem boring at first is ultimately flattering and complementary to you.

Step 5: New Code and New Rules

IMG_8181 Ep_69                               Dress: Lulu’s – Similar here  |  Bag: Lulu’s  |  Heels: BCBGeneration                                                                                          Ring: Forever 21 – Similar here

Today’s lesson, stop rehashing the past and move forward with your new perspective and improved set of rules. And my new code of conduct includes being open, straightforward, and taking things as they are. That put me in the mood for this elegant and uncomplicated ivory dress with a full, swinging skirt and a simple black and lavender pattern. If you take a step back the print looks blue, and reminds me of a traditional porcelain pattern that gives the overall look a sense of refinement and dignity. Basic accessories includes matching black pumps and a white purse because I tend to over think things and that’s just one more habit to be broken. Eventually.

Fashion Advice: The Personal Touch

In honor of our Make Your Life Better contest I decided to give some personal style advice on the blog for the very first time!  Not long ago we received an email from Caiti, a middle school teacher in her late twenties and an Emma Approved fashion blog fan, looking for advice on updating her wardrobe.

RiverSongMe

Her main concerns?

  • Dressing maturely for work without falling into the boring teacher cliche.
  • Celebrating her figure, and avoiding being frumpy, without being inappropriate at work
  • Shopping on a teacher’s limited budget.

I completely understand your dilemma Caiti! Making good fashion choices is often all about finding a balance while still struggling to be an individual. You want your pieces to be affordable but well made, figure flattering but appropriate for work, fun and youthful but more mature as you enter your thirties. And though you asked for some summer staples, you want pieces that you can use year round, especially on a teaching budget. So I’ve come up with a few examples, currently available in your size, to help you on your way!

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Step 4: Make Amends

IMG_8547 Ep_68Top: Color Block  |  Skirt: Darling  |  Heels: ModCloth  |  Bag: Irene’s Story – Similar here

It’s not enough to apology for your past mistakes, you must learn from them and prove to the people you’ve wronged that it will be different from now on. This requires you to handle delicate situations with care, balance, and courage. So with that in mind, I chose this artsy, sleeveless blouse with a gorgeous, multi-color abstract pattern somewhere between a stain glass window and calligraphy. It suggests care, precision, and high-minded ideals. Paired with a sophisticated and bold red-orange pencil skirt for bravery, and black and tan, peep toe platform pumps for simplicity so that there are no more misunderstandings. Finally, a pure white structured backpack to carry all your good intentions.