Category Archives: Fashion

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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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.


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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Enter Our Make Your Life Better Style Contest


This is a sponsored post made possible by ModCloth. Thoughts are my own.

Fashion can give your life a lot of meaning, The perfect outfit can be a powerful tool, a mood changer, or an expression of who you are. I’ve always used fashion to create an image of myself, for myself. Choosing outfits that say, “This is who I am”. Great for facing the world head-on, and making it easier to look in the mirror.

Very recently, I started making some major life changes. But rather than give myself a makeover to reflect the new me, I looked to my wardrobe as inspiration for the new me. Classic values with a modern edge. Colorful, lively, daring, bold and fun. Warm, friendly, and approachable. Someone who makes people smile the way my wardrobe makes me smile. Most of all I want to inspire people, to dress for the life they want. But now I’m looking to YOU for inspiration.

We’ve partnered with ModCloth to host our first contest on Emma Approved, the “Make Your Life Better” style contest!  We want to know the look that makes your life better, the outfit that makes you feel the most you.

The contest runs from now until August 14th. One winner will receive a $150 ModCloth gift card and be featured on the Emma Approved blog. Click here for full details.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!


Style Advice: Help on How to Do an Updo


Sometimes I miss the days of old Hollywood glamour where a night out was really something special.  But in today’s more casual world we have slacks on the red carpet and the same cocktail dresses worn at a gala that we see at a nightclub.  So in the end how do we make a big evening out different from our just-going-out attire?  One of the most common ways is with a hairstyle.  An elaborate, sweeping, and sparkling updo can turn any night into an event and any girl into a movie star.

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How to Dress for a First Date

first-date-table Image from Darling Magazine 

A single day is not a lot of time to get to know someone, but when it comes to dating, that’s all you’ve got.  One day, one activity, and one person who may or may not be the one you’ve dreamed of.  Just in case they are, you’ll want to make the best impression possible, and you only have so many tools at your disposal.  The first and most crucial of these is how you look.  I’m not saying looks are everything, or not to be true to yourself.  On the contrary, it’s imperative that you look like you, but make sure it’s the best version of you.  Make an effort!   Just as you hope that this person is everything you want them to be, dress the way you’ve always hoped you could look.  Be smart about what you choose.  If you don’t plan correctly, you might find yourself cold, overheated, uncomfortable, embarrassed or in pain: all of which will affect your behavior throughout the date.  So here are a few quick examples of what to wear depending on what you’re doing, and how to make the most or your night.

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Shopping Advice: Surviving Cyber Monday

                            cyber monday shopping Image from Glamour/Getty Images 

Black Friday is practically a national holiday in the States, but waiting in line all day and pushing through crowds is so not Emma approved!  That’s what the Internet is for.  Anyone can take advantage of sales from the comfort of their own home, even our international friends.  Though we’ve given these consumer “holidays” very specific kitschy titles like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, it seems nobody likes to have their potential limited, not even businesses.  Black Friday brick and mortar stores now have online deals, and businesses that advertise on Etsy and specialize in small handmade items or vintage treasures have begun having Black Friday sales.  Overall, the lines between these three distinct types of shopping have blurred, melding into one long weekend event.  Here are a few quick tips to help you survive the rest of the weekend.

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Style Quiz: What’s Your Fashion Personality?

the-nifty-cupcake Photo from The Nifty Cupcake 

Personal style is about more than fashion and accessories, it’s also about knowing yourself. Maybe you already know who you are, but can’t figure out how to translate that to what you wear.  There are plenty of articles about dressing for your body type, age, or coloring. Definitely check them out. This is about letting others see you the way you see yourself. Clothes are often an expression of our spirit and character.  So what does your style say about you?  Discover your fashion personality with this short quiz.

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The Next Big Thing


Whatever your dreams, goals, and aspirations may be, we all want to succeed.  When you’re starting out it’s necessary to be practical.  Concentrate on the first steps and celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how small.  But don’t stop there!  Anything is possible. Especially with the internet, which gives independent companies and small startups a way to reach the entire world.   No matter where you are in your career or how far you have to go, never stop reaching for the stars.   With hard work and perseverance you can be the next big thing.  Don’t believe me?  Here are three women who took a simple idea and turned it into an inspirational success story.

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Personal Style Is Attitude


Personal style is more than fashion, it is attitude and everything.  It’s how you dress, style your hair, decorate your home, act on a date, choose a gift, treat a friend, drive your car, say yes to something, say no to something, do your job, get your job, quit your job, and make your choices. Everything, and I mean everything, can and should be done with a sense of style.

When I say style, I’m not just referring to the latest trends or the most popular designers. I mean your personal style, the style that is uniquely suited to you and everything you think, feel, want and do.  So in that spirit, I’ve made a list of three icons who have inspired me and my personal sense of style.

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Styles of Sanditon


Welcome to Sanditon!

Welcome indeed.  This new cute seaside town did more than let us into their homes and lives; it let us into their closets. Where professional meets casual, and the tailored elegance of Gigi Darcy’s metropolitan lifestyle meets the breezy, beachside attitude of small-town California (best epitomized by featured local, Clara Breton).

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