Tuesday, April 14, 2015

All Dress April - Week 1 and 2

I said I was going to post weekly #AllDressApril updates for those not on Instagram, and here it is, the end of week 2 and I have already failed. So this update is going to be a large post, but at least it has lots of pretty pictures! We'll jump right in!

Day 1:
Dress: ModCloth Give It Your Best Guest Dress in Kitchen
Cardigan: ModCloth Charter School Cardigan in Magenta
Shoes: ThredUp (Miz Mooz)

Decided to kick it off with a dress I'd been dying to wear (although that's the case with most of these) in this adorable novelty print from my new favorite designer Emily and Fin. Also, take note you'll be seeing this hairstyle a lot. It's easier to hide the fact I rock the same hair most days when I'm not taking pictures of myself daily.

Day 2:
Skirt: eShakti Belted Cotton Print Skirt
Top: LOFT Linen Tee
Shoes: ModCloth Weaving in and Out Wedge in Cognac
Scarf: Walmart

I'm really trying to focus on wearing things I've never worn before. I bought this eShakti skirt while I was still pregnant and never got around to wearing it. That is entirely too long to wait to wear a skirt this cute!

Day 3:
Dress: ModCloth Ride Here, Ride Now Dress in Blue
Cardigan: ModCloth Dream of the Crop Cardigan in Honey
Tights: Target
Boots: Soda Brand

Some fun, subtle print mixing and playing around with color.

Day 4:
Dress: Purchased on PoshMark
Cardigan: ModCloth Charter School Cardigan in Red
Shoes: Keds Champion in Bubble Dot

Casual enough for a trip to the park, but the red lip keeps it from looking too juvenile.

Day 5:
Dress: ModCloth Garden Tour Dress
Cardigan: ModCloth Charter School Cardigan in Sage
Shoes: ThredUp (Qupid), Similar to ModCloth Dynamic Debut Heel

This was my Easter dress. Florals are a practically a necessity, but I love that this one isn't in a typical color scheme.

Day 6:
Top: Ross (Pink Rose)
Skirt: ModCloth Musee Matisse Skirt in Cocoa
Scarf: Walmart
Shoes: B.O.C.

This wasn't my favorite look. This skirt was much harder to style than originally anticipated. The outfit is a bit too one color for me, which is why I added the mustard scarf. At least the skirt was breezy since it was hot outside.

Day 7:
Dress: eShakti Pineapple Print A-line Shirtdress
Cardigan: ModCloth Charter School Cardigan in Magenta
Shoes: ModCloth The Best of Times Heel in Black

Pineapples with hearts? Yes, please. The easy nursing access was a definite plus.

Day 8:
Dress: ModCloth Sunny Days Dress (Still available on Folter's website)
Cardigan: ModCloth Charter School Cardigan in Red
Shoes: ShoeDazzle Sailor

This is my favorite outfit so far because ANIMALS WEARING SUNGLASSES! Deal with it. Folter/Retrolicious is another one of my current favorite brands. They have some of THE BEST prints! My Easter dress was also by Folter.

Day 9:
Dress: eShakti Arbor Melange Knit Dress
Cardigan: ModCloth Birdlandia Cardigan in Blue
Shoes: Bamboo

This was the first dress that I'd worn previously, but I hadn't worn it in over a year and a half. It's actually the dress that I announced my pregnancy with. It's a shame to let this comfortable dress sit in a closet. The shoes were a bit impractical but I couldn't resist how well they matched the cardigan.

Day 10:
Dress: ModCloth Artisan Iced Tea Dress in Blueberry
Cardigan: ModCloth Charter School Cardigan in Jade
Boots: JustFab Zion

I had heard tales of how magical this dress was, and I'm here to tell you that the legends are true. It is one of the most comfortable dresses I've ever worn. The only downside is it's super short. The lace overlay isn't super short, but the lining is, so leggings are a must.

Day 11:
Dress: eShakti Colorblock Stripe Poplin Dress
Cardigan: ModCloth Charter School Cardigan in Sage
Shoes: ShoeDazzle

I wore this to my sister's JROTC drill competition so camo was perfect for the occasion! I worked the rest of the outfit around the shoes.

Day 12:
Dress: Effie's Heart Marion Dress in Versaillas
Shoes: ModCloth The Best of Times Heel in Black

Another super comfortable dress. Anything from Effie's Heart is like wearing publicly acceptable pajamas. The headband is actually the original sash that came with the dress. I just decided it would be better suited tied around my head.

Day 13:
Dress: ModCloth Sprinkled Splendor Dress
Cardigan: ModCloth Charter School Cardigan in Rust
Shoes: ModCloth Party All The Timeless Heel in Mustard

Yet another super comfy dress. Are you seeing a pattern?

Day 14:
Dress: ModCloth Day After Day in Bluebird
Cardigan: ModCloth Charter School Cardigan in Orchid
Shoes: ModCloth Cottage Wedding Wedge

Another Emily and Fin number in my favorite dress cut, the Day After Day style. I have two other dresses in this style. I bought this from someone in an Emily and Fin BST group and the minute I received it, I put it on and kept it on. As far as the shoes go, I was planning on swapping them because they weren't 100% my style but I tried them on and decided that I really liked them. I'm glad I kept them around!

Well that was quite the undertaking to compile 2 weeks worth of outfits. I think I'll save myself a lot of energy if I just proactively do the weekly wrap ups. So *hopefully* there will be another one next Tuesday. Fingers crossed! If you'd like to follow along on Instagram, my handle is shopwithbeth!

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Style - Literary Luncheon Dress

Dress: ModCloth Literary Luncheon Dress in Honey
Leggings: Old Navy Women's Jersey Leggings
Boots: Soda Brand

Have I mentioned lately how much I love the color mustard? And I'm definitely not letting it go just because spring is here. It may have been a little warm for this outfit today, but I wanted to wear it before it got really hot, and it ended up being perfect for a trip to the park this afternoon. I could roll around on a blanket with the baby and not flash the world, and I still had full range of motion because this dress is like wearing thick stretchy pajamas. If you're on the fence about buying it (I was for quite some time) jump right off that fence and do it!

I don't have much to say about the outfit since it's super simple, except don't be afraid to pair black and brown together. A lighter shade of brown looks great paired with black and it brings some warm tones into the outfit (along with the mustard of course).

Other than that, I'm just counting down till All Dress April starts on Wednesday. The closer it gets, the more anxious I get. I keep thinking "what did I get myself into?" Oh well. I'm committed. If you still haven't followed me on IG and want to follow along with the fun for All Dress April, my username is shopwithbeth!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Introducing All Dress April

As I mentioned last week in my swapping post, I have almost completely flipped my dresses and skirts collection in the last couple on months through swapping. Because of that I have a ton (like an embarrassing amount) of dresses and skirts that have never been worn. At my current rate of dress wearing (only on Sundays) it'll take more than a year to wear all of my dresses, and that's if I don't buy/swap for any more!

As a solution, I've decided to host my own Instagram style challenge for April. I know in the past I've really enjoyed doing IG style challenges so I guess it was only a matter of time before I hosted my own. It's probably the simplest style challenge you could ever participate in. I'm calling it all dress April and the challenge is to wear a dress (or skirt) every day in April. 

It's going to be a pretty big change for me since there are many days I don't get out of my yoga pants, but that's why it's a challenge. I'm going to have to get used to being ok with going to everyday places in a dress, but I think it's going to be fun. I also have the added hurdle that I'm still nursing, so I'll be focusing on outfits that give me easy access to that. No one wants to spend time nursing with a dress over their head.  

If you want to participate, it's simple. Just post your dress on IG (it doesn't have to be a fancy picture. Most of my pics will likely be mirror selfies) and use the hashtag #AllDressApril. You don't have to wear a different dress every day. I know not everyone has a closet full of them. If you want to tag me so I can help cheer you on, you can but it's not necessary. I'm not going to judge you if you can only participate sporadically, or even if it's just on the weekends. I want to see your pretty dresses! I'll be doing a weekly recap Tuesdays here on the blog if you're not an IG user. 

I was so happy when I proposed All Dress April in my swap group there seemed to be quite a few other ladies who were excited to join in so I certainly won't be alone! I'm super excited for April to start!

If you don't already follow me on instagram, my username is shopwithbeth

Happy Dress Wearing! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What I Wore To Church - Hello Spring!

Dress: eShakti Floral Print Mixed Media Dress
Cardigan: ModCloth Charter School Cardigan in Sage
Shoes: ThredUp (Miz Mooz)

Well hello, Spring! It's so nice to see you again. Of course I had to celebrate by wearing florals. I mean I really wear florals year round, but it's always nice to wear the bright colors in season.

I got this fabulous dress from eShakti's overstock section for an absolute steal. I can't believe someone would return it, but their loss is my gain. It's so gosh darn pretty! And wouldn't you know it's twirly too. I have a sad confession to make. Every time I wear something with a twirly skirt, I spend about 10 minutes of my picture taking time trying to get a cute picture of my twirling in the skirt. Have you ever seen me post one in the almost 2 years of blogging? Maybe once. That's because they always turn out embarrassingly terrible. Well today, I decided that even though they were bad, I was going to show you them anyway because I think it's important for people to know. I'm not as photogenic as it appears and I'd make a terrible model. So here they are.
OK. OK. So they aren't the worst things ever. But they certainly aren't what you'd see in a magazine or those adorable girls that post their twirl pictures in the modcloth style gallery. Oh well.

eShakti is doing 30% off site wide right now so as always it's worth a look.

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tell Me About Tuesday - Clothing Swaps

"What's this?" you say. A TMAT post? And about swapping no less?! Yes, as promised, here is my post about swapping.

It's no surprise that since making a complete career change from being in the Air Force to being a stay at home mom, my fun allowance money has dropped dramatically. It makes running a blog about shopping and fashion fairly challenging. That is until I discovered the world of online swapping.

How did I find this magical world? After the last ModCloth Stylish Surprise round, I had a few items that I wasn't fond of but didn't want to donate, so I asked on the ModCloth facebook page where the swap groups were. I ended up joining 2 of them and they have changed my shopping life.

It's no surprise that I have more dresses and skirts than I will ever wear, and with my weight fluctuations there are quite a few that have only been worn once or twice (or not at all and now don't fit). Instead of crying over the wasted money, I just swap them and get something that I will more likely wear, and all I had to do was pay the cost of shipping. The 2 groups I'm in are mostly ModCloth focused groups but you are allowed to swap any clothes. The ModCloth stuff usually swaps quicker.

How It Works:
In order to keep the page less cluttered, they require that you post all your items to an outside source (pinterest, poshmark, tumblr, etc.) and then post the link to that site with the items on it that you are wanting to swap. For my board, I use pinterest because I already had an account and it seemed to be the most popular one for this sort of thing. There's more info on building your board further down. When posting, there are typically hashtags that you use in your post as well so others can quickly identify what size you're swapping, but they are group specific so be sure to read the 101 document once you're in the group

Once you post your board, with the appropriate hashtags, the other ladies will comment with what item they are interested in and a link to their board. You browse through what they have and if you find something that you like and think would be a fair trade, you private message them and see if they're willing. You can also exchange measurements and such on the items so it's more likely you'll get something that fits. Once you work out all the details and agree on the swap, you exchange addresses and each pay the cost of shipping on your end.

Building Your Board:
The majority of items that I swap (and that get swapped in the groups I'm in) are from ModCloth or eShakti. I find the items (you can usually get them from your order history if those items aren't available anymore), and pin the stock photo to my pinterest swap board. Then I edit the description to include the size, condition, and sometimes measurements if fits small or big. If there's an item I'm going to be picky on it gets labeled "limited".  If it's a non-ModCloth/eShakti item or I can't find a stock photo, I just take a picture of the actual item and pin it to the board. For reference, here is my actual swap board.

Since I hate standing in line at the post office, I handle shipping almost primarily with flat rate padded envelopes. I order them online from USPS.com by the cubic ton (maybe a slight exaggeration) for FREE. Then I just purchase the postage online ($5.70 per padded flat rate envelope) and tape it to the envelope. Then I either drop it at the Post Office's dropbox, or schedule a pickup. Easy peasy!

Are there dangers to swapping? Absolutely. There are dishonest people that occasionally get into these groups and do some "swaplifting" (you send your item and they never send theirs because it's likely they never had the item in the first place). I personally have been a victim of this, and it really sucks. So I've had to start taking precautions when swapping with people I've never swapped with. The first thing I do is check the groups feedback doc to see if anyone has had a successful swap with them before. If there isn't anything on the feedback doc, I'll purchase and print the postage for the item and provide them with tracking, but I won't actually drop the package off until they have provided a tracking number to me. That way, if they never send you the item, you're only out $5.70, and not the whole item. The moderators in the groups try really hard to spot these people (and if you're suspicious, let them know immediately) and remove them so they can't hurt too many people.

That's pretty much the rundown of swapping. I want to reiterate that this is how the particular groups I'm in work, but it seems it's fairly common, and I think it's pretty efficient. I'd also like to point out that these are swap groups not sell groups (although I'm in some of those too) so posting for sale only boards will get your post deleted. You have to be open to swapping because that's kinda the point!

One added bonus I've found is that you tend to swap with the same people over and over (because you're the same-ish size) and those people may very well become your good friends. I haven't been doing it long, but I've met some fantastic women who I now call friends. 

The first group I'm in, and the one I use most often is Fashion Swap: Clothes, Deals, Advice, and More.  The second group I'm in is Clothing Swap Group. I've also had pretty good success there. Both groups have great moderators that keep the groups safe, fun, and drama free.

If you have any other questions that I didn't cover in this crazy long blog post, let me know, and I'll try to answer them!

Happy Swapping!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

What I Wore to Church - Mustache March

Top: ThredUp (LOFT)
Skirt: Folter Mustache Skirt
Necklace: ModCloth Kernel of Kindness Necklace

Continuing on with Mustache March, I bring you THIS ADORABLE MUSTACHE SKIRT! Because everyone needs a mustache skirt. 

I got this skirt from Folter. They are one of the many distributors for ModCloth, and in my opinion, they have some of the cutest novelty prints out right now. If you love novelty prints as much as I do, I definitely recommend taking a peek at their website. If you're already a modcloth enthusiast, you may recognize some of their dresses. It's seriously the cutest stuff. (And no they didn't sponsor this post.) 

I obvs wanted the skirt to do the talking so I paired it with this cute lace top I got from ThredUp with just the right amount of subtle detail and these great lace up mary janes (yes, the same ones from last week). I thought it needed some color so I tossed on the mustard necklace and called it a day. 

I debated a cardigan, but not only was it warm enough to go without it, I don't want to be a one trick pony and wear a cardigan with every outfit. I wanted to prove to myself that I could style an outfit without one. Also, the contrast waistband on this skirt really brought in my middle for a super flattering silhouette and I didn't want to cover that up. 

Full disclosure, I don't have another dress or skirt with mustaches for Mustache March. Bummer, I know. But I do have some fun stuff planned for April. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

What I Wore to Church - Turn of the Sensory Dress

Guise! Guise! Look at this dress! I about died when I saw it in a Modcloth BST (buy/sell/trade) group and just knew I had to have it. Good golly is it flattering. And oh so cute! 

Alright, now that I've gotten my excitement out. Hello! It's been too long! I apologize for the blogging drought. Between the Disney trip which I still need to blog and then getting sick for a few weeks, I just haven't had the energy to get dressed, let alone take pictures of those things. But I'm back now. 

So first off, Happy International Women's Day! And also, Happy Mustache March. I figured there was no better way for me to celebrate International Women's Day, than to take a print of something that is typically very masculine (mustaches) and wear it in a very feminine way! OK. I may be stretching that a bit, but really this dress just makes me really really giddy and I'm a big advocate of wearing what makes you happy. 

To make sure the dress took center stage (because how could it not?) I went minimal on the accessories. I don't typically do all black accessories but I thought this dress called for it. Then I added a small pop of color with the red lip to finish it off. I really like how the look turned out (if you couldn't tell). 

Thank you again for being patient with my absence, and hopefully I've got some fun stuff coming up. I've practically flipped my whole wardrobe through swapping, and I have a bunch of dresses that are begging to be worn. I may have to do All Dress April or something so I can wear them all! Either way, thanks for sticking around!

Happy Shopping!