Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hits and Misses of 2011

Another year has come and gone as we once again prepare for another year full of promise and excitement! This year has had its ups and downs, but what year hasn't? One up from this year was starting The Retail Therapy Diaries! As cheesy as it may sound, this blog has really brought me a lot of joy. On those days that were tough, I could just turn to my blog and escape into the wonderful world of fashion, even if it was just for an hour or so and my mood would make a complete 180. Looking back at the different posts from throughout this year, it's fascinating to see how many different trends there were! Much like years, trends seem to creep up on us and disappear right before our eyes. Wanting to create one last post for 2011, I decided on discussing my favorite and least favorite trends of the year! What were your hits and misses of this year? Let me know!

The Retail Therapy Diaries Hits of 2011

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In no particular order...

1.) Tie-Neck Blouses and Dresses: Such a simple yet sophisticated trend. Paired with jeans, a tie-neck blouse would be perfect for a nice lunch date, or great for a day at the office paired with a knee-length pencil skirt!

2.) Rompers: I loved the idea of a top and a pair of shorts being combined into one piece! Plus they are super comfortable and can be dressed up or down!

3.) Riding Boots: I can admit I never gave boots a fair chance seeing as I love my open toe shoes and flats. Thankfully I found a pair of brown riding boots that I fell in love with! They basically go with everything in my closet which is great!

4.) Anything Lace: Love lace! Such a pretty and feminine fabric! Whenever I went out for some retail therapy, the lace pieces always popped out to me first. Hoping this trend will continue to stay popular throughout next year as well!

5.) Anything Floral: Perfect for spring and summer, my wardrobe consisted almost entirely of floral as well as lace! I was particularly fond of the floral banded skirts, which added a different twist to the basic black bandage skirt.

...And the Misses

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Sorry if you liked these trends! I'm sure they looked good on you, but personally they weren't my cup of tea!

1.) Feathers: From feather extensions to feathered skirts, this trend never really caught my interest. I think I'll leave this 2011 trend with the birds!

2.) Animal Print: My mom loves animal print but again, just never caught my interest. I think it's because I associate the print with fur (even if it's just a print and not faux fur) which I then link to dead animals which makes me sad!

3.) High-high Heels: No broken ankles please! I think 2 inch heels are high enough, but if you can walk in them safely more power to you! I say embrace your natural height. I'm under 5' and still rocking the flats!

4.) Jumpsuits: Rompers yes, full length jumpsuits, no thank you! Maybe I just didn't like them because wearing one would require me to cut off a foot of fabric at the bottom for it not to drag... 

5.) Maxi Skirts: I loved the maxi dress trend this summer but for some reason just wasn't a big fan of the skirt. 

What are your top 5 hits and misses? Let me know so we can compare whether or not you agree or disagree with my picks! Hope you had a memorable 2011, and have a successful 2012! Have a fun and safe New Years!

What a Sweetheart

Love the look of a sweetheart neckline but aren't completely loving the idea of showing so much skin? Luckily there are several different styles of tops and dresses out there that create the illusion of the classic neckline while being modest at the same time. From lace lining to color blocking, you can get the best of both worlds! If these styles aren't up your alley, you can always turn to your trusty cami to layer under tops to allow you versatility. Below I've provided a few other options for this sweet yet tricky cut as well as the tried and true layering favorite!

Sweetheart Necklines

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Top: Teal Long Sleeve Lace Top $ 9.90 (Windsor) 
 Dress: Sweetheart Lace Dress $30.00 (Tobi)
Dress: Sweetheart Colorblock Dress $38.00 (Tobi)
Top: Sweetheart Mesh Body with 3/4 Sleeves $45.45 (Asos)

Coverage Options

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Chunky Necklace: Choose this option for a fancy night out! The bold accessory helps to visually fill out the openness while still allowing you to comfortably wear a strapless sweetheart neckline dress without having to layer.

Scarf: Much like the Chunky Necklace, a scarf can also help to visually cover the openness while still keeping you nice and toasty warm on those chilly nights! Any style of scarf can work, so whether you are a fan of infinity scarves, or your basic fringed end scarf, they all succeed at the task at hand.

Bandeau: Sometimes it can be irritating when you wear a camisole and it rides up creating weird lumps and bumps under your top, so this option is great! It covers just enough, and can also be handy for strapless tops.

Cami: The tried and true. I've been a fan of this option for as long as I can remember. The lace trimmed versions were pretty popular but I always favored the basic no nonsense camisoles with just the classic scoop neck. This is a great option for the thrifty fashionista since you can get a wide variety in a large range of colors for a reasonable price!

Inspired? Look for these items here:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lacy Legs

Tired of wearing the same old pair of sheer tights? Spice up your look with some trendy patterned tights! Whether you're a fan of black lacy tights or lilac diamond patterned tights, there are so many options out there, why settle for a pair that's been seen on just about every other fashionista out there? Patterned tights can look chic when paired with a sophisticated dress, or can look wild and fashion forward with an eclectic outfit. For a soft and feminine look, pair your tights with muted shades in flowy fabrics like chiffon. Some of the more intricately patterned tights can act as the statement piece in an outfit, so pair them with your favorite basics so you don't have pieces competing for attention!  Slip on a pair of pretty patterned tights today and give your boring old tights a rest!

Celebrities in Patterned Tights


Taylor Swift


Olivia Palermo


Whitney Port

How to create a similar look (for less!):

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Tank: Sequin-Front Cami $12.99 (Old Navy)
Skirt: Basic Pleated Skirt $12.00 (H&M)
Shoes: Qupid Tizzy Velvet Almond Toe Pump $26.90 (Urbanog)
Tights: Curve Tights $7.99 (Tilly's)

Total: $59.88 + tax

Inspired? Look for these items here:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ringing in the New Year

Whether you're going out to a fancy party, a family reunion, or just spending the night out with friends, today's post has you covered for New Years! I'll be spending New Years eve with my best buddies making dinner, enjoying a few drinks, and staying up ridiculously late playing games and laughing till our sides hurt! Then I'll be spending New Years day with my family. We have our annual bingo tournament which is always exciting since it involves prizes! What are some of your New Years plans? Have any favorite family traditions? Share them with me. I'd love to hear what makes your New Years special!


 LOOKS FOR ANY NEW YEARS OCCASION

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Standout amongst a sea of little black dresses by adding a unique touch to yours with a splash of pastel mint green! Finish off the look with some black peep-toe pumps, gold chain necklace, and a chic studded white clutch! Watch out for spilled drinks and have a blast ringing in the New Year with a pretty outfit!

Dress: Fab Satin Ruffle Dress $13.50 (Forever 21)
Necklace: Spiked and Pearlescent Necklace $9.80 (Forever 21)
Shoes: Patent Leatherette Peep Heels $11.99 (Forever 21)
Bag: Lulu Crisscross Sequin Clutch $11.00 (Nordstrom)

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Being reunited with family you haven't seen in a while is always exciting. Add a festive holiday touch with a slouchy feminine burgundy sweater and pair it with some black shorts, and pretty lace tights. This outfit definitely looks put together but isn't cocktail party fancy. Of all the looks this is probably my favorite!

Top: Batwing-Sleeve Pointelle Sweater $45.00 (Yes Style)
Shorts: Sailor Front Piped Shorts $15.80 (Forever 21)
Tights: Betsey Johnson Lacy Tights $9.97 (Nordstrom)
Earrings: Feminine Stud Set $2.80 (Forever 21)
Shoes: Simply Vera Vera Wang Flats $29.97 (Kohl's)

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Just hanging out with a group of close friends? Put together an outfit that's equal parts casual and dressy. Add a touch of New Years fun with a sparkly tank and layer a denim jacket to dress down the pretty piece. Finish off the look with some dark wash skinny jeans, riding boots, and a chic satchel. Perfect for a special dinner or just hanging out!

Tank: Floral Sequin Tank $29.00 (Old Navy)
Jacket: Roll Sleeve Crop Jacket $28.50 (Wet Seal)
Jeans: Hollister Jegging $49.50 (Hollister)
Bag: Cesca Faux Leather Satchel $38.00 (Nordstrom)
Boots: Knee High Leatherette Boots $34.80 (Forever 21)

Inspired? Look for these items here:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays

To all my readers and their families, have a truly wonderful holiday season!

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Sparkle

Have a festive party to attend? To celebrate the holiday season, add a little sparkle to your outfit by giving yourself a pretty manicure! My original plan was just to paint my nails a deep maroon shade, but I spotted some sparkly topcoats in my drawer that I thought would add a touch of holiday cheer. Not only is this manicure great for Christmas, it'll work just as well for a New Years Party! So gather all your close friends and family and enjoy the holiday season!

Holiday Sparkle Manicure


Maroon Polish: Sephora by O.P.I in Meet for Drinks $9.50 (Sephora)
Gold Topcoat: Essie Luxeffects Topcoat in As Gold as it Gets $8.00 (Nordstrom)
Clear Topcoat: Covergirl Boundless Color Topcoat in Crystal Mist (No longer available) 


If you don't want too much sparkle you can just add one coat of sparkle topcoat, but if you want to go all out you can mix multiple topcoats for a simply dazzling look!

Inspired? Look for these items here:

Geometric Fun

I've been really loving geometric prints lately. I think that my geometric paintings have really influenced the types of pieces that have drawn me in lately. It's always so interesting to see how different shapes work together to create really cool and fun patterns. Make sure to keep your accessories simple so that your geometric piece can be the statement maker! I'm also really loving long-sleeve cropped shirts, so the geometric patterned one that I found was perfect! Make a statement with your next outfit by incorporating a geometric pattern into your look!

The Inspiration





I actually received this as a gift from my painting teacher! He said it reminded him of the paintings I had been working on in class that week. Thanks professor Guerrero!

From The Retail Therapy Diaries Closet



Top: Silence and Noise Cropped Tee (Urban Outfitters)

More Geometric Options

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Top L: Bright Angles Dress $38.00 (Nasty Gal)
Top R: Motel Graphic Print Dress $45.45 (Asos)
Bottom L: Knitted Metallic Geo Pattern Body-Conscious Dress $49.09 (Asos)
Bottom R: Geometric Dress $39.99 (Zara)

Inspired? Look for these items here:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Winter Favorites

I'm not sure what I love more between the weeks leading up to Christmas or the actual day. There's just something about all the festive decorations and the hustle and bustle of all the last minute shoppers that always puts me in a good mood. Miraculously this year I finished all my shopping early so I can sit back with a warm cup of cocoa and watch everyone else scrambling to find the perfect gifts for everyone on their lists! I actually hand made a lot of my gifts this year which was fun for me and my wallet. I've always been a fan of gifts that people make because I know that they spent time making it for me. With a few extra dollars in my pocket I was able to buy myself a few goodies as well! For today's post I thought I'd show you some of my favorite winter pieces that can all be paired with some leggings! As long as you have this versatile basic, the possibilities are endless! To spice up the looks I've added a special accessory to each outfit. So whether you are just reuniting with friends over the holidays to bake some cookies or are planning on going to a fun family get together, these looks will have you covered!

The Retail Therapy Diaries Winter Essentials

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Gold Top: Kookai Lurex Batwing Sweater $53.00 (John Lewis)
Boat Neck Top: Breton Long Sleeve Boatneck $20.00 (Oasis)
Off-the-Shoulder Sweater: Aerie Open Stitch Dolman Sweater $30.00 (American Eagle)

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Leggings: Black Leggings $25.00 (Warehouse)

Scarf: White as Snow Loop Scarf $35.00 (American Eagle)
Necklace: Gunmetal Chainmail Necklace $40.00 (House of Fraser)
Shoes: If You Wanna Be My Lava Flat $29.99 (Modcloth)

Inspired? Look for these items here:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Drumroll Please...

The Loop-de Loop giveaway has come to an end and a winner has been picked! Congratulations to Gabby G! Your prize will be delivered to you soon. Thank you to all the readers who took the time to leave messages on The Retail Therapy Diaries Facebook page! It really means a lot to me and all your feedback is much appreciated. Keep an eye out for your next chance to win something fun. Another giveaway will be in the works very soon. Bundle up and keep warm!


In to the cup they go!


Congrats Gabby! Enjoy your new scarf!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

To My Lovely Readers

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Dear Readers,

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone had a great day filled with food, family, and lots of love! Just wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to support The Retail Therapy Diaries. Whether you're a faithful reader or just happened to stumble upon my blog by accident, knowing that you took the time to take a peek at my work means so much to me! 

Enjoy your time with family and get ready to enjoy the holiday season! Thanks again, and rest up those tummies and enjoy the rest of your week! Lots of love from Seattle!

♡ The Retail Therapy Diaries

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sweet Pea

Got the cold weather blues? Stay nice and toasty with a warm and stylish peacoat! It seems as though the nasty weather has forced most fashion lovers to make the treacherous journey to the back of their closets to pull out their favorite winter gear. These past few days have been rather chilly so I had to swap my favorite pair of flats for some boots and my cardigan for a peacoat! The weather has been rather annoying lately. If it chooses to be this cold, at least reward us with some pretty snowflakes for all that rummaging we had to go through for puffy coats, scarves, and mittens.

Peacoats are definitely a winter essential because they are incredibly versatile. Not only do they look great during the day, they can look very dressy at night as well! Try incorporating two trends into one this winter by picking out a longer peacoat in a festive red shade!

Celebrities in Peacoats


Nicole Richie


Kristin Cavallari

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Styling options for a day and evening look: 

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Peacoat

Coat: Hooded Red Peacoat $44.99 (Charlotte Russe)

Day Look

Top: Oasis Stripe Boatneck Top $32.00 (John Lewis)
Jeans: Hollister Jegging $49.50 (Hollister)
Scarf: Gauzy Knit Infinity Scarf $12.50 (Charlotte Russe)
Shoes: Biker High Boots $92.99 (Romwe)

Evening Look

Top: Sleeveless Cowl Neck Drape Top $17.00 (Oasis)
Skirt: High Waisted Tight Knit Skirt $22.90 (Akira)
Tights: With Love Solid Opaque Tights $9.50 (Pacsun)
Shoes: Ruched Front Peep Toe Ankle Booties $26.00 (Make Me Chic)

Don't forget to enter the Loop-de-Loop giveaway for a chance to win an infinity scarf!


Inspired? Look for these items here:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Loop-de-Loop

It's finally 'Novembrrrr' and it's time to layer on the cold weather favorites! From fluffy coats to warm mittens, there are tons of ways to look chic while shielding yourself from the blustery winds. One particular  winter essential that has been seen on celebrities as well as fashionistas everywhere, is the infinity scarf. Whether you call it an infinity scarf, eternity scarf, or a circle scarf, this piece is a great way to finish off a look. This trend is super versatile and can be worn a number of different ways. So jump on board with this new trend and keep warm!

Find out how to win your very own infinity scarf at the bottom of this post!

Infinity Scarves on Celebrities


Kourtney Kardashian


Jessica Alba


Selena Gomez


Zoe Saldana

How to create a similar look:

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Scarf: Knitted Infinity Scarf $10.90 (Forever 21)
Blazer: Jacket $48.00 (H & M)
Tank: Goldie Tank $45.00 (French Connection)
Pants: Cropped Legging Jeans $19.99 (Gap)
Shoes: Melina Pumps $69.99 (Bakers)


Hilary Duff

How to create a similar look:

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Scarf: Sequined Infinity Scarf $16.94 (Old Navy)
Sweater: Shawlcollar Cardigan $25.00 (Old Navy)
Tank: Daytrip Speckled Henley Tank $24.00 (Buckle)
Jeans: Fab Stitch Skinny Jean $10.50 (Forever 21)
Shoes: Ariat Heritage Cowboy Boots $74.99 (Buy)

Win an Infinity Scarf!




Rubbish Textured Check Infinity Scarf (Nordstrom)

Add this cream colored scarf to your favorite cold-weather look this winter!

Here's how to enter:

1.) Like this post on The Retail Therapy Diaries Facebook page
2.) Let me know what your favorite winter fashion essential is by leaving a comment on the wall
3.) That's it!

The giveaway ends at the end of the month on November 30th!

Inspired? Look for these items here:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sweet Treat Manicure

Getting into the Halloween spirit, I decided to give my nails a spooky makeover! Combining white, orange, and yellow nail polish, I was inspired by one of my favorite Halloween candies, candy corn! Create a cute design that only looks tricky. All you need is some tape and nail polish and you are ready to go! Look below for a step-by-step tutorial to create your very own candy corn manicure!


Start off with yellow, orange, and white nail polish! Since yellow and orange can be a little difficult to wear throughout the year, just get a cheaper brand to save some money.

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in Mellow Yellow $2.59 (Ulta)
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in Sun Kissed $2.59 (Ulta)
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in Whirlwind White $2.49 (Ulta)


Starting with the base color, paint on the orange nail polish and let it dry completely. It's a good idea to wait a few hours before layering on the other colors. The last thing you want is the tape to peel off the color!


Cut strips of tape measuring about a third of your nail and make sure to smooth out any bumps and bubbles. If the tape isn't securely sealed to your nail, the polish can seep under the tape and smudge the other colors. I happened to have some painters tape with me so I used that, but scotch tape works just as well!


To finish off your Halloween inspired manicure, paint your nails yellow above the tape, and white below the tape. Once all the polish is dry, you should be left with candy corn nails after peeling off the tape! 

Happy Halloween!

Inspired? Look for these items here:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Spooktacular Giveaway

It's that time of year again when pumpkins line doorways with wicked grins, and monsters and fairies walk from door to door for yummy treats! Halloween is probably my second favorite holiday, just behind Christmas! Though I haven't dressed up for a few years now, I have so much fun seeing the trick-o-treaters with all their neat costumes. Above all though, my absolute favorite part of Halloween has got to be carving pumpkins! I have so much fun scooping out the goop and using the little saw to cut out each piece. Last year I carved a Captain Crunch pumpkin, as well as a Keebler elf pumpkin. I'm still deciding on a design for this year, but I figure I still have a few weeks to prepare. In the spirit of this spooktacular holiday, I decided to put together a fun little Halloween inspired giveaway! Want a chance of winning some cute things? Simply go to The Retail Therapy Diaries Facebook page and write down your all time favorite halloween costume on the wall! Let me know how old you were when you wore it, and any sort of fun story that may be behind it! Your entry can be as long or as short as you want! In order for the giveaway prizes to be delivered in time for Halloween, the giveaway will end in two weeks on October 24th! As always, I am in need of helpers to put my blog out there! So if you can, let a friend or two know about my blog! It would mean so much to me! I look forward to reading your comments! Good luck!

Don't have a Facebook? Simply email your entry to my email at:
theretailtherapydiaries@gmail.com

Last Year's Pumpkins!




The Prizes:


Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips in Spun for You

There were a few different designs, but I thought this was the prettiest! Layered on top of a metallic silver base are lots and lots of cobwebs! The perfect finishing touch to your costume!


Sparkly Purple Spider Ring

Add a touch of sparkle to your Halloween outfit with a purple crystal spider ring! 


Sparkly Spider Headband

Not a big fan of dressing up for Halloween but still want to get into the spirit of the holiday? Add a shiny Halloween inspired headband to your hairdo! It'll add just the right amount of spook to your look!

Remember you have two weeks to enter! Who knows? The winner may get a few extra tricks or treats sent to them in addition to these prizes. You'll never know what they might be if you don't enter!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lace for Less

There are so many things that I love about fall! From the crunch of colorful leaves blanketing the sidewalks  to the slight chill in the passing breeze. But what I love even more are all the fashionable fall pieces lining the shelves and racks in all my favorite stores! With the temperatures slowly starting to drop, I love throwing on a warm fuzzy sweater or switching my favorite sandals for some pretty flats! One trend that has continued to be hot this season is lace! Wanting to incorporate this pretty fabric into my cool weather wardrobe, I've created three fall lace inspired looks that won't break your budget! What's your favorite part of fall? Is it the pumpkin spice lattes, dressing up for Halloween, or something entirely different? Let me know!

Fall Lace Inspired Looks

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Tights: Flower Lace Tights $17.46 (Asos)
Top: Bowtie Top $19.50 (Old Navy)
Blazer: 3/4 Sleeve Crop Blazer $24.80 (Forever 21)
Skirt: Bandage Skirt $19.80 (Forever 21)

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Tunic: River Island Cut About Lace Tunic $44.00 (Asos)
Leggings: Full Tilt Basic Ankle Leggings $11.99 (Tilly's)
Shoes: Fauxsuede Pointy Flats $22.00 (Old Navy)

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Dress: Lola Lace Dress $48.00 (Nasty Gal)
Shoes: Qupid Nesha Boots $44.99 (Tilly's)
Necklace: Charm Necklace $16.95 (Steampunk Emporium)

From TRTD's Closet


Dress: Dilemma Lace Dress (Aritzia)

Inspired? Look for these items here: