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!


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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: