mommy's style

mommy's style
mommy's style

kumquat's style

kumquat's style
kumquat's style

shop our closet

shop our closet
shop our closet

goodbye to my weakness, so long to the regrets

Thursday was another day saved by a ridiculously easy outfit and my new beauty super weapon, Bumble & Bumble Dry Shampoo. My hair looked good that day.

I've never been a huge fan of the long maxi dress or intense prints, but from Wednesday night to Thursday post-work I purchased three summer maxi dresses, two with bright colors and patterns, in a 24-hour period.

This blue maxi dress is what started the maxi-madness. I spotted it while wasting some serious time in WalMart Wednesday night, and really had to fight with myself about trying it on. I don't typically buy clothes from WalMart, but this dress caught my eyeballs from the get-go and I knew it would haunt me if I didn't at least give it a go. I have to admit that I'm really happy that I did - not only does it look gorgeous, but it's quite comfortable and so easy... and it only cost me $15. It's easily the most printastic thing I own, and although it's light years outside of my comfort zone I find it quite alluring, and I am drawn to it like a child to candy.

The second and third maxis cost a bit more, but they are just as lovely and comfortable. The second one is probably my favorite of the lot - you can expect pictures early this week.

For work, I paired it with flats and my giant black cardigan from H&M. I call it my "artist sweater" because it makes me think of the giant sweaters and oversized clothing worn by writer Julia on Smash. It makes me think of tinkering around a cabin in the woods, writing and painting my time away. The one giant pocket would constantly be filled with paint brushes, pencils and a fountain pen (no cell phone here), the sleeves pushed up and my hair in a messy bun, with errant wisps framing my face.

My gypsy soul to take, peeps. My gypsy soul. I love my family - but I don't think I will ever be able to move on with my life while here, so close and yet so terribly far away. Sometimes running away is your only option.

how to style a maxi dress
The solid square of fabric, be it patterned, striped or monochrome, from neck to floor can either be summer lovely and unbelievably flattering or cringe-inducing and moo-moo-esque - it's all in the way you wear and style it, as well as your body shape.

Contrary to popular opinion, curvier women don't necessarily have to forgo the ease of a maxi (check out this one for proof); and although maxi dresses do look incredible on ladies who are a bit taller, height is something easily faked with a pair of killer heels. You can also pair it with slimming accessories (like a belt at the waist) and a blazer or cardigan in a neutral color to break up the giant swath of fabric.

For a summer casual look, keep it with flats or wedges and add a sweater or blazer for work to protect against office AC, and a denim jacket works great for weekends. For a vibrantly colored or patterned dress such as this, choose a topper and shoes in neutral colors; if your dress is a neutral or more subtle color, add some pizazz in the form of accessories and neon shoes.

Despite their casual wear vibe, a maxi dress can also be the perfect night-out ensemble. Remove the sweater, switch your flats or wedges for a pair of sexy stilettos, exchange the stack of friendship bracelets for a shiny cuff and trade in the giant work-day tote for a sleek clutch in a contrasting color to take your look from day to night. If you're worried about a chill (i.e. at a movie theater), skip the sweater and instead opt for a much sexier moto jacket. Black is always a great option, but nude and pale colors are also great options this season, as is suede over traditional leather.

for example:
a white maxi dress
For day: a brightly colored cardigan with contrasting accessories (like a hot pink sweater with a neon yellow necklace and earrings) would make this the perfect look for Sunday brunch; opt for a denim vest or jacket for a Saturday afternoon adventure.
At night: a moto jacket in black or purple and a pair of intense black stilettos make a virginal white maxi dress night-out sexy. Add some chunky jewelry, such as a thick chain necklace, and a sparkly clutch for a look bursting with low-maintenance sex appeal.

a black maxi dress
For day: Keep it clean and simple but fresh with brightly colored flats and a belted cardigan.
For night: Go glam with gold jewelry - think some gorgeous statement earrings and a fun cocktail ring, and top it off with a nude suede moto jacket. Slip on some sexy black stilettos with gold hardware, or take a risk in some sparkly gold cage sandals.

a patterned maxi dress
For day: stick with neutral colors that match a color from the pattern in your dress (mine has black in it, so I choose a black cardigan). Choose a simple blazer or cardigan for work, add some flats to keep the look low key (or solid wedges with a raffia heel if you need the height), and feel free to embellish with an armful of friendship bracelets.
For night: again, choose your topper of choice from the colors in your dress. You can, however, go a bit more crazy in terms of color at night - a bright orange moto jacket with rolled sleeves would be a great statement piece. Add those black stilettos and a giant cocktail ring and you'll be the most noticeable woman in the room, hands down.

When my nephew saw me put my hands against the pillar, he walked over and did the same thing. Monkey see, monkey do!
Some of you may have noticed this by now, but I am a huge proponent of cheap nail polish. I don't often paint my nails, and often end up peeling it off within a day or two of applying it, so I hate to spend gobs of money on it. The one drawback here is that it tends to be too runny or goopy and chip fairly quickly. I recently set myself a personal mission to find a cheap nail polish that conforms to my quality and quick-dry standards, and I think I've already fulfilled it.

I was rushing through WalMart the other afternoon on my lunch break (it must seem like I spend a lot of time there), and happened across a display of Maybelline's new Color Show Nail Lacquer. I was in a hurry, but the brilliant colors made me stop dead on my way out the door. Naturally, I ended up spending way too much time agonizing over what colors to get, but at just $3 a bottle it was easy to let myself go a bit crazy. I came home with four colors that night, and will probably end up with a few more.

The colors photographed above are Tenacious Teal and Fuchsia Fever; I also picked up Green with Envy (a minty shade) and a crackle coat called Silver Stunner. The absolute best part? They were really easy to apply, not too goopy or too runny, and dried almost immediately upon application. The teal is fairly true to how it looks in the bottle and only required a couple of coats to achieve complete opaqueness. The fuchsia, on the other hand, has a bit of a filmy quality to it and required three or four coats to achieve the intensity of color I like. I still give it a thumbs-up though, mostly on account of drying time and end color results, and I'm pretty stoked to try the other colors.

puzzle pieces
maxi dress: no boundaries (similar here)
black oversize cardigan: h&m
messenger bag: ebay (similar here)
flat sandals: forever 21 (similar here)
black heels: madden girl
sunbeam necklace: nasty gal (find it here)
gold cuff bracelet: charlotte russe (similar here)
black studded wrist wrap: charlotte russe
assorted friendship bracelets: maurice's
braided suede friendship bracelets: DIY/frayed threads collection
(coming soon to etsy!)
nail polish: tenacious teal & fuchsia fever by maybelline color show

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