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Fashion Friday, Jul 26: A “Basic” You Don’t Need: the LBD

Yep, I said it. The essential little black dress isn’t essential at all! 

The premise of the little black dress is/was a piece of clothing that is versatile. It could carry you from an interview or the office to date night to lunch with the girls to a shopping spree. The fact is, that item of clothing does not need to be a dress or black. 

Not everyone is a dress person, and on a windy day a dress may not be the smartest idea. A romper, coordinated set, or jumpsuit can work just as well! My black romper can work for a house party with my black high top converse or a statement necklace for a date/night out. If there’s a breeze, I don’t need to worry about flashing anyone!

Part of the appeal of the little black dress is that black has the reputation of a slimming color. Be prepared to be stunned: black being slimming is a myth. The color of the garment is far less important than the fit. A black trash bag won’t look a tenth as good as a pale of white dress in a shape which flatters your frame. One of my favorite dresses ever is my knee length white lace dress. I can pair it with a blazer for a presentation, a heel and statement earrings for a date, or a denim jacket and flats or converse for a casual day. The picture above I styled by beloved dress with turquoise heels and a big hat, great for a summer day!

As always, send me inspiration, gift my with a like, or give me some feedback!

❤ Zeebs

Selfie Sundays

Selfie Sunday, Jul 21: Bra Power

Alright, ladies! Today we’re discussing a tool close to our hearts – literally! Bras are a powerful wardrobe tool. I should start by saying bras are not a requirement. If you really don’t want to wear a bra, then don’t! Feeling comfortable in your own skin is more important. That being said, bras do serve a purpose. One, if you have larger breasts, they offer support. Two, some garments are meant to be worn with bras; it won’t look the same if you aren’t wearing one. Three, if it’s sheer, it can become inappropriate to wear with no bra. Four, bras can change your proportion. Raising the girls up can reveal how small your waist is and lengthen your proportion making you look longer and leaner overall. Five, it can make you feel and look a little extra sexy!

Unfortunately, most women wear the wrong size bra and do not care for them properly. When we don’t take care of clothes or wear the wrong size, we can shrink the lifespan of our bras. And who wants that? Bras are expensive enough as is!

But let’s be real: bras, just like blouses or pants, are an investment. You will get what you pay for and how we treat them. When in the middle of puberty and you’re body is changing more than at other times in your life, it makes sense to buy less expensive bras… you won’t (or weren’t) wear them that long. Bras should be hand washed (or with a garment bag for the wash) and air dried. If you do machine wash…still air dry!!!

Sizing: sizing is important! Most women wear the wrong size. The wrong size often means not being comfortable. It’s recommended that you go and get fitted for a bra at least once per year and to have at least two or three bras in your current size. If you gain or lose even as little as five pounds, your bra size can change! 

An important note: the letter in your bra size does NOT equal how big or small your breasts are. It’s a common misconception. The letter indicates how many inches larger around your breasts are from your rib cage where the bra band sits. An “A” means a one inch difference. A “B” means a two inch difference, and so on. 

For a substantial amount of time in high school, I thought that because I was petite that my breasts were always going to be small and in an A cup. Come my senior year, I grew out of my bra. I couldn’t wait to get out of my bra at the end of the day, and I would have red marks where my bra sat. My breasts were spilling out. I needed a bra fitting…

So I went to Dillard’s (a department store for those who aren’t familiar) to get my first professional bra fitting. Before the session, I was wearing a 32A. Post bra fitting, I was wearing a 30D! I was wearing both the wrong band size and cup size, making me feel uncomfortable everyday. Trying on the new bras, I never knew they could be so comfy. I felt so great, I SKIPPED out of the store and could not stop smiling. I have made sure to keep getting bra fittings when necessary, which keeps me supported and comfortable!

Bra Recap:

  • Get sized professionally at least once per year. 
  • Letter does NOT equal size. Letter means proportion compared to your band size. 
  • A change in as little as 5 to 10 lbs. Can alter your bra size. 
  • Have at least three bras to rotate. This gives your bras time to relax and take a break. 
  • Hand washing bras strongly recommended (but I know that not everyone has the time to hand wash their bras). 
  • Air dry!

❤ Zeebs

Fashion Friday

Fashion Friday, Jul 19: Texture

We’re at the home stretch with part three of four outfit personality traits: texture! When I think about texture, my mind usually jumps to fall outfits. Sweaters, scarves, hats, fluffy socks, and coats give us a variety of texture options in the cooler weather. It’s less common in the summer, but still doable!

One option is to wear funky textured jewelry. I have a lovely necklace and a pair of earrings that I got on my study abroad in Peru which I looooooooove. Wooden textures aren’t usually seen in jewelry, and it adds a more boho vibe. Great in summer! Beaded jewelry is a great way to go, especially if you are sensitive to non precious metals. You can find necklaces and bracelets that have no metal clasp to avoid an unwanted reaction while still having fun with new accessories!

If jewelry isn’t your thing, purses and shoes are also a possible avenue! There are a seemingly infinite number of textures to choose from. There are shoes and purses that are snakeskin, leather, vinyl, clear, tweed, woven, fluffy, and everything in between. I personally love a suede shoe. I find it adds a more sophisticated feel than canvas or patent leather shoes. Faux suede can come in a multitude of colors. I currently have two pairs of suede heels: one in grey and one in a turquoise hue.  You can see how I styled my grey pumps on Selfie Sunday Jul 7: Outfits of the Day: Using Color!

Lastly, clothing garments can have texture for visual interest. A leather jacket on a cool evening or a knit tank like one shown in the picture above can add more interest than a cotton shirt.

As always, I welcome any outfit inspiration. Send me pics, social media handles, or blog information. Can’t want to check it out and be inspired!

❤ Zeebs

Selfie Sundays

Selfie Sunday, Jul 14: The French Tuck

Season Four of Queer Eye is right around the corner. In the spirit of Tan France, I’m dedicating this post to the ever-powerful “french tuck.”

I’ve done the french tuck long before I knew that was the name. (Did I feel cool when Tan did it on Queer Eye? Why yes, yes I did…) The french tuck is especially useful when wearing billowy blouses. Tucking in the front of the shirt shows more of your legs. The longer your legs looks proportionally, the taller you look – which is why it’s one of my favorite tricks being a petite person. 

Tucking in all of the blouse risks a lumpy look from underneath the fabric of your bottoms. And we can’t have that, can we? By not tucking in the entire shirt, however, you can still have some of that free flowing feel of your blouse. When I’m wearing a t-shirt instead of a blouse (see below), I’ll roll the end of the shirt up underneath itself. This creates a bit of a bubble effect. I find this extra useful if I’m going to go out to eat. As my stomach expands from all that free bread, the bubbling of the shirt gives the illusion that the wideness is only from the shirt. Mission conceal food baby: complete. 

The french tuck can also set up a frame for a statement belt. I currently don’t have a statement belt I love or I would have included a style example. (If you know a great statement belt, leave a comment or shoot me an email!) Even a basic belt is a good edition to the french tuck. The belt is a horizontal line, something we usually don’t like to have around our midsection for fear of highlighting width. However, as you may have noticed in my picture earlier, the non-tucked portions of my shirt hang over where the belt would be. This leaves a small section of that horizontal line visible. When eyes look to it, it gives the illusion that the belt (and therefore your waist) is shorter. 

See you Friday!

❤ Zeebs

Fashion Friday

Fashion Friday, Jul 12: Patterns

Hello again! Last Friday I discussed the ways you can use color in an outfit. Continuing the “What Not to Wear” theme, next I’m going to cover patterns and ways to mix them for maximum outfit interest. 

Patterns will naturally draw the eye to them. When it comes to outfits, it is best to put bold, bright, big, or busy (what alliteration!) patterns where you want the emphasis. If you have great legs, consider wearing a polka dot (or any other patterned) skirt to draw there. 

If you’re feeling brave, mix patterns to create even more of a statement! This is something I love to do on a regular basis! Mixing patterns can give fresh life to patterned clothes you always wear the same way. There are several ways to mix patterns and have them still feeling cohesive. 

  1. Use a common color.
  2. Have one geometric and one busy or abstract
  3. Size difference. 
  4. Subtle “patterns.”

These four can be used separately or together cohesively. If you have a thick striped black and white shirt and a midi skirt with a small floral pattern, you would be using ways 2 and 3 of mixing patterns. The stripes (geometric) and flowers (busy/abstract) don’t compete with each other as the same shirt and a pant with large polka dots would. 

The outfit I have modeled below (also featuring a hat I love) shows the first three ways in action. The shirt is a large floral print, while the pants have a smaller polka dot. Both garments have the color white in common. This may not be to everyone’s taste, but you can’t deny it makes a statement!

You may have noticed that the fourth suggestion has the word “patterns” in quotes. That’s because some patterns can be used as if they weren’t patterned at all! As a general rule, if a pattern looks like a solid from far away, it acts more as a neutral. The best example of this is the pinstripe. A subtle pinstripe pattern on a garment often looks like a solid colored piece from far away. Using these subtle patterns can be a great way to get you more comfortable with mixing patterns!

My example is my striped t-shirt dress with my denim jacket from Kohl’s (not sponsored, they’re just killing the clothing game this year in my opinion). The denim jacket’s pinstripe is white, which I think adds an air of lightness to the jacket. It also follows suggestion 1: using a common color! You’ll notice that this outfit isn’t nearly as bold as the previous ensemble, but the pinstripe on the jacket adds more interest than if it was a solid light wash.

Hopefully this blog post and these outfits are able to give you some new ideas and inspiration! Feel free to send me pics of your own outfits to zeebstyle@gmail.com with your name, social media handle, or blog. I’m always searching for new sources of inspiration and would be delighted to know the lovely hearts, souls, and minds reading my posts! I can’t thank you enough for your support.

❤ Zeebs

Selfie Sundays

Selfie Sunday, Jul 7: Outfits of the Day – Using Color

The first outfit is has a funky and casual feel. This patterned top is full of vibrant color. I adore the three quarter length sleeves. They can help create a feeling of femininity with more coverage than a t-shirt. I would wear this out for a fun casual event like a barbecue, karaoke, or a diner dinner. It can work as a shopping outfit. The sleeves can provide that perfect amount of additional warmth from powerful air conditioning during the heat of the day. The skirt is a simple a-line, easily removable in the dressing room and has some stretch to accommodate lunch! :p

The second has a more toned-down air to it. The neutral navy shorts and black base color of the blouse, the focus of the outfit is the beautiful color play in the blouse. I love the blush pink, mustard yellow, white, and red together. The sleeves are elastic at the ends, which allows me to control the exact length of the sleeves – so important, being petite like me!! Pushing the elastic up, the blouse subtly incorporates the trend of sleeve volume. The navy shorts are a little longer than short shorts of past years (Thank goodness! I don’t like feeling like I’m spilling out all day.). They keep the modest/class factor while the outfit remains casual and breathable in the hot summer weather!

The third and last is a business casual, brunch worthy ensemble. The bold yellow (a trend this summer) lace top and turquoise trousers make bold statement. I actually wore this when I studied abroad. With grey suede heels and lace top, texture is also at play in this outfit. The grey allows the pants and shirt to shine. Bold and elegant!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and these outfits served as inspiration for you! Happy first ever Selfie Sunday! ❤ Zeebs

Fashion Friday

Fashion Friday, Jul 5: Using Color

Color. Pattern. Texture. Shine. If that happens to sound familiar, “What Not to Wear” from TLC used these four elements of an outfit. These four in different amounts can show personality and visual interest within an outfit. Today’s topic: color.

One of the great things about color is that it’s near limitless – even if you swear by the seasons and color wheels. If there’s a color you aren’t the most confident in or want to experiment with, use accessories! Yellow was a color that I didn’t feel the most confident in, and it’s sprung as quite a trendy color this year. I decided to jump in with a yellow necklace and hoop earrings (seen below)! The new use of bright color in jewelry expands my style comfort zone and draws attention to my face. (Which I like – and as a PSA – everyone should like their face!)

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Another option is to pick a pattered garment with a splash of a new color among neutrals or coordinating with other colors in your wardrobe. When you do this, be sure to love everything else about the piece and that its functional. If there’s something you don’t like about the piece, you’re significantly less likely to wear it. In addition, buy items that highlight areas you want highlighted. If you don’t want people looking at your ears (maybe you recently got a new piercing and it isn’t looking so hot right now) earrings might not be the way to go. If you’re self conscious about the areas that will be highlighted by the new item, you probably will avoid it. And we don’t want that!

It’s also wise to buy a less expensive piece when experimenting. “Less expensive” is, of course, a relative term. What may be expensive for one person might not be for another. With my wardrobe, I like to think of the cost of items in terms of price per wear. I use less expensive items when expanding my style comfort zone because if I end up wearing it very little, (not every experiment works out) I’ll have paid less in terms of price per wear. If it becomes a piece I wear often, I can upgrade later knowing the cost per wear will be worth it! The jewelry I mentioned (and in the picture) earlier I got from Kohl’s. The experiment of adding yellow into my wardrobe has worked, and I’ve bought other pieces. The cost per wear of the jewelry is down to dimes per wear, and I know I’ll keep wearing them for awhile!

Being my first post, (How exciting!) I should tell you that I plan on uploading twice a week: Fashion Fridays and Selfie Sundays. Fashion Fridays are, as the name suggests, fashion posts. Selfie Sundays will be more open. It could be inspiration I’ve seen from social media or other bloggers, an outfit of the day, or something about my own fashion journey! Ideally, I’ll post these the night before or morning of the day in question. I’ve also created an Instagram (@zeebstyle) where I can post, notify, and interact with you!

❤ Zeebs