Good Fashion Is Meant to Be Shared

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, for which we will receive a small commission if you click on our link and buy a clothing or accessory item. Our opinions on those pieces are always our own! ❤

There are two types of people in this world: Those who don’t want anyone to copy their look, and those who want everyone to copy their look.

We can easily say we fit into the second category, but what about you? Let us know in the comments!DSC_5274DSC_5667I’ve seen a lot of other industries starting to share more and more (think AirBNB or Uber), so I asked myself, how could the fashion industry incorporate more sharing as a way to save money and the environment?

It seems wasteful for everyone to build their own fully comprehensive wardrobes with every style and every trend, especially when most of us get tired of looking at the same old clothes day in and day out anyways.

What’s the answer then? Renting clothes instead of purchasing them. To use this type of service, you do have to get over the fact that a lot of other people are going to be wearing not only the same styles as you, but the same exact pieces as you.

You may have heard of Rent the Runway, Le Tote, or AirCloset, which allow you to rent stylish clothing items from their enormous (and amazing!) collections. One quote from a clothing rental company CEO (Satoshi Amanuma of AirCloset) that stuck out to me was:

“I want to offer people, especially busy women who don’t have spare time to buy clothes, more opportunities to encounter new clothes and apparel brands, and to enjoy fashion more.”

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By renting clothes, you effectively get a brand new wardrobe every month without having to put much thought or effort into it.

No unwanted clothing gets thrown away because every item gets enjoyed for the first time over and over again.

The only catch? You have to share it.

This could be the next big transition in the fashion industry, and I am excited to see where it leads.

-H

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I for one see someone copying me as the ultimate compliment.

I’ve never been one of those people who, if you ask me where I bought something, refused to say because I didn’t want you to have the same purse/boots/whatever as me.

If I love that piece and it brings me joy, I want to share it with other people, so they can experience the same happiness that item has given me.

There are plenty of people out there who do not feel the same, and when I ask them where they bought something, they hesitate to tell me. That’s fine if you feel that way, but for the record, there is plenty of amazing fashion going around, so there is no reason to try to hoard it all to yourself.

You probably noticed that Hannah and I are wearing the same ankle boots in this shoot. A lot of fashionistas would cringe at the thought of wearing the same shoes as someone else for a photoshoot, but we DGAF.

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If Hannah finds an amazing pair of earrings, or I find the perfect pair of jogger pants, we actually encourage the other to go out and buy one for themselves.

I truly believe that one of the reasons we are such good friends is because we share this approach to fashion, and I think this mentality is crucial to making it in the fashion industry.

Good fashion is meant to be shared.

-S

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Hannah’s Wearing:

| Forever 21 Mesh Top | Gap Boyfriend JeansAmazon Pink Velvet Booties | Goodwill Purse (similar) |Amazon Geometric Sunglasses | Target Bar Necklace (similar) |

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| Forever 21 Overall Dress | H&M Ruffle Sleeve Top (similar) |Amazon Pink Velvet Booties (self-embellished with pearls) | Amazon Embroidered Leather Purse |Amazon Vintage Metal Face Earrings | TJ Maxx Sunglasses (similar) |

 

Photography by: Rainwater Reflections Photography

Editing by: H+L Creations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fashion, Friendship, and Feminism of The Bold Type

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, for which we will receive a small commission if you click on our link and buy a clothing or accessory item. Our opinions on those pieces are always our own! ❤ 

 

We love The Bold Type  because it doesn’t hide its femininity.

Unlike a lot of other shows and movies, this one does not portray liking fashion and makeup and manicures as a weakness.

Rather, The Bold Type uses classically feminine ideas as a vessel to show that badassery can come cloaked in Givenchy.

Despite the somewhat predictable plotlines and borderline cheesiness, this show passes with flying colors when it comes to the three F’s:

Fashion, Friendship, and Feminism.

(Like seriously, is that our perfect slogan or is that our perfect slogan?)

 

The Fashion

Sometimes we have to ask ourselves: does Scarlet have hallways or runways? With Jane, Kat, and Sutton strutting down them in leather pants and thigh-high boots, we sometimes feel as though we’re in the front row at a fashion show rather than a high-rise Manhattan office building.

We were hooked on The Bold Type as soon as we saw this trio dressed to the nines, holding hands, and screaming into the passing subway train in the opening scene. We were confused, but we were hooked.

Online Fashion: Off-The-Shoulder Top and Earrings

J, K & S are bold in their love lives, their careers, and their fashion. And obviously it helps that they don’t exactly have to follow an “office dress code.” We will never forget when Sutton walked into work wearing a plunging, form-fitting jumpsuit; it gave us goosebumps (and near heart attacks).

When we were putting together our own outfits for this post, we constantly asked ourselves if we were being “bold enough.” These three are always ahead of the fashion curve, so we did not want to settle for anything less.

 

The Friendship

The always-have-your-back brand of friendship in this show feels like a breath of fresh air after decades of being fed stereotypes about selfish, backstabbing female friends.

No matter what life throws their way, Jane, Sutton, and Kat always show up for each other.

 

Fashion Ideas: Black Floppy Hat, Gray Tee, and Layered Necklaces

 

When Sutton was afraid to take a position as an underpaid assistant to further her dream of having a career in fashion, Kat offered up her own apartment where she could live rent-free to put her financial worries at ease.

When Jane faced her fears and got tested for the BRCA gene mutation, Kat and Sutton dropped everything to come with her and hold her hand, both while she got tested and while she learned her results.

And when Kat started to question her feelings towards Adena and own sexuality, Jane and Sutton helped her accept herself as she was, even if she didn’t fully understand it.

 

The Feminism

We could write an entire post about the feminism in this show (and we probably will eventually), but for now we will focus on one facet: Jacqueline Carlyle.

Jacqueline is the Editor-In-Chief of Scarlet magazine, and she turns the “Miranda Priestly” character on its head by coupling her authority with compassion and vulnerability, particularly in the season finale.

(We won’t ruin it for you, but it is a must watch).

Online Fashion: Off The Shoulder Top and Statement Earrings

Women in power are often portrayed as “bitchy” or “unlikable,” but Jacqueline is neither. She knows what she wants and how to get it, but what sets her apart is that she pays as much attention to the means as she does to the ends. She listens, she apologizes when she makes mistakes, and she welcomes fresh ideas, even if they are not her own.

Jacqueline demonstrates exactly how the ability to empathize is a competitive edge.

We want a boss like Jacqueline. We each want to be a boss like Jacqueline. And so, we will leave you with one of our favorite quotes from her, which perfectly captures what many of us see as the essence of the female experience:

 

“I expect you to have adventures. I expect you to fall in love, to get your hearts broken. I expect you to have sex with the wrong people. To have sex with the right people, to make mistakes and make amends, take a leap and make a splash. And I expect you to unleash holy hell on anybody who tries to hold you back.”

New Fashion: The Bold Type

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| H&M Dotted Mesh Top | H&M Leather Pants | Zara Gray Flats (similar) |Amazon Velvet Statement Strap Purse |Amazon Birdcage Earrings |

Hannah’s Wearing:

| Goodwill Gray T-Shirt (similar)| Goodwill Pinstriped Wide Leg Pants (similar)| Vince Camuto Strappy Heels (similar) | Target Black Felt Hat | Daisy Chain Layered Necklaces (similar)| Goodwill White Clutch (similar)|

 

 

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The Weird Off: Zara vs. Goodwill

Lately, the two of us have been in a “weird off” of sorts when it comes to choosing outfits for shoots. Our taste in fashion has definitely gotten funkier, so we can’t always find what we’re looking for at stores that mostly focus on basics, like H&M or Express.

We each chose statement tops and eccentric footwear on our trip to Nashville this past weekend, where in between watching the eclipse in the band of totality (life-changing) and eating at the Cheesecake Factory (SO good), we noticed that one of us was all decked out in Zara (H) and the other in Goodwill (S).

The realization that these are the two places we most commonly turn to for quirky clothes made us ask the question of who is weirder: Zara or Goodwill?

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The outfit I’m wearing is almost entirely from Goodwill, which is quite a change for me because I’m usually the one in the all-Zara outfit. But, Hannah has lured me into her thrifting ways, and now I’m completely addicted to hunting for the strangest pieces I can find hidden in the overcrowded racks of secondhand clothing stores.

Goodwill is the place where people donate anything and everything, and as a result, you can find literally anything in there (I once found a Christian Dior shirt that I will not shut up about). You do have to hunt for those pieces, though, because most of them will not jump out at you from the moment you walk in the store.

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You need to filter through every single piece on every single rack sometimes to find that one piece that takes your breath away. But rest assured, when you do find that one silk top with the puffy sleeves that tie back to the days of the Revolutionary War (like this one), it will give you chills because you know you will likely not ever meet another person who owns that shirt. As someone who loves to stand out, I can’t beat that.

-S

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I think if there’s one thing we can rely on when it comes to being fashion forward, it’s the element of surprise. From fishnet socks to statement earrings (like Sabrina’s here), this year has been one for the books when it comes to odd fashion trends.

First, let me say that I have always been–and always will be–the thrifting queen. Until recently, I only ever used to shop at secondhand stores like Goodwill whenever I was looking looking for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. Yet in the months since we started Ensemble of Elan, I’ve become more and more enamored by online brands that are known for their out-of-the-box, statement pieces.

IMG_7170The one place I can always find the on-trend, Pinterest-worthy pieces is none other than Zara. Every time I visit their site, I fall in love with everything from their funky flare pants and open back button downs (and then get my heart broken when all of the clothes in my cart go out of stock, because they’re so popular)! I snagged this off-the-shoulder top and polka-dot mini skort during one of Zara’s amazing sales for under $30.

Thrift stores will always have a special place in my heart for finding unique vintage pieces, but there is also something about Zara that makes my heart flutter.

-H

Goodwill and Zara are odd in each of their own magnificent ways, and honestly, we cannot choose whom to award the title of “The Best Place to Find Weird Fashion.”

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

 

Hannah’s Wearing:

| Zara Off-the-Shoulder Top (similar) | Zara Mini Skirt (similar) | Amazon Fuzzy Mules (similar) | Target Cherry Blossom Handbag | Target Layered Necklace| Rue21 Sunglasses (similar) |

 

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| Goodwill Top (similar) | Goodwill Mini Skirt (similar) | Target Platform Oxfords (similar) | Target Statement Earrings (similar) | Banana Republic Circle Purse (similar) | Daisy Chain Geometric Sunglasses (similar) |

The Best Place to Find Chic, Affordable Office Wear

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As someone who has spent most of their life thrifting, investing in high quality pieces can come with some personal challenges because the prices are usually quite a bit higher than what I’m used to. I was apprehensive when we went shopping at the Banana Republic Factory Store because this brand is known for quality clothing and slightly more expensive prices. I told myself to tread carefully because I didn’t want to end up spending my entire paycheck on a pair of pants!

Yet, I was happily surprised to find that almost everything in the store was 40% off, including the clearance section (my fave), which made their clothes very affordable. I loaded up my arms with at least twenty pieces before heading to the dressing room, so obviously I loved their sense of style. It was incredibly hard to narrow it down because they had so many cute pieces, but in the end, I decided to go for a sleek pair of gray, patterned pants, a white blouse with statement sleeves, and another plum and black lace top!

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I was able to get all of these pieces for $100, which may sound like a lot to my fellow thrifters, but if you consider how long these pieces are going to remain in good shape and in style, it’s really quite the bargain!

-H

 

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The #1 question I get asked by fans is: “Where is the best place to find chic, affordable clothes for the office?” I have several places in mind that I usually tell them, but one of my new favorites is the Banana Republic Factory Store. Here, you can find all the same high-quality pieces you’ve come to know and love from Banana Republic, but you can get them at a fraction of the original cost (and you know how fond we are of that!).

I think it’s smart that Banana Republic tends to stick to fairly classic styles and silhouettes, but throws in some trendy details, like statement sleeves, open shoulders, and fun floral prints. This makes it easy to find pieces that will be in style for years, but still feel modern and fresh!

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While we were shopping here, I found so many tops and pairs of pants I wanted to buy, but it was love at first sight when I put on this dress, purse, and sunglasses. The versatility of this dress drew me to it because I can pair it with loafers in the summertime, and throw on a pair of ankle boots and a cardigan for the colder months. I still cannot believe I got this entire outfit for $100, and I know these staple pieces are going to serve me well for years to come.

-S

 

We will be hosting the Friends & Family event with Banana Republic this Saturday (the 19th) at their Little Rock Outlet location, where you can get 40% off your entire purchase and enjoy some complimentary styling assistance from us!

We hope to see you there and can’t wait to help you look and feel your best!

Banana Republic Work Outfits

 

The Brunette Salad: Making a Style Icon Accessible

_MG_8277If you know anything about anything in fashion, you know who Chiara Ferragni is.

But, if you are a fashion novice, it’s essentially our civic duty to fill you in. Chiara Ferragni started the world’s most popular fashion blog, The Blonde Salad, and over the past eight years, turned it into a fashion empire (Harvard Business Review even did a case study on her success story!). She also started her own Chiara Ferragni collection and boasts over ten million followers on Instagram.

Basically, she is blogging badass #1. As such, her eccentric sense of style can feel a little out of reach for us normies. But as your resident fashion gurus, we are here to help you appreciate her sense of style and even make it your own.

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Let me start by saying that until about six months ago, I did not really care for Chiara Ferragni’s sense of style. I thought her looks were strange, and I did not understand how she gained millions of dedicated followers. But then we started this blog, and everything changed. Having to put together intriguing outfits on a daily basis has pushed my creativity beyond my wildest dreams, and it was then, and only then, that I could truly begin to appreciate Chiara’s sense of style. (And now she is my fashion muse.)

I love Chiara because she puts pieces together that should not work, but she makes them work. She is willing to take some daring fashion risks, and honestly, they don’t always pay off! But that makes me love her even more because she is willing to go that far outside the box and put in the effort to constantly evolve her style. And when her outfits do work (which is like 98% of the time), they absolutely blow me away.

When I’m looking for fresh outfit inspiration, I usually go to her Instagram feed instead of browsing Pinterest. When I’m out shopping for new clothes or putting together outfits in front of my mirror, I ask myself, “Would Chiara buy this?” or “How would Chiara style this?”. The key to putting yourself in this mindset to not try to copy her looks exactly. Just look for specific elements that she frequently wears, like I did with these platform sneakers, a sheer top, and a mini skirt. Chiara is all about getting creative, so it would be a disservice to everything she stands for if you simply recreated one of her looks. Choose an element (or two or three), put your own spin on it, and run with it!

-S

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I have a confession. I am currently obsessed with turning shirts and dress backwards. Weird, right? Well, that’s exactly what I did to this dress. I found this velvet, vintage dress at Goodwill and loved the beautiful colors, but I hated the neckline. As I was trying on this dress at home, inspiration suddenly struck, so I turned the dress around and unzipped the zipper a bit to make it a bit more sexy like Chiara’s style, and viola! It was like an entirely new dress with a different neckline!

I’ve always loved thinking outside of the box when it comes to fashion, which is why I’m so inspired by Chiara Ferragni’s style! Her eccentric, weird outfits get my creative juices flowing because she puts so many odd elements together that normally wouldn’t go together, but they always somehow complement each other.

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Being daring in your style takes bravery, and Chiara Ferragni is the epitome of that. She is never afraid to wear outrageous, crazy pieces, but she ties it all together through her styling. I chose to be a little more weird with my styling by doing space buns and going for a pair of mule loafers instead of heels (which is hard for me because I love heels with dresses!). What I’ve learned from Chiara Ferragni’s style is that it’s okay to dress sexy and wear whatever the hell you want.

Sometimes we forget that everyday you get to choose how you present yourself to the world, so rock those silver metallic loafers or that completely see-through dress. When it comes to style, just be yourself.

-H

“My secret has always been to be true to myself.”

-Chiara Ferragni

Chiara Ferragni-Inspired Style

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| TJ Maxx Sheer Pearled Top (similar) | H&M Denim Mini Skirt | Target Blush Velvet Sneakers (similar) | Daisy Chain Geometric Sunglasses (similar) | Goodwill Colorblocked Purse (similar) | Target Eye Shaped Earrings (similar) |

Hannah’s Wearing:

| Goodwill Velvet Dress | Monroe Embroidered Mules (similar) | Goodwill White Clutch (similar) | Amazon Artsy Earrings | Eyeglass Direct Sunglasses (similar) | Lulu’s Gold Necklace |