Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Us

We really try to put ourselves out there with this blog, but it’s impossible to share absolutely everything about ourselves and still make it align with our creative vision. So for all of our loyal followers, we thought we’d share some insight so all of you can get to know us a little better on a personal level!

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If you didn’t already know, I have three sisters who are twenty-three, nine, and five years old (the estrogennnnnn- I know). Although I’m such a city girl, I love to go camping and hiking; my favorite smell is actually pine trees, I cannot get enough of it! Even though I don’t show it in most of my photos, I wear glasses so I can see the board in class and drive without killing myself and others. My favorite drink is Cream Soda, and my favorite candy is literally anything sour (but best of all is Juicy Drops, a rare gem found at only the most elite gas stations).

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I do not have a dog of my own, but I have become Max’s Godmother over the years, so he is basically my own.

And to get a little bit more personal, I never thought I had the skills or the determination to run a fashion blog, be a fashion photographer, or put on a freaking fashion show, but I’m glad I learned that about myself through Ensemble of Elan.

I’m excited to see the other things we’ll learn along the way.

-H

 

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Aside from this blog post, if you go back through all of our previous ones, you will notice that I almost NEVER wear necklaces. I think I literally own three necklaces: one silver, one gold, one rose gold. I’m a clothing maximalist, but definitely more of a jewelry minimalist.

This was one of my absolute favorite shoots because I got to do it with my favorite little potato. Many of you have seen Max featured on our Instagram page, and some of you were lucky enough to meet him at our model fittings for the fashion show. If you are confused as to why we call him Glarf, it’s because when my boyfriend and I first adopted him, he had severe heartworms and would make this noise that sounded like “glarf.” The name stuck because of how well it matched his personality, and now we call him Glarf, Glarf-tato, Glarfity, what have you. (You would just have to meet him to understand his Glarfiness.)

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Last but not least, when I’m not shopping, styling people, or studying (which I should definitely be doing right now), you can find me planning elaborate future vacations down to the most minute details, cozying up on the sofa watching any TV show created by bonafide genius Michael Schur (Parks & Rec, Brooklyn 99, The Office), or stalking my personal idols, Karlie Kloss and Gal Gadot, on Instagram.

-S

 

 

 

One last thing that most people don’t know is that we almost always take our own photos for the posts! Unless you see “Photography by __________”, we did all of those photos ourselves. 😉

Hannah’s Wearing:

| TJ Maxx Ruffle Sleeve Sweater (similar) | Dillards Suede Mini Skirt (similar) | Old Navy Sherpa Bomber Jacket | Target Patent Oxfords | Goodwill Mini Backpack (similar) | Old Navy Earrings (similar) | Old Navy Layered Necklace (similar) |

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| Forever 21 Pinstripe Overalls | Forever 21 Off-the-Shoulder Sweater (similar) | Target Newsboy Cap | Karl Lagerfeld Lace Up Block Heels (similar) | Forever 21 Metallic Choker | Forever 21 Bar Ear Jackets | Amazon Floral Embroidered Purse |

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Maximalists Unite: Color & Pattern Mixing Edition

You always hear about minimalism with its capsule wardrobes and neutral color scheme, but what about maximalism? The philosophy behind it is that ‘more is more’ (as opposed to ‘less is more’), so we teamed up with the queen of color and pattern, Georgie McCarthy of The Style Transplant, to bring you our favorite maximalist looks.

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Sabrina always gets mad at me because I love black. I love to pair black on black. It’s so chic and minimalist, but Sabrina always reminds me that it just looks so flat, so I have (begrudgingly) started incorporating more color into my wardrobe.
The color red has always been an emblematic one for fashion, from Cindy Crawford’s 1991 plunging Versace gown at the Oscars or Bella Hadid’s sexy silky red dress with a startlingly high slit. It’s fierce, rebellious, and definitely not a color for the faint of heart.

When it comes to making a statement, red is the quintessential declaration of female power.

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For my look, I played with an analogous color scheme (colors that blend well because they are closely related). I paired my cherry red midi skirt with a dark maroon cropped sweater, then I used a black leather jacket and black patent booties to balance out the red. You can find unique color combinations by simply matching colors to their neighbors on the wheel! All in all, don’t be afraid to play with color, even if you’re more of a neutral clothing lover like me.

-H

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Pattern mixing is all about having fun and pushing your creative and personal style boundaries.

I use pattern mixing as a way to drive myself and my style to an unexpected and more playful place. You really have to think more consciously about putting two patterned pieces together, as opposed to the ease of a plain t-shirt with black jeans.

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My favorite way to mix patterns, whether it’s in my artwork or in my personal styling, is to combine florals–like my blazer–with more geometric prints like stripes, plaid, or gingham–like my skirt. This makes for a surprising juxtaposition of which not many people would conceive. For fall pattern mixing, in particular, I recommend playing with those dark florals and autumnal plaids, for an unexpected fall twist.

-Georgie McCarthy, Fashion Blogger

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I’ll admit, I’m still a pattern-mixing novice. I most frequently stick to neutral, solid-colored clothes with an occasional splash of pink or red thrown in. But, I’m really trying to branch out of my comfort zone and incorporate more pattern mixing into my looks because the bloggers and influencers I admire most are the ones who can flawlessly make two entirely different prints look they are a match made in heaven.
Georgie is definitely one of those bloggers. I was inspired to buy this multi-color floral pattern shirt because I’ve spent the last couple months admiring how she melds color and pattern together to create outfit masterpieces.

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The best pattern-mixing looks effortless, but you can only get to that level through trial and error.

I tried this shirt with plaid trousers, a striped mini skirt, and red embroidered trousers before I settled on this cropped pinstriped pair of pants. If you are trying to freshen up your wardrobe by mixing patterns, don’t be afraid to try multiple outfit combinations until you find the one that feels just right. (Trust me, you’ll know it when you feel it.)

-S

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Sabrina’s Wearing:
| Zara Floral Top (similar) | Goodwill Pinstripe Cropped Pants (similar) | MIA White Ankle Boots (similar) | Zara Quilted Purse with Lions Detail (similar) | Daisy Chain Geometric Sunglasses (similar) | Banana Republic Duster Earrings (similar) |

Hannah’s Wearing:

| Goodwill Plum Cropped Sweater (similar) | Goodwill Red Midi Skirt (similar) | TJ Maxx Patent Leather Ankle Boots (similar) | Target Embroidered Purse (similar) | cle Sunglasses (similar) |

Georgie’s Wearing:
| Banana Republic Floral Blazer (similar) | Target Turtleneck Sweater | Topshop Gingham Skirt (similar) | Steve Madden Over the Knee Boots | Etsy Monogram Necklace (similar) | Fiorelli Powder Blue Backpack (similar) |

Also, be sure to head over to The Style Transplant to check out Georgie’s take on the collaboration, where we discuss the benefits of the blogging community!

Super Simple Styling Tips You (Yes, You) Need to Be Using

Have you ever noticed that even when you buy the same clothes as fashion bloggers and Instagrammers, they just don’t look the same on you?

The reason why? Styling.

Employing a few easy styling techniques can completely transform your wardrobe without you having to spend a penny. Here are five tips we personally use on a daily basis!

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1. Tuck in your shirt.

One of the easiest ways to take your outfit from “college kid running late to her 8 am class” to “sophisticated woman who has her life together” is to tuck or half-tuck your shirt/sweater. Doing so defines your waistline, creates better proportions (longer legs, smaller waist), and gives you the ability to show off a stylish belt.

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2. Show off your socks.

You can make even the most boring of pair of shoes feel fresh again by pairing them with statement socks. (Or, make weird shoes even weirder, which is the path we tend to take.) Fishnet, solid black, and striped socks are all good options to show off above your sneakers or ankle boots.

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3. Wear your dress as a skirt.

Are you bored of your dresses because there are only so many jackets you can pair with them to create different looks? Well, you are about to feel like you have an entirely new wardrobe with this trick. Layer a sweater or sweatshirt over your dress to make that dress feel like a new skirt!

 

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4. Cuff your jeans.

 

Unless you are wearing cropped jeans, you should almost always cuff your jeans. A single or double cuff prevents bunching at your ankles and allows a killer pair of shoes to shine. You can roll up your jeans evenly, or do an imperfect, asymmetric roll if you are looking for a little edginess.

 

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5. Drape your jacket over your shoulders.

If you ever see a street style star IRL, you can bet that her jacket will be draped over her shoulders instead of with her arms in the sleeves. Wearing a jacket like this keeps you warm, but still allows you to show off your outfit underneath. Plus, it makes you feel powerful, as though you’re wearing a superhero cape!

 

 

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| Levi’s Vintage 501s (similar) | Goodwill Varsity Sweater (similar) | Goodwill Leather Jacket (similar) | Target Platform Oxfords | Banana Republic Circle Purse (similar) | Amazon Fishnet Socks | Kohl’s Round Sunglasses (similar) | Badgley Mischka Ear Cuff (similar) | Gucci Belt (lookalike) |

Hannah’s Wearing:

| Target Striped Top | Zara Polka Dot Skort (similar) | Forever 21 Over-The-Knee Boots | Old Navy Burgundy Suede Jacket (similar) | Amazon Embroidered Purse | Aldo Sunglasses (similar) | Target Earrings (similar) | Target Choker |

Addison’s Wearing:

| Goodwill Striped Dress (similar) | Goodwill Cropped Sweatshirt (similar) | Forever 21 Metallic Mules | BCBG Quilted Purse (similar) | Kohl’s Reflective Sunglasses (similar) | Target Necklaces (similar) |

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.

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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).

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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 Art of Putting Together a Great Outfit

Putting together a great outfit truly is an art form. It takes a while to develop the skills to throw on anything in your closet and fool people into thinking you spent hours in front of the mirror perfecting your look.

To help you out a little, we’ve come up with some tips and tricks that we personally use when creating outfits:

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For all the girls out there who are sometimes late to class or (even ditch going) out of fear of being seen in an uninspired, boring outfit, worry no more because this one’s for you. Many of us, myself included, have two types of styles in our closet: the most trendy, funky styles and the classics. When I stand in front of my closet in the morning and inspiration fails to strike me, I immediately turn to classic styles.

The great thing about classic styles is that they compliment more “of-the-moment”, trendy pieces, like how these raw hem distressed jeans complement this clean, airy top. I always tread cautiously when it comes to trends (can you blame me, anyone remember hair feathers?), but the more I’ve started branching out as a fashion blogger, the more I’ve realized that mixing trends and classics is one of the keys to putting together a great ensemble!

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Lastly, I’ll leave you with a tip. I’ve always had my closet color-coded and grouped together efficiently, but recently I’ve gotten a bit lazy and started simply throwing my clothes in there wherever, and I honestly think it’s been for the better. Making a rainbow out of my clothes was fun and all, but it was poor in promoting creativity in fashion. Sometimes I let the closet do the work for me by hanging anything anywhere and disregarding order. I have found outfits I would have never thought of just because they were side by side in my closet.

-H

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_MG_7754Believe it or not, I never used to be much of an accessories person. I carried the same purse every single day, never wore jewelry, and didn’t see why women got so carried away about shoes. But, a few years ago, I realized my outfits could only be so good if I didn’t pay attention to the accessories. Lo and behold, shoes and handbags and stackable rings are now my favorite things to shop for.

I’ve come up with a couple rules for pairing clothing items and accessories to make it easier to create a great outfit. Rule #1: Do not just stick to basics. Resist the urge to wear your black flats every day because they “go with everything.” Mix it up by pairing some fun shoes with your outfits, and you will soon start to see the light as to why women are obsessed with footwear.

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Rule #2: Create a color scheme. (Anyone who knows me knows that I love creating color schemes.) Pull some colors from your clothing items; for this one, I focused on the pink from my dress and paired a matching choker. Even doing this for one color will make your outfit feel more cohesive. Then, choose whether you want to wear primarily gold or silver (you can definitely mix the two, but one needs to be the primary metal). I wear gold 90% of the time because my skin has warm undertones, but I still like throwing a silver ring or two in there to add a modern twist.

-S

 

Hannah’s Wearing:

| Awaken Atelier Top (similar) | TJ Maxx Distressed Jeans (similar) | Goodwill Heels (similar) | Target Hat (similar) | Goodwill Purse (similar) | TJ Maxx Sunglasses (similar) |

 

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| Target Slip Dress (similar) | Target Beige Cardigan (similar) | Zara Flats | Zara Clutch (similar) | Lulu’s Choker | Lulu’s Gold Necklace (similar) | Target Earrings | Plato’s Closet Watch (similar) | Aldo Sunglasses (similar) |