Happy Holla-Days: Style Tips For The Season

The season of sequins, velvet, and faux fur is upon us, so don’t let this once-a-year opportunity pass you by without unleashing your inner glamazon. Here’s how!

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Go Monochrome

You don’t have to wear a crazy color to make a bold statement this holiday season.

If you are someone who tends to flock to neutral shades, kick those neutrals up a notch with texture and intricate details.

 

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This outfit is all-black, but still maintains visual intrigue with the embroidery on the jacket, the velvet texture of the jacket and pants, and the mesh socks.

Black is (and always has been) the new black.

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Be Extra

If you pick up an oversized sequin blazer at the store and think, “This is too extra,” it probably isn’t extra enough.

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You know how style influencers turn every head in the room when they walk in?

By being extra.

Embrace your love of the extravagant, and you will be sure to have all eyes on you.

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Remember Stay Warm

Don’t make the mistake of putting together a charming dress-and-booties outfit and forgetting to think about your outerwear.

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Take it from an expert, you will freeze to death and not be able to enjoy your outfit at all.

Spring for an on-trend coat, such as one with faux fur, that will make your outfit even more glamorous (and cozy).

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Wear Something You Wouldn’t Otherwise

The holiday season is the time to buy those wide leg, velvet pants that you know you’re probably only going to wear once. Because if those pants are truly amazing, once is enough.

 

 

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The key is to not hold back on that outfit if you have one shot to make it work.

Jazz it up even more with a sparkly mini bag, chandelier earrings, and a plunging top for an unforgettable look.


Hannah’s Wearing:

| Dillard’s Suede Cardigan/Top (similar) | Zara Velvet Wide Leg Pants | Who What Wear Statement Sleeve Blazer | Steve Madden Heels (similar) | Amazon Rhinestone Mini Bag | Amazon Circle Sunglasses (similar) | Old Navy Chandelier Earrings (similar) |

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| Zara Embroidered Velvet Jacket | Target Velvet Joggers | Forever 21 Mesh Bodysuit (similar) | Jessica Simpson Black Pumps (similar) | Lulu’s Mesh Socks | Goodwill White Clutch (similar) | Kohl’s Black and Gold Sunglasses (similar) | Old Navy Earrings (similar) |

Rickei Jackson’s Wearing:

| Lulu’s Mauve Tie-Waist Dress (similar) | Goodwill Sequin Oversized Blazer (similar) | Target Black Ankle Boots (similar) | Express Chandelier Earrings (similar) | Goodwill Cream Handbag (similar) |

Sydney Mullins is Wearing:

| TJ Maxx Metallic Shift Dress (similar) | Banana Republic Bell Sleeve Top (similar) | Who What Wear Faux Fur Coat (similar) | Zara Pearled Ankle Boots | Dollar Jewelry Galore Ear Cuff (similar) | Amazon Embroidered Purse |

 

Photos taken by: Nicole Morgan

Edited by: Hannah Lewter

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!

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) |

Mastering the Edgy Cool Girl: Happily Grey

Mary Seng of Happily Grey has long been one of our favorite fashion bloggers and Insta-girls. We love her edgy, yet feminine sense of style and how she can make anything from leggings to ruffle dresses feel effortlessly cool!

Here’s our take on how to emulate her fashion sense and photography style:

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What I love about Mary Seng’s blog and Instagram feed is that even though she wears a wide variety of styles and colors, it all feels cohesive due to the nature of her styling and photo editing.

When I was choosing an outfit for this shoot, I went through several of her favorite styles in my head: ankle boots, statement sleeves, funky footwear and more before I settled on wearing a pair of white, wide leg pants with a feminine, floral detail.

 

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I didn’t want to make this outfit too girly by adding ruffles or a colored top, so I stuck with a simple black cami and added a mesh bomber jacket to give this outfit the sporty edge it was lacking. I finished off this look with these pale blue, strappy mules because Mary Seng is not one to stick to neutral, basic footwear.

If you want to create a look inspired by Mary Seng, I would suggest you pair clothes that you wouldn’t normally think to put together. Wear a fun, off-the-shoulder dress with tennis shoes or layer a top with statement sleeves under a dress or overalls. Mix and match styles, but remember to not try too hard because if there’s one thing that sets this fashion blogger apart, it’s that even though her outfits are unconventional, they always look natural.

-S

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So Mary Seng’s blog, Happily Grey, is literally my favorite blog in the world. My role model, my icon, my inspiration to start a fashion blog all comes from this fashion influence in Nashville, TN. I was drawn to her because I was surprised that such an edgy, modern presence like Mary could come out of the rootin’ tootin’ south. It made me believe that I could make my footprint on the fashion industry too.

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What I love about Mary Seng’s style is how she is never afraid to break the rules. Her style is the epitome of the edgy cool girl, but she also breaks out flowy dresses and skirts from time to time, which is how I chose my ensemble (see what I did there). I leaned towards Mary Seng’s more feminine side with this emerald green dress, which I paired with black heels and gold accessorizes. I even styled my hair in the famous Mary Seng low, messy bun!

One of the reasons I think I was so drawn to this blog was the photography. I found Mary’s photographer, Alaina Mullin, on Instagram, and I must say this woman knows how to take some damn good photos. There is always so much movement in her photos, and the editing is incredible. They keep a pretty unsaturated background, usually urban and grey (hence Happily Grey), but they keep the subject in bold color! The skin tones are pretty dark, so if you were trying to edit similarly, I would suggest keeping the exposure down and bringing that contrast up to the moon, baby.

-H

Mary is relatable because unlike many fashion bloggers who take some truly daring style risks that don’t always work, her style is always easy to love. We adore her, and we think you will too!

Check out some of her looks at http://www.happilygrey.com.IMG_7028

 

Sabrina’s Wearing:

| H&M Cami | H&M Mesh Bomber Jacket (similar) | Zara Floral Wide Leg Pants (similar) | Forever 21 Strappy Mules (similar) | Amazon Geometric Earrings | TJ Maxx Sunglasses (similar) |

 

Hannah’s Wearing:

| TJ Maxx Flowy Dress (similar) | Amazon Heels | Lulu’s Necklace (similar) | Aldo Sunglasses (similar) | Target Earrings (similar) |