Monday, October 14, 2019

DATE NIGHT OUTFIT IDEAS


Recently, I put a question box on my INSTAGRAM Stories for you to ask me anything - personal questions, links for outfits I have posted and any requests for specific content.  One of the requests I received was to do a blog post about DATE NIGHT OUTFIT IDEAS.  Ask, and you shall receive!  I have rounded up several looks that are perfect for a night out - either with your significant other or your girlfriends.  I have included links to each outfit under the photo as well as sizing information.  I hope you find some outfit inspiration in this post!


This BELL SLEEVE DRESS is easy to throw on and still look put together for a night out.  It is a light weight material, so not something you will want to wear when it is really cold, but it is perfect for this time of year.  The neckline laces at the base of the "v", so I recommend wearing a CAMI or bralette underneath unless you don't mind showing some cleavage!  The dress runs large (I am wearing a small), so I recommend sizing down.


I love bold colored dresses and think a RED DRESS is perfect for fun night out. I paired it with some SNAKESKIN BOOTIES (SIMILAR), and it would also look cute with LEOPARD BOOTIES.  I added my go-to MOTO JACKET & a fun BLACK BAG (SIMILAR) and think this look is perfect for a date night.  The jacket runs true to size.


A double breasted LEOPARD BLAZER?!?  Yes please!  I think this blazer is so fun for a night out.  It is super soft too!  I like rolling up the sleeves to see a bit of the black lining. I paired it with BLACK JEANS but it would also look great with a skirt.  The blazer runs true to size.  


This pretty FLORAL DRESS has already been in heavy rotation for me this fall.  It is nice and loose, so it doesn't show if I have one too many tacos.  Ha!  I have it paired with my TAUPE BOOTIES and will wear with over the knee BOOTS when it is cooler.  I find that the dress runs large, so I recommend sizing down. I am wearing a size small.  I recommend sizing up 1/2 size in the booties. 


This HALTER TOP is great for date night.  Pair it with black jeans for a more casual look or with a BLACK MIDI SKIRT for a dressier look.  If you prefer a shorter skirt, I love this BLACK PENCIL SKIRT.  I paired this outfit with some BLACK SANDALS (similar to mine) & it would also look cute with BLACK BOOTIES.  The top and skirt both run true to size.


I love a good PLAID BLAZER and jeans paired together.  This look can transition easily from the office to a night out.  You could also swap out of the booties for some HEELS for a dressier look.  I recommend sizing down in the jeans and size up 1/2 size in the booties.  

BLACK HALTER TOP \\ JEANS
GOLD BRACELETS \\ OPEN TOE BOOTIES (SIMILAR)

This BLACK HALTER TOP is similar to the animal print one I posted above.  This one ties at the back of the neck and is a thicker jersey material.  I am wearing it with JEANS but it would also look cute with a LEOPARD PRINT SKIRT.  The top runs true to size.  


Here is one last look for some date night outfit inspo.  The PINK HALTER TOP I am wearing here is the same top as the black one above.  I paired it with a FLORAL MIDI SKIRT.  I love that the skirt is a little higher in the front than the back. I added a DENIM JACKET and some over the knee BOOTS to finish off the look.  Each item in this outfit runs true to size.  

I hope you found some date night outfit inspiration in this post.  If you don't already get my blog posts delivered directly to your inbox, click HERE and enter your email address.   You will only receive an email when I have a new blog post and it is a great way to make sure you don't miss any of my posts!

You can follow me on INSTAGRAMFACEBOOK LIKETOKNOW.IT for daily outfit posts.  And I am always here to help and answer your questions, so feel free to DM me on social media or SEND ME AN EMAIL.  And keep reading below for a chance to win $650 to HomeGoods to do some fall shopping!  Thanks so much for reading Smart Southern Style!

$650 Homegoods Giveaway
Time to treat yourself to some Fall shopping at Homegoods!
I've teamed up with a group of bloggers to give one lucky winner
a chance to win a $650 Homegoods Gift Card!
To enter: complete the steps in the rafflecopter below. The more steps you complete,
the more entries you receive, and the better your chance at winning!
This giveaway runs until Tuesday, October 22nd at 12am PST
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!
*this giveaway is in no way sponsored by Homegoods.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Fall Sweaters Under $50

Runs slightly large - Wearing a Medium, but could have worn a Small

Happy Fall! It is FINALLY starting to feel like fall here in Charlotte and I couldn't be happier.  Since sweater weather is here at last, I wanted to share 10 of my favorite fall sweaters that are all priced under $50.  Links to shop as well as sizing information is located under each photo.

Runs large - Wearing a Small

Runs TTS - Wearing a Medium

Runs slightly large - Wearing a Medium but could have worn a Small

Runs TTS - Wearing a Medium

Runs TTS - Wearing a Small

Runs large - Wearing a Small

Runs TTS - Wearing a Small

Runs TTS - Wearing a Medium

Runs TTS - Wearing a Small

I hope you found some affordable fall sweaters that you like in this post.  If you don't already get my blog posts delivered directly to your inbox, click HERE and enter your email address.   You will only receive an email when I have a new blog post and it is a great way to make sure you don't miss any of my posts!

You can follow me on INSTAGRAMFACEBOOK LIKETOKNOW.IT for daily outfit posts.  And I am always here to help and answer your questions, so feel free to DM me on social media or SEND ME AN EMAIL.  And keep reading below for a chance to win $650 to HomeGoods to do some fall shopping!  Thanks so much for reading Smart Southern Style!

$650 Homegoods Giveaway
Time to treat yourself to some Fall shopping at Homegoods!
I've teamed up with a group of bloggers to give one lucky winner
a chance to win a $650 Homegoods Gift Card!
To enter: complete the steps in the rafflecopter below. The more steps you complete,
the more entries you receive, and the better your chance at winning!
This giveaway runs until Tuesday, October 22nd at 12am PST
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!
*this giveaway is in no way sponsored by Homegoods.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Versatile Fall Fashion with The Charlotte Today Show

On the set with Colleen Odegaard, the host of Charlotte Today

Fall weather is starting to arrive here in Charlotte...albeit very slowly!  I hope you are enjoying some nice weather wherever you are.  Speaking of fall, on my most recent segment on the Charlotte Today show, I shared how to style one fall piece multiple ways.  If you are new around here, I am an occasional fashion contributor on the Charlotte Today show which airs every weekday on NBC.  I really enjoy going on the show and am so thankful that they keep asking me back!

I recruited 4 friends to be models for the segment who are all blogger babes here in Charlotte.  Courtney from The Dainty Darling (Instagram & Blog), Molly from Stilettos & Diapers (Instagram & Blog), Anna from Peppered In Style (Instagram & Blog) & Rachel from Queen City Chic (Instagram & Blog).  I have linked their Instagrams and blogs so you can give them a follow!

I partnered with a local boutique, Luxe Angel Boutique, to provide clothes for me and the models.  They have a great selection of affordable clothes, accessories and shoes and I love that they have pieces that you won't find anywhere else.  Luxe Angel is located at The Shops at Morrison near SouthPark Mall and they also have a great online store for those of you who are not local, which you can visit HERE.


On the show, I talked about fall trends and ways to maximize what is already in your closet.  For example, both Anna and Rachel are both wearing the same SNAKESKIN DRESS.  However, each looks is completely different.  Anna is wearing the dress with BLACK SANDALS for a dressier look.  This dress would also look great layered with a black blazer or moto jacket as the weather cools off.  Rachel is styling the same dress as a duster by unbuttoning it and layering over a tank. She paired the duster with some BLACK JEANS & BLACK SNEAKERS for a cute casual look.  As it cools off, swap out the tank for a long sleeve black tee.

The second piece we styled two different ways is this pair of FRAY HEM JEANS.  Courtney has a more casual look with a COLOR BLOCK SWEATER and TAN WEDGE BOOTIES.  She cuffed the jeans which is an easy way to give your jeans a different look.  Molly styled the same pair of jeans, but with a dressier look.  She paired them with a pretty leopard blouse and some OPEN TOE BOOTIES.  You could also wear a black blazer over the blouse as it gets cooler outside.


Pictured from left to right:
ANNA:  SNAKESKIN DRESS \\ BLACK SANDALS
LAURA: OLIVE JACKET \\ GRAPHIC TEE \\ SNAKESKIN BOOTIES
MOLLY: FRAY HEM JEANS \\ OPEN TOE BOOTIES (Leopard top not online but available by contacting Luxe Angel)
RACHEL: SNAKESKIN DRESS \\ BLACK JEANS \\ BLACK SNEAKERS
COURTNEY: COLOR BLOCK SWEATER \\ FRAY HEM JEANS \\ TAN WEDGE BOOTIES


The OLIVE JACKET and GRAPHIC TEE that I wore during the TV segment are both pieces that can be worn multiple ways.  I will layer the jacket with a flannel top as it gets cooler.  And the graphic tee can be worn all year round.  I love wearing graphic tees by themselves and layering under a jacket, cardigan or flannel shirt when it cools off.

TO VIEW THE FULL TV SEGMENT, CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW.



I hope this post gave you some ideas on how to style items in your closet multiple ways.  If you don't already get my blog posts delivered directly to your inbox, click HERE and enter your email address.   You will only receive an email when I have a new blog post and it is a great way to make sure you don't miss any of my posts!

You can follow me on INSTAGRAMFACEBOOK LIKETOKNOW.IT for daily outfit posts.  And I am always here to help and answer your questions, so feel free to DM me on social media or SEND ME AN EMAIL.  Thanks so much for reading Smart Southern Style!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Amazon Best Buys - September 2019


Happy September Friends!  It still feels like summer here in the South, but I'm hoping we get some fall weather soon.  I am already thinking fall when it comes to fashion and am excited to share my Amazon Best Buys for this month with you all.  I found some great affordable pieces to wear as we head into fall and have linked everything under each photo.


It is no secret I love animal print, so when I saw this OVERSIZED SWEATER I knew I had to have it.  I love the pink for something different, but it also comes in more traditional colors as well.  It runs big (I am wearing a small), so I suggest sizing down.


This BLACK TUNIC is such a great closet staple. It is a really soft material and is so comfy.  This can be worn by itself and I plan to layer it under jackets and cardigans as it gets cooler.  I love that it is long enough to wear with leggings too!  If you are in between sizes, I suggest sizing down.  I am wearing a small.


I shared this LEOPARD CARDIGAN last year, but wanted to share it again since it is still available.  This was one of the top sellers for Smart Southern Style readers last year and I can see why.  The sweater comes in lots of colors, is good quality and is priced under $30.  The cardigan runs true to size and I am wearing a small.


I love anything with color, so when I saw this TURTLENECK SWEATER I couldn't wait to try it.  I love the bright colors and oversized fit.  This sweater is not super soft (although it isn't scratchy), so I will most likely wear a cami underneath.  It runs true to size to slightly big.


This BELL SLEEVE DRESS is great to wear during this transitional time of year, as it has flowy sleeves and is made of a thin cotton material.  You can wear it with sandals when it is warm and boots as it cools off.  The neckline laces at the base of the "v", so I recommend wearing a cami or bralette underneath unless you don't mind showing some cleavage!  The dress runs large (I am wearing a small), so I recommend sizing down.


This  STAR SWEATER looks a lot more expensive than it's $29 price!  It comes in 3 color options and I think the balloon sleeves are a fun touch.  If in between sizes, I suggest sizing down.  I am wearing a medium but could have worn a small.  This sweater is not available on "Prime",, so shipping is free but it will take a week or two to arrive.  


I love a good graphic tee and this JUST PEACHY TEE is so cute and soft!  You can layer this under a denim jacket or a cardigan as it gets cooler.  The tee runs true to size and I am wearing a medium.


The colors in this GREEN MAXI DRESS are perfect for fall!  Wear it with sandals when it is warm and booties as it cools off.  It runs true to size and I am wearing a medium.


Cardigans are my go-to in the fall and this COLOR BLOCKED CARDIGAN will be in heavy rotation.  It is so soft, is really good quality and super affordable at just over $30.  It runs true to size and I am wearing a small.  The BUTTON CAMI I am wearing under the cardigan is also an Amazon find and is only $16!  It comes in a bunch of colors, has adjustable straps and runs true to size.


A bunch of you all snagged this EMBROIDERED TOP when I shared it on my Instagram last month.  It is such a pretty color and I love all the embroidery detail.  It comes in a bunch color options and runs true to size.


I love this pretty KIMONO, as it is great to throw on over a t-shirt and look pulled together.  This one is only $15 and comes in several patterns.  (Mine is the color "coffee".)  It is one size fits most.

I don't have a photo wearing them, but also wanted to let you know about these SHORT SLEEVE T-SHIRTS.  They come in a pack of two for only $16 and are such good quality.  They run true to size (I wear a medium, which is my usual size for t-shirts) and come in tons of color options.

I hope you found some items you like from my latest Amazon round up.  If you did, please tag me in your photos on social media as I would love to see you!  If you want to check out some of my other recent Amazon finds, you can read those blog posts HERE & HERE.  If you don't already get my blog posts delivered directly to your inbox, click HERE and enter your email address.   You will only receive an email when I have a new blog post and it is a great way to make sure you don't miss any of my posts!

You can follow me on INSTAGRAMFACEBOOK LIKETOKNOW.IT for daily outfit posts.  And I am always here to help and answer your questions, so feel free to DM me on social media or SEND ME AN EMAIL.  Thanks as always for reading Smart Southern Style.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Making the most out of your wardrobe


If you have been reading Smart Southern Style for a while, you know that I am all about maximizing the items that are already in your closet.  I love finding multiple ways to style one piece of clothing for completely different looks.  You all have been asking for more posts like this, so I thought I would share a few examples of how I am doing this with items in my own closet.  I took 3 pieces from the new GIBSON X CITY SAFARI COLLECTION at Nordstrom and am sharing 2 different ways to wear each of them.  Each item I am sharing runs true to size.


First up is this pretty RED PLEATED DRESS.  The dress has small pleats down the entire length and it has a flattering cut with a nice swing shape.  The shoulder straps are adjustable so you can make the neckline as high or low as you would like. I wear my go to STRAPLESS BRA with this dress.   I added some animal print accents with these LEOPARD SANDALS (SIMILAR) & this LEOPARD CLUTCH (SIMILAR).  If animal print isn't for you, a pair of NUDE SANDALS would also look great.  This is a great party dress and would perfect at the holidays too!


For an edgier look with the RED PLEATED DRESS, I swapped out the sandals for these SNAKESKIN BOOTIES.  I added my go-to MOTO JACKET & a fun BLACK BAG (SIMILAR) and think this look is perfect for a date night.  

A third way you could style this dress is by layering a graphic tee over it and tying the hem of the t-shirt in a knot. This would give you a more casual look with the dress looking like a skirt, as the bodice would be covered by the t-shirt.  I ordered this LEVIS TEE to wear over my dress, but it did not arrive before I published this post.  I will be sure to share that look on my INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK once the t-shirt arrives.  I plan to wear this outfit with some cute sneakers.  You can find some affordable sneaker options HERE & HERE.


The next piece that I have worn different ways is this HALTER TOP.  Isn't the print pretty? It also comes in 2 other prints and I love them all.  I think the neck line on this top is so flattering and this is a great piece to have in your closet.  I wear my go to STRAPLESS BRA with this top.  The first way I styled this top is very casual with these JEANS & SNEAKERS.  If it is cooler where you are, you could also throw a blazer on over it like THIS ONE.


This HALTER TOP could easily be dressed up too.  Here I am wearing it with a BLACK MIDI SKIRT and if you prefer a shorter skirt, I love this BLACK PENCIL SKIRT.  I paired this outfit with some BLACK SANDALS (similar to mine) & it would also look cute with BLACK BOOTIES.


The last item I styled multiple ways is this versatile PRINTED DRESS.  You all went crazy when I shared this dress on my Instagram, and I can see why!  I love the ruched neckline and it ties around the waist for a flattering look.  There are so many ways to style a dress like this, and when the temps are warmer, I pair it with some WEDGE SANDALS




Here is a dressier look that would be great for the office.  I layered the dress with a BLACK BLAZER & added some BLACK BOOTIES (SIMILAR).  


This dress comes in several prints and I love it so much I also got it in the same animal print as my halter top above.  This is a more casual look that will work well when it is cooler out.  I added a DENIM JACKET & some TAUPE BOOTIES.   

I hope this post gave you some ideas on how to style items in your closet multiple ways.  If you don't already get my blog posts delivered directly to your inbox, click HERE and enter your email address.   You will only receive an email when I have a new blog post and it is a great way to make sure you don't miss any of my posts!

You can follow me on INSTAGRAMFACEBOOK & LIKETOKNOW.IT for daily outfit posts.  And I am always here to help and answer your questions, so feel free to DM me on social media or SEND ME AN EMAIL.  Thanks as always for reading Smart Southern Style.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

GRAND CAYMAN TRAVEL GUIDE

GIRLS SWIMSUIT & COVER UP SET
(USE CODE SMARTSOUTHERNSTYLE20 FOR 20% OFF)

STRIPED DRESS (OTHER COLORS HERE & HERE)

RED RUFFLE SWIM SUIT

Hi everyone!  If you follow me on INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK, you know that my family and I recently visited Grand Cayman.  I have linked all of my outfits from our trip in this post and am happy to be sharing my travel guide for this beautiful Caribbean island!  

Grand Cayman is a small island in the south Caribbean and is an easy direct flight from most major cities in the Eastern U.S.  The airport is clean and it is an easy 15 minute taxi ride to Seven Mile Beach where all the resorts are located.  The people in Grand Cayman are very friendly, there are so many fun things to do, and the water is literally the most beautiful I have ever seen.  I am pleased to be sharing my recommendations for this island and cannot wait to visit again!

(USE CODE SMARTSOUTHERNSTYLE20 FOR 20% OFF)

PINK MAXI DRESS

BLUE SLEEVELESS DRESS
(USE CODE SMARTSOUTHERNSTYLE20 FOR 20% OFF)

WHAT TO PACK:
Grand Cayman is located in the Caribbean, so it is hot all year round.  All you really to need to bring are some cool sundresses, bathing suits and sandals and you will be good to go!  Grand Cayman is a very casual place, so no need to bring anything really dressy to wear there.  One tip...be sure to pack more sunscreen than you think you might need, as it is important to reapply often with the strong sun.  (I packed way more than I thought we would need and we still almost ran out!)  Items such as sunscreen are very expensive in Grand Cayman, so it is best to be over prepared so you don't have to purchase it while you are there.  I used these PACKING CUBES in my suitcase to pack for our trip and highly recommend them.  They allow you to fit more in your suitcase and help keep your items organized.  

GIRLS SHORT SLEEVE RASHGUARD SET
(USE CODE SMARTSOUTHERNSTYLE20 FOR 20% OFF)

MEN'S HOODED RASH GUARD
(USE CODE SMARTSOUTHERNSTYLE20 FOR 20% OFF)

KAFTAN COVER UP

THE RITZ CARLTON

WHERE TO STAY:
There are so many beautiful resorts in Grand Cayman and most are located on an area of the island called Seven Mile Beach.  We have been there twice and have stayed at the MARRIOTT BEACH RESORT and most recently at the RITZ CARLTON.  I would highly recommend both of these resorts as they are beautiful, offer excellent service and are directly on the ocean.  BEACH SUITES is another resort that has been recommended, but I have not been there to share my personal experience.  

One tip if you stay at the Ritz Carlton...if you want a beach chair directly in front of the ocean, go down to the beach early and reserve one.  You can reserve chairs as early as 7am and they will hold them for you for two hours.  I recommend reserving chairs early then go eat breakfast and come back to the beach within two hours.  That will be your best bet for getting a chair on the first row directly on the water.   There are about 4 rows of beach chairs and if you get down to the beach after 8am, you will not have much luck getting a chair on the front row.

STARFISH POINT


WHAT TO DO:
There are so many fun activities to do while in Grand Cayman.  

STINGRAY CITY – This is a must do during your visit to Grand Cayman.  You take a boat out in the middle of the ocean to waist deep water where you can stand and swim among the stingrays.  Your guide will teach you how to safely touch the stingrays and if you are feeling brave, you can even give one a kiss!  Many resorts offer a boat trip to Stingray City, but if not, there are several tour companies in Grand Cayman that can pick you up at your hotel and take you to a dock for a tour.  One tip...ask the concierge at your hotel which day would be the least crowded to go to Stingray City.  I recommend going on a day that there are no cruise ships in port, as it can get crowded on those days.

STARFISH POINT – Not as well known as Stingray City, Starfish Point is a beach on the north shore of the island where you can see lots of starfish close to shore.  It is also a great place for snorkeling.   Many of the resorts offer a boat trip that stops at Starfish Point, but you can also book a tour through a watersports company.  

WATERSPORTS – Most resorts offer watersports on property, either included in your rate or for an extra fee.  We enjoyed snorkeling, paddle boarding and water biking during our trip.   Sailing is also a popular activity in Grand Cayman and since there are very few waves, it is a great place to try sailing for the first time.  

SEA TURTLE FARM – Visiting the Cayman Turtle Center was one of the highlights of our vacation!  You can hold baby sea turtles and snap some great photos.  There is also a large pool with a slide which our kids loved, an alligator, sharks and more sea turtles than you have even seen in your life.  Our favorite part of the turtle farm was snorkeling, as there are lot of turtles swimming around that you can see up close in the water.  I recommend purchasing the "Turtle Adventure Tour" package that includes the water park and snorkeling, as it does not cost much more and is definitely worth it for the extra activities that are included.


DINNER AT AGUA

WHERE TO EAT:  
There are so many great places to eat in Grand Cayman.  We did eat at several restaurants at the Ritz Carlton for the sake of convenience and also ventured off property a few times and had some great local meals.

LUCA - Luca is located in the Caribbean Club hotel and offers beautiful ocean views.  This restaurant is in walking distance from the Ritz and was one of our favorite meals.  Luca offers Italian food, wonderful seafood and has an extensive wine selection.  

SEVEN AT THE RITZ - Seven is a wonderful steak house that also offers a great selection of fresh seafood.  It is located at the Ritz and has nice views of the ocean.  Definitely get a dessert while you are here!

AGUA - If I had to pick a favorite meal in Grand Cayman, it would be Agua.  All of us loved our food, the service was impeccable and the restaurant decor was beautiful.  Agua offers seafood, Italian and Peruvian food and has a pretty view of a marina.  

BAR JACK AT THE RITZ - We ate here for lunch most every day because of the convenience and all of us loved the food!  If you are not staying at the Ritz, it is a great place to come get a cocktail and watch the sunset at the resort.

SUNSHINE GRILL - Sunshine Grill was the most recommended restaurant by every local we talked to. It is a relatively small restaurant located at the Sunshine Suites Resort and is very popular with the locals.  It offers a wide selection of Caribbean favorites such as fish tacos and was one of the most affordable meals we ate on the island.  Sunshine Grill is in walking distance of the Ritz and many other resorts. 

ANDIAMO AT THE RITZ - Andiamo is an open air Italian restaurant at the Ritz overlooking the marina.  The food was good but we were not overwhelmed and thought it was a bit overpriced.  I don't think we would go back to be completely honest.  

One note..we were on vacation with our daughters who can be a bit picky, so we had to choose restaurants that had a good selection of kid friendly foods.  There are lots of other great restaurants on the island that we did not get a chance to visit.  Here are some places that were recommended to us that we did not get a chance to visit:  CRACKED CONCH (great sunsets on the water!), CATCH (on a marina), BACARO (new and on the water), and PEPPERS (great for lunch).

I hope this post was helpful if you are considering planning a trip to Grand Cayman.  Feel free to email me at smartsouthernstyle@gmail.com with any questions.  Thanks for stopping by Smart Southern Style!
 

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