Friday, May 18, 2018

Affordable bags for spring & summer

Hi friends!  It finally feels like spring everywhere and with a new season comes a great excuse to add a new bag to your collection.  However, I don't want to spend a fortune on a trendy bag that I may only use for a few seasons.  The biggest trend in handbags right now is unique materials and textures such as straw and bamboo.  I have found several great options that are all $75 and under so you can keep up with the latest trends without breaking the bank.

Similar straw circle bag here & here

The first option that is really popular right now is a straw circle bag.  The cream color goes with anything and this style bag has plenty of room to store everything without being too large.  The original version of this bag was by Clare V & a bit pricey at over $200.  However, there are several similar bags out in the market right now for much less.  I found one on Amazon for only $18!

Another popular material for spring and summer bags is bamboo.  This is such a unique style, and because of the tan color, it really goes with anything.  I get so many compliments every time I carry this bag!  This is another affordable option at only $40.

Multi-colored clutch \\ Black & white clutch

One of my favorite styles for this time of year is a clutch.  This one comes in several color options, and I love it so much that I bought it in both black & white as well as multi-colored!

I also love this straw clutch with multi-colored pom poms on it.  It comes in several colors, but I opted for the neutral straw for more versatility.  This bag is very affordable at only $32.

Similar straw tote here & here

Finally, if you are looking for a larger tote, there are several great options available.  These can be used as a large handbag and are also perfect for the beach or pool!

I hope that you found a style or two in this post that you like!  If you end up purchasing a bag from this post, please send me an email or DM me on Instagram with a photo.  I always love seeing what you all chose to purchase.  Thanks as always for reading Smart Southern Style...I am so grateful for all of you!   

Thursday, May 3, 2018

4 For Fashion & Lizard Thicket Charlotte

Happy Spring, friends!  I'm so excited to share the first post in a new blog series on Smart Southern Style.  I have teamed up with 3 fabulous local bloggers to bring you a new series called "4 For Fashion".   We want to show ladies of all ages that you can find something stylish and age appropriate just about anywhere.  The "4 For Fashion" series will feature clothing pieces from the same store that fit our individual styles.

For our first post, we teamed up with a local boutique, Lizard Thicket Charlotte.  Lizard Thicket is located at Blakeney Shopping Center in South Charlotte.  They have some great trendy pieces and everything is so affordable, which y'all know I love.  The gals who work there are all so sweet and helpful too.   Everything you see pictured here (clothes, jewelry and handbags) is all from Lizard Thicket.

I had a hard time selecting an outfit because there were so many cute options.  I finally chose this black dress with embroidered flowers for multiple reasons.  Three of my favorite trends right now are bright colors, embroidery and ruffles, and this dress has all three!  It has a flattering fit and ties at the waist so you can adjust it for the most flattering look.  The dress is the perfect length and the best is only around $40!

Lizard Thicket Charlotte has a lot of great accessories as well.  I love beaded bracelets and they have a nice selection.  I chose 4 to stack together that matched my dress.  I also found some fun gold earrings with blue fringe at the store that brought out the blue in the dress.  I paired the dress with some bow wedges, but you could easily dress it down with flat slip on sandals for a more casual look.  I am sure this dress will be in heavy rotation this spring and summer, as it is comfy, cute and so easy to throw on.

Rachel - Queen City Chic

Now I would like to introduce you to the other 3 boss babes that you will see in the "4 For Fashion" series.  First is Rachel Brown of Queen City Chic.  Rachel has great casual style and is a wonderful resource for anyone local in Charlotte about all things going on in the Queen City.  Her blog is launching soon, so in the meantime, you can find her on Instagram.  For this feature, I love the mini skirt with lemons that Rachel styled.  Lemons are so trendy right now and such a fun print for spring.  The light denim jacket is a great staple piece that can be worn year round and is perfect over this crop top when it is a little cooler outside.

The next blogger babe is Barbara Brooks.  Barbi's blog is called Southern Blonde Chic.  Barbi has a great timeless style while also incorporating trendy pieces.  I am a big fan of kimonos, and love the floral one that Barbi selected for this photo shoot.  I also like the pattern mixing with the striped top underneath.  Don't be afraid to mix patterns, ladies!

Last but not least is LauRen Merola Strager.  LauRen's blog is called All of the F-Words (Fashion, Food, Family & Fun).  Not only is LauRen stunning (she was in the Top 5 of Miss USA), she also has great style and shares both casual and dressy looks.  I am a big fan of denim shorts and like how LauRen styled these for a dressier look.  The floral blouse she paired with the shorts is so versatile and could also be worn with jeans or a skirt.

You can find all of these looks at Lizard Thicket Charlotte in Blakeney Shopping Center.  You can follow them on Instagram at @lizardthicketcharlotte and reach them by phone at (704)246-6412.  For those of you not in Charlotte, you can order directly off their Instagram or via phone & they will ship the items to you.

Big thanks to Amanda Lee Photo for the photos in this blog post.

Stay tuned for another edition of "4 For Fashion" coming soon.  If there is a particular style or shop you would like to see featured in this series, please comment below or send me an email.  Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the internet!  I appreciate you all!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

2 ways to style a denim skirt

Hi everyone!  As I've mentioned before, I love to find multiple ways to wear a single item of clothing.    One of my favorite items to wear all year round is a denim skirt.  You can easily wear one with sandals in the spring and boots in the fall and look perfectly appropriate for any season.  I bought this denim skirt recently that has a modern twist with some distressing, an unfinished hem and a slit in the front.  It has just the right amount of stretch, a flattering fit and I find that it runs true to size.  I wanted to share 2 different ways to style the skirt:  one dressy look and one that is very casual.

For the first look, I paired the skirt with this cold shoulder ruffle top.  It has a dressier feel with the rayon material and open shoulders.  The top comes in tons of colors, and the denim skirt would look great with any color as well as neutrals like black or white.  I added some black wedge sandals and a leopard belt, because any time I can include some leopard print in my outfit, I will!  You could also easily add more color by switching out the black wedges for a colorful sandal.

One way to easily dress up the denim skirt is with accessories.  I chose a gold layered necklace along with some gold bracelets and earrings.  I finished off the look with a black and white clutch.  The black top would also look great with a brightly colored statement necklace and earrings.  Have fun with your accessories and try out different pieces together to find a look you like best.

You can also go super casual with a denim skirt for an everyday look. Here I wore a graphic tee with the skirt and knotted it on the side.  If you aren't into graphic tees, you could also wear a striped or solid color tee for a similar casual vibe.  I wore some fun tassel earrings to add a little whimsy and color to my outfit.  I paired it with some pink sneakers for a super comfy and casual look.

These are just two ideas about how to style a denim skirt, but the possibilities are endless.  If you don't already own one, I would encourage you to find a denim skirt that you like and I can promise you that it will be well worn all year long.  In addition to the skirt I featured in the post, I found a few others I really like here, here & here.

Thank you so much for reading Smart Southern Style and please comment below or send me an email if there are any topics you would like me to cover in future posts.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Casual Spring Tees & Boyfriend Jeans

Happy Spring, friends!  Sorry I haven't shared a new blog post in a while.  We have been out of town for a few cheer competitions for my daughters and also enjoyed a short mountain getaway over Spring Break.  My full time job has also been more time consuming than usual lately.  Anyhow, my apologies for being quiet around here and I will try to do better about posting more regularly.  I do add my Instagram outfits to the "Shop Instagram" tab of the blog daily, so be sure to check there if you aren't on Instagram.

One of my favorite outfits to wear all spring long is a cute tee and some comfy jeans.  It is an easy look to throw on and you can still look put together while being casual and comfortable.   I recently visited Scout & Molly's SouthPark here in Charlotte which is located at Specialty Shops on the Park.  They have so many cute new spring items, from really casual to dressy and everything in between.

Lemonade tee, boyfriend jeans, white fringe earrings and druzy ring 
can all by found at Scout & Molly's SouthPark  

If you will remember, I worked with Scout and Molly's a month ago when I featured their clothes on a local TV show.  (See those looks and view the TV segment in this post.). On that TV segment, one of the models wore these Black Orchid distressed boyfriend jeans.  I fell in love with them when I saw them a month ago and was thrilled that they were in stock in my size when I stopped back in the store.  These jeans have more of a relaxed boyfriend fit, just the right amount of distressing and the perfect slightly cropped length.  They are more of an investment piece, but with as much as my jeans get worn, denim is one of the few items I will splurge on.  I have no doubt these jeans will be in heavy rotation for years to come.

The first tee I chose to pair with the jeans is this dressier lemonade tee by South Parade.  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right?!?  I love a good graphic tee and I think the sequins on this one make it fun and unique.  Because the tee is fancier than your average t-shirt, I dressed up the accessories that I wore with it.  I found these great white fringe earrings in the store by designer Shani Amara.  I chose this druzy ring, also by Shani Amara, because I love a good statement ring and the neutral color of this one will go with everything.  I added some black espadrilles and cute clutch to finish off this dressy casual look.

Striped tee, boyfriend jeans, blue leather earrings and druzy ring 
can all by found at Scout & Molly's SouthPark  

I also found a great everyday basic tee to wear with my boyfriend jeans.  I love a good striped tee, and this red and white one by Alternative is really soft and comfy.  I wanted to add a little more color to my outfit, and found these great turquoise leather earrings by Julie Player at the store.  I love blue and red paired together and thought the pop of color from the earrings would be a great addition to this casual outfit.  I'm wearing the same druzy ring by Shani Amara that I wore with the lemonade tee, because I really think it goes with everything.  I added some casual sneakers and a straw bag to complete the look.

I know that many Smart Southern Style readers do not live in Charlotte, so you aren't able to shop at Scout & Molly's.  I didn't want to leave you all out, so I've linked the items from these looks on the "Shop Instagram" tab of my blog.   However, if you are in the Charlotte area and are looking for some new spring clothes or accessories including these looks, be sure to check out Scout & Molly's SouthPark.  They are located right across from SouthPark Mall at Specialty Shops at the Park.  You can reach them by phone at 980-237-8424 and find them on Instagram here.  They carry unique brands and accessories that you can't find most places, which I love.  The team there is so helpful and it was a pleasure working with them.

Thank you to Scout & Molly's SouthPark for sponsoring this post.  All ideas, opinions and photographs are my own. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

My favorite spring shoes from Aetrex

Hi everyone!  Not sure about you, but I have spring fever!  Mother Nature keeps teasing us with warmer temps, but there have been some cold days sprinkled in as well. I do think spring will be here soon for good and I couldn't be happier about it!  I love finding fun new spring clothes and shoes to add to my wardrobe as the weather gets warmer.

I have recently discovered a shoe brand called Aetrex that is focused on providing comfortable shoes that are still stylish.   I am on my feet a lot, whether that is walking through airports as I travel or running around with my daughters, so having comfortable shoes is important.  Aetrex shoes provide orthotic support to help wearers with balance and alignment.  Sounds pretty great, right?  I initially thought that the shoes would probably look like "old lady" shoes if they were this supportive and comfortable, but thankfully I was wrong!  (Sorry to any cool stylish seniors who may be reading this!)  Aetrex has just launched their new spring shoe collection and there are so many cute options. I wanted to share three of my favorite styles with all of you.

Gia Ankle Strap Wedges \\ Similar tops here & here \\ Ankle jeans \\

The first style is called the Gia Ankle Strap Wedge.  I have quite a few rose gold jewelry items, so when I saw that the Gia wedges came in rose gold, I knew I had to have them!   I paired the wedges with some ankle length jeans and a pretty top, but they would also look cute with a dress or shorts.  They are easy to put on because they actually fasten with velcro so you don't have to worry about stiff buckles.  The Gia wedges are super comfy and the rose gold color is unique yet still goes with everything.

Isabelle Slides \\ Similar striped top here & here \\ Denim shorts \\

For a really cute casual look, I love the Isabelle Slide.  It comes in a few colors, but I chose gold because it goes with everything.  The Isabelle features an ultra lightweight cork & the footbed is lined with suede, so they are light and really comfy to wear!  I paired mine with some denim shorts and a fun ruffle top and added some gold bracelets to match the gold slides.  These are so easy to slip on and I am sure they will be in heavy rotation all spring and summer.

Graphic tees I'm loving here, here & here

The final pair I wanted to share with you all may be my favorite because they are so unique.  These are called the Quinn Ankle Zip Sandal and I chose the snakeskin leather because I do not have any shoes in this print.  I LOVE them!  They criss cross across the top of your foot and zip in the back and have a white sole which you don't see very often on shoes.  I paired the Quinn sandals with a graphic tee and black jeans, and plan to also wear them with shorts or a casual dress this spring.

If you are planning to add some new spring shoes to your collection soon, I hope this post gave you some potential options.  Please feel free to comment below or email me with any questions you have about my new Aetrex shoes.  Happy spring, friends!

Thank you to Aetrex for sponsoring this post.  All ideas, opinions and photographs are my own.

design + development by kiki and co.