Casual Friday: Beachside Looks

It's Friday, so it's time for another casual Friday post!  Today, I'm featuring a couple of looks from my week in Florida.
Jumpsuit:  Honey's Child Boutique (Sold out on-line; see similar here)

We are finishing up our trip (insert tears here), but I'm enjoying my last day of beach time today before we head back home.  Since we have been spending so much time at the beach and pool, I have kept my outfits pretty casual for low-key dinners, shopping, and other outings.
Wedges:  Sugar
Glasses:  Coach
First up is a striped harem jumpsuit.  This jumpsuit is sooooooo comfy that I wore it twice on the trip, first with flat python sandals and then with wedges.
Sandals:  Daisy Street (Available at ASOS here)
Cuff:  Eloquii
Earrings:  The Limited
For the second look, I paired plaid shorts with a simple tank/vest combo for another comfortable and easy, but still polished, look.
Shorts:  Myrda J (Available here; use code Cassentials2016 at checkout)
Tank:  Gap (old)
Vest:  Who What Wear for Target (Available here)
Clutch:  Boohoo
Cuff:  The Limited
Both outfits kept me nice and cool in the summer heat!!!

To see the shorts in other looks, see here.


Indie Spotlight: Zelie for She

I'm on vacation this week, spending time on the beach in Florida with the family.  Even though I have been staying fairly low-key and casual, I still can't help getting my fashion on!
Dress:  Zelie for She (Style sold out; see similar here and here)
Today's look strikes that perfect balance between utilitarian beach and pool wear and fun/glam. 
Swimsuit:  GabiFresh for Swimsuits for All (Sold out; similar available here)
Sunglasses:  Tory Burch
I had been eyeing the gorgeous dresses from Zelie for She for quite a while, but I was a little reluctant to spend so much money on a dress that wasn't necessarily an everyday item for me.  Plus, I get a little nervous about trying new on-line shops when I'm not sure about fit and quality.
Independent designers tend to have higher manufacturing costs than larger shops, sometimes making the prices of indie-produced clothing a little higher than what I would normally spend for something comparable, but I love the idea of supporting up-and-coming designers and independent artists.  Plus, I really haven't seen any designs/prints quite like those offered by Zelie for She.

A couple months ago, I had been working a ton of overtime and had also earned some extra money blogging, so I decided to treat myself for being so awesome, and I snagged this dress.

I love this dress so much! It's comfortable, stylish, and a little sexy.  With limited stock, the products sell out fast at Zelie for She.  This one is no longer available, but there are similar styles in other prints available here and here.
Cuff:  The Limited
I added a silver cuff just to add another touch of glam.
Have you shopped with Zelie for She before?  What has your experience been?

Are you an independent designer or clothing store who would like to be featured?  Send me an e-mail at stylecassentials29@gmail.com!


Wild Card Wednesday: Silver Stripes

Happy Wednesday!!! I'm so excited because I'm leaving for a family vacation to Florida on Saturday (yay beach!), but I'm also feeling a little stressed because it's Wednesday, and I have sooooo much to do beforehand!  I will still be posting next week, but be sure to also follow me on Instagram @StyleCassentials to catch some of my vacation snaps!
Dress:  Lane Bryant (Available here)
Now for today's outfit!  I'm wearing a slip dress from Lane Bryant. I wore this outfit to give a style presentation at the Missouri History Museum.  I was recently invited to speak there as a style expert which was such a great honor!  It was really fun to talk about style to people from all walks of life. 
Trench:  Eloquii (Available here)
The panel discussion was part of an event tied into one of the MO History Museum's current exhibits - a fantastic exhibit on the little black dress (hello Chanel...Michael Drummond...I see you!)  I love when fashion meets history/sociology, and this exhibit is totally free which makes it all the more special.  If you're in the St. Louis area before Labor Day, you should definitely check it out!
Clutch:  Boohoo
Since I (rightly) anticipated being a bit chilly in the museum, I added a blue trench.  
Shoes:  Amazon

I had planned on wearing silver heels (see below), but the first pair I bought broke as I was walking out the door!!!  I grabbed the red heels as a quick alternative and was just happy that the shoes broke at home instead of right before my presentation!  Ha!
Shoes:  ASOS (Available here)
I exchanged the silver shoes for a different pair, so I decided to snap a quick pic with those too.
Ring and Earrings:  The Limited
Have you ever had any fashion emergencies or wardrobe malfunctions?

For the trench in other looks, see here and here.


Shop Your Closet: The Striped Shirtdress, Part Two

Last week, I brought you three ways to style this fabulous shirtdress from Eloquii!  As promised, I am back today with three more ways to wear it.  This dress really is such a versatile piece, and I think that's part of the reason it has become such a favorite of mine.
Dress:  Eloquii (Available here)
The dress also has a ton of styling potential for the fall and winter months, so stay tuned... I will surely share at least a few more ways to wear it over the coming months!

But for today, I'm still thinking and feeling summer...like literally... I had to keep wiping sweat while taking some of these pics!! 

Low-Key Evening
First up is a casual evening look.  

Shoes:  Anne Michelle

Sunglasses:  Tory Burch
It's low-key, but has some interesting touches such as the purple python heels, the studded lip purse, and the purple lip color (which is cool, but decidedly not for me).
Clutch/purse:  Torrid
I did feel a little bad-ass in this look though, which is always fun!

Backyard Beachy
A shirtdress can function well as a swimsuit cover-up whether it be for the beach or your own backyard.

Sunglasses:  Tory Burch
Here, I decided to play with pattern mixing by pairing the shirtdress with a watery print bikini by GabiFresh for Swimsuits for All.

Bikini:  Gabi Fresh for Swimsuits for All
Sandals:  Sonoma kids (old)
It's hard to see in the photos because my feet are covered by grass, but in some of the pics, I'm also wearing bright yellow sandals to bring out one of the colors of the bikini.
Sunglasses:  Calvin Klein

Wear-Everywhere Versatile
This last look gets special honors as probably the most versatile of my stylings.  It is a look that could be (and has been) worn to work, but it also looks great for casual get-togethers, dinners or drinks out, or a range of other life situations.

Shooties:  New Look Wide Fit (Available at ASOS here)
The shooties are polished and simple, while the accessories bring in some summery pops of color and print mixing.

An orange lip draws attention to the face. 
Necklace:  Eloquii

Clutch:  Target
One of the things that I love about a black and white color palette, especially black and white stripes, is that it mixes so easily with other colors and patterns.  I have learned to treat black and white stripes almost as a neutral, meaning I could add virtually any print (florals, animal prints, tribal prints, abstracts, you name it) without feeling like I am going overboard.

A shirtdress is equally versatile, as I hope you have seen from my two-part series.  With a little imagination, you can definitely expand your closet without having to spend a cent!!


Casual Friday: Living in Black Dresses

This spring and summer, I have been practically living in flowy and stretchy black dresses.  Today on the blog, I am featuring three of my comfy favorites!  These dresses really are my #1 go-to for casual wear.  They are also all quite versatile, and I have previously styled each of these dresses for work as well (get links to previous stylings at the end of this post). 
Dress:  Torrid
First up is a flowy LBD that is actually a tunic. I got this last summer from Torrid, and since I'm so short, it works well as a dress. 
Booties:  Sonoma life+style
Glasses:  Firmoo.com

Clutch:  Twig & Arrow (Available at Target here)
Bangle:  LOFT
I added my most comfortable booties, a fun clutch, and my favorite necklace for a weekend outing with the family.

A ponytail completed the easy look and kept me cool in the heat.

Earrings:  Target
Pendant:  House of Harlow 1969 (gift)
Next is a slip dress from Who What Wear for Target. 
Dress:  Who What Wear for Target (Available here)
I bought this dress in the rust color and loved it so much, I decided to also get it in black, knowing that I would probably end up loving and wearing this one even more, and I was right!!! What can I say?  I really love wearing black!
Clutch:  Ann Taylor
Here, I styled the slip dress with python sandals and clutch for a casual dinner with the family.
Sandals:  Daisy Street (Available at ASOS here)
Necklace:  Eloquii (Available here)
Lastly, I am wearing my super-duper cool dress from Eloquii.  I have literally worn this dress no less than once a week since getting it.  It's so comfortable and easy, and it's body-conscious without feeling tight.  I just love it!!!
Dress:  Eloquii (Available here)
I also just had it hemmed, and I reallllly love the way it fits now!  Initially, I didn't think that there was much I could do to change the length of this dress and as much as I was all about this dress and still wearing the heck out of it, I was disappointed that it seemed a little too droopy and long on me.
Shoes:  Converse (kids) (Available at Kohl's here)
Clutch:  Boohoo
As I explained on the blog before, there is a long piece of fabric that goes under your legs and is brought back up and around and then tied at the mid-section.  So, it seemed very complicated, if not impossible, to hem.  Then, I realized hemming this piece would actually be super simple.  There is a seam that separates the fabric from where it flows in the front to the part that wraps around.  My tailor simple separated those two pieces, took out several inches and then re-attached the pieces.  Voila!! The dress now has a fabulous fit and I love it even more!
Glasses:  Valentino
I paired this dress with white sneakers for a recent weekend look.  It was perfect in the 95 degree weather!

Do you have a favorite go-to for casual wear? 
For the tunic in other looks, see here and here.
For the slip dress in another look, see here.

For the tie-waist dress in other looks, see here and here.


Shop Your Closet: The Striped Shirtdress, Part One + A Look at my Eloquii Style & Substance Shoot

Happy Sunday!!  Today, I'm featuring this amazing shirt dress from Eloquii that I received during my recent Style & Substance shoot. 
Dress:  c/o Eloquii (Available here)
I am seriously so in love with this dress, and I have been wearing it in soooo many ways. 

It can be a little difficult to find different ways to wear dresses, but this one is super versatile.  In fact, this is only Part One of this Shop Your Closet.  Stay tuned next Sunday for three more ways to style this dress!!

For the first look, I styled this dress for work by pairing it with a long-line vest and cinching it with a metallic belt.
Vest:  Eloquii (Available here)
Necklace:  Eloquii (Available here)
Purse:  Express
Glasses:  Coach
Boots:  New Look
Belt:  Torrid
A statement necklace, satchel, and booties complete the outfit.  For this look, I really wanted to add structure to create a more polished feel for the office.

Girls' Night Out
While sometimes you want polish, other times, you might long for a look that feels cool and relaxed, but that also has some flair.
Jeans:  The Limited Petites
For this second look, I opened up the buttons of the dress to above my waist and added my trusty cuffed jeans from The Limited (these are seriously Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants good jeans!!!)
Heels:  Amazon
Clutch:  Target
To finish the look, I added red lace-up heels and a clutch.  I actually wore this look out to brunch with my husband, but I also think it would be perfect for a girls' night out!

For today's last look, I went casual during a recent weekend, pairing my shirt dress with Chucks for a comfortable, easy look.
Sneakers:  Converse (kids) (Available at Kohl's here)
Clutch:  Twig & Arrow (Available at Target here)
I wear heels the majority of the time, but lately, I have been trying to go with more flat and low-wedge sandals and sneakers to give myself a break. 

Sunglasses:  Calvin Klein
This dress is perfect for so many occasions, but it did require some work to get the best fit.  Eloquii was so awesome in helping me to get all the pieces from my shoot tailored to perfection. 
Photos c/o Eloquii by Phillipe Rohdewald
For this shirt dress, I had it hemmed, had the sleeves shortened, and also had the shoulders taken in.  Being petite, it can be hard to get the right fit straight off, so tailoring has really become my norm.

Amazing stylist Ashley Falcon gave me such a fun look for the shoot, styling the dress with my own neon pink pumps and a lemon necklace and printed clutch.

Hair & Make-Up Artist Tyler Colton working his magic
Tailoring was the central theme of my Style & Substance shoot, and really I truly believe that it makes all the difference in the world!!  Being 4'9" with a large chest and stomach and smaller hips and thighs, a good fit right off the rack is almost impossible to find.  If you're taller and/or more hourglass or pear-shaped, you probably won't have quite as many fit issues as I do, but seriously, even something as simple as a hem can really change the overall appearance of a garment.

Just take a look at how Eloquii, with the expertise of my tailor, helped me transform some of my favorite pieces:

Photos:  c/o Eloquii by Phillipe Rohdewald
Jumpsuit:  c/o Eloquii (Available here)
Photos:  c/o Eloquii by Phillipe Rohdewald
Dress:  c/o Eloquii (Available here)
Photos:  c/o Eloquii by Phillipe Rohdewald
Skirt:  c/o Eloquii (Available here)
Top:  c/o Eloquii (Join the waitlist here)
Have you caught my full Style & Substance feature?  Check it out over at Eloquii.com!!!!

See the vest in another look here.
For the jeans in other looks, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.