Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Back to School Lookbook:
Scholasticly Chic in SearsStyle



Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion

The only positive thing about going back to school is being granted the societal permission to purchase a new school year's wardrobe, complete with the newest trends and up-and-coming brands fresh out of summer. In Florida, scholastic style is typically characterized by classically tailored and polished garments, ranging from crisp blazers to fitted business casual dresses, always with a distinct touch of personal flare. Price is obviously a factor, since student budgets are notoriously tight, and this year I found myself loving all aspects of erudite life at Sears. The new Kardashian Kollection can only be described as fabulous, and shockingly inexpensive (and trendy) pieces from Metaphor, Bongo, and Studio S also quickly piled into my shopping bag. 

Despite my admitted frugality, I ended up purchasing a gold mine of student styles at Sears. If you're anything like me, graduate school life isn't just about attending class-- any given day encompasses my life as a student, fashionista, tutor, and networker. Hence, my scholarly style spectrum ranges from A to Z depending on the hour. For a little insight into my versatile collegiate closet, here are a few of my favorite looks from Sears for rocking the fall semester: 


Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion

Nothing screams A student more than a well-tailored blazer. Pair hot pink with angelic eggshell chiffon and barely above-the-knee cobalt skirts, and you're guaranteed to impress peers and professors alike. 

Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion

Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion

No true prep's outfit would be complete without the essential classic shoe ware: penny loafers. My Laura Scott mock croc brown loafers go with everything, and they'll keep my feet happy while trucking across UCF's massive campus. 

Also, who uses backpacks anymore? Ever since undergrad, I've opted for over-sized bags, and this Kardashian Kollection beauty holds everything, from textbooks to snacks to makeup. It's like a Mary Poppins bag-- but way cuter. 

Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion

Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion
Blazer: Kardashian Kollection // Top: Metaphor // Skirt: Metaphor (Missy Bubble Skirt in Mazarine Blue; Not Available Online) // Bag: Kardashian Kollection // Loafers: Laura Scott // Watch: Geneva // Bracelet: Studio S


Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion

During my downtime on campus, it's all about comfy chic styling. My Kardashian Kollection skinny jeans from Kim's line fit like a dream, and with some creative cuffing, they look cute and fitted on all women of varying heights. 

Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion

Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion

My campus casual style also includes classic jewelry, like my rhinestone clover earrings and gold cross bracelet. Also, with all the late night study and tutor sessions, a girl isn't fully dressed without her over-sized sunglasses. Gotta hide those raccoon eyes at all costs. 

Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion
Top: Metaphor // Jeans: Kardashian Kollection Kim Skinny Line // Bag: Kardashian Kollection // Earrings: Studio S // Watch: Geneva // Bracelet: Studio S


Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion
Most graduate students don't have the luxury of playing in sorority houses all day, although that would be pretty boss. As an undergraduate Calculus II and III tutor, I struggle with looking professional-- to ward off the freshman stalkers-- and incorporating my personal style in a business appropriate way. Since I've grown to consider animal prints as neutrals, I had to have this bodycon sheath printed animal dress from the Kardashian Kollection. It's the perfect mixture of sass and sophistication, and it's one of the hottest prints for the new fall season.


Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion

I just can't get enough of this stunning triangle Kardashian Kollection bag. I wear it with almost everything, since it clandestinely holds all my work and school essentials, and it pairs perfectly with the black and white animal print on the dress. 

As soon as I saw these versatile Metaphor Kayla black wedges, I knew I had to have them. Wedges are always in during the spring and summer months, but these are designed so uniquely with a Mary Jane-esque feel that I could see myself rocking them all school year, as well. They make my humongous feet look sexy in dresses, skirts, or pants, and they keep my toes blister-free, which is obviously important. 

Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion
Dress: Kardashian Kollection // Wedges: Metaphor // Bag: Kardashian Kollection // Earrings: Studio S (Not Available Online)


Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion

After long days of studying and making mad cash (not), a girl's gotta do what a girl does best: network. My affinity for Happy Hour has made weekly social outings a mandatory schedule essential. Intuitively, the more often you go, the more people you meet, so I had to incorporate a bundle of networking outfits, like this adorable leopard jumpsuit, into my back to school wardrobe.  

Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion

I've never been a fan of jumpsuits until I saw about half the girls rocking the heck out of them during Miss Florida week. They're insanely comfortable, and when sized correctly, they're incredibly flattering for your figure. This gem from Liberty Love has become an instant closet favorite, and I never want to take it off. It's comfy enough for class yet stylish enough for a date or for a fancy Happy Hour. I'm obsessed. Paired with my studded KK jelly clutch and tortoise bracelet? Back to school perfection. 

Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion

Back to School, searsStyle, Style, Fashion
Jumpsuit: Liberty Love (Knit Tube Black Animal Jumpsuit- Not Available Online) // Wedges: Metaphor // Bracelet: Studio S (Not Available Online) // Clutch: Kardashian Kollection 


What are some of your back to school style essentials? Which trends have you excited?


Happy Hump Day, y'all!
xo



The hottest trends, celebrity style and fashion tips you can afford to try. 

Compensation was provided by Sears via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sears.

♥ Stephanie

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pageant Baseball Barbie in Wedges:
The Ceremonial First Pitch for the Tampa Bay Rays

Miss Tampa Bay USA, Miss USA, Tampa Bay Rays, First Pitch

Let me start off by saying that I'm considering switching careers from finance to sports. I was asked to throw the ceremonial First Pitch for the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Kansas City Royals game on Monday, July 7th, and it was literally one of the most enjoyable experiences of my entire life. Not only were the players, the dancers, event staff, etc. super friendly, but I love showing my Tampa Bay pride whenever and wherever I can. Having the opportunity to represent my title for one of my all-time favorite sports teams was a dream come true.

Also, I had been teased prior about possibly pulling a 50 Cent and embarrassing the heck out of myself with a shank pitch (50 Cent video below). I can confidently say to all my haters that I was told I threw, "the best first pitch from a girl of the season." I'm going to ignore the from a girl part and run with it; baseball may just be my calling. 

Miss Tampa Bay USA, Miss USA, Tampa Bay Rays, First Pitch

And what fun would any outing be without my besties? Without hesitation M and A were on board for the 2-hour road trip, and they both supported me every step of the way in the form of food, diligent time killing, and amazing photography.

Miss Tampa Bay USA, Miss USA, Tampa Bay Rays, First Pitch

Miss Tampa Bay USA, Miss USA, Tampa Bay Rays, First Pitch
Miss Tampa Bay USA, Miss USA, Tampa Bay Rays, First Pitch

Not to brag or anything, but I've got pretty good form. That's the upside to dating way too many baseball players. 

Miss Tampa Bay USA, Miss USA, Tampa Bay Rays, First Pitch

Miss Tampa Bay USA, Miss USA, Tampa Bay Rays, First Pitch

Miss Tampa Bay USA, Miss USA, Tampa Bay Rays, First Pitch
Miss Tampa Bay USA, Miss USA, Tampa Bay Rays, First Pitch

In addition to the ceremonial First Pitch ball as a keepsake, the Rays sent me this swanky First Pitch video, which clearly shows my superior athleticism. I'll admit, reviewing my form on video is a little bit less impressive than the Nolan Ryan image I had in my head, but whatever; my pitch made it there, and due to its unforeseen strength and velocity, the catcher missed it. So I beat 50 Cent, Mr. President, and bested the catcher. Ha!


And, of course, for comparison... here is 50 Cent's infamous first pitch for the Mets:


Annnd just for kicks, here's one from Mr. President:


Yep, safe to say that for a girl preposition should be removed from consideration from judging technical caliber of first pitching. Thank you so much, Tampa Bay Rays, for having me! Memory of a lifetime. 

Have a great week, y'all.
xo

♥ Stephanie

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pack Like a Jetsetting Pro:
Summer Vaca Travel Guide






After somewhere around my 18th business trip, I decided to only fly with carry-ons. Not only is baggage claim obnoxious, but you're at the airline's mercy as to whether or not they feel like transporting your stuff efficiently. I won't name names, Delta, but burn me three times, and I'm over your airline's checked bag procedure. Hence, I've become quite skilled, if I do say so myself, at the art of jam-packing 5+ days of outfits, accessories, and products into approved carry-on luggage. 

These tips don't just apply to air travel either. Any efficient wanderer, whether it be by plane, car, train, or foot, should follow these easy and boss packing tips. 



Undergarments really are everything. I will never, under any circumstances, leave town without my convertible Maddie Multi-Way pushup strapless nude bra from Aerie. It goes with everything, aside from garments which require a commando approach, and you can use the Aerie Bra Size and Fitting Guide to make sure you're picking the absolute best style for you. The guide asks you a series of questions and leads you to one of four core categories with endless color and style possibilities. Just please don't be that girl who wears an over-sized black push-up with a white sundress. Tack-y. 

Also, please pack extra underwear and socks. Yes, typically laundry services are available, but I'll never understand those people *cough*mybrothers*cough* who pack 2 pairs of underwear for a 14-day vacation. That's just gross. 



Wear your most cumbersome articles to the airport. This allows you to avoid having to cram them into a suitcase, and you can look fabulous while exploring your inner nomad. Especially since airports and train stations are typically cooler anyways, always wear your heaviest jacket to the airport. Particularly in the fall and winter months, I'll travel in my peacoat and high knee boots, since they require a separate suitcase all on their own. 



It's just been proven from all sorts of fancy pants traveling studies: rolling clothes is more efficient and just better than folding them. Not only will you save and maximize your luggage space, but your clothes are less likely to wrinkle if you rolled tightly enough. 


Always tote your makeup and toiletries in your purse. You never know when you'll need them, and there is no more disgusting of a place to unload your suitcase than the airport bathroom. Plus, avoid those last minute grocery runs at all cost when your checked luggage inevitably gets lost in Delta's shuffle. 


Invest in travel-sized toiletries. Yes, I'll admit I thought I was clever enough to allude the TSA and their silly size restrictions with my surreptitiously hidden full-sized products... at least up until half my toiletries were confiscated before my business trip to Denver. 

The truth is that the size restrictions do have some validity, although whatever it is I'm not sure, and most products can be purchased in travel-sized containers for just around $1. They save space, and you can simply store for your next trip or throw them away when you're done. 


Always bring nonperishable snacks with you. From airport waiting to long flights to painful bus rides, you never know when you'll have an opportunity to eat something that isn't fast food. For me, deviating from my diet is out of the question right now, so I always carry nuts, organic fruit strips, and power bars like a mom boss. 

Plus, if you're hypoglycemic with a ton of stomach issues like me (yay us), this is just a general every day life tip, as well. Carrying snacks is great for curbing insatiable hunger and providing small kicks of energy throughout the day. 


Pack the essentials: nude strapless bra, dark jeans, black pants, blazer, classic pearls, nude heels, sandals, swimsuit. Bringing multi-functional garments is imperative for diligent packers. A hot pink top with purple flowers may possibly look cute with jean shorts, although it's doubtful, but odds are it's not versatile enough to pair with any other article of clothing you brought. If you stick to the essentials, you can literally create new outfits on the spot, since all classic items work well together. 


I included this tip from experience. Always pack an extra quasi-formal outfit, just in case. It doesn't need to be black tie, but I always aim for an emergency business casual dress. Specifically for work trips, you never want to be the casual standout at a formal dinner. It's not professional, and there's little chance you'll feel like networking when you're rocking jeans and sandals and your cohorts are in stockings and heels. Yes, impromptu shopping is usually an option, but not when you're on a tight agenda without available transportation. 


Pack the night before. Make a checklist, stick to it, and remember to pack your early morning essentials, as well. I get made fun of all the time for my anal list making, but low and behold, I have yet to forget underwear or my toothbrush on a trip. Who's laughing now?


Research your travel arrangement accommodations, and don't pack what's already in your room. Most of the time, hotels provide blow dryers, shower caps, ironing boards, robes, shampoo, conditioner  lotion, etc. If you don't have crazy processed hair like me, avoid the TSA bottle confiscation nightmare and just use the hotel's. 


TO RECAP:


What are some of your best packing tips for travel? Share!


Lots of updates to share with you soon. It's been a busy few weeks, but I'm so glad to come back home to my favorite pastime... blogging! It's good to be back :)


Happy Hump Day!
xo

♥ Stephanie

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Lady in Lightning:
4th Festivities in The Mint Julep

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane

Just because the 4th has passed doesn't mean the nationalistic festivities come to a halt. Post Independence Day, I attended a 5th of July firework display in one of the most charming little Orlando suburbs, Baldwin Park, and I couldn't have chosen a better occasion for donning my bodycon Lightning Strikes Twice dress in white from The Mint JulepThe electric gold beading is showstopping, and the electric design for me reminds me of lighting sassy sparklers. Although the humidity and looming rainstorm flattened my hair almost instantaneously, Ashley Brooke and I had a fabulous time frolicking around their adorable town and indulging in their jaw-dropping firework display.  

Style, Fashion, 4th of July, The Mint Julep

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane

I've become such a fan of open-backed garments. This dress' back detail is just sexy enough to get noticed but still conservative enough to not make me look hoochy, which is always a plus. 

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane

I chose to accessorize with gold and cobalt, since this was intended to be a patriotic outfit. I had to work either red or blue in, and blue won-- as usual. I've been inching to wear this gorgeous cobalt blue statement Saylor necklace from the fabulously classic Esterlane, and I finally had my opportunity!

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane

Oh, and please don't judge the platforms on my heels. I'm competing in a pageant system where even 6' tall models wear 5" inch heels, so a girl's gotta keep up. Thanks, Heidi's Heart, for making non-stripper hooker heels for pageant girls of average height. No seriously, I appreciate you.

Style, Fashion, The Mint Julep, Esterlane
Dress: The Mint Julep // Necklace: Esterlane // Earrings: Swarovski (Out of Stock), Similar Here // Heels: Heidi's Heart // Bracelet: Kate Spade (Out of Stock), Similar Here // Ring: Forever 21 + Kohl's // Clutch: Vineyard Vines (No Longer Available), Similar Here


How was your holiday? Any special plans or exemplary firework displays? 


God bless America!
xo

♥ Stephanie
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