Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking..."

I'd like to start this post by taking a moment to recognize how marvelous Meryl Streep is in one of my all time favorite movies, The Devil Wears Prada. If you haven't seen it, you should. If you have seen it then you understand where the title of this article comes from.



Obviously, we're talking floral in fashion today. We see it over and over every Spring. Just as Streep's Miranda Priestly character I find myself beating my head against the wall when I hear "Florals for Spring" as a trend. But check it out, there's a fresh way to wear florals this season, and I'm talking big fat graphic florals. Large prints, uncommon colors, exotic flowers, if you're going to do florals do it in an out-of-the-ordinary way. I've styled one of my favorite new floral dresses below in a large gray graphic pattern with a funky black wedge.





Dress: Muse Boutique, Handbag: Kate Spade, Heels: Elaine Turner
Photo Cred: Catherine Truman Photography

But what do YOU think babes? Will you be upping your floral game this Spring? Let me know in the comments! Need a little help getting your hands on a cool new graphic print? I've linked some of my favorites below. Click to shop! And remember readers, wear what you love, but LOVE who you are!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Maximizing Your Maxi Game

Ahhhh Spring and Summer, bright colors, floral patterns, and the return of the maxi dress! Females everywhere thank the good Lord for these elegant dresses that make us look like we're putting WAY more effort into dressing ourselves than we actually are. But herein lies the problem, if you're not 5'9" and thin you have to know which maxi to pick. Trust me when I say that not all maxis are created equally nor do they fit the everyone the same.

Today I've personally styled a couple of maxi dresses for my petite ladies. Standing at a whopping 5'1" (5'2" if I'm feeling particularly confident), long dresses tend to be a bit, well, LONG. But don't fret my fun sized friends, there are tricks to making maxis work for us too! I suggest finding dresses with unique skirts. A maxi with slits or a waterfall front let you show off those legs and give the illusion you're taller than you are. You can also knot the bottom of the skirt for a cool casual look. Another tip? Empire waists and v necks elongate your figure.



Not a shorty like me? No prob! I've rounded up maxi styling tips for more common body types below!

For the Busty: Go for dresses with V necks, or a wrap style.

For the Curvy: Pick a fit & flare that gathers at your smallest point and avoid spaghetti straps, opting for a cap sleeve instead.

For the Athletic/Boyish: Pick a maxi with a drawstring waist to create curves!

For the Tall and Thin: Wear whatever the heck you want because these suckers were made for you!

Are you a lover of maxis? Have you found this helpful? Let me know in the comments! In the market for a maxi? I've linked a few of my favorites below. Make sure to check them out! And remember, wear what you love, but LOVE who you are!



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Not Dorothy Gale's Gingham

"Babes, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore..."


Too much? Truth is, when I think of the most iconic gingham look of all time I immediately think of that pale blue dress with tiny check print that landed in Oz via a twister. But today, we're rethinking that print. We're going bigger, brighter, playing with colors, and bringing it out of dust bowl Kansas and into today's world of fashion.

Photo care of Glamour Magazine


Gingham showed up on the scene this time last year, making its way through top designer fashion shows all over the world. I talk a lot about nostalgia and our obsession with looks inspired by previous generations. My mom used to joke that "Like history, fashion repeats itself," and she was so right (yeah Mom, I said you were right). But seriously, sure, we see different interpretations as the years go but there's always that thread that leads us back.

Photo care of LIFE Magazine


So what is it about gingham that's to love? For one it's incredibly feminine and on top of that it's youthful, but more than anything it evokes a sense of Old Hollywood glamour. From Marilyn to DVF, the original style icons all wore it. But now we're making it our own with bigger prints, cool color combos and new styles. 

My styling today pairs the gingham print trend with another favorite for Spring: off the shoulder styles. I added a nude laser cut shoe to add a little subtle flare and big sparkly statement earrings to add a touch of modern to a throwback look.



Dress & Earrings: Muse Boutique
Shoes: LC Lauren Conrad
Photo Cred: Catherine Truman Photography

But what do YOU think? Yay or nay to the gingham trend? Let me know in the comments! If you love it as much as I do, make sure to check out the styles I've linked below that you can purchase for yourself! And as always, wear what you love, but LOVE who you are!


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Dandelion Wishes | A Dreamy Jumpsuit with Old Navy

Guys, it's officially FASHION WEEK! We kicked things off on Monday with the #CreateConnect meet-up, enjoyed Tuesday night at The Band Box Opener during batting practice for the Nashville Sounds, and tonight (Wednesday) we're hitting the Nashville Designer Showcase! 

This is when it gets real. Fashion Week. Runway Shows. What the heck do I wear?! It took a while to figure out because I'm in love with SO many things for this season and one in particular needs a little attention here: The Jumpsuit. Seriously, jumpsuits are everywhere and they're one of the easiest outfits to put together. It's one piece, people. One piece!

Today's look features a gorgeous dandelion print jumpsuit from Old Navy (I've linked the exact one below so you can get it for yourself). Not sure how to pick the right jumpsuit? I've got you covered. As a petite girl, I tend toward a jumpsuit with a cropped or tapered leg to keep from getting swallowed. If you're tall try a jumpsuit with a fun wide trouser leg or flare. I also prefer a v-neck, it's always the most flattering.



Jumpsuit: Old Navy, Wedges: Jessica Simpson
Photo Cred: Catherine Truman Photography

But what do YOU think babes? Love the jumpsuit? Gotta have the jumpsuit? Let me know in the comments below! Also, don't forget to join me as we hit Nashville Fashion Week shows. Follow along on Instagram and SnapChat for the most behind the scenes shots and footage. And as always, wear what you love, but LOVE who you are!

SnapChat username: anbeall

Instagram: @thedarlingdowntown


Monday, April 4, 2016

Revel in Rust | And other uncommon colors for Spring


Like clockwork every year, when Spring shows up so do its two stereotypical trends. You know the drill: florals and pastels in every way possible. Yeah, it's fantastic to see some brighter colors after the cold of Winter, but today I'm here to push you in a different direction. Let's think outside the box here people: Rust (among other decadent colors).

So here's the thing, retro inspiration is everywhere in fashion and understand this, it's not going anywhere for a while. Baby doll dresses, flares, peasant tops, they're all here to stay and crazy reminiscent of the 60's and 70's. But aside from patterns and styles being inspired by the throwback to decades past, colors are also in the mix. Rich colors were everywhere, not only shades of rust but deep greens, blues, and burgundy as well and they are A-OK to wear this Spring!

Today's styling is an attempt to convince you that mixing it up with your color choices this season is a good thing. Just think of how many more options you'll have! No more stale wardrobe! At the center of this look is the most darling little baby doll dress with bell sleeves and ruffles. To keep with the bohemian vibe I accessorized with a cool wooden statement necklace and a woven sandal with a chunky heel.




Dress & Necklace: Muse Boutique
Shoes: JustFab
Photo Cred: Catherine Truman Photography
 
But what do YOU think babes? Are you trying a new color palette for Spring? Or do you prefer the florals and pastels? Let me know in the comments! Need a little help hunting down a cute little rust number for yourself? I've made sure to link a few of my favorites at the bottom of this post! Have an amazing week and remember, wear what you love, but LOVE who you are!

P.S.- Nashville Fashion Week is THIS WEEK! Keep up with me and ALL of the fun behind the scenes action at the shows and events by making sure to follow my various social media profiles. There will be a little something different on each and you don't want to miss out!

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Two Ways To Wear: Silk Slip Dress [in collaboration with thredUP]

Happy Saturday babes! I'm here with a little style inspiration for your weekend. One of my favorite trends right now is the silk slip dress. It's sexy made simple and incredibly versatile. But before we dive into this styling I wanted to introduce you to thredUP, an online business based out of San Francisco. ThredUP is all about loving clothes and then REloving clothes. Their site contains tons of like-new clothes from brand names you know and love to top of the line designers, all at a fraction of the cost. For example, the dress in today's post is a Mara Hoffman silk design that retails at $434.00. On thredUP? $78.49. That's over 80% off people. But before you run off to start filling your cart, let's check out this styling.

As I said before, the silk slip dress is uber versatile and today you're going to see it two ways: Day and Night. For Day I did the simplest thing possible, I put a jean jacket with it. Seriously, it's that easy. On top of the jean jacket being a forever staple, denim is having a tremendous moment right now. Don't believe me? Check out the April issue of Style Watch Magazine. A casual wedge was the only other ingredient to finish off this casual look.



Jean Jacket: Gap, Wedges: Jessica Simpson
Photo Cred: Catherine Truman Photography
Look number two, the formal Night look, is a favorite of mine AND an outfit I'll be sporting at Nashville Fashion Week. Same dress, only this time I employed the elegance of a cape with a hint of blazer and a killer statement heel. Fun fact: You can snag these lace-up heels at Kohl's in the LC Lauren Conrad collection for only $49.99! (shocking, I know). I've linked them --> HERE



Cape: Muse Boutique, Heels: LC Lauren Conrad
Photo Cred: Catherine Truman Photography
But what do YOU think babes? Which look is your favorite? How do you feel about the slip dress trend? Have you used thredUP? Let me know in the comments then make sure to check out the pieces I've linked for you below to help you get this look in YOUR closet. And remember babes, wear what you love, but LOVE who you are!