All posts in "Style"

My Summer 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Ok, I admit it. I’ve been teasing you with bits and pieces of information about my Summer 2015 capsule wardrobe. Although most years I probably won’t start my summer capsule quite this early, I decided to this year because I just couldn’t wait until June to get my first ever capsule wardrobe started!

After going through and completely cleaning out my closet to get down to my 38 items for this first capsule, I was astonished at the lack of clothing hanging in my closet.

I’ll be sure to tell you more about the process of getting my first capsule underway in a later post. Cleaning out my closet was no easy feat!

But today, I wanted to give you a glimpse at more of my style and the items that are appearing in my capsule wardrobe.

capsule collage


As I mentioned, this is NOT my entire capsule wardrobe. But it is a good sampling of my items. Most of these are similar to what I have in my capsule, but not the exact same as much of what’s in my capsule is too old to still be for sale online.

Here is a complete list at what’s in my Summer 2015 Capsule Wardrobe:

  1. 1 pair of jeans
  2. 1 pair of denim capris
  3. 1 pair of white capris
  4. 1 pair of black capris
  5. 1 pair of light gray capris
  6. 1 pair of kahki capris
  7. 1 chevron maxi skirt
  8. 1 aztec midi skirt
  9. 1 kahki skirt
  10. 1 muted purple pencil skirt
  11. 1 black midi skirt
  12. 1 white denim jacket
  13. 1 coral linen jacket
  14. 1 black animal print embossed blazer
  15. 1 denim jacket
  16. 1 light, muted purple animal print textured jacket
  17. 1 navy burnout tee
  18. 1 teal burnout tee
  19. 1 printed purple burnout tee
  20. 1 cream printed burnout tee
  21. 1 blue crochet back tee
  22. 1 sleeveless mint button up blouse
  23. 1 wildly printed chiffon blouse
  24. 1 yellow 3/4 sleeve blouse
  25. 1 teal 3/4 sleeve blouse
  26. 1 purple and teal paisley print 3/4 sleeve blouse
  27. 1 navy and red floral 3/4 sleeve blouse
  28. 1 animal print and floral blouse
  29. 1 purple and black polka dot short-sleeve blouse
  30. 1 purple and teal paisley short-sleeve blouse
  31. 1 black crochet tank
  32. 1 cream crochet v-neck tank
  33. 1 teal tank
  34. 1 teal paisley tank
  35. 1 animal print and floral tank
  36. pink crochet back short-sleeve shrug
  37. teal crochet back short-sleeve shrug
  38. 1 screen print tee (weekend wear only)

I did go over my 37 self-imposed limit for this capsule. I forgot about one of my shirts as it was in the wash when I was choosing my capsule items and then when it came out of the wash I couldn’t bear to pack it away for the season, so I decided 38 items would be ok this time. After all, I am doing this capsule for 4 months instead of 3 months. That helps make it ok, right?!

Anyhow, this capsule wardrobe experiment isn’t about being unhappy or neglecting my desire to wear my favorite clothes to stick to exactly 37 items. Instead it’s about learning to narrow it down to what I do actually love and want to wear.

To help myself for future capsules, I’ve been keeping a log of how many times I wear each item. I hope that by the end of this capsule I’ll be able to see what I’ve learned and which items are versatile and maybe which ones are not so versatile too. This should help me make better shopping decisions in the future.

What do you think of my Summer 2015 capsule wardrobe? I definitely couldn’t have an all-neutral capsule like some people have. I love color and pattern way too much for that.

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My Capsule Wardrobe Rules

By Kayla / May 6, 2015

I’ve officially decided to start my first capsule wardrobe and I also started a little sooner than I originally planned. I started on May 1st instead of June 1st.

Part of having a capsule wardrobe is about setting rules for fashion and shopping and sticking to them, but part of having a capsule wardrobe is making the idea work for you and your lifestyle too. So after doing some reasearch about how different people have set up their capsule wardrobe system, I decided to implement a few rules for my first capsule wardrobe. (Keep in mind, these rules may change over time for future capsules.)

What Counts and What Doesn’t

Caroline from Unfancy decided to count all of her clothes and shoes in her capsule wardrobe number except for undergarments, jewelry, handbags, accessories, a very select few extra-dressy outfits (cocktail attire), pajamas, and lounge/workout clothes. She also settled on a number for her wardrobe: 37.

Amy from Mom Advice decided not to count camisoles in her capsule wardrobe, and she also set her number a little lower at 33.

Here’s what I decided not to count in my first capsule wardrobe:

  • Undergarments
  • Yoga/lounge/workout clothes
  • Pajamas
  • Clothes for yard work, farm work, house painting, etc.
  • Layering tank tops
  • Logo shirts from my full-time job
  • Shoes

I decided to take it a bit easy on myself this first go around since I’ve never attempted a capsule wardrobe before and I wanted to make sure it was something I could stick to since I’m used to having my entire wardrobe to choose from. I also haven’t decided if I’ll count outerwear in my fall, winter, and spring capsules.

How Long Should You Wear a Capsule Wardrobe?

Most people decide to have 4 capsule wardrobes over the span of a year: winter, spring, summer, and fall. They usually run for 3 months each and start and end at the beginning of a month.

Since I live in Kansas and the weather is very volatile, I’m considering having 3-4 capsules depending on the weather each year. I also plan to give myself flexible start and end dates for each capsule since our weather can vary so much from year to year. For example, this year I started my summer capsule May 1. Last year I couldn’t have started it until about May 15 or I’d have frozen to death. Therefore, I plan to be a bit more flexible and have 3-4 capsules each year.

My tentative plan is to wear my current (summer) capsule from May 1 – August 31, my fall capsule from September 1 – November 30, my winter capsule from December 1 – February 28, and my spring capsule from March 1 – April 30. But some of these dates might change a bit as I go depending on the weather.

Other Rules and Challenges

I didn’t start creating my first capsule wardrobe with an exact number in my head, but I ended up with 37 items of clothing in my first 4 month capsule wardrobe (May 1 – August 31). I did decide to give myself an extra challenge of not shopping for a single item for my first capsule and I also plan to challenge myself to limit my shopping for future capsules to replacements only, at least for the first year’s worth of capsules.

Again, since this is my first time experimenting with a capsule wardrobe, I decided to allow myself to swap 1 item/month if needed. This would be something like swapping a pair of pants for a pair of capris partway through my spring capsule if the weather gets warm especially early. But as I said, this would be a swap so the number of items in my capsule won’t increase during the 3-4 month period.

Have you ever tried having a capsule wardrobe? What were your rules?

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Where Do You Find Fashion Inspiration?

By Kayla / April 28, 2015

After stumbling upon a new-ish (to me) concept for fashion and wardrobes last week, the Capsule Wardrobe, it’s all I’ve been able to think of lately.

It’s not that I hadn’t heard of a Capsule Wardrobe before, it’s more that I didn’t understand how to achieve a Capsule Wardrobe or the benefits of living with a Capsule Wardrobe. But the more I read about it from fashion bloggers and all over my Facebook news feed, the more I fall in love with the idea of a Capsule Wardrobe.

It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for put didn’t know how to put into words.

A Capsule Wardrobe is the perfect balance of minimalism, living by rules (which helps my brain and my minimalism efforts), but being able to fit them to your lifestyle and fashion preferences.

I’m thinking rather seriously about trying out this whole Capsule Wardrobe concept. If nothing else, I think it will help me narrow down the items in my closet and learn more about my fashion sense.

Part of the pre-process to get started with a Capsule Wardrobe is filling out a planning guide. Ok, this may not be necessary for everyone, but for a natural planner like me, it’s 100% necessary. 🙂

I used Caroline’s planning guide?from her blog, Un-Fancy, to help me narrow down my focus for my first Capsule Wardrobe, which will begin June 1.

In addition to narrowing down my closet to a set number of pieces for 3 months, I decided to make an additional challenge for myself: Create my first Capsule Wardrobe without buying anything!

For the record, I did decide to change a few of the “rules” from Caroline’s guide to fit my life and style a little better, and I may get more rigid with future Capsules, but hey progress is progress people!

I’ll tell you more about my rules and such in a later post, but today I wanted to talk about the inspiration I’ve been finding for my Summer Capsule.

Where I’ve Found Fashion Inspiration

Rather than just relying on more traditional sources of fashion inspiration, like magazines, catalogs, fashion blogs, and things like that, I decided I wanted my first Capsule Wardrobe to be based around pieces I already own and love to wear.

I think that by narrowing down my first Capsule Wardrobe that way I’ll be able to figure out my personal style rather than trying to follow trends and styles represented by others.

There’s nothing wrong with looking to outside sources for fashion inspiration, but since I’m really focused on narrowing down a bit more of a specific style that I can call my own, I decided not to do this time.

Instead, I’ve found some fashion inspiration in a place I never thought of: music.

Yes, that’s right. Music (along with my gut feelings) has been my inspiration for building my Capsule Wardrobe so far.

To be more specific, I’m pretty much been in love with Taylor Swift’s 1976 album ever since a friend got it for me for my birthday.

A Mini-May Capsule?

Since I’m so excited I can hardly stand it, I’m considering creating a mini-Capsule for the month of May based only on the inspiration I feel from T. Swift’s album (and the items already in my closet of course).

I’ll let you know what I decide on that later.

Where do you draw fashion inspiration from?


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It’s Almost Swimsuit Season! Here are the Best Suits for Your Body

By Kayla / April 22, 2015

I know, I know. It’s only April. But summer will be here before you know it. (I swear!)

In my part of the country, our spring is usually a very short season. We basically go from winter to summer with only a week or two of mild spring-like temperatures and weather in between. So while I don’t want to rush though my short spring season, I do want to talk a little bit about swimming suits with you today.

The reason I think now is the best time to start thinking about swimming suits is because they’ve already started showing up in stores!

But before you go out and buy a cute new swimming suit (or 10, I won’t judge!), please keep these tips in mind for finding the suit that fits your body best.

Athletic or Bigger on the Top

If you have an athletic build with broad shoulders and/or a bigger chest, you definitely need to find a swimming suit with lots of support for your full-figured top half. But this doesn’t mean that you can have a cute one-piece or even a sexy two-piece suit. Support doesn’t always mean thick straps or something your grandma would wear. Halter straps offer great support. Here are a couple of examples of great suits with support that are still cute!


Suit 1, Suit 2, Suit 3

Straight or Petite

When you don’t have many curves you can either try to fake some more curves by wearing suit bottoms with?ruffles on the booty of your suit and/or a top with padding to enhance your figure. The other option is to take advantage of your slim figure with some skimpier suits that other body types can’t generally wear, like a string bikini. Just make sure you avoid?flat?bandeau tops that make your already small figure appear even flatter. Here are some cute options for your body type.


Suit 1, Suit 2, Suit 3

Pear or Bigger on the Bottom

Just the opposite of the athletic body type we talked about earlier, you have a bigger bottom half and smaller top half. If you are bigger on the bottom and you want to conceal your booty, avoid suits with loud prints on the bottoms. This is a great reason to mix and match. By wearing a printed top and solid bottom you can draw attention away from your larger bottom half. You should also avoid skimpy bottoms and go for suits with more coverage, like boy shorts, hipsters, or briefs. Here are some cute suits for the pear shape.


Suit 1, Suit 2, Suit 3

Summertime and swimming is a fun time of year. It would be a shame to let your body image or insecurities about swimming suits affect your summer fun. The key to feeling confident in your suit is to buy one that fits your body type and makes you feel confident!

What’s your favorite style of swim suit?

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How Many Handbags Do You Own?

As you all know, I’ve been working on pairing down my clothes and accessories the last couple of years. (Slow and steady wins the race people!) One area I cut down significantly is the number of handbags and purses I own.

When I started my mission to simplify my life and my closet, I owned 17 bags and I narrowed it down to 10. Since then I haven’t acquired any new bags, but I haven’t gotten rid of any either. 10 seems to be my number, at least for now.

Although I will likely be parting with one of my favorite purses soon as it’s getting really worn and shabby looking, which is not conducive to wearing with my office professional looks. 🙁 I’m actually pretty bummed about it and I might look for a replacement for it. But we’ll just have to see if I come across one as awesome in the future.

Here’s the criteria I used to narrow my handbags down to the current 10 I own:

  • Neutrals – I kept one black and one brown purse as these go with anything (except brown doesn’t go with black and vice versa). Having a couple of neutral colored purses is a great place to start when narrowing down your handbags. Personally, I don’t see any need to keep multiple purses of the same neutral color so I kept only one black and one brown bag. My black purse is solid, but my brown bag is a brown and white giraffe print.
  • Metallic – I also decided to keep my champagne metallic purse because it’s also a neutral with some fun added via the metallic finish. The metallic finish also makes it look a little more “dressy” if you need a handbag for a fancier occasion.
  • Sizes – I did keep a smaller clutch-like bag for nights when I don’t want to be bogged down by a large purse. This gives my bag “collection” a little more versatility.
  • Colors and Prints – Select a few of your favorite colors and prints to keep. My favorite colors are purple and teal, so I kept one teal bag and two purple bags in different shades. I did get rid of at least one other purple bag as it seemed redundant and I kept the higher quality one.

That’s how I decided to narrow down my bags and only keep the ones I felt were most versatile. I got rid of a green bag and I liked, but it only matched like 2 of my outfits so I didn’t feel like it was getting very much use for the amount of space it was taking up.

Like I mentioned, I also got rid of one purple purse and I also decided to part with one Vera Bradley purse because I had two in the same pattern, which seemed a little crazy.

How many handbags do you own? How do you decide which ones to keep and which ones to toss? How often do you wear out a purse?

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Trend Alert: Maxi Dresses and Skirts

By Kayla / April 7, 2015

Okay, so I’m a little behind on announcing maxi dresses and skirts as being a trend. They have been pretty popular for at least a couple of years now. But just like the Aztec trend, until just recently I was totally not on board with maxi anything.

I always found maxi dresses to be unflattering to people with curves and shorter girls. I especially had trouble when it was a short and curvy girl, which is me. Then I realized that I was going for the wrong shape and print.

Personally, I don’t like maxi dresses that have a “bubble” of extra fabric around the waist or bust and I don’t like ones with horizontal stripes as I think they make me look wider. (But that doesn’t mean some of you can’t pull off horizontal stripes.)

After some more investigating, I finally bought my first maxi skirt and I’m in love with it! It’s a nice jersey-type material that makes me feel like I’m wearing sweatpants to the office. Plus, I got it in the chevron print, which is a bonus because I love chevron!

Anyhow, I’ll be making a day trip to a nearby city this weekend and I’ll have my eyes open to pick out either another maxi skirt, or a maxi dress while I’m there.

I’m on a pretty strict budget these days, so I want to find one that cute, comfortable, and fairly inexpensive. It also needs to be versatile so I can mix and match it with several shirts and/or jackets to get more use out of it.

I’ve done a little online browsing in the meantime and here are some that I like:




Left, Center, Right

These are all the skirts I like and most of them come in different color schemes or patterns. As you can see, I like all of them in chevron. 🙂


Left, Right

I really like the top of the right dress as it appears to give a little more coverage, which would more appropriate for an office. I’d still have to wear a jacket with all of these dresses though to cover up my shoulders and arms. The right one also has a fun little detail with the uneven bottom hemline.


Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right

All of these dresses come from one of my favorite stores, Maurices. I love almost all of the clothes from there.

The bottom right dress might have the “bubble” problem I mentioned earlier, so I’d have to try it on to find out for sure. The top left dress looks like it would definitely have that problem, but if you don’t mind that extra material it looks like a cute option.

The top right and bottom left dresses have chiffon skirts which is a fun touch and will be great for summer when it gets super hot outside. You just have to avoid wearing them on windy days so the material doesn’t fly up.

Have you ever tried maxi skirts or dresses? Do you like them?

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Spring Flowers

By Kayla / March 24, 2015

I know Spring’s only just sprung, but we’ve been having some amazing weather in my neck of the woods the last few weeks. This weekend it got to 80F on Saturday and was gorgeous! (Jealous yet?)

Due to the changing of the seasons, I wanted to share some fun spring pieces with you today.

I don’t know if you know this, but I used to be a total tomboy and there was no way I’d have ever been caught dead wearing floral printed anything. But these days I’ve gotten a bit more girly and I do have a couple of floral printed items in my closet, including some super cute wedges that I can’t wait to break out and wear. In fact, I might have to plan my outfit around my shoes tomorrow because I’m so anxious to wear them, haha!

With that in mind, here are a few floral pieces I found that I’m absolutely loving!



Black Floral Shift Dress – This is a great option for day or night depending on how you accessorize it. Plus, we just talked the other day about how shift dresses can be used year round.

Floral Wedges – I have a pair of floral wedges in my closet that I absolutely love! I never knew how versatile they’d be when I bought them. You can pair outfits of almost any color with floral printed accessories since they have so many colors in the print.

Floral Pullover – This is a super cute shirt and floral prints with a navy background are very in right now.

Floral Cardigan – I love this gray and floral cardigan. It’s perfect for early mornings or late nights when the air has a bit of nip to it.

Navy Floral Scarf – Floral, navy, and a scarf. What more is there to say about this piece? 🙂

Floral Sunglasses – How cute are these? I love the vintage feel they could bring to your outfit.

Floral Sandals – Not only do these sandals have a slight floral print to them, they also have some bling!

White Floral Dress – I love the light color of the dress with the dark trim. This dress screams classy.

White Floral Scarf – Again, I just love scarves and they bring just the right amount of floral and girly-ness to an outfit.

If you think you can’t pull of floral because you aren’t overly girly, think again. Try floral in small doses, like a scarf, shoes, or sunglasses first.

You can also try pairing a floral skirt or dress with some tougher or more structured accessories. I’d consider wearing a black leather jacket with the white floral dress on the bottom row for a night out.

How do you pull off floral prints in your wardrobe?

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Seasonal Shifts: The Dress for All Seasons

By Kayla / March 19, 2015

As the seasons change, so do our wardrobes… well, traditionally they do. Whether it?s the fashion seasons or the weather seasons (you can?t stick to shorts when it?s cold outside!) our wardrobes need to be constantly changing and evolving if we want to keep up with the times. Usually, this means forking out cash year after year on new wardrobe pieces. Wouldn?t it be nice if there was an item of clothing that could be dressed up to suit any season?

Enter the shift dress.

This wonderful piece of clothing is incredibly versatile and is something all women should have in their wardrobe (if you don?t already, retailers like Universal Store?usually have some great affordable shift dresses).

In case you don’t know, the term ?shift? relates to the cut of the dress and refers to a dress that essentially hangs down loose from the shoulders. There isn?t any definition around the waist and the material hangs off the body rather than sticking to it.

The Shift Dress in Summer

You don?t need many accessories to make the shift dress work in Summer; it?s perfect for the hotter months as it doesn?t cling to your body, which also makes it great for hiding any annoying sweat patches. If it?s a casual shift, just throw on a pair of nice sneakers and you?ve got a cool day look. If it?s more of a glam dress, a pair of heels and a matching clutch will give you classy evening wear.

The Shift Dress in Autumn

The weather?s getting a little cooler, but a shift dress can still be worn. If it?s a little breezy, perhaps pair with a light cardigan over the top for some extra warmth. A casual shift dress will look great with a denim jacket over the top too, especially if the dress has an intricate print.

The Shift Dress in Winter

Winter is where the shift dress can really be accessorised to its full potential. A pair of stockings looks great underneath a shift dress (if the stockings are black, a shift dress will actually make your legs look leaner as the material billows out from the knees). A cardigan or jacket over the top creates an extra layer of warmth or another great option is to put a turtleneck or long sleeved shirt underneath (if your shift dress has short/no sleeves). A beanie can complete your cute winter look.

The Shift Dress in Spring

Spring has sprung and it?s time to shed all the winter layers and enjoy your shift dress in all its glory. Wear in similar styles to summer or keep the cardigan on if the weather?s still a touch on the cool side.

So if you don?t already have one of these beautiful, versatile dresses in your wardrobe, what are you waiting for? You can easily dress it up to wear all year round, which saves cash and wardrobe space. Plus, a shift dress suits virtually every body type ? no annoying clingy bits of material highlighting body parts we?d rather keep out of focus!

What are some things you love about your shift dresses and how do you accessorize to justify wearing them in every season?

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Pattern Mixing: Yay or Nay?

By Kayla / March 10, 2015

Thanks to Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear, we all know that there are 4 different things you can incorporate to make an outfit interesting:

  • Color
  • Texture
  • Pattern
  • Shine

I love to use all of these things in my outfits, but in moderation, so I look classy and interesting without being over-the-top. Pattern is an especially fun way to add interest to an outfit as pattern can actually incorporate all three of the other elements of interest at times.

The more I play with my wardrobe, the more fun I seem to have with it as lately I?ve started doing more and more pattern mixing. I?m still careful to make sure that I?m not over-the-top with my pattern mixing as I?ve seen some pretty scary outfits come out when people try to mess around with pattern mixing. But I do think there are times that pattern mixing can be fun and tasteful. Here are a few rules to keep in mind when you try pattern mixing.

Vary the Size

One of the first rules of pattern mixing is to avoid using two large, loud prints in the same outfit. I?ve seen some people use two different big floral patterns in the same outfit, and for me that is just too much (though part of it might be my more conservative nature). In order for me to feel comfortable with pattern mixing, I try to pick one bold pattern and one smaller pattern to mix together.


Tank Top; Jacket; Jeggings; Boat Shoes;?Purse

Break Them Up

Placement of the patterns in your outfit can also a make a huge difference. Sometimes it?s okay to put one patterned item right up against another, especially is if of them is very subtle, but most of the time breaking them up is a better idea. Wearing a striped shirt with an animal print bag or shoe is a great way to mix pattern because they are broken up and therefore the solid pieces in between bring some calmness to the outfit.

Stick with the Same Color Family

Another great way to try pattern mixing when you are first starting out is sticking to two patterns that use the same color family. This makes your pattern mixing less noticeable, which is a great way to start out if you are unsure about the pattern mixing trend.


Tank Top; Jacket; Jeggings; Wedges; Purse

Use One Subtle or Neutral Pattern

One of my favorite pieces to use for pattern mixing is my black on black animal print blazer. The blazer is comfortable and professional enough to wear for work, but the embossed black animal print adds a little fun to an otherwise plain black blazer. The pattern is also a very subtle one that you wouldn?t notice unless you look pretty close. This makes the blazer ideal to put next to a patterned shirt.

Items that have very small prints, like tiny polka dots or small stripes, can be used as if they were a solid piece, which makes pattern mixing easy. This is especially true if you use items that have these small, subtle patterns in a neutral color (like my black embossed blazer). Even though it has a pattern, they can be used as a sold neutral in most outfits.

Have you ever tried pattern mixing? Do you like it? Why or why not.

PS: This post also shows one piece multiple ways. 🙂

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The Beauty of a Belt

By Kayla / February 24, 2015

Before reading a guest post on Audrey’s blog, Putting Me Together, I was always hesitant to belt anything as I thought I couldn’t pull off an outfit with a belt since I’m exactly the smallest of girls. But ever since then I’ve experimented with belting different shirts and sweaters, especially if they are pretty loose or if I am wearing a slouchy cardigan that I wish I could close over my midsection.

Audrey’s style challenge for this week was to belt something and as soon as I read that and saw the weather forecast, I knew this was the perfect opportunity for me to wear my new-to-me Aztec cardigan.

As you all know by now I’m pretty much obsessed with Aztec these days, and I was just waiting for weather cold enough to warrant me wearing this huge, slouchy, and extremely warm cardigan. It’s a cream and black cardigan, which makes it a little more difficult to style as you can’t really pair cream with white (in my opinion).

Instead I went for black boots, black pants, a black shirt, and my cardigan. Yes that’s a lot of black! When I first got dressed, I was really starting to question my outfit decision.


As I said, the cardigan is pretty shapeless and the outfit is all drab with no pops of color. But then I added some accessories that made my outfit more fun and added some shape.


I added a bright 2 strand necklace that has beads of every size, shape, and color, some teal earrings, and a skinny black belt to hold my cardigan shut and give me some shape and a defined waist.

It’s amazing how much difference a couple of small accessories can make!


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