The Stylish Empty Nester. Unplugged.

Happy Monday, folks!

Today marks my first day back in the office after a few days away.  I used my time enjoying my adult children visiting and reluctantly, nursing a lingering case of bronchitis.

This time last year I was beaming because of my youngest child’s graduation from college, yet I was a little ambivalent about her decision to remain in New Orleans.  But as parents, we raise our children to explore the world and be great, right?!  But I couldn’t deny the large lump in my throat and racing heartbeat when she revealed her plans in the Spring of 2016.  I fought back sounding emotional over the phone, and proclaimed, “I understand”.

When my children and I get together it is always an amazing time, but I just can’t get over the emotions I feel each time we part ways. It’s like I’m dropping them off at college all over again, but there won’t be anymore summer breaks spent at home.  They reside out of state and are living their lives as responsible adults.  Sometimes I wonder how my mother did it.  Clearly, I’m just having a moment and I am sure that it’ll take some time for me to adjust.  I will adjust, but my love for them will never.  They are my children, forever.

Me and my kiddos! Brad and Ashleigh.
Brad and his Muvaa.

See brief video of  my son’s photoshoot.  My daughter is behind the camera and my nephew is the model.  IMG_0989

MY STYLE

This floral dress is very pretty, with it’s cold shoulder design.  Perfect for a sunny day, it is light and airy and falls nicely on my form.  I love the cold shoulder designs that are very popular these days.  They are perfect for ladies like me who don’t have the most toned arms, but want to show a little! Ha!

I paired my dress with pink caged stilettos for that splash of color.

Until next time, peace and blessings!

I love y’all!

Julie

SHOP MY STYLE

DressNew York and Company // Shoes – New York and Company (sold out) similar here // Hoop Earrings – Old // Bracelet – Old // SunniesForever 21 // Images –  Photography by Nichole Alex

 

The Spruced up LBD (Little Black Dress)

Happy Friday, Lovelies!

It’s been quite an interesting couple of weeks.  I celebrated Mother’s Day with my children, who visited from Texas and Louisiana. Prior to their arrival, I came down with a horrible cold that turned into bronchitis.  Between work, trying to get better and spending quality time with my children, I’ve been somewhat MIA.  I had to remind myself that it is okay, because life is not predictable.  Sometimes you must take a break, regroup and start anew.

So, regarding the LBD…  Did you know that in the 1920’s Coco Chanel came up with the term ‘little black dress’? Ms. Coco became famous by introducing loose fitted dresses and shapes which ultimately freed women from the restrictive corsets worn previously.  And to think, the dress was supposed to be loose fitting! 

I’m sure many of us own, or have owned a number of little black dresses.  The simplicity of the dress is its color, which makes it uber easy to spruce up!

Try adding these to your dress:

  • “Standout” shoe or purse (could be in color or style)
  • Statement jewelry
  • Colorful scarf
  • Sassy attitude

Remember that balance is key.  For instance, the LBD I am wearing in this post has very dramatic bell sleeves.  There wasn’t alot that needed to be done to this dress, because the sleeves were just so amazing!  I just added a large hoop and a standout shoe.  Voila!

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

LBD – New York and Company // Red PumpsBaldi of New York // Images by Nichole Alex Photography

 

 

 

If You Can’t Smell the Flowers, You Might as Well Wear Them!

Hey there, Stylistas!

Thank God for another week and opportunity to make things happen!  I’m very excited that my children, Bradley and Ashleigh will be visiting me from Texas and Louisiana for Mother’s Day.  I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since my son has been home!

Now for this look.  It’s easy to see that floral patterned clothing is everywhere you look.  This is also trending, but is not trendy. I for one, have always been partial to florals because they are:

  1. Pretty
  2. Colorful
  3. Wearable.  If I can’t smell the flowers, I might as well wear them!
  4. A mood lifter.  They make me happy.

This lightweight, pseudo wrap dress can be worn belted or unbelted for a great look. It also has a built in slip and front slit.

Happy Monday.

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

THIS STYLE FOR YOU:  Dress – New York and Company // Booties similiar – Jessica Simpson // Images by  Photography by Nichole Alex

 

The Pleated Skirt. A Classic, not a Trend.

Hey there, beautiful folks!

It’s Monday afternoon and I haven’t had my caffeine!  This is what happens when you try to go cold turkey!

If you’ve been watching me, you’ll notice that my flair can’t really be pegged; or can it?  Okay, I need my caffeine.  So to get back on subject, some style experts are saying that this is the year for pleated skirts and yes they are trending.  But trust, the pleated skirt is a classic from way back.

For the curvy girl, know that this is one of the most flattering pieces for your body!  Generally A-line in form, they cinch in the waist and fall ever so nicely on the stomach and hips.  I can remember having the prettiest red and black pleated skirt that my mother purchased for me many years ago when I was in high school.  Also, early on when my husband and I were dating, he gifted me with a classic flannel grey one.  It’s still in my closet and in the regular rotation. So, know that when I saw a lovely blush pink pleated skirt in H&M, I had to have it!  And then I peeped a black one?  SOLD!

When I speak as a stylist about having timeless pieces in your closet and mixing them with a trendy piece, the outfit in this post is spot on.  It spotlights last season’s off the shoulder blouse (this is actually a tunic) with a classic.  It’s sassy, ageless and sophisticated.

Again, have fun with style, because it’s totally yours!

 

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

Tunic Dress – H&M (old) // Pleated Skirt – H&M // Obi Belt – New York and Company // Shoes – Ross Dress for Less (old) // Images by – Gervel Sampson Photography

With Style, Step Out of Your Comfort Zone!

Happy Thursday, Stylistas!

Do you ever find yourself apprehensive about making a change in your work life, family life, love life or style life?  As creatures of habit, we tend to be slow to make changes if it makes us even a little uneasy.  And as we age, it seems like it is even harder!

At 52 years old, I still shop at Forever 21. Don’t judge me. #teamyouthfulspiritforever

Some of us are stuck on the name “Forever 21”, but trust, there are a lot of hidden gems in that store.

Stylistas, here are a few tips to help you step out of your style comfort zone:

  • Purchase clothes from a new retailer.
  • Consider another point of view (i.e., hire a stylist).
  • Purchase a colorful article of clothing, that you never would have worn in the past.
  • Don’t let your age limit you.  Just keep in mind that your goal is not to look like a teenager.

I hope you take these tips and apply them to your style life, if needed!

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

Rust Duster similar here – Forever 21 // Brown Tee similar here – Targetstyle // Graphic Print Bell Bottoms similar here Forever 21 // Fringly Sandals – Steve Madden // Medallion Necklace similar here – NY and Company // Sunnies similar here – Old // Images byGervel Sampson Photography

Covered Perfectly’s Peekaboo Blouse

 

Hello beautiful people!

I’m excited to bring a product review on one of Covered Perfectly’s pieces from their most recent collection!  Can we begin by calling 2017 the year of the sleeve; bell sleeves, butterfly sleeves and now the peekaboo sleeve?!


As I have mentioned during previous reviews of Covered Perfectly products, the fabric of the blouse is 95% micro-modal and feels amazing next to my skin. It is also asymmetrically draped, which works for those days you want to just throw on some leggings or a form fitting jean, pant or skirt and not stress about signs of a tummy bulge. I paired my blouse with a pencil skirt.  And let’s talk about these sleeves!  They are beautifully constructed.

Stylish Paradox readers are entitled to a 20% discount on up to two items.  Just use the discount code SP20 when checking out at Covered Perfectly. The discount will apply on up to two items or take advantage of the buy 2 get the 3rd FREE deal.  Only only one of the discounts will work.

Until next  time,

Love and light!

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneakers and Dresses.

Dress – New York and Company // Sneakers – Converse (Chuck Taylors)

Hey there!  Did you spring forward this morning?  I spent most of my morning working with a wonderful photographer, Nichole Alex. As a newbie in front of the camera, she made my experience a wonderful one!  Check her out. Photos from our collaboration are coming soon!

Y’all know I love a pretty dress.  But how about wearing a pretty dress with sneaks?  The beautiful thing about style is that it is individual, and we should own it.  As style architects we shape and mold. Most of us can even point out a time or a person who influenced  a facet of our personal style.

Many years ago, I saw an older woman (I was very young at the time) in a flowing midi skirt with a pair of brightly colored, high top Chuck Taylors.  She was definitely dressed edgy,  with a t-shirt, bolero denim jacket, fashionable tortoise shell eyeglasses and a neat pixie hair cut.  Her image is still etched in my mind. I appreciated the risk she took, because some fashion experts might see this type of pairing as a faux paus. However, I knew from the moment I laid eyes on her, tennis shoes and dresses would be a part of my style arsenal.  I’m 50 plus and counting, and it’s still with me.

Stylistas, do you have a outfit combo you’re afraid to rock?  Need some help putting it together?  Give me a call, and I’ll be happy to assist.  For more details, please click the “styling services” tab.

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

 

 

 

Countdown to Springtime: Wake Up and Smell the Flowers.

Floral Wrap Dress Forever 21 Plus // Necklace – New York and Company // Shoes – Baldi London // Sunnies – Targetstyle // Handbag – Estee Lauder

Happy Wednesday, beautiful people!

Okay, I’m getting stoked about Springtime!  So, every opportunity I get to dress like we’re already in the throes of perpetual sunshine, I’m doing it!

I found this very pretty, floral wrap dress in my local Forever 21 store in the “plus” section right before Valentine’s Day.  Yes, the plus section.  Also, know that wrap dresses are very complimentary to most body types; and especially the curvy girl!

Here are a couple of quick facts: 1) Did you know that the average woman in the United States wears a size 14-16? 2) Plus sizes begin at size 12.

Let the countdown to springtime begin!

I love you guys!

Until next time, peace and a whole lot of blessings!

Julie