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

Dressing up Your Denim

Blouse – New York and Company // Boyfriend Jeans – Forever 21 // Ombre Pumps – Baldi of London // Necklace – Old // Watch – Jord Watches

Hey there!  I’m glad we are mid-week and I am looking forward to spending my weekend celebrating the birthday of another dear friend and working on my passion!  I had the pleasure of collaborating a few weeks ago with a beautiful soul, Mrs. Gervel Sampson of Gervel Sampson Photography. The story of our meeting was truly a show of God’s intervention.  I’ll tell you about it later! Now, let me tell you about dressing up your denim!

Everybody needs a white shirt in their closet.  But, how about a white shirt that strays away from the boring and is so beautiful it takes your breath away. Plus, it masks some inches around your waist in the process!

The beautiful blouse in this post is really breathtaking and I’ve come to the conclusion, I may need another color.  It’s a bit tricky to get on, but it amazingly compliments the figure with it’s wrap style.  I paired this beauty with distressed boyfriend jeans from Forever 21.  Keep in mind that because the blouse is so “fancy” for lack of a better term, it’s not a bad item to balance the look for perhaps a date night, or for what people on the west coast call, “California Casual”.  I’ve dubbed the ombre pumps, my Wizard of Oz shoes!

Enjoy the rest of your week!  And until next time,

Love and light!

Julie

 

Chambray Jumpsuit+ Gold Rose + Fringe

Denim Jumpsuit k/lab by Kohl’s // Fringe Sandals – Steven Madden // Gold Choker – Chidoki’s World // Gold Rose Clutch – Old // Other Jewelry – Gifted

Happy Tuesday,  beautiful people!

Did you know that “jumpsuit” was the original term for one piece garments that skydivers and parachute jumpers used in their professions?  The garment is often worn by laborers, pilots, drivers and sportspersons.  And what about babies?  You know, the onesie?  And the infamous orange garment worn by prisoners?

I can appreciate a great romper. What about you?

This chambray, off the shoulder romper is comfortable and can be dressed up with a sandal or dressed down with your favorite oxford or sneaker.

People, don’t sleep on Kohl’s Department store!  I bought this on a whim, trolling through the junior’s department.  Yes, that’s what I said, juniors!  It’s from the k/lab Collection.  Take a chance on style folks, take a chance.

Until next time, love and light.

Julie

 

 

Come Through, Plaid Suit!

Suit – New York and Company // Shoes – New York and Company // Handbag – Estee Lauder // Sunnies – Old // Images – Nichole Alex Photography

Hey there!  More rain in the Los Angeles forecast, but it won’t stop my grind.  The weekend awaits another fabulous collaboration!  And speaking of collaboration, the images are again by the talented photographer, Nichole Alex.  She surely helped me come through on camera in this stunning plaid suit!

 

I’m sure we all have certain things that we shy away from wearing; like the skirt that is a tad too short, or an outfit that is a little too flashy for our conservative nature.  Well, if you take notice on most of my posts I don’t wear pants.  And if the clothing I wear is in the pants family, it’ll more than likely be a pair of jeans.  This is mainly because I’ve always been self-conscious of my thighs, hips and stomach. Even when I was 30 pounds lighter.  I’ve always felt that dresses were more complimentary to my body type and I still do.  But, there is always that game changer, and this plaid suit is just that for me.

I was wooed by New York and Company again,  when I saw an online exclusive for this beautiful two piece suit.  I love everything about it.  And everything in it!

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

Spring Time: A Floral Explosion

 

Enchant One Shoulder Maxi Dress – New York and Company // Strappy Lace-Up Sandals – Nordstrom Rack // Purple Clutch Bag – Vintage // Sunnies – Old // Statement Necklace – Laura Gems // Photography – Nichole Alex

Spring has sprung! And your girl is over the moon! Even though rain is in the forecast for Wednesday, it doesn’t matter. It’s time for a wardrobe switch up and a floral explosion!

This period isn’t the only time we should wear floral patterns, but with fresh blooms, cherry blossoms and the like all around us, it’s right in line with the season!

This fabulous one shoulder maxi dress is a head turner!  From the IAMNYANDCO collection; it was love at first sight!  The colors are so vibrant and the fabric flows, with every movement of your body.  I paired this dress with some lace-up sandals and a vintage bag I pulled from my closet archives.  The necklace was a gift from my sister Beverly on my wedding day.  Thanks sis, it’s definitely a keeper!

The dress is currently on sale right now, so you’d be wise to purchase now before it sells out.  And I can assure you, this one will!

Happy Spring, Stylistas!  And until next time,

Love and light!

Julie

 

Covered Perfectly and the Sylvia Draped Top Love Affair.

Hello beautiful people!

I’m happy to bring you another review on Covered Perfectly.  This time it’s a beautiful royal blue blouse from their Micromodal Collection.  Properly named, the Sylvia “Draped” blouse, it falls wonderfully on the body and has 3/4 sleeves that are complimentary to the arms.  I love the micromodal fabric, as it is giving and soft to the touch. The item is definitely well constructed.

For this post, I decided to pair the blouse with a metallic gold skirt, floral jacket, statement neck piece and royal blue shoes.

I am excited because in the coming weeks, I’ll be joining the Covered Perfectly brand again for their spring collection photo shoot.  #feelinghonored to be asked back!

Stylish Paradox readers are entitled to a 20% discount on up to two items purchased from Covered Perfectly.  Just use the discount code SP20 at checkout. The discount will apply for up to two items or you can benefit from the “buy 2 get the 3rd FREE deal”. Only one of the discounts will work.

Stay posted for the #fierce50 campaign, launching Sunday, February 19th. More information coming your way soon!

Have a great week and be blessed!

Until next time,

Julie