Wedding Dress Shopping with Stella York

Hey beauties!

Today’s post is extra exciting and truly a long time coming! I’ve been engaged for 7 months already and I’m finally starting to plan the wedding! We’re looking at venues, brainstorming the decor, and writing out our guest list. But without a shadow of a doubt, the thing I was most excited about was shopping for a wedding dress! Over the years, I’ve been offered a few different modeling jobs where I’d get to model wedding dresses, but I’ve always passed. I wanted the first time I tried on a wedding dress to be for the real thing! And here we are!

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I officially went wedding dress shopping for the first time and it was seriously so incredible! I tried on over ten dresses by Stella York and was blown away by how beautiful I felt! Not only was the experience super emotional, it was educational. There’s a lot to know when you’re looking for a wedding dress and I’m so grateful for the team at Bridal Elegance who helped me for my fitting! Today, I want to share all that I learned from how to prepare for your fitting to how to pick your dress!

 

 

I prepared for my fitting with no actual knowledge of what would be happening that day! I did basically no research and I don’t suggest that at all lol! Luckily, I learned a bunch and I hope this post will be helpful for you if and when you go in for a plus size bridal fitting!

When preparing for your bridal fitting, it is important to know the Who, What, When, Where, and Why!

Who should be there with you? For my fitting, it was just me and my mom; and that was perfect for me! But it’s pretty normal for your maid of honor, sisters, and friends to come too! I suggest inviting 1-4 people to join you for your fitting! Some brides do come alone, but I know that I loved every moment I shared with my mom that day! It was a special moment and it is so nice to have your loved ones there to share in that joy! Some brides invite their whole bridal party and that can get really messy, really quickly! Too many opinions can be tough and this day is supposed to be about you! Don’t let anything or anyone else steal your shine or influence you to choose a dress you don’t love! And just know, that it is completely normal to have multiple brides trying on dresses at the bridal shop, so your group won’t be able to overflow into other sections!

What should you bring to the fitting? This was my biggest question when I set my appointment and I ended up bringing so much unnecessary stuff, haha! First and foremost, you should definitely bring a good range of nude colored undergarments! I brought regular and strapless bras, spanx, and underwear! It’s also a good idea to bring a few pairs of shoes! The bridal shop I went to had a few different pairs, but it’s better to try on your dress with shoes that fit well and have a heel height you would actually wear to your wedding. I also suggest bring your makeup or having it done beforehand. If you have your hair and makeup done, you’ll be able to see the full picture once the dress is on! And don’t worry about getting makeup on the dresses. There will be a dresser there to help you put on all your dresses carefully! And lastly, you can wear whatever jewelry you want to the fitting, but you will be asked to remove anything that might snag the dress!

 

When should I make an appointment? My fitting was on a Monday at 10am and I had the whole place to myself until noon! I know that you might work a 9 to 5 job, but the bridal shop assured me that you should try to schedule your fitting on a weekday instead of a weekend. Most bridal shops are open after work hours, so you might find it helpful to schedule your fitting on a weeknight! It’s important to start shopping for your dress 8-9 months before the wedding! That seems like such a long time, because well… it is! But they are making the dress specifically for you and that takes about sixteen to twenty weeks to receive! Then you have a few months to make any final alterations!

Where should I make my appointment? This one was easy for me, because I went where I knew they would have a wide selection of Stella York dresses! The best way to find out what bridal stores carry plus sizes is to simply call! Most stores will be extra kind and accommodating! If they don’t carry plus sizes, they will often point you in the right direction of what other bridal shops will have the best selection! And if they do carry plus sizes, they can check their inventory to see how many options they have in your size and even request more samples from brands – if there’s enough advance notice!

Why should you go in for a bridal fitting? Because you want to look and feel your best on your big day! There are other ways to order wedding dresses, but fittings allow you to try out different kinds of dresses all at once and play with the accessories too! The staff will have SO much knowledge and experience; and that will be extremely helpful in eliminating some of the stress that can come with wedding planning! Also, the fitting is free; so… why not?

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Okay, so let’s talk about the dresses themselves! I walked into my fitting with absolutely no clue what kind of dress I wanted! I had never really thought about it, so I decided that I should try as many styles as possible. And I seriously recommend that plan of action! When you try on all the different styles you can find what silhouette, color, and detailing you love – in that order!

I tried on four different silhouettes: ballgown, fit & flare, soft A-line, and full A-line. Each cut can come with different necklines, fastenings, and fabrics! And then I moved on to color selection! Pro tip: Pure white is actually a bit blue; so choose Ivory for a more traditional look! Each and every dress you try on can be made it multiple colors, so all the dresses are worth trying on even if you don’t like color. It’s also noteworthy that the hem and size chart can vary from brand to brand! All of the Stella York dresses I”m wearing below come hemmed to 5’9. I’m just an inch shorter so it was too noticeable! Bridal shops come equipped with plenty of tools to help you see how it will fit once tailored for you! You can see that I needed several clips here in this first photo!

 

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This first dress is a ballgown with a horsehair trim and sweetheart neckline! The ivory trim sits over a moscato colored base.

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This is an ivory, soft A-line dress with a sweetheart neckline and an off the shoulder top.

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This is a two tone, aline dress with a sweetheart neckline and chantilly lace detailing. The ivory lace sits over a pewter base.

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The next dress is an ivory, fit and flare dress with a sweetheart neckline and a corset back. The belt is added separately.

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Stella York style 5922

This gold fit and flare dress has a V-neckline and beautifully detailed bedding.

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This ivory, A-line dress had a sweetheart neckline, lace edging, and a tulle bottom.

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The last dress is an A-line with a sweetheart neckline, corset back, and lace detailing. The ivory lace sits over a glittery champagne colored base.

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Once you find a dress that you love, there are so many extra details that can be added to make the dress your own! The seamstress can alter, adjust, and add extra beading, lace, ribbons, rhinestone layerings, and even extended trains. Most bridal shops will also have veils, belts, and other accessories for you to try on! No matter how you choose to make your dress yours, make sure that you feel comfortable, beautiful, and overall bridal!

 

 

Thank you so much for reading! I hope this was helpful! Be sure to comment with an questions and I’ll do my best to help! And if you’re ready to find the Stella York wedding dress of your dreams, you can view a complete list of retailers using the store locator.

Alex

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This post was sponsored by Stella York.

 

Power Outfit | Sponsored by Express

Hey beauties!

It’s the end of Women’s History Month and like every year (every day, if we’re being honest), I am absolutely blown away by the powerhouse women in my life and online! Do you know how truly lucky we are to be living in the age of the internet where we can read stories of women doing incredible work all over the world? Do you know that also includes YOU? Women are strong, powerful, and more ambitious than ever! In just my immediate friend group, I’ve got doctors, CEOs, moms, scholars, and so much more! I am so inspired on the daily!

One thing that I’m learning is that success isn’t reserved for those who went to the best schools or those with the biggest bank accounts. You don’t have to fit the mold or have everything figured out! Whether it’s your career, your love life, or your own personal wellness; all you need to grow is ambition and the belief that what you want is possible!! I’m currently working on refining that inner voice that for so long said I couldn’t accomplish my goals for whatever reason and changing it to a voice that says, “you know what? Maybe I can!” I used to daydream and think about all the negative “what ifs.” And I know I’m not alone! So I’m challenging you to daydream and think “what if this all works out?” Powerful right?

Fine tuning that inner voice to work in your favor is the number one step toward accomplishing any goal! And you know what? IT’S TOTALLY DOABLE! It will feel different at first, but the more you decide to give yourself a chance, the easier it gets! And then you get to watch the beautiful process of changing into a women who not only believes in herself, but KNOWS that success is on her side! Your ambition grows and you find yourself thriving in things that were once just a daydream!

One thing that changed for me (that was a much welcomed surprise) was finding ways to feel powerful immediately! One way that I will instantly feel recharged and ready to go is a solid convo with a friend where you are encouraging them! Speaking life into your friend and their dreams definitely has a reciprocal effect! You’ll leave that conversation feeling encouraged yourself! Another way to feel better immediately, is having a powerhouse look! That’s what I call that one outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks! Mine is a great pair of jeans!! My current favorite pair is from Express! They recently launched their new denim proportions that are literally designed to fit all your curves like a glove! With a cinched waist and a fit that mimics your own body, these jeans seriously feel like they were made to fit your body! And I’m seriously digging the cute ankle cut off! I’ve had these for a couple weeks and they have been my go to outfit for model castings, date nights, and everything between! Do you have a powerhouse outfit? Cause you should! And guess what? I have an Express Ring Code that will give you $25 off a $100 purchase in-store or online! The Ring Code is 8132 and its expires 4/15/19, so get to shopping! Terms and conditions apply, see link here: https://www.express.com/g/modal/disclaimer/in-store-t-and-c.

Thank you so much for reading and remember, you are so dang powerful!! Women’s History Month may be coming to an end, but the party never stops when you’ve learned to harness that inner voice for your own benefit!

Have a great week!

Alex

SHOP THE POST

Jeans | Top | Shoes | Earrings

This post is sponsored by Express.

Bra Talk | Sponsored by Torrid

Sponsored by Torrid
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Hi there!

 

Spring has sprung and I know my house isn’t the only place that could use a little bit of spring cleaning! This year, I’ve decided to Marie Kondo my closet and leave behind all the things that aren’t actually bringing me joy!

 

Today, I want to talk to you about something that has rarely sparked joy! Bras. *collective sigh* I know, I know… bras can be a frenemy that are amazing sometimes and other times just down right rude. And can I be honest with you? I wasn’t convinced I could actually find a bra that didn’t make me feel trapped, hot, or uncomfortable.

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I’m so excited to share that I’ve found a go to everyday bra that gives me the support I want, but also gives me the comfort I absolutely need. I’m wearing the new 360 Push Up T-Shirt Bra from Torrid and I’ve worn it the last 5 days in a row. For me, my number one concern about shopping for a bra is comfort! Then there’s fit, function, and style.
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After a couple weeks of wear, I can definitively say that the Torrid 360 Push Up T-Shirt Bra is surprisingly comfortable. When you can roam around your day and not think of your bra once, that is a win! The name 360 comes from the patent pending back-smoothing technology used in the band! This technology keeps your bra basically invisible under your clothes and it really helps prevent any digging along the band.
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I’m wearing the Push Up version of the bra, but they also have a regular T-Shirt Bra and a Plunge version as well! It felt fitting to pair my bra with the matching 360 panties that are also super comfy! Be sure to check out the full collection, just click here! They offer band sizes 36-54 and cup sizes C-H!
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Have an incredible day! And, as always, thank you for reading!

 

Alex

 

Thank you Torrid for sponsoring this post!

 

Welcome to Swim Season | Sponsored by SwimsuitsForAll

Hey beauties!!

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I’m so excited it is starting to warm up!! Like helloooo spring and hello swimsuit season!! LA had an unusually cold winter and I know (I know!) it doesn’t compare to winter in most places, but I finally understand why the start of spring is such a magical time of year!

 

I’m currently purging my closet of the things I haven’t worn all winter and stocking up on some new spring goodies – including swimsuits! I figured I’d share the love and let you in on one of my favorite place to shop for suits, Swimsuits For All! This brand was one of the very first brands to make high quality, trendy swimsuits for plus size women! And they honestly continue to blow me away every season, especially their collaborations with Gabi Fresh and Ashley Graham!
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Let’s talk about this stunning bikini! Growing up, I figured I would never wear a bikini in my adult life! I truly thought the bikini life just wasn’t for me! Thank goodness for the internet because it was in our lovely plus size community that I saw other women my size wearing bikinis and looking absolutely amazing!! I love this suit from the GabiFresh X Swimsuits For All collection because not only is the sparkling stripes super glam and beautiful, the fit is so good! This suit is sold by cup size, so you can guarantee a great fit!

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When I found this Ashley Graham X Swimsuits For All suit on the site, I could picture myself wearing it anywhere! It is one of those suits that are super comfy and you could literally wear all day! And the cut outs still give it a sexy look! This suit isn’t sold in different cup sizes, but the halter tops gives you great support and the the inner wiring along the waist and bust helps keeps the girls in place too! I love this suit because the styling options feel limitless! You could easily throw on some shorts or a dress and have a full day look!

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Okay, I had to show you all this look! How hot is this GabiFresh X Swimsuits For All suit? This may be my favorite suit right now! There’s so many things to love about this fire-inspired suit! From the fit to the mesh cutouts to the overall design, this suit will make you feel like a million bucks and definitely turn some heads! This suit also has wiring in the waist and bust, which help the suit sit smooth on your body and give your bust some extra support! You can buy this one by the cup size which I always prefer; and I love the brown mesh because its matches well with my skin tone!

These are some of the suits I’m swooning over this season! What kind of suits do you like?

 

Thank you so much for reading!

Alex

 

Thank you Swimsuit For All for sponsoring this post!

 

Making History | EV1 by Walmart

Making History | EV1 by Walmart

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This post is sponsored by Walmart.

 

Spring has sprung and this is truly my favorite time of the year! The new year has that feeling of endless possibilities, but spring has always felt like a more concrete time to reflect on where you are, to clarify your goals, and to commit to making some necessary changes – without all that new year pressure! And personally,  I can’t think of a better time to try and get my life together than after the magic that is Black History Month and throughout Women’s Herstory Month!

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Lately, I’ve really loved the idea of celebrating history, but of also actively making history through my everyday choices! I was always taught that history consists of the stories of the past. But as I learn to know myself and my own personal power to shape my existence, I’m starting to believe that history is only defined by our present understanding. I love the phrase “And the rest is history.” because in that moment, we are defining and acknowledge that self created truth. That is a power we all hold. We all get to define what our story is, what it was, and what it will be. And then, we get to redefine it if we want to, too! No one can define you, but you. And no one can make your history, but you. So, why wouldn’t we choose to believe that the universe is working in our favor?

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The universe was certainly working in my favor when I found this sweatshirt that prompted this whole train of thought! It’s part of the new EV1 by Ellen DeGeneres spring collection from Walmart! The line was designed with you in mind! And you! And you! In true Ellen fashion, this collection was thoughtfully crafted to be inclusive, colorful, and full of love. With lots of denim, sweaters, jackets, activewear, and even shoes, there’s something for everyone!

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When I was shopping the collection, I was immediately drawn to the making history message on this sweatshirt! I think that most of us would like to know that we are making a difference somewhere to someone; and that’s exactly what I am setting my intentions on when I’m wearing it! These cute white vintage jeans caught my eye for a far less meaningful reason! I noticed them because they are actually called the “Alex Relaxed Vintage Jean” and honestly, how perfect is that? I finished the look with these super comfy sneakers and a pair of simple silver hoops! All of these items are available at Walmart.

 

Thanks for reading and, as always, I hope you have an amazing week!

 

Alex

 

Thank you Walmart for sponsoring this post.

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5 Things To Know When Shopping For Shapewear | Sponsored by Macy’s

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This post is sponsored by Macy’s!

Hello my loves,

 

And happy holidays! I hope you all had an incredible Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever way you choose to celebrate this time of year! As for me, I’m still winding down from spending my Christmas laughing, drinking, and eating enough for two haha! I love the days between Christmas and New Years because it’s this weird time of the year where you work less, rest more, and don’t really need to know what day it is! My main focus these days is solidifying my New Year’s Eve plans and deciding what to wear!

 

With that in mind, I’m grateful to be partnering with Macy’s to discuss an item of clothing that becomes very necessary for me during this season – shapewear! It’s a topic I’ve wanted to discuss here for a while because I know that there are a lot of mixed feelings about this particular item of clothing! While some hate shapewear with a passion, my work as a plus size model requires it to be a part of my regular life! And through this experience, there have been five major takeaways I’ve learned when it comes to shopping for shapewear!

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Number 1: First things first, shapewear isn’t a replacement for learning to love your body! In high school, I used to wear shapewear every single day – at home, at church, in class, and even during P.E.! I had an extremely unhealthy view on shapewear and used it to feel better about my body. Even 16 year old Alex came off as confident, but my self esteem was tied to being able to smooth and hide my real body. That wasn’t real confidence because it was based on someone else’s perception of me and it took me years to learn how to actually love and accept my body. It was a lot of work and still an ongoing effort, but I promise it’s worth it! Now I wear shapewear to make wearing clothes more comfortable!
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Number 2: Shapewear has tons of uses and different clothing requires different types of shapewear. I have shapewear that I use to block sweat marks, to prevent wrinkles, and to act as a barrier against chafing! Now that I’m in full holiday party mode, I’m wearing shapewear styles with built in shorts so that I can dance the night away and not worry about chub rub! I love the pair I’m wearing here because this MiracleSuit high waisted power short has soft cotton on the inside to keep me cool and a smooth nylon/spandex outside layer to block any sweat that may seep through all while protecting my thighs from rubbing together!

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Number 3: One size does not truly fit all! There are many shapewear brands out there that only carry one or two sizes, but this isn’t the shapewear for me (or you!). I only want shapewear that is built to fit my body and not just squeeze my body! Macy’s carries shapewear up to a size 28!

 

Number 4: Details definitely do matter! When shopping for shapewear, I look at the fabric, fit description, and most importantly, the waistband! I like to wear shapers that have a silicon lining at the waist and thigh. Taking the time to consider these small details will save you from pulling, tugging, and re-adjusting your shapewear all day – which is possibly the most annoying thing about wearing shapewear!
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Number 5: Shapewear is for you and for no one else! If you choose not to wear shapewear, I support you! If you choose to wear it, I support you too! And I urge you to find shapewear that serves a purpose further than simply making you smaller. Because you are beautiful and deserve to take up all the space you require!

 

All items in this post are available at Macy’s! As always, thank you for reading!

 

Xoxo,

Alex
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This post is sponsored by Macy’s!

 

Cozy Moments | Sponsored by LOFT

 

Hey lovelies!

 

Welcome to my personal winter wonderland! I don’t know about you, but as the weather cools I’ve been basically living in cozy sweaters! Running errands? Yep! Night out with the girl? Mhmm! Date night? You betcha! If it were up to me, I’d make a good quality sweater a mandatory closet staple!

 

I’m currently drooling over this teal wonder from LOFT! The longline cut with the roomy neck makes it my ultimate cozy go-to! I saw it on LOFT’s website and knew it had to be mine! Once I saw it in person, I was even more excited by its warmth and luxurious feel!

 

I splurged a bit more when I saw these to die for studded booties! They make a huge statement and fit perfectly on my wide width foot! Clearly, it was meant to be because they paired perfectly with these LOFT leggings – just look at that ankle detail! It’s really all in the details!

 

 

I can’t wait to style this sweater all winter long! The bright color will add a fun pop of color whether you style like how I did here or with a patterned skirt or your fav pair of jeans!

 

 

The thing I love most about LOFT is that although I purchased these beauties online, they offer a wide range of plus size options (16-26) in select stores! Heading to the mall and trying on their pieces right away makes the shopping experience so much more exciting right?

 

Be sure to check out LOFT’s latest winter goodies online and in store ASAP! Until then, have an incredible holiday season! And of course, stay cozy!

 

XoXo,

 

Alex

Thank you LOFT for sponsoring this post! #LOVELOFT

Fall Florals | City Chic at Macy’s!

Hello my loves!

Fall is here and it is by far my favorite time of the year! Autumn leaves, cinnamon spice, and the promise of months of festivities is more than enough to make this girl excited about the changing season. However for me, fall is all about the fashion! It’s time to pack up your shorts and pull out your scarves! It’s time to play with different layers and silhouettes! And most importantly, fall gives you the best excuse to go shopping! I’m always looking for new brands to wear and one of my recent finds is City Chic! They are an Australian brand that is all about offering premium fearless clothes for plus size women! I was instantly impressed and that’s why I am so happy to be partnering with Macy’s to share this beautiful City Chic look for fall!

I was scrolling through the Macy’s site and immediately fell in love with the lux feel of this dress! At first, I was drawn to the sheer floral design and the flowy fabric! But the cut is what takes this dress to the next level for me! This maxi dress is easy breezy enough for day and easily dressed up for night!

I opted for a leather jacket; because if I’m being honest with myself, even the slightest breeze is reason enough for me to bust out the layers. I also wanted to add some kind of pop that would take the look to the next level, so I choose to pair the dress with bright white booties! Styled this way, I’d wear the look out for a date or an event or girls night out! You could swap the booties for a pair of pumps for a more upscale look.

All items in this post are available at Macy’s! As always, thank you for reading!

Xoxo,

Alex

Thank you Macy’s for sponsoring this post!

Three Go-To Jackets for Fall and Winter | Sponsored by StitchFix

Hey lovelies,

And helloooo November! This just might be my favorite time of the year! The spooky stuff is over and now it’s time to focus on family, food, and presents – woo! I just got back from visiting my best friend in Portland, OR and all the rain reminded me how important it is to plan for the changing seasons! The leaves were stunning, but the rain & wind chill already had me thinking about getting my winter wear together! Although I live in LA, I travel quite a bit during the winter months and need to be prepared with lots of cozy options!

If you’ve been following me for a while then you already know about my love for Stitch Fix! They are a styling service that matches you with a personal stylist who will send you incredible clothes that fit your style, body, and budget! I am so happy to be partnering with Stitch Fix to share three classic jackets that are perfect for fall and winter!

An obvious classic is the leather moto jacket! This is an absolute staple for me and I am thrilled when it finally gets chilly enough to start wearing them each year! I love this specific jacket because the sleeve detail instantly glams up the look! When you first sign up for Stitch Fix you are asked to fill out a style profile that helps the stylist understand your body type, fit preferences, and style! I asked for a bit more glam, so this jacket is right up my alley! I loved the looked of pair this jacket with this textured sweater! You could easier dress this up with a skirt and heels, but I opted to keep things casual with a pair of my favorite jeans!

The next classic jacket style is cargo! We see a lot of military inspired looks this time of year and I always enjoy incorporating this aesthetic into my outfits. Cargo jackets are as functional as they are stylish which makes them an incredible layer to wear while on an outdoor workout. It’s so easy to throw your keys, cell phone, and chapstick in a pocket and go! I decided to create a full camouflage moment with these leggings, because I know this outfit would definitely inspire me to bring my workout to the next level! And there would be no need to worry about the fit, because Stitch Fix tests each item on real women to know how the clothes will fit before they send them out!

The last classic jacket style is a newly adopted favorite of mine… the bomber! Bombers are a great option for looking effortlessly chic! On it’s own the bomber has more of an athlesuire/street feel, but you can absolutely style it to fit your personal style! I attempted to dress the bomber up for a night out by pairing it with heeled booties and a trendy bag with matching earrings! This look was probably my favorite because I instantly felt ready to go out and dance, haha!

Needless to say, Stitch Fix is a great way to update your wardrobe for the season (or for any reason really). And with so many styles, brands, and fits, it is so easy to find the perfect item for you! You can try out the service by clicking HERE and be sure to comment below to let me know what kind of items you would be looking for from this incredible service!

I hope you have the most incredible rest of your week and as always, thank you for reading!

Xoxo,

Alex

Thank you Stitch Fix for sponsoring this post!

NY Collection at Macy’s!

NY Collection at Macy’s!

Hello beauty! How are you? How have you been? How’s your mama? What’s up with me? That’s so sweet of you to ask…

I’m currently sitting at a cafe in San Francisco it is CHILLY!! It’s super foggy and misty; and the summer breeze feels more like a distant cousin of a hurricane! The longer I sit here the more grateful I am that summer is not over at home in LA!

We’ve officially reached the time of the year where I’m still shopping for summer, but I’m mentally preparing for fall! And you should be too! I’m thrilled to be partnering with Macy’s to share their NY Collection because this line is a great starting point when looking for those perfect transitional pieces to get you through the next few months!

The first thing you’ll notice about the NY Collection is that it is super stinkin cute! It’s really giving you a taste of New York with pieces that offer everything from the elevated, chic look of Manhattan to the more balanced boho vibes of Brooklyn. I opted to represent my old stomping grounds and style this adorable floral print shift dress.

It’s perfect for summer because of its light airy fabric and cute lace up details. This dress would honestly look great with heels, boots, flats, or even the right pair of sneakers! It’s versatility is what makes it a good choice; however, it is the fit that makes it a great choice! The dress pintucks at the waist and flares out along the bottom making a great silhouette whether you carry your most weight in your bust, belly, or hips.

I’m so happy with this dress for summer and I can’t wait to style it for the fall! You could pair it with a suede moto jacket and a pair of booties; or my personal choice would be to pair the dress with tall boots, trench coat, and a beanie! How would you style this dress to take it from summer to fall? Any way you wear it, it’s going to have you feeling (and looking) incredible!

All items in this post are available at Macy’s! As always, thank you for reading!

Xoxo,

Alex

Thank you Macy’s for sponsoring this post!