Search Results for: label/lifetherapy

Small Business Saturday – Lifetherapy

My friend Sarah introduced me to the brand Lifetherapy last year and I have been a fan ever since.  I’m a bracelet junkie with a New Agey heart, so the brand really spoke to me.  Since then, I have added a Lifetherapy necklace to my collection and have enjoyed their body collection.  Lifetherapy is a US-based company run by Lynette Lovelace, a true labor of love for this inspiring woman.

Lynette believes fragrance and color are the most influential ways she can create awareness in others of how the mind works and the power of thought. After experiencing some difficult life experiences, Lynette found fragrance and color to provide a natural healing place and now hopes to share those healing powers with others through Lifetherapy.

Lynette has a strong background in retail. Before starting Lifetherapy, she owned a boutique and bistro in a Chicago suburb for 20 years.  Lynette sees Lifetherapy as an extension of her personality and loves connecting with users and sharing stories about how simple awareness can alter one’s mood and reaction to things.  Lifetherapy does carry bracelets as well as necklaces and body care products that are formulated by mood.

The body care line is different from others in that the five fragrances featured are meant to create the sense to PLAY, ESCAPE, CHILL, VACATION, and FLIRT. Lifetherapy’s MOOD boosting fragrances are alcohol free, paraben free, phthalate free, mineral oil free, petroleum free, not tested on animals and made in the USA.  I’ve tried products from the VACATION, FLIRT, and PLAY collections and find the products high quality. My favorite are the Pulse Point Oil Perfumes which are long lasting and their packaging is perfect for travel.

I have several of Lifetherapy’sPositivity in Color bracelets which bring about awareness of MOOD with the use of 12 different colors, each color representing a different strength, keeping you mindful of the positive. Each accessory is adorned with the brand’s signature turquoise bead for protection and good fortune. Also, all bracelets are handmade in the USA.

My new favorite collection from Lifetherapy is the Zodiac Copper Collection, which has delicate pendant necklaces and wrap bracelets decorated with charms.  There’s a bracelet and necklace for each astrological sign.  Lynette got the idea for the collection from visiting her husband’s place of work where he deals in metal fabrication. One day she noticed small copper scraps on the floor and asked if she could recycle them and turn them into jewelry.  Copper is a great conductor of electricity and is often used by healers to conduct life energy (also known as qi, chi, or prana).  Copper is believed to smooth and amplify the flow of energy within the body and in doing so it also soothes the thoughts, emotions, and energies.  Lynette already used turquoise in her line as it is known for drawing negative vibrations from a person; one of the main compounds of turquoise is copper so it seemed like a perfect pairing and a way to increase the power of turquoise.  I have the Aquarius bracelet and wear it often (see it here on my Instagram profile); the necklace’s chain is a bit short but I have moved the charms to my favorite charm necklace.

Maybe you believe in the power of color, elements and fragrance to heal and improve mood. If you don’t, you can still appreciate the beautiful handcrafted jewelry and delicious body care products and that they are made by a woman who truly believes in her product and who truly cares about her customers.  I started as one of Lynette’s customers but now consider her a friend. If you want to know more about Lifetherapy and Lynette, visit Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

 
The Small Business Saturday series on Wardrobe Oxygen features US-based independent brands and artists that focus on style with substance and soul. Stay tuned to learn about more great small businesses, and if you know a business that deserves to be featured please share it in the comments!

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Basic Black and White

Blouse: Jones New York c/o Gwynnie Bee | Jeans: NYDJ | Shoes: Cole Haan | Necklace: Cameron Pendant c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot | Watch: c/o WatchCo | Bracelets: c/o Lifetherapy, Nordstrom, had forever | Glasses: c/o Coastal.com

This top is perfect for this weather – billowy and breezy for the commute, but enough coverage that I don’t freeze to death in the office. This is totally the kind of top I buy, wear once or twice, and tire of the print because it’s too memorable. Love that with Gwynnie Bee I can wear it once or twice, and then return it for something new without buyer’s remorse. Interested in trying Gwynnie Bee?  Use this link, tell them Wardrobe Oxygen sent you and get a 30 day free trial of the program.

I just got these glasses Friday evening but have already fallen in love. When I got new glasses back in December, I wanted something classic, stylish without being trendy, something appropriate for work as well as every day. My Issy and La “Gloss” frames are perfect for that, but now I want more frames, and fun frames. I love the bold look of these, and it’s exciting to find frames that are big enough for my ginormous noggin. I did get these frames for free (review here), but I would totally order from Coastal.com again. Great prices, good service, and shipping is lightening fast. In fact, if you go to this link (not an affiliate link, not getting paid to share, just me being jazzed about sharing this with you) and pick any of these frames and add your prescription and use the code FIRSTPAIRFREE you get… well your first pair free! You do have to pay for shipping (which is around $9.00), but what an awesome steal of a deal. It’s always good to always have a spare pair or a fun pair that gets you out of your comfort zone.

Speaking of great deals, I have been wearing my Lifetherapy bracelets quite a lot and get so many compliments on them.  They have offered Wardrobe Oxygen readers 20% off on ALL Lifetherapy products (body care as well as jewelery).  Use code WARDROBEOXYGEN at checkout; this code is valid until 7/1/2013.

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True Spring

Jacket: ASOS | Tee: Banana Republic | Jeans: Gap | Scarf: Express circa 2000 (similar) | | Halogen (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bracelets: c/o lifetherapy

Today feels like spring, finally! After a weird last week with snow and wind and rain, it’s nice to have a day where I can let my ankles breathe and see sunshine. While I love these boyfriend jeans, they stretch out a lot and not just at the waist. This is a second wearing for them and I far prefer how they look on Day 1. Luckily I have my Beltaway to keep them from falling down. Beltaway started following me on Twitter a couple months ago, I was curious, clicked on their link and dug what they were selling. I think many of us deal with jeans that gape at the back or stretch out during the day, but regular belts can show lumps under knits. Well I told them I liked their idea, they were nice enough to send me one. Beltaway is slim, I have a navy one that disappears with denim, has a low-profile plastic belt that not only isn’t bulky, but means you can keep your belt on through metal detectors. Beltaway sent me the belt to be nice, with no expectations. I’m just sharing my love because it really does rock and it pretty much lives in these boyfriend jeans so I don’t have whale tail by noon.

I had the CUTEST outfit Thursday, but somehow lost my memory card en route to the office. I pretty much built the outfit around my new favorite bracelets from lifetherapy. Lynette sent me these bracelets and they have become as much of my uniform as a pair of leopard shoes. The combo I am wearing is the Indigo Spiritual & Focus Bracelet with Turquoise , Indigo Spiritual & Focus Czech Glass Bead Bracelet , and Indigo Spiritual & Focus Silk Wrap Bracelet . I chose an indigo theme because it supposedly helps one focus on personal issues, develop intuition, solitude and inner communication. Indigo symbolizes wisdom and spiritual realization. Good fit for me right about now, no? Each of these lifetherapy bracelets has a turquoise stone which represents friendship, wisdom, vibrant growth, courage, and good fortune. The Silk Wrap Bracelet has a charm that is a replica of a Chinese Ching Dynasty coin which represents the heavens and the hole in the earth. While I did get these bracelets as a gift, I have been wearing them pretty much non-stop (check out my Instagram for proof) because they are beautiful and I do think at least by looking at them, help calm me and give me focus. It’s nice to find jewelry that both looks beautiful and possibly provides a benefit.

Oh, and the hair? I’m starting to figure it out when it’s not straight.  It’s coming along nicely!  This was letting it air dry with just argan oil, then adding Neil George Detangling Spray, twisting pieces, and hitting the bangs with the flat iron, and Elnett to set. 

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Hammer Time

Blouse: MICHAEL Michael Kors | Pants: Street Festival (similar) | Shoes: Franco Sarto Artists Collection (similar) | Ring: Vintage via Etsy (similar) | Bracelets: c/o Lifetherapy, Ann Taylor, Nordstrom, Lauren Ralph Lauren | Earrings: Argento Vivo

A couple months ago I was at a festival in town and saw these pants for sale in a booth. I figured they wouldn’t fit, those “one size fits all” pieces rarely fit a woman over a size 10. But I looked at them more closely and my sister encouraged me to try them. The vendor let me take them into a nearby cafe to try them on in their restroom, I stood up on the toilet to see in the mirror, hunched over to see my reflection and thought from that odd angle that they were pretty cool… and bought them. I’ve worn them before, with an Old Navy vintage v-neck hanging out at home, and with this blouse to Dan Savage’s recent book signing in DC (though that time due to the hurt leg it was with lower shoes). Did I NEED harem pants? No, but they are a heck of a lot of fun and quite comfortable in this heat!

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Could Fry an Egg

Top: c/o Karen Kane | Pants: Tahari | Shoes: Nine West (similar) | Bracelet: c/o Lifetherapy | Hoops: Argento Vivo | Glasses: Derek Cardigan 7003 c/o Coastal.com

I think this weather was more the type where you could steam an egg rather than fry it. DC has been a few days of heat, rain, heat, rain and it’s hard to pull together a work-appropriate ensemble and not sweat through it by time you reach the office. Karen Kane sent me this top and I positively love it; it’s one of those tops that looks far better in person. The fabric is actually linen, but a lightweight slub fabric that is comfortable in the humidity and drapes so nicely. I’ve worn it before with the black pants for an easy early-morning outfit, and also like it with white jeans.  It does say dry clean only, but I washed on gentle in a lingerie bag and let it air dry and it turned out nicely.

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Last Days of Leather

Blouse: Ann Taylor (similar) | Skirt: eBay (similar) | Booties: Miss Sixty (similar) | Bracelets: Nordstrom, Lauren Ralph Lauren, c/o lifetherapy | Necklace: Lillith” c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot

While I do believe in spring and summer leather (especially with the perforated styles that are so popular this season), we’re ending the days where I can get away with my black leather skirts. Today it’s going to be in the ’80s and was 70 when these pictures were taken. This skirt is actually cool because the weight has it stand away from the body and work a bit like a sun umbrella for my bottom half, but the look is just too heavy for the warmer months. I originally was going to wear this skirt with this blouse, but it reminded me too much of this outfit, which photographed nicely enough but made me feel like a box of Crayons. So I decided to switch out the skirt and give my heavy black leather a send-off until fall.

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Hiding from the Heat

Tee: Old Navy | Skirt: c/o Dobbin Clothing | Scarf: Nordstrom (similar) | Bracelets: Silver Cuff (similar), Pilar Leather Bracelet c/o Lulu Avenue, Indigo and Turquoise Bracelet c/o Lifetherapy | Necklace: Etsy | Rings: Had forever, Argento Vivo (similar) | Shoes: Miss Sixty (similar)

Yesterday I wore a nice outfit to work. White blazer, striped tee, the most amazing black pants from Karen Kane. I felt sassy and professional yet me. Karl and I went outside to take pictures and by time I got to the sidewalk I was a sweaty grody mess. My hair had gone flat, my face was shiny, my glasses steamed up. I deleted every picture. Today, I didn’t have meetings at work and wanted to dress more comfortably for the weather and my life so I grabbed some easy wardrobe favorites. And I decided to take pictures indoors. Obviously, we’re trying to perfect the lighting. Our living room is well lit with a bay window and two glass doors, but all pictures end up looking wonky. Karl had one of his photography lights still out from a recent shoot so we set it up but didn’t have a lot of time to play before I had to head out the door. We’ll keep working on it so it’s not so extreme, but don’t be surprised if the majority of my outfit posts this summer are in front of Karl’s grandfather!

I haven’t taken this Lifetherapy bracelet off in weeks.  It makes me feel like high school, when I’d wear my early ’90s arm party of friendship and gummy bracelets in the shower, the ocean, the pool, even to a relative’s fancy wedding… and I kinda like that.  In fact, it had me pull out some of my old sterling rings that I still have and still fit.  I’m also doing a bit of a 2013 take on the arm party these days, with more unique pieces instead of trying to have metal from palm to elbow.  Lulu Avenue sent me this leather and chain bracelet which I think fits my personal style quite nicely and I like how the size is adjustable. 

Speaking of jewelry, I have not been able to find my silver chain with my charms ANYWHERE.  That’s pretty typical for early ’90s Alison, but not for 2013 Alison.  I thought I was going insane and scoured the house from top to bottom before Forecastle.  Just as I was sitting in a sweaty mess in my bedroom crying, I get an email from RocksBox – they received my last box back and a strange silver necklace with an Egyptian and a Maryland charm was in it.  I have NO IDEA how that happened, but I am thrilled and RocksBox is sending it back with my next box!  For those who haven’t heard of RocksBox, it’s kind of like Gwynnie Bee for jewelry – fill out a questionnaire about your style and each month you get cool designer jewelry delivered to your door.  Return for more next month, keep what you wish to purchase.  Pretty cool concept, and pretty cool people who run it too!

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Boot Scootin’

Shirt: Gap | Skirt: c/o Soft Surroundings | Boots: DUO | Bracelets: c/o lifetherapy, c/o Soft Surroundings, made by fellow Inforooster | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Another day that started with rain. Too hot for tall boots and skinny jeans, so I decided to whip out my festie boots. I bought these from DUO Boots in 2007 and I still adore them, though now they have become more of bum around boots. They have gone to a few Bonnaroos, parties in the parking lot at several concerts at Merriweather, went with me to Forecastle fest and are often the boots I slip on when going out in the yard to hang laundry or play with Emerson. Not really typical work footwear, but it’s Friday and they’re pretty well hidden under this skirt and will keep my feet dry as I stomp through puddles!

Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the crazy holiday season and crazy beginning of 2013 but I am craving a vacation right about now and yesterday I got a fabulous care package from Lifetherapy with some products from their “Vacation” line.  This morning’s shower was with the Vacation body wash and then I used the Vacation lotion and added the matching Pulse Point Oil Roll-on Perfume to my wrists and behind my ears. It’s a warm but feminine blend that smells a bit like vanilla, a bit like sandalwood, a bit like coconut, and makes me want to sip a fruity drink while under the shade of a palm tree on a beach.  It’s one of those fragrances that works when you get hot and sweaty – some fragrances smell too strong or too wrong in the heat of summer, but this one just seems to get more… mature and right.  I liked it when I put it on but it felt a bit too girly for me (I usually wear Burberry London perfume and Neutrogena Body Oil for moisturizer), but by time I got to the office I was quite the fan, and I love the travel-friendly perfume oil bottle!

Can I just say I wish Ray-Ban made more of the fun versions of their aviators in the 62mm size for us big-headed folks?  I want the fun green lenses, but they’re only in the normal-headed size.  However, I did find the all-black ones on eBay for a sweet price and just got my email yesterday that they have shipped out.  Can’t wait for them to arrive!  This is my biggest tip for designer sunglasses – if you know the model number, the size and details check eBay to see if you can find them for less.  There may be some sketchy folks on there, but there’s also a lot of companies that sell overstock or old styles on there for really good prices and some people who are just selling things they no longer want that are in almost-new condition.

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What I Wore: Casbah Casual

Blouse: Topshop | Pants: Bought at a Street Festival | Flats: MIA | Bracelets: Had Forever, c/o Lifetherapy | Earrings: Argento Vivo

When it’s hot and humid, the last thing I want to wear is something structured and form-fitting.  I bought this top at Nordstrom and it’s very outside my usual style, but I am really adoring it – very lightweight and breezy, and I think it will look so cute this winter with skinny jeans, boots, and a jacket.  And then these pants which I have worn before, are so comfy and fun.

I rarely wear flats because my feet just aren’t made for them.  Flats curve inward, my feet are pretty straight.  Flats nip in at the heel, and I have wide heels from walking on my toes as a child.  I also don’t have much of a curve at my Achilles tendon so the back of flats often dig into my skin.  Add short toes and well, flats are not comfortable or wearable… until now.  The MIA “Edie” actually fits relatively well.  I now have them in nude leather and this super shiny silver color.  I have slipped in a pair of Footpetals for extra comfort and less slippage and am happy that my pinky toes aren’t falling out the sides and not a single blister on the back of my heels!

And thanks to my coworker for the fab post title suggestion.  She actually said Casbah Cas but I elongated it so it translated better in print :)

Note: if you are interested in this top it runs super big – this is a size Medium.  Also with the flats, though I often like a wide for flats and sandals, these fit comfortably in a medium width.

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What I Wore: Feeling Blue

Blouse: MICHAEL Michael Kors | Pants: c/o Karen Kane | Shoes: MICHAEL Michael Kors “Flex” | Watch: c/o WatchCo | Rings: Etsy, vintage via Etsy | Bracelets: Bead and Turquoise c/o Lifetherapy, had forever, “Emerson” c/o Stella and Dot, Enamel Bangles c/o RocksBox | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Maybe it’s the new mani (the nailcolor reminds me of my old Saturn’s paint job), but I have really been digging the color blue this week. These pants are ah-may-zing. I wore them on the train up to NYC the other week and they were so comfy, didn’t wrinkle, and I felt fresh enough to wear them straight to a meeting. While today is quite cool and lovely in DC, this entire outfit has become a go-to for me on sweltering hot days. This top is also ah-may-zing, I was so sad that I didn’t get it in hot pink and white when I saw them on sale at Nordstrom – I ordered the white in Large Petite but it’s just too short.  However when writing this post, I found the top at Lord & Taylor in green and purple and snagged another (Code FIRSTLOOK for an extra % off).  Seriously, great top for summer, figure flattering, but also wonderful under a blazer for cooler weather.  I have worn this top with a pleated chiffon maxi skirt, a pencil skirt, harem pants, and these pants.  The fabric is on the verge of sheer, you’ll want to wear a tee-shirt bra close to your skin color (or black with the black color) to if you do consider getting it but it’s not too sheer (at least in the darker colors) to wear to the office.

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Beating the Heat

Cardigan: Another Line (similar) | Dress: LOFT | Belt: Anthropologie (similar) | Shoes: Softspots (similar) | Bracelet: c/o Lifetherapy | Glasses: Derek Cardigan 7003 c/o Coastal.com

It was hot. That thick, steamy hot that happens before a summer thunderstorm. The kind of hot where you have to swim through the air to get to your destination. The kind of hot where there’s no point to do your hair, and no point to really try to pull together a fancy outfit. The kind of hot where you realize you did the same darn pose for every shot.  I recently got this dress from LOFT and was going to take to the tailor to hack of a couple inches for a more flattering length but it seemed pretty perfect for today and decided I could get it tailored after today. The dress is jersey, but the skirt is lined so it hangs nicely and won’t cling to my butt after getting all sweaty in a Metro “Hot Car.”  Cardigan is purely for office comfort and decorum, it was removed each time I left air conditioning.

My brown heeled sandals died in the hurricane and I have yet to get replacements. I think this outfit would have looked far better with some height, but then I think it’s just the wacky hemlength. And gosh darn it, these are the comfiest sandals I have ever owned and look forward to any opportunity to wear them. They’ll be going with me again to Forecastle (in TWO WEEKS!), they are THAT comfortable.

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Bat for Lashes

Tux jacket: Ann Taylor (similar) | Tee: Lulu Guinness for Uniqlo via eBay | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Ivanka Trump | Glasses: Derek Cardigan 7003 c/o Coastal.com | Watch: Citizen c/o WatchCo | Bracelets: c/o Lifetherapy, Nordstrom (similar) | Ring: Argento Vivo (similar) | Lipstick: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balmstain in Lovesick

Darn you, Pinterest!  I saw this tee shirt pinned several weeks ago and I just HAD to have it!  I couldn’t find it available in the US, so I went to eBay and was able to score one, tags still on it and even shipped in a Uniqlo bag with the receipt.  I’m not one who goes gaga for designer collaborations and it’s not like I am some mega Lulu Guinness fan, but I just thought this shirt was too cute.  The sleeves are more like cap sleeves with a cuffed edge, which makes it dressier than your average tee shirt.  I can’t wait to wear this shirt come fall with my black leather midi skirt!

And these shoes are my first non-sandal shoes worn for more than 15 minutes since the leg drama.  I was even able to wear them comfortably when walking a few blocks from my favorite parking garage.  Before I hurt my leg, I would purposefully park a few blocks from the office because it’s easier to get out of the city, but also because it forces me to walk each day.  I’ve missed that part of my daily routine and just was able to add it back in this week.  And to finish the week with my favorite low-heeled pumps?  Pretty fantastic!

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Making a Splash

Dress: c/o Karen Kane | Necklace: Boutique in Rehoboth Beach (similar) | Watch: Citizen c/o WatchCo | Bracelets: Indigo Spiritual and Focus c/o Lifetherapy; “Emerson” c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot; had forever | Shoes: MICHAEL Michael Kors

After the tragedy in Bangladesh, I am trying to be more conscious of where my clothes are made and under what conditions. I have always been a fan of Karen Kane for creating comfortable, flattering, and stylish clothes for a broad range of sizes, but am even bigger of a fan because their clothes are made in the US. While Karen Kane is a pretty big company that is sold in major department stores, working with them is like working with a small company. I get emails from Karen’s son,they have a very personal and intimate Instagram account where you actually see Karen at work, and they strive to please their customers. I saw this dress and knew it would be flattering and I was right. I like that the knot in the front is self-tie, so you could just tie it once, knot it tight, or do what is most flattering to your own figure.

And while this dress is utterly fantastic, I can’t ignore Emerson’s amazing fashion sense. She truly has talent in putting together great outfits. My mom recently got her a kit with a play hair dryer, curling iron, brush, and such and now Emerson has to “get ready” before she leaves the house. I may have created a monster, but at least she’ll be a stylish, creative, and independent monster!

FYI, I totally thought I could carry off pumps today, but after taking pictures and walking to the car I realized my leg is still not strong enough and I switched to my black Cole Haan sandals.  Maybe next week!

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Lazy Tux

Blazer: The Limited (similar) | Tee: Old Navy | Ascot: Belonged to my Dad | Silk Bracelet: c/o lifetherapy | Boots: DUO (similar) | Jeans: NYDJ | Lipstick: Revlon Matte in “Really Red”

I prefer rain to blustery cold days, especially in April. April showers bring May flowers, right? It rained all night and was still gloomy and wet when I left for work so I wore boots to be on the safe side.

Still playing with this hair, today is Day 2, I curled large sections with a standard curling iron, angling away from the face. Finger combed, then added Jonathan Silky Dirt for a piecey/Mandana from Rachel Zoe Project sort of look. The bangs are still wrong, I need to make an appointment with my stylist to fix this cut, but I just have not had the time. Even this weekend is booked solid but I need to figure it out before I go on a 2am hacking spree with my cuticle scissors!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, thank you so much for all your support, emails, comments, and tweets this past week. I blog because I love it, and because I love all of you. I love connecting with you, knowing my writing benefits you, and making new friends through technology. I seriously adore all of you and am so incredibly grateful to have you in my life!

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Bad Hair Don’t Care

Shirt: Ann Taylor | Jeans: Gap | Bracelets: c/o lifetherapy | Sunglasses: Gucci | Flats: c/o ECCO | Necklace: Etsy

Bad hair, don’t care! This is Day 2 and I used some dry shampoo and it gave it the body and the non-greasy look I desired, but the ends looked super scraggly and I didn’t want to iron everything flat. So I used one of those curling wands… and it was bad. Like retro super strong frizzy curls but from the ears down only. So I tried to go retro and pinned back my bangs and I looked strange so I said fuggit and threw it up in a ponytail.

I felt pretty much the same about my outfit.  I had plans to wear the shirt with a skirt, some fab heels… but then I just decided it wasn’t worth my time.  I threw on some jeans and flats, added a necklace to show I wasn’t trying to look like a bum, and spent the time eating breakfast with my family.  Gotta have priorities!

BTW, got these jeans Monday.  Wanted some “summer jeans” that would look good with a simple tank or camisole and flip flops.  Plan to further distress them along the hem, but I like the fit (though I am wearing my Beltaway!).

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In the Navy

Dress: Coldwater Creek c/o Gwynnie Bee | Necklace: Boutique in Key West | Shoes: Sofft | Bracelets: Silver cuff, c/o Lifetherapy | Rings: Vintage, Had for Years, Argento Vivo

This weather sucks – it’s like soup and so thick and humid that when there’s a cool breeze it feels like the chills you get when you have a fever. That being said, it’s doing some super fun things to my hair. I have hardly been washing it; once a week I will wash the scalp with shampoo, and once a week or when needed I will wash with conditioner only, but otherwise it’s surf spray and the occasional dry shampoo and scrunching. I like the crazy mop mess, and wish it would do this year-round!

Another Gwynnie Bee winner. This is not my kind of dress, I don’t like sleeves like this, I don’t love the color, but with Gwynnie Bee it’s okay because I can wear it once, send it back and get something else. And while it’s not something I would buy and keep in my closet for years, it is something I like wearing today. Stretchy navy lining doesn’t ride up and keeps everything opaque, a long self-belt I could have tied in a bow but instead doubled to make it shorter, and a breezy style that will do its best to keep me cool (and a fabric that won’t look a mess in the heat). It’s a win in my book and a true example of Gwynnie Bee – clothing without commitment! If you’re 10-26 and would like to try Gwynnie Bee yourself, use this link or mention Wardrobe Oxygen and get a 30 day trial free. They have some fab brands and styles to choose from and the selection is constantly growing!

Note: If you use my specific link or mention me when signing up for Gwynnie Bee, I will receive a commission if you extend past the 30-day trial. However, I really dig Gwynnie Bee and wear clothes from them because I like them and the company and am proud to share them with you.

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33-Worthy Friday

Shirt: Gap | Jeans: NYDJ “Marilyn” | Shoes: Softspots (similar) | Scarf: Bambi 1 Square Zebra” c/o Nepali by TDM Designs | Bracelets: Silver cuff (similar), indigo bracelets c/o Lifetherapy

It’s Friday! When I got dressed this morning I was thinking more about the rain and wearing some shoes other than the black Cole Haan sandals I have worn for almost two weeks straight (those and these are the only shoes I can carry off with the hurt leg). After getting dressed I realized that this outfit is all pieces I would choose if I was doing Project 333 (details here). While the white jeans are a different pair (last year’s jeans fit but they look strange, too low rise and a bit too short in length too), everything else is something I would choose if I had to pare down to just 33 piece in my closet.

This scarf has become quite a favorite, and I can’t believe this is the first time it has been featured on the blog. If you know me in real life, you know I wear this scarf weekly. It’s a soft bamboo that has gorgeous drape, the cadet blue shade is quite versatile, and it just feels good around the throat. This is the type of scarf I would take on vacation; it would be a great wrap on a plane, a cool shawl with an LBD, and can even be tied around the swimsuit like a pareo. All that, and you’re doing good by buying a scarf from Nepali by TDM Design!

I am proud to have partnered with Nepali by TDM, a company that creates opportunities for poverty-stricken women to generate sustainable income in Nepal. They are also invested in a literacy and education campaign throughout the country. Nepali by TDM Design’s mission is to bring about social and economic change by allowing women to participate financially in their society. All their scarves are hand-made in Nepal from natural materials and eco-friendly, azo-free dyes. You’ll see int he coming months that the clothing and accessory companies I partner with are ones I admire for doing more than making pretty things. Be they companies who give back to the community, improve this world, or care about how and where their products are made, I am proud to give them some visibility. I’ve been working with Nepali by TDM Design for several months now, and find them to be sweet people who truly care about the world around them, and the scarves are fabulous quality and high on style.

UPDATE: If you too like Nepali by TDM Design scarves, they are offering all Wardrobe Oxygen readers 25% off with the code wardrobeoxygen.  Happy shopping!

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Blogging Love – Interview!

I was honored to be interviewed by Elle of the new blog Label Ho. Elle’s discusses fashion and her personal style on this site. I love supporting fellow fashion and style bloggers so I jumped at this chance to have us get to know one another better!

You can check out the interview here.

I loved the questions she asked (and if you go back in her archives, you can see her answers to the very same questions!). The name of her blog cracks me up. It reminds me of when I was Editor of my high school yearbook. I had such the fight with the sponsor over the proper spelling of this word. “If you add an ‘e’ it’s suddenly a garden tool!” (Let’s not even get into why this word was in my yearbook – let me just state that my high school was a fabulous one where I learned Japanese and was in International Baccalaureate courses, but it wasn’t in the most chi chi of neighborhoods.)

Since she interviewed me, I decided to ask her a few questions as well. Get to know Elle!

Name: “Elle,” author of Label Ho, a fashion and personal style blog

Why did you start blogging? What could be better than writing and posting about something you love? I thought it would be a fun hobby and a great way to connect with other fashion-minded people.

Favorite item in your closet: An authentic vintage Gucci handbag circa the 70s. I love that its suede and doesn’t have the GG logo plastered all over it. I found the bag at a thrift shop and its in immaculate condition. Best of all, I got it for an excellent price!

Favorite Web site to visit: FabSugar.com. They have pretty comprehensive coverage of what’s going on in the fashion world, delivered in quick, short posts. I also like that they post great outfits that members of their community put together. I’m fascinated with seeing what people put together.

Top five items on your style wish list for this season: I can only think of three since I think I pretty much have most of my key pieces already:

1. Another pair of dark bootleg jeans. I’ve pretty much worn my favorite pair so much (Joe’s Jeans in the Honey fit) that the color’s faded significantly.

2. More dresses. I’ve purchased a few already, but I just can’t get enough. They’re so easy to pull on in summer.

3. A pair of wide-leg jeans. I’ve tried on a ton of different ones, but still haven’t found a flattering fit.

Outlet Mall Shopping

Yesterday I visited a major outlet mall in my area. Over a mile of stores – some with great bargains, some with great piles of crap. There have been many stories about discount stores – how some of the product is not on sale, the clothes are made specifically for the outlet and are not the same quality that the brand name usually delivers, etc. After all that, you find designer duds for less, when is it worthwhile to spend, when should a bargain be passed by?


Fit
If it doesn’t fit well for $300, still doesn’t fit well for $150 and even for $65, don’t buy it. Just because it’s a great bargain does not make the fit any better. Shoes that are too tight or too big, jackets that pull at the back, pants that would be lovely if you just lost 15 lbs., no matter the bargain these items should just stay on the rack.

If the jacket’s sleeves are too long, the skirt’s hem at an awkward length, the shoulders a bit too big, these things can be altered easily by a tailor. You must be in love with the piece and find multiple places and ways to wear it to justify the tailor expense. I found a cream silk linen suit at a discount store – the suit fit perfectly except for a broken zipper and too long of sleeves and legs. I bought the suit for $65, regularly $350, and for $40 had the zipper and hems all modified. I have worn the suit to work, to religious events and as separates for three years. That purchase was worth the added tailoring expense.


Style
Often times the items at the discount store are there because they are leftover from last season. When it comes to classic pieces like suits, dresses and knits, this is not a problem. A blue merino v-neck is lovely almost every year, and more lovely when 50% off. The problem comes with the trendy p[pieces.


If Lindsay, Mischa, Nicole or Chloe was wearing it last spring, it’s a good chance that piece is passé now. Pass on the embellished jeans, the metallic leather bags, the rainbow-hued sunglasses and most other accessories. Just because it’s on sale does not mean it is a good buy. When it comes to scouring outlets, your best deals are the ones that will last through more than one season. Sweaters, suits, outerwear, cocktail dresses, leather goods and most shoes are great bargains if you find quality and value in the same item.


Name Brands
Just because you found a pair of Manolo Blahniks for $100 at the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet does not mean they need to be purchased. Do they fit your current style? Are they comfortable? Are they current or classic?

We have all seen the label whores – those women with a Coach purse, Jimmy Choo shoes that JLo wore last year, Baby Phat jeans, a Bebe tee with the rhinestone logo, Chanel sunglasses and a Pucci scarf in her hair. These items weren’t bought for the quality or the style. They were bought because a stranger could spot the brand a mile away. She looks trashy, obvious and victimized by fashion. None of these are appealing. Labels do not suddenly make you well dressed or well liked.


If you can find a Furla bag for 40% off and it suits your style as well as lifestyle – then go for it. If you are buying a bag purely because it’s Prada and you don’t like the style, size or fabric… well you have become a label whore.

Don’t buy that jacket just because it’s designer. Pretend that it is an unknown label – do you still like it? Do you still find it attractive and necessary? If not, put it back on the rack. That goes for ill-fitting designer duds, last season’s “It Bag,” obvious logo advertising (if it’s that obvious, it will be that obvious from last season – not worth your time or money) and damaged designer goods.


Damaged Goods
Many discount retailers sell the irregulars from a label. Some irregulars can barely be seen by the naked eye – may be an incorrect dye lot or the wrong buttons sewn on a jacket. Some may work in your favor – pants cut too short or sleeves that are too long or too narrow. Often times these stores received the garments that were damaged in production, transit or through many jaunts to the fitting room. Broken zippers, missing buttons, fabric snags are all defects that can easily be repaired or covered up if the price and style is right. However there are other defects that are not worth the purchase, no matter how low the price. Runs in nylon, stains, button holes at the wrong height, linings that do not align with the trouser, two pieces stitched together from two different dye lots. Even if it is Versace, it will look like Gallo Clothing on you if it is this defective.


Buying in Bulk
I used to be a huge fan of buying in bulk – find a tee shirt you love, buy it in eight colors and three of white and black. Flattering trousers? Buy one in every color. I then found that my wardrobe was like one big uniform… one big boring uniform. Mixing basics with fun pieces offers versatility, ease but individual style.


At outlet malls, buying in bulk is a good idea. Yesterday I was at the Banana Republic outlet and found high quality stretchy tees in tons of colors – $9.99 each. I bought one in black, one in white, one in gray and one in red. These shirts can be worn with jeans on weekends, with a little skirt for happy hour with the girls or under a suit for work. I found a great pair of wool trousers at Off Fifth, bought them in brown, gray and black. They were so standard and fit so amazingly well (and were only $39.99 each) that it was worthwhile to buy every color I liked. I knew with my work and lifestyle I would find regular use for such trousers. Another time I found a pair of really cute studded pointy heels from NYLA. They were 75% off and tres cute. I decided to buy them in hot pink, ivory and black, thinking that if they fit well, they would get much use. I was imagining sparkly tops and designer jeans with the ivory, a sexy power suit with the black, and envisioned an outfit a la Carrie Bradshaw for the pink. I took them all home, have worn the pink ones multiple times, and have barely touched the other two. I don’t wear designer jeans with sparkly tops on a regular basis, and don’t own a single chic black power suit. Those two shoes have barely seen the light of day. Consider your current lifestyle when considering to buy in bulk – items that look too familiar may not be worn and too many of the same thing may make them all too boring to regularly wear. Also, if you don’t wear red patent stilettos now, you probably won’t after purchasing a pair.


In conclusion, don’t buy just because of a label, or just because of an amazing price. Less money for an item is still money, and money should be spent carefully. Be willing to take the time to find quality purchases, not pick up every shiny bauble that sort of resembles what Gwen or Jessica wore last Spring. Fashion is not about the specific item, but the allover look. A Louis Vuitton bag or a pair of Chanel sunglasses will not make you a fashionista, the pairing with appropriate and complimentary pieces is what takes you from being a label whore or a fashion victim to fashionista status.

Little Bits of Luxury: The Series

With age comes wisdom. It’s taken a while, but I have learned to truly buy quality instead of quantity. I unsubscribed from most retail emails so I am not wooed by 50% off (if I didn’t need it at full price, I don’t need it now), I rarely enter a mall because I know myself and I will leave at least $100 poorer with bags full of things I don’t need and will likely collect dust. When I visit a store like Target or TJ Maxx I have a written shopping list that will be a visible reminder to stay on track. And in the past year, when I have added to my closet I have looked for what I can remove – to store for the future, to donate, to sell, to admit defeat and cut up into rags.

And the things I purchase are better quality too. Now I am no Martha Stewart, so for me quality is likely Nine West, Etsy, L’Oreal. But I have learned it’s not about the name on the label, but how the piece works with my life and performs in the long run. Be it bras, BB cream, baking dishes, or boots I research, save, and buy the best within my budget. This also goes for luxury items (and items that are luxurious just to me). I have never admitted being a minimalist, and with age I have learned that some luxury items just make life better (and are far kinder to the body than cupcakes and nachos). I’ve also learned that luxury can come at all pricepoints, and some of the best indulgences are quite kind to my wallet.

I’ve found that series on this blog are some of my most popular posts on Wardrobe Oxygen. And so my newest series will feature little luxuries I indulge in, and how I budget for them, and why they are worth it. I hope you enjoy!





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