Neutrals :: Linen Trousers & Cutout Blouse

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… Because white linen trousers are warm weather appropriate …
xx. Valentine
ASOS Linen Trousers | Mango Blouse, old (Similar HERE & HERE) | Michael Kors Bedford Bag, old (Similar HERE & HERE) | Rebecca Minkoff Bracelet Watch| Ann Taylor Hoops, old (Similar HERE)
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Spring :: Kate Spade & Cult Gaia Ark (dupe)

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I finally got my hands on the the Cult Gaia Ark … dupe and I LOVE IT so much! It was highly coveted last year and even this year and honestly, I don’t know why I waited. I wanted a Spring/Summer bag that I would put to use for the majority of the warmer months and this bag definitely fits the mold and more! The original one runs 150.00 (for the small) and 170.00 (for the large) but I wasn’t sure a ‘wooden bag’ was something that I would keep in wardrobe for years to come. So I purchased the small size (dimensions are : 11 in height x 10 in length x 3 in depth) from Amazon. And it cost me four times less then it would have which is great!

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For such a summery bag, I paired it with this shirt dress from Express (petite). The long sleeves are perfect the cooler months of Spring, but the fabric is so lightweight that it can be worn into Summer too.

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And of course, my favorite Spring buy are these mule slides from Kate Spade. When these first came out back in 2017, they were running at 298.00 and I couldn’t justify spending so much for a pair of shoes. I do believe in quality over quantity but I find it hard to pull that rule card out for shoes because they get worn and tethered a lot quicker than any other piece of material item I wear. So I kept it in my “to buy” list until the beginning of February this year and went through with the purchase .. on Amazon .. again. But instead of paying 298.00, I bought them for 80.00, which is a justifiable price to me.
What are your great Spring purchase(s) of 2018?
xx. Valentine
Express Shirt Dress | Kate Spade Mules | Cult Gaia ‘Ark’ Dupe (Amazon) | DVF Sunglasses, old (Similar HERE & HERE) | Pearl Back Earrings, old (Similar HERE & HERE)

Simply Neutral

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This jacket is the perfect way to start Spring off with! I love how dainty it feels as well as how it looks. Perfect for brunch or a coffee run. ❤
Happy Spring Friends!

xx. Valentine

H&M Jacket | ASOS Sweater, old (Similar HERE HERE) | H&M Trousers (Similar HERE & HERE) | BCBG Heels, sold out (featured HERE) | H&M Belt, old (Similar HERE)| Michael Kors Wallet, old (Similar HERE & HERE) | Rebecca Minkoff Watch | BP Sunglasses, sold out

Tweed Jacket & Micro Mini Skirt

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H&M Tweed Jacket, old (Similar HERE) | Ann Taylor Tie Blouse, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | H&M Faux Leather Skirt (Similar HERE & HERE) | Joie OTK Boots | Chloe Faye Backpack – dupe 

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This is by far one of my most favorite winter looks. It’s been brutally cold the last month and now that April is on it’s way into the Midwest, I can’t wait for Spring blooms. Even though I was born during the Winter season, it’s not a favorite. So I somehow still find ways to incorporate Fall pieces into this season for the sake of variety. I do find that winter layering is not the most flattering no matter how warm it can be.

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But it’s warming up which explains the micro mini skirt and a bit of skin showing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the snow has decided to stop for the remainder of March.
How has your weather been, where ever you are?

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xx. Valentine

Reworking a Winter Wardrobe

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Winter is my least favorite season or should I say I wouldn’t mind it if it didn’t exist. Or maybe it should only exist on Christmas and when I’m inside by a warm fireplace. This is only because I absolutely dislike shopping for a winter wardrobe; nothing which comes into the fashion market during this time really excites me except for the few pieces here, some cozy sweaters and coats. So I’ve had to find ways to rework my wardrobe to keep my creativity flowing.

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This first piece that I have restyled many times (and not just for the winter season) is a great jacket or blazer. I absolutely love structure, especially when it also has a great fit because of my petite frame. Below are what I am coveting right now:
Shein – Pearl Bead Tweed Blazer (HERE & HERE) | Talbots – Checked Blazer | Talbots – Velveteen Blazer | WYLDER – Sequin Blazer | J.Crew – Parke Blazer | Ralph Lauren – Herringbone Blazer
Halogen – Leather Moto Jacket | Lafeyette 148 – Lyndie Jacket | WHBM – Tweed Jacket

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A second favorite piece and also great for layering is a mock neck or turtleneck sweater. These work amazingly tucked into a pair of trousers, skirt or half-tucked into faux (vegan is my fav) leather leggings. Some of my favorites are by H&M (bargain prices) and Lauren Ralph Lauren (more pricey but amazing quality).
H&M : Fine-knit Turtleneck, Ribbed Mock Sweater, Mohair-blend Turtleneck | Lauren Ralph Lauren : Striped Turtlneck, Turtleneck Sweater
Below are some more of my fav’s that are in fun, interesting prints and cuts.
Tory Burch – Retractable Turtlneck | Calvin Klein – Convertible Turtleneck Sweater | Michael Kors – Distressed Turtleneck (also featured HERE) | A.L.C. – Cropped Turtleneck

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My third loved piece I have reworked lots this season are my vegan leather leggings. It’s funny how I used to think wearing “leather” was over the top … until I got into my first “leather” jacket and WOW! Did everything change. Never say never right? .. But again, don’t get into something just because everyone else is into it. Make sure it fits you and your style first.
Here are some of my favorite faux/vegan leather leggings/pants. Also keep in mind I like a particular shine which is semi-matte. It looks more real and not plastic-like.
Free People – Vegan Leather Leggings | David Verner – Vegan Leather Leggings | Aqua – Faux Leather Trim Leggings | Nasty Gal – Vegan Leather Pants
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My vegan leather leggings are always tucked into the boots with a form fitting sweater or oversized one, half tucked into one side. A majority of my tops are always half-tucked because they extend my legs and defines my waist/silhouette. It’s also another detail to add interest to the outfit.

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And the last item on my list I have worked to death in this weather are two ankle boots. I’ve interchanged between two kinds this season. One of which is suede and the other is leather. The suede ones are by Banana Republic and is pictured in this post. Sadly, they are no longer available since they were from two seasons ago. And the Grazie Studded Bootie are by Calvin Klein. You’ll find below other booties that I am keenly interested in purchasing as well.
H&M – Leather ankle boots (in beige) | Franco Sarto – Faux-fur Trim Ankle Boots | IRO – Iro Amliss Ankle Boots | Reiss – Zoe Ankle Boot | Carvela – Granite Faux Pearl Embellished Ankle Boots
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I wear these booties with leggings tucked into them, or with trousers/jeans that hit higher on the ankle so there is just a bit of skin showing between the shoe and pant. Another way I where them is with a skirt and light black tights.

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I hope you found these tips useful and maybe new some pieces may end up in your wardrobe as well. Thank you for reading!
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xx. Valentine
H&M Blazer, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | H&M Sweater | **WHBM Vegan Leather Leggings, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE)| Loewe Barcelona Dupe (featured HERE) | Banana Republic Boots, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | BP Sunglasses (Similar HERE & HERE)
**White House Black Market

The Iconic Color

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 I LOVE camel-colored anything when it comes to outerwear. It’s versatility pairs perfectly well with just about any outfit. But what I find important is the quality. I’ve owned a few camel colored trench coats in the past and about 90% of them were of a cheaper material. Which probably explains why I’ve owned many.
The one pictured is by Banana Republic which was my first quality, camel-colored coat. I love how BR creates their pieces perfectly tailored for Petites. Someone of my size always has a hard time finding anything to fit without running to the tailor. When I do go in to have a piece tailored, I make sure I am going to wear it more than eight times in a month, which is twice a week. Cost-per-wear is really important to me because I would rather keep something, that fits perfectly well, for years as opposed to a piece that is ill-fitting.

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The second quality piece I’ve purchased was my BR trench coat. I wore it until it turned a grey brown and had only washed it a handful of times. BR definitely makes great pieces and is a place I find myself always sifting through.

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The last quality piece I’ve purchased was the J. Crew Iconic Trench Coat (featured HERE). I actually didn’t even think about J. Crew until I saw their catalog while sitting at the clinic. After my BR one was laid to rest, I had to get my hands on another coat fast. BR is great but I wanted to try a different brand. I’ve seen the Burberry one but didn’t want to drop $1800.00. And so I looked at high street brands like ASOS and River Island and had no luck or the quality just wasn’t there.
So I took a chance with J. Crew, wincing at the prices while flipping through the pages and then there it was, as beautiful on paper as it was in person. This was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made because of it’s quality, of course, and it was on a sale for Black Friday. It was a sign so I snagged it quick. This one is definitely going to be around for years.
Thank for reading! Let me know what you think about quality vs. quantity? Which category do you stand with?
xx – Valentine.
Banana Republic Coat, sold out (Similar HERE, HERE & HERE) | Shein Applique Tee |  Ann Taylor Skirt, sold out (Similar HERE, HERE & HERE) | Charles David Heels, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | Zara Bag, sold out | BP Mirror Aviators (Similar HERE & HERE) | Forever 21 Studs, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE)

 

New Year, New Me

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WhoWhatWear Cardigan, sold out (Similar HERE & HERE) | Lauren Ralph Lauren Turtleneck | Levi’s 710 Super Skinny Jeans | Goodnight Macaroon OTK Boots, in color: cognac (Similar HERE, HERE & HERE) | Micheal Kors Bedford, sold out | BP Mirror Aviators, sold out (Featured HERE; Similar HERE, HERE & HERE) | 3CE Mood Lip Color, in Matte #114 Rows 

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Last year happened so quick consisting of many ups and downs. I’ve heard and seen a lot of “how great 2017 has been” and vice versa. What I didn’t see coming was the death of my younger brother. It still pains me to think about how swift suicide comes in and captures someone. 2017, was the worst year for me.
But here we are in a brand new year, with 365 days to make it great. I am able to write new pages to my life from what I’ve encountered in the last year and what I can do to improve it. I am determined to pass along more kindness and courage. And I am aggressively more determined to make each day count. Death is such a sad story, but from it I have also learned the meaning of life. Never have I magnified into my memories, big or small. There were great times from what I can recollect, but the Polaroids are missing; the smiles from yesteryear, the still laughs, the silly poses .. the people who made those moments, THE MOMENT in that space and time.

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I indict myself for the lack of capturing people. places and time. I am oblivious to a life behind the camera when it comes to the things I just want to enjoy. I got used to the blinking ever so often just to capture enough of it into the files of my mind. This little home I’ve grown into, even the crevices have a say, are used to one directional warmth. So it’s time to spread the contentment a little further and expand the walls.
This expansion will be different though. As a closet introvert, I find change to be scary. It’s not the activity but the unnerving outcome I want to see first. So it’s ironic that I enjoy spontaneous adventures. In my post HERE, I briefly mention the state my mind swims in. I’m an anxious individual that thrives on structure because my anxiety takes on it’s own character when I derail. The definition of structure in my home is comfort. It’s not needing to be afraid because I know where everything lies. But change will be good.

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2018 is about looking at myself in a new light. It’s about making things grow bigger and better. It’s also making amends with things of last year. I’ve never committed myself to resolutions and there’s never been a specific reason until now. I’ve sat cradled comfortably for quite too long, and now I’m looking for more to life. If I could tell my 18 year old self a few things, it would be to :
1. Never take anything too seriously because life happens and plans change.
2. Embrace the good, the bad and the weird because they make you, You.
 3. Your timeline is different from everyone else so don’t needlessly compare.
4. Take in the sunshine, enjoy some calming tea and meditate (to my forever anxious self).
5. Live.

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xx – Valentine.

Petite Friendly Coats

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I definitely love a maroon coat for Fall. I bought this one last season but I’ll be wearing it for many Fall/Winter seasons to come. It’s a lot heavier than it looks and warm enough for anything 30 degrees and above. Ideally, if it were made of wool, this would be the perfect coat for all of Winter here in the Midwest.
I love my neutral coats, but sometimes a splash of color against the snow is needed. Fall doesn’t stick around too long so color anywhere in my Winter wardrobe is great!

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And because I’m quite petite (five feet one to be exact), all of my coats run below knee length. The long layer allows me to be a little forgiving with what I wear underneath.
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A few shops that carry petite friendly coats are Banana Republic, this ONE I’m coveting right now. J. Crew’s Lady Day Coat is fitted just right and comes in a few colors HERE, though it is an investment piece and one that you will be wearing for seasons to come. And Nordstrom has an array of petite coats, a couple on my wish list are these HERE (this one is on sale) & HERE.
These would make great gifts for you or a friend, sister, or mother. Now who’s excited for Christmas?!

xx. Valentine

 

Maroon Coat (last season – Similar HERE & HERE) | Tweed-Detail Blouse (Similar HERE & HERE) | H&M Skirt (Similar HERE & HERE) | Joie OTK Boots | Kate Spade Crossbody (Similar HERE & HERE)

Faux Real ..

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WHBM FAUX Fur Vest| Gap Tunic (featured HERE) (Similar HERE & HERE) | Goodnight Macaroon OTK Boots (Similar HERE , HERE & HERE) | Michael Kors Sloan Editor (featured HERE) (HERE in Black -other colors available too)

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I’ve been shopping around for a faux fur vest since the beginning of fall and there are just so many variations. I wanted to buy one that had a soft monochromatic scheme. So when I found this one, I was pretty excited until I looked at the hefty price tag. So I waited another month before going through with the purchase and got it for 40% off pre-black Friday sales.
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Now if you’ve been following my blog for some time, I am an XXS Petite. But with this vest, I had a hard time choosing between the XXSP or XSP. Reason being, I would be able to layer it on top of a leather jacket with one size up. So when I went to the store, I only tried what I reserved, the XXSP and it worked out great! I wore it  over my black wrap coat and I wasn’t bulging anywhere.
What I also love about this vest are the hidden hook clasps allowing you to wear it completely closed. Though I prefer mine open for visuals of what I’m wearing underneath. This is the layering I mentioned above. And the vest hits right at my hips with no gaping in the arm holes like some of the vests I’ve tried on. This one is tailored really well for someone with a rectangular body shape.
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Other vests (in various colors and ALL FAUX FUR) I’m loving at the moment are .. (all of which are under 130.00).
 Michael Kors – in a luxe black faux fur, hits at the hit and is 80% off!
Love Token – available in this blush pink with a ribbed back panel and faux fur on the front
Via Spiga– white and very soft black spots, collarless and on sale until 11/27!
Elietian – comes in two colors (mauve and black), though mauve is absolutely beautiful – on sale as well!
Topshop – stunning piece with shades of brown and cream, collarless and is super cute over a sweater dress – i love topshop!
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I hope your thanksgiving was a great one! Now on to Christmas, my most coveted holiday. Have a good weekend loves!

xx. Valentine