Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

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thank u, next

Happy New Year, everyone!

In the spirit of not making resolutions I won’t keep, I’m going to stop promising how often I’ll have a new blog post. I get embarrassed when I don’t live up to my own expectations, so the new rule is, I’ll write when I have something to say. Or a really great outfit to feature.

Also in the spirit of the new year, and of Ariana Grande, I thought it might be fun to take a trip down memory lane. Reflecting on the past can sometimes be a great way to head into the future.

Unless you’ve been trapped in a fallout shelter for the past month or two, you’ve probably heard Ariana’s new song, “thank u, next.” It has spawned countless memes and an epic music video that took the social media world by storm for a full 24-48 hours.

The basic premise of the song is Ariana looking back on all of her past relationships and reflecting on the good they brought her and the lessons she learned. She ends by talking about focusing on herself and being grateful for all the ways she’s grown, even through difficulties.

Of course, in true 2019 pop star fashion, the song is full of profanity and teenage slang (I honestly don’t see how it’s possible that she’s over the age of 15). However, I really like the sentiment – the idea of looking for the good in all of our life circumstances, including the painful ones.

Can I really say “I’m so [edited] grateful for my ex” about every guy I’ve dated? I’d have to think pretty hard about that. But, I can at least highlight a few:

Thank u, next:  To my grad school guy – thank you for being the reason I made a lifelong friend. There’s nothing like common relationship drama and young T. Swift music to bring two early-20s girls together and make them inseparable for life. Also, thank you for shoveling my snow.

Thank u, next: To the guy I went out with a few times when I was 23 – you prompted me (quite unknowingly on your part, I’m very sure) to refocus my life and reprioritize my relationship with God. My twenties may have looked a lot different had I not known you.

Thank u, next: To the guy I went out with a few times when I was 26 – thanks to you, I went on a 10 month Man Fast, and it was the single best spiritual undertaking in my life thus far.

Thank u, next: To Hot Trainer. We never actually dated at all, but you showed me what respect looked like at a time when I’d experienced very little of it. And you set an impossible standard for text response time with which no man has ever been able compete.

Thank u, next: To the guy from Ohio. I freaked out a little on you. Sorry about that. Thank you for being nice and letting me get it out of my system on you, so no one else need experience it.

Thank u, next: To my chiropractor. Whenever I want someone to think I’m funny, I tell our story, and they always do. Also, you fixed my back, so I appreciate that.

Thank u, next: To the lawyer. We’ll always have Whytheville.

Thank u, next: To the Navy SEAL I went out with that one time. Thank you for helping me realize that it was possible for a man of your caliber to be interested in a girl like me. I’m also glad I can someday tell my grandchildren that I dated a SEAL (you’ll forgive me if I embellish the story a little).

Thank u, next: To Bradley Cooper. You raised my standards permanently and helped me realize what I’m really looking for. And it snowed in Chattanooga in March, which was pretty magical, if you think about it.

Thank u, next: To all the military men I’ve ever dated – thank you for teaching me about your jobs and war zones and the insiders’ scoop on international relations, and for answering my questions about the 2nd Amendment and whether or not we should even be in said war zones. Also, thank you for serving and looking so good in that uniform (heart eyes emoji x 10).

Thank u, next: To everyone else – to the first dates who I genuinely enjoyed talking to, thank you for good conversation. To the first dates that were a little painful, thank you for taking the risk, anyway. To the ones who didn’t ghost me, thank you for being honest, even when it’s awkward. To the ones who did ghost me, thank you for helping me strengthen my own skills at having difficult conversations.

I don’t know what 2019 will bring me, but if I can keep looking for the good, perhaps it’ll all turn out just fine, no matter what.

I do know that 2019 will certainly bring me new clothes, even as I’ve been watching Tidying Up and throwing out tons of old ones (to be fair, I read the book a few months before the series came out and had already begun the process).

But here are a couple of 2018 outfits that will remain in my closet, as they definitely spark joy:
I’m not 100% sure that this dress wasn’t intended to be an “Ugly Christmas Dress” – it’s pretty loud and velvety… But, I love it and proudly wear it, unironically.

Poinsettas are a Christmas flower, of course, but I may still wear this dress into January, as it doesn’t have any Santas or trees on it – I think I can get away with it. It’s just a shame to only wear something you like so much during one month of the year. The next dress was my New Year’s Eve dress. My expectations for NYE are always way too high, and I’m usually disappointed. But, I love the hope found in a fresh start – and the sparkles, of course.

Lest you think I skipped my sequins this year in favor of a more subtle sparkle, please look more closely at my shoes. Sequins will forever have my heart.
I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and are expectant about the new year. Perhaps you might also take a lesson from Ariana (words I would never have expected to come from my mouth) and reflect on some of the past seasons in your life – good and bad – to see how you’ve grown because of them. And, let’s pledge to ourselves to continue to look for that good in every situation we encounter in the new year.

<3,

SB

Two-fer Tuesday: Jailhouse Stripes

It’s been a while since I’ve done a twofer Tuesday, but no time like the present!

I really like these jailhouse stripes (or maybe more accurately, train conductor – they’re probably too narrow for jailhouse). Regardless, I think these highwaisted, cropped striped jeans are the best.

However, I wasn’t sure about them when I bought them, because in the artificial light of the dressing room, they really played with your eyes. I mean, in general, I try to wear clothes that don’t make people want to look the other way.

In the natural light, though, they seem to be okay, so I think I’m good. Except the camera doesn’t love them, either…you might have to zoom in pretty close to get an accurate look. Oh well.

In this first look, I’m combining another one of my favorite spring trends – off-the-shoulder – with my cute pants and some flats that actually hurt my feet more than most of the heels I own, but they’re so cute and universally functional, that I keep them. I ran some errands on Saturday in this outfit, then popped on some black heels for dinner with a friend that night.

Oh, and let’s not forget to mention my pink lipstick; as much as I enjoyed the dark berrys and browns this winter, I’m seriously so happy bright is back in season!

Next up is another casual outfit (I did wear it to work, but in hindsight, it might have been TOO casual). Anyway, a simple soft turquoise tee (you’ll have to take my word for it being that color, I guess), with a black scarf (I don’t have a cat; that’s all just my hair…) and some silver accents to complete the look. Easy, but still put together. Scarves are helpful in that way.
So there you have it – the return of Twofer Tuesday, thanks to my new favorite cropped jeans.

Which of these looks would you rather wear? And what’s the verdict on these stripes – delightful or dizzying? Let’s talk!

I’m Gonna Pop Some Tags

Have I ever told you how much I hate thrift stores? Like I HATE them. There are several reasons for this:

  1. They smell bad. Honestly, this is probably the biggest reason. All thrift stores smell the same and it’s gross and I feel like I need a shower after.
  2. I’m not much of one for the hunt. When I shop, I head straight to the clearance section – there are either things I like there or not, and I move on. At thrift stores you have to sort through all the trash to MAYBE find one thing you like. It’s too much work. (On a related note, I refuse to eat wings or ribs or fried chicken for the same reason – too much work.)
  3. I don’t think the prices are actually that great. When I can buy new things for the same price or less (as I regularly do), I would rather. Of course, there is that chance you might find a high end label that is new/barely used for a steal – but, for my opinions on that, see #2.

However, because I do have a limited budget, sometimes I just have to hold my nose and go into thrift stores. This happened recently because I’m looking for a specific piece of furniture and just can’t bring myself to pay several hundred dollars for something I have to assemble on my own. And new, already-assembled furniture is out of my price range at this point. So…hey, Good Will!

Naturally, I did not find what I was looking for, but on the way out, I noticed a sequin dress on the mannequin by the front door. So, of course, I got sucked in by something sparkly. I’m glad, though, because $6 for a sequin dress is a good price, even by my standards

Since I was already hooked, I just gave in and started browsing. Most was nothing I’d be interested in, but I did find the pants below, which are destined to become a new favorite.
Light blue, silk, floral pants with multiple colors in the pattern  to mix and match, and a super comfortable drawstring waist that’s also not frumpy looking? Sign me up.
These pants are actually not my best thrift store find – one time I got a Louis Vuitton garment bag (which, I’ve never used, but I own!) for $10.25. But, I like them a lot.

What’s your best thrift store/yard sale find? Do you like the thrill of the hunt, or are you more of an efficient shopper like me?

J’adore Paris

Happy Friday, y’all! Look at that – I made it through a full week with regular blogs! I consider this a significant accomplishment, and one that I hope I can maintain.

Pretty much all of my wardrobe these days is from Target and Old Navy. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling stifled – as cute as those two stores’ clothes can be, I might need to branch out a little.

Until then, here is an outfit brought to you by both of my favorites. My Target jeans are a familiar staple, but the shirt from Old Navy is new. I almost paid full price for it, too, which is a ridiculous thing to do at Old Navy where they have a new sale every two days. But, graphic tees tend to sell out so quickly, and I’m pretty picky about what my t-shirts say, so I felt I needed to snap it up.

Cute, right? I was a French major, so a pun on the Eiffel tower is right up my alley (if the middle print is too small to read, it says, “Eiffel in love with Paris.”) J’adore.

Fortunately for me, Old Navy was having a 40% off everything if you use your Old Navy card. Fortunately for Old Navy, that was enough incentive for me to open one. I figured I shop there enough it’d be worth it for the sales. And, I’ve already earned $30 in Old Navy points or whatever, just by using it outside of their brand one time…so, hopefully the potential negative to my credit score will pay off. Just don’t tell Dave Ramsey.

Here’s the full, casual outfit. Honestly, probably not the most flattering shirt I own, but sometimes, you have to go with what makes you happy (including a twisted choker that bugs me, but I obviously can’t do anything about it now).

Do you have any graphic tees that you really like? What do they say? And what are the stores that you just can’t stay away from – do they define your style like Target and Old Navy have begun to do for me, or are they your favorites for another reason?

Have a great weekend, friends!

The Polka Dot Detective

Since we’ve already done the no eye makeup look this week, we might as well continue.

I might have told you this story already; forgive me, if so. But, when I was an extra on Nashville, I was supposed to wear business attire, like a detective might. I signed up for it, promising I had the requisite clothing. But, when I started to look through my closet, I realized that while I do have gray and black suits, they have ruffles on them. Likewise, I do have button-downs in dark colors; they’re also polka-dotted. I’ve never seen Mariska Hargitay wear polka dots on the job. If I were actually a detective, I would for sure bring fun to the office with my wardrobe, but I assumed the costumers on Nashville would not agree with that decision. So, I bought some boring grey pants, wore a plain black blazer, and mostly satisfied their requirements.

But, I’m not going to lie, I really wanted to wear the shirt I’m wearing in this outfit today. Can’t you picture how cute that would have been with a black pantsuit? Oh well. If ever I’m a detective in real life, you’ll know what I’ll be wearing.

Unrelated, I pretty much live in my black jeans. I should probably have more than one pair, because I’m obsessed.  Thanks, Old Navy!

Do you have multiples of the same item because you wear them so much? I mean, of course everyone has more than one pair of jeans…but, two of the very same thing? I am definitely guilty of buying the same shirt in several colors; if it’s a good price and looks good, why not stock up?

Don’t Call It a Comeback

Hey, y’all, it’s been a while!

I have had a stressful couple of months. Many of you may know that I teach online part-time, and whenever I’m teaching a course, the life kinda gets sucked out of me. In fact, this course was so stressful, I had two nightmares about it.

Couple that with a few other things that were weighing on my mind, not sleeping great because of said nightmares/stressors, and being tired of all of my winter clothes, and I’ve just had no creativity left to give.

And, if I’m being honest, guys, I’m a little discouraged about my blog. I really enjoy it, and I am so grateful to all of you who have read it – whether for a long time or who have just recently started.  But, I don’t know how to grow it, and I don’t know how to take great pictures. And, I compare myself to so many other bloggers who apparently have professional photographers as spouses, or at least have beautiful back yards in which to take their pictures. Or, even more discouraging, have worse pictures than me (and in my opinion, since I’m being honest and vulnerable here, not as cute clothes), but way more readers/followers/sponsors, etc.

I realize we’re not supposed to compare ourselves. It steals your joy and all of that. But, in the cut-throat world of fashion blogging, it’s pretty hard not to. (I’m just kidding about the cut-throat part. Most of the fashion bloggers I actually “know” (aka, we follow each other on Instagram) are quite lovely.)

All of that to say, I’m having a bit of a blog identity crisis, and I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. But, I’m not quite ready to give up. Also, I just paid to renew my domain, so I’ve at least got to get my money’s worth on that. So, if I seem a little off my game over the next few weeks (months?), please forgive me. I’m trying to re-find my blogging self.

And, if you feel so led to offer any words of advice or encouragement, please know that the floor is always open.

For now, here’s an outfit I wore a long time ago, but honestly, I wear these pants about once a week, so it very well could have been something I wore yesterday. If you ever find orange pants in the clearance section at Target, do not hesitate for one second. You will not regret your purchase, I promise!

Gilded Glory

There are a few items in my closet that I really like, but I never wear – either because I just forget about them, or because I’m not sure what to wear with them.

This golden skirt is one of those. I don’t know what to wear with it, SO I forget about it. But, whenever it does resurface, I really like it.

Gold skirtReally, I like it because it makes me feel like a Grecian goddess. I don’t know why – I don’t think they wore gold-threaded maxi skirts. Maybe it’s the column silhouette.

Regardless, I went a little more mono-chromatic with this outfit than I usually do. Or, rather, I should say more neutral. The gold is consistent throughout, but I let the metallic color do the heavy lifting, and kept everything else toned down. Except my lipstick, of course. 1 - gold skirt, olive shoesAlso, how cute are my little bumble bee earrings? I bought them at Christmas time because they were too adorable to pass up. I thought I’d find someone to give them to. Obviously, you can see how well that went.

Berry Kiss

One of my favorite trends right now is dark lipstick. I’m not bold enough to go REALLY dark (yet, anyway), and I might be too fair to pull it off without looking total vintage goth. But I’m really into a good berry – especially when it matches my shirt PERFECTLY.

dsc_0021

This outfit is a great example of how to take something really casual – a t-shirt (that I wear all the time, btw, because it is so comfortable!) and jeans – and spice it up a little with very minimal effort. All I did was add a scarf (tied at the ends to make it a faux infinity scarf) and a choker, some booties, and I was chic and on-trend, but comfortable enough to run errands or whatever else.

1-butterfly-scarf-choker-polka-dot-jeansAlso, not pictured are my earrings because, well, I forgot to take a picture of them.

Do you like to dress up your casual wear? What are some of your go-to outfit boosters?

(Oh, and total bonus points if you know what movie this post’s title is taken from!)

Black Friday Haul

This past week, one of my best friends came to visit for Thanksgiving, and we had a great time, exploring Nashville, Black Friday shopping, EATING…

I took advantage of having a friend who I wouldn’t be embarrassed to make take pictures of me – and made her take pictures of me. Unfortunately, for a couple of these outfits, I forgot to do my accessory pictures, too, so here are outfits without the detail close-ups. Sorry!

Also, it should be noted that almost everything I’m wearing in these two pictures are Black Friday deals. I’m not one of those people who have things with tags on them in my closet. I buy it. And I wear it – immediately.

off-the-shoulder-and-floral-pantsThe highest-price thing I’m wearing in the outfit above is my shoes, which were about $20. The shirt was $7.50, the most expensive thing I bought at Old Navy that day, where I also got my pants for a whopping $4.50! It was an exciting day.

I was hesitant about the off-the-shoulder look for a while. Whenever I’d see it on someone, I thought it just looked so trendy that it was too basic. But, now that it’s been out a little while, there are some more variations on the theme, and I really like this forest green take on the boho look.

Naturally, both of these looks feature chokers. But, you all know I also love a good romper! So, when I found one I could wear in winter, I couldn’t NOT buy it (also, it was only $15, so clearly, it was meant to be). I added tights and booties and I had a simple, sophisticated evening look.

winter-romperWhat were your best Black Friday finds? Were you good at actually buying for other people, or like me every Black Friday, did you mostly just scoop up deals for yourself? It’s so hard to resist!

Getting Choked Up

I debated mixing in some of my older good-camera outfits with these phone camera pictures, but I thought we’d just rip the band-aid off and get them all out of the way now. That way, whenever I do get my new good camera, we can just have all good outfits, not marred by this embarrassing photography.

My favorite trend right now is chokers, and its one that I was scared of trying when they first came back around. First of all, the last time these were in style, I was 13, and I really didn’t wear them much then. Second of all, my neck is kinda short and I was afraid they’d cut me off weird.

But, I was happy to discover that with an open neckline, and a choker of just a modest width, I could actually pull these off quite well. My middle-school self would be so proud.

Since I discovered I could wear them, I’ve fully embraced the trend and wear one several times a week. I especially like layering them with other necklaces, which, although not demonstrated in my outfit below, is the modern spin on the old trend. I think they look a little edgy, which might be part of the reason I like them. But, they also make me feel like Cinderella, let’s be honest.

cinderella-choker-necklaceSo, here’s to the choker, even if it makes me feel super old that styles I distinctly remember wearing are already back for their 2nd go-round.

1-pink-leather-trendWhat styles from your childhood have you seen come back around – that you’re either happy about, or wish had stayed in your childhood?

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