Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: LBD

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

Workin’ Hard for the Money

So, big news from Nashville…I got a job!  And, it might be the most exciting job ever, as I’ll be working at the Country Music Hall of Fame! Basically, this job is a dream come true: living in Music City, working in country music – what could be better? Also, I’ll be in the development office, and one of our responsibilities is VIP events, all of which I’ll be required to attend.  I mean, twist my arm.

Of course, after I accepted this job, I immediately felt convicted by all the worrying and doubting I did.  Maybe one day, I’ll learn to trust God before I see the end result, but as someone very wise pointed out to me, perhaps the greater lesson is that God is faithful even when we lack.

Anyway, I chose to celebrate this good news by wearing all black the day it became official.  I really don’t know why black said party to me – it rarely does. But, the sparkly tights said party for sure, and I built from there.  Also, these boots make me feel super Nashville.

The Country Music Hall of Fame is a “creative” environment, as you might expect, and full of trendy people…so, who knows how my style and therefore blog will evolve over the coming months. But I’m excited to find out, and glad you’re along for the ride with me.

Also, I’m excited to meet celebs, but that’s neither here nor there.
1 - celebratory black dress

CMT AOTY and Me

We interrupt this regularly schedule program to discuss one of the most exciting events of my life…

Last night, I got to attend the CMT Artist of the Year show!!!!  Here’s how it happened:

So, all these televised events in Nashville have to have full audiences so they look awesome on camera.  One of my friends told me about this when I first moved here and the “casting agencies” that are in charge of filling the audiences, so I followed these agencies on Facebook. When I saw this event come up, I applied (late) – i.e., sent in a picture of myself – and was accepted within an hour.  I felt pretty good about myself until I learned that there were 800 people accepted, and three tiers of wrist bands, and I was in the lowest tier…

No matter, though, because even sitting way up in the balcony, nowhere near a celebrity or a camera, I had an amazing time.

Picking out what to wear, though, was a different story.  As a seat filler, you’re essentially supposed to be invisible, which is, of course, not my style.  We had all these parameters about what to wear: nothing too revealing/short, no flashy jewelry, low heels, dark colors.  When I sorted through all of my clothes that fit into these categories, I found I had two options.

Option 1:

1 - CMT AOTY option 1I’ve always really liked this dress, but it’s never really flattered me that well.  Or, I should say, it looks great when I first put it on, and then as soon as I move, it turns into a sack of potatoes. And as you can see, doesn’t photograph very well.  If I somehow ended up sitting next to Sam Hunt, I needed to look good.  So, I threw out option 1.

Option 2:

This was literally the only other choice I had in my entire wardrobe, but for the most part, I was very pleased.  When I have a job again, I’ll stock up on some award show options.

1 - CMT AOTYMy little lace crop top (which, btw, I got at Rue 21 for $3), is one of my favorite dressier pieces, but I didn’t have a great black skirt to go with it…until I remembered my black slip dress!  I’ve worn this under tops on several occasions, and while it’s very form fitting, it’s not too short, so I figured it would work.  As for my gold heels, I don’t know if they’re technically considered “low”, but they are about the lowest I own, and I’m short, so I figured I could get away with it. I added a green clutch for a little Christmas flair, and some rose gold jewelry, and I was all set, if not red carpet ready.

My hair did look a little flat in these pictures, though, so I ended up putting it back.  Imagine this head on the above photos.

1202151608a-1So, I hope this helps next time you’re invited to an awards show! Or, you know, you could always move to Nashville and just go with me!!  I <3 this town.

Black to Basics

In my professional life, I’ve developed a bit of a uniform for when I’m visiting schools/churches/”clients”. It’s not super clever or unique – I just wear black. But, maybe my reasons for doing so are a little more distinctive.

Of course, the primary reason I wear black is pretty obvious: it’s professional. Also, it’s really easy, and as we’ve established on multiple occasions, I’m the worst packer ever, so black reduces the effort I have to put into the work side of my suitcase (I really do divide it that way; work clothes in one half, fun clothes in the other).

But, I also love black because it allows me to mix and match all of my shoes and accessories and come up with different looks that suit whatever audience I’m meeting, while still showcasing my personality.

In this outfit, I was meeting with someone for work, so I wore jewelry from Rahab’s Rope, of course. The leopard print shoes are mine and I love them.

1 - black to basicsDo you have a uniform – required or just developed?  Any go-to looks for certain occasions?  You know how I feel about that whole minimalist wardrobe thing, but there is something comforting in not having to think.

A LBD and A French Braid

Finally home…I love traveling, I really do.  And this past week, I was in my favorite place in the world: Nashville, Tennessee.  But, it’s always good to get home and back into a routine.  I’m a creature of habit and glad to be back in the saddle.

A couple of weeks ago, I wore this look, and ended up really loving it, although it evolved almost by accident from a simple black dress. I was speaking for work again, so like the look I showed you last Tuesday, I started with something basic so I could add some Rahab’s Rope accessories.  All of the jewelry I’m wearing, plus the headband, are from my work (which, if you don’t know, is a nonprofit that works with women and children in India who are at risk or have been victims of human trafficking; you can order some pretty things here.)

I really love this for two reasons:

1) My red lipstick actually looks good.  Almost every time I wear red lipstick, I think I look like a clown or a 5 year old who got into her mom’s makeup bag.  But this time, it miraculously worked.

2) My hair.  I could not get this headband to work for me and not make me look like a complete flower child.  But, necessity (and pinterest) are the mother of invention, so in part inspired by some old pins I’d seen, in part just plain experimentation, I ended up with this awesome braided look.  If you can tell from these pictures (don’t mind the note on my mirror; it’s just a love note one of my besties left me recently, and I like it, so it stays), I wrapped the front of my hair around the headband twice on each side (like I do when I’m curling it), and then I French braided it from there, and voila.  It’s probably my new bad hair day go-to.

wpid-0422150934a.jpg
wpid-wp-1429994990744.jpeg

1 - black dress, headbandHave you ever invented a new hair style?  Share your secrets in the comments; I’m always looking for new tips!

IBTLALC, pt. 2

Yesterday’s trendy party was super fun, but for today’s Christmas party look, let’s turn toward the holiday dinner party or firm/hospital party (i.e., a swanky office party – my office parties are generally just sweater/jeans attire).  I have a lot of disclaimers about this outfit, actually, but first, let’s talk about why it works.

I’ve never quite understood the idea of getting plastered with your coworkers at the holidays – I think it would just make for a very awkward Monday the next week.  Wearing too-revealing clothing follows along those same lines.  This dress works – it is a modest length (really, too long on me, but we’re jumping ahead to the disclaimer section), has a flatteringly deep V neckline without showing too much, and offers just the right amount of sparkle and movement.  Plus, black is always appropriate, and the touches of red make for festive accents.

1 - black party dressI also love, love, love my hair and makeup here.  I don’t know how it happened, but while this is my least favorite of my three holiday clothing looks, it’s definitely my favorite hair/makeup combination.  I went for a bold eye, with shimmery gray/black shadows and a forest green eyeliner (I really love colored eye liners).  To avoid competing with my eyes, I then opted for a neutral lip, even putting foundation on my lips to tone down the color (I read that’s a thing).

DSC_1487Now, for my disclaimers.  I’ve lost a little weight since I bought this dress a few years ago, so, in addition to being really too long for me (I think just above the knee is more flattering generally, but especially on my short frame), it just doesn’t hang right anymore.  Also, I would have worn different shoes if this were real life – I love my suede red pumps, but they’re a little too practical for a Christmas party – something taller, strappier, and/or sparklier would have been better.  Alas, they were the best I had for a pretend outfit.

All that to say, stick with more traditional and conservative lines and colors for formal (in the sense of traditional, not in the sense of black tie) dinner and office parties.  And if  you’re a little taller than me and you’d like a size 6 (maybe fits more like an 8) black dress, please let me know.  I’ll send it to you (seriously).

Around the World in 3 Days

Last week, I kinda went on an unintentional theme in my dressing.  I say unintentional because unlike sixth grade when I would plan out an entire week of different smiley-faced outfits (I’m still quite proud of myself for that), this theme just evolved.

It started on Monday, when I went in to work dressed as Robin Hood.  I work in a casual environment, but costumes are generally discouraged.  However, when you are late every day, sometimes you look in the mirror, say, “I look like a fairy tale character”, and decide to go with it anyway.  In this case, I started with the boots which are over-the-knee, but once I added the skirt, I realized they were too tall for the length of the skirt, so I folded them over.  And became a Merry Man.
1 - Robin HoodThe next day, I switched things up completely (sometimes I feel a little schizophrenic in my dressing, but that’s a topic for another day), and went with the very professional all black dress and pumps, adding a touch of color in my shoes and scarf.  My friend said I looked like I should be on Wall Street (which is why I left my glasses on for this picture – I thought it added to the pretense).  I laughed at the absurdity of dressing like Robin Hood one day and Wall Street the next, to which my friend said, “Well, Hollywood to New York…where will you go to next?”
1 - Wall StreetNever one to disappoint, I showed up on Wednesday ready for the streets of Paris. In theory, anyway.  When I think of Parisian fashion, I think slim-fitting, minimalist, and monochromatic, like Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face or almost every fashion designer, ever.  So, I tried my best, but other than the beret, I honestly don’t like very much about this outfit.  Maybe if my jeans weren’t so faded (who knew that my dark wash were no longer actually dark), I’d be a little happier.

Oh well.  C’est la vie.

1 - France, beretHow would you dress Hollywood, NYC, or Paris?  And more importantly, where would you go on a world-wide fashion tour?

© 2019 Tastefully Trendy

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑