Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: sequins (page 1 of 4)

Tastefully Trendy: Halloween Edition

In honor of the occasion, my Tastefully Trendy Tuesday post is, well, on Wednesday. Maybe next week I’ll be back on the wagon, guys.

I was not allowed to celebrate Halloween as a kid. Sure, we went to Harvest Festivals at church, but I never once trick or treated, and I really have no memories of dressing up. If I did, it was at church as an angel or Bible character – so, basically, I wore a bathrobe. My mom was always good about making sure we still had candy like all the other kids, but costumes just weren’t a thing.

Maybe that’s why I enjoy them so much as an adult. My college town had a huge block party every year for Halloween (no joke, Little Richard played one year!), and hundreds of kids would trick or treat down the pretty avenue across the street from campus. It was just so fun, I quickly became hooked.

As an adult, I still don’t see the point in dressing up like a witch or goblin or something evil. Or something ugly, for that matter. No judgment if that’s your thing – I just would like to take every opportunity to be something I (probably) never actually could be in real life, but would like to be, if given the chance: a princess, a fairy, a mermaid. Something beautiful and glamorous.

And for some reason, I feel strongly that buying a costume is cheating. I don’t know where this idea came from. I’m not a crafty person; usually if someone says “you can just make it yourself”, I get anxiety. But at Halloween, I transform into the queen of tulle and hot glue and fabric adhesive. And surprisingly, my creations usually turn out pretty well.

Before I unveil this year’s costume (which, if you follow me on instagram and watched my story this weekend will be a little anticlimactic), let’s take a walk down memory lane…

2014:

This year was the first that I really got into my costume making. I’d dabbled before, but never had I bought so many disparate pieces and had a true vision for how my outfit was going to look. As with any Halloween costume, you have to make it “sexy”. But, because I’m still me, I wanted to keep it classy, too. So here is my version of Cinderella.

The secret to Halloween costumes is the details, I think. Obviously, this is not a literal interpretation of Cinderella, but thanks to my choker, headband, gloves, and the color blue (and some bangs that were unfortunate in the grand scheme of my life, but perfect for this costume), every girl knew who I was. Almost zero men did – ha!

Also, not Halloween, but one year I did a Cinderella photo shoot with my very talented friend Julianne, and I’m still obsessed with those pictures. So, here are two of those just for fun:



2015:

In 2015, I’d moved to Nashville literally three days before Halloween (y’all, I’ve been here 3 years now!). My bestie and her then boyfriend (now husband) came up to visit and she and I went together as a construction worker and her stud finder (get it?!). I liked our costume together, but no one really realized we were a “couple”, and kept complimenting her on her costume independently. Oh well – you win some, you lose some.

2016:

In 2016, I discovered the glue gun, and my life was forever changed. I don’t know why I’d never used a glue gun before – I’d seen my mom use one a billion times and they are remarkably easy to use. But, I guess the motivation was lacking until my tooth fairy costume.

I reused my Cinderella tulle tutu (which I’d made, by the way – thanks, Pinterest!), but again, the beauty of this costume was in the details. My tooth wand and the toothbrush crown (the crown was really my favorite part), plus my Dollar Tree wings were enough for several moms to stop me on the street for pictures to send to their kids.

2017:

Last year, I didn’t have any party invitations, so I didn’t plan a costume. I will never make that mistake again – something almost always comes up at the last minute.

In this case, I had just started dating a guy who was going with all of his buddies as the Disney Princesses. I wanted to go along with the theme, but not compete with it. He was Snow White, so I decided to be a (generic) dwarf. Y’all, I put this costume together with about 12 hours notice, and I was pretty proud of my quick work. I already had the hat, romper, and booties, so I just needed some buttons and a lantern and I was ready to go (or, hi-ho, if you will).

2018:

And now we arrive at the present, and I may have outdone myself this year. The amount of time and money I invested into this costume was probably not justified by the 3 hours I actually wore it, but it was so much fun for me to create, and one very inebriated gentleman did kiss me on the cheek and say that he loved that I wasn’t basic, which is about the highest compliment anyone could give me.

With no further ado, I present – the Mermaid!

 This tasteful” mermaid look was inspired by a picture on Pinterest, but honestly, y’all, I didn’t know until literally the minute I put it on if it would work at all. I was so pleased with how it did. Naturally, I already owned the tank top and the skirt (actually, the skirt is what originally originally inspired the mermaid idea). I bought a seashell bra on Amazon and painted it with glitter glue to match the tank. Then, I embellished it with rhinestones and seashell sequins, and finished off the skirt with some tulle and adhesive tape (which didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. I reinforced it with safety pins, but you can trace where I went in Nashville by following the tulle trail). I had no idea, though, that the tulle would flare out a little like it did, which made the costume even more perfect.

And, let’s talk about my mermaid makeup because I was pretty impressed with myself. Lots of highlighter, lots of glitter, turquoise winged eye shadow, and lavender frosty lipstick. I would have liked the eye shadow to be a little more pronounced, actually, but I didn’t want to buy bolder turquoise eye shadow to wear one time, so I made do with what I had.

So, there you have it: 5 years, 5 costumes, and lots of creative fun! My favorite is either the mermaid or the tooth fairy – those details just get me!

What was your favorite costume that you’ve worn? Do you believe in making or buying your costume? Were you allowed to celebrate Halloween as a kid, or did you have a childhood like mine? Let’s discuss!

<3,

SB

 

Dressing to Impress: the Casual Edition

First of all, thank you, everyone, for all of your positive feedback on my post last week. I was honestly very nervous about publishing it, but you all were so kind and encouraging, it made me glad that I did. So, thank you.

The original purpose of my blog was to talk about fashion. There’s only so much I can say about my clothes, so I like veering off into other topics. But, today seemed like a good day to go back to my roots.

If you’re a newer reader, you may not know why I call my blog Tastefully Trendy. The long version is here (full disclosure, I changed the picture on that original post, because I have no idea why I thought the outfit I had posted there was a good look). But, the short version is that I believe true style comes from taking a trend and making it your own, rather than being  a cookie cutter copy of everyone else. It’s my fashion soap box.

I also believe you can look stylish no matter your lifestyle or time availability. Fashion doesn’t have to be this super complicated thing.

To that end, let’s talk about casual clothes. I’ve always been an advocate for looking put together, even when running errands or taking the kids to the park or a casual lunch with friends, etc.

Here’s what I mean.

I spent about 15 seconds picking out this outfit – I’m literally wearing a sweatshirt, jeans, and flats – and LOTS of dry shampoo. However, while my sweatshirt is no less comfortable than one without giant pearls on it, it looks like I put effort into choosing my clothes, more so than if i were wearing my oversized college hoodie. Likewise, my trendy hole-y jeans required no more time commitment than putting on a pair of leggings would have, but they give the impression that I invested time in getting ready. My shoes are just slide-on flats; they require even less effort than a pair of tennis shoes. Yet, the overall look says that I care.

Here’s another example.

Now, this outfit did take a little more effort than my sweatshirt and jeans. But, not much. At the end of the day, I’m still wearing a sweater, pants, and flats. As casual as it gets. But, by choosing trendy, well-fitting pants, and flats that tie the shirt into the whole outfit, I have a complete look, rather than one that says I just threw on whatever was clean.

To be fair, when I wore this outfit, I actually wore heels with it, so here’s that look, too.

*quick disclaimer – in this picture, my sweater is hanging weird where it’s tucked. I tried desperately to edit it to make it look less bunchy/more like it did in real life, but I was unsuccessful. Imagine that it’s perfectly bloused.

A couple additional thoughts about this look. First, to my earlier point about making trends your own: these pants are my version of the camo trend. I like camo – much better now than I did the last time it was in style. But, everyone is wearing military camo. Why not try this jungle take on it? Still the same basic look – greens on greens on greens. However, by putting a slightly different spin on the trend, I’ve made it my own and stand out a little more from the crowd. My personal aversion to looking like everyone else may also be why I find things on sale all the time – the demand is lower for unique things. I only paid $9 for these pants. Added bonus: I’m ready to go off the grid in the Amazon Rainforest, should the need arise.

Second, my leopard print shoes and camo pants. I’ve thought a lot about how to explain why this works. My mom would probably argue that it doesn’t. But, it does, I promise. Animal and camo prints both act as neutrals, much like a thin stripe would, because both patterns are made up of shades of the same colors – leopard with browns and blacks, camo with greens. Additionally, greens and browns pair well with each other, anyway, and the gold in my shirt matches the gold in the leopard and ties everything together.

The biggest reason these work, though, is confidence. If you’re going to rock an unexpected style or combination, you’ve got to own it. People will believe you know what you’re doing if you believe you do. And it’s totally okay to fake it til you make it, because the more you try, the more confident you’ll become. And, the more confident you are, the more people will affirm your decisions, helping to boost your confidence even further.

But, even if they don’t, though, at least you’ve stepped out, worn something brave, and flexed your creative muscles.

So, there’s my take on casual. Of course, when I’m sick I run to Walgreens in sweat pants and a hoodie like every other human being. But, otherwise, if for the same amount of effort I can look put together and classy, even when I’m running errands, I’m going to choose that option. I’ll feel better and be more confident, which will cause other people to respond to me better, and the whole experience will be better for everyone.

What’s your go-to casual look? Do you feel confident and good about yourself when you wear it? If so, great! If not, what are some ways that you can boost your confidence in your style, regardless of whether or not you incorporate my suggestions? I’d love to hear from you, and as always, thank you for reading.

<3,

SB

NYE 2017

Well, we have arrived in 2017, y’all! I’m excited for the new year, as I am every January. I don’t have anything in particular that I know will happen this year – but I have hopes for lots of good things!

One of those good things is to grow this little blog of mine. I love it so much, and I’ve heard from many of you who read it, that you love it, too. (Thank you for that!)

To that end, I’ve launched a new Instagram account, dedicated solely to all things fashion. I’ve long thought hashtagging my way to a wider audience was the best method of growth for me, but I didn’t want to annoy other friends who aren’t as interested in that aspect of my life.

Now, I don’t have to worry about irritating those people, while I can also focus on meeting more insta friends who share my interests!

So, if you’re in the not-likely-to-be-annoyed category (as you probably are, if you’re reading this), please feel free to add me: Tastefully Trendy. Should be pretty easy to remember.

Now, to the matter at hand. New Year’s Eve! In my adult life, NYE has become one of my favorite holidays – in part, because it is such an optimistic night. In full reality, because I get to wear sequins.

This year, I couldn’t find ANYTHING shiny in stores. I guess I waited too late and all the sparkles sold out. So, I was forced to wear one of the three sequin skirts I already owned…and I actually was very pleased with the result.

dsc_0029-2Off-the-shoulder: check. Choker: check. Cute furry hot pink clutch (that’s actually an Ipsy makeup bag): check. And of course, sequins and shiny shoes: check and check!!

Here’s a close-up of the off-the-shoulder detail (and my makeup! My secret is great highlighter and NYX’s matte setting spray!).

1-nye-off-the-shoulderAnd the rest of the outfit (sans ring, because I forgot to take a picture of that).

1-nye-sequinsSadly, one of those cute pearl earrings were a casualty of the evening. I somehow still had the back, but the pearl itself was nowhere to be seen (insert sobbing emoji). Oh well. On a happier note, can we talk about how good my new camera is? I mean, look at those silver shoes sparkle!

Did you all have a good New Year’s Eve? Any fun plans? My party was Y2K themed, so you know it was amazing. I hope yours was, too, and that it sparkled and shined with all the magic and promise of a new year! Send me your outfit pictures – I’d love to see your shimmer!

My Awkward life

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming: My Awkward Life.

Y’all, I had the most awkward moment in my not-as-short-anymore-life a couple weeks ago. And this is coming from the girl who asked out her chiropractor – and then went back to him. It was terrible.

As ground work for this story, let me say that although I’m on this kinda-break from dating, I did have one “pre-existing” guy that resurfaced about the same time I started my break. So, I was grandfathering him in and had a date planned with him for the Tuesday after Halloween.

The Saturday before Halloween, I took my cute little Tooth Fairy costume out on the town with some friends. As I was about to leave (literally, I was checking Uber and Lyft rates), a man dressed as a chicken started talking to me, and he happened to be super interesting. (This is not important to the story, but he was from New Jersey, had gone to college in Oklahoma for the rodeo, moved to Nashville for music, still was the front-man for a band, but during the day was a commodity trader who was loaded and lived on his boat (I called it a yacht, but I think it was technically a boat.). FASCINATING. And it was all true. I googled him.)

Anyway, so the Chicken and I ended up talking outside for quite a while, and as we’re sitting there, a guy high-fives me. While I’m high-fiving him back, I look up and see that his buddy, dressed like a tiger, is the guy I have a date scheduled with for 3 days later.

Awkward.

Pause for a moment and let’s reflect on how small of a town Nashville really is. I run into people I know all the time. Usually in less uncomfortable circumstances.

Back to my story, the Tiger says nothing, but keeps walking, and I tell the Chicken that I have a date with that tiger on Tuesday. I figured he might as well share in the discomfort with me, although to his credit, he was much less phased by it than I was.

The Chicken and I keep talking, and after a little while, I’m calling an Uber again, when from across the street, I hear my name. The Tiger yells hey and waves and keeps walking. And I want to die. The Chicken says I can go talk to him, but that’s weird. I think I just did a little half-step dance move, said “this is the most awkward situation of my life”, and got in my Uber.

Needless to say, nothing ever came of either of those two guys. No big loss with the Tiger – this was about his 4th chance, anyway. But, I wouldn’t have minded talking to the Chicken more, even though I don’t think he shared my values. So, maybe it was for the best.

And, there you have it. Definitely the most awkward moment I’ve ever had – hopefully the most I will ever have. It really was like being in the Mindy Project or some other sitcom. But, I survived, and maybe the two bullets dodged made it all worth it.

Maybe.

As my shirt says, though, “Life is short.” Embrace the awkward (and wear sequins).

1-sequins-glitter-sweater

Extra, extra, read all about it

Well, guys, as of yesterday, I am no longer employed at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Instead, on Wednesday, I’ll be the newest employee of Belmont University!

I didn’t really want to make a big deal of it, partly because I always make a big deal of my life changes, and partly because it’s not that big of a deal. I had some really great experiences at the CMHOF, but ultimately, the journey of the past three years has taught me that higher ed is where I belong. My dad has worked in it practically my whole life; I guess I should have just followed the family business. It’s where the oldest child usually ends up anyway, right?

Anyway, I’m excited to go back to admissions (if anyone wants to get a degree in physical or occupational therapy, let me know). But, a little sad that the days of wearing sequins to work are over. Sure, I’ve been told my new office is “business casual”, but I don’t think that an academic office ever defines that term with shiny things.

Saturdays, though, you can bet I’ll be rocking this combo again – it’s high-low fashion perfection.
1 - chambray and sequinsHave a great weekend, everyone, and happy Labor Day! Here’s to boats, beers, and the last breath of summer!

Even So, It is Well

I’ve been reflecting lately on entitlement in our spiritual lives. In recent sermons and readings, I’ve been impressed with the idea that we’re not guaranteed a perfect life – even as Americans, something pretty hard for my western, Millennial mind to grasp. Suffering is a part of life, and those verses that say, “in this world, you will have trouble”, actually  mean it.

I don’t mean this to be a depressing post, but maybe because I’m in my 30s now, I’ve just realized that life isn’t perfect. A lot of people go through a lot of hard things. And that doesn’t mean God isn’t good. It also doesn’t mean that I’m immune.

I’ve always imagined that I would fall in love; have a good marriage with well-behaved, smart children; and live the proverbial happily ever after. And maybe I will. But, God doesn’t owe me that. He doesn’t owe me anything. He gave me life and salvation, and if that’s all He ever did, it would still be an astounding grace.

Of course, that’s not all He’s done for me (see Wednesday’s somewhat silly post about jewelry and clothing). But, He doesn’t owe me anything. Just because I was born in America instead of an Indian slum, I have special privileges. But, they aren’t owed to me. Just because I was born middle-class white, I have a lot of opportunities. But, they aren’t owed to me. Just because I was born a woman who would like to be married and have children, I have a hope that one day, I’ll get what I’ve always wanted. But, it isn’t owed to me.

So, while I work on my attitude and expectations that a Holy God cater to my whims, I continue to pray that He will give me “the desires of my heart.” But, in case that’s not what that verse actually means…or, in case that desire remains unfulfilled until I’m 82, I’m also working on making the words of the old hymn true for me, as well:

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, EVEN SO, it is well with my soul.

Maybe you can relate to a hope deferred. Maybe you can relate to feeling entitled. Maybe you can’t, but you understand what it’s like to go through challenges and still see that God is good. Regardless, I hope that everyone will be able to come to a place where they too can say, “even so, it is well.”

And, I hope that you will wear sequins. Because as my shirt (which, ironically, has no sequins on it) says – life is short. And no matter what our circumstances, we all can look for a reason to celebrate. 1 - sequins and leopard

Changing Seasons

I’ve always kept all my clothes together in my closet (as opposed to putting summer clothes away for the winter season and vice versa). I like this plan because a) I don’t have to bother with switching them out or worry about when the weather has officially turned the corner. But b) and more significantly, it gives me a lot more options and most of my clothes I can stretch to at least 3 seasons by mixing and matching.

The downside, though, is that I see my clothes all year, so I get tired of them – there’s no, “oh, I forgot I had this!” moment, because they’ve been in front of me all along.

All that to say, I’ve been trying to maximize my winter clothing wear because I’m a little tired of a lot of the spring/summer clothes I have in my wardrobe – at least the ones that are work appropriate).  I think, though, that the weather has finally turned (yay, but…), so I’m going to have to make the total switch soon.

In the meantime, here is a sweater skirt that I won’t be able to wear much longer…
1 - sweater skirt, jacketCute, though, right? I like skirts a lot, and especially love unique ones, weather because of shape, pattern, or in this case, material.

Do you switch out your clothes for the seasons every year? If so, have you done that yet? Rhode Island got a bunch of snow this weekend (and I got sunburned at brunch #sorrynotsorry), so friends up North, if you switched over, what did you wear the past few days?

Zipped Up

Perhaps surprising to no one, I have a few more opportunities to dress up in Nashville than I did in the Poultry Capital of the World (I don’t know if I’ve told you all that before – literally, Gainesville’s claim to fame was chicken. And it smelled like it. Everyday.)

Recently, I went to an awards ceremony (for advertising; don’t get too excited), and broke out this cute little cocktail dress I’d been waiting to wear. It was given to me free (but new) because the zipper was broken, so after a trip to the seamstress, I was ready to go!

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell how a dress really fits you without a zipper, so this was not as flattering in real life as I’d expected it to be (don’t let the picture fool you). Also, sequins against your bare arm is a great way to rub off a layer of skin.

Regardless, the overall effect was pretty, and I’m always looking for a reason to wear sequins. So, I’ll keep it around for when I’m in a last minute bind that calls for a cocktail dress. You just never know.

1 - sequin dressAnyone going anywhere fancy this weekend? What are your plans in general? Have a great one, everybody!

Birthday Suit 2.0

While we’re on the subject of my birthday, I went out and celebrated the weekend before with a friend. Because I’m obsessed with the honky tonks in downtown Nashville, she was a good sport and tagged along. Now, sequins don’t quite fit the cowboy boots theme of Nashville. But, it’s my party, I can wear what I want to.

Of course, it was freezing outside, though, and downtown Nashville is a walking experience. So, I through on a blanket(ish) scarf and called it a day.  For those wondering, I was still cold. But, who remembers that when they have a great outfit to reflect on?
1 - sequin skirt, blanket scarfDon’t judge me that my tree was still up in mid-January…it was a busy time for me.

How do you like my sequins with plaid scarf combo? Too high-low or just enough mixing of styles to work?

What to Wear: NYE Edition

Y’all…I need help.

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, which over the past few years has become one of my favorite holidays – in large part because of the sequins.  This year will be my first NYE in Nashville, so I want to do it big!

The biggest party in Nashville is the downtown block party, which this year features Kings of Leon (honestly, I thought their last song was circa 2008, but whatever), Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini, and others.  The whole street is blocked off, they drop a giant music note (of course), and it’s basically Nashville’s version of the Times Square celebration. So, it’ll likely be wonderful mass chaos.

I’m excited about it, but, predictably, after two weeks of unseasonably warm weather, tomorrow night will be in the mid 20s.  Even crammed together with 1000s of your closest friends, that’s still cold.  Plus, I’ll be standing for hours.

So, what do I wear?  Of course I still want to look cute, and if we go inside anywhere afterwards, I need to have something that looks good under my coat.  But, I feel like I need to be more practical than the sequin skirt, stilettos, and sleeveless top I wanted to wear…

What do you suggest? Has anyone ever gone to an outdoor/cold NYE block party before?  Suggestions?  I’m thinking one of those cute knit headband/ear warmer things (I have one with sequins, so that’s perfect), but beyond that, I’m stumped.

Hurry – we’ve got 24 hours to decide!

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