Thursday, May 5, 2011

Today I have a fun post for you from my bloggy friend Andrea!  She was my hoop art swap partner and I'm s and I can't wait to meet her this fall at Blog Sugar!  She is one stylin mama and I'm so happy to have her here today.  If you are new from Andrea's Space welcome I hope you'll stick around!

Hi Ruffled Sunshine readers!  I'm Andrea from Four Flights of Fancy, where I blog about the things I love in life, primarily family, faith, fashion and food.  I post a weekly series titled Playgrounds & Lollipops where I highlight one of my favorite outfits of the week that is child tested and mother approved, and will hopefully give a little inspiration to step outside of your style comfort zone and try something new.

I'm excited that Jenn asked me to guest post today and share some of my tips I've learned along the way while working most of my professional life in the fashion industry.  I'm a stay at home mom now, but still love to feel comfortable and stylish on a budget.  My style is not complicated or fussy, so you usually don't see my doing a lot of layering, or wearing a ton of accessories.  Getting dressed in the morning shouldn't make your head hurt is my motto.  But there are a few things I keep in mind when shopping and choosing my outfit for the day that I'd like to share.

Basic Isn't Always Better is the whole premise that I try to build my wardrobe on.  When I first became a mom, I stayed home with my daughter for the first year of her life before I went back to work.  I was dealing with an infant and I was on a budget, so I developed this mindset that each new piece of clothing I bought or wore had to be basic so that I could wear it multiple times and with many different outfits.  But what I quickly found was that I just looked the same everyday and my closet didn't bring me any joy.  For me, getting dressed helps me feel good and is something I look forward to everyday.  It's my creative outlet.  So when everything in my closet shifted to solid colors with nothing as a stand out piece, I quickly lost my zest for looking good.  Look good, feel good is my motto :)

Now, to help me stay out of that basic is better rut, when getting dressed in the morning I try to incorporate at least one of these four things into my outfit.

1. Pops of Color - You can be wearing simple blue jeans and a pair of flip flops, but if you've got a bright pop of color on top, you instantly feel a lift in your spirits.  I swear wearing a bright color makes you smile more.  It's almost impossible to be down when you see your reflection in the mirror.

2. Fun Prints - Whether it's a bold graphic, a feminine floral or a nautical stripe, incorporating some sort of print into your look gives you an instant dose of style.  I usually keep the accessories to a minimum if wearing a bold print, which makes getting dressed even easier.  Let your print be your accessory.

3. Shoes With Style - I love shoes.  Give me a cute pair of shoes and I'm a happy girl.  I love that they can make the simplest of outfits chic, and elevate it to a whole other level.  They don't need to be fancy or dramatic, just a subtle detail can make all the difference.  The right shade of leather or an interesting detail take a pair of shoes from 'meh' to wow!  And I'd rather have 1 pair of good shoes than 3 pairs of cheap shoes, without a doubt.

4. Well Appointed Accessories - Accessories stress me out so I usually try to keep it pretty simple.  I only have about 6 pairs of earrings, 3-4 necklaces and 2 statement rings I keep on rotation.  And a couple of hats.  Accessories can be tricky when caring for little kids and can get in the way, but a cute necklace or a sweet pair of earrings can make all the difference.  And hats do keep the sun out of your face ;)

Thanks for the great tips Andrea! Be sure and check out Andrea's blog and say hi!


  1. very helpful! i'm always basic. which = i'm always blah. so i loved each of her pointers. especially the accessories! i have a hard time accessorizing. i can love, adore, and appreciate accessories on others and in store/shops, but not so much on me. thank you for inviting andrea, jenn. ::hugs::

  2. i love andrea! i'm not a mom just yet, but i think her fashion tips/"lessons" can apply to anybody who's trying to create a unique, comfortable wardrobe on a smaller budget. and one day, when i am a mom, i hope i can look half as stylish and put-together as she does!

  3. what a cute blog you have jenn! andrea, i'm on board with all your advice (although I'm hurting in the shoe dept), and i'm LOVING your new profile pic (same one with the hat) so much!

  4. this is exactly why you are my personal style guru. i love that you don't tell me what to wear, just how to do it. THAT is inspiring.


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