Lotus Love Story

I may have a few accessories. Perhaps 5 or 32 or so.  I believe I have more accessories than actual clothing items in my closet (with no sign of abatement).

One reason for this is that jewelry shopping is so much more therapeutic than clothes shopping (it’s rare that I see a fabulous pair of earrings only to discover that they aren’t available in my size).

But I digress.

On my “Wall O’Accessories” dangle so many baubles that it’s unusual to see me rocking a particular accessory multiple days in a row.

Until June, when I found it.  The lightest, daintiest little sterling silver cross pendant by Lotus.  I found it on a whirlwind lunchtime trip to 1026 SoFlo (where I also saw the most divine blue-rose-encrusted couch–stay on topic, Christina!).

At first, I simply casually observed it among other Lotus pieces, as I’m normally more of a “statement piece” type of girl (for my friends who are fashion neophytes, a statement piece is an article of jewelry so freaking huge that it borders on the obscene, and in order to avoid crossing the border, may only be paired with other pieces on the rarest of occasions when one is channeling Iris Apfel).  Nestled between a group of the Petal bangles I recognized from the February issue of Lucky and the most simply elegant black pearl threaded on a delicate chain, I kept coming back to it because I just felt a connection with it.

Lotus Cross

As I giddily proceeded to make payment for my new little treasure ($30ish–nominal for sterling), I noticed a surprising detail; the pendant is two-sided–so no matter how it flips, it always looks right (it’s the little things, isn’t it?).

Pleased that I had secured such a cute little necklace to wear on the occasional summer day with a tank top and cutoffs, I jaunted back to work.  And then proceeded to wear it every day for the next seven days. And then come back to it again and again this summer.

With a striped boatneck (usually accompanied by earrings of the aforementioned statement variety), layered with other chains above a ripped-up T-shirt and black skinny jeans for a motorcycle ride, or mixed with rice pearls for work, its flattering length and delicacy have earned it overtime in my closet for the past two months (see my post on cost-per-wear).

What does my experience prove?

a. I always advocate buying pieces you feel a connection with, even if you think, “Whatever in my closet will go with this?”  Every.  Time.  I have done this, I end up with something that I wear the heck out of.

b. You don’t have to spend a fortune to collect some really special pieces.

c. It never hurts to try a different style than you’re used to (especially at a lower price point).  You may wind up having a new favorite!

d. Get thee an (infinitely versatile) Lotus piece pronto!  If you’re in Central Florida, drop by 1026 and tell the ladies that AiS sent you; they’ll direct you straight to the honey spot! (And if you happen to pick up a blue-rose-encrusted couch while you’re there, so much the better!)

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Don’t Bike [Nearly] Naked

Bike Seat TitleI learned a valuable lesson on Friday. Apparently, I cannot “do it all,” as they say (I know–shocking, right?). My friend Beth Geohagen of BeFly Bike Tours hosted her first (of many, I hope) First Friday Fashion Show. In my excitement, and suffering under the delusion that I could, in fact, do it all, I agreed to model in the show knowing that I also wanted to highlight the event in a post.

The result? The following photos, shot from backstage at the event. Not the best of the event (find the best on BeFly’s Facebook page, and hey, like them while you’re at it, would you?).

Beth Geohagen, BeFly Bike Tours, and her mom

Beth Geohagen, BeFly Bike Tours, and her marvelous mom

A few of the goodies we got to wear during the show

A few of the goodies we got to wear during the show

Michelle Fischer-Pugh models "Bikes and Botanicals"

Michelle models “Bikes and Botanicals”

Michelle's cheery yoga-themed Electra bike

Michelle’s cheery yoga-themed Electra bike

William Shaffer sports "Lake Hopping" attire

William sports “Lake Hopping” attire

The point? You don’t have to be of the spandex-shorty-short-shorts-sporting variety to get outside and enjoy the fabulosity that is riding a bike.

In fact, you can ride your bike in any of your favorite outfits (including heels, as Beth often proves in BeFly photos)!

As I and my partners in crime William Shaffer, Allison McKee, Michelle Fischer Pugh, and Kevin Branham and Tamara Lee  showed, bikes provide the perfect transportation for exploits involving “lake hopping”, romantic rides, local museums, downtown pubs, or (for my fellow Lakelanders) a ride through Dixieland Historic District, Fort Frasier Trail, or Circle B Bar Reserve.  And thanks to Kimberly’s Recycled Art Projects, we proved that you can do it while being perfectly accessorized (we sported her jewelry made from recycled bike parts for the show and it is to. die. for.)

When "Art is in Heart", you can never go wrong with a linen scarf to keep you warm once you arrive at the museum

When “Art is in Heart”, you can never go wrong with a linen scarf to keep you warm once you arrive at the museum

I’m always excited to be part of collaborations showcasing incorporating creative style into everyday life. After all, most of our “adventures” occur in everyday life, so why not dress for them?

What’s your favorite bicycling outfit?

I ham it up for David Dickey's camera

I ham it up for David Dickey’s camera

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Angels & Demons

Black Feather DressWhite Pouf DressBlack MasqueLeather Half JacketsWhite Feather Dress

The Angels and Demons collection by E. Mackey blew me away. It defies commentary.

Enjoy. And don’t be surprised if I hunt down that amazing white zippered poufy dress for my next lark.

The Ultimate – TallyRenee

B&W Polka DressBlack and yellow short suitBlue and Polka DressPurple polk jumpsuit-yellow skirtPolka bodysuitPurple maxiAsymmetrical Wrap

As I mentioned earlier this week, Walk This Way Productions was kind enough to invite me to their 13th Annual MLK Jr. Ultimate Fashion Experience.  I had such a lovely time and am so excited to share my favorite looks from Sunday’s show with you.

TallyRenee was one of the first designers shown, and the Spring/Summer collection just made me dotty (pun intended)!

There were so many modern, completely wearable looks featuring polka dots that I could hardly choose which ones to share.

A number of lavender-infused diaphanous looks also made an appearance (word to the wise: if you enjoy lavender, this spring is the time to pick up some key pieces in that shade), my absolute favorite piece of the entire collection being the asymmetrical topper in the last picture. It went on my wish list the moment it appeared on the runway–I would rock it out with anything from black leather pants to denim cutoffs to the office-bound pencil skirt.

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Brights and animal print?!

Brights & Animal Prints

So, as you can tell by all the visual noise in my last few pictures, the last few days have been a crazy whirlwind (of fun)!  I’m taking pictures on the fly!

Today’s outfit was inspired by Sandra Gray’s pairing of leopard print with a bright accent. While I love brights and prints together, I decided to create a lower-key look along the same lines for those of you who may like the concept of pairing an animal print and a bright, but aren’t comfortable with wearing animal print head-to-toe.

In this outfit, the shorts do all the heavy lifting. Bright orange with little palm trees (I do live in Florida, after all) and trimmed in ocelot print, I could pair these shorts with another bright (fuschia wedges, anyone?).

However, today I’m taking more of a “lady who lunches” approach with this ivory sweater, black ballet flats, and layers of pearls. I’m willing to bet that almost every one of you has these basic pieces in your wardrobe, and a great way to infuse them with life this spring is to take a cue from Sandra Gray and get wild and bright!

I hope to see you at The Ultimate Fashion Experience tonight!

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Sheer into winter

Sheer blouse detailBlouse Close up

Don't stash your sheer blouses in the winter; just top them with a warm biker jacket to cut their sweetness.

Don’t stash your sheer blouses in the winter; just top them with a warm biker jacket to cut their sweetness.

 

The Ultimate Fashion Experience to benefit at-risk youth is tomorrow, and today I drew inspiration from a gorgeous sheer dress from the 2012 Army Collection of one of the designers featured in the show, Antonella Bella.

Since we are having an (albeit rare) cold spell right now, I decided to forgo the dress and instead chose this soft-colored, billowy sheer floral blouse. Because I generally find florals to be a bit too “sweet” for me, I went in the opposite direction with the rest of my outfit–cargo skinnies, riding boots, and a leather moto jacket.

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Tally Forth!

Red Pants, blue shoes, ultimate fashion experience

Instead of going neutral, push the boldness of a bright outfit even further by adding a colorful shoe.

I’m gearing up for Sunday’s Ultimate Fashion Experience (if you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, you can do so here)! One of my favorite designers to be featured in the show is TallyReNee (learn about their design philosophy here).

TallyReNee’s pinup collection draws on an all-American color palette and features wedge heels, polka-dot neckerchiefs, bustier-inspired tops, flirty skirts, collar necklaces, and of course, red lips.

To translate that look for a work environment, I donned slim red pants (for a dose of sexy), ultra-feminine, bow-topped platforms in navy (to keep the all-American vibe going), and a strong collar necklace for a bit of an edge.

If red pants are “too much” for your taste (c’mon—live a little!), I’d recommend swapping them out for a fitted pencil skirt in a deep, bold color (dark turquoise, anyone?) and a polished red lip.

While wedges and platforms inspire a pin-up feel, t-strap shoes also work to the same purpose, and add a bit of femininity.

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Show me the experience!

ultimate fashion angela bailey KeAndrea Pettermon and LaWanda Bailey

L – R: Angela Bailey, KeAndrea Pettermon, LaWanda Bailey of Urban Reflections
photo courtesy theledger.com, 12.17.2012

If you live in the Central Florida area and have been around me for more than 5 consecutive seconds this week, you may have heard of Walk This Way productions. They produce fashion shows. Kick-butt fashion shows. But what you may not realize is that this Sunday evening, they are producing a mind-blowing, over-the-top, Ultimate Fashion Experience benefitting Urban Reflections, the charitable arm of their organization that shows at-risk youth in Lakeland that the sky’s the limit in life regardless of one’s shape, size, or ethnicity.

I really like that.

So of course, I’ll be there. Soaking up the style inspiration. Blogging. And let’s be honest, probably shakin’ my butt a bit. So that you can be inspired. To express your style. To expose yourself to new perspectives. To shake your butt. You know, the important stuff in life.

If you’re in Central Florida, you’re going to want to come by. You can buy tickets here through eventbrite, but you’d better do it soon, because the word on the Lakeland-area street is that they’re almost sold out.

And just for k’s and g’s (as the Hattie’s Branches proprietors would say), I’m going to draw inspiration from designers featured in the show for my outfits this weekend, beginning tomorrow. Let me know what you think!

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Onward and Upward

01-11-2013

Hospital-issued non-skid socks: my fall fashion statement

So. When I told a friend in December 2011 that I wanted to start a blog and was considering the name “Adventures in Style,” I had no idea that it would portend a year full of adventure in almost every area of my life.
A graduate degree, a job change, a couple of surgeries (and the resulting longer-than-desired break from blogging) later, I sometimes think I’ve had enough adventures for a while. But agreeing with Amelia Earhart that “adventure is worthwhile in itself,” I attempt to collect the silver linings from every experience in 2012 and shine them on the year ahead.
Already there are some enchanting possibilities on the horizon. I’m excited to see what adventures 2013 will bring, not only in the fashion world, but in life as well. My goal is to apply lessons learned in 2012 to enable me to blog through the adventures instead of around them (as I am learning that one cannot wait for life to be perfect to begin living). I hope you share my excitement about this year’s potential; I wish marvelous things for each and every one of you. Thank you for joining me on this adventure.

Step 4 of Stephanie’s Marvy Mani

Practice these steps and pretty soon you’ll be able to do a great manicure in no time at all!

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