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The Blog

Approachable inspiration for a stylish life. 

 

Old Navy: A Love Letter

Kristen Berry

These days, stores like Zara and H&M are winning the affordable fashion game, heralded by magazine editors and schoolgirls alike.

But don’t sleep on Old Navy – this classic brand may have been around since I was school girl myself, but they are still a consistent source of cute, wallet-friendly everyday wardrobe staples.

Take this off-the-shoulder floral dress for instance. I love all of the vibrant colors, and the slightly vintage feel of the cut. It reminds me of something Brigitte Bardot might wear on vacation (see actual image of Bardot during a visit to St. Tropez below).

Sadly, this particular dress is no longer available online, but here are 12 of my current faves that are ripe for the picking, all under $45.

                     Fit & Flare Halter Dress for Women, $44

                     Fit & Flare Halter Dress for Women, $44

                                  Braided Black & White Belt for Women, $12

                                  Braided Black & White Belt for Women, $12

                                 Tassel Saddle Bag for Women in Tan, $30

                                 Tassel Saddle Bag for Women in Tan, $30

                          Retro-Square Sunglasses for Women in Multifloral, $6

                          Retro-Square Sunglasses for Women in Multifloral, $6

                              Canvas Sneakers for Women in Palms, $22

                              Canvas Sneakers for Women in Palms, $22

Happy shopping!

My Little Pony

Kristen Berry

I’ve never had the kind of luxurious locks that reach halfway down my back. But up until my early twenties, I consistently maintained the same, just beyond shoulder-length hairstyle. No cut, no color, just regular relaxers and semi-consistent trims.

In my early twenties, I took a calculated risk and added bangs. I got addicted to the change those shiny scissors could bring, and got tired of the same old length, and decided to make an even bigger cut. I mean, my hair had always been a decent length. Surely it would grow back. Right?

So I chopped it again. And again. 

But it’s never grown fully back, no matter how hard I’ve tried. And now, in addition to struggling with weak ends, I’m also currently dealing with some breakage around my edges. Once I’ve found a solid solution, I’ll report back. In the meantime, I recently decided to dip a toe into the hair extensions pool.

I purchased this ponytail from Irresistible Me during a recent online sale (which they seem to have frequently!), but the regular price is also quite reasonable ($139 for the 18” length I purchased – also available in 14”, 16”, 20” and 22”). I went with the Natural Black color, which is a deep dark brown with golden undertones, closest to my own hair color.

The hair is super soft and silky, is incredibly easy to install, and simple to style. It is comprised of a single piece, with a comb and a ribbon attached, which you can tie into a bow or elect to hide. I put my own hair into a semi-high pony, installed the extension by slipping the comb just above the base of mine, wrapped the ribbon around the base, tied it securely multiple times, and hid the ends of the ribbon with bobby pins. I wrapped a section of hair around the base, and also secured it with pins. Before I installed the extension, I curled the ends a bit with a wand to give it a bit of movement.

It’s such a quick and easy way of changing up my look, and does so without causing damage to my own delicate hair.

Do you use extensions to add variety to your look, too?

Kristen

Beach Babe

Kristen Berry

Let’s talk about two summer looks that can be tough to pull off.

1.) Maxi dresses. They can be super comfortable and super glamorous, but can also make you feel as though you’re walking around in a shapeless tent.

2.) Crop tops. Because even if you’re confident about your midsection, walking around with your stomach out can feel a bit skanky...or like you raided your kid sister’s closet.  

A two-piece option like this set from Tobi.com offers the best of both looks, while downplaying the downsides of each. The wrap skirt provides beautiful movement when you walk (and provides a peek of leg), and can be positioned to show just a small sliver of stomach.

Casual enough for a barefoot stroll on the beach, and dressy enough to pair with heels for a summer wedding or day party.

  • Elsa White Multi Maxi Skirt, currently on sale for $37 on Tobi.com.
  • Elsa White Multi Crop Top, currently on sale for $50 on Tobi.com.

Oh, by the way? Your first order on Tobi.com is 50% off.

Six Go-To Shops for Fashionable, Affordable Workout Wear

Kristen Berry

People often talk about how casually people dress in L.A. And it’s true, there’s definitely a laid-back, slightly irreverent sense of style around here. But that isn’t to say that most people just throw on any old thing. That’s true for what they wear to the gym, too.

Angelenos may essentially be wearing yoga pants, sports bras and tank tops while working out, but these pieces often include little details that make them special. That make it seem more than reasonable to wear them to brunch at a cute outdoor restaurant following your pilates class (cue the “Activewear” video).

There is a lot of elevated workout wear out there (see Alo Yoga, Bandier), but I just can’t wrap my head around spending a ton of money on things I’m only going to sweat in. Here are my go-to destinations for affordable, fashionable workout wear.

The Sale Section at Spiritual Gangster

I love Spiritual Gangster’s whole laid-back, beachy, posi-vibes thing. I also love how consistently awesome their sale section is – both in the attractive selection and the price.

H&M

H&M is an obvious choice for stylish fast fashion, but if your regular trips through the racks don’t include their fitness attire, you’re missing out. The fabrics might not be as breathable and high-tech as what you might find at the Nike store, but they look damn good and hold up to washing and working out surprisingly well.

Old Navy

I’m consistently pleasantly surprised by the stylish, quality items available in the activewear section at Old Navy. I get some of the biggest compliments at the gym on pieces I’ve purchased from the store, thanks to the bold patterns and pretty colors they often feature. Old Navy is also regularly in the middle of a sitewide/storewide sale, so you can often get their already affordable items below retail price.

Boohoo Fit

I’ve come across Boohoo apparel on numerous occasions while perusing the pages of ASOS.com, but I had no idea they made workout gear until I was researching this very post. I’m loving the flattering cuts, cute cutouts and creative prints.

Nordstrom Rack

If you want big brand names at fast fashion prices, then the Rack is the shopping destination for you. And if sorting through actual clothing racks isn’t your thing, their online selection is seriously decent, too.

Target

As if you needed another reason for Target to be a bottomless black hole for your money, the workout section at the bullseye is quite dangerous (in a good way).

Jacket, Spiritual Gangster, no longer available. Sports bra, H&M, $30 at HM.com. Yoga tights, H&M, $35 at HM.com. Baseball cap, H&M, $13 at HM.com. Sneakers, APL Women's TechLoom Phantom in Dusk Purple, $165 at AthleticPropulsionLabs.com.

California Dreaming

Kristen Berry

I love living in L.A. There’s always something interesting to do/devour/experience.

Take last weekend, for example. A few friends and I attended a 10th anniversary live read of the film Juno supporting Planned Parenthood, performed by an all-star, all-female cast at the Ace Hotel downtown. Original cast members Ellen Page and Jennifer Garner were on the announced line-up, but the rest of the cast would be made up of surprise guests. The surprises included Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kristen Wiig and Tig Notaro.

Only in L.A.

Events like these often pop up last minute, or take place immediately after work. Which is why I’m increasingly finding myself in need of versatile pieces that easily transition from day to night, work to play, and beach to city.

That’s why I love pieces like this Yumi Kim cold-shoulder minidress. It’s a perfect foundation piece. With a straw hat and flat strappy sandals, it’s casual enough for Saturday brunch or a stroll along the beach. Lose the hat, grab a leather jacket and step into a pair of lace-up booties, and it’s ready for evening.

I snagged this particular dress on sale a while back on Shopbop. And while it’s no longer available, you can find similar options here, here, here and here for under $120.