How to Dress Stripes!

Happy Friday! Did you know today is National Stripes Day? Yes, it’s a thing. Well, for J.Crew and fellow lovers of J.Crew clothing line anyway.

So in celebration, I thought I would provide some great ways to style stripes, with other patterns and prints. Because news flash, stripes go with everything! Now, you want to ensure the colors are complementary of course, but I’ll demonstrate what I mean.

  1. Mix stripes with floral prints. This is one of my favorite ways to dress up stripes. Wear a dress with stripes and put on a floral sandal or espadrille.

  2. Wear horizontal stripes on top and vertical stripes on bottom. I especially like this with a shirt and skirt. So cute!

  3. Wear a striped shirt, jeans, and pair with polka dot shoes or vis versa (polka dot shirt and striped shoes).

  4. If you are heavier on the bottom, try wearing vertical stripes on the bottom.

  5. Mix stripes with a different print that are the same color (or, two different colors).

  6. Let your stripes be the dominate print and the other print an accent.

  7. Think of stripes as neutral, don’t think of it as a another print and that will help you with your selection.

And because this is J.Crew’s National Holiday, I thought it would only be fitting to provide some of my favorite examples from their website:

Try this and see what you think about mixing stripes with various other prints and patterns. Not only will it expand your wardrobe, you will be uber stylish and another step closer to your authentic style!

Have a great weekend,

Carrie

Styling Your Wardrobe Staples

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Everyone has a staple piece (or two or three) in their wardrobe. You know, that go to piece when you can’t find anything else to wear, you don’t feel like searching, or you are pressed for time and haven’t figured out how to style in a hurry.

Or, it’s that piece that’s super comfortable that you want to wear it all the time.

I have a few staple wardrobe pieces: a cashmere pink sweater, straight leg jeans, and my sparkly sneakers.

It’s ok to have these comfort pieces but make sure when you wear them that you are mixing them with a least one different piece of clothing than the last time you wore it.

Why is that important? It brings new outfits into your wardrobe a styling rut.

If you are constantly styling them the same way each time, you are not teaching yourself to think outside the box nor are you getting any closer to finding your authentic style.

So next time you reach for that staple wardrobe piece, also reach for something completely different from your closet than you are routinely used to and see how you feel.

Have a beautiful weekend,

Carrie

Clutch vs. Wallet

Today I went live on Facebook and Instagram to discuss the differences between a clutch and a wallet so I thought I would share it all with you here on today’s blog.

Wallet

A wallet is strictly for holding your money, credit cards, membership cards, coupons, and change. I have to be honest though, I’m wondering if the “change” part is going to go away sometime soon because most people don’t carry change anymore. But that is for a different topic, different day.

Clutch

A clutch is a purse that not only can hold your credit cards, money, etc. but it can also hold your favorite lipstick, a handheld mirror, your keys, phone, and anything else small that you wish to have with you at the time.

When going to a wedding, graduation party, or some fantasy dinner, a clutch purse is your go to accessory. If you just choose to carry a wallet, you are going to be missing out on all of the fun things a clutch purse can do for you. And they are super stylish and fun!

There are some really nice, smaller clutches out there if you want to take one that you know will fit in your hand. Try Target if you need to keep the cost down. Also, I really like Amerii for the rattan material.

So there you have it. Let me know if you have questions.

Just think, at your next event you are going to be sporting your stylish clutch and so happy you did!

Have a great weekend,

Carrie

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The Proper Way to Care for Your Denim

Line dry your denim. Never dry them in the dryer as it will shrink them and break them down more quickly.

Line dry your denim. Never dry them in the dryer as it will shrink them and break them down more quickly.

Denim is a staple wardrobe piece that everyone seems to own. I mean, I have yet to stumble upon someone who doesn’t own a pair of jeans!

But not many people know how to properly care for their denim. “You mean there is a specific way?” you ask. Why yes, there is. And it’s important to extending the life of your jeans so that you get the most wear out of them.

There are different types of denim: raw and pre-washed. Raw denim is stiff and the color is uniform. You have to be careful of it fading onto other things, such as your lightly colored shirt or desk chair. Pre-washed denim is more soft and broken in for you. These are the “distressed” looking denim.

Caring for either types of denim are essentially the same, however. AVOID WASHING YOUR DENIM IN THE WASHING MACHINE AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. Yes, you read that correctly. The more you wash your denim, the more you will either fade your raw denim or the more you will wear out your pre-washed denim. And let’s be real here, nice denim is expensive!

So how to you keep them smelling clean and fresh and remove stains without putting them in the washing machine?

  1. Spot clean- you some detergent and water to spot clean any areas that need it and let air dry.

  2. Freshen up by putting them in the dryer on a low setting with a dryer sheet but only for a short time (I say no more than 10 minutes). I prefer to use a dryer bag to avoid shrinking and wear and tear.

After about 10-12 wears and it’s time to wash your denim. Wash them on the delicate setting in cold water with a mild detergent. Then hang dry. You should not put your jeans in the dryer to dry them. It will only shrink them and break them down more quickly. And nobody wants that, am I right?

Want to learn more about how to properly care for your clothes and overhauling your closet? Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Carrie

Styling with Flats

Have the hem of your jeans hit above the ankle bone for a perfect look when wearing flats.

Have the hem of your jeans hit above the ankle bone for a perfect look when wearing flats.

When I was in my mid-twenties though mid-thirties, I constantly wore high heels (we are talking 3 plus inch heels). I thought that appearing “taller” was something that I needed to be more elegant, more professional, more appreciated as a woman in business, more respected, and more mature.

Little did I know, that height has absolutely nothing to do with your worth at all. At 5’5” I am considered average height for a woman. But putting labels on women’s height, in my book, is just plain wrong and irrelevant to who we are as women. It doesn’t define anything about us. Nor does the “look” of heels in the business world. Over the years of working in the corporate world, some things I learned that lead me where I am today and I’m sharing it with you.

  1. You can be professional and dress the part without wearing high heels every day.

  2. Flats are very much in style and I’ll show you how to style them several ways below!

  3. Your worth is not based on whether or not you wear high heels or not, regardless of height.

  4. Some celebs are even ditching the high heels for flats. Just do a search on Google and you will see what I’m talking about.

  5. Wear them only if you love to, not because you feel you have to.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love high heels! I just reserve them now for special events. And because there are so many stylish and beautiful flats as they have become a popular go-to, you will have a non-boring selection of styles to choose from.

OK, so how do you style flats for work and for casual wear? I thought you might want to know that so I’m breaking it down for you (hint: it’s super easy to wear flats with pretty much anything with just a few inside styling tips):

Wearing flats with business clothes, with skirts, and with jeans always a winner!

Wearing flats with business clothes, with skirts, and with jeans always a winner!

  1. When wearing them with jeans, leave some room from where your jeans end to where your shoes begin. For example, your jeans should hit just above your ankle bone. This gives the illusion of longer legs and looks amazing with flats. You absolutely cannot go wrong with this look!

  2. With dresses and skirts, try an espadrille flat, a mule, sneaker, or sandals with summer dresses. I never wear high heels with my summer dresses. Flats look so elegant and beautiful with dresses this time of year. Think Julia Engel from Gal Meets Glam. Filter through her blog on her website and you will see her wearing mostly flats. She is the most elegant woman I can think of!

  3. When it comes to shorts, I prefer sandals (again, dressy or casual sandals are fine as both work here), or I also like a casual sneaker.

  4. With business pants, I would stick with a dressy type flat to pair with your dress pants. The key here is to make sure your pants fit well. If they are too long and you wear flats, it looks off and the style is lost. Make sure the length is spot on.

I used several flats as examples in my free guide to transforming your wardrobe to show you that you can wear them both in the office and casually. Mission accomplished.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and don’t forget to honor those who died serving our great country.

Even celebs wear flats!

Even celebs wear flats!







Time to Talk Shorts

If you follow me on social media, you know that I prefer to wear dresses over shorts.

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However, there are times when wearing shorts over a dress is much more practical (and makes more sense). For example, when riding rides with my kids at an amusement park.

But most women struggle with finding the right shorts for their body shape and feeling comfortable and confident wearing them. So I put together some ideas to help you when shopping for shorts.

If you are curvy on bottom or hold more weight in your lower half (think triangle), then try these options:

  • Avoid low-riders and keep your cut at mid-rise or high-rise.

  • Opt for a longer version if you have wider thighs.

  • Avoid detail or large prints. They will only make your lower half appear larger.

If you are petite, try these options:

  • Go shorter in length! It will give the appearance of longer legs.

  • Cuffing your shorts if they are on the longer side with also provide more leg length and is flattering on the petite frame.

  • Try to stick with neutral colors. This will also offer the illusion of longer legs. It’s the same type of concept of wearing a nude shoe.

If you have more of an athletic body shape (think rectangle), these options will look best on you:

  • Don’t be afraid to show off your toned legs! You can wear long or short shorts as both will look great on you.

  • Wear prints for more style and draw more attention to your legs.

  • Stick to a mid-rise or high-rise.

I also want to make a comment about what I mean about short shorts. Please don’t misunderstand me here, I not talking about the “let it all hang out” kind of shorts here. I would at least keep your length a minimum of 3 inches. I prefer 4 inches myself on my 5’5” frame as a guideline for reference.

Lastly, I suggest trying on a variety of shorts and compare the different styles as suggested above. You might have it in your head that you just don’t like a certain style but then you realize they actually look best on you.

With shorts, try to stick to what is best for your body shape and you will be more confident and comfortable wearing them!

Email me any questions you have at carriehagee@storytellerstylist.com. Have a wonderful weekend,

Carrie

All Sunscreen is Not Created Equal

Sunscreen. It’s vital for preventing premature aging, skin cancer, skin discoloration and sunburns.

When I was in high school, I remember going to prom as white as a ghost because I refused to go to the tanning bed and constantly would wear sunscreen. I didn’t mind though. I thought it made me different.

I feel it’s extremely important to wear sunscreen, even in the winter. I make my kids wear it and now they ask me to apply it before I even get a chance to get the bottle out of the cabinet.

️But not all sunscreens are created equal.

️Here is a breakdown on what to look for when purchasing sunscreen:

  1. Make sure you look for one with UVA and UVB protection.

  2. Choose at least 30 SPF or higher (I prefer at least 40 or 50).

  3. Choose chemical-free sunscreen (look for zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide).

  4. Look for water resistant (but know there is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen).

  5. Reapply at a minimum every 2 hours. Very important!

  6. Choose one you can incorporate into your makeup routine. EltaMD has some great tinted ones for face that I love to wear under my makeup. I use a spray on one from Dr. Dennis Gross that is a sheer mineral one for touch ups throughout the day. I also want to note that you should not wear chemical sunscreens for your protection but also to protect our coral reefs!

  7. Wear additional protective gear, such as a sun hat, if you are going to be outdoors for extended periods of time.

I have been obsessed with wearing sunscreen for many years and feel it’s the most important part of my skincare routine and therefore, want to share! Shine on.... 

Have a great weekend,

Carrie

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Let's Talk Swimwear

Last week on Instagram and Facebook Live, I gave you a heads up that I would be talking about swimwear on the blog this week.

Well, here we are! Now, before you get all “I hate how I look in swimsuits” or “ugh, it’s that time again, “ think about it this way: “The right swimsuit will boost my confidence I’ll be comfortable so that I’ll be enjoying the sandy beach with the wind in my hair and the sun in my face.” Yep, I just went there.

Alright, so now that the complaints are behind us, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite styles for 2019. I’m including both one and two piece and even mixed in a rash guard because it’s super cute and some people want more coverage.

My preference is a one piece, mainly because I’m in my 40’s and feel more comfortable in one but I’m not against sporting a two piece if I feel it’s age appropriate. I have a couple of two pieces but I still tend to resort to a one piece because I find the styles are more, well, me.

Here are my top 10 swimsuits for 2019 (with links):

There you have it. Now get out there and show off that confidence! You earned it.

Have a beautiful weekend my dear,

Carrie