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Lorraine is a style obsessed mama to two young kids, a wife to a supportive husband and a family photographer. Lorraine graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2006, with a degree in advertising photography. She enjoys quiet moments, silly kids, clothes, shoes, coffee and a little wine too. Can't get enough of her here on FredParent? Check out her personal blog: Rain in Style.

 



Rain in Style

It's My Party and I'll Wear What I Want To

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 37. This birthday, for whatever reason, has been a hard one. I really have no idea why; I'm just not feeling this number. Maybe it's that my age is now two odd numbers put together? That means I'm a double odd. What I really want to do is a post about me smashing cake (like I do for my one year old photo clients) except I'd be 37 and I'd have wine on hand in addition to a ginormous cake. Instead, I think I'll eat a small cookie and write about where I was a year ago. The wine, however - not optional.

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So, there's this thing about me, and I'm sure a lot of us can relate. I'm a photo hoarder. Right now on my phone I probably have 5,000 images, and more then half of those are outfit pictures. Don't judge. I do back them up elsewhere, thanks to my hubby, but there are some photos that I just can't get rid of. Like images of our kids with our cat that recently died, or family vacation photos. I have a valid excuse for the outfit photos. I use them in blog posts, and I like to easily access them. Never mind that I have to search through a gazillion images before I find the ones that I want. For a photographer (because that's my other job), I’m not very organized in regards to photos. Eh.. can't be stellar at everything, am I right?!?

Anyways, so the other day, I came across images that are over a year old. They are of me right at the beginning of my style journey. Facebook actually reminded me of them first when this popped into my memories feed

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I remember this day. Why? Because I remember thinking that maybe I can do this style thing. And I also remember feeling bewildered that my closet had less clothes then my 3 year old daughter's closet did. Heck, I even had less clothes then my son and husband. I also remember being sad that my husband really wanted me to wear more dresses and I had like zero dresses. 

My, oh my, how much I've changed in the last year. I know I've talked about my style journey in a previous post, so I won't go too much into that now. Seeing these older photos makes me appreciate how much you can accomplish in a year. I used to not even look up at myself when I took my picture. Here's a few more from last year, about this same time. Don't I look sad and unsure? We've all been there, even me.  I'm here to tell you to look up! You are beautiful.

 

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But now, about a year later, I've changed a lot about myself, but I started with my self confidence. It took me a while to realize that being stylish depends a lot on being confident in your style choices. That's not to say that I am the most confident person ever.  That would probably be Beyonce.  I have definitely had my conifidence tested; it's a struggle sometimes to find that spark that lights your fire.  But you will.  Don't let the mirror or anyone else dim your light.  I'm another year older, another year wiser, another year braver and yes...another year more stylish. 

 

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I'm now 37 and confident enough to have pink hair, wear leopard print, faux leather, spikes and sky high heels. No more ignoring my reflection, no more thinking that I'm “just a mom”. If I'm forced to grow older, I'm going to grow wiser and more fabulous as well. So, have a drink for me, and don't forget my new motto: it's what my shirt says “life is short buy the shoes”.

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And, in case you are wondering what I wore for my birthday date with my husband (which was this past weekend...we were kid free for the entire weekend!!), this is what I wore.  It goes with the title of this post...it's my party and i'll wear what I want.  I wanted to look classy but I also wanted to show 37 who's boss. Don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone.  This crop top is definietly out of my comfort zone, but sometimes you need to just do it.  So go on, get it girl.  

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I am also trying to remember to laugh, and to laugh often.  That will surely soften turning 37...right? 

 

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If you happen to see me around town, let me know that being 37 is going to be amazing.  There might be a piece of cake in it for you ;) 

-xo

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Spring Fever and Fabulous Florals

Oh, Mother Nature, you crazy lady. You give us 80 degree days in February, lots of mild temps, flowers and trees bloom early and just when we think spring is upon us...BAM...a snow storm and a week of freezing weather. I don’t know about you all, but I'm ready for spring.

It's about this time every year, that I start getting really tired of my winter clothes. I no longer want to look like a pale ghost covered head to toe in warm clothing. Ok, I'll be honest, there have been plenty of times when I've chosen cute over warmth, and I'm not sorry!! I've been longing for the days when I don't have static electricity on everything, and when running out of the house without your coat is seasonably acceptable and not because you spent 15 minutes looking for your kid's lost shoe and forgot your coat.

Spring is coming though, right?? Quick, someone ask that groundhog. In the meantime, I'd like to talk about one of my favorite patterns for spring (but it's not only for spring) and that's Florals! They're fun, bright and usually happy. I say usually, because I tend to prefer dark florals, and those can seem more edgy then happy.

 

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(Dark floral: a floral pattern with a dark background)

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I have a lot of dark florals. I even have a few right happy florals, ranging from dresses and skirts to shoes and scarves. All the floral things! So, are you ready to be all springy and flowery??

To help you get on board the flower train (I just said choo-choo in my head...thanks mom brain), here are a few things to consider

• Give pattern mixing a try- mix stripes with floral patterns. It's loads of fun! Just keep the color family the same and let one pattern be the star. So try to do a smaller stripe with a larger floral, or a more colorful floral.

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• Don't be afraid to try floral pants- yes! Floral jeans or leggings. I have three pairs of floral patterned jeans. To make them work, stick to skinny cut and keep your top a solid color. Pair with booties or sandals for the win!

• Too much floral?- let's say you love a floral dress but you feel that the pattern is a bit overwhelming. Try wearing a shirt over top of the dress, like I did in the photo below. Just be sure to knot your shirt so it's not too loose and baggy.

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• Add a touch of floral- for those of us that are floral phobic, try adding a scarf or shoes in a floral pattern. Let them be the star of your outfit, and keep everything else simple.

• Add interest with textures- let’s say you have a beautiful flowy floral blouse, pair that with skinny jeans so the texture and flowiness (I'm making up words left and right! Someone get me a job at Webster's dictionary) of the top contrasts with the more structured and rough jeans.

• And, don't forget about the floral bomber jacket trend. I've seen these everywhere. Here's mine, that I got at ThredUP (I talked about it in a previous post). I love this jacket so much, that I'm going to keep wearing it even if it goes “out of style”. I don't care!!

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So, what do you think? Are you ready to jump on board? The floral train is now boarding... darn I need to get my kids off the train shows! Welcome spring with me, and let's put this crazy winter weather behind us! And, yes, I probably just jinxed us and now we will get more of the dreaded white stuff.

Don't forget to head over to my blog at www.raininstyle.com for more floral fun.

Xo

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LuLa Who?

I know you, my stylish friends, are well aware of LuLaRoe... or maybe some of you aren't? Either way, I would like to discuss the addiction that is LuLaRoe. This company is probably best known for their leggings that come in all kinds of prints, although they do have quite a variety of other clothing styles. Believe it or not, I only just recently found out about and started buying from LuLaRoe boutiques. And guess what?!? I don't own a single pair of their leggings! I'm not really a legging person, but I do love their pencil skirts, which in LuLaRoe speak is the Cassie Skirt. Here's a few of mine and how I style them.

LuLaRoe Cassie

I have quite a collection of Cassies. For a pencil skirt, they fit really well and have enough stretch so that you don't feel like you have to take tiny baby steps when walking in them. Because I've been there...trying to walk in a pencil skirt that's too tight... it's not cute.

Since I am new to the wonderful world of LuLaRoe I asked a friend who sells the clothing to give me her input on the clothing line, what her favorite style is... etc. I am also linking to her LuLaRoe Facebook page, in case you are an addict like me and like to see what everyone has in their boutiques...because unicorns!!!!

Here's Tiffany. You can find her LuLaRoe page at LuLaRoeTiffanyLupo (Facebook). This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“My name is Tiffany I'm a wife and a mother to 3 beautiful children all under the age of 5. My life is definitely beautiful chaos at times and I love it !! I have always been into fashion and clothes but once I became a mom I felt like I barely had time to get ready let alone dress myself up! I found myself wearing yoga pants probably 6 days of the week then I tried on my first pair of LuLaRoe leggings and I fell in love , not only were they comfortable but they were cute !! I then went from one pair of leggings to well,,, a lot then I started to fall in love with all their clothes !!! I then decided I should be a consultant and help other women feel beautiful! LuLaRoe's clothing are made for all women of all ages and sizes !! There is something for everyone! Whether you wear a bold print or a solid !

My personal favorite is the Julia dress, I wear it as a dress in the spring and summer and in the winter I tuck it under and wear it with leggings and boots!!! Let me help you find some clothes to make you feel comfortable and beautiful!

You are beautiful for you are fearfully and wonderfully made . Psalms 139:14”

When I mentioned to Tiffany that I didn't have any styles other than the Cassie, she offered to set up a personal shopping day so that I could try on different LuLaRoe styles. And, can I say, we had the MOST fun. It was also great “research”. I tried on all of the styles that she had in my size, and while I still really love the Cassie skirts, I now know that I'm a Julia fan too!

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The truth is that I fell in love with Julia. The versatility comes in handy, and I like the idea of changing the length of it to suit the season and your outfit. Feels like I'm getting more for my money, am I right?!?!? Here's the same Julia dress folded under into a tunic and paired with their leggings (yes I actually bought the leggings too!) Never say never.

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Another Julia dress! This one matched the pink in my hair! And look at my face! So funny. I totally bought this one. So cute! She also had a few Cassie skirts that I just had to have. We had a beautifully warm February day to take these photos, and now, after the recent cold snap, I'm dreaming of warmer days!!!

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Apparently, there are a LOT of different ways to wear LuLaRoe clothing. I really had no idea. I really recommend going to a LuLaRoe pop up because the ladies who sell the clothing really know their stuff! Tiffany showed me how to tie this Irma tee a few different ways. This one is a size bigger then my normal, so I was able to experiment with how to style it. The stretchy material of this one helped too. I ended up buying it, because, hello!!! It matches my hair!!!!!!

Irma tee

And, while all the clothing was beautiful and very comfy, I didn't love everything that I tried on. Here are the things that I didn't buy. That being said, I loved the Sarah Cardigan; I just want to hold out for a solid colored one. The top grey colored tee is an Irma, and the bottom green one is a perfect tee. I liked the Irma knotted; I thought it was a cute idea, but my wallet told me no. LOL.

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I can certainly see, now, how people get addicted to this clothing. And I have expanded my collection quite a bit since this shopping... errr “research” day. Please head over to my personal blog www.raininstyle.com for more on LuLaRoe. I also feature another one of my friends’ LuLaRoe pages, so you’ll want to add her to your “must see” list.

Xo
-Lorraine

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Don’t Discount Secondhand

Today I want to talk about one of my favorite things: buying secondhand. Now, don't be afraid, I know there's sometimes a negative connotation associated with buying secondhand. What would you say if I told you, that 80% of my wardrobe is secondhand? No really, #truth. The majority of my wardrobe is secondhand. If you think about it, it's not that crazy. Ok, well, my obsession with impractical shoes borders on crazy, but that's a story for another day. Moving on...

We all clean out our closets and then donate what no longer fits, or we just aren't wearing anymore. I've donated clothes that are perfectly fine, are still in style and have barely been worn; they just didn't work for me anymore. I'm here to tell you, to yell it off the rooftops, give secondhand a chance! All right, so it does require a bit of patience, time and a few helpful tips. But that's why you have me!

There are a few different ways to shop secondhand. Locally, of course there are thrift stores (I tend to stalk, er, visit Goodwill frequently) and other resale shops like clothes mentor. There are also online stores like ThredUp that sell secondhand clothing. Today, I’ like to talk about ThredUp, because honestly, it's my favorite. ThredUp is an online secondhand store that sells women's clothing, shoes and even kids’ clothing all well below retail value. On any given day, you might find this on my doorstep:

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It's so happy sitting there..the polka dot box, the happy colors! It's happy mail!

But seriously, my husband thinks I'm a bit crazy regarding my love affair of ThredUp. I use their app, and it's very easy to navigate. So easy it's dangerous! Make sure you filter it by your sizes, and I always check the new arrivals and the shoes section. Also, be sure to read the description and check the condition of the item. ThredUp is really good at telling you if there are any issues with the condition of the item. I usually only buy things that say “new with tags” or “like brand new”.

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( This cardigan is my all-time favorite and it's from ThredUP!)

I can neither confirm nor deny that I currently have a cart full of more stuff for my “research”...hopefully the box comes when hubby isn't here, wink wink. Back to the important stuff...when you are adding things to your cart, keep in mind that they won't stay there. ThredUp has a time limit on items in your cart, I haven't figured out exactly how long it is, but I think you get 18-24hours. Once you order, and your box comes, you have two weeks to decide if you want to keep it. Try everything on, but if you decide to return things, they have to be returned in original condition to get a refund. Returns are easily done online; you can even print your own label. They offer different options for returns and I always choose the “return for store credit” option because it's free shipping. And who am I kidding, I spend the store credit as soon as I get it, so it's a win-win.

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(These dresses and my favorite jacket came from ThredUp!!)

Now you know about my secret love affair with ThredUP, go see what treasures await you. Just don't shop my size...ok?!? Also, head over to my personal blog www.raininstyle.com to read more about shopping secondhand locally and see a few more of my favorite secondhand outfits!

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It's Stylish to Plan Ahead

If there's one question that I get asked a lot it's “Can I have a snack?” Oh, no wait, that's the question my kids ask me all the time... I need to switch on the adult conversation mode. Adults frequently ask me “How do you manage to get dressed every morning and look so nice?” I get why they ask; having two young kids at home who have to be shuttled around and told only about a million times to put on actual clothes and to use actual (not pretend) soap when washing their hands, it can be hard to focus on yourself. Let's not even talk about having to do anything before having coffee. I thought I'd share with you what I do to lessen the craziness of my mornings. It’s pretty simple: I plan out all of my outfits.

Now, don't get me wrong, normally I can’t plan my way out of a cardboard box, so planning anything doesn't really come naturally to me. I think I'm missing that gene. But, regardless, I decided when I started my style journey, that I needed a way to streamline getting ready in the mornings so that I wouldn't fall back on my unstylish ways.

Here's what I do, I check my style groups style challenge list, shout out to my OOTD ladies (find “outfit of the day” group on Facebook), and every week or two I pull clothes that I want to wear and that might work for the style challenge for that day. I make a pretty big mess of clothing when I do this; seriously, it looks like a bomb went off in my closet and threw clothes all over the bedroom. It's a process...and that’s fine. My husband thinks I'm a little cray cray... but that’s fine, too. I spend maybe an hour, sometimes less, trying on all of the outfits and making necessary adjustments. I also take photos, because sometimes, an outfit looks ok in the mirror, but when I take a picture it's like “What in the heck is this?” And away it goes.

outfit planningMy outfit planning mess, half of it anyway…don't look in my bathroom

 

In all seriousness though, if I didn't plan my outfits, I honestly don't think that I could get it together in the mornings. There are days, though, that I look at what I had planned and I'm just not feeling it. It's kinda like when you REALLY want a chocolate sundae but the only thing you have in the house is strawberry ice cream...it's still ice cream but it's just not the RIGHT ice cream. It's so unsatisfying. So, for those mornings, I have a back-up outfit. Yup, here's me the “Not so great at planning” lady saying I actually plan a few extra back up outfits for the days when I hate everything! This helps tremendously, and calms my frustration when an unsatisfactory outfit pops up.

backupMy most recent back-up outfit saved the day!

Ok, so, how do I keep everything organized after I've decided on each outfit? I hang every piece of the outfit up together in my closet. I have a dedicated area in my closet for my planned outfits. But I quickly realized that I had a hard time remembering which outfit was for which day, so I made labels with the days of the week! It reminds me of those underpants that have days of the week on them...not that I still have those or anything!

hangersIt looks a little messy, but I promise it's legit!

Can you even believe that I thought of this? Who am I?!? Typed and everything! And, if I happen to have two outfits (like a dress for church then an after-church outfit) I just loop the string with the label over both hangers! Fantastic!

Take it from me, when mornings are already so hectic and crazy, it's easiest to take one thing out of the equation. Planning outfits will help make mornings a little more tolerable and a lot more stylish :)

To read more from me please check out my blog at www.raininstyle.com

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