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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.

 

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Rain in Style

Pop it, Pop it Good: Color Pop

This time of year, I always feel like I am finally waking up from hibernation. You know, spring has me feeling all fresh and brand new. Or, like when you finally have your cup of coffee in the morning and the sleep clears from your head...feeling refreshed and ready to conquer.  When I was thinking about what to conquer this week for the blog, I thought about inspiration. A few weeks ago we were walking around downtown, during one of our date nights, and we were blessed with a spectacular view... no, not a happy hour special sign... although that is always a wonderous sight. Seriously though, we got to see this..

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Beautiful right? And it didn't need any magical filters...it was simply this beautiful naturally. Isn't a sunset something that inspires artists, poets, musicians and basically any human ever, to create something beautiful? Cliché maybe, but it got me thinking about the things that inspire and how color can be a beautiful breath of fresh air. 

Style inspiration can come from anywhere really. An item of clothing, a place, an event, a celebrity, a friend, something found in nature or even an animal (I'm talking to you, fellow animal print lovers). But looking at this image of downtown, and wanting to relate in a stylish way, I notice how the colors pop off the darker shadows. I love the way that bright colors pop when paired with black, like the red tones in the street lights next to black buildings, or how the colors in the sky pop next to the dark buildings. Even when two opposite colors are together they can pop too.  Contrast, friends...color pop.  

A pop of color is a great piece of style inspiration to use in everyday style. You can take a simple neutral colored outfit, and add a pop of color, and it becomes a bit more stylish and interesting. Similar to the idea behind this flower photo series that I worked on a while ago - color pops off black (or any other neutral).

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So, how do we use this idea of color pop, in an outfit? Here are a few examples. I loved the way my black jacket and booties really made the colors on this dress stand out. And, the red of the rock wall even pops against my black jacket. The colors in my dress are opposites too, so it's a win win. 

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Here's the same concept, again with black and red, except I added another color pop with my turquoise necklace. I love red, or an orangey red with turquoise!! They are opposites on the color wheel, and work well together.

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Looking through my outfit pictures, I did this color pop thing a lot last summer. I'm a big fan of color pops with black and also color opposites, like blue and yellow, or red with turquoise. But don't go overboard with it. We don't want to look like a new crayon color called “cray cray”. Consider doing a color pop with accessories, like a bag, jewelry or shoes.

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Adding a pop of color with your shoes, is always fun.  Always.  I have these pink ones, red and a cobalt blue.  Love them all.  I usually pair them with a black or navy outfit (be it a dress or jeans) for that extra bit of interest. Or use contrasting colors with a cute clutch or bag...see how it adds interest?

 

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Heck even my hair has a pop of color...and check out the red and green on the wall behind me, perfect complimentary colors! All the heart eyes!!

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So, what do you think? Are you ready to rock a color pop? And, no, I'm not expecting you to go and dye your hair. But the next time you are wearing a neutral/black outfit, think about adding that pop of color. Wearing a blue dress or shirt? Add a pop of yellow! Have fun with it! Experiment with color, even if you need to take baby steps first. Of course, let me know if you decide to go all in and dye your hair. 

As always, please head on over to www.raininstyle.com for more color fun.

-xo

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Trend to Try: The Open Toe Bootie

Open toe booties. Sounds weird right? Mixing two shoe styles into one shoe. But I promise, they are worth it. Honestly, this isn't a new trend, but it's new to me. I used to really dislike the idea of booties...all booties. Once I gave them a try, I quickly changed my mind (we’re women, we can do that). But then, someone was like “let's make an open toe bootie!!” And I was like “say what now?” Of course I bristled at the thought; I even made my “that's weird” face. But they were everywhere!!!! There was no escaping the open toe bootie. So, I tried them. And, now I have all of these...Lol. I can just picture my husband rolling his eyes, but they are all different and yes, I need them.

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They are just so versatile, cute, and comfortable. They can also add a little edge to your outfit, which, for me, is always a plus.

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So, what made me change my mind about them? I had to just jump on the bootie train and give them a try. It might be of no coincidence that I ordered my first pair from Zulily, knowing that I wouldn't be able to try them on, and without being able to return them. So, I either had to wear them and own it, or be out the money. I'm not one to back down from a challenge so, game on. They are the ones in the picture below and I got them last spring.

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I remember being terrified of them. It was worth it though. They quickly became my favorite over last spring and summer. The color is neutral, and the heel is open making them breathable for the heat of summer. Versatile, too - they pair easily with jeans, skirts and dresses. The heel on these is a chunky stacked heel, so they are more casual looking then some of my stiletto heeled booties. The chunkier heel makes them easier to wear for long periods too. If you need a little extra cushioning for your feet, just add an insert. I added extra cusioning to a few of my booties and it helps. Here are a few of my chunky heeled open toe booties. 

 

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Oh, you must be wondering where my stilletto heeled ones are, and of course I have some.  Who do you think I am? Lol. This nude pair below, have sparkly gems, it's hard to tell in the photo, but they are beautiful. I got them from DSW a few months ago and I have been in love ever since.  I love pairing these lighter colored booties with lighter toned outfits; it helps to make my legs look longer and less bottom heavy. 

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These are probably my favorite stilletto heeled open toed booties. They've been screaming at me to wear them, so I have been, even if it has been a little cold. When the shoes call...I answer. The black pair came from ThredUP and the other two Zulily.

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As the weather gets warmer, I'm planning on wearing more of these open toed booties with my dresses and skirts. I love styling them this way. It's a nice way to vary up the heels and sandals that you'd usually pair with dresses and skirts. And yes, you can wear open toe booties during warmer months; you just might want ones that also have an open heel and you get a bonus for cutouts. Let the air flow, ladies.

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I will caution you. Sometimes I forget that my booties are open toed. Which is fine, normally, unless you have kids. My kids like to huddle around me...like claustrophobically close...and if I don't remember my booties are open toed and ask them for space, they step right on my toes...squishing them. Regular booties, not so bad, but leaving toes open around kids is like a magnet for disaster. Dare I say though, no pain no gain...and it's totally worth it. 

Also, when wearing booties, wether open toe or not, try rolling or cuffing your skinny jeans up to a little above the top of the boot.  You want a little of your ankle to show; it helps elongate your leg.  Pay no attention to my jeans in this photo. I rolled them a little too high; one roll lower would have been perfect.  

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So, what do you think? Are you ready to give them a try? Or do you already have a slight obsession with them, like me? If you don't have any, swing by a shoe store and try some on. If you'd like to look on Zulily, they do have cute ones, but usually you can't return things. So keep that in mind. Don’t be afraid to liberate your toes! They will appreciate the air flow after being stuck inside boots all winter.

 

Don't forget to show me some love over at www.raininstyle.com.  And go on and rock those booties. 

-xo

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Challenge Accepted: 7 Favorite Outfits in 7 Days

Hi, I'm 37 now. My new age is growing on me.  Over the past week, I decided to challenge myself to wear outfits that make me feel really good about myself, or involve a favorite piece. A personal birthday week style challenge. I wanted to showcase seven favorite outfits in seven days, and I even did seven different pairs of shoes. I guess the idea came to me me during my husband's and my date night last Saturday, it was actually a date weekend, since the kids were staying at their grandparents' house. I can honestly say that I don't think I've ever felt more fabulous than I did that Saturday...here’s a few photos of what I was wearing. I'm going to say this is the kick off outfit for my challenge.

 

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I got so many amazing compliments...all kind words that I really needed to hear. My crop top is from Forever 21 (because wouldn't it be nice to be forever 21? Lol) and the skirt is H&M. The skirt is from thier basics line, and usually they have decent basic pieces.  I love their more fitted basic dresses, skirts and tops, but I checked recently and it looks like the dresses and tops are a different style this season. Boo. Both pieces and my shoes are all ThredUP finds.

• Sunday- we went to brunch, and this was my outfit. My husband actually chose it...I gave him a few options and he liked this Lularoe Julia dress the best. I agree. It's bright and happy. Perfect for a quiet Sunday brunch, and walking around downtown.  If you ever see us downtown and wonder why we are taking pictures in alley ways...now you know.  

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• Monday- oh Mondays... it is so hard to get back into mom mode! To brighten the day and my mood, I chose this floral Lularoe Cassie skirt, paired with my favorite grey open toed booties! These shoes came from T.J. Maxx last summer, and I lived in them. They have cutouts and are a fantastic suede material. LOVE. And, Yes, you can wear suede material booties or sandals in spring and summer. This outfit is so simple, and it might be my favorite one of the week. Notice how my shirt is tied up on the side; that's how I almost always wear my tops with pencil skirts. 

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•Tuesday- now, if you know me, you'd know that it can't be a birthday week style celebration without spikes, heels and leopard print. Lucky for you, and me, I have all of that in one outfit!

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• Wednesday- MY BIRTHDAY- so of course I went big. This little black dress (again from Forever 21..really it's kinda funny, oh to be 21 again!!!, but I got it off ThredUP). I added my favorite faux leather jacket, Blank NYC. Seriously, you need this jacket. Find it here.  My shoes are recent additions, of course from ThredUP.  What did I do all dressed up? I went to Hyperion, got an amazing coffee, and sat by myself (more on that at the end)...it was fantastic. I should have gotten my hair done...please pay no mind to my fading pink hair, my appointment is next week, I promise!

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• Thursday- I went with a favorite outer layer...can you guess? Yup, it's a faux leather vest. Much like my jacket above, faux leather vests hold a special place in my heart, and my closet. This one looks better zipped and comes complete with studs (the metal decorative kind, not the male kind, LOL). Also, these Just Black jeans are one of my favorite pairs from Stitch Fix. And what's an outfit of mine without heels?!?!? Am I right?

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• Friday - TGIF. For real! Winding down this challenge, I went with one of my favorite cardigans, this one from Grace and Lace, and my new floral booties that I'm obsessed with. Floral embroidered things are huge this season, so keep a stylish eye out for it! These came from DSW. Also, the bag was a birthday gift from my little man. I picked it out (yes I'm that mom, I buy my own gifts). He was excited to give it to me. It's a win win. Even my kids know I'm style obsessed. 

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• Saturday- Last day of the challenge. It has been a great week of style fun.  I decided to end the challenge in an outfit that included a lot of my favorite things.  So, of course, that's faux leather (it's my favorite jacket), distressed jeans, spikes (they are on the collar of my top), open toed booties, the color black and camo!  Yes, I love camo! The booties though, I just got them at Target; they were the last ones AND they were in my size! It was a birthday miracle!  My earrings were a gift from my little girl.  She was so excited to give them to me, that she opened the box herself...she now also wants her ears pierced.  

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So that's how I celebrated my birthday week. I loved finding ways to wear my favorite things, and I challenge you to do the same! No, not just around your birthday...but every day. That's my goal. To wear my favorite things every day. This challenge really helped to turn my attitude about my new age around...in fact, I spent my birthday morning at Hyperion and I thought their cup was a perfect metaphor for how I'm feeling...

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See, that's me...killin’ 37. Even riding in on a dark horse. Ok, I know it's probably Hyperion, the Titon god of heavenly light (thanks google). But even that's a good metaphor. Be like a god of light, and shine bright. After all, age is only a number right? And a number doesn't define, it refines and amplifies.

I enjoyed my time at Hyperion so much, that I am going to make it a weekly thing. Me, working on blog posts and staring at a fierce warrior...sounds perfect.  

 

Don't forget to head over to my blog at www.Raininstyle.com for more style and laughs.  

 

-xo

Lorraine

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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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