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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

6 Ways to Sizzle This Summer

I spend most of the colder months layered in all the clothing I own while huddled under blankets wishing for warm weather. Well, warm weather is here, and it’s glorious. The sun is out, pools are open, the humidity is back. It’s time to talk about summer style. Here are six summer all-stars to help you turn up the heat in your wardrobe.

Rompers. First rule of rompers: they must be easy to get off for bathroom emergencies. Look for ones that aren’t fussy or hard to get on. Be careful of ones made of rayon. In my experience, these shrink to an inappropriate shortness. Check T.J.Maxx, H&M and Francesca’s for inexpensive ones. My absolute favorites are by Yumi Kim. They are pricey but worth it.

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My favorite Yumi Kim romper. Cole Haan clutch and Sam Edelman heels all from ThredUP.

 

Shorts. I prefer skirts to shorts, though I have a few pairs that I love. American Eagle makes well-fitting shorts. Express and Loft sell good shorts too. I love Celebrity Pink jean shorts. Find them at T.J.Maxx or on Amazon. Try a short that has a 3- to 4-inch inseam for a good fit without being too short or too long.

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Express shorts, H&M jean jacket, Naked Zebra top, clutch and Brash heels all from Thred UP.

 

Dresses and skirts. A no brainer. But, I have a secret for what to wear under your dresses and skirts to avoid the dreaded thigh rub. Jockey makes something called “Skimmies.” Look for them on Amazon or at Kohl's. Not only do they work as light weight shape wear, but they also prevent thigh rub! Brilliant.

Skimmies

Jockey Skimmies. A must-have for under skirts and dresses.

 

Sandals. For summer, bright colors are in. Look for sandals that offer a pop of color—maybe yellow, pink or cobalt blue! Be sure to have at least one pair of nude sandals in your closet. I love my Sam Edelman lace up sandals. They go with everything.

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Aldo sandals from DSW

 

Kimono. These lightweight layers are perfect for summer. Pair them with a tank or tee, shorts and sandals. Easy, breezy summer style. The one I am wearing is from Target but check Amazon, too!

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American Eagle shorts paired with a kimono from Target and my Wayft top from Nordstrom makes an easy summer outfit.

 

Bright accessories. I love to add a pop of color with brightly-colored clutches or earrings, especially in the summer. Check out Nickel and Suede for my favorite earrings, or Bauble Bar (Target carries one of their lines) for more fun options.

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Earrings from Bauble Bar at Target

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Warm Weather Ready With Crop Tops

Last year I gave myself a few goals that I wanted to reach by this summer. One of those goals was to wear more crop tops, and to feel more confident in them. In order to do that, I had to pay attention to my fitness routines, and work hard on losing the excess mama weight. I think it's a good idea to set goals for yourself and to step out of your comfort zone, be it in fashion, fitness, work...etc. Did I achieve my goal? Well, sort of.

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You see, I have worked really hard to lose the rest of the extraness below my belly button. Honestly though, even my belly button needs more help to resemble the belly button of ole. But, I have come so much farther than last summer, and I am proud of my progress. I decided that in order to force myself to be focused and stay the course I would wear crop tops more often and worry less about the extra that might over floweth. 

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And, I have been, once sometimes even twice a week, wearing crop tops. So I thought I would show you the ways in which I style them. Maybe you'll step out here on the edge with me and be brave! First, I almost always pair them with skirts, pencil skirts being my favorite. I like the contrast between the longer length of the skirt and the shorter length of the top. I also like that I can pull the skirt up a bit higher, to cover my belly button area, which still needs to brought back into line. LOL. This top below, was actually a romper that was too small, so I altered it to be a crop top. 

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They also work great under a denim jacket. Look for crop tops that have straps so you can still wear a normal bra. I prefer normal bras over strapless, any day. Don't just settle for black either! Look for pops of color, fun patterns or lace textures.

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Crop tops are also great with maxi skirts. The same reasoning applies...it's the contrast of length. I love a maxi skirt that is able to be pulled up a bit, again to cover my belly button area. This one below is by Athleta - you can find similar, here. The second maxi skirt is by Banana Republic - it's a few years old. 

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They can also work with skirts that have volume, becuase again, it's the contrast between the two.  

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They can also be warn with high waisted pants, high waisted jeans or high waisted shorts, however, I am not quite at that level of confidence...yet. Maybe that's my goal for next summer :) Check Pinterest for some outfits that are styled this way. It looks edgy and chic! I especially love them with wide legged pants. I might just have to find me a pair sooner rather than later!

 

Whichever way you chose to style your crop top, I am sure you wil look amazing in it. Have fun with it and be confident!

 

-xo

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What To Do When You Have a "Clothing Fit"

Please tell me that I'm not the only one that does this...I am talking about the fit you have when you actually despise every outfit and piece of clothing that you own, and it all ends up in a heap on the floor, or on the CHAIR (you know that chair in the corner of your room, it's the time out chair for bad clothing).  I call it a "clothing fit" and it happens to me more often than you think. Sometimes, I end up going through about five outfits before I finally decide on one, and even then, I am merely settling so that I can end the madness. LOL. But how do you finally decide what to go with? It's a good question, and I am here today to try to give you some tips, so maybe your pile of "Nope" is a little less high than mine.  

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    (My most recent "clothing fit" There's actually nothing wrong with the first outfit, I just disliked it and a fit ensued. I ended up in the outfit on the right.)

 

  • First, it does help to have multiple outfits planned out for the week; that way, if you end up having a "clothing fit" while getting dressed, you still have other outfits to fall back on. I have about two weeks worth of outfits planned.
  • Second, I always try to determine what it is about the "nope" outfit that I dislike at the moment. Sometimes it helps to simply change an accessory or shoes. And, of course, sometimes nothing helps, that's when I move on. 
  • Third, have a few outfits, items of clothing, or even shoes that you know you always feel good in and love. Even if they aren't part of your weekly outfit plan, fall back to those if you need to. There have been plenty of times that I just give up and throw on my favorite top and jeans or shorts.  If you have a favorite pair of shoes, build your outfit around them; it can help settle the "clothing fit" battle. 
  • Fourth, take a photo of your outfit with it on.  Usually, if I am not sure of an outfit, a photo of it helps me decide one way or the other. For me, as a style blogger, I have hundreds of photos of my outfits, it's kind of what I do.  But, I encourage you to take photos and hold on to them, too. Especially if you LOVE your outfit. That way you can remember it and have that to fall back on.

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(My go to top when I have a fit. It always cheers me up)

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(Any of my Lularoe Julia dresses - above- or my Yumi Kim items -bleow- usually work too)

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Most often, these four tips work.  Occasionally though, they don't. If that's the case, don't fall back into sweat pants and an oversized t-shirt. Clothes have a way of changing our mood and I want to encourage you not to let a few "bad clothes" and an over flowing "time out chair" discourage you.  After all, it is all simply fabric and fabric doesn't control us. 

 

-xo

 

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Dashing Dads—The New “Dad Style”

The “dad style” or the “dad uniform,” similar to yoga pants and T-shirts for moms, would be cargo pants, baggy T-shirts and flip-flops. Am I right? It’s not only women that get stuck in style ruts and need a little help to break free. Guys do too! Except that, for guys, accepting style help might be like asking for directions... it’s a challenge for some. I am here to help! Let’s start by taking the predictable out of the “dad style” equation by using a few wardrobe staples to up your (or your loved one’s) style game.

First, let’s talk JEANS. I love a man in a great pair of jeans. For spring and summer look for a light-wash denim, in a straight or slim fit (but not super skinny). A more relaxed, but still fitted, jean is in. I love Mavi jeans, Lucky Brand jeans and even Calvin Klein.

outfitCollared shirt and T-shirt, Good Fellow from Target. Lucky Brand jeans and Steve Madden shoes.

Second, COLLARED SHIRTS. Vertical stripes and tropical prints are big this season for guys. Try one, unbuttoned, over a T-shirt for an easy layered look. Not a fan of tropical prints or florals? Totally fine. Go with classic stripes, plaid or chambray. Just be sure that the fit is correct. The Good Fellow line at Target is a great place to start; they have standard and slim cuts. Try rolling the sleeves for a more casual feel.

collared shirtsOutfit from Stitch Fix

T-SHIRTS: I absolutely love graphic tees on men, but they must fit well. Stay away from shirts that are loose fitting. Crewnecks are common, but try V-necks, too! Check out Lucky brand, and Target also has great basic tees in both necklines.

graphic TshirtGraphic Tee from Lucky Brand. Calvin Klein jeans from TJMaxx.

SHORTS: I know guys love a good cargo short; you need the pockets to stash all of the things we women ask you to carry, right? But venture out a little bit and try a chino-style short. Or, find a cargo short that has tighter-fitting legs. Good Fellow at Target is again a great place to start. Pay attention to length. I prefer shorts that hit at or slightly above the knee for guys, not below the knee.

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Good Fellow shirt and shorts from Target. Skechers shoes.

SHOES: Remember the bulky running shoes of the 80s? Well, those are back in... but I can’t get on board with that; it’s a little too old school for me. For men, I prefer an oxford-type shoe, or slip-ons. I love Steve Madden oxfords, Skechers slip-ons and Toms lace-ups. DSW has you covered.

dad shoesSteve Madden shoes

Tip: For the really reluctant shoppers, why not try a style box service? You’ve heard me talk about Stitch Fix for women before, and now they have a men’s service! Simply go online to www.stitchfix.com and fill out a few questions. For a $20 styling fee, a stylist will send you five items to try on at home, keep and pay for what you love, then return the rest for free. It’s easy and is a great way to branch out.

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A Step Away From Style

It’s almost the end of the school year. And, here I am, as a parent, breathing a sigh of relief.... my kids will be safe.

Yes, I’m going there. Yes, I’m going to talk about what’s weighing heavy on my heart. School shootings are common (saying that makes me physically ill). And every day, every time my kids leave my car and walk into school, I hold back tears, I reign in my fear, I try to be brave. But, in my head, the alarms sound. I want to scream. There's not a single day where I forget to say "I love you" because, we as American parents know that it might be the last time we get to see our babies. How insane is that thought? They are going to school, not a battlefield. I want to accompany them everywhere; I’d be their shield, I’d die so they don’t. 

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What parent wouldn’t? It’s part of what we do. Protect our young, it’s a primal instinct. But, if that’s true, why are so many adults in situations of power doing nothing? They stand there arguing, without action, while children are murdered. Sure, they talk about doing things, even come up with a million and one reasons for what the issue is... too many exits, unarmed teachers, not enough kind words, too many students in classes, not enough supervision... etc. Shame on us, for not seeing past our own wants, for not seeing that what matters right now, is preventing children from being murdered. Why are we arguing WHAT to do, when we should be doing EVERYTHING reasonable to keep our kids safe. We do this in literally EVERY other aspect of their lives...except this. Shame on us for being so selfish.

 

As a human, I’m angry. As a parent, I’m livid. It is, without a doubt, morally wrong for us as a nation to stand by and allow this to continue. There is no other way to say it. Children are being slaughtered as they sit in school. We expect them to attend school, to be the best versions of themselves, just as we did so long ago. These kids deserve that right, and they deserve the right to learn without the threat or fear of dying while doing so. This is not hard. We are the adults, and these kids are dying under our watch. We owe them safety, we owe them action. And it must be done now. 

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What action needs to be done? In my opinion, it's BOTH mental health reform AND gun law reform. There's a reason why I put mental health first...I know, we all know, that as soon as you say "gun reform" people jump to "don't take my guns". I listed gun reform second, in hopes that those people will keep reading. For gun reform, no one is saying "take everyone's guns" just as, for mental health, no one is saying "drug everyone and take their brains".  In this issue, we seem to be more interested in jumping to conclusions than finding a solution. As a country, we have lost the ability to come together in compromise; we no longer see the world as shades of grey, but rather, we see it as black and white. That is where the problems begin. Ask yourself, honestly, why didn't anything happen after Columbine? Why nothing after Sandy Hook, when the blood of first graders stained the floors?  Why haven't those events, or any of the countless others, been the fuel in our fire? Why? We can't possibly be so stubborn that we will continue to allow children to die. I refuse to believe that we aren't better than that. I very strongly believe that no one side is correct, no one side of the issue will fix this. Our nation is better than this, our country is stronger than this. Insisting that it’s one way or the other, that it's only mental health or it‘s only gun reform is counter productive. It's BOTH. These kids are begging for us to save them - how dare we refuse change. 

 

Allow me to be frank - we are speaking about keeping our children safe...why WOULDN'T we want to do everything possible so that they come home? We can close schools for an inch of snow to keep kids safe, but preventing them from being gunned down at school is somehow confusing, difficult and seemingly impossible? It honestly feels like, those that haven't lost a child in a mass shooting lack the empathy and foresight needed to see we are next. Let me also say this, an outdated constitutional "right" is NEVER more important than the right to live.  

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Let no one doubt, that there is something wrong with the youth that choose to murder. Evil walks this earth, but evil can't win. Very simply, evil cannot have access to guns. And, just maybe, we adults have failed in more ways than we realize. Maybe we've raised a generation of kids, especially white males, who seem to think that life should always be fair and rewarding to them. Maybe we haven't taught them what to do when they fail, or how to manage feelings, how to harness anger. Maybe, as they watch the mounting animosity between adults, it tells them the only way to be heard is through violence. Maybe, to them, recognition resides in the number of bodies on the floor. Could it be, that if we come together on this, if both sides of the argument agree to make meaningful and effective changes, will that stop the madness? Will leading by example be the way out? 

 

To the parents of the children who we've let die in school shootings. I want to speak to you, from my heart. As a mother, I am deeply ashamed of the priorities that our nation seems to have adopted. Somehow, we've gone astray, we've placed our morality in the hands of money hungry individuals. Dollars over life. This fact haunts me. I cannot imagine your pain, the agony of breathing when half of you is gone. I want you to know, that my heart shatters into a million pieces for you. As a mom, I want you to know, that I care. I want you to know that your child's life mattered. Your child will not be forgotten. And, I want to express my anguish at even writing in the past tense about a child, past tense because the present tense no longer applies. I ask other parents to just imagine having to speak about your own child in the past tense. Honestly, it should break you.  

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We need to break this cycle. These kids are priority number one. No exceptions, no excuses.   

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