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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

Savvy Shopping

What would you say if I told you that 85 percent of my wardrobe is secondhand? Well, it’s true. Shopping secondhand is easy, rewarding, environmentally responsible and, most of all, savvy! Who doesn’t love savvy shopping?

I know that secondhand shopping can have a certain stigma to it, but I promise it doesn’t have to mean digging through racks of outdated, tacky clothing. In recent years, secondhand has become more appealing, widely available and, dare I say...cool!

We are lucky to have a few local options. Of course, there is Goodwill, but there’s also Clothes Mentor and Plato’s Closet. We even have a few secondhand stores downtown in Forage and ReRun. Both are beautiful boutiques with a wide range of inventory. I encourage you to check them out!

There are also online secondhand stores; the most well-known would be Poshmark and ThredUP, with my favorite being the latter. Think of it as a typical online store, except it’s all discounted secondhand clothing. They have an app that’s easy to navigate. I recommend you filter your search by size and check often. Items in your cart will only remain there for 18–24 hours. I usually only buy items that say like new, or new with tags. You can earn free shipping for the next month when you reach a certain dollar amount. Can I plead the fifth on what that dollar amount is? (I’ve had free shipping for a while, y’all.) Returns are easy to do online. Choose the store credit option for free return shipping.

So, what do you think? Ready to give secondhand a try? Do you already love being savvy-chic? Since Earth Day is this month, why not try your hand at planting a tree and shopping secondhand. You can help give the earth (and your wallet) a lot of love! Let’s take a look at some of my favorite secondhand pieces. You might very well be surprised by the brands.

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Nanette Lepore handbag from ThredUp.

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Owen and Emma join me downtown. My jacket is Artelier by Nicole Miller, bag is Nine West, jeans are J Brand, shoes are Sam Edelman all from ThredUP. Shirt is from Target.

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Faux leather leggings by Tart, earrings by Baublebar, clutch and bracelets all found on ThredUP. My blazer is Mario Serrani from TJMaxx.

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My collection of faux animal print heels, found on ThredUP.

 

 

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Birthdays and Jellyfish

Y’all this week is my birthday. March 29th to be exact. I turn 38. And, while I’d love to chat about exciting birthday plans (there aren’t any), I’m going to talk about jellyfish instead. Excuse me, what?!? Jellyfish??? Yup, you heard me correct, I want to talk about jellyfish. Why? Well, hear me out.

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Recently, we took the kids to the national aquarium in Baltimore, somewhere that I haven’t been in over a decade. It was a lot of fun, and everyone had a really great time. My favorite part was the one place I could have stayed for hours, the jellyfish exhibit. I tried to linger there as long as I could, but somehow my kids instinctively know when to get antsy...they were having none of my jellyfish watching.

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Have you taken time to watch jellies? They are so incredibly beautiful. With grace they glide through the water, effortlessly navigating the currents. Most are without eyes, blind to their surroundings. They don’t even know the beauty they hold. And they are beautiful. Their colors and patterns will keep me awestruck for hours. It’s a little bit humbling, that a creature so beautiful doesn’t even know that it’s beautiful. Some can even emit light...a glow from within that lights up the dark waters of the ocean. Radiating, like a beacon in the night. It's something that I try to do, to radiate light, to be a beacon, a source of comfort to others in the dark. To always glow, even when there's no other light. They are truly beautiful and poetic...

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And dangerous too. Of course they can sting and that sting can be deadly. For whatever reason, I sympathize with this. A creature, with so much grace and beauty and yet it’s untouchable. Imagine if you or I had this feature? An alluring beauty with a deathly grasp. People would want to reach out to you, but would be afraid of your sting. How lonely would that be? Isolating but protective at the same time. They also eat each other...so that’s next level savage.

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If a jelly gets injured, it can clone itself. How amazing is that? How many times have we been hurt, both figuratively and literally hurt. And Instead of lying down and giving up, you clone yourself and continue on. Instead of letting your light die, you multiply it...you spread it... you grow and relish in the knowledge that what almost took you down, actually helped you up.

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What’s better still? The fact that a grouping of jellyfish is called a “smack”. A SMACK! Imagine if we used this term for our own groupings. I would love to say “just hanging out with my Smack!”. Or, “I belong to a Smack, what’s your super power?” It’s so threatening and amusing at the same time. Perfect, actually for jellies...and me. LOL.

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But wait, there's more!!! Did you know that they don’t have a brain, or a heart? They are simply a mass of mostly water. Maybe it’s better that way...it’s kind of more carefree. I wouldn't care so much about aging. And the kicker is, some jellyfish might also be immortal, they can AGE BACKWARDS. Can we bottle that power up somehow? Seriously, where are you science?!?!? Although, I don't know that I want to age too far back (not thanks teenage years)... but take a decade off, and I'm good. While most jellies don’t live past a few months old, some live past 30 years...imagine that...

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I am 38. Somewhere out there, in the depths of the ocean, there might be a jellyfish that’s as old as me. I bet it is still performing gracefully in the water, its beauty unbeknownst to it but noticed by others. Perhaps it’s part of a smack, maybe it prefers to be alone. Is it the one with the sharpest sting? Does it glow as bright as it used to? How many times has it cloned itself in times of despair? My hope is, that the oldest jellyfish in the ocean is the most revered, feared, brightest and the most beautiful. Perhaps it's getting bolder and braver as it ages, getting brighter and brighter.  

 

Jellyfish are my spirit animals, I envy them in a way. So, instead of me being down and depressed this birthday, I am going to be like a jellyfish. I will be beautiful and graceful, I will radiate light. I will be dangerous when I need to be, but peaceful too. My smack and I will swim together. When i've been knocked down, I will rise as a stronger version of me. No ocean will ever be too tumultuous... no current will ever tame me. Darkness will not consume me, but rather give me the chance to illuminate the night. Bring it 38.    

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-xo 

 

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Pay Attention to Athleisure

Y'all I have a secret... I have a crush on a pair of blush Adidas, and one day soon they might just become mine. I know you are probably thinking, "That's great, Lorraine, and where exactly will you fit them in your closet?" At least that's what my husband said. Regardless, I still love them, and eventually they will come home to me. In the meantime, let's chat about athleisure inspired outfits.  

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You might be wondering what exactly athleisure is, and is it a word I just made up. Well, no, I didn't make it up, it is an actual thing. In the style world, athleisure is the term given to athletic attire (think gym clothing) that is worn while not working out, or being otherwise athletic. It's a fun term, and the style is rather trendy. So, to help get this party started, I have worked up a few outfits using my current white Adidias and a pair of black sneakers that found their way to me by some sort of magic. I'll talk tips and tricks along the way. (Push ups and jumping jacks are optional.)

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Often, when we think athletic wear, we think about matching sets and running shoes. Well, I would like to encourage you to think outside of the box. Let's start with black leggings. I have a few different ones, and they all have a bit of "extra" to them, like mesh panels or stars...because OF COURSE. Put a t-shirt or tank top on that's long enough to cover your butt and front...it's a general rule of thumb. Don't choose the matching top. Tie one end of a looser fitting shirt up on side; this helps create shape and keeps your proportions balanced. Just be sure it still covers your butt and front.  

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Our goal here is to take this out of the gym and onto the streets.  So change your shoes from workout shoes to fashion sneakers, like my Adidas, or even booties. Just worked out and you don't have time to change? Totally fine. Throw on a jacket (think jean or annorak style) and some accessories, like a really cool bag.    

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Changing shoes, grabbing a cool bag, and putting on big earrings is about all it takes to bridge the gym to street gap. Don't like booties? A different pair of flat shoes would work well too. These black ones came from Target, here.  Sneakers don't have to look like work out shoes. Search for a "fashion sneaker", there are tons of options!  From these to Converse... all the choices! I also love having options in black workout leggings. All of mine are by 90 degrees from TJMaxx, and, as I siad before, they almost all have a bit of extra to them. Solid black would work too, or if you are more adventurous than me, try colors or patterns with a solid neutral top.   

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Don't forget to grab accessories, big earrings or a casual necklace (my choker style necklaces came from Target). Adding jewelry will separate gym wear from street wear...because who works out in jewelry? Not this girl.

Ready to give it a try? Awesome. Here's the plan, we put on our workout gear, head to the gym, then we say "let's get coffee". So we make a few changes to our outfits and style them to go out on the town. From gym to street...and whoever does it the best buys the coffee. Sound good? Game on.  

 

-xo

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Be Fierce and Fearless...Outfit Inspirations

Hi everyone! Welcome back. Last week I had said that I would talk more about the Wayf top that was on my birthday list, see that post here. So that's what I am going to do! I'd like to show you some different ways to style it, and yes, I will talk about the logistics of wearing it. Just so we are all on the same page, you can find this top at Nordstrom, here. It is a fierce top, the plunge in the neckline isn't for everyone...however, it is also extremely versatile and can be dressed up or down. It has enough interest on its own that it really doesn't require much fuss. Well, actually, it does require a little bit of extra attention.

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While this top is chic and easy, it requires special considerations when it comes to undergarments.  It is almost impossible to wear a bra with this top without it showing. So what did I do? I would recommend stick on cups, or petals. Target has some, find them here. Good, now that we got the logistics out of the way, let's take a look at styling ideas.

 

As you know, I bought this top in black and white...and then I bought it in grey too. Because of course I did. Sizing wise, it fits true to size, just pay attention to the size chart. Depending on brand I am either a xs or a small. In this top, according to their size chart, I am a solid small. The black one is super easy for me, because I wear black all the time. 

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It is great on its own, or under a blazer or cardigan. I'd choose a blazer or jacket that has a bit of structure to it and fitted, since the top has a little bit of flow to it. These tops also work really well tucked into skirts; add a faux leather pencil skirt or a mini skirt and you are date night ready!

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The white one is also versatile, and it does feel a little more casual to me. I especially love it under a jean jacket. Something about the contrast in textures interests me.  

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It's also lighter feeling than the black one, so it's perfect with lighter colored skirts! Try it with jean shorts and a kimono. If you do try a layer over it that has more drape to it, try half tucking (tuck the top just a bit in the front), like I did with the jean shorts.  

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Probably my favorite way to wear this white one, is with puffier skirts, like this floral one. The volume and playfullness of the skirt balances the fierceness of the top.  

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Also, notice my pattern mixing...I am giving a nod to my post about pattern mixing with florals! Find that one, here. Always love a good mix of patterns, LOL. Now if only the weather would cooperate so I can wear this top with all the things, that would be great. You probably can't tell, but when we took these pictures, it was 32 degrees outside. What I won't do for fashion... It was a make it work moment.  And I did just that. 

 

So what do you think, are you ready to give the Wayf top a try? If you do, send me your outfit ideas for it.  I'd love to be inspired!

 

-xo

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Birthday Wishes...What's on my Wish List

Ah, March. It comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. That's the saying anyway. Around here, March can be unpredictable, as far as weather is concerned. But one thing is for sure happening...it's my birthday month. March 29, to be exact, and I am turning....29.  

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What? Aren't we all forever 29? Yeah we are. For real though, I am turning 38. If you remember last year, closer to my birthday, I did a post about a birthday challenge, find that here. For that challenge, I wore some of my favorite outfits every day during the week of my birthday. I will do that again this year, but for now, I'd like to show you things that I am wishing for...as far as style goes.

 

First up, these Indigo Road booties, here, and yeah I know, I don't really need another pair of shoes. But, I tried these on at DSW and loved them. These are similar to my favorite pair of booties below, except they have a lower shaft, which would make them perfect for dresses and skirts for the spring and summer.    

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See that grey jacket? That was on my list, and I gave it to myself as an early birthday gift. It's from Nordstrom, find it here. The jacket is really soft, and it's a beautiful grey color. It also fits my muscle arms really well! It's a win all the way around. 

 

This camisole, from Nordstrom, is also on my list, find it here, and I ordered it already. LOL. I am famous for buying my own gifts. I have seen it all over instagram, other bloggers seem to love it, so I gave it a try.   

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Ok, Ok...I  bought two colors, black and white. When they came in I tried them on and posted a whole bunch of styling options on my Instagram account. I was looking for the link to them, and...hold the phone!!!!!! Almost all the colors in my size were sold out! Ok, so what happened next is totally reasonable, right? I freaked out, and bought it in grey too. LOL. It's true. Total freak out moment. But, don't worry, Nordstrom will probably restock these, they seem to be really good sellers. In fact, I just checked today, and a few colors are already restocked! I recommend grabbing one. In fact, I just might write another post just about styling this camisole. There are..ahem..logistical questions, I know. Look for that post maybe next week!

 

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Also, something that I have NOT bought for myself, is this adorable clutch. It's from Stella and Dot, use my friend's link here, search for City Slim Clutch. I just adore its graphic simplicity. And, see now, I am traumatized by the Nordstrom situation, and I just might order this too, so it doesn't sell out. It would be a perfect way to add interest to a little black dress, or jeans and a t-shirt. I could see it pairing nicely with my leopard heels....yeah ok, I already bought it for myself, it's on its way.  LOL. I will use it in a few outfits to show you how versatile it is, stay tuned for that.

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Also, on my list, are more Nickel and Suede earrings, shop them here. Because, of course. Yes, I already bought them, I gave them to my husband so my kids can give them to me for my birthday. He sets up a little "store" for them, and they each pick things to give to me. It's cute and they enjoy it. I bought three pairs, all size medium, including a leopard print one. And, come to think of it, those leopard earrings would be great with that Stella and Dot clutch. More reasons for me to buy it, right?!? These are a pair that I have already...Y'all see me wearing them a lot, I know.

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I'd actually also love a pair of blush colored Adiddas...or black and some more workout attire, but I'll save those for my Christmas list. I have spoiled myself enough already...now where's the cake?

 

Maybe as a birthday gift to me, all of you local folks can go out and grab a copy of the March issue of Fredericksburg Parent Magazine, find my column in it, and let me know what you think! That just might be the best gift of all.

 

-xo 

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