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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

Waiting for Spring- Ideas for Transitional Outfits

So it's spring, right? Sometimes, I think Virginia didn't get the memo. Remember a few weeks ago when we got that snow storm?!? LOL.  

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I don't recommend actually wearing a tutu out in the snow for long. Of course it was cold, but I also wanted a tutu photo in the snow...don't ask. So, I guess that's one good thing that came from such a late season snow storm. I'm good now, ok mother nature?!? Let's move on. Anyway, here in Virginia, the weather in March and April can really ping pong between warm and cold. It is very unpredictable. So, I thought that I would talk about some easy things to do with outfits to accommodate the swings in temps.  

 

Maxi dresses/skirts

Long dresses and skirts are prefect for chilly mornings (and for those days when you don't want to shave...am I right?!?). Layer it with a jean jacket, that way if it warms up, it's easy to adjust accordingly. 

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Jean jackets or light weight jackets

As I said above, they are versatile and are leasy to layer over top of almost everything. Look for fitted jackets in light weight fabrics. My jean jacket here is by H&M, and the blue one is from Nicole Miller. Both are second hand. 

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Chambray shirts

Tie them over a dress for an extra layer.  Wear them open with leggings...so many options. Roll your sleeves up to make it more casual. I love a good medium-light wash chambray for spring. This one that I am wearing is Buffalo by David Bitton. 

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Leggings under dresses

Right about now, I am SO TIRED of wearing tights. Mostly because I only have a few pairs of shoes that I like to wear with tights, and it gets rather boring. Try putting leggings on under your dresses so that you can wear shoes that don't work with tights (open toed, different colored, etc).  

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Plan ahead

Sometimes the weather changes like overnight. So, I try to have a few outfits planned that can work with either jeans or shorts. That way, if the weather at bedtime says 75 degrees tomorrow but you wake up and Mother Nature said "ha, just kidding" you are still prepared. Take that, Mother Nature.

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So while we wait for the warmer weather to FINALLY stay, I hope these few ideas can help you stay ahead of the weather game. If you need me... I will put my lucky floral shoes on and wait for the leaves to appear. Someone send wine...and coffee...and my allergy meds. LOL.  

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-xo

 

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New in My Closet

This week I thought I would talk a little bit about my latest obsession and stepping out of your comfort zone. A few weeks ago, I found myself at TJMaxx...I am claiming amnesia as to how I got there.

"I don't know, husband...I just arrived there..."  

No, but seriously, TJMaxx is a fun spot to lose yourself for a few hours. While I was there, I found this red Michael Kors jacket.

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It was $60, a steal, really, for anything Michael Kors. But of course my thriftier side comes out and I contemplated whether I needed it that bad. Does anyone else do that at places like TJMaxx? Like "whoa, $60? I am in TJMaxx right?!?!" However, it was the last one in my size, and it fit well...but it was bright RED. Now, if you know me, or follow me on Instagram, you will know that I seldom wear red, or any bright colors for that matter. I am simply more accustomed to and comfortable in dark colors...especially black. It's where I live...on the dark side. So, like any true style loving person would do...I went to the interwebs and asked my friends in my outfit group. Their response was very clear...the coat must be mine. And so it was.

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Yes, even style bloggers need a little help sometimes. Especially with pieces that are out of our respective zones. But, thanks to my style enabling friends, it has become one of my favorite jackets, one that I didn't even know I needed! I even tracked it down online, so if you want one too, now is your chance. Macy's has it, here. I am wearing it in a XS petite. The hood is removeable, which I didn't know until I wore it a few times. LOL. That's quality investigative reporting right there. 

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 So, this coat has taught me a few things. Yeah, I know that's a little weird...I mean it's a coat. However, it reminds me to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. It also has taught me to trust my style instinct (is that even a thing?) You know that voice in your head that you can't ignore; no not your conscience, the other one saying you NEED that. But you are doubting yourself, and you walk around with it for an hour until you decide. Could have saved myself some time had I just listened in the beginning. Especially after I put it back once, then immediately regretted it and ran back over to get it. Seriously, I might have even apologized to it. Lesson learned.  

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What is something out of your confort zone? Is there a certain color that you never wear...or just prefer the dark side, like me? Well, I'd like to encourage you to step outside your zone occasionally. You never know what you might find.

 

-xo

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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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