Monday 8 October 2012

Splurge Sorority

I am full of thanksgiving today!  Full and overflowing with wonderful things to share so get ready for a fall-Vogue-sized VV Boutique Style post!

First, something I've been waiting to share since starting this adventure: Splurge Sorority!
This is what I wore Saturday night to Splurge Sorority.
I love this dress.
Styled differently today with Oxmo leggings, Miz Mooz boots, Joe cardi and a leopard scarf.
Let me explain Splurge Sorority:  A group of ladies gets together.  Each contributes $40 (that's the amount we decided on!) and one person takes the kitty and uses it for a special splurge just for her!  Then, she plans and hosts the next gathering and shows everyone her splurges!  We meet about once every 6 weeks and just had our first gathering for our second round of splurging!  This round, we have 12 fabulous friends in our group, which means at some point each of us will get to go shopping with $480!  Awesome!  In the meantime, we get a lovely evening out on a regular basis!  We are pretty flexible in how we decide whose turn it is; sometimes we draw names, sometimes someone has a special trip or event planned and requests a turn ...  As for the gatherings, I just enjoy the chance to get together and visit with my friends, but in our first round, several of the ladies added special touches - like a chocolate theme, a pedicure artist, esthetician evening, and a mixology party!  These gatherings are always wonderful, but my favourite part is the "fashion show."  Here are some of the items my friend picked up for her splurge! 
The famous mustard cardi and incredible dress!
These made their style-blog debut on Fashion's Night Out!
And I've been going on and on ever since.  Sorry.
 The belt is a sturdy stretch cord - interesting, delicate and versatile!
I love this fall look - shorts, patterned tights, short boots and of course, a scarf!
 A variation of the same look, embracing the polka dot trend.
Oh, and notice the mustard cardi helping this cute summery dress transition to fall.
She didn't know whether she should keep these awesome boots.  
I attribute that to lack of wine sleep and maybe a postponed optometrist appointment because these are fab!  
Here are a couple links to informative posts on the matter - 
Ain't No Mom Jeans' take on ankle booties and their advice on styling a similar pair to these.  
They also discuss patterned socks - a trend I'm loving!  When you live in the cold north, socks are not optional 
and it's nice to see them looking cute instead of playing camouflage.
These black pants are the perfect skinny crop,
paired here with boots for fall.  And you know what would be the perfect addition up top...
 Such a pretty pleated skirt...
 And this trendy polka dot skirt is the same style, same fabric,
but this one is from VV Boutique!
 This style of dress is so becoming on my pal!
You know what's missing.  Mustard-cardi was on break.
This stunning dress was a FNO find.  It looks great belted or loose, has pockets, 
and yep, I bet the mustard cardi would look good too.  Or her future denim jacket.

For this gathering, my friend had the AWESOME idea of a "Coming Out of the Closet" PartyIt's not what you think.  Let me explain: she asked us all to bring 5 outfits with pieces that we can't bring ourselves to get rid of, but they're not quite working for us - so that we could try them on for our fashionista friends and get some advice.  So much fun!!  We all had a great time trying on our outfits and getting some tips.  I snapped a few shots throughout the evening:
Here is my favourite Megan learning how to style a pre-pregnancy dress!
When you finally fit into those clothes, you hate to give them up so she added a belt, scarf and...
Soft brown corduroy swing coat!  Some tights and boots will seal the style!
ANMJ loves blush+white colour combo, so I'm wondering what some 
textured white tights or a white cardi might look like...
 Megan also resurrected some long skirts by treating them like a maxi skirt
which are a warm and comfy yet pulled together mom-drobe option.
 I know, going on and on again, but SERIOUSLY!
Look how the mustard cardi (borrowed from another guest for demonstration purposes)
takes the outfit up a notch.  Add some tights and a scarf from home and she's good to go!
 This ended up being the Splurge Sorority officially-coveted scarf!
These two pieces are dull on their own but the cuffed sleeves add interest, 
and the scarf brings in pattern, complimentary colours and texture! 
 This jersey high-low striped skirt is awesome.  Megan, like many of us, has a tendency towards 
matchy-matchy, so she typically wears it with a teal top and tried it here with a black top and leggings.
We thought that was too much black (and a bit boring), and suggested instead contrasting colours.
Any of the colours in this fab scarf would look great with her skirt - either in the top, or why not try
cute coloured or patterned tights or leggings.  That trend won't be around forever so have fun with it!
BTW, ANMJ says a denim jacket and ankle booties make the high-low hem perfect transition for fall!
 This gal was wondering whether her Citizens of Humanity flare jeans were still doing it for her...
  Uh, yeah, they're doing it and doing it well, my friend!
I didn't get a good shot of the full jeans, but here is a link to some great flare styling info.
Not everyone can pull them off, so if YOU can, you should!
BTW, she borrowed the cardi and belt to explore different styling options.
We decided that they looked best by pairing simple pieces with them, 
or pieces that have a bohemian vibe for consistency in the ensemble.
 She was about to ditch this long denim jumper dress, but with the addition of 
a cute top from Old Navy and a shape-defining belt, we liked it! 
 This friend wasn't in love with the red tulip skirt, but pairing it with an interesting neutral pattern,
and adding a shape-defining belt looked great!  A jacket or cardi will add a third layer, 
and the belt could even go on the outside!  She shared that she doesn't often reach for a belt, thinking it won't flatter a larger-top-than-bottom figure.  I am so glad she tried it because what I see is a defined waist and an added interesting detail to the ensemble.  Now she needs to hit VV Boutique and buy 75 belts like I have.
 The hostess was wondering if this white tie shirt was too wing-y in the sleeves...
We decided her boobs looked too nice to give up on this shirt ;) and she had already thought of an 
easy solution to stitch the sleeves down.  Then it will be more balanced with an a-line or flared skirt/bottom.
 I was up next and gave up some dress shorts and pants that were a bit too big and unflattering,
as well as some cute tops that are too short in the torso for me but look great on a more petite frame.
I had another chambray shirt that I had tried DIY bleaching but it still felt too stiff on me.  
However, it suited my friend's style just right!  It pleases me immensely to see my clothes go to a good home!
 I also scored a pair of shorts that didn't look as good on the smaller frame as they did on me, 
AND I scored this cool top!
 Which I then wore the next day to Thanksgiving Sunday church...
 I paired it with my Banana Republic gray snakeskin belt and charcoal cardi, both from VV Boutique,
(since I was apprehended before I could escape with the mustard cardi) 
along with accessories from my closet.
You know what I'm thankful for?  
Another guest's suggestion to try this SKIRT as a top because I think it looks awesome!
This friend brought pieces that she recently scored from VV Boutique!  This is a Calvin Klein coat.
 A perfect Gap denim jacket...
 Pretty striped scarf with some bulk to it...
 And this tweed/cord bag!
 There was more, but what was most important is that she had 
a great time shopping  at VV Boutique and added some inexpensive variation to her wardrobe!

The evening was wonderful!  Here are our conclusions after "coming out of the closet!"
  • Wear what you love!  That will lead you to pieces that exude your individual style, and the confidence and contentment you get from that override any trend or "expert" advice.
  • Know your body and DO get pieces that flatter.  However, DON'T be afraid to try something different - like a belt, a complimentary rather than matched colour, wearing a piece differently than it was intended, etc.  You will probably be pleasantly surprised like we were!
  • Keep in mind the "rule of 3" when layering.  Without exception, our "questionable" pieces were much much better when layered.  Two isn't enough!  Three layers or three parts to your ensemble are essential!  I say, keep adding stuff till it looks right!
  • When you aren't sure what to pair with a piece, especially in this season of coloured denim and colour block items, consider complimentary colours!  Think colour wheel!  I also enjoy the the monochromatic trend - different tones of the same colour mixed in an ensemble.
  • Small details pack a big punch!  Cuff your sleeves or hems, juzj (? how do you spell this 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' term for pushing up your sleeves in a cute scrunchy way) your sleeves, include pops of colour/pattern/texture!  A little leopard detail makes for a lot of wild in your style!     
  • Consider the balance in an ensemble.  Blousy with fitted, neutral with patterns or colours...  Keep it interesting, but not so interesting that the eye doesn't know where to look!  It is a fine balance though - because sometimes taking things you would never pair together ends up looking good (this is what I find browsing through StyleMint!).  I think the "internal consistency" or vibe of the outfit is important here - if they don't match but feel consistent, it will probably work.  And it will probably help to differentiate your look from everyone else!  
  • Most importantly, try it on!  Don't let the size on the tag or any preconceived notion stop you from having fun with your wardrobe and your style!
  • If you are ready to part with an item, consider a clothing exchange with your friends - it is amazing to see something look totally different on someone else!  Of course, at the very least, donate them to your local VV Boutique, Goodwill or other second-hand shops.  These places are usually affiliated with local non-profit organizations and do a world of good for the environment.
I had other notes jotted down including "spank" and "no bonnets"... perhaps I had more wine than I realized because I have no idea what that means!  Eh hem.  Anyhoo, I think Splurge Sorority is about more than clothes - it's about community, and so it was the perfect Saturday night out on this Thanksgiving weekend.  And yes, I am restraining myself from hitting VV Boutique today to search again for the elusive mustard cardi and other treasures that bring a little joy - no splurging required!

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