Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Seashell Shift Dress

All About the Outfit:  Greetings!  I'm in love with this ModCloth seashell print shift dress (Saltwater Melodies Sheath Dress).  Or rather, I'm in love with the print and idea of it, as the fit is a little wonky.  I had to sit with it before deciding to send it back or not.  Below I have my jacket off and you can kind of tell it's boxy, especially with my hand in one of the pockets.  It's a-shame because the pockets are HUGE and roomy but they give your hips 3 extra inches on both sides.  Ultimately I decided to keep this gem because the print is amazing IRL with subtle neon green and lavender shadows in the shells AND because I love wearing shift dresses on low key days.  I reasoned my figure more or less gets lost in all of my dresses like this, ha, so the fact that this one is a little tighter in the hips is probably making only me notice and nobody else will. But there is a solid chance I will mostly wear this dress with layers as I think it's more flattering that way.  But be warned if you get it, the interior lining gets more narrow so it's not the most perfectly constructed dress :(  

I took off the jacket below and put my hand in the pockets in one picture and hugged my waist in another photo to show off the range of how flattering or not this dress is.
Outfit Details:  It's been pretty consistently hot here for a while now!  I generally only wear jackets at night lately, but am still super thankful for this Members Only jacket (last seen HERE) for when it still is jacket weather.  I've been obsessed with platform flats lately, so I using these shoes I went for a mostly monochromatic look (not counting the jacket plus sunglasses).

Sunglasses: eBay find
Jacket: Members Only
Dress: ModCloth
Shoes: Amazon (Brand: Dadawen)
Hope everyone is having a good week so far!  I'm good but a little stressed, as there's a lot on my plate this week!  I'm hoping to post most days this week, but I don't want to over promise!  Also, don't forget to LIKE MY NEW FACEBOOK PAGE please!  And, if you've missed Just Shair videos, we're back and making a quick appearance after a temporary hiatus this winter so feel free to watch our new video HERE!  Have a great Tuesday!
~Lauren-Blair Donovan


Friday, April 14, 2017

Bernie Dexter Kelly Dress Review

As probably most of you know, I'm a fan of Bernie Dexter dresses.  Bernie released a dress called the Kelly dress which has a front zip with a collar and is short sleeved.  This review is a little late to the party because the dress style has been out for some time now AND I started collecting Kelly dresses since LAST summer.  But time has been perpetually getting away from me, so better late than never, right?
First Impressions Before Ordering:  Honestly, I was on the fence!  When it comes to vintage inspired dresses, I often opt out of sleeves because I try not to be too on the nose as I aim for retro chic over old fashioned.  Love it or hate it, that's my personal style that I flock to.  A lot of girls in this community don't have the same line in the sand either, so they were more jazzed upon a ton of Kelly dresses hitting the Bernie Dexter site at once.  I needed a minute to process how I felt about the Kelly dress.

I caved because I finally got too curious as everyone was freaking out about how much they LOVED the Kelly.  Plus Zulily was having a sale.  I fell in love with the Kelly Water Print dress (above) because the blue had such a great subtle print that seemed like it would be great in all seasons, and I've been more attracted to subtle prints lately.  (Weird, I know.) 

My verdict?  The fit is pretty amazing.  Pinup dresses historically tend to cinch you at the waist and the bust because they're supposed to be form fitting, but this style is a touch more relaxed.  For some reason I thought the front zipper would be weird, but I love it so much that I've lost the words for why I ever was against it to begin with!  I also find the sleeves to be very fun and not necessarily old fashioned or limited to a certain decade (though absolutely retro indeed), so hooray for versatility!

Am I Kelly convert?  I pose this question because several die hard Bernie Dexter dress fans raved about the Kelly and want ALL of her prints to come in a Kelly from here on out.  While I do love the Kelly...I wouldn't take it that far.  In addition to being a more relaxed fit, I think this dress style flatters all body types.  I generally believe that most pinup/retro styles also flatter all body sites, but after being in several FB groups dedicated to this style of dressing I've learned that isn't always the case.  For instance, several of Bernie's other styles have a small bust shelf despite if you size up (like the Paris style).  Therefore many well endowed ladies feel gratuitous or even physically uncomfortable in those styles and don't prefer dresses that do that.  Because I'm on the smaller end of that spectrum, the Kelly is a welcomed new style but not a needed new style.

Many Bernie pieces lately come in two options: the Kelly and the aforementioned Paris.  When there's a choice, I still go for the Paris (click HERE for an example of me doing just that).  Some of my reasons are for the fit preferences I've listed above, but I also just generally prefer dresses without sleeves as it gets REALLY hot here in the summer and I lose my patience for sleeves.  Bernie has recently released a new style called the Mari, which is basically a Kelly without sleeves.  If I like the fit of the Mari upon receiving my first one, I'll likely favor that over the Kelly and possibly swap/sell these Kellys if the prints become available in a Mari.  Dresses with collars (but without sleeves) are kind of my jam lately, so upon these prints being re-released it may be a good option for me to get more wear out of these beauties.  I don't know though, maybe not.  I do really like the Kelly too, so we'll see.  In a perfect world I wish Bernie released the prints in all the styles that they come in at once, a la Emily and Fin, but for whatever reason she doesn't do things that way.

The Bottom Line: I do love the Kelly dress!  It's a style I will likely continue to buy.  But some of that will depend on other options the prints come in.  But I also don't have the sizing issues that many women seem to have with Bernie dresses, so that's a huge factor as to why I am open to and even prefer other styles.  Consider all of the above as it pertains to you when making your first Kelly purchase!
Hope I helped someone decide on whether a Kelly is right for them or not!  And I hope everyone has a good weekend!  If you missed yesterday's post, I had a few announcements regarding a NEW blog coming out and a NEW Facebook page that I hope you will show me some love and LIKE (please!).  Read HERE to find out more.
~Lauren-Blair Donovan


Thursday, April 13, 2017

T-Rex Storms Castle Dress!!

All About the Outfit:  Hey all!  Quick post today and a rare one, as this is my outfit that I am wearing TODAY.  All of the outfits that grace my blog are my real life outfits, but they're often photographed a week or so ahead of when they're published.  I'm a little behind in photographing outfits and was going to put out a bigger post today, but opted to save it for next week so here we are with an outfit of the day in real time!  

Emily and Fin is a brand that I've recently fallen for, as they have tons of button dresses--which is a style I'm VERY into as of late and don't have an abundance of in my closet.  I had seen some preview pics of their Wanderlust 2017 collection a few months back and this Painted Tuscan Landscape print (the dress style is the Frankie Dress) caught my eye.  ModCloth released it about a month back and I had a Groupon from them, so naturally I got this dress from them (renamed the Bake Shop Browsing Midi Dress in Landscape on their site).

For measure, I'm wearing a UK size 6 and an US XXS.  I find the size 8/XS in Emily and Fins run large, but frankly I find the size 6/XXS to be either perfect or kind of large too.  This one is slightly tighter at the waist than my other E&F dress in XXS (I have 2 in each size currently), but otherwise fits like a dream.  I successfully shrunk one of the 8/XS dresses I have and am going to do the same to the other one I have, if that helps anyone on the fence between the two sizes in this brand!

Style Details:  I love this dress because the colors make it easy to style, yet I don't believe it looks like anything else in my closet.  I wanted to highlight how neon the green in the print is with my neon green pumps, but also bring out the range of blues in my necklace/earrings, and play up the subtle pinks in my brooch and purse.  Naturally my brain went to my Kate Spade T-Rex bag storming the castles on the dress because, well, I'm me...!

Earrings/Necklace/Purse- Kate Spade
Pumps- Ralph Lauren via Amazon
Let's hope someone warned the villagers! 

Over the next few days I'm going to be tweaking the layout of this blog a bit here, so I'm excited for that.  Sometime next week (hopefully) I'm going to be debuting a second blog on culture, like how media plays into our every day lives, comedy series few people know about, music, and other topics that can't fit as nicely into a quick blurb.  I'm really excited about it and have been working on posts for months.  I'll give y'all the URL once I get the site to how I want it and do an introduction post, but for now I will love you for forever if you like my NEW Facebook page (CLICK HERE TO LIKE).  I fought getting a FB for me/my blog/etc for 3 years now but upon having two blogs, Just Shair, and venturing into other comedy and writing projects over the next few months (if all goes well), it's time to have an all encompassing Lauren-Blair Donovan FB page.  I'm a little nervous about having another form of social media to keep up to date, build a following with, and just being that much more exposed, but it's time.  More on all of that soon, but for now, please and thanks for liking me on FB!  (PS it's a work in progress currently with not too many bells and whistles as you're the first people I'm sharing with that I even made a page, but that will be promptly changing!)  Have a happy Thursday!
~Lauren-Blair Donovan

Monday, April 10, 2017

Yellow + Green For Spring

All About the Outfit: Who here is in full spring mode, celebrating with seasonal allergies and all?  Ha, I hope not!  Mine haven't been too bad lately...only when the weather flip flops which has been less than usual, so phew!  Despite not being the world's biggest pastel girl, I found a way to make an outfit fit for spring using a little bit of light colors with a bold and rich green to counter balance the color scheme and make it more "me."  I'm personally loving it because I feel like green and yellow are often under used color patterns!  Thoughts?

Style Details: I LOVE the print on this Ann Taylor top.  The colors are to die for and I love the bird print with all of the intricate details.  I'm not super in love with the sleeves, but I don't dislike them either.  My only complaint is that I got my usual XXS and I'm wondering if after a wash if it'll be hard to get on and off because it is a tighter fit than my other Ann Taylor tops.  The skirt is from Hell Bunny, and I must say that I LOVE their Paula skirts (which is the name of this lovely yellow skirt).  They come in several colors and I must admit that I own a few now as they are so versatile!  (Check out the last time I wore one HERE)

Sunglasses- Cheapo Walgreens find, ha!
Earrings- Kate Spade
Top- Ann Taylor (and currently on sale!)
Shoes- Anne Klein via DSW

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  The Colorado Rockies home opener was on Friday so I went downtown to celebrate that!  And then I truthfully slept most of the weekend because I was sleep deprived from the week before and turned in an assignment for Second City.  I guess my weekend was kind of all over the place!  How was yours?
~Lauren-Blair Donovan

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Review: Unique Vintage Purple Octopus High Waist Swing Skirt

Going In Expectations/History: I own a few Unique Vintage skirts now and I do consider myself a fan.  That said, it took me a while to figure out that I'm really a size XS over a size Small because their size chart lies a bit.  Naturally I ordered a size XS this time around.  I've been wanting this skirt since I saw it on a pre-order list on an online boutique that I can't seem to track down again, but regardless I fell in love!  Unique Vintage has really been having fun with the novelty print circle skirt game over the past year or so, but as my collection of novelty print skirts is a rather large one at this point it takes a LOT for me to fall in love with a skirt enough to get it now.  This octopus skirt is like nothing in my closet, purple is one of my favorite colors, and it's silly and classic all at once.  

How It Measures Up: Honestly, kind of tight!  This is a head scratcher because I'm smaller than I was a year ago when I first tried a Unique Vintage skirt in a small as well as a few months back when I finally got a size XS.  So I think this batch may run small.  That said, it fits fine.  It's just a little snug.

How It Looks In Person: It's very beautiful.  To my surprise the background is more of a light teal over white, which is what I thought it was on the UV site.  Upon looking at the photo on Unique Vintage again, I realized my usual laser sharp eyesight failed me this time!  Whoops!  This doesn't make me love the skirt less, but I am recalibrating outfit fantasies I had for it thinking it was a purple and white skirt.  
The waistband is also a very different shade of purple than most of the purple used in the octopus and while it was sitting on my couch waiting to be photographed this. drove. me. up. a. WALL!  Upon wearing and photographing it, I'm not nearly as annoyed by the different color scheme.  I still thought this was worth mentioning though, in case any of you are particular about these kind of things.  In person it's a very beautiful and vibrant skirt and the subtle peachy-orange undertones in the print are actually pretty dynamic.  I  can't wait to pair an orange skirt + accessories with this skirt!  Also, as per Unique Vintage house brand skirt's usual, it has pockets!
Other Outfit Details:
Monster Earrings/Dinosaur Triceratops Purse: Kate Spade
Floral Necklace/StripedTop: J Crew Factory
Octopus Skirt: Unique Vintage
Mary-Jane Platform- G by Guess
How was everyone's weekend?  Mine was pretty good, aside from it was April Fool's Day and I'm not allowed to participate because I'm a life long practical joker and nobody trusts me on April 1st, ha!  It's like...water, water, but not a drop to drink!  I'm excited that it's finally baseball season again!  I'll definitely be participating this weekend when the Colorado Rockies have their first set of home games!  I may even wear this skirt with a Rockies top, as it's purple!  We'll see what the weather does...  Have a great Tuesday!  XO
~Lauren-Blair Donovan

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

2017 Favorites: Part 1

The first season of the year is OVER!  And when the clock strikes April 1st, it'll be no joke that 25% of 2017 is dunzo!  Crazy, right?  This is the first installment of a four part yearly round-up, keeping track of my favorite style habits from 2017!

Kate Spade Dinosaur and Novelty Bags
Dinosaurs?  YES, PLEASE!!  I do impressions of T-Rexs often (not kidding) and generally love dinos.  Obvi I needed these new friends in my collection.   Their whole 2017 line has been perfection for both classic and novelty items alike, with other gems like gorgeous floral bags and purses in a camel theme.  If they release an alpaca or lizard themed line next I may die.  Kate Spade...you are killing me and I hope to be a brand ambassador/influencer/ANYTHING one day.  #CallME

1970s Vintage Dresses
This style is an oldie but goodie fall back style for me, but I've been on a major 1970s maxi dress kick.  Recently I've had good luck in stores and on Etsy (and even found some sales).  In my opinion, 1970s dresses (and maxi dresses in general) are actually the perfect spring dress as they're airy and start to hint that summer is coming but still keep your legs covered if part of the day gets chilly.  And since this winter felt more like spring here, I've been wearing them constantly.  And unlike circle skirts of the 1950s-60s, there's way less of a chance of the wind blowing up your skirt in an un-lady like fashion.  (Wind is a force to be reckoned with here in Denver during the spring, so this is a practical style decision!!!!)

Athletic Fab
I already wrote a post on this, so I'll keep it brief.  I've rediscovered my love of sneakers and love that there are so many fun styles and colors to choose from nowadays.  When I'm walking around the gnarly sidewalks of Denver I'm way more comfortable and less prone to tripping over the uneven concrete when I'm in these bad boys.

Bernie Dexter New Styles (Like Always)
This isn't new.  Every year she does great things.  But this season she has churned out a lot of new prints and styles.  I'm dying for a Mari, as strapless button/zip ups are kind of my favorite thing currently.  I'm also impressed that she's added some different style of prints, like flames or different color schemes than usual (like darker or more bold colors).  Check out her whole site HERE.  I haven't tried any of the new stuff (yet) but that day will come soon...!

Members Only Jackets
Yes, I am an influencer for the brand officially.  But I only accept these collaborations if I genuinely love the brand/style/etc.  Going into spring I'm psyched out of my mind to have these lightweight jackets in fun colors to pair with my dresses.  Members Only is such a retro brand, and yet they're classic and modern too.  This has been one of the more perfect collaborations for my personal style to date, making 2017 get off to an excellent start!

J Crew Spring Line
I kind of always love J Crew a little bit, but I really couldn't resist a few items from their collection. Pretty much everything they've been releasing in 2017 has been amazing thus far, but I couldn't resist their elephant shirt (see the post on that HERE) and this Ratti floral pencil skirt I have yet to debut.

For the next three months I'm anticipating MORE dinosaurs as every brand seems to be getting in on the dino trend, a return to vintage inspired brand Hell Bunny as I've been falling in love all over again with the brand, and who knows what else!  What have been your go-to style habits so far in 2017?  Have a great day!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Science Pilgrim

All About the Outfit:  Hey all!  I love this dress Folter dress to pieces.  When I first tried it on and looked in the mirror I said to myself, "I look like a science pilgrim!"  That may sound like I'm making fun of the dress, but that couldn't be further from the truth.  It was just an observation about the black and white with the collar reminded me a bit of the Puritans and to me the juxtaposition of the science equations all over the print cracked me up.  Since I'm a Silly Billy, I decided to use it as my blog post title!  I opted to go for yellow accessories because I thought it'd be a fun pop of color and less obvious than red, black, or white.  Plus a lemon Kate Spade bag makes no sense next to a science dress, so naturally this combo appealed to me!

Style Details:
Sunglasses: eBay
Earrings/Necklace/Bag: Kate Spade
Dress: Folter via ModCloth (All Eyes on Unique Dress)
Shoes: Nine West
How's everyones week going?  Mine has been kind of slow, aside from having some technical issues with my cable/Internet.  (Jealous? 😜)  Hope everyone has been awesome!
~Lauren-Blair Donovan