Bump Up Your Style…Style Up Your Bump

Knocked Up, Prego, Bun in the Oven, With Child, Preggers….call it what you want, but it’s everywhere!  When you find yourself in a family way, it is such an exciting time in the lives of many.  There is bedding and nursery colors to choose, finding the perfect name for the bundle of joy, getting stocked up with diapers and wipes, and….oh yeah, taking care of yourself!!!  Future mothers oftentimes push their own needs to the back burner during their trimesters, but The Stylish Steed has some great tips for your wardrobe while you wait for your special delivery.

I look around and so many of my friends and family are expecting.  With much prodding from some stylish moms-to-be, we are going to look at some chic ways to bump up the style of my pregnantistas.

There is absolutely no reason for my blossoming beauties to live in the land of leggings.  This a time when you should feel most beautiful and feminine…maximize on that!
1. Keep It Simple
While you are prepping your wardrobe for your growing midsection, remember to keep things simple.  There is no need to inhabit the BLACK forest in jersey knit, but there are a few things I would suggest straying away from:
A.)  Bright Colors – You don’t want to draw unnecessary attention to certain areas.
B.)  Satin Fabrics – The most unforgiving of fabrics, satin is perfect for your pillow case, but not for your wardrobe.
C.)  Loud Prints – Be very cautious of loud prints.  These prints can easily create illusions and cause you to look disproportionate.

2.  Go With The Flow
Flowing Maxi Dresses are a pregnancy must!  Especially during this unbearable summer heat, a lightweight, flowy maxi is the perfect item.  Maxi Dresses are perfect during your pre-delivery days because they help to conceal heaviness on your bottom half.  I suggest something in a solid color that is complementary to your skin tone.  This brilliant blue maxi from Pink Blush is becoming on any skin tones, and flows gently down the body creating a great line.

Maternity Blue Maxi

 

This maxi is a great cut, color, and cost.  At only $36, you quickly become a stylish and thrifty mom-to-be.
Don’t forget your accessories as you don this great dress!
Pregnancy Look Accessories

A long strand necklace with hanging earrings is a great addition to this maxi with the open
shoulders and neckline.
Pregnant in Heels maybe be a great show, but let’s face it…it’s not realistic.  You can, however,
sport a sensible wedge or kitten heel that isn’t too high, but will give you some height throughout the day.
Last but not least, rock a bright colored clutch to add the ultimate personality to your look.
This faux leather clutch in magenta adds just the pop of color that this outfit needs.

3.  Short & Sassy
Take your femininity to the max with a short and sassy look that is sure to make you the envy of
the other expectant mothers.   Whether tall or fun size, showcasing a short flirty dress will make you a little bit taller.  The best silhouette for this look is a swing dress, or baby doll dress.

short and sassy pregnancy dress

This fun and flirty swing dress opens up the neck and shoulders (one of the few areas that
remains slim) and flows nicely down the body concealing the baby bump.

A bonus with this dress is you can pair it with heels after you have the baby and rock this look
even while you work on shedding that baby weight.  Pair this with a nice hanging earring and
your look is pregnancy perfection.

4.   Elongate Your Frame
In our pursuit for style, there are days when we really don’t feel like trying.  You’re bloated, your
feet are swollen, and why is your nose continuing to get wider?!?!?  On those days when you
decide on a simple black tank and jeans, easily add some pizazz and elongate your frame to create a longer, leaner line.  With some confidence, creativity, and a whole lot of accessories, you can
breeze through any fetus fiasco with ease….except maybe morning sickness.

Dress up a simple outfit with a long necklace that draws the eye down.  A single long chain or layers of long necklaces add to your total look and make you appear taller.  Add a great
hanging earring to this and your look is complete.  Don’t be a dud with a pair of studs.  Opt for
a large hoop or chandelier style to bring the focus to your neck and shoulders.

Consider these great accessories with your black tank and jeans!

Elongate LookThis long necklace with gold metal ovals hangs long and dramatic for the perfect look
to your simple outfit.  Pair with a chunky ring, hoop earrings, and a funky bracelet to really round out the accessories.  Add another layer of drama by pairing a scarf to bring a luxe look to your
outfit.  Simply drape it over your shoulders and you’ll be looking lean in no time.

And don’t forget about the bag.  The bigger the better, because a big bag makes your butt look smaller!

So don’t comprise your own personal style, my pregnant pretties.  Choose wisely to make yourself a lean, mean, baby making machine!  Showcase your feminine side and bask in that natural glow.  You already have the attention when you walk in the room…make it so they can’t stop looking!  Even with a baby bump, it’s never difficult to stay stylish!

It’s In The Bag – 5 Must Have Bags

Remember Mary Poppins?
She was unstoppable with her spoon full of sugar!  Her secret?

Mary Poppins bag
The bag!

If those Banks children needed anything, she had it on hand!  Therefore, it is a scientific fact that the right bag can completely change your life.  Women are already fully convinced of this, but the men folk are a little hesitant to sport one in everyday life because, heaven forbid, someone refer to your “Man Purse.”  Get over it, guys!

You can thank me later when you are completely in love with the
5 Must Have Bags!
1. The Tote
TSS Tote
This everyday bag is the perfect addition to your life.  Whether you’re commuting to the office, working from your computer at a bistro, or headed seaside, the tote is a great inclusion into your everyday life.  Normally a canvas construction, there are many varieties that are both stylish and functional.  This canvas tote by ASOS has thoughtful details of leather that add a rustic feel.  Throw your paperwork and laptop inside, or use it for a catch-all when heading out to the farmers market after brunch.  However you choose to utilize it, it will be a great addition to your busy life.

2.  The Duffle
TSS Duffle
Not just for the gym anymore, designers have revamped this classic to be more functional than ever. This is the perfect bag for traveling. With tons of styles and colors available, this bag will replace that old battered Samsonite you’ve been lugging through the terminal. This one from Hershel Supply Co. is complete with a compartment for shoes and enough space inside to pack for your week long trip to mountains or even that dreaded work conference in Kansas City.

3. The Weekender
TSS Weekender
Stylish and compact, yet spacious and feasible, this handheld bag with optional shoulder strap is perfect for that short trip back home to visit the parental units. With enough interior space to house a couple of outfits and a pair of shoes, you can stylishly arrive without that cumbersome pull-along in tow.  This wonderful piece from Jack Threads is under $40, but looks likes a million bucks.

4. The Backpack
TSS Backpack
A familiar item from our days in elementary school, the backpack has become a go-to companion for any man about town. Suitable for the office and even appropriate for a typical tourist event, this bag is functional with space and compartments for all your gadgets.  Jack Wills offers this throw back style with a nautical look.

5. The Briefcase
TSS Briefcase
A more pricey item than the others, this soft shell leather carrier is perfect for the dapper gentleman in the office. Unlike it’s hard case counterparts, this piece becomes even more beautiful with wear and tear. It’s completely justifiable to spend a little more for an item like this because it will never wear out.  With space for your documents and laptop, this sleek design by WILL Leather Goods will definitely serve you well into your retirement years.

So whether you’re a weekend cruiser on a constant road trip or a corner office crusader in the concrete jungle, there is a bag for you to add style and function to your life.  Push aside your misconceptions of the man purse and add one or more of these bags to your life.  Traveling, commuting, touring, or visiting….all your desires are in the bag when you need to stay stylish!

Beach Must Haves: Summer 2014 Essentials

Suffering through this humid Alabama heat, I begin to smile ever so gently at the thought of a summer seaside getaway.  The warmth of the sun, the sand crunching under my feet, the smell of salt in the air, those annoying children throwing Cheez-its at the demonic sea gulls…it makes me as giddy as child on Christmas Eve.

In our pursuit for coastal contentment, let us not neglect our need for style.  To assist you in preparing for your seaside sabbatical I have some top items for any beach beau or babe.

Ladies, you will notice that the topic of swimsuit selection is not covered.  I will not tell what type of suit is best for you and your body, as all women have different insecurities and convictions.  I will only make one comment in regards to swimsuit selection:

More is more!  Please be tastefully covered…you aren’t working for the rent!

Moving on…..

Womens Beach Essentials

  1. Chill in your kaftan!  A great item to have is a long, flowing cover-up.  A perfect item to don when grabbing lunch at a patio restaurant, this cover-up cinches in at the waist and has a great print.
  2. These rope sandals are prefect to pull out when the beach babe decides its time for a move.
  3. Protect that money maker!  Your face is vital to your ultimate style.  Opt for a wide brimmed hat to help keep your skin from looking like a 50 year old leather handbag.
  4. Give Mary Poppins a run for her money with this great canvas tote.  It is perfect for carrying all your essentials.
  5. Whether you are planning to lounge on this festive towel or use it to dry off from a dip in the ocean, you will definitely catch a few eyes with this vibrant printed beach towel.
  6. Those Bette Davis eyes will surely catch the glimpse of a beach beau with these retro inspired sunglasses.
  7. Your skin is like an elephant…it never forgets!  Protect it with this great SPF 50 from Mary Kay.  You’ll still get enough glow that your co-workers will know you have been to the beach.
  8. Everybody wants those beach curls, but they sure don’t happen on the beach.  Get a hold of that unruly mane with this awesome Leave-In Product from “It’s a 10.”
  9. Tame the beast with this awesome brush that is small and powerful.  This handheld brush removes tangles and knots from all hair types without tugging or pulling.
  10. As the waves crash before you, there is nothing better than a great book.  I love something fun and entertaining during this time of year.  “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” is a fun, mostly true, memoir of a Texas housewife.  It’s a summer read for sure!
  11. Nothing soothes the skin after the heavy heat of the day like this Mary Kay After Sun Replenishment Gel.  This does great to moisturize dry skin, while soothing the slightly crisp areas.
  12. Every bathing beauty needs a resting place.  This roll out beach mat is perfect for fun in the sun!
  13. Stay hydrated with this glass water bottle from LifeFactory.  It’s eco-friendly with a silicone sleeve that keeps your beverage cool.

Gentlemen, we will not be outdone!  I’ve got some equally awesome products for your beach bash as well.

Mens Beach Essentials

  1. Show off all your hard work from the gym with a simple tank that will coordinate with your trunks.
  2. Avoid looking like a slob during lunch by throwing on a lightweight twill shirt to add a little swag to the sea.
  3. These pop of color trunks are the perfect piece to this ensemble.  They are great length to show a little leg.
  4. This is the only time…and I mean ONLY TIME…that these should be on your feet.  I am not a fan of flip flops in the free world, but when on the coast……
  5. Give that face a little break from the rays by topping off your look with this straw fedora.
  6. Mirror, Mirror at the Sea….these mirrored sunglasses will accessorize your beach day perfectly.
  7. Pack it all in with this simple canvas back pack.  This is the perfect size to house all your necessities.
  8. Lay down the law…and this over sized lawn blanket.  This piece, intended for a picnic, is the perfect foundation for any beach day.
  9. No need for the cabana boy when you have this 16-can cooler!  Easily haul your beverages of choice to your own corner of the beach.
  10. Keeping up with the ladies, we have to be well read too.  This best seller, “Woman“, is a great addition to soaking up the sun.
  11. Keep that youthful glow with this spray on sunscreen.  It’s even heavy sweat proof!
  12. Replenish and rehydrate with this awesome After Sun Gel from Mary Kay.  For an extra boost, store this in a cool place before applying.  The soothing gel is just what your skin needs.
  13. Bring the party wherever you go.  This rubber AM/FM radio spits the music, eliminating the need for electronics.  A couple of AA batteries and you are set for good times!

So whether you’re planning a quick weekend getaway or considering a week long hideaway, these top items will make your beach trip even more enjoyable.  The summer is waiting, the beach is calling, and you have all you need to stay stylish!

Childhood Dreams Defered

What do you want to be when you grow up?

This common question inundates us throughout our childhood.  When we are presented with this question our minds become a flurry of dreams and aspirations.  Although we may never become the astronaut, the superhero, or the guy that cooks the french fries at McDonalds, the idea of those careers excite us.

As we grow older, we begin to see that those childhood dreams quickly fade away and are replaced by more attainable goals that will pay us well, give our life purpose, and hopefully provide us with health insurance.  As we journey through life we oftentimes embark on side roads that allow us to explore our creativity and deep seeded passions.  The Stylish Steed has been one of those side roads.

After watching my great friend, Rebekah A. Faulk at Some Kinda Good, seek to satisfy her lust for life through her writing, I was inspired to pursue avenues that I once thought were silly for me to even think about.  Creating this blog was never something I thought I would do.  Over the past seven months, I have ventured out of my restricted mind and allowed myself to share my thoughts and ideas in regards to fashion, entertaining, and DIY decor.  Although I may never host The Chew  like Clinton Kelly, or provide articles for a major media publication, I have found happiness in creating my little corner of the internet.

With a desire to explore more of my “unknown dreams,” I am thrilled to announce the opening of my online store.  In a pursuit to clothe the world in stylish and timeless fashion, I am launching THE STYLISH STEED online boutique.

The Stylish Steed Store Logo

Focusing on women’s clothing and accessories, The Stylish Steed will offer quality products that will blend classic southern style with a modern feel and rustic details.  The selections reflect this American Prep aesthetic with clean lines, exciting colors and prints, and causal pieces that are timeless.

I not only hope that you will find items of interest in my store, but that you would also be inspired to pursue dreams that you never thought would be possible for you.  I have often been told that if your dreams don’t make you nervous, they aren’t big enough…so dream big.  I am so excited that you have joined me on my journey.  I absolutely love all the comments and encouragements that I have received from you all.  So put on your comfortable shoes and walk a little further with me down this side road of dreams.  You never know what paths you may find on that journey.

You will notice that a new header has been added to the top of the page labeled “STORE.”  By clicking that link, you will be directed to The Stylish Steed on-line boutique.  You can also visit the site at www.shopthestylishsteed.com.

Make sure to “like” my Facebook page to keep up-to-date as new merchandise is added.

The Dog Days of Denim

The oldest profession, the oldest trick in the book, the old maid….”old” is always considered the lesser, unless we are talking about the oldest wardrobe staple – DENIM!

Denim, a staple of modern fashion, is a go-to piece for almost any occasion.  Although some looks are a little more desirable than others, denim is always a classic.  With the Dog Days of Summer quickly approaching I felt it important to showcase
The Dog Days of Denim
by exploring ways to update this classic.

Guys can often get stuck in a rut when it comes to denim.  We can easily feel boring and drab because jeans are always in our wardrobe.  However, mixing up what we pair our denim with is often the kick we need.

Look #1

Denim Look 1 men A

A casual look incorporates the iconic Chambray Shirt.  By layering this piece over a Navy Crew Neck Tee and pairing it with a British Khaki Short, you can easily maneuver through any summer adventure.  A Ribbon Belt and pair of Canvas Sneakers makes this denim look cool and comfortable.

Look #2

Denim Look 2 Men A

 A bit of nautical touches to a pair of Cutoff Denim Shorts revamps the look and makes for a great outfit even if you aren’t near the shore!  A roll or two on the hem line of the shorts and you’ll be ready with your Sperry Top-Siders in red and your Multistripe Crew Neck Sweater.  Add an accessory like this double Braided Bracelet and you’re set for sailing…or any other activity you choose.

Look #3

Denim Look 3 men A

Not just a 90’s throwback anymore, these White Denim Jeans are a smart and stylish addition to your warm weather wardrobe.  Giving a pop of color with a Red Chambray Shirt adds to the personality of the outfit, especially when you have the hues in the shoes with these Buks Declan Oxfords.  Add a polished accessory like this Braided Leather Bracelet and you are sure to satisfy the desire for denim in everyone’s eye.

Look #4

Denim Look 4 men A

Classic and clean is the theme with True Worn Jeans and a Jacquard Dot Shirt.  A preppy and put together look, this versatile outfit is appropriate for most any occasion.  A Leather Loafer and Braided Belt compliment this summer ensemble perfectly.

Look #5

Denim Look 5 men A

I’m not normally a fan of the “less is more” mindset, until we talk about a basic white V Neck Tee and a Dark Rinse Jean.  Your tee should fit nicely to avoid looking messy.  Add a great bright sneaker like these Diesel Pass On and this is a timeless and casual look.


Ladies are no different.  You are guilty of depriving your denim from reaching its full potential.  Here are some great looks for your dog days that will test the limits of your denim collection.

Look #1

Denim Look 1 women A

Nothing says summertime like bright white denim.  This White Denim Skirt with a Textured Navy Top is the perfect amount of feminine appeal.  Pair this with a Cork Wedge and a little bling (Glittered Bangle Set) and you are a summer sensation.  Just make sure you’ve prepped those legs with some sunless tanning lotion so they don’t blend into your skirt.

Look #2

Denim Look 2 Women A

Every girl needs a pair of Boyfriend Jeans.  They are a great contrast in your wardrobe when paired with flirty details.  A drapey V-Neck Chiffon Blouse is perfect for all skin tones in this beautiful coral.  Some color contrasting details like these green and gold pieces (Skinny Belt, Green Link Bracelet, Oval Link Necklace) add a great layer of fun.  Finish it off with a Leather Platform Pump  and you will be hotter than the summer sun!

Look #3

Denim Look 3 Women A

Make another bright statement with these Cuffed Jeans.  Counterbalance with an industrial feel Chambray Shirt over a Lace Trimmed Tank and you have the perfect combination.  Don’t forget the devil is in the details!  A great Woven Leather Wedge and a colorful scarf worn traditional around your neck or even in your hair is an added pop that will really set this look off.

Look #4

Denim Look 4 women A

Coastal is king yet again when you pair a Classic Chambray Shirt with a Striped Maxi Dress.  Consider wearing the shirt open and knot the bottom corners together to achieve an effortless look.  Add a statement color with this Bib Necklace and Red Stone Ring to increase the interest in this outfit.  A strappy Leather Wedge will pull this look together for an awesome look that’s fit for any summer soiree.

Look #5

Denim Look 5 women A

This final outfit is a perfect balance of dainty and deconstructed.  By pairing a destroyed denim like the Raw Edge Skimmer Jean with a girly Lace Tee you satisfy both worlds.  Add a flirty Patent Platform Pump with an assortment of gold accessories (Tassel Necklace, Linked Watch, and Chain Bracelet) and you are sure to turn heads.

Dust off your denim for summer and reinvent this classic.  The Dog Days of Summer are hard enough to get through.  Don’t make your wardrobe suffer too.  Rework your drab denim into fresh ensembles that will help you beat the heat and stay stylish!