Beach Must-Haves

This summer, I’ll be going to the beach. Many of you, I’m sure, will find yourself traveling to a land of sandy shores and dancing, salty waves. The car will be packed full with luggage, floaties, and your entire family crammed into one small space! There is one question critical to the success of your summer trip: what should I bring to the beach?

I’m glad you asked! 😉

1. Fashionable Swim-Suit

Anyone who has ever gone to the beach, knows that it is absolutely 100% necessary to have a swim-suit. However, there is a clear line between swim-suits you should stay away from – in my own personal opinion of course – and ones you should grab off the rack as fast as you can! There are some awesome choices, and here are a few tips if the swim-suit search has been rough.

For starters, don’t give up! It can be daunting, especially for women, to try on swim-suits and not feel satisfied. Let’s make one thing clear, Hollywood has a SERIOUSLY warped idea of what a normal, realistic girl’s body is like. I mean, c’mon. Size zero? Really? It’s like they’re asking people to have an eating disorder! And that is not, something I admire. So, when the swim-suit season comes, let’s have fun with it! Wear something that makes you feel beautiful (note: this does not mean that I am advertising for anyone to wear swim-suits that make them look like they’re so desperate for attention, that they come across as vulgar. Please don’t take offense at this, I’m not saying that’s what they think, do, or EVEN WANT. All I am saying, is the message certain swimsuits send, is not positive or classy).

Here are some swim-suits I love.

2. Stylish Cover-up

If you have a swim-suit, you’ve got to have a cover-up! There are so many cute, fun options! Recently, I bought myself an army green cover-up at Francesca’s that I love! I also have a pair of crochet/lace black pants that I put over my swim-suit. And though my detail-oriented heart would love it, not every cover-up is going to match your swim-suit. That’s ok! For example, my army green one doesn’t really go with any of my swim-suits – but I’m definitely still going to wear it! Now, my black pants are pretty much going to match anything since black is a neutral color.

3. Flip Flops and Sandals Galore!

Alright. Confession time. I love shoes, well, shopping in general really xD Honestly though, for the beach pretty much the only shoes you’re going to need are flip flops and sandals. You can bring a pair of tennis shoes if you want to, but that’s more of a personal choice than necessity.

Tip: If you’re looking for a really comfortable pair of flip flops, Yellow Box should be your go-to! I have a pair and they’re super comfy, plus, they can get wet (at least in my experience xD).

4. Ocean Toys

What’s the beach without the ocean? I’ve always loved boogie boarding, especially when I was younger. Other fun toys to bring in the ocean are inflatables!

5. Sun Coverage

It never fails. Every time someone goes to the beach, somebody in the family gets sunburned. Bring sun screen, aloe – absolutely a lifesaver for bad sunburns, and use it! Trust me. You don’t want to be miserable when you’re at the beach from a painful burn!

6. Reading Material

The beach is the perfect spot for reading! Even if you’re not the most avid reader, the lulling ocean waves serves as the perfect medication to help you dive into the pages of a story. Some of my favorite books/series are Love Amid The Ashes by Mesu Andrews – a biblical fiction book about Job, absolutely wonderful and very eye-opening; First Date by Krista McGee – an awesome, hilarious tale about a girl who gets caught up in a TV show about a group of young women, all vying to win a date with the president’s son and how she finds God in that; and The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn, about a girl’s journey through middle and high school, college, marriage, and beyond, through friends, struggles, embarrassing moments, and learning how to live a faith-filled life.

If you really cannot stand reading fictional books, bring a magazine! HGTV and Food Network are great options! Fair warning, you might be hungry and feeling the urge to DIY by the last section 😉

I hope this has been of some help! 🙂 Comment below for any other questions or remarks! Are you going to the beach this summer?

~ Southern Dreamer

Altar’d State

altard-state-logo

Recently, I discovered my new favorite store. Altar’d State.

Altar’d State was started in 2009 by Brian Mason and Aaron Walters. They created a plan for a modern Christian shopping experience that April in an Arkansas coffee shop. And six months later, the first Altar’d State store came into existence in Knoxville, TN (ironically, this was where I first discovered Altar’d State!).

Through failures and successes, Altar’d State continued to grow and spread. Birmingham, Alabama was home to their second store (which I have also been to!), and as of now, they have more than fifty boutiques in the Southeastern region of the United States.

Altar’d State’s clothes are feminine, modern, and many of them have lace which I love.

I adore the scalloped neckline on the first dress. It creates such an elegant and crisp look. And, of course, the lace on the sides (its a bit difficult to see in the picture) is a lovely touch. On the second dress, I like the lace sleeves and the design of the skirt is pretty.

I really adore this dress on the left. It’s very feminine, elegant, and LONG (I’m tall, so that’s always exciting for me :p). For the second, the mint green color is great and I know I’m going to sound like a broken record, but I love the lace added.

Are these not the cutest pajamas ever? The pom-poms on the shorts are adorable, and I love the cute sayings on the tops! ❤

And I couldn’t complete this post without adding pictures of Altar’d State’s accessories! I love the way the necklace, in the first picture, looks with that pink shirt. So pretty. The glittery, sequined belt in the last photo is wonderful! I definitely need to get one (who doesn’t need some more sparkle and shine?)!

~ Southern Dreamer

Color Clash

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I’m sure we’ve all been in that position where you’re holding up a shirt in one hand and a pair of pants or some type of bottom in the other, and thought I have no idea if this matches or not.

Well, never fear! I am hopefully going to provide an enlightening amount of information on how to match different colors in your clothing.

1. Black + Navy

Black and navy. Two wonderful colors, but two colors that should never, ever be worn at the same time. The problem with trying to wear black and navy all in the same outfit is the simple fact that they are much too close in hues to blend well. If you’re going to wear black or navy, go for it! But remember to only wear one or the other – not both.

And that brings me up to my next point…

2. Cream + White

Cream and white have the same problem as black and navy. They are simply too close to being the same color – yet are not. And this causes them to clash whenever they are worn together. I’m going to echo what I said above: if you’re going to wear cream or white, do it! But keep in mind, that you should only wear one or the other – not both.

3. Neutrals: Everyone’s Friend

Neutrals are the all-around flexible colors that you will quickly learn to love. Black and white are the most versatile with both being at either end of the spectrum. As long as you keep in mind that navy + black and cream + white are not smart fashion choices, any other color is fair game to pair these two neutrals with! The next colors that round out our neutral discussion are gray and brown. Depending on what hue you find, gray and brown should match with almost anything. There are always exceptions with the latter two, however, so try to use your best fashion judgment.

4. Matching Colors

Now that I’ve gone through what colors not to wear together, it’s time to dive into some fun, stylish combinations! Two colors I love pairing together are black and silver. They’re both classy, eye-catching, and easy to find with each falling into the category of neutrals. If bright hues are more your style, that’s great! Green skinny jeans paired with the popular fringed ankle boot (latte colored brown!) along with a gold and cream top can look stunning. Add in a pair of gold loops and matching bangles, and you’re good to go! There are so many more color combinations I could go through like navy and crimson or orange and brown, but hopefully this has given y’all a good start to learning how to mix and match different colors.

I hope this article helped you somewhat in learning how to match up different pieces of clothing!

~ Southern Dreamer

Resources:
http://cvhsdesign.edublogs.org/files…01-1p5671w.gif
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/391391023841969804/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/391391023841698321/
http://thewowstyle.com/mens-winter-fashion-inspiration/
https://lookastic.com/men/looks/cabl…rt-jeans/13892

Going Back In Time

Petticoats, undergarments, jeans, and tennis shoes–fashion has certainly changed throughout the years, and I thought I would highlight a specific decade of fashion: the 1940’s.

World War II had a major effect on how fashion evolved during this time period. Because of rationing, the dress length for women was brought up to right below the knee. Shoulder pads became a huge trend, finding a place in almost every dress, jacket, and blouse that was worn. This gave off a boxy effect and a more militant look than previous styles. Different necklines that existed during this period included the sweetheart, wrap, keyhole, and V among others. All were exceedingly modest.

 

Interestingly, an effect of fabric shortage was the victory or utility suit. Women found this option appealing since it allowed them to mix and match different clothing pieces – allowing more outfits for less fabric. Unlike our modern pencil skirt, the 1940’s one was A-line, slowly flaring out. Women would pair solid or colored blouses – almost always buttoned down – with the skirt. The padded, wide shouldered jacket would be the finishing touch, following the trend of the time.

suit

Another effect of the war dabbled into the different fabrics people were able to use. Primary and neutral colors in solid prints were usually turned into clothing items. As the war progressed, however, people began buying and sewing with some prints such as florals, polka-dots, and plaid. Rayon was a new synthetic invention that was quite popular with home sewers. Cotton and wool were also used.

Restrictions in fashion did not pertain only to women, however. The lack of fabric affected male styles and clothing too. Men were not allowed to have flaps, cuffed pants, and trousers could be no more than nineteen inches around. Despite this, the cuffed style was so popular that people found a way around this obstacle. By buying longer pants, people could cuff their own trousers at home.

Casual style was a huge by-product of the war time restrictions. Most men were no longer able to abide by the strict dress code, and therefore more casual items were introduced. Knit shirts came into play, oftentimes having Norwegian designs. The neckline was usually rounded and high, although the optional V neck allowed some diversity.

Despite this, suits were still something men wore every day. A classic suit from the 1940’s would include the wide-chalked pattern. Pants were wide around the ankle and often times high-waisted.

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The trench coat was another classic that closely resembled the overcoat. It had a boxy appearance and fell to the knee. Another icon from 1940’s fashion was the Gabardine jacket, made from a cotton and rayon mix. Plain in style, it had five buttons down the front which would be switched for the zipper in later years. This jacket, as opposed to the trench coat, halted at the waist.

jacket

I hope y’all have enjoyed learning about fashion from another decade. I know I certainly have!

~ Southern Dreamer

Resources:

http://vintagedancer.com/1940s/what-did-women-wear-in-the-1940s/

http://vintagedancer.com/1940s/1940s-mens-fashion/

Festive Wear

Merry Christmas y’all! I can hardly believe it is already December! The months have flown by, and now it is time to get our holiday cheer on! Fashion during the holidays can be ridiculously fun, and I have put together a list of how to show your Christmas spirit through what you wear.

1. Christmas pajamas (Don’t laugh. I am completely serious here 😉)
Everyone needs a good pair of pajamas, and the holidays are no exception. Even if no one else sees you in them, you will have done your holiday duty by wearing your candy canes, snow men, or reindeer proudly – and who knows, you may even start dreaming of sugar plums and chocolates!

2. Red or green top
You know that Christmas dinner you weren’t quite sure what to wear to or perhaps a holiday party that had you in a frenzy because there was absolutely nothing in your closet that sufficed? Well. Have no fear! For the guys, pairing either a checkered red or green top with a matching, plain polo sweater works perfectly! Or, if that’s not your cup of tea, you can pair a plain button-up white top with a fun, decorative Christmas sweater. 


For the girls, I’m personally a fan of sequin dresses (obviously paired with leggings) which come in a multitude of colors. If you aren’t the girly sort, however, that’s perfectly fine! A snug maroon or emerald top paired with a skirt or jeans and a jacket can be just as festive!

3. Christmas earrings
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way – oops. The Christmas lyrics snuck right up on me. Sneaky song. But jingle bell earrings are particularly joy-some to wear during the holidays! Although those are my personal favorite festive earring style to wear, stores also sell ones with snow men and snowflakes. You can find some at Claire’s.

4. Christmas sunglasses
I think I will let the picture speak for itself…after all, a picture is better than a thousand words right? Or something like that…

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I hope y’all have been inspired to get your holiday clothes out and demonstrate your Christmas spirit through fashion!

~ Southern Dreamer

 

Seven Fall and Winter Essentials

As the days of November meld into the weeks of December, and the frigid air comes upon us, the transitional clothes of summer-fall slowly but surely are replaced with winter ones.

To get us started, one of the most basic pieces of any winter wardrobe is the jean. Invest in a good pair of jeans that will last you throughout the cold season for no other reason than that they are one staple you can count on. Skinny jeans (girls only please!) are a popular style in the current fashion world and can be found at numerous stores such as American Eagle, Macy’s, and even Target. Each of the previously listed stores carries both male and female jeans.

jeans2

Over-sized sweaters are a popular option for the chilly days – able to keep the occupant not only warm but comfortable as well! Definitely a win-win. These sweaters vary in lengths from practically touching the knee to just below the waist-line.

sweater2

For the guys, the top I would recommend having in your possession is the checkered shirt. Be it navy, white,  and gray or brown, black, and green – a good long-sleeved checkered top will serve you well during these next few months.

checkered shirt2

Boots are a common shoe type to own and wear during autumn and winter.  Ankle boots, quite popular in and of themselves, have begun to come with fringes. I have seen them in a number of stores, on websites, and even worn by people in my town. Henceforth, fringed ankle boots are a must have for this fall!

fringed boot2

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a great love for scarves. In my good fashion conscience, then, I absolutely could not write this list without listing…infinity scarves! Found in a multitude of patterns, colors, and materials, infinity scarves are a wonderful way to make a previously plain shirt interesting and exciting.

infinity scarf2

Back to the guys! Wool socks are one necessary item as the days and nights get colder and the temperature drops to bitter depths. Colors can range from navy blue to charcoal gray; some even have patterns! You can easily find a pair at Macy’s, Kohl’s, or L.L. Bean.

sock2

For the ladies, an adorable accessory to wear with your boots are leg warmers. There is no limit to the creativity you will find when searching for these! Many have lace and a button or two while the rest of it stays a lovely neutral. Etsy.com, for instance, has several options you can choose from.

leg warmers2

These are seven fall and winter essential items for this season, and I hope you have discovered one or two to add to your wardrobe!

~ Southern Dreamer

Shoes Galore!

shoe

I must say that I heartily agree with the above quote! 😉 Shoes are a wonderful (and highly necessary!) item to own – and of course are gorgeous and fun to wear as well. For all my fellow shoe-lovers out there, here are several pairs I have on my wish list!

shoe1

This Material Girl sandal is absolutely adorable! I love the minty green color and with the bow and shimmer, it is definitely irresistible.

shoe2

LOVE. I feel the strong need that these shoes from modcloth.com need to be in my closet 😉 From the flowered lace and the stringed tied bow, this is one striking pair!

shoe3

Sold at Macy’s, these Jessica Simpson flats are a great, versatile option to wear with dresses, skirts, or even skinny jeans! They come in five colors total including a black and neutral.

shoe4

This charming Kate Spade boot is super classy with a characteristic brown hue and block wedge while keeping from blending in with the sweet bow at the back (are you noticing a theme here?). 😉

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This wedged Toms boot is intriguing and quite stylish (in my opinion :)). The great thing about purchasing shoes from Toms is that for every pair you buy, one pair of shoes goes to someone in need.

Those are only five pairs of shoes that I love. I hope you discovered a new shoe for your own wish list!

~ Southern Dreamer

Adorable Bags

quotes

If you know anything about me, then you know that I absolutely love shopping. I am convinced it is therapy for girls. On that note, I decided to share with all my lovely readers, several bags that I am dying to get my hands on!

bag1

This Burberry bag caught my attention immediately! The design is unique and I love the chrome hued background.

bag2

For a while now, I have enjoyed Coach’s purses and bags and with this specific one having the adorable bow, I can’t help but want it! 🙂 I have had one Coach purse and it stayed in good condition for two years before beginning to show wear – definitely well-made.

bag3

Spartina, is a new brand I have discovered and I love the classy designs and styles! This small backpack would be perfect for taking on trips with the alternative being lugging around a heavy purse.

bag4

All I can say is LOVE LOVE LOVE. 😉 From the sparkly exterior to the adorable pink bow, this definitely ranks up in my favorite bags list.

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This bag from Urban Outfitters makes a stunning statement! The brown color enables this to go with many different outfits while the additional glitter keeps it from being too boring.

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This Monopoly leather backpack would be a wonderful solution for school! It comes in the shown caramel brown color as well as a minty green, ivory white, and a mustard yellow.

And there we go! Those are some of the bags on my wish-list currently! What styles and brands of totes, purses, and backpacks do y’all love? Tell me in the comments! Have a wonderful day and keep shopping! 😉

~ Southern Dreamer