Summer Dresses Under $100

Everyone knows I love a good deal.  I’m talking any sort of discount whatsoever… $1 off, throw in a free gift, some sort of upgrade… it makes me giddy inside.  There’s a constant battle of splurging vs. saving in my head and I probably think about my purchases (both past and future) every 5 minutes.  I knew I had it bad when I once saw a sign while passing Old Navy at age 13 for .34 cent shirts.  I swear to you I remember nothing – like a total black out.  I came to, hours later, in my closet sifting through about 15 of the same exact shirt in every color they had.  I mean, I cleared out the racks.  Upside?  I still only spent about $6.  Low?  The shirt was horrible… like, really, really ugly.

There’s something about a deal that condones the purchase.  It’s a trap.  But, I’ve realized at the time it was so I’d have something to back up my argument when my Dad would get my Visa Buxx card statement (a pre-set limit debit card made for teenagers to teach them how to manage money which I BEGGED my parents for).  Being able to say, “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.  This was a once and a lifetime opportunity!  It would have been stupid NOT to have bought it!!” was just so much easier than flat out breaking the ‘no more clothes’ rule.  It got so bad that I used to buy things, hide the bags at my friends houses and then smuggle them into my house days later when my parents weren’t home… but that’s another story for another day.

In all reality, I’m still using the sale signs as a crutch for my chronic buyer’s remorse and the proof is that I wanted a really expensive pair of jeans last year so I flagged the website to let me know if any discounts/savings were happening.  A week later I got an email from them saying, “Free Shipping Until Midnight”.  Deal was done.  I saved $5.  Problem.

Summer Dresses Under $100 (Better Than The Alternative!):

           

Motel Rosie Dress $63

              

ASOS Midi Slip Dress in Floral Print $40.60

                         

Funktional Tunnel Midi Dress $98

                      

DV by Dolce Vita Cullen Shirt Dress $68

                        

Zara Linear Dress $79.90

                          

Joie A La Plage Mayan Printed Collie Dress $98

                          

Velvet Keenan Dress $68.60

                   

MM Couture by Miss Me Printed Strapless Dress with Tie Waist $94

          

Sam & Lavi Dextra Shift Dress $98

                  

MINKPINK Wishful Thinking Sundress $83

              

Zara Lace Print Dress $89.90

               

ASOS Skater Dress in Heart Print $24.86

              

Backstage Nikki Dress $70

           

Zara Silk Tunic with Lace at the Sides $89.90

            

River Island Chelsea Girl Spot Lace Dress $41.43

          

Indah Yang Cold Shoulder Tunic $54

       

Hive & Honey Floral Blousant Dress $39.99

            

C&C California Smock Tank Dress $98

          

ASOS Animal Print Swing Dress $46.40

       

Forever 21 Sheer Floral Dress $17.80

             

ASOS Bandeau Dress with Strawberry Print $40.60

                  

TopShop Fluro Dip Hem Dress $96

               

Michael Stars Belted V Neck Cami Dress $59.99

           

Forever 21 Vibrant Tribal Dress $19.80

                        

River Island Denim Shirt Dress $49.71

                 

Zara Printed Dress $79.90

                    

Asos Knitted Shift Dress $52.20

                         

TopShop Crochet Shirtdress $80

              

Forever 21 Dotted Peter Pan Dress $19.80

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Summer Scarves

There are times when I love trying on what seems like my whole wardrobe, testing combinations to find the perfect outfit for an event, and then there’s my normal reality when I have 15 minutes to pick out what I’m wearing.  For those days, I usually go simple (printed pants or jeans with a solid top).  I always like to top it off with something more noticeable though, like a big statement necklace, an embellished headband or my latest addiction – summer scarves.

There are so many ways to wear them (around neck or head are my favs) and they can instantly amp up what would be a pretty plain look.

Summer Scarves:

Urban Outfitters BDG Pop Stripe Scarf $24

Modcloth Mint To Be Scarf $17.99

Les Nouvelles Askilio Scarf by Malene Birger $150

Zappos Echo Design Polka Dot Wrapping $34.99

Urban Outfitters Kimchi Blue Crosshatch Printed Eternity Scarf $29

J. Crew Lemlem Hilansha Gauze Scarf $125

Marc by Marc Jacobs Jacobson Stripe Scarf $178

Etsy ESEHandMade White Shawl Scarf $13.50

Boutique To You Wildfox Starshine Scarf $64

Shopbop Theodora & Playa Scarf $175

Forever 21 Bold Stripe Scarf $9.80

Urban Outfitters Deena & Ozzy Shredded Square Scarf $29

Scarves Dot Net Tess Striped Loop Scarf $12.71

Diesel 2-SLOO Scarf $88

Lori’s Shoes Bohemian Blossom Scarf $22.95

Tee-Zone Plush Love Scarf $86

French Connection Union Scarf $88

Urban Outfitters Studded Scarf $39

Gypsy 05 Joni Scarf $50

Shopbop Brightly Twisted Scarf $98

Madewell Seastripe Sarong $41.60

Forever 21 Geo Rainbow Pom Pom Scarf $10.80

Asos Heart Print Snood $16.57

Madewell Spot Dot Scarf $49.50

 

Denim Vests

I’ve been obsessing over finding a good denim vest for the upcoming Summer months.  It’s the perfect accessory to throw on over a maxi dress, printed skirt or colored denim.  At first, I contemplated shelling out a bit more for a basic medium washed denim vest, but after finding so many fun colors and prints, have decided Old Navy’s version (pictured first below) is perfect and will also allow me to choose one or two fun styles.

Denim Vests:

Old Navy Women’s Raw-Edged Denim Vest $29.94

            

ASOS Insight Denim Vest in Sundown Tie Dye $165.25

    

Forever 21 Cropped Rose Denim Vest $22.90

      

Pacsun Bullhead Black Denim Vest $39.50

             

Delia’s Floral Print Denim Vest $34.50

  

J. Crew Denim Vest in Workwear Wash $98

             

Urban Outiftters BDG Cutoff Denim Trucker Vest $59

         

Urban Outfitters Vintage 90’s Southwestern Print Denim Vest $69

Madewell Longroad Denim Vest in Sawduster Wash $88

         

Go Jane Solid Colored Denim Vest $31.70

Robes

When I moved to Southern California, I pictured myself tan, waking up early to skateboard down to the coast to surf for an hour before work, and basically just accidentally slipping into a super toned and slender physique a la Kate Bosworth, which seemed pretty easy according to my research of watching Blue Crush over and over.

First of all, I’m of Irish decent.  I’m pretty sure the only step between pale and burnt is blistered, which I really should know by now.  Also, it’s my 5th year in and the only thing I have to show for my skateboarding skills is a permanent scar and to be honest with you, I’ve not come as far as shoulder deep in the Pacific, so surfing isn’t working out so well.  I also moved here just before June, which sent me into a deep depression once I learned of the phrase, “June Gloom”.

Living by the beach… it’s actually cold.  Not in terms of snow or single digit Winter weather, but let’s just say leaving the house without a sweater is 9 times out of 10 a big mistake.  Also, almost like clockwork, when each June rolls around, the sky turns dark and remains overcast for the remainder of the month.  I’m convinced this is karma for all the egos and bad intentions that fill this town (half joking).

I take a personal protest by using the weekends to stay in bed, watch movies and order cheap Chinese food.  My attire?  Can’t live without my comfy robes.  Whether I’m sick, relaxing or even getting ready to go out – it’s my go to.  I also never travel without one.  I’ve managed to acquire quite the collection ranging from my favorite warm and cozy (pictured 1st) to a light, short sleeved printed wrap (pictured 2nd) to use while straightening my hair and doing my makeup.

Robes:

Kashwere Adult Shawl Collared Robe $135

*First heard of this from my friend Courtney (THANK YOU). 

Josie Interrupted Floral Short Robe $52.80

Kiku Cotton Kimono in Kyoto Floral Print $156.56

Lacoste ‘Smash’ Robe $69.99

Topshop Rose Robe $45

Oscar de la Renta Pink Label Heavenly Lace Long Robe $79

Splendid Soft Luxurious Robe $82.60

Hudson Park Boxed Robe $99.99

Marc by Marc Jacobs Serpent Nightwear Robe $81

Victoria’s Secret Long Terry Robe $44.99

In Bloom by Jonquil ‘Blossom Bouquet’ Wrap $68

Gilligan & OMalley Women’s MixMatch Robe $21.99

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Sleepwear Stripe Spa Robe $64

Calvin Klein Underwear Essentials Satin Short Robe $56.25

In Bloom by Joquil ‘Animal Patch’ Wrap Robe $58

Natori ‘Sapa’ Robe $170

Gap Stretch Jersey Short Robe $44.50

Anthropologie Blooming Rose Robe $78

Forever 21 French Terry Sleep Robe $15.80

 

Summer Skirts

I’ve mentioned before that Summer dressing, to me, should be easy and effortless, but still polished.  There’s nothing better than being able to pair a great pair of pants or a bright silk skirt with your favorite tee or tank top.  It’s the perfect balance of appearing casual, yet like you still care about your appearance.

Lately I’ve been stocking up on skirts of different lengths in preparation for warm months.  I’m going for bold colors, interesting prints and fun hemlines to wear with my best simple solid colored tanks, layered with denim shirts or a light sweater.

Summer Skirts That Transition From Spring To Summer:

Monrow Tucked Skirt $98

Lucca Couture Pleated Floral Skirt $64

Helmut Lang Wrap Skirt $185

Motel Ditsy Floral Skater Skirt $60.88

Michelle Jonas Long Hippie Skirt $299

Gypsy Junkie Studio Skirt $43

Rebecca Minkoff Femi Skirt $228

Pim + Larkin Striped Tie Skirt $44

Club Monaco Alice Skirt $149.50

Guess by Marciano Tipton Tribal Maxi Skirt $138

Antipodium Checker Skirt $154.50

Brandy Melville Cameron Hi Low Skirt $57

C & C California Zephyr Tie Dye Tube Skirt/Dress $54.60

Stem ‘Tube’ Midi Pencil Skirt $34.90

Daftbird Angle Maxi Skirt $99

Blu Moon Bias Hi Low Skirt $120

Plastic Island Chiara Skirt $74

Michael Stars Highline Stripe Maxi Skirt $98

Charlotte Russe High Waisted Stripe Skirt $24.99

Trouve Colorblock Skirt $78

Sanctuary St. Lucia Skirt $128

ASOS Collection Skater Skirt in Large Spot $48.71

French Connection Southern Summer Skirt $147.99

ASOS Collection Flippy Skirt in Animal Print $52.19

Patterson J. Kincaid Nixie Long Skirt $74

West Coast Wardrobe Scuba Skirt $36

Something Else by Natalie Wood Metamorphis Maxi Skirt $156

ASOS Collection Cotton Skater Skirt in Paisley Print $66.10

Forever 21 Maxi Length Lace Skirt $29.80

Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Night Bird’ Silk Taffeta Skirt $348

Torn by Ronny Kobo Ronnie Skirt $168

Patterson J. Kincaid Ziggy Skirt $168

Kate Spade New York ‘Melody’ Print Silk Skirt $219.90

Novelty Watches

I’ve gotten used to wearing watches everyday.  I normally stick to a classic over-sized gold Michael Kors style, but think it’s fun to mix it up every once and a while with a fun, bright alternative.

Novelty Watches:

FUNBOY Watches in Red Crush $25

Timex Original Camper Gloss Watch $60

Flex Yellow Watch $30

Anthropologie Viscid Watch in Sky $58

Neff Flava Watch in Cyan $20

Neff Daily Watch in Purple $30

O’Clock Analogue Mirror Silicone Purple Watch $60.88

Timex Multicolor Easy Reader Watch $65

Multi-Color Block Brick Style Wrist Watch $8.39

Rompers

Let me start off by saying it took me a long time to get on board with this one.  Rompers can look amazing but are also a hot bed for looking like a fool.  There is only one thing you have to be sure of – FIT.  It should not be loose or baggy (especially in the back) and definitely not too tight.  They should be fitted in all areas.  It may even take a visit to the tailor.

Once you have the right proportions, however, they can be amazing.  SO easy to wear and they’re perfect for a weekend getaway like my trip to Santa Barbara these next couple of days.  They’re pretty no fuss and allow you to not have to put a lot of effort into coming up with a great outfit.

Ready To Wear Rompers:

Monrow Shorts Romper $175

Michael Stars Highline Stripe Strapless Smocked Romper $88

Forever 21 Smocked Abstract Print Romper $19.80

Zimmerman Rebel Frill Playsuit $350

Lulu’s Floral Print Romper $60

Robert Rodriguez Colorblock Romper $325

Urban Outfitters Motel Janet Romper $90

6 Shore Road Rum Punch Romper $82.60

Lanston French Terry BF Romper $143

Rory Beca Mar Drawstring Romper $105

Forever 21 Buttoned Floral Romper $12.50

DKNY Cotton Stripe Romper $86.98

Rory Beca Mar Drawstring V Neck Romper $233

Forever 21 Floral Surplice Back Romper $19.80

Urban Outfitters Reformed by The Reformation Lina Romper $69

Victoria’s Secret Slip-On Romper $28.50

Printed Shorts

Integrating new colors and prints into your wardrobe will maximize the use of everyday basics.  I’m trying to be really conscious of buying things I don’t have anything like in order to mix up my looks.  With Summer right around the corner, a great way to create easy outfits that are fun, but still allow you to run around, is to layer your staples on top (that you already have) – T’s, blazers, lightweight sweaters, and invest in some printed shorts.

Shorts have a bad rap because they can be a disaster if you buy the wrong type for your body.  Know that your shorts should hit just below the largest part of your thigh.  Also, make sure they are not too small (looks all kinds of wrong) AND not too big (usually looks really sloppy).  When all else fails (even though I love wearing shorts with strappy, colorful sandals) – wear them with a wedge or some type of comfortable heel – it instantly takes 5 lbs off.

That being said, it’s a great way to mix up solid colors and allows you to use a lot of pieces you probably already have.

Printed Shorts to Sport this Summer:

Madewell Side Cinch Shorts $175

DVF New Boymuda Circle Stitch Jacquard Short $285

ASOS River Island Leopard Print Denim Hot Pants $43.49

Sass & Bide I Been Around Shorts $122.50

Anthropologie Loveburst Shorts $148

Aqua Floral Printed Shorts $58

Anna Sui Printed Silk Crepe de Chine Shorts $330

Maison Scotch American Flag Shorts $103

Rachel Antonoff Annie Shorts $188

Forever 21 Zebra Print Shorts $15.80

DVF The Best Selling Rolled Shorts $236

Free People Daisy Shorts $98

MIH Jeans Star Print Shorts $240

Topshop Aztec Printed Shorts $60

Old Navy Dolphin Print Shorts $8

Treasure Blue Cuzco Shorts $72

Forever 21 Smocked Floral Hot Pants $14.80

Tibi Layla Ikat Printed Shorts $250

Alice and Olivia Butterfly Shorts $198

Dear Fieldbinder Tegen Shorts $176

Burberry London Jacquard  Shorts $325

Jen’s Pirates Booty Sunny Surf Shorts $110

Old Navy Striped French Terry Shorts $16.94

Anna Sui Printed Silk Shorts $325

Madewell Striped Junie Shorts $60

Delia’s Floral Printed Shorts $29.50

Joie Layana Ikat Print Silk Shorts $158

Forever 21 Floral Print Cutoffs $19.80

Joe’s Jeans High Rise Cutoff Shorts $128

 

Cocktail Rings

I’m a bit bipolar when it comes to rings.  For everyday, I tend to gravitate towards delicate styles, however I also love a good statement piece.  A bold ring can spark conversation, make you remembered and is a great way to give an outfit personality.  Choosing fun, more lighthearted accessories can also break up a straightforward look.  Whether it’s a bright color or unique shape, adding dramatic rings to your jewelry collection is smart.  They’re easy to wear and can go with almost anything – from jeans to ballgown.

Cocktail Rings I’d Top Off A Look With:

Kenneth Jay Lane 22-Karat Gold Plated Resin and Crystal Ring $150

Inka’s Aqua Blue Octopus and Fish Cocktail Ring $39.95

Lisa Freede Gold Dome Ring $98

nOir “New Novelty” Rose Gold and Purple Cocktail Ring $115

Low Luv by Erin Wasson Wide 14k Plated Black Crystal Cocktail Ring $130

Vivienne Westwood Enamel Armour Ring $298

Marc by Marc Jacobs Metal Ribbons Twist Ring $68

Kendra Scott Ramsee Ring $56.99

Viva Fede Futtoro Ring $242

Arden B Crystal Rock Ring $24

Low Luv by Erin Wasson 14k Plated Triple Crystal Cocktail Ring $160

Belle Noel by Kim Kardashian 14k Gold Stone and Pave Cocktail Ring $26.99

Aki’s Large Green Genuine Stone Cocktail Ring $47.95

Vince Camuto Flat Polished Ring $38.99

ASOS Digital Heart Ring $10.44

Forever 21 Shimmering Knuckle Ring $7.80

Jules Smith Talon Ring $85

Judith Jack Nova Ring $220.99

nOir Spike Ring $44.99

Erickson Beamon Confetti Ring $378

ASOS Pack of 3 Enamel Moustache Charm Rings $13.92

Aqua Yellow Deco Ring $35

Charles Albert Agate Slice Ring $75

CZ by Kenneth Jay Lane Three Tier Multi CZ Band Ring $124.99

Erickson Beamon Color Me Crazy Ring $522

Trina Turk Blues & Corals Striped Resin Ring $70

Vita Fede Roma Ring $231

Wildfox Couture Bull Head Ring $45

Made Her Think Talon Knuckle Buster $143

Tarina Tarantino Fiore “Bacio” Ring $55

Marcia Moran Oval Agate Drusy Oversized Ring $235

Trends for Every Body

So much of pulling off a trend (or any article of clothing for that matter) is being real about your proportions.  How something fits or drapes on your body is the main factor in how it will appear.  Because clothes aren’t custom made for you, don’t be too discouraged if you’re having trouble fitting into one particular size – and don’t assume just because you are a certain size in one brand, you are the same in all others.

I still believe that any (ok I guess most) looks can be achieved by everyone, but you might have to get creative and adapt the season’s trends to your body.  For instance, if you are loving the nautical bold stripes that are still everywhere, but are concerned about them not be flattering, implement the idea into your beauty regime and paint a bold stripe on your nails or maybe integrate it into an accessory.

Tailoring can be your best friend here.  But, you can also make smart purchases that are geared towards maximizing your assets.  Knowing how to create illusions with your clothing will greatly benefit how you look.  Adapting any trend to your body is universally the same regardless of what piece you are trying to pull off.  Rules are made to be broken, but here are some guidelines to keep in mind…

Accomplish…

Do’s

Don’ts

Looking Taller/Thinner -Light weight clothing-Smaller prints-Vertical stripes

-V-neck tops

-Leave jackets open

-Long accessories like necklaces and scarves

-Heels

-POSTURE

-Low rise pants-Big belts-Cropped/Short pants

-Long jackets

-Tuck in your shirt

-Very oversized clothing

-Too many layers

-Finding the right undergarments

Looking Shorter/Curvier -Bold prints-Create lines/Define waistline-Fitted, tailored pieces

-Add layers/accessories to create shape

-Overly tight clothing-Baggy clothing-Find the right undergarments

Below, I broke down some of my favorite trends that are everywhere right now.  Because I can’t go over every shape/size combination (there’s a million of them!), try to combine the above methods to make them work or email me at taylorbraun@mac.com for specific direction on how to make a certain trend work for you.  Remember, this is supposed to be fun, not frustrating!  🙂

Pastels:

ASOS Pastel Pink Dress with Crochet Top $72.72, Brandy Melville Pastel Blue Tank $30, ASOS Pastel Yellow Leggings $29.09

ASOS Pastel Purple Button Up Shirt $45.45, Tibi Mint Green Pleated Skirt $225, 3.1 Phillip Lim Orange Sherbet Dress $624

Bold Prints:

Rebecca Taylor Garden Flower Dress $276.50, Current/Elliott Plaid Jeans $188, Tinley Road Sleeveless Button Down $39

Mara Hoffman Mexican Blanket Shorts $242, Tucker Backless Silk Romper $217.99, TEXTILE Elizabeth & James Printed Jeans $225

Dip Dye/Ombre/Color Blocking:

Bec & Bridge Ombre Skinny Jeans $197.40, Equipment Color Block Button Down $258, Sass & Bide Dip Dye Striped Skirt $255.50

ASOS Dip Dye Stripe Top $39.99, Diane von Furstenberg Color Block Dress $345, Velvet by Graham & Spencer Color Block Knit/Sheer Top $70.99

Neons:

Naven Petal Skirt $187, Diane von Furstenberg Lime Green Lace Dress $398, Current/Elliott Neon Orange Boyfriend Shorts $152

Forever 21 Crazy Love Neon Tank Top $11.80, Velvet Neon Pink Skirt $58, Rachel Pally Neon Yellow Dress $180

Cut Outs:

LNA Cut Out Dress $88, Forever 21 Cold Shoulder Chambray Shirt $27.80, Jeremy Scott Cut Out Dress/Tunic $134

Brian Lichtenberg Open Back Button Up $297, Mara Hoffman Keyhole Dress $330, Charlotte Russe Open Back Tee $14.99

Blast From The Past:

Free People Striped Short Overalls $148, MINKPINK Crop Tee $40, MiH Marrekesh High Waisted Flares $102.50

Marc by Marc Jacobs High Waisted Flares $228, Charlotte Russe Lace Crochet Crop Top $19.99, Kettle Black Short Overalls $149

*make crop tops modern by wearing over a maxi dress, tank or with a high waisted skirt so you are only showing a little bit of skin

*all photos taken from websites descriptions are linked to