A new season (Outfit + my thoughts)

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[Outfit Details: Coat: H&M; Blouse: Gap Outlet; Skirt: F21; Flats: Calvin Klein; Rings: Etsy, Catbird]

Gravitating towards looks with lots of texture, and layers/loving that I go sans tights!

You may have noticed a break in my posts recently which I could account to many things. I try to keep a separation from my blog and personal life, but every once in a while the two become intertwined. In this past year I’ve started a demanding new job, which is a definite step forward in my career, and I am thankful for that. I’ve also had to say goodbye to my Dad after a long battle with cancer.

All this to say, I haven’t felt the same draw, or desire to share and discuss style. My energy has been taken up by emotion and moving forward through each work week. On Steeped in Style I’ve noticed a theme that I often talk about; seasonal dressing. What works for one season may not work for the next. Whether it’s a color, texture, or silhouette, our reaction to the environment is always in motion.

Without getting too reflective and deep, I feel that this season that I’m walking through is still going to be a good one, even thought I’m still processing the experience. I believe that sometimes you have to walk straight through the valley of sorrow, self-doubt, and pain to come through the other side. I also hold onto the truth that with our greater capacity to experience grief, we also can experience more joy, hope and love. I have faith in God’s direction and hand on my journey. There is a time for all things–

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

I’m still looking to use this space as a place to explore style, and express the things that make my day brighter. I hope you’ll all continue on this ride with me–where we can focus on the good in our days. 

Sincerely,

Grace

Neutral brights

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[Outfit Details: Shirt: J.Crew; Jeans: Madewell; Shoes: Nine West; Necklace: Anthropologie; Coat: J.Crew; Scarf: T.J. Maxx)

This weekend brought some rare, beautiful, 50-degree weather. Don’t worry guys, I reveled in it. Despite the neon trends wax and wan over the past few season, I still think a few choice pieces can be introduced in a suble way to any outfit.

I used neutral dark jeans and rich camel tones, to both enhance and calm the neon effort, as to not look too highter party ready. I’d also love to try a similar look with a navy base (we all know of my affinity for an all-navy outfit by now).

What do you all think, will you be brushing out those neon pieces again for another season?

Health, Naturally

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[Epsom salts, Apple Cider Vinegar Toner, Apple Cider Vinegar]

I like beauty products as much as the next girl, but in the ever illusive quest to simplify I’ve made an effort to use some household and natural products instead of what’s lurking inside my beauty drawer. I’m aiming for health naturally, in the long run.

There is so much research out there about how Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) can be used to cleanse your body internally and externally as an acidic antibacterial source. Make a tea with 1 tablespoon ACV per 1 mug of steaming hot water (add honey if you need to deintensify the taste) and sip up to two times daily. For topical use, take an old glass jar (I used a mason #trendy) and fill it half-and-half with ACV and water. Use this mixture as a toner nightly after you cleanse, and before you moisturize.

Health Benefits-

- detoxifies body of bacteria (can cause acne, warts, and other annoyances.)

- cleanses the skin surface (ACV with “The Mother” reduces sebum creation, improves overall skin tone, and promotes skin regrowth)
Note: Braggs apple cider vinegar and other organic formulas contain the mother (basically a pure concentration of ACV)

In an effort to relax, and take time to rejuvenate, bath time has become “a thing.” Epsom salts relax muscles and pull toxins out the body. Plus with lavendar aromatherapy, light a few candles, put on the Norah Jones and saillllll away.

Granted, I know this health post isn’t all encompassing, and alternative methods lack scientific backing, but out of curiosity, I’m always game to try.

Have any of you had any luck with the above, or any other natural health routines?  

Jumpsuit (Winter edition)

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Image [Outfit Details: Jumpsuit: Target (old); Sweater: TJ Maxx; T-shirt: Target; Heels: Franco Sart0; Necklace: Bauble Bar]

You know what they say about jumpsuits … once you have one, you’ll be forever loyal. Okay, so no one really says that but sometimes actions speak volumes over phraseology. Obviously jumpsuits, rompers, etc. were huge this summer and fall, and the look is not slinking away while the S/S ’14 looks parade in.

If you’re not on the bandwagon yet, this is your moment. Let’s be honest, does it even look like I’m wearing a jumpsuit? For those of you who would never consider a jumpsuit hear me on this one: no, no! With essential winter layers, you can transition this piece into your wardrobe without being too blatant about it. If you’re on the fence about trying this look out, consider the following.

Jumpsuits provide:

Ease of dressing - you know that dress you throw on when you have little-to-no-time to get ready in the morning? Consider a jumpsuit for those situations, but the equivalent of what your cooler friends/cousin/co-worker would throw on.

Universally flattering - it doesn’t matter if you’re curvy, straight and tall, thin, or full-figured, the jumpsuit will forgive, forgive, forgive! Most pieces have a draped front, tie-waist, and hit at a flattering point on the female figure. Add to that the slim cut pants, and I ensure you’ll look amazing.

Layering potential – Cost-per-way gold mine my friends. If you’re into a pieces’ longevity listen up. In summer you can wear this piece as is, while in the fall/winter/spring, layer with knit  sweaters, jackets, blazers, etc. If you want to play up the silky bottoms, cuff your jumpsuit and add a killer pair of heels, for a brand new look.

Hopefully some of that rant hit some readers out there. What do you all think about the jumpsuit for winter? Share away!

It was all yellow

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[Outfit Details: Button down: thrifted; Skirt: Old Navy; Jacket: American Eagle; Boots: Unisa; Lipstick: Clinique Peony]

I don’t have a ton of explanation for this look; the truth is I’ve had a hard week, I wanted to infuse a little “happy” in my day, and this occured. I can always trust polka dots, navy blue, and my Paddington toggle coat to brighten my day.

Happy Wedneday!

Lace slip dress

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Image[Outfit Details: Slip Dress: Topshop; Jeans: Forever 21; Boots: Gap; Sweater: Gap; Coat: J.Crew; Gloves: Ralph Lauren]

You guys, I’m really sacrificing here to share this outfit, that’s how much I love it. Even if it’s freezing cold outside, and I’m taking pictures with a tripod in the streets (awkwardly, might I add), that’s what I will do for the sake of fashion. While perusing my typical fashion blogs, I read a great post by Who What Wear about winter layering. One of the inspirations used slip dresses (which might be the only 90′s inspired fashion trend I will buy into this time around). I’ve had one lying around since my time studying abroad, and thought layering this one-time clubbing dress would give it a second lease of life.

The unique layering of a slip underneath a turtle neck or oversized sweater, paired with lace or zipper details is so fresh. It’s this type of creative styling that’s truly going to get me through the remaining 2 months of winter …

What do you all think? What’s your creative layering solution this winter?

A shirt of possibilities (Part III)

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Image[Outfit Details: Shirt: Banana Republic; Jacket: Zara; Jeans: Paige; Boots: Franco Sarto]

Surprise, surprise. I proved my own points (see them here, and here) this week while donning this outfit. I literally didn’t even consider my previous outfit posts, and inadvertently found myself wearing the Canadian tuxedo I mentioned. Oh, the irony.

This jacket is a favorite from Zara last year, especially with it’s dusty old professor feel, elbow patches included. So my dears, have I provided any more outfit inspiration for you all? My two-part series has become a three-part one, so I hope the answer is yes.

Here are my shoppable denim picks-

Joie Women’s Cartel Chambray Button Down Shirt
Levi’s Women’s Annie Western Top

Enjoy your weekend and I hope there’s a touch of denim in there.

A shirt of possibilities (part II)

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Image[Outfit Details: Sweater: Gap; Denim shirt: Banana Republic; Waxed pants: Madewell; Loafers: Dolce Vita]

Here we are again my friends, talking about those pieces that really go the distance in the outfit-making department. Last time we talked about the denim shirt and the multiple ways I find to wear it (and hopefully inspire you to do the same), and today we’ll continue on that trend.

This outfit stemmed from a place of seeking warmth and deliciously baggy layers of clothing. Oh, also I got these amazing waxed jeans and have been wanting to wear them practically every day since then. Pairing a denim shirt underneath any type of sweater can give a little interest factor to any basic navy, black, or gray variation. I also love wearing a Canadian tuxedo (denim on the top and bottom) with a dark and light denim item.

So how are you all wearing your denim shirts? Are you convinced of their outfit potential yet? Let me know!

A shirt of possibilities (part 1)

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Image[Outfit Details: Shirt: Banana Republic; Skirt: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target; Necklace: Baublebar; Tights: Target; Boots: Anne Klein]

It goes without saying that the world of fashion is one wrought with frivolities and indulgences, despite the tired reply that we all have to get dressed in the morning. Obviously I wouldn’t have this blog if I didn’t love style, getting dressed, and all the trappings that come with it. I will say though that any opportunity I get to remain smart in my purchases, whether in price or wearability, I’ll take it.

Say hello to the denim/chambray/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, shirt. If you want a go-to item that can enable an endless amount of looks, this is it. I choose to wear this darker variation with this great Phillip Lim for Target skirt, and Baublebar tortoise necklace that I find myself reaching for often.

If you don’t have a denim shirt yet, first of all, where have you been, and secondly, get on that! It’s no longer just a trendy item that will expire in a season or two, instead the denim shirt has proven itself a fashion mainstay.

Not convinced? Stay tuned for another outfit post this week featuring (you guessed it) the same shirt.

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Faire Isle Sweater

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Image[Outfit Details: Turtleneck: Target; Sweater: Old Navy; Jeans: Madewell; Socks & Hat: Target; Boots: Hunter; Coat: J.Crew]

You know that secret thrill you get from wearing really adorable underthings, or fuzzy socks? That’s how I felt wearing this striped turtleneck underneath this faire isle number. Both things are from high school or college days (fast fashion investment pieces, what?) and have been lingering in my closet asking me to bring them out once again.

Obviously layering is key for the cold temperatures – I stick with thin layers, like tights/leggings underneath fitted pants, and high socks on top. When I can, I like to avoid bulky layers that leave you walking the streets looking like a female marshmallow.

What little fashion thrills are getting you all through the week and keeping you cozy?