Style Tips

ASOS Round Up

ASOS Round Up

I've been really obsessed with ASOS lately!  I've been posting about them a lot over the past 2 months on Facebook and Instagram.  But I thought it was about time that I wrote something for my readers!  So, my friends... Let me introduce you to my new retailer crush!!

1 Dress, 4 Ways

Hey Ladies,

I got this fabulous Navy & White Striped Shift Dress a couple of weeks ago... And it deserves some major blog attention!  I've spent the last 2 weeks styling it in several different ways to show that it is definitely worth every 26 of the dollars it costs!  

Not only is it an INCREDIBLE price point to begin with, but it is also so versatile style-wise!  You really can't go wrong with a navy & white striped, classicly-cut dress!  A shift dress looks great on every body type, and the company this particular dress comes from has a very accurate "find your true size" survey so you can get the size that's perfect for you!  It suggested I size up one to a 6 and I'm definitely happy with the fit!!!  

Now, let me show you how I've worn it:

First, I wore it with a trench coat and leopard print booties.  The stripe and leopard patterns are a really fun combination!  Mixing patterns has been a tough trend for me, but I enjoyed wearing this combo!!  Second, I wore it with my favorite maroon sweater over top so that it looked like a top with a skirt!  With over-the-knee boots, this was a super fun outfit because the dress/sweater combo is something I've never done before!!  I really loved this look!!!  Next, I wore it by itself with my new favorite pop-of-color shoe.  It was such a SIMPLE outfit, but I got quite a few compliments while I was out shopping :)  Then, lastly, I wore it with a great utility vest!  The utility vest made it a bit more casual, but I loved the olive with the navy & white stripes!!!

So that's 1 dress, worn 4 ways!  I love a great staple piece that is so versatile!!  And worth every penny I paid for it!!!  Especially this one, because it can be worn throughout every season!!  The 3/4 length sleeves make it perfect for all year long!! You can find this fabulous navy & white striped shift dress HERE and the rest of the items seen above can be found in the menu below!

XOXO

- Rachel

How to Wear Camo

Hey Babes,

I've missed writing for y'all so much!!  I can't even believe its been 3 weeks since I've written a blog post!!  I hope getting my email in your inbox made you subscribers smile.... Because I know it will make me smile when MailChimp tells me it has officially SENT!!!  I still get a rush of adrenaline and butterflies every time one goes out :)

I'm sorry that I've been so absent!  Especially because last month brought on such a HUGE amount of growth for A Demure Life!!  I wish I had been able to write more for all of my loyal and new readers and followers during this move, but as pure as my intentions to do so were, no one prepared us for how hard the move, the renovation, and the transition were going to be...  I wanted to write, but when EVERYTHING in your new house ends up requiring a minimum of 3 coats of paint, your plans sort of change...  A side note of explanation: the house was previously owned by smokers, and the nicotine and smoke had imbed themselves into every surface and just bled through each new coat of paint... So every surface had to be KILTZed and then painted several times... In the living room, the ceiling had to have a total of 6 coats of various amounts of KILTZ and paint on it before it actually looked white...  And since usually 2 coats would suffice, it literally took us an entire week longer to paint this house than we anticipated!!!  Which then set everything else back 7 days... Its been a total headache, but its coming along...  And that's the main reason I've been away from my computer for so long...  I get up every morning, and I PAINT!

But now that the painting is almost done, I have more time to spend working on blogging things!! There aren't even enough positive words in the English language to explain how happy it makes me to be able to spend the days until my Real Estate classes begin blogging and boutiquing!!  Needless to say, my heart is content!!!  And this "full-time fashionista" status was bestowed upon me in the nick-of-time too... For the FIRST DAY OF FALL - the #1 season for Fashion!!!  Plus, I've gotten the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone a little, and am sharing something with y'all that I've never done before!!

WORN. CAMO.  The camo trend for Fall has been blowing up all of my fashion newsletters that I get, and I've been seeing so many beautiful blogger ladies rocking it so well in their own lives, that I was inspired to talk about it as my FIRST topic of discussion back from my moving hiatus!!  

I must be honest... Not only have I never worn camo before, but I've never really even been a fan of camo at all...  Growing up in a "red-neck" town, Lexington, SC (literally, our sports rivals call us "Red-nexington"), where the majority of people owned at least one item of camo, and we had camo themed days at school, I was never into it.  I was actually completely opposed to it because of the stereotype associated with it... There I was in high school, with this hidden fashionista inside of an awkward, teacher's pet personality, in this small town where people stereotyped us as red-necks, hating camo because I didn't want to be placed into that stereotype, but didn't even know that's why I hated it until just now, typing this out....

And up until this Summer I would have still told you that I HATED CAMO!!  But, by a happy surprise, the fashion powers-at-be decided that camo was going to make a world-wide statement this Fall, and finally gave us fashion-lovers some camo options that we could be proud of!!!  And that my friends, deserves a 1000+ word blog post covering how you too can wear, and actually love, camo this Fall season!!  

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Back in July, I had a long, back-and-forth discussion with a J Crew sales associate about how I could never rock camo...  I was SO on the fence about it, and tried it on 3 different times before committing, but I ending up purchasing this camo sweater from J Crew... Its a very thin sweater for our slow, Southern transition into Fall temperatures, but could also be layered with a fantastic leather jacket further on into the year!!  I really wanted to try camo and give it the chance to work for myself, and for all of you ladies that don't currently love it!  And even for those of you that do already have a piece or two in your closet, I wanted the opportunity to help you find the right ways to incorporate them into your day-to-day wardrobe!!  In the end, I was so pleased that I decided I wasn't going to let the whole world get in on this new trend without me...  I'm learning that camo is no longer something that places you into a certain stereotype!!  It's actually a very popular style right now, and luckily for us, there are going to be more and more feminine, fashionable options to come!!  I'm surprised to say it, but everyone is going to need at least one item this year!  So here are some options:

1. A Top

Like my J Crew Camo Sweater, wearing your camo piece as the top portion of your outfit provides these style benefits: 1. You can add a white buttondown under it to make it more preppy (maybe my favorite option, and probably something I would have done if I hadn't shot this outfit in July)!  2. You can add a layering piece on top of it to subdue the boldness of the print if you're still not completely comfortable with it (a cardigan, or a leather jacket as I mentioned before)!  And 3. You can change up the bottom half of the outfit to give you the look you're going for... Leggings for a less put together look, ripped jeans (as I did) for a little more personality, or even white denim for a look that's not so dark, or heck, for those of you that like a bold feminine look, tuck it into a skirt (to mimic the aesthetic of a leather and lace combo... pair the more "masculine" camo pattern with a very feminine tulle skirt... LOVE LOVE LOVE)!!

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2. A Dress

I've been working with a company called Tobi for a little while now, putting together a little collaboration for you all, and they have the cutest Camo Dress that I've been dreaming about for a while!!  It isn't an item that they ended up sending me, but I still can't stop thinking about it:

Camo t-shirt Dress

The more I see it, the more I'm dying to have it... Your style options with a camo print dress may be more limited because its your entire outfit, but I love the idea of this casual camo t-shirt dress with a leather moto jacket and converse for later in Fall!!  Oh my goodness, YES!!  Or with a white denim jacket and everyone's favorite wedges from Summer, now!  Or what about with a peacoat and over-the-knee boots farther into Winter!?  (Heart Eyes for sure)  Thinking about these outfits is giving me all the FEELS!!  Because you can't beat all these dreamy Fall look options for only $32!!

3. A Jacket

Another blogger, who's outfits I love, has recently styled a Camo Utility Jacket so well that I had to ask her permission to use her photo for this post!!  Bailey, with Sequins & Seams, mixed the camo pattern with a subtle black and white stripe!  I'm never good at mixing patterns because its a little outside of my type-A comfortzone, but this is a look that I'd like to remake for myself in the future!  

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The benefits of wearing your camo piece as an outer layer are ENDLESS!!  Not to mention, the popularity of the "utility jacket" greatly surpasses that of camo print anyway!  So to put both trends in one piece is the most brilliant idea ever!!!  I LOVE IT!!  Wearing camo this way allows you to: 1. Remove it if you need to... You aren't committed to the piece all day!  2. Mix and match it with items already in your closet with ease!  3. It's just flat out more wearable as a layering piece!  4. Camo is more of a colder- month pattern anyway, so I think its just so fitting to have the pattern be on a cold month clothing article!

I'd like to add to the end of these 3 DOs for Camo styling, a DON'T...  I'm trying to channel my inner Stacey London when I say: please be careful wearing camo on your bottom half... Having such a bold pattern on your leggings, joggers, or jeans will not work for all body types...  If you are toothpick thin, then go for it, but its something that will draw people's attention, and isn't necessarily something you would want to wear on your bottom... At least I know I wouldn't!!  My thighs and tush are the widest part of my body and I know that wearing a bold pattern on them would accentuate that... So, if you're like me, I would advise that stepping into the camo trend should be kept to tops, dresses, and jackets :)

So, now that you know that camo is a MUST-HAVE for this Fall, I hope that my 3 DOs of styling the camo trend are helpful to you!!  Please, if you have camo pieces that you love, please style them and send me pics...  At this early stage in my new found acceptance of camo, I really could use just as much inspiration as you could!!  And as I acquire more pieces or find inspiration, I promise to share them with you as well!!!  I've even created a Pinterest Board specifically for this purpose: How to Wear the New CAMO Trend so follow along there :)

For those of you that are A Demure Life subscribers, I have "before" pictures of our new house up on the "Subscribers Only" section of the blog!!  And I hope to have some good "after" pictures once all the painting, kitchen construction, and unpacking is complete!!!  But go check them out in the mean-time, or subscribe now to get the password with Wednesday night's email :)

Let me know your camo thoughts in the comments!

XOXO

- Rachel

 

Perfect for Fall

Hey Ladies,

I know I've said it before, and I know I'll say it a 13598613 more times before November, but I'm so ready for Fall!!  Plain. And. Simple!!  I'm sick of the hot.  Fall fashion is just FLAT. OUT. BETTER.  Its T-minus 9 days until all things pumpkin spice fill drink menus and the grocery store shelves.  I'm sick of the hot.  Boots are the most comfortable shoes ever!  The colors of the changing leaves are so beautiful.  And I'm so sick of the hot!!  

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This week I've started packing for our move...  The first thing I said to Blake was, "I'll start with our winter clothes, there's no way we'll need them in the next month..."  My train of thought after that was: "That makes me so sad," then, "I wish we were the type of people that packed away our Winter clothes in the Summer and our Summer clothes in the Winter," and then, I rationalized with myself about how that wouldn't work for us, specifically because of how many of our Summer clothes are utilized as layering pieces to our Fall and Winter wardrobes!!

That led me to visualize like every Winter outfit I could possibly wear with my new Summer pieces and THIS ONE was my favorite!!  I immediately knew I had to capture some photos and tell you why this look just WORKS!!

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The reasons I chose this tank as the featured item:

1) The pattern of the shirt isn't floral, so that's an automatic plus for season transitions!

2) Its lined on the inside, adding a little bit of thickness to the already double layered peplum!

3) It has a very structured silhouette, something that's characteristic of Winter styles, as opposed to the very loose and flowy Summer styles.

4) The color is neutral, allowing it to be easily paired with the darker colors associated with the colder months!

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Note: Even if this particular top isn't exactly your style, or is out of your price range, these are still applicable guidelines you can use when out shopping for yourself!

For Summer, you could wear this tank however you would like: casually with some nude flats, or jazzed up with a pop-of-color heel!  But for Fall/Winter, it will serve a very specific role: the bottom layer!! :)

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Here, I've paired it with one of my favorite sweaters!!  Honestly, any sweater that's fluffy, oversized, cozy, slouchy, comfy, etc. is my kind of sweater!!!  The "coziness" of this sweater adds a fairly casual feel to this outfit.  You might like the look of a slightly thinner sweater better, but you won't find any of those in my closet LOL!!  Then, I added the ripped jeans and booties to continue the casual theme.  

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Just pair the ensemble with your favorite Fall/Winter bag and you're golden!!  This look would even be great with a preppy cardigan or blazer for a more polished look!!  And the best part about this outfit is that this amazingly versatile top is on sale right now for $59.99 HERE!  

Notes to take shopping:

1) Look for Summer tops that are neutral or have patterns that aren't too season-specific!

2) Maybe try to find a something with a little more shape/structure to serve as a good under-layer!

3) Think about what sweaters/cardigans/blazers are in your Winter wardrobe while you plan to purchase Summer basics!

4) These tips will work for dresses and pants too, though I might would go with other colors for those - both navy and gray are good colors for both Summer and Fall/Winter.

I hope transitioning comes a little easier for you this year with the help of this one, simple outfit idea!  I also hope to have plenty more for you as the cooler months get closer and closer!!

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Have a wonderful rest of your week, and I'll see you back here on Saturday evening for my first makeup collaboration blog post!!!  Get excited to hear all about my experience with, and thoughts on LipSense!!

Love you all!!

- Rachel

Vacation Style

Hey Ladies!

I've missed writing for you over the past 2 weeks!! 

Don't get me wrong, the little hiatus Blake and I took to go on vacation and celebrate his birthday (3 weeks late) was much needed and thoroughly enjoyed!!  But I'm so glad to be back and hoary to get back into the swing of things!!

I hope you're having a fabulous start to your Summer too :)  Do you have a beach vacation planned as well!?  Have you done your vacation outfit shopping yet!?  If not, you're gonna want to take out a pin and paper, or get your online-shopping finger ready to click, because I'm about to show you some FABULOUS Summer outfits!! 

1. The Perfect Floral Maxi

This one is my #1 favorite!  Obviously I love it, because I chose to carry it in my own shop!!  The Carly Dress can be found HERE for only $45!!  Its so soft, has the perfect floral print, and HAS POCKETS!!!  

Unfortunately, I only have 2 Larges left though... I would say that the large fits a size 6, 8, or 10 based on chest size!!  Its a babydoll cut, so its only fitted in the chest, and the rest of it is loose and flowy no matter what size you get!  I wear it all the time myself, and its definitely a smart buy!!

 

2. Pineapple Shorts

These babies are making me feel like I should change the theme of my blog...  

I typically HATE shorts... My legs are particularly white, 1 of my knees is messed up from a biking accident, and I'm starting to get varicose veins... So, even at only 26 years old, I generally HATE SHORTS!!  But this Summer has somehow been completely different!!  

Since I don't particularly like my legs, I search SO HARD to find shorts that are so amazing my legs won't even be noticed!!  If I'm going to wear shorts, they better be freaking awesome!!!  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've probably noticed that I've actually been on a shorts kick recently... I've been stumbling onto SO MANY great pair!!  And people have even started to comment that I "always have the cutest shorts!"  It didn't really occur to me until after the second person said it, but I have to agree with them LOL!!  If I'm going to put myself out into the world of social media with a pair of shorts on, then you better believe they are WORTH IT!!

My favorite pair thus far this Summer are these J Crew Linen Pineapple Shorts!!  You can find them HERE for a staggering $98.  But before you panic, J Crew is doing a 25% off sales June 17-19th and if you watch my Instagram Stories, I'll let you know when they go on sale again!  And the top I paired with them can be found HERE for only $29.50! 

I mean, just look at that cute bow people!!  And just in case you are worried about the length, its perfect!!  Not too long and not too short - a perfect 3.5" inseam!!!

 

3. Floppy Hats

Big floppy straw hats have been trending for about 3 years now!  I carry CUSTOM monogrammed hats in my shop for $50, which you can order HERE!  

But I'm also really into the ones that say cute things like "Do Not Disturb," or "Find Me in the Sun"!  All of which would cost me too much to make, so I've linked some really great, inexpensive ones below!!  

The bottom line is, if you want to be a trendy female with all the cutest beachwear out on the sand this year, you need a big floppy hat, I promise!

 

4. A Super Cute Bathing Suit

My favorite one from this year's beach trip was provided to me by Lauren James - the cutest, preppiest, most perfect Southern fashion boutique EVER!!  It has a really dainty floral pattern, and an adorable peplum!!  You can find each piece here: TOP & BOTTOM 

I'm wearing both in Medium here, for size reference!!  The top has underwire with full boob support!!  I wore it strapless, though it does come with a strap if going strapless is uncomfortable for you!!  The bottoms provide full butt coverage, and have mesh instead of traditional bathing suit material on the sides so that they're not too tight where some of use girls hold a little extra cushion (A.K.A. Love Handles LOL)!!  And y'all, even if this bathing suit isn't one that suits your style, please at least go to their website and check it out, because they featured me on the page for the bating suit top!!!  What an honor!!  Thank you Lauren James!!!

 

5. White Linen Pants

I actually found these beauties while we were at the beach!!  The weather was SOOOOO cold the first day that Blake and I had to go buy some warmer clothes to survive since we only brought, you know, shorts and tanks for a freaking BEACH VACATION!!!  So where did we go!?  THE OUTLETS!!!  J Crew factory first, of course!!

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These white linen pants are only $59.50 and you can find them HERE!  J Crew Factory constantly does sales as well, so again, if you watch my Instagram Stories, I will let you know the next time they do!!  As far as sizing goes for these, I do want to point out that I bought these pants in another color in a size 4, but I went up to a size 6 in the white just because they are white!  I feel like the bigger size made them look better!  I just wanted you to know that!!  The hat is from my shop (link above) and the top can be found HERE!  P.S. THIS is the other color I bought just in case you were curious!!

 

6. A Cute Sun Dress

I shared all the specifics about this dress the week before we left for the beach, but I had actually purchased it specifically for our vacation!  This cute lightweight linen J Crew dress was perfect for the one fancy dinner we always go to when we are down there (Greg Norman's - you should go the next time you're in North Myrtle)!!  Check out my last blog post HERE if you want more specific details about this outfit!  But for now I'll just share the links: DRESS, CLUTCH, BANGLE, & SHOES

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I'm actually giving 1 lucky winner one of these clutches & a necklace this weekend!!  Head over to my Instagram or click HERE to enter!

I'm ashamed to say that I think shopping for and during a vacation is the absolute best part, but really, y'all probably already knew that about me *smirks and thinks "I should just end the post on that note" LOL*  I know the pineapple shorts are a little expensive, but a few of the items (floral maxi, sloppy hat, linen pants) are at the best price points you would be able to find!!  And really, the point of the pineapple shorts is the super cute pattern!  Use those as a visual example of what you should look for when you go shopping for your vacation attire!!  But seriously, don't miss out on those J Crew quality linen pants for under $60!!  Everyone needs a pair of white linen pants!!

I hope y'all enjoy your Summer vaca wardrobe as much as I loved mine!!

XOXO

-Rachel

The bathing suit was given to me free of charge from Lauren James, but all thoughts, opinions, and information are my own!!

Top 10 Most Haves

So, on Saturday's Chambray Dress post I mentioned that I might just go ahead and do an entire series on my Top 10 Summer Must Haves for your closet... And since I started it with the chambray dress (because that is an absolute MUST HAVE) I will continue it this week, and just give you the rest of the nine all at one, here, tonight!

My Top 10 Must Haves for your Summer {but really all year long} Closet:

1. A Chambray Dress - as mentioned previously in Saturday night's post - an absolute must have for all year long because of its versatility and comfortableness!  I have narrowed all of the ones I showed in that post down to my one favorite, which you can shop below.

2. Hole-y Jeans - I have been searching for the perfect pair for YEARS!!  These trendy pants have been popular for going on almost a decade, and I think they are here to stay... And THAT's why you need to have a pair in your closet!!  It took me so long to find the right pair because I wanted them to be ripped up on the more extreme end, but not be too light of a wash at the same time!!  I found these beauties at the Lucky Brand store in Charlotte, NC and they were on super sale for $37!!!  I told the associate what I was looking for and she knew just the pair - but she had to go dig for them in the back room, and I was so "lucky" that they still had my size OMG!  And you aren't going to believe it, but I found you my EXACT pair HERE and still available in all sizes!!  Am I amazing, or what!?  But I also linked a GREAT, LESS RIPPED up pair below!

3. Nude Pumps - Mine are Michael Kors, and surprisingly VERY comfortable!  They are a little darker than the beloved Louboutins #shoegoals, but I'm pretty proud of this pair I got for my birthday all the same!  You too need a pair of nude heels because 1. nude goes with EVERYTHING (you name it, you can where a nude shoe with it, I promise) and 2. If you don't like to where heels much, then this could be the ONLY pair you have to own... Since they go with everything, duh!  I've linked my exact pair HERE.  These aren't too high, but are still high enough to give that sexy leg silhouette, and they are such a good price point for MK!  I also linked a lighter-colored nude pair below!

4. A Black & White Striped Shirt - This is more of a personal opinion than a widely agreed upon "must-have" fact... But you all know my style tips are totally legit because I'm never wrong **wink, wink**  But seriously, its the perfect go-to!!  To accompany my former posts about adding a pop-of-color accessory (shoes, necklace, etc.) to your wardrobe, a black and white striped shirt adds the perfect base for that!!  It has enough character on its own for a casual, neutral look, but when the time comes that you needed to jazz it up a bit, it is perfectly suited for that too!! I linked a cute one with a PEPLUM below, but you can find my exact one HERE (side note: online it says "blue" but I promise it looks white in person - just look at the pic below)!!

5. White Denim - And unless you have little boys running around with dirt on them all the time, I really hope you already have a pair!!  White denim is a staple for me from March to October here in the South!!  Like, I have more than 1 pair so I don't have to wash white clothes often enough to keep 1 pair clean!!  You can find my favorite pair HERE, but I have also linked a less expensive pair below!

6. A Chambray Shirt - Just as versatile as the chambray dress, a chambray shirt is important just because of the simple fact that it goes with everything!!  Do you have a pair of unusual colored pants or a pair of patterned shorts that you never know what top to wear with it!?  Well, whether they're dressy or casual, a safe answer would be a chambray shirt!!  I have linked my exact one down below this time because its important that you check that one out... A long sleeved, collard chambray shirt would be most valuable to your wardrobe because it can be worn all year long if you just roll the sleeves up in the warmer months, and the collar allows it to be dressed up easier! This one is on the higher end of shirt prices, but if you've been following along with me for any amount of time, you know I prefer quality over quantity, and I've had this shirt for 5 years now!!  It's not a purchase you will have to make again for a very long time and totally worth the cost!!  Though, you can get a cheaper version HERE but it doesn't look quite as good ;)

7. Navy Shorts - This is just something you should have because everyone will be wearing shorts this Summer, and I personally think navy is better for the Summer months than black now that navy is so popular!  Navy shorts will go with everything now-a-days, including black and brown -  thank you 21st Century!!  I've linked a pair I've had for 3 years now, below!

8. White "Keds" - I always say "Keds" when I'm talking about these perfect little white tennis shoes, but mine are actually Vans!  I love these shoes, even though they are somewhat of a pain to keep white!  They are the cutest little Taylor Swift addition to any dress (to make it a little more casual), with any shorts and t-shirt combo, or with jeans and a casual top!!  I've linked my favorite pair that are always in stock, below!

9. A Little Black Dress - Ok people, I'm adding this one to the list because it is very important for every woman's wardrobe, but I feel like it needs no explanation...  You just have to have one!!  I've linked a simple, elegant, classy (DEMURE) one below!  P.S. Its only $50!!!

10. A White Button Down - This one is no joke either!!  Even more than the chambray shirt, this shirt could go with everything, and then some; could be dressed up or down; could be long sleeved for colder months or could have the sleeves rolled up for warmer months!  I have 6 of this style top people, varying in price from White House Black Market to Forever 21, but all still just as valuable outfit wise!!  I've linked one from a company I haven't even heard of before below - it has the white-button-down classic cut, is in the mid-price range, and is still available in all sizes!  However, my favorite of all time is from WHBM, I've linked the short sleeve version HERE ($34.99) because its Summer and they only have the short sleeved ones right now (and they are on super sale)... And for those of you that know me know that I hate that store since working there, so you can believe it if I say something from there is great... It must REALLY BE!

Here are the items I've picked out for your closet - Happy Shopping: