Top: Desert Rose Boutique Shorts: Free People Hat: Saks Accessories: Desert Rose BoutiquebShoes: Chloe Savannah Boots
Every now and then the IE surprises me. I know many of my OC friends sometimes stick their noses in the air when it comes to anything that has to do with the 909, 951 or you get the picture. But once upon a time the OC was just a bunch of undeveloped, beautiful land that had yet to be discovered. And seriously that’s exactly how some parts of the Inland Empire are. Rare beautiful gems, comparable to scenic landscapes in Orange County minus the beaches. And nature isn’t the only item to compare to the OC. I never in a million years thought I’d say this, but now there are even super cute boutiques popping up that offer the same great styles found in OC but at even better prices!
Cute styles and affordable price points, literally right down the street from me? Someone pinch me I’ve died! A few days ago one of the store reps from Desert Rose apparel reached out to me to invite me to stop by. Their picture immediately reminded me of some of my favorites. Brandy Melville and Free People were the labels that instantly came to mind. But even better? This place was right down the street from my house! Cute affordable clothes less than 5 minutes away? Dear fashion gods, I’m in trouble now.
My excitement turned to momentary skepticism when I realized the location of the boutique was right next to a gas station and a thrift store I’ve driven past a dozen times and never really thought much of. (It really was one of those don’t judge a book by it’s cover kinda moments.) The signs aren’t big but once you know what you’re looking for their bright colors pop out, and you see the sign. Once I walked up the stairs and through the single door it really was like finding a bright red rose in the desert. The collections on hand are again on par with my favorite Free People/ Brandy Melville collections except at only a fragment of the cost. Super cute trendy jewelry for maximum I saw $15. Tops and shorts for $15. Prada inspired baroque sunnies for I want to say $13 (not quite sure I remember that correctly, but either way amazing considering actual Pradas will set you back easily $400.) How have my favorite styles suddenly blown like a tumbleweed into my neighborhood? Well that’s because another former OC resident has found themselves in the heart of the Inland Empire. And much like myself she had to find an outlet to share her passion of fashion with the IE natives, and thus we now have an amazing little shop in the heart of Canyon Lake! Thank you so much Christy for bringing fashion to this part of the IE!
Top: Winter Kate by Nicole Richie
Pants: Brandy Melville
Has anyone noticed several major fashion retailers re-thinking their game? One such retailer is Pac Sun. For the LONGEST time I had sworn off all such active wear stores. Before I digress I must clarify, I am not one of those bloggers who gets sponsored and therefore is given free stuff only to blog about how great it is. PR LESSON NUMERO UNO! Don’t ever accept free gifts unless you want to jeopardize the reputation of your integrity. This blogger is happy to report her integrity has not been sold over to the fashion devil.
Maybe it’s because I have been spending more time in San Diego, and therefore I’m going back to my beach roots but I have really been digging what Pac Sun has been carrying! While I think the Kendal and Kylie collection is uber cute, I don’t think I’ll gravitate that deep in to affordable contemporary wear. I’d rather spend that kind of money on Free People. Same concept, better quality. Brandy Melville on the other hand, is a great investment! I know I’m not investing in pieces that are made with longevity in mind, but rather cute, comfy and classic. And of course always on trend!
Sometimes being a So.Cal fashionista is complicated. You want to be cute. You want to be on trend but not so trendy you can’t establish yourself as a trend setter. And at the same time you never want to spend a million bucks to achieve success. Taking all of these predicaments into consideration it is times when retailers have great holiday sales that I find my self in love and in trouble. Two Brandy Melville pants for only $44! Score! For the record (this message is for my boyfriend only) I tried leaving with just one pair but they were reduced in price and on sale for buy one get one half off. I was hooked. So not only did I get a great deal on two pairs of floral print pants, but I also found the solution for my runway show predicament which somehow became I had nothing to wear. Odd how that always happens. My mission of accomplishing boho chic at a retailer I used to shop for Roxy digs was accomplished. Never thought that it would happen but it did, and I’m glad.
Fashion shows are so much fun! And I have quickly learned that you don’t need to dress up in the most expensive designer duds to make a statement. You just need to be yourself and have fun! This one was actually one of my favs. A fashion for for the girl who loves swimsuits, sparkle and color. While granted the only acceptable place to wear a rhinestone encrusted bikini is a runway or Las Vegas, I still love that there are designers out there who design for a client who doesn’t care about trends and whose roots will always be in ruffles, colors and sparkle.
Classy Chick Clothing Champagne Cupcakes and Bikinis Runway Event.
I LOVED these designs! They were modern silhouettes with classic and contemporary embellishments. 1960 Barbie meets 2014!
Top: Splendid Sweater: Brandy Melville Black Leather Shorts: Planet Funk Ankle Booties: 5/48
Ok, so it’s not a cape. It’s not even a robe. But I’m not going to lie, when I found this amazing oversized sweater, it reminded me so much of a Harry Potter robe I couldn’t pass it up. Yes, I’m a book nerd to that extent. And proud of it.
And it’s the instant wow factor to improve upon any outfit. I just got back from the nail salon where they were trying to keep the place cool with a bunch of fans. Without intending to go for a dramatic affect I just happened to walk by a few of these, and let’s just say I made an impression. “I wish I had my camera cause’ you look so beautiful” said one of the nail technicians. She was a sweet gal.
Although I’m not quite sure how I feel about wearing a piece like this in the wind, as it is reeeeaaally long, and with my clumsiness only increases the likelihood that I will fall flat on my rear or my face. Either option does not sound appealing. I once almost fell off the stage during graduation. Oh ya, college graduation. No big deal. It’s not like there were thousands of people watching at that very second when I almost had my Lizzie McGuire moment. Oh that’s right, there were. And my sisters are kind enough to remind me they have it on film. Lesson learned that moment, always take safety into consideration when deciding on an outfit.
I love when pieces exude drama. This piece is such a drama queen on windy days.
Top: Brandy Melville Shorts: Free People Ankle Booties: Saks 5/48
Today I took an adventure out to visit my favorite person in the whole world, my Grandma. Nobody has influenced my personal style more so than my Grandma. I love when looking at a pair of 6 inch stiletto Gucci heels and I exclaim “My Grandma would love these!” I get the expression of confusion, “Really? Your Grandma?” Yeah, sorry but not sorry my Grandma is a fashionista and yours is not? However, her love of high heels has resulted in 2 knee surgeries which has consequently inspired my love and investment in super cute flats as well.
Today I learned several things. Always splurge if you feel it’s necessary, and especially if you fall in love with a pair of shoes that do not already hold a place in your closet (or my case a shoe rack.) Miley, please take note of what you’re doing. It’s not cute and it’s not artsy. It’s plain and simple second hand embarasment, and it’s offensive to my Grandma, and apparently Cher. Annd shocking today I actually introduced my Grandma to the September issue of Vogue. I think I need to get her an issue. We could sit and talk fashion and clothes for hours. The apple does not fall far from the fabulously dressed tree, and of all the things in life to be grateful for, that is perhaps the one that surpasses all my other blessings.
My favorite place in the whole world.
My Grandma once met Marilyn Monroe. She’s always been up there with the likes of Hollywood legends like Audrey Hepburn.
So Mother Nature apparently never got the memo that we should be experiencing cooler weather. Ideally I should be prepping my scarves for extensive use and diligently looking for oversized boyfriend sweaters. But alas, we are dealing with day 20 of 100 degree heat.
While some might be thinking how terrible, I actually LOVE the heat. Granted yes, I wish I could spend my days laying by the pool, but running errands in a cute summer dress brings me the same amount of satisfaction.
Note to self: Invest in more summer dresses from Brandy Melville. Not only are her pieces perfect for a fashionista on a budget but they’re made of uber lightweight fabrics! I love how girly her pieces make a gal feel (who knew that was even possible for a self-proclaimed girly girl such as myself!
Hat from Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th $20 Dress by Brandy Melville $30 Shoes by Joie $100. The look of beating the heat in style, priceless.
Top: Free People Skirt: Brandy Melville Sandals: Chanel
So I have been fascinated by this concept of a skirt ever since I saw Carrie Underwood look absolutely fab in her video with Brad Paisley, “Remind Me.” I loved how it caught the wind, and gave elegance to something so simple.
Granted mine is not made of chiffon nor silk, but a cotton blend Brandi Melville high low floral print skirt is sufficient for those of us not walking through the desert for the purpose of filming a music video.
I think what draws me most to these skirts is how they catch the wind. When I was younger, everything had to pass the “twirl test.” A test in which a dress was only wearable if when twirled in, puffed out like a cupcake. Now that I’m older, I no longer impose this test on my wardrobe. But comparing something to a Carrie Underwood piece does add to the “must have” factor for a piece.
Carrie Underwood wore a $1200 Gomez-Gracia dress for her video.
Needless to say, the second I saw this skirt and it reminded me of Carrie’s, I told the sales girl “wrap it up, put it in the bag! My search is over.” And it only cost me about $30!