My Favorites: Ashley and The Polkadot Alley Boutique

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Having lived most of my life in Dallas suburbs, I never thought I would be saying, “Yay, I can’t wait to go shopping in Lubbock!”.  I met my wonderful husband while attending Texas Tech in Lubbock, so we travel there often to visit family and attend football games, but I never dreamt I would be itching for a trip to Lubbock so I could go on a shopping spree at The Polkadot Alley Boutique.

My college friend and sorority sister, Ashley, is the founder and let’s-be-frank “mastermind” of a little gem in the West Texas desert called The Polkadot Alley and has been on this journey since 2008.  I’m proud to know and support this woman-owned business because I’ve seen Ashley follow her dream and work tirelessly to support a business that takes time and dedication.  She is also a loving wife and mother with three precious children, so you can say she’s an inspiration and role model to all.  Ashley has been so successful with her online store and storefront boutique that The Polkadot Alley has been featured not only on the local Lubbock news and TTU Alumni magazine, but also in worldwide news publications like The New York Times.  The internet boutique business is booming, and Ashley was there at its inception, helping to bring fashion to young (and not-so-young) ladies all over the states!

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Even though the models featured in The Polkadot Alley are geared towards the college crowd, do not let this deter you from exploring all of the wonderful pieces they have to offer!  And if you are in the Lubbock area, go visit her boutique where you can browse the fabulous store, and maybe she will let you peek at the warehouse in the back where she has tons of racks of shopping heaven!  I’ve been known to get lost back there for hours.  Hehe…

I want to share with you some of my favorite summer and fall looks from my recent shopping sprees at The Polkadot Alley and introduce you to Ashley’s wonderful store:

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I LOVE Summer!!!

The Pink Romper.  I know what you’re thinking, rompers can be super scary.  I picked this romper out for fellow 3NonBlonde Amanda to try on and she threw it back over the fitting room to me.  I thought, “Why not?” and proceeded to squeeze into this amazingly flattering shorts romper.  I immediately loved this romper because it has a flirty hemline that gives it a little more length so that my booty doesn’t hang out the back.  Ashley’s store has tons of romper selections, but this has been my favorite so far.

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This romper pattern reminds me of fireworks!

The Crop Top.  This is the first legit crop top I have bought and worn in my life!  Ashley carries it in like 5 other colors and I’m regretting not getting one in each.  I have received tons of compliments on this crop top and have worn it with a black pencil skirt and also with shorts.  It’s an easy piece to dress up or dress down and the neckline has a beautiful embroidered pattern on it.  The Polkadot Alley has a store full of crop tops and now that I’ve mastered my confidence in them, I know I’ll be looking for more.

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Crop tops for work? Yes!
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And also appropriate for Cancun!

Two Dresses for Any Season.  One of the many reasons I love The Polkadot Alley is they have many color and length choices.  Sure, I love short minis and dresses, but now that I’m 36(!), I am acutely aware of office and leisure appropriate clothing.  This is exactly what I was thinking when I spotted this delicious coral dress that hits the knee.  Ashley has it in like five different colors and also in a floor length style.  I’m too short for floor length, so I fell in love with this length because I could easily throw a cardigan or blazer on it and dress it up for work.  It’s a great color for any season.  The other dress I feel in love with was this 60’s inspired white dress with flower detail.  I traveled for work recently and wore it on a plane ride and it was pretty comfortable.  It’s a perfect A-line and doesn’t cinch but also doesn’t make you look frumpy.  It’s perfect!

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This color is yummy.
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Why yes! I am auditioning for Madmen!
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Fierce for fall

The T-shirt Dress(es).  Finding two t-shirt dresses that fit in length and width was a miracle in itself.  I am really thanking the fashion Gods the flared dress look is in this season.  It helps me find pieces that fit without worrying about things being way too small.  Anyway, the plum dress I found has pockets, which I love!  The black t-shirt dress is just so soft I want to live in it.  I bought it this weekend and have already worn in three times.  The week is not over, I may wear it again!  The versatility of the t-shirt dress is the reason I convinced myself to get both of them.  I can already picture throwing on a pair of boots, scarf, and moto jacket to make them fall worthy.

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Comfort, pockets and style…
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I want to live in this dress. It’s super soft.
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Perfect gameday dress!

I hope you enjoyed learning about The Polkadot Alley and find yourselves furiously searching the website for a new outfit!  Let us know if you have previously shopped at any online boutiques or if you have shopped at The Polkadot Alley.  I would love to hear your comments!

Social Media for The Polkadot Alley:

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Online Store

Happy shopping!

Cheers,

Elisa Sig

Not Your Mom’s Shorts: Summer Style

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Rules are meant to be broken, right?  Or at least bent a little…or a lot!  When I turned 35, I was suddenly hyper aware of the clothing I was choosing when I went shopping.  In the back of my mind, that annoying little voice of “fashion rules” kept telling me I needed to choose age-appropriate clothes and sensible shoes.  Well, I decided I didn’t give two effs about that voice and I refuse to style myself in Mom jeans and flats.  I love shorts and unless these legs turn into an atlas map of veins, I will wear them proudly.  And since the weather has technically transitioned into Spring, I ran to Francesca’s and found the perfect shorts outfits to kickoff the season! And they were having a bogo half off sale!

Before we get into the fabulous pieces I found at Francesca’s, I want to share with you a piece advice I practice when getting in the mindset of shopping…

Don’t compare yourself to anyone…At 5’3 and not 120lbs, 99.9% of the models pictured in the stores I shop at look nothing like me.  This does not deter me from trying on outfits or make me shy away from stores.  Sometimes, I miscalculate and the waist of a dress falls way too low or a hem doesn’t fall right, but you will never know how something fits unless you try it on.  Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and take pictures with your phone so you can examine your look.  And don’t buy anything unless you LOVE IT and it makes you feel FABULOUS!

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My favorite looks this season came from Francesca’s.

Peplum chambray and woven shorts.  Peplum is my absolute favorite because it is both flattering and comfortable.  Paired with some ultra short bottoms and you are ready for summer fun!  These shorts have a little peek-a-boo knit side panel which lets you dress them up or down.  And the best part about these shorts (besides the elastic waist) is the price…under $15!

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Shirt: Francesca’s chambray peplum (similar) $34

Shorts: Forever 21 crochet paneled shorts $12.90

Shoes: Francesca’s lace up wedges $58

Olive green embroidered shorts.  Olive green is my latest obsession and I have recently made several purchases in that color.  These shorts from Francesca’s are so soft and feel like pajamas.  They are high-waisted and have that cute front tie, but you can wear them with a crop top or with a long, flowing shirt.  They are so versatile and the embroidered details provide a more feminine look to a classic style.  I liked pairing them with my tan wedges to elongate my gams.  Hehe.

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Shirt: Forever 21 striped crop top $6.99

Shirt: Francesca’s Veronica scalloped tank $28

Shorts: Francesca’s Olive Kadie embroidered shorts $24.99

Shoes: Francesca’s lace up wedges $58

Chambray shorts.  There are so many different kinds of denim shorts from short cutoffs to long, long culottes.  These high-waisted, belted chambray shorts are very comfy and can also be paired with a tucked in or untucked shirt.  I really liked the untucked look for a casual yet put together look for weekend wear.  It’s a great option instead of throwing on cutoffs and a t-shirt.  Pair them with a pair of sandals and your’e ready for a busy weekend!

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Shirt:  Forever 21 V-neck cami $1.90

Shirt: Francesca’s Jessica solid blouse $34

Shorts: Francesca’s chambray shorts (similar)

Shoes: Francesca’s lace up wedges $58

Oh my, it’s skorts!  If you are a child of the nineties then you probably had a pair of these babies.  These skorts are girly and also very comfortable and I love them in navy.  A perfect solution for a date night on a hot, summer day when you don’t want to wear regular shorts but also don’t want to commit to a dress.  Let’s face it, some dresses or skirts can really restrict your dance moves.  These skorts are the perfect solution for functionality and cute shorts.

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Shirt: Francesca’s Jessica solid blouse $34

Shorts: Francesca’s Kalea printed skorts $24.99

Shoes: Francesca’s lace up wedges $58

I can’t wait to wear all of my new Francesca’s outfits this spring and summer season!  What kind of shorts do you like to wear?  Do you dare put on those tiny shorts like I do?  Let us know in the comments!

Cheers,

Elisa Sig

Normal People Can Dress Like Taylor Swift

 

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I don’t have Taylor Swift’s mega million-dollar voice but I do often feel like me and my band of 35 year-old girlfriends are just as cool as the songstress and her entourage of models.  And the girl knows how to dress!  Taylor’s fierce fashion style has evolved from shy Tennessee country girl, to New York street style hipster, and everything in between.  I was drawn to her style because she loves to take classic colors and pieces and spruce them up with something fun like a pop of color or a fun print.  I know what you’re thinking…Taylor Swift is 25, stands 5’10, and has legs for days – how can I pull off her style?!  Well, I’m 35, 5’3, and a size 8/10 and I’m going to show you how anyone can pull off an outfit like Ms. Taylor, regardless of body size.  This recent post on Popsugar by Samantha-Sutton inspired me to share with you my favorite Taylor Swift copycat outfits from my closet.  I took pieces that I already had and didn’t spend a dime!

Taylor and I both love the A-line or skater skirts.  This particular one in eggplant (it’s pleather!) was a steal from Lauren Conrad’s line at Khol’s.  It’s from last season but here is a similar one from this season.  Pair it with a black top and matching black Jessica Simpson booties and you’re ready for any social event.

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Nothing says preppy like classic stripes and denim.  Cut-off shorts are always in season, and I paired them with a pair of red Jessica Simpson pumps to add a pop of color.  It’s an effortless look that anyone can pull off.  Like Taylor, I don’t pay too much attention to all of those old fashion rules like, “Don’t wear horizontal lines” or “You can only wear white after Labor Day”.  The only rules to follow when it comes to shopping are 1) Is this a well made product at at reasonable price, and 2) Do I LOVE it?

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Taylor does not limit her style.  If she feels a little more rocker than preppy, her style definitely shows it.  I love that versatility in her style because my clothes tend to fit my mood.  And this pleather skirt from H&M, Beatles shirt, and knee high socks definitely fit my wilder side when I’m not donning suits for corporate America.

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Taylor’s signature look is red with stripes.  I found this perfect scalloped red skirt at Francesca’s this summer and it’s so comfortable and flattering.  I’ve paired it with a simple cropped top from Target but since I’m 5’3, it pretty much looks like a normal shirt.  That’s fine with me because I wouldn’t want anything to distract attention away form those adorable scallops!

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Taylor Swift’s award show dresses are to die for.  This particular cream and black number is elegant and screams feminine.  My Eliza J dress was a clearance find at Macy’s years ago.  It’s got a full skirt and a matching belt that cinches my waist nicely to show my curves.  I would buy every dress in the Eliza J collection if I could.  A pair of teal Lauren Conrad pumps complete the look.

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Last, I leave you with the retro 50’s inspired dark wash jeans and black top look that Taylor is often seen wearing.  I paired my look with a pair of Michael Antonio pumps in mint and some red lip gloss.  I love wearing heels, but you can copy Taylor and wear sensible ballet flats and still look amazing.  A perfectly put together casual look.  I can wear this outfit to work, a PTA meeting, or on a date night.

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I want to leave you today with one thought.  LOVE YOUR BODY!  We all struggle with image and body size, and I want all of you out there to embrace the stage you are in today and put on a Taylor Swift inspired outfit.  Leave comments on who inspires your everyday style, and share pictures of your Taylor Swift style!

Cheers!

Elisa Sig

Back to School Clothes for Kids

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Happy Back to School Day!  Today, I want to share with you my favorite place to shop for kid’s clothes where you get the most return for your investment.  I head to Gap Kids for my back to school shopping needs.  As you moms out there know, it feels like you have to buy clothes for your kids every couple of months which means you have to be smart about where you spend your money.

Cost. Gap Kids always has clothes on sale or clearance and their selection is great for elementary school aged kids. My son started second grade today (Wow!) and nearly every piece of clothing I bought for him came from our local Gap Kids outlet store. Shirts, shorts, pants, underwear, socks and jeans all came with a discounted price.

Style. My son is not picky about what he wears and I pick out is clothes 99% of the time (Fridays are Minecraft t-shirt day).  I know this luxury won’t last much longer but for now, I keep it simple. Gap Kids boy’s clothes range from preppy, to laid back, to sporty so there is a wide selection for every kind of kid preference.

Comfort & Durability. Did you know that Gap Kids come in slim, regular or husky sizes?  Perfect for any size kid.  And, their clothes are really well made to stand up to rough play in the playground.  The t-shirts are 100% cotton and super soft.  I’ve been known to try and squeeze into one of my son’s shirts.

Here’s my very proud 2nd Grader sporting the latest sales and clearance items from Gap Kids sprinkled with other pieces from Carter’s and Polo Kids!

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Here’s the Gap hiker shorts in a different color, worn three different ways…

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Where do you take your kids for Back to School shopping??  Share your shopping adventures with us below on our comments section!

Cheers,

Elisa Sig

My Favorite Work Outfits: Stylish Summer Dresses

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I want to wear my yoga pants all day everyday….but since the effect of my not-so-tiny heinie would be too much for corporate America, my outfit of choice during the summer season is a dress.  Dresses are so versatile and can fit and flatter any body shape and size, and also provide just enough breeze to keep cool in the heat. Plus, I have your typical curvy hourglass figure so I practically live in dresses because there are so many suitable options out there.  And, dresses are so easy!  Here are some tips to consider when choosing the right dress for the office:

Company culture.  Be conscious of office “norms”.  You don’t want to walk into a conservative corporate office in your favorite maxi if it will make you stand out in a negative way.  Instead, be bold with accessories or shoes to show your personality while choosing the perfect dress.

Length.  Cover your booty.  I have been known to push the envelope on length, but if you are questioning your skirt length, err on the side of conservative.  I tend to stick to right above the knee or right at the knee.  If your skirt is midway up your thigh when you sit down then it’s probably best to keep that as weekend attire.

Style.  Your dress should make you feel like a movie star.  Have fun with it and choose dresses that you will be comfortable in all day long.  Try to stay away from dresses that are too form fitting and leave nothing to the imagination.  There’s a reason why Victoria’s Secret is no longer selling “work attire”.  Instead, think of the versatility you have when wearing a dress.  Throw on a blazer or cardigan for a more formal look.  Wear sandals to dress it down.

Smile.  A smile is the best accessory you can wear with anything.  Be confident and say “Thank you” when you receive compliments on your awesome style.  After all, you are probably rocking it!

Where is your favorite place to go dress shopping??  Let us know on the comments below!
My “Yes” choices:
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Formal – White House Black Market dress and Banana Republic blazer

White House Black Market dress and Banana Republic blazer

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Everyday dress – White House Black Market

White House Black Market dress (similar)

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Casual Friday – Old Navy sundress

Similar dress to my Old Navy sundress from last season.

Here are my “No” choices, obviously way too short and/or too tight.

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Cheers,

Elisa Sig