boho style: ootd & review

Today’s outfit is a follow-up to my earlier Free People blog post. I was very blessed, all of the featured items were Christmas gifts. I got my boho on today:

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Free People denim lace-up tunic (limited sizes left, also available here & here) & lace bralette in black; Zara cropped flare leggings (sold out, similar here & here); Topshop ‘Mistic’ ankle boots (more sizes here).

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Free People denim lace-up tunic (limited sizes left, also available here & here) & lace bralette in black; Zara cropped flare leggings (sold out, similar here & here); Topshop ‘Mistic’ ankle boots (more sizes here).

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Free People denim lace-up tunic (limited sizes left, also available here & here) & lace bralette in black; Anastastia liquid lipstick in Lovely.

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Zara cropped flare leggings (sold out, similar here & here); Topshop ‘Mistic’ ankle boots (more sizes here).

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Free People denim lace-up tunic (limited sizes left, also available here & here) & lace bralette in black; Zara cropped flare leggings (sold out, similar here & here); Topshop ‘Mistic’ ankle boots (more sizes here).

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Free People denim lace-up tunic (limited sizes left, also available here & here) & lace bralette in black; Zara cropped flare leggings (sold out, similar here & here); Topshop ‘Mistic’ ankle boots (more sizes here).

The Free People denim tunic is a must-have. The denim fabric is substantial and the longer tunic length is perfect for leggings. It’s true to size (I’m wearing a XS) and the quality of this tunic is excellent. The neckline may be a little too low and wide, but that’s where the Free People bralette comes in super handy. I’m wearing mine in black lace underneath and you can see just a peek of the pretty lace. It doesn’t look like my bra is accidentally showing, it looks like I’m wearing an opaque lace camisole with thicker lace straps. The bralette is true to size (wearing a XS) and I may get more in other styles. Since I lost weight, my (expensive) bras don’t fit me well anymore. The bralettes are reasonably priced, especially if there’s an applicable discount promo. They are surprisingly well constructed (mesh lining throughout) too. I also have this bralette in white, for my light colored tops.

Another Free People must-have is the turtleneck dress (also here). I will post pictures very shortly, but I wanted to review it now in case you’re interested in buying it. Do not delay, it’s on sale with limited sizing available. I love the drape and feel of the thicker knit fabric. It has pockets and the length of the dress is perfect (mini length but not too short). It’s true to size (XS).

The only misses for me were the two embroidered tops (other colors here) (same top, but 2 colors). The fit of the top was really off for me. It was a smidge tight in the neck (there’s a small button closure at the back of the neck), way too short in the midriff (I could not raise my arms above my shoulders unless you wanted to see my bare midriff), and it was too boxy in the bodice. What a shame though, because the embriodery was impressive and beautiful on this top. Both the black and purple colors were very pretty in person. I have a long torso so if you have a regular or short torso, this top may fit you nicely.

Can you believe it’s almost 2016? What are your plans for NYE? Nothing exciting at Casa de VoTS, just spending a low key night in with lots of lobster, various cheeses and champagne (my kryptonite trio, lol).

Hope you’re enjoying your week!

cropped flares + sock boots

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This post is inspired by Alexa Chung’s love for cropped flares and sock boots. I love her take on denim anything (she also inspired my love for overalls, remember this and this?). So, when I saw her with the sock boots and cropped flares, I had to give it a try.

If you have shorter legs like me, I think it’s best to stick with a less exaggerated wide leg and flare. Although I have yet to give culottes a second try (my first attempt with a pair from Forever 21 was a fail). A higher waist also helps elongate your legs and tucking in your shirt may help do this too. So far, I have two pairs of cropped flares (hey, that rhymes). I featured both pairs previously on my blog here.

The sock boot is the answer to my cold weather dilemma of which shoe to pair with the cropped flare. Pumps and pointy toe flats are cute with these type of jeans or pants, but the tops of my feet freeze whenever I wear them in the winter. Give me coverage, I say. The thin ankle shaft of the sock boot is a nice counterpoint to the flare at the jean or pant hem.

Here’s what I recently purchased, a lovely leather boot with a two inch block heel. I’m obsessed with these boots, seriously. They are very Céline-ish with the lower block heel and slim silhouette.

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Topshop ‘Mistic’ boot (also available here).

Here are the boots with my cropped flare jeans (sorry the images are dark, it was rainy and quite dreary this morning):

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Topshop ‘Mistic’ boot (also available here); J.Crew cropped flare jeans (similar) (I also just ordered this raw hem pair).

I love this silhouette of the slight flare and the narrow ankles, it’s so fresh and a nod to the mod 60’s vibe. I also love the brown heel with the black leather, so you can easily wear any color. Topshop boots run in half sizes only, I bought a 7.5 since 8.5 wasn’t available at Nordstrom online. Thankfully they fit (I’m normally a size 8), probably due to the square-ish toe box of the boot. But, I think I could only wear stockings or tights with this pair and not thick socks, which is fine. The best part? I was pleasantly surprised they were made in Spain. I love shoes made in Spain (and Italy).

So, Christmas is almost here and I’m very excited to celebrate the joyous holiday at church mass and at home with my family. I sincerely wish a happy holiday season to you and your loved ones. Thank you very much for following my blog, this little blog brings me joy and is a welcome respite from the crazies of life.

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Aren’t English Bulldogs the best? This isn’t our Bella, but she shares the same underbite as this beautiful bully. Merry Christmas! xx

camel, rose quartz, 1970 & camo

Here are a few recent outfits that I posted on my Instagram:

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Banana Republic camel blazer; J.Crew Stewart plaid shirt (similar); Current Elliott Stiletto jeans (old, similar); Vaneli ‘Jara’ ankle wedge boots.

I wore the camel blazer and plaid shirt to church and the blazer surprisingly kept me warm. Black and camel make for the best color combination, it’s so classic.

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J.Crew Factory pink sweatshirt (sold out, similar); Madewell plaid flannel shirt; Levi’s Capital E cropped skinny jeans (old, similar); Target Mossimo grey flannel sneakers & metallic leather studded belt (old).

Did you hear that Pantone named rose quartz (pale dusty pink) and serenity (periwinkle blue) as the colors for 2016? I really love both colors. I’m so glad I got the pale pink cropped sweatshirt. Now, I should find something to represent serenity.

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Bella Freud 1970 sweater in red.

I am obsessed with this sweater, fortunately I found it on major sale for Black Friday at Madison Los Angeles (online). It has since sold out from that retailer, but Nordstrom has it in stock (in a black version too). It’s $$$$ but I guess it’s due to the fact that Bella Freud is London-based, so the GBP to USD conversion is not in our favor. Bella Freud’s sweaters are really cool with their designs and references.

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Sanctuary camo jacket (old, current version); J.Crew Factory rolled turtleneck sweater in black; Madewell grey skinny jeans; Ray Ban Light Ray sunglasses.

This was at the last Eagles game I attended when the weather was unseasonably warm. As I’ve mentioned before, I love the J.Crew Factory turtleneck sweater. It has kept me very comfortable when it’s cold and somewhat warm. We tailgate so I’m outdoors for a minimum of eight hours whenever we go to a football game.

Have a great Tuesday! xx

review of recent j.crew purchase

Happy Saturday to you! Can you believe it’s almost Christmas? Well, it’s starting to feel like the holidays with the recent temperature drop–yikes. I needed a warm winter coat (the red duffle coat didn’t work out for me) and J.Crew came to the rescue with their Nordic parka. Take a look below for my pictures and reviews. If you’re interested, J.Crew is currently running yet another discount promotion with code GIFTNOW, where select items are 40% off and the remaining merchandise is 30% off (some exclusions apply).

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J.Crew parka in navy; Madewell cropped jeans (sold out, similar); Vans grey perforated leather sneaker.

This purchase was prompted by reading a great detailed review from Dress Like an Engineer. I needed a heavy-duty winter coat that had a real hood that wouldn’t blow off my head when the gusts of wind are vigorous. It’s a really well made coat with a ton of thoughtful details such as pockets galore (I counted a total of 8), a thick lined hood, thumbholes for the sleeve inserts, fleece-lined pockets, etc. I ordered a XS and it is true to size. The parka fits me perfectly (the sleeves were long enough and the generous hood accounted for my longer neck). There is lots of room for layers underneath and there’s an interior drawstring cord at the waist to customize the fit. The coat is heavy but the weight is there to keep you warm and insulated. Online reviews don’t like the zipper (they say it’s difficult to zip), but I didn’t have an issue. It’s a thick double zipper (another great feature so when you’re seated, you can unzip it from the bottom to allow for some breathing room), so just be sure you have both zipper parts aligned when you zip it up. It’s 30% off with the GIFTNOW code.

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J.Crew striped boatneck top; Madewell cropped jeans (sold out, similar); Vans grey perforated leather sneaker.

My love for stripes is strong and the multicolored stripes are super jaunty in the red and blue. I ordered a XS and it’s true to size for me. However, I would not risk shrinking it since the shoulders hit exactly where they should now and I don’t want the sleeves to get shorter, so this will be a hang dry item. It’s 40% off with the promo code.

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J.Crew bulldog socks in heather pewter.

These bulldog socks are the best, look at the black tuxedo tie that the bulldog is wearing! I should have ordered a back-up pair since it sold out in a flash.

12/24/15 update: the bulldog socks are back in stock!

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J.Crew parka in navy & striped boatneck top; Madewell cropped jeans (sold out, similar); Vans grey perforated leather sneaker.

I wanted to mention the Vans slip-on sneakers too since they were a recent purchase at Nordstrom. I bought a navy pair this past summer and they have become a quick favorite. When I saw these in grey (I love all things grey, especially for accessories) and on sale at Nordstrom, it was a no-brainer. Comfy and true to size.

Are you done with your Christmas shopping? Hope you’re now able to relax and take in the holiday season in stride! xx

puffer vest outfit

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J.Crew Factory plaid puffer vest & rolled turtleneck sweater; Two by Vince Camuto ’70’s Flare’ jeans; Joy Chen ‘Opal’ black calf booties (old, similar); Isabel Marant for H&M silver necklace (old, similar); Rebecca Minkoff grey leather cuff bracelet (old); Cartier tank watch.

I finally got myself a puffer vest, yay! I tried one out two or three years ago from J.Crew Factory (the herringbone vest) but it was big on me. Then I sort of forgot about the puffer vest and instead added other types of vests to my wardrobe. Yet every fall and winter rekindles my interest when I see a ton of cute puffer vest outfits out and about.

On Black Friday, J.Crew Factory was running a very good promotion so I ordered this plaid printed vest. I sized down to a XXS (I’m normally a XS) and I’m glad I did because the fit is perfect, even over a thicker knit sweater. Size down if you order this online, and wouldn’t you know that J.Crew Factory is doing a flash sale today only (it ends tonight) with code DONTMELT where it’s an additional 20% off and free shipping.

I’m still loving this baby blue turtleneck sweater from J.Crew Factory and it picks up a thin blue line in the print of the vest. The quality is pretty decent for the price, it has retained its shape and the pilling is minimal despite the online reviews. It’s a wool blend, so the non-wool fibers are more apt to pill. I found that purse straps and the tags inside coats and jackets are the usual culprits of causing the dreaded sweater pill. In any event, the sweater really keeps you warm and it’s now my go-to tailgate sweater (I’ve been to three so far this football season). You don’t need a scarf and you can layer a thin long sleeve tee underneath and it’s not bulky underneath a semi-fitted jacket or coat.

I am still rocking the flares and I found an old pair of ankle boots with an almond toe that looks great, length-wise, with the jeans. If you have shorter legs like me, then you will get excited about the approximate 31″ inseam (no hemming needed!) of these jeans. Personally, I wouldn’t hem a pair of flares because you’d be cutting off the flared part of the jeans. Not an issue with this pair! I bought these at Macy’s and they’re currently on sale with an additional 20% off today only with code MERRY. I’m wearing a size 0/25 waist and it’s true to size.

Do you wear vests and which are your favorite types? How about flared jeans? Stay warm and dry today! xx

I ❤️ Leather

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Vince leather shift dress (old, current version here, here and here) & sweater coat (old, similar here and here); Pedro Garcia suede sandals (old, similar); Madewell Arrowstack necklace; Cartier tank watch.

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Vince leather shift dress (old, current version here, here and here) & sweater coat (old, similar here and here); Pedro Garcia suede sandals (old, similar); Madewell Arrowstack necklace; Cartier tank watch.

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Vince leather shift dress (old, current version here, here and here) & sweater coat (old, similar here and here); Pedro Garcia suede sandals (old, similar); Madewell Arrowstack necklace; Cartier tank watch.

An outfit from last Saturday night, I was excited that the weather was atypically warm. I went bare legged and wore suede sandals. You may remember I purchased this Vince leather dress and sweater coat from the 2012 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (previously posted here and here). I’ve worn the leather dress very few times because I gained weight and I couldn’t fit into it. However, I can wear the dress now and I’m loving it.

The Pedro Garcia shoes are from a later Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (featured here and here) and they are beyond comfortable (we walked to and from the restaurant instead of cabbing it). The suede molds to your foot and the Velcro closure ensures a custom fit. The dune color is versatile and matches to one of the colors in my sweater coat.

Do you love wearing leather or faux leather pieces? Hope you’re enjoying your week!

today’s funny (this is really good)

You may already know that I’m on Instagram @valleyoftheshoes. I enjoy this social media outlet because it’s so fast and easy to check out a concept, lifestyle, interests, etc. around the world. I get inspired daily for fashion and style on Instagram too. If you do as well, then please check out this hilarious YouTube video:

You will get some of the references like the brick wall, food photos, and taking a picture from a high angle. “Cuuuuuute!”

Hope you had a laugh! xx

pastel plaid & sparkly fair isle

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Madewell plaid flannel shirt, grey skinny jeans & Arrowstack necklace; Puma Match Lo sneakers (more sizes here).

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J.Crew Factory sequin fair isle sweater (may be sold out, similar here); Levi’s Capital E skinny jeans (very old, similar); Cartier tank watch.

A couple of quickie reviews for your Sunday. I purchased the muted pastel pink and grey plaid flannel shirt from Madewell on Black Friday (posted here) and I love the different color scheme of this plaid (it’s not red, blue, black or green). I am wearing a XS, so it’s true to size. The back hem is longer than the front hem, so you could possibly wear this shirt with leggings as an option. I don’t think I could swing that with my longer torso, but I could always layer this shirt as a lightweight jacket (leave it unbuttoned and untucked over a tank or tee). The shirt matches nicely with my grey jeans, which I’m happy to report.

The fair isle sweater was a recent purchase too, I’m bummed that it’s already sold out online (I bought it at the end of October). What sold me was the subtle stripes of sequins on the front of the sweater, I thought this was such a festive touch. This is a XS and it’s true to size. It’s also soft (not itchy) and warm (it’s a wool blend), as I’ve tested it today on this super chilly morning. J.Crew has their own version of this fair isle sweater, in two different color palettes (I’ve provided a link above). I really like the grey version.

Have you been breaking out the flannels and wool sweaters lately? Enjoy your Sunday Funday!!

🎄holiday party outfit time🎉

The Black Tux created a holiday party style guide and reached out to me to see what holiday outfits I’d pull together for three types of events–casual, professional and formal. The Black Tux concept is very similar to Rent the Runway, except it’s for men. If your guy needs a sharp suit or a luxe looking tuxedo, The Black Tux has got him covered for that party, wedding or professional event. You can check out their site for an easy way to get a tuxedo rental. Talk about stress-free for the holidays, which is always welcome during this time of hustle and bustle. I was already thinking of doing a holiday outfit post, so the timing was serendipitous.

Let’s start with casual outfits for you and your +1. Both of you will be so ready for that holiday house party with your family or friends with these outfits.

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Wine sweater; Black coated jeans; Star clutch; Silver bracelet; Crystal stud earrings; Black ankle boots.

I went with something that was comfortable (and warm!) but still had a cool party vibe. I love my black coated skinny jeans, it looks like leather but without the fuss. The wine colored sweater is edgy with the shoulder stud detail. I thought the clutch was a lot of fun with the silver stars.

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Plaid shirt in holiday green plaid; Dark wash jeans; Brown loafers; Timex watch.

I went with a festive style for your date’s outfit, how appropriate is the green and red plaid for the holidays? My husband actually has this Timex watch and he really loves it. He finds it to be stylish, lightweight and very easy to read. So, this may be a good idea for a Christmas gift.

Next, we have cocktail party attire for your work holiday function or for an afternoon wedding. It’s dress to impress time!

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Jacquard dress; Black pumps; Black clutch; Statement necklace; Stud earrings.

I went for a gorgeous emerald color and a sumptuous jacquard is my personal favorite for a cocktail dress. I went for black and green for the accessories. The high neck of the dress just begs for a statement necklace and this multi-colored number fits the bill. I went for understated stud earrings but thought the rainbow effect of the studs made it special.

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Charcoal Suit on The Black Tux. Very dapper and it complements the dark green and black of my outfit above.

Lastly, it’s time for black tie. It’s easy for men, a classic and well-fitting tuxedo is the only way to go. Not so easy for women because I feel a number of evening gowns can be dowdy or mother-of-the-bride-ish. Well, I found the unicorn of evening gowns….

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Red gown; Gold pavé teardrop earrings; Gold sandals; Gold minaudière clutch.

This red gown is modern and chic. The long column look will help you look taller and slimmer too. I went with gold for accessories since I love red and gold together. This uncomplicated outfit is a true showstopper, just remember to take lots of pictures!

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Peaked Lapel Tuxedo at The Black Tux. So handsome!

There you have it. I hope you enjoyed my holiday outfit picks, please let me know what you think. I hope you have lots of quality time with your loved ones this holiday season! xx

Disclosure: I was not provided with any form of compensation by The Black Tux for their mention in this blog post.

Macy’s Friends & Family Sale

It’s that time of year again! Take an extra 25% off (10% off for select departments) your purchase at Macy’s during their Friends & Family event with promo code FRIEND. Certain exclusions apply.

As you may know, I would describe my style as part boho. The other parts are preppy and edgy. It’s whatever I feel that day or for what the occasion calls for. Today on the blog, I’m feeling bohemian with Free People, a brand that is all about the boho look and lifestyle. At full price, Free People is sort of expensive, but with the 25% off discount in addition to items that are already on sale, it’s a really solid deal.

Here are my Macy’s picks:

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Denim tunic. The lace-up shirts have had a resurgence this year and I think this trend is timeless. Think Jane Birkin in the 1960’s through the 1970’s. I could easily think this top was from a recent Isabel Marant collection, but for a mere fraction of the cost. Original price is $148, but it’s on sale at Macy’s and with the FRIEND code, it nets to about $56–sweet. Hurry, sizes are selling out.

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Embroidered top. This top is just gorgeous with all the embroidery at the yoke and even along the long sleeves. It also comes in two other colors. My favorite is the black version since you could wear it with black or brown. I also am in love with the spiced plum color, it looks so velvety. This looks like it’s on the short side, but I think you’d be fine with high-waisted jeans, pants or skirts. I plan on wearing this under my overalls in addition to my flared jeans and denim skirt. Originally $98 and already on sale, it should net to about $39–get two, yes?

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Turtleneck dress. What a great little dress for the winter months. It’s an easy to wear shape with the turtleneck and long bell sleeves to keep you warm and stylish. Originally $148, on sale, and should net around $56. It may or may not be sold out online, but I’d keep checking at later times. It looked like it was sold out in all sizes this morning, but now there are Mediums available online. Also, maybe you can find it at your local Macy’s store. If not, you can buy it here if you love it and want it. It’s also on sale for about $89 until 12/6 and it’s eligible for a buy more, save more promotion.

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Lace bralette. I bought this to peek out of tank tops or wider necklines, would you please check out the pretty back? I mean, feminine to the extreme. You would want this piece to peek out a little. Originally $38, not on sale but should net to $28.50 a piece.

Shifting gears here, but how’s this for the perfect Secret Santa gift? Only $25 for this exclusive to Macy’s set, you’re welcome (lol). It’s exluded from the 25% discount, but the price is right for five lipsticks (it’s an $80 value and it qualifies for free shipping).

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Lipstick set. Lots of positive online reviews, all of the colors are very wearable. And, how cute are the decorative lips all over the cases? I’m getting a bunch of these sets for Christmas gifts and maybe one for myself (::wink::).

Are you shopping the F&F event at Macy’s? What catches your eye? Almost Friday, hang tight for the weekend. xx

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