Layering time.

Winter has finally arrived here in Louisiana (although you wouldn’t know it from today’s temperatures – mid 70s and high humidity, ugh)! The past few weeks we had highs in the 50s or 60s and lows dipping in the 20s some nights. The day that I was able to head out to the Louisiana Renaissance Festival, that morning was in the 30s. The three of us – myself, my brother, and his girlfriend Nicole – were all bundled up in jackets, scarves, sweaters, and gloves that day! Brr! (A forthcoming post on that visit later.)

Since I am normally so warm-natured, I don’t do well with layering unless it is REALLY cold. However, the only exception to the rule is my Niki Biki camis. I wear those year-round, since they are so lightweight.

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At Bra Genie we sell Niki Biki camis in three lengths: long, regular, and cropped. My personal favorites are the long and cropped. The long is great if you are looking for that layered look, or want the cami to stay tucked into skirts or pants. It comes down to the bottom of the hip on me – and I could even stretch it to cover my butt if I wanted to! The cropped length comes just under the bust and is great for coverage in really low-cut dresses or shirts. The reason I love them is because they are not as warm as a full-length cami and so are great for summertime. I wore my cropped camis with my maxi dresses all summer!

OOTD 8/3/12
Red cropped cami

OOTD - 4/27/12
Coral long cami

OOTD - 7/23/12.
Green long cami

(These pictures are a bit old, but you get the idea.)

The fabric is seamless, very lightweight, and REALLY stretchy – I mean ridiculously stretchy. This means they will fit a very wide range of sizes, which is wonderful! However, you can expect them to be very clingy. I’m okay with this, considering that I use them as layering pieces. If you’re expecting to wear them as an outerwear piece, you might need to be on the smaller side of the size spectrum. The other thing I love about them is that the long camis come in a wide range of colors – I’m talking HUGE:

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Everything from neutrals to neons to jewel tones to pastels. Seriously, if you need any pop of color or anything to go under a sheer blouse, you can find it. Sadly, the cropped camis don’t have that wide of a color range – I wish they did though!

So if you’re looking for a great lightweight cami to layer under sweaters or sheer blouses all year long, I can’t recommend Niki Biki camis enough.

Check out some other reviews of great camis and layering pieces:
- Darlene at Hourglassy reviews Second Base
- Thin and Curvy talks about Second Base as well
- Darlene at Hourglassy discusses Perfect Cami
- Erica at A Sophisticated Pair’s Perfect Cami review
- June of Braless in Brasil talks about Perfect Cami – and how it works for nursing moms!

OOTD – a comfortable Friday.

OOTD - 11/8/13

Dress (with attached slip) – Old Navy
Tights – Walgreens (at least that’s where I think they’re from – I’ve had them forever!)
Boots – TJ Maxx
Bracelets – Charming Charlie, Stella & Dot, Trendz NOLA

As you can see, I’ve become rather enamored of setting my outfit pics up in my kitchen these days. I’m using my Joby GripTight GorillaPod to hold my iPhone, and the free version of GorillaCam to snap a bunch of outfit pictures so I can pick the best one. I’m pretty much using my iPhone as my point-and-shoot camera these days – combine the GorillaPod with GorillaCam or VSCOCam and I can get some really amazing pictures of anything, anywhere.

OOTD – lots of outfits!

It’s FALL, Y’ALL.

The temperatures have dropped here in Louisiana, and I couldn’t be happier. I have been able to wear jackets and sweaters and tights and BOOTS (y’all should know my love of boots if you’ve been reading me for a while…if not, just know I FREAKING LOVE BOOTS FOR REALS) and I am so very happy about this temperature change. I also don’t have to shave my legs every day, and this is also a good thing. Not so much for Doug, maybe.

Anyway, I’ve been dressing up a bit more, so here’s a few outfit pics I’ve taken over the past couple of weeks!

October 24:
OOTD - 10/24/13.
Denim jacket, maxi dress, leopard belt: Old Navy
Leather wrap bracelet: Charming Charlie
Pour Le Victoire handbag: TJ Maxx
Jessica Simpson “Cranaby” bootie: 6pm.com
My mom and I took a day and went into the French Quarter to play tourist the previous Thursday. It was lovely – warm in the sun, cool in the shade, and just a perfect day. We stopped in a couple of my favorite shops (The Spice and Tea Exchange and Trendz NOLA), had lunch and drinks at Pat O’Brien’s (which I’ve never been to), walked around and did a little window shopping in stores and at the French Market, and rounded out our day at Stanley with an amazing ice cream sundae.

Some other snapshots from that day:

Bloody Mary at Pat O'Brien's!  #liquidlunch #boozahol #vscocam

St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square. #frenchquarter #neworleans #vscocam

Only in NOLA is "not haunted" a selling point for a rental. #frenchquarter #neworleans #vscocam

Lunch at the Pat O'Brien's courtyard today.  #frenchquarter #neworleans #vscocam

Beautiful balcony. #frenchquarter #neworleans #vscocam

October 26 – work:
OOTD - 10/26/13.
Faux-leather jacket: Cato Fashions
Dress: Old Navy
Chevron tights: Torrid
Clarks flats: Shoeffle in Covington, LA
Silver necklace: a Christmas gift from Amber, a former Bra Genie coworker!
All things cobalt, y’all. I’m fascinated with this whole trend of brilliant primary colors that have popped up – crayon-bright reds, greens, blues, purples. With my fair skin and dark hair, I find that most of these colors work pretty well on me, especially the cool ones. So I’m trying to incorporate these into my fall and winter wardrobe. I don’t think you can go wrong with bright colors and classic black. Well, except maybe neons – those colors together are a little too 1980s. Did anyone else have a huge hot pink sweatshirt with neon geometric shapes and black stirrup leggings? Come on, I can’t be the only one…

October 26 – Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Prytania Theater:
Oh hai Jack and Coke #saturdaynight #rockyhorror #drankin

At the Prytania, waiting in line.
Black beret (which is really hard to see): Target
Red neck scarf: borrowed from my manager, Nancy!
B&W striped tee: Old Navy
Skinny black patent belt: Cato Fashions
Red pencil skirt: Lane Bryant
(Not shown: Black fishnets from Torrid, Clarks flats from Shoeffle)
Halloween weekend is not Halloween weekend without a visit to the Prytania Theater for the Saturday night midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Doug and I try to go every year (we actually try to go throughout the year, but we haven’t gone in a while). This year, my fabulous co-worker Julia accompanied us! This was her first time at a theater show of Rocky. We decided to dress up since it was Halloween weekend and all. I was trying to go for a whole “French girl” thing. I got a few compliments – and I think I would definitely wear this again, but a little less costumey.

October 28:
OOTD - 10/28/13.
Cardigan and jeans: Old Navy
Echo scarf: eBay
Yummie cami: Bra Genie
Black and tan oxfords: Trendz NOLA
I bought these oxfords at Trendz the previous week and I KNEW exactly how I would wear them. This outfit kind of gives off a 1950s bad girl vibe. Someone at work said it reminded them of Rizzo from Grease. I haven’t seen Grease in a while so I’m going to defer to Doug on the matter, since he is a big Grease fan:
“A little bit.”
There you go, people.
Also, these shoes remind me of my friend Kahra very much. This is an outfit that I think she would wear.

OOTD - 11/1/13.
Denim jacket: Old Navy
Maxi dress and bangle bracelets: Cato Fashions
(not shown: Jessica Simpson bootie from 6pm.com)
One of the things I am actively trying to do this fall and winter is take some of my summer-y clothing like my maxi dresses and find workarounds to wear them all year long. I’m pairing a lot of sleeveless items like my maxis with boots and this dark rinse denim jacket from Old Navy (my absolute favorite new piece, ever). As it gets colder, I’ll probably add in tights and throw sweaters on top of the dresses. I know people have grumped about Cato being “cheap fashion” but I honestly can’t hate on them. This dress has lasted through two summers and it seems like it will last longer as long as I keep taking care of it properly.

Have you been pulling out your fall clothing? What are you wearing with this temperature change?

Things To Wear When It’s Sleepytime.

This is a Sponsored Post!

As everyone knows, I am a major proponent of wearing gorgeous underpinnings. I have spent the better part of the past three years working on this – not only building up my own bra wardrobe, but also customers’ at Bra Genie. I have lacy, sexy, silky, pretty bras and panties out the wazoo. Unfortunately, my adoration of undergarments doesn’t quite apply to sleepwear. Typically, my wardrobe for sleeping consists of gym shorts and tank tops – some I’ve even worn for years. I finally decided this summer that it was time to update my sleep garments to something a little more classy – and in some cases, a LOT more sexy.

At Bra Genie, we started carrying some wonderful pieces from the Rhonda Shear “Butterknit” line. This fabric is silky-smooth, stays cool, and feels great to sleep in.
The first piece I got was the Sweet Cakes Butterknit Crossover Gown in Grape, a rich purple color. The elastic empire waist sits snug under the bust, the adjustable straps allow it to work for any shape, and the stretchy faux-wrap top shape conforms and supports your girls. Yeah, it wasn’t as high and lifted as an underwire bra – but when you’re sleeping, who wants an underwire bra? This gown hits right above the knee and has a shirttail hem for a cute look, too.

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I also ordered the Sweet Dreams Butterknit Sleep Shirt, which is pretty much what it says. A scoop-neck super-long tee in that ultra-soft butterknit fabric, with a split hem on each side for ease of movement. It provided enough coverage so if I needed to step outside to bring Gizmo out in the morning, I wouldn’t feel too naked – or I could throw it in my suitcase for traveling and sleep in it in a hotel room without feeling like I was showing too much off. I have this in both black and a bright turquoise blue.

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Since getting these items, I’ve discovered that Rhonda Shear is possibly going to discontinue her butterknit line, which saddens me to no end. It’s a great seller at Bra Genie, and since she makes items up to a 4X in some sizes, it fits a wide range of women. I beg you, Rhonda, please reconsider this! I was really hoping to get another crossover gown in black…oh well.

I’ve been on the lookout for a few more pieces to add to my sleep wardrobe. I’ve narrowed what I’m looking for down to two styles: Things to Wear When Expecting Company AND Things to Wear When it’s Just Doug and I.

Things to Wear When it’s Just Doug and I:

You can’t go wrong with the basics. Never. Which is why I like this Wide Neck Oversized Shirt from Hips and Curves. There are sometimes I just want to throw on something and crawl in bed, and this is perfect. The wide neck sits off the shoulder, which is a little sexy.

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I also love the Short Satin Peignoir Set by Amoreuse. This comes with a robe for a little coverage. I love the ivory floral print!

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This Cacique Tru to You Lace Cup Chemise kind of reminds me of my crossover gown, with the empire band and stretchy lace cups. I love the classic black and ivory lace appearance, and the fabric looks soft and comfortable. The straps are adjustable, too, which is nice – it will allow the bust to fit a range of sizes.

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And for nights that I want to turn up the heat (heh), I’d go with this Sinfully Sweet Georgette Babydoll from Hips and Curves. Light as a feather, sheer, and sexy as all get-out. I’d go with the navy and black, since I’m loving all things navy these days. Maybe I can snap one of these up before our night out in December?

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Things to Wear When Expecting Company:

I really like this 3-pc cotton knit pajamas by Dreams & Co.. The set comes with a shrug, tank, and pants, so I can layer with whatever I feel comfortable wearing. I can throw on a pair of slippers to get the mail or sit on the porch with my coffee. So simple and cute – and I love the stripes!

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These Cotton Woven Pajamas by Dreams & Co. are classically cute – pink and stripey! Cotton can be worn year-round, too. I can pair the bottoms with a tee or a tank in the summer and throw the long sleeved top on in the cooler months.

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For traveling, or when it’s 90 degrees outside in August, I like these Tag-free Cotton Knit Shorty Pajamas by Dreams & Co. The bright turquoise is fun for summertime, and I could easily wear this in a hotel room for conventions or vacations when people are staying in the room with Doug and I.

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I also like this Cacique Striped Tank & Legging Sleep Set for sleepovers or traveling, too. I tend to get really warm when I sleep – but this gives me the coverage without sacrificing the comfort. I could probably wear the leggings with outfits during the day, too! I like pieces that do double duty.

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Even though I want more coverage when people are over, that doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t want something pretty. This is why I love this Long Satin Peignoir Set by Amoureuse. The long gown and robe give you coverage, but the satin and lace make you feel gorgeous. I really adore this chocolate brown print – it’s not the standard colors that you normally see with peignoir sets.

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Of course, if you love the classic peignoir look but don’t want satin, you could always go for the Long Peignoir Set By Amoureuse, which comes in black/ivory or wine/ivory. This fabric looks to be a little more soft and stretchy, which is nice, and the ivory lace is a lovely touch.

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This 2-piece Satin PJ Set by Amoureuse is also really cute – you know I love polka dots – and the satin makes it feel a lot more dressy. Like I should be sitting in my sun-warmed dining nook with a steaming cup of tea reading the paper. Satin pajama sets are always classic – and feel great on while giving you some coverage.

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Last – but certainly not least – in my picks for sleepytime wear is this Cacique Tru to You Cami & Pant Set. This sits square on the line of sexy and comfy – perfect for me! The silky charmeuse top has adjustable straps and is trimmed in lace, and is paired with the soft fabric of the pants, which have a lace edge along the legs. I would totally wear that cami under a blazer or sweater during the day, too – it’s too pretty not to be shown!

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I think as time goes on, I will be adding more and more beautiful pieces not only to my bra wardrobe, but also my sleepwear and loungewear wardrobe too! I think the days of lounging around in shoddy tank tops and gym shorts are definitely over for me.

Check out some more sleepwear and loungewear pieces from these companies here:

Roaman’s

Lane Bryant / Cacique

Hips and Curves

FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored post, which means the company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend and discuss products that I would use or that I believe would be good for my readers!

HALP: pick out a party outfit!

HALP is where I enlist you, Dear Readers, for advice and/or to help me make a decision.

So Doug informed me the other day that his company has booked their annual Christmas/Holiday party. It’s apparently going to be at the House of Blues, and they have a band, food, drinks – the works. We’re thinking about getting a hotel room that evening so we don’t have to worry about driving back across the lake, and we can partake of many adult beverages and spend the night playing around the French Quarter. Typically, if we’re going across the lake, one of us has to stay sober while the other gets to drink, and that’s no fun for at least one of us.

It’s been quite a while since the two of us have had an opportunity to go out on a real “date night”, where we dress up and hit the town or event looking GOOD. Honestly, I don’t really have a lot of super-dressy clothes anymore! My dresses are more for daytime wear. Also, both of us have our high school reunions next year and we’ll certainly need something to wear for those, so I figure I need a dress that can do double (or triple) duty for these parties. Time to start shopping and getting some ideas together – and I need YOU to help me decide.

Look #1 – Purple!

Purple Party Dress Look


If there’s one thing I know I can show off, it’s my décolletage. I know a deep V or scoop neck dress or top is flattering on me, and though I won’t go to my husband’s work party with a dress cut down to my navel, I have no qualms about showing some cleavage for a nighttime event. This IGIGI dress, with it’s rich purple color, deep neckline, fitted waist, and flared skirt that hits right below the knee, is absolutely GORGEOUS. These Seychelles heels that I found on Zappos have a heel that I can easily walk, dance, and stand around in – and the closed toe means my feet won’t freeze in cooler weather. Since both the dress and the heels have a distinct retro vibe, I’m pairing them with black fishnets. The Berkshire fishnets I show here are nice, but their size range is limited…I’d probably pick up a pair at Torrid, or get these fishnets with a cotton sole from Sock Dreams. I have a pair of Betsey Johnson earrings that are very similar to these leverbacks from In Pink, and the sparkly bold bracelet (also from In Pink) would work nicely with them. To wrap things up, I discovered this sequinned clutch at Handbag Heaven. It’s big enough to hold my necessary items (ID, money, phone, lipstick, and possibly a comb) and comes with a long chain in case I want to wear it as a crossbody later in the evening. Let’s face it, ladies, as much as clutches are cute and stylish, after about two hours of carrying them in your hand or under your arm, they are a pain in the ass. So I want something that has a little strap so I can wear it across my body as the night goes on.

Look #2 – Red!

Red Party Dress Look


I’m going to admit, this is probably my least favorite of the three. It’s really BRIGHT and WOW HEY LOOK AT ME – but this dress is so cute I couldn’t help but put this together. I tried putting black and red together but it seemed too off – I wanted something brighter. The dress is from eShakti, which if you haven’t checked out, do so. Customization is the name of the game with this company – from sizing to changing necklines, hem length, sleeves – if the dress can be changed in some way, you can do it! I think I’d add some short or elbow-length sleeves on this dress, make the neckline a deep V, and keep the hem at below the knee. Oh, and did I mention the dress has POCKETS? I love a dress with pockets! The scalloped neckline is actually low in the front and back, so it would show off my tattoo. (Yes, this is a plus for me.) I’m pairing it with nude fishnets and these Gabriella Rocha gold kitten heels from Zappos – low enough to be comfortable but cute enough to be noticed. I love this little studded clutch from Handbag Heaven. It also has a chain strap that can be attached for later.

All of the jewelry is from In Pink! Tons of gold, red, and rhinestones. I mean, if you’re going to wear a red dress and gold shoes, might as well go big or go home with accessories. Most likely, I’d wear the earrings and one other piece.

Bracelet?

Bracelet


Ring?

Ring


I CAN’T DECIDE!

This dress also comes in navy, so this would be considered Look # 2.5 – Navy with rose gold accents!

Navy Party Dress


Look #3: Teal!

Teal and Black Party Dress Look


Out of all three of these looks, this one is the front-runner for me. I’m really digging the entire overall look here. It’s a little retro, a little glam, a little hip. It’s also a LOT outside of the box for me. Most of the time, when I’m looking for party dresses, I almost always go for the fit-and-flare shape (can you tell from the dresses I picked in the other looks?). It’s mostly a “comfort” thing for me – it hides my tummy, which is my area that I am most concerned about. However, I’ve been seeing this Scarlett & Jo for Evans dress floating around the blogosphere for quite some time now, and I’m a big fan. The middle panel, a rich teal green, is cut to give the illusion of super curves! Hourglass figure, here I come. Plus, this dress apparently has powernet mesh inside to help keep you smoothed and tucked and looking all sexy. With my rounder belly, I’ll probably still be wearing my Elomi Curve shaper underneath it (hell, I never wear ANY dresses without shapewear), but I think between that, the ruching, and the mesh I’ll look just fine. The neck is nice and low, and the arms are about elbow-length, so I can be covered and classy and still show off uber-cleavage. I found this stretchy belt on ASOS – I love the bold gold buckle, and putting that around my waist may make it appear more defined. The shiny teal dangle earrings from In Pink provide a bit of sparkle, the studded bag carries all my necessary items, and I’d finish off with black fishnets and Seychelles heels.

WHY CAN I NOT BE RICH AND AFFORD ALL THESE DRESSES. I LOVE THEM ALL.

Which outfit do YOU prefer? Would you mix some of these pieces up, or do you have some other recommendations? Leave a comment and let me know!