Pretty Blue Rose

life musings, fashion, and inspiration


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Style: In BeTweed

I am a huge fan of tweed, which is a rough, unfinished woollen fabric. It is made in either plain or twill weave and may have a check or herringbone pattern.

Tweed is super comfortable and I just cannot say enough good things about it. Check out some of my favorite looks:

Having some fun with work and tweed.

The black and white almost grey looking tweed is a great staple. It’s good with jeans, dress pants and skirts.

Tweed and Coach

Tweed Pencil Skirt

Jeans and tweed, yes indeed!

Tweed Biker Jacket

My tweed pants, similar to those below, are really a favorite of mine. I really get happy when I realize enough time has passed and I can wear them to work again.
Mustard Tweed

I don’t own a pair of tweed shoes yet, but I’d love to. The blue tweed shoes below are sick!

Tweed Shoes

This monochromatic look incorporating tweed could work for the office or the weekend.

Tweed in Lavender
Stay stylish and enjoy the weekend (I feel spring in the air!),
A. G.


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The Lazy Shopper: Target (part 1)

Quick recap on the Lazy Shopper Series: We are busy. For various reasons shopping is usually not fun. And it’s annoying when you think you have a several new outfits, but you only end up with 2 because the pieces you bought weren’t considered in the larger context of your wardrobe.

My Lazy Shopper Series seeks to address those shopping issues by picking pieces from one store and putting together multiple outfits to show you how they all work together. My first stop was J. Crew and that was a pretty popular (and admittedly expensive) post. So let’s move to the other side of the continuum and head over to Target (face it, you’re already there for cake mix and towels (or toys!) anyways…). I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Ok yall, I had way too much fun with Target. I really like the way their stuff is looking this spring season. So this collection has over 15 looks ranging from weekend casual to work wear for late winter through late spring .

Here’s my challenge:

1 store

all items are $30 or less (yes really!!)

10 clothing items

5 accessories (including shoes)

Check out my picks:

Pretty Blue Style: Target's One Stop Shop

Shopping tips:

Remember I’ve said blazers are a great staple, silver shoes are a must do, and wedges are my favorite shoe. White, navy, and camel are my neutrals for this collection and my two accent colors are rose and teal.

So let’s see what outfits my selections get us:

Pretty Blue Style: Target's One Stop Shop (pt 1)

So above, I used the navy and white sheath dress, that’s a bit more on the casual side and I dressed it up with each of the blazers. Notice, I used the navy shoes with the rose colored blazer to make sure the blazer was the focus. In the center, I matched the camel colored jacket and shoes. The ruffles make the camel blazer less formal. And to the right, the teal blazer is offset with silver. Again when you don’t know what shoes to match with an outfit, chances are silver will work. The addition of the silver bangles makes the silver shoes look purposeful rather than accidental.

Pretty Blue Style: Target's One Stop Shop (pt 2)

I was really feelin’ the teal A-line skirt. The teal wedges were selected because I thought they kept the skirt playful. In the third outfit from the left, the teal skirt allowed me to introduce the print shirt. The navy background is neutral and the teal and camel colors work with my color palette nicely. The navy pumps dress up the shirt and make it work friendly, but the teal and camel colored wedges would work as well.

Pretty Blue Style: Target's One Stop Shop (pt 3)

Hands down this navy pleated skirt is my favorite piece in this collection. It’s only $20 and there are 7 different colors. (I’m that girl that when I do like something and find a good fit I get it as many colors as I can afford– this skirt would be one of those cases…) The left three outfits are for work and the one to the right (my favorite) is a cute weekend outfit. The wedges make the pleated skirt more casual. Looove it!

Pretty Blue Style: Target's One Stop Shop (pt 4)

I only selected one pair of pants for this entire collection and they were the light teal color so that they went with the shirts that the teal skirt works with. To the left, I’ve chosen a semi-monochromatic look. Different shades of the same color family (teal). I’ve been doing that more lately and I like it. See my purple version here.

Although I’ve only shown the camel colored blazer with the jeans, all of them would work (just remember if you pick the rose colored blazer either keep the shoes neutral with silver or match the jeans and pick the teal wedges). Lastly, I brought back my trusty print shirt and dressed it up with some navy patent leather pumps. I would tuck the shirt in and it could work for a early spring casual Friday look.

I like these outfits so much, I was really about to just buy everything. Since I did the hard work of making sure everything worked together, shouldn’t I reap the benefits?

What do you all think? And since I was so in love in my Target finds, I’m working on a part 2 (I really had such a hard time only picking 10 pieces that I just did another collection!)

Happy shopping and enjoy the weekend:)

A. Genise


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Pretty Blue Style: Michelle Obama

Regardless of your political preference, the First Lady of the United States or FLOTUS looked fabulous in her coat dress from designer Thom Browne (from my hometown!!!)
Check out a few looks that I love from Mrs. O.
2013 Inauguration Ceremony - Michelle Obama Is Wintry Perfection
I’m loving the bob she has below, and the blue, well you know Pretty Blue Rose love blue:)
First Lady Inaugural Style - Will Michelle Obama Wear A Nicole Miller Gown?
Her hair is super cute! The hoops are youthful and the print on the dress is fabulous!
Michelle Obama - White House Correspondents' Dinner.
I am such a fan of sheath dresses, and Mrs. O can surely wear one! The navy and red ensemble is spot on!
Michelle Obama - American Dream
OK, the curly do is one I really like. The smokey eye and pink lip compliments the one shoulder blue gown beautifully. And the belt is right up my alley!
michelle obama
Although Mrs. O hasn’t worn this particular dress, I love it and think it would look wonderful on her!
Mrs. Obama
Enjoy the weekend:)


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Go Fly a Kite!

Sunday was such a beautiful day in my neck of the woods. It felt like a balmy fall day. The sun shining, the sky was clear (you can see the moon in the first picture–my daughter loves that!) and the wind was perfect for flying a kite…so that’s just what we did.

I usually watch my hubby and daughter fly their kites, but on Sunday I joined in for quite a while. I felt such a freedom and peace flying my kite. (no judgement that we lost three kites to the trees!)

P.S. I didn’t wear my “fake uggs” with that outfit all day, I just wore them for play.

I actually wore my black knee high boots to church with my J. crew skirt, a 7-year old cotton shell from target, and a corduroy jacket from H&M. I call this look the “Purple People Eater”, but I think it worked:)

Keep Flying and Being Fly,

A. Genise


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Pretty Blue Star Style: Janelle Monae

When I first saw Janelle Monae, I was intrigued.

An image of Janelle Monáe

She seems like a humble artist who is about the music…And heck, she’s very talented! I love her style, and thus far, I’ve always seen her looking fabulous.

Monae always wears what she calls her uniform: usually a jacket and pants mostly in black or white and her hair is done up in a fifties-style quiff:

Kinkspiration! Janelle Monae

During an acceptance speech, Monae spoke candidly about her family and why she wears a “uniform”:

“When I started my musical career I was a maid, I used to clean houses. My parents—my mother was a proud janitor, my step-father who raised me like his very own worked at the post office and my father was a trash man. They all wore uniforms. And that’s why I stand here today in my black and white and I wear my uniform to honor them,”

In the spirit of Pretty Blue Rose, she went on to say:

“This [award] is a reminder that I have work to do, I have people to uplift, I have people to inspire,” she said

“And today I wear my uniform proudly as a Covergirl,” she told the audience referring to her deal with the cosmetics giant.

“I want to be clear young girls, I didn’t have to change who I was to become a Covergirl, I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned through my journey that perfection is the often the enemy of greatness. Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes other uncomfortable.

Sigh, so I’m a huge fan of her philosophy and her style. Cheers to you Ms. Monae!

Check out my outfits inspired by her:

Pretty Blue Star Style: Janelle Monae 1

Pretty Blue Star Style: Janelle Monae 2

Keep uplifting and inspiring others–this is the work we are all called to do,

A. Genise


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Pretty Blue Style: 5 Considerations for Buying Women’s Winter Coats

Winter is officially here and it’s ridiculously cold here on the east coast. (I’ve even been able to play in the snow when we traveled to PA for Christmas!!)
I’ve held off on a “winter coats” post in part because I didn’t want to acknowledge the need for a winter coat, but being in denial of winter won’t keep anyone warm.
I wanted to give you my thoughts on my favorite types of winter coats, the colors that give you the most mileage (surprisingly not black!) and different options for accessorizing. If you’re not a fan of coats with color (hopefully this post convinces you otherwise), I’ll show you how brightly colored scarves, hats, and gloves can add some fun to neutral coat colors.

Pretty Blue Style: Women's Winter Coats

#1 & 2: Style & Fabric.
Generally, I think the most versatile women’s winter coat is a knee-length, single-breasted wool coat like the blue, purple, and grey coats featured above. This style of coat works well with pants and most skirts and dresses for many different occasions. It’s almost universally flattering and can be found in almost every store and every price point. Wool is often the best material for a warm winter coat because it is breathable, while helping you retain your own body heat.
If you only wear pants, a pea coat is another good option (the double-breasted red coat at the top of the post) because those coats tend to be shorter and most likely won’t cover a dress or skirt.
#3: Size
Size is one consideration folks tend to forget about. There is nothing worse than having a cute winter coat that is too small when you have winter layers and sweaters on. Make sure that your winter coat is a bit larger than your regular size so it can accommodate several layers of shirts underneath while still buttoning properly. For me, my long winter coat doesn’t accommodate several layers, but my navy blue peacoat does.
#4: Color
Just because the winter months are dark and dreary does not mean that your outerwear needs to look that way. Although many think a black coat may be a versatile and safe choice “match everything”, I say lighten up your mood with color that is still versatile enough for everyday.
There are lot of colors out there that are far more interesting, yet play a similar function to a neutral shade like black. Colors like blue, plum, red, and grey coats can be great colors to consider purchasing in lieu of black or brown.
#5: Accessories
To increase the versatility your winter coat, consider updating your hats, gloves and scarves rather than purchasing a new coat when you get bored with it. If you don’t have a brown or black coat, you can go for bright accents or even neutrals–they will both work! Here are some styles I put together for inspiration.
Pretty Blue Style: Winter Coats and accessories

Breakdown:
#’s 1 and 2 show the blue and plum colored coats with bright accessories for those in a playful mood, where as #’s 3 and 4 use neutral accessories for a more serious look. See below for how I styled pink and grey coats.
Pretty Blue Style: Winter Coats 2
Practical tips for taking care of your coat:
Once you have found your perfect winter coat, please take good care of it! Dry cleaning a few times during the season is a good idea, and be particularly vigilant if your winter coat is a light color. Always hang your winter coat on a quality hanger (that will preserve the shape of the shoulders.) At the end of the season, check for loose buttons and small tears, especially tears in the lining and have them fixed before next winter. There is nothing worse than reaching for your winter coat and remembering it’s unwearable.
Stay warm and enjoy the weekend,
A. Genise


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Banish Holiday Stress with…Christmas in July!?

For many many years I got away with a last minute approach to Christmas. Although I love to be prepared and stuff, I was the girl who would do most of her Christmas shopping December 23rd-24th and come up with fabulous gifts!! (at least no one told me otherwise).

But now that I’m an adult (I do forget that sometimes…) being a procrastinator during the holidays makes doing adult things like sending Christmas cards, getting gifts for others, you know–being thoughtful, a source of stress.

So this year, we barely made the requested dress code for my daughter’s holiday party (I didn’t read the cover letter sent home), and I forgot to give the teachers cards with their gifts. Part of me says, just let it go Ms. Perfectionist, but there is another part of me that knows it’s about better planning. I know there will be a time when kids are exchanging gifts and cards or baked goods, so I need to get on the ball!

And even if you don’t have kids, I’m sure you have holiday amnesia. We are stressed from Halloween through the New Year–but since we always manage to get through it, we do everything the SAME way the next year (or wait even longer)—forgetting how hard it was the years before.

My solution and my resolution for next year is to start writing Christmas cards in July. Yes July! I’ve been trying to get them out for 3 years now, and I haven’t. If I were to really take this all seriously, I would not procrastinate on gift buying, card writing– I’d start super duper early.

I’ve always had the mindset that Christmas shopping should be done year round, so I usually do that and have a gift drawer filled with gifts I find year round. But I need to step it up a bit. I need to give myself mooore leeway because last minute things creep up in the holiday season (unexpected house guests, needing last minute gifts for people you just met or found out are giving your child gifts!!)

So the solution to an easier season is to do what you can do early. No one will know if you write your holiday cards in July (just don’t send them!!). No one would know if you took Christmas pics in July ( I’m more diligent about exercise in the summer, no holiday weight yet…hmmm that may be a great idea!!) just don’t send them. Can you see my family traveling to some photography studio in Christmas sweaters in the summer to have our pictures taken? (well maybe we change into the Christmas garb at the studio…)

Christmas in July

Ok, seriously, if you plan ahead when the inevitable last minute things pop up, the routine and time consuming holiday things are already done.

I know in July, I’m going to feel silly writing Christmas cards, I’m going to say I’ll be able to get it done in October or even November, but I am saying to my future procrastinating self: “DON’T WAIT!” On a nice hot summer evening, sit outside, write your cards and make your shopping list (rather than wait until the card ride to the store on December 19th).

I’m starting to wonder if this is where the term Christmas in July came from…

Hmmm…

Well safe travels to everyone traveling.

Best,

A. Genise