What to Wear to a Summer Event: The Summer Dress Round Up.

May 23, 2018

This post was inspired by a reader and a friend who I ran into today on my way to lunch. She said, "hey, you should put a post together to give your readers some ideas for what to wear for a spring/summer event." We both work in higher education and graduation and all the events that surround graduation is upon us.  GREAT IDEA and super fun to put together.

Disclaimer: I LOVE wearing dresses to spring/summer events so all of my inspo are gorgeous summer dresses and depending on the event can be worn to both a formal or casual event.  Many of these dresses are classic and timeless investment pieces that you want to invest a good chunk of money into especially if you will be attending a formal evening event.  Don't worry, I love a good bargain so I have picked out some dresses for a lower price point.  It is never about how much you spend! How it fits and how you style it is more important than the price tag.  I promise! Shall we jump in?

Day Event (Honoree)

Are you headed to an event that honors your accomplishments?  Are you graduating from college or graduate school?  Are you being honored for service or for just being plan awesome? This is your time to shine and I have curated a few beautiful dresses that are chic, stylish, fun and have you stand out for all the right reasons.

Day Event(Guest)

I didn't realize it at the time but all my picks for this category are white and I am not mad about it.  Summer whites are the EASIEST way to chic up any look!  These dresses are really affordable and can be used for many summer occasions.  Pair these dresses with some strappy heels think nude, white (really in this season) or personally my fav and go-to a gold strappy heel with a matching clutch.  Done!
Work Event

As I said before I work in higher education so we have two graduation ceremonies to dress up for!  Now, I work in a creative environment and my every day attire is business casual so during graduation season I do try to dress it up a bit more.  Graduation is my favorite event!  I mean it is the whole point of higher ed, we all work tirelessly to help these young adults graduate with a degree in the profession they want to pursue, thats the whole deal.  Well, they come dressed up with their families and significant others and they are over the moon happy and I soak it all up!  It really gives me tremendous purpose and I just love my students.  Ok, back to the looks.  I tend to lean towards a more fitted cut in my dress, bold and solid colors.  These dresses are a great addition to any wardrobe and can be easily worn during the colder months with a fitted blazer or a cardigan (I prefer a blazer, just saying.)
Evening Event

Say you have a more formal event to attend, think a gala, reception or an indoor summer wedding and you don't know where to begin?  I have got you covered!  Now these dresses are a bit on the higher end and I am on the fence on whether or not you should invest in a gown especially in the social media age where you take a photo in it once and you can't wear it again.  I don't believe that btw, but some do.  However, if you have the means then by all means take a look at what I have picked out.  If you don't want to spend your hard earned cash on a dress then you should definitely take a look at my Rent the Runway Review.  It is a great way to rent designer gowns which you will wear for five hours at your special event, give or take, and return with no one the wiser.
I hope this helps give you some ideas on looks you can pull together for your busy summer social calendar. This was a lot of fun to put together, so thank you friend for the idea! πŸ’Ÿ

 Until next time! Oh, while I have you don't forget to subscribe so you NEVER miss a post. :)

 LifeStyledbyErica πŸ’‹

Style Series: Pink Blazer Edition; The Pink Suit

May 14, 2018

And now for the final installment of my new style series where I show you how to style one piece, three ways: the full on pink suit!  I purchased these pieces on thredup.com as separates hoping they would work together and to my pleasant surprise, they do!  Moral of the story don't be afraid to buy a suit as separates as long as they are in the same color family.  The colors in this outfit are really bold so I opted for a neutral clutch and nude pumps to complete the look and voila! 

I hope you enjoyed this style series as much as I enjoyed putting it together.  These three looks are just the tip of the iceberg.  You can easily pair this blazer with any number of bottoms including a fitted pair of jeans, a flowy skirt or even over a dress.  A great fitting blazer is such an investment piece that can  pull any look together effortlessly.  If you were to ask me what you should invest in when building a wardrobe, hands down it would be a blazer.  

Thanks for reading.  My style series will be back next month with a new piece to style.  I don't know what the piece is yet BUT I do know that I will include a casual look.  You are not going to want to miss out on whats coming next, so don't forget to subscribe. 

BONUS: Other ways to style a pink suit.  I LOVE it with a t-shirt!  

Until next time!


LifeStyledbyErica πŸ’‹

Style Series: Pink Blazer Edition; The Short Suit

May 9, 2018

Look 2 of my new monthly style series, "one piece, three ways", was a no brainer for me, shorts!   Short suits are a fun twist on the pants suit that is really on trend this season and I am LOVING IT!  I found these trouser shorts on banana republic's clearance sale two years ago.  Now I know that, depending on your field, wearing shorts to work could be risquΓ©.  As you know I am a higher ed professional in a school of architecture so I can "get away" with wearing shorts, given the creativity of the field I work in. I was bold enough to pair these shorts a week ago with an oversized, double breasted blazer and no one blinked an eye.  I do think fit has a lot to do with what is office appropriate, these trouser shorts are high waisted, wide legged and hit the mid-thigh.  They are fitted where they should be (at the waist) and loose where they should be the thigh.  It is perfect!  Now if the length makes you a little nervous I have included a few longer options below.  Keep scrolling to add pieces to recreate this look

Style Tip: If you are bold enough to try this look in the office pair it with an oversized blazer that hits just above the middle of your thigh, its all about proportions.

No bloggers were injured during this shoot, lol. 

Thanks for reading! Look 3 will be hitting the blog on Friday! Stay tuned.

Missed the first look, click here.


by LifeStyledbyErica 

Style Series: Pink Blazer Edition

May 6, 2018

 A few weeks ago I took a poll on my instagram stories about what kind of style inspo you wanted; outfit inspo or style tips.  You overwhelmingly voted style tips, my favorite!  Here is the first of my monthly style series, featuring this gorgeous pink linen blazer.  I picked out this beautiful linen blazer from the thredup website, immediately fell in love and haven't taken it off since. Starting this series with this blazer was a no brainer.

I went to Catholic school from 1st through 12th grade so I knew what I was wearing 10 months out of the year; a uniform.  As a result, I didn't have a huge selection of clothes, didn't need any!  So, I got very good at making the clothes I had count on the days I could decide what to wear.  I have always loved creating different looks with the pieces I had pre- pinterest, instagram and the age of fashion bloggers.  Let's jump into this look, shall we?
 I love how well red and pink go together.  They are a powerful pairing so I decided to go neutral on the bottom half with a pair of white, wide-legged trousers.  I think white, wide-legged trousers should be in every girl's closet.  They are so versatile and easy to dress up or dress down.  Versatile is the name of the game when you consider investment pieces.  I rounded out the look with red pumps and a structured, red satchel bag.  I have linked a few reasonable dupes for you below.


Thanks for scrolling all the way down! πŸ˜€ Stay tuned for look 2 coming at you Wednesday!  Don't forget to subscribe to my blog so you never miss a post!  

Till next time, love yourself. πŸ’–


4 Things I've Learned About Marriage

May 2, 2018

Engagement Day, December 2012

Last month my husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.  Michael and I love hard and I mean that in every sense of the word.  It gives us deep pleasure to see one another happy and a profound sadness when we can't seem to connect.  We have learned our lessons and are totally "winning" at this thing called marriage.  We have learned so much about each other but even more about ourselves and have just taken every single "knock-down" as an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the road ahead.  A marriage is a living, breathing thing and you most make it a priority in order to create a healthy, long standing relationship.

December 2012

1) Throw out what you think a marriage should be.

Every single marriage is different.  There is no size fits all when it comes to two individuals committing themselves to one another.  That should be a relief for you.  Why?  You can create a marriage from scratch, one that works for you and your partner.  To hell with what friends and family members might say about the relationship.  If it works for you and your partner then continue doing just that.

For example:  Michael and I were married in April and I had applied and was accepted into a graduate program that fall.  At my bridal shower I had so much to be excited for, not only was I getting married to an amazing man but I was taking the next step in my career by starting a master's program.  Michael was totally onboard and exited for me.  A close friend warned that I was taking on too much and that I should focus my time and energy on my new marriage.  I smiled, and graciously thanked her for her advice.  When I went home that evening I sat my fiancΓ©
down and told him I was worried that I wouldn't be able to do it all and I worried that I would be a terrible wife while I was in the program.  I asked what he thought, should I postpone?  He looked me straight in the eyes and said absolutely not, this was my dream and so it was now his.  We would figure the rest out together.  Which leads me to my next point.

September 2012

2) You must trust your partner 100%

This is important because without trust you have nothing.  What do I mean? I am not talking about fidelity at all, although thats important too.  But if you don't trust your partner can be faithful you've got bigger fish to fry.  What I mean is that there will be times where your partner might tell you something about yourself that you aren't prepared to hear.  Our instinct is, of course, to become defensive, especially when they've really hit a nerve.  That is when you MUST remember this person is your friend, they love you very much and only have your best interest at heart.  It isn't a judgement they are making, this is a real opportunity for you.  You can go one of two ways, you can completely shutdown or blow up or you can take some time to think about what they are saying.  Put some REAL thought into their words and realize how hard it might have been for them to even share this with you.  They fear a reaction like the one's described above.  Let's face it, anger is an easy emotion to tap into.  This isn't easy though, this is an opportunity for real growth and THAT is the work my friend.

For example: I tend to have a lot of energy. ALOT. I can jump around from thoughts and ideas and just be all over the place.  I teeter between wanting to pursue career goals that means more responsibility, late nights etc. You know #bossbabe status.  And then flip to lazy Erica, she is comfortable where she is and part of her doesn't want to work that hard to get where she wants to go.  Lazy Erica sometimes expects things to just be dropped on her lap.  My husband called me out on this just the other night.  Now, your next question might be, "what did you do? Shutdown, explode or embrace this as an opportunity oh wise one,". Well, I shutdown..listen, Im not perfect! We need refreshers, even on lessons learned.πŸ˜† I shut down and abruptly ended the conversation.  Ok, ok don't judge me! Im being honest here.  I spent the next day licking my wounds but also thinking about what my husband was trying to tell me.  He was absolutely right and he deserved to know it which brings me to my third lesson.

December 2012

3) As soon as you realize you are wrong APOLOGIZE

I can be a stubborn ole piece of work, and that is just part of my charm. No but really I am a tough nut to crack.  But one thing that I have learned pretty quickly, actually ever since my husband came into my life, is this one simple fact.  I don't want to be away from him, ever.  When I sulk and shutdown I am not only pushing him away, I am locking myself up in my own prison.  I hate that.  So as soon as I realize how wrong I am and I am ready to talk which is typically right away or within 24 hours.  I say to him openly and honestly,  "I am sorry."

Bonus: You might NOT always understand why your partner has gotten upset or feels hurt even after they try explaining it to you and that is ok.  Feelings aren't rationale, they don't come from that part of the brain and so sometimes it doesn't make sense.  It isn't your job to convince them they are wrong for how they feel, it is your job to assure them, when they are hurt, that they are loved and cared for deeply.   You say to them, I don't understand why you feel hurt BUT I am sorry that you do.  I would never intentionally hurt you.  Validating your partner's feelings are important.  Sometimes that is all they need.   Which again leads me to my very next and final point.

November 2011

4) Be Quick to Forgive - this is key

Ah! This is a goodie and a personal favorite of mine.  I get angry quickly but I cool off just as fast. My husband is slow to get angry (extremely patient human being) but once he is angry, he is slow to cool.  As I said before I don't want to be apart from my husband.  I can't do the silent treatment (which is deadly btw) and so when he shuts down I begin to unravel.  He has really taken this into consideration and has made it a point to come "back to me" as quickly as he can.  I can't tell you how much that means to me.  I know it isn't easy.  We all form these habits and coping mechanisms to help us get through difficult situations we feel we can't talk our way through.  I get it.  But that doesn't mean that the story ends there.  There is always room to grow and learn a new way to communicate this with your partner.  That is what I love most about us, we aren't perfect but we are eternal learners.  (Speaking of "perfect" there is nothing in this world that is 100% perfect, it doesn't exist, so please throw that extremely limiting and confining concept away with yesterday's trash, thanks.) So silence your ego and allow a deep love between you and your partner to flourish and forgive them every single time.

To be clear: I am NOT speaking about unhealthy and abusive relationships. Those you don't forgive, you move the hell on.  Trust me when I say those relationships don't get better.  I have been there and if you find yourself there too, I am here for you.  Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need a friend. πŸ’—

March 2018

Paris, July 2017

And when all else fails, lighten up.  Don't take everything so seriously.  Life can be hard and sometimes full of disappointments.  Your partner will be by your side through it all so just learn to enjoy the ride.  I am grateful for the partnership my husband and I have created together and look forward to a long and loving marriage.

Thanks for reading!

Got your own tips? Share them below!

by LifeStyledbyErica πŸ’‹

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