Thursday, March 24, 2016

Trending 3.24.16!

My last trending post before SPRING BREAK!  I am so excited to jet off to Florida for a week to be in the sunshine with my hubs, my step dad and my mom. There is something so rejuvenating about the heat of Florida; it's exactly what a teacher needs to re-energize for the end of the year.

[1.0] I have been totally fan-girling over my Pure Barre instructor (and friend!) Lauren's style. She is a high school teacher, too, and her daily outfits are fabulous. But, her Pure Barre looks are to die for! She's my #fitspo lately.  Thanks to Lauren, I scooped up this on sale Free to be Wild sports bra from Lululemon. I am obsessed with the Wild tanks, and these sports bras are equally as top-notch. Lauren rocks a muscle tank to show off the fun straps of the Free to Be Bra! I purchased this tank from Nordstroms to simulate Lauren's look.

[2.0] I finished The Goldfinch, and it was INCREDIBLE. 772 pages flew by in no time! I highly, highly, highly recommend reading this beautiful novel. Next up is The Girl on the Train. I am nearly done with it-- I can't stop reading! Books to read for spring break include Me before You (another suggestion thanks to my colleague and pal, Jackie K!) and So We Read On (thanks, Dad!), a book about how The Great Gatsby came to be and why it endures. I am so pumped for the three hour flight to read!

[3.0] Drooling over these Kate Spade items. This one-piece kite bathing suit is AMAZING!  I love the geometric patterns Kate Spade has recently designed. Also, my friend Jackie F. showed me this beautiful fit and flare dress-- the bow back is my favorite part (with the colors, of course!). Here it is in black and white! Kate Spade's recent looks are whimsical and fun-- filled with ice cream cone details and spring-like touches!

[4.0] The most practical perfect shirt you'll ever own! I own 2 of J. Crew's perfect shirts, both in a size 6, and the fit is impeccable. These color options are phenomenal: I'm deciding between the emerald pool option and bistro blue. The cotton-linen blend will be an ideal shirt for warmer days in the classroom.

[5.0] I've laughed with my coworkers that I no longer have any "party tops" as an almost-30-year-old. My "going out shirts" have become my collared shirts from work. LOL. I'm not as hip as the days where my SMC gals and I would scurry off to the University Park Mall in the only car any of us had at Saint Mary's and buy our Forever 21 party tops Friday after classes ended. So, I often find myself in a rut on the weekend: all I own these days is clothing that is appropriate for teaching high schoolers. It makes sense! But, Fridays and Saturdays, I would like to be wearing something a little fancier, ya know? Enter: Anthropologie. I found the following options to pick up for Friday and Saturday nights: this (omg that back!), this (I love one-armed tops!) and this (the scoop front and back + this springy color are adorable!).

Are you heading out anywhere for Spring Break? I can't wait to be laying poolside in Florida!

Monday, March 21, 2016

All Eyelet All Over!

Eyelet, noun: a small hole, usually round and finished along the edge, as in cloth or leather for the passage of a lace or cord or as in embroidery for ornamental effect; a lightweight fabric pierced by small holes finished with stitching and often laid out in flowerlike designs (courtesy of 

There is nothing more appropriate to officially welcome spring than eyelet! You may have seen the material before and didn't realize that it was eyelet. I am constantly learning new terms for patterns (buffalo plaid, gingham, houndstooth, and my bestie and fellow fashionista, Courtney, just taught me damask!). Eyelet comes in skirts, shirts, dresses and even shoes! Below are some pieces to get you spring-ready! 

One of my all time favorite outfits: remember this?

An updated look for spring!

My skirt: old Loft, but similar here.
I'm loving these eyelet skirts: here, here and here

My little Coop! 

Cooper loves his Auntie. Just wait until BBC gets here... I can't wait to spoil him!
Adoring these eyelet long-sleeved options: here and here.
The best thing about eyelet pieces is how lightweight and airy they are. Even a long-sleeved eyelet shirt will be comfortable in warmer temperatures because of all the holes. 

Eyelet peplum from Banana Republic: here
Warning: this shirt is fabulous, but runs REALLY large. This is an XS on me; I am not an XS, haha.  The shirt is meant to be flowy, so if you are someone who prefers a more body-hugging silhouette, this might not be the eyelet top for you. 

Loving these eyelet tops: here, here (for under $10! OMG!), here, here (the yellow and back! Beauty!), here with ruffles, and here

Eyelet dresses: here, here, here, here, herehere and my personal fave, here, which I am planning to try on in Florida!

Vintage ND shirt (from the time that Cavanaugh was a men's dorm at Notre Dame) thanks to my sis-in-law and fellow Smick Chick, Lidija. 

Eyelet shorts: here, here and here.

There are even eyelet SHOES!  Believe it or not!

Pretty shoe pics courtesy of Mike's artistic ability!

There is not a better heel out there than the Toms peep toe booties. I can stand in them all day-- without any pain-- I hit 10,000 steps on my FitBit in these bad boys without any problems. I love pairing these eyelet booties with shorts, skirts and dresses! I also love them with a rolled up, cropped boyfriend jean! The fringe on these is amazing. These are also a nice alternative.

How will you rock your eyelet this season?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Thinking GREEN for St. Patty's Day!

I saw this shirt on a gal at my friend Lauren's wedding shower. She wore it in blush (see below), and I thought it was the cutest top, ever! On a hanger, you don't necessarily notice the details, so I'm glad I saw it being worn to know how fabulous it was. It's extremely flattering! There are 3 colors: the green I have on in the pictures below, black and blush.  It's perfect for a night out (I wore it for pizza and a brewery!) or work (I wore it with black cropped pants and my gold Tory Burch flats). I thought this would be perfect timing for a green outfit! I LOVE the color green-- I don't know if it's my love for Notre Dame or the fact that my eyes turn green when I wear green or my obsession with Lilly P, but wearing green always brings a smile to my face! : D

Banana Republic Perforated shirt: here.
The shirt cinches in the perfect places!
I am a small for reference. 

The top is on sale now, too! 
Jeweled J. Crew bracelet: here

Stella and Dot earrings: old, but similar here

The back of this shirt is full-zip!  A super fun detail.
Jeans: old, similar here, here or here

Mandy made me laugh so hard because she thought I was wearing the new "flare fit" of jeans. It was actually just that my jeans were so old, that the style was recycling through. LOL! I rarely buy new jeans, which works in my favor when a certain trend (flare) comes back into style! 

Such a fun night with these peeps!

My gals: myself and Kelly in green, and Mandy in pink! 

Lip color: Stila in Amalfi

The button detail on the elbow is so fun, too! 
I love everything peplum. It's hard to tell, but the strip around the waist is perforated. Also, the shoulders and neckline are perforated, too! But not too much that it would be inappropriate for work. 

Other fabulous green shirts (still feeling St. Patrick's Day-ish!) for less than $50: here-- I have it in white and wear it SO much, here-- loving the laser cut bottom, here-- those flutter sleeveshere-- great pattern, and here in a tank top version.

How did you spend St. Patty's Day? I went to a Pure Barre class (still on track for 20 classes before the 25th!), and then Mike made us burgers! :) In bed by 8:30 pm, almost finishing The Goldfinch. When did I become 90 years old? HAHA!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Embellished Shirt and (P)leather Leggings!

Mike and I celebrated our "meet-a-versary" on Saturday; 3 years ago on March 12 we met at the Geneva Ale House! That night, we talked for 3 hours and 50 minutes (it was a Tuesday-- a school night!), and I knew I wanted to marry him. He was honestly my dream man, and I explained it to my girlfriends via email the next morning. (My sister actually read parts of this very email for her Maid of Honor speech at our wedding-- haha!!).  Mike was (and will always be) the man of my dreams, and I am so incredibly blessed to call him my hubs!  Now the important stuff: what I wore on our 3-year-meet-a-versary! Haha! 

Fresh pedi, thanks to Pamper Nails in Geneva-- they rock!
Shoes: here. I am head over heels for the Darron Pumps! I own them in 2 colors, but I am thinking of adding a 3rd. For $49-$69, how can you beat that? They're unbelievably comfortable, too! 
Major shoe splurge option: here, thanks to Melissa's keen eye! But, OMG, aren't they BEAUTIFUL? And they are also available in a flat. Melting! 

Shirt: old Ann Taylor.
Options here, here. here. here, here, herehere-- under $30!, here-- under $20 and here. Loving this one with a high-waisted skirt! 
What I love about a be-jeweled neck shirt is that you never have to worry about a necklace. The neckline is already embellished-- throw on some stud earrings, and you are covered for jewelry! It's a no-brainer look!  :)

Lips: Stila in Fiery. The best, long-lasting lip color ever! 

Red Kate Spade cross body bag: old, but similar here, here, here, here and here-- on sale!

I loved the pop of red in my bag and lips against the black and white!

Full pleather leggings: great options here or here

Side-striped pleather leggings, as pictured: here
The side stripe of pleather is good compromise for someone who is ready to take the dive into the pleather or coated legging but is still a little apprehensive. Haha! 

We had such a fun night reliving our first date at the Geneva Ale House. I can't believe it's been 3 years! Here's to eternity with you, Mike! 

How did you spend your weekend? 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Mike's Guest Post: Gustin

Hi, Belle On Trend followers! It's Mike again. Mary isn't the only one in this house who's purchased new clothes. This week, she's asked me to share a couple of items I've bought in the last 6 months, especially stuff I've gotten from the specialty site Gustin (discount available if you sign up for an account through this link! More on that later!).

It's been a while since Mary had me pose. I don't know what do to with my hands!

I first became aware of Gustin through this sponsorship of the menswear blog Put This On. Gustin is a company out of San Francisco that specializes in men's workwear: think jeans, chinos, boots, and canvas jackets. They have a really classic style to them with very little labeling, and all their products are made with a unique twist: shoppers are actually crowdsourcing proposed products Kickstarter-style. Once each campaign reaches 100%, no more orders are taken. Only then is the item itself manufactured, and all the production happens right here in the USA. According to Gustin's site:
You help us line up supply and demand every single time. Crowdsourcing is the mechanism we use to let you tell us what to make. Without inventory piling up in a warehouse and wasteful marketing campaigns to convince you to buy what we already made, there is tremendous efficiency. We pass that savings back to you. Unlike other brands that cut out the middle-man but keep the savings, you're getting boutique quality at true wholesale. We know because we used to sell through high-end retail.
Pretty great idea, no? I signed up with an account to their site a long time ago, but I kept hemming and hawing over the idea of buying $80 jeans without trying them on. I loved the idea, but couldn't commit to the process itself.

Last fall, however, the perfect product for me became available on their site: a classic gray crew-neck sweatshirt. I had had my eyes on one of these for a while, but was reluctant to pay the $69.50 J Crew or $45 Gap were asking for one. Yeah, Steve McQueen, JFK, and Paul Newman all look pretty damn cool. But that seems like a bit much to spend on something so basic, right? But $37 for one made in the USA (7 days remaining to back this order!)? I'm there! I backed Gustin's offering back in October.

From Gustin's site. Better detail than I could hope to capture.

My payment processed a few days later when the campaign reached 100%, my order arrived at our PO Box at the very end of December. (Remember, they do not start manufacturing the order until the campaign goal has been met.) I could not be happier. Yes, it's just a simple gray sweatshirt, but this is as soft and as comfortable as any sweatshirt I can ever remember owning. The medium fit me perfectly and has become my go-to sweatshirt to throw on when running errands on a Saturday morning.

Having already purchased one Gustin product, I was all in. On Black Friday, they offered a "mystery" pair of jeans for $69. They did not have specifics about these jeans, like they do for all the others they offer, but they simply promised that they would be American milled, blue, raw selvedge denim somewhere between 12 and 16 ounces. Basically heavy, dark indigo, stiff jeans that may eventually fade in a cool way as they mold to the wearer's body over time.... perfect for someone with hipster leanings like myself. My go-to Gap jeans were on their last legs after 5 years (which is pretty impressive in and of itself... I have no complaints about their jeans department!), so before the sweatshirt arrived, I found myself backing a second Gustin campaign!

More photos from Gustin. Their "Heavy" jeans brand-spanking new and after 5 years of wear.

Gustin offers 3 different fits for each pair of jeans they sell: straight, slim, and skinny. Since I'd be wearing these jeans to work occasionally, I went with the straight fit for this order. They do offer a fit guide with the precise differences of each style down to the inch. I highly recommend reviewing this guide before ordering: it turns out my 32s were not actually 32 inches in the waist! Also, they only offer one inseam length in their pants -- 34-inches -- so if you have short legs like me, mentally prepare yourself to either roll up the bottoms (and show off that selvedge id), stack the bottoms like a skater circa 2001, or get them tailored (pro tip: go to a tailor who can do jean chain stitching so they look like you ordered them in that length, and so they don't look like a pair of dress pants at the hem). I got mine tailored for $15 from the Naperville tailor who altered my tuxedo for our wedding! It only took a couple of days, and I am pleased with the result!

When these jeans arrived in mid-February, I found that the fit was spot on with the measurements provided with their fit guide.... which was a pleasant surprise! Again, I highly recommend checking that before placing an order. You might end up with jeans that are significantly tighter than you anticipate otherwise.

I did have one issue when my jeans arrived: one of the rivets holding a front pocket together was broken. I emailed their customer support right away, and literally 5 minutes later (not an exaggeration), Matt from Gustin had replied with 2 solutions to choose from: I could ship my new jeans back to them free of charge for Gustin to repair, or they could send me a few rivets and instructions on how to install them. The installation process didn't seem all that hard, so I chose option 2. A couple days later I received a bag of rivets in mail, as well as a Gustin bottle opener for my troubles. Cool!


I found out the hard way that our cutting board wasn't a hard enough surface to install the rivets (sorry, babe!), and then it hit me: I can use the handle of the bottle opener as the backing surface. A couple strikes of the hammer later, my jeans were as good as (better than?) new! Very clever, guys. All in all, I came away very impressed with their customer service!

Around this same time, my Adidas Samba sneakers were about to bite the dust. RIP. We've been through a lot together, for many a year. Maybe it was the way they squeaked when they were brand new, maybe it was the fact that they were now $70, maybe it was the fact that Mary hates leather sneakers, but I decided to try something new: classic black Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. It's weird: I'm 31 years old, I'm a musician, and I've been accused of being a hipster more than once (maybe because I genuinely enjoy High Life and PBR), but these were the first pair of Chucks I've ever owned. I like 'em.

I made sure to go with the "All Star Lean" -- extra thin sole for a better feel on my drum pedals.
Y'know, important stuff.

So there you have it. I am so happy with my Gustin purchases, I have a 3-pack of t-shirts on their way that I can't wait to wear this summer. You do have to be patient to receive your order, but I am incredibly impressed with their prices, quality, and the fact that everything is made in the USA. Highly recommend.

Before I forget, Gustin has a great referral program! If you sign up through this link, you can get $10 off your order! Full disclosure, I'll get $20 off of a future purchase as well. It's a win win! Make it a Michael Scott win-win-win by sharing your own link after signing up!

Follow me on Twitter or Instagram! My handle is @Fremeauji on both sites if you want to see lots of some posts and pictures about drums and Notre Dame football. Sorry, it's what I do.