Fashion Blog

SMC Blogiversary

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Today, Southern Meets Chic officially turns one year old!! On one hand, it seems longer than a year because so much has happened, in life and with my blog. But, on another, it seems like a short amount of time because there’s so much further I want to go and so many more things I want to do. I never dreamed when I started my blog that in just one year I would be where I am now! My blog has opened doors and brought me opportunities that I might not have gotten otherwise. I’ve had the chance to work with countless local boutiques such as Trés Carmen Boutique, Gwynn’s, StyleDwell and Peyton William. Then there’s all of the amazing photographers I’ve gotten to shoot with, like the lovely ladies responsible for these perfect pictures, Shauntae and Laura of Amore Photography. There’s also Susan Lloyd Photography, Katie Capo of Catherine Ann Photography, Carissa Cady Photography and Terrence Edwards of Current Visuals. In September, I became the Charleston Market Editor for Carolina STYLE Magazine, which has brought me the opportunity to work with some extremely talented and amazing contributors on a daily basis! I’ve contributed to several other blogs such as Coastal Bride and Charleston Fashion Design. I’ve worked as a stylist or style assistant on some fabulous shoots with amazing teams and have another one of those coming up this week! Most recently, I’ve joined the Scarlet Plan & Design team as a Senior Bridal Stylist. And now, I’m getting ready to head to New York City for Fashion Week!! I am SO thankful to have all of these businesses and people in my life and to have been able to work creatively with each and every one of them! Additionally, I’ve made some of my absolute best friends through blogging!! The blogging community in Charleston is thriving and full of amazingly sweet and talented girls and women who all support each other in a fabulous way. Y’all are the BEST and i’m so blessed and happy to have met so many wonderful people with the same interests as me! Y’all know I love ya!!

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Let’s reminisce for a minute and look back to how Southern Meets Chic came about… It all started as my New Year’s 2014 resolution! I had followed so many bloggers for so long and always thought to myself how much I would enjoy doing that! Todd and I were engaged, and I hadn’t been working for a year or two. Having worked all my adult life, it was a bit of a struggle for me to not have something of my own to do. I love being home with my husband, but I needed something to do on my own to fulfill myself more. That’s when I got serious about starting a blog. I made it my New Year’s resolution and purchased my domain on January 2nd 2014. I was trying to get everything perfect (which now I realize will never be that way) before my first post. But, mother nature had another idea!! If you’re a Charleston local, you’ll remember the “Snowmageddon 2014” aka the small ice storm that you northerners would laugh at, but, we never get anything like this!! The streets were snowy and trees completely iced over, making a beautiful backdrop for my first shoot! I didn’t have that great of an outfit to blog, but I was determined to get pictures in this rare scenery. To this day, those lavender Hunter boots remain my most pinned picture on Pinterest! I started SMC not with a business in mind, but as a creative outlet for myself. I needed something to put my heart and soul into that was just a project for me! I had no idea that it would grow as quickly as it has and that y’all would actually be interested in what I’m wearing and my silly and sometimes run on writing. I’m so incredibly humbled by all of you and thankful to have readers that engage and stick with me, even through weeks of no posts!! I cannot thank y’all enough for the past year of support and following!! It’s been a truly magical year and none of this would’ve been possible without my readers!!

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Last, but certainly not least, I have to thank my husband, Todd. Not only is he obviously a huge part of my life, but he is an integral part of Southern Meets Chic! While I’ve had the opportunity to work with tons of fabulous photographers, the majority of my pictures are taken by him. No, he’s not a professional photographer, but yes, he’s read manuals and taken classes and practiced, just to be able to take better photos for me. I must say, he’s gotten pretty darn good! I’ve dragged him all over town to take blog pictures, with minimal complaints. He puts up with having to take outfit pics in public and not touching his food before I snap an Insta. Basically, he’s the most patient man on this earth and I am so beyond blessed to have him! This blog truly truly would not be possible without him, whether it’s taking photos or encouraging me to do new things and take new business approaches, he is a driving force behind SMC. And although he says he wants to start a blog about how your spouse shouldn’t start a blog, I’m convinced he’s pretty into it!! Seriously though babe, I couldn’t do this without you and I love you so very much!!

I just want to thank all of you again- the businesses and people I’ve been blessed to work with, my readers and my husband and family- down to my Grandmother who reads every single post, I wouldn’t be where I am without any of you and I am so thankful to have all of you in my life! XOXO

Photos: Amore Photography

Outfit 1: Top: Banana Republic | Skirt: H&M (similar here) | Shoes: Valentino | Necklace: J. Crew

Outfit 2: Top: Banana Republic | Pants: StyleDwell | Shoes: LuLu’s (similar here) | Necklace: J. Crew (similar here)

One Last Romp

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Happy official first day of fall everyone!!! Thanks to this rainy weather, the temperatures are actually feeling more like fall too! Dare I say the last chance to wear a shorts romper is past us? This pretty little floral number is the perfect way to close out summer! The navy color and neutral floral hues are just right for fall, while the shorts are still keeping you cool in the lingering summer heat. If I were wearing this in August I would have paired it with a pair of brown wedges, but since we’re nearing the end of September I decided to go with these suede fringe booties. I love how neutral they are but still add a burst of boho style with the fringe on the back! I will definitely be getting my wear out of these all year round with leggings and a sweater on lazy days in the cool weather and festival style cut offs and crop tops in the summer. With a low cut neckline like this, I prefer to keep the chest bare. I just think it’s so pretty to show that skin, but not too much. I accessorized fairly simply with a pair of gold earrings and my everyday gold midi rings. Another way to style this romper would be a pair of knee high boots in the same color with a chunky sweater and floppy hat. This option would be perfect if you’re in an area that actually IS chilly in September (AKA not Charleston). HAPPY FALL Y’ALL!!

Romper- SyleDwell {similar here} | Booties- Dolce Vita from II Brunettes {available here} | Jewelry- StyleDwell

Rainy Day Wear

 

 

So far, so good with the weather today (knock on wood) but the past couple of days have been nasty ones here in Charleston! It’s not looking too good for the rest of the week either. But, a rainy day is not a good excuse for a lazy day look OR a good reason to ruin a nice pair of shoes or leather bag. So, what’s the compromise here? I’ve picked three outfits with umbrellas, weather-proof shoes, jackets and vegan leather purses {that won’t get ruined after a few water drops plus they’re animal friendly}. These looks are sure to keep you stylish AND dry in these crazy southern downpours!

 
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Classic: Umbrella | Jacket | Boots | Bag
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Feminine: Umbrella | Jacket | Boots | Bag

 

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Chic: Umbrella | Jacket | Boots | Bag

Floppy Hat Hump Day

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Something that I can never have enough of in my closet are easy little shift dresses that I can just throw on and go. They’re just so easy to wear, but still look really put together (read: instead of yoga pants and a tee shirt). So, when I saw this floral beauty, it was love at first sight! The colors are perfect for fall, without being dull. Red is actually going to be a huge color this fall, along with any other bright, rich colors. Gone are the days of sticking to grey and brown! The great thing about this dress is that it also transitions nicely. Wear it now with nothing extra, a few weeks from now with a denim jacket and when it really gets chilly add black tights, leather jacket and booties. Another trend I’m loving for fall is a big floppy hat, this girl loves any excuse for a hat!! While the reds don’t really match from the dress to the hat, I think they compliment each other really nicely. A true red would’ve been wayyy too much going on for the hat. I accessorized with a fun arm full of different bangles. For shoes I wore a pair of neutral suede booties, but this could also be worn with black. I just really like the contrast of the camel color. This is a great casual fall afternoon outfit that can easily take you into night just adding a denim or leather jacket.

Dress- BCBG from Trés Carmen Boutique {similar here} | Hat- StyleDwell {similar here} | Shoes- Dolce Vita from II Brunettes {similar here} | Bangles {from top} – Stella & Dot | David Yurman | Island Baubles | Stella & Dot

 

Post Labor Day Errand Day

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I hope everyone had a wonderful unofficial last weekend of summer!! Mine was spent with amazing family and friends on the beach and in the boat! Even though it was full of fun and no work, I’m still exhausted. I ate lots of unhealthy goodies, got too much sun and probably drank one too many margaritas. I am happy to get back on track this week, but still feeling like I need to recover from the weekend. This is when a good lazy, but busy day outfit comes into play. My go-to comfort style is definitely boho. Most of the pieces are loose and comfortable, but still look somewhat put together and stylish. I found this Free People blouse at Marshall’s {currently on sale for even less at Revolve}  and knew that it would be a staple in my lazy day wardrobe. Since it’s still obviously really hot out, I wore this with a pair of cut off denim shorts. To really make this public acceptable, I wore a pair of block heel gladiator sandals rather than flip-flops. They’re still really comfortable, but makes it look a little more intentional. I wore all of my everyday accessories- speedy with a strap, bangles and aviators. This look is perfect for a day when you have some running around to do, but still want to be comfortable and relaxed. The blouse can also transition to fall nicely by pairing it with distressed skinnies and a pair of booties.

Top- Free People from Marshall’s | Shorts- J Brand {similar here} | Shoes- Target | Sunnies- Ray Ban | Bangles- Stella & Dot and David Yurman

Flirty Flare

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Have plans for a hot date or night out this weekend and not sure of what to wear? Look no further!! I’ve found THE  solution!! This gorgeous knit dress is the perfect combination of sexy and classy. The black and white print gives it a timeless southern ladylike look.  The curve hugging fit is super flattering and the flare at the bottom makes it a little more fun and flirty versus tight and sexy like a lot of body con dresses. It’s a great length and cut as to not show too much, but just enough! This dress can be worn by women of all ages from someone in their 20’s like me all the way up to someone in her 60’s. Since I’m on the younger side of that scale, I sexed it up and wore this dress with a pair of sky high nude sandals that have a combination of metallics in them. To keep with the nude trend and contrast this mainly black dress, I carried a simple nude clutch with gold detail. I always wear my hair long and voluptuous with a get up like this, so I wore some gold hoops to play that up. With a sexy little number like this, you are ready to flirt the night away but still keep your good girl reputation (or not…) Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!

Dress- c/o StyleDwell | Shoes- BCBG {similar here} | Clutch- Aldo | Earrings- BCBG {similar here}

 

Sassy

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Today I decided to spice things up and have some midweek FUN and that’s what this get up is all about!! This is the perfect look for a girl’s night out on the town or for me, a fun fashion event. I’ve been really into the whole matching set look for several months now, and this is the same idea but jazzed up a bit! I fell in love with this top a while ago, but didn’t have anything in my closet to pair it with (my husband would beg to differ). When I saw the skirt I just knew it would compliment it perfectly! The caged sleeves on the top have been a super hot trend and take the crop top look from boring to bold. The graphic print on the skirt is gorgeous and adds a youthful, vibrant vibe to the whole outfit. The skirt can easily go from summer to winter by throwing on tights, booties and a black crop top sweater. You could also make this work environment friendly by trading the crop top for a blazer and stilettos for a nice pair of pumps or flats. This skirt is so versatile and such a fun statement piece to have in your closet!! Since the skirt is so busy, I did something I rarely do and matched my shoes to my top. I also kept accessories to a minimum with a fun bangle that had complimenting colors. I’ve recently been really into ponytails- not sure if it’s a new trend or if my hair is just driving me crazy. But, either way they can look super chic and this one does the trick for this outfit! Keeping my hair down would’ve taken away from the caged sleeves and not looked as polished. This is such a fun outfit to wear and will make anyone feel sassy and confident!!

Top- Tobi {similar here} | Skirt- StyleDwell | Shoes- LuLu’s | Bracelet- Lisa Kerns | Bag- Aldo

Rompin Into Fall

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I’m going to go ahead and warn y’all- you will be seeing a lot of rompers in the near future! I’ve kind of gone a little crazy for them lately, especially with all of the adorable options they have at StyleDwell right now. They’re just so cute, easy and comfortable! I’ve also decided that they are the perfect piece to help you transition into fall. Now, I live in South Carolina, where we just had the hottest day of the year yesterday and it’s not getting cool anytime soon. So I’m not in any rush to transition to boots and sweaters, but I do like to start switching the colors I’m wearing and start covering up just a bit more. There is something about kids being back in school that makes it feel wrong to be walking around in shorts and a tank all the time. Rompers are the perfect in between, and this one especially. It’s still really loose and flowy, so great for this humid weather. But, it can also be worn well into fall by throwing on a sweater. This time of year I like to keep it to sandals. I mean seriously, boots in August, that’s a no-go. But, come October when it starts cooling down you can easily throw on a pair of knee high boots or booties with this. As usual, I kept accessories to a minimum and wore my gold arm cuff which I think plays into the boho vibe of the gladiators and this print. To add a touch of a classic look to this style, I wore a structured mini bag (another recent obsession of mine) that coordinated perfectly with the blue in the romper. This is the perfect daytime look for the next month or two and then adding the cooler weather items can even carry you into the month of October. Talk about multifunctional!!

Romper- c/o StyleDwell | Sandals- MIA | Bag- Rebecca Minkoff | Cuff- StyleDwell

Coastal Bride Collab

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When I was asked by my friend, Gillian, of Coastal Bride to do a feature on what to wear for engagement pictures, I was ecstatic! Not only did I get to be a bride again, but I got to be featured on one of the most beautiful wedding blogs I’ve seen. Head on over here for tips on how to dress you and your man for a professional photography sesh! Outfit deets are still at the bottom of the post as well. Be sure to have a look at all of the swoon worthy weddings she has featured too- get your Pin It button ready!!!

Photo Cred: Ellis Photo Studio

 

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REAL VS STEAL- Backpack Edition

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It’s that time of year again, back to school!! But, you don’t have to be a student or teacher to get in on the festivities. I’m not talking about plaid skirts and knee highs, but backpacks. They have been huge among celebrities and big name designers and are a great way to switch up your traditional purse. The options I have listed are great for work, travel or even everyday use. The runway versions are obviously fab, but let’s talk about some similar styles that will be a bit kinder on your wallet!

1. Alexander McQueen Padlock Backpack- This black leather style is a classic beauty. I think it is so chic and easily goes with any outfit to take your style up a notch. But, this Target option is almost exactly the same AND I actually like it better. The gold zipper detailing gives this look a like a step up over the $2,000 designer bag. The fact that it’s not genuine leather also makes this more practical for carrying around, not to mention more animal friendly! This bag can easily go from casual with your leggings and piko to dressy with your office attire.

2. The Row Hobo Backpack- Okay, so let’s face it, anything Mary-Kate and Ashley is perfection. Those two can do no wrong when it comes to fashion. But, their line The Row founded in 2006 is a far cry from their Walmart brand we were all wearing back in the day. (you totally were, don’t deny it) The price tags are ridiculous, making it impossible for non-heiresses to purchase their designs. This Vince Camuto backpack is a great compromise. While still a bit pricier than your typical Jansport, this backpack is real leather and certainly more luxurious. This is the perfect option to use as your everyday purse.

3. Chanel Graffiti Print Backpack- So, unless you’ve been living under a rock all summer, you’ve seen this backpack. It has been worn by almost every celebrity from Gwyneth to it girl Chloe Grace Moretz {LOVE her} to practically every Kardashian. Not to mention, Karl featured it in the Spring 2014 runway show. BUT, let’s get real, who wants to pay over 3,000 bucks for a grungy style backpack? I mean I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I can think of many other Chanel bags I would put that money towards instead! Rather, go for this Neff tie dye for a very tiny fraction of the cost. I think the Neff is super cute and still gives that artsy, graffiti {read: homemade} look. This is definitely more of your travel or school backpack rather than everyday use.

Do YOU have a particular item that you would like to see more budget friendly versions of?? Let me know in the comments!! I LOVE to hear from my readers! Happy Humpday everyone XOXO