Jean Jackets

Jean Jackets…A Wardrobe Essential for All Seasons

Jean jackets are probably the most indispensable out of all the essential jackets.  Not only are jean jackets practical, but they also go with anything.  In the spring, you can wear a jean jacket to keep warm until it warms up outside.  You can wear them with dresses for those cool summer nights and a cute scarf and hat for the fall.  Jean jackets come in a variety of colors and washes. Go for a lighter wash for a casual look, and a darker wash for special occasions.  Pick one that suits you, dress it up or dress it down, and have some fun with it.  I feel like I’ve lived in mine this entire spring!

STYLE TIPS:

To make your denim jacket more fancy, you can wear it with sequins and heels. It’s a fun mix for going out.

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Wear a light-wash denim jacket with a floaty dress, a medium-wash with florals, and a cropped jacket with a graphic tee.

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When in doubt, follow any of these rules! Which is your favorite?  Mine is the “classic”!

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1. Keep your look simple with black & white stripes. Layer on a dark denim jacket and add a pop of color with your lipstick (or your heels) like Lacey did. (image)

2. A denim jacket toughens up a little flirty skirt — add a hat and ankle booties for a little edge. (image)

3. We love how Jessica styled her denim jacket with a sweet floral romper. It would look equally as cute with a floral dress! (image)

4. Try an edgy look with an embellished jacket, graphic tee and flats. (image)

5. Kelly, aka The Glamouri, shows us how denim on denim can be totally chic, especially when paired with sexy pumps. (image)

6. A denim jacket works perfectly with bright or patterned pants. We love Jane’s neon yellow look. (image)

HERE’S HOW FTF STYLED THEIR DENIM JACKETS

CINDY:

 

LORI:

JULIE:

A good jean jacket is a wardrobe essential that you’ll get tremendous use from and be able to wear almost year round!  It’s easy to style up or down and can go with almost everything!  A jean jacket looks great on all ages and all body types!  So what do you think?  What is your favorite way to style a jean jacket?  Share you thoughts in the comments!

SHOP THE LOOK:

 

Summer Trends

Summer Trends – Proven Winners Part 3 of 3

Fashion Trends and Friends along with their millennial advisory, Courtney, went on a recent shopping adventure.  The mission was to locate our top three picks for summer must haves at some of our favorite stores.  FTF is presenting a three series blog!  We will share our top three picks based on trends, price point and comfort.  This week review of Chico’s completes the series.

Off the Shoulder Shirts

Nothing says spring or summer like an off the shoulder shirt.  Like a could shoulder shirt this is a style that looks great on all women.  Its sexy, fun, and shows just the right amount of skin.  This top has the cutest details from bell sleeves to embroidery not to mention the beautiful rich color.  Julie and I both loved it!

Shop the Look:

Effortless Button Up!

I love back and white and stripes so this cotton button up blouse called my name!  It can be worn on its own or used as an open top layer.  What a great staple for spring and summer.  I love the length, not too long!  If you don’t want to bare your arms, just top it with a cardigan or a blazer.  This clean classic is so versatile.  It can be worn casually during the day or dressed up for a night on the town.  It’s a winner!

Shop the Look:

Girlfriend Jeans!

We love Chico’s girlfriend jeans for their slimming style, higher waist(no muffin top) and stretch fabric which makes you feel like you can live in them forever.  They are so comfortable!  This tile design is fun and fresh for the summer.

Shop the Look:

We’d love your feedback on our three part series of proven winners for summer.  Did you find it helpful?  Would you like to see a similar series every season?  Which were your favorites?  Please take a minute to leave a comment to share your thoughts and reactions with us.

Summer Trends

Summer Trends – Proven Winners Part 2 of 3

Fashion Trends and Friends along with their millennial advisory, Courtney, went on a recent shopping adventure.  The mission was to locate our top three picks for summer must haves at some of our favorite stores.  FTF is presenting a three series blog!  We will share our top three picks based on trends, price point and comfort.  This week we will present our top finds from Ann Taylor and Loft!

The Cold Shoulder

FTF is soooo happy this trend continues!  It is a fun look that everyone can wear because everyone has beautiful shoulders! However, not all of us can say the same about our upper arms from a size or skin perspective.  Not to worry because the cold shoulder sleeve beautifully solves the problem by offering just the right amount of coverage. We fell in love with this particular top.  The vertical stripes are slimming, the fabric doesn’t cling and flows beautifully away from the waist camouflaging a chubby middle and the flowy three quarter bell sleeves offer enough coverage for cooler spring days but will also keep you cool in the summer.

Shop the Look:

Bright Colors, Lace and Sunflowers!

This spring you will see lots of bright colors,  lace and sunflowers.  Loft combined all three in this amazing sleeveless shell.  For me it was love at first sight.  I had to have it!  With a spray tan, I may even be brave enough to bare my arms!

Shop the Look:

Tassels Tassels Everywhere!

This spring tassels are on everything and this top from Loft is no exception.  I am always in search of a cute top to wear on the weekends while running errands.  This split neck tasseled number is perfect.   It is a little pricey but worth it from my perspective for two reasons.  First and foremost, I love the way it looks and feels.  That alone almost justifies the price but it also is very versatile.  I will pair it with shorts and jeans and can even dress it up with a scarf or jewelry.  As an added bonus it flows away from the waist hiding any muffin top!  The three quartered banded sleeves are perfect for spring and summer.  It also comes in three colors.  I just might have to order the one in guava jelly!

Shop the Look:

Tune in next week for our final installment of our three part series – Proven Winner for Summer!

Summer Trends

Summer Trends – Proven Winners Part 1 of 3

Fashion Trends and Friends along with their millennial advisory, Courtney, went on a recent shopping adventure.  The mission was to locate our top three picks for summer must haves at some of our favorite stores.  FTF is presenting a three series blog!  We will share our top three picks based on trends, price point and comfort.  First up, is Charming Charlie!

POM POMS AND TASSELS:

Pom Poms and Tassels are everywhere in bright summer colors!  This is an easy trend to add to your already existing wardrobe.  Think earrings, necklaces, bracelets, scarves, hats and purses!

Bracelets

Earrings

 

SCARVES WITH POM POMS AND TASSELS:

Charming Charlie has a full wall of colorful scarves!  Recently, they were two for $20.  Anyone can wear a scarf and the ways to tie scarves are endless…that’s another blog!  Scarves are always an easy add on to bright summer colored tops!  Think scarves that are embellished with tassels and pom poms for a trendier look…such FUN!

 

I (Julie) purchased the pink, red and coral scarf.  I braided it to accent the tassels when I wear it!

Another trend is to wear a scarf and layered necklaces:

 

pink, red & coral scarf

capri striped tassel scarf

COLD SHOULDER TOP WITH TASSEL:

This cold shoulder top with tassels was a hit with all of us and as you can see can be worn by various body types.  Both Lori and I bought the black top.  Another reason this is such a great top is because you can actually wear a black bra and not a strapless bra.  While the straps are thin, the bra strap blends well with the strap of the top.  It also comes in white!

Abbey (in the center) was such a help during our shopping adventure!  Courtney (on the right) is one of our millennial advisors!  Lori purchased the top, the tote, the necklace and the tassel earrings!  With the sales and coupons, we all scored great deals!

SHOP THE LOOKS:

Which of these trends is your favorite?  Leave us a comment.
Tune in next week for part 2 of our 3 part blog.  We will share another store and our top three picks/proven winners for the summer!

An Interview With Desert Bloom

The Desert Is In Bloom

As part of The Fierce 50 Revolution, we want to introduce you to real women who are accomplishing their dreams.  I’m so excited to introduce Claudette the owner of Desert Bloom, a fashion boutique in Tucson AZ.

I couldn’t have been more excited to see a new boutique open 5 minutes from my house as I love a good boutique!  The good news, is that it’s next to the grocery store I shop at.   The bad news, is it’s next to the grocery store where I shop.  LOL    The shop has only been opened since April and I’ve already done some major damage!

This fabulous boutique has something for everyone at any age.   She buys from unlikely places like Australia, Germany, Canada, Yugoslavia and Vermont.  In talking with Claudette during my numerous trips into her shop, I learned that this is her 2nd location.   Her first location is in downtown Tucson, which was opened 2003.

Claudette’s story is inspiring and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Her Story

In 1992, she moved to Tucson with her husband.  Shortly after arriving to Tucson she and her husband divorced.   At the time, she was working for a garden/home goods shop in downtown Tucson.   Right after the divorce she learned that the owner of the shop she was working at was going to close the business.   The owner asked her if she wanted to buy the business.   As Claudette tells me, she was a single parent with 2 kids and one starting college, a new car and many new bills.   She goes on to tell me that she was not a business person.  Note, she was a teacher in a past life.  She didn’t know how to use a computer (She thought it was something you watched Oprah on! LOL) and claimed she had no employable skills.  Claudette said she was in survival mode, so without thinking it through she bought the business.

Always having a passion for fashion, she evolved the shop from garden/home goods to a fashion boutique.  14 years later she has a thriving business in downtown Tucson and just opened her second location up in the foothills by me.  Not a business women??  I think not!

The Best Part Of Claudette’s Job?

Claudette said that she hasn’t worked a day in 14 years.   Wow, how many of us can say that?   I asked her what the best part is about her job.   She said, My job is to make sure you look like YOU on your very best day”.   She’s done that for me and others.   I watch how she interacts with her customers.   Its’ not unusual  for one of customers  to say, “I would have never picked that for myself.”   Claudette has a great eye to know what’s going to work and not work.

Claudette’s style philosophy? “If everybody’s got it, I don’t want it or I already had it two years ago.”

 While I was in the store last week I saw an outfit that I wanted, but wasn’t sure if I liked how it looked as I’ve been trying to lose the same 10 pounds for 2 years!  Claudette said….” buy like a guy”.  I asked her what she meant.   She said, “men feel entitled and love themselves no matter what they look like,  so don’t worry about the 10 pounds, love how you look now and buy like a guy”.  I love that! That is my new mantra.   So, I bought like a guy.   Here’s what I bought…

Thank you, Claudette, for spending time with me and sharing your story.   You have a new fan and evangelist for Desert Bloom!

While she doesn’t have a website yet, if you liked an item you saw in this post, you can call her and she will ship out to you.  Phone # is 520-792-9882.  Or you can check out her Facebook page here

 

Note: All opinions are completely my own.  I was not asked by anyone to do a review and did not receive any compensation for it.

An Uplifting Experience

An Uplifting Experience:  Fashion Trends and Friends Goes for a Bra Fitting

Theory:  If a woman is in a proper fitting bra, an outfit will go from good to great and you can potentially look up to 10 pounds thinner!  Who doesn’t want that? And we’re pretty sure we’re not wearing the right size!  To test this theory, we needed to find someone who was experienced and knowledgable about how to fit FTF for the proper size bra.  When asking around, we kept getting the same name.  We heard over and over that we need to go see Tina at Tina’s Closet.   I called to make our fitting appointment and was shocked and delighted to actually speak to Tina.  I told her that we were fashion bloggers and asked permission to take pictures and videos.  Two days later, I received a phone call from a film producer asking if FTF would be interested in being part of a documentary series about Tina.  Lori and I jumped on the opportunity.  It will be totally easy to portray ourselves – fashion bloggers – right?!

Documentary Series:

A question FTF wanted answered first was what was the purpose of this documentary series.  The producer’s intent was to showcase Tina from Tina’s Closet.  It was going to be a docuseries/TV show that tells the story of one woman’s challenges and hurdles in the business world. Basically a show that empowers  women.  FTF was sold!

Filming:

Lori and I met at a cafe to begin the filming process.  We were surprised to be met by several producers, a makeup artist, a film crew, etc.  The cafe was crowded, which elevated the excitement!  Lori and I chatted about why we choose to blog about this topic and discussed our excited anticipation to meet Tina!  Take one was complete – after many takes, lots of laughs, people taking our pictures.  Scene Two:  Tina’s Closet.  Excitement was building as we waited for the film crew to capture us meeting each other for the first time. (Notice one of the producers photobombing us!)

 

Tina’s Closet:  Meeting Tina

 

Bra Woes:

Tina’s Closet® wasn’t established to just sell bras. Tina, The Bra Surgeon™ has come up with solutions to all  Bra Woes™ to help women who realize they need some expert assistance. Women don’t have to suffer in silence anymore. “Doctor” Tina will help you find your very own perfect fit…and that’s exactly what she did for us!

Lori and I had several of these woes!  My bra was constantly riding up my back.  Sure enough we were wearing the wrong sizes.  Tina takes numerous measurements in addition to eyeing you up the minute she meets you.  For total transparency, I walked in wearing a 38D and ended up wearing a 36 DDD.  Tina also educated us on how to put a bra on correctly.  Who knew after all these years that there are right and wrong ways of putting on a bra.  Immediately, I felt uplifted and smoothed out!  The girls were back up north and securely in place!  I felt so confident that I even jumped up and down to demonstrate how they stayed in place!  AMAZING!  Why hadn’t we done this earlier?!  Tina is so talented that her repeat customers come from all over the world!

OVERALL EXPERIENCE:

Lori’s Thoughts:

Julie and I always have fun together which is one of the reasons we’ve been friends for so long but this day of  filming and working with Tina to find the right bra was a total blast!  Like Julie I too was wearing the wrong size bra which caused the girls to go east and west and created unsightly back fat – ick!    Tina easily solved both issues and I walked away with a much better look not to mention very pretty bras and underwear! Such a fun experience!

Julie’s Thoughts:

Regardless of the outcome of the documentary series, Lori and I had so much fun on this day!  It’s almost hard to put it all into words!  The filming crew and all the employees at Tina’s Closet hit it off so well.  Tina is an amazing woman who is so genuine and is truly passionate about what she does!  I was touched by the number of woman she has helped over the years and her extreme generosity.  We were all blessed to click since none of us had met prior.  This eight hour day flew by and left me with many cherished memories…and of course the right bra size!

 

The Fierce 50 Revolution Continues!

Fierce 50 Follow Friday

Fashion Trends and Friends is part of The Fierce 50 Campaign/Revolution.  We are a group of 50 bloggers that are 50 and older who are looking to revolutionize the fashion industry by joining forces and asking retailers and designers to take notice.  We want them to know we are here, love fashion and have disposable income to spend.  Nobody puts baby in the corner!

Today we are launching Fierce 50 Follow Friday.   Each blogger in the Fierce 50 Campaign is introducing other bloggers to their followers.  We are so happy and proud to introduce you to some incredible women.  Please check them out!  They all offer something unique; and we know you will love following them!

 

 

  • Ana’s (Mrs. American Made) style is easy, put together and focuses on environmentally friendly fashion made in the USA.

http://www.mrsamericanmade.com/

@mrsamericanmade

  • Carrie (A Stylish Fit) focuses not only on fashion but also on living a fit, healthy and stylish life!

http://www.astylishfit.com

@astylishfit

  • Nina (Sharing a Journey) shares her passion for fashion and beauty, and her love of creating and writing.  Nina shares her journey of reinventing herself.

http://sharingajourney.com/

@sharingajourney

  • Linda (A Labour of Life) is a lifestyle blogger and covers a wide range of topics.  Linda hosts a weekly link-up each Thursday. This Canadian is full of life and personality!

https://www.alabouroflife.com/home-3

@cassidl

 

  • Angelique is an author and coach who loves fashion!

http://angeliquelamour.com

@angeliquelamourauthor

  • Dawn loves encouraging women at midlife to have fun with fashion!

http://fashionshouldbefun.com

@fashionshouldbefun

  • Nicole is from Alaska and shows women how to turn fashion into style!

http://www.highlatitudestyle.com

@highlatitudestyle

  • Margaret is hanging out in LA and styles women for red carpet events – how fun!!

http://www.margaretrowe.com

@margaretrowe

  • Carol  is a powerhouse!  FTF loves her because she is a fun, positive, energetic up lifter!  She is all about empowering other women.  Carole is PHD, a bestselling author, TV contributor and an image consultant! She is an FTF favorite for sure!

http://evolvingyourimage.com/

@evolveyourimage

  • Lesley is fantastic!  She is both a fashion and Lifestyle Blogger for those who live life fabulously.   She is also a Singer/Actress, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister and Best Friend!  FTF thinks she is worth checking out!

http://www.fabulesley.com

@lesleywolman

  • Cheryl 💗art in all its forms, especially fashion!  She hopes to inspire women to be fashionable at all stages of life!  FTF loves her style!

http://www.northwestmountainliving.com

@northwestmountainiving

  • Hilda is from Ireland and posts beauty finds, fashion for the older woman and tips for health and well-being.   FTF loves her international perspective!

overthehilda.ie

@overthehilda

Traveling to Cuba

WHAT’S IT REALLY LIKE TO TRAVEL TO CUBA?

Cuba surprised me in so many ways. While it was exactly what I anticipated on some levels, it was completely different on others.   We traveled to Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad.

THE ATMOSPHERE

Cuba is a socialist country.   The people love their country, are incredibly happy people, but do admit they still have some challenges to overcome (primarily wages).  I did notice some things worth mentioning:

  • Although basic needs like food, education, healthcare, and housing are arranged by the state, many Cubans only earn minimum wage (doctors only make $25 a month!) and can hardly afford nonessential items such as toothpaste, hair styling products, deodorant, feminine hygiene products… things that we take for granted in in the US but that cost a fortune for Cubans. What I didn’t know that I wish I knew beforehand was to bring extra tooth brushes, toilet paper, shampoo, soap etc. you have laying around your house to leave with the locals. They will be more than happy to have them.
  • Many stray dogs and cats. I shouldn’t have been surprised as I have seen this same situation in other countries I’ve traveled to, but it really stood out for me here.   The running joke was that I was the “dog whisper”.   The stray dogs found me and would follow me around.   If you are a dog or cat lover, bring dog/cat treats to feed all the strays.
  • Pack everything you need. Don’t assume you can buy things there because it’s not guaranteed.
  • Don’t even think about getting online. The Internet is painfully slow (if you can even find a place to get online)
  • Americans and Cuban definitions of “luxury” are worlds apart. What they call 5*, we could consider 3*
  • The country is so clean!   I was surprised how clean it was.  In Cienfuegos, you could literally eat off the street.
  • Bins are where used toilet paper goes. You can’t flush it because of inadequate plumbing systems that clog easily due to low water pressure.   Here is a shot of restaurant bathroom.  Note you buy 3 sheets of toilet paper.    Which also is a good point…. bring your own travel toilet paper.   I bought Pockette on Amazon that I brought with and they did come in handy!

CUBAN FASHION

It was unseasonably hot while we were there.   95 degrees with 90% humidity!  I was wet for 5 straight days.  LOL  The last few days it did get back to normal temps…80’s during the day.  70’s with nice breeze at night.

I didn’t pack for the unseasonal weather.   Thank god at the last minute I threw in 2 Fresh Produce dresses because they were easy to pack. I wore the same 2 dresses for 4 days as they were the coolest things I had packed.   By day 3,  I stopped wearing makeup as it was literally melting off my face.  My hair???  Forget about it.   I would wash it in the morning, wouldn’t even bother trying to dry it.   I wore hats or pulled back in a ponytail and put on a headband.  Therefore, you will not see many pics of me because it wasn’t a pretty sight.  Haha

When the weather broke, we did get a few pics.

LET’S TALK SHOES

Lots of cobblestone streets and uneven sidewalks so stick to flat sandals and comfortable sneakers!   No heals at all!!  It will be extremely difficult to walk around.  Below is an example of a typical street in Trinidad.

My overall impression of Cuban fashion?

Everyone dresses very casual and simple, so you can wear anything!  The local women wear tight clothing and positive body image seemed to be a pretty strong thing, which is great.  Below is a pic of our Airbnb host in Trinidad.  So confident with her body image!

They did have one trend.   The below crazy stockings/pantyhose.   This is their big fashion trend right now, but only for “business dress”.    We were trying to find some to buy and bring back, but didn’t have any luck.  Interestingly, they have embraced all kinds of nail art trends from crazy prints to nail piercing.

 

Clothes shopping is abysmal except for crochet items and hats.  If you are checking bags when traveling to Cuba, make sure to bring a change of clothes in your carry on because you’ll have a very hard time finding anything if your luggage was lost.

Tip: You might want to bring a few extra t-shirts (specifically graphic tee’s) and lipstick that you don’t mind leaving behind, as many Cuban women will ask you to leave them.   I had heard about this before I left, but didn’t realize what a big deal this is.  I wish I would have packed a few items.  So, keep this in mind when you’re packing for Cuba.   Oh..regarding the lipstick, I did have an extra one with me that I was going to leave.  It was a neutral pink.  Our host didn’t want it.  Haha.  They want bright red and pink!

So that’s it.   Unbelievable trip and once in a life time experiences that I couldn’t recreate if I wanted to.   Will I go back?   Yes!   Many places we didn’t get to that I would still love to see.

Fashion Trends and Friends Contest Update

Contest Winner Janet Poulin won a day of Shopping with Julie and Lori!

As the winner of FTF’s first contest Janet Poulin won a day of shopping with Julie and Lori acting as her personal style consultants.  Janet is a mother of three, a wife and an English teacher.  Her students say she is on fleek in the way she dresses.  In case your not hip to this term it means to be on point (my 12 year old niece translated for me).  Very high praise from her 6th, 7th and 8th grade students!  Janet was looking to add a few pieces to her work wardrobe so Julie and I had to be on our game to make sure Janet kept her on fleek reputation!  In addition to some new work pieces Janet also wanted help styling her jean jacket as well as a pink sweater she recently acquired.

We started our day at Talbot’s and hit pay dirt!  I love it when that happens.  We found the perfect jacket and then created a few different looks.  Her favorite was the jacket paired with the blue and white striped shirt and scarf!  Julie and I really like this combination too.  The shirt and scarf really bring out her blue eyes.  What a great look for the classroom!

 

Next we went to work styling Janet’s jean jacket and pink sweater.  We thought her pink sweater was the perfect top to put under her jean jacket.  All we did was add a cute lapel pin and this gorgeous pink plaid scarf with fringe and voila!  Isn’t this look just adorable?  Janet can also wear the blue and white striped shirt with her jean jacket and she can wear her pink sweater under her new green jacket with the pink plaid scarf.  So she immediately has 4 different looks!

One of the best parts of shopping with your friends is they will never steer you wrong.  They will also push you a little out of your comfort zone and get you to try something that you normally might not.  Julie and I did this with Janet.  Gingham is a big Spring trend and Talbots has a beautiful jacket that we thought would look great on Janet and be perfect for school.  Her immediate reaction was “nuh-uh!”  After some nudging we got her to try it on.  We think it looks amazing on her but she just wasn’t feeling it.  We agreed she shouldn’t buy it because if you are going to spend your hard earned money on something you should love it and not be able to wait to wear it!   What do you think?

 

After doing some serious damage at Talbots we headed to one of our favorite stores White House Black Market.  We were not disappointed.  Although she wasn’t looking for a date night top we found this one and she had to have it.  There are so many great things about this top.  First the coral color is beautiful!  Then it has these amazing bell sleeves – LOVE!  If you look in the mirror you can see the back of the top has a sexy little cut out which shows off well with Janet’s hairstyle.  Last, it flows away from the waist making it flattering and so very comfortable to wear.  I love it paired with this choker necklace.  It is boho chic and my absolute favorite from a very fun and successful day shopping!  What is your favorite look?