8 Spring Trends You Will Either Love or Hate

I have mixed emotions about this year’s Spring trends. I love the banker stripes, shirt dresses, satin jeweled pumps and tweed, but there are a few styles I just can’t wrap my mind around! I remember wearing pom pom earrings and embroidered jeans as a 13 year old in 2001! Not my best fashion year. Which stands to reason why I wouldn’t want to revisit it any time soon! What do you think about the trending styles below? Love them or hate them?

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How To : Wear a Blanket Scarf

Today’s post is certainly not an original concept. There are more than likely literally 100s of scarf tying tutorials out there… This post is simply to round up my favorites for easy access!
First, you’ll need a blanket scarf. Every year Zara releases a beautiful array of plaid/tartan blanket scarves in the softest of weaves… however, they always sell out very fast (within weeks usually of becoming available online). 
For those of you who missed the most popular 2013 style you can now PRE-ORDER it from the Glitter&Bow Goody Bar on Etsy!** I have these available at my wholesale price discount since there’s a 3 week wait. But trust me… you’ll be the envy of all your fashionable friends and followers when they see you snagged one of the season’s most coveted accessories!

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Now on to the tying tutorials!
I love this visual photo inspiration board to start us off with some ideas from popofstyle.com. As you can see, you really don’t want to tie this type of scarf too tightly because of its voluminous size and pretty pattern being hidden!
Here’s a 7-step tutorial for the ‘half tie’ from ClassySassyBlog.
Above is a 6-step photo tutorial from CortInSession for the simple drape that’s probably most popular.
Here is a video tutorial in case all that plaid is making you see double!
Let me know your favorite ways to tie scarves with a comment below!
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**As of 9/4/14 the scarf pre-order is closed but check back in November for re-stock!

Hair Tie Bling Pack Giveaway!

A couple of months ago the lovely Emma of Fl(h)air Accessories asked me to collaborate with her to bring you a very special custom set of bling hair ties that reflect my personal Glitter & Bow style!

It was not difficult at all to design a set that I felt could carry me through any daily situation life might throw my way! There are two reasons I’m so in love with these hair ties: 1. They are easy on my hair and still get the job done. 2. They double as chic bracelets so I don’t have to dig around for something to get my hair back at the gym, or when 4pm rolls around and I’m hunched over my computer trying to get those last minute reports in, or when I’m ready to make dinner and don’t want an extra topping on the spaghetti! 
Considering how my day goes, I wanted a pack of hair ties that could function for a variety of situations, so during the design process I went to my daily planner…
In the mornings after styling my hair I always wash my face before putting on makeup. The cream and polka dot ties match most of my dressing gowns and pajamas so I throw my hair into a high bun to keep it out of the way while applying my makeup — and voila! — my hair still looks perfect after I take the tie out because there are no ugly creases like an elastic tie or hair clip is prone to leave.

Depending on which day of the week it is I’m either at school or work… The black tie will match anything so it was a must-have in the pack. The silver and gold bow tie doubles perfectly as a bracelet and looks dressy enough to wear on my arm at the office until my hair starts to get annoying!
Plus, as I’m sure is obvious from the name of this blog, I am obsessed with bows!
Typically in the afternoon I go on a run, have a work-out class, or look up some of my favorite work-out videos on YouTube. All my exercise gear happens to be different shades of coral, or neon pink with some black thrown in (see, that black hair tie goes with anything!) so I decided a bright coral hair tie was a must as well!
If you would like to try out these amazing hair ties enter the giveaway below! If you just can’t wait visit Emma’s shop on Etsy to purchase your own HERE! There are a limited number of 12 of the G&B hair tie sets, so don’t wait too long!

Good luck!
with love, Rachel

Olivia Pope Style on a Quinn Perkins Budget

If you’ve watched Scandal starring the perfect Kerry Washington, chances are your fondness for good wine and winter white have sky rocketed… Maybe you’ve even considered changing up your office wardrobe to emulate the powerful yet feminine style of Olivia Pope, the gladiator in a spotless suit and platform pumps. Olivia’s style appeals to me for two reasons: 1. It’s genuinely timeless. 2. It is soft without being weak (something which is difficult to achieve with only an outfit!).

If however, like me, your life revolves around a less than glamorous budget you might have first thought how impossible it would be to achieve her look without completely over hauling your entire wardrobe and going into extreme debt. When I first started looking into where Olivia’s clothes were from I knew they were going to be well made but you can also tell they’re ‘off the rack’, i.e. from a ‘ready to wear’ collection, not even custom tailored or bespoke. They fit well without looking as if anything has really been done to them after she purchased them. She looks like a woman who simply knows her sizes and perhaps merely needs a hem let up or down once in a while. Imagine my surprise upon discovering MOST of her looks are at a minimum $3,000+ each! This includes blouse, trousers, pumps, handbag and jacket or coat. While I would love to purchase Burberry’s entire collection of trench coats and all of Prada’s neutral handbags that’s simply not realistic so I started to consider alternatives.
Because I have had a job shopping for people in the past I know there are extremely easy ways to create a chic look for a fraction of the price the same look costs in all couture. Usually I choose one item my client really feels is important to last the longest (a well made coat or an impressive hand bag) and spend 1/3 of the budget on that. Then, asses what you already have in your closet and keep things that match the look you’re going for. Lastly, purchase the items you are missing to fill out the necessaries (pants, pumps and jackets that match). 

Olivia’s style is easy to duplicate because she stays in a very specific color palette of soft neutrals: black, camel, white, off white (winter white), shades of gray, powder or barely there pink, and sometimes navy or powder blue. Clothing in these colors are available in abundance. 
She also likes tiny details like pleats, bows and ruffles. These are usually seen around her neck or on a cropped blazer. She off-sets these feminine touches with long strong lines (trousers and formal gowns) and box cut coats with three quarter length sleeves. Another very girly aspect of her wardrobe are these big, fabulous tote style bags and platform pumps which impeccably match her choice of outerwear.

When I started shopping for looks to match this style I saw that I already had plenty of coats, pumps and handbags. Olivia’s choice in these items is already almost exactly what I’ve always purchased in the past, so I pulled out my tan, black and navy blue leather bags and put away my smaller cross body satchels and flashier clutches.
Next I went through my trousers and blouses… If these are the only items you need to replace than you’re in luck since they are the cheapest to purchase! See my examples in the photo collages above… All items shown are from the H&M U.S. site except the black pants which are from New York & Co. website. As you can see, $200 could easily update your wardrobe to a more Olivia Pope approved level of chic! Find direct links to all products shown above HERE.
What pieces do you think define Olivia’s style most? Do you have a favorite outfit of hers? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments!
 
with love, Rachel

Goodies Lately

I know it’s been a super long time since I did a goodies post… I feel like it’s weird to just put stuff I buy on my blog without a reason (i.e. reviewing a product) but I just came across several shops online that I have previously not purchased from and thought I’d share some of the great prices and goodies I found!
Due to the bad weather the U.S. has been experiencing several of these items had delayed shipping, so even though they were not all purchased the same day (I do NOT have an online shopping problem!), they all arrived within a few days of each other. It was like Christmas in February!

Urban Peach pave link bracelet: I’ve been searching for a rose gold pave link bracelet and Urban Peach was having a great 30% off sale during Valentine’s Day so I snapped one up and now I really love wearing it with everything. Right now they’re having a 20% off EVERYTHING sale! Use code ‘SHOP20’ at checkout.
Feathered Nest Boutique (Etsy) monogrammed navy puffer vest. Kathryn, owner of FNB, is really sweet and accommodating. She answered all my questions and even sent some free hair ties as a consolation for the shipping taking so long! For current coupon codes and sales follow her Instagram: @FNBInstagram.
{ Me, showing off my new goodies on Instagram! }

Shop By Icon gold metallic graphic pink flowy tank. I CANNOT express how much I adore this tank top! I literally have worn it every day since I got it and was so sad when, after wearing it to the gym, I had to finally throw it in the washer! For sales and coupon notifications follow on Instagram: @ShopByIcon or Facebook

Hunter Wellies from Victoria’s Secret. It was SO hard to choose where to buy these from but I ended up getting them from VS because I had a rewards card and tons of coupon codes to redeem so I ended up getting them for about 30% less than on the Hunter (or any other) website.
A couple notes about these: I run and jog a lot so I don’t have the skinniest calves… however the circumference of these boots is 15.5″ and my calf is 15″ so they still fit comfortably, but I really can’t wear thick socks with them. Since I’m not planning on wearing them in the snow though I think this is ok. It’s really just personal preference. 

OhLaLaAli monogram stickers! I recently became a brand ambassador for Ali so I am beyond excited to host a giveaway sponsored by her soon! The first two snapshots in this post show the stickers in their packaging so it may be hard to see what they look like. The photos below are from Ali’s Etsy shop so you can get a better idea:

I hope you enjoyed this post and obtained some inspiration for any birthday, or ‘just because’ gifts you may need to buy soon! I always feel more confident making purchases if I read good reviews first and have a coupon code or two! Happy shopping!
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