The Hidden Gems of Walmart, Vol. II

I've been meaning to do this for awhile, but my usual desire to slip in and out of Walmart as quickly and elusively as possible has deterred my aspirations. However, Walmart's clothing department has been really impressing me of late. During my last jaunt into the fray of bargain shopping, I was so astounded by the offerings in the womenswear department that I just had to whip out my phone and bring you...THE HIDDEN GEMS OF WALMART, VOL 2! 

1. THESE FLANNELS! 

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But really...THESE FLANNELS! Here we have a rack full of closet staples for fall. The black one looks just like a Rails button-down I've been eyeing. The green with the embroidery is spot on. The real test for me--the softness factor. These passed with flying colors...SO SOFT!! One thing with these, as with many Walmart items, the sizing is weird. For these shirts you will want to SIZE THE F**K UP if you want it oversized at all. 

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Does this one-piece even need an explanation? Love the side cut-outs, the ribbed fabric and the color. This one could totally be worn as a bodysuit into the fall once the pool closes. 

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I don't usually go for patterns, but this jumpsuit caught my eye for the bandana-inspired print and color! Upon closer inspection, the fabric was extremely soft with a linen feel. I have a black jumpsuit (not from WM) in this spaghetti strap, straight neck, wide leg cut and I wear it ALL the time. This one would be a fun addition to any closet (hello Labor Day weekend outfit??). 

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I think I may have featured this find in my last hidden gems post, but it is still available and still prevalent. This $9 bag is a very close rendition of a $100+ style by Rebecca Minkoff. If you want a bag that looks high end, but you don't have the cash--this is your find. 

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Here are the shorts you'll live in to lounge around the house, go to the gym and even run errands. They are so comfy, but the heathered fabric and cut of these doesn't look super sloppy. At only $4, you will want every color...and be able to afford them, too! 

As I mentioned in the first Hidden Gems of Walmart post, these images aren't linked to shop online because finding a specific item is nearly impossible in the behemoth that is the Walmart shopping website. Plus, hidden gems should always be the fruits of an adventure; and going to Walmart is ALWAYS an adventure. Happy bargain shopping! 

Five Finds | Cute Slide Sandals Perfect for Summer!

Simplicity and comfort--two essential elements that I look for when buying new additions for my closet. When it comes to summer footwear, nothing fits that bar better than slide sandals. Don't get me wrong, I love a cool, strappy gladiator sandal; but there's just nothing more wearable than an easy slide-on choice. When buying sandals this summer, prioritize purchasing a slide and see your investment have a MAJOR return on number of wears! 

Shop five of my favorite slides for summer below, just click the image! Bonus--all under $100! 

1. Matisse Moody Sandal 

Grab these while they are still available in tons of sizes at an AMAZING sale price! I'm a sucker for neutrals and animal prints. Love the black mixed in to ensure these guys will go with everything from denim to a little black dress. You guys might be seeing these pop up in a styled blog shoot soon... *adds to cart.* 

2. Melissa Cosmic Slide Sandal 

While I have never heard of the brand Melissa before, I am glad I ran across these slides while browsing Nordstrom Rack! I love the juxtaposition of the sport tread and black rubber composition with the traditionally preppy tortoise shell. Since these are rubberized, it makes them perfect to head from a day at the beach or pool right into your night time look. 

3. Bueno Shore Thing Slide Sandal

I picked these slides by Bueno up in the camel color the other day at Free People, so I can personally attest to how fantastic these sandals are. I was looking for a standard natural leather slide and these fit the bill to a T. The color is spot on, the leather is super soft and the sole is comfy. Nailed it! 

4. Soludos Embroidered Tassel Leather Slides

To break up the black and neutral tan theme I was getting into with the previous picks, this slide by Soludos is a great way to add some color to your footwear, yet remain versatile. I can see this pair teamed with nearly any summer look--beachwear, white jeans and a black tank, or a romper. At 50% off, you can't find anything wrong with these beauties! 

5. Dolce Vita Pacey Studded Slide Sandal

Jumping right back into black color options, I had to include this amazing pair of slides by Dolce Vita. If something is studded, chances are I am going to be quite into it. Black studded sandals are one of my top joys in life. Dolce Vita is one of my favorite brands of shoes, so these are bound to be high quality. The studs will instantly elevate any outfit! 

Kansas City Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2018 | My Modeling AND Media Blogging Experience!

It's crazy to think it was just one year ago that I did my first Kansas City Fashion Week (or KCFW from here on out)! Coming into this season of KCFW, I really felt comfortable and at home around everyone and in the venue--even more so than seasons before. Overall, this season felt really relaxed with less stress, pressure and nervousness for the shows. One reason for this is that I split my fashion week time between modeling and doing media/blogging. I covered media Wednesday and Thursday nights, then walked the runway Friday and Saturday! Keep on reading for more details and photos of my KCFW experience. 

The Venue

 Guests take their seats by the European Style runway at The Grand Hall 

Guests take their seats by the European Style runway at The Grand Hall 

The most important part of any story is arguably the setting; KCFW action was set at The Grand Hall at Power & Light in downtown Kansas City. While this venue is smaller than the traditional Union Station venue, the beautiful architecture, upper mezzanine views (seen above) and unique "European Style" runway are always a cool experience. I've always thought this event space (available for rent) would be a great option for a Kansas City wedding reception! 

Media Meet + Greet 

While not the most "glam" event on the KCFW schedule (no red carpet here, guys!), the media meet & greet is one of my favorite events of the week. I find myself interacting more frequently with folks on the models/designers end of the fashion spectrum, and it is always really nice to switch gears and mingle with some bloggers and influencers. The media event always allows for that! This year we had a private shopping event at Kindred boutique, accompanied by mimosas (yay!) from Cooper's Hawk Winery and treats from Dolce Bakery! Photos above are by Larry Levenson. Thanks for the great shot of my twin Pam (@sideofglam) and I! 

KCFW Wednesday Night | Media Night 1

Wednesday night of KCFW--kick off night!! The first night of shows always has a unique energy. Everyone is excited to get the week underway, many of the designers showing the first night are new and hungry to launch their collections, and there is a sense of entropy as everyone rushes to pull it together for the first night. 

Prior to this season, I had only experienced Wednesday nights as a model. Attending the shows as media was very different, yet still held many of the same vibes for reasons described above. The night started off getting ready with fellow media pass holders + friends, Pam (@sideofglam) and Kelly (@fashionbyfreeman). Pam and I inadvertently wore the same outfit concept with the monotone outfits with a pop of fur--fur being practical since it was cold and rainy weather! This was the first time going out with my new dark hair. It took awhile to get used to it so I was still in an awkward state of emotion! I wore a strapless jumpsuit by Planet Blue (similar), faux fur by LPA (which is BACK IN STOCK !!), heels by Marc Jacobs and carried Saint Laurent

Standout Collection: Schyline 

 Roberto Carlos Photography

Roberto Carlos Photography

While all the collections were incredible, Schyline stood out for me the most. With flowing garments in shades of ivory and navy, I wanted to reach out and touch each piece as it glided past. Anyone who knows me knows I love something both visually and tactilely pleasing and Schyline definitely hit the mark on this with gorgeous pieces that were obviously high on wearability and comfort. 

***For all of the nights I attended as media, I do not have personal photos that do the collections justice as the European runway (unavoidably) makes getting a great shot hard for the audience. This means I had more time to enjoy the shows, but less of my own pics. ***

KCFW Thursday Night | Media Night 2 

Thursday was another fabulous night of fashion and friends. Thursday KCFW vibes are always kind of laid back; we are all in the flow, and it's the calm before the storm of the weekend rush. I find it so fascinating how each night of KCFW has its own personality and feel. 

I loved pushing the boundaries with Thursday's outfit. I'm a huge proponent of stalking more expensive pieces until they go on super sale (if you're that committed, it's worth a buy!). This set by Fleur du Mal is an example of me practicing what I preach--I watched it for over a year until it became affordable! I was a little hesitant to wear the matching bralette as a top, but with the leather jacket it was perfect! KCFW is a great place to push fashion boundaries and try wearing things out of your comfort zone. The jacket is my favorite piece of all time by Cabin + Cove, long necklace by Georgina Herrera, shoes by RAYE (on mega sale + my go-to heel), and I carried the Alexander Wang Diego bag in leopard (I FOUND one for sale--and they sold out everywhere!). 

Standout Collection: House of Pamela Renee 

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I was already enjoying the chill Thursday vibes and having a great time at KCFW, but when House of Pamela Renee's signature runway song began to play, a huge smile broke out on my face. Not only did the song bring back great memories of walking for Pamela last season at Union Station, but I knew I was about to see some impeccably crafted designs. To say I was not disappointed was an understatement. The warm tones, vintage inspired prints and rich textures were speaking to me in a big way! House of Pamela Renee always incorporates designs for both men and women in her collections; being a huge fan of menswear on women, I could see myself wearing styles from both the mens and womenswear pieces (like the coat above!). 

KCFW Friday | Munelle de Vie  

Friday signaled the shift in my KCFW experience from media mode to model mode! Munelle de Vie was the amazing designer (and friend!) I walked for on Friday. Munisa, the beautiful woman behind Munelle de Vie, had a killer vision for the runway. Our makeup was very glowy and fresh while our hair was more of a grunge style, which perfectly complimented her femme-street collection. I always enjoy when designers go the extra mile with styling and unique beauty looks. During the runway, Munisa encouraged us all to walk as if we were "walking the city streets with our headphones on." For me, this was yet another layer of direction to perfectly set the mood. With all these elements coming together perfectly, I was not even nervous when I hit the runway, which surely helped embody the laid-back yet statement streetwear line. Thanks for having me as part of your Munelle de Vie team, Munisa! SHOP ALL MUNELLE DE VIE HERE (you know I will be)!

KCFW Finale: Saturday 

Whether you are an audience member, model, designer or staff member, finale night of KCFW is always exciting and glamorous. However, this year was even more thrilling for Georgina Herrera's team as we were the finale designer on the finale night! To live up to the hype, Georgina developed a complex choreographed runway complete with never-before-seen on the KCFW runway, box risers for the models. This created an interactive runway/gallery experience for the audience--and also a lot of panic amongst the models who had to climb the boxes in heels! Putting my mountain-climbing skills to work, I took my place on and off the boxes, walking to a constant chant of expletives running through my mind, all the while I managed to maintain the high level of slay that Georgina's collection requires. It will not surprise the reader that I--and the rest of the team--breathed a huge collective sigh of relief and triumph once we completed the runway and wowed the crowd! 

We all deserved a beverage after killing that runway...lucky for us, it was KCFW After Party night! 

 Photo:  Kenneth Levine  | KCFW After Party 2018 | Venue:  R24 Studios  | Host:   LiV KC  

Photo: Kenneth Levine | KCFW After Party 2018 | Venue: R24 Studios | Host:  LiV KC 

In keeping with the spirit of KCFW, my velvety after party look included pieces from some of my favorite Kansas City designers! The emerald jumpsuit by Andrea Marie Long Designs is from the KCFW A/W17 runway, gold earrings are by KC's own Janesko, shoes are by Raye, and I'm carrying Luana Italy. The bracelet is vintage, but sourced right in KC at River Market Antiques! 

Thanks Kansas City Fashion Week for another great season! If you want to be part of KCFW next season (as a designer, model, spectator, volunteer, etc), like the KCFW Facebook Page and keep an eye out for castings and tickets! 

Austin Fashion Week | Saturday Night Rundown

It's been over a month since ATX fashion week, so this post reviewing the last night of fashion week is overdue! However, I didn't want to completely miss the chance to share my experience and the awesome Saturday night designers. Below I have a few favorites, plus what I wore that night. 

Best emerging designer for Saturday night goes to Allie Lunt. At 14 years old, and a veteran of Project Runway Junior, Allie is seriously talented. Her clothing reflects her youth with fun pops of hot pink, but the pieces have a sophistication that makes them wearable by women of any age. Part of that is Allie's adherence to modesty in her designs; the sexy details are subtle, sheer lace on the bell bottoms or a perfectly placed back cut out, giving the collection a great refined feel. My favorite piece is naturally the denim jacket with puffy leopard sleeves! I'm sure we will be seeing Allie (and her signature amazing hairstyle!) a lot more in the future. For more information and to shop Allie's collection, click here.

Most eclectic collection of the night goes--with absolutely no competition--to Big Bertha's Paradise Vintage! The collection they sent down the runway was the fashion week equivalent of walking through a vintage shop. There were lots of "Wow, so cool!" moments (aka, black embellished vest) and a few "WTF!" moments (THE hat). This is the true vintage experience, in my opinion. Curiosities and beautiful things all jumbled together with an air of mystery and hidden stories. While this wasn't your typical designed-for-the-runway collection, I liked how it added whimsy and spectacle while showcasing one of Austin's most premiere vintage destinations, Big Bertha's Paradise. To learn more about Big Bertha's, click here! 

My favorite collection of the night was Something by Sonjia. As a habitual wearer of beanies (once I passed Johnny in our cars as he was coming home from work and he called me with frantic concern, "You're wearing a beanie...in June??"), I was feeling the vibe of the collection as soon as the models came out wearing black beanies. The oversized, soft yet edgy feel of the collection was right on point with my style. I loved the subtle geometric prints and the soft teddy sherpa fur elements that I just wanted to wrap myself in. This collection made me wish it was winter, and that is not typical for me! Sonjia is a Project Runway designer, and it's clear that she has innate talent coupled with amazing experience to produce such amazing garments. 

Two of my favorite capsule collections: Masha Osoianu Design and J. Ewing Designs. These were so good, I wish they had showed a full collection! 

Keep scrolling to see what I wore Saturday night + meet my new friends I made at the show, Allen and Jessica! 

The black fringe romper is by Amanda Valentine. I bought it off the rack that night and changed into it! The combat boots are by Free People, the bag is Givenchy and the necklace is Kendra Scott. 

THANK YOU to Rebecca of Mira Visu Photography for all the photos of the weekend, the puppy snuggles, rose and pizza, and a fun weekend hosting me in Austin!!