Hope Wissel

How To Accessorize Your Little Black Dress

Thank you Thirty One for today’s blog post.  I will admit…. I don’t have a little black dress BUT I do have my favorite pair of black pants and black top (that counts, right?)

Whether it is a black dress or not, everyone has go-to items in their wardrobe.  The things which  never let you down – you feel great when you put them on AND you can dress them up or down with a pair of go-with-anything heels to the perfect dark wash denim to the LBD – otherwise known as the little black dress!  Your staple piece can easily go from a casual day of errands to a night on the town. With so many silhouettes and styles, there’s a little black dress for everything life throws your way.

But when you have a dress to go with everything, how do you even begin to accessorize it? No matter the occasion, Thirty One has you covered with our favorite ways to dress up (and down!) the classic LBD.

Effortless Everyday

Whether you’re running errands around town, walking in the park or going to class, a T-shirt dress is the perfect way to stay comfortable and cute when you’re on the go. Throw on a denim jacket and the Avenue Scarf in Lovely Leopard or Deco Diamond to complete this simple yet chic look. Add a Retro Metro Hobo Crossbody in Twill Stripe for a subtle mix of patterns that stands out with ease

Need some fresh scarf styling tips? Learn 10 easy ways to tie a scarf!

Office chic

When you can’t bring yourself to put on another pantsuit, turn your little black dress into a sophisticated ensemble perfect for the office! Choose a sheathe or shift silhouette, then throw on a blazer or structured jacket for a put-together look. Add flats in a pop of color or fun print like leopard, and stack on a few Cherish Bracelets for some shine. And don’t forget your work bag! Choose a Cindy Tote in one of three neutral prints and you’re ready to rock the work week.

Girls’ night out  

Everybody needs a girls’ night every now and then, and with the right little black dress you’ll feel ready to paint the town!  Try a dress with a fitted silhouette, then go black-on-black with a black moto jacket and black booties for the perfect mix of feminine and fierce. Keep the accessories simple with a Rubie Mini or All About the Benjamins and Wristlet Strap for a hands-free bag you’ll feel comfortable carrying all night!

Wedding season

Have a wedding or other special occasion approaching? Don’t rule out black just yet! When it comes to wearing black at a celebration, it’s all about the details. We recommend a classy fit-and-flair silhouette, but go for whatever you feel most comfortable in. Add coordinating jewelry like our Gallery Necklace and Luxe Loop Dangles in Silver or Gold-Tone, and go for a sleek pair of heels for the perfect finishing touch.

Date night

Even the iconic little black dress needs a makeover from time to time, so why not try a little black jumpsuit on your next date night? The one-piece trend has been in full swing for several seasons now, and there’s no question why! A jumpsuit or romper is a head-to-toe outfit, so you won’t have to stress over pairing tops and bottoms. For a fun and funky look, choose a pair of chunky statement heels, a simple belt and a Fringed & Fabulous necklace. Add a bag from our Studio Thirty-One collection for a personalized piece that expresses your unique style!

So whether you are headed out on the town or to work, show us how you rock your little black dress with the #thirtyonepartywithHope hashtag.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

How to Dress Up Your Jeans

I am a total jeans girl.  I’m not sure when it started…. It could be because of the “jiggle thighs” so dresses and weight weight fabrics and I don’t agree.  Maybe it is because I no longer enjoy shopping and trying on clothes (GASP!)
After a summer of dressing in capris and yoga pants with LONG tops, I am ready for the arrival of fall and the crisp air. Okay, so the colder weather I am not a fan of BUT I do love my jeans and boots.   With the comfort of jeans comes the age old question: How can you dress up your jeans and feel fashionable when you head out for work, a day with your girlfriends or a night on the town?  Yup, I struggle with this all of the time.  The answer is in the accessories which is what changes your basic denim to a fashion statement!
I love some of these ideas from the staff and designers at Thirty One.

Get your jeans party-ready with smart evening accessories

When choosing jeans for evening, it’s important to start with the right silhouette. Luckily, two denim cuts leading the way for fall are flattering on all body types – especially in a dark, saturated wash.

Your tried-and-true skinny jeans are as hot as ever and look great balanced with flowy, feminine tops. Layer on a long necklace, drop earrings and stacked bracelets for some nighttime sparkle.

In addition to skinny jeans, you’ll also see more trouser-like silhouettes this season. This cut gives you some creative leeway with opportunities to rock key details like contrast stitching, polished hardware and chic pleats. As a general rule, trouser-style jeans look best paired with a more fitted top tucked in.

Finish off your party look by dressing up your jeans with the perfect pair of shoes: Pumps add evening elegance and take both skinny and trouser jeans up a notch.

Dress your jeans for a professional setting

If you are wearing jeans to the office,, you want a pulled together professional look.  Work-appropriate jeans are usually the  darker wash the better – or try one of the dressy, deep-hued colored washes big this fall.  No, frayed or distressed jeans, or jeans with embellishments like studs.  A closed-toe pump is a solid choice for work, as is a pointy-toe flat if you’re on your feet a lot. Then add a tucked-in button-up shirt in a crisp white or a soft pastel or stripe. Roll up the sleeves a bit to show off a bracelet or add a blazer for a quick easy way to complete the look.

Be strategic with pops of color and NEVER more than one eye-grabbing pattern per outfit. A foolproof accessory is a lightweight, rectangular Avenue Scarf or one of the many accessories offered in Thirty One’s  Bright & Bold collection.

Since we often carry a laptop between the office and home, the new Colorblock Tote is a great option. Its structure and smaller scale make it office-worthy while still providing the roominess you need.

 

Ladies who lunch (or brunch!)

For a day of brunching and shopping with your gal pals, start with a pair of high-waisted skinnies and patterned flats. Add a dressy tunic or feminine peasant top in one of the deliciously rich hues that the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report for Fall/Winter 2018 says will be big this year, like Red Pear, Martini Olive, Ultra Violet or Quetzal Green.

For holding all your finds while browsing those markets and boutiques, we love a statement bag like our slouchy but structured Around Town Tote. These bags come in an equally scrumptious palette of solids and patterns to pull your whole look together, and you can add your personal stamp with a monogram or Icon-It.

Dress up for date night

Date night with your special someone? Try a sophisticated pair of trouser jeans in a dark wash. Fall fashion shows in the spring were also showing tuxedo stripes on jeans, which is another fun way to dress up your denim look for evening.

Dressing up your jeans with a peep-toe bootie/sandal hybrid with a chunky heel is perfect for transitioning between seasons, and you can switch to a full bootie later. You’ll want a fitted top so you can layer on a leather-look moto jacket, and then bling out the whole ensemble with a statement necklace, earrings and a bracelet or two. Think small for your bag; choose something like a wristlet or clutch for your phone and lipstick and such. Remember: For evening, it’s all about the fun details.

Need some ideas? Try our best-selling All About the Benjamins wallet with a matching Wristlet Strap, then dress up your whole outfit with an on-trend Fringed and Fabulous Necklace and a pair of shiny Luxe Loop Dangles earrings.

Whether you’re heading to work, a day out with friends or a night on the town, have fun dressing up your jeans for a casual yet ultra-chic look. And be sure to check out all the amazing handbags and accessoriesThirty-One Gifts has designed to help you bring out your own personal style!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

No-frills Date Ideas

Is this how you picture date night?
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Is this what your date night actually looks like?

article-2479786-093DE434000005DC-837_634x527Kids, work, stress, health issues and just plain LIFE can sometimes get in the way, right? Every couple that I talk to tell me that date night is important but especially for a frazzled parent even if they struggle to fit it in.

It was easy pre-baby (or kids) days, right.  Now, it isn’t easy or even possible to go anywhere or do anything planned, sometimes you just have to have things ready for a moment’s notice to take advantage of the situation.  Date night can sometimes be “date lunch”.  Maybe it is some “afternoon delight” – just spending some time together while the kids are at school or at a play date.  The key is learning how to make the most of those down times and that doesn’t mean squeezing in more errands.

Check your calendar – schedule your date just like everything else.  When we write it, it will happen.  Here are some ideas for day or night that can actually coexist with parenting.

#1 – Lunch or Dinner at an Ethnic Restaurant that Neither of You Have Tried

Step out of your comfort zone, eat with your hands or sit on the floor, depending on the norms of that particular culture. Does spending money on food you have never tried scare you?  Have a lunch date.  Prices tend to be lower and with the kids busy at school or play dates or activities, no cost for a baby sitter.  Who knows you may like it and want to go back for dinner.

#2 Have A Picnic On the Beach or at the Lake

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Picnics on sunny days are always a good idea, but even better when there’s a body of water close by. Being close to the water is not only calm and refreshing to your senses, but you can even go in for a dip afterwards if you want.  Is it a rainy day? You can always have an indoor picnic – remember the fun you used to have as a kid doing this?

#3 Play Tourist 

When we think of sightseeing, we think of fancy getaways, majestic natural wonders, and cultural sites in faraway lands. But the truth is, we may be missing out on some pretty awesome local landmarks.  “We Can See Them Anytime”, right?  The truth is that we seldom do and sometimes never get to them. Google local tourist spots and plan a day trip to experience them in your area.

#4 Go to a Local Comedy Club or Open Mike Night

There are lots of amateur comedians or artists that try out their skills on local stages.  They are usually nervous and unsure BUT they have a dream. Chances are that they are pretty good but lack confidence.  Your encouragement can put a smile on their face. This idea is also fun as a double date or maybe even a family night with your older kids.

#5 Volunteer at a local Charitable Organization 

Performing random acts of kindness for others can be a strong bonding experience. Spending a day helping others receive a meal, or assisting with building a home for the less fortunate will bring your own blessings into stark relief. Take pictures with the people you helped or with the other volunteers to show your kids. This is also a great family project.

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#5 Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Have some cake, cupcakes, or anything that satisfies your sweet tooth at a bakery close by. After you’re done, take a relaxing stroll back home.

What are your favorite date ideas for couples and parents of children who need a day/night out?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Woohoo Wednesday

Rekindle Your Relationship

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Today is all about YOU!  Struggling with health issues (or any stress) can take a toll on you in many ways.  It can effect you mentally, physically and spiritually.  And as a result, your relationships may suffer.

Has stress caused you to feel like there’s no more passion or excitement in your relationship?  Do you only see frustration?  Despite the stress, there are some ways to reignite the passion. Here are some tips that I found in a recent article:

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Date yourself.   Be sure to take care of yourself first and stop feeling guilty about it!  I know it can be tough – I have been there, done that and I have a multitude of tee shirts!  The most important thing is to de-stress, keep up on your hygiene (mani-pedis are great), exercise, eat well, do things that make YOU feel pretty and sexy. Let’s be honest, when we feel tired, bloated, in pain, etc. it is tough to see the positives in others.  Taking care of yourself sets you up to focus and be present in the moment.

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Get educated. I don’t mean going back to school, who has time for that!  Have an open and honest conversation with your health care provider. You will be amazed at the things that affect your body and how excited we get with our partner.  Sometimes those feelings are the start of other health issues.

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Date your partner.  I’m not talking about the usual going out to dinner weekly to the same old place, the same old-time and the same bat channel! I mean schedule a time have fun with your partner! When was the last time that you locked the bedroom door and played a card game on the bed!  Or went to the park and played on the swings?

Communicate.  Communication is the number one key in a long-term relationship along with touch! No matter how well you know your partner you are NOT a mind reader. Despite the fact that many may think you are! Misunderstandings can lead to a lot of frustrations.  Learn to LISTEN while you are sharing your thoughts and ideas.

Try something new.  There are so many fun and exciting new things to add to your relationship just between the two of you. You can do something spontaneous like play hookie and head to the beach or lakeside for a couple of hours.  Stress causes us to get into a routine, a comfy spot – break out of that comfort zone!

Reflect.  Think about the things that were so thrilling and fun when you first got together! What were some things you did for your partner that they loved when you first started dating? Why not recreate those experiences?  If you don’t remember, have a conversation and ASK what they remember most about when you were first dating.  You may be surprised at the things that meant so much to them that you didn’t think about.

Take a vacation alone.  Isn’t the old saying “absence makes the hear grow fonder”?The truth is that alone time gives you time to reflect and regenerate your own energy. Gives you time to do self-care things without the judgement of someone else. It also interrupts the routine, “wakes you up” in a sense and you start to become aware of the things you love most about your partner, the things that make you feel incomplete without them.

See your partner at their BEST.  I can’t stress this one enough. If you are constantly frustrated with your partner or dreading being with them then try changing those thoughts. Make a list of everything you like and love about them and start paying attention to those things. In the morning say to yourself 3 new things you’re thankful for about them do this for at least 21 days and you’ll see a significant turn around!

What is your best tip for rekindle your relationship?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Budgeting, Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms

5 Steps To A Fun Date Night On A Budget


This is a blog originally written by Lynette Barbieri

Spending a small fortune on date night isn’t going to make the night any more memorable – except when the bill arrives. There are plenty of ways to have a wonderful night out for any occassion without blowing your budget. Here are some ideas:

1. Go somewhere new – Visit that museum you’ve always been intending to get to but never seem to have the time. Take a boat or scenic train ride. Catch a play or romantic movie you both have been wanting to see. Getting out and doing something new, especially for harried parents, helps your relationship keep going strong.

2. Whip up something romantic – Fix your sweetheart his or her favorite meal. And even if you’re not known as the most enthusiastic of chefs, Chicken parmesan and a no bake chocolate cake are way easier than they look. Make something that allows you to do most of the prep work ahead of time and finish at the last minute. This is where those Internet cooking channels can come in handy.

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3. Make it a day out – If it’s warm where you are, consider a picnic at your favorite park or at the beach or pool. This is a picnic you’ll want to do up right with an old style wicker basket, champagne, fruits, pickles, delicious sandwiches, veggies with dipping sauce, cake, and good chocolates. Bring along some romantic music and a thick blanket on which to put everything – including yourselves. Don’t forget the bottle of wine.

4. Trip the light fantastic – Have a romantic dinner at home, and then head out to dance the night away. If one or both of you aren’t big on dancing, a couple of hours of ballroom dance lessons could be a romantic and new experience. There are Internet specials galore for introductory dance lessons. You can go to the gym, hike together, or a simple walk by the beach could work too.

5. Start the day right – The perfect day starts with the always trusty breakfast in bed. Think how pleased your loved one will be to wake up to the aromas of freshly brewed coffee, warm apple muffins, crispy bacon, and fluffy omelets. Especially if that loved one happens to be you!

Having fun doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Don’t forget to use coupons too. You can get discounts on dinner, movies, activities and more. Remember paying yourself first is the #1 rule of the money game!

Thank you Lynette for these great tips.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!