Feb 26, 2014

When it Fits Just Right

In early January, I wrote this post about my style resolutions for the new year and I wanted to give you a little update.  One of the reasons I started Whitney à la mode was to hold myself accountable for dressing more I might as well hold myself accountable to those resolutions, too!

While I haven't devoted much time to cleaning-out my closet, I have been more more conscious of clothing convenience and fit!  Everything I have purchased since the beginning of the year has been machine washable, no ironing necessary, and it all FITS!  I know, I know, all of my clothes fit.  But I mean that my new clothes really fit!  You'll know that an item is perfect for you when you don't have to fidget and you just feel so good!  I truly believe that attention to this detail will take an outfit from cute to wow!

This dress is an example of a perfect fit!  I purchased it during a trip to the Gap Outlet with a couple of girlfriends.  I knew from the moment I zipped it up that I felt good in it.  It flatters my pear-shaped body by highlighting my waist and flowing over my derrière and legs.  I love the stunning cobalt color and the animal print is fun without being too overwhelming.

I also think that this dress will be fun to remix!  Adding different blazers, cardigans, belts, tights and shoes will be an easy way to change-up the look.  Further, it layers nicely with tights for the winter but it will also be cute on its own when the temperature rises (soon, we can only hope)!

What were your New Year's resolutions?  Have you kept up with them?

What I'm Wearing:

Feb 21, 2014

Style Swap with Undergraduate Style

Have you stopped by The Brandied Pair or My New Favorite Outfit lately?  If so, you will have noticed that Jenn and Ginny have started a fun, new link-up called Style Swap!  In order to participate, you choose a blogging buddy and then recreate her look.  Or, the two of you can agree upon a style that you both want to create.  I know that I read style blogs to draw inspiration from other ladies, and this link-up is great motivation to actually use a look that inspires me!

When I learned about this link-up, I immediately knew that I wanted to swap styles with Alex from Undergraduate Style.  I have developed a fun relationship with Alex via the internet.  You can truly feel her kindness and enthusiasm through reading her blog.  We also share our taste in fashion and have similar pieces in our closet.

Alex was immediately game to swap styles and mentioned that she has a teal skirt similar to mine.  We decided to go with the teal skirts plus a few stripes to create our looks!  And voilà!  Our swapped styles!

I promise that we did not actually discuss the black and white striped tops or the black tights before wearing our outfits and sharing our photos!  I guess great minds think alike, right Alex?

I love the way that my outfit turned-out for a couple of reasons.  First, the teal skirt and this particular striped shirt are wardrobe staples of mine.  The looks are classic and they fit well!  Both pieces pair really easily with so many other items in my naturally I would put them together!

Also, as I mentioned in this post, stripes and leopard are two of my favorite patterns to mix.  Wearing leopard print flats with a striped top is my go-to method of mixing patterns.  You just can't go wrong with this combination!  Plus I got to wear this adorable belt that my parents gave to me for Christmas.  A bow and leopard print?  I am in belt heaven!

Make sure to check-out Undergraduate Style to learn a little more about Alex's look!  You may have noticed that I practically live in booties so obviously I love what she's done with her look!  I also really like her statement necklace. It really pulls in the blue hue of the skirt and pops against her striped top.

And I'm still rocking those red lips!

What I'm Wearing:

My New Favorite Outfit

Feb 20, 2014

Old Hollywood Glamour

Earlier this week, I shared photos from my spectacular Valentine's Day date at the French Embassy Ball.  Not only was it a wonderfully romantic date with my guy, it was such a fun reason to get glammed-up!  To go with my black lace gown, I chose old Hollywood inspired make-up with pops of red.

This week, Bri at Work Clothes, I Suppose is hosting her Third Thursday Threads series featuring beauty!  I thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to talk a little bit more about the primping I did before the ball.  

Just as a disclaimer, I love to play with make-up but I am by no means an expert.  I have always enjoyed learning make-up techniques and trying new products.  I have also been known to play "make-up artist" for my sister's proms and even my best friend's wedding!  I am guilty, however, of wearing pretty boring make-up on a day to day basis (but who really wants to play with make-up at 5:30 every morning?).  That being said, I stepped-out of my comfort zone when doing my make-up Friday evening.

As I said above, I wanted a classically glamorous look to go with my black gown and I thought pops of red would be appropriate for the holiday of love.

I started my look by applying my concealer, foundation and eye shadow.  I used the Naked 2 pallet by Urban Decay to create a soft and subtle eye.  I didn't want anything too dramatic since I knew that my eye liner and lipstick were going to be the stars of the show.  I used "Foxy" to highlight my brow bone, "Bootycall" on my lid, and "Chopper" in my crease.

The trickiest part for me was mastering the "cat eye" look with a winged liquid black liner.  I used Bobby Brown's Ink Liner in "Blackest Black."  I started by simply lining my upper lashes.  I started with a thin line and slowly made it thicker until I achieved the look I wanted.  Remember, you can always put more on but it's harder to take some off.  Next, I drew a short line from the corner of my eye in the direction of the outer edge of my eyebrow.  From there, I drew another short line back towards my eye to create a thin triangle.  Finally, I filled-in the triangle.  I finished my eye look with Rocket mascara by Maybelline as recommended by my friend Allie at Buttons and Bees Beauty.

For my lips, I used NARS lipliner in "Jungle Red."  I lined my lips and then colored them in (that way when your lipstick wears-off you aren't left with the "just lipliner" look.  Finally, I used "Red" by Bobby Brown to complete my lip!

What I'm Wearing:
  • Foundation: Mary Kay (exact)
  • Eye Shadow: Ulta (exact)
  • Eye Liner: Blue Mercury (exact)
  • Mascara: CVS (exact)
  • Lip Liner: Blue Mercury (exact)
  • Lipstick: Blue Mercury (exact)

Feb 15, 2014


It's a day late, but Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope that you are all still basking in the "day after" love...whether it be from your special someone, family or friends!

I had the most romantic Valentine's Day this year!  My certain handsome someone (who happens to get credit for most of the pictures on this blog) escorted me to a Valentine Ball at the French Embassy in Washington D.C.!  The French Embassy, friends!  As a lover of romance and all things French, I have been oh so excited for our plans!

My preparations for the ball were all part of the fun!  I spent the past couple of weeks shopping for the perfect gown with girlfriends, getting my nails done, and thinking about hair and make-up ideas.  I absolutely loved dressing so glamorously for a night on the town with my man!

Initially, I didn't want a black dress because I wanted something a little bit more fun.  Ultimately, though, this dress was the winner for its classic glamour, fit and comfort!  Since I did choose a black dress, I chose classic red details like lipstick and nails for a pop of Valentine's Day color.

The man and I had a wonderful time at the ball!  We ate delicious French food, had our caricature drawn and danced the night away!  It was a romantic holiday to be remembered!

What I'm Wearing:

Come back later this week to read about my make-up choices and techniques!

Feb 13, 2014

Stitch Fix Review #1

For Christmas, my very thoughtful and stylish sister purchased a gift certificate for me from Stitch Fix.  Have you heard of Stitch Fix?  It's a really fun personal styling service!  Here's how it works...

1.  You go to the Stitch Fix website and complete your style profile by answering a few questions.
2.  Your very own personal stylist puts together a box of goodies that have been hand-picked for you!
3.  You receive your box of goodies including cards featuring suggestions for styling the items.
4.  You get to try on all of the lovely pieces.
5.  Keep what you want and put the rest into envelope with prepaid postage then drop it in a mailbox.

The fee for each styling session is $20.  But there is a awesome catch!  You get to use that $20 towards whatever you decide to keep and purchase from your fix!  What fun!

Also, after returning your unwanted items and paying for what you decide to keep, you answer a few more questions regarding what you liked and disliked regarding price, fit and style of the pieces you received.  Your personal stylist takes your suggestions into account when compiling your next box of goodies so that your fixes just keep getting better and better!

Sometimes it's so fun to have someone else pick-out clothing items for you because there is the potential to find pieces that you love but would never have picked-out for yourself!

Stitch Fix also has a credit program where you earn cash towards your fixes just by referring friends!  If you are interested in trying Stitch Fix, I would truly appreciate it if you would use my link so that I can earn another fix!

Here is the adorable blouse that I received in my first Stitch Fix box!  It is a gorgeous cobalt color and I love the fun touches.  The patterned panel down the front adds interest and the jeweled buttons on the sleeves are so cute!

The styling options are endless!  As I said in this post, detailed blouses are such versatile pieces because they can easily be dressed-up or down.  Also, they speak strongly enough for themselves that you don't necessarily have to do much else to your outfit.

For my first ensemble featuring this blouse, I was inspired by one of the style cards provided in my Stitch Fix.  I created a work-appropriate outfit by throwing-on a black pencil skirt, black tights and leopard print flats (for a little more pizzazz).

How would you style this blouse?

Here are the other items that I received and ultimately decided to return:

All of the items fit really well but I returned them for a few different reasons.  First, I already own a pair of black jeans and a black pencil skirt.  I really don't need duplicates of these things.  Also, I like the idea of Stitch Fix to get unique items I wouldn't necessarily choose for myself.  I don't really want to use it for basics that I could look for myself.  Finally, all of the items I returned were just a little bit too expensive.  For me to pay that much for an item, it would really have to stand-out.  I explained all of this in my post-fix questionnaire so hopefully my stylist will take notice and my next fix will be even better!

What I'm Wearing:
Perfectly Coutured

Feb 10, 2014

Liebster Award

Happy Monday!  I hope that you all had relaxing weekends and a productive first day back to work!  I am so excited that Alex at Undergraduate Style nominated me for a Liebster Award.  This little award is a fun way for those of us with small blogs to get to know each other and to spread the word about our little corners of the internet.

Here's How it Works:
-First, post 11 random facts about yourself.
-Then, answer the 11 questions that the person who nominated you will post.
-Finally, choose 11 new blogs with under 200 followers for their Liebster Award, notify them that they have been nominated, and think of 11 questions for them to answer!

11 Random Things About Me:
1.  I chose to pursue my French studies after high school because it is the one subject matter that I have consistently wanted to improve upon and learn more about.
2.  Reading is my favorite pastime and Agatha Christie is my favorite author.  I love a good murder mystery novel!
3.  I adore cats (and have a pretty cute one) but I'm super allergic to them.  I've just decided that my love for cats is stronger than my sneezing and wheezing.
4.  My grandma's nickname for me is Belle because Beauty and the Beast has always been a favorite movie of mine...not to mention I speak French and always have my nose stuck in a book.
5.  One of my dream jobs is to host a travel show on TV.  (Rick Steves is my idol and I'm going to meet him for the second time next weekend!)

Yep, that's me and Rick.

6.  I won a beauty pageant when I was in high school.  Yes, folks, you are looking at Miss Stevensville 2004.
7.  My cat's name is Izzo and he is named after Michigan State's basketball coach, Tom Izzo.
8.  Throughout the course of my life, I've tried lots of different forms of dance.  Growing-up I took ballet, jazz, modern and hip hop.  More recently I've ventured into the worlds of salsa dancing and belly dancing.
9.  I am not at all athletic.  However, if I could compete at the Olympics, I would want to be a figure skater.
10.  I would so much rather be too cold than too hot.  I turn into a grump when the temperature rises.
11.  I absolutely adore traveling and I've been to a number of different countries: Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Argentina, Wales, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Monaco and Iceland!

My favorite château in France!

Alex's Questions for Me:
1.  If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hands down, STRAWBERRIES!  They are my absolute favorite food.  I love them in all forms: plain, with sugar, in strawberry shortcake, and my ultimate favorite... in strawberry pie. 
2.  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose to live?
I am extremely blessed to have already experienced my dream of living in France.  The only trouble to having lived abroad is that I now love two places: my home, Michigan and Bordeaux, France.  Since this is my dream, can I choose to have a home in Michigan and a summer home on the outskirts of Bordeaux? 

Bordeaux, France

3.  What's your favorite song/album?
I don't know that I necessarily have a favorite song or album but I can tell you that my favorite artist is Jewel.
4.  If you had to change your name, what would you change it to and why?
I really like my name and would prefer not to change it.  If I absolutely had to, I would choose the name Samantha.  I think liking this name stems from my love for my American Girl doll as a child.

That's me and Samantha on the left.

5.  Why did you start blogging?
Through reading blogs, I became really interested in stepping-up my style.  I started Whitney a la mode to hold myself accountable for really trying and as away to document my growth.
6.  Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day would involve a blizzard and being snowed-in!  I love the idea of being cozy inside while snowflakes swirl outside the window.  Having nowhere to go and nothing to do is an added bonus.  I would start by sleeping-in, obviously.  Upon waking-up, I would spend time reading a good book with a cup of coffee in hand.  Next, a big delicious breakfast would be in order.  The rest of the day would consist of cuddling with a certain handsome someone, napping, reading, watching Downton Abbey and just relaxing!  Does this make me a lazy bum?
7.  What is your favorite article of clothing/pair of shoes/accessory that you own?
I have a beautiful dress from Anthropologie that I haven't actually worn yet.  I saw it in the catalog a little over a year ago and then pined-away for it.  I decided it was worth buying even though I didn't have a reason to wear it.  I'm ok with the fact that I haven't worn it yet.  I'm saving it for the perfect occasion!  Hopefully you will see it here someday!
8.  What is your number one piece you'd like to add to your closet?
I have been thinking about a pair of Hunter boots for quite some time now.  I think that they would be a good investment piece.  I'm struggling to decide between classic black and some of the more fun colors.  What do you think?
9.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I have a terrible blushing problem.  When I'm embarrassed or sometimes just nervous, I turn beet red.  Sometimes it's red all over sometimes it's sort of blotchy.  Knowing that I'm turning red then just makes me feel more embarrassed or nervous so then I get even redder.  Blush pink is my favorite color but I would prefer to wear it on my clothes, not on my face.
10. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring and why?
The first thing that comes to mind is my Kindle.  Since I adore reading, Iwould never be bored as long as I had access to unlimited books.  I would also bring sunscreen.  I have extremely fair skin and would burn to a crisp on a desert island.  Can my cat count as my third "thing?"  Izzo would make the perfect little companion.


11. If you were stranded on a dessert island, what would it be made of?
Strawberry patches (see #1) and vineyards (to produce my favorite beverage).

My Nominees:
Okay, so I realized that I don't actually know that many bloggers with under 200 followers.  This activity has definitely motivated me to connect with more of my fellow small bloggers, though.
Allie at Buttons and Bees
Brynn at Brynnash
Kayla (my sister!) at A Bit of Witt

My Questions for My Nominees: 
1.  If you could have two celebrities as parents, who would you choose and why?
2.  What is your favorite season and why?
3.  What is your favorite breakfast cereal?
4.  Why did you start blogging?
5.  What is your go-to beauty product?
6.  What TV shows are you currently addicted to?
7.  Who is your celebrity crush?
8.  What is your dream job?
9.  How would you describe yourself in three words?
10.  Where would you go on your dream vacation?
11.  Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?

Feb 3, 2014


Good morning.  I hope that you are having a cozy Monday!  I sure am, in my favorite blush pink scarf!  Obviously I just can't get enough of this lovely layer.  It has been so cold here and this scarf is just so thick and warm.

In a recent post, I mentioned my long-standing love for the color blush pink.  My desire to wear this rosey hue has been really strong lately.  Fortunately, my mom gave this beautiful, blush dress to me for Christmas.  I absolutely LOVE it!  I feel like this dress is perfect representation of my personality.  Do you have any favorite pieces that are so totally you?

The only reason I thought to pair this scarf with this dress is that I really wanted to wear both on the same day and I couldn't choose between the two.  I typically wear scarves with accent colors that stand-out from my ensemble but I really like the way this monochromatic look turned-out.  The scarf added sparkle and texture without taking away from the pretty details of the dress.  In wearing this outfit, I learned that keeping things monochromatic while playing with texture can be a fun way to spice-up an ensemble.

What I'm Wearing:
Linking-up for Remix, Rewear, Restyle: Scarves at Great Than Rubies!