Shop Stop – Runway Boutique L.A.

You know when you dream about the perfect shop that could literally be your dream closet? Where every item is something you would wear and every corner is full of so many goodies that your arms are overflowing when you finally make your way to the register? Well, my dreams came true when I finally visited Runway Boutique L.A. last month!

I have been following the shop on IG for a few years and finally got to experience it in real life and it is such a treasure I had to share it with you.  Owner, Fatima Dodson has curated a truly eclectic shop full of vintage, contemporary and unique handmade items.  There are amazing pieces everywhere you look and while her regular prices are very reasonable there are also fun sale racks and trunks to browse through.

I made out like a bandit on my first visit to the shop and I can’t wait to go back!  If you are in Los Angeles and looking for one of kind gifts or that unique piece to add to your wardrobe, look no further and if you are ever visiting Los Angeles, do yourself a favor and make a stop at this wonderland. You can thank me later.

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I asked Fatima to share a bit more about the shop and you can read our conversation below.

Q. What inspired you to open Runway Boutique L.A.?

A. My mom was a designer and artist and growing up she made my clothes. I have always loved fashion especially unique items. I started out styling my friends and then worked doing styling and costumes in the film industry.  I love mixing vintage and contemporary fashion and I wanted to share that with more people so I opened my shop.

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Q. You have a literal runway in the middle of the shop. Do you have fashion shows?
A.  Yes, it’s a functioning runway. A couple times a year we have fashion shows. I love stories so there is usually a theme behind them. It’s also been a place for up and coming designers to showcase their work.
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Q. You have such a beautifully curated selection of items with such variety.  How do you decide what makes it into the shop?
A. I always look at fabrication, material, structure and how a garment is made as well selecting items with color and print. We are known for having lots of prints and colors.  Californians are laid back and classic in how they dress and I wanted to encourage them to incorporate prints and colors into their wardrobe so the store is full of that.
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Q. Do you sell only vintage or new items as well?

A. We sell vintage, new, contemporary and handmade. Combining these creates a unique style. I don’t think one should wear vintage head to toe, but rather mix items that enhance one another. I provide workshops at the shop on how to mix and match, to show people how to incorporate items into their wardrobe. We help people find something new, something different. The store is merchandised as a treasure hunt, with various items mixed together to inspire you.

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Q. What’s your advice to someone who has never worn vintage? How can they incorporate it into their current wardrobe?

A. First, wear something you are comfortable in, that identifies with your style and colors you like. Its very important to mix and accessorize a vintage piece something modern so you don’t look like you stepped out of another era.

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Q. Your shop is full of one of a kind pieces. How often are new items added to the shop?

A. We get new items daily. Our turn over is fast. We sell on Instagram and online, as well as in the shop so items move fast. We have clients that come in a few times a week and there is always something new.

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Q. You and I discussed the idea of curating one’s wardrobe. How would you recommend someone start the process of curating their wardrobe to reflect their style?

A. I would start with organizing your closet. Color coordinating helps you see what you have a lot of, what you gravitate towards, what accessories you have and what you don’t wear any longer.  Often times we forget we have some amazing pieces that are lost in our closet.  If you are looking to experiment and change up your wardrobe I suggest finding inspiration from images that you would like to try and save them. With this lookbook you can start to incorporate items into your existing wardrobe. Don’t copy the looks, just pull inspiration from them and make them your own.

Q. Your inventory is very thoughtful, with a balance of prints, colors, textures and styles. Is Runway Boutique for every woman?
A. Yes. We do have classic pieces for more conservative dressers and wild prints for the more adventurous. Our clientele is very diverse and has grown over the years. Runway Boutique L.A. is for those women who are open to trying something new with fashion. Those that are maybe afraid to step out of the box or afraid of rejection. My hope in having this shop is to encourage women trying something new and to show them how being open and taking risks in one part of your life can lead to changes in other parts of your life. It’s not just about fashion, it’s about empowerment.
You can visit Runway Boutique L.A. at 807 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 or shop on their website.  I also recommend following on Instagram to stay up to date on all their amazing events!
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Owner of Runway Boutique L.A., Fatima & myself at the ‘Shop My Closet” event last month!
If you check out Runway Boutique, I’d love to know what you think and if you have a favorite shop you think I should check out I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Sweaters & Skirts

 

Cozy sweaters are quintessential to the perfect fall wardrobe and they pair perfectly with skirts. While skirts are not the first thought for the cooler seasons, they are a great pairing for a more elevated sweater ensemble.

I am all for the cozy sweater but have to be honest. We don’t get weather that warrants thicker layers until winter time so this is my Southern California take on the sweater and skirt combo.

I took a long cardigan sweater that I usually wear in summer, twisted and tied the ends for a cropped look and paired with a medium weight skirt.  Like most items I wear, the entire outfit is full of color. While I love the rich and warm tones of fall, I do think you can wear any color at any time of the year.

If you’re in a colder climate you could rock this same look with a thicker knit sweater, add a belt and boots and layer a coat.  The sweater and skirt are a pairing that offer endless combinations for your fall wardrobe!  I’d love to see how you style your sweater and skirt looks. Be sure to tag me on social media @iamsheglobal

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{Skirt, Thrifted, Cardigan/Newport News, Shoes/Lola Shoetique, Bracelet/From India, Necklaces/From China, Hat/Purchased on a cruise}

This post is part of a blogger collaboration between Joi of InMyJoi , Sahily of PrettyInPigment and myself. Together we are #UnitedlyPlus!

United Plus is our dedicated place to celebrate every woman, every body type, every clothing size, and every ethnicity.  We embody inclusivity, honoring the unique beauty that each woman possesses. We encourage all women to embrace and love who they are today. We show persona style can encourage body positivity, foster self-confidence, and provide an outlet for personal self-expression. Please join us in our mission of united women from every part of the world, showcasing our individual beauty, and authentic creativity.

We’d love you to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages and be sure to tag your pictures with #UnitedlyPlus so we can share in your beauty and self expression!

7 Chic Travel Essentials For Under $45

 

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Whether you are traveling on a 4 hour flight or a 14 hour journey, you more than likely want to be comfortable but if you’re like me you’d like to look somewhat presentable when you land at your destination, not like you just woke up in your pajamas! These travel essentials will keep you feeling cozy while still looking chic and all for under 45!

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#1: Comfy Pants

The first item is a pair of lightweight, comfortable pants. They will keep your legs covered and warm but not hot like sweats. These are like wearing pjs incognito!  The elastic waist also helps with bloating which can occur with the high elevation. {Calvin Klein, $11.40, ThredUp}

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#2: Light Layers

Light layers are perfect for traveling as the temperature can be unpredictable in flight. Stuffy and warm one minute, freezing the next. I paired a tank top with a lightweight long sleeve top. This could also be replaced with a cardigan or light jacket.  It’s easily removable and doubles a light blanket if needed. {Faded Glory Tank, $3.60, Notations Silk Top, $7.80}

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#3: Lightweight Scarf

A lightweight scarf is one of the most valuable items to pack as its the transformer of travel accessories. It can be bundled up and used as a pillow, worn over your eyes as an impromptu eye mask, draped over your shoulders as a blanket, and when you arrive at your destination it can be used as a sarong, blanket or halter top. This one was free with a magazine subscription. The 99 cents store also has a decent selection. {Scarf, Free}

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#4: Sandals

Sandals are the perfect travel shoes because they are easy to remove. You can get them on and off easily going through security. They may not be appropriate for all destinations and weather but onboard the plane they give your feet room to breathe and expand, more so than a tight shoe.  I will admit this particular pair are bit elaborate with the straps. A simple slip on may be more suitable. {Sandals, Old Navy via ThredUp, 6.00}img_8371

#5: Medium Sized Handbag with Long Strap

A medium sized handbag is the perfect size to fit all the essentials for your flight while still being small enough to fit under your seat for easy access. This size bag can fit a tablet, book, snacks, small toiletries, headphones, phone, charger, small bottle of water and travel documents.  It has a ton of pockets for easy storage of items and a detachable strap so it can be worn cross body when you need your hands free, perfect for picking your luggage off the belt! {Urban Expressions Handbag via ThredUp, $11.36}

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#6: Wood Jewelry

While I am a die hard accessory aficionado, I don’t usually wear jewelry on the plane just to be as comfy as possible but this is a great lightweight piece if you are looking to make a statement as soon as you disembark the plane. Wood is also a good option as it won’t set off the metal detectors. Alternatively, you could have a similar piece in your bag and slip it on as you arrive. Instant Chic! {Wood Necklace, Purchased in Romania, $3.00}

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#7: Sunglasses

Make sure to pack a fabulous, cheap pair of sunnies in your bag! They are perfect for hiding bags under your eyes in case you didn’t get sleep on your flight and if you lose them its no biggie as they were a bargain. Add a bright lippie and you will ooze glamour even if you feel like a truck hit you from the jet lag! {Sunnies, Claire’s, $1}

With a little creativity you can also put together a chic travel wardrobe on a budget. All the clothes, bag and shoes were purchased on ThredUp, the largest online consignment shop.  I used their coupon code for 40% off my first purchase to get such great prices on my items. All my items came clean, ready to wear and some were even brand new with tags.  I also snagged a pair of H&M heels for $4.80 for my upcoming trip!

They are offering you lovelies 50% all H&M products on their site. Click here and use coupon code HANDM50 to receive 50% off, up to a $50 discount!

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This post is sponsored by ThredUp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concrete Jungle

Being a born and bred So Cal girl I’ve never had the chance to experience a true change of season. Yes, the weather cools and warms as the months pass but never have I lived in a place where the seasons bring a complete change in the landscape.

I’ve always dreamed of visiting the East Coast in fall to witness the vibrant change of colors as entire cities of trees shift from emerald to citrine and amber.  For now, the closest I’ll get is this amazing dress that embodies the East Coast in fall.

The Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge set against a skyline of warm oranges and rich purples definitely has me in a New York state of mind.  This cityscape paired with leopard accents is my wink and nod to the “Concrete Jungle”.

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{Dress/ Gwynnie Bee, Coat/Newport News, Booties/Steve Madden}

 

 

Playing with Pantone for Fall

Each season Pantone selects a palette of inspirational colors that can be found in fashion.  This fall’s picks are a wide range of hues from cool blues and greys to the more familiar fall colors of orange, red and yellow.  The ladies of Unitedly Plus wanted to give our take on styling some these colors in hopes of giving you inspiration to try them!

I really like the overall selection of colors for this fall but one that stood out to me was “Spicy Mustard”.  It’s a vibrant color while still being warm and inviting. It pairs well with so many other colors, from blue to russet. I love it most because it’s an unexpected ray of sunshine. It genuinely makes me happy to look at this color and to wear it!

Being the frugal fashionista that I am, I wanted to shop my own closet for a Pantone inspired look and this vintage coat I thrifted fit the bill. I am all about layering in fashion and fall is the ideal time to do that with the weather changing. I paired this summer dress over a long sleeve shirt and removed the belt from the coat to wear over the dress. I layered long necklaces and even threw a small braided belt over the coat as an added layer.

I love the combination and can’t wait to pair this color with other pieces in my closet.  Check out Pantone’s full color selection and see which colors speak to you! I’d love to hear which one is your favorite and see how you rock it!

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 {Dress/Ross, Jacket/Earrings/Vintage, Thrifted, Boots/Nine West via Goodwill, Necklaces/Thrifted, Shirt/Newport News}

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This post is part of a blogger collaboration between Joi of InMyJoi , Sahily of PrettyInPigment and myself. Together we are #UnitedlyPlus!

United Plus is our dedicated place to celebrate every woman, every body type, every clothing size, and every ethnicity.  We embody inclusivity, honoring the unique beauty that each woman possesses. We encourage all women to embrace and love who they are today. We show persona style can encourage body positivity, foster self-confidence, and provide an outlet for personal self-expression. Please join us in our mission of united women from every part of the world, showcasing our individual beauty, and authentic creativity.

We’d love you to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages and be sure to tag your pictures with #UnitedlyPlus so we can share in your beauty and self expression!

Summer of Wanderlust – India Inspired Look Book

To describe India in a few words is like trying to put the universe in a box. It just can’t be done.  To do it justice, one must visit and immerse themselves in the cacophony of sights, sounds, smells and colors. It’s brilliant and jarring, chaotic and magical.  In my two visits I have only scratched the surface of its mystery.

These looks are inspired by many of the pieces of jewelry and clothing I have purchased when traveling to India and also by the easy, comfortable way I would dress when I am there.  Light layers, exotic prints and bold colors are the heart of Indian design and they are the center of this look book!

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{Pants/Michael Kors via Macy’s, Top/Sandals/Ross, Necklace/Handmade by me, Bracelet/Santee Alley, Bag/I bought in Jodhpur, India}

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{Pants/Necklaces/Bangles/I bought in India, Shoes/Ross, Blouses/Thrifted, Ring/Thrifty Upenyu on Etsy}

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{Dress/Single Dress Plus, Top/The Plus Bus Boutique, Shoes/Lola Shoetique, Ring/Target, Earrings/Vintage}

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India Skirt

{Skirt/Necklace/Bought in India, Blouse/Shoes/Thrifted, Ring/Earrings/Santee Alley}

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Shop Stop – Golden Bird Boutique

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Scrolling through Instagram, I stumbled upon a page filled with clothing awash in brilliant colors and exotic patterns and I was hooked.  Come to find out, this page belongs to Golden Bird Boutique, an online shop featuring pre-loved vintage and vintage inspired pieces at super affordable prices.  Every item in the shop is hand selected and styled super fly, giving inspiration to clients and breathing new life into retro garments.

I absolutely love the selection found in Golden Bird Boutique (GBB).  All items are one of kind and you do have to catch them quick as they fly off to new owners almost as quick as they hit the website.  I love that too though, that the selection is always being updated with new items added weekly. I’m left on pins and needles waiting to see what amazing new pieces are coming next!

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Candice, the owner of GBB has an amazing eye at selecting items for her shop and you will not be disappointed with her unique finds.  The shop is full of voluminous skirts, crazy cool pant sets, beaded gowns, bold duster coats and so much more. The shop has you covered whether you’re buying a sporty street look or headed to a cocktail party. Either way you will be the center of attention in your GBB ensemble.

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I interviewed Candice below and asked her to share a bit more about GBB with us!

Q: How did Golden Bird Boutique come to be?
A: GBB came to be because of my love for thrifting. I would always see amazing pieces that weren’t my size, but I thought they were just too amazing to leave in the store, so I would buy them and give them to my friends or my sister. My love for thrifting began when I was a kid. I used to go to thrift stores with my mom when I was growing up, and I guess the tradition just stuck with me.
Q: Who is GBB’s customer?
A: GBB’s customer is a woman that takes fashion risks and is not afraid to stand out from the crowd. I like to think our customer’s style is vintage with an edgy modern twist.
Q: Do you have a background in fashion?
A:  No, I don’t have a background in fashion, but I do have a background in art.
Q:You are amazing at selecting truly unique pieces with amazing prints and colors. How do you decide what pieces make it into the shop?
A: Thank you for the compliment! I appreciate that!  Believe it or not, the deciding factor is always, “would I wear this” or “how would I wear this?”
Q: How often is the shop updated with new items?
A: The shop is typically updated on Thursday and Sunday every week, unless there is a sale going on.
Q: Do you offer a variety of sizes?
A: Yes, we definitely offer a variety of sizes.  From XS-3X/4X
Q: What’s your advice to someone who has never worn vintage clothing? How can they incorporate it into their current wardrobe?
A: Hmmm, that’s a good question.  I guess the easiest way to incorporate vintage pieces into your wardrobe is to get pieces that look similar to the modern clothes that you already wear so it doesn’t feel uncomfortable or too weird,  Then, as you get more comfortable, stray outside of the box a little and experiment with new cuts and prints.
Q: Can you share a memory of one of your most memorable pieces you’ve had in your boutique? (if you have a pic that would be awesome)
A: Let’s see….I’ve had some really amazing pieces over this past year, but I’d have to say the sequin and beaded dresses have been my favorite
Q: Your photos and styling are always on point. Can you give my readers a few of your style tips?
A: Thank you so much. That means a lot to me!  I think style is very personal, but when it comes to styling I like to mix a little bit of old with the new.  For example, if the bottom is modern, I would pair it with a vintage top.  If wearing a vintage dress, I would add some modern accessories.
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Be sure to follow Golden Bird Boutique on Instagram to keep up to date on all their new piece and mention IAMSHEGLOBAL to get 10% off your next purchase at Golden Bird Boutique!
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Summer of Wanderlust – Morocco Inspired Look Book

Only two weeks left in our Summer of Wanderlust and I’ve left some of my favorite countries for last.

This week’s look book is inspired by Morocco.  My husband and I took a private tour by car through the vast landscapes of Morocco in 2006 from the forest through olive groves to a night spent in a Bedoin camp, watching the sunrise in the Sahara Desert.

Buying rugs in the desert, drinking mint tea, getting lost among mounds of spices in the markets of Marrakech, eating our share of tajine, covering my hands in henna, discovering beautiful details around every corner, meeting amazing artisans, uncovering hidden courtyards.  It was a magical journey and I can’t wait to return.  Until then, I leave with a little Moroccan inspiration.

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{Kaftan/Ross, Sandals/Target, Bangles/From India, Earrings/Macy’s, Necklace worn as a headpiece/Santee Alley}

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{Pants/Love Culture, Kaftan/Thrifted, Sandals/Marshall’s, Necklace/Macy’s}

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{Dress/Depop, Scarf/Worn as a belt/Target, Red Belt/Made in Morocco (Thrifted), Necklace/Bought in India, Shoes/Forever 21}

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{Kaftan/Querist Vintage on Depop, Heels/Michael Kors, Bracelet/Necklace worn as a headpiece/From India, Earrings/Santee Alley}

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Summer of Wanderlust – Greece Inspired Look Book

I have always dreamed of traveling to Greece, a land where the blue of the sky dances with the blue of the sea for as far as the eye can see.  This October I am blessed to be able to make that dream a reality so I thought I should get some outfit planning in the works.

This look book is inspired by the iconic Greek colors of blue and white in easy, flowy fabrics, paired with unique sandals and a healthy sprinkling of gold.  Channeling my inner Greek goddess with bare shoulders and billowing silhouettes, I am ready for my island adventure.

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{Dress/Hemant & Nandita via Gwynnie Bee, Sandals/Michael Kors, Bracelet/Bought in India, Earrings/Vintage}

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{Pants/Michael Kors, Duster/Ralph Lauren via The Plus Bus Boutique, Blouse/Thrifted, Bracelets/Sandals/Santee Alley, Belt worn as a necklace/Target, Earrings/Bought in India}

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{Dress/Ross, Belt/JCPenny, Earrings/Sandals/Santee Alley}

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{Jumpsuit/The Plus Bus Boutique, Shawl/Remnant fabric, Belt/Thrifted, Necklace/Bought in India, Bracelets/Sandals/Santee Alley}

 

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How Mixed Prints Became My Signature Style

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I remember the moment exactly, a few years ago. I was looking through a magazine and saw this picture of a woman wearing an outfit composed of mixed prints. I thought it was so cool but that I could never pull that look off. I was just beginning to come into my fashion confidence and this outfit was like stepping into the deep end.  I was so inspired by that picture I tore it out of the magazine and pasted it in a notebook as inspiration and promised myself that I would be that woman wearing mixed prints with confidence some day.

Little by little, I tried. Stripes were a classic, comfortable pattern to start mixing so I tried that out in black and white.  Then, I started pushing myself to mix prints in bold colors, larger prints, more detailed prints and the evolution began.

I made an internal pact with myself to push my own boundaries of what I was comfortable with. I played with patterns and prints and colors and let them lead the way. I removed the judgment from the process and just enjoyed it. I also told myself whenever I had the choice between a “safe” or “crazy” option, let’s say for an accessory or a pair of shoes, that I would always pick the choice that was least expected. This commitment to myself in exploring fashion blossomed into what is now my signature style.

Today, just a few short years later, virtually my entire wardrobe is prints and color, so I have no choice but to mix them.  I even incorporate patterns in my shoes, hats, scarves, jewelry and bags. I receive comments that I am the print mixing queen and that I do it with such ease. If only they knew just a few short years ago, I didn’t think it was possible.

While mixing prints is a fashion trend, for me it was the tool that helped me discover my true style.  If there is a style that inspires you or makes you smile when you look at it, I encourage you from the bottom of my heart to try it!! And then try it again, and again and if it feels right and it feels like you, own it!

Today’s look is mixed prints turned all the way up.  Every piece is a print, worn in honor of every step of my journey to define my signature style and wear it with confidence.

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{Jumpsuit, JCPenny, Blazer/Earrings/Thrifted, Shoes/Peter Pilotto for Target, Necklace/Bag/Bought in Guatemala, Mixed Bangles/Claire’s & Santee Alley, Scarves (one worn as a belt & one worn as a headwrap/Target, Hat/99 cents store}

This post is part of a blogger collaboration between Joi of InMyJoi , Sahily of PrettyInPigment and myself. Together we are #UnitedlyPlus!

United Plus is our dedicated place to celebrate every woman, every body type, every clothing size, and every ethnicity.  We embody inclusivity, honoring the unique beauty that each woman possesses. We encourage all women to embrace and love who they are today. We show persona style can encourage body positivity, foster self-confidence, and provide an outlet for personal self-expression. Please join us in our mission of united women from every part of the world, showcasing our individual beauty, and authentic creativity.

We’d love you to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages and be sure to tag your pictures with #UnitedlyPlus so we can share in your beauty and self expression!