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What to Wear: Spring/Summer Weddings (reposted from StyleFlattery @ Northshore Mall)

Hello fashionistas,

This is my first official blog as the Northshore Mall Style Setter! I am thrilled to be bringing you new and fabulous ideas direct from your favorite mall in Peabody.

Wedding season is upon us, and many of you are going to be looking for that perfect floor-length gown for the black-tie wedding or cocktail dress for the less formal affair. I completely understand how overwhelming it can be to narrow down the style that is appropriate for the occasion, decide which type flatters you best, and then have to find it! Well, fret-no-more, I am here to help!

SUMMER WEDDING: FORMAL
My favorite type of floor-length-gown to wear to a summer wedding is a light-weight chiffon in a gorgeous color. This coral, chiffon dress from Cache features a pleated skirt, halter top, and one of my favorite trends – a high-low hem! This a-line-cut gown flatters most body types because the natural-waist-belt draws your eye to the smallest part of a woman’s body – the waist! The flowy, pleated skirt adds a nice touch and completely eliminates showing off any unwanted mid-section.

Cache - Pleated hi-low hem in coral - #S8010B22013547

SUMMER WEDDING: COCKTAIL
Semi-formal attire can be a little trickier than formal because it is more open to interpretation. I stick by one rule – choose a solid color. A pattern can sometimes be a little too informal for a wedding. My favorite kind of cocktail dress is also a natural-waist A-line. I love this Diane von Furstenberg dress from Nordstrom because it is the perfect blend of sophisticated (neckline) and sexy (flirty skirt). Add a gorgeous necklace, a pair of fabulous earrings and the perfect clutch, and you will be hotter than the summer sun!

Nordstrom - Jeannie Fit & Flair Dress - Item #647758

I absolutely love summer weddings – from the open-air ceremonies to dancing under the stars. Wishing you all the best in choosing the dress or gown that lights you up inside and out. Just remember, flattery is everything! Happy shopping Northshore!

Yours in style & flattery,
Tara

Be true to you

Hello lovelies,

After the tragic events of Monday at the Boston Marathon, I was afraid to post anything about fashion yesterday on Twitter or Facebook – afraid I was being disrespectful, afraid I would be judged. I’m glad I took a day off to just be a “spectator” in the social-media-realm. As I read through many of my friends’ posts, I realized something: true human emotion and feelings were shining through. I really liked reading posts from friends I have never heard talk about “God,” “hope” or “love.” These friends were spreading messages of peace and kindness to their fellow Bostonians in the wake of this catastrophic event.

It got me thinking this morning that if many of my friends’ “truths” came out on Facebook, how could I be true to myself today? How can I spread some joy?

A young lady at my gym was wearing a crown while working out on the elliptical this morning. I was INSPIRED by her! Was she just trying to be funny? Celebrate something? Maybe she had lost a bet? Whatever the case was, I normally would have just laughed, posted something on Facebook (which I did), and went on with my day. But today was different. I wanted to spread some joy and tell her she inspired me, so I did. It turns out this beautiful young woman was celebrating her 21st birthday! I wished her a very happy birthday and told her she inspired me to be true to myself today – for me this means laughing, loving, and expressing myself how I know best – through fashion.

So, I will leave you with this adorable dress from the Gap Outlet, and wish you a day of being true to yourself.

Peace and lots of love,
Tara

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Spring Shopping

Spring finally arrived this week, and I know I was one of those girls wearing a summer dress and accessories! All around the area – Peabody, Salem, Newburyport – fashionistas were peeling off their winter layers and replacing them with spring colors and styles.

Not only does spring make me smile more (I know, me smile MORE? Is that even possible?), but spring also inspires me to shop (again, rhetorical?).  Last week, on one of the GORGEOUS spring days, I meandered over to my favorite Salem clothing and accessories boutique, Every Occasion Boutique, which I’ve mentioned about 100 times here in my blogs because I believe EVERYONE should check it out. Michelle Kennedy, the proprietress, was there with her welcome smile and personality, more than happy to help me look through her newest collections.

EOB5 EOB6

Clearly light blues, pinks and corals are IN this year, and BETTER YET, they complement each other. I love the light blue chiffon shirt above with just a little punch of hot pink.

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This next dress above was posted on the Every Occasion Boutique Facebook page a few weeks ago, and I immediately let Ms. Kennedy know to put one aside for me. This style dress – natural waist with A-line skirt, is absolutely the most flattering on my body. My trouble area has always been my tummy region, but it is perfectly camouflaged in this soft little number. I love the surprise chiffon bow in the back!

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EOB7

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Above are just a FEW of my favorite spring accessories. The store has SO MUCH to choose from, it is so hard to narrow down what to buy! I ended up purchasing the unbelievable aqua necklace below with a pair of stinkin’ cute blue studs (dress from Marshalls and shoes from TJMaxx).

EOB9

EOB8

As the warmer weather rolls in, I expect to be shopping A LOT more. Also, I am happy to announce that I am officially the STYLE SETTER for the Northshore Mall in Peabody! I will be shopping and blogging for this wonderful shopping center for the next 6 months. Stay tuned for some great fashion finds, beauty products and events.

Yours in style & flattery,
Tara

Not your momma’s wedding gown, or is it?

Hello my spring chickens,

Many of you know I work for the most amazing bridal and special occasion shop on earth, Bella Sera Bridal & Lorraine Roy in Danvers, MA. Because of this, it is my nature to love all things bridal fashion, and today I’d like to dedicate this blog to what is “new” in the wedding-fashion-world. Now, of course we know that design elements in fashion are rarely “new.” Every bit of fashion comes in and out over the years again and again, and the same is true for bridal fashion.

LACE: what’s old is new again. While lace isn’t technically “new,” it has been THE fabric that most brides are looking for lately. From soft Chantilly lace to Alencon lace, this fabric is EVERYWHERE, and in every designer’s collection for 2013! Here are some of my favorite gorgeous gowns from Bella Sera Bridal:

Martina Liana, 423, wedding gown, Parisian lace, swarovski crystals,

Martina Liana 423. Soft sweetheart column gown with vintage Parisian lace fine detail. Lightly beaded with clear Swarovski crystals and finished with sweep train.

Venice lace, Allure C226, raised neckline wedding gown, dramatic v back, chapel train,

Allure Couture C226 – This fitted slim gown in all-over Venice lace features a beautiful raised neckline with a dramatic v-shaped back. A chapel length train and covered buttons complete this elegant style.

SLEEVES & BATEAU NECKLINES: simple, sexy and elegant. It is almost impossible for me to talk about lace without mentioning cap sleeves and bateau front necklines. When I first came onto the bridal scene in 2010 EVERYTHING was strapless, and today this just isn’t the case – thank you Princess Kate. Small capsleeves covering just a bit of the shoulder, illusion 3/4 sleeves or a full covereage boat-neck front with a plunging v-back, you will no longer be tired of seeing “everyone in strapless!” The designers that Bella Sera Bridal carries are not immune to this design phenomenon – we are getting more and more of these gowns in each season:

cap sleeve, sheer coverage, low v back

Casablanca Bridal 2110. Beaded lace appliqués sewn on tulle over Silky Satin. The bateau front neckline is built up with cap sleeves for sheer coverage. The sheer beaded lace continues to a low “V” tank back.

Paloma Blanca 4354. Silk Dupioni gown with lace cap sleeves and key-hole back.

Paloma Blanca 4354. Silk Dupioni gown with lace cap sleeves and key-hole back.

Justin Alexander 8630. Sabrina sleeveless alencon lace neckline, lace drop waist, circular cut tulle with floating appliques, v back neckline, with buttons over back zipper, chapel length train.

Justin Alexander 8630. Sabrina sleeveless alencon lace neckline, lace drop waist, circular cut tulle with floating appliques, v back neckline, with buttons over back zipper, chapel length train.

I found this gorgeous picture of a 1950’s bride – notice any similarities?

1950's lace, cap-sleeve, full-skirt wedding gown

1950’s lace, cap-sleeve, full-skirt wedding gown

PEPLUM: a favorite design element of mine. Peplum’s are so old they are new again, and you bet I’m thrilled. I’ve been talking and talking about peplums in my blogs for a while, and nothing made me happier when the first peplum wedding gown showed up at Bella Sera Bridal. While I don’t think peplums are as popular as lace or sleeves in wedding gowns, I believe this is just a YET. They are so flattering it is no wonder why this 1960’s look is back 53 years later:

Essense of Australia D1440. This lovely fit and flare silhouette of Luxe Taffeta features ruching at the bust and ruffles of taffeta on the skirt and chapel train, and detachable peplum.

Essense of Australia D1440. This lovely fit and flare silhouette of Luxe Taffeta features ruching at the bust and ruffles of taffeta on the skirt and chapel train, and detachable peplum.

This is the 1960’s version. A little different than today’s updated, more sleek look, but the peplum detail was there!

1960's peplum gown with Chantilly lace bodice features a scalloped neckline with aurora borealis sequins over a sweetheart neckline.

1960’s peplum gown with Chantilly lace bodice features a scalloped neckline with aurora borealis sequins over a sweetheart neckline.

There are so many amazing things I could discuss about wedding gowns; each gown truly has something special about it. Bridal styles come and go, and we never know what or who will influence the next trend!

For all my eternal brides out there (like me), remember to flatter yourself today!

Xoxo,
Tara