8 Rules to Live (But Mostly Shop) By


Ever since I started this blog I feel like I've been undergoing a style transformation. Anyone else?

Allow me to explain. I would tend to say that in most cases, usually reading blogs and writing one tend to go hand in hand. That being said, in this past year or so, I've been exposed to a lot of different "style viewpoints" from various bloggers. And while I've always been a "buy whatever the hell I like" kinda gal, since starting this blog I've felt a lot of pressure to pinpoint "my style." My signature style, if you will. And you know what? That kind of sucks.DSC_4600.jpg DSC_4660.jpg
I mean, what I've always loved about fashion is the ability to be expressive with it. Feeling preppy? Throw on some pearls. Feeling like a badass? Ripped jeans it is. Fashion has a fluidity to it that I've always loved - and appreciated, considering I go through as many mood transformations as I do style changes (don't worry, I'm not bipolar - just a girl haha!).DSC_4735.jpg DSC_4629.jpg
Anyway, I'll get to the point. While I think that having a signature style can be really cool, to me, it also seems stifling. I mean, what if you're a minimalist who one day sees a floral Ted Baker dress that you can't live without? Do you ignore your impulse for this kickass dress to stay true to "your style"? Or do you buy it because you love it and that should be all that matters? I would obviously vote for the latter of the two.
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So signature style be damned, when The Village Style contacted me a few weeks ago to guest post for them, I decided to write up a little set of 8 rules to live (but mostly shop) by for myself - and for anyone else who wants to adhere to them! These are just some simple things that I try to keep in mind whenever I go shopping, to make sure that I end up with things that I love, and not just some random purchase I won't even use because I was having a moment of being swayed by someone else's style.

So without further adieu...

8 Rules to Live (But Mostly Shop) By

1. If its not comfortable, you wont wear it. Period, the end. It doesn’t matter how hot those heels look…if they’re killing you after 5 minutes, then you’ll take them off before the end of the night and no one will be able to appreciate them on you anyway.

 2. Don’t be swayed by the label. Seriously, labels mean nothing. If it’s from the thrift store and you love it, then get it. If it’s couture and you love it, then get it (or save for it)…which brings me to number 3.

 3. Can you afford it? Style is always in vogue, but going into debt over it is never fashionable.

 4. Regardless of how much you may love it – does it look flattering on you? Don’t do yourself an injustice by wearing an unflattering piece. Let’s face it – some things were only meant for that 24 inch waist mannequin. Which brings us to number 5…

 5. Don’t be turned off by sizing. Ugh, so hard. I know. But really, who cares if you’re a size 2 in one store and a 10 in the other? If it fits your body well and looks good, then that’s all that matters. After all, size labels aren’t on the outside of your clothes.

 6. Are you settling for something similar or cheaper instead what you REALLY want? If so, wait and save up for the item that you’re obsessing over. Chances are, (if you’re anything like me) you’ll still be unsatisfied and end up buying it anyway! Then you’ll have spent money on two (or more!) items, when you could’ve just been happy with the original one…even if it meant paying a heftier price tag up front.

 7. If you’re unsure about an item, wait. If you find yourself thinking about it over the next few days, go back and get it. If not, congratulations – that’s money better spent elsewhere.

 8. Most importantly, buy what you LOVE. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s “you” or if anybody else likes it. You do YOU, and your style will never be more on point!

What rule do you relate most to? Do you have your own set of shopping rules? I'd love to hear!

xo, grace - @thegracemattei

Windy White + How to Wear It

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shirt / Nordstrom (similar), jeans / Nordstrom (similar here + here), shoes / Sam Edelman, tote / Madewell

I've been really vibing on this "all white" look that's been popular for quite some time - so the other day I decided, why not? It's already bassssically Summer here in AZ, so I might as well try to look like I'm keeping cool (even if I'm sweating in 80 degree weather in MARCH).

Now I know that normally the key to keeping this look chic is adding in texture, but I figure that every rule is meant to be broken. Besides, I think there's always more than one way to do things, so here are a couple tips for pulling off all white:

1. Texture (duh, I just said that above!). Break up the color monotony with some interesting textures, whether it be lace, linen, or woven. Though I don't have any noticeable texture between my jeans + tee, my studded shoes add a little bit of interest to the ensemble.

2. Add a pop of color for balance. I chose to pair this all white outfit with my ever trusty black Madewell tote. Not only is this tote good for carrying anything and everything, but I feel like it also has this magical ability to instantly make any outfit look chic. If I had a white bag along with everrrrything else white, it would've looked weird. But hey, add some black in and suddenly it's fine.

3. Watch your shades. Although you'd think that black is black and white is white, we all know things aren't so black and white (heh heh). What I'm saying is, make sure you're shades are matching, and that you're not caught wearing a cool white shirt with some cream pants...because that would just look weird. Keep it all the same shade, grab your pop of color and some fun jewelry, and you're ready to go!

I love love love the all-white trend. Would you rock it?

xo, grace - @thegracemattei

The Yellow Wall

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Clutch / Nordstrom (similar), shirt / TjMaxx (similar), scarf / vintage (similar), jeans / UO, shoes / Louise Et Cie (similar)

Daniel and I recently stumbled across this gem of a garage wal in downtown Phoenix, and it has quickly become one of our favorite shoot locations to date. Needless to say, I could probably be wearing a trash bag in these photos, and still make it look cool (well, maybe). Thanks yellow wall. You complete me.

Where is your favorite place to shoot pics?

xo, grace - @thegracemattei

Pink Blazers + Consignment Shopping

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blazer/ J Crew (similar), shirt/Loft (similar), bag/vintage Dooney (similar), flats/Steve Madden, jeans/UO

So this blazer isn't something that I would normally pick out for myself, but I scored it at my local consignment shop on crazzzy clearance (with the tags still on it!). Originally a 250 dollar J Crew blazer, I was able to scoop it up for like 40 bucks - plus I had credit from trading clothes in, so I actually didn't spend a dime on it. Isn't that the best?

If you're on a tight budget, there's no better time like the present to clean some clothes out of your closet and resell them for some new (to you) items! Personally, it's made my budget (and closet) stretch a lot further, which is great when you're always on the hunt for fun blogging pieces!

What'e the best thrift/consignment find you've ever gotten? Leave a comment below; I'd love to hear!

xo, grace - @thegracemattei

Channeling Farrah

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So I know that while just about every other blogger was going nuts for Valentine's Day, I neglected to post any sort of tribute to it - but what can I say? It's been a busy couple weeks. Plus, I'm wearing pink here, so that has to count for something, right?

I've actually been wearing pink a lot lately. Straying from my usual black ensembles, I think the already 80 degree temps here in Phoenix have brought my playful side back. When I saw this retro roller derby/collegiate style top in Zara, it was love at first sight. Pair it with a pair of these bad boy palazzos (which are so comfy, they might as well be pajamas), and you've got a Farrah Fawcett-esque look that's too good to pass up. Also, for some reason this shirt kind of reminds me of Golden Girl era Bea Arthur...which only gives it extra points in my book. ;)

In completely other news, I've been struggling to find the time to post lately. Between work and trying to do graphic design on the side, I've had a lot of trouble keeping up with this blog. It's been pretty frustrating - I know I can't do everything, but it seems like it should be manageable. How about you guys - does anyone else have trouble managing their time?

Any tips on finding a better "life balance"? I'd love to hear!

xo, grace - @thegracemattei