Winter Style Essentials 2018 (Feat. StyleWe + SheIn)

Even though the winter season has been upon us for a little over a month now (am I the only one who has had enough of this deep freeze business?), we, unfortunately, still have about 2 more months to go. And though I am sure many of us already have our favorite winter pieces out and ready to go, if you are anything like me and hate to be cold, I am sure there is always some room for a new coat or winter accessories in your closet. So to help everyone keep toasty warm and stylish through the rest of the winter, I decided to share my top style essentials for winter 2018, featuring fabulous looks and accessories from my sponsors StyleWe and SheIn!

Cozy Hats

Though I am sure hats are one of our must have favorite products in order to keep our ears and head warm, this year they are also much more stylish than years past. This season you can be expecting to see embroidered embellishments, fur accents, and lots of color which is great for giving your winter outfit a nice pop.

Items Left to Right: White Beanie With Fur Puff, Black & Grey Fur Hat, Black Beanie With Embroidered Bee, Brown Fur Cap, Classic Beanie.

Fuzzy & Fashionable Coats

It wouldn't be the winter season without snowy and cold weather, which means if you have to be outdoors for any reason, you're definitely going to need a warm coat. Though being warm should be everyone's main priority in this weather, many of us also focus on fashion and styling as well. So, this season's best looking coats have lots of patterns, color blocking, and fur! The other trend you'll be seeing more of is winter are three quarter coats opposed to shorter jackets that were more frequently styled in years past. The reason this is great is because the added length helps keep you warm.

Items Left to Right: Black, Red Print, Fur Hood, Down Coat, Tan Color Block Coat, Yellow Plaid Coat, Color Block Fur Coat, Grey Fleece Coat.

Snuggly Sweaters

Another winter style staple is no other than classic sweaters. Again, to keep warm in the winter is a must, and obviously you can do this through layering warm pieces with your sweaters or cardigans. This year, much like with coats, the sweater trends include pops of color, color blocking, and loads of embroidering. 

Items Left to Right: Pink Color Block Cardigan, Light Grey Sweater, White Embroidered Sweater, Tan Patchwork Sweater, White and Tan Cardigan.

Captivating Capes

Here is probably my favorite style trend of winter 2018: Capes. I have always loved capes ever since I was little just because they have such a pretty and sophisticated look to them, so I'm surprised it took this long for this trend to catch on! The trends you'll be seeing in capes will include pretty accents such as buttons and bows, along with fur and fur trim.

Items Left to Right: Black Double Breasted Cape, Long Black Cape with Fur Trim, Maroon Cape with Bow, Short Green Cape, Red Print Cape.

Gorgeous Gloves

Another important accessory that is a must are gloves! Though many of us just wear gloves as a extra precaution to keep us warm, they're also essential to keep your hands from getting chapped and cracked during the cold winter months. Big trends that you will be seeing in gloves this season will be fur trims and accents, along with deep lush colors.

Items Left to Right: Black Fur Cuff Gloves, Grey Puff Ball Mittens, Red Fur Puff Ball Gloves, Grey Fold Back Mittens, Grey Patchwork Gloves.

Wonderfully Warm Winter Dresses

Though I personally avoid wearing dresses at all costs during the winter, sometimes I have events that require me to be a little more dressed up than just jeans and a sweater. So, considering I'm sure most of my readers have a similar dilemma, I decided to include some of my favorite dress trends for winter 2018. The top trends you will be seeing are cowl neck or turtle neck sweater dresses, a lot of plaid, fur accents, bold colors, and velvet.

Items Left to Right: Long Tan Sweater Dress, Rose Calf Length Sweater Dress, Royal Blue Velvet Dress, Grey Dress With Fur Collar, Grey Wool Plaid Dress.

Statement Making Pants

In case you are really opposed to wearing dresses in the cold months, another route to go is to add some dress pants to your wardrobe. And actually, due to the cool styles and trends in pants we will be seeing this winter, there is really no better time to snag some! Much like with dresses, you'll see lots of bold colors and patterns, along with pretty velvet material this season. Another trend is actually wide leg pants, which is quite the switch from the tapered and skinny pants we've been accustom to seeing in past years.

Items Left to Right: Blue Velvet Pants, Tan and Green Plaid Pants, Olive Wool Pants, Velvet Multi Color Print Pants, Yellow Wide Leg Pants.

Bold Boots

Last but not least, one of the most important things to keep warm are our feet, which means in the winter season we definitely need to invest in some warm boots! The top boot trends in 2018 include patterned boots, bold colors, fur accents, along with suede accents. 

Items Left to Right: Purple Bow Boots, Black Suede Boots, Black Leather Boots, Brown Checkered Boots, Brown Knee High Boots.

What are some of you favorite style trends this winter season? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic! Later, babes, try and stay warm!

Xx, Bree

P.S.  Having trouble finding all the goods you see here and on my Instagram? Fear not! I am a member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!

#OOTD: Boho Basics (Feat. Coach + Amazon Fashion)

As I am sure many of you have noticed, winter is by far my least favorite season. To be honest, I hate almost everything about it: frigid cold temperatures, snow, ice, getting windburn on my face, winter, in my opinion, is just is not a fun time. However, though I pretty much despise the winter season, I have to say there are some redeeming things about living in a state that turns into a frozen tundra for four months out of the year, and one of those things would be styling for the winter season.

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Honestly, being able to style different looks (and even some old ones with a new kick) is the one thing that gets me through an otherwise miserable season. Though I don't enjoy being out and about in the cold, I don't let it get me down and I certainly don't let it stop me from styling fun looks and making sure I look my best, even if sometimes it is a struggle to get motivated to leave my house in below zero temperatures. However, this past weekend was no different and though I would have rather been curled up in bed with Oliver and Lola (in case you're new to my blog, Oliver and Lola are my adorable rescue cats, you can see them here and here respectively!), I got dressed, braved the cold, and stepped out in this new top from my sponsor Amazon Fashion along with this gorgeous Edie 42 bag from my sponsor Coach.

Laced Up & Layered

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Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't out in the terrible weather for no good reason! I decided to brave the cold this past Sunday in order to meet with my friend and catch up after the holiday craziness while enjoying a delicious meal at NOLA in Market Square. And, as I'm sure you could guess by the name, NOLA is a laid back casual pub where you can enjoy some great Creole cuisine and sit back and listen to some jazz. So, for the occasion, I decided to go with a basic but chic bohemian look, by styling my new blouse from Amazon Fashion and this beautiful, hobo style, Edie 42 bag from Coach

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First, I want to tell you a little bit about this adorable blouse from Amazon Fashion. This blouse is well made but its material is a bit thin, almost sheer, so it would be best paired with a bralette or bikini top in the summer. So needless to say, the top itself is definitely more fit for spring or summer, but due to its colors I decided to experiment a bit and turn this blouse into a versatile piece that could also be suitable for winter. To do this, I decided to pair it with my favorite sweater which happens to be the first piece I ever received from my sponsor SheIn. By layering this blouse with this charcoal sweater added depth to this outfit as well as providing more warmth due to layering this lovely pair.

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The next piece I paired with the duo above is actually the product of my latest and exciting collaboration with my sponsor Coach! For this collaboration I received a beautiful leather Edie 42 bag and I have to say, it is quickly becoming my new favorite bag. The great thing about this bag is aside from its luxe, soft leather body, it also has the prettiest gold detailing on the handles and zipper pull. Aside from this bag's over all good looks and high quality craftsmanship, it is also super nifty due to the fact it has three separate compartments which is great for organization, and it is spacious so you can literally carry everything you need with you! And you can’t beat that, am I right?

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Aside from pairing this boho chic blouse with my snuggly charcoal sweater to make this look work for winter, I also styled these pieces further with some great winter accessories. The first being my black, wool, floppy wide brimmed hat. The reason why I chose this hat (aside from it being super warm!) is because due to its lax nature, it really added to the laid back bohemian vibe of this outfit. To keep the bohemian vibe going, I chose to wear my American Eagle flared jeans, because I absolutely love their cool and relaxed style. I also went on to pair this look with my favorite House of Harlow 1960 huggie hoop earrings and my Jenny Bird Moonsong cuff, just because I felt the light silver tones of these pieces match really well with the over all look and subtly tied it together. 

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The final touch to this outfit, and in my opinion the center piece, was none other than my Kendra Scott Rayne necklace in bright red. Though I normally style this piece with solid color garments, I chose to style it with this floral blouse because though the blouse has a pattern, it isn't overly busy, and the bright red of the necklace complements the deep reds with in the floral pattern. This makes for a very interesting and and captivating pairing.

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Lastly, the makeup I chose for this look is my bareMinerals Bare Pro liquid foundation, Dior's Blazing Gold eye shadow palette, Dior "My Rose" blush, along with NARS Jungle Red lipstick. The reason I chose this selection of makeup is because I felt the earthy tones of my foundation, eye shadow, and blush went perfectly with the boho vibe of this outfit, and I chose NARS Jungle Red lipstick because I felt it complemented the reds in my jewelry and my blouse nicely.

One Last Look

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How are you styling traditionally summer pieces for the winter this season? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic! Have an awesome winter outfit that you just need to show off? I'd love to see it, so feel free to tag me in you Instagram story at @StarkRavingChic. Later, babes!

Xx, Bree

P.S. Psssssst! If you love the jewelry I styled in this post as much as I do, you can try Rocksbox for a whole month 100% FREE when you sign up using my promo code "starkravingchicxoxo". Don't know what Rocksbox is or how it works? You can learn more here!

P.P.S. I am now a proud member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!

#OOTD: Charmed To Meet You (Feat. Soufeel Jewelry)

"Mummy, can I have more coffee, please?"

"Briana! We have company, don't you want to introduce yourself to our guest?"

"Hi, my name is Bree, and I want to be a paleontologist when I grow up and my favorite dinosaurs are brachiosaurus, liopleurodons, and my most favorite is stegosaurus!"

This is the conversation that took place in my family's living room while we were having a home visit from my soon to be teacher, Sister Colleen, to evaluate if I would be a good fit to attend kindergarten at Mount Gallitzin Academy. Luckily, for five year old me, tippy cup in hand, Sister Colleen was also an avid coffee drinker, and loved my enthusiasm. Though I have since then left my aspirations of being a paleontologist behind, I have to admit that I still find dinosaurs fascinating (yes, stegosaurus is in fact still my favorite), have a mild coffee addiction, and am as outgoing as ever. As you can imagine from the story above even when I was little, I was never the least bit shy or backward.

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One thing I have learned since childhood though, is that my Myers–Briggs Type Indicator acronym "INFJ" (standing for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judgment) can seem a little deceiving. Considering to those who do not know me well probably see me as anything but introverted. From playing piano recitals starting at the age of five, competing in horse shows at the age of eight all the way through tenth grade, and performing at dance and voice recitals--or anywhere really--since the age of two and twelve respectively (Fun Fact: I still do both and am kick-ass at karaoke.), it's safe to say I'm not at all afraid of the spot light. 

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However, though I am incredibly friendly, talkative, and adapt easily in social situations, I truly am an introvert at heart and honestly prefer to keep to myself when I am not obligated to be around others. I am also a very private person, and only share important things in my life with those closest to me. Not that I dislike people, I am honestly just rather self contained (as my my best friend Sage puts it: "Bree is basically just like a cat.").

Charmingly Chic

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Now, you are probably wondering what this story and explanation have to do with my blog, and more specifically this post, right? Well, firstly, in light of the new year and my blog continuing to grow, I've decided I want to occasionally share a bit more about myself with all of you considering many of you have been around awhile, and others are brand new. (If this happens to be your first time visiting Stark Raving Chic, hello!) I also thought it was a good idea to tell this story because as you can see in the photographs above, I have been styling a beautiful gold necklace with my name on it, along with three chic bangle charm bracelets, which I received from my sponsor Soufeel Jewelry. So, I thought it was only natural to share a little about myself along with how I styled these pretty pieces.

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Before I get to the styling for this post, I'm first going to review these pieces from Soufeel and explain why each of them mean a little something to me. For starters, though I was never a Sex And The City fan, I have to say while I was growing up I always felt a bit left out because neither my nickname or full name were ever spelled right on those trendy trinkets and jewelry, but like my dream of becoming a paleontologist, I got over it. However, I have to say when I was contacted for my now second collaboration with Soufeel, I was quite tickled at the opportunity to actually get a necklace with my name spelled correctly. Not to mention, this necklace is definitely more upscale than the $0.25 name necklaces we used to find at Claire's. As mentioned earlier, the best thing about Soufeel's name necklaces are that they are 100% customizable, so no matter how uniquely your name is spelled, you can always hop on this trend if you wish. Next, the material this necklace is made of is 925 sterling silver, plated in 14 carat yellow gold. The shine is absolutely beautiful, ever since I have received it and began wearing it I have gotten loads of compliments, and the necklace is also light weight and comfortable for everyday wear.

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The other items I received from Soufeel are these three stacking charm bangles. The bangles I chose include a feather, owl, and an origami elephant, and though these three charms may seem random, the reason I chose these three specifically is because they each represent things important to and/or about me. Such as my ever evolving quest for knowledge, my free spirit (Which in itself insights a little mystery even for me!), and my incredibly determined personality. The bracelets themselves are very well made and fit just like any other bangle. They have a moderate weight to them (similar to that of an Alex & Ani bracelet) but are still comfortable to wear daily. And like the necklace, they are made of 925 sterling silver. 

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The outfit I chose to style my new name necklace and charm bangles with, is this pretty but casual winter look, which I wore to meet up with a friend for a coffee date. For the top half of my look, I chose to wear a simple black metallic thread sweater from Loft, because I felt it added a nice contrast to my gold and silver jewelry. And though it was very cold, I chose to wear my favorite Pendleton wool skirt (seriously, I've had this skirt since I was in ninth grade--I'm now 24) because even though it doesn't look it, it is actually quite warm which makes it a great piece to have around in the winter, especially if you're like me and are already getting tired of constantly being in jeans and long underwear!

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The makeup I chose for this look includes my bareMinerals Bare Pro liquid foundation, Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow in "647-Undress", NARS Jubilation Blush, and NARS Bette lipstick. The reason why I chose these warmer shades for my makeup palette is because I felt they added a nice offset to the cool tone of my outfit. And even though it has been freezing here, I still felt the need to have a little bit of a more summer-y glow, perhaps wishful thinking that it might bring on some warmer weather on my end. 

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Last but not least, though I generally switch up my kicks in every post, while Pittsburgh is in a deep freeze you guys will be seeing these boots more often than not! I have to say, aside from being stylish, these Michael Kors boots are incredibly comfortable and warm. So, though I am sure many of you already have scored your winter boots, but in case you haven't, I totally recommend these babies. 

One Last Look

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How have you been styling and accessorizing during this crazy cold front? I'd love to hear about it, so let's chat in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic

Xx, Bree

P.S. Love my Soufeel Jewelry as much as I do? Well you can snag some of your own now during their post holiday sale, and get an additional 15% off when you use my promo code "Breefg115" at checkout! 

P.P.S. Having trouble finding all the goods you see here and on my Instagram? Fear not! I am a member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!

#OOTD: Jumping Into The New Year (Feat. SheIn + Ann Taylor)

Hey babes, happy new year! Though 2017 literally just ended yesterday, I already am beginning to feel like 2018 is going to be a much better year, and quite possibly the fresh start I think we all have been needing. As I mentioned in my 2017 recap post, I think we can all agree that 2017 was a rough year, however, now that we have a fresh start (I mean, it is a new year and a new week after all!) I'm personally stepping into the new year with an even more positive attitude, along with making some of my own positive changes (which I may or may not write about later on in the year). And I don't know about you guys, but I definitely feel like I rang in the new year on a great note and am most definitely starting 2018 off on the right foot!

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I have to say, though my New Year's Eve wasn't anything incredibly fancy, it was honestly everything I wanted. I was home among my family and dearest friends (Except Nic, who is now in Canada with his fiance, but him and Ben were most certainly with us in spirit!), and though it was not a formal affair like our Christmas holiday parties tend to be, I decided to dress up a bit. Why? Because though dressing up was not required, I decided I wanted to be my "best" self going into this new year, so I chose to wear one of my favorite pieces in my closet, which happens to be this black caped jumpsuit from my longtime sponsor, SheIn.

Love & Layers

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Even though I didn't spend my New Year's Eve at Pittsburgh's first night celebration, and I din't travel to watch the ball drop in New York City, I was still thrilled because honestly, this is the first year I have actually been home for New Year's Eve in six years! Yeah, I know, that's a really long time. However, though in New Year's past I enjoyed being away and what I was doing to celebrate them,  I have to say I was a bit homesick. Not only because I was away from home, and I know I will not settle in my hometown after I receive my doctorate, "home" for me will always be here, simply because this is where my family is. So, even though my father teased me the entire night because I insisted on wearing stilettos to sit around in the dining room, drinking scotch, and later champagne, I wouldn't have traded it for anything. And that is why this New Year's was so perfect for me.

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Though I am sure you all don't mind hearing a bit about my New Year's Eve, I know most, if not all of you are here to check out how I styled my New Year's look, so let's jump into it (pun totally intended)! To start off, though I initially wanted to wear this jumper on its own, it is sleeveless and for those of you who don't live in the snow belt or haven't watched the weather channel, sleeveless was not cutting it for Pittsburgh's weather, not even indoors. So, determined to wear the one piece in my closet that I have grown to feel my most fabulous in, I decided to layer it with this lovely "perfect shirt" blouse from my other sponsor, Ann Taylor. By doing this, I was able to stay warm and keep looking chic and polished.

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The jumpsuit itself fits incredibly well, with and without the blouse. However, without the blouse, it has more of a sexy and sophisticated feel and would be a great alternative to wear to a black tie affair (but for more traditional options, check out  this dress.) But with the blouse, this jumpsuit transforms into a casual chic piece, and is perfect for work or play! Aside from its versatility, I also love this jumpsuit because of its cape. Though I love jumpsuits and rompers in general, this one is unique due to this attribute, and I feel it adds a great amount of elegance to the piece, and I just honestly feel bad-ass while wearing it. The blouse, from Ann Taylor, is also a great piece due to the fact you can style it with just about anything and it is comfortable to wear. The final main piece to this ensemble, is my Kate Spade heels, which though they are sky high, they are actually very comfortable. 

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Though I wasn't out of the house much, I still wanted to accessorize this look. So, to complete the outfit, I chose to pair it with my Jenny Bird "Frida Collar" and my cobalt blue Kendra Scott earrings. And for the short time I was out (a.k.a. to do this shoot and grab some bubbly!) I paired this lovely look with my favorite Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses. 

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And lastly, to complete my New Year's look, I chose to do something a little more flashy with my makeup. Though I used my normal bareMinerals products and City Minis palette, I decided to mix it up with the palette and do a smoky eye look by using some of the darker colors. I also switched up my normally neutral lipstick and went with NARS, bold, semi matte, Bette, which I received for Christmas this year.

One Last Look

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How did everyone else spend their New Year's Eve? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me about it at @StarkRavingChic! Have an awesome New Year's Eve outfit you would just love to show off? I'd love to see it, so feel free to tag me in your Instagram story at @StarkRavingChic. Later dolls, and I wish you the happiest new year, let's make sure 2018 rocks!

Xx, Bree

P.S. Psssssst! If you love the jewelry I styled in this post as much as I do, you can try Rocksbox for a whole month 100% FREE when you sign up using my promo code "starkravingchicxoxo". Don't know what Rocksbox is or how it works? You can learn more here!

Also, I am now a proud member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!