I don’t often say “I told you so” but let the record reflect that I was ahead of the trend curve last year when I debuted this giant puffy-sleeved dress. It turns out that one of the hottest trends this spring is lantern sleeves, where your sleeves billow out and taper again at the wrist, like a hot air balloon was inflated near your forearm.
Given my love of dramatic clothing, it’s no surprise that I already own a couple of items featuring these blow-up arms. One upside? This trend is actually really slimming because it conceals and exaggerates the shape of your arm. My biceps are definitely toned under this billowy top, guys, promise.
Below are some of my favorite examples of this trend (click on the pic to shop)!
It’s almost time for Barristers’ Ball, which is a fancy formal that a lot of law schools (including ours) puts on at the beginning of spring. Our Barristers’ Ball invitation specified a “black tie” dress code, which is unusual to see nowadays.
“Black tie” is a great chance to wear a gown or fancy dress that you may not get to at any other time. Black tie usually demands tuxes from the men and a floor-length gown or a fancy dress from the women. Even cocktail dresses or shorter dresses are less appropriate for this type of event. Besides, you can wear a cocktail dress to any other kind of formal, so take the chance to go big on a ball gown!
I’ve rounded up some of the most stunning (and budget-friendly) dresses in several categories to help you pick your Ball outfit.
This may just be me, but when I think black tie, I immediately want to pull out a ballgown with ruffles, lace, and all that jazz. I’m a romantic at heart, what can I say? And black tie is one of the only occasions (besides a wedding) when your dress can be as frilly as you want.
My picks below (scroll left and right using the arrows):
The natural choice for black tie attire doesn’t have to be black or white: bright red is good way to stick out. A bonus is that the dresses I chose also showcase spring’s hottest trends: the bell sleeve and the off-the-shoulder neckline.
These gowns are floor-length stunners (scroll left and right using the arrows):
If you’re petite or tall, I’d recommend searching for gowns in ASOS’s petite and tall lines. ASOS’s price points are very accessible and they are much trendier than Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus petites (which seem to be targeting older women).
For petites: I also recommend dresses that can be hemmed easily, such as a pink column dress like this one. I’m tailoring my recs more towards petites because ball gowns tend to run long anyway, to accommodate most sizes, so petite girls need to hem their dresses most of the time. Look for silhouettes without a lot of ruffling on the bottom and zippers on the BACK (so that your tailor can take in the bust from the sides if necessary).
Of you can try searching petite versions of the same dresses that I’ve already featured. For instance, the red dress in the scrolling thing below is the same red dress from earlier, but in a petite-friendly size.
My picks below:
Black tie = black dress. Couldn’t be simpler (or more elegant).
My picks below:
Ok, I didn’t need a whole section for this next dress. Spoiler alert: I bought the pink one pictured here. What? It’s $53, pink, and frilly. Don’t be so surprised.
It’s spring outside, even if the thermometer doesn’t show it. Be different and show up in something pastel pink or blue—or even a light metallic Grecian gown.
My picks below:
And last but not least, for my bold sisters: jewel tones are a good way to stand out from the crowd wearing black, white, and red, while still maintaining decorum. You’ll be the star of the night—just check out those ruffles or that floral print!
I stopped shopping at F21 since the beginning of this year because I am now almost a Career Woman who can afford Better Designed Items. So imagine my surprise when I opened F21 out of habit and saw that its new arrivals were much more… sophisticated than I had remembered.
In fact, it almost looks like F21 has taken a page out of Anthropologie’s play book. I associated F21 with cheap trends, but F21 manages to showcase the off-the-shoulder and bell sleeve trends in a far more elegant way.
The most impressive items are from F21’s new wedding collection. Anthropologie has a wedding line (BHLDN) that sells affordable bridal gowns, but it looks like F21 is now investing in its own line of affordable bridesmaids/wedding guest attire.
I’m not sure if I just got lucky stumbling onto a batch of new items that perfectly fit my aesthetic, but I will have to take a second look at F21’s offerings if they are selling more distinctive and feminine designs.
President’s Day sales are never terribly impressive, but with Spring Break coming up, I was happy to see 20% off on my favorite beach trends. Since I was already planning on trying out these trends for the ‘gram, it doesn’t hurt that I’ll be saving some money by ordering them this weekend!
This swimsuit has been making the rounds on IG. That’s not surprising considering that it hits all the checkmarks for ruffles, polka dots, and the off-the-shoulder trend. You can get this exact swimsuit for 20% off, now (and it comes in a two-piece version too: see below)
The gingham print one above is actually my favorite; it’s cute without looking too much like a picnic tablecloth.
Next up on the list of instagram-worthy swim trends are….
I read somewhere that the famous “do not disturb” sun hat has actually been trademarked, but you can still find beach hats that feature other phrases written in a cursive script, or another trendy sunhat tied back with a bow.
I’m actually tempted to make my own script sunhat. All I would need is string and a wide-brim hat, right? How cool/narcissistic would it be to have my blog handle on my sunhat?
You can’t scroll past 5 instagram pics without seeing the ubiquitous off-the-shoulder pom pom cover up, so it’s time to admit defeat and try out the trend at last. You can actually get the pink one on the right from Amazon, plus it’s available with Prime shipping!
Every year, our law school puts on a Parody musical theater show to poke fun at our professors. We write the show ourselves (last year’s theme was Law Wars, a play on Star Wars), and hire a lighting crew and soundstage for our dancing and singing.
I’m a director for the show again this year, and in addition to managing 70+ actors, I’m also singing and dancing in the show (!). Add to that my course load reading and I’m often up until 3 or 4 AM, bored and browsing the internet before I finish for the night.
These morning hours are usually when I create my blog content (and when I make most of my purchases), so I thought I’d put both together to make this post. Hopefully it doesn’t become a regular series and I get some more sleep!
I also went a little crazy on the spring break shopping: Zaful’s scallop bikini is also a dupe for Marysia’s high-end set. Zaful has the cutest swimsuit but the size charts are different for every item…I had to squint at the sizing options for far too long and my 3AM brain eventually bought two swimsuits to justify my trouble.
Also my favorite white embroidered top finally came back into stock so I quickly scooped it up for $42; I sound like a loser but I’ve been stalking this top for 2 weeks now.
I also bought a bunch of utilitarian stuff like toothbrushes, but I deemed those items too mundane for a collage. I will mention that I will soon be carting around a cute pink camera bag, so if you ever want to catch me in Boston taking photos, you’ll know what to look for.