Announcement: The Lovely Lookbook

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The day has finally come for Caitlin and I to reveal what we have been working so hard on! Caitlin and I live in the same town and our husbands work together. We discovered a couple years ago that we both have blogs and our morals, values, and ideas are all aligned. She is the one who inspired me to do the year of no shopping!

We created The Lovely Lookbook to help woman of all shapes and sizes find ways to style similar items for their body type. We will be revealing our heights and sizes in a way for reference to really show you how to dress your body. We would never showcase this information in a boastful way, so please don't take it in that manner. We truly want everyone to feel comfortable in the skin they're in, no matter what the size!

We love looking good, but on a budget. Caitlin is the master of thrifting cute clothes, while I take the reigns for discount shopping and finding a great deal. Together we are here to try and help you dress your body on a budget. We realize it is hard to see how something will look on your body when your body could be so different from the person modeling the outfit.

Caitlin being 5'11" (wowza, can we say model status?!) and me being 5'3" are obviously very different, not only in height, but in body type. I am more on the stocky, athletic built side, while Caitlin is like a long, lean Gazelle floating through the streets of Texas. We have found that our styles are really similar, but we style things very differently.

We have come up with a MONTHLY linkup to showcase the item of the month we are styling. 

Let me break it down for you. Starting September 1st, you can link up how you styled a dress, any dress! The idea here is for ladies to browse around and find inspiration from how others styled their look. There is nothing formal about this link up. We really are aiming for it to be a place of inspiration for everyone!

Also, on the 1st of every month you will be voting for the next month's link up item. So, on September 1st we will provide a poll for you to vote on what item you would like showcased the next month. Feel free to link up as many outfits as you'd like. If you wear a dress everyday and want to blog about it, awesome. If you can't get around to blogging about a dress this month, just stop on by and look at how other ladies styled their dresses.

Here is how I styled my dress:

I chose to style a black maxi dress because I feel like it is a go-to for a lot of woman. On this day we had just arrived in San Francisco and I knew I needed to be comfortable for the plane ride. I chose to tie the dress because it drags the ground and falling flat on my face wasn't on the agenda. Tying the dress also adds an unusual touch and makes you seem taller than if the dress were dragging the ground. 

When you're short like me it is sometimes difficult to pull off a maxi dress without looking like you're in a giant bag, so accessorizing is key. Since San Francisco is pretty chilly, I chose to go with a floral scarf that added a pop of color to my outfit. With this look you wouldn't want any necklace that was too close to your neck because it will visually cut you off. You want to draw the eye all the way down the dress to fake people into thinking you're tall...because only tall people wear maxis, right? :)

Because we were traveling, I knew heels and wedges were out of the question. No one likes sprinting through an airport in wedges. I chose my Gap sandals in nude and silver because that gives the illusion my legs are longer than they actually are. Even though only my ankle and foot were showing, if I were to have worn a darker color sandal, I would have visually cut off the eye from making me seem taller than I actually am. 

And now for Caitlin. She is going to share with us different ways to accessorize with a belt. I, as you might have noticed, never wear belts. Being so short, belts visually cut me in half and are not particularly flattering on my build. For your reference, I am 5'3" and pretty consistently wear a size 4. I wouldn't consider myself dainty, but more boxy, if that helps describe my midsection. My hips, waist, and upper body are all about the same size, so I don't get that hourglass figure quite as well as Caitlin and some of you other ladies. 

Caitlin is going to share how to style belts for you taller ladies and you shorter gals who are much braver than I who can rock the belt.

Belts can be difficult to wear no matter your body shape! I started wearing them around my waist to cinch dresses and shirts pretty recently because I couldn't figure them out in the past. Honestly, I just started experimenting with variations, and now I love them. Here are a few of my favorite tricks:

If I'm wearing a belt that's not through the belt loops, I like to wear it above my natural waist. Even though the natural waist is the smallest part of my body, raising the waist line visually makes my torso look shorter, legs longer, and gives a stronger appearance of an hourglass shape. (Think Barbie's body. No matter your size, you can use clothing to mimic her shape.)

If you want to wear a non-elastic belt around your waist, thread the end of the belt through the loop just like normal, but ignore the belt holes and pull it tight enough to stay up, but loose enough it's comfortable. Then, tuck the end in between your body and the belt. That's what I did with each of these looks.

For a different look, turn the belt around so the buckle is facing behind you and the back of the belt is facing forward. You can wear your belt just like that (I promise, it's totally acceptable!) but I like to put a completer piece (cardigan, jean jacket, blazer, etc.) over it. No view of a belt buckle from behind, which can feel a little weird, and it also helps create a smaller visual waist than a belted dress alone. The eye will see the belt and think "waist," but because the edges of the completer piece fall in on the body, your waist looks smaller from side to side. It's a helpful little visual trick!

I always tell people to experiment when it comes to belts. Try different sizes and shapes, elastic, non-elastic, and pair them with different fabrics and cuts of clothing. In the end, sometimes a belt works, and sometimes it just doesn't mesh well with a fabric, cut, or the particular look you're going for.

Just for reference, I'm 5'11" and usually wear a size 2-6 in a dress. (They're all different, so try on a bunch of sizes! No one else knows what size that tag is. This particular dress is a size small from Banana Republic.)

So there you have it, two dresses styled differently and for tow different body types.

Now let's recap how the link up will work:

- The link up begins on the 1st of every month. So, September 1st come here or to Caitlin's blog and link up your styled dresses. 

- The link up will run for two weeks.

- Also, on the 1st you will be voting for the item or topic to be styled the next month. (When you come here September 1st, you will vote for October's link up topic.)

- On the 15th of every month we will do a recap post and announce the following month's link up topic. 

- All we ask is that you link back to our blogs, or grab our buttons from our sidebars. You don't have to follow us, or give us your first born, so we are letting you off easy :)

- If you instagram you can use #thelovelylookbook and follow us @TheLovelyLookbook

We are really excited about this opportunity to show women different ways to style items they already own. This is also a great chance to discover ways of styling something you never thought Caitlin's behind the back belt trick. Hello, genius!

We hope to see you back here on September 1st ready to show off those dresses!



  1. What a fantastic idea!!!! So excited for you! And seriously it's hard to know what would ever work on me! This is so fabulous and genius!

  2. Yay!!! This is so exciting. Love the idea!! Smart little cookies....

  3. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this link up idea!!! Cannot wait!

  4. Such a cool idea! I can't wait to participate! Have a great weekend girly!

  5. So excited for you two, I can't wait to see all the styles. I am horrible at pairing, and wear the same thing all the time, so this will be great to get some ideas.