Style

You may have picked up on the fact I’m all about orange this season. My latest interest, though? CORDUROY.

Not the childhood book (although it is a classic), the material.

The Brunette Blend-Corduory This Fall's Stylish Best Friend

Its a sure way to add some fall feels to your wardrobe and its totally versatile. Think button downs, chunky sweaters, or even a basic tee with some flair. I’m building so many outfits in my head with just ONE SKIRT.

If you’re looking to add some corduroy to your closet, check these out:

Loft’s Corduroy Button Down Skirt

My new love AND its 40% off…. just saying.
The Brunette Blend-Corduory This Fall's Stylish Best Friend-Corduroy Button Down Skirt-LOFT

ASOS Moto Cord Pocket Pinafore Dress

OK, SERIOUSLY?! The cord, the color. Is it a need or a want…?
The Brunette Blend-Corduory This Fall's Stylish Best Friend-Corduroy Overall Dress-Top Shop

Rage Cord Zip Front Dress

This one is super versatile. Pair a long sleeve shirt underneath during the chilly months and lose it for a cute sleeveless dress.
The Brunette Blend-Corduory This Fall's Stylish Best Friend-Corduroy Zip Front-Asos

Lulu’s Overalls

Sort of loving these overalls for a more casual weekend look.
The Brunette Blend-Corduory This Fall's Stylish Best Friend-Cord overalls-Lulus

Nordstrom’s A-Line Skirt

A perfect camel color with a zip and a single button. Classic.
The Brunette Blend-Corduory This Fall's Stylish Best Friend-Cord a line skirt-Nordstrom

Soooo, how are you feeling about cords?

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

Flowers crowns have been the one trend I have been drying to try. I’m seeing them EVERYWHERE. Weddings, photoshoots, on babies…I even tried making Indy wear one. STOP THE CUTENESS.

My wish finally came true thanks to Crown Yourself Designs. I received what I will be referring to as an autumnal goddess crown. Its so fun and different for me. It gave my loose waves some personality and flare. I can see why this has been such a hot hair piece. It totally elevated my style AND made a photoshoot 100% more fun + interesting.

The Brunette Blend-GIVEAWAY- Flower Crowns x Crown Yourself Designs

Lilly of Crown Yourself Designs HAND MAKES these beauties. She has such a unique and creative eye for gorgeous florals and arrangements. Her shop features a charming variety of flower crowns. From big and bold to simple and sweet, there is a crown for you (and your baby. SHE MAKES MATCHING SETS AND THERE IS NOTHING CUTER!)

Clearly, I’m Oprah level excited for Crown Yourself Designs

Since sharing is caring, The Brunette Blend and Crown Yourself Designs have partnered to give YOU your choice of flower crown. Here’s how to enter:

How to Win a Flower Crown by Crown Yourself Designs


-Like THIS PHOTO on Instagram
-Follow both @thebrunetteblend + @crownyouselfdesigns
-EXTRA ENTRIES: tag friends

Go, go,go, GO! Giveaway will be open until 11/2/17 to US only. Winner will be drawn on 11/3/17. Adult crowns only. This is no way sponsored by Instagram.

Find Crown Yourself Designs HERE + HERE.

Chat soon,
The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

We have officially entered SWEATER WEATHER. I KNOW I’m not the only one excited at the thought of cozy sweaters and becoming some type of sweater/blanket burrito.

The Brunette Blend-Sweater Weather- Inspiration for Nearly Every Occasion -Samantha Sweater

{Exact sweater HERE}

Its been an awaited season and the sweater temptation is the air. Last week, Target had a buy one, get one 50% off on all of their sweaters. I mean, I didn’t want to lose money, so I had to take advantage of the sale. You know what is difficult? Finding a sweater that doesn’t look exactly like the ones you already own.

Today we’re sharing some sweater inspiration that will create diversity in your closet, as well as find the perfect sweater for four common occasions, such as ‘Leave Me Alone’.
IMPORTANT NOTE: all of these come in different color options. Clearly, I have a problem: I chose to only display orange and pink tones *shrug* I’m working on it, OK? Focus on the styles…

The Work Appropriate Sweater


Opt for a more fitted sweater with a bold sleeve. Ruffled and bell sleeves are really on trend AND add some flare to any look. Elegant, somewhat understated and adds fun to your wardrobe.
The Brunette Blend-Sweater Weather Inspiration for Nearly Every Occasion-Work Sweater
{Find it HERE}

The Casual Weekend Sweater


Add a pop of color for the weekend. I’m really in love with reds and burnt oranges for fall. Also have some fun with your sleeves. A puff or bishop sleeve adds an element of fun. A New Day at Target has a gorgeous sweater thats red with a puff sleeve (snagged it during the sweater sale) I’ll share a link once its up online, because its a beauty.
The Brunette Blend-Sweater Weather- Inspiration for Nearly Every Occasion-Weekend Sweater 3
{Find it HERE}

The ‘Leave Me Alone’ Sweater


Oversized/roomie with a big neck. This sweater is cozy and for your laziest of days (or after those long work days). Retreat into comfort and run away from bras.
The Brunette Blend-The Brunette Blend-Sweater Weather- Inspiration for Nearly Every Occasion -Leave Me Alone Sweater
{Find it HERE}

The ‘Its Too Hot, But I Still Want to Wear a Sweater’ Sweater

If it truly is too warm to wear a sweater, but you still want to, because FALL- go for a cardigan (pull overs WILL seal all the warmth in and you’ll be disappointed). A chunky cardigan will capture the fall essence we all know and love, while the openness will let your breathe. Sweater wearing technique for warm days: let the cardigan slide/hang off your shoulders for a more relaxed, still cute look (but really you’re just getting some much needed air flow).
The Brunette Blend-Sweater Weather- Inspiration for Nearly Every Occasion -Hot Sweater

{Find it HERE}

Key take aways: switch up colors, textures and patterns to avoid a closet full of the same sweater. Don’t forget about those fun sleeves!

Chat soon,
The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

I don’t know about your location, but Chicagoland is extremely temperature confused. Two days its 80+ degrees and the next its 60 and rainy. I desperately want to break out the cozy sweaters, but fear I may internally cook myself. Let’s face it. There is nothing fashionable about knit sweaters and over the knee boots while you’re drenched in sweat.

All of that brings me to TRANSITIONAL OUTFITS. With three items, you can mix and match to create weather appropriate outfits. Think a mix of fall and summer fashion, but less sweaty.

The Brunette Blend-Three Must-Have Pieces to Create Fall Transitional Outfits-Jean Jacket

Three Must-Have Pieces to Create Fall Transitional Outfits


1. Jean + Leather Jackets: You KNOW how much I LOVE my jean jacket. Denim is just as popular in the fall as it was in the summer. This round, though, its a little more functional. Pop it over a sundress with fall tones for a cool, autumnal look. A leather jacket can add an edgier splash of fall.

2. Cropped Sweaters: This is an easy way to pumpkin SPICE up your look. Take one of your favorites dresses and top it off with a cropped sweater. This will make your outfit look like a classic two piece.

3. Booties: We all know fall is the season to break out boots. Short ankle boots can give you that fall factor without over heating your legs.

While some new pieces are nice, new isn’t necessary for a fresh look. What are you rocking this hot and cold season?

Chat soon,
The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

The Brunette Blend-Three Must-Have Pieces to Create Fall Transitional Outfits

We are now entering fall wedding season. For me that meant bye baby pink dress and BYE SHAVING MY LEGS. I wanted something different, yet classic. So I opted for a jumpsuit. To be more specific, a $14.99 jumpsuit. A ruffled, off the shoulder, straight black jumpsuit. It was a blank canvas.

The Brunette Blend-GRWM Wedding-Samantha Boots

For this look, I wanted sleek with subtle pops.

First things first… the smile.

The Brunette Blend-GRWM Wedding-Smile Brillaint

You know I’m pretty psycho when it comes to my teeth. Before hair and makeup for an event, I pop in my custom teeth whitening trays from Smile Brilliant for a little touch up. If you remember an earlier blog post, you know Smile Brilliant helped cut through the coffee stains on my teeth. Today its a perfect tool to amp up the smile wattage while I do my hair and makeup. You can find more of my whitening tips HERE.

Hair

I don’t know about you, but anytime I need my hair to look good, it turns into a frizzed mess. Taking this into consideration, I opted to do straight hair with a little lift. This would bring in the sleek style element as well as look good behind my shoulders so you could see the jumpsuit in its entirety.

The Brunette Blend-GRWM Wedding-Aveda Hair Products

I only used three products on my hair: Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair (heat protectant), Phomollient Styling Foam (hold + volume) and Air Control Hairspray. I’ll do a separate post on these products, until then, our hair stylist made my a convert. LOVE!

I blew dry my hair with a round brush and went over with a straightener. Then finished with a few spitz of hairspray. Done.

Makeup

Here is where the pops come in. Bright red lip and long lashes. I didn’t switch up my makeup routine here. The only difference was add a little more mascara. My only rule I implement: if I wear a bold lip color, I don’t wear eyeliner. Natural and effortless is what I wanted.

The final look with my husband accessory (don’t forget to take out your whitening trays!)…
The Brunette Blend-GRWM Wedding-S and G

This was hands down one of my favorite wedding looks. It was super minimal and easy to execute. Bonus, I felt like it blended in nicely, but still has some uniqueness. Once again, you know I love a classic with a twist. This twist had pants.

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature
This post was sponsored by friends at Smile Brilliant. As always, all opinions and love for products are those of The Brunette Blend.

Thrift stores are great places to find budget-friendly clothing pieces, but can be overwhelming. We’re sharing tips + insights on what to look for before purchasing to make sure you go home with a great item.
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On Instagram I shared a little snap of an amazing button down. As promised, I’m sharing the details of the under $20 outfit:

Tie Trousers: $15 at TJ Maxx
Lands’ End Button Down: $5 found at a thrift store

(this sounds like a credit card commercial…just go with it.)

Whoa, whoa, WhOA! $5 for a killer button down? Yes, you read that right. An amazing thrift find.

The Brunette Blend-Tips for Scoring the Best Pieces at Thrift Stores-Samantha Boots

However, I can’t take credit for the find. Some of you may or may not know The Mighty Jane. The Mighty Jane is my mom and she is truly mighty. She’s a costumer, choreographer, one of the best Jazzercise instructors and the creator of all things delicious. I find myself thinking, “Is there anything she CAN’T do?” She can’t install a printer, but other than that she pretty much owns everything she does.

“If you see something you like… Buy it! If you don’t, there’s a 95% chance it will not be there the next time you come in.”
– The Mighty Jane

One of her hidden talents is the ability to score great items at thrift stores. I’m not kidding, she is like a MAGNET. She was kind enough to share some of her tips with us today! Without further adieu, I present The Mighty Jane’s Guide to Thirfting (Clothing Edition). If you like thrifting furniture, don’t worry. MJ has you covered in a future episode.

The Mighty Jane’s Guide to Thirfting (Clothing Edition)

-When buying clothing look for wear at the neck, at the elbows and at the cuffs.

-Make sure all the buttons are there, that zippers & snaps work, and that there are no holes or stains on the item.

-Many times you will find clothing that has never been worn & has original sale tags on it. You should still check for stains.

-Bring a tape measurer (she stands by this one). Vintage clothing is sized differently than today’s sizes. A chest, waist and hip measurement will help you decide if a piece of clothing is likely to fit if there is no fitting room.

-Reinvent a piece. Don’t be afraid to cut jeans to make shorts. Get creative!

The Brunette Blend-Tips for Scoring the Best Pieces at Thrift Stores-Shoulder View

Want to hear more from The Mighty Jane? Let us know! From style to theater auditions, she has some serious insight. Good luck thrifting + please, please, PUHHHH-LEASE share your finds!

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

I’ve always had this thing for jean jackets. It started when I first found my mom’s denim jacket in the downstairs closet growing up. To say it was 80’s would be an understatement. It was oversized x2, light washed and decked out in sparkly pins. I can still remember this one pin DECKED OUT in rhinestones, the metal was so sharp. It was more of a decorative weapon than anything. Regardless, I thought it was the coolest thing.

The Brunette Blend-Jean Jackets Aren't Going Away - Your Forever Staple Piece-Samantha + JCrew

Why the brief walk down memory lane? To get the point across that jean jackets are forever in style. Sure, their style may fluctuate, but the denim stays. My mom’s was approx. 5 times too big for her and mine growing up was, well, cropped. Flashback to circa 2006: cropped jean jackets paired with a laced cami and maybe some flare jeans or jean skirt. Don’t forget the Uggs! Thankfully any potential, future children won’t come across a tiny, baby sized jean jacket in the closet. I tossed it out with my Kelly Clarkson chunky highlights years ago (#MissIndependant).

Trends are pretty much recycled, so we can safely call jeans jackets a staple.

Now that I’m older, wiser and own a full size jean jacket (adult status), I realize trends are pretty much recycled and I can safely call a jean jacket a staple. Its a staple that will be following me from season to season. I’m serious. I’ll sweat in it in the sumer. Fashion before function, baby. JK. ITS ALL FUNCTION.

Jean jackets are SO versatile. Pair it with dresses, shorts, rompers, jeans, leggings, etc. It effortlessly ties any look together. I’m all about an in between wash– not too dark and not too light to go with more items in your closet.

I’ve rounded up 5 FABULOUS jean jackets below that dip into a variety of (reasonable) price points:

Old Navy ($37) –

Shop HERE

The Brunette Blend-Jean Jackets Aren't Going Away - Your Forever Staple Piece-Old Navy

J.Crew ($138- or hit up an outlet) –

Shop HERE

Loft ($69.99) –

Shop HERE

The Brunette Blend-Jean Jackets Aren't Going Away - Your Forever Staple Piece-Loft

Blue AGE ($27.99) –

Shop HERE

The Brunette Blend-Jean Jackets Aren't Going Away - Your Forever Staple Piece-Blue AGE

KUT from the Kloth ($74.50) –

Shop HERE

The Brunette Blend-Jean Jackets Aren't Going Away - Your Forever Staple Piece-KUT from Kloth

Tell me. Is there some denim in your closet?

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

Red lipstick is currently my jam, MY JAM, I tell ya! I’m in LOVE. I love how bold it is, the pop it brings to a natural look and how it can transition from day to night. Its like the bow on your beautifully wrapped package.

I’ve rounded up my top 5 favorites for the summer. Number one has been on SERIOUS repeat.

The Brunette Blend-This Summer's 5 Best Red Lipsticks-Red Lip Classic

Wearing ‘Love That Red’ by Revlon

The Brunette Blend-This Summer's 5 Best Red Lipsticks-Red Lipstick Lineup
{Source is PatsyFox.com}

Top 5 Favorite Red Lipsticks

Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in Love That Red

NYX’s Matte Lipstick in Eden

Sonia Kashuk’s Moisture Luxe Tinted Lip Balm in a Tint of Red

Neutragena’s Moisture Smooth Lipstick in Classic Red

Covergirl’s Colorlicious Lipstick in Hot

The Brunette Blend-This Summer's 5 Best Red Lipsticks-Jean Jackets + Red Lips

Since red lipsticks can be so bold and rich, a few tips are needed:
1. Always remember to line your lips to prevent the lipstick from bleeding and to define lips. My favorite is the Sonia Kashuk Lip Definer in True Red. I use it with all the red lipsticks I own.

2. Fill your lips in with the liner before applying your lipstick. Lipstick tends to run off throughout the day and in between eating and drinking. The liner will hold the color and make sure you’re not walking around with patchy colored lips.

3. Be sure to blot your lips to prevent smearing or lipstick on your teeth (yikes!) Plus, I think it looks a lot better.

4. FINALLY. If you ever find yourself with red stained lips from your lipstick, turn to your trusty…TOOTHPASTE. Toothpaste is a great weapon for removing stubborn stains. With some warm water and a washcloth, you can have fresh + clean lips.

What shade are you rocking this summer?

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

I’ve got a little something for you today (keep reading). When it comes to clothing lately, I’ve been purchasing a lot of pieces from boutiques + small businesses. The biggest draw is the uniqueness of the pieces you’ll find. The bonus is that you’re supporting go-getters like yourself.

The Brunette Blend- Boho Chic Style with Blooms & Linen- checkered tie shirt

wearing the checkered twist button tank

Its no secret I have the BIGGEST crush on Blooms & Linen, an amazing boutique in Zionsville, Indiana that has an ONLINE STORE— so everyone gets to enjoy! I’ll be the first to tell you, I NEVER leave empty handed. Their pieces are classic, trendy, fun and truly have a style. The owners choose items they love to wear and they are FASHIONABLE (I want their closets and their sense of style). Plus, I think they’re both really cool.

Blooms & Linen and I want to give you a little reason to go shopping today. A 30% off store-wide code.

Get WHATEVER you WANT for 30% off with code “samantha30”.

To give you a little inspiration, here are a few pieces I have and/or currently eyeing:

Embroidered Pin Ruffled Dress

The Brunette Blend- Boho Chic Style with Blooms & Linen- ruffled dress

Dusty Floral Keyhole Pom Blouse

The Brunette Blend- Boho Chic Style with Blooms & Linen- dusty floral top

Blush Eyelet Spring Dress

The Brunette Blend- Boho Chic Style with Blooms & Linen- pink eyelet dress

Mosaic Open Should Slit Maxi

The Brunette Blend- Boho Chic Style with Blooms & Linen- OTS maxi

See one you like? GO GET IT WITH THE CODE 🙂

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

Knits are my thing. Fall and winter are my favorite fashion seasons, because it means chunky sweaters. Spring and summer fashion just brought a whole new game and its SLEEVELESS.

The Brunette Blend-Knits Are Back For Warmer Months-Samantha

Could the sleeveless knit be replacing the denim button down? …maybe

We found this one at Loft and trust me, I’m living in it. The style is classic and extremely versatile. There is nothing better than something that can easily transition from day to night, from 9-5 to happy hour.

This is definitely a piece you’ll want to add to your wardrobe (looking at you, fresh grads!) If there is one thing I’ve learned about freshening up wardrobes postgrad, it’s go for the traditional pieces that have a fun twist and can be worn in variations. Can it be paired with jeans, dress pants, maybe even a skirt? Ding, ding! There’s a winner. 

This piece is coming in HOT, so linked below are similar styles for all budgets.

Chat soon,

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature