Monday, May 5, 2014

Birthdays and Dresses.

Ever since I can remember, as a little girl, my parents (or other members of the family like my grand-parents or my great-grandpa who lived in Manhattan) would always buy me a New Dress to wear on my Birthday. Usually accompanied by New Shoes and Hair Bows. During the first few years of my life, while my great-grandpa was alive, he would buy me new dresses from stores like Bloomingdales or Hudson's in New York and mail them to us in Albania. As a matter of fact at 3.5 years old, when I had to go to the hospital to get my tonsils out, I was bribed with a new dress and shoes. I loved those White Mary Janes so much, they kept them on me while I was laying on the hospital's bed - I still remember it vividly. From then, I have always worn a New Dress for my Birthday each year. After high school I have purchased my own dresses. A new dress in general always makes me happy, just as much as a cute pair of shoes. I guess you can say the shopaholic in me started young because of this family tradition. To this day, the thing I like to shop most for would be Dresses and Shoes. I own over a hundred of each. Before Vivian turned 1 year old, we would do a little Birthday celebration for her each month, followed by a little in-home photo-shoot. Every month I put her on a new dress and hair accessory, usually a new headband. This is definitely a tradition I am passing on to Vivian each year as she celebrates her Birthday.

Speaking of Birthdays, mine was yesterday. I had a very simple laid-back celebration - exactly what I wanted - with my husband and my daughter. We ended up going to the Mall close by us (it's a 7 minute walk, in case you are wondering) but not for shopping  (more on that on a future post). I was most definitely over-dressed for the day we spent and especially for the fact that it was cold and rainy (yet again). But I didn't care - it was my Birthday and I wanted to feel special. So, out came this Elie Tahari Dress from my February Purchases. (And it was an excellent buy at 30 bucks, since the Boutique I purchased it from was closing.) I love how it fits me and it is in one of my most Favorite Prints - Houndstooth. I decided to be Bold and pattern-mix with a Window-pane Clutch from The Limited (that I have had for several years) and these Gorgeous Python Nine West Pumps (that I also had for a few years but never worn before, though I love them - they were so comfy btw). I love how the slight asymmetry in the pattern and ruching of the Dress matches the slightly-asymmetric Clutch. Black and White is my ultimate Favorite Color Combination (though there were variations of Off-white and Gray in the Outfit, but it has a total B+W overall appeal). I mixed+matched my Silver & Black Jewelry, painted a Bright Lip and even managed a few curls. At the end of the day I felt Modern yet a little Retro Mod, Confident, Sexy and Feminine. What do you think?
Right Hand Jewelry:
White "Mushroom", Painted Cocktail Ring w/ Rhinestones: A Jewelry Boutique for $1.00.
Silver Ring w/ Square Blue Stone in the middle surrounded by 3 tiny Silver Stones on each side: Kohl's.
Left Hand Jewelry:
Black, Navy & Smoke, Crystal, Stretchy Bracelets w/ Large Stones: White House Black Market.
Silver, Pave Ring w/ tiny Silver Stones & big Square Ruby in the middle: A Local Boutique.
Real Gold Wedding Band and Real Gold+Diamond Engagement Ring: From My Husband.
 Black+White, Soft Ponte, 3/4-Sleeve, Bodycon, Ruched, Houndstooth Dress: Elie Tahari (New).
Very Long Silver Necklace w/ Circle Crystal Studs: White House Black Market.
Charcoal/Smoke Crystal, Star-fish Stud Earrings: Swarovski (New; Birthday Gift from My Brother).
Black+White, Geometric-Print, Silky Clutch w/ Black Patent Leather Trim: The Limited.
Gray/Watercolor, Faux Python, Almond-Toe Pumps w/ Acrylic Cone Heels: Nine West.

Last year for my Birthday, I decided to Host a Birthday Blog Party. Anyone and everyone who read and followed my blog could join me. All they had to do was submit a Birthday Outfit. So I posted all of their Outfits and it ended up being such a fun post with so many bloggers participating and having fun showing off their Birthday Looks (as if they were to attend my REAL Birthday Party). This year I wanted to do something similar. I hand-picked 5 of my Most Favorite Bloggers whom I didn't know this time last year. These ladies have their own very different, distinct styles and different jobs or lifestyles. But, despite their styles being different, I always love seeing what they wear. That is the beautiful thing about Fashion Blogging, you don't have to like one type of style. 

I only had one request for these Fab Five (I just nicknamed them that =D), that they Style a Dress for My Birthday. I also asked them to say something about their Outfit. I am not playing favorites so I put everyone in alphabetical order. Everyone looked Fabulous and Beautiful, by the way. They styled Beautiful Dresses for "My Birthday Blog Party" while staying true to their styles and themselves. I want to Thank them so much for being part of this Very Special Collaboration Post today. It is my please having these 5 Guests on my blog. OK, so here is who they are and what they wore:

ASHLEY of Le Stylo Rouge.
"Nothing like a classic black and white party dress with a short hemline and cute bow print to get the birthday celebrations going! Paired with patent Mary Jane stilettos and simple jewelry to let the dress do the talking. A final touch? A neon lip to celebrate spring!"
Dress: H&M.
Shoes: Colin Stuart for Victoria’s Secret.
Necklace: BaubleBar.
Bracelets: Nordstrom.
Lip Color: Laura Gellar Love Me Dew Moisturizing Crayon in Lychee Glaze.

"This dress is a little fancy. After all, I wore it to a high school graduation. However, sometimes we do not-so-fancy things for our birthdays, but we still want to feel special. That's why I added the chambray and a fun pop o' red with the flats. I think you could wear this look for a fun birthday spent at a wine or art festival, which is actually where I'll be wearing it! Wear this dress casually during the day and for a night look? Ditch the hat and chambray and add some fun heels. Maybe in cobalt?"
Dress: Casual Corner Annex.
Chambray: Old Navy.
Flats: Sole Society.
Hat: It has no tag, but I'm pretty sure it's from Target a year or two ago.

"This dress is such a great party dress, with it's fun high neckline with side bow and ruffles, the detailed pockets, and the light, flowy layers.  I grabbed a sleek animal print belt to add a pop of bold, along with a Springtime-colored handbag, and a black stone ring.  I finished off this outfit with a pair of black heels with gold buckles on the toes, and pearl stud earrings for a classic touch.  And of course I had to send a birthday message to the Birthday Girl!  Happy Birthday Ada! "
Dress: Forever 21.
Belt: Izod.
Purse: Dooney & Bourke.
Heels: Isaac Mizrahi for Target.
Ring: Thrifted.

"The thing I love about a fabulous dress is that it will do the work for you, accessories can be minimal but you still have a fantastic look.  This is an older dress of mine but it is one of my favorites for special occasions."
Dress: Maggie London.
Heels: Nine West.
Sunglasses: Tory Burch.
Bracelet: Kate Spade.

LAURA of I Do deClaire.
"This is one of my favorite casual dresses I got years ago for my birthday from my husband. I pull it out every spring and summer. I love it with a denim jacket or by itself as the weather warms up. The color reminds me of all the flowers finally popping up (and I see from the pics, apparently it matches grass pretty well, too). It's a perfect length for work and it's so comfortable! It even worked well when I was pregnant because of the empire waist line. You can never go wrong with a jersey dress!"
Dress: Forever 21.
 Shoes: Target. 
Necklace: NY&Co.
(A Special shot-out to Laura since on Saturday she celebrated 1 year of blogging. So, to kick off her Blogiversary Celebration, she is having giveaways all week long. How cool!)

I wanted to end Today's Long Post with this Quote because it fits this post and me personally, very very well. It couldn't have been said any better by the Awesome Designer Kate Spade. =)
And if you made it this far, Thanks so much for reading. Birthdays always make me extra reflective, so once again Thank You to all of you who read, follow and support this blog. If you like what you see make sure you follow via Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin. And there are more Special Posts this week and throughout this month. Stay tuned for more. =)

P.S. Linking up with Jenni, Patti, Leeann, Elena, Molly, Kristin, Gina, Jen, Claire and Laura.

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