I am so excited about today’s blog post because I got to collab with MIKAELA PABON—my fellow fashion sister in mixed prints and Vetu de Joy boutique owner. I first met Mikaela in person (after stalking her on IG) when we were both panelists at a cute J. Crew event that our mutual friend Gabrielle Corney hosted. The married mom with the most ADORABLE kids (who I got to meet in person at this shoot—they are just EVERYTHING) gives major style inspo and tips on her blog, so go check her out.
I’ve been trying to have more conversations with some of my style posts (you know, more than just saying a paragraph or two and linking to my outfit details), so I knew I wanted to talk about style after 35, how to be more daring with fashion (this is for you scaredy cats…lol) and of course a quick refresh on how to mix prints.
How to Mix Prints
There is a science behind mixing prints that is rooted in color theory as well as balance and scale. You can check out the video below for a visual explanation and also check out the linked blog post to reinforce.
Blog post: How to Mix Prints Like a Pro
What’s the craziest style advice you’ve heard regarding dressing when you’re 35+?
MIKAELA: Oh man, I’ve all kinds of crazy “rules.” I generally let them go in one ear and out of the other but I once heard that women over 35 (40+ in my case) shouldn’t wear bodycon dresses or short shorts? Of course I’m not talking booty shorts, but best believe I’ll be pushing my baby around in a stroller while wearing my shorts this summer!
DANIELLE: The world must really hate over 35 legs, because growing up I would read magazines that would tell women in this age group that we shouldn’t wear miniskirts. Oh, ya’ll are gonna get these legs and whatever I feel like showing. I might even give you BOOBS and LEGS in the same look.
What are your favorite places to shop?
MIKAELA: I love the usuals – Zara, H&M, ASOS – but you can also find gems at places like Forever21 and Old Navy. It’s just a matter of being selective and knowing what fits your style and body type. Instagram is also a great place to discover new brands, small shops and international stores!
DANIELLE: OK, after reading this I feel like Mikaela and I need to go shopping together. I loooove those places, too. ASOS is probably my favorite retailer of all time, but I also don’t count out any other store. I shop almost anywhere—I don’t like to miss out on gems so I will look and shop everywhere. I’ve found some really dope pieces at thrift stores and on eBay.
What’s your go-to outfit?
MIKAELA: Although I love dresses, I don’t wear them to work very often because it’s so cold at the office. So my summertime go to is usually a pair of printed pants/slacks and a blouse (usually also printed!). These are easy looks for me to feel good and feel comfortable all day.
DANIELLE: I’m definitely a dress and cute heels kind of girl—when I’m doing something more casual, I’ll do a more casual type of dress and easy to walk in shoes/sneakers. I work from home so I’m mostly in “house clothes” and if I’m just going to run errands around my neighborhood, I’ll be super casual in jeans, shorts, etc.
How do you manage to maintain such a cool style aesthetic with two little kids?
MIKAELA: I honestly can’t imagine it any other way! Style is such an important part of my life, so I always make the extra effort. Most times I plan what I’m wearing (if only in my head) the night before so I’m not scrambling in the morning. I also make sure I only have pieces in my closet that I LOVE, that look good on me and that I feel great in. When you have those not-so-great items in your closet, you’re more inclined to put them on in a pinch, so if it’s no longer serving me, I let it go. It’s the easiest way to ensure that you always look great!
A word of advice for a fashion scaredy cat?
MIKAELA: I have 2 pieces of advice:
1- Start with shoes. You can spruce up any blah outfit with a pair of fly shoes. If you’re not feeling very adventurous in the clothing department, try a pair of floral pumps. Or red sandals. Or leopard heels! Your white tee and jeans will turn instantly chic with a bold shoe.
2- Try it once. Because really, what’s the worst that can happen? You have one day that maybe your outfit isn’t the best. I promise, no one will remember if you have a fashion fail–just don’t post it to Instagram!
DANIELLE: Life is too short to not wear the clothes. This is actually a mantra that should be taken in all aspects of life. I echo Mikaela’s tips. Start with accessories—even if you have just the basics, accessories can take your look to the next level. It’s all about the styling: try adding a belt, some really cool statement earrings, etc (not all in the same outfit—balance it out…lol). Watch my Youtube channel and make sure you’re subscribed to this blog for styling tips.
I also strongly suggest starting a Pinterest account. Save photos that speak to your personal style (or what you would like your personal style to be) and refer to them when making shopping and outfit decisions. I would say to also find fashion influencers (whether on Instagram or Youtube) who have a similar body type to yours and similar style. Having that sort of mirror reflecting your image does a lot not only to help fortify your self-esteem and self-image, but also helps you snag cool new pieces. I do a lot of shopping and influence myself, but I am also thankful for the other stylish ladies on the internet who show me even more.
Dress: Zara (last year)
Vest: Vetu de Joy