September 30, 2014

Grey Days

Top: Marshalls | Skirt: Banana Republic | Shoes: Target | Clutch: Thrifted

The grey, rainy days lately have made it difficult to take photos; and when the skies have been clear, it's been HOT and humid. Both scenarios result in horrible lighting... and horrible hair. I'm sure you're thinking there is just no pleasing me, but that's not true. Perfect 70 degree whether with partly cloudy skies would do the trick!

Speaking of grey, I'm sold on grey being the "it" neutral this fall. It's such a welcomed change from the predictable brown because, like black or white, it goes with everything. Easy, transitional options are great for me since it's evident that I rarely deviate from my three go-to outfit combinations:

Skirt + Top
Dress + Blazer
Skirt + Top + Blazer
(You won't get much more out of me than that – I'm not a huge fan of layering.)

My style is just that simple, and I love it.

September 25, 2014

Let's Discuss // So you dress cute, what else?

I saw this question floating around on social media a few weeks ago, and I thought it was worth more than a like or comment. It made me take a step back to consider the authenticity of some of the people I follow on social media as well as my own posts on this blog and elsewhere. Before I go further into this topic for discussion, I want to broaden the focus a bit and pose the question with a fill-in-the-blank: 

"So you _______, but what else?"
"So you thrift, but what else?"
"So you like make-up, but what else?"
"So you have natural hair, but what else?"
"So you sing, but what else?"
and so on...

I participated in a blogging webinar a few months ago that provided so many helpful tips, but there was one thought that I did not agree with. The presenter was talking about how to develop a strong following on Instagram and basically said to stick to the topic you blog about on social media as well because that's what your readers follow you for; and while your followers might tolerate the occasional food post if you're a style blogger, they don't want to see photos of your kids. My first thought was, "That's funny... It seems like the only photos my followers want to see from me are photos of my kid!" (Seriously – check my Instagram. My son runs the show with 80+ likes minimum on a bad day while 80+ is the max for photos of me. And I don't mind it one bit!) While I understand and agree that it's important to promote a main focus if you're a blogger or have a consistent message to convey / image to maintain, I personally prefer content from people who show that they lead balanced, positive lives and have real life goals and inspirations outside of what we, the content consumers, know are a "given" from you.

Do you work? Do you travel? Do you spend time with family and friends? Do you have fun? Do you read? Do you pay attention to the news? Do you strive to make yourself and others better? Do you serve God? Do you have goals? Do you have values? Do you get inspired? Do you inspire?

Outside of fashion, food, hair, music, preaching or whatever it is you post about constantly, do those who follow you get a balanced sense of who you are?

If you've noticed, the public is even requiring celebrities to be more genuine and transparent online and on social media. Celebrity brands are becoming more about who the celebrities are as real people instead of what they can offer in terms of their talent. The new trend is for websites of well-known actors and singers to take on the form of blogs rather than the traditional, non-fluid website. Two quick examples of celebrities whose content I enjoy are Tracee Ellis Ross and Tamara Mowry.

My Garments of Praise is primarily a personal style blog, but I had to work on making it clear to my readers that it is much more than that. My "garments of praise" are more than what I wear. I have a family, a career, interests beyond fashion, and most importantly a love for God. Although I'm naturally a very private person which is one of the traits I admire about myself, I value balance and sincerity, and what better way to show that than through the content I share. So, if you're here for the personal style posts, thank you. I also invite you to bear with me when I write about lifestyle, prompt discussions, and frequently post photos of my son on Instagram. Those things aren't going to change.

Is it just me, or do you also like to share and consume balanced content online and on social media? What are some of your passions and interests beyond what you've become known for on certain platforms? Feel free to share in the comments section below, send me an email, or join the discussion on Twitter or Instagram.

September 23, 2014


Top: Forever 21 (similar) | Skirt: H&M | Shoes: Zara (try these) | Bag: Steps (local boutique)

Black. It's the most magical color for clothing there is. Wearing it lately has made me feel the most confident I've felt in a long time, if I'm being honest. It's the black and all of it's magical goodness.

Can I be transparent? I don't have nearly as many "Oh, heyyy, girl, hey! You're cute!" moments as I used to. I've gained so much as a mom over the past nine months, but unfortunately I've lacked a bit when it comes to feeling comfortable in my body. Just when I find a few good pieces in my wardrobe that make me feel pretty, thoughts of self-dissatisfaction creep in to try to take that feeling away. But I'm working on it. Half of the battle is in my mind, I'm sure.

In the meantime, my go-to blacks and neutrals are helping me out. Plus I've ordered a few new pieces in silhouettes that have been flattering on me lately, and I can't wait to style them! 
Stay tuned.

Romans 12:1-3

September 19, 2014

Things Hoped For

Dress: H&M | Blazer: Thrifted, JLo | Shoes: BCBG via Ross | Clutch: Thrifted, BCBG

Inspired by this year's trend of pairing greys with bright colors for transitioning into fall, I decided recently to wear my bright orange blazer with my easy heather grey dress from H&M. I still find it funny that while it's the mid-to-high-80s outside here, and folks up north are starting to pull out their light-weight coats and scarves, I have the nerve to talk about "transitioning into fall." But, hey, you can still love the idea of seasons even if your state doesn't, right? Sure, why not. There's nothing wrong with having faith that cooler weather will come.

September 17, 2014

Pinspiration // Greys + Brights for Fall

Fall is officially days away, and I'm so happy that the trends for the season are less predictable this year. Grey is the new black for the autumn months ahead, and while darker hues will be sure to make their appearance, brights are going to stick around as well – including bright whites long after Labor Day. Chunky knits, color-blocking, pleats and suede are scheduled to hit the scene on queue, but it will be refreshing to see them in more cheerful shades.

Pictured above are a few of my fall craves:

Get updates on my favorite Fall 2014 trends on Pinterest by following my new board, "Falling for Fall."

September 16, 2014

Last Days of Summer

Tee: Forever 21 (try this) | Skirt: ASOS | Shoes: Zara (similar) | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff via Marshalls (try this)

I'd like to report that I've been out enjoying the last days of summer... but I can't. Instead, I've been busy moving! I can still report good news though. We are finally settled in, although the unpacking process has been laborious. Hopefully, I'll be able to share photos of the new place soon. In the meantime, back to regularly scheduled posts...