October 2016 | Mermaid Waves | Chicago Fashion Destination

October 30, 2016

How to Transition Your Favorite Florals for Fall

Happy Sunday Mer-Babes!  I totally fell off the whole Halloween train this year, I'm kind of sad about it but also kind of not.  Instead of a costume post that you can only wear once a year I am bringing you something way more useful.  I feel like we are so quick to separate pieces of our wardrobe into seasons that we miss out on amazing styling opportunities.  This floral dress is one of those pieces that can easily be boxed up into one category, its spaghetti straps and floral print can make it seem like summer wear, but the velvet and navy aspects of this dress can help it work far into the colder months.  

I got this dress (shop similar here and here) my sophomore year of high-school, I wish I could say that was a really long time ago but it wasn't, it was 2013.  The whole 90s obsession hadn't begun at this point, but as the trend-spotter I am, sixteen year old me knew that this dress had major potential.  The other day I was rummaging through my closet and I was so excited to find this dress, it is seriously on trend right now.  Previously, I had worn this dress on its own or with a sweater over it as that was quite hot in 2014 (see the post if you dare, but please don't laugh).  This time around I gave it a 2016 update, by layering it over a simple Madewell long sleeve tee (shop here) and a pair of over the knee boots (shop similar for only $60).   OTK boots and a slip dress is a killer combination I didn't see coming, this slit is so extra, the OTK boot tones down the leg exposure while still showing off a little thigh.  I love throwing in a piece that is a little unexpected, so I grabbed this Clare V. clutch (shop here), the light leather draws major contrast to the navy dress.  I doubled up on delicate chokers wearing a velvet (shop here) and a rhinestoned (shop here) one, of course no look is complete without oversized hoops (shop here).  

I decided to change up my beauty look a bit, I traded my go-to wings for some falsies by Kiss (shop here).  I love the extra pop that false lashes give! Even though I have massive lashes theres nothing like a pair of falsies.  For my lips I am loving this matte lipstick by Ulta (shop here), it is super hydrating and had tons of pigment, I am wearing Mulberry.  For my hair, I decided the embrace the third day grease and added Triple Sec by Dry Bar (shop here) and a little styling gel.  This gave me a hint of the "wet hair" look without going overboard.  


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October 28, 2016

Crushing on Chokers: The It Girl Accessory of 2016

Ok so this is no surprise, but chokers are like really hot right now.  If you are like me you have basically adopted a choker as part of your neck.  If you have yet to jump on the bandwagon, I totally get you.  I hate doing things other people do, I have never read a Harry Potter book or seen any of the  movies solely based on the fact that everyone else was doing it.  But chokers are different, they aren't some strange wizard boy, they are life-changing.  Its like slipping on a layer of confidence before leaving the house, I can't tell you why but I can tell you its addicting.  With my choker on (add hoop earrings for an extra MerWaves look) I feel like the ultimate cool girl. 

I have rounded up some cool girls wearing chokers, yes I included myself, to give you some styling inspiration.  From feminine and dainty to bad and bold, the possibilities are endless.  In my opinion the only time you can't wear a choker is with a turtleneck, I have tried three times now and I just can't make it work, but I'll keep trying.  Head to the bottom of this post to shop my top choker picks, most are under $20! 

PS: Have you checked out the Boutique page? You can shop all my favorite finds from every inch of the internet, all under $100.  Find my favorite face mask, party dresses, and gifts for your favorite gals. 
This chunky choker is the perfect way to contrast the delicate mesh and lace layers. 

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October 27, 2016

How to Style a Killer Look When You "Have Nothing to Wear"

Hey Mer-babes!  I have been putting lots of energy into some exciting projects outside of Mermaid Waves (read more about what I have been up to) and was beginning to run low on outfit inspiration.  Yes, even I have those days look blankly at my closet and see nothing.  I decided to start with a single piece and build from there,  I chose this babely (my new favorite word btw) mesh jacket by Happiness.  Then I took to Pinterest (follow me!),  I started going through my Street Style board and found a pin that styled a track jacket with a pleated skirt, the inspiration started to flow again!  I still couldn't figure out the middle piece, I had the jacket and the pleated skirt but I needed a third piece to bring it together.  I simply looked up "mesh jacket" on Pinterest and found a super cute photo of a girl wearing a similar jacket to mine layered over a polka-dot button up, I loved the look of the mesh over the dot print so I decided to take it on for myself.  The final look came out totally different than the original pins, no outfitter stealers here, but sometimes a little inspiration is all you need to create a totally new look!

This look is a little different than my usual, I don't usually rock skirts above the knee or polka-dots, and both in one look is basically unheard of!  This Who What Wear dotted top (shop here) is a great piece for layering, imagine the dot collar peeking out under a sweater, way too cute.  Since my legs felt a little bare in this faux-leather pleated skirt (shop here) I added a pair of sheer black tights.  I am super into tights lately, they are part old-lady and part chic which is super on brand for me.  To make my look feel a little more "me" I added my favorite black boots (shop similar), and of course my signature hoops and choker.   Also, check the "Hello Haters" sleeve detailing, I'm obsessed. 
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October 26, 2016

Macy's Men's Style Event

Grab your favorite guy and get ready to check out the latest trends in men's fashion with Macy's.  Macy's is holding their semi-annual Men's Style Event, November 3rd at their State St Location in Chicago at 5:30 PM.  I attended this amazing shopping event last season and I can not wait to go back again!  I left Macy's feeling totally pampered, with a full belly, and fuller shopping bags. There is food, music, and opportunities to win lots of goodies, it will definitely be the hottest spot on State St.  Admission is free and you receive 25% off your purchase of $75 or more!

Events will be held all over the country so be sure to check your local stores to head to an event near you.  For more information and how to RSVP, visit  http://bit.ly/MensStyle16 .

In honor of this Men's Fashion event, I have rounded up some of hottest trends in Men's fashion for this season and picked out pieces from Macy's.


Puffy Coats

Shop: Michael Kors, $119
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October 25, 2016

4 Life Lessons Ballet Has Taught Me

I have been doing ballet since I could walk; and it has been quite the journey, filled with lots of tutus and even more tears.  Ballet teaches you so many valuable lessons that aren't often taught outside the studio.  I will always carry with me the lessons I have learned in the ballet studio, and wanted to share a few of the ones I find most valuable.

1. Fake it Till You Make it.

Whether you hate the costume you are wearing, you're having the worst day of your life, or (usually me) you have no idea what the next step is; you must never show it.  Plaster on your most pleasant face, roll your shoulders back, and enter the stage with an air of calm and confidence.

This is particularly helpful on those days when the heel of your shoe breaks off and you still have three errands to run, (that is a true story btw).  Although the platform of my shoes was literally hanging on by a thread I kept my head up; I am pretty convinced that few people even noticed my shoe, or they assumed it was a chic new trend, because I totally pulled it off.  A little bit of fake
confidence ends up turning into a lot of real confidence, and we all know that confidence is the best accessory.



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October 23, 2016

The Piece You Need This Holiday Season: Track Pants Chic Older Sister

Hey mermaids!  I am so excited to share this look with you.  The weather has finally cooled down to faux-fur coat temperatures, which for me is anything under 65 degrees, and I can finally start dressing for my favorite time of year.  The holiday season is fast-approaching and your agenda is about to be packed with all kinds of holiday festivities.  We have all been there, it is an hour before an event and you are just staring blindly at your closet.  This outfit is perfect for all those moments, it can be dressed up super chic or dressed down for a ladies brunch.  An all black outfit is great to have on standby because it can work with almost any dress-code.  If you regularly follow Mermaid Waves you know I am all about the track pants #trackisback, my latest find (shop here and similar) are a total upgrade, think track pants chic older sister.  The side-strip with the wide-leg silhouette is so hot this season it hurts.  Side note: Is anyone else ready to get ride of every tight fitting pant they own, because since I have gone wide-leg I never want to go back.  Who even designed skinny jeans in the first place, literal thigh prison.  Anyways, the double stripe down on this pair is super elongating and gives you major #legsfordays.  As soon as the summer sun goes away the turtlenecks come to play, this Gap turtleneck (shop here) gets so much wear its not even funny.  It is the perfect balance between fitted and loose, it is fitted enough to tuck into a pair of pants like I did here, but will also hide all those cookies you just ate at the Christmas party.  

To bring this look to life I swapped out my usual hoops for fringe earrings (shop similar), I love statement earrings especially when my hair is back in a bun.  Since I was just heading out for a casual dinner, I paired this look with chelsea boots (shop similar for under $40!), but you could swap out chelsea boots for a sassy stiletto in a bold color to dress up the look.  My favorite accessory is my new Woodzee sunnies,  I am sunglass obsessed and am always looking for the next best pair that aren't hundreds and hundreds of dollars.  I have sat on way too many pairs of sunglasses to drop that much money of a single pair, sorry Dior.  This pair is the Kourtney style by Woodzee, I picked them mostly because I wanted to feel like Kourtney Kardashian., but also because I love a good cat eye.  Cat eye sunglasses are perfect for giving you a super chiseled jaw-line while playing up your cheekbones!
Walking in wide-leg pants with an all black outfit.
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October 21, 2016

Life Update: Un-Gap Year

Hey babes! I get a lot of questions about what the heck I am doing with my life since I have graduated high school.  As you have probably figured out I decided not to go to college and to pursue the things I love, dance and fashion.  A lot of people seem to assume I am taking a gap year and I just could not allow you guys to think I am taking a "gap" year.

I can't think of anything I love more than being busy, give me a million things on my agenda and I will be the most content person on the planet.  Honestly while I was lying in bed last night I was thinking "I wish there were more hours in the day so I could have five more hours of work time".  The reason I don't like the term gap year is one, I have no intent of going to college next year.  For me, college is a place and time for young people to figure out their passions, and learn more about themselves.  I already really like myself, and I have a strong idea of what it is I want for my life, I have since I was 13.  By using these next four years to build my resume and explore the amazing opportunities I wouldn't be able to explore in a classroom, this seemed to be a more beneficial use of my time; and honestly try to picture me living in a dorm with a thousand 18 year-olds, you can't.

The second reason I am not taking a gap year, in the short three months that I have begun my latest adventure, I have been busier and felt more fulfilled than ever before in my life.  There is no "gap" here, not on my agenda or in my heart.  I am currently an apprentice with Elements contemporary ballet in Chicago, a social media manager, and a creative assistant for Dancers Awareness Project, on top of that I have taken a part time sales job at a major department store for the holidays, filmed a music video, and performed at a gallery opening.  Obviously I will still continue to grow my Mermaid Waves empire one trend at a time,  along with building my lifestyle empire with Lifestyle by MW (because one blog isn't time consuming enough).  Mermaid Waves is such an important part of my life and one day I hope that it will grow to be an important part of many, many people's lives.

That is just a little update on me! Feel free to ask me questions about anything, I am an open book.  I am definitely not an expert on life plans but I do know that I am happier now than ever before and I would love to help my readers to find their bliss as well.

Reaching for the stars in a white eleve leotard
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October 18, 2016

Seasonally Confused

This little heat wave action needs to end.  How is a girl supposed to wear her collection of blanket scarves when it is 80 degrees!?  Even though the temperatures have briefly rose, you don't have to give up layering.  I took style advice from myself and used the underwear as outwear trend to inspire this look.  Although this top (similar here and here) isn't quite underwear, I layered it on top of a classic fitted oxford (shop here).  Check out my perfect J. Crew/Jenna Lyons cuff, learn how to get the look here.  This look incorporates a little bit of summer and a little bit of fall, a perfect match for this seasonal confused weather.  I definitely thought my shorts had retired for the year but I am loving this Bermuda short (shop similar) and boot combination.  The over-the-knee boot (shop here) hits the perfect spot giving you the same long leg effect without pants, and we all know that no pants are the best pants.  Today's accessories are brought to you by Love Emme.  Remember when you shop at Love Emme to use code "dani" at checkout for free shipping!
Posing in a layered look wearing over the knee boots
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October 17, 2016

Don't Be Such a Witch.

This weekend I looked in the mirror and feared that someone was going to think I was wearing a witch costume to brunch.  I am not sure if it is my resting witch face, my family's weird obsession with witches, or the fact that my outfit could totally double as a chic witch costume, but this is not the first time this has happened.  The mixing of killer cat-eye sunglasses, a black handkerchief dress (shop similar) and black accessories, come together for the perfect October outfit potion.  (Get it? Its a witch joke.)  Under my dress I wore Maidenform thigh highs (shop here), I have never worn thigh-highs before and I was quite skeptical.  How were these super thin stockings supposed to stay put on my non-thighs? I still can't answer that question but they did not slip an inch the entire day.  I love this moto jacket (shop similar), I changed my outfit three times yesterday and wore it each time; it is so versatile and looks great with a pair of jeans.  These Steve Madden boots are no longer avalable but I found a way cooler pair that is on pre-order right now (shop here), someone please buy these.  

I have been pairing all my looks lately with my new Missco Girl cross body (shop here), mini bags are incredibly hot right now and I love the fun studded look of this bag.  Use code MERMAIDWAVES10 at checkout for 10% off!
I am wearing an all black fall outfit with a leather jacket and mini cross body bag.
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October 16, 2016

Personal Shopper: Boots

Everyone knows the best part of fall is boots.  When the temperature drops two degrees, boots immediately flood the street.  I have rounded up some of the best boots this season, all under $200.  These boots are definitely not made for walking, but thats what Uber is for.  Links to shop are below each photo!


Nordstrom

Shop: Steve Madden, $89
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October 13, 2016

Isabella Rose Taylor X Mermaid Waves: The Turtleneck

I am back with part two of of my collaboration with Isabella Rose Taylor, see part one for more information on the cool chick behind the brand.  This turtleneck (shop here) is my new favorite piece,  I love how it plays off the athleisure trend with the sporty stripe, but has an edgier vibe than your average atheleisure piece.  The subtle eye logo almost blends right in but gives you the perfect over-the-shoulder, Instagram-pose bait.  With this turtleneck I paired faux leather culottes (shop here) and a black leather boot (shop here).  An all black look is a super simple way to dress up any piece in your wardrobe, anything black can look chic and timeless when you style it the right way.  

I am doing a GIVEAWAY with Isabella Rose Taylor, all you have to do is head to my Instagram, or see the photo at the bottom of this post for the details.  Winner gets a piece of their choosing from her latest collection, pick out your winning item now!
Smirking in a black turtleneck and black leather culottes.
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October 12, 2016

Underwear as Outerwear.

Intimates are no longer being hidden under layers of clothing.  This season intimates have broken through the "underwear" label and moved into the category of outerwear.  Don't let the name scare you, this trend can be totally accessible to anyone.  I have rounded up some of my favorite takes on this trend, and picked out pieces to help you recreate the looks yourself.  
Me.
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October 9, 2016

Isabella Rose Taylor x Mermaid Waves: The T-Shirt Dress

I love finding young emerging artists and designers who inspire me, and I definitely found the coolest of the cool girls.  Isabella Rose Taylor graduated high school at age 11 to then continue her studies in art and fashion.  In 2014, she was the youngest designer to present at NYFW and now at 15, a second year student at Parsons in NYC.  I told you she was cool.  I am excited to bring you a two-part collaboration and then a giveaway, so start picking out your favorite piece from her collection now!  I love the simplicity of a t-shirt dress, but I loved the extra cool factor of this particular one (shop here), the back has a panel that says "blank canvas" because you are art.  I wanted to create an outfit that is an upgrade from an average t-shirt dress and sneakers look.  I love matching the old with the new, I wore my momma's Free People sweater (shop similar),  this sweater is about 15 years old. its basically vintage. Yesterday was quite brisk and I couldn't make myself go out with bare-legs,  I threw on a pair of printed black tights (shop similar), I love how the tights perfectly peeked over these over-the-knee boots (shop here).  I can't wait to show you part two of this collaboration,  stay tuned! 
Hanging out in a green tee shirt dress with over the knee boots
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October 8, 2016

Personal Shopper: Turtleneck Season

Winter is coming and it's time to stock up on all the sweaters.  I have rounded up the chunkiest, coziest, knits I could find that will keep you and your neck warm until April.

Free People

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October 3, 2016

Love Emme

I am so excited to be sharing this fabulous new site that has all of your gifting needs.  Love Emme is a gift site curated towards millennial ladies, because gifting can be simultaneously the best and the worst part of friendships.  I love giving gifts but I always want to give people gifts that I want, the thing I love about Love Emme is they have their own girl squad that can help you place which Emme girl represents your BFF best and see the pieces she loves to help you get your IRL BFF the best gift ever.  Each gift is packaged beautifully with Love Emme flair and can go directly to your BFF's door.  

  I am so honored to be an Emmebassador, meaning I will be keeping you all updated on the latest Love Emme news and my favorite products.  I get contacted daily about ambassador programs and constantly turn them down because I don't think they are beneficial for my readers. But, Love Emme is a Chicago based brand run by amazing women that I truly believe in and love and I want you all to love too!  

Use code DANI at checkout for special benefits, this month is Free Shipping! Check out my shoot with Love Emme below and see my current favorite products on the site.  
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October 2, 2016

The Care Bear Comeback

I love a good collaboration so when I saw that Boy Meets Girl and CARE BEARS (shop here) had come together exclusively for Colette in Paris, I freaked out.  I am really into simple t-shirts lately so I was super excited to style this piece.  Fall weather is happening and I thought it was the prime time to bring out my fringe pants, this amazing vintage find was from Luxury Garage Sale.  These pants were clearly made to make Boomerangs, see some fun ones on my Instagram story now.  A killer pant can dress up even the simplest of tees.  To accessorize the look I went with a classic jean jacket, some heart-shaped sunnies, and of course a pair of clogs.  
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