Tag Archives: style

The Most Popular Print of the Season!

It’s hard to believe that January has already rolled around. Doesn’t it seem to come quicker every year?! It feels like yesterday I was putting my winter clothes away and here we are with winter coats and heavy knitted scarves again. But there are always fun ways to embrace cold weather attire and to still look chic. A new year is the perfect opportunity to try new fashion trends. This year, one of the biggest trends is a pop of print, specifically leopard. You may be asking, “How do I add print without looking overly trendy, especially if I dress for an office atmosphere most days?” “How do I wear leopard without leopard wearing me?”

Great questions! Let me tell you how.

I’ve personally, always has a soft spot for a splash of animal print. Fortunately for me, leopard is one of my favorites. It makes small appearances around my home and is present in many of the accessories I add into my daily attire. This year you’ll find it in all sorts of places and on all sorts of things. Sassy shoes, cozy cardigans, printed pillows, and even bags & beanies. You could easily wear an entire outfit solely made up of animal print if you really wanted… but let’s talk about how to seamlessly incorporate it without it overwhelming your look.

I find it best to add a punch of print to a monochromatic or understated outfit. For example, in my look shown, I’m wearing a simple olive blouson sweater with a crossbody bag to match, paired with a classic skinny jean. I decided to add in my printed pieces with a fun beanie, some leopard loafers (the most popular shoe style of the season), and a tassel keychain. All are small additions to my attire and simply say, “I’m embracing the print of the season in a trendy way” without loudly screaming, “I love leopard!” Although, if you’d like to add more, shout away! You’ll also find that these pieces won’t be covered up with a coat so you’ll still be able to show them off in the cold Virginia weather.

A few other suggestions for adding a feline flair: Try pairing a sleek black dress with black pumps and a leopard cardigan for work. Or add a leopard clutch to your ensemble. You can even wear a leopard ball cap on the weekend with a cute sweatshirt and leggings. Some of my favorite retailers embracing leopard print this season are Nordstrom, J.Crew, and Loft. I usually type “leopard” into the search bar to see what pops up. You’d be surprised how many options you’ll find!

To find out more about this season’s hottest trends and for more outfit and beauty inspiration, head to my blog Pardon Muah (pardonmuah.com) or check out my Instagram @pardonmuahinsta.

xo – Amanda


Written by Amanda Marshall of Pardon Muah
Photos by Cricket Maiden

New Year’s Eve Fashion

New Year’s Eve is nearly upon us and with the champagne and the festivities comes the headache of deciding what do wear this year. From my extensive research of Pinterest and fashion blogs a-like, sparkle has been the trend for last couple of years.

While it may make some glitter enthusiasts skin crawl, I’ve got to share it. Sequins itch. It’s not the most comfortable way to spend the night. This year we’re going to explore an alternative to the sequins trend.

For the more extravagant office affair you’ll want to be regal and put together, a touch of (faux) fur and metallic fabric. You’ll look timeless and modern all in one fair swoop.

new-years-office-partyYou can have this exact look for approximately $140, or you can model your own unique look off this inspiration set!
What I especially like about this piece is the incorporation of the expected shininess associated with the New Year’s, while still employing one’s own unique style. You’ll fit in when the lights hit you, but you’ll stand out with the metallic material offset of the beautiful dress and gold purse by the softness of the gray shawl and shoes.

If this look is just too much for your New Year’s Even plans we have an alternative for the more casual get together.

new-years-eve-party-partyThis exact inspiration set costs approximately $120!
This outfit is a simpler party style, but still employs a similar effect as the previous one. There is still a hint of sparkle and pizazz, without the onslaught of too many sequins. The plain black, lace, jumper is the perfect piece to dress up or down. The silver, metallic, purse and elaborate silver earrings will catch the light focusing the attention on you. The maroon shoes with gemstones are my personal favorite of this outfit, the pop of color is essential and perfect for the holiday season.


Written by Nicole Brobston

Summer Wedding Style

Prepare yourself, wedding season is just around the corner and you know what that means… your mailbox is about to get stuffed with invitations. Whether you’re just going for the party or you’re going because you’ve been friends for ages, we have your go-to advice on what to wear!

First, do a once over on the invitation for a specified dress code. This is usually at the bottom of the invitation or sometimes even on a separate card. If you don’t see a requested attire listed, then you can go by the time of day for which the wedding is scheduled. The later in the day, the more formal the occasion! If it’s a noon wedding, it’s assumed it’s going to be casual unless otherwise noted. However, if it’s 5 o’ clock or later it’s considered a formal wedding. Or, if the dress code isn’t listed and you’re just not comfortable assuming what the couple wants, ask!

Now, you know what the dress code is but, what on earth does it mean?! Calm down, we got you covered. White tie is the most formal dress code that you’ll see. This means that men should be wearing a tailcoat, white vest, white bow tie, and white shirt. For the ladies this means a floor length ball gown. You don’t see this dress code very often any more, but you never know!

Black tie is what you are more likely to see for a formal wedding. A dark colored floor length gown or formal cocktail dress is appropriate for the ladies, while the fellas should be dressed in black tuxedos with a black bow tie. Formal attire, or evening attire, is usually requested for a wedding that takes place in the evening, but is less formal than a black tie wedding. Dressy separates for the ladies are totally acceptable for a formal attire wedding! The men in attendance should wear a dark suit with a conservative tie.

Lastly, casual is what you would see for an afternoon wedding or an outdoor wedding. This is also what you would most likely wear to those ever-popular barn weddings. Casual for men means a button down shirt with khaki colored slacks. A sports jacket is optional for these occasions! Ladies, this is your chance to debut one of those sundresses you bought on sale last fall!

However, no matter the dress code, be sure to dress in a way to keep all of the attention on the newlyweds! This means leave your white dresses, light-up bow ties, red gowns (yep, red too!), and feather boas at home! Pay attention, ask questions, and raise a toast to the married couple on their big night!

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Valentine’s Day Style

If you’re still looking for the perfect outfit to catch the attention of your significant other this Valentine’s Day, look no further than these fun ideas! Turn heads in this red statement dress, paired with gold love-struck heart earrings, scalloped black flats, and a chic hair accessory to match!

Modcloth Dress A red dress for Valentine’s Day is nice, but add a couple of subtle accent colors to the bottom and you have something you can wear all year! You can find this one here!

earringsAccent your dress with a cute pair of earrings from ModCloth!



sam edelman Augusta flatsHeels are cute, but flats are our best friends! Check out these comfortable staples from Samedelman!

Goody headbandAdd a headband from Goody to complete your look! They offer several sparkling, dressy options. However, you can never go wrong with plain black!

No matter what style you choose, we hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with special moments shared by loved ones!

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Embracing Your Curls

bellawebCurly hair is beautiful but can be hard to appreciate when it is a mystery to take care of. As a child, my mother and I unsuccessfully struggled to tame my ringlets, which left me wearing my hair in a defeated ponytail or bun.

At 12, I was given the greatest gift known to all curly girls: A flat iron. I cringe remembering the hissing steam of my scalding wet-to-dry straightener as it went over my wet hair. I cringe even more when I think about how I never owned heat protectant.

By the time I was 15 my hair was destroyed. It’s been four years, but I’ve finally regained my curls. Here are some helpful things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Refrain from using heat products as much as possible. Using them from time to time is okay, but heat damage is detrimental to curls.
  • Cut out products containing harsh chemicals. Many gels and shampoos contain sulfates, silicones or parabens that strip hair of natural oils needed for curls. CurlMart is a great website for finding and purchasing products that are healthier. It also has reviews!
  • Reduce frizz as much as possible. There will always be some degree of frizz, but doing things like sleeping on a satin pillowcase and using t-shirts or microfiber towels to gently scrunch water out of hair is easier on hair.
  • Don’t over wash. Curly hair is drier than most types of hair and doesn’t need to be washed everyday. Every other day is a better alternative. To reactivate the products already in your hair, just add water. Keeping a spray bottle filled with a mixture of water and conditioner is a good idea.
  • NEVER brush dry hair. Brushing hair breaks up curls. It’s best to do all detangling in the shower or when the hair is still wet. Wide tooth combs are the most gentle. I personally use the Tangle Teezer.
  • Do research. All hair is different, so what works for one person’s hair is not guaranteed to work on someone else. NaturallyCurly.com is a great website for researching hair types. They have a Texture Typing method that “will let you create a hair profile to identify the unique properties and needs of your hair.” It’s easy to use and very helpful.
  • Have patience. If hair has been through years of abuse, it’s not going to bounce back to normal in a few days, or sometimes even a few months. It’s a process that takes time and effort, but looking back I found that learning to appreciate and bring out natural beauty is worth it.


Written By Danielle Raymond

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Everyone has at least one, and maybe several, hard-to-buy-for people on their holiday shopping lists. For the ladies who aren’t giving any hints this year, we have a list of last minute gifts that will surprise and delight them!

derbyFor the edgy friend, Scars & Stripes: The Culture of Modern Roller Derby is a great gift! Photographer and skater Andréanna Seymore documents her experiences with roller derby from 2008-2014. This book contains photographs and commentary from people involved with the sport revealing moments both good and bad. A great coffee table book for the 20-something in your life!

In need of a cute stocking stuffer that she will use all year long? Try one of these adorable keychains from Capturing Couture! Their size makes it difficult for her to misplace her keys and easier for her to wear them around her wrist when she doesn’t have pockets. Choose from several designs to find the keychain that reminds you of her!

11.25 Train Case Gold GlitterThe Caboodles Train Case in Gold or Silver Glitter is perfect for any makeup lover! You will not believe how much you can fit in to one of these gorgeous makeup cases– stay tuned to our Facebook page for a chance to win one in silver!

For a gift that EVERY girl can use, try these Gold Dot Printed Flannel Pajamas from Aegean Apparel! They will keep her warm and stylish all winter. And you might just want to order a pair for yourself to wear on Christmas Day!

Pick up the December issue of Bella while they last for more great holiday ideas! And stay tuned for another great 24 Days of Prizes giveaway!


WIN a CHI Gift Box from Scott Kitts!

chi24 Days of Prizes: DAY FOUR!

Scott Kitts Salon – hairdresser to the stars of the Star City! – is offering today’s prize!! CHI is a professional line of hair care and styling products and we have an amazing gift box for one lucky winner!!

It includes a CHI blowdryer, flat iron, tote, and several CHI styling products (valued at $238)! Ladies, this is a phenomenal prize that will help you achieve holiday perfect hair all month long!

Everyone needs perfect hair for the holidays. Call Scott Kitts Salon today and make your appointment while you still can! The salon is located on Brandon Avenue in Roanoke, and you can reach them at 540-904-7528.

Visit our Facebook page for details on how to win! Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the December issue for more information on all of the fantastic prizes you can win this month!


Urban Market Bags

Are you tired of carrying around those heavy, thick reusable shopping bags to the grocery store? Do you wish you could carry something stylish and functional each trip and skip the wasteful plastic bags?

Try a few Urban Market Bags on your next trip. Available for purchase in sets of three or six, these bags come in a drawstring sack that conveniently holds them when they are not in use. Storing them in the drawstring sack will allow you to fit all of them in the cupholder of your car or your handbag. This way you will never get caught without your bags again and you do not have to worry about them cluttering your vehicle.

folded%20bagsThese stylish and sturdy bags will take you from the local grocery store to the hardware store, from the soccer game to the gym, from the farmers markets to the mall! This is a great stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season– but be sure to grab a few for yourself since they will also come in handy for your holiday shopping!

Visit www.urbanmarketbags.com for more information.