Already Prettypoll: Skincare Favorites

Skincare is SO personal. Every person’s skin reacts to the environment, foods, allergens, stress, hormones, and dozens of other factors, so it can be tricky to “recommend” products to others. You never know what all is affecting someone else’s complexion. (Hell, half the time I don’t know what’s monkeying with my own complexion.)

But if you’re anything like me, keeping your skin happy is both a passion and an ongoing science project. So I’d love it if you could share a few of your skincare faves and explain why you love them. I’ll get the party started:

Yes To Tomatoes Acne Treatment Spot Stick: One of the ONLY products that works on my super painful cystic acne and regular old acne without making my skin dry and irritated.

Clarisonic Mia: I don’t use the cleanser the company provides – I stick to this super gentle one from Aveda – but I use the brush every other evening. Keeps my skintone relatively even, and helps with keeping breakouts at bay. If I skip more than one night, I definitely see more acne activity.

Shiseido Urban Environment Oil Free UV Protector SPF 42 : Yes, I too wish this stuff was cheaper. But it is the only sunscreen that doesn’t clog my pores (sense a theme, here?) – it’s very thin, almost the consistency of whole milk, and feels totally weightless on my skin. I apply to my face, neck, and back of my neck every day of my life. And the bottle looks small, but generally lasts four or five months for me.

And you? Tell us a few of your skincare favorites!

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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Insomniac Sale Picks: Wide-strap Slip Dresses

*In this late-night feature – which will run on Tuesday and Thursday of each week – I’ll gather up three fun items that are currently on sale online and share them with you! I would LOVE suggestions: Stylish wide-width pumps? Classic v-necked sweaters? Chandelier earrings? Petite dress slacks? What would you like to see featured?*

Ali requested a few picks for wide-strap slip dresses, so here we go:

 

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eShakti Pintuck Pleat Floral Trapeze Dress – was $89.95, now $49.95

So when I think of slip dresses, I think specifically of spaghetti straps … but if those are out, you’ve still got a dress style that lacks a hard waistline and has an A-line shape. This floaty trapeze dress fits the bill, and has the requested wider straps along with a very pretty print. Available in sizes 0 – 36W. Customizations available for sleeve, hem length, and neckline. eShakti also has this simple striped trapeze dress in a similar shape.

cotton slip dress

Novica Knee-length Cotton Dress – was $136.95, now $86.99

Or you have the floaty white cotton dress that looks a bit like an actual slip. This Novica one is fair trade and made by an artisan in Bali. Available in sizes S – L. Novica has a few other white cotton options, too, or check out this eyelet frock (in regular, petite, and plus) and this lovely linen maxi. Torrid has some gorgeous white dresses with wide straps in plus sizes, though not all are cotton.

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Anthropologie Feathered Palm Swing Dress – was $168, now $71.96
with code SALEAWAY

And this one’s somewhere in between the two – a loose, swing silhouette with a white background and a lovely watercolor print. Love the subtle neckline ruching. Available in sizes XS – L, including some petite sizes. This white floral dress is available in sizes 14W – 24W.

Other not-currently-on-sale resources for wide-strap slip dresses:

  1. ASOS – Has an entire category for slip dresses, and includes a few with wider straps.
  2. Anthropologie – Loads of gorgeous styles like this sweet lace shift. Use code SALEAWAY for an extra 20% off sale items.
  3. Amazon – “Trapeze” will work better as a search term than “slip.” Or look for white cotton options.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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Crop Tops: Surprisingly Versatile

crop tops with skirts

one | two | three

I steered well clear of the crop tops during the 90s. They scared the living daylights out of me, since they were worn with low-rise jeans and therefore would’ve exposed the entirety of my middle-jiggle. When they came back around again I was initially skeptical, but people were styling them so differently that I converted fairly quickly: Nowadays you’re more likely to see a crop top worn with high-rise pants/jeans or a high-rise skirt. Much less torso is exposed. In fact sometimes you can’t see any torso at all and it’s just the short-top-longer-bottom proportions that become the outfit’s focus. A whole different ballgame.

But even in this revised form, some people still feel that these tops should be the exclusive domain of the slender and lithe. A couple of weeks ago, an article appeared in Oprah’s O Magazine with the following text:

Q: Can I pull off a crop top?

A: If (and only if!) you have a flat stomach, feel free to try one. For more coverage, layer the top over a longer shirt as shown in look two.

Aaaand the world responded with a cheerful – and completely appropriate – middle finger to that one:

crop tops collage

Source left | right

Because, ya know, it’s BULLSHIT. First off, everyone can wear everything they want all the time because no garment in the world will cause a body to spontaneously combust. Second, stuff like that is a form of body-shaming; Telling people that if they lack figures that fit the current beauty standard, they’d sure as hell better keep those figures out of sight, instead of accepting that if you see someone wearing something you don’t like, you can just look away. And third, even if you’re going for a relatively traditional set of figure-flattery priorities, crop tops are great on a wide variety of figure shapes and sizes.

Which brings me to the main reason I wanted to cook up a crop top post: I’ve found them to be a handy solution for the shirt-skirt proportion issue.

As a general rule, tops worn with skirts should be a bit shorter than tops worn with pants. With a skirt, an untucked top should hit about two fingers’ width below your navel. With pants, an untucked top should just about subdivide your butt or hit two to three fingers’ width above your crotch-point. (Whichever looks better to your eye.) These are incredibly loose guidelines, mind you, with the main point being that longer tops tend to suit pants, shorter ones suit skirts.

Most brands are designing all of their tops in incredibly long lengths these days, so if you want to wear a skirt-top combo you pretty much have to tuck. Which drives some people bananas because tucking can be constricting and uncomfortable … yet finding skirt-length tops has been well-nigh impossible for ages. Even petite tops tend to be a bit long in the torso, not to mention that many have shorter sleeves and adjusted armholes to fit actual petite figures, not just regular-sized women hoping to find shorter tops. (And rightly so – that’s how petite sizing works.)

But now? Now we have crop tops. And some of them are very, very short and clearly designed to show some skin, but others are longer. And if you find the right length, shape, and cut, they can turn out to be the perfect length for wearing untucked with skirts. I’ve snapped up a couple from Topshop and Kohl’s that are working beautifully with my summer skirts. Many of them are actually sweaters – if you search for “crop top” you’re likely to get tees, but “crop sweaters” gets you knitwear.

The best way to tell if a crop top will be long enough is to measure any tops you currently have that work untucked with skirts. Get within an inch or two of that length, and you’re likely in the sweet spot. Most websites will offer length measurements so you can compare before ordering. You can bring your tape measure to the mall, too, or just shop wearing a favorite skirt so you can see how various tops look worn with it.

If you’re long-waisted, crop tops still may be mighty short worn untucked with skirts – even crop tops that are cut on the longer side. But if you’ve got an average or short waist, this workaround might be worth exploring. Getting tops tailored to be skirt-length certainly works, but if you can get them off-the-rack at the right length it saves you time, money, and aggravation.

Crop tops can also be layered. They work worn over dresses for a variety of effects, from breaking up the outfit’s lines to offering more coverage. Pop a long-sleeved crop over a sleeveless dress and you’ve got interesting proportions and covered-up arms. If you buy them snug enough, they can also be layered under dresses and I’ve seen designers layering tank crops over button-front shirts for fall. So if you don’t like them on their own you might love them layered.

No one can force you to try this style, but I hope you won’t let anyone scare you off it, either. I’ve seen petite, plus sized, tall, curvy, curve-free, teenaged, and middle-aged women rocking crop tops in various ways and in a marvelously diverse group of outfits. They might just be the missing puzzle piece in your own wardrobe, too.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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