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From the desk of Lauren Palmer

Last week in The Art of Living Beautifully Facebook Group I asked what kind of content everyone was interested in reading this summer, and there were  a lot of responses about fashion, specifically staples and how to use a capsule wardrobe. Before I founded The Art of Living Beautifully, I worked as a Stylist for Nordstrom and for Calvin Klein, and this was a common issue for my clients, “How do I put what with what?”

Today I’m going to teach you 2 simple formulas to use when styling, ones that I have used for years and have a lot of luck with when putting simple, stylish looks together during the summer when fashion should be simple. My first formula is:

solid bottom + printed top

And that’s it. I’m serious, a solid bottom + printed top is easy to put together and is typically flattering.

During the summer, I place white jeans into the formula. White jeans with a printed top is a no-brainer. Here are some examples:

The two tops on the right by THML  are a little more casual. The Lime Plaid Embroidered top has bright orange embroidery with matching tassels while the black and white striped top has multi-colored embroidery. Both busy tops pair well with the simplicity of white jeans. Because these tops are somewhat “festive”, they inadvertently give the impression that you put lots of effort into your outfit, when really all you did was buy a cute top and put it on.

The first two looks pictured above are a little bit “dressier.” The snake print tie neck and cheetah faux-wrap top both look sharp with jeans, but could easily pair with a dressy pant or skirt. The soft neutrals look sophisticated and could be worn with a blazer to the office. Remember, animal prints never go out of style, and when you find a version like these that aren’t overly wild, GRAB THEM! They make a wonderful staple to your wardrobe.


Something to remember when getting dressed in two pieces is proportion. Make sure you check out my Instastories today, specifically when I’m wearing the snake skin tie neck, because I talk a minute about proportion and when to tuck in. Basically, when wearing pants, you don’t want the length of your top (from shoulder to hem), to be the same length as your bottom (from waist to hem.) When these two proportions are equal, the look won’t translate well. Typically you want your top to be shorter than your legs, giving the appearance of long legs. Make sense?

Okay, so that is my first fashion formula: white jeans + printed top = success.

My next formula is something I came up with when working for Calving Klein because they release a lot of basics each year, and that is the concept of “color blocking” which is basically just pairing solids with eachother. Color blocking is a really simple way to create a look, especially if you have proper staples…enter the ribbed tank from Karadise.


Y’all, I cannot say enough wonderful things about this tank.

1.) They are so soft.

2.) They are really stretchy.

3.) They have a really good neck line, not too low and not too high.

4.) They fit nicely as a shell or can be worn as an underpinning.

5.) They have a slight racer-back.

6.) They pair well with casual denim cut-offs, printed shorts, dressy shorts, or white jeans!

Need I say more?

This time of year denim shorts and cut-offs are a basic staple in my closet and Karadise has a really, really, really big variety. Throw on a pair of denim shorts and a ribbed tank in the color of your choice and you are set. You have successfully blocked color: DENIM + WHITE.

Add a pair of flip flops or my favorite clear pool slides and you’re set. (Do you love the circle bag? I do too! I’m talking all about summer accessories next week, but if you need the bag right now you can find it here.)

Not much of a cut-off girl? Check out the ribbed tank with white jeans. These white skinny jeans from Karadise are the same ones I wore in all the pictures above. They are long enough for me to cuff once and look darling with a ribbed tank and Panama Hat.


See the color blocking? A block of black (in this case) and a block of white is a really simple, sharp look. No ruffles, crazy prints or fuss. Color blocking allows the person to stand out, not the clothing. Another thing about color blocking is pretty much everything matches…especially if you stick to neutrals like I did here, but you don’t have to. I pair these same jeans with the hot pink faux-wrap tank from Karadise often. In fact, I wore that yesterday when I met my new niece.

You can also color block when wearing something dressy. Karadise has a wide variety of short suits this season, which is a really fun trend to participate in. The neon fuschia color of this shorts and blazer suit is really the only statement that needs to made with this look, so add a solid ribbed tank from above and you’re good to go. Color blocking makes life really simple and fashion really chic.


Friends, there is so much more I could say about styling and wardrobe selection, but this post is getting long so I’ll stop with that. Here is everything summed up.

Karadise has everything you need.

Invest in white jeans.

Invest in festive tops and sophisticated printed tops.

Pair them with the white jeans.

Invest in ribbed tanks

Pair them with everything: denim shorts, white jeans, or dressy shorts.

*thank you Karadise for sponsoring this post.

To learn more about Lauren and The Art of Living Beautifully, please visit our ‘about’ page.

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