Traveling Gypsies

Over the last 8 weeks I’ve been absent from this and I’ve loved every second.

In the last (crazy AF) few months I’ve spent time with my family, friends and spent time in my life where it matters most… home. Home means something special to me because it’s where my family is, wherever that is. For the past year we’ve had two households spread across thousands of miles and as hard as it’s been…. we survived it.

And since that wasn’t enough of a roller coaster, we also moved!! We’ve bounced around so much over the last few months while moving I can’t even tell you where half our clothes are, shoes or the damn TV remote. Our household is a wreck with 15k lbs of household strewn about our new casa de chaos and I don’t give a shit! Our bags are packed and we can’t wait until August to be all in one spot again. The boys and I will spend the summer with Chris in DUBAI and come home all together in August. There will be plenty of time to get settled in at the new place… but for now we’re continuing the gypsy life. #livingourbestlife

I’ve lived in a flannel button up for months… our diet has been absolutely horrible… but we are seriously blessed to know such wonderful and amazing people that truly made this transition something wonderful. I’ve survived with barely brushed hair thrown into a messy top knot (ruined my hair), broke ALL my nails and been there for my babies like a fierce mother bear. We spent time with those we love and grew our ‘framily’ by about a dozen of absolute bad asses. I’ve learned SO about myself… and grown SO much over the last year as a person and as a mother and I cannot tell you enough how much weight and value I now see in the present. Spend time in the present… be present… I mean I do not regret for one second being absent these last few months. Sure I’m WAY behind on PR and packages, photos and so far out of the loops… but the memories that I’ve made (YAAAASSS) and making it through the season unscathed… priceless.

SURE… there’s been PLENTY to write about or share! I just hope you understand my absence and follow our spectacular summer as I share memories and special moments with my family as well as recommendations for anyone planning to visit UAE (because you SHOULD)!!! Join and celebrate with us as we do a homecoming in ‘reverse’…

Baby we’ve waited long enough, we’re coming to YOU.

XO

My FAVORITE swimsuit EVER!

Swimwear is tricky for everyone! I have never met anyone who could easily find one to fit, or found one immediately that they just loved!! Tops are too small, bottoms too big, vice versa or the dreaded one piece!

It’s taken me YEARS… and when I say years, I’m talking 10+ to find a bathing suit that I absolutely adore. I’ve tried the tankini, high waisted bikini’s, swim dresses or shorts and just about every one piece I could find. Target was usually where I stumbled upon something that would get me through the season, but you know as well as I do that the fit was far from perfect!!

I’m 31 years young, 161 pounds, size 10 pants and a 34D bra… all this stacked on a 5’1” frame! I’m a funny shape to say the least with a few areas that I’m not comfortable flaunting in a two-piece.  I’ve always been open about my mummy tummy and it’s definitely a situation in a swimsuit!!!! No matter how much weight I lose it demands attention… no matter how hard I try to disguise it. So let’s talk about options:

Tankini’s
Being on the vertically challenged side I’ve never felt comfortable in a tankini. I think they look amazing on women who are taller and especially those who can rock it a little short, breaking up the top and the bottom. Of course this defeats the purpose of the tankini I imagine because if I wanted my belly to show – I’d be wearing a two piece bikini for sure. Needless to say, I’ve worn them. Usually here I develop the beloved ‘uniboob’ or just look 10lbs heavier from the fabric in the front, especially after it gets wet.

High Waist Bikini
I had HIGH hopes for this… seriously. I ordered a ton when they became a thing! I thought this was going to be my saving grace and I would finally go to the beach with confidence! Bye, bye to the self-conscious cloud following me around in my usual swimsuit that was meant for someone at least 20 years older than me. Upon arrival I ran home and threw on the first of many high waisted bikini’s I’d try on that night… I kept one. I actually still have this one and it was not until I saw photos of myself in said bikini that I realized something… it was not for me. Cut me in half and the top was perfect! The bottom however made my bootay look humungous and NOT in a good way. Like it went on for dayysss. And from the front, it just cut me in half. I’m already short… I need length.

One Piece Suits
This is where it gets tricky. I need a thicker suit usually with a little tummy control. Queue the miracle suit. Again, at this time I’m in my 20s and do NOT want to be looking for a swimsuit in the same sections as my grandmother!! They’re either all full spandex and full bottom or paper thin and a mono-kini. Some featured a skirt, a pair of shorts or let’s not leave out the embellishments. Of course, I need a flower under my boob to distract everyones attention from my pooch! NO!

Needless to say I was SO ready to give up… but I needed a bathing suit, everyone has to have at least one! So Victoria’s Secret was running their semi-annual sale and I decided to order a TON. Out of this mega spree of swimsuits that arrived I again found… ONE. But this suit is what started to give me hope of finding something that was ME, something that I could wear and feel fantastic! It was high-neck, color blocked black (bottom) and white (top) with an open back and it just fit wonderfully. I wore this suit for S I X years.

Fast forward to last year… my suit had served its purpose and needed to be pitched. Of course VS stopped making swimwear and I was lost. I loved that suit and it lasted forever so I knew I’d probably just find a similar one googling something… right?! Wrong.

I booked Chris and I an anniversary cruise and could not wait to celebrate with him and take a well deserved vacation after he returned from a deployment. Ladies I needed a SUIT. I was not ready to settle on a suit that was just going to ‘work’, honneyyy I wanted to WORK a SUIT.

I’d stumbled into Everything but Water with incredible doubt. The last time I was in this store I was 15, shopping with my mom. I had perky boobs, a flat stomach and a much more toned athletic physique. Anyone else wish they could go and slap their teenage self in the face for calling that version of yourself fat?! Anyway, I digress. I was nervous and completely convinced that NOTHING in that store was going to fit me anymore. I could just see an ocean of tiny bikini’s hanging up, racks of strings and skimpy suits and just as I was about to run out, make a clean break… ‘ma’am what brings you in today?’

Shit. I might as well ask, she seems nice. Her name was Patricia (my mothers name or else I promise I’d have forgotten it, I’m horrible with names) and she was so sweet. I told her about my trip and that I was looking for a bathing suit but wanted a one piece. She simply asked my dress size, grabbed 4 without asking me another question and sent me to a fitting room. I hated the colors but honestly at this point I was curious and I was already there…

These suits were sexy, just as quality as I remember and fit extremely well. One by one I put them on and couldn’t believe how different they looked from the hundreds I had tried on elsewhere. She asked how I was doing and I nervously said that I was down to my last one, but I did not think it was going to work. She knew which one I had saved for last and made me promise I’d put it on. That moment changed the swimwear game for me…. FOREVER.

Meet the Becca Crochet One-Piece suit that is EVERYTHING.

Let me tell you why I have this suit in almost every color…. because it’s beautiful, sophisticated and sexy! The quality material keeps everything where it’s supposed to be without the ‘miracle suit’ feel. It’s just well made. The crochet look disguises any problem areas and with the overall slimming pattern of the fabric, you look slimmer! You feel GREAT and confidence is sexy… if you don’t feel good about yourself in a bathing suit you are not going to look it!

I thought this suit on the rack was too revealing and was something that was going to show too much. Then I remembered… it’s a bathing suit. If I was still that athletic toned, flat bellied girl I once was – I’d be wearing a triangle top and a bikini bottom. This suit obviously covers more, but I still feel sexy! I could not believe how much I liked it! When I originally purchased this suit it only came in one color, but luckily they brought it back in a bunch this year! Navy, red, a gorgeous olive green and white! They’ve even spiced up the look with a few alternate styles. I love this suit.

This leads me to the cost. I know you may be thinking that $120-130 may be way too expensive for a swimsuit… but I’ve had the black one – THREE YEARS. It has no rips, it’s not stretched out with the elastic shot and I wear it year round in the hot tub when it’s too cold for the beach! The last suit I purchased for around $40 from Target and it only lasted me the season… if I had to repurchase a suit every year at $40… I’d have spent the same amount as I did for my ONE favorite suit. I take care of it… I rinse it out after wearing and hang dry after washing but it frequently gets worn!!

Treat yourself ladies! Buy yourself a sexy swimsuit!!! Just because you want a one piece does NOT mean that it has to age you or be anything less than everything you want it to be! I’ve linked a few below that are some of my favorites!

SALE ALERT my black suit is on sale at Lord & Taylor for $93!! Shop them below!

Seriously the BEST suit EVER!! Check it out and let me know what you think!

Xo

Overcoming the fear to ‘tuck’…

I have been weary of the tucked in look since I birthed my two children. I have a visible ‘mummy tummy’ and it’s honestly annoying how much I worry about it. Self-conscious is an extreme understatement! Usually I wear tops that cover my pockets and fall mid-zipper to completely hide my stomach entirely. Nothing form fitting and tucked in… are you kidding?! NOPE. I always felt that it accentuated every lump and bump that I was worried about….

Today when I was getting dressed I had envisioned the cutest outfit and when I put it on I realized that the top needed to be tucked in for sure. I always try it, never end up wearing it! Today… I wore it. And I’m SO happy I did!

Today’s outfit has had me glowing all day! This top is from J.Crew last season, but I linked this years version. I currently have it sitting in my cart because I like the no collar look better! Collars tend to get my hair all in a fuss! Chambray is always such a casual clean look and so comfortable that I love wearing it! It’s such a versatile look!

My favorite white denim from Loft of course had to make an appearance… it’s been a while since I’ve worn them! I love these in petite and think that they’re the perfect addition to the chambray top! Always comfortable, completely wash and wearable! Which is a big deal when you’re talking white denim!

I snagged these adorable platform wedges while we lived in Japan and they’re some of my favorites… so well made too! I’ve never been able to locate them online, however I did link some of my favorites down below! I’m on a total neutral wedge think right now honey and I think they’re going to be a constant all summer!

This Loeffler Randall pompom trim circular tote is the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen and just radiates the beachy fun vibes I’m looking for! The tassels are just everything and surprisingly it fits everything I need! Wallet, sunnies and a few lippies! Perfect!

What do you guys think?? Should this momma start rocking the ‘tuck’ again?!

Summer Style – This vs. That

Based on feedback from the shop today I’ve found some ADORABLE dupes for a fun spring/summer top that can also be worn to work AND a coverup for the beach/pool!


These were obviously the pricier option for my inspiration. Loving the pinky/purple hues but was really looking for something brighter for a coverup! So I set out to see what I could carry in the shop to be similar! Let’s see what wins, This (#1’s) or That (#2’s)!!

First up, the sleeveless top! Option #1 (above) is from Talbots and I love the quality of their clothing… always. I have many pieces! But for this, for me, I personally wasn’t sure I wanted silk and maybe something a little longer. The pleats also make it more formal and totally could dress up anything you paired it with! Shout out to my wear to work girls! Skirt this one or pair it with a chic pair of cigarette pants and a dressy sandal and you’re ready to go!  Shop the Talbots Pleat-Front Silk Shell $69HERE!

IMG_5012Option #2 we’re bringing to the Chic Shop (linked below)! I like the fact that it’s a little longer, still high neck and it has a cute little cap sleeve! Featuring a more lavender hue and a flattering high-low hem. I chose this one because you could dress it down with a cute pair of shorts, jeans or tuck it into a skirt! You can still dress it up with accessories and layer it well. I think this one being a Rayon/Spandex blend will be more comfortable too! Breezy for summer!

Option #2:
Chic Shop Jersey High-Low Tunic $28
Can be shopped HERE

 

Next up is the perfect swim cover, which I am in LOVE with both. The kimono from Express does have a belt and that’s a big plus… but something that I’m taking to the beach or the pool I really want the color to pop. I usually leave them open too even though I always buy something that closes! LOL! The Express kimono has a softer look, more neutral for sure. Shop the Express Floral Kimono Belted Jacket $79.90HERE!

IMG_5011Option #2 is bright and beachy which is why we had to bring it into the shop! I love chiffon in the summer as it’s lightweight and flows beautifully. The bright florals I think are just gorgeous against the turquoise background. I also felt that this one would be more versatile with your swimsuits too since it’s just more colorful overall. Just like the Express version, this dupe could be dressed up and layered over an outfit! Wear it on date night or just running errands. It screams fun spring/summer!

Option #2:
Chic Shop Chiffon Floral Kimono $35
Comment be shopped HERE

Option #2 for both the tunic and the kimono are offered in my Facebook shopping group for my VIP customers and will be featured on my website also at shopkatewest.com.

*Prices subject to tax and shipping

This or That!

Let’s talk about this or that!

Sometimes I find things that I absolutely LOVE! But maybe they’re out of my budget or more than I’m looking to spend on a specific item. I love taking that opportunity to search and see what’s out there. Especially if an item is on trend for the season, chances are that many are making variations of certain pieces!

This jacket is a perfect example! While shopping at Talbots with my mom I spotted this jacket and LOVED the pom-pom detail with the lightweight versatility of the jacket! BUT I was not loving the price tag to say the least! Just a little research and I found a fantastic dupe for WAY cheaper!

The same is going to go for these ADORABLE shoes!!! I love wedges like this in the summer because the platform heel makes them so comfortable to walk-in yet I have the height of a stiletto! These are SO similar and both adorable! I even love the scalloped edge on the Steve Madden’s a little better, just a cute little touch! Obviously the color is different, but out of what I found I liked these two the best!

Also linking below some of my FAVORITE items that are currently on sale right now! You can click the thumbnails on the photo below and it’s going to take you directly to the sites offering the deals. I personally love getting these alerts and of course I’ll always share them here!

So what do you think?! Do you love a good dupe or what?? I know there are always going to be certain situations where the dupe doesn’t stand up to the original but sometimes it’s totally worth giving it a shot right?? Let me know what you think!

In the comments leave me a few brands you love to try to snag on sale!

Xo