Glamazons Blog covers the highs and lows of their journey as two small town girls trying to make it in New York’s cutthroat publishing industry. Experts in the realm of everything beauty, fashion and entertainment, these two self-certified glamour girls are not only adept at reporting on the trends but they’re also ahead of the curve when it comes to spotting what’s new, hot and next.
Glamazons, Has it ever been so hot that you don’t want to get dressed? That’s literally me in my NYC apartment with no AC — getting dressed under those circumstances feels like torture. The same thing goes for when I travel to warmer climates: I pack all these cute outfits and literally end up in a swimsuit and shorts every day. Thankfully, in New Orleans for Essence Festival, I found a solve — and stumbled across the ultimate summer outfit inspiration. A cover-up basically worn as a dress. The light, flowy material was so breezy; it’s like the cover-up came with its own ventilation.
I paired it with a bandeau bra top and shorts, and felt super comfortable all day, even when we were hit by a random rainstorm (P.S. have you ever got caught in the rain in New Orleans? It will pour under a storm cloud, and two blocks down, it can be completely sunny. Crazy, right? Also, it doesn’t even get cool. It will rain and still be super hot and stuffy). I really love the idea of reimagining your summer wardrobe and wearing certain items outside of their intended purpose. Bikini tops as crop tops, cover-ups as dresses, button-down dresses as coats, and the list goes on. It’s not only really inventive, but it’s a great way to get more use out of your summer wardrobe. And that really comes in handy when you’re traveling and you need pieces that do double duty. How do you make the most of your summer wardrobe, Glamazons? Any fashion hacks that you swear by this season?
Speaking of hacks, I get so many messages from aspiring bloggers that are looking to take their pictures to the new level — and want the equipment to be able to do so. I’m obsessed with my Canon Rebel and take a lot of pictures for this blog and social with it, and I’m very excited to join a few blogger babes and give a kit away (plus an apple watch). Get the details below:
We’re giving away a Canon Rebel Kit Bundle + Apple Watch. Open to international readers. However, please note that your email address will be subscribed to the sponsors’ email list which you can always unsubscribe anytime you wish to. European readers/subscribes, please take note. You are able to unsubscribe anytime if you wish to. You MUST follow ALL accounts on the Rafflecopter widget in order to be qualified to win. Good luck!
Glamazons, Holidays, we love them, right? But there’s always the risk of dressing up and looking super corny, or like you tried too hard. Whenever there’s a holiday with a color theme (think St. Patrick’s Day or 4th of July), things can get cheesy pretty quickly. I avoid that by dressing how I would any day — but in colors that just so happen to fit with the holiday in question. For 4th of July last year, I chose the Zara denim off-the-shoulder dress that I wish I could wear everyday (seriously, it’s so comfortable — and it’s sold out but I found a similar version here). I just paired that with a flag clutch from American Apparel, RIP (similar), and my Aldo striped pumps (similar) and bam, I found the perfect 4th of July outfit while staying 100% true to my everyday style. I think that’s easier to do than you think: this season is all about navy and white shirting, white shoes (more on this later), red statement earrings, Baywatch-inspired swimsuits, and those Everlane red pumps that have a thousand-person waiting list (including me). All of that lends itself to stylish 4th of July dressing. I’ve rounded up my 40+ faves in the collage below and I’m obsessed with every piece, just click to shop!
Shop my favorite 4th of July fashion!
This year, I’m spending the holiday in New Orleans for Essence Festival, reuniting with my best friends, hopefully running into Oprah and Mama Tina Knowles-Lawson again (casual!), and eating so much great food. Then, I’m back to New Jersey to spend the actual July 4th holiday with my family — and hopefully find a pool party to crash, and I’ll be wearing a full red, white and blue outfit with no shame. Yes, I’m that girl who gets themed napkins for the holidays (LOL) and I’m not embarrassed about it at all. I’m planning to wear this amazing Michelle Obama 2020 shirt I got in Vegas, a red/white skirt from the Zara sale, and my white pumps. Will share pictures after!
Click here for outfit details from last year’s post.
Are you guys dressing up for July 4th? And what are you planning to do to celebrate?
P.S. Check out some of the best sales happening over the holiday weekend:
Take $50 off $200 with code FREE50. $70 off $250 with code FREE70. $100 off $350 with FREE100. Shop HERE.
Get 40% off your purchase using code JULY. Shop HERE.
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Glamazons, Have I told you how much I love it when you guys reach out to me with requests? Faithful GlamazonsBlog.com reader @LuvBeing_ToyaT hit me on Twitter (follow me!) asking: “@DressUpWithJess I’m going to Essence Festival this year. Any tips for first timers? Don’t know if you talked about it on the blog.”
Can you believe for all our coverage of Essence Festival like what to wear and what we did, we’ve never provided tips on attending the festival?! I’m so glad Toya asked because I have so many.
Here are 10 tried-and-true travel tips for attending Essence Festival!
1. Don’t jampack your schedule.
You won’t be able to do everything on the agenda. And that’s OK. Essence Festival is jam-packed with events and concerts from day to night so don’t run yourself ragged trying to attend every activity on the list. In fact, you’ll have much more fun by selecting a few favorites and taking the time to truly enjoy them.
2. Concerts last all night.
Though concerts start around 6pm, plan to be at the Superdome until late at night for the big acts. The great thing about leaving late is that everyone walks back to their hotels on Poydras Street as a group. And there’s a line for cabs if your hotel is too far to walk to.
3. Don’t neglect the super lounges.
Some of the best performances I’ve seen at Essence Festival were in the super lounges from Raheem Devaughn to Marsha Ambrosius. Even my faves Teedra Moses and Tweet are performing this year! Be sure to check the schedule and leave your seat on the mainstage for an intimate performance you’ll absolutely love.
4. Ditto for the Convention Center
The Convention Center is the place to be during the day. Celebrities pop by, brands have giveaways and fun contests at their booths and you’re bound to run into everyone you’ve ever met (and meet new people). There are people everywhere so prepare to navigate through a crowd. But it’s worth it to go by atleast once during the weekend.
5. But there are so many events outside the Convention Center and Superdome worth attending.
I always have a blast at the events in New Orleans outside the Convention Center or Superdome. I’ve been to day and night parties that were unforgettable, pop-up shops, birthday dinners, you name it.
6. There will be crowds.
I’ve never been to Cafe du Monde when there wasn’t a line. Multiply that times five for Essence Festival. Be prepared for lines and people everywhere but it’s still a warm, friendly and safe atmosphere.
7. Prepare for heat.
The first time I went to Essence Festival was also my first time visiting New Orleans in the summer. When I stepped off the plane, it felt like I walked into an oven. I always keep a bottle of water or fan on me, and the women who walk around with parasols are geniuses.
8. Location is everything.
I find it super convenient to stay at hotels within walking distance of the French Quarter, which is where I spend most of my time. Hotels further out may have more affordable options but you’ll pay for transportation.
9. Spend some time enjoying New Orleans.
I know, I know. Your schedule’s already packed with Convention Center booths, Superdome concerts, day parties and more, but if you can set aside time to dine at a local restaurant, party on Bourbon or even stop and listen to music on the street, you will not regret it. New Orleans is an adventure even when it’s not festival season. Check out 4 things I love to do in New Orleans HERE.
10. All day looks
Essence Festival is a nonstop party so be prepared to dodge in and out of your hotel once during the day for an outfit change if at all. I like to dress in breezy clothes that can last all day and can be dressed up or down. Oh, and bring a white look because there will be a white party LOL! Get more tips on what to wear HERE.
I am so excited for this weekend’s Essence Festival! Even though I won’t physically be in attendance this year due to prior work obligations *tear* I’ll be getting my life and living vicariously through my close friends who are currently en route to New Orleans for the festivities, including Glamazon Jessica! They’ve promised to make me feel like I’m front row at every event and I cannot wait. Follow along on her Instagram page for all the madness!
What I love most about the festival is that it has everything you could possibly want in a weekend getaway: delicious southern food, great fashion, live concerts, fun parties, celebrity meet and greets and so much more. And because there are so many epic events, the last thing you want to be stressed about is what to wear! It can be overwhelming trying to pack looks that will easily transition from day to night and keep you cool in that Nawlins heat (because it’s no joke, trust me) — but we’ve got you covered.
I’ve come up with a few swoon-worthy options perfect to beat the heat while keeping you cute and on-trend. Let’s get into it!
5 Super Chic Essence Festival Outfit Ideas for Every Occasion
You know I’m all about lounging out by the water, especially when traveling to a city as humid and muggy as New Orleans. Make a statement poolside with a printed cut-out swimsuit. Compliment it with a straw hat to block out the sun’s rays and a cute tote to carry all your essentials for the day.
If you’re planning to attend one of the #EssenceFest day parties, you’ll need to wear something that is light and breezy yet functional. Style a pair of print shorts with a vibrant crop top. Pile on trendy accessories like retro frames and a statement clutch. I love a good block heel because it gives you extra height while offering comfort and support.
The first time I went to New Orleans, I packed nothing but heels for the entire trip and quickly realized just how insane that was. I fell at least five times trying to be cute and walk in platforms down the cobblestone streets. Yeah, it wasn’t fun. If you’re planning to go sightseeing, you want to be cute yet casual. A sexy dress paired with gladiator sandals is the perfect option. Highlight your look with some bold accents like a red lip and neon clutch.
It wouldn’t be Essence Fest without an all-white party. If you want to get your party on but don’t want to worry about stains, leave the crisp white at home and opt for an off-white bodycon dress. Finish your look with gold fringe sandals and a cute chain crossbody. A vamp lip will add just enough edge!
Planning to see your favorite artist perform? Create a standout concert look with a cute crop top and flirty fringe mini skirt. Let a pair of chain strap sandals and sequin clutch give the look a little sparkle. A pop of pink on your lips serves as the finishing touch.
Are you planning a trip to New Orleans for Essence Festival? What are you packing? Let me know in the comments!
Glamazons, I kid you not: I had the most amazing birthday. Between my thoughtful friends and my loving family, I’m surrounded by people who made sure I felt loved and blessed last weekend – and I had a lot of time for self-reflecting too. Believe it or not, the midnight toast, dinner and brunch were only the start of the celebration. This weekend, I head to Nola for a fun-filled getaway and I’m sharing New Orleans travel tips.
Now I’m not sure if I shared this before, but Nola is one of my favorite cities in the U.S. Let me count the reasons.
Here are 4 tried-and-true New Orleans travel tips:
1. Eat to your heart’s content.
From the city’s famous po boys at Mother’s Restaurant to the delicious Creole cuisine at Mr. B’s Bistro (I always order the shrimp and grits which are magnificent!) to the best burgers in the land at Port of Callto the catfish and grits at Ruby Slipper (above), I plan to dig into some of the best food New Orleans has to offer.
2. Bourbon Street
No party in the world compares to the nightly festivities on Bourbon Street. I love to hop in and out of Nola’s hottest clubs and bars while enjoying some of my favorite drinks like the city’s famous hand-grenade and fishbowl below (I will pay anyone who can tell me what the recipe is! I’ve asked bartenders and they say it’s a city secret).
I can’t wait to dance on the street and just soak up the positive vibes and carefree spirit of the city. Go to Bourbon street at least once, but I do prefer the vibes of Frenchmen Street better, and that’s where most locals go.
3. The French Quarter
The beautiful French Quarter is one of my favorite neighborhoods to wander through. The scenery is exquisite with color-rich walls and roofs and elaborate balconies, all a nod to 18th century architecture. It’s also home to a New Orleans staple, Cafe du Monde, which is about 150 years old. I could eat beignets and people watch there all day!
4. The Music
The streets of New Orleans are always bursting with energy and creativity. I love live music and it’s customary to hear a band in street clothes playing beautiful music on the sidewalk. Since Nola is historically considered the mecca of jazz, it’s great to see the city will never lose its love of music.
Have you been to New Orleans? Why do you love it? Where should I visit while I’m there? Tell me in the comments section.
Can we just talk about the heat for a minute? It has been so unbearable lately. Most of the time, I barely want to leave the house let alone get super dressed up. That’s why denim shorts are like a heaven-sent gift to my closet! I think of them as my timeless best friend. I can slip them on and just go while still looking as put together as possible. Plus, they keep me cool in these disrespectful temps.
But here’s the thing: just because I love them doesn’t mean they have always loved me. Finding a wearable pair used to be difficult. My thighs didn’t agree with anything too short or tight. And then there was the hassle of figuring out just the right pieces to pair them with so my ensemble looked fresh and unique every single time.
So once I discovered that you can style denim shorts in ways that are fun and chic while still being daytime appropriate, I was obsessed. And you can experiment with patterns, colors and lengths to really take your casual look to the next level. What’s not to love?!
Want to wear denim shorts this season but not quite sure how to style them? Get into how some of our favorite Glamazons rock theirs:
Glamazons, I had my hands full these last few days. Aside from getting sick right before Christmas, I still had to find the energy to do all my last-minute shopping and finalize menu items for my family’s Christmas dinner. Talk about exhausted. But now that I’m feeling much better and the last gift has been opened, I’ve only got one thing on the brain: all the New Year’s Eve outfit ideas I’ll be serving this year.
Hands down one of my favorite nights of the year, there’s just something so special about getting dolled up with your best girls and toasting to new beginnings. But year after year, it always feels like a scramble to sort out what to wear. That’s why I’m happy I already have a collection of looks that I can’t wait to put in heavy rotation. While sequins and red dresses might be top contenders for everyone else, I’m itching to wear something a little less expected. After all, a good outfit will set the tone for how the rest of your year will play out, right?
If you’ve been too swamped to function let alone even think about New Year’s Eve outfits, don’t fret. I’ve put together a few ideas that’ll be sure to set you apart from the rest as you celebrate 2018. Get into them below.
4 New Year’s Eve outfit ideas that aren’t basic AF:
1. Playful Prints
Instead of opting for the same ole sequin dress you’ve worn over and over again, why not go for a full print number? A funky print mini is super stylish while still embodying the festive theme of the evening. You can jazz up the look with a diamond embellished chain handbag, long dangling earrings and strappy heels.
2. Suit Separates
You probably know by now that I’m a sucker for tailored suit pieces. Not only are they a classic choice, but because they are so versatile, you can wear the pieces for other occasions, too. Give your studded bralette a menswear spin with crop trousers and a fitted blazer. Mix in glitzy accessories for a fun look, add a pop of color on the lips, and you’re good to go!
3. Luxe Textures
For a look that is NYE-appropriate yet elegant, blend a faux fur coat with a velvet wrap dress. Thigh-high boots, dangling jewels and a sultry dark lip will glam up your outfit and be sure to pile on the glitz with a shimmering clutch.
4. Ditching the Heels
I’ll be honest: heels are not always be a girl’s best friend. And because you’ll probably be on your feet dancing the night away, you might want to opt for something a bit more comfortable. A pair of metallic creepers will offer stability yet still help you turn heads. Pair them with a vibrant satin dress and sparkly accessories. Top off the look with an edgy leather jacket for warmth.
– What are your New Year’s Eve plans? Anything exciting? What will you be wearing? I can’t wait to hear from you!
Glamazons, So, you may have seen this already on my Instagram Stories but I totally switched things up this year as far as traveling goes. Usually, I like to head to warmer destinations in the winter (Team #stretchyoursummer) and in the past, I’ve been to Cuba, The Bahamas and Jamaica during cold months in NYC. This year, I decided to head somewhere a bit frigid: the mountains of Reno, Nevada with the Curators of Cool collective. I got a few “Girl, WYD?” texts when I told my friends about it LOL, but I’m glad I went. I was actually surprised by how much fun a getaway can be in colder temps, and there are few things as beautiful as snow-capped mountains. I’d been skiing once before but this time, I mostly hung out at the lodge, got way too excited on the ski lift, and took in the breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe. And when we weren’t hitting the slopes, there was still a lot to do: a distillery, a magic show, a nightclub, an escape room, lots of great food, and the list goes on. There was never a dull moment.
Check out a few recommendations below for what to do in Reno, Nevada:
Grand Sierra Resort & Casino: We stayed at the GSR — the largest hotel-casino in Northern Nevada — and it was perfection. They have a gorgeous pool and hot tub, a dreamy spa and full-service gym, a casino downstairs, entertainment right inside the resort (we went to a magic show), a fun nightclub (more on this later), and they’re building an ice rink. It’s centrally-located in downtown Reno, which was super convenient. Of course my favorite part was the views of the mountains as soon as you walk outside. Customer service left a bit to be desired at times, but all in all, I really enjoyed my stay there.
Frey Ranch Distillery: This was probably my favorite moment of the weekend. Frey Ranch Distillery is a charming family-owned business and the owner, Colby Frey, produces quality spirits (vodka, gin, whiskey and absinthe) with grains grown right on his gorgeous farm. I’m not usually a whiskey person, but even I thought it was super smooth. It was amazing to take a tour of the distillery and see how everything is produced. I’m still in awe of the science behind it all! Colby’s dedication to growing the family business is just heart-warming (it’s been in the family since the mid-1800s before Nevada was even a state!). And I was super inspired by the fact that he supplies grain to other distilleries; people would view it as enabling the competition but there’s such a sense of community in Reno that he’s happy to do it. Another thing: his farm brings in revenue, so he doesn’t rush to produce liquor just to make money, thereby sacrificing quality in the process. He let us taste whiskey that’s been aging for 4 years! Anyway, they host tastings and tours on Saturday from noon to 4pm, and I highly recommend going. And if you go closer to 4pm, then stop along the stunning tree-lined road on your way out and catch the sunset.
The Depot Craft Brewery & Distillery: We headed to another brewery/restaurant for dinner and the food was phenomenal. Literally, Lexi and I couldn’t stop eating the brussel sprouts (sautéed in maple sherry vinaigrette with bacon bits…my Lord). The drinks were excellent (especially the beer) and it makes sense: The Depot is the first combined brewery and distillery in Nevada. Owner Brandon Wright took us on a tour of the brewery and his passion for it is contagious. I really loved the ambiance, especially the murals by the outside eating area — just gorgeous. It’s pretty popular so I recommend making a reservation. It’s a great spot for a date night or just to hang out with friends.
Diamond Peak Ski Resort: So I mentioned I skied once before but I’m no expert. That said, I loved Diamond Peak ski resort. They have advanced runs for the ski obsessives (like the black diamond courses) but the resort is also really great for beginners. The crew took a ski class before hitting the slopes, and the instructors seemed super helpful. Lexi and I got to hang out in the ranch and it was everything: great food and a bar with warm drinks. Also, my obsession with ski lifts was born here; the view of Lake Tahoe from the lift is magical. If you’re traveling with family, it’s also kid-friendly. The kids with their little skis on the mini-slopes were so adorable!
LEX Nightclub: I’m starting to feel like I only party on vacation (otherwise, I’m too tired from life) but as an infrequent party-goer, can I just say it’s a major hack when there’s a club right in your resort? And a good one at that. My friends had to drag me out to Lex nightclub, but it was so worth it. The DJ kept us dancing all night long (what time difference?) and though he was from NYC, he threw in a couple of local hits and the crowd loved it. My favorite part was the fact that the (transparent) dance floor was on top of an indoor pool. How fun is that?! Lex Nightclub is also good for celeb spotting; T.I. and Big Sean were there recently and a few days after we left, the Ying Yang twins came by.
Heavenly Ski Resort: You know how they say when you get older you turn into your parents? Well, I’m definitely transforming into my Dad in that I appreciate views and nature so much more now. Seriously, I could spend the whole day taking in views and sometimes, my Dad and siblings will literally do just that…for an entire day when we’re on vacation. Anyway, I say that to say: you have to see the view of Lake Tahoe from Heavenly Ski Resort. You just have to. It’s one of the most spectacular views in the world, and once you’re there, it’s easy to see why — especially from the ski lift. It’s also the region’s largest ski area, with 87 runs and 30 lifts (spread between California and Nevada) so great for hitting the slopes.
Liberty Food & Wine Exchange: OK guys this is my favorite restaurant in Reno. The food is incredible — everything is freshly made and delicious. Literally, we were trying to take spices home. They have a meal plan delivery service and I’m like, do you guys come to NYC? LOL. Do yourself a favor and get the roasted cauliflower, then come back and thank me personally. They offer a unique eating experience with sharable plates so you can try a little bit of everything and see what you love. Also, the ambiance! There are huge black-and-white photos on the wall of beloved icons like Prince, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Jimi Hendrix. I actually wish I could go back there right now.
Puzzle Room Tahoe: Are you into escape rooms? I first heard of them in Harlem, but I’d never been to one before visiting Puzzle Room Tahoe in Reno. I did a poll on my Instagram stories and was pleased to learn most of you love them, too. The puzzle was pretty difficult to figure out but also thrilling. I totally recommend it for group trips; it’s a bonding experience because you have to rely on each other’s skills and expertise to make it out. I’m excited to go to a local one with my family now, so much fun!
Glamazons, I don’t know if I told you this but I was never an avid traveler. I always felt I needed to have “XYZ” accomplished first, and traveling would be my reward after. Crazy, right?
But with 2017 being the hectic year that it was, I had a change of heart. Now I want to take in as many new adventures and changes of scenery I possibly can. In doing so, I’ve suddenly become that girl you can never track down because she lives on an airplane. (I may or may not have already booked five vacations for next year.) And the holiday season is no exception to my newfound travel bug. I’ll be trekking to a few different cities catching up with family and friends that I haven’t seen in forever. But I realized pretty early on that if I wanted to jet set this season, I’d have to get creative with some holiday travel money saving tips. Traveling over the holidays tends to get pricey — especially when you factor in baggage fees, hotel stays, and still needing some coins to actually enjoy yourself when you get to where you’re going. With that said, there are ways to get around paying an exorbitant amount of money and instead put those dollars towards the things that matter most, like gifts for your loved ones or finding the perfect outfit for your end-of-year celebrations. So, I’ve put together a list that will surely get you through holiday travel without causing your wallet to weep. Thank me later.
Check out my top holiday travel money saving tips:
1. Find alternative modes of transportation.
I get it, there’s nothing like getting to your destination in a quickie as opposed to being on the road for hours on end. And while flying might be one of the fastest means of traveling, it isn’t the only way to go. Especially given how expensive airline tickets get as the holidays approach. You may find that driving by car, bus or train is actually your best option. Plus, without air traffic delays and layovers, you’ll be more or less guaranteed to arrive when you intended.
2. Opt for one-way flights.
I do this all the time. I’ll purchase two one-way tickets with two different airlines and get a better deal than if I had gotten one round trip ticket. I suggest playing around with the dates and times to see what gets you the best bang for your buck. Also, if you’re going to a place that has multiple airports nearby, you may want to fly into one airport and then fly out of another. Whatever gets you where you need to be with minimal stress.
3. Be flexible in location.
You can find some pretty great deals if you’re willing to stay just slightly out of the city you’re traveling to, or away from high tourist locations. For example, if you’re planning a trip to D.C., you can fly into Maryland or a book a hotel that’s not directly in the District. You’ll save money on the trip and possibly squeeze in some extra sightseeing in the process.
4. Travel during the week.
Instead of booking a trip on the weekend, opt to travel on a Tuesday or Wednesday. These are two of the cheapest days to fly and, with Christmas falling on a Monday this year, you can turn your trip into a long weekend. The bonus? Hotels tend to be less booked and there aren’t as many crowds because everyone is still working. No crowds means less wait times. Win, win.
5. Don’t fall prey to overweight baggage fees.
After hearing me complain about paying upwards of $50 on bags every time I traveled, my best friend bought me a personal luggage scale and it’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. It helps me weigh my suitcase early so there aren’t any surprises once I arrive to the airport. I recommend packing lightly and registering any bags you want to check online before heading to the airport — airlines often give you a break on fees if you sign up online. And if you’re not lugging a ton of gifts, go minimalist and just fly with your carry-on.
What are some of your tried and true travel tips, Glamazons? Any I missed? Fill me in in the comments!