Why It Matters: School Dress Code and Tween Professional Attire


Catherine (right) is wearing her Mom's solid black Tahari blazer.

From a Mom to a Mom... 

Self-expression at the Expense of the Group
Fighting with kids about what they wear is not a battle many parents want to fight.  I admit, it is a difficult battle, especially with the driving force of our culture being profit.  But teaching our kids how to dress, along with every other type of education, is very important.  A school dress code can be frustrating, most often not because of the rule itself, but because of the inconsistencies with the way it is enforced. However, parents should aim at buying their kids' clothing according to their school's dress code.  It is a battle worth fighting.   The deeper issue here is not the school dress code, it's allowing our kids to focus on the needs of self rather than the needs of the group.  I get it.  Reaching a common goal with a group is not easy, and it doesn't take much to distract people from the goal and take huge steps backwards, whether at school, work, or whatever.  Our culture places an emphasis on building one's own brand.  Serving the needs of self seems to be far more important than serving the needs of the group. Self-expression and developing as an individual is vital, but not when it consistently becomes more important than the love and service of others.

There will be a time and place where kids can have more freedom of self-expression than others.  Helping them understand this concept is very important in life.  While teaching young people the importance of dressing professionally for a job interview, we often address the frustration young people have with denying self-expression with their clothing.  Depending on the culture of the company you are interviewing with, often the employer is most interested in your willingness to work on a team, skills and experience.  Before a word is even spoken, an employer can get a good idea about who you are simply by how you dress.  If we won't teach our children to respect the dress code at school and care about the impact their clothing choices have on the people around them when they are young, they will likely not care about their presentation for a future job interview.  There are ways to stay true to self, all the while respecting the boundaries set in place for a common goal to be reached.  I tell my children all the time, when you are in charge, you can make the decisions.  Until then, respect the boundaries put in place for you and understand it is for the good of our family as a whole.  The needs of the group matter too.


Professional attire has evolved and especially for women, it doesn't have to be boring to be acceptable.

Thongs are Easier to Find
Ironically it's not like dressing our children in adult-like styles is uncommon.  Bikinis are available for toddlers.  Thongs with "Call Me" are available for our middle schoolers.  From our tweens' favorite role models, the music they listen to, and the clothing we buy them, we are training up our children earlier than ever to focus on their bodies rather than who they are and what they have to offer as a whole person. Why is it we seem to quickly buy the most adult styles for our daughters, but putting them into professional attire when it's appropriate is so arduous?

I went to Nordstrom, my favorite store most of the time, to look for a blazer for my daughter.  (She often comes with me to volunteer at the Top Buttons Boutique and you better believe I have her dress in appropriate yet stylish attire.) Nordstrom had no blazers or structured clothing in her size. One of the reasons I love Nordstrom, is that you can always count on them to have the best customer service and the most current seasonal items available for every family member.  I know going into summer, there are not many moms looking for blazers for their pre-teens.  But I still had hope that they would have something along those lines, since I normally do not leave the store disappointed.  I even talked to the the kids' department manager about my concerns, who confirmed what I was thinking.  They had nothing of the sort for pre-teens.  Thankfully, H&M and Gap Kids had some options, and I snagged up a couple of pieces to pull off just the right edgy yet structured professional look for my daughter.

It really is easier to find a thong for our pre-teen than it is a blazer.  This is a problem. Our daughters are smart, strong, bold, and talented.  They are more than just a body.  Buying clothing from a young age which places an emphasis on their developing sexuality rather than who they are on the inside reinforces that standing out is connected with their body alone. "If your clothing is overly revealing, you may have difficulty getting attention for your ideas," states Leah Bourne, a contributor for Forbes Magazine.  While they are harder to find, a blazer speaks a much more powerful message about who our daughters are from within and what they have to give.

Brooklyn's Blazer (Left) is from H&M Kids

Clothing has Power
Yes, beauty comes from the inside out.  Let's keep working on that.  But we need to make sure we understand that what we wear affects the way we feel about ourselves internally.  The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology conducted a study called "embodied cognition" which revealed that we not only think with our minds, but also with our bodies. Further studies show that clothing directly affects the brain of the wearer depending on two factors: symbolic meaning and the physical experience of wearing the clothing. This is referred to as enclothed cognition.

So yes, What clothing is bought and worn by your daughter will affect the way she views herself.  This video explains the concept well.

Dressing in pajamas at school, will likely result in a more relaxed and less attentive student.  That actually makes sense.  Putting on all the newest, stylish running gear plus a pair of new Nike shoes, may inspire one to run faster and longer.  That makes sense too.  What about boho and relaxed clothing in the work place? ... What about seductive and revealing clothing on our daughters? Will it encourage our daughters to behave more provocatively? This is a question we need to ask ourselves. Most parents do want to give their children the resources needed to make healthy choices. Since clothing does impact decision making, we should place a high priority on filling our kid's closets with proper fitting attire.


Pull it off with what you have in your closet already, plus one key structured item like a light weight sweater or structured jacket.

Contextually appropriate attire, or (contextual modesty) is simply "Clothing which fits the setting its being worn in"

Tips on how to get our kids wearing contextually modest clothing:

  • Ask them questions to get them thinking:  What message do you want to send with this outfit?  Where are you wearing it to?
  • For a potential job interview, study the culture of the company to find out the appropriate attire to wear
  • Give them options
  • Encourage them to do it from a young age and it will come more naturally when they are older
  • There will be places they can have more style freedom.  Give them opportunities to have more freedom in other settings.
  • Help them to recognize the importance of group goals over their own
  • Buy them clothes that fit them properly
  • Support role models who dress creatively but tastefully.  Steer clear of those who reinforce self-absorption, provocative behavior, and disrespect.
  • Shop together and find what you both like

Other ideas for accomplishing the professional pre-teen look:

  • Put on your favorite romper accompanied by one of mom's blazers and roll up the sleeves
  • Throw on a nice spring dress with appropriate coverage and a low heel. It looks tasteful and will work great for most business casual settings
  • Loose fitting trousers or harem pants can even fit the part if paired with a structured top
  • Depending on the event, even black denim pants with a simple neutral top and bold color blazer will send the right "I'm here to work" message

Final Thought
I remember a conversation I had once with a dad about the clothing his daughter was wearing.  The story went something like this: Mom and Dad were divorced.  Mom always bought the daughter whatever clothing the daughter wanted.  She was a tall and beautiful young woman, with the shortest shorts and often very provocative attire.  Dad took out his frustration on his daughter, often griping and complaining about what she wore.  I offered a potential solution for Dad to take his daughter shopping with the only condition being that Dad will only buy it if he likes it.  Knowing that Dad sees the problem and is offering a solution rather than just complaining is a step in the right direction.  You may be fighting a battle you feel like you are losing.  But as a parent of a beautiful, tall pre-teen daughter myself, I can say that teaching them the importance of sending the right messages with their clothing is important enough to sometimes fight about.

If we don't educate and equip our daughters on how to present their best self on the job, at school and in life, the fashion and media industry will.  And we may not like the outcome.  I would recommend we start by finding them a blazer.


Cheney's Yellow Blazer is from Khols


Makeup was done by the one and only, Yolanda Delacerda.  We love you!

A huge thank you to Beth Carter for jumping in as photographer.  She photographed our very first Top Buttons photoshoot back in 2012 and has been such an encouragement ever since.  Her work is exceptional and she captured the essence of what I was looking for with this article, perfectly.


3 Ways To Style A Grey Sweatshirt

What if I told you that you could significantly up your fashion game with a simple grey sweatshirt? Well, you can! Chances are you already own one of these basic wardrobe staples. Prepping for fall just got a little easier and cheaper! Now that's good news right? Here are 3 creative ways to style a grey sweatshirt. A sweatshirt and leather leggings is a match made in heaven. Who would have thought? Add a scarf and some fun kicks and you have an outfit that is not only stylish but comfortable.


A sweatshirt can easily transition from day to night with the right accessories and a good pair of heels. How fun is this feather skirt? It's totally unexpected, but absolutely works.


Layer a blazer over your sweatshirt. As the temperature begins to drop you can survive the cooler weather in style.


Feeling inspired? I know I am. I love being able to take an inexpensive item and utilize it multiple ways. I'd love to hear how you would style your sweatshirt! Make sure to comment below and let me know!


Happy Styling,




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5 Shopping Tips To Save You Money


Shopping and saving money are both things that we enjoy doing. Preferably at the same time! Whether you're shopping in-store or online, there are ample opportunities to both save money and buy the things you want. 1. Clearance Events / Major Holidays - A few times a year stores have major clearance events and blow-out sales. Often times, these sales can take place on or around major holidays. Keep an eye out for super low deals, and be sure to snag them as soon as they are available.

2. Cash Back Rewards - Some stores have cash back rewards programs. Once a customer purchases a certain amount of items, the store will give a percentage or dollar amount off of their next purchase. For example, when you reach 2,000 points using your Ann Taylor card, you are given a $20 off rewards card to use on any purchase at Ann Taylor, Loft, or either of their factory outlets. The $20 reward is able to be used on any purchase within the allotted period, and can be combined with any other coupons or sales. Ann Taylor also offers customers the chance to earn double points during certain events throughout the year. It's fantastic!

3. Coupon Apps - Apps like RetailMeNot, Spendless and Shopkick are just a few coupon apps that are amazing for saving time and money. Don't check-out at the register until you have searched for coupons using one of these apps, you never know what deals they will find for you.

4. New Subscriber Deals - We are constantly discovering new online boutiques, and almost all of them offer money-saving coupons when you subscribe to their website. So make sure to always check and see what the perks are for joining a store's mailing list. A 10-20% off coupon may be sent to your inbox just for signing up.

5. Check Tag & Receipt - Always check the price tag and compare it to the receipt. This may sound like a no-brainer, but in the long run this tip may save you hundreds of dollars. Retail is always subject to human error, and a shirt that was tagged at $10, could end up costing you the original value simply because it was not logged into the computer system properly. Now, why should you have to pay for that error? The answer is - you shouldn't.

We hope these tips come in handy when making future purchases. Whether you're in the market for new clothing, textbooks or electronics, keep these money-saving tips in mind and keep more money in your pocket!

Written by: Anastasia Jones 


Image: Pinterest

3 Ways To Style A Belt


A belt is a timeless staple that every girl should have in her collection of accessories. We all have that one item in our closet whether it's a dress or a blouse that looks super cute on a hanger. However, once it's on we're wondering, "Where did all the cuteness go?" Often times your look just needs some sprucing up with accessories. Check out these three looks for ideas on how to style your outfits using belts from your closet. Belts are fun and effortless. They are the perfect accessory to add that finishing touch to your outfit! Add a pop of color to a white dress by adding a fun scarf and your look is complete!


You can never go wrong when pairing a belt with your favorite pair of denim. If you' re looking for a way to style your look around your belt try choosing a flowing top and tuck it in just above the top of your belt.


Don't be afraid to break out the layers this summer. Get creative with your outfit for a night out with the girls! Layer a neutral vest over your striped top, throw on a belt and you are ready to go!



Whether you have an entire collection of belts or just one, you can bring new life to your closet with this simple accessory. Dive into your closet and have fun reinventing some of your favorite pieces!

Written by: Amanda Jacobs

Images:  Pinterest

How To Wear Flared Denim

Are you ready for a 70’s fashion revival? Flared denim is back in full force this spring and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Not only is this trend ultra chic, it’s also highly flattering and elongating. For all of you petite girls, your in luck, these jeans will make you look taller we promise! Check out the images below to see how you can pull of this “groovy” trend.  

Denim on denim

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White on white


 Aimee Song: Song of Style

Belted with a lightweight top


 Sarah Yates: A House in the Hills

Pair with a blazer


Sydney Poulton: The Daybook

Long layers


Liz Schneider: Sequins and Stripes

Chances are you already have a pair of flared denim tucked away in your closet, but for those who are still looking for the perfect pair check out our picks below!

Express Mid-rise Flare Jeans, $88

J Brand High Waist Jeans, $198

H & M Flared Jeans, $49.95

Happy Styling,


Our Top Five Wedding Makeup Tips


Do you know how important having a makeup artist is on your big day? Tricks like contouring and highlighting, making your makeup weatherproof, and being able to recreate current makeup trends are just some of the many reasons going with a pro is so important. However, some brides just can't work it into their budget so here are some tips for those who need to do it themselves: 1. Exfoliate the night before! Using a gentle scrub while in the shower will help to slough off dead skin cells leaving skin smooth, perfect for applying makeup.

2. Deep cleanse and moisturize skin prior to applying your makeup! This is key when prepping the skin.

3. Use a primer! If you want a flawless, poreless look, don't skip this step. It will give your makeup staying power and diffuse imperfections. We love the primer from Glo Minerals, but if you are a Sephora/Ulta girl Benefit's primer and Smashbox's Photo Finish primers are some of our fav's! Smashbox even has a color correcting primer as well as one for oily skin. If you are on a budget Loreal's Pore a Vanisher is a great dupe for Benefit's at a much more reasonable price.

4. Use an eye primer! Urban Decay's Primer Potion is excellent. Just get it, you will see! What you won't see are smudges, creases, oily lids or your eyeshadow disappear.

5. Practice before the big day.

As a professional makeup artist I strongly encourage my brides to do a run through prior to the wedding. This way the look can be perfected and there is no stress the day of. I love knowing ahead of time exactly what we are doing and what products I'm using. So practice on yourself so you KNOW your makeup will be perfect on the big day.

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Article WRITTEN BY: Melissa Kinsey

and WEDDING MAKEUP BY: Melissa Kinsey

For Kaley Brie Fuson, our Bride in the images above, I used Glo minerals primers and Satin II Foundation. I used the Golden under eye concealer to highlight and under the eyes and the Perfecting finishing powder to set. I used Sunlight bronzer to contour and Hibiscus (a soft pink) at her cheeks. Since she wanted to look natural I used a few individual lashes and carefully placed them rather than using a whole strip of lashes.

Photo Credit: Ashley Holstein Photography

3 Chic Ways To Wear The Utility Vest


September has officially arrived which means Fall is just around the corner. Since, it's not quite sweater weather yet, the utility vest is the perfect transitional piece to usher us into the cooler months. Here are three ways to style this versatile closet staple. Amanda from Advice From A Twenty Something styles her vest with a plaid shirt, white pants, and ankle boots. As it gets cooler, just add a jacket and your ready for a scenic stroll among the Fall foliage.


Caroline from Unfancy pairs her vest with a lightweight v-neck shirt and shorts. Combat the cooler weather by simply adding tights and a chunky sweater.


Kat from With Love From Kat styles her utility vest with a classic striped t-shirt dress. She accessorizes with a neutral clutch  and gold accessories. Her look is casual yet, polished. As the tempature drops add a scarf, sweater and tights.


How would you style the utility vest? Let us know in the comments below!

To purchase a vest similar to the ones above click here and here.

Happy Styling,


How To Wear The White Blazer


The white blazer is a classic that never goes out of style. In my opinion, its importance is right up there with the timeless, iconic black blazer. It can be worn in countless ways and always looks chic.

Jacey Duprie from Damsel In Dior styled her white blazer with distressed denim, a white collared shirt, white shoes, and a neutral clutch. This is a casual yet, sophisticated look that is perfect for a laid back lunch with friends


Dress up your blazer by pairing it with a skirt. Julia Engle from Gal Meets Glam paired her white blazer with a crisp white skirt and a classic black blouse.


If you like your look to be a little on the edgy side, pair your blazer with a graphic tee.


The white blazer isn't just for day time, it looks great dressed up with heels, a statement necklace, and clutch. It's perfect for an evening function.


If you don't already own a white blazer, here are links to two great options.

J Crew Factory White Blazer // Target White Blazer

Happy Styling,


Lauren Conrad Beauty Tutorial


Lauren Conrad is a beauty and style icon best known for her classic fresh faced makeup. Her trademark cat eye with full lashes, pink cheeks, and a light lip is a look that is not only chic, but perfect for summer. To achieve Lauren's timeless makeup we've rounded up beauty products that will get you the perfect summer look in no time.  



Let's start with Lauren's eyes. Bobbi Brown's gel liner glides on like a dream and is a great way to get Lauren's famous "flick". Ardell lashes in 301 complement this look causing the fullness of the lashes to be on the outside of the eye making the eyes look bigger. Benefit's Their Real  mascara lives up to its name and delivers thick, beautiful lashes that complete this look. Keep the eyeshadow simple and minimal. Urban Decay's Naked Basics palette has a good range of shades that are great for achieving a lightly contoured eye.

Lauren's skin is flawless yet natural. Makeup Forever's HD foundation covers, without looking cakey. It gives a nice luminous, healthy look to the skin. Set with Mac's Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder to stay in line with a fresh natural finish. To keep the look fresh, use cream blush such as Flower's cheek color in Primrose and Proper. Highlight with Benefit's Watt's Up for a soft glow. Dust on Nar's bronzer on your temples and cheeks for a subtle sun-kissed look.

For the lips choose a pink liner and lipstick such as NYX Nude Pink lip liner paired with Mac's Lovelorn to keep the look fresh and natural.

Lauren's makeup is soft and feminine, with a nod to the sixties. It's a look that is perfect for the day time and can easily transition into a night-time look by simply darkening the outer corners of the eye, adding a little more bronzer and changing the lip to a deeper pink or red.

What's your ideal summer look?


Happy Styling,



The Long Bob: Summer's Ultimate Hair Trend


Looking to kick off summer with a new hairstyle? The long bob aka the "lob" is the perfect summer style that is both chic and low maintenance. The long bob is a style that is incredibly versatile. Here are five different ways to style this look modeled by some of our favorite celebs.

The messy beach wave look is one of the more popular ways to style the long bob. Jessica Alba looks fabulous in this hairstyle. This is a look that could be worn with a casual outfit during the day and easily transformed into a classy evening look.


Strapped for time? Wear the long bob straight. It still looks amazing and gives you a whole new look.


Ombre on its own is gorgeous, but pair it with a long bob and you have perfection. Kate Mara nailed it with this blonde ombre bob.


An asymmetrical long bob looks smart and sophisticated on Charlize Theron.


The long bob is an attainable look that is not just for the stars. It's a laid back, versatile look that is perfect for transitioning from a long hairstyle to a moderately short one. Will you take the plunge this summer and go for the "lob"?! Let us know in the comments below!


Happy Styling,


Closet Staple: The Denim Jacket


The jean jacket has been around for…oh, like FOREVER! It’s the one jacket that never seems to go out of style. We reach for it time and time again when we need that perfect lightweight layer that will keep us warm and stylish.  Even though "old faithful" has been around for a while, it seems to be making a comeback this Spring. All over the web, images are popping up of celebrities and fashion bloggers rocking this closet staple. So, if you are looking for a refresher on ways to wear your trusty denim jacket or maybe you've never even purchased one, we have some style inspiration for you.

Denim On Denim 

Wear your jean jacket with your favorite pair of jeans or mix it up by pairing it with colored jeans.

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Denim With Skirts or Dresses

For a casual day out, add denim to your skirts or dresses.




Denim Dressed Up

Denim isn't just for running errands or laid back days, you can absolutely wear it with a fancy dress, heels and a statement necklace.


Denim And Leather

If you want to add a little edge to your look, pair your jacket with leather.


Denim With Patterns

Denim looks great with not only solids, but it can be paired with florals, plaids, stripes, and the list goes on.


Whether spending a casual day out with friends or hitting the town for an evening out, your denim jacket can keep you comfy and stylish. If your in the market for a new jacket we've got you covered. Check out the links below for four options all under $150.


American Eagle, $49.95 // H & M, $29.95

 J Crew, $150.00 (sale $119.99) // Old Navy, $34.94

Happy Styling,


*Images via Pinterest





Necklace Layering 101


Necklace layering is a popular trend that is stylish, fun, and always makes a statement. However, with all of the jewelry options out there, it is often times hard to put together a set that works. Recently, I was able to take a peek into the studio of jewelry maker Jane Lee of Jane Ann Jewelry. She was kind enough to let me view her beautiful collection of accessories, where I handpicked four necklaces perfect for layering. They are worth the investment, and can be worn several different ways. I like to refer to them as the “staple necklaces” of your jewelry wardrobe. Here are six different looks that you can achieve using the following four necklaces.


This gold chain necklace is a great staple to have in your jewelry aresenal. It can be worn with several different necklace combinations due to its simplistic design. IMG_4224-2

I love how versatile these circle pendant necklaces are. They can be worn alone or layered.



I suggest having two circle pendant necklaces, one smaller and one larger pendant.


A gold bar is a must! It is a solid piece that looks gorgeous on its own but really stands out when layered with other necklaces.



Necklace layering is truly an art. It takes practice to get the right look. I hope today's article inspires you and serves as a "cheat sheet" so to speak, of getting the perfect layered look. For more inspiration, check out our "necklace layering" pinterest board.

To get the above looks you can find them here.

Happy Styling!


Trendy Tuesday: Summer Scarves


This summer, you don't need to put away all your scarves and wait for winter to come again. Wearing a scarf in summer is totally acceptable, as long as you pick a season appropriate material and color - wouldn't want any wool plaid, now would we? Check out this helpful video from Nordstrom's about fun ways to use your scarves this summer:

Now that you've got the skills, you need the perfect scarf for summer! Luckily, we've found a few to choose from -

old navy

This light and pretty watercolor scarf from Old Navy is only $12, and looks perfect for the "Cowgirl" style!


This oblong scarf has a subtle nautical feel to it, and the stripes are so versatile for summer! Try out some fun knots with this beauty from Forever 21, a steal at $11!


This beautiful - although pricey - sarong from Vera Bradley is the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe. $43 buys you this fun and colorful beach cover-up that you can use summer after summer.


Loved this trend? Find more from Top Buttons - from Contrast Button Downs, to Fun Shoes; from Bomber Jackets to Spunky Sweatshirts; from Holographic Details to Modern Black & White to a Close-up on Love 21 !

Five Ways To Organize Your Makeup


Christmas has come and gone. We have chucked our Christmas to-do lists and replaced them with new years resolutions. I don’t know about you, but organization is at the top of my list! Makeup organization to be exact! So, for all of my makeup loving friends out there, here are five beauty organization ideas to get you inspired. 1. Trays are the ultimate organizational tool. They are an excellent way to corral items, giving them an organized look.


2. Patterned plates add a decorative touch to your makeup storage.


3. Get creative and use items like milk glass, pretty glasses or mason jars to display your makeup brushes.


 4. Raid your kitchen cabinets and use a cake stand to show off your beauty items.


5. Invest in storage options that are made specifically for makeup.


Getting organized does not have to be expensive. Let creativity be your guide in finding new ways to utilize things that you already have. Glasses, plates, and trays are all household items that can be used to create a more organized space. So what are you waiting for, lets start organizing! Do you have make up storage ideas to share? We would love to hear from you! Share your ideas in the comments below.

Happy Organizing!


Images Via Pinterest

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Clarasonic Mia 2 Review


After hearing so much about the Clarisonic brush, I felt as though I had to try it in order to see if all of the hype was true! And....I have to say that it is! I absolutely love my Clarisonic Mia 2 and could not be more happy with it. IMG_0673

The Clarisonic Mia 2 is a professional caliber brush that cleans the skin deeply. It clears pores and cleanses skin thoroughly so that your skin care products can absorb better. According to the company, results include 6x better cleansing than manual cleansing, reduced pores, fine lines, and wrinkles and improved skin tone.

My Mia 2 came with an extra brush head, a travel case, a magnetic charger, and two cleansers. Just to warn you ahead of time, it takes a full 24 hours to charge. Those 24 hours felt like forever to me; I could not wait to try it out! The Mia 2 is simple to use. It has a built-in timer that is pre-set with the amount of time that you are supposed to use on different parts of your face. Genius!

Here is how easy it is to use the Mia 2:

  • Remove your eye make up.
  • Wet your face and the brush.
  • Apply cleanser to the brush head or directly onto your face.IMG_0778
  • Turn Mia 2 on and select which speed you want: low or normal.
  • Follow the timer prompts. 20 seconds of your forehead, 20 seconds on your nose/chin, and 10 seconds on each cheek. Mia 2 will turn off automatically after one minute.IMG_0720
  • Rinse face, dry and apply moisturizer.

After using the Mia 2, my skin has never felt so clean! Not only does my skin look and feel great, but the Mia 2 is actually fun to use. I find myself looking forward to cleaning my face, instead of dreading it like before. The results from using the Mia 2 are that my skin is clean, clear, and soft. Another perk is that my makeup goes on smooth and looks great. The Mia 2 is definitely worth the money; I look at it as an investment in my skin.


Tips for Packing from Tori's Suitcase


Article by: Tori Mills// She knows the feeling. There is a big trip coming up and she has to pack...Maybe it's a business trip she must fly to attend, vacation with family, a weekend visit away to an old friend’s house, or a best friends sister’s wedding.

Whatever the purpose of her trip, packing is an inevitable and sometimes daunting feat she must accomplish.  First things first, she must decide: what in the world is she going to take to wear? Dress is a decision which impacts her packing and…often prevents it from occurring.

Tori's Trip

A business trip to a cool southwestern state, four days at a conference and two days of flight traveling. Airplane regulations, weather, and length of conference are all factors included in the decisions she makes of what clothes to pack.

She determines and so she begins the packing process, knowing that; when crunched for time to make it to the 7:30 am breakfast before the 8am meeting, she will be ready to walk out of her hotel room classy and…on time.

 Tori's Packing Tips

  • Pick pieces that can be worn several different ways
  • Clothes should be packed in outfits
  • Choose shoes that are comfortable and classy
  • Dress in layers since it is often cold inside and warmer as the day progresses
  • Accessorize for professionalism

Thinking of ideas for pieces that can be worn several different ways, she decides on her favorite new black/brown platform ankle boots and black zipper jeggings. The brilliancy of jeggings are: they can be worn under dresses/ skirts and again as pants under a longer mid length sweater, the best part: they are small and easy to pack and show no wrinkles after that long flight.

Tori's favorite tricks to make your stay at the hotel clean and simple

  1. Be organized when you pack-fold your outfits in piles. This keeps you both organized and ensures you have not forgot anything!
  2. When you arrive at the hotel, un pack and hang up all outfits in groups. This can help you to visualize your outfits and be prepared the night before. This also will help reduce an wrinkles that may have occurred during your travel.

Day 1: Travel

OUTFIT TIP:  Dress comfortably, but in layers as the airport and airplane may be cold.

For travel day she decides on her Cotton On burgundy owl sweater, light brown shrug, jeggings, leg warmers, and knee high black boots. Accessories: black stud earrings, and her everyday fossil watch. (All purchased from JCP with the exception of the Cotton On sweater) What’s great about this outfit? If she gets warm she can take off the leg warmers, or the outer sweater.



Day 2: School Visits and Conference Opener

OUTFIT TIP: In order to make a great first impression, choose to wear your best outfit on this day.

For day 2 she decides to wear Ann Taylor Khaki dress slacks, paired with a light pink blouse and Ann Taylor ¾ length suit jack, and black/brown platform heels. What’s great about this outfit? It’s versatile and packs well without wrinkles, after the school visits and conference opener she can take the jacket, add a sweater, and change to jeans to transition to a more casual dinner attire.


Day 3: First full day of conference meetings

OUTFIT TIP:  Second day of conference, this will be a long day so be prepared.

For day three she chooses to pair her Express striped button down shirt with red dress slacks from the Gap and a rose colored Mossimo jacket. Highlights of this outfit? It is wearable for those long days of meetings and yet, both classy and professional. She pairs with it her black/ brown platform heels again (repeating from the day prior as to pack less shoes), small hoop silver earrings, and of course her everyday Fossil watch.


Day 4: Last day of conference, and sightseeing

OUTFIT TIP:  This is the last day so end with an outfit that will leave a lasting  impression.

For day four she decides on a funky and feminine look. She picks a champagne Loft dress, paired with gray tights, and a black and white patterned suit jacket (Notice the repeating pattern of jackets daily) wearing a blazer or light jacket over an outfit adds style and warmth for those long days in colder conference centers! She accessorizes with her black knee high boots, blue chunky necklace, and Fossil watch.


 Day 5: Travel home

OUTFIT TIP: Be comfortable and relax, you're going home!

For the last day and travel home she picks her favorite 7 straight leg jeans, black flat knee high boots, gray oversized Gap sweater, and her Faved Fossil watch. She loves to be comfortable and yet stylish.  Highlights of this outfit: This is the time to be relaxed as she travels through the airport and to her final destination: home. It's an easy pair!

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A messy suitcase is a waste of time and it's crippling when you are in a hurry. Remember wherever you are traveling:  to a business conference like Tori, a vacation, or other- pack your outfits in groupings! But most importantly, show your personal style! It is you after all you are representing on the trip.

Tori Mills, 24, is a 2011 graduate of Southeastern University who currently lives in Sioux City, Iowa where she teaches 5th grade Dual Language. Tori is an outgoing, adventurer always looking for a new experience and an outfit to accompany! She embraces life and desires to set an example in all areas though she may be young! Tori will be a writer for other articles on Top Buttons in the future including: Health and fitness, DIY, and Spiritual Inspiration.