This post was sponsored and written in partnership with Lulus. As always, all opinions are my own. So excited to partner with Lulus to bring you another post today! Let’s talk about something very, very important for those of us with a 9 to 5 – office attire. (Freelancers, you’re off the hook!). For most of us with a corporate job, there is a range of acceptable dress codes to follow for office style. As a general rule of thumb you want to look put together and professional – never sloppy or inappropriate. I still remember my first suit I bought in college for job interviews, and how I went shopping for work clothes for my internships and my first full-time job out of school.

To be completely honest, work clothes aren’t my favorite. Especially if you’re fortunate enough to have a more laid back dress code (which I’ve noticed almost everywhere in Los Angeles!), spending a ton of money on office attire isn’t ideal. My suggestion would be to build a capsule wardrobe for the office and mix and match. Even when I had my more business professional wardrobe for consulting, I stuck to a foundation of a handful of dress pants and pencil skirts, blouses, cardigans, and blazers. Keep it simple, stupid.

Luckily, Lulus offers a range of clothes that are perfect for the office but won’t break the bank. And even if you’re not a pencil skirt or slacks kind of gal, don’t worry! Lulus has you covered.

A classic black blazer is a MUST, as are silk tops in a variety of colors – I try to stock my closet with one in every color, but a good neutral base is essential! Think white, gray, black, nude, navy. You can’t go wrong with a neutral wardrobe foundation for the office. I don’t wear slacks anymore (sorry not sorry) because I’m lucky enough to get away with jeans and more casual pants in the office, but leather leggings are a good alternative if you can find a pair that isn’t too tight.

See below for complete details on my outfit from Lulus “Office Chic” section.

Office Style with Lulus + Creating a Personal Growth Plan | by The Luxi Look

Office Style with Lulus + Creating a Personal Growth Plan | by The Luxi Look

Office Style with Lulus + Creating a Personal Growth Plan | by The Luxi Look

Office Style with Lulus + Creating a Personal Growth Plan | by The Luxi Look

Office Style with Lulus + Creating a Personal Growth Plan | by The Luxi Look

OK – now that you’re dressed for success, let’s talk about success in and out of the office. Setting concrete goals and creating a personal growth plan is so important for tracking and measuring self-development.

Let’s talk about self-development.

I’m not perfect. No one is. I don’t aim for perfection, but I am always looking for ways to improve myself and be a better person. We all are! Whether we are aware of it or not, we are constantly changing and growing. Sometimes it is a result of circumstance and experience, other times it is intentional. I am all about intentional self-development. It’s also a quality I love to see in other people. My boyfriend has built his career around self-development. Many of my best friends are always trying to learn and grow. Wanting to focus on self-development is awesome! This can happen in many ways. Sometimes self-development is about learning a new skill or improving an existing one. Maybe you want to be a better cook, learn to speak a new language, or pick up a new hobby.

Self-development can also be around more intangible qualities – how to become a better person. Maybe you want to be kinder, more patient, or generous. You might want to travel to experience more cultures and be more empathetic or open minded. Or maybe you want to dedicate your time to volunteering or mentoring. Whatever aspect of yourself you want to focus on, there are options for self-development!

What is personal growth?

Although every individual’s definition of success is different, we are all on a lifelong journey to become the best version of ourselves. The first thing to do is define what success means to you and identify the areas you want to improve in. Personal growth then becomes the process we go through to understand and continually improve ourselves. Again, this can look different for everyone! My definition of success and goals for personal growth may look very different from yours. My vision and goals for personal growth have changed tremendously in even the past year!

If you’re not sure where to begin, think about areas for personal growth. These can be professional, social, mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical. What are the areas you want to improve in?

What is a personal growth plan?

There’s no such thing as being too prepared! Not saying you should plan out every second of your life, but it doesn’t hurt to have a vision and a plan to achieve your goals. My favorite podcast lately has been “How I Built This” and the other day I heard a quote that I absolutely loved: “luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparedness.”

How I’m going about thinking of my own personal growth plan: journaling, goal setting, reading, and talking to as many people as possible.

Have you ever thought about a personal growth plan? Any resources or tips you found helpful?

xx, Amy

Office Style with Lulus + Creating a Personal Growth Plan | by The Luxi Look

Office Style with Lulus + Creating a Personal Growth Plan | by The Luxi Look

Office Style with Lulus + Creating a Personal Growth Plan | by The Luxi Look

Office Style with Lulus + Creating a Personal Growth Plan | by The Luxi Look

Office Style with Lulus + Creating a Personal Growth Plan | by The Luxi Look

top: lulus | blazer: lulus | leggings: free people from lulus

bag: lulus | shoes: steve madden from lulus

 

Remember the 90s when fats were the devil? Well, now it’s sugar’s turn. Except the negative effects of sugar are well documented and research has shown that healthy fats are actually good for us! Unfortunately, all signs point to sugar having ZERO health benefits. There’s no silver lining when it comes to sugar. That’s why doctors, scientists, nutritionists, etc. are telling us to stay away from it – probably more than any other ingredient or food group. Not only is it fattening, horrible for energy, more addictive than drugs, and slowly killing us, it’s also processed like crazy. Bottom line, it provides zero goodness to our bodies and instead does a lot of harm.

But the problem is complicated: 1. It’s really, really good (looking at you, donuts!) 2. It’s proven to be as addictive as hard-core drugs (our brain responds similarly), and 3. It’s in everything. So even if you aren’t buying ice cream, you’re still consuming sugar regularly – at least I am – in things like condiments, salad dressings, etc. that you would never even think it was in! 

With summer travel and a busy schedule overall, I’m trying (key word, trying) to limit sugar, and more specifically, sugar cravings – which go hand-in-hand. To not eat as much sugar, at least consciously, it’s important to get a handle on cravings first.

If you’re in the same boat and either want to eat less of it or be more conscious of sugar, we’re in it together.

Here are my tips on how to cut down on sugar cravings and sugar altogether:

Watch your fruit intake. Fruit is so tricky. Yes, it should be part of a nutritious diet, but it still has plenty of natural sugars in it (different from processed sugars found in candy, cake, etc., but still a sugar). Natural is way better than added, but it should still be monitored. Try to eat your fruit early – that way your body has time to break it down rather than at night when it will likely get stored and turn into fat. “Healthy” breakfasts like acai bowls have a ton of natural sugar, so even though you’re getting nutrients here, save the fruit-heavy meals to once or twice a week – at least when you’re trying to cut back.

Know the hidden names. There are at least 60 names for “sugar” on food labels, so even when you think you’re eating something with zero sugar, check the ingredients. Some examples: sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, barley malt, dextrose, maltose and rice syrup. Anything that ends in the letters “-ose” is typically a form of sugar! 

Speak with a dietician. When you’re making big life changes, especially ones that could affect your long-term health, you should always consult a health professional. A dietician can walk you through how much sugar someone your age and weight should have and where you should be getting it from, etc. And this is different from your general medicine doctor – you want a certified dietician or nutritionist. They are FULL of knowledge, motivation, and help.

Avoid processed food. Processed foods like spaghetti sauce, cereal and dressings (and a million more) can appear to be healthy but actually contain loads of sugar. Switch gears and start focusing on buying whole, natural foods at the grocery store. Your best bet is to buy foods with limited ingredients. Items with 5 or less ingredients rarely are processed enough to contain sugar (except fruit). And if you can’t pronounce something – chances are you probably don’t want to be eating it! I also rely on making my own salad dressing. A little lemon, olive oil, red wine vinegar, local honey, and salt & pepper go a long way.

Find an alternative. If you love baking or can’t imagine life without cookies, find an alternative to sugar. There are tons of non-refined and natural options like coconut palm sugar and stevia, although I try to steer clear of these as much as possible as well. Sugar is sugar, you know?

Eat one less thing. Going cold turkey is hard, so I try for one less sugary thing a day. This actually helps for any elimination-type diet and is proven to be much easier to handle. One less cookie, one less sugary condiment, one less sugary drink. In my experience, when you say I can’t have something I just want it more. And TBH, a life without dessert isn’t really one I want to be living! I’m taking baby steps, ok?

Change your drinks. Speaking of sugary drinks, unfortunately, a lot of the best kinds of drinks are loaded with sugar. It might make them taste good (and look pretty), but they’re leading to sugar spikes, calories, and hangovers (I’m looking at you, alcohol). Cut out wine, champagne, tonic waters and sodas, and generally anything darker (like rum). Clear alcohol tends to have the least amount of sugar, so try vodka or tequila (< my drink of choice!) on the rocks with lots of lemon, lime and cucumber.

I’m not saying you have to cut out sugar entirely – I’m not a total monster! And let’s be real, I’m still going to indulge when I can because life is about #balance. Sadly, my sweet tooth is probably here to stay (and if you don’t have one, lucky you!) – but that doesn’t mean I won’t make a more concerted effort to check my labels, say no to dessert more often, and limit the booze (sad).

How are you staying healthy this summer?

One trend I’m looking forward to bringing into the new season with me is metallic shoes. If you haven’t noticed yet, all things metallic are having a moment, and they’re here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Knowing myself, I anticipate wearing metallic shoes for a year or so before moving on to another trend. When I want to test out a super trendy piece, I always start low and look to fast fashion sites for inspiration. Public Desire always hits the nail on the head with the latest trends for less, and this pair of silver boots is perfect for fall.

(Did I mention they’re only $60 and go with everything?)

Fall Trend Alert: Metallic Shoes by The Luxi Look

Fall Trend Alert: Metallic Shoes by The Luxi Look

Fall Trend Alert: Metallic Shoes by The Luxi Look

I love a good ankle boot and plan on wearing these ones with dresses, shorts, and denim. This drape-y, oversized blazer has been an easy throw on and go piece for the office, but I’ve been wearing it outside of work as well. I really love the way the hem hits slightly below my denim shorts.

If you’re unsure of how to style metallic shoes (go for boots, sneakers, or a good slide/mule for fall!), it’s really simple. Keep the rest of the outfit neutral and let the shoes be the highlight of your look!

On that note, I’ve been trying to minimize my wardrobe (thinking a clothing rack that keeps all of my most regularly worn pieces of the season in sight may help?). So for every new piece that comes into the closet, at least one needs to go. Not always the easiest thing to do, but my boyfriend loves it (ha!). Now that I have these boots in my closet, I’m looking for something to purge and thinking of more ways to style them. Stay tuned for a full fall trend report coming soon!

Fall Trend Alert: Metallic Shoes by The Luxi Look

Fall Trend Alert: Metallic Shoes by The Luxi Look

Fall Trend Alert: Metallic Shoes by The Luxi Look

Shop my favorite metallic shoes below:

blazer: grana

(use code AMYxGRANA for 10% off + free shipping worldwide)

top: bailey 44 | shorts: redone | belt: b-low the belt |

shoes: public desire | backpack: sticks + stones | sunnies: raen

Fall Trend Alert: Metallic Shoes by The Luxi Look

Fall Trend Alert: Metallic Shoes by The Luxi Look

I started researching copper water bottles and was so intrigued by all of the reported health benefits of using one. I knew right away I had to go straight to the source and learn more – luckily, I was able to meet up with Jessica, the owner of Copper H2O, who was kind enough to tell me more about copper bottles and all of their amazing benefits.

Read on to learn more about copper water bottles!

Introduce yourself.

Hi! My name is Jessica, and I’m the founder of Copper H2O! Copper H2O is a small business based on the west coast that makes beautiful handmade copper water bottles with amazing ayurvedic health benefits. We’re a bit unique in that we’re a “social enterprise”. In short, that means that our primary goal is to do our part to make the world a better place. We do that by donating a very substantial portion of our profits to non-profit organizations that work to supply clean drinking water in developing countries.

How did you get the idea to start your business?

I came upon the idea while researching ayurvedic medicine. According to ayurvedic medicine, drinking water stored in a copper water bottle or other copper vessel (which is known as “tamra jal” in ayurvedic medicine) balances the three doshas in your body (vata, kapha and pitta) << (will do a post on doshas soon!)by gently infusing the water with the positive health properties of copper. When I learned that, it occurred to me that copper might be the perfect medium for water bottles. Especially since the world doesn’t need another disposable plastic bottle!

What are the benefits to using a copper water bottle?

There are so many reasons to use a copper water bottle! Copper is anti-bacterial, acts as an effective anti-oxidant, improves immunity, supports good health, prevents aging, eliminates toxins and free radicals, and stimulates the brain. In addition, water stored in a copper water bottle will also become natural alkaline water, which helps balance your body’s pH levels. Also, because copper is naturally anti-bacterial, copper water bottles are naturally self-sterilizing and do not require as much cleaning as other water bottles.

In addition to the health benefits, our copper water bottles are also beautiful pieces of functional art. We believe that copper is the best material from which to make water bottles and have worked hard to produce an aesthetically pleasing product that suits an active lifestyle, supports the maintenance of good health, and helps the environment by avoiding the use of disposable plastic bottles.

How do you care for a copper bottle?

Caring for a copper water bottle is easy! Our copper water bottles are made of 100% pure copper, so they will naturally patina over time. Many people love having the exterior of their bottles age gracefully into a beautiful copper patina.

If you prefer the shine of copper, it is very easy to remove. Simply sprinkle a pinch of salt on a slice of lemon. Allow the salt to dissolve. Then gently rub it on the surface of your bottle. The lemon and salt will form a mixture that will naturally remove the patina and restore the copper’s shine. Once done, rinse with water and dry well. The inside of a copper water bottle will also patina over time, but this has no effect on the quality of the water stored inside the bottle. We recommend cleaning the inside of the bottle every now and then with warm water and a drop of liquid soap, and then rinsing it well.

What’s the hardest part of running your own business?

I think the hardest part of running your own business is also the best part of running your own business! In particular, running your own business generally means you sacrifice the stability of a traditional career path. It can be daunting. At the same time, not being locked into the usual “9 to 5” means you have much more flexibility to be creative and follow your passions!

Any advice for new entrepreneurs?

My best piece of advice for new entrepreneurs is to work hard, be patient, have faith in yourself, and never give up! Every entrepreneur faces hurdles, so don’t be discouraged by them – they are a normal part of the job description! Instead, look at the hurdles as opportunities to grow your entrepreneurial muscles. Just like trees, entrepreneurs are made stronger by bending in the wind!

Check out Jessica’s copper bottles here for yourself! So far I am loving mine : ).

It’s been a while since I did a style post! Sorry for being MIA on the #ootd front – I’ve been trying to incorporate some lifestyle and wellness posts into the mix. What do you guys think so far? Yay or nay?! Anyway, I thought it would be a good time to do a little refresh on the topic of what to wear to a wedding. You’d be surprised how often people have questions about what to wear to a wedding!

Now, let’s talk about what to wear to a summer wedding.

First, let’s break down the different dress codes and what they mean.

Black Tie

Think very formal dress code. You want to wear something dressy – a floor-length gown is usually a safe bet, but certain shorter yet dressy options may be appropriate as well. If you’re not sure, always ask the bride or err on the side of being conservative.

For men, likely a tuxedo is required (or a dark dressy suit, be sure to inquire).

Black Tie Optional 

Similar to black tie, but slightly less formal. A long dress is still appropriate, but you’ll likely be ok to wear shorter styles.

For men, it’s a little more lax – you probably don’t have to wear a tuxedo.

Beach Formal

Dressy beach attire. Forego the typical beach outfit and opt for something a little nicer. A long sundress or summer dress is fine for the occasion.

Men should still opt for a suit and tie, but can choose less heavy materials such as linen.

Keep in mind you will probably be outside, so be sure to bring sunglasses and a hat or umbrella to shade you from the sun!

Dressy Casual

Lean towards cocktail attire. Dresses are appropriate, but you could also opt for a jumpsuit or a conservative two piece.

A casual suit and tie for men is appropriate.

Casual

Resist temptations to show up in jeans or sweatpants and still do your part to look nice. You don’t necessarily need to show up in a gown or suit and tie, but choose something that is comfortable but nice for the occasion. After all, you’re still a guest at someone else’s special day!

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding | by The Luxi Look

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding | by The Luxi Look

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding | by The Luxi Look

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding | by The Luxi Look

In terms of a summer wedding, I am loving brightly colored and printed maxi dresses. This yellow maxi by Arrive Clothing stopped me dead in my tracks.

Ok, I’m being a little dramatic. But HOW GORGEOUS is this color?! I know mustard is having a moment this season, but this bright yellow is so beautiful and full of sunshine!

Right away, I checked out Arrive’s entire collection and couldn’t believe how fashion forward the designs were at the price point (most items are around $100!).

Unfortunately this dress is sold out (fingers crossed it comes back in stock) – but I rounded up a bunch of other cute dresses from Arrive (seriously my new favorite brand) that would be perfect for attending a wedding! Check them out below and let me know what you think.

xx, Amy

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