Everyday Outfits- February

About two years ago, I used to share some of my weekly internship and class outfits from college. I thought it would be fun to start a monthly series of similar posts. I will try to mix it up with casual, activewear, and going out clothes, but it will probably be more workwear than anything else. Most of my posts here on the blog are of outfits that I actually wear. So, this isn't to say that these are my "real" outfits. But, it is a way to share some outfits that aren't as dressed up, or don't make it to a full post. So, here is the first installment for the month of February!

2/6- Barre class
Printed vest | Sweatshirt | Similar leggings | Similar sneakers

2/11- Bars
Top (old color) | Jeans | Earrings | Similar ankle boots | Wristlet c/o

2/14- work
Very similar sweaterLace pants | Earrings | Heels

2/17- Charlotte Ballet performance
Similar shirt (old version of the same style) | Jeans | OTK boots | Similar trench

2/18- Art museum
Silk top | Jeans | Flats | Similar bag

2/20- work
Striped top | Skirt | Similar shoes

2/22- barre class
Sweatshirt | Leggings | Sneakers (and adult size version)

2/25- work
Dress (old print) | Similar button down | Flats

2/26- brunch and church
Gingham shirt | Similar scarf | Jeans | Ankle boots

Thanks for reading!

4 Years of Caralina Style

4 years (and 1 day) ago, I decided to start my own little website. The above photos are from about the same time of year in 2016 and 2013.  The photo on the left is from The Blog Societies Conference last August in Charleston. This was just a few days after I moved out on my own and started working my first full time job. And the photo on the right was from my first outfit post from 2013, the beginning of my sophomore year of college at Mercyhurst University. A lot has happened to this site between those two photoshoots.
When I first started this blog, I thought I would just share an outfit here and there, and maybe give a few blurbs about what was going on in my life. I had no idea I would work with some amazing companies, meet some wonderful people, and get to have some really fun experiences all because of this little blog. I started the blog during my freshman year of college, so it's also great that I am able to look back on my college experience through my old posts. I also don't know how I would have survived the transition phase between college graduation and entering the work force, without blogging. It was so great to have a creative outlet during that time, and I learned so much about the business of blogging through working with brands and other bloggers. As much as I have loved posting outfit photos since the beginning, I have also had the best time decorating my apartment and being able to share it all here over the last few months!
I will admit, blogging has not been as much of a priority in my life since I started working full time. I have been trying to get back to my old posting schedule and I'm sorry if you have missed more consistent content. But I am always open to suggestions for what you want to see on Caralina Style. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported or contributed to this blog in any way over the last 4 years!

Thanks for reading!

End of Season Sales

Happy Friday! I'm rounding up some of the best end of season sales. Surprisingly, I have been buying more workout clothes than regular clothes lately. So I'm hoping I can find some good deals to make up for it this weekend!

Asos- up to 60% off shoes and accessories
Anthropologie- extra 40% off sale items
Ann Taylor- 40% off full price styles and extra 50% off sale items
Banana Republic- 40% off your purchase
Baublebar- up to 70% off
Bloomingdale's- take 20% off your purchase
Gap- up to 40% off everything
Gigi New York- up to 40% off crossbody and satchel bags
H&M- up to 70% off
J. Crew- 20% off select tops and pants
J. Crew Factory- 50% off everything
Kate Spade- extra 25% off sale items
Loft- 40% off full price styles and extra 50% off sale items
Lord and Taylor- 20% off regular priced and clearance items
Macy's- extra 20% off and extra 25% off clearance
Madewell- extra 30% off sale styles
Neiman Marcus Last Call- extra 30-60% off everything
Old Navy- up to 50% off
Topshop- extra 20% off

Thanks for reading and happy shopping!

Barre Class Breakdown: ClassPass and 3 Different Barre Methods

I have been going to barre classes for a about five months now, and I thought I would take this post to share some of my experience. I have been using ClassPass, so I have been going to different studios around the city. There are plenty of other workout class options available on the app, but I am only really interested in barre classes. In Charlotte there are 3 of the popular barre studios on ClassPass: Pure Barre, FlyBarre (part of FlyWheel), and Xtend Barre. I have also tried a local Charlotte studio. To sum it up in one sentence, I love them all! Each studio has fantastic instructors and staff, they are a very positive environment, and I always get a good workout. This post has not been sponsored by any of the aforementioned companies. I just thought I would share from an unbiased point of view, what I thought of each method and what makes them different. It's also going to be a long one, hang in there!

If you didn't already know, barre classes are exercises classes based on pilates and dance that are designed to build long and lean muscles. They involve a ballet barre, light weights, a lot of small movements, and are a full body workout. The exercises usually focus on certain muscle groups: abs, arms, quads, and glutes. They typically start with a warm up in the center or next to the barre, move to the barre for a variety of exercises, come off the barre for some more exercises, and end with a little bit of stretching to cool down. They don't typically have a lot of cardio, but I will explain more about that later in the post. I think these classes are a great workout for anyone. But in my opinion, they are fantastic for former dancers and would be excellent cross-training for current dancers.

Anyone can take a barre class, you do not need any dance experience to take one. However, if you are new to this blog, I personally trained in classical ballet for most of my life. I wanted to pursue a professional career in ballet (just in a small company for a few years) until my freshman year of college. From ages 12-18 I spent about 20 hours a week in classes and rehearsals, and when I was a dance major in college I was spending as much as 6 hours per day in the studio. However, for a number of reasons, I dropped to a dance minor my sophomore year. So until I finished my junior year, I was just taking one ballet class every day during the week. But dance has always been the only form of exercise I ever really liked doing, so I haven't done much since then.

It has now been a little over a year since I graduated, and I knew I should probably do something to stay in shape and keep the muscles from my dance years. But I have never liked running or going to the gym. During my last semester of college I went to yoga a lot, but I never thought of it as much of a workout. I had heard a lot of good things about barre classes but wasn't sure about them for awhile. My dance teacher growing up used to teach the very first barre method, created by modern dancer Lotte Berk. Every once in a while we would learn some exercises from it during our ballet classes, and I always remember them being very challenging. So a few months after I moved to Charlotte, I decided to give them a try. I loved it, and started off going once a week. I now go 2-3 times per week rotating around several studios. I have had such great experiences at each one!

As a new graduate in an entry-level job, I love ClassPass. Update: their pricing structure has changed and it is not the value that is once was. You used to have the option of taking either 3, 5, or 10 classes per month, with an option to add on classes later. Update: now a credit system that allows for roughly 3, 5, or 10 classes, depending on the credit value for each class. The prices vary by city (by a few dollars per class), but in Charlotte it was once about $10 per class. After the new pricing, it is about $12-$14 per class. I you travel, you can use your classes in any of the their 39 cities. If you want to try a little bit of everything in your city like spin, yoga, crossfit, etc. there are plenty of options out there.
The memberships at these studios for more than 10 or unlimited classes are around $200 per month. This may also vary by city, but there are not a lot of class options if I wanted to go every day after work, at one single studio. A lot of the classes are early in the morning or in the middle of the day. I will say I don't think ClassPass is very clear about their fees. You will be charged a $15 fee if you cancel a class within 12 hours of the class time, but will not be charged if you cancel earlier. And there is a $20 fee if you miss a class. From my experience, there is just one fee from ClassPass and no additional fees from the studio.

I have tried 4 barre methods, but for the sake of this post I am only going to share my thoughts on the popular ones that have studios around the country. As I said earlier in the post, I have had great experiences and would recommend any of these methods. But here are some of the differences between each one.

Pure Barre
I think the most popular and best known of these barre classes is Pure Barre, which is the first studio and first barre class I tried. Their classes are 55 minutes long, and they also offer a Platform class. Update: they now offer an Empower class. I think they incorporate a good amount of dance positions in the barre exercises, I know I am working a lot of the same muscles that I used to work in my ballet classes. I think the instructors here really go out of their way to learn everyone's name. They are always giving out encouraging compliments or offering helpful corrections throughout the class. As much as I love this method, I think their regular class has the slowest pace of all of the methods I have tried. I don't find myself sweating very much during the regular class, but my muscles are always still sore after it. However, the Platform class is very challenging! It has a faster pace, larger movements, and gets your heart rate going with some cardio.

The next studio I tried was FlyBarre, which is in the same location as FlyWheel spin classes. So if you also like spin classes, they offer membership for both. They offer the FlyBarre 60 class that is 60 minutes long, and the Power 45 class, that is 45 minutes long. Update: there is also a Sport 50 class, that is 50 minutes long. I have tried both, and I think the only big difference is the 60 minute class slows down a little in the middle. And obviously since there is more time, there are more exercises included. This method makes both classes very challenging! I think the instructors push a little bit harder than the other methods, and the exercises last longer with more repetitions. The instructors also learn your name very quickly and encourage you throughout class. I think this method has the least dance-like elements incorporated into their classes, but they definitely still work the same muscle groups. Although they are a great workout, if you are looking for a lot of cardio, the Power 45 and Flybarre 60 may not be the classes for you. Update: the Sport 50 class is a great option if you are looking for some cardio! The class schedule probably differs by location, but one thing I love about this studio is they have the most options for classes after work during the week, and during the day on weekends.

Xtend Barre
I am not really sure why, but Xtend Barre was the last method that I tried. I had been going to the other studios for a few months before I decided to try this one. They offer a few different classes, but I have only taken the regular Xtend Barre class (because I love it!) and it is definitely the closest to a dance class of these three methods. It has many more dance positions incorporated into the exercises, and involves more cardio. There is a set of terminology that is pretty consistent across most barre methods, but they use the most words from ballet here. Due to the added cardio, I probably sweat the most in this class as well. This method would definitely be my first recommendation to former dancers who want to keep their muscles from dance, but don't want to jump back into a full ballet class. Update: if you are local to Charlotte, the Xtend Barre Charlotte studio has closed. However you can get a similar experience in the barre classes at Air Aerial Fitness and First Wind Cycling and Fitness.

Has anyone else tried any of these barre classes, or another method?
I never would have thought I would be one of those people that are obsessed with their workout classes. I got off to a slow start, but I really love these classes! I can't say it fills the place that ballet used to have in my life, but I finally found a workout that I enjoy going to. I think I may start doing some activewear outfits on the blog as well. Let me know if there is any other fitness content anyone would like to see!

Thanks for reading!

Bell Sleeve Dress and Flamingo Scarf

Gap bell sleeve sheath dress | Lilly Pulitzer "Murfee" scarf (old, but this top is available in this print) | Sam Edelman pumps | Similar bag (under $25!) | Prada sunglasses (rented) c/o Ditto (use code "CARALINASTYLE" for your first month free!)

I don't think it would surprise anyone if I said I tend to avoid an all black outfit. I think there are plenty of great outfit combinations that are all black, I just don't personally like to wear them. Which brings us to this outfit, that started off with just the black dress and black shoes. Of course I had to add at least a little bit of color, and this flamingo scarf is always my first choice to add to a mostly black outfit. I think it is one of very few Lilly Pulitzer prints that have some black accents within the print! My mom and I have grown quite the collection of these scarves, when I was living at home for a few months after college I always had so many options! I used to always be able to count on Lilly to bring these scarves in a few prints every season, but they unfortunately do not make them in new prints anymore. However they do have this style with a tassels, this infinity scarf, and they do still have the classic Murfee scarves in state and city prints!

Thanks for reading!

February Finds Under $50

Split sleeve dress ($30) | D'Orsay pumps ($40) | Off the shoulder striped top ($23) | Off the shoulder bow top ($45) | Ruffle top ($40) | Flounce sleeve top ($30) | Crossbody bag ($22) | Metallic pleated skirt ($48) | Block heel sandals ($33) | Crochet dress ($28)

Here is the February edition of Finds Under $50! I think these pieces would all be great for spring and for these weird winter days that feel like spring. If you missed the first post of this series, here is the one from January.

Thanks for reading!

Another Striped Shirt

J. Crew funnel neck striped tee | J Brand "Maria" jeans | J. Crew Factory puffer vest | Similar OTK boots | Brahmin wristlet c/o | Ray Ban "Erika" sunglasses

Did I need another striped shirt? No. Did I buy one anyway? Of course I did. I justified buying this one because it's a little bit different than the other ones I have with the funnel neckline, and it was only $20. I got in a size larger than I normally wear as well, so it is really comfy. I have been living in tees like this one in these weird 60-70 degree days in the middle of winter. I think I might also dress this shirt up a little tucked into a wool skirt with flats or heels. Or, I could dress it down even more by throwing it on over my workout top with some fun leggings to wear to barre class.

Thanks for reading!

Favorite Lip Colors

I know I don't talk about makeup very much on the blog, mostly because I feel like I don't know enough about it. But my favorite makeup products are almost always lip colors.  Although I don't really stray from pink and red. The nude/brown and dark plum colors that have been trendy lately don't really work for me. So today I am sharing my favorite and most worn lip colors. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I think any of these bold colors would be great for any V-Day celebrations.

Sigma "Bloody Good"Power Stick

from this post

This color is great because it's a a good red, but it is more of an orange muted tone. So you still get a nice red, but it isn't too bold. It doesn't stay on for as long as I would like, but it's a great matte color.

Pixi "Ripe Raspberry" Lip Balm

from this post

This color is not only fun, but I love that it looks like a lipstick although it's really just a colored balm. It's also very moisturizing, it's my go-to year round but it's especially great in the winter. It also lasts a very long time!

Bobbi Brown "Plum Rose" Lipstick
from this post

If I ever go for a darker color, it's this one. As the name suggests, it has more of a plum tone but it is a little muted. I prefer matte lip color and this one has a little bit of shine, but not too much of one.

Gorgio Armani "Four Hundred For All" Lip Magnet Liquid Lipstick

from this post

I love this color because it's a great bright red, and it really stays put. It lasts all day, and doesn't transfer onto your coffee cup or end up all over your face when you eat. Although as someone that prefers low maintenance makeup, the liquid is a little harder to apply than a regular lipstick.

Thanks for reading!