Accessories

I am a huge fan of accessories, all the little extra bits of "flair" (office space anyone) that add to your look - necklaces, shoes, belts, bags, even your nail designs. Below are some of my favorite accessories that I've worn in the last year.
 Shop around - It may take a couple of tries to find a nail technician who listens to you and has an excellent eye for color, style, and shape 
From Top, necklaces 1 (emerald and clear crystals),2 (gold starfish), and three (crystal and ceramic flowers) are available for sale HERE
Allana Balfour

Dear Fashion, I Love You.

At my family's city farm. I know, so not practical. I usually go for style over situation and that sometimes gets me into trouble or has lead to the demise of some favorite pieces but que sera. Love fashion!!
Cracked, black-faux leather tee, gathered cotton skirt, Spiked, jelly, gladiator sandal, silver tribal necklace



Allana Balfour

Friday, Friday, Friday


Two looks with a favorite black and white cardigan. 

Three necklaces available today on JohnandAllana.com , a new style site that I will be curating and contribuiting content for. They are large, fabulous pieces that seriously hold their own. Any one of them would have taken the below outfits to the next level. I think the emerald/clear crystals would have been amazing with the pants look and the flowers would have accentuated the dress below perfectly.                                                                                                                                                                 Left from top : Gold starfish necklace, Colorful jeweled flower necklace, Emerald and clear crystal necklace

I love mixing prints.The striped cardigan and printed jeans are bold but don't fight each other. I added in a necklace I affectionately call my "skittles" because of the colored candy looking pieces, classic black patent pumps, and a bright Steve Madden bag

                                                                     Dress look Here
Allana Balfour

Color Block



Wearing: Zebra print/plum/black color-block dress, purple ombre pashmina, black tights, Steve Madden patent, platform heels. Hair in an easy top knot. 
Allana Balfour



Gorgeousness is coming.

I love jewelry...a lot. Fat, chunky, rocks can make you look so luxe. A beautiful necklace is a perfect frame for your face and rings and bracelets highlight those beautiful little parts of your body. Over the last couple of years I've created a cool collection for myself of gorgeous statement pieces and have developed an eye for trends and forever pieces. We all want to look good and I really want to share my access to these with you and help you create a collection of your own. I am launching my jewelry flash-sales with the soon-to-be-launched style site JohnandAllana. The pieces will be offered at amazingly good prices and in limited quantities (25 each), one style per day, on Thursdays through Saturdays each week. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to make sure you get it all and to be eligible for contests. Sales begin this Thursday. Gorgeousness is coming! 
1) Emerald, clear crystal, and blush pink stones. 
2) Gold seashell and starfish necklace with pearl accents. 
3) Crystal and ceramic flower necklace on chunky gold curb chain
Allana Balfour

Full Figured Fashion Week

This weekend was amazeballs!! With the exception of heading out to a cocktail event hosted by fashion blogger Chastity Garner of GarnerStyle who was in NYC for Full Figured Fashion Week, I spent the entire weekend working on the prototypes for the first Inspector33 pieces. First pieces available really soon and hint..They're more than they seem. I felt amazingly lucky to work on what I love, esp. with my guy by my side - Bet you didn't know that the handsome John can sew (his mom taught him).  How lucky am I? I didn't get to go to any of the #FFFW events this year, and I don't know who will be producing it next year, but wherever it is I will be there.  

On Saturday my friend Oneida of Girl With a Map, who I've been lucky to know since elementary school, and I went to the Park South Hotel for the cocktail event (1). Before heading up we met The Curvy Fashionista, Marie Denee as she headed out to the #FFFW finale (2). I love her adventurous style; she was rockin' a super sexy lace dress from Lala Belle. Meeting Chastity Garner was wonderful. She was a gracious host and even though we were super late, she made us feel very welcome. Her silk Jibri two piece (looks like a jumper right?) fit her curves beautifully and she looked like a star. The group of women were friendly, and inviting and I hope to hook up with them again. Good drinks, friendly people, great view, and beautiful clothes - I had a great time.  @GarnerStyle you are inspiring. 
(1) The beautiful Oneida wearing the first Inspector33 prototype skirt (more details to come) and a gold starfish statement necklace. All other items are her own.  Me wearing leggings, a longline cami, and suit jacket, my "fawn shoes" and an emerald and pink jewel statement necklace.  Gold starfish necklace and Emerald /pink jewel statement necklaces available on the style site JohnandAllana later this week. 
 (2)Meeting the fabulous Marie Denee
(3)With the beautiful host Chastity Garner
Allana Balfour

Two looks, one shoe



It's Friday and that means two looks. Sexy dresses paired with beautiful accessories and a hot shoe can go anywhere. Both these looks can go from work to a night out. Accessories can make or break an outfit     and take it to the next level. If you've been checking me out, you know that I'm big on the accessories,           especially beautiful necklaces; necklaces fit everyone and create a frame for your face. I hope you like           these looks and that they inspire you to wear something special this weekend. Much love. 

Black peplum dress with sweetheart neckline, lace detailing and lace shoulders and sleeves, Eagle necklace (one of my very favorites) Eagle claw bracelet, white/black/gold, platform, peeptoe pumps, royal blue and red lace undergarment.  
Black/hot pink/neon orange color-blocked dress, faceted glass and gold statement necklace, gold/orange/white murano glass ring, white/black/gold, platform, peeptoe pumps
Allana Balfour

Step Into the Light

So I wasn't expecting this to be a topic today but it's interesting how life can maneuver you into the position you are supposed to be in. I found out that my hours at my day job will be limited from now on. I still get a full work week (Yay!!) but I work a lot of OT and depend on that to help pay the bills. While it's great to know I will be getting out of work at 5pm each day I felt a little panic at how much less I will make. But then saw the other side; this is a gift of time that will allow me to move in the direction of freedom, joy and creativity.

Last week I watched a commencement address given by Jim Carrey and it really moved me. He spoke about the necessity of doing what you love. He also spoke about "putting your order in" with the universe, asking for exactly what you want. I want to be creative, be surrounded by beautiful thing and happy people, spend more time with my family, contribute to the world and make people feel wonderful about themselves. I have been putting it out there that I am ready to start my fashion line but was so crunched for time and here delivered is the wiggle room. My initial reaction was fear but now I am feeling pretty optimistic. 

I am incredibly grateful for this position that has allowed me to support my little family and I am lucky to like everyone I work with but I'm going to take as a gift and work really hard move forward to a bigger life. Soon I will be doing exactly what I am meant to do. It seems extra fortuitous that yesterday I purchased an investment in my future -  A heavy duty sewing machine. Here's to really good times ahead and loving what we do. 

                    Oh, and Melissa McCarthy, I want to work with you and I'm coming your way. 

For now, I hope you like these outfits and they give you some ideas on how to pump up the (color) volume.  
 Navy T-shirt: Old Navy, Pashmina shawl worn as scarf: NYC, Coiled wire hoop earrings: Street vendor, Print skirt with pockets: Target , Sueded, stiletto, mary janes: Charlotte Russe.  
Green wrap sweater -Favorite Sweater ever and I've had it for a while. You can't go wrong with a wrap anything and it's short sleeved so I wear it year round . Skinny jeans and graphic ballet flats: Forever 21
Black long cotton cardigan: Target, V-neck tee and bodycon mini skirt: Forever21
Allana Balfour

Brun


So, yeah, this isn't my usual bright, in-your-faceness, but I like playing with texture and gradients within a monochromatic palette. This is one of my favorite dresses; a wrap or faux-wrap dress looks good on just about anyone;  the belted waist falls at the smallest part of most women (high waist), and the knit shoulders add some visual and tactile interest. A gold pair of hoops are classic, as is an enamel bracelet. I especially love a hinged bracelet because my hands are wider and most bangles don't make it over them. Loafers make almost any outfit look polished and a tiny bit prep and in lieu of my prettier jade pendant (for good luck) I subbed in my "lifesaver". 
Brown faux-wrap dress with crocheted shoulders, jade pendant, spotted, tasseled, loafers, gold and cream enamel hinged bangle.

Allana Balfour

Happy Monday


Running behind this morning I didn't get too creative with the outfit but I had this new statement necklace that I've been dying to wear and thought this high octane red was the perfect backdrop. I am working to curate a new site, JohnandAllana.com (a really fashionable and forward style and shopping site for curvy women and big/tall men) and I am considering this as one of the pieces to carry. I am in love ; it's jewels upon jewels, upon color and shine. The chunky gold chain adds a bit of edge to the sweet prettiness of the clustered flowers. Add in my new nail art (I know I have an obsession with polka dots), floral phone case, and suede, studded, color blocked shoes and I was out the door. How could Monday be bad with all this gorgeousness. 



A little while ago I wore the same same basic pieces, but with  different accessories it's a totally new look. 
Allana Balfour

So, that happened


I have a subscription to JustFab.com but funds are tight (temporary) and for the last six or so months I have been "skipping" making purchases. Yesterday I wandered by their site and saw they had a 2-for-1 sale plus they have a "fall preview" happening. The fact that it's the beginning of  June and Fall items are for sale is a bit ridiculous, but I digress. Anyway, I browsed the selection and came across these two faux leather, laser cutout, peep toe boots. I had a physical reaction , felt the pull, thought they are some of the most ferocious pieces of footwear I have ever seen. Not only will they be beautiful now with wide, gathered or pleated midi-skirts and tailored shorts but oh my gosh, I picture them layered over all my colored tights in Fall. I can't even handle it, so freakin' hot!!!  Plus I could get them both for $39.99. I "splurged" on myself and I got them. So yeah, that happened, but I'm not even sorry. Amazing deal and ridiculous hotness. I can't wait to get them. I will do a review as soon as I can get them on my feet.

Left and Top: Madelina  , Right and Bottom: Bellona 

Allana Balfour




That's Hot (pink)


It a cold, grey Wednesday here in The City. Blah. I took this picture in a warmer, brighter time.  Hopefully the hot pink (one of my fave colors) brings you some warmth, or at least a smile. 
Tee: WalMart, Leggings: Macys , My go-to black bag : JustFab, Jeweled Flats: Macys , Glow in the dark geometric necklace: Gift from a friend's trip to Europe. Thanks Shelly. 
Allana Balfour

So pretty

TheCurvyFashionista posted today about the plus size evening wear brand Viviana. The dresses were gorgeous and can be found Curvety. They are based in the UK and carry "clothing, from glam evening wear, to smart work wear – in sizes 16 to 36." When I visited Curvety I fell in love. They have beautiful, stylish and colorful plus size dresses. We all know I love a bold, feminine dress and go gaga for color. There's something for everyone; lots of their dresses have sleeves, lots of midi-length skirts, stretch for comfort and bold prints. My favorite dresses are the two directly below. They are so bright, sexy, and exuberant it makes me happy just to look at them. Must Have!!















Above From Top (Clockwise)  -  Igigi by Yuliya Cassisdy Dress in Vermillion Polka Dot ;  Igigi by Yuliya Raquel Linea Maxi Dress in Floral/Violet ;  Curvety Abigail Print Jersey Dress ;  Kirsten Krog Umiko Dress in black, gold, green and blue.




Above From Top (clockwise) - Tia Lysandra Dress in Abstract Floral ; The Gabbi Dress in Spring Green ;                                                         The  Layla Dress in Aquamarine . 
Allana Balfour

Next Friday

 This week has been great. The weather has been beautiful and I was able to get out into the city and see my wonderful friends.
On Sunday I had a brunch with my"mastermind" group, a group of "Ladies Who Brunch" and support each other in accomplishing our goals. We try to hold each other accountable in taking the steps needed to make our professional and personal dreams come true. We met in the city and had brunch at Petite Abielle,  a little spot in the West Village; the chicken and waffles were amazing. After, we walked over to Union Square where we sat under the trees and talked some more, then headed to Queens to celebrate Pride with another one of our friends. Thanks #jumperpear for inviting me into your home and the generous offer to use your TOTO. Kizzy, Vonetta and Oneida, it was one of the best days since I've been back in NYC. SpaCastle here we come.
Mid-week,  I found out one of our friend's from Belgium was in the city for one last night. I hadn't seen him in many, many years so it was a must that I go. The spot, a bowling alley in the Port Authority. Who knew? The atmosphere is pretty cool (very lounge-like), the drinks (and fries) are good, and the people actually bowling looked like they were having a good time. It's amazing when you get together with friends you haven't seen in a long time and you talk like you saw them just yesterday - though for #jumperpear it was almost yesterday. My friends are doing big things with their lives and it's very inspiring.  I got an invitation to Belgium which I totally intend to cash in. Miko, Atu, and Peter seeing you made my day.  

My friends may not know this but by being their own beautiful selves and chasing their own dreams, they inspire me to be my best. Thank you.
Allana Balfour

How I do a rainy morning

Headed off to work on a very grey, and rainy spring morning. Well if the sun won't shine, I will. Hair in a top puff to keep the frizz at bay and lots of color; that's how I do. 

Allana Balfour

Neon Lights

Neons are a color story that isn't going to go away; not that I want them to.  I absolutely love the super intense color palate. As you can probably tell by now I love bright colors in general. Wearing head to toe neon is a bit daring and can be difficult to pull off. You have to pick a shade that works well with your complexion and find a way to break up the ultra-bright color. I've worn a sheer neon yellow blouse (with a black cami underneath) and paired it with a grey knit pencil skirt with a similarly colored lining. The shoes are leopard print with gold detailing and a white crystal statement necklace finishes this sexy look off.

Neon yellow shirt with patch pockets and Grey open-knit skirt with yellow lining: Target, Strappy leopard print sandals with gold metal detailing: Forever21, White faceted crystal necklace with etched gold detailing: Boutique.

Allana Balfour

Pretty in Pink

 Heard from a customer at the nail salon: "You're going to have to cut them again. I don't know what happened. You cut them two weeks ago and I think they grew again. I don't know."

Eavesdropping on entertaining conversations aside,  I love how my nails turned out. The mix of prints plus the pretty pink is perfect. I like being creative with just about everything.
Cardigan:Target,  Floral leggings and Longline cami: Forever21,  Burgandy, croc print cross-body bag with chain strap: JustFab

Allana Balfour