July 2015 | Dearest Lou

Finding Quality Cashmere Fashion Pieces: What to Look For

Sophie White is a fashion blogger based in Australia. She has a keen eye for the latest in fashion, hairstyles, shoes and more, dedicating her time to everything about the fashion world.  With her passion for quality and elegant style, she leads the online marketing campaign for White + Warren, a knitwear brand in New York.

Cashmere is an all-round season fashion essential. It’s cozy, it’s elegantly stylish and it’s a luxury item, what’s not to like? People around the world are fond of this highly sought-after material, buying different clothes made of cashmere to relish that comfy feel.

Because of its price tag, people want to be sure that they are buying the right kind of cashmere. There are certain ways to make sure of this. Looking for the perfect cashmere fashion piece just for you? Then here are a few things you must keep in mind in your search.

What’s in your cashmere? Check the label.

Checking the label of your chosen item is the first step. Look for clothes that are made of pure cashmere, where possible. You can also go for items that are made of a cashmere-merino mix, but be sure to avoid acrylic blends. This is because man-made acrylic fiber is not breathable and tends to obstruct cashmere’s natural temperature insulation capabilities.

Feel your cashmere and do this little test

Gather the cashmere material and feel it with your fingers. Then, crinkle the fabric between the thumb and forefinger and observe what happens. High grade cashmere will not wrinkle when you do this test. Instead, it will immediately bounce back to its original, smooth form after you release it.

Brush the cashmere across your cheek

Your face is a highly sensitive part of your body and can easily detect itchy or irritating elements. Brush the cashmere material across your cheek and see if you feel any itching or irritation. Quality cashmere should feel soft and smooth, and any negative reaction means the cashmere you are holding is of substandard quality.

Checking the fabric’s ply

When it comes to cashmere, the thickness of the fabric is something you should pay attention to. When buying cashmere, it’s best to look for items that are at least made of a two-ply knit. This type of ply is thicker and consequently, warmer and more resilient. To check for this, place your hand inside the garment and see if your hand shows through. If it does, then it’s probably made of a single ply, which means it’s too thin and not very ideal.

The demand for cashmere

Cashmere has been transformed into an in-demand, commercial material, despite its often high price tag. Due to the high level of demand, there are now industrial-scale productions of cashmere. The increase in production also means that there has been some decrease in the prices. This means that cashmere, in the modern world, while still a luxury item, is now a really affordable and easily accessible

These days, with cashmere in such high demand, people are looking for bargains where they can find them. While this is a very good thing, the quality of the cashmere must always be checked so that you’ll have the value of your money. Use these simple and easy guidelines the next time you’re looking for that fabulous cashmere garment you’ve been yearning for.

Hustlin Mama

Pictures by Kandice Breinholt Photography

Maroon Hat (similar) || Boho Kimono || Hustlin Mama Tee || Teething Necklace || Paracord Bracelet || Maroon Jeans || Salt Water Sandals

How stunning are these pictures from Kandice Breinholt Photography? I seriously love how they turned out and can't get enough of this girls talent and artistic eye. If you are looking for a lifestyle photographer and a unique look I highly recommend her. She currently has special rates so hurry and book while you still can!

I don't have a featured item for today's look but rather a few awesome small shops I would like to introduce you guys to.

First let's talk about this amazing lightweight kimono from Loopsway. This kimono is perfect for everyday wear and lightweight enough for even the hottest of summer days. I personally LOVE the tasseled trim and the delicate touch it added to my overall look. On sale for only $9.99 and comes in 4 amazing colors, I really want the black one next.

The next two shops I want to mention are Mama and Little and Mulberry Press Co. I ended up winning this Zooey Silicone Teething Necklace and Hustlin Mama T-shirt on instagram via a giveaway these two threw together. I seriously can't get enough of these items. This t-shirt is a staple in my wardrobe, I love the baggy fit and that it can be styled dressed up or down. I can throw on a skirt, leggings, jeans, whatever.. this t-shirt makes getting dressed so easy! I love that this geometric necklace is made from silicone beads and is safe for babies to use when teething. I remember when Zaden was teething and he would always try putting my jewelry or just about anything in his mouth. This necklace will be awesome next time I have a little one.

Last but not least I would like to mention Apollo Pieces, a rad Hawaiian based shop that makes the sickest custom bracelets ever! I had the pleasure of being one of their kickstarter backers and got a killer deal on this AMAZING bracelet. The owner and founder CJ even upgraded my clasp for me and sent me an American flag inspired bracelet for the 4th of July (will post pics of that bracelet in a future post). Be sure to check out Apollo Pieces friends.

SlimQuick Pure Protein Review and $5 off Coupon

Over the last two years I've learned a lot about nutrition, fitness, and finding a healthy balance. I'm not crazy about working out everyday nor do I feel guilty when I indulge in a treat every now and again. I'm always striving to be a better me.

Working out isn't an issue, but maintaining a healthy diet full of healthy fats, protein, and carbs isn't always the easiest.

I've recently hit this funk where I have been indulging a little too much and only working out 3 times a week instead of my usual 5. I don't know if it's this awfully hot weather that has caused this lack of motivation. I can tell that I've gained at least 1-2 pounds of body fat during this funk.

Getting a good amount of protein without going over on fats isn't very easy, that's why I LOVE protein powder. Protein Powder is low on carbs and fats but obviously very high in protein. Having a high protein diet makes me feel less hungry during the day and helps me fight food cravings.

It's been a week since I've been adding SlimQuick Pure Protein into my daily diet and boy have I noticed a difference.

SlimQuick Pure Protein tastes incredibly delicious and doesn't have that awful after taste that many proteins have. It provides 10 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving. It's made with BioPure Green TeaTM, a natural extract that helps speed up your metabolism. I also believe that this is the ingredient that gives me a little more energy than I normally have throughout the day (; It's been shown in a clinical study to help overweight women lose 3 times the weight versus dieting alone in just 3 weeks. I personally don't know whether or not I have lost any weight but I do know that my pants and skirts are fitting much more comfortably.

If you are finding yourself in a funk or are struggling with over-eating and not getting enough protein in your diet I suggest trying SlimQuick Pure Protein! It has definitely helped with my cravings and tastes more like a shake than a protein drink. Here's a $5 off coupon that's valid now through August 31, 2015.

Be sure to check out SlimQuick on their website and social media:

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post powered by BrandBacker, all opinions expressed are my own. SlimQuick sent me a SlimQuick Pure Protein Powder in French Vanilla for my review.

Jumpsuit Style

Happy 4th!!

Styled Two Ways: Red, White, and Blue Maxi Dress

Visit our Style Two Ways Archive to see past posts and don't forget to check out Fatima's Blog.

Today's post features this red, white, and blue maxi dress from Pink Blush. They also have it available at Pink Blush maternity for you preggos out there. Pink Blush Maternity offers trendy maternity clothes so you can look and feel your best during pregnancy (;

Styled Two Ways: Red, White, and Blue Dress

Visit our Style Two Ways Archive to see past posts and don't forget to check out Fatima's Blog.

Today's post features this red, white, and blue dress from Pink Blush. They also have it available in a Pink Blush maternity styled top for you preggos out there. Pink Blush Maternity offers trendy maternity clothes so you can look and feel your best during pregnancy (;