That moment you realize you started to write this post May 1 and it’s already the last day of the month. May is always such a busy time for me with work but I didn’t anticipate being booked on so many long jobs along with selling my home, buying another and moving, all during the same few weeks. Talk about exhausting! June, I hope you are a little more relaxing! This girl needs a little pool time in her life! Speaking of summer days by the pool, my latest Splurge or Steal in the May issue of Austin Woman Magazine is out. Like I said, I’m a month behind on sharing this so the issue isn’t even going to be on stands in Austin anymore. BUT you can see these fun pool outfits here, thankfully!
splurge or steal
Roses are red, violets are blue and heads will turn to look at you. Who out there is a huge fan of Valentine’s Day? Or not? I honestly can’t believe it’s already here. This time last year I was laid up in bed after having major shoulder surgery. Needless to say my Valentine’s date night was non-existent in 2017. That is definitely going to change this year! Grayson and I made reservations at one of our favorite sushi spots in Austin; Uchi. If you are ever in ATX you MUST go eat there. I’m not normally one that likes Valentine’s but I feel like it’s an excuse to clear the schedule and actually get out together while we both have some free time! How sad. 😂
Can you believe it’s already November? This has to be one of my favorite times of the year. Chillier temperatures, an evening in with the fire burning, hot coco, Starbucks holiday cups, family time and so much more! Is there anything better than snuggling up next to a fire with a hot cup of coco with lots of marshmallows? I don’t know what it is but I am a much happier person when the weather is cooler and the holidays are around the corner. I’ve already started decorating the house with new Christmas decor I just scored this week!! All we need is our fake Christmas tree and we’re good to go! Did y’all know I’m allergic to real trees???
Tired of looking like your mother when wearing a power suit? Thankfully, the times are changing and women’s suiting has had a major facelift over the years. We no longer have to worry about boxy, oversized blazers with huge shoulder pads and trousers that don’t fit right. You all remember those, right?? The exact outfit your mom used to wear to work everyday?? I can guarantee you my mom still has some of those suits in her closet! It’s like I can still envision those photos in my head from back in the day!
Hey, sailor! The nautical trend has been all the rage for what seems like centuries and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. It’s one of those ageless trends that tends to come back into the fashion world every few years or so. Whether it is in style or not, you can really never go wrong with wearing something nautical. I feel like it is such a classic look that is going to turn heads any season; Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter and it’s one of the easiest to achieve.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and no one wants to break the bank with an outfit they might only wear a handful of times. In my latest Austin Woman Magazine column I focused on 2 identical looks, one expensive and one affordable for those who like a real steal! These Splurge or Steals have been my favorite out of all of the Ask Ashley’s I have written for this magazine over the past 4 years. I literally take so much pride in finding completely identical looks; one being on the higher end and one lower. I want readers to look at the side-by-sides and not even be able to tell the difference!
The cooler days of Fall have finally arrived and that means time to start bundling up. If you’re like me, you don’t alway want to spend a fortune on winter clothes that you will only wear a couple months out of the year. With this month’s splurge or steal I have shown how you can achieve a two thousand dollar look without breaking the bank yet still staying chic and cozy!
As the joy of gift giving fades and the reality of holiday spending hits your bank account this January, bargain shopping for fabulous style is a resolution must. Ideally, we could buy anything we wanted at Neiman Marcus, regardless of the price tag. But that’s not the real world, and besides, it’s just as easy to achieve that $1,000 look without breaking the bank. My motto is wear what you love, no matter your budget. Either of these almost-identical winter looks is perfect for cozying up by the fire or toasting the new year with your girlfriends. With drastically different price tags, you can strut a winter-chic wardrobe in style and within your own budget.
*Click photo to enlarge*
When to Splurge, When to Save
Jewelry is a great example of how to look like a million bucks without spending a fortune. While nice watches and classic jewelry are great investment items, inexpensive costume jewelry is a fabulous way to stay on trend without dipping into your savings for a new pair of earrings.
Over-the-knee boots are the trend right now, and we are seeing them everywhere: in magazines and style blogs, on models and friends. Boots are usually a splurge item for me because a well-made (and typically more expensive) pair of leather boots will last much longer than a poorly made (and typically less expensive) option. However, I broke the bank buying the seemingly splurge-worthy Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots, but then I found a similar pair for less than $300 that I actually receive more compliments on. In this case, save your money for another splurge!
Classic handbags like this Chanel Boy bag are wardrobe staples that can be passed on to your kids and grandkids. These types of handbags are iconic for a reason: They last a lifetime. Years of good use and impeccable style help justify the designer investment. Luckily, if you’re simply not in the market for this type of luxury item, there are countless alternative options that will give you the same style at a fraction of the cost.
Bottom line: I can’t justify $595 on a brand-name cardigan when I can find a look-alike piece from Forever 21 for $21.80. Except for staples (like a black leather jacket), clothing is a savings goldmine. If splurge money were no object, I would regularly purchase higher-quality garments. However, until I hit the jackpot, I will be saving on affordable look-alikes, especially for trends that may come and go in one season.
Splurge Details: $13,163
*Click designers to shop look*
Save Details: $914
*Click designers to shop look*
Every quarter I get to write an article for my column, Ask Ashley, in Austin Woman Magazine. The past articles have ranged from what classic pieces to invest in to Splurge or Save content. From what feedback I have gathered, Splurge or Save articles are by far the best!
This month’s Ask Ashley is definitely my favorite of all of my articles and all of my Splurge or Saves! I mean, the two looks are practically identical and thousands of dollars apart in the cost. This goes back to my Target Style Series; you look absolutely stunning or cute and comfy without spending a ton of money.
Here is a bigger, split version if you couldn’t read the text in the others!
Throw Back Thursday!
Splurge or Steals are some of my favorite shoots to do because it gives people options on what to buy that they can actually afford! Not all of us can afford this gorgeous Herve Leger Dress! This shoot happened to be for Austin Woman Magazine’s February issue and it was a blast! Last week I shot another one of these for my Ask Ashley column in the December issue, so keep an eye out!!
Which is your favorite?? My personal fav. is definitely the Herve!! It fit like a glove, as they all do, and I would definitely say SPLURGE on that!
Splurge Outfit Details:
Dress – Herve Leger // Clutch – Gucci // Jewelry – Stephen Dweck // Shoes – Valentino
Save Outfit Details:
Dress – H&M // Jewelry – Target // Clutch – Target // Shoes – Chinese Laundry