Five Fashion Friday Favorites!

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You had to know this Fashion Friday with Cents of Style would be a special one because it is Black Friday! This week’s amazing deal is not on one item or two items. There are FIVE fabulous customer favorites on sale today, so take a quick break from your Gilmore Girls marathon to check them out:

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You just need the code BACKINBLACK16 to get 40% these five items AND free shipping on your order! Here’s a closer look at each piece on sale:

The Annabelle Cardigan

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The Annabelle Cardigan is just $17.97 on this sale! It comes in sizes small-3XL and 18 different colors! I have the navy and sized up to a medium because I like my cardigans to be a little more roomy. I am VERY happy with the larger size, so consider your preference and check the size chart before ordering!

The Dempsey Beanie

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The Dempsey Beanie is a warm beanie with great texture that comes in 16 different colors! The beanie is only $10.77 with the BACKINBLACK16 code!

The Brayden Blanket Scarf

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A classic, cozy blanket scarf that will be the perfect accessory to your holiday outfits for only $12.57? Yep! And those booties are on sale, too…

Moccasin Bootie Boot

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Look how well all these items go together! The moccasin bootie boot with fun details is available in two colors and is on sale for only $19.77 shipped!

Cassie Herringbone Coat

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I had not seen this herringbone coat until this sale and I’m in LOVE. It looks so versatile and classic. I can’t even believe it’s only $25.77 with the code BACKINBLACK2016 today!

These items have all been HUGE hits in the past, so shop early and grab your favorites before they sell out of your size and color!

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My Favorite Black Friday Sale of All Starts Now!

This post contains affiliate links.

I know this is a busy time of year, so I’m just going to get right to it: my favorite Black Friday sale of the year is back and I have to show you some of my favorites!

DaySpring is currently running a sitewide 30% off sale which means EVERYTHING on the site is 30% off! Use the code FRIDAY16 to get 30% off cards, journals, home decor, and great gift ideas for the whole family.

There are a few exceptions to this 30% off sale, but that’s only because the items in the Black Friday specials section are marked down up to 60%! A few of my faves from this amazing sale:

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These GORGEOUS wooden candlestick holders are normally $60 for the set, but they are marked down to just $25 right now!

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Love Does is one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read, so I think this Love Does set makes the perfect gift. These four items – calendar, journal, mug, and gift bag – are only $15 total during this sale!

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If you are a creative person or have one on your gift list, this starter set for creative bible journaling would make an amazing present. Illustrated Faith has been very popular on DaySpring, so these sets will go fast at just $60 (normally $89.98)!

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We LOVE the Letterpress block set we have in our home and there are several sets on sale during Black Friday. This “Jesus” set retails for $48, but it’s only $15 right now! $15!

Amazing deals, right?! You don’t have to wait for Black Friday to score some great sale items – shop DaySpring now! You’ll also want to stay tuned because more sale items will be coming your way in just a few days! I’ll be sharing them all so you don’t miss a thing!

Happy shopping! Let me know if you have any questions about the sale or items – we own so many DaySpring items that I’m starting to be an expert!

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Just Be Kind

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We pray every day on the way to school. The boys share prayer requests and I pray. As he has gotten older, the youngest developed quite the long list of prayer requests he likes to share. This year, he added this prayer to his daily requests:

“That the boys and I would be good friends to others.”

I’m feeling the weight of the world this week with all the negativity and meanness floating around amongst adults, but when he shares that hope and prayer in his sweet four-year-old voice, I can’t help but feel lighter.

To be clear, I don’t think we have to be friends with everyone, but in his heart and mine is this plea to all of humanity:

JUST BE KIND.

That’s all I want. Disagree, stand up for your beliefs, defend your rights, but I beg you to do it in a civil manner and treat one another with kindness.

Just be kind. We can do this, friends.

Want to spread the message of kindness with me? The “Be Series” from Cents of Style is just the way to do it and it is all on sale today!

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I shared my “Be Brave” tee and story before, but I think it’s time to add this “Be Kind” sweatshirt to my closet! Yep – there are sweatshirts now and they are fabulous!

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The whole “Be Series” is 50% off this weekend with the code BESERIES1 at checkout! This includes tees, sweatshirts, bracelets, and brand new designs! I’m grabbing a sweatshirt for less than $20 and shipping is always free!

Be kind. Be the good. Take some time to be still this weekend. And spread the word of the message you love most by grabbing it on sale and wearing it for all to see! Remember – this weekend only, use the code BESERIES1 for 50% off and free shipping!

Which “BE” message is your favorite and why?

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Thankful, Grateful, Blessed, and a FREE Tee!

I received this shirt to review. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Thankful. Grateful. Blessed.

Do you know what these words make me feel?

These three words make me feel cozy. Warm and fuzzy.

Maybe it’s because we talk a lot in the fall about thankful, but I think it goes deeper than that.

Gratitude does not come naturally to us. It is something we must practice frequently in order to make it a more regular part of our lives. I became more fully aware of just how little I was giving thanks for the things around me when I first encountered the writings of Ann Voskamp. Her simple, but powerful idea of counting the gifts in our days changed everything.

Here is what I found: when I am deliberately looking for the gifts in my life AND giving thanks for them, I can’t help but be filled with joy. I feel warm and cozy, wrapped in the knowledge that God’s love is everywhere in my life, present in sunrise and dishes dirtied by my children and the kiss from my husband as he gets home from work.

When I’m giving thanks, I am lighter, not weighed down by the stress, but lifted by gratitude. This changes not only how I feel, but how I act:

“A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.” – Ann Voskamp

I can tell you that in this season of life, the thanksgiving has slowed greatly as busyness takes its place. It shows up in how I feel and how I treat those around me. Then this shirt showed up on my doorstep:

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I think Cents of Style has been reading my mind because I just had to smile and know God was sending me a message with this shirt. The answer to happiness isn’t in doing more or having more – it’s in the gratitude for what we already have surrounding us. I started looking for gifts and wouldn’t you know? I felt warm and cozy and happy because I have so much to be thankful for, even in a stressful season.

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“Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.” – Ann Voskamp

This is it, friends. We give thanks because it shifts our focus off of us and gives glory to God, and then comes the miracle – we are changed. Thanksgiving isn’t just a day on the calendar – it is an every day act that will transform us.

And this shirt? You can get it FREE today!

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Sorry. I get a little excited about Cents of Style deals. This weekend, when you spend $25, you will get this tee FREE!

Here’s how it works:

  • Find products you love (jewelry, clothes, shoes, whatever you have to have) and add them to your cart.
  • When the cart totals $25 or more, add the Thankful Grateful Blessed shirt from the Fashion Friday page to the cart.
  • Hit Checkout.
  • Put the code THANKFUL1 in the “Gift Card or Discount Code” Box to make your t-shirt FREE!

Remember: the code is THANKFUL1 and it will make this brand new t-shirt FREE with any $25 purchase, + FREE SHIPPING! Anything on the Cents of Style site is fair game – any purchase that totals $25 qualifies for the free t-shirt!

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Pick out $25 of great items, grab your free tee, and let’s practice gratitude together right now!

What are you thankful for today?

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Those First Years

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

I’ve been through that first year with a little one three times. Thanks to WaterWipes, I’ve spent a little time thinking back on those first years. Each of my sons’ first years had lots in common, but they were also so different for me AND for them.

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The first “first year” was full of new things for all of us. Every milestone was a first for our son, but also for us as parents. The first feeding, first diaper change, first time getting peed on during a diaper change – and that was just the first day! I remember lots of exhaustion, but I also remember being in awe of this little person and the fact that he was ours.

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The responsibility was weighty, but it also brought my husband and I together as a team like nothing before it. We were raising this little man and we couldn’t do it without one another. Marriage united us, but parenting together that first year elevated our teamwork to a whole new level. Of all the firsts – foods and words and steps – being parents together for the first time might have been my favorite part.

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The second “first year,” with our second son, was a whole new world. With a two-year-old holding much of our attention, this little one learned to fall asleep on his own much faster and had built in entertainment AND competition from his older brother. We had joyful firsts, but we also had challenging firsts – our first experience with reflux and a teething nursing baby – YIKES! Where my husband and I solidified our unity during our first son’s first year, with #2, I was learning how to be a stay-at-home mom. And I started a blog. This blog. That first year of blogging is a whole different story…

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There was a longer gap between the second and third child, so I almost felt like I was starting over! Our third son’s first year was a little stressful as it involved moving to a new city, job change, and homeschool. When I think back on it now, though, our third little boy brought so much joy and laughter during that first year. Our oldest son was too young to remember when his middle brother was a baby, so both him and our middle son were fascinated by all the new things their youngest brother was doing! Remember that awe I talked about with our first son? I could see it on the faces of our older two boys when the littlest started to crawl, took on the stairs (way too early), and started forming words.

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How can it be ten years since that first year? When I think back on it all, it can be a blur, but it’s been a beautiful, messy, wonderful blur of life with these boys of ours. These memories helped me realize that it didn’t matter where we were or what we had during those first years. What mattered was this family and realizing those boys needed and loved us more than anything else. And we love them even more.

I’m thankful that WaterWipes is taking the time to discuss, celebrate, and bring transparency to baby’s first year. Take a look at this fabulous video from WaterWipes and moms just like you and me:

This is just another reason I love WaterWipes. Their product is pure and perfect for the first years that we are remembering and celebrating here! Whether you’re in that first year or down the parenting road a ways, WaterWipes can keep you and your kids clean in the simplest, purest way (99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract).

Let’s talk about the first year! Favorite memories? Craziest moments?

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The Swing Dress

I received this dress to review. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.

This is a style trend I can TOTALLY do. Yes, I already love dresses, but even if you don’t, I think this swing dress will make a believer (and a dress-wearer) out of you!

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The Remi swing dress from Cents of Style will be your go-to dress for being comfy and looking put together at the same time! This dress – in 17 different colors and sizes S – 3X – is only $21.95 shipped with the code DRESS2016 this weekend!

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I have a thing for gray. I knew this dark gray swing dress (size small) would get worn all the time! We’re finally experiencing fall temperatures, so a blanket scarf and ankle boots (mine are from Tecovas) were just what the swing dress needed to be fall ready.

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A swing dress can be worn by itself or paired with boots and tights, leggings and flats, distressed jeans, and so on. It is THE versatile dress you need this fall because you can wear it a million ways! I’m thinking a chunky necklace and a floppy wool hat for a girls’ night out! Best part: you’ll be comfy wherever and however you wear it! Check out this video for more great styling tips from women of all shapes and sizes!

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Now you just need to decide which color (or colors) you’re going to buy! Remember – each dress is just $21.95 shipped with the code DRESS2016 this weekend only!

What color should I buy next? What color is your favorite?

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My Fall Uniform

I received these items to review from Sweet P & Fi. I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own.

I am a capsule wardrobe dropout. I just couldn’t stick to 30-40 pieces exclusively for a whole season because I like to mix things up. I do, however, like to have a go-to outfit for the days when I want to feel comfortable, confident, and put together without too much thought. Honestly, we want to feel like that every day, right?

My fall uniform is something you will find me in at least four days a week. It’s more of an outfit formula and looks like this:

long top + skinny bottoms + boots

This formula gives me a starting point, but it also allows for lots of creativity, so I never feel stuck like I did with a capsule wardrobe. While I adore this uniform, I have a found a few challenges within this formula.

First, long tops such as tunics don’t always fit me well because I am smaller on top and wider on bottom. More fitted tunics are tough because, if I pick a size to fit my hips, the shoulders are much too big. This is why I pick longer tops either with stretch, a slight flair at the hips, or with lots of flow.

Second, skinny bottoms can mean lots of things: skinny jeans, jeggings, skinny pants, faux leather leggings, and leggings. I LOVE comfy leggings for my “skinny bottoms” option, but leggings present lots of questions. Are they soft? constricting? see-through? Will they fall down over and over again?

As fall officially sets in this week, I’ve been pulling out my fall clothes, planning different variations of my uniform, and adding a few new key pieces to update it for 2016. My new go-to place for all things fashionable is Sweet P & Fi, an online boutique, owned by lovely local mom, Molly!

Here’s my fall uniform, the Sweet P & Fi edition!

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The very second I saw this tunic, with its amazing fall color, front pocket, cowl neck, and perfect fit, I knew I had to make it mine. It has a great texture and won’t be too hot on a sunny fall day. Sweet P & Fi is also getting the same top in black – I must have it! These will be up on the site very soon, so keep your eyes open!

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What is it about a pocket that makes a tunic so much more awesome?! It just does. The cuffed sleeves are another fun detail – you can show off your arm party on both arms!

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Let’s talk about the leggings – yes, those are leggings! They totally look like jeans, but they are incredibly soft and don’t fall down! HOORAY! I wore them all day and felt fabulous in them!  Check out the ribbing around the knees – isn’t that fun?

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One last Sweet P & Fi piece you may have missed in this outfit – those leather earrings! Molly makes them all herself and they are SO reasonably priced. I picked some brown snakeskin-like leather to go with all the warm autumn colors and I adore them!

I can’t tell you enough how much I love Sweet P & Fi. Molly has great taste and is very picky about what she adds to her shop. She also cares about giving her customers a good deal. Her prices are AMAZING and shipping is free! FREE! Here are a few of my other favorite pieces:

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Pumpkin Spice Latte top (SUPER soft)

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flowly floral top (from the awesome sale section)

Don’t forget – shipping is always free! You can’t beat that!

Two questions for you:

  1. Do you have a fall uniform?
  2. What Sweet P & Fi pieces are you loving?
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In Case Your Kids Want to Talk About the Election…

I have never wanted to NOT talk about an election more than this one, but because of the nature of our overly-connected, social media world, that seems to be ALL people are talking about right now. I’m thankful to have a four-year-old at home with me all day who wants to talk about Legos and coloring and Star Wars, but it’s different with the older kids. They hear things at school. They see political commercials. They overhear conversations between adults. They have questions.

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While I don’t want to talk about the election, I am raising American citizens and I am also raising Christian young men. I put aside my distraught feelings for a while to write out a plan for talking to our children about the election through the eyes of my faith. You can read my thoughts over on the Tommy Nelson blog today.

Yes, I feel great despair about the direction of our country, but I also look to my children and to Jesus and find hope. Let us speak words of life to our children and lift up words of prayer to our God:

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. -1 Timothy 2:1-4

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Life Is Tough, But So Are You

This post contains affiliate links. I received the tee to review for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

I have a problem when life sends tough stuff my way. I tend to focus on the tough stuff and not on the way through it. I wallow. I worry. I complain. Life is tough, and I don’t like it.

I’m really thankful God is growing me in this area and doesn’t allow me to stay in that place for long. Life IS tough, but so am I. I didn’t always think this way. Strong and tough were not labels I would have always claimed. That has changed over the past fifteen years because I’ve been through moments that required strength I didn’t even know I had. Rather than focus on the fear, worry, or discouragement I felt in those tough moments, I choose to focus on the toughness inside of me that carried me through and brought me out a better person on the other side.

What are those tough moments in your life that uncovered your strength?

For me, three particular times of my life come to mind. These are all very positive events in my life, but they each required (or still require) all the toughness I could pull together.

  • Childbirth
  • Motherhood
  • Running a marathon

Childbirth and running a marathon tested my body beyond what I ever imagined, but they also maxed out my mental toughness. I have so much joy associated with the memories of giving birth to our boys and crossing that marathon finish line, but I also knew that I could do just about anything if I could make it through those exhausting feats.

Motherhood is a whole different kind of tough and this is where I needed (and still need) the biggest mental adjustment. It is also where I need the strength of God inside me most. Raising children is no joke, people, but it is some of the most important work I will do. My children will make mistakes, butt heads with me, and need the same lessons taught to them many times. We’re all sinners and life together is messy. When it gets tough, I need to not feel defeated or discouraged, but rather repeat to myself: “This is tough, but so are you.”

Now I have the shirt to remind me:

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When I don’t have the toughness I need, I know God is there to strengthen me and to surround me with family and friends that will hold me up and call out that strength. We need to be those people for each other.

I know so many people going through hard things – illnesses, divorce, natural disasters, job loss, etc. I wish I could give each of you a great big hug, pray with you, then remind you that you are just as tough as those circumstances. Let’s be done with despair and defeat and worry. I’m ready to embrace my toughness with a smile.

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The new “Life Is…” t-shirt line from Cents of Style captures all of life perfectly. Life is tough, but it is also beautiful, sweet, grand, and an adventure. However you see life or WANT to see life, one of shirts will speak to you!

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The “Life Is” collection launches today with a fabulous sale! Pick your favorite shirt and use the code LIFEIS1 at checkout to get it for just $15.95 with free shipping! That is a huge steal for these gorgeous, high quality tees.

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How do you see life? How do you want to embrace this life? Grab a shirt today to claim that vision!

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The Best of Fall Fashion!

This post contains affiliate links. I received the sweater to review for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

This time of year is a struggle for me. The calendar says fall starts this week and it is my FAVORITE SEASON EVER. The temperatures this week, however, are still screaming SUMMER. I really don’t like that at all. While I hide from these 90º days, I’m going to dream of sweaters and jeans and boots until they become a reality.

Thankfully, Cents of Style is there to indulge my love for fall fashion with the most amazing pieces to wear this season. I’ve picked out a few of my favorites from their new releases, but it only scratches the surface! Let’s start with these fabulous fall fashions:

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clockwise from top left

  1. Jessa Diamond Sweater Kimono – more details AND a sweet discount later in the post!
  2. Tobin Cut Out Ankle Bootie – I love this new take on the ankle boot this year. The cut-out detail gives it so much fun flair!
  3. Diana Geometric Cutout Dangle Earrings – Fall screams gold to me. I love the warmth of it paired with browns and reds and oranges. These make a statement – and kind of look like leaves!
  4. Rylan Crochet Peasant Tunic – I adore this color and tunics are my favorite. Paired with jeans, boots, and those gold earrings…ah, fall perfection.
  5. Nisha Wool Panama Hat – Everybody needs a great fall hat. Go with a brown one like this to complement the colors of autumn!
  6. Esther Wood and Gold Cuff Bracelet – More gold jewelry, I know, but doesn’t your arm deserve to get in on the fall fun? Love this bold, but simple cuff! And the wood accents are genius!
  7. Lexia Geometric Kimono – If you live in a place with a warmer fall, this lightweight kimono might be more appropriate. I just can’t get over the fun geometric pattern and fringe!
  8. Giovanna Glass Bead Necklace – Long tassel necklaces pair perfectly with long sweaters and skinny jeans. The camel color is very in this fall, so this necklace will match every outfit!

Now back to that diamond sweater kimono…

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THIS is the reason I want the temps to cool down. I want to wrap myself up in sweaters that feel like blankets and not sweat to death!

A sweater kimono is a layering piece to take everywhere with you this fall. I’m picturing a hayrack ride or bonfire…pardon my daydreaming, but I just want to go there right now! The key to pulling off this look with a heavier piece on top is to keep the pants nice and sleek. I would opt for skinny jeans or leggings with boots to complete the fall look!

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You have to get your hands on this sweater kimono, so we’re offering you a deal! Use the code KIMONOHOME at checkout to get the Jessa Diamond Sweater Kimono for only $17.95, including free shipping!

The sweater kimono is available in four great colors (navy is sold out – bummer) that will make any fall outfit pop AND keep you nice and snug. The black is stunning, the gray makes a subtle statement, and the burgundy is bold and beautiful!

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I needed a brown sweater to round out my fall wardrobe and this one is it. I’m picturing it layered over burnt orange, plum, and, of course, lots of cream or white. So many options, and it has the cutest wood buttons on the sides to create sleeves!

Go grab your sweater kimono for just $17.95 with code KIMONOHOME before they sell out!

Which color did you choose? What are your fall fashion favorites from Cents of Style?

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