Meet Lauren Gem.

Today's blog post is going to be short, sweet, and to the point. But before we get started, we wanted to give you guys a little bit of insight into our model of the week. Lauren is the creator & founder of The Gem Within which is a platform that was created for people to connect and is focused on finding gems within, around, and abroad. It is a site in which you'll find everything from how-to-tips, educational prose, guides and musings centered around topics like: Self-care, Spirituality, Entrepreneurship, Emotional Wealth, and Adventure. The Gem Within endeavors—through exploration of gems—placing value on faith, community, self-celebration, individuality, and creative expression, through multiple lens. It's a safe space to facilitate conversations, discovering and uncovering the special things within and around us as we power through this thing called LIFE. When I asked AJ to tell me a little bit about Lauren in her own words, she wrote this: "Lauren is a woman who is passionate about connecting with people by creating events throughout the city of Miami in which it will allow people to network locally. But she does this in a way that is so creative. Like one time she had an event called "A Seat at the Table" and it was where people would introduce themselves to one another, they would eat together, and then just enjoy each others company. She's a strong, independent, Godly woman who is driven by passion to create a community. She exerts confidence, she has a very humble spirit, and she's extremely classy. Oh, and she's obsessed with clean hands and feet and she, as a matter of fact, has like beautiful hands." Yes, I did in fact laugh when I read that last part. So anyways, here at Andie & AJ, we are all about supporting our local artists, businessmen & women, and entrepreneurs. So, be sure to follow Lauren on IG @the.gemcollective & @thegemwithin and send her some love on thegemwithin.com.


o n e m i x i n g + m a t c h i n g. Fall is officially upon us and here in Los Angeles, the temperatures have begun to drop and we are enjoying every second of it. Granted, temperatures don't drop drastically and it's relatively cool and comfortable, but for many of us, it's almost impossible to contain our excitement! "Why?" you ask. Well because cooler weather means fall fashion and playing around with layers, layers, and more layers. When it comes to fall fashion, it's all about textures whether it be velvet, knitwear, or faux fur, fall is about mixing and matching different patterns, tones, and materials. Here in SoCal you're basically guaranteed comfort and style with three different types of fabrics for outerwear: leather, denim, & suede. Suede tends to be a favorite for fashion lovers and we can't really blame them. Yeah, we know suede is so 70s but we don't care because not only does suede look good but it also it feels good. The biggest tip to pull off suede is to not overdo it because too much of anything is too much! So if you're thinking about wearing suede, keep in mind to balance the look with other materials. For example, ladies, if you have a suede mini skirt, try to pair it with a leather tank top or a cotton tee. Try to stick with picking Also keep in mind that suede is an extremely sensitive fabric, so before you slay in your outfit, check the weather before you head out the door because the last thing you want is to get your suede wet and damaged. Take the necessary steps to treat your suede items with some TLC (tender love & care) by having a suede brush and a protectant spray that will maintain the suede looking nice and polished.


Minimalism has been a heavy focus for the past couple of years in the fashion realm. And while the whole point of minimalism is to adapt your wardrobe with simple colors, the last thing we want is for your closet to feel boring because there may be a lack of pairing the right colors together. When we talk about pairing neutrals, there are two elements of color theory that will help you understand so that you can experiment with the different ideas that you may have floating around in your head. First there's analogous colors which have similar hues and are right next to each other in the color wheel, which you can view right here. When you put these similar colors together in an outfit, you will create a tonal outfit where the colors will all have a similar tone. Then there's complimentary colors which are the colors that appear on the opposite side of the color spectrum. By doing this, you are creating an outfit that will have maximum contrast. This contrasting process involves putting together colors that compliment each other which will result in a pop factor that will refine and define your outfit.

(source: http://apairandasparediy.com/2017/04/neutral-wardrobe-colours/)


Statement necklaces, rings, arm cuffs, earrings, and bracelets were seen all over the runway during Paris Fashion Week this past summer. So, what better way to add a pop to a minimalistic outfit than with stacked bangles? Bangles are a great way to add your own little twist to an outfit whether it be an outfit to work or an outfit for a girls' night out in the city. And as always we do have a couple of T I P S for you to keep in mind. First, if you're going to stack some bangles, be sure to try to stay within the same hue of colors if you want to keep things minimalistic, simple, and balanced. If you want to make a statement with accessories against an all white outfit for example, then mix and match colors! It all depends on the outfit that you've created, where you're headed, the occasion, and it's all according to your own preferences and style! Secondly, don't be afraid to combine different shapes. What do we mean by this? Well, you can always get thinner bangles and pair them with one thick one or combine your bangles between one large-shaped bangle and stack them with several small-shaped bangles. Third, you can never go wrong with silver or gold! So if you're not into bright colors, you can always go for the classics!

Challenge: Our steps encourage our clients to be creative first, and shop second by playing dress-up with pieces from their own closets. No one can tell you how to be you and the key to having more outfits isn’t having more pieces in your closet but having pieces that you can wear multiple ways. This week we want to challenge to simply try one of the tips above. Try to incorporate some suede or neutral colors into an outfit or you can simply add some silver or gold bangles to lift up an outfit and share your creativity with us by using the hashtag #andieandaj on Instagram or Facebook!

Till next week,

Andie & AJ

Find the look:

Suede Dress (ASOS)

Heels (Senso)

Bangles & Rings (Mom's Closet)

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© 2021 A.J. Dunlap