June 24, 2017

Fête de la Saint-Jean + Pool Visit

Here I am, back again so soon! The summer season is in full swing here in upstate NY, and I am enjoying it thoroughly. It is the season of blueberry picking, homemade popsicles and ice cream, and the refreshing splash of swimming pools. We get terribly rough winters up here, so when summer comes around, I toss the windows open, shun the air conditioning, and let the balmy heat soak into my skin. Likewise, many around the world are celebrating summer in their own ways, and Monaco celebrates with the Fête de la Saint-Jean, or St. John’s Day, where the people gather around to feast St. John the Baptist…but also to rejoice in the longest days of the year. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

This year was a special treat for royal watchers, as Charlene and the twins appeared on the balcony to partake in the festivities. I have a feeling that Gabriella doesn’t love being in the middle of all the crowds, so I am particularly delighted that they have a balcony. The amazing things that come with being a princess!

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Jacques was, as usual, so sweet with his blonde curls and cheery disposition, and Gabriella’s regal smile was so sweet that I could have swooned. Is anyone else out there just dying over her dress??

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And Jacques’ little loafers. I mean!

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Charlene looked like heaven in this gorgeous blue patterned dress, the style of which, stylistically, is not in her normal range at all. This could easily be seen in the Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe, whereas I have never seen Charlene in something quite like this before. I absolutely loved it! Different, yet still holding to Charlene’s level of elegance and exquisite taste. I also liked how it gave her a freedom of movement, which may be a reason why she chose it – being that she was handling the kids. Speaking of which…

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…what really stood out to me here was seeing Charlene in mom-mode. Even with a crowd, you can tell that her entire focus is on the children. I love how in this photo, you can see that she is showing the children how to stabilize themselves on the little bench. I can almost hear her: “Hands flat on the railing, holding steady. That’s it!”

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The hands-on-the-railing part probably lasted for all of a few seconds. But that’s ok: Charlene just got onto the bench with them and held them close. Probably a combination of natural maternal worry and a little encouraging touch for the kids. They behaved beautifully, and are clearly quite adored children.

In addition to the festivities for St. John’s Day…

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…Charlene made a poolside appearance the day prior to the La Turbie pool, which is part of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation’s Learn to Swim program.

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All I can say is that this outfit was, to me, pure perfection. It might be a jumpsuit? The wide-leg trousers and bateau-neck blouson are my idea of fashion paradise. And the way the sash highlights her tiny waist! I just loved it. For this visit, it was perfectly casual-chic, though I can’t help but think she must have been hot in all the black. I suppose the color could have been better, but Charlene looks so good in black, I hate to disturb it. Ha.

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On a separate note, it was lovely to see Charlene take the time to visit these smaller Learn to Swim participants and encourage them. Sure, she’s got the Water Safety Days and all the huge events for drowning prevention, but it shows her sincerity that she also supports the smaller, local pools that participate in the programs. You can tell that it’s near and dear to her heart to give her support – and supervision – to these youngsters.

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Now I’m totally in the mood to jump into a pool…but I have to go make dinner. Ah well, maybe tomorrow!

June 22, 2017

Monte Carlo Television Festival 2017

I have been waiting for DAYS to do a post on this, you guys! I just returned from a weeklong trip visiting family, and I am so eager to get back to my normal routine. Don’t get me wrong – seeing family is always great – but it has been gnawing at me something fierce that I wasn’t able to post about this until now. But hallelujah, the time has come! Charlene and Albert hosted a reception at the Princely Palace for the Monte Carlo Television Festival, as you all probably know by now. And my verdict on this one is so mixed, I’m eager to hear what your opinions are!

Charlene selected a very striking, floor-length, bright red dress for this event, and I thought it was positively jaw-dropping. The plunging neckline! We know Charlene does love a good plunge, but I don’t recall having seen one THIS low before. It is something she can pull off successfully very well, unlike so many who attempt it and end up with epic failures.

One part that gave me pause, I think, was the structure of this dress. The wispy, sheer skirt seems to contrast staggeringly with the structured neckline, and that’s fine, but something about it just seems to clash too much. Is it actually a different material? I can’t tell. But the juxtaposing styles doesn’t really bother me…

…as much as this necklace. What the mother of pearl is up with this necklace?? Are we on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or something? (Now you all know I love me some Buffy, but the huge, vampire-slaying cross necklaces need to stay in our jewelry mistake drawers at all times.) I am unafraid to admit it to you: I HATED this necklace. When a woman has as many amazing pieces of jewelry as Charlene, it just makes me cringe to see something like this coming out of her closet. My humble opinion is that this gigantoid necklace just ruins the entire outfit. Had this piece been either delicate or full of exquisite jewels, can you imagine how perfect this whole look would have been? Flawless.

I will say, though, that everything else was gorgeous. Her makeup was particularly elegant, and her hair and earrings were so on-point I could cry. Just gorgeous. On the other hand…oh, well. I won’t bring it up again. In all honesty, a deviant piece of jewelry shouldn’t be the be-all, end-all of a fashion moment. It’s just an accessory. (I may just be saying these things to calm myself down. Bah!)

Necklaces aside, it was so nice to see Charlene in an evening gown again. I’m hoping for a repeat on this one so we might see it in motion, as the skirt is probably incredible. Fingers crossed!

June 14, 2017

Water Safety Day for Princess Charlene

A couple days ago on Lavrotto Beach, Princess Charlene attended a Water Safety Day, which was being held by the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation in conjunction with some other organizations including the Red Cross. The day focused around children, educating them on safety techniques in the water and drowning prevention. Vital skills that all kids should learn, and which are particularly relevant to the children of the Riviera. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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As expected, Charlene dressed down for the event, pairing a t-shirt and cap for her Foundation with white pants. She seems to always know what the uniform will be for the children, and coordinates flawlessly: here, everyone was in red, while Charlene was in white. The colors of Monaco, the colors of the Red Cross – you get it. It’s a tad on-the-nose, but I do appreciate Charlene’s choice to break up the monotony of all the red and stand out in the crowd. Quite a deliberate choice and spot-on.

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Charlene is always on point with youngsters. It doesn’t matter if they’re newborns or pre-teens, she just seems to shine around them. They love her – obviously – and she appears to quite enjoy their company.

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I also must note that her wrist seems to still be recovering from the injury that plagued her over the Water Bike Challenge – too bad. It doesn’t appear to be serious, but was probably quite an annoyance for this occasion. You all know how much she loves to get into teaching the water safety techniques herself, and I do hope this small injury didn’t get in her way.

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At least if the injury did prove to be a hindrance, she was still able to get out onto the beach with the kids, and she knew that they were receiving excellent training. It is so dear to see these causes come to light, especially since they are so important to Charlene. It wasn’t a huge fashion day…but it was a huge day for these kids. Cheers to them!

June 5, 2017

Charlene Visits Babies + Riviera Water Bike Challenge

As many of you may know already, as this happened over Grand Prix weekend, Princess Charlene paid a visit to the Princess Grace Hospital’s maternity ward on Monaco’s Mother’s Day to see all the newborns and mamas. She also visited the hospital’s chapel to pray for the victims and families of the Manchester attack – a thoughtful gesture to make, especially with so much going on over Grand Prix weekend. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Given the Manchester attack and the somber note to this visit, Charlene chose an elegant, simple black dress. I believe this choice to be Dior, but that is just an educated guess. Given that she usually dons lighter tones for the Mother’s Day visit, it was clear that her choice was deliberate in homage to the Manchester families. Also, I notice that she is wearing that same black ribbon here – hard to see against the dress, but there it is – and this gives me more confidence in my speculation that her Grand Prix ribbon was also for Manchester.

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Nevertheless, Charlene was brimming with joy to see the newborns, and seemed most lifted by the contact with new life in the face of such darkness.

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It is always such a delight to see Charlene around babies. She is now juggling toddlers herself, so seeing her with newborns is so precious. (Just as a side note, I always love seeing parents of non-newborns with newborns. The actual parents of these kids are so completely sleep deprived that they can’t possibly look jubilant, but the joy always comes across with other grown-ups. It’s lovely!)

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In prayer at the chapel, Charlene laid white roses at the altar for those affected by Manchester. The whole thing is just so sad, and as I alluded in a previous post, this must have affected her very deeply simply because she is a mother. I don’t know any mamas out there who weren’t holding onto their babies a little closer this past week. I admire her desire to acknowledge these victims, even when she certainly didn’t have to.

In other news, the Riviera Water Bike Challenge took place just yesterday! Charlene couldn’t participate because of a wrist injury; however, Albert participated and everyone seemed to have a grand time! The race was held between Nice and Monaco at the Monaco Yacht Club, and since she couldn’t participate, Charlene presented the awards to the winners.

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I absolutely LOVED Charlene’s outfit! The white skinnies and black, loose-fitted blouse were a gorgeous combination. Those shoes, though. I’m sure many onlookers would have loved them, but they weren’t for me. (So good thing I wasn’t wearing them, right? Sometimes I shake my head at my own judgments!)

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I also loved the new sunnies and the delicate gold necklace. I would have enjoyed some earrings, but I won’t dwell on it.

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Overall, this looked like loads of fun and a beautiful day. Given the success, I imagine this will easily become a yearly event in Monaco. With their enthusiastic embrace of water sports, it’s a good thing they have Charlene as their princess. Until the next time!

May 29, 2017

Grand Prix de Monaco

Has everyone been patiently waiting to see what Princess Charlene would wear to the Grand Prix? Wait no longer – photos are here! They first came in on my feeds late last night (I say “late” in parents-of-a-4-year-old terms, meaning around 7pm EST, otherwise known as a perfectly reasonable, early hour on the clock), so I am finally getting a moment to post them now. And it will be worth the wait, too, because this dress was beautiful! (Photos courtesy of Facebook & Getty.)

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Charlene chose a red, long dress for the Grand Prix, with a checkerboard-type detail on the fabric. It was a classic red, a gorgeous color on Charlene and nearly always a winner. This was no exception: she looked radiant.

The length of this dress was so playful: not midi, not floor-length. Half and half. I love the wispy, cheeky movement to the skirt, offset by the fitted bodice and waistline. The neckline was high, which I thought balanced the dress and made it just right for this sort of sporty event.

Charlene was also wearing a black ribbon, and the palace hasn’t so far released a reason why, to the best of my knowledge. I can make the educated guess that this is in reaction to the horrific attacks in Manchester – as a mother, this probably hit her particularly hard. I say this as a mother myself, and since my other mom friends have also had difficulty processing this attack. (Is any attack easy to process? No, of course not. But when it involves children like this, I think it’s safe to say that maternal anxiety kicks in and none of us can sleep.) If this ribbon was for the Manchester attack, it was an appropriate nod to the fact that, while celebrating the Grand Prix, they are still sending their hearts out to those who were directly affected.

And these shoes, my friends, were so lovely! I am a wholehearted lover of strappy heels, but of the firm belief that less is more with the straps. These were just my speed. Enough strap to support a heeled shoe, not so much to distract. Just right!

From what I can see, makeup and hair were lovely – though the hair was a little matted down, compared to her previous appearances last week. A lot less lift today, and I was fully surprised by that. I highly doubt she would have gotten a haircut so close to such a large, high-profile event.

In some other news, the Princely couple held a reception at the palace for the Grand Prix, and if it’s possible, Charlene looked even more luminous than she did at the track!

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Our princess chose her second jumpsuit of the week (at least I think this is a jumpsuit?) and it was completely divine. And I have to say, I usually hate jumpsuits across the board, but this week she has changed my opinion on them not once, but twice. This particular suit might be one of my favorite Charlene outfits to date, and that’s saying quite a bit.

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I adore this sort of sharp sweetheart neckline. It is crisp and edgy, while feminine and romantic all at once. And it just brings so much attention to Charlene’s lovely face. Her makeup, of course, had to be impeccable with such a neckline, and it was. And just as a side note, people out there have been raving over Pippa Middleton’s arms since her wedding, and can I just say: take a look at Charlene’s arms. She’s been rocking the amazing arms way before Pippa came along, and this sort of bodice highlights her physique so beautifully. Goals!

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A lovely Grand Prix fashion day all around. I hope you’ve all enjoyed these photos as thoroughly as I have! (And happy Memorial Day if you happen to live in the USA!)

May 27, 2017

Princess Charlene Visits the Track Ahead of Grand Prix

Ah, I love Grand Prix season: a Charlene and Albert moment nearly every day! Today the dynamic duo did not disappoint, as the Princely couple visited the paddock area of the track ahead of the qualifying sessions for the Grand Prix. They also visited with the Red Cross volunteers, who are supporting the Grand Prix. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Charlene dressed down today: a red polo shirt in support both of the Red Cross and the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. The two are often supported at the same time, and wearing the shirt today was a huge nod to the importance of the Red Cross and her charitable organization. I appreciated her efforts to draw attention where it was due, especially since today she could have gone ultra chic if she wanted to. Albert was in a jacket and tie, so the choice to draw attention to the Red Cross volunteers was quite clearly intentional.

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She paired the shirt with very classic white slacks. They were crisp, tailored, and clean, not unlike the slacks my very fashionable grandmother used to wear all the time. (That may sound like an insult, but it’s truly the highest compliment I can deliver.) I absolutely loved them. I think they surprised me, though, because the more popular look would be skinnies or leggings, and I quite love the fact that these are neither. They are, plainly and perfectly, slacks.

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I admit, I was a bit thrown off by these shoes. It was definitely good that they were flats – certainly appropriate for the slacks – but did they have to be metallic silver? I was puzzled by this choice. Certainly a white, red or even nude, flat shoe could have been found for her? But silver, of all colors. It just left me scratching my head.

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But makeup, guys, was extraordinary. I’m not sure if the Monaco sun has just been gracious to Charlene or what, but her tan is enviable. And pairing it with such simple makeup and a pale lip was a stroke of genius: it just makes her tanned skin stand out that much more. Also, did anyone else notice these (new?) earrings? I haven’t seen them to the best of my recollection, but I like them very much. I was sort of expecting this outfit to be paired with those Dior pearls that match everything, but these were even more quiet and understated.

Alright all, I’m off for the night – hope to see you again soon with more Grand Prix action!

May 26, 2017

Grand Prix Preparation + Film on Formula 1

It’s that time of year again, folks – Grand Prix time! I’ll be honest with you: if it weren’t for the fashion and royal appearances, I wouldn’t even bother with the thought of the Grand Prix. But because of those key elements, I am alight with anticipation. That being said, in preparation for the days ahead, Princess Charlene and Prince Albert participated in an interview with two Formula 1 drivers for an English television interview/film. The photos of the day are limited, but I’m particularly pleased that we got at least one full-length shot of Charlene’s outfit for the day. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Charlene looked like the epitome of casual-chic, nautical elegance today, in this Federica Tosi jumpsuit. In all frankness, this particular photograph is not as flattering as it could be; however, it does give us a good look at the jumpsuit, and as far as jumpsuits go, this one is a winner for me. I don’t believe I’ve got a clear memory of Charlene in a halter neckline – I’m sure she has worn them, but I’m not recalling them quickly – and it looks smashing on her. I love the deep v-neck and open back, plus the billowy lower-half of this jumpsuit. It is the perfect combination of fit-and-flare, and I think the casual element of today’s event sold it for me.

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The nautical atmosphere seemed to only enhance this particular design, too. I think that my opinion might have been very different had this outfit been selected for any other event; however, for this occasion, it was perfect.

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I can’t comment too much on her hair and makeup, simply because we didn’t get satisfactorily close-up images to see more than the red lips. I’m assuming that it was all lovely! If the setting is any indication, every moment of this day must have been glorious. Look at the sea behind them! And not for nothing, but Dimples there on the left isn’t bad to look at (what’s his name? Mark Webber, I think). I sigh with envy. Ah well, until the next time – which will hopefully be soon! – I wish you all a pleasant evening!

May 23, 2017

The Prince and Princess Host Reception at Palace

Good afternoon, all! I come to you in good spirits today: I have fully recovered from a wretched cold, I’m enjoying some rare solitude in the house, and summer is so near I can practically taste it. My good mood was only buoyed by the fact that Charlene and Albert hosted a beautiful reception at the Princely Palace yesterday for the AS Monaco FC players, who took the championship of the French Championship First League for the eighth time…and our princess looked particularly chic. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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For this reception, Charlene chose to wear a lovely Akris dress. By the looks of the original version, my guess is that this one was bespoke for HSH, but that is merely my speculation. It is floor-length and wispy in the skirt, while fitted and flattering in the bodice. And no unsightly seams around the waistline make me all smiles over this dress.

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The pattern, I do admit, is a bit busy, though it still oozes elegance. It has a very modern edge to it, and while I might steer in another direction personally, I know Charlene does enjoy her style to lean toward the avant garde. I can certainly appreciate it.

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My main focus is the lighting here. Good Lord, it was perfect for these photos. Everything about Charlene is alight: her hair was glowing and feathered, her skin flawless, and her makeup complete perfection. I did notice that she went for a slightly more rust-colored red on her lips, which is a rather different choice for Charlene. Usually it’s go-bold or go-home, but this had a more organic, natural flavor to it toward which Charlene doesn’t normally gravitate; however, I love it on her. It seems to really work seamlessly with the golden, natural hues she favors around the eyes.

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Also…THIS! It’s just too cute, y’all. I don’t have words.

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Jacques was also a center of attention today, with his unruly curls, adorable new t-shirt (which you can see above!) and precious baby blue eyes. I know most of the time we say that Jacques looks more like his mama, but today I’m seeing lots of Albert in him. He’s a lovely mix of the two, and I was delighted to see him. Nothing draws my attention more than a princess with her baby…swoon!

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A lovely evening, and I hope you enjoyed the photos. Until the next time, may the beautiful weather be upon you all!

May 8, 2017

Charlene and Albert Cheer Monaco

This past week, we got a semi-appearance from Charlene, which ended up being less spectacular than I’d hoped for, but certainly beats no appearance at all. The princess and her prince were in the stands at Stade Louis II for the UEFA Champions League match between AS Monaco and Juventus Turin, where they supported their team. It’s all very straightforward what they were doing there, but “unexciting” is certainly a word I would use to sum up the sighting.

I was mostly bummed out by these scarves. It looks like everyone is wearing them, so I can’t be too hyper critical because the princely couple is just getting into the spirit of things, but I hate it when sporting events require the people in the stands to wear specific objects to show support. (You can sense my horror at hockey games, with all the enthusiastic fans in matching jerseys.) Really, the only reason it’s a problem here is because I’m a fashion blogger, and I can’t see the fashion. But watch, as I become a detective, and try to figure out the fashion from what I can see!

Charlene is definitely wearing black slacks, and from what I can see, they look lovely. I believe she is wearing a slit-sleeved cape on top, and I can see just the faintest hint of a short-sleeved blouse poking out from one of the sleeves. Do you see it too?

This cape, though, is positively gorgeous. Hence my desire to rid her of the awful scarf and see the cape in all its glory. She tends to lean toward capes of this nature when the weather could go in either direction, and I love each one. They are so regal, and just ooze sophistication.

Lately, her short-short hair has been growing longer on top – as we have mentioned in earlier posts – and she’s getting some major lift in those upper tresses. It’s ultra-flattering and the layers of golden color are brilliant.

Makeup and jewelry were spot-on, as usual. She opted for golden tones on the eyes with a bold red lip, which certainly plays off of the black ensemble to perfection. As for the jewelry, it looks like she reached for pearls and platinum, and that is never a problem. Brava!

I have to show this, because it’s just so darn cute: Charlene consoling an obviously frustrated Albert during the match, and…

…perhaps getting a little frustrated herself with the match? They really did seem to get into it, but here she seems to be fighting off a headache. I hope it was just the game.

Alright everyone, here’s hoping for a more exciting (read: more fashion-visible haha!) appearance next time, and until then, I send good wishes your way for beautiful weather this May…and for Mother’s Day if you’re a mama!

April 26, 2017

The Red Dress in South Africa

Now THIS is more like it, folks. In my last post, I alluded to the red dress that Charlene wore while in South Africa, and pictures have been released. As our dear readers Bluma and Imke both noticed already, this dress is a repeat for Charlene – she wore it first in 2012, before this blog was started, so unfortunately (or fortunately?) there isn’t a post on it already. And I don’t blame her for recycling, because if I had this dress, I would wear it over and over and over again too. It is just THAT beautiful. (Photos courtesy of Facebook.)

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Charlene chose this gown for an interview she gave with EWN Sports editor Jean Smyth, in which she discussed her foundation and her love for South Africa. The interview itself is not super interesting – just being honest here – but guys, she is so beautiful. The lighting, perfect. The gown, perfect. The makeup, perfect. The jewelry, perfect. Home run.

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This is a floor-length Dior creation, and it is stunning in its simplicity. The way it doesn’t cling too much but still highlights Charlene’s statuesque physique is so flattering, and I love when she wears gowns that don’t highlight her waistline. Don’t get me wrong, her waistline is amazing, but she is so beautifully tall, and I love to see that accentuated.

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I have noticed on other sites that critics out there are annoyed at the attention this dress draws to her shoulders, yet again. And I’m annoyed at these criticisms, yet again. At some point, people need to just accept the fact that as a swimmer, Charlene has broad shoulders. They are not something she needs to hide, nor something over which she should be self-conscious – au contraire, many would kill for such a cut figure. She is not ashamed, so why people try to enforce the body shaming is beyond me. In addition, there have also been mentions out there on the internet about plastic surgery…and while I absolutely hate the idea of dignifying such remarks with a post, at some point I know I’m going to have to write one. Hang in there with me, friends, I’m still gathering my thoughts on all these things so I can be eloquent on the topic! It’s coming, I promise.

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But anyway! I show you this up-close pic so we can get a look at those earrings. I am in love with them! We have certainly seen them before, but we now finally have a photo that shows us some definition in these sparklers. I love them with this dress, they add just the right amount of embellishment. Same with the bracelet, which you can see in the previous photo. It might be the same one she wore with the (awful) striped dress from the previous post, and it is exquisite. Also, I am loving the lift her hair has here, and I feel like the natural shades of makeup were spot on with such a bright gown. Though heaven knows we’ve seen Charlene whip out the bright red lipstick without pause, I still think these shades worked beautifully for this occasion.

Enjoy the photos, drool over those earrings, and I’ll see you all again soon!