The LBD of Summer

Summer, Little Black Dress, Beach

Many times on this blog I’ve mentioned how important a Little Black Dress (LBD) is for every woman’s wardrobe, but usually I’m referring to a dress that is fit for a holiday party, last minute black tie wedding, or fancy date night.

Summer, Little Black Dress, Beach

Finding an LBD that can do all of those things AND be casual enough for the beach is a whole other story.

Summer, Little Black Dress, Beach

Let me introduce you to the LBD of Summer: this button-front cami is light and airy enough for hot, casual summer days, yet it easily elevates itself for a more dressy occasion with the right shoes and accessories. You’re welcome. 

Summer, Little Black Dress, Beach

“One is never overdressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.” 

 Karl Lagerfeld

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Summer Bucket List

I cannot believe it is already the end of July! With life moving so quickly these days, I decided to make a list of all of my favorite summer activities that I want to accomplish before fall comes around. I look forward to the long, hot days of summer all year. It’s the year’s “Friday” after all, and that means taking life a little bit easier. Without wasting any more time, let’s get started! 

Reading. Reading. Reading. Currently I’m loving Into The Water by Paula Hawkins. Next up, Ohio by Stephen Markley. 

reading

Road Trips. There is nothing more fun than driving up and down the California coast, making stops in our favorite cities along the way. 

vw golf r, road trips

Lake Days. Going camping and floating the day away in the water is my perfect definition of summer. 

lake, summer

At Home Spa. Spending an evening in the bath with a mask on my face and in my hair. I will light a few candles to set the mood and play my favorite jams. I feel rejuvenated in no time. 

bath, spa

Beach Bonfire. Grab some hot dogs, marshmallows, and your closest friends and watch the fire with the warm ocean breeze on your face. 

beach, bonfire

Ice Cream. Nothing cools me down better than a nice big scoop of one of my favorite flavors of ice cream–cookie dough, mint chip, or Marianne’s 1020. Indulging every once in a while never hurt anyone! 

ice cream, summer

Nap Time. Let’s face it; life is tiring. Summertime naps are definitely allowed, and I always feel able to enjoy daylight savings a little longer when I’ve had a great snooze. 

bed, sleep, nap

Jogging. I love to take an easy run outdoors first thing in the morning–something that isn’t always weather permitted the rest of the year. 

running, forest, jog

The Drive-In. Talk about the quintessential date night! 

drive-in, movie

Backyard BBQ. The best get togethers are always at a Barbecue, right?! 

backyard bbq, lights, summer

“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” 

― Jeannette WallsThe Glass Castle

Red, White, & Blue

4th of July, Red Lips, Summer Style

Every year my family plans a big 4th of July get together, and it’s always a great time, but this year Joel and I couldn’t make it. At first I was bummed but then I realized this was the first time we could start creating our own traditions.

4th of July, Red Lips, Summer Style

After brainstorming about how we should spend the day, we decided on a miniature road trip—no surprise there. Joel loves driving, and I love being a passenger on scenic backroads and exploratory adventures.

4th of July, Red Lips, Summer Style

As we headed Southbound on HWY 1, we looked out over the coast and also drove through various parades that were taking place in each town. 

4th of July, Red Lips, Summer Style

Once we got to Carmel, we parked and went for a nice walk along the cliff. We enjoyed having the time to take our time and spend it a little more quietly than we usually did on Independence Day. That night we listened to fireworks going off in the distance from the comfort of our bed, content with how the day turned out. Even though things were different, they were still good.

4th of July, Red Lips, Summer Style

On Me: 

Nars Heat Wave Lipstick

Forever Blouse

Urban Sweater

Marc Jacobs Sunnies

Articles of Society Jeans

Elk Wallet

Shoes of Summer

In my opinion, there are really only three pairs of shoes you need for summer: slides, slip-ons, and wedges. Slides are upgraded flip flops—nice enough to wear out to dinner but still easy for beach days. When you want to wear something a little bit sportier, maybe you’re going on a sunset walk or are headed to an amusement park, pull out your slip-ons. These effortless sneakers scream summer, and the no laces look takes a more feminine feel on the classic tennis shoe. Wedges are summertime’s stiletto. These shoes are great for a night out with your girlfriends but still remind everyone you’re in vacation mode. If you’re closet is lacking summer’s most important shoes, keep scrolling.

summer shoes, heels, sandals, sneakers, wedges, slides, slip-ons, shoes, summer

Madewell

summer shoes, heels, sandals, sneakers, wedges, slides, slip-ons, shoes, summer

Sam Edelman

summer shoes, heels, sandals, sneakers, wedges, slides, slip-ons, shoes, summer

Lucky Brand

summer shoes, heels, sandals, sneakers, wedges, slides, slip-ons, shoes, summer

Keds

summer shoes, heels, sandals, sneakers, wedges, slides, slip-ons, shoes, summer

Vans

summer shoes, heels, sandals, sneakers, wedges, slides, slip-ons, shoes, summer

Frye

summer shoes, heels, sandals, sneakers, wedges, slides, slip-ons, shoes, summer

Universal Thread

summer shoes, heels, sandals, sneakers, wedges, slides, slip-ons, shoes, summer

Castaner

summer shoes, heels, sandals, sneakers, wedges, slides, slip-ons, shoes, summer

Anthropologie

“One shoe can change your life.” — Cinderella

Brands I Love

I’m constantly on the hunt for new brands and retailers on the market. In the past few months I’ve discovered some companies that have earned my stamp of approval and quickly become a few of my favorite places to shop. Today I thought I would talk about three of them—Everlane, & Other Stories, and Monday Swimwear.

Everlane:

As a young woman who just started her first full-time professional job, I’ve come to see Everlane is a great resource for finding high quality, basic pieces at a reasonable price. Their clothing is nice enough to wear at the office, but comfortable and balanced. I find them both trendy and classic. See for yourself:

everlane, professional clothes

everlane, professional clothes

everlane, professional clothes

everlane, professional clothes

& Other Stories:

If you love H&M’s fashionable pieces, but find yourself disappointed in the standard of their quality, look no further than & Other Stories. Coming from the same people who brought you H&M, & Other Stories is literally a couple of stories above them, unintended he he. This collection is more expensive than H&M pieces, but you’re paying for better made items. Though just as stylish, & Other Stories is not competing with other fast fashion retailers like H&M and Forever 21. Instead they are selling items that are built better and can last. Check them out:

& Other Stories, Fashionable Clothes

& Other Stories, Fashionable Clothes

& Other Stories, Fashionable Clothes

& Other Stories, Fashionable Clothes

Monday Swimwear:

I’ve talked about the subject of swimwear many times on the blog, usually with a heavy sigh, because it’s the one category of clothing that is difficult for me to find a good fit for my form. That’s not because I don’t see tons and tons of styles that I would love to wear, but instead it’s because the bathing suit industry rarely offers sizes and cuts for the common woman. Luckily Monday Swimwear is here to make the swimsuit buying process more fruitful for your everyday girl. They offer a range for women up to an E/F cup with an impeccable fit and standard. They refuse to include any piece that has not been tried on and fit the buyer’s body and needs. Their Clovelly top, in particular, is well known for being supportive and flattering. Keep scrolling:

Monday swimwear, bathing suits

Monday swimwear, bathing suits

Monday swimwear, bathing suits

Monday swimwear, bathing suits

“Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.” –Bill Cunningham

The Tie-Front Shirt

summer, tie-front tops, button downs

My summertime style is a little bit more carefree and fun.

summer, tie-front tops, button downs

As soon as the weather gets into the 80s, I find I just want to play around with my look. For example, I usually wear button downs tucked in. I like the form and shape it gives me.

summer, tie-front tops, button downs

Once Summer arrives though, I’ll usually do a tie in the front style. I’ll get the same structure to the look, but with a more casual flair and feel that is better in hot weather.

summer, tie-front tops, button downs

Changing how we wear clothing can be just as fun as getting something new and can drastically change the look and feel of the item. We all express ourselves through our styles, even those of us who claim we have no style and pay little attention to what we wear or how we wear it. It all goes into presentation. A tied button down says summer to me, and lets everybody else know I’m feeling it.

summer, tie-front tops, button downs

For more Tie-Front tops, keep scrolling. Maybe you’ll be inspired to switch things up too.

summer, tie-front tops, button downs

Nordstrom

summer, tie-front tops, button downs

Nordstrom

summer, tie-front tops, button downs

Off 5th

summer, tie-front tops, button downs

Urban

summer, tie-front tops, button downs

Revolve

On Me: Similar Forever Blouse/ Urban Jeans/ Universal Thread Mules

 

Royal Replica

Meghan Markle, Royal Wedding, Wedding Dress

I’ve been intrigued by Harry and Meghan since news first broke that they were seeing each other, and the footage of the royal wedding was so fun to watch. It’s like a modern day twist on a childhood fairytale, because this charming prince met a mature, self-made woman with a story and style of her own. 

She’s gone from girl next-door to Hollywood glam to Kensington Palace, and her Givenchy wedding dress by Clare Waight Keller really spoke to who she was. It was classic and contemporary at the same time, with an elegance and simplicity that reflected her persona perfectly–no frills or embellishments, yet beautiful. What was even more lovely to me was her sophisticated reception dress by Stella McCartney. The halter cut was so sexy and chic. I immediately started looking for something similar to enjoy this summer. Here’s a few options I’ve found that might work for us commoners:

royal wedding, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Wedding Dress

Nordstrom

royal wedding, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Wedding Dress

Nordstrom

royal wedding, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Wedding Dress

Neiman Marcus

royal wedding, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Wedding Dress

Zulily

royal wedding, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Wedding Dress

Bergdorf Goodman

royal wedding, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Wedding Dress

Nordstrom

royal wedding, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Wedding Dress

Nordstrom

royal wedding, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Wedding Dress

Lilly Pulitzer

royal wedding, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Wedding Dress

Gilt

royal wedding, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Wedding Dress

New York & Co.

“You can be a woman who wants to look good and still stand up for the equality of women.” –Meghan Markle (Create & Cultivate, 2016)

Swimsuit Cover Ups

With warm weather, the beach, and bathing suits on the brain, I can’t forget about an often overlooked yet equally (if not more) important summer staple…cover ups. There’s nothing worse than shopping for months and finally finding the bathing suit of your dreams only to realize that you have nothing to wear over it on your way out the door to a last minute pool side BBQ. We have all been there—your favorite low rise jean shorts look weird with a high waisted swimsuit bottom underneath; or maybe your bikini top isn’t sitting well beneath your tank. Or worse, your swimsuit ties are rubbing uncomfortably against your hips because your shorts are too tight with your bathing suit bottoms on, but you hate the tacky look of ties hanging out the waist of your jeans so you just can’t win. No matter what the issue might be, there usually is one (if not a couple) of set backs that make getting dressed for a swim day a drag.

Instead of going through this fashion fumble another year in a row, I’m planning ahead and shopping for cover ups early. To me, the best type of cover up is one that can be worn all year long, like an oversized t-shirt dress or a lightweight cardigan. Take a look at my cover up shopping list and save yourself from the stress of picking out an outfit that doesn’t make you feel confident. It’s not worth it.

swimsuit cover ups, summer, bathing suit

Zappos

swimsuit cover ups, summer, bathing suit

Nordstrom

swimsuit cover ups, summer, bathing suit

Zappos

swimsuit cover ups, summer, bathing suit

Nordstrom

swimsuit cover ups, summer, bathing suit

Nordstrom

swimsuit cover ups, summer, bathing suit

Vineyard Vines

swimsuit cover ups, summer, bathing suit

Anthropologie

swimsuit cover ups, summer, bathing suit

Zappos

swimsuit cover ups, summer, bathing suit

Zappos

swimsuit cover ups, summer, bathing suit

Nordstrom

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” –Charles Bowden

Not Your Average One Piece

As a pre-teen and teenager, I ran as far away from one piece bathing suits as I could. Bikinis were cool, and one piece bathing suits were lame, period. I associated one pieces with little kids or moms. Two pieces were a right of passage—the minute you put one on you instantly joined a club that all the girls I ever looked up to and wanted to be like were already in. It was kind of like when you start shaving or wearing a bra. Once I was in, I definitely wasn’t going back. 

Yet here I am, a 23 year old in 2018, finding myself wanting to buy a one piece! Here’s the thing: one pieces are COOL now. Either I didn’t notice back when I was fixated on two pieces, or they have really upped their game, but one piece bathing suits for my age group no longer just come in the junior life guard plain tank top look, with no added designs, styles, or embellishments. Now they are flattering, fashionable, and fun! If you’re curious about this new bathing suit revolution, check out a few one piece suits I have my eyes on: 

one piece bathing suit, summer, spring, swimming

Reformation

one piece bathing suit, summer, spring, swimming

Barneys New York

one piece bathing suit, summer, spring, swimming

Revolve

one piece bathing suit, summer, spring, swimming

Ted Baker

one piece bathing suit, summer, spring, swimming

Reiss

one piece bathing suit, summer, spring, swimming

AllSaints

one piece bathing suit, summer, spring, swimming

Carbon38

one piece bathing suit, summer, spring, swimming

Ted Baker

one piece bathing suit, summer, spring, swimming

Ted Baker

one piece bathing suit, summer, spring, swimming

Carbon38

“Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.” –Michelle Held

Un-Bum Your Beach Bag

Now that we are a couple weeks into spring, I’m already planning for summer. Just the slightest glimpse of sunshine gets me in the mood for beach days, sun dresses, and flip flops. Summer style is so much fun to play with, except for one major overlooked element: beach bags. In years past, I struggled to find a bag that I wasn’t ashamed of and didn’t instantly try to cover up with my towel. That’s because my go to “beach bag” was typically an old backpack I no longer used, a reusable shopping bag, or worse, a disposable shopping bag. This year I have had enough, and after a little research I found quite a few options that are cute enough they might even find themselves added to my monthly rotation of hand bags—beach or sans beach! Check them out:

Beach bags, purses, totes, summer

By Symphony

Beach bags, purses, totes, summer

Harrods

Beach bags, purses, totes, summer

My Theresa

Beach bags, purses, totes, summer

Matches Fashion

Beach bags, purses, totes, summer

Aha Life

Beach bags, purses, totes, summer

W Concept

Beach bags, purses, totes, summer

ASOS

Beach bags, purses, totes, summer

Orchard Mile

Beach bags, purses, totes, summer

J. Mclaughlin

Beach bags, purses, totes, summer

NET-A-PORTER

“Summer was on the way; Jem and I awaited it with impatience. Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the tree house; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.”

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird