Sanctuary Spring Fling Dress

This dress is yet another example of something I loved so much that I bought it in multiples. This color/pattern is no longer available, but Sanctuary offers this dress in a TON of other patterns. My top picks are Sunset Boho, Midnight Garden, Sun Bleached Tile, and Cameo Pink Sprout.

It has all the features I love – it’s comfortable, flattering, and fits me even if I go up a few pounds. I also really love that it has 2 layers. It lacks the ability to wear it with a standard bra, but I guess you can’t have everything.

To me it’s the perfect summer dress. It’s great for hot summer days, but you can also throw a leather jacket on top and poof, it’s ready for date night.

Every girl needs a good sun hat, no? I love Rag & Bone and would have loved to have bought this hat if I could swing it, but it is well outside of my price range. When I found this hat on clearance at Nordies I was stoked! It sold out quickly, but how cute are these options??

These wedges are from ages ago, but I would buy these, these (the tassel!!), and these if I needed a good neutral wedge for summer.

Sorry if this is picture overload, but the hubs and I found a place over by Lake San Marcos that offered a ridiculous amount of cute backdrops.

Sadly the Boathouse was closed when we stopped by, but I want to check it out. I am a sucker for eating by any body of water.

Is it just me or is the cutest bench ever? If I were criminally minded (don’t worry, I’m not!) I would steal this bench for my house.

What’s our favorite summer dress? Or are you more of a shorts person?

I love this last shot, but man does it remind me I need to even out my tan lines – sheesh! Do you struggle with athletic shoe tan issues too?

Byeeee! I hope you visit again soon!

Photo credit: Leo Amar

A Pop of Cognac

I see this faux leather jacket so often on Pinterest and Instagram that I think it’s safe to say it’s attained cult favorite status. I bought it a few years back so Nordie’s doesn’t currently have it available in this color, but they still offer it in black. It’s arguably even cuter in black! I’ve also seen it in blush in the past and wish I had snapped it up while I had the chance!

I love that it fits closely to the body – boxy does not work on me – and that it’s lightweight, but doesn’t look super cheap. The zippers and shape give it a sexy edge and it can be worn with a variety of outfits. I rarely pay full price for anything, but this gem might just be worth it.

Cognac is such a classy color, this jacket was a great way to add a little color to this all black look I wore recently. The weather has been vacillating between “May grey” to sunny so it’s nice to have a lightweight jacket for when the marine layer rolls in.

I haven’t worn it enough to know personally, but I’ve heard from some other bloggers that it gets even softer with time. That’s quite a feat for a faux leather jacket!

My Jeffrey Campbell shoes are an ooollllld purchase and I haven’t seen any look-a-likes in a while, but I did find some similar options in a few heel heights (low, higher, and highest). I love the idea of a “shootie,” as I always feel more stable in a heel that straps me in. The platform makes these heels comfy enough to walk around in all day long!

I’ve searched for years for a basic black camisole that checks all my boxes (not too tight in the bust, not too low that it’s hard to find an appropriate strapless bra, not too long). This one did so I wanted to share it with y’all.

I can already tell it’s going to be a staple in my coset. I can’t wait to wear it under a sweater with a deep v and with distressed jeans and my suede oxblood moto jacket (FYI the suede jacket is still available in M and it’s on sale!).

I definitely prefer cognac to most other brown tones. What about you – what’s your favorite neutral?

Thanks for visiting, see you soon!

Photo credit: Leo Amar

INC Yvvon Crossbody Bag

I haven’t bought cheaper (non leather) bags in the last few years as I really value quality items that last, but I made an exception for this bag.   It’s also offered in velvet, with a gold tassel, and in a couple of colors in a very similar version with a turn lock instead of the tassel. All of them are on sale right now!

Apparently it’s a dupe for a much more expensive Rebecca Minkoff bag. Thanks reviewer for the info! I really like that it’s structured enough that it retains it’s shape and it goes with a lot of different outfits. Plus the multicolored tassel is a fun detail.

I am all about versatility so when I realized that it could be worn as a crossbody or a shoulder bag I was in! You can also tuck the strap in and use it as a clutch. 3 purses in 1?? Yes please!

My shirt dress is no longer available, but I’ve listed some similar dresses here, here, and here. And here’s a similar option for the petite ladies out there.

These booties are older and only available in size 10 and 11 at this point, but I’ve listed my top picks for black booties here (50% off!), here (62% off!) and here (59% off!).

What’s your favorite type of purse (Crossbody, tote, satchel, shoulder bag)? Or are you a backpack person?

Thanks so much for visiting!! I hope you come back soon!

Photo credit: Leo Amar

FP True to You Maxi Skirt

I can’t even tell you how much I love this skirt (on sale!)! It’s so light and airy; it feels great when I walk around. I love that it has an elastic waist – most of the maxi skirts Free People puts out don’t have this feature and for me it’s a must. Comfort is key! Isn’t the tassel detail cute? We shot these pics on a particularly cloudy day so it’s a little hard to tell, but it has a built in half slip as it’s a tiny bit sheer.

It’s also offered in dark blue. I had a hard time deciding between the two when I was determining how to use my gift card. I got it in a size larger than I would normally just to make sure it wasn’t restrictive so it’s a lot longer on my 5’7 frame than it is on the models online, but it ended up being perfect when worn at the natural waist with a lower heel.

I’ve had this maxi skirt for a while so I’ve already worn it a few ways. It looks super cute with a tank in a complementary color with a lace bralette peeking out on a warm day, with a chunky knit sweater on a cold day, or like I wore it here with a basic white tee. This one is a favorite. It’s very comfy and I like that the pocket isn’t too droopy. Those can sometimes look a little strange/sloppy on me.

I’m short waisted so maxi skirts can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. If I wear it at my natural waist with a tucked-in top it can make me look disproportionate, but by pulling them hem out a little and making it into a curve it keeps me from looking like I don’t have a midsection.

A crop top (if you dare!) can also work really well with maxi skirts. I have one very similar to this one and it works great. I also like this one and this one. A bodysuit (love this one for it’s smoothing properties!) is also a good option.

I used to stick to one type of metal at a time, but I’ve come to enjoy mixing metals. Isn’t this bracelet cute? I love rose gold and it’s only $8! I thought it complemented the pinky tones of the skirt quite well.

There’s something about maxi skirts that makes me feel extra feminine. What makes you feel girly? That’s my “what do you think?” look below. 😉

Have a fab day!

Photo credit: the awesome Mr. Leo Amar

Express Solid Double Layer Cami

Who would have thought that the high-low trend would hang on so long? I’m glad it did tho! The high low hem detail makes this cami stand out. I bought it when I got my neckerchief from Express (I couldn’t help it, it was on sale!) and I ended up really liking it.

I feel you can never have too many good basics. While I have a ton of options in my closet, I’m always tempted to go with some version of the cami/skinny jeans combo. It never disappoints! If it’s cool enough just throw on a vegan leather or suede (here’s a great colorful option, currently on sale!) jacket and you’re good to go.

This top is special in that it has 2 layers (sadly you can’t really see this in my pics, but you can tell from the pics on Express.com) and a longer hem in the back, so it works just as well with leggings as it does with skinny jeans/pants. I love a piece that does double duty!

I wanted to show of these awesome heels so I did an extra long cuff. I like that it’s a bit unexpected. I’ve had these Steve Madden “Raela” heels for a few years so they’re no longer available, but I found these vegan suede heels that look almost exactly the same – at less than half the price! Plus, they have tons of 5 star reviews! Doesn’t the suede look super chic? I can’t always convince myself to go for a heel this high, but every so often it can be fun.

These pants are an older purchase from H&M, but I’ve listed some similar options here and here. I think every girl should have a pair of grey jeans or jeggings in their closet!

What’s your go-to outfit?  Thanks for visiting! Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

 

All Out Comfort Without Sacrificing Style

Like any other girl I have days when I just want to be as comfortable as possible. I very rarely sacrifice comfort for a cute look anyway, but certain times of the month (ahem) I want to basically live in my pj’s (you can probably relate!). In order to avoid looking like I actually am wearing pajamas I usually reach for my absolute favorite leggings, an oversized tee, and a plaid shirt.

If paying $50+ for leggings scares you (I get it, I thought that way at first too), keep in mind these are thick enough to avoid the dreaded VPL, they suck you in without being uncomfortable, and they are equally suited to working out and lounging. Tip: check Nordstromrack every so often, they usually have quite a few discounted Zella options. I am allergic to paying full price and I’ve scored some great deals there!

This plaid shirt is made by B.P. (Nordstrom’s junior line – nope, I am not ashamed to shop the juniors section in my 30’s) and no longer available, but if you have the budget for it PAIGE and Rails make awesome plaid button downsCaslon, Sanctuary, and American Eagle are my go-to’s as they are at a lower price point, but still high quality.

I discovered Free People’s 757 tee a few years ago and fell so hard for the style that I bought it in 5 (!!) colors when they went on sale. Sadly they are no longer widely available, but this one (70% off!) and this one (I have it in white and love it!) are also great options. This particular one was a Poshmark find – I’ve had such great luck finding items there that are out of stock at the major retailers.

It’s funny how often people tell me I’m “dressed up,” yet I’m wearing the most casual of outfits. Seriously, what’s more casual than jeans or leggings and a tee? I think they’re reacting to the fact that even my casual clothes have a little something special about them. I know myself well enough to realize that even my most basic clothes have to get me excited if I want to actually wear them. Do you find yourself returning to the same  favorite items over and over as well?

IMO the highest style achievement one can make is getting to the point where they enjoy wearing – and feel confident in – everything in their closet. I am proud to say I am finally there and it’s ah-mazing! How do you feel when you look in your closet? If you could use a little help developing your personal style or refining your wardrobe give me a shout in the comments. I’ve developed a workbook you might find helpful.

Have a wonderful day and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses 🙂

Photo credit: Leo Amar

Free People Sequin Slip Dress

This summer dress is so versatile and easy to wear. Not only does it have sequins (what girl doesn’t like a little sparkle??), but it works as a beach coverup, a day dress, or a going out dress. I bet this could even work as a maternity dress if one isn’t too far along!

Free People’s dresses are almost always meant to be oversized, but that leads to the risk of being overexposed, especially if you’re not model-thin. If you check out the link above you’ll see what I mean. Luckily I’ve been able to just size down, like I did in this dress. It worked out great!

It’s no longer available in black, but they have “amber” and “dogwood” (aka red) versions available on Free People’s website. Both colors seem really rich from the pics online.

It is on the sheer side, as it’s technically a slip, but you can wear a bodysuit (how gorgeous is this one?!), a bathing suit, or a slip underneath to add some coverage.

I have FP’s seamless romper in black and ivory and I wear them a good bit. They are super soft and a great option for a base layer for dresses, just be warned – they don’t have an opening at the crotch so you have to take it all off to go to the bathroom. It’s not that big of a deal for me as they are really stretchy.

Since this dress is already embellished I wanted to keep the shoes relatively simple and my Sam Edelman Gigi sandals (some colors are currently on sale!) in “gold boa” fit the bill nicely. They are very comfortable! www.samedelman.com always offers free shipping too 🙂

I consider them to be my airport shoes, since they slip on and off so easily and can be worn all day with no pain. I’ve had the same pair for many years now and they still look great. I’m considering buying another pair – they have a ton of colors! FYI Amazon sometimes sells them for as little as $20, depending on the size and color.

I dare you not to twirl in this pretty dress!

What’s your favorite kind of sparkle?

xoxo, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

The Oh-So Trendy Neckerchief

Welcome to my bandito moment! Lol

I’ve been looking to get more creative with my scarves (usually I’ll just tie one on my bags to add a little extra pizazz to a simple outfit as shown in the pic below) as I have so many of them lying around and it was fun to try this trend. I’m not one to jump on every trend that comes around, but I have to say I liked this look more than I thought I would.

Jean from www.extrapetite.com turned me on to this scarf from Express and it’s so cute! The also offer it in black and white. I love the pattern and colors – I have a feeling I’ll get a lot of use from it. It can also be tied around the neck like a choker, worn around the wrist or arm, wrapped around the handle of a bag, or even as a headband…there are lots of possibilities!

This sleeveless top (under $11 and available in 4 colors!) is a recent find and I am in love! It may sound weird to be obsessed with such a simple top, but as they say, it’s all in the details. I find myself returning to classic pieces more often than anything else so a good white/off white/ivory tank is a necessity. I have others that are okay, but this one is perfect!

It has 2 layers so it’s not see through, the back has a little button up top so it’s easy to get it on and off without getting makeup everywhere, it washes really well if you hang it dry, it has a flattering V-neck, it’s soft and silky, and – best of all – it doesn’t require a strapless bra. Hallelujah! I actually have a fantastic strapless bra, but let’s not kid ourselves, no strapless bra is as comfortable as a traditional bra. The Body by Victoria line makes the most comfortable bras, hands down. They make up the bulk of my bra collection.

It felt like summer for all of this week until today so I’ve been wearing shorts a lot. These are my go-to light wash pair. They’re from a past season, but I’ve listed look-a-likes here and here. Keep in mind the distressing varies a bit from pair to pair. I really like the midi lengths American Eagle offers. I just cannot do the super short shorts that seem to be so popular these days. Every girl should own at least a light wash pair and a dark wash pair IMO.

I broke out an old Steven by Steve Madden bag that’s been collecting dust in my closet and I’d forgotten how good the quality is within the Steven line! This bag is about 7 years old now and it still looks great. The only upkeep I’ve done is to slap on some leather conditioner (it also cleans the leather). The Steven bags and shoes are at a slightly higher price point, but they usually have a correspondingly higher level of quality and materials. How cute are these options (1, 2, 3, 4)??! And I can see this block heeled pump being a super chic work option.

This is totally unrelated to anything else in this post, but I spotted this  adorable pom pom block heeled sandal today while putting this post together and I immediately wished I had it in my closet. I can’t buy anything right now, but man do I want it! It’s 30% off right now due to Macy’s friends and family sale (FYI it ends May 7th). Just like how Steve Madden has different lines, Sam Edelman has a lower priced line of shoes and bags called Circus.

What are your thoughts on the neckerchief trend? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Photo credit: Leo Amar

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Crochet-Trim Cami

Being on the bustier side I usually stay away from tops that flow out from the bust or neckline as they can easily veer into maternity territory, but with this adorable cami I just didn’t care. It may not be the most flattering shirt I own, but I felt great in it. FYI it would look amazing on someone with more of a boyish body type – as you can see on the website. And it comes in 3 colors!

It’s so light and airy, it was perfect for this past weekend when we experienced a warm spell. It kept me nice and cool, even when the temperature climbed into the high 80’s. It’s slightly sheer, but not so much that it’s see through.

The back is just as adorable as the front! It does wrinkle easily, but it washes really well. I just put it in a wash bag on cold and hung it to dry and it worked perfectly. No ironing needed, woot!

It felt so summery to me that I chose to pair it with a light wash pair of ankle jeggings (no longer available, see some similar options here and here), but it can also be easily “edged” up a bit by pairing it with black or grey jeans or shorts.

I don’t always carry a purse as I like to travel light, so I often throw my necessities into this clutch, which came free with my vegan leather tote from Nordstrom. I like that it has a little strap so you can hang it on your wrist. It’s a great deal at under $50 and it really holds up. I’ve had mine for a couple of years and it still looks great. I want the grey one next!

I wanted to add a little height to this look to try and make it as flattering as possible so my go-to Sam Edelman Torrence sandals (42% off right now and still available in black and oatmeal in some sizes) helped a bit there. I love the comfort of a block heel! Here’s a very similar option with a slightly lower heel that would be great with summer dresses and beyond!

What do you feel best wearing during the hotter months? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Thanks so much for visiting!

Photo credit: Leo Amar