Gone Western//Free People’s Garden Party Maxi Dress

The hubs and I went to Tucson in November and I wore this outfit – I love a good theme when getting dressed! We drove so much that day that we just didn’t have it in us to do a photo shoot, but I got so many compliments on this look that I had to recreate it for the blog.

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This dress (on sale through multiple ebay sellers in various colors – you can also get the black version here) is so nice, it works just as well in the spring as it does in the colder months. Well, in a temperate climate like San Diego at least. The top can be a little tricky if you’re busty because the sides are so open, but you can remedy this by either tying the straps tighter/higher, wearing an adhesive bra (this one has great reviews), or wearing a bralette (my fav) underneath. I’ve also worn it without a bra and it worked surprisingly well! Do you ever go braless? It’s oddly freeing!

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For this outfit I threw on my go-to denim jacket, which I still love after 3+ years. Kut from the Kloth makes the BEST denim jackets. Here are some additional versions by this brand: plus size, lighter washblack, and white. I want the black one next!

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This dress also looks fab layered under a slouchy/oversized sweater. I love getting more milage out of my dresses by turning a dress into what looks like a skirt. It hasn’t really gotten cold enough for that yet, but it’s coming! When it does this is what I’ll pair it with. It would also look good with this ivory turtleneck.

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I am so into hats lately. They can change up the feel of an outfit so easily and they’re the perfect “completer piece.” I bought this hat on a whim after seeing it was on sale and reading the stellar reviews and I’m glad I did. It’s more western than I normally go for, but it’s fun to try new things. It’s also super packable as it’s “crushable.” The Nordies website made the “khaki” seem more of a grey color, but it was more green than I expected IRL. Here it looks brown somehow. *shrug*

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Doesn’t it have a totally different feel without the hat?

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When I first started wearing hats it felt a little weird, but I’ve found that trying anything new feels a little weird at first. Hats can be super practical – think of how many generations relied on hats before the advent of sunglasses. Now I almost feel like something’s missing if I don’t have some head adornment! Blogger problems…

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I love a dress that moves when I walk and this one is great for that. It makes a girl want to sashay a bit 😉

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Thanks so much for visiting! XO, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

FP Saturday Morning Cardi

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This Free People cardigan has been called the “it sweater” this year and I can totally see why. It’s awesome! When something is uber popular I am usually less inclined to get it – it’s always a bummer to enter a room and find that others are wearing the same item of clothing – but I knew I had to have this one as soon as I saw it on Caitlin from Southern Curls and Pearls.

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Unfortunately it’s a little hard to find on sale due to it’s popularity, but I saw the blush is still on sale at Saks and Nordies price matched the blue and blush, get them here. Warning: they will likely go fast due to the sale price! The blush pink is my fav color, but you can get it in 4 additional colors here. I really like that the pink is not super bright – it goes just as well with a black ensemble as it does with blue jeans.

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Most people will be able to fit into either size as it’s so roomy, but I much prefer how it looks in the larger size (unless you’re petite) as the proportions are so much better. It’s pretty substantial/thick, but it’s still a great layer for those of us in milder climates as the holes allow for ventilation.

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I adore the pattern of the knit, just be mindful not to snag it on everything as the holes are quite large. I have to be pretty mindful of my wedding ring for that reason. You can increase the warm factor by adding a thicker layer underneath, but you can also just throw it on over a tank and just pop it in your (large) bag when it gets a little too warm.

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Speaking of large bags, this one is so big that it can double as a carryon. It easily fit my sweater (which takes up quite a bit of space), AND it has a padded tablet/laptop compartment! What a smart idea! Many online reviewers noted this was a negative, but it can be a great option for those looking for a carryall. The price is great at less than $110, considering that it was originally almost $300. Honestly I’m surprised it hasn’t yet sold out at DSW as I bought mine a while ago. You can also get it on sale here and here. Another winner from Vince Camuto!

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I am still super happy I purchased this FP tank. It’s so much more than a basic ribbed tank top. The subtle flair at the hem and racerback details make it so flattering and stylish. I want it in pink too! You can get some colors/sizes of this tank for 50% off right now here. And Nordies also has some colors on sale here and here. I don’t often see them on sale as they are already pretty affordable, so grab them on sale while you can!

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These jeans are also a workhorse in my closet – they are the perfect color IMO. The cut is awesome – no extra material in the ankle and the mid-rise is especially flattering with a tucked-in top. My pair is old, but I would buy this one (on sale!), this one, and this one if I were shopping for a new pair. Be warned, the sizing for this style of denim varies wildly, so I recommend trying them on in store rather than taking a chance online. I haven’t worn jeans in a while due to the warm weather and I’d forgotten how much I love skinnies with some kind of a heel. Show those legs off girlies!

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My pumps are a little old, but here’s (on sale!) the newest version by Sam Edelman. Based on the online reviews, these are some crazy popular heels. They are a bit high for me, but I’m not generally on my feet a lot. You can tell it’s fall as they don’t match my skin tone. In the summer they’re actually a great match 😉

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I wore outfit this a few days before Thanksgiving to grab some food with the hubs. Yet again we had a scorcher on turkey day. Every so often we’ll have a chilly Thanksgiving, but more often than not it’s quite warm, thanks to the Santa Anas. I can’t say I really mind, as people throughout the country are freezing their  booties off and I was able to sneak in a beach day the day before Thanksgiving! But I do love being able to layer. That time should come soon enough, considering it’s already December. Where does the time go?!

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Have a splendid weekend my loves! XO, Kate

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Photo credit: Leo Amar

Free People Retro Love Suede Dress

Can you believe I’ve had this dress for a year and this is the first time I’ve worn it?! It might just be my favorite blog look so far. After it sold out I wasn’t sure if Free People would bring it back the following season (like they so often do with their most popular dresses), but they have! They aren’t offering it in the color I have – rose – but they have 7 colors to choose from! I think the soft peach is to die for!

You might be wondering if a suede dress is functional and I can tell you it IS! Not only is it a steal, considering Free People’s pricing, but it’s comfortable and it has pockets! Once I got past the unusual-ness of the material I was hooked. Because it’s real suede it has just enough shape without being too structured. I’m in love!

What is it about suede that just feels super luxe? Is it just me?

At first I wasn’t sure how I’d accessorize it as there are so many options. It was popular amongst bloggers last year and I saw many ladies styled it with more mod accessories (it looks awesome with a turtleneck underneath) or with sneakers for a more casual vibe.

However, I wanted more of a rocker/boho look so I paired it with my fav booties (unfortunately black leather is no longer available, but there are still two suede options) and my new Sam Edelman bag that I snagged from the clearance section of DSW. What a find that was!

Of curse no boho look would be complete without a hat (haha), so I threw on my Free People Matador hat and I really liked the overall look. This particular hat is no longer available, but I found two lookalike options: 1 2. I also really like this felt hat, I can see it going with a lot.

Do you own any suede or leather items of clothing? I haven’t branched out into anything beyond this dress and moto jackets…yet!

Have a wonderful day! I hope to see you again soon!

Photo credit: Sarah Jordan

Sam Edelman Sylvia Satchel

This bag rocks! I happened to spot it at DSW in the clearance section after having put it in my shopping bag at Nordstrom.com to keep in mind for later – only it was MUCH cheaper. Score!! I get compliments on it every time I use it!

I tend to buy accessories in neutral colors for maximum versatility, but this bag is just so darn cute! And I’ve found it does go with a lot of my outfits, even with a somewhat bold pattern. I really love the global/boho feel it has.

I can’t recall if I’ve talked about this particular Free People tee before (now sold out), but it’s great! It is pretty sheer though, so I can see this one being a great, more opaque option. I haven’t really gotten onboard with the cutout tee trend, but this one seems cute and has a bunch of 5 star reviews.

These jeggings are still my go-to when I want to be comfortable. They seriously feel like yoga pants. American Eagle currently only has high rise, low rise, and cropped versions available in black ripped jeggings, but their selection is constantly changing.

I also wanted to mention a lip stain I’ve recently discovered. I have tried a few in the past and none of them were all that great, but this one seriously lasts all day long. I had the pleasure of meeting up wth an Instagram friend who sells LipSense and I ended up buying 2 shades (a pink and this red). Both are perfect!

There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the application, but once you get it right it doesn’t budge! Luckily there are quite a few YouTube tutorials. You have to get it through a rep (kind of like Mary Kay), so if you need help there let me know. Have you ever tried it?

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a fab day!

Photo credit: Leo Amar

New Earring Obsession

Thanks to this blog I’ve become aware that earrings are an afterthought for me – if I think of them at all. I often will start a blog photo shoot and only then realize I didn’t even bother with earrings. Whoops! Well, I think I’ve found my solution!

These little studs are so darling that I don’t want to take them out. Problem solved, right?! I found them at Nordstrom and they were on sale, so of course they are already sold out. However, there are a ton of similarly cute options out there. How adorable is this Friday set? And these sets (1, 2, 3) provide pretty much unending options to mix and match. They’re dainty, but they really do add a little something extra to an outfit.

My set actually didn’t include any matching pairs, rather there were 5 shapes and I’ve enjoyed playing with different configurations. I can’t remember the last time I wore earrings in my second piercings so I did work a little to re-open one enough to slip a stud in, but it was worth it!

My (Free People) dress is from a few years ago, but I found some options that have a similar vibe here, herehere, and here.

My booties (Sam Edelman “Maddox”) are also a little older and no longer available, but I did find a few pairs floating out there in cyberspace – as well as a newer version of the same type of bootie. These are also really cute – and very inexpensive!

Are you a big or small earring person? I have to admit every once in a while I do love a statement earring!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a lovely day! XO, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

Can’t Get Enough Pink

I’ve always resisted what people thought I should like. For example, as a kid I was “supposed” to like pink because I was a girl. I felt like I had to  dislike it just to prove them wrong. Now I’m mature enough to embrace the fact that I LOVE PINK. It makes me happy and that’s all that’s really important.

More and more I’m living life by feeling my way through. If it feels good, I do it. If not, I (usually) try something else. It may seem overly simple, but I argue that we make life way more complicated than it has to be. Of course, there is something to be said for life’s engaging dramas and doing things we don’t like since it helps us clarify what we do like. So this is just my motto, I’m certainly not saying it’s right for everyone. But man has it enriched my life.

Now that I’ve gotten out my deep thought for the day, on to my outfit! This bag was such a nice surprise. I’d never heard of Chic Wishlist so when I got an offer to snag this bag at a very steep discount I hesitated but eventually pulled the trigger. I’ve wanted a pink or blush bag for so long, but for some reason I never found one that I thought was purchase-worthy.

I buy almost everything online these days, but I rely heavily on past experience with a brand and online reviews. This brand provided neither so I was a little unsure what the bag would actually be like when it got to me.

It’s not leather, rather it’s listed as being primarily “silica gel” and I didn’t really know what that meant. It also doesn’t have a lining and it’s pretty darn expensive. Normally I’d pass on it for those reasons, but this bag actually rocks!

It feels and looks sumptuous and I don’t miss the lining one bit. It’s a great size and it just looks classy to me. If you balk at the price tag I totally understand. Here’s a code to get a discount of 70%: SaveOnWishList. Seems a lot more reasonable now, eh?

This brand offers some really fun and fashion forward items. Just keep in mind that everything ships from China, so the delivery can take a little while. I’m seriously eyeing their faux fur jackets. I’d love to hear if you’ve ever tried this brand yourself in the comments!

I considered a lot of different pairings for this bag, but I ultimately went with my fabulous pink trench and I love the result. Is it just me or does this ensemble look expensive? I did a post on this chic trench in the past here and I still love it!

The reviewers are right, it’s not a typical trench coat in that it’s not rain resistant and it is lightweight, so it might be more appropriate to call it a “topper.” It’s actually perfect for the Socal weather and while the fabric does wrinkle easily, the wrinkles also fall out pretty easily when it hangs. The faux leather details are an awesome touch and it’s on sale!

I cheated a little with this look as it was pretty hot when we shot these pics, but I’m already feeling the fall vibes. So many people on social media are lamenting the end of summer and meanwhile I’m like when the heck is it going to feel like fall around here?! I can’t wait to pull out my boots. Lol, the grass is always greener eh?

This white dress is an old purchase from Nasty Gal, but I found a very similar dress at NordstromRack for under $45 (there are more colors available too)! Isn’t the scalloping at the bust adorable? Every girl needs at least one fit and flare dress in her closet!

With all the pink in this outfit I thought a nude shoe would be best and my Sam Edelmans fit the bill perfectly. My particular style is sold out, but the “Hazel” is a cult favorite and very similar. I was just at DSW yesterday and I am always impressed by how many great shoes they have from this brand. Why would anyone ever pay full price?

My hubby is so wonderful to be willing to be my part time photographer. The only downside is that he’s not quite as detail oriented as I am. Case in point – all the pics we got with the bag flipped the wrong way, haha! Oh well. I’m just happy he’s so supportive. Thank you babe!!

What’s your favorite color to wear?

Have a wonderful day and stay true to you! Muah! Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar

Dressing up Denim Shorts

This summer has been really humid so far, it’s been really weird! We’re usually on the dryer side here so this weather actually has been giving me a tropical getaway kind of vibe – which is fine by me! It’s probably a good thing as we’re approaching fire season. To beat the heat I’ve been all about flowy tops and shorts lately.

I’m not usually one to wear heels with shorts, but I just can’t do jeans in this weather and for some reason I just haven’t been wearing dresses as much as usual. So I thought I’d create a date night look using one of my favorite pairs of shorts.

These shorts are super soft and I love the slightly longer length. There’s a reason this pair has a cumulative review of 5 stars. American Eagle’s Denim X is where it’s at! I can’t believe I spent so many years wearing jeans that have no give. No more my friends!

I showcased this double layer cami from Express in an earlier post and while it’s no longer available Express has some other really cute options right now. Here are my top picks: 1, 2, 3.

You can’t go wrong with a black cami, it’s so versatile! Just make sure you invest in  a good strapless bra – visible bra straps kill a look so quickly. This one is my fav for good support and comfort.

How fun are these colorful heels? I’m obsessed with the embroidery. Even though they’re pretty darn high, they’re more comfortable than you’d think thanks to some well placed padding.

I don’t think the pictures online do them justice. Check out the reviews, others seem to love them too! FYI they are available in wide, woo hoo!

And of course what says summer ’17 more than a great pair of tassel earrings? These are from F21 and sold out quickly, but I found these, these, and these that are similar and also very cute. They add instant pizazz to any basic look.

What’s your favorite summertime look?

Thanks for visiting! Kisses, Kate

Photo credit: Sarah Jordan

Not Your Basic (Free People Long Beach) Tank

I’ve been a hardcore fan of Free People’s clothing for many years now and I’ve seen this super popular tank around for ages. I never thought it would work for me as I’m curvier and so many of the reviewers that love it have more slender body types. Since I mainly shop online I finally got the chance to try it on recently and I was happy to find out I was WRONG!

I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but wow. I love this tank! The cut of this shirt really sets it apart from your standard “wife beater” (ugh, hate that term) tank. At only $20 (full priced) it’s by far one of the more affordable FP pieces – plus it comes in a plethora of colors. I might just have to get the “petal pink” next.

I love versatility and this tank can be styled in so many ways. I like it worn casually with a pendant necklace, tied in a knot to show a little more of the wearer’s shape, or tucked into a maxi skirt (stay tuned for an upcoming post). Great style is all about the details – and wearing clothes with confidence of course!

My necklace is from Forever 21, but it’s no longer available. I found a few affordable options here, here, and here. I rarely wear shorts as they just never seem to be comfortable, but these (slightly darker wash than what I’m wearing) and these (love the color and distressing!) are an exception. They are stretchy and so very comfy! I wouldn’t mind adding this black pair to my closet. FYI www.AE.com currently has a BOGO 50% off deal going on for shorts!

These booties are by Sam Edelman from a few years back and no longer available, but here’s an affordable look-a-like option and here’s a super high quality pair for 60-70% off! Frye makes awesome footwear that really lasts.

The clutch came with my reversible faux leather tote from Nordies and it’s the perfect size for a phone, money, a key, and some lipstick. I have had the tote for a couple of years now and it’s held up amazingly well. It comes in tons of colors and is not very pricy. I highly recommend it!

I used to be a lot more hesitant to show my arms or even a peek of my stomach but as I get older I care less and less. I am what I am and hiding under clothes is silly. Here they are world 😉

I met up with my friend Sarah in Solana Beach this past weekend and it was so dead (possibly due to the thick marine layer or the Del Mar fair) that we ended up spending most of our time “scouting locations” and shooting these pics. There are so many lovely homes and backdrops in North County San Diego that I can spend a whole day just driving or biking around and enjoying the scenery. Does that mean I’m getting old? Ha!

What’s your favorite low budget weekend activity? I’m always looking for new ideas.

Thanks for visiting!! Xoxo, Kate

Photo credit: Sarah Jordan

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

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