I think I’m in love… with a dress. It just happened spontaneously one day walking through my *first* love, T.J. Maxx: we were moving with purpose toward the register with a couple of household and Luna items, and the long white and navy striped dress caught my eye and we just had to be together.
Ok, so it’s not that serious, but I am definitely living in this dress for the rest of the summer. It’s the perfect length to wear with sandals on the weekend, and it’s definitely on my list for things to pack for Spain! Did I mention I’m going to Spain with my bestie at the end of August?! I’m so excited!!
This dress also fits into the “I can wear this without a bra” category of pieces that I’m slowly collecting. Especially with this July heat, it’s so nice to be able to throw on something comfortable and breezy, without feeling exposed.
I’ve been going for a “barely there” look on my face this summer too – my staples have been a mix of Murad and Rodan + Fields skin products (I’ve also been applying R + F Lash Boost at night, which I swear has already lengthened and thickened my lashes in just two months!), Glossier’s Boy Brow to define my brows, and various shades of Bare Minerals Gen Nude lip color.
My summer motto is “less is more,” and the moral of this story is I love the way this dress looks, but I love the way it makes me feel even more.
There are some fashion trends that are super fun and are probably really comfortable – like crop tops and the daring comeback of the 90’s mini dress, for example – that I don’t event attempt to try because the older woman in me is yelling “you can’t get away with wearing those skimpy clothes at your age!”. I made an exception, however, to try a bralette – a light and delicate lace alternative to my standard underwire bra.
I hope it’s ok if I get a little personal and honest… I’ve always hated wearing bras, but was too self-contious to not wear one. Bralettes seem a little youthful – reminiscent of my first sports bra as an adolescent – but carry the more adult lacey details of an adult brazier (I was fascinated when I found out that was the “long word” for bra!). I was too curious about trying one, so on my next trip to T.J. Maxx I picked up a simple white Nicole Miller bralette.
As soon as I put it on I loved everything about it, mostly how light-weight it was while still providing support. I also love the lace that can peek through a flowy top, or just sit discreetly under an unassuming tee.
Ever notice that when you’re not feeling 100 you don’t deviate as much from the norm? I usually put on my most comfortable clothes and eat comfort food that doesn’t take a lot of effort. That’s how I’m feeling now about this in-between time, where winter’s cold grip is slowly letting go and the sunshine of spring is just creeping in.
I’ve been gravitating toward neutrals and my go-to layers, like my trusty chambray, black jeans, comfortable scarves, and boots that will get me anywhere.
I’m also in the in-between with my professional life – switching from one career to another – which is amplifying my antsiness. I’ve heard that experiencing change is what pushes us to be better and do better, but I just can’t wait to get back into a healthy routine.
In the meantime, I’ll be working on my patience and finding comfort in the things I love most.
The leap from my last style post to this one is kind of crazy. Not too long ago we had snow on the ground and one-digit temperatures and now it’s literally 80 degrees outside and I’m not one ounce sorry about it. If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I cleaned out my closet to a capsule wardrobe in a valiant (I think) attempt to downsize and simplify my life. Having a wide selection of clothing choices can be satisfying and fun, but lately I’ve been feeling the endless options weighing me down instead of liberating my creativity. My new capsule system has also forced me – in the best way possible – to be creative in a different way: mixing and matching my limited selections to create a new outfit each day. Without getting too much into it (yet), I’m really enjoying my capsule wardrobe thus far, and I’m excited to switch out to my spring selections!
Among the best spring 2016 fashion trends – stripes, ballet flats, floral patterns, moto jackets, monochromatic white (all things I can get behind) – is fringe. Previously associated with western movies and 70’s boho-chic, fringe has made a comeback in almost every shape and form. Shoes, vests, bags, jewelry, you name it: they are going to have fringe this season. Last weekend I paired some fringe details with what I like to call “double denim,” more fondly known as a Canadian tuxedo, which is also trendy again (go figure). I kind of love the cyclical nature of fashion. If you hang onto those key pieces long enough, they are sure to come back in style.
It’s Friday, and the first day of November! Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving is around the corner, with lots of events, parties, rehearsals, and family gatherings in-between. I have had my eye on a few staple pieces to get me through to December that would also make great holiday gifts! And I have always said that a great gift is something you would like to get yourself, too.
After painting in the grass while the boys played ultimate frisbee yesterday and enjoying a fabulous Sunday brunch at District Commons [I had the pan seared salmon cakes “benedict” and bottomless blood orange mimosas, yum] this morning, I have decided it is officially spring.
With the emergence of spring comes the necessary [and long-awaited] shedding of clothing layers plus the acquisition of new exciting pieces. When I was out with a good friend she looked at my outfit curiously [I don’t remember exactly what I was wearing, but it must not have been too shabby] and asked, “Jackie, how do you keep your wardrobe fresh while sticking to a budget?” This got me thinking – how do I keep my wardrobe interesting without crying every time I check my bank account?
Here are a few simple rules that I stick to when a new season comes around:
1. As you pull out your spring/summer wardrobe from under your bed to hang your favorite pieces up in your closet, take this moment to set aside anything you didn’t wear at all last season to donate. Do not ignore this step: it’s much easier [and feels better] to make room for anything that’s new!
2. There are a lot of fun trends this season, but if you plan accordingly you can get by with just a couple of key purchases. Here are my affordable staples for this spring/summer:
Bright [comfortable] flats. As much as I love heels, I hate myself for wearing them by the end of the day. There will be no hating myself as I sport these fun and comfy Steve Madden shoes from DSW!
Simple solid dresses, like this $25 one from TJ Maxx. I can dress it up with colorful jewelry or down with a cardi, tights, and boots.
Fun studs to pair with clothes that could use some extra umph. Check out these pretty [and cheap!] ones from the Lou Lou boutique in Annapolis. Obviously these will go in your ears and not on plants…
A chambray shirt, like the one I am wearing in the photo above. I have been wearing this shirt silly over striped tops, dresses, even with other denim.
3. There is NO need to go crazy with buying a whole new wardrobe. You already have clothes, and probably forgot about most of them during the winter, so it’s time to rediscover what you already have! Some of my own favorites include these old gems:
A navy and white tank from Old Navy. This season I am excited to pair it with with a hand-me-down floral skirt.
A black and white gingham collared shirt from Old Navy [apparently I used to shop at Old Navy a lot]. I can pair this top with bright blue skinnies from Gap or a long solid skirt.
A vintage pleated purple skirt from my Great Aunt. I can wear this with a plain white tee [see what I did there?] a belt, and maybe my new flats!
4. Have fun! Don’t be afraid to try piecing the old with the new and creating outfits you haven’t tried before. It is a new season after all.