Key Transitional Pieces for Fall

1. // The LBD

No no, not the little black dress - I'm talking about its sister, the little blue dress. A navy blue dress is a perfect piece to take you from the heat of summer (pair it with a pair of Jack Rogers sandals and statement earrings) to chillier fall days (pair it with a cardigan or jean jacket, loafers, and pearls). If you can layer with it, then that's a bonus! I have a navy scalloped shift dress from J.Crew that I love to wear white oxford underneath in the fall.

2. // Dark Wash Denim

When it comes to denim, dark wash is the perfect transition from warm to cool. Cuff them and wear them with a flowy white eyelet top and flats in the summer; switch to boots or flats and a sweater in the fall. It looks equally as stylish with richer fall palettes as it does lighter summer colors, while light wash and white denim is trickier to pair in the cooler months.

3. // Cardigans

Cardigans are definitely a no-brainer when it comes to layering. The best part about them is that they're more versatile than sweaters in that you can pair them over dresses, and it's a bit more practical to take them off if you overheat. Personally, I'm looking to update my fall wardrobe with a new navy and white cardigan to help carry it over into cooler weather.

4. // Loafers

Boots can be a bit too hot in early fall, and obviously, sandals are mainly a summer staple. That leaves us with flats or loafers -- and personally, the latter is my favorite! Loafers, for me, are the quintessential fall shoe. Maybe it's because I associate them with school and therefore back-to-school season, but whatever the case may be, I simply love them for fall weather. They pair wonderfully with a dress or skirt, and equally well with jeans and a sweater.

5. // Cotton Scarves

Cotton scarves serve a dual purpose; they can help keep you warm (but not too warm!) and really elevate an outfit. They're perfect for the in-between weather when it's chilly but not cold enough to wear a true wool scarf.  I also love neck scarves, as well - they look so chic and classic tied around the next, especially with a striped tee! J.Crew has a great selection right now if you're looking to find one, and they're very inexpensive.

6. // Oxford Shirts

I consider myself to be almost an oxford shirt connoisseur (haha, just kidding!). I love them year-round, but they really come in handy during the fall. On warmer days, roll up the sleeves and tuck them into a sidewalk skirt with a pair of flats, and on cooler days pair them with chino pants and loafers. If it gets especially cold, they also layer perfectly under cardigans or sweaters!

7. // Lightweight Sweaters

Speaking of sweaters, there's a special category that is essential for the transitional wardrobe. "Summerweight" sweaters (usually made of cotton or a cotton blend instead of wool) are really perfect for the summer-to-fall transition. Layer them or wear them alone, or tie them around your shoulders (a-la 1950's sweater sets!).

8. // Pearls 

I couldn't resist mentioning my favorite accessory that's appropriate for all seasons -- pearls! They are the perfect neutral and classic accessory to accompany any outfit. When in doubt during the summer-to-fall transition, pearls are my fall-back accessory because I know they'll pair perfectly with any outfit.

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Are you looking forward to the fall fashion season? I'm so excited!


My New Favorite Lilly Print

I adore a good Lilly shift dress as much as the next girl - don't get me wrong! However, when I saw this Eryn dress I knew it belonged in my wardrobe. Fit and flare styles are just my thing. They're so insanely flattering, especially on a more hourglass shape, and I adore the swishiness of a flared skirt (what can I say, I like to twirl in my dresses).

The print of this dress really pushed me over the edge to make the purchase. I had never seen it before, so I did a little online digging and found out that it's called Lilly's Pink Lilet.

Isn't it gorgeous? When the dress came, the print was even prettier in person. I love the combination of bright marigold yellow, mint and pastel pink.

This sort of fit-and-flare style reminds me so much of classic 1950's dresses, so of course, I paired it with a sweater tied over the shoulders. Completing the look is my new Vineyard Vines woven clutch, a J.Crew pave link bracelet, and my monogram bangle from C.Wonder. On my feet are my favorite pair of lace up suede ballet flats. The soft pink really compliments the tone in the dress! I've been enjoying this dress all summer, and I'm keeping my eyes peeled for more items in the Lilly's Pink Lilet print.


Block Island Blues

Nantucket has Nantucket red, but Block Island has BI blue.

Due to my crazy schedule this summer, I wasn't able to spend as much time on Block Island as I usually do. While I'm still sad to be gone so soon, I feel really lucky to have experienced peak hydrangea season while on the island! Hydrangeas are my favorite flower, and there is nothing like those on Block Island. The front porch of my grandma's house is surrounded by huge hydrangea bushes, and it makes me so happy to sit on the porch and look out over all the flowers just spilling through the railing.

I'm also loving this white skirt from J.Crew! It's so flowy, easy-going, and easy to pair with almost anything. My favorite scalloped blouse goes perfectly with it (and they match the flowers!). Finished off with Jack Rogers and my favorite strand of pearls from Kiel James Patrick and you have the perfect island outfit.

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How has your summer been going?


Dorm Room Decor Inspiration

I'm not headed off to college just yet, but I'm guilty as charged for jumping the gun and starting to think about college dorm decor. Those of you that have been following along will remember that I lived in a dorm as part of a university program that I did in July, so I've already gotten a few of the things I'll be using for my dorm next year! 

In general, I'd say the "look" I'm going for is simple, classic and more on the minimal side. I love a navy and white color scheme because it's clean and bright but also very easy to follow (almost everything can be bought in either navy or white!). For my metals, I plan to stick with gold accents when I can. 

I'm having so much fun browsing online and looking for possible pieces I might want for next year. It's never too early to plan ahead (right?)! Target has some amazing and affordable pieces, especially in terms of bedding and lighting, and Wayfair is my go-to for furniture. I plan on creating a gallery wall with prints and my vintage squash racquet next year. Etsy is the best place to find beautiful artwork and I have more prints than I could ever hang on my wish list!

Keep up with my dorm inspiration board on Pinterest! I update it each time I find something new. You can also find all the pieces in the graphic above there too. 


Summer Swim Sales

It may seem like summer is coming to a close now that August has hit us head-on, but as far as I'm concerned, we still have plenty of the season left. One positive of this "summer is almost over" panic, however, is that lots of brands are pushing out their summer merchandise to make room for their upcoming fall collections (which we all know hit the stores wayyyy before autumnal weather does). 

That means, among other things, swimsuit sales! 

Now is the time to stock up on your favorite suits; you'll still be able to wear them this year and into the next, but you won't have to pay full price! Here are some of my favorites:

As a tip: many stores (especially J.Crew) will have sales that take extra off of the sale price! Check the site to see if you can get an even better deal before you check out. 

Will you be purchasing anything from the sales? If so, what caught your eye?


The B&P Block Island Guide

Fashion blog, preppy, classic style, fashion, pearls, j crew, kiel james patrick, Emma Van Zandt

If you've been keeping up with my Instagram, you'll see that I've been on Block Island, Rhode Island for the past few days. I've spent time here every summer since I was born, and it's a tradition I'd never miss. The island is so familiar that each year I return it feels like I never left.

I might be a little biased, but I feel like I can say with confidence that a trip to BI belongs on everyone's bucket list! If you're planning on visiting or just wondering about the island, I thought I might put together some things that you might want to know or do while you're here.

There's a ton of different restaurants on the Block. Most of them are amazing, but I decided for the sake of not being overwhelming I would limit it to one recommendation for each meal of the day.

  • Breakfast -- The Old Post Office Bagel Shop is hands-down my favorite breakfast place. They make bagels and amazing baked goods fresh every morning and open at 6:30 am. You'll want to get there fairly early as they sell out quickly. My recommendation (aside from their bagels, of course) is their muffins. They're HUGE and are a meal in and of themselves. The banana bran is my personal favorite, but if you happen to be there when they bring out a batch of blackberry muffins (it's a rare but delicious occurrence) go for one of those!

  • Lunch -- Three Sisters is a delicious sandwich place in a tiny shack on Water Street. Go there if you're looking for classic New England sandwiches and giant chocolate chip cookies! 

  • Dinner -- My aunts used to work at the Surf Hotel when they spent their summers on the island, and after being closed for a few years it finally found new owners and is now open for business again. Their restaurant serves incredible New England fare; ask to sit on the deck for a gorgeous view of the ocean. Seafood is, of course, a specialty but they also make great pasta and salads. 

  • Dessert -- There may be three different ice cream shops on the island, but when we say "the ice cream place" we're talking about only one. The Ice Cream Place is located right behind Star Department Store and serves the best ice cream on the island. (Ask for their chocolate whipped cream!) Plus, they have a collection of fascinating historical photos from the island hanging on the walls. Someone even had wedding photos taken there - if that isn't enough of a recommendation I don't know what is. 

If you want Block Island gear, I can assure you, you'll get it. Beyond the classic t-shirts and sweatshirts (for which I would recommend the equally classic Star Department Store), there are a lot of other interesting items you can find customized for BI:

  • Alex and Ani -- There are at least two Alex and Ani bracelets designed exclusively for BI, and each is available in gold or silver. They're really beautiful and as far as I know, you can only buy them in the Peppered Cat (on Water Street, next to the Salty Dog).

  • Kiel James Patrick -- KJP (one of my favorite brands) makes custom Block Island pearl bracelets and necklaces! You can buy them at Block Island Trading Co on the corner of Water Street, across from the Surf Hotel. 

  • Vineyard Vines -- Vineyard Vines makes adorable Block Island printed headbands which I highly recommend (I have the navy and green one and I really, really want the navy and pink option!). You can buy them and other VV clothing, including block island belts and ties for the gents, in Mahoney's Clothier. They also carry Charles River Apparel rain jackets with a custom Block Island design. 

  • Smathers & Branson -- I love a good needlepoint, and Smathers & Branson make gorgeous BI needlepoint hats and key fobs. Find them at True North Outfitters; the entrance is on the back balcony of the National Hotel. If you're looking for Daniel Wellington watches, you can find them there as well. 

Aside from custom BI apparel and accessories, I also love finding some of my favorite brands (read: Lilly Pulitzer and Southern Tide) in The Tipsy Mermaid. This is an adorable boutique that opened one or two years ago, and I'm so glad it did. They also carry a line of their own accessories and they have stickers that are perfect for your laptop or bumper. I would definitely recommend paying them a visit!

Another favorite of mine is The Glass Onion, which is right across from The Tipsy Mermaid. They have a really eclectic but interesting array of items from clothing to accessories to home, and they also carry Saint James dresses and tops (I love some New England stripes!). I make a point to visit at least once every year to see what's new.

There's really nothing like a day spent on the beach. Block Island has several "different" beaches (really they're all along one giant stretch of beach that's divided into separate areas), but my personal favorite is by far Mansion Beach. It's the furthest north and closest to Clayhead, but it has incredible white sand and the best waves (also the least rocks).

It's called Mansion Beach because it used to belong to the Searles Mansion. Legend has it that the man who owned the mansion was fabulously rich and built it built it back in the 1890's as an opulent gift for his wife, whom he was madly in love with. Sadly, she died in a tragic accident just after the mansion's completion, and the man couldn't bear to visit. So, it stood vacant for many years until it suddenly burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances. What's left today are the ruins, which you park in if you're going to visit the beach. Parking can be a bit dicey though, so try and get there early (before 1:00 pm) to get a good spot.

For beach entertainment, I always recommend a good book, but if you're someone who can get bored of swimming, tanning, and napping (the holy trinity), pick up a classic game of paddle ball at Star Department Store. This game requires limited coordination, is totally waterproof, and absolutely the most fun for people of all ages to play at the beach!

Not a beach person? Don't worry - there's a lot of things to do on the island that don't require you to step onto the beach. Aside from walking through town, here are a few ideas:

  • Biking -- BI is a great place to bike (so long as you don't mind hills!). Bring your own bike or rent from any of the many places in town. There's a Block Island Bike tour if you're interested in seeing different sites or just explore on your own; the island isn't too big so it's difficult to get lost!
  • Water Sports -- If you like fishing, paddle boarding (my fave), or kayaking the Great Salt Pond is for you. There are several outlets to rent gear for almost any water sport, and the pond (which is a lot bigger than the average pond, don't worry) has calm water which makes it great for beginners.
  • Hiking -- The BI Nature Conservancy maintains many different trails throughout the island, many of which take you through a combination of hills, meadows, and forests that are so gorgeous. Definitely bring bug spray especially if it's particularly humid, as the mosquitos are no joke! Over the years I think we've hiked them all, but my personal favorite is the Hodge Family Preserve, located right across from the state airport. 
  • Lighthouses -- There are two lighthouses on Block Island, the North Light and the Southeast Light. Aside from being great photo ops, both are beautiful buildings and have a lot of historical significance. I'm partial to the Southeast Light, as it's closest to our house and is home to a really interesting museum. The lighthouse actually had to be moved several decades ago, which was as amazing as it sounds! You can read about the move and take a tour inside. 
  • The Farm -- Abram's Animal Farm is a rescue farm owned by an island family. They take in a whole host of interesting animals from all over the world. many of which are happy to see you and will come up to be pet. My personal favorite is Justice the Yak; he's a real sweetheart. They also have a garden where they grow food for their hotels and restaurants (they own a lot of things on the island, including the famous Manasses Hotel), and they often sell excess fresh produce at great prices. 
  • Farmer's Market / Craft Fair -- This is a must-see! Each Wednesday morning the Spring House Hotel hosts the farmers market in their back lot. There are farmers selling produce and flowers, baked goods, craftsmen, and artists. I look forward to going every year. 

The climate on Block Island - albeit unpredictable - is pretty classic New England weather. If you've packed for an NE vacation before, you'll probably be an expert. But just in case you haven't, here's a few things I'd recommend you'd bring:

  • A Sweater -- Even at the height of the summer Block Island can still get cold, especially in the evenings and when it rains. If you're especially sensitive to chilly weather, bring jeans or other pants as well.
  • A Rainjacket -- Hopefully it doesn't rain during your visit, but it is New England! You should bring a rain jacket just in case. 
  • A Beach Chair and/or Umbrella -- Unless you go to State Beach (which gets crowded easily) you won't have access to chairs or umbrellas for rent. It's a better plan to bring them along yourself and be able to visit the beach of your choice.
  • A Camera -- The island is so picturesque! You'll want to be able to capture everything. 
  • Cash -- Many places are cash only. There are definitely ATMs on the island, but it's always easier to avoid them altogether and bring plenty of cash for your visit.
  • A Backpack -- Whenever I think "island" I usually envision tote bags as my main method of carrying my things. However, more often than not when you're on the island it's more convenient to have a backpack that you can carry behind you, especially if you're planning on doing any biking.  

All-in-all, Block Island is truly an incredible place. No matter what your interests are, there is something for absolutely everhyone. I hope you visit one day soon, and if you do, hopefully this guide gave you some ideas for how to enjoy your stay!


Almost Summer

For those of you who are out of school already: I'm jealous! We don't get out until late June, and I'm so excited. My summer is going to be really busy this year - probably the busiest it's ever been - but I'm still really looking forward to it.

I'll be studying in a state-wide academic program for the Humanities down in southern Virginia, which means I'll be able to stay on a college campus for most of July. I'm so thrilled; the classes I'll be taking are things that really interest me and I'm very excited to do a trial-run of living in a dorm before I head off to college for real next year. I won't lie, a major part of the appeal is getting to decorate! I haven't done anything major to my room at home since fourth grade (I guess I had good taste back then because I haven't seen the need to do much; my room's pretty classic). Shopping for decor has become a new and exciting creative outlet for me - can't wait to put it all together!

When I get back I'll be headed up to Block Island for about a week. Summer traditions die hard. It's not as long as I'd like, but I'm excited nonetheless -- my plan is to spend as much time as possible on the beach and shooting for the blog (my two favorite vacation activities).

After that, it's off to a college preparatory camp for another week. This one is probably my least favorite of the activities I've got lined up, but I know it will be worth it in the end. A week of writing essays, putting together a resume, researching and pulling everything together for college isn't exciting but it is practical and something I need to get done. Hopefully having everything finished before senior year will help take away some of the stress, and free up my time to spend with friends and family during my last year at home!

The month of August is where I'll get most of my downtime. Fall sports begin then, which I'm looking forward to, and I plan to be a little lazy at the pool and with friends to get some R&R before school starts again in September (and, of course, working on the blog).

All-in-all, my summer's pretty packed. It's a little overwhelming, but a lot more exciting! I can't wait for it to begin in just a few short weeks.

What are your summer plans?


Critter Prints for Summer

Critter prints - perhaps one of the most controversial classic prep items. You either love them, or you hate them. Personally, I'm definitely in the "love them!" group. I think critter prints are just adorable, and they come in so many different styles of clothing for all seasons. There's some debate over whether to include motifs like embroidered pineapples, for example, as a "critter" print (technically they aren't animals), but for the sake of today's post, I'm going to classify everything in the critter print style together.

I have several things that I love in this style -- one of my favorites being a J.Crew pink corduroy skirt with embroidered geese that I scored second-hand. They're definitely making a comeback, though, so there are all kinds of options on the market. I've gathered a few of my favorites; shop them below!


When Life Gives You Lemons...

If I could bring back one fashion staple, it would be the sweater set! How cute is this one? I love the lemon print and the tiny details. The inverted color scheme from the shell to the cardigan is darling, and I realized when wearing it that the lemons in the shell are linear, while the lemons on the cardigan are arranged in a diamond pattern. It's the little details that make this so charming! It's been the perfect remedy for gloomy rainy days (you can see that it was raining the day that I shot this - my hunter boots have become an outfit staple lately).  

My hope is that more brands take the cue and start bringing out more sweater sets. So far, J.Crew has been the leader of the sweater set movement (can I call it that?), but they tend to sell out quickly so if you're late to the party you'll have to try and find your favorite set second hand. I'm really kicking myself for missing out on the bow sweater set J.Crew brought out last winter!

On a side note, I'm also loving this jean skirt. The pockets are very unique and I love the length and fit of it. I'm honestly having to force myself to wear my other skirts; this one just goes with everything!

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Half-Yearly Sale Picks Under $100

The Nordstrom half-yearly sale is upon us! From now until June 4th, tons of Nordstrom's most popular brands will be up to 40% off. There are so many different things to choose from if you want to pick up something new for spring and summer, and it's a great chance to stock up on beauty items or replace things that are worn out. 

I rounded up my top picks for this year's sale below.  The best part? Everything's under $100!

As you can tell, I'm in a bit of a blue mood - I think I'm inspired by CeCe's collection for this year. Krista from Covering the Bases wore one of their hydrangea shift dress (sold out now, sadly!) a few weeks ago, and it immediately caught my eye. When I saw many of their items on sale, I had a look through their collection and I was immediately hooked. How cute are this hydrangea skirt and this tie-neck gingham dress?

I'm also very excited that these earrings by BaubleBar are finally on sale. I've been looking for a pair of statement drop earrings; I love the tassel ones that everyone seems to have but I can't bring myself to drop $98 on a pair of Lisi Lerch earrings and I can't find anything similar (if you have any suggestions, please let me know!). In the meantime, I definitely think I'll pick up the Baublebar pair!

Do you plan to pick up anything from the sale?