LBD for Fall

headband: J.Crew Factory (old, similar) // dress: LOFT // flats: Kate Spade (old, similar) // bag: L.L. Bean // watch: Michael Kors (old, similar) // belt: Target (old, similar

I've finally found it - my perfect LBD for fall. Surprisingly, this one comes from LOFT. I don't usually shop there, but I opened an email from them in my inbox and fell in love with a few of their fall dresses. The thing that really sold me on this one was its adorable ruffle neckline. When I first saw it on the model, I was a little concerned that the ruffles might be unflattering. After I got a chance to try it on I was happy to discover that they're actually perfect, and hit you at just the right angle!  The A-line silhouette is something different for me and my dress collection but I love how flattering it is, especially cinched in with a belt (my favorite leopard belt is featured here!).

I paired the dress with my favorite pearl headband and monogram tote to keep the outfit from becoming too dressy, and my bow flats add an extra detail that ties everything together. On my wrist is my Michael Kors tortoise shell watch from last year; tortoise and leopard are something I wouldn't normally wear together but I am surprised by how nicely they compliment each other! I got a ton of use out of this watch last season and I can't wait to pull it out more and more as the weather becomes more autumnal.

My Autumn Uniform

When fall comes around, I often find myself drifting back into the same basic outfit combo - what I like to call my autumn "uniform". Nine times out of ten, I can be spotted wearing some kind of variation of a top + skirt + flats/loafers. I might add some tights one day, or pull on a sweater over my button down, or switch up the pattern or color of my skirt, but the basic principle is the same. It's just such an easy and put-together outfit that often I just find myself gravitating to the same formula each day.

Especially on busy mornings, having a "uniform" makes deciding what to wear much easier. Today, I thought I would share a few different variations on the same look to see how you can take a simple outfit formula and change up the pieces to create the illusion of a different look each day.

I love this button-down chino skirt from J.Crew, and pairing it with a lightweight turtleneck makes the perfect combo for those warmer early-fall days.  The star of this outfit, however, is definitely these tiger-print loafers. J.Crew had several printed items in their later summer line, but this pair of shoes definitely took the cake in terms of the most adorable item from their collection.

Cabernet is one of my favorite shades for the fall time, and I love pairing it with black and marled gray (like this gorgeous sleeveless sweater!). A leopard belt cinches in your waist and elevates the outfit. This would be the perfect look for an outdoor walk during the early fall. 

The dusty blush color of this sailor skirt with the gold buttons is gorgeous and so unique. To bring out the gold, I paired it with loafers from G.H. Bass (one of the most comfortable shoe brands I've ever owned) and a simple black off-the-shoulder top. To warm up off-the-shoulder trend and make it appropriate for fall, add a blanket scarf!

This skirt is the factory version of the J.Crew mixed houndstooth skirt from last year (I wore it in my post here). Houndstooth is one of my favorite patterns and I am so glad they brought it back this season! When I just need a quick, easy, and pulled-together outfit this is my go-to. Ralph Lauren button downs are the best. I have several different colors and they always look pressed and perfect with minimal fuss. Tucked into a skirt with a pair of riding boots and pearls, and you have the perfect outfit!

Do you have a go-to "uniform"?


Welcome Fall!

sweater: J.Crew (old, similar) // skirt: J.Crew (old, similar) // shoes: Banana Republic // watch: Fossil (old, similar) // bracelet: Kiel James Patrick

I can't wait for the fall season! Honestly, most days it's not quite cold enough to really wear fall clothing, but I do anyway. This outfit is a combination of some of my favorites from the previous fall season - my mixed houndstooth skirt and bow-neck sweater. Both of these are wool blends, so they're perfect for chilly autumn weather (which I'm hoping we get more of very soon!). I love how the gray of the sweater brings out the gray woven into the houndstooth. 

I paired them with my scalloped Banana Republic loafers, which have quickly taken over my wardrobe. I wear them at least twice a week these days! They're just so versatile and easy to pair with absolutely everything. On my wrist, I've brought back out my Fossil watch (I've had it for years now and still looks as new as the first day I wore it), and a delicate KJP pearl bracelet. 

Are you ready for autumn? I've already changed over my wardrobe and I am eagerly anticipating a change in the weather. While I love the summer, I'm really a cold-weather girl at heart. The start of fall means we're in the home stretch towards my favorite time of year - the holidays - and that thought is so exciting to me!


Friday Roundup #2

1. The in-between season

I have to admit, am not a fan of the weather right now. It's right on the cusp of fall, but minus any of the pretty foliage and chilliness. It's so hard to dress these days, especially given that shorts are no longer appropriate but it's just not the time to pull out the knits yet. I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of autumn!

2. Balancing it all

College application season is really kicking my butt! I know I've been very MIA both here and on social media recently, but I promise that it's my goal to keep this space updated even in the midst of it all. I plan to get out this weekend and do a few shoots, and in the meantime, I have some text posts drafted and ready to go up on the blog soon!

3. In search of the perfect crossbody

I have been on the market for a crossbody bag for what feels like years now. I have my Longchamp and L.L. Bean tote (above), but I just need something a little less bulky that I can carry for causal nights out when all I need to bring is my phone, wallet, sunnies and keys. Ideally, I'd like to invest in something of good quality, but I'm just having a hard time finding something that really suits what I'm looking for. This week I came across this option, which I love, but wish it came in a lighter brown color. I also love the bags from Cambridge Satchel Co., but they're a little outside my budget! Let me know if you have any recommendations.

4. Anthropology 

This year I'm taking a really fascinating IB Sociology & Anthropology course. It's the first year that the class has been offered at my school, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I enrolled, but my teacher is so passionate about the topic that the class has been amazing thus far. Right now, we're doing an in-depth study of an ethnography about the Amish. It's been really refreshing to get a change from regular classes and expand my understanding of other cultures and social systems!

5. Boys by Charlie XCX

Up until this week, I had never really paid particular attention to Charlie XCX's music, but when Spotify included this song in my Daily Mix on Monday I couldn't get it out of my head! It's been on constant repeat ever since. I love the simplicity of the tune, but it's so so catchy! The music video is also really well done.

What has been on your mind this week?


Friday Roundup #1

Welcome to the first Friday Roundup! I thought it would be fun to start my first ever series on the blog. As much as I love fashion posts, I also really enjoy reading more personal narratives from my favorite bloggers. Many of them do a sort of weekly wrap-up, so I figured this would be a great way to recap my week and get a little personal with you all.

1. First day of school!

The start of my senior year began on Monday, and to be honest, I'm already behind on school work. With volleyball season and IB classes (AP students, I am jealous) I've had little to no time this week. However, I'm still so excited to kick off my final year! We started the week with a senior tailgate and a red out on the first day, and since then I've been enjoying being on top of the food chain, so to speak. Despite how time-intensive they are, I'm really enjoying my classes so far as well, and my teachers are amazing! It's also been great to see all my friends and get back into a routine again after a whirlwind of a summer. 

2. Chai tea addiction...?

I've always been addicted to coffee, but chai has been my new drink of choice. I really love the Tazo classic chai tea. I put a packet of stevia and a little bit of almond milk and it tastes delicious. For those of you who have never tried it, I would definitely recommend!

3. Lilly sale goodies!

I only bought one thing from the After Party Sale this year, but I am so pleased with it! This is the Neri Crop Top & Short Set in the "Tiki Pink Sneaky Tiki" print (that's a mouthful!). I am so in love with the fit of this set. Initially I was concerned that it would be too big, as I was in-between sizes according to the online size chart. However, when it came in and I tried it on it was perfect. The fabric has just a bit of stretch to it for comfort but the structure and stitching is incredible quality. 

  • I'm planning to wear this to death before the weather gets cold! I also think it will be super versatile, as I can wear the top and shorts together or separately depending on the occasion. 

4. My new pencil pouch

My previous pencil pouch and I had a great two year run, but at the end of junior year it gave out on me. When I was out shopping for books for my English class a week ago, I spotted this Kate Spade pencil pouch in Barnes & Noble. It was so cute I couldn't pass it up, and I'm so happy I got it! Not only is it great quality but it's also just so cute. The outside is a white and gold polka dot pattern, and the inside is striped. It even came with an eraser that says to err is human. Kate Spade, you've done it again.

5. This vegan cashew cheese

There's a restaurant in my area that serves the most amazing vegan pizza. I has whole wheat crust topped with grilled butternut squash, spinach, a drizzle of olive oil and this incredible vegan cashew ricotta cheese (I'm getting hungry just thinking about it). I really wanted to replicate it at home, so last week I found this recipe for cashew ricotta online and tried it out. The result was so delicious and so easy! I made pizzas for my lunches this week with it and it tasted amazing. Plus, it's got tons of protein and healthy fats in it too. I can't wait to make it again!

How has your week been going? Please let me know if you like this style of post, and if I should continue them in the future!


Summer Stripes

When I first saw this top from the J.Crew x Thomas Mason collection, I admittedly considered it a bit outside of my comfort zone. I've just started my foray into the world of off-the-shoulder pieces (I know I'm late to the party!), and this top is anything but subtle with its audacious stripes and generous sleeves. However, I decided to step outside my style box and I am happy to say that I'm loving it!

This afternoon it was the perfect piece for a stroll around Old Town in 90-degree weather with lots of humidity (ugh!!).  It's a light and airy material and paired with a skirt it kept me cool despite the weather. I love how it looks with my flamingo critter belt that I purchased earlier in the summer - so cute! I topped off the look with tassel earrings from J.Crew Factory that match the blue of the striped shirt perfectly. On my feet are another hot-weather favorite - these G.H. Bass flats came into my life about two years ago now and they are truly the perfect shoe for the summer. The quality is unmatched and the cutouts keep your feet from overheating. Not to mention they're comfortable!

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What do you think of the off-the-shoulder trend?


Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale Picks Under $100

The Lilly After Party Sale is here! This is definitely one of the most exciting fashion moments of the year for Lilly lovers, and it's a great time to stock up on amazing pieces that you may have missed from past collections (at amazing prices!). This year, the sale is even longer than usual - you have until Wednesday to shop. Though the sale is always super exciting, the sheer volume of items can be a little overwhelming even for a veteran shopper. To help remedy this, I thought I'd share some of my picks under $100 in case you're in need of a curated list of things to take a look at!

1. Buttercup Scallop Hem Short - I own one pair of these shorts and I love them. They are the perfect length and they fit like a dream; they never bunch up or slide around uncomfortably and the material is perfect for the summer heat. They're a great price right now, so I'd reccomend stocking up!

2. Cocoa Shorts - These are just so adorable! They only come in one pattern but I love the navy with pops of pink, and the tassels are just to die for. Pull on shorts like this pair are perfect for days when you want to look put together with minimal effort.

3. Renato Tunic - This tunic immediately caught my eye. The combination of blues and pink is gorgeous, and so elegant! The print is a little different for their recent lines, but you still get that distinctive color palette that tells you it's a Lilly piece. I love how it's a bit more understated yet still so stunning.

4. Linzy Top - Again, Lilly has me at tassels. That's really what sells me on this top - it's such a flattering cut that's easy and breezy for summer but the tassels are the little detail that give it an edge over the other tops Lilly is offering this year.

5. Elsa Romper - I love this new take on the cult classic Elsa top. Rompers are a quintessential summer go-to, so converting the Elsa into a romper is really a no-brainer! I love how it has long sleeves so it can easily transition you from summer days to chillier nights without batting an eye.

6. Short Sleeve Marlowe Dress - The Marlowe Dress is another cult favorite, but I like this short sleeve version a bit more because I think it's more versatile. This piece will lend itself to layering during the summer-to-fall transition, or wearing on its own during hot weather next season! The t-shirt cut is also perfect for dressing up or down, which makes it the perfect pick.

7. Lela Silk Dress - I'm a huge fan of Lilly's silk pieces. I bought a top from the sale last year and it's one of my favorites! The quality is particularly good on these pieces, and in my experience, they're cut beautifully and fit like they were made for you. This dress is easy, breezy, and makes me wish I had more summer!

Those are all my favorite pieces from this year's sale! Hope it helped give you a jumping-off point to begin browsing. If you're a first-time shopper (or even if you just need a refresher), here are my tips from last year that will help you get to know the process.

Happy shopping!


High School Advice

I'm coming into my senior year of High School this year (honestly I can't believe it), and as I finished up school supply shopping a few days ago I realized that I've finally gotten my routine down. After three years, I now know what I need, how I work, and which methods I need to use to keep myself organized and successful this year. Today, I thought I'd share some of the knowledge I've gained from my time in high school thus far, in hopes that maybe it will help one of you - whether you're a freshman or older!

1. Understand what type of learner you are. 

The first step to getting good grades is taking good notes to study from - and that means understanding how you learn. You can't necessarily control your teacher/professor's teaching style, but you can control how you teach yourself through the process of note-taking. Personally, I'm a very visual learner. I use lots of colors, diagrams, and pictures in order to highlight specific topics and important information in my notes. Some of my friends, on the other hand, prefer to take notes only in pencil and like to be very no-fuss about it. Experiment a bit during the beginning of the year, and once you find a method that works, stick with it. Trust me, your grades will thank you.

2. Keep your notes in one place, and in order. 

Oh boy, how I wish I'd followed my own advice on this my sophomore year! I was taking a two year IB math class, the first year being my sophomore year. By the time I got to my IB exam in the spring of junior year, I had been doing Calculus for the entire year and I couldn't remember any of the trig I'd learned as a sophomore. To make matters worse, while I had saved most of my notes from the year before, they were completely out of order and ended up being useless as a result. In order to do well on the exam I had to relearn an entire year's worth of material (RIP me.) Moral of the story? Save. Your. Notes. In order. Whether it's all in a notebook or organized in a binder by unit, having everything in one place will save your life come exam season.

3. Buy a good backpack. 

I went through a grand total of three backpacks in three years. And when I say "went through", I mean I literally wore through them and had to buy new ones. I cannot stress enough how important it is to invest in a really solid backpack, preferably one that has a lifetime warranty. Some great brands for that are L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer, and Land's End. Especially in high school, when you'll be using your backpack every day and toting around textbooks, notebooks, folders, a laptop, lunch, etc. etc., you want something that won't fall apart easily. It can be cute, too, don't worry!

4. Agendas. 

Whether you prefer Google Calendar or a physical agenda, they are essential. Especially as you get into the thick of exam season or sports seasons, you'll want one place with your entire schedule and homework lined up for you. High school is great because you'll have so many more opportunities to go places and do things both in and out of school, but all those extracurriculars and school work can get overwhelming. It's so much easier to be able to open an app or a book and see everything you need to do in front of you. You can also get creative, and color code or decorate if that floats your boat!

1. Quizlet.

Quizlet is a life saver! I cannot recommend this enough, especially for very memorization-heavy classes like languages. During the school year, I download the app to my phone and have the website bookmarked. Usually I try to add terms/concepts and definitions as we learn about them during the unit, and then when it's time for a test or a quiz I can use the app to study and all the material is there. Quizlet will even help you learn concepts by creating games with the flash cards you add! I've tried a lot of different study aid apps but honestly, this one is the original and still the best that I've found.

2. Form a study group.  

Last year I took IB History of the Americas, and my class was very dense and packed with information each unit. I credit my survival in large part to the fact that my friends and I started a notes/study group early in the year, and before each test (we wrote in-class essays for each of our unit tests) we would text each other to ask questions, compare possible essay topics and outlines, and clarify parts of the unit that were confusing. Having a group supporting me made the class far more manageable! I would definitely recommend starting a study group with other students, especially if it's a class you think you might struggle with.

3. Find the perfect space.

Personally, I study much better when I'm in a coffee shop. I like the atmosphere and the soft background noise, but it's not as distracting for me as sitting in my house. Whenever I really need to buckle down and get some work done, I head to my local Starbucks. Everyone has their own spot where they concentrate the best, so try some different spaces out. Once you find your perfect study space, utilize it!

1. Leave time for the things you want to do. 

Inevitably, in high school, you'll have a lot of people telling you what you should be doing - and usually, it's what you should be doing to get into college. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely some things that aren't exactly fun that you'll need to do in order to set yourself up for success. But that doesn't mean you should sacrifice your own interests. Take everyone's advice into consideration, and then leave time for doing things that you just want to do for fun. In the end, you'll have a much better high school experience if you allow yourself to do the things you want to do then if you spend four years filling your schedule with activities you don't necessarily like, but that you think will help your college application (spoiler alert: colleges like it when you have your own personal interests, too!). 

2. Get involved. 

This seems like pretty cliche advice, but it's true. I don't mean that you have to be the captain of three varsity sports, but I do think that it's important to find some place where you can be involved in your school community outside of the regular academic day. Whether that's sports teams, drama/theater, PTSA, student council, community service clubs or anything else that interests you, finding a mini-community within your school will really make your high school experience 100% better (even if it's already great to begin with!). I have met so many people through sports that I never would have otherwise and learned so much about leadership, comradery, and activism through the clubs I've joined. Putting yourself out there may be a little scary, especially as a freshman, but I can tell you from experience that it will pay off in the end. 

3. Don't take on more than you can handle. 

One word of caution: don't be the student who takes on too much! It's better to put 100% into a small number of activities than to stretch yourself too thin in order to do more than you reasonably can. I've met a lot of people who have done too much at once and end up feeling overwhelmed and unable to handle their extracurriculars and their academics. Understand the time commitment involved in each thing you do, and make sure you can dedicate yourself fully to them. It will be better for your activities, and for your sanity!

Overall, high school is really a lot of fun - and you'll make lifelong memories. So study hard, meet new people, find the activities that you love, and of course, dress well!


Bows & Beads

You may have seen this embellished top featured on my Instagram a few weeks ago -- can I just say that I'm in love? The quality of J.Crew embellished pieces are absolutely the best I've ever come across. I own several different items from over the years, and they're all simply gorgeous and so well made! This top is no exception - I couldn't resist the combination of chambray, bow sleeves (!!!) and gorgeous white beading.

I decided to pair it with my red chinos from J.Crew. I love this shade, and these are the 5-inch chinos, which means they are the perfect length on me! I belted them with a Kiel James Patrick rope belt. The details on this belt are so perfect, I especially love their signature anchor buckle. The gold pairs perfectly with my J.Crew Factory pave link bracelet and fossil watch. For shoes, I'm wearing gold tassel d'Orsay flats from J.Crew. They're from a few seasons ago, but they just brought out a similar pair at factory so I've linked them below!

I also think this top would pair wonderfully with white denim or even chino pants. When I first saw it in J.Crew's new arrivals section back in June, it was $98 -- way outside my budget! It's now on sale for $69, and you can get an extra 40% bringing it down to $34.99. Almost all the sizes are still available - if you love it as much as I do, scoop it up!

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