Festive Holiday Party Shoes

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven // Eight

It's hard to say what I love most about holiday fashion - plaids, faux fur, sparkles or gold accents. I've been so happy to see that all of these accents have been incorporated into a gorgeous assortment of footwear this season. 

With the holidays come parties upon parties, and that means festive outfits complete with the perfect pair of shoes. I've rounded up my favorites from various brands today. Any of these pairs would be perfect paired with a classic dress or skirt and button down for a night of dancing and celebration. I made sure to include a balance between heeled and flat options so that no matter your preference you can find something lovely for the holiday season.


Gift Guide: For the Gals

*It's the most, wonderful time, of the year!*

The holidays are upon us, finally! I'm so excited to spend time with friends and family this year and to enjoy every minute of this holiday season. I love buying the perfect gift for everyone on my list, and I always find gift guides so helpful whenever I need some inspiration. Today, I thought I would put together a few ideas of items that I think would make the perfect gift for the gals in your life. Hope you enjoy!

J.Crew - Fair Isle Sweater

I love fair isle sweaters; they're a classic that so many different people can enjoy. They also feel especially festive this time of year and can be worn winter after winter, so they make a lovely gift!

J.Crew, L.L. Bean, Land's End, and Brooks Brothers make high-quality fair isle knits at different price ranges (Brooks Brothers being the priciest, with Crew and Bean in-between, and Land's End on the more affordable end). Any of these brands are lovely options; I'm partial to this particular pattern in J.Crew's line this year, but there are so many options available to pick from.

L.L.Bean - Signature Chunky-Knit Scarf

Everyone can use a scarf, especially a lovely neutral knit that can go with many different outfits. I have many scarves that I've gotten over the years and without fail they're one of the first things I pull out when the weather starts getting cooler. They're a great thing to add to a larger gift or to just give on their own. Personally, I love the idea of creating a "cozy gift set" with a scarf, a pair of mittens, and a gift card to a coffee shop for a hot cocoa. It's a thoughtful and stylish gift option that is also very practical and seasonally-appropriate!

Mark and Graham - Tortoise Keychain

Keychains are a great budget option or stocking stuffer. Monogramming also adds an extra touch that makes these particular keychains from Mark and Graham stand out. My best friend bought me a keychain for my birthday this year and I love it -- I use it every day, and whenever I pull out my keys I'm reminded of her. Mark and Graham also have other cute options, including this adorable pom-pom keychain (which can also be monogrammed and is on sale!).

Kiel James Patrick - Tortoise and Pearl Bracelet & Pearl Earrings

If you've been reading along you've probably noticed how much love I have for the Kiel James Patrick brand. Their jewelry is truly gorgeous. Last year I received a set of pearls from them as a gift; they were so beautifully packaged and handmade, and I cherish them.

I love this tortoise & pearl bracelet and pearl earrings - they have many options in their line, but I feel that these are designs that will appeal to lots of different people, making them the perfect option for gift-giving.

Pearl earrings, in particular, are a good option for someone on your list who is tricky to buy for. Almost anyone can appreciate and get use out of a set of pearls, and these are a great price. If you're looking for more options size-wise, I've also bought pearl earrings for my mom from the Etsy shop Penner Pearls and they're lovely and high quality. I would definitely recommend them, and they're also one of the most affordable options I've found for beautiful pearl jewelry. As a bonus, buying from either Penner Pearls or KJP is also supporting a small business!

Mark and Graham - Monogrammed Daily Mini Crossbody

A purse can sometimes be a tricky gift to give, but if you know the person you're gifting well, they can be a special item that the recipient will use every day. I think that the daily mini crossbody, in particular, is a bag that many different types of girls will love. It's a classic style and comes in several different neutral color options, but it's still very sleek and modern - perfect for a night out or just running errands. Of course, you can also add a personal touch with a monogram.

Daniel Wellington - Classic Petite Melrose Watch

I've sung Daniel Wellington's praises many times here; I have a Southampton watch from several years ago and I simply love it. The Melrose watch is universal - it's simple, elegant, and will suit almost anyone's fashion tastes. It also comes in silver, or in a leather band if you would prefer. I've always thought that watches are especially conducive to gift giving because they usually come in really pretty packaging, complete with a separate box that is:

a. easily wrappable (perfect for the wrapping-impaired, like yours truly)
b. like a present in and of itself!

S'well - Gold Water Bottle

I had a S'well water bottle until a few months ago when, in a sad twist of fate, I misplaced it. I've been missing it ever since. They really are amazing at keeping your water cold all day, even when your metal water bottle is sitting out in the hot sun on top of concrete (any other tennis players have this issue?). The same is true for hot beverages. I used to put tea in my S'well all the time and halfway through the school day it was still as hot as when I first poured it. I love this gold and silver option, although they have many different colors available. Again, this is a great gift for someone if you're not sure what they might enjoy.

Target also sells Sip by S'well bottles that are a fraction of the price; I can't vouch for their insulating ability as I've never tried them, but they certainly come in just as many adorable patterns, and even some prints!

New Balance x J.Crew - Sneakers

I walked my way through London and Amsterdam in these shoes and I can't recommend them enough. They're extremely comfortable and come in so many different colors to suit anyone's style. The gold and white is a great neutral option that many different people will love, but there's also a pretty navy and rose gold version that I just adore.

J.Crew - Chateau Parka 

This is definitely a very generous gift, but I am of the mind that coats are some of the best gifts to give. They're practical, stylish, and often something you're hesitant to buy for yourself. Of course, there are a plethora of options online to choose from (I also love L.L. Bean's coats as well, especially for a less expensive option with a lifetime warranty!). I chose this one from J.Crew because it comes in both tall and petite sizes (as well as regular), so no matter who you're generously gifting to, you'll be able to get them something that will fit them perfectly.

Hope this was helpful in providing some gift ideas for this season! Who are you gifting for this year?


Stepping into Eighteen

Today is my 18th Birthday! It feels funny to have it on a Tuesday, but we stretched out birthday festivities to fit with our weeknight schedule and it ended up feeling like an extended birthday week (which I'll never complain about!).

On Saturday night, my family and I enjoyed a pre-birthday dinner. I wanted a Thanksgiving Part II, as Thanksgiving food is my favorite, and my parents were kind enough to make a delicious meal. Sunday afternoon my best friend Mary and I went into the city to see the Washington Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker. I had never been to see the Washington Ballet, but I have to say it was magical! I loved the performance; everything from the detailed costumes to the intricate and delicate stage design (pictured above) was truly incredible. Since the ballet is more formal, I wanted to dress up while staying comfortable. I opted for a white sweater over a flouncy plaid skirt from last season and tassel mules. My mom gave me the idea to leave the sweater untucked, which I love!

But of course, no outfit could compare to the beautiful atmosphere of the Warner Theater. If you're ever in DC, I would definitely recommend paying a visit to see a show. The lobby alone is worth the trip!

Tonight, we had Thai food and coffee cake (a birthday tradition for me!). Since I went from vegetarianism to veganism this past year, my mom was a star and researched a vegan coffee cake recipe so I could have some. It was delicious! She also made an amazing vegan dark chocolate cake with white icing on Saturday night.

Last year was filled with memories, and I'm so excited for the many new changes and opportunities this upcoming year will bring - both foreseen (going to college, moving away from my home for the first time, studying something I love), and unexpected. I'm so lucky to have amazing friends and family, and while I'm sad to leave them soon, I know goodbye is not forever.  On the blog, I'm looking forward to new content and another fun year ahead!


Friday Roundup #3

1. Sale Week

Is anyone else exhausted by all the talk of sales? Not just in the blogisphere (that's a word, right?), but in your inbox, on the news... everywhere it seems. And I'm just as guilty of talking about them as the anyone! Don't get me wrong, I love the deals and I definitely took advantage of them, but I'm glad the season is winding down. Did you know that this Cyber Monday was record-breaking, with Americans spending over 6.5 billion dollars?

2. The Starbucks App

If you're as addicted to coffee as I am, you need to get the Starbucks app. You can order ahead (or pay in store) and customize your drink to exactly what you want, right down to the number of pumps of each flavoring. But by far the best part is the fact that you earn rewards on every drink, which eventually add up to a free drink or food item. If I'll be buying Starbucks anyways, I may as well get the rewards, right?

3. KJP Buys 

Thanks to the amazing 25% off Christmas sale at Kiel James Patrick, I picked up a few new things for myself. Their new line is simply gorgeous, I wish I had a chance to pick up one of their flannel dresses but sadly they sold out lightning fast! Stay tuned to see what I got featured in upcoming blog posts.

4. The Perfect Everyday Dress for Winter

Wearing dresses in the winter is truly an art. They have to be warm, but also stylish, which can be a bit of a feat. I bought this mock-neck sweater dress from Old Navy on a major sale a few weeks ago and I love it. It's warm, flattering, and so easy to incorporate into outfits for any occasion! Dress it up with heels, warm tights, and a statement necklace, or wear it casually with boots and a scarf. Plus, it comes in tall and petite sizes as well.

5. Talbots Dalmation Sweater

I discovered this dalmatian sweater from Talbots on Wednesday; how cute is it? I'm completely in love. When I was younger my favorite movie was 101 Dalmatians, and now I can't resist anything with dalmatian print. I definitely have this on my Christmas list!

How has your week been?


Holly Jolly Holidays

top: Saint James x J.Crew (sold out, similar) // skirt: J.Crew (old, similar) // socks: L.L. Bean // boots: Hunter // bow: Nordstrom (similar) // watch: Michael Kors (old, similar)

My "autumn uniform" formula carries over perfectly to the winter, especially when you add a wool shirt and something to keep your legs warm (either tights or socks, or both!). Today I paired this striped turtleneck with my white wool skirt from last year. It was perfect for lunch and a stroll through DC to look at the Christmas decorations. I'm a huge fan of this turtleneck from the Saint James and J.Crew collaboration last year. Turtlenecks are great layering pieces and the fabric of this has the right balance between structure and stretch (plus the stripes are darling! I need to stop getting striped turtlenecks). I wore my Hunters in anticipation of some rain; it never ended up drizzling while we were out but they're such comfortable shoes that I didn't mind walking in them anyways.

We came across this gorgeous holly-covered archway and it was so wintry with the red and green that I had to take a few pictures. I sound like a broken record by now, but I'm so excited for the upcoming holidays! Our local Christmas station has already begun its holiday playlist and this past weekend many of the lights in our neighborhood and city centers have gone up. My Thanksgiving was lovely as well; we had a delicious meal and lots of company.


Cyber Week Picks

It's every fashionista's favorite - and least favorite - time of year again! With the rise of online shopping, Black Friday has evolved into "Cyber Week". Lots of brands run their sales from Friday through Cyber Monday, which means that you have plenty of time to get your favorite items at great prices - but it can also get overwhelming. To help combat this, I've rounded up some picks that I think would make great gifts for yourself or others. Some of these are things that I already own and love, and some of them are on my own wishlist. Enjoy, and happy shopping!

L.L.Bean - 20% off clothes and outerwear (code: THANKS20) + 25% off Bean Boots (ends tonight, code: FRIDAY25)

J.Crew - 40% off your purchase + free shipping (code: THANKU)

J.Crew Factory - 50% to 60% off everything + extra 50% off clearance (code: FRIYAY)

Talbots - 40% off your purchase

Banana Republic - 50% off regular price items + free shipping over $50

Old Navy - 50% off entire purchase 

Some other exciting sales: 

Kiel James Patrick - 25% off your purchase (code: SETSAIL)

LOFT - 50% off everything (code: FRIYAY)

Hope you enjoy! Do you plan on purchasing anything during Cyber Week?


Thanksgiving Outfit Inspiration

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Personally, I find it one of the most exciting, but also one of the most challenging holidays to dress for. If you're hosting, the last thing you want on Thanksgiving morning is to be spending hours searching for the perfect outfit on top of all the madness of cooking and entertaining; if you're a guest, you don't want to be late due to a wardrobe crisis! To make matters worse, Thanksgiving adds a special qualification to any outfit choice - not only does it need to be stylish, but also comfortable for eating (you know what I mean!). That means no restrictive clothing around the midriff, and definitely no belts. 

My plan of attack is generally to plan the perfect outfit in advance. That way I can take my time and enjoy the process of picking something out, but I don't have to stress about it on Thanksgiving day and I can enjoy the festivities and family! 

Here are some of my picks for this year. I've included three different levels of formality, so whether your day is an ultra-casual friendsgiving, a dressier family get-together, or a formal dinner, you'll have something to consider as you create your outfit. Hope you enjoy!

What are your Thanksgiving plans?


Bows on Bows on Bows

shirt: J.Crew (old, similar) // cardigan: J.Crew (old) // pants: Old Navy // bag: vintage (similar) // shoes: H&M (old, similar) // watch: Fossil 

If I had to choose a single motif to wear for the rest of my life, I would have to pick bows. I'm not really sure what draws me to them so much (some would say too much), but I just adore them. If today's outfit isn't a testament to that, I don't know what is. Perhaps the most telling part of this was that it was unintentional ... after I put everything together, I realized that I had not one, not two, but three bow items on. Oops?

Actually, this look started out as an effort to wear two pieces I purchased at the end of last winter and didn't get a chance to wear before the weather got too warm. This bow-print cardigan was part of J.Crew's 2016 winter collection, and I saw it when it first came out but didn't get a chance to scoop it up when it was in stores. At the end of the season, I scored it at a huge discount second-hand (yay!). It's incredibly soft; I didn't realize when I bought it initially that it's actually a cashmere blend, which makes it by far the softest piece of knitwear I have in my wardrobe. I paired it with a pinstripe button-down that has adorable ruffle trim sleeves and a tie-neck (ah, yet another bow; can you ever have too many? I think not). 

Speaking of bows, why not add one more? I've had this black bow bag forever, and it pairs wonderfully with the black bows on the cardigan and my black loafers. 

I'm also wearing these sateen "rockstar" pants from Old Navy. I love their rockstar line for its inclusivity (almost all the styles come in tall, petite, and plus sizes) and comfort. I have these pants in this lovely army green, as well as a burgundy red and they are so comfortable and versatile. I'll definitely be wearing them all throughout this winter, as they're surprisingly warm, too.

Shop this post:


Llama Lovers Club

sweater: J.Crew (vintage) // shirt: Old Navy // skirt: J.Crew // shoes: Old Navy // watch: Fossil // necklace: KJP (old, similar)

Once you get your first llama sweater, there's no going back.

This sweater essentially encapsulates everything that makes a piece of clothing exciting to me - a touch of quirkiness, a classic motif, and beautiful craftsmanship. When I saw it as I was second-hand shopping, I immediately added it to my cart. From the adorable llamas to the gorgeous jewel embellishments, what's not to love?

For a stroll through Georgetown, I paired it with a mustard yellow ruffle skirt from J.Crew. This was my first time wearing this skirt, and I was surprised to find that it really kept me warm despite the chilly day. I'm glad that J.Crew is bringing out more wool skirts this year; last year they didn't have as many options available, and cotton skirts just don't cut it for the middle of winter!

Under my llama sweater, I wore a simple chambray button down to add warmth without distracting from the sweater itself. My loafers are from Old Navy; they brought the same style they had last year back for this season. I love how the burgundy color matches perfectly with the llamas on the sweater. (side note - isn't it funny that my coffee cup happened to match my skirt? We stopped at The Bean Counter and it was one of the most delicious lattes I've ever had!).

As for jewelry, I kept it simple - just my pearls, tortoiseshell necklace from KJP, and Fossil watch. By the way, several of you have asked me about my watch on Instagram. It's from about four years ago, the style is the "Jacqueline" watch in gold. For a while, you weren't able to buy it online - but recently I discovered that some Fossil retailers have brought it back in a limited quantity. I've linked it below if you want to have a look!