All mercury jokes aside, July knocked me off my feet. I don’t think I’ve felt more out of sorts and disconnected in a while. I shared a little bit about what was going on in the beginning of the month on stories. Out of respect for my family I unfortunately can’t share specific details, but there was some tough and unexpected news that we received after the holiday (not health related). In my heart I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and we will come out stronger then we were before, but in my head I’ve been freaking out. Stressed, worried, scared - none of these are conducive to creating inspired content.
We did have some really great moments last month - my best friend’s wedding in Nashville was awesome. It was so nice to escape (alone) with Frank and reconnect. But for some reason when we returned I found it impossible to get back into our/my routine. I think it was part summer, part returning back to the scary reality we were facing, and mostly feeling like everything was piling up. I’m a planner and I need for things to be organized - it’s weird because I’m also a creative and like spontaneity…is it possible to be both? I pride myself on consistency. As an entrepreneur and a one woman show I feel like its a non-negotiable. So when I missed a blog post last week and The Sunday Section the week before, it really upset me. I felt like I had lost my mojo.
So how do I get it back? Last night I made a (very long) list of everything I need to get done this month and then broke it down into weeks and priorities. I can’t tell you how much better that made me feel. Honestly, writing this post is making me feel better too. I’m a talker, pick up the phone kind of girl, I need to work things out this way. I think what I realized about myself is that when things get tough I can get paralyzed and what I need to do is just move forward. Easier said than done but I’m taking it one day at a time. Biggest THANK YOU to all of you for being here and supporting me. You are all the best part of my job and I couldn’t do it without your support:)
o u t f i t d e t a i l s
I’ve been working on a capsule wardrobe for Fall and wanted to share one of my favorite closet staples, the midi skirt. It truly is a four season piece that can be worn as shown above with a white tee (I also love to wear with a statement style like this one) or with a sweater and booties for Fall. I would love to hear from you! what types of pieces would you like to see in the capsule?
A C A P S U L E W A R D R O B E
what I purchased this year
L O O K O N E
L O O K T W O
L O O K T H R E E
L O O K F O U R
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I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect pair of black sunglasses for a while now. I had a pair that I loved but lost them two years ago and I haven’t been able to find a replacement. The minute I found this pair online I had a feeling they were going to be the perfect shape for me. A touch oversized, a touch cat-eye…perfect! The best part? They’re polarized and still under $100!
I love Walmart for two reasons: they offer fashion that is both stylish and on trend while also affordable. I’ve been living in my straw bags this season. This black cross body style is great for your on-the-go lifestyle and works with both casual and dressier looks. It also comes in a pretty blush color. This dress is effortless and chic and a great neutral to take you into Fall. I can’t wait to pair it with a black leather jacket and booties in a couple of months.
On the hunt for the perfect something this summer, start your search here, with Walmart Fashion!
— I WOULD LIKE TO THANK WALMART FOR SPONSORING THIS POST —
ALL THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS ARE MY OWN
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K E E P , P U R G E , S E L L , C O N S I G N , D O N A T E
The first step in any new closet organization is determining what my client wants to keep and what they want to purge. I start by discussing what they want to achieve with their wardrobe - their style currently, what they would like it to be (if different), and what they feel is missing. The idea is not to get rid of everything. Ultimately I want to help my clients fall in love with their closets again and create a curated wardrobe with what they already have before we add anything new.
As we go through the closet I remove the pieces we want to purge and separate them into piles: items to sell, items that need alterations, and items to donate. Once the entire closet is cleaned and organized by category its time to divide the “sell” pile.
This is my method
Designer Handbags: submit a quote to Fashionphile, they offer a “buy it out” option which is immediate cash. Their prices are VERY fair. If we don’t love the quote I determine whether Tradesy or The Real Real is the best route depending on the client’s timeline. If you’re selling any Hermes handbags PLEASE research all of your options before making a decision.
High Value Clothing and Shoes: This is not the same for everyone. Its important for me to understand my client’s timeline. If they want to sell items quickly The Real Real is the best route. If they want to make more money and are willing to wait, Tradesy is the best route. Why? Tradesy offers users a higher commission rate and you can set your own price.
Clothing not accepted by The Real Real: There are many designers that are not accepted on TRR. For brands like Jcrew, Zara, Banana Republic etc. I advise clients to use a local consignment shop or Tradesy if they have the time to upload. The issue with selling these items online is you might make the same or less than a consignment shop and will end up spending far more time. Also, once we do a big purge client’s usually want items to leave their home as soon as possible.
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Its almost shorts season! I’ve always struggled with shorts. I guess I have a longest of criteria when it comes to them - comfortable, not too short, and flattering around the thigh area. I wanted to try this pair all last summer but never pulled the trigger. I finally ended up ordering them this winter and instantly fell in love. They’re high-waisted so they suck everything in and are great for tucking in blouses which I love to do!
OK - another item on the hunt for. Self tanner! We’re planning a few three day vacations over the next three months and I would love to have a little bronzey glow:) I don’t really tan and even if I did I’m not in the sun enough to catch any real color. SO….send me your recs! I’d prefer to find something that is natural or organic if possible and will share recommendations and my reviews! My tan summer self thanks you:)
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I love styling summer dresses. Probably because I also love raffia accessories and the two make the perfect pair! Its much easier to achieve the look you want on a budget in the summer especially when it comes to accessories. This style is amazing for summer and when I found this steal pair for under $100 I was so excited. Here’s a style coming soon for under $50! If you’re looking for a raffia pair and willing to spend a little more I have these and they’re VERY comfortable. Worth the price tag!
WOVEN SANDALS & PRETTY PRINTS
I’ve always liked having fewer, better things. I remember in college using three months of saved babysitting money to buy one blouse from my favorite store in Georgetown (I still have it by the way!). While all my friends were buying weekly from Urban Outfitters on M Street, I was pining away for a new pair of shoes (WAY out of my budget) from a little boutique tucked away on Wisconsin Avenue. The women that worked there definitly thought I was crazy - visiting often and buying never.
I fall in love with things. I dream about them, I style them in my head, and then I set a goal. It sounds silly but thats how I do it. One of my biggest investment pieces is my Cartier Love Bracelet. It was in my early 20’s when I first learned about it. I went with a friend to the Vogue offices to drop off samples of her jewelry and the receptionist was wearing one. I whispered to my friend about it and she told me what it was. I remember going home and telling my then boyfriend (now husband) Frank about it and we both nearly fell over when we looked up the price. PS it was less than half the price it is now. This is why they’re called investment pieces hehe….
Fast forward 10 years later. Luke was born and after holding out and saving every birthday, anniversary, and Christmas, we bought it. I haven’t taken it off since (its been 4 years) and I truly love it just as much as I did when I was 20. So there it is. I have a few other splurge pieces (a black Chanel WOC that I bought for myself after my first bonus at Ralph Lauren) but the Cartier bracelet is my most special.
I’ve talked about splurge pieces before on the blog. Obviously you’re not going to wait 10 years every time you want to invest in a new handbag BUT I always recommend waiting at least a few weeks once you’ve seen something. Pinterest is also a great tool for finding inspiration and helping you “dream” about how your new piece will look. I’ve had my heart set on this bag for a long time. For a while I was looking for it secondhand but I don’t think I’ll be able to find the exact combination i’m looking for. What’s on your list? I would love to hear from you guys in the comments:)
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This cape was one of those pieces I didn’t know I was missing until I discovered it last month. Now I can’t live without it! Straight from Italy, this up and coming designer is going to change women from casual to chic one cape at a time. I first fell in love with this raincoat complete with a custom hood and nestled within a tailored pocket inside the front lapel. Also its wrinkle free! Genius!
Other reasons to love Marta Scarampi? Marta and her sister Lucia are two super chic girl bosses born and raised in Turino, Italy. Visit them here and say hi! PS if you’re looking for the color in today’s post its on its way this Spring! Click here to be added to the waitlist!
“EVERY SUPERWOMAN NEEDS A CAPE.”
GET THE LOOK
Call me crazy, and I’ve talked about this here before, but I love wearing black in the Spring and Summer! To me it feels more fresh paired with whites and ivory and I love the transitional combo. I’ve been on the hunt for a new black sandal to replace a pair that I’ve had for almost 10 years and just finally threw away. I love the buckle detail on these and how easy they are to slip on while I’m running out the door to work or school drop-off (usually with my hands full). They also come in a beige canvas striped style if you’re looking for a lighter neutral!
I wore these distressed black jeans on Saturday night paired with this open cardigan. I took a chance on the cardigan because its something i’ve really needed but I wasn’t sure what the quality was going to be like at a $10 price point. True story: I came downstairs and Frank said, “Wow, is that a new sweater?!” (insert laughing emoji). The BEST steal I’ve ever found!
I found my entire look at Walmart and each piece is under $100. I love that I can find everything I need for myself or for my clients with the Walmart premium brands and their selections from Lord & Taylor.
— I would like to thank Walmart for sponsoring this post —
All thoughts and opinions are my own
I found it! A neutral dress for Spring that you can wear both casually and dressed up. Leave it to Walmart to create the perfect high/low look that I love (and live by)! With the launch of their We Dress America campaign, Walmart fashion is turning things up a notch and there is something for every style and size. Also, their collection of premium brands offer options for every occasion from Easter Sunday to your next vacation.
The sleeve on this dress is so pretty and perfect for the transitional temperatures. Also its super maternity and breast feeding friendly with its looser silhouette and button up neckline. I’ve been looking for a transitional shoe for Spring and this espadrille will take you all the way through Summer. This style is under $100 and also comes in black. I’ve also had my eye on these espadrille sandals.
Speaking of warmer temps, this past weekend was gorgeous! I can’t wait to have friends and family over for barbecues and with Harrison’s second birthday fast approaching, we’re thinking we’ll have someting low key on the back patio. Right now we only have a table but I’m loving this outdoor sectional from Better Homes & Gardens paired with this simple grey striped pillow. Its the perfect time to elevate your home and wardrobe with neutrals from Walmart.
GET THE LOOK
— I would like to thank Walmart for sponsoring this post —
All thoughts and opinions are my own
get the look
SHOP FOR DOTS
These days there are so many ways for you to fill your closet. Whether you’re dropping off at a consignment shop, browsing the internet, or walking into a luxury boutique, the opportunities to shop are endless. So what are the best ways? In today’s post I’m breaking down all of the options and my thoughts on each.
Last Fall I signed up for the Rent the Runway Unlimited package. We had just returned from Europe and I knew I was going to be on a budget for the next few months (especially with the holidays around the corner). That being said we had a number of social engagements coming up in addition to my blog and social media posts and I wasn’t sure how I was going to swing a refresh. Then a friend suggested RTR and after a month I fell in love. As with anything there are pluses and minuses: I loved the idea that I could try something out and wear it with no strings attached. Even better was the fast that I could purchase the item at a discount if I loved it (I actually purchased the See By Chloe handbag seen pictured). Negatives - the only way to make this worthwhile for me was via the unlimited package which wasn’t inexpensive. I ended up stopping because I felt pressured to wear, send back, and pick again, “get my money’s worth” so to speak. However I would absolutely use the service again and I think its a great way to refresh your look for a period without breaking the bank!
Before The Girl Guide I shopped a little differently. The majority of my closet was made up of investment pieces especially when it came to accessories. I get asked a lot about the two bags I shoot with most often: My Chloe mini Marcie in light blush and my Chanel Wallet on Chain in black. I purchased the Chanel over 10 years ago and the Chloe was a Christmas gift from my parents a little over three years ago. I’ve never regretted either of them and even though they may not be the newest styles out there, I still wear them because I LOVE them. I guess thats really the theme of today’s post, no matter how you choose to create your wardrobe, love what you buy. For big purchases I always suggest a minimum of the 3 month rule - if you still love it, go for it! I waited for a year before I purchased these sandals and 7 years before I purchased the Cartier Love bracelet.
There has been a lot of talk about '“Fast Fashion” in the last year. The term, which refers to inexpensive clothing rapidly created by large retailers in response to current trends, has had a negative connotation. Critics suggest that it is creating a shopping environment that promotes excess and that although one saves money on an individual piece, in the long run you are actually spending more. I agree with part of that statement - if you fill your closet with only Zara, H&M, ASOS, etc. and purchase every season you will end up with far too much and no place to house it or eventually sell it. After much thought on the subject and discussion with clients I look at it differently now. Fortunately for us (unfortunately for many luxury retailers) many of these large retailers have become insanely good at creating the look “for less”. The sweater below purchased at Zara (which I have worn countless times, is machine washable, and still in great shape) is almost identical to a style I fell in love with for $1,750. Had it not been for the $49 sweater I would never have been able to create this look that I love! So there you have it - if you LOVE it, buy it! Just be aware that multiple inexpensive items can also add up to a larger price tag!
THE GENTLY USED
I actually really love this one. I can’t say I’ve purchased a ton of “second-hand” but I can almost guarantee that my next luxury handbag purchase will be from The Real Real or Fashionphile. I’m currently looking for an ivory with gold hardware Celine Box Bag and while I’m not willing to pay the 5k price tag, I would splurge on the same style gently worn for less than half the price. I’ve helped multiple clients purchase luxury for less this way and the result has always been positive. Note: make sure you are purchasing from a reputable company willing to stand behind authenticity and refund you if there is an issue.