Tips For Jean Skirt Shopping

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If you had told me in college that denim skirts would come back in style, I would have laughed in your face. Yet here I am, reaching into my dresser nearly every weekend to pull out a jean skirt! I got this skirt in late August and have worn it no less than seven times since then. Sure, the fact that it’s felt more like summer than fall the past few months definitely helps, but I can surely say I’m getting my money’s worth out of it!

I’ve been primarily pairing this skirt with bodysuits (as seen in this post) but I’ve also styled it with a simple baseball tee, an oversized sweater, and a button down.. I can also see myself pairing it with a white tee and open flannel or a thermal Henley as the temps drop! 

A denim skirt is a great alternative to jean shorts because it looks more polished, but still offers the comfort of denim versus a floaty dress. Since I don’t think this trend is going anywhere anytime soon, I thought I’d offer a few of my tips for finding and styling your own jean skirt! 

  • Rise is key: to avoid looking like you pulled your abercombie jean skirt out of your storage closet, go for a high-rise fit. Back in the 2000s the hip-hugger style reined supreme, but a high-waisted style looks more mature and quite frankly, is more flattering
  • Consider the wash: I’m drawn to the light wash or black denim skirts because again, they don’t look like the skirts we used to wear back in middle school. (Was it just me, or were light wash jeans considered dorky back in the day?) Stay away from the bleach or paint spots too because that just instantly evokes visions of Hollister.
  • Do the fingertip test: I’ve talked about the fingertip test before, but one of my new rules of thumb is to make sure the skirt hits right at or below my fingertips to make sure the length is appropriate
  • Special details are a go: front buttons, embroidery, and patchwork details are a fun way to even further elevate your look from basic jeans, but don’t overdo it on the gaudy
  • Accentuate your waist: since denim skirts can be a bit boxy, I like tucking in my shirts either all the way or in a half tuck so that my frame isn’t overwhelmed

Shop My Look: 

Bodysuit | Forever 21 (similar)

Skirt | Urban Outfitters (similar)

Sneakers | Converse

An Open Letter To The District

DSC04862DSC04851DSC04838DSC04858DSC04833I haven’t always loved DC. As a Northern Virginia native, I would frequently visit the city on field trips and family outings while I was growing up. One of the things I remember the most about these trips was being jealous of the city-slickers I saw running on the National Mall — I wasn’t even a runner, so I’m not quite sure why that resonated so strongly with me. While I romanticized about having the monuments as my backdrop on evening runs, I actually never thought I would end up in DC — I was pretty much convinced that I was going to be a New York City girl and work in the fashion industry. As fate had it, that wasn’t an option for me right out of college, so I ended up moving a whopping 12 miles (45 minutes thanks to the traffic) away from home and into DC, but it turns out I like it just fine.

I love that we have distinct neighborhoods and a blossoming restaurant scene. I love that we have a (mostly) reliable and inexpensive public transit system. I love that I can walk from my apartment in Shaw to Dupont Circle within 20 minutes.

What I don’t love, is that DC is a transient city. I’ve almost lost count of the amount of friends who have moved to the District and that I’ve formed very close bonds with, only to have them move two years later. Making friends as an adult out of college is hard. I’m a fairly sociable person, but it’s definitely a challenge to establish meaningful relationships as a twenty-something outside of school or work. I’ve been fortunate enough to find a network of women who I’ve grown to call very good friends, but true to form, one of them just left the city on a new venture.

I wore this outfit to one of my closest blogger friends, Glass Of Glam’s going away party last weekend. I’d been saving it for the occasion, and although I felt pretty fab in this tobi snakeskin romper— it was a bittersweet event. 

Between getting engaged, celebrating new babies, stress at work, and bidding one of my closest friends goodbye in less than a week, I’m a bit emotionally worn out, so I’ll sign off this post with this — I wish you and the Husband and Kitties of Glam the best in your new city, Rox. I know it’s not a goodbye, but a “see ya when you return from your really long vacation.” Love you + miss you already.

Shop My Look: 

Romper | Tobi 

Boots | Steve Madden

A Rant About Personal Style

DSC04782DSC04816DSC04803DSC04818It’s funny how your taste changes the older you get, right? At age 18, your favorite color could be hot pink and you might demand that your freshman college dorm room be decked out in accents of zebra and Barbie’s signature color (Shroots, what were we thinking!?) — but as you grow older, I guess it’s natural that things you once loved make you cringe.

Less than three years ago, I used to hate wearing pants — I considered them torture —and my closet was filled with flirty and girly dresses. Now, I almost feel uncomfortable in dresses and long for my forgiving high waisted jeans when I forgo them for a frock. Three years ago, you never would have caught me with my hair in a bun, but it’s now almost become my signature hairstyle (thanks, DC humidity). Up until two weeks ago, I was convinced that I wanted a gold and white wedding and now I’ve totally shifted to a different color palette after deciding I needed some blue in there because Gerald looks so nice in that color.

I guess the point of all of this rambling is to share that it’s okay for your preferences to change throughout the years. I’ve noticed my personal style shift drastically in the last year, and at one point I almost felt like I was betraying myself by enjoying wearing pants! I felt like I wasn’t being true to my “personal brand” (whatever that may be) then felt like an idiot, because literally who cares!? That’s the beauty of personal style — it’s personal, which means it belongs to you and only you. Don’t feel like you have to fit into a certain mold just because at one point in time you decided you hated all things preppy and would never shop at J Crew. I’m wearing Madewell jeans in this post and that’s basically the same thing!

Anyways, your style is going to evolve. I encourage you to pick up the next “off brand” thing you’re drawn to the next time you’re shopping. Who cares if it doesn’t fit into your wardrobe of all black or preppy pastels? If you want to try it, do it. The best part of growing up is figuring out what you truly do like.

Shop My Look: 

Sweater | Tobi*

(*disclaimer, it runs a little large. I’m wearing a small and should have gone for an XS! Tobi usually runs pretty true to size though.)

Jeans | Madewell(I’m wearing a “regular” cut in size 25)

Shoes | Vestique (similar)

Return Of The Camo

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Does anyone else remember begging their moms for mini skirts from Abercombie in high school? Just me? I kid you not, I once wanted a denim skirt so badly I saved it as my mom’s background on her computer — I was an annoying freak. Anyways, one of these coveted skirts was a camo cargo skirt that I HAD to have and it actually ended up becoming resurrected in college for GI Joe-themed parties. Moral of the story, I’ve always liked camo, but for some reason, I’ve never purchased anything else in the pattern since that infamous skirt. 

A friend referred me for a free Le Tote box a few weeks ago and when I saw these camo pants I jumped at the chance to try them. To be honest, they’re a little bit “mom-ish” thanks to the cargo style and capri cut, but I’m pretty happy with how I styled them for the MiMi Miller One Year Anniversary Party. To help glam the capris up, I channeled my inner wannabe Kardashian-style and paired them with stiletto ankle strap heels and a super flattering bodysuit from Tobi. I love the neckline on this bodysuit and thought it was a good combo between being covered up but still showing some skin. 

These capris were a bit too low-slung for me to keep, but I was definitely tempted to add them to my wardrobe. I could also see them styled with an open side graphic tank and converse, or even a crop top and some cool sneakers!

I have a feeling I’m going to be reaching for this black bodysuit over and over again this fall and winter. I can’t wait to pair it with some high-waisted jeans and OTK boots! 

Shop My Look 

Pants | Sanctuary 

Bodysuit | Tobi 

Heels | Similar

Borrowed From The Boys (…or in this case, my mom)

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I’m afraid I might be a clothes hoarder. I snatched this pink button-down from my mom when I was a freshman in college (I used to wear it belted over leggings with riding boots…#stylish) and haven’t worn it since then, but for some reason it’s survived FIVE moves and stayed in my closet. I know that hoarding is frowned upon by pretty much ever stylist ever, but I swear that sometimes it pays off.

I’d seen this button down turned off-the-shoulder on Instagram before, but it wasn’t until my blogger friend Leyla of Beyond Her Curls found a DIY tutorial and shared it in a post that I was able to figure out how to style the top this way. Spoiler, it’s way easier than it looks! You can check out the tutorial by blogger Fara Pink here. I also love the other looks that she put together in her tutorial! 

Once I figured out how to style the shirt this way, I couldn’t wait to wear it to a blogging event so I wore it to brunch at Tico with my new photographer friend Lacey. I paired it with my new favorite denim skirt and these surprisingly comfortable heels from SammyDress. 

Thanks again, Leyla for sharing this tutorial!

Shop My Look

Shirt | Similar 

Heels | SammyDress

Skirt | Urban Outfitters

 

Personal Style For Professional Attire

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By now, you guys are probably sick of hearing about how lucky I am to have a casual dress code at the office. While I can wear tees and jeans on the reg, there are some times I need to dress up – client meetings, conferences, networking events, etc. – so I always keep an eye out for business casual clothes that fit my personal style.

Finding office appropriate clothing that is true to your off-duty style can be tricky. To me, the majority of professional clothing is very basic or too buttoned-up to me for young working women, so I often turn to retailers like H&M and ASOS for professional wear, even finding some appropriate items at Forever 21 from time to time! I found this dress online from SammyDress, and wore it to a conference last week and to the office today because whatever, outfit repeating is fine and this dress has pockets — you’d outfit repeat it too. One of my colleagues actually has the same dress and wore it a few weeks ago! 

I’ve written before about maintaining your personal style at the office before (here and here), but that was nearly a year ago and my taste has definitely evolved since then, so I figured I’d bring back some of my pointers and add some fresh takes in! 

  •  You can still wear patterns: I like to describe my style as a bit boho, and although the shift dress I’m wearing above is a conservative cut, the floral pattern still ties back to something I’d wear outside of the office. Polka dots, stripes, chevron, tweed, geometric, and even some novelty print items are all okay for the office! Stick to more muted color palettes to make the pattern more toned down for the office.

 

  • Stacked and block heels are bae: Stiletto heels look amazing when paired with professional attire, but we all know those spiky heels aren’t comfortable for a 9-hour work day. The more surface area your heel has, the more weight the shoe will take off of the balls of your feet, making it easier to wear heels until it’s time to slip on your commuting sneaks or sandals
  • The fingertip test: Did that phrase just make you cringe and think of your high school days? I still swear by it. For those of you who don’t know, the fingertip test is if you put your arms down by your sides, your skirt should fall below your fingertips, or else it’s too short and you’ll get sent home or have to put on your gym sweatpants. In all seriousness though, it is a good test. If you’re not sure that your skirt passes it – layer your look with some tights.
  • Sky-high heels: This one is tricky, because some people think that heels over 3 inches are unprofessional, but I don’t abide by that rule. I think that as long as you can elegantly walk in your heels, you should rock them in your client meeting. Teetering and tottering on your way to the conference room is more unprofessional than some added height.
  • Leggings as pants: Some people think this is a major faux pas, but I think that this can be done tastefully and do ofter wear leggings in the winter. Rule of thumb, your butt should be covered by your sweater or tunic and if you bend over your leggings better not be see through. Don’t you dare pair them with sneakers though or else you’re crossing the line to athleisure.
  • Ripped jeans: This can also be tricky. I wear ripped jeans at least once a week, but again, my office is SUPER casual. Unless you’re a creative firm, I’d probably steer clear of these. If you do try it out, don’t go full-on shredded. Try slight distress marks or minimal rips at the knees, but keep the rest of your outfit slightly more polished if you’re unsure if your office allows this.
  • Open-toe shoes and sandals: This might be veering into one of my personal pet-peeves, but if you’re going to go for open-toe, make sure your feet are taken care of, por favor. You don’t need a fresh pedi, but if your nail polish is peeling off, maybe opt for booties.

Shop My Look: 

Dress | SammyDress 

Shoes | Vestique (similar)

Necklace | Sugarfix by Bauble Bar

 

Fall Haul

I’m coming to terms with the fact that fall is here, but I’m still not happy about it. I kid you not, my coworker and I convinced one of the company’s partners to bring in a UV lamp that helps with SAD to help us make it through the fall and winter.

One way I’m coping with the changing of the seasons is by filling my closet with new staples that actually make me look forward to cooler weather. From an amazing pair of Madewell jeans that Ashlee of Cobalt Chronicles recommends, to the gray Steve Madden booties I lived in last year, below are some of the items that will be getting some mileage this fall or are on my wish list to purchase in the next few months! The manfriend and I are headed to Asheville in two weeks and I’m already planning on packing the red maxi, flannel, and denim skirt in my bag for the trip!

Fall Haul

High-rise Skinny Jeans | Madewell

Mock Neck Sweater Tank | Madewell

Forever In Flannel Top | Vestique

Gray Booties | Steve Madden

Evana Black Sweater | Tobi

Tie Up Swing Dress | Undeniable Boutique

Maxi | Zaful

Snakeskin Booties | Fabrik

Denim Skirt | Urban Outfitters

Statement Tee

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Two years ago, I hated jeans. I would do anything – like wear a dress with no tights when it was 40 degrees out – to avoid wearing pants. Fast forward, and now a statement tee and a pair of high-waisted jeans are one of my favorite go-to outfits for work. (I realize how lucky I am to work for a creative company that allows me to adopt this as my daily uniform!)

Some mornings, I will just tuck a plain tee into my jeans and call it a day, but I like to look for t-shirts that have a special detail to make it seem like more of a statement. This Zaful tee is a perfect example of a “statement tee” and I wore this exact outfit to work yesterday! I love that the ruffle is shorter in the front and longer in the back — perfect for pairing with my beloved high-waisted jeans. The size on the website says “one fits all” but the tag says a M. It runs a little large on me, but I like the looser fit!

When searching for statement tees, I gravitate towards details like a fun sleeve (think lace up details or lattice work), or even just an asymmetrical hem to jazz it up. If the tee is a plain cotton one, I like to tuck it in and add either a brightly colored or printed belt for some detail. My favorite neutral but statement-making belt is a cheetah print one I picked up at DSW years ago for like $9.00. I also find that pairing a simple look with a pair of heels instantly makes your outfit look more pulled together. Another obvious way to jazz up a look centered around a t-shirt is to add a statement necklace or earrings, but I’m more of a simple jewelry girl!

Shop My Look: 

Top | Zaful

Jeans | TopShop 

Shoes | Vestique (similar)

Clutch | South Moon Under (similar) 

 

I Eat Too Much Mexican Food

It’s been almost a year since I updated my Mexican Food Roundup, so I figured it was time to add in some new fan favorites and bring it back! Read on for what’s been fueling my chips and salad and margarita addiction for the past year.

Originally posted November 2016.

For as long as I can remember, one of my favorite foods has been chips and salsa. It’s almost embarrassing how quickly I can house a whole basket of chips by myself. Blame it on the fact that my earliest memories of going to a restaurant involve Rio Grande in Arlington, or we can chalk it up to the fact that Mexican food is just really freaking good.

When I first moved to DC, I had a hard time finding a go-to spot for margaritas and cheesy goodness  — in my college town of Harrisonburg (go Dukes!) cheap Mexican spots were all over place. Over the past few years, I’ve sampled my way through quite a few of DC’s offerings and thought I’d share my finds if you happen to feel the same way I do about enchiladas and queso. Read on for my tips of navigating margarita happy hours, where to find the best salsa around town, and my favorite hidden gems. 

DUPONT CIRCLE

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Mission – Located steps off the Dupont Metro stop, this is one of my favorite happy hour spots because it’s extremely easy to get to from where I work in Bethesda and convenient to meet up with friends who work or live in Dupont and Georgetown. The staff is super friendly (hi, Fritz!) and they have marg pitchers on happy hour for $22 – no need to say more. P.S. Order the queso blanco. 

Lauriol Plaza – I could just stop this post here because Lauriol Plaza is hands down my favorite Mexican restaurant ever. I legitimately start drooling thinking about their fire-roasted salsa and house-made chips, which I’ve dubbed as the best in DC. They also serve up pitchers of margaritas that strike the perfect balance between sweet and sour.  

Café Citron – On the other side of the circle, Cafe Citron gives off a bit of a lounge-y vibe and offers salsa dancing lessons at night. Their happy hour is also all week long so it’s a great option for Saturday or Sunday drinks.

SHAW / U STREET 

El Rey – This spot holds a special place in my heart because it’s where I tricked Gerald into becoming my boyfriend. (We had a few too many margs and I got sassy when he introduced me as “his friend”. The rest is history.) I think that El Rey has the best cheese quesadilla in DC and I love the lively vibe at the restaurant.

El Riconcito – Ah, my favorite hidden gem in DC. Technically, El Riconcito is an El Salvadorian restaurant, but I included it in here because it’s one of the best cheap eats I’ve found in the city. A massive platter of enchiladas, beans, rice, and pico de gallo only sets you back $7.50. The space is super small but it’s worth it to wait for a seat, promise. The only thing I don’t like is they don’t offer free chips and salsa, but I can overlook that because of the low prices. 

American Ice Co. – Okay, this is technically not a Mexican restaurant at all, but it has the best vegetarian nachos in the District so I’m putting it on here. Go for the nachos, but stay for the BBQ and craft beer.

Espita Mezcalria – I feel like a fraud because I’ve never actually had a full meal here -especially when I live literally two blocks from the spot – but the mezcal cocktails are fantastic and their chips and salsa are delicious! The fact that the interior is super Insta-worthy too doesn’t hurt!

TENLEYTOWN

Cactus Cantina – Sister restaurant to Lauriol Plaza, Cactus Cantina is massive and has tons of outdoor seating. I wish this spot was Metro accessible because I’d be there all the time! Get the spinach enchiladas – you’re welcome. (Before you eat, pop on up to Refine and get styled by my girl Tanya!)

14TH STREET

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Taqueria Nacional – I discovered this quaint taco spot this summer and I’m honestly pretty mad at myself for not knowing about it sooner. Located in an old postal building, the restaurant has a pretty cool interior (I might be biased, it’s a Streetsense design project from before my time) and a casual vibe. The taqueria serves up made-to-order meals from a counter, but they have ample seating, a great garage window, and a cute patio. The prices are extremely fair and they have a great daily happy hour!

El Centro – A concept from chef Richard Sandoval, El Centro whips up Mexican classics with an upscale twist. I’ve frequented the spot for happy hour and late night dancing, but I’ve also heard great things about their bottomless brunch! They also have a restaurant in Georgetown with a fab rooftop.

BLOOMINGDALE

El Camino – Tucked away on Rhode Island Avenue next to Boundary Stone and Red Hen, this quirky spot serves up a mean margarita – I highly recommended grabbing before dinner drinks here if you’re waiting for a table at Red Hen! 

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS

El Chucho – if you’ve never had Mexican street corn you’re missing out and El Chucho is the spot to get it. The restaurant features a bar that’s half inside half outside, and has very reasonable prices on all of its drinks and food. Definitely worth the trek to Columbia Heights for this quirky eatery. 

CHINATOWN

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Oyamel – José  Andrés’ restaurant is decked out in butterfly decor (aka extremely Instatrammable) and also offers an upscale twist on Mexican classics. It’s more of a small plates deal here, so I’d recommend it for happy hour or a date night  

Rosa Mexicana – Usually, I avoid Chinatown like the plague, but Rosa Mexicana’s table side guac is a worth braving 7th street. This place is a little more upscale so it’s great for lunch or dinner with your parents before/after exploring DC’s museums. 

GEORGETOWN 

Los Cuates – I actually do not know how I am still allowed to enter this restaurant because we have definitely abused their Coronitas multiple times after some blogging events, but I’m glad they haven’t turned us away yet! A Corotina is as dangerous as it sounds – a Corona dumped into a margarita – but they’re delicious. As long as they continue to serve me, I’ll keep going because the staff is amazing, the drinks are strong, and their food is perfect for soaking up all the tequila

NAVY YARD

Agua 301: Right on the waterfront in Yards Park, this spot is perfect for weekend brunching. At a blogger meet up last year, we spent about four hours hanging out at the brightly-colored spot sipping bottomless margaritas. The staff is very accommodating for large groups!

ARLINGTON

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Uncle Julio’sI grew up going to this Tex Mex joint (back then we called it Rio Grande) so it will always have a special place in my heart. Check out my full post on my Uncle Julio’s dining experience here! 

Mexicali Blues – I recently went here for the first time, and while I can’t rave about their service, they have an excellent happy hour and their margs are pretty tasty. Bonus points that it has an outdoor patio where you can watch residents walk their pups (does that make me creepy?)

El Paso – My friend Sharlene and I started a pre-Bachelor viewing tradition with this place. You can’t go wrong with its inexpensive Mexican comfort food, unlimited chips and salsa, and boots of beer! 

BETHESDA 

Gringos & Mariachis: Just a few blocks from the Streetsense headquarters, I’ve had my fair share of lunches here. I love their filling salads and they’ve got a great variety of chips and dip, as well as a very lively happy hour scene

 

Fall Bucket List

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I walked into my local Giant last weekend and nearly walked right back out the door after seeing that they had started selling pumpkins in the flower section. I don’t strongly dislike fall – it’s actually a lovely time of year – but I’m a summer girl through and through and I start to miss the sun the second that September rolls around. I wait until the last second possible to pull out my fall and winter clothes and try to maximize my warm weather clothing until the temps drop. 

Unfortunately, I don’t think this Zaful palm print romper is going to last more than another week, and I’m so bummed I only got to wear it once this summer. (Don’t worry, I’ve already mentally packed it in my Seaside bag for next May!) I’m 98% sure this is actually a swimsuit cover up, but I feel like anything goes in the summer! One thing I really liked about this romper was that the shorts were a little bit longer in the back than they were in the front so I didn’t have to worry about them covering my cheeks! I’m wearing a small for reference.

Since I’m so bummed about the changing of the seasons, I decided to make a fall bucket list to help make the transition easier. We’re headed to Asheville the first week of October, so that will definitely help, but this list is probably what’s going to help me get over my end-of-summer slump.

Fall Bucket List 

  • Go hiking: I don’t care if it’s the Billy Goat Trail or somewhere in Asheville, I haven’t been hiking in years and I feel like being out in nature and admiring the changing leaves will help make me feel better about it being fall

 

  • Visit a new winery: I recently created a winery bucket list, and I feel like I need to take advantage of all of the great Vineyards we have nearby! 

 

  • Clean out my closet: I NEED to get my act together and do a full seasonal clean up before I swap out my summer wardrobe for fall, but I want to do it right this time. I want to separate the nicer items I’ve only worn once or twice into one pile and put them up for sale either on Posh Mark or eBay and then donate the more used items directly to GoodWill or use ThredUp’s donation bag system 

 

  • Carve a pumpkin: Gerald and I had this on our to-do list last year, but for some reason we never got around to it. If we put it out on our stoop it will probably get smashed in 10 minutes, but I still think it would be a fun activity that I haven’t done since I was in high school 

 

  • Make a kick-ass Halloween costume: I was the QUEEN of theme parties in college and I missed out on dressing up for Halloween last year because my mom and I went to the ballet (which was amazing but didn’t require a costume) so I’m determined to make Gerald and I something awesome for our friends’ annual Halloween party 

 

Romper | Zaful

Sandals | TJ Maxx (similar)