This woven dress* has quickly become one of my favorite summer staples. Its structured shape but flirty details make it the perfect option for summer date nights or dinner with the parents. Its thicker fabric and A line fit make it appropriate in almost any summer setting (except for weddings of course!) but still feels fresh and young due to the cutouts and low back. I wore this particular outfit to bring my manfriend to my childhood home for the first time for grilling out with the fam. Paired with classic staples, this timeless look will definitely be something I reach for again next summer!
*This dress is still available from Forever21 but runs a size big, I’m wearing a small but wish I had purchased an XS!
Dress | Forever21
Wedges | Vince Camuto
Crossbody | Rebecca Minkoff
Sunglasses | Ray-Ban
Things I learned about cookouts in the city; it is nearly impossible to find a propane tank on a Sunday after 6:00 pm, and I am insanely jealous of everyone that has a rooftop to grill on. (But I kind of already knew the second one.) In case you were wondering, we did not find a propane tank in time, but we still had delicious food and looked cute while doing it.
For the attempted Sunday Funday cookout at the manfriend’s place, my roommate and I opted for twinning outfits; simple, black swing dresses with statement sandals and gold accessories. A swing or shift dress is ideal for events where you know you will be eating a ton because they easily hide your food baby and let’s be real, you want to be able to enjoy a brew without feeling like you have a beer belly after inhaling approximately 4 pounds of chips and guac.
Dress | Forever 21
Sandals | Forever 21
Crossbody | Rebecca Minkoff
Necklace | Gorjana
La Boum Brunch is unlike any brunch you will ever go to. Located in L’Enfant Café and Bar on the border between Dupont and Adams Morgan, the cute French bistro turns into a mad house for an event that I’m not quite sure could be described as a “brunch”. La Boum’s brunch is more of a burlesque meets night club than a spot to grab breakfast with your girlfriends (but their food actually is quite good) so if you’re looking for a traditional eggs benedict over a mimosa or two, this is probably not the place you want to head to.
For a coworker and good friend’s birthday, 17 girls and I ventured to the brunch, forewarned with stories of dancing on chairs and endlessly flowing champagne, and we were not disappointed. If you’ve never experienced a La Boum brunch, you must at some point while you’re living in DC. I knew we would probably be dancing so I opted for my favorite Tobi shift dress and a pair of my most comfortable wedges, and I did end up dancing the afternoon away in on top of a chair. (Everyone does it!) Tobi is one of my favorite sites for unique dresses, and they offer a 50% off discount for new customers! Cheers to that and La Boum!
Dress | Tobi
Wedges | Guess
Satchel | Ralph Lauren
Earrings | Kendra Scott
Bracelets | Kate Spade & Kendra Scott
When in Rome….it is hot. And dusty. Thankfully though, there is no humidity in Italy like DC residents are all too familiar with (why do we even bother to do our hair here when it stays the way you want it for approximately 30 second after stepping out of your apartment?). My family and I went to Rome three years ago, so I knew what I was about to spend all day in and opted for a lightweight crochet romper and comfortable walking sandals. Not going to lie, I did choose these sandals because they remind me of gladiator sandals and I only felt that was appropriate for an ancient city!
Growing up, I was absolutely fascinated with Roman and Greek ancient history. I couldn’t get enough of the their culture and mythology, Hercules was (and still is) my favorite Disney movie! Although Rome is a major, thriving, and modern city, it never fails to excite the ancient history geek in me. The Romans created some of the most breathtaking and magnificent architecture in the world, it’s no surprise that DC took inspiration from the ancient city’s columns and marble structures to construct some of its own monuments, but nothing compares to the real things in Italy.
Rome is a sightseers’ dream. Narrow alleyways filled with leather shops and gelaterias lead way to historical monuments and before you know it, you’re standing in front of the Spanish Steps or the Parthenon. (Let me tell you about those leather shops…nothing smells as amazing as fresh, handmade, Italian leather. I snagged a beautifully crafted leather clutch that I’ll be featuring soon.) This city should definitely be on your bucket list, but when you venture to it, be sure to dress comfortably and keep in mind that if you want to enter any churches or the Vatican, you must have your shoulders covered and short shorts are highly frowned upon. Needless to say, I would not have been allowed in any religious buildings in this outfit, but it did the trick to keep me cool while taking in the stunning sights.
Romper | Francesca’s
Sandals | Lucky Brand
Tassel Necklace | Target
I’ve never had much luck finding gems in thrift shops, but when I stumbled upon this Topshop cocktail dress in a Dupont Circle consignment store for a mere $25.00, I knew I had to have it, regardless of the fact that I had nowhere to wear it. There was a formal night on my European cruise, where cocktail attire and suits were suggested for dinner, and I was ecstatic to finally get a chance to wear it.
If you’re looking for vintage or thrift shops in DC to try and score your own finds, I suggest Secondi in Dupont Circle, or Nomad Yard in NE, near Union Market, which is where I’ve had my best luck. When thrifting, be prepared to dig through a lot of crowded (probably unorganized) racks, potentially see higher price tags than you’re expecting (just because it’s secondhand, doesn’t instantly mean cheaper), and to be in the store for a very long time if you really want to dig up some treasures (patience is key, you always find the best things when you’re about to give up). If you’re looking to score designer pieces, follow the stores on Facebook and Instagram, because they tend to post their hottest items on their social media, but they go fast.
PS. That’s my little brother…he’s a whole foot taller than me!
Heels | Steve Madden
Clutch | SheInside
Rhinestone Bracelet | Kate Spade
I just got back from an amazing whirlwind of a trip to Europe with my family where we traveled to Spain, France, and Italy via cruise ship and ended with two nights in Paris. Calling it the best vacation ever would be selling it short, and although it wasn’t my first trip overseas, Europe stole my heart again. But more about that later, let’s talk about this statement making swimsuit.
If you had told me that I’d be wearing a one piece swimsuit at 24 a few years ago, I would have laughed and told you that would never happen. However, after gaining the dreaded Freshman 15 my senior year of college and it not coming off after I entered the workforce (I know, cue the eye rolls), the one piece trend is one I’m extremely happy to embrace till I get my butt to the gym and get my abs back.
When I saw this Mara Hoffman lookalike at H&M, I knew I had to have it and couldn’t wait to wear it at our first port of call, Mallorca, Spain. Perk of a one piece swimsuit number one – all you need to do is throw on a pair of cut off jean shorts as a cover up, no top needed. I would even consider wearing this out as a bodysuit with shorts in a beach town with my girlfriends! Perk number two – the wild pattern and low cut top drew attention away from my lower stomach (which I’m most self conscious about), so I didn’t feel the need to constantly suck in every second like I do when I’m in a bikini. Paired with a straw hat I snagged in a boutique in Barcelona and some statement bracelets, the best accessory was that I actually felt confident in a swimsuit for the first time in about a year. There’s been a huge positive body image movement in the past year or so, so embrace it! If you feel comfortable in a bikini, rock it, if you prefer a one piece, then work that too.
Swimsuit | H&M
Hat | Barcelona
Shorts | Forever21
WMZQFest brings together top acts in country music for a day full of tailgating and good music. For the concert, I opted for my trusty cowboy boots, a leather satchel, and a bright crop top and skirt combo. I’ve had my cowboy boots since I was 14, and everyone used to make fun of me for wearing them, but I’m so glad that I’ve hung on to them! I found this leather Dooney and Burke satchel in my mom’s closet, and couldn’t believe that she wasn’t using it, so it found itself a home in my handbag collection.
For anyone who reads fashion blogs, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Asian online fashion site sheinside.com. My crop top and skirt are from there, but it was definitely an interesting experience ordering from the site that I must warn you about. When my roommate and I found the site, which is full of lookalikes from sites like Nasty Gal, Tobi, and Planet Blue, we couldn’t believe how inexpensive the clothes were and loaded up our shopping carts, spending around $250.00 each. We couldn’t wait for our packages to come in the mail, but it took over a month to get them. When we finally received our clothes, we were less than impressed. Half of my items were unwearable and all of my roommate’s items had to be donated or thrown away. For some items, the sizing was completely off and would only fit a 10 year old, others looked completely different than the photos that were displayed on the website, and some looked so cheap that they were about to fall apart any second. While I lucked out with a few pieces, I won’t be ordering again and I advise those shopping on it to think twice before placing a massive order!
Boots | Rampage
Satchel | Dooney and Burke
Crop Top and Skirt Combo | American Apparel
If I were to win the lottery, the first thing I would do is adopt a dog, then buy a pair of Valentino Rockstuds. A friend once tried to convince me to try a pair on, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it because I knew I’d have to buy them once I put the real ones on my feet, so for now I’ll have to do with this lookalike pair, which have quickly become my favorite heels. To keep the shoes the main statement of my outfit, I paired them with basics and delicate gold jewelry, with a piece from my first Rocksbox shipment.
Rocksbox is a monthly subscription that sends you 3 pieces of handpicked designer jewelry to keep for a month, then you can purchase it at a discounted price or send it back after you’re done wearing it. I loved the pieces that my “stylist” picked out for me and I can’t wait to see what I get next month. I specifically joined the service to get statement earrings for a black tie wedding I’m attending next weekend, but I liked the pieces I got so much I’m going to keep my subscription going for a few more months, plus who doesn’t love getting packages in the mail!?
Heels | LuLu’s
Boyfriend Jeans | GAP
Tank | H&M
Military Jacket | Urban Outfitters
Rings | Assortment of H&M and Forever 21
Bracelet and Necklace | Rocksbox
Saying I wish I was Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City is an understatement. SJP perfectly pulls off the most chicly absurd outfits that would make a native DC resident cringe, but flawlessly fit into the fashion capital, New York City. Of course, I had to channel Carrie’s quirky and feminine style while visiting one of my closest and most fabulous friends (check out her blog, sirmansstyle.com) for a night out in the Upper West Side.
“Dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.” – Sex and The City
Skirt | H&M
Crop Top | H&M
Shoes | Forever 21
Clutch | SheInside
Statement Necklace | Macy’s Closet
I work for a consulting firm where the dress code is typically business casual, so technically I can wear jeans whenever I want, but as someone who permanently looks like a college freshman, I like to dress up a little bit more during the week to project a more polished image. This Friday, I opted for jeans and colorful staples, but paired with structured pieces, kept the look office appropriate.
Fashion articles constantly tell you to invest in a “structured bag” for the working world, and I cannot agree more. I received this Michael Kors bag for Christmas the first year I was in the workforce and I feel so much more professional carrying it to meetings rather than dragging around a laptop bag or fumbling around attempting to balance a purse and notebook. When selecting a structured bag, make sure that the material is strong enough to keep its shape and look for little details such as feet on the bottom that will help protect it from wear and tear. Ideally, you should try and find one that can hold your laptop, and has pockets on the sides where you can easily store your cellphone. Bags that have zippers on the top are also fantastic so that you don’t spill the contents of your purse if you slam on your breaks in the car or it gets knocked over on the metro!
Bag | Michael Kors
Pumps | Aldo
Denim | Forever 21
Top | Forever 21
Statement Necklace | Target