Fall Favorites Under $50

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This is a long overdue post, but as promised, my fall favorites under $50.00!

Floppy hats were a staple last year, and I’m happy to see that they are still in this fall! I thought I could never pull one off, but they are surprisingly easy to toss on top of an outfit, and when paired with casual items like a t-shirt dress and jean jacket, makes the whole look more put together.

Hat | Forever 21

Blanket scarves, you’ve seen them on every fashionista’s Instagram this fall. This scarf isn’t as thick as a blanket scarf, but still mimics the look when wrapped the right way. I snagged this one on a flash sale for $6.00 at Forever 21, and it’s probably the best $6.00 I’ve ever spent. I’ve been layering it over dresses, pairing it with loose tanks and leggings, and even tossing it on over sweatshirts and quilted vests.

Scarf | Forever 21

If you don’t have a jean jacket, shame on you. They’re easily the most effortless layering piece for fall and spring and go with everything from jeans to midi skirts. I have a dark wash and a light wash jacket, but just one in a medium or darker wash is all you need to carry you from October – November. This is a cheap jacket, but brands like GAP and Levi’s have great pieces that will last forever. No kidding – my light wash jacket is my little brother’s Levi jacket from kindergarten…it makes a great cropped jacket!

Jean Jacket | H&M

The t-shirt dress has been my go-to this season. I acquired a few this fall and have been wearing them nonstop paired with military jackets, leather jackets, and even with converse when running a quick errand. Invest in one, or three, and I promise you won’t regret it.

T-shirt Dress | Forever 21

Last but not least, over the knee boots. I’ve always been a fan of over the knee boots, just ask my friends from college about the time I bought a heeled pair from a store that shall not be named and broke the heel at a party, only to stand on my tiptoes for the rest of the night in the broken shoe because I refused to sacrifice the look. I found these on the clearance rack at DSW last March, but they are still available!

Boots | DSW

Central Park Picnic

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This weekend, I went to visit one of my closest friends. Macy, in New York City for a girl’s weekend full of bagels, champagne, and ridiculous Halloween costumes. Macy lives in the Upper West Side, so we decided to head on over to Central Park to sip some bubbly and brainstorm our Halloween costumes for the weekend.

NYC was unnaturally warm for this time of year, around 55 degrees the entire weekend! For our frolic in the Park, I opted for an oversize cardigan with my latest investment, a pair of AG jeans. I’m not one for premium denim, but I tried on the jeans at Refine Boutique during their Columbus Day sale and picked them up for 20% off! As a Forever 21 and H&M repeat customer, the premium denim boasted a much higher price tag that I’m used to seeing, but since I can wear jeans to work whenever I want, I figured they would be a reasonable investment. The difference between these premium jeans and my regular cheap ones was definitely the comfort level. After running all over the Park and the Upper West Side, they didn’t stretch out at all and I wasn’t tempted to rip them off the second I stepped back into Macy’s apartment after finding our Halloween costumes. (In case you were wondering, we found vintage cheerleading uniforms at a thrift shop down the street from Macy’s apartment! Took us right back to our high school glory days of cheer squad and dance team.)

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Cardigan | H&M

Tee | GAP

Jeans | AG Jeans

Booties | H&M

Clutch | Forever21 

Girls Night Out With Tablelist

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Last weekend, I teamed up with Tablelist to host a girls night out at Gryphon! Tablelist is a mobile app that makes planning a night out on the town an absolute breeze – I had a VIP table booked and set up in less than 5 minutes! Tablelist provides services for bottle service/table service in Boston, New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Washington DC, Foxwoods Casino, and the Hamptons. Once you download the free app you can scroll through venues in your city and see where events are going on that weekend. After selecting a venue, the app easily lays out drink package options, so you know exactly how much the night is going to cost before you even walk into the club! (We’ve all been there when you close out your tab and you realize you spent over $100.00 on Fireball shots…the absolute worst.) The app then prompts you to invite your friends who will also be attending the event, and it automatically splits the price of the table evenly among you. The night of your event, the app allows you to pay your cover fee from your phone and you don’t have to wait in line to enter the venue. The app made the entire process seamless and we had a great time!

I opted for one of my favorite cut out jumpsuits and comfortable wedges for the night because I knew there would be dancing involved. I love jumpsuits because they instantly look chic, but are extremely comfortable, and this one even has pockets! These wedges aren’t available online anymore, but you can still find them in select Forever 21 stores.

Jumpsuit | ASOS

Wedges | Forever 21

Clutch | South Moon Under 

The Shirt Dress

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The shirtdress is a classic staple and I love this olive green frock for fall.  wasn’t planning on belting it, but my boyfriend told me it looked like I was wearing a men’s shirt without it belted (eye roll). Personally, I think shirt dresses look great belted or not, but agreed with him for this look. I’m planning on wearing this dress open as a sort of jacket over another dress and also pairing it with a fur vest. I think that shirt dresses are a great piece that work well for work or casual wear and would suggest adding one to your wardrobe in a chambray or solid color!

I snagged this bag at Forever 21 for a mere $30.00 as a laptop bag, and absolutely love its classic shape and leather look. It’s similar to bags I’ve seen at GAP and Madewell for over $100.00, but you can’t beat the price tag on this one!

Booties | HM

Bag | Forever 21

Dress | Forever 21

Pleather & Plaid

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When the temperature drops, somehow my style goes from girly with flirty florals to edgy with (p)leather and mixed metals within a day’s notice. I always gravitate towards richer materials and chunkier pieces in the fall and winter, and I own enough leather jackets to be mistaken for a member of a bicycle gang.

Leather staples like this work-appropriate skirt are great items to add to your fall and winter wardrobe. I own 6 pleather skirts alone, and am constantly reaching for them for work, pairing them with tights, or for going out and adding a crop top with stacked heels or knee high socks and booties. I got this leather skirt at Ann Taylor Loft last year, but I found it on eBay for you at half price (link below)!

Pairing a statement necklace with a buttoned up plaid shirt takes it from lumberjack to chic, and a ladylike purse helps soften chunky booties and a tough fabric like leather.

Button-up | GAP

Skirt | LOFT 

Booties | Forever21

Necklace | HM

Handbag | Rebecca Minkoff

Rocksbox Review

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I get a lot of questions about Rocksbox, and I loved my latest box so much that I decided to dedicate a full blog post to it! Rocksbox is a monthly subscription, similar to an Ipsy or BirchBox, but for jewelry. For $19.99 a month, a stylist will send you a box of 3 items, generally a necklace, bracelet, and earrings, with a note on how to pair them. Once you receive the box, you can keep it for as long as you want then either send it back for a new box, or purchase the pieces you like at a discounted price.

Once you sign up for an account, you can make a “Wish List”, and your stylist will use the list as inspiration when she pulls the pieces to send you. I was determined to get this Kendra Scott pendant necklace, so I may or may not have put every color it comes in on my Wish List…

Rocksbox pulls jewels from high end brands such as Loren Hope, Kendra Scott, and House of Harlow. I love getting my monthly box because 1) who doesn’t love surprises in the mail and 2) I always get pieces that I would not have necessarily picked up off the shelf, but love as soon as I get them in my box.

If you’re interested in trying out your own Rocksbox, I can hook you up with your first month for free! Just use the code SARAHBFF994 when you sign up! You can sign up here – www.rocksbox.com.

“The Dress” Makes Its Debut

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The final day of DC Fashion Week was the Couture Fashion Show at the gorgeous Carnegie Library, and requested cocktail attire. Last January, I purchased one of the most beautiful pieces I had ever laid eyes on, and decided that this was the event that it would make its debut.

I first saw the dress with my friend Macy at a Nomad Yard, a collectiv of vintage pieces, antiques, and items from rising designers. The dress was hanging from the ceiling in the corner of the space, so I could only admire it from afar, but remember pointing it out to Macy and telling her that the dress was fabulous. We left the collectiv without trying anything on or purchasing anything, but a week later I couldn’t get it out of my mind, so I went back and did the unthinkable – I tried it on. As soon as Nomad Yard’s owner zipped it up on me I knew I was going to have to get it, it was like the dress was made for me. I left the store dressless, feeling beside myself after learning the hefty price tag that the beautiful garment came with was almost half of my monthly rent, but went to work Googling everything I possibly could about the piece.

The dress is a David Fielden, made in London in 1980 for a line of cocktail dresses exclusively for Saks Fifth Avenue. The neckline is hand embroidered with beading and pearls, the bodice has boning, and the crushed velvet skirt is supported by a layer of crisp burgundy crinoline, it’s a gorgeous garment and the photos don’t even do it justice.

A few days later and hours of phone calls seeking advice from friends, I realized that I would never be able to find this dress again, especially in my size, I caved, negotiated with the owner on pricing, and handed over my AmEx. Aside from the hole in my wallet, I’m in love with the dress and convinced that no other dress will ever live up to it, except maybe my wedding dress if that day ever comes. Even though it’s extremely flashy, I’m planning on getting as much use out of it as possible, and then passing it along to my daughter so it can stay in the family, because as far as I’m concerned, this dress is a piece of art!

My Outfit 

Cocktail Dress | Nomad Yard

Clutch |Enzo Angiolini

Heels | LuLus 

Bracelet | Kate Spade 

Allie’s Outfit 

Dress | ML Monique Lhuillier

Heels | Steve Madden

Clutch | Vintage Chanel (borrowed from my mom’s closet)

DC Fashion Week

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I have always been a massive fan of suede, and searched high and low for this 70s inspired button down skirt! No, seriously, I spent an hour and a half in Forever21 at Metro Center digging through racks till I found it. My top is actually a crop top, but I wish it had been a little bit longer because I was constantly tucking it back into my skirt, but it worked for most of the night until I forced my boyfriend to salsa dance with me at Provisions later that night…

Anyways, I loved this outfit so much when I put it together that I wanted to save it for something special, so I kept it tucked away in my closet till DC Fashion Week. DC is many things, but it is not celebrated for its fashion like its older cousin, NYC. That being said, I went into DC Fashion Week with an open mind, and had although it was no NYFW, I still had fun sipping cocktails and champagne with my dear friend who was sweet enough to tag along with me.

DC Fashion Week is indeed, a week long event, with the final two days hosting a Emerging Designers Fashion Show (which is what I wore this look to) and then a Couture Show (blog post to come). My friend and I got our tickets off LivingSocial and were pretty disappointed with how our tickets were presented online; we were supposed to have priority seating for both events, and ended up sitting rows away from the runway, which is why I don’t have any decent pictures from the show (if you follow me on Snapchat I’m sure you saw tons of videos), and overall, the event was pretty disorganized. I’m definitely glad I got to experience it, but I think it’s safe to say that I probably won’t be attending next year. Until then, I’ll keep stalking Instagram for Milan Fashion Week for my high fashion fix 😉

Suede Skirt | Forever21

Mock Turtleneck Crop | H&M

Heels | Steve Madden

Clutch | South Moon Under 

Refine Boutique

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I had the opportunity to visit Refine Boutique this weekend and had an amazing time browsing the showroom’s carefully curated racks and chatting with the adorable and business savvy owner, Tanya. The boutique is a niche operation; it’s a personalized shopping experience and you can book an appointment in either the chic showroom, or have the experience brought to you in your own home. The business model behind the boutique understands that their customer wants unique items, but doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of purchasing items online and then waiting for them to arrive in the mail, or even worse, having them not fit or look as good in person as they did online. The showroom shelves are filled with beautiful pieces from brands like Show Me Your MuMu, AG, and Blue Life, brands that are not easily found in DC and stand out from the typical DC chain stores. Tanya took the time to understand my personal style, and was full of suggestions for pairing the boutique’s pieces with items that I already owned. I ended up getting an adorable skater dress that I already know I’m going to live in (post to come soon of it!) and if I had an unlimited budget, would have gone crazy because I loved literally every article of clothing in the space. Coming soon, you’ll have the chance to go on Refine’s website, and select pieces that you want brought to you, so you can shop in your own home! The best part is you don’t have to pay extra for the stylist services; the perfect experience for a busy girl. I’ll definitely be visiting the boutique again and highly recommend visiting it if you’re looking for high quality, unique pieces! You can visit their website here, or book your own personal appointment at info@shoprefine.com.

Jeans | Topshop

Sweater | H&M

Mules | Target (similar

Clutch | Forever 21

Wedding Season

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I’ve reached the age where it seems that every time I go on Facebook, another one of my acquaintances has gotten engaged! With all the engagements comes weddings, and this was the first summer I got to attend some that weren’t just for family friends, so I had a lot of questions about what was appropriate to wear, gift, etc. This weekend I was a guest at my coworkers’ wedding on a quaint farm in Purcellville, VA, and as you can tell from my photos, it was picture perfect and an absolutely beautiful celebration of love. (Cue the tears. And yes, I cried multiple times throughout the night.) The McCain wedding was a true reflection of the bride and groom, which is what made it such a fantastic night. The groomsmen were dapper in jeans and suspenders, the bridesmaids selected their favorite blush dress from Anthropologie’s wedding line, and of course, the bride was a vision in a gorgeous lace dress and jewel encrusted belt. There was even a s’mores station set up alongside a fire pit outside! The event was just the right blend of sentimental and casual, and everyone had a great time dancing and drinking after the ceremony.

As a newcomer to attending weddings, I thought I’d shed some light on what I’ve learned from the ones I’ve been invited to this summer.

  • Do wear waterproof mascara (I’m a total sap and cry at everything emotional, so waterproof mascara has been a lifesaver)
  • Do pack deodorant in your clutch or bag, especially if the ceremony is outside
  • Don’t forget to bring your sunglasses if the event will be outside
  • Do iron your outfit prior to 5 minutes before walking out the door
  • Do wear wedges or fancy sandals if the venue is set outside, grass + heels do not mix well
  • Do have Advil handy for the next day, there’s lots to celebrate so the drinks will be flowing!
  • Do go on the registry early for your gift before everything has already been gifted
  • Do eat during the event! I made the mistake of not eating at a wedding because I was so self conscious about my form fitting dress and I was a mess the next day
  • That being said, do wear something you’re comfortable in! It’s no fun to constantly tug at your dress or not be able to dance because your shoes are too small

Weddings are a celebration of friends, family, and love, so don’t get stressed out about having the perfect outfit or not knowing everyone. The bride and groom just want everyone to have a good time and share their special day with them 🙂

Dress | Forever 21

Wedges | Forever 21

Clutch | Lou Lou