Labor Day Weekend is the “official end of summer”, so naturally I had to squeeze in one last Washington Nationals baseball game. An off the shoulder top and cutoff shorts are the perfect solution to the DC dog days of summer while drinking brews and cheering on the Nats.
Off the shoulder tops were my go-to top for casual summer events, and my favorite spot to find them was from online boutique retailer, LuLus’s. I was able to snag this top on sale at the end of last summer for a mere $12.00! Take advantage of this weekend’s Labor Day Sales to stock up on summer classic staples for tropical vacations and next summer. Urban Outfitters, South Moon Under, and of course, my favorite budget friendly stores, H&M, and Forever 21 are all having awesome LDW sales. Happy shopping!
Sandals | BCBG
Clutch | South Moon Under
Shorts | H&M
Top | LuLus
Too often, people associate professional dress with boxy blazers and boring button-ups. Please don’t let this be your inspiration for getting dressed for work in the morning. One of my favorite things about getting ready for work is finding ways to mix my “regular” pieces with “work appropriate” items. I want my office style to be consistent with my personal style, which can be a tricky balance, but a fun challenge.
I work in an office that allows for flexible dressing, jeans are fine when you’re at your desk all day, but you better look sharp if you’re client facing. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, although I have a marketing role, I do sit at the front desk in the office, so I tend to select outfits that veer towards the business casual side versus pure casual. My ultimate goal is to let my personal style show through, but not look unprofessional in front of a client.
Elle Woods from Legally Blonde was the master of professional dress without sacrificing her sense of style, so I can’t help but feel like I’m giving a nod to her with this ensemble in her signature shade of pink. The trick to pulling off an outfit this vivid in he workplace is the structured pieces and being covered up on top although I’m showing lots of leg. You won’t catch this girl in a boring black suit anytime soon 😉
Blazer | love…andy
Tank | h&m
Skirt | Forever 21
Wedges | Enzo Angiolini
Bracelet | h&m
The quest for white jeans is a long, frustrating, and slightly self-deprecating journey. I outgrew my favorite white jeans after college (thanks senior year for those extra pounds) and couldn’t bring myself to embark on the search for a new pair for almost two years. If you love jean shopping, I envy you (and also need to start going to the gym with you), because everyone knows that it’s a difficult process. Two pairs of jeans from the same brand and in the same size can have completely different fits, even though they look identical, and don’t even get me started on fitting room mirrors.
I finally bit the bullet, and four months and 24 pairs of jeans later, found the perfect pair of white pants from Topshop. When searching for white jeans, I think that the transparency of the fabric is the biggest thing you have to be wary of. Make sure that you look at the jeans in different lights (inside and outside the fitting room and in natural light if you can) to ensure that they aren’t see-through and do not highlight any spots you don’t want to be seen (my biggest problem was finding jeans that didn’t show cellulite through them). I prefer my jeans to have stretch in them, so it was difficult to find pants that were thick enough, yet still allowed me to eat a burrito and not have to unbutton them at my desk.
These MOTO Jamie Topshop jeans are the holy grail of white pants and probably the only pair of jeans I don’t hate wearing! The super soft cotton has a great stretch that allows a few wears before they begin to get saggy in the knees and bottom. (But let’s be real, it’s really hard to keep white jeans clean for more than two wears.) Perfect for petite girls, Topshop jeans come in multiple lengths, so that you don’t have to cuff them unless that’s the look you desire. A high-waist cut eliminates any chance of accidental muffin top, and is perfect for professional environments to avoid any midriff peekage.
Peplum | Romeo & Juliet Couture
Jeans | Topshop
Pumps | Aldo
The Chic Shack is a quaint, consignment shop tucked amid bars and bistros on the second story of a row house on H Street in Northeast, DC. The boutique invited local bloggers for mimosas, networking, and of course, browsing their carefully curated racks for vintage steals. The Chic Shack is managed by a fashionista named Domencia, who is as sweet and hospitable as she is stylish, and has been operating the store for a little over a year in the up and coming H street corridor.
I mentioned a few of my favorite consignment shops in a previous post, but one thing that sets The Chic Shack apart from other thrift stores, is that it also offers brand new items, personally selected by Domencia, allowing style seekers to mix and match vintage and current pieces. The Chic Shack’s pieces are reasonably priced and they receive designer items such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and I even spotted a pair of Louboutins, but at prices a broke mid-twenties girl can afford! I had an awesome time connecting and chatting with fellow bloggers as we perused the shop’s collection and will definitely be venturing back! You can follow the store on Instagram and Facebook to see what pieces they have available.
For the event, I paired one of my favorite skater dresses with newly acquired mules and a handmade Italian leather clutch I got with my family on our Eurotrip.
Dress | ASOS (similar)
Heels | Target (no longer available, but similar)
Clutch | Fuoco Aria Acqua
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