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

Sushi Date Night

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This look may be one of my favorite date night looks I’ve worn to date! For a casual sushi dinner date at Sushi Aoi (they have an amazing happy that goes till 8:00 pm!), I opted for an edgy and comfortable outfit for one of the first cool nights of fall. I’m not usually one for wearing graphic tees outside of my apartment, but it felt appropriate to wear a New York graphic tank as a nod to New York Fashion Week. Dressed up with accessories from my latest Rocksbox, my favorite strappy heels, and a fringe clutch, the tank felt more glam than gym attire.

Tank | Forever 21

Boyfriend Jeans | GAP

Heels | Steve Madden

Clutch | South Moon Under 

Necklace | Jenny Bird

Ear Climbers | Gorjana

DC Sports Style

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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

A Nod To Elle Woods

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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

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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 DC Bloggers Brunch

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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

The Perfect Summer Dress

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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

Black & Gold

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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

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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