Mallorca, Spain

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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

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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

Rockstuds and Rocksbox

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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

When In NYC, Dress Like Carrie Bradshaw

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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

Casual Friday

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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

Vineyard Hopping

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To celebrate a good friend’s departure abroad, a group of college friends and I adventured to wineries in Aldie, Virginia. A light weight dress paired with chunky heels and my favorite aviators was the perfect combo for wine tasting and good company!

Dress | Free People

Heeled Sandals | Kohl’s

Aviators | Ray-Ban

Bag | Florence, Italy

Floppy Hats & Flirty Florals

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When floppy hats first came in style, I was convinced I could never pull one off, but now that I have one, I want to wear it with everything! For an impromptu lunch date in Old Town Alexandria, I paired my new favorite accessory with my go-to booties and another one of my spring staples, a casual romper (ample room for the delicious Pizza Paradiso I later devoured.) A floral kimono was flirty alternative to a jean jacket but kept me warm on the waterfront. Here’s to hoping the warm weather is here to stay!

Romper | H&M

Kimono | Forever21

Booties | Target

Hat | Forever21

Clutch | DSW