Evergreen + plaid

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One of my favorite Christmas presents was the lush green Topshop Faux Fur Vest that I’ve been eying for months. It’s such a cool piece and I’ve now worn the almost the exact same outfit twice because I can’t get enough of it.

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The necklace was a Christmas present too- an awesome J. Crew find from one of my best friends. It’s sold out, but they always have gorgeous pieces. I just love how it adds a little something to my plain black turtleneck.

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I’m a little mad about plaid, obviously. The plaid mini from Old Navy is sold out in the green as well, but you can still get it in red– and on sale! The plaid Coach purse was a Christmas present a few years ago, and I can’t for the life of me find anything comparable. Is it bad that I kind of love that though?

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Finish off the outfit with some statement tights like these. Dress it up with booties like I did for church, or stay a relatively comfy in OTK boots.

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photos c/o Chipped Diamond Magazine

Shop plaid skirts:PicMonkey Collage.jpg

Madewell Plaid Flannel Mini Skirt//Polo Ralph Lauren Plaid Wool-Blend Skirt//McQ Alexander McQueen Plaid wool mini skirt//Woolrich Women’s Richville Wool Plaid Skirt//Park Movie Marathon Skirt in Blue Plaid

Shop plaid bags:PicMonkey Collage.jpg

Quilted Plaid Satchel//Chaps Plaid Coin Pouch & Tote//LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Crawley Plaid Unlined Tote//Dooney & Bourke Tartan Bitsy Bag//Dooney & Bourke Tartan Richmond Shopper

OTK boots:

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Women’s Tommy Hilfiger Gerrie Otk Boot//Frye Lynn Logo OTK//Cole Haan Women’s Dutchess OTK Motorcycle Boot//Daegan Otk suede boot//Nine West Tiberia Over-the-Knee Suede Boots

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Blanketed 2k15 + a giveaway

You may remember my blanketed post from last year when I mentioned the weather being mild. Looks like a repeat this year. I can count on 2 fingers the amount of times I wish I was wearing more clothes, rather than less, so far this fall. I don’t need to tell you the merits of having a blanket scarf on you at all times though- blanket in the office, shawl on the bus, shove it in your bag when you don’t need it. I love the color combo on the one I was wearing on the gorgeous day that Nicole took these pictures- so fall, right?

Unfortunately, I can’t totally make this outfit shoppable, because the dress is from TJ Maxx (super steal at $15!!) and the boots and purse are from a couple years ago, so I linked you up with some great alternatives.

Also, if you love this scarf and want to make it your own, head on over to my instagram for a chance to win!

IMG_9999  IMG_9990 IMG_9988 IMG_9987 IMG_9984IMG_9993Shop green shirt dresses:

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Shop printed totes:

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Shop two-toned boots:

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1//2//3//4//5

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City gypsy

You know those outfits that you just FEEL good in? This is one of those outfits for me. Let’s talk about this dress. I wish you could ALL get this dress.

I’ve talked about Chowderfest before. Like, a lot. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. My mom, her best friend, my Tiffany, and I head up to Long Beach Island to shop and eat the weekend away. This year was a little… different. My Auntie Steph couldn’t make it, much to all of our disappointments, so we started the trip already feeling a little off, but determined to make the best of our weekend.

And then the nor-easter happened. It wasn’t even Hurricane Joaquin, it was a nor-easter. After my mom, bless her heart, drove the three of us 5-ish hours through some nasty rain and scary winds, we get to the hotel to find that the entire fest was canceled. No end-of-season flee market, no all you can eat chowder. But we were, once again, determined. After doing a little happy dance that there wouldn’t be lines at our favorite end of the summer sale at Island Gypsy, barely making last call at the hotel bar (and having our drinks paid for), we made plans to shop the following morning then head out to Philly the next day to see Auntie Steph.

After a great, long breakfast with one of my favorite bloody Marys on the planet, we headed down to Bay Village- the “Downtown” of Beach Haven, if you will. Despite the floods, and the fact that most of the island was closed, our Island Gypsy was open and I immediately went HAM. Tiffany had to reign me in at one point because I had an armful of 50% off sweaters within about 30 seconds. Island Gypsy is kind of like Free People but more approachable. It’s a light, airy, color-coordinated space. Normally, their Chowderfest sales incite a sort of mayhem among the customers snagging up deals, so it was kind of nice to shop without the crowds. However, I do recognize the loss of revenue for the island, so I didn’t feel at all bad spending money at a local business… not that I would have anyway. I love Chowderfest shopping. Anyway, along with $50 worth of fudge from Country Kettle across the street, I ended up leaving LBI with a sweater, great camisoles, and some of the prettiest bras I’ve ever seen. Most importantly, I left with this dress that I almost didn’t get because it was a little out of season- Tiff talked me into it. #noragrets.

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photos c/o Nicole

Blue peasant dresses here, here, & here//Lou & Grey Spacedye Cardigan//similar belt here, here, & here//similar style pendants here, here, & here//grey totes here, here, & here//Steve Madden PALLAS booties

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In defense of The District

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picture by Diana

I’m not entirely sure why I still even follow The Atlantic on Facebook anymore, as their articles are tedious to read and I often disagree with what they’re saying anyway, but I’m glad I do so that I could see the absurdity that was Why Women’s Fashion in Washington, D.C. Is So Terrible- And Patriarchal. Catchy title, right? As a budding fashion blogger, D.C. born and raised, it immediately grabbed my attention, although, it took me several tries to read the whole thing because it was so angrily and awkwardly written. I was brought back to a time in high school where I was graded on “actively reading,” as an assignment- taking notes and asking questions in the margins of books while reading. I never fully understood the concept, until reading this article. I had to take notes to understand the haphazardly insulting “political” piece. Ms. Cintra Wilson, the author, from what I understand, has lived in San Francisco, LA, and now, New York City. I wonder if she’s ever lived in D.C. I would venture to say no, as she clearly doesn’t understand the city that I know and love so well.

In Washington, D.C., there is an excruciatingly narrow margin for acceptable female dress; all women, no matter how attractive or plain, no matter how many postgraduate degrees they have, or how well they fly fighter planes, walk an inescapable fashion tightrope. Their style will fall into the binary categories of either “dowdy” or “slutty”; there are virtually no fashion grey areas.

As my roommate, a journalist for the navy, pointed out, “If you fly a fighter plane you wear a goddamn uniform to work.” This is true. And like the women who fly fighter planes, those of us who work at law firms or for the government or in most office situations are expected to present ourselves in a professional manner. There is a bit of a uniform mentality, but I can’t say that I, or anyone I know, leave the house looking “dowdy” or “slutty”. Which brings me to her next point:

The default answer to this no-win fashion conundrum, for an alarming amount of working women, is to buy their wardrobes at Ann Taylor…

K. What’s your point? Most of what I wear is from Ann Taylor, or its slightly trendier little sister store, LOFT. The clothes there are fairly timeless, in classic silhouettes that last forever. I see nothing wrong with that. Ms. Wilson goes onto describe the kind of girl that I, and all of my friends, allegedly are:

…single girl in her late twenties whose self-esteem has been almost beaten to death by the beauty-industrial complex, and whose decent education has been punished with a thanklessly demanding office job. She’s a can-do Cinderella who has always had to change the oil in her own pumpkin and is too overworked to have a healthy social life outside the workplace. Her outfits must therefore be corporate-respectable, yet body-conscious enough to attract a nice tax-attorney husband.

Well that was harsh. And untrue. While I am not where I want to be quite yet carrier-wise, I quite enjoy my firm and the people I’m surrounded by there. Too overworked for a healthy social life? Please. Last week, I had a date on Tuesday, a concert Wednesday, and was at Landmark Music Festival all weekend, and I’m currently planning a  party with my roommate at our place for mid-October. I think my social life is pretty healthy. And-oh- I have no interest in finding a tax attorney husband, and I wouldn’t need a short skirt to do it if that was what I wanted. She then goes on to really hate on the older crowd:

Washington’s permaclass of wealthy Georgetown-establishment socialites has always ruled the roost on D.C.’s domestic front. The older rich ladies are the keepers of the social rulebooks—and the keepers of all the best HUMINT (human intelligence) and RUMINT (rumor-based intelligence) in town. These are the Mean Girls who make or break political aspirations, who get to wear big hats at polo matches, make disparaging comments about social climbers, and police the actions and/or styles of younger, more fertile women.

I have seen about zero evidence of this. If anything, I am in awe of the ladies of my generation who work full time, sit on the boards of charities, pursue side hustles, and still have time for brunch on Sundays. We are carving our own place in this city, but I don’t see anyone even trying to stop us or hold us back. She continues by critiquing the old-fashioned style of these imaginary older socialites that hate us so much. But you know what? If their style is old-fashioned, that makes sense. Because why would these old socialites be dressing like the young sluts in the office getting their tax attorney husbands? She goes on and on about republicans ruining fashion and women dressing like babies (but dowdy babies) and this is what reeeeally gets to me:

All the high heels seemed to evaporate from department stores in favor of quiet little ballet shoes that might enable a wife to tiptoe out of the dining room so that the men, freshly cigared, could talk like grownups.

Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of heels. I’m starting to wear them more though, in the office. When I’m wearing flats, it’s not about being demure. It’s about hustling. I have to get somewhere or do something fast and without wobbling or worrying about my feet hurting. Try again, Ms. Wilson. I’m running around this beautiful city living my very full life. Her last paragraph had me seeing red, after describing her first visit to an Oscar de la Renta boutique:

Clothing this advanced just might guarantee a lady the center of attention, in most rooms—even if she lacks charm, looks, and substance. It is the haberdashery equivalent of a Maserati; people are likely to be a bit hypnotized, no matter how unspectacular the driver may be.

But wait, I thought she was just describing us as boring? Or slutty? Now she’s saying the clothes are advanced and we only wear them to mask our being unspectacular? Pick a thesis and stick to it. Here’s mine:

The women in this city are incredible. We’re smart, charming, driven, and fashionable. We know how to dress for work, and it has nothing to do with impressing or kowtowing to our male counterparts. We may stick to classic shapes like the powerful pencil skirt, but dammit if we don’t rock it. If you need me to share some amazing young fashionistas from the city with you, please let me know. I’d love to introduce you to some of my friends.

I was warned that I might get some backlash for writing this piece, and that’s ok. I just hope I made my opinion known in a clear and concise way. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. What do you think about the fashion in DC?

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White after Labor Day

Rules are meant to be broken, right? And the whole “no White After Labor Day” rule has been broken so many times that it barely even qualifies as a rule anymore. It’s all about transitioning, ladies. For real, for real, your favorite summer dress can stay out as long as you can keep adding accessories to keep it seasonal.

IMG_9892Confession: When I left my house the morning these pictures were taken, it was 60 degrees. By lunch, it was near 80, rendering the jacket and scarf unnecessary. But I did it for YOU loyal, readers, I kept up the transitional look I promised because I value our friendship. 😉

IMG_9891 Also, you might notice that the pieces in this post are mostly unavailable. I tried to find comparable pieces, but such is life- one can’t always be wearing something brand new, you know?The jacket, for example, is my patch jacket from 8th grade. The purse, vintage, is older than I am and I took it from my mom’s closet (with many, many thanks because it’s fabulous).

IMG_9878 IMG_9876IMG_9888photos c/o Nicole

AJ Morgan So B Round Sunglasses//Loft scarf from last year (similar here, here, + here)//Similar denim jacket here, here, + here//Vintage Perry Ellis purse (similar here, here, + here)//Old Navy Dress (sold out) white lace dresses under $100 here, here, + here//Steve Madden Pallas booties

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Pearls + studs

I tend to fall into patterns with my clothes, and my formula for work this summer has been belted shift dress, low heels, and a rotation of totes, if I’m not using my trusty backpack. This little navy number has been a favorite all summer because of the feminine details- the fluttery sleeves, peek-a-boo keyhole back, and little buttons near the hem. And the shoes. Oh. My. Gosh. These. Shoes. I adore how Rockstuds look, but Valentino isn’t exactly knocking at my door to give me a free pair and let’s be honest, that’s the only way I could get my little post-grad paws on them. $900+ shoes are just not in my budget right now. Thankfully, I found these amazingly comfy little dupes. Seriously- they’re the most comfortable heels I’ve ever owned! Do you have a uniform for work? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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ASOS Round Sunglasses//White Clover Czech Stone Champagne Earrings//similar pearls//similar belt//similar bracelet//Navy Ruffle Sleeve Metal Buttons Dress//Nude With Rivet Slingbacks//Sold out Deux Lux bag– love this, this, + this grey bag (all currently under $50!)

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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Lunchtime play date

I am SUH ESSITED that spring time has arrived(ish) and I can abolish the tights and bust out the little dresses. Admittedly, it was much colder on this day that I had anticipated and with the wind I was just about a walking Popsicle. But at least I got to finally meet up with my Nicole and play around in Lafayette Square Park across from the White House. And can I talk about how this is officially my favorite outfit right now? I think of that jacket as my own personal tour jacket- I got it made when I was 14. Paired with the comfiest little dress (for under $15!!) and shoes + my backpack… easy peasy lemon squeezy!

IMG_8949IMG_8964 IMG_8958IMG_8969 IMG_8966   IMG_8971Similar Dark Shrunken Denim Jacket//Leather Pocket Dress//Perforated Slip-On Sneakers//Deux Lux Karma Backpack (I think the grey is sold out- I can’t find it anywhere)//Colorful Rhinestone Flowers Alloy Bib//Similar bow bracelet//Cone Stud Stretch Bracelet//

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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Lucky charms + a skirt of gold

Let me be straight up: this was supposed to be my St. Patrick’s Day outfit, but I am so sick of sweaters, layers, clothes in general, that I opted for the shamrock green sundress I got for my birthday brunch last year with a blazer and flats. One major piece of clothing is definitely preferable to three, especially since it gott up to 70 yesterday.

That’s not to say that I don’t love this outfit. As I was putting it together, I thought of all the pretty ‘mallow colors in my old favorite cereal. Papa Downing didn’t want us eating “junky” cereal growing up, so Lucky Charms was a treat for when my mom had it left over from a project she did with her students (ditto Froot Loops). And St. Andrew’s used to always have it on St. Patrick’s Day, which I thought was hilarious. The “marshmallows” were clearly the best part. Pastel rainbow colored sugar? HULLO. That’s basically Caro-chow. I also love this outfit because it’s real… like it’s not all brand new and I didn’t go shopping for this post. It’s stuff that came together out of my closet. And it works!

And how cute is my coffee tumbler? When my friend Brittany came down for Galentine’s Weekend, she left it in my room as a sneaky early birthday present. She found it on Etsy in a shop called Vivacious Monograms.

WYWVs1huRf8FvmZWTcy62GoyFrLIoL_JDMA7skJyT-WiHEp6qlMka7Kf3Bin34xykis8mA=w1045-h715 wP4QyiV5mHm948j9fwaq7xDWdHadNfVdl_3de7-d_bD_0lQuNRwae2pgrUBm1mAcWAb2Zg=w1045-h715 qg1kXmKtJcR2LZ9Wmk-BKS7bH_qWwSZx4igCSi0sRXd5Z8_9-SaELurzmpWRjwMkyKLenA=w1045-h715 OJjrCSfBNZ7-yz3bfgaKtS3eHmuGIQOEaVoQSMF5sM9I60AG0NcO3XRQTZfivP2GMsoJ6A=w1045-h715 nmwmrzUpA7Ai5GWhD1PowepUAQ6ZhHKTK9dA1VKSGp6dlJWO8XpV_whYgqU2b7Ne8ne8YA=w1045-h715 EPcPBf7fll_xyzteI7ZQZTv5zRkB-7Obrx6W0On3aqK3upctmThe1PSsITAPGX092b1DSQ=w1045-h715 Similar mint sweater//Similar button-down//Metallic Jacquard Mini Skirt//Similar flats here, here, + here//Necklace c/o Crazy & Co.//Quilted pink purses here, here, + here//Similar bow bracelets here, here, + here//Kate Spade New York Small Square Stud Earrings

photos c/o Nicole

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Wasn’t she easy? And isn’t she pretty in pink?

IMG_8447If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I was on the hunt for a blush coat that wouldn’t break the bank. I finally found it. At under $50, I was slightly concerned about the quality, a la the furry leopard monster situation I had last year. (Let us all take a moment and recognize the leaps and bounds my outfit posts have come.) But as soon as I put on this coat, it was love. I hadn’t even really noticed the gold buttons on the cuff until my coworkers pointed them out, and they are a nice little detail. Not too bulky, but warm enough I could romp around with Artooie and Austin in the snow and keep warm and dry… at least the parts of be that were under the coat. Life tip: wear a real hat in the snow and you won’t have to brush ice chunks out of your hair when you get home.  I can see this being a great coat to transition me into spring.

And let’s ignore the fact my hair is literally the color of the sun. Lesson learned: do not stray from your salon, no matter how convenient it might seem that there is a less expensive one down the street from work. Sorry Jenn. That is what I get for cheating on you. 😦 But at least the real sun is out and shining and it seems like spring is just around the corner! Until then, nobody will have to yell at me to wear a real coat, because I haven’t wanted to take this one off!

Be sure to check out the song at the end of the post. I’m sure you know it. But it has my name in it and it gets stuck in my head every time I put the coat on.

IMG_8449 IMG_8446 IMG_8435 IMG_8428Pink Long Sleeve Lapel Oversized Cocoon Coat//Anne Taylor sweatshirt {similar here}//Similar t shirt here//A.E.O. Hi-rise jegging//Perforated Slip-On Sneakers//Groopdealz purse {similar here, here, here//Thrifted sunnies {similar here}//Necklace and earrings from a local craft show {similar style jewelry here, here, here}

photos c/o Nicole

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This post contains affiliate links + I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on those links.

Very Perry

I seriously adore Dana. Since she started commenting on my blog and I started following her’s, I’ve just become more and more impressed with her. I love her style and the fact that she’s working in an industry that she loves at such a young age. Plus, she as in love with her city as I am mine. And she went to school with people I know. So basically, this long distance friendship was meant to be. While some of my blogger friends were enjoying #NYFW, Dana was working it! The timeless but definitely not boring looks featured by Perry Ellis really caught my eye… along with some of the models ;), and I wanted to know more! Thankfully, I had Dana to give me the insider scoop!
1. How was the Perry Ellis brand born? Who were the key players and what was their inspiration?
Wow. Where do I begin? I could seriously be here all day and night talking about the history of Perry Ellis. First, Perry Ellis (the man/designer) started as a womenswear designer. After his passing, Supreme International bought the rights to the brand, changed the corporation to Perry Ellis International and transitioned the brand while incorporating Perry’s legacy into each and every piece! It’s truly such an interesting history – here’s a fun video to help tell more about Perry Ellis: The Man, The Designer, The Legacy.
 
Fun fact: Marc Jacobs and Isaac Mizrahi both worked for Perry Ellis!
 
2. How would you describe the Perry Ellis brand in 3 words?
Very. Freakin’. Perry 😉 See what I did there? Hmm. It’s hard to describe a company that literally has so much history attached to the name. Some key words for our Spring ’15 campaign are: Memorably, Impeccably, and Simply. Those are definitely three words that easily describe what we create here at Perry Ellis.
 
3. What’s your personal favorite Perry Ellis piece of all time?
If we’re talking about old school Perry Ellis, I’d have to say these sweaters that was actually created when Marc Jacobs worked for Perry Ellis  (um look at those colors)!pexmj
If we’re talking about since I’ve been with the company – it definitely needs to be a look from our Spring ’15 runway show – I was backstage dressing (I know, I’m a lucky girl) and I couldn’t take my eyes off this look!
pespring15runway Our Creative Director, Michael Maccari, and our team of designers are so unbelievably talented. It’s amazing to watch them come up with fresh (that’s a BIG word we use almost every 5 minutes in our office) ideas each season.
 
4. Have there been any big names spotted in Perry Ellis? If so, who?
Welllllll…at our fashion show Victor Cruz of the NY Giants, Patrick from @aguynamedpatrick and Joe Jonas were spotted wearing Perry Ellis in the front row! Also, Adam Gallagher from @iamgalla has worn Perry Ellis in his blog posts!
 
5. We’ve joked about Harry Styles looking great in Perry Ellis, but who would you love to see rock it?
My god, that would be amazing! HA! I would love to see Justin Timberlake (that’s a given) wearing Perry. A girl could only dream…but hmm, James Marsden and Bradley Cooper would look amazing in Perry Ellis Collection. They both have such tasteful and classic styles, but can easily step out of the box and wear something cool. That’s what we’re about at Perry Ellis: staying true to ourselves and our style but finding new, innovative ways to incorporate trends into our looks.
 
6. Are there any exciting trends in menswear we should be looking out for?
Hmm, based on what I’ve seen…definitely look out for: Workwear-inspired pieces, a great layering coat, textured everything, dark shades, and tonal colors.
 
7. What should every stylish man have in their closet? 
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