Any time someone pays us a visit here in Durham, one of my favorite spots to go when showing them around is Sarah P. Duke Gardens. This lush on-campus oasis is such a gorgeous retreat, with 55 acres of four separate garden areas, featuring a wide variety of regional and seasonal plants. I’d been a few times before, but it truly felt like a new, magical wonderland during my visit of the Spring season. Everywhere you look, you’re surrounded by a rainbow of blooms! I loved this H&M gingham off-the-shoulder top on its own, but I just couldn’t help but throw my new Victoria Beckham for Target bee-print scarf around my neck to add a little playfulness to the look. I’ve noticed that many girls style OTS with very minimal accessories so that the neckline does all of the talking, but I think they’re the perfect tops to pair with statement-making neckwear, whether it’s a chunky necklace, a choker, or a bandana or light scarf. I’m wearing my white jeans once again (I can now assure you that you NEED some white denim for Spring & Summer!), and I kept the accessories dark to tie into the specks of black in the scarf. Now tell me- what’s your favorite Spring flower? I love daffodils! They had the cutest mini ones in the gardens hiding underneath the tulips! 🤗
H&M Off-the-Shoulder Top (linked above)
Joe’s Cropped White Jeans (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here
Victoria Beckham for Target Bee Print Scarf (sold out online, similar option linked)
Target Sam & Libby Lace-up Sandals (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here
“Gingham in the Gardens” Photographed by Luke Bowes & Emily Davis
Spring/Summer Color Palette; Yellow and Pink
Shocking pink and lively yellow made a vibrant statement from the runways of several major design houses this season (Céline, Chloé, Valentino, and Gucci, to name a few). I couldn’t be happier about this non-traditional bright color palette for spring, which is so much more saturated than the pastels and dainty florals that we’ve become so used to seeing season after season. If you’re a bit hesitant to flaunt these statement-making hues, test the waters with a poppy accessory first. Many people are often afraid of wearing uber-pigmented shades for fear that they clash with their skin-tones. But with the array of blush, daffodil, bubblegum, canary, magenta, and mustard options available, I am a firm believer that anyone and everyone can embrace and rock this trend! Just experiment and find the shade that best suits you, and remember, the key to nailing any look (trendy or otherwise) is ALWAYS confidence!
Spring/Summer Prints; Gingham & Bold Stripes
I am a self-professed stripe addict and to me, stripes are a constant closest staple (which is why my closet resembles a colorful zebra…). Nevertheless, I’ll take any excuse to wear them more often and bold, colorful stripes are one of the biggest SS17 pattern trends so I’ll be over here lookin’ like a happy rainbow all season long. 😂 Another playful print I can get on board with is the classically cute gingham, perfect for a polished picnic-ready spring look.
Spring/Summer Silhouettes; Asymmetrical Hems, Off-The-Shoulder Styles, Ruffles
Off-the-Shoulder styles had a major moment last year and they haven’t lost any steam this season, although asymmetrical and deconstructed necklines are now invited to the party, too. And along with all these styles, comes ruffles. Loads and loads of voluminous frill. Just how I like my cupcakes. 😋 If you couldn’t get on board with the OTS trend last year (I’m still struggling with it despite my regular shoulder workouts…), then asymmetrical tops and dresses are your life-saver! They typically have more interest along the neckline and distract from a set of stocky shoulders that OTS tops tend to accentuate.
Spring/Summer Footwear; Mules and Block Heels
Block-heeled mules absolutely dominated the runways this season, and while the two can exist apart from each other, the combination is a match made in shoe heaven, if you ask me. A comfortable, yet on trend shoe? Where have block heels been all my life?! Shop for both block-heeled shoes and block-heeled mules below!
So now that I’ve shared my SS17 trends of choice, I wanna know yours! Leave a comment below and tell me what you’re most excited to be wearing this season!
I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of mixing prints, but usually tend to shy away from pairing two patterns together for fear that it may be too obnoxious. But when I saw this gorgeous H&M floral blouse, I knew I had to style it for a fun workwear look and print mixing was the answer, since I don’t own any solid slacks… 😂 I really think the two patterns balance out nicely and here are a few reasons why;
- The combination of an organic pattern (floral) and a geometric pattern (grid pattern), balance each other out because…
- …the scale of the patterns is varied. Notice the floral pattern on the blouse is large and random. The small print on the ankle pants is repetitive and structured, which provides a much-needed stability to the look.
- Both colors are neutral. By now, y’all know that I consider blush a neutral and it is a staple shade throughout my wardrobe, as it adds just a hint of color but can still look professional, feminine, or fun. I definitely don’t think neutral is the only option when it comes to mixing prints but it’s a great way to ease into the somewhat intimidating trend, especially when dressing for the office.
- I added a belt and a vest to break up and create separation and space between the two patterns. It may seem like accessories would overwhelm an outfit with multiple prints but, when used thoughtfully, they really tie the look together.
- Repetition exists not only in the patterns, but in other elements of the outfit. The strappy heels mimic the cinching created by the black strappy belt.
Have you ever played with print mixing? What are your fool-proof tips for nailing this trend?
P.S. This blouse was so nice, I just had to style it twice! 😂 So the outfit with the skirt is just a fun weekend look but I think it could be made into an office look, too, with the chiffon pleated skirts and block-heeled sandal I’ve linked below!
H&M Floral Print Long-Sleeved Blouse (linked above)
Old Navy Printed Pixie Pants (pattern no longer available, similar pattern linked)
Target Mossimo Nude Caged Heels (exact color no longer available, similar color linked) Also worn here
“Floral Blouse Two Ways” Photographed by Luke Bowes
From the runways of Chloé in Paris to Bottega Veneta and Gucci in Milan, shades of bright and cheery dandelion took a prominent spot on the Spring 2017 color palette. I’ve always particularly loved this canary hue because it instantly reminds me of 70’s fashion and it’s an effortless way to rock the yellow trend in a chic, mature way. I’ve also styled this blouse with some flowy shorts here, but I wanted to create a more wearable look this time around so I paired it with my white jeans, which I’ve been reaching for constantly to complement my flowy, summery tops with some spring brightness. Whether you’re rocking your new trendy off-the-shoulder blouse or keeping it casual in a t-shirt, white denim is the simplest and most affordable way to make the most out of your wardrobe during the Spring and Summer months. What’s your go-to piece for styling Spring outfits?
Forever 21 Canary Lace-Paneled Top (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here
Target Mossimo Cognac Lace-Up Heels (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here
Aldo Round Sunglasses (no longer available, similar option linked) Also worn here
“Canary & Kelly Green” Photographed by Luke Bowes
Over the last few years, I’ve become quite the activist. I never really envisioned myself as who I am now, but I’ve learned so much about real problems that are happening in our world that are threatening our environment, our health, and our compassion and they speak so loudly to my conscience that I can’t stand to sit by and refuse to take a stand on these issues. I’ve given up factory farmed meat and am currently on the verge of veganism. Over the last six months, I’ve been in the process of finding replacements for the toxic personal care products and makeup I was once slathering all over my body. I love animals now more than ever and I can’t stand to support their slavery and suffering. This may sound whiny (and I’m beyond grateful for all the people that led me to making these discoveries so that I am able to stand up for what I believe in), but being passionate about so many things is very draining. There are so many injustices going on in our world today and in practically every single way you spend your money, you are almost always unknowingly supporting them.
Shopping for clothes has been my vice for the last couple of years- it was the only time I didn’t have to read ingredients or online reviews before purchasing. And then I started hearing lots of talk about ethical and sustainable fashion. Bubble bursted. But the thought of giving up the one shopping habit that was keeping me sane filled my mind with hopelessness. That’s where thredUP comes in. Yes, a lot of the clothes you see at the mall have probably been constructed in a sweatshop, but by secondhand shopping you give these threads another life, using your dollars to vote to end unsafe working conditions and unfair wages while preventing these unwanted pieces from going into our world’s growing landfills. thredUP carries unique items from tons of popular brands (J. Crew, H&M, Zara, Asos are a few of my favorites!) and they also have some great designer pieces if you’re looking for higher quality clothes and accessories but still want to stick to your budget. I haven’t been able to completely make the switch to ethical fashion, but thrift shopping is a wonderful way for me to indulge without outright supporting the unethical fast-fashion industry. Now it’s your turn to share your thrifting secrets! Tell me how you #LiveUp by upcycling in the comments below!
American Eagle 3/4 Sleeve Black & White Striped Tee (no longer available, similar options linked)
“Thrifting with thredUP” Photographed by Luke Bowes
Spring is in the air, and I’m finally wearing this Michael Kors Orange Anorak I scored at Nordstrom Rack last fall… 😳 😂 I love water resistant, lightweight jackets for all the impending “spring showers”, but they are also great to wear on the inevitable breezy & cool days. Since the “orange spice” color is not your typical Easter pastel, I paired it with white jeans to make it feel a little more appropriate for Spring. Lately, I can’t get enough of white denim. Although I have a closet full of jeans, I’ve never been the person to wear them every day and I’m really learning to love how a bright white pair can make an outfit feel more special and dressy. Finally, I topped the outfit off with a gold necklace to bring out the beautiful gold hardware in the jacket (I’m loving BaubleBar’s affordable collection for Target!) and of course, casual wear calls for my favorite sneakers, the Nike Air Max Thea Premium. The color I have was limited edition (and took me months to track down on a resale site!), but they now have a couple of very similar pairs that I’ve linked below! What’s your go-to casual outfit? Comment below and let me know!
MICHAEL Michael Kors 4-Pocket Utility Anorak in Orange Spice (Size Large and other similar options linked)
H&M Navy V-Neck Draped 3/4 Sleeve Shirt (no longer available, similar options linked)
Forever 21 White Skinny Jeans (linked above)
Nike Air Max Thea Premium in Desert Camo (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here
Old Navy Gold Necklace (no longer available, similar options linked)
“Casual In Tan & Orange” Photographed by Luke Bowes