Fashion 2017-04-03T00:29:59+00:00

GINGHAM IN THE GARDENS

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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!Â đŸ€—

Emily
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H&M Off-the-Shoulder Top in Blue/Checked
H&M Skinny High Ankle Jeans in White Denim
Women's Bee Print Scarf with Marigold Trim - Victoria Beckham for Target
Nordstrom Clarks Parram Luxe Sandal in Black Suede
Nordstrom J. Crew Toothpick Jeans in White
ASOS Vero Moda Off The Shoulder Top in Blue
DSW Crown Vintage Sarah Gladiator Sandal in Black Faux Suede
Marks & Spencer M&S COLLECTION Bee Print Scarf
Target Mossimo Faux Leather Crossbody Handbag with Magnetic Closure in Black

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

Target Mossimo Black Faux Leather Crossbody Bag (linked above) Also worn here, here, here, and here

April 2017

“Gingham in the Gardens” Photographed by Luke Bowes & Emily Davis

FAVORITE SPRING/SUMMER TRENDS

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 (CĂ©line, ChloĂ©, 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!

H&M Off-The-Shoulder Lace Dress in Light Pink
Nordstrom Sam Edelman Yaro Ankle Strap Sandal in Sunset Yellow Suede
Zara Double Breasted Trench Coat in Pink
Hunter Original Tall Gloss Yellow Wellington Boots
J. Crew One-Shoulder Ruffle Dress in Faille in Bright Dahlia
H&M Narrow Belt in Yellow
ASOS Chi Chi London Structured Satin Prom Dress in Rose
Shopbop Cupcakes and Cashmere Tex Dress in Honey
Nordstrom Vince Camuto Shawl Collar Jacket in Electric Pink
Ann Taylor Kick Crop Pants in Golden Chartreuse
ASOS New Look Bardot Culotte Jumpsuit in Bright Pink
Zara Long Double Breasted Waistcoat in Yellow
Zara Leather Effect Mini Skirt in Chalk Pink
BaubleBar Kiki Drops
ASOS Premium Clean Tailored Pants in Dusty Pink
BaubleBar Sandbar Drops in Yellow
ASOS Nike Rosche One Trainers in Pink
Anthropologie Levi's Wedgie Icon High-Rise Jeans in Mimosa
BaubleBar Bahama Pom Pom Earring
ASOS Mini Dress With Frill Detail in Bright Yellow
Nordstrom Sam Edelman Hazel Pointy Toe Pump in Sugar Pink Leather
J. Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Bi-Stretch Cotton in Bright Citrus
Zara Leather Effect Jacket in Pink
Forever 21 Lemon Print Cami Dress in Ivory/Yellow
Zara City Bag with Scarf in Pink
Zara Cropped Trousers with Side Tie in Yellow
Nordstrom Sam Edelman Yaro Ankle Strap Sandal in Hot Pink Suede
Zara Bell Sleeve Jacket in Yellow

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.

J. Crew Ruffle Sleeve Top in Ivory Navy
Baublebar Concordia Crispin Drops
J. Crew Pop Stripe Skirt in Navy Azalea
Zara Gingham Mini Dress in Red/White
Target Who What Wear Women's Striped Pleated Midi Skirt
Target Mossimo Lunea Patterned Canvas Sneakers in Gingham
Zara Striped Skirt with Frill in Ecru/Red
H&M Knit Top in Multicolored/Striped
H&M Ruffled Skirt in Black/White/Checked
Zara Multi-Striped Scarf
ASOS Gingham Print Cotton Frill Bandeau Swimsuit
Zara Striped Shorts
Nordstrom Topshop Gingham Frilled Shorts in Black Multi
ASOS Prom Skirt in Stripe with Bow
J. Crew One-shoulder one-piece swimsuit in classic stripe in Flame Ivory
ASOS Pinny Jumpsuit in Stripe
Nordstrom Topshop Crop Gingham Jacket
ASOS New Look Stripe Wrap Bikini
Ann Taylor Colorblock Stripe Sweater Skirt in Intense Pink
Nordstrom Love, Fire Gingham Cold Shoulder Top in White/Blue Gingham
Zara Striped Tied Wedges
ASOS Gingham Floral Ruffle Romper
Zara Striped Bodysuit with Front Knot in Navy Blue
Nordstrom CATHERINE CATHERINE MALANDRINO Alternate Image 1 Selected - Catherine Catherine Malandrino Kristiana Stripe Body-Con DressAlternate Image 1 Selected - Catherine Catherine Malandrino Kristiana Stripe Body-Con Dress Alternate Image 2 - Catherine Catherine Malandrino Kristiana Stripe Body-Con DressAlternate Image 2 - Catherine Catherine Malandrino Kristiana Stripe Body-Con Dress Main Image - Catherine Catherine Malandrino Kristiana Stripe Body-Con Dress Size Info True to size. S=4-6, M=8-10, L=12-14, XL=16. Details & Care Make a bold graphic splash in the brilliant blue stripes of a mock-neck dress in a curve-skimming knit with stretchy ribbing. Slips on over head Mock neck Long sleeves 61% polyester, 32% rayon, 7% spandex Machine wash, tumble dry Imported Available online only Item #5355823 Helpful info: Dress Fit Fundamentals (video), The Best Dress for Your Body Type Free Shipping & Returns See more Back to top Reviews (0) Be the first to review this Kristiana Stripe Body-Con Dress in Feb Stripe Blue

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.

Forever 21 Striped Off-the-Shoulder Top in Cream/Blue
Nordstrom Topshop Frill Hem Shorts in Blush
Nordstrom BP. One-Shoulder Ruffle Top in Navy Dusk Anna Stripe
Zara Off-The Shoulder Dress in Black/White
Chicwish Swanky One-Shoulder Ruffle Striped Top
H&M Open-Shoulder Blouse in Pink Floral
Chicwish Give you a Stunning Crochet Off-Shoulder Top in White
Nordstrom Taylor Dresses Cold Shoulder Sheath Dress in Powder Blue
Shopbop Torn by Ronny Kobo Rose Top in Red Ponte
VIDEO SHARE ASOS Asymmetric Tea Dress in Floral Print
Nordstrom J.O.A. Alternate Image 1 Selected - J.O.A. Lace One-Shoulder Peplum TopAlternate Image 1 Selected - J.O.A. Lace One-Shoulder Peplum Top Alternate Image 2 - J.O.A. Lace One-Shoulder Peplum TopAlternate Image 2 - J.O.A. Lace One-Shoulder Peplum Top Alternate Image 3 - J.O.A. Lace One-Shoulder Peplum TopAlternate Image 3 - J.O.A. Lace One-Shoulder Peplum Top Alternate Image 4 - J.O.A. Lace One-Shoulder Peplum TopAlternate Image 4 - J.O.A. Lace One-Shoulder Peplum Top Alternate Image 5 - J.O.A. Lace One-Shoulder Peplum TopAlternate Image 5 - J.O.A. Lace One-Shoulder Peplum Top Main Image - J.O.A. Lace One-Shoulder Peplum Top Size Info True to size. XS=0, S=2-4, M=6-8, L=10-12. Details & Care Fluttery and ultrafeminine, this lovely lace top styled with a one-shoulder neckline and flirty peplum hem is loosely woven for a rustic effect. 23
ASOS Club L Bridesmaid One Shoulder Ruffle Detail Maxi Dress in Quartz Pink

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!

DSW Sam Edelman Yardley Sandal in Nude
DSW Mix No. 6 Avery Sandal in Black Faux Leather
Aldo Bellone Block Heels in Bone
Nordstrom Joe's Kat Mule in Pear Leather
Aldo Cartiera Mules
Target Merona Women's Didi Mule Pumps in Grey
Forever 21 Faux Suede Ankle-Strap Sandal in Blue
Nordstrom Steve Madden Irenee Ankle Strap Sandal in Silver Leather
Aldo Eteani Block Heel Slingbacks in Light Pink
Nordstrom BP. Maddy Mule in Blush Leather
Sole Society Lola Block Heel Pump in Sea Angel
ASOS Miss Selfridge Pointed Heeled Mule in Nude

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!

Emily

FLORAL BLOUSE TWO WAYS

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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!

Emily
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H&M Floral Print Long-Sleeved Blouse (linked above)

Old Navy Printed Pixie Pants (pattern no longer available, similar pattern linked)

Victoria’s Secret Faux-Leather Pleated Mini Skirt (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here and here

Target Mossimo Black Ankle Strap Heels (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here, here, and here

Target Mossimo Nude Caged Heels (exact color no longer available, similar color linked) Also worn here

April 2017

“Floral Blouse Two Ways” Photographed by Luke Bowes

CANARY & KELLY GREEN

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From the runways of ChloĂ© 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?

Emily
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Forever 21 Canary Lace-Paneled Top (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here

Forever 21 White Skinny Jeans (linked above) Also worn here and here

Target Mossimo Cognac Lace-Up Heels (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here

DKNY Kelly Green Bowler Bag (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here, here, here

Aldo Round Sunglasses (no longer available, similar option linked) Also worn here

March 2017

“Canary & Kelly Green” Photographed by Luke Bowes

THRIFTING WITH thredUP

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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!

Emily
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American Eagle 3/4 Sleeve Black & White Striped Tee (no longer available, similar options linked)

ASOS Black Scalloped Cardigan (purchased on thredUP, similar options linked)

Zara Turquoise Crochet Lace Skirt (purchased on thredUP, similar options linked)

Target Mossimo Black Faux Leather Crossbody Bag (linked above) Also worn here, here, and here

Target Sam & Libby Black Lace Up Heels with Tassel Detail (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here and here

March 2017

“Thrifting with thredUP” Photographed by Luke Bowes

 

CASUAL IN TAN & ORANGE

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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!

Emily
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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)

March 2017

“Casual In Tan & Orange” Photographed by Luke Bowes