BUSINESS IN BLUSH

Emily Davis of lifestyle blog Epicurean Emily styles blush workwear with ASOS blush trousers, a black and white blouse, a 3/4 sleeved black blazer, Aldo cap-toe block heels, a DKNY nude bag, and a Chloé Carlena Sunglasses dupe from Aldo.

Ahh summer… Vacations, barbecues, pool parties… and work??? While I don’t work in an office environment, my FOMO (fear of missing out) seems to multiply as the temperatures rise. Being in New York City over the summer hasn’t helped my productivity at all, either, as I long to be in the sunshine every day, exploring every corner of a city that I love dearly. I’ve always had a soft spot for summer since I enjoy being outdoors, so it’s been a real struggle for me to be motivated to get anything done online (i.e. inside) lately. One of my goals for this season was to practice intentionality, especially being more intentional with my time. I started introducing habits to manage my time more efficiently and while I don’t put them to use every day, I can say I’ve noticed such an increase in my productivity and energy to complete the tasks at hand when I do implement them. The biggest game-changer for me has been writing out “to-do” lists. But here’s the catch- I write manageable tasks down for the day ahead. For example, I don’t set myself up for failure by including things like “write new blog post” since I know that from start to finish, it takes me about 3 days to prepare a post. I’ve recently found a few creative entrepreneurial podcasts that I love (like The Laptop Lifestyle and Don’t Keep Your Dayjob), and I’ve realized that lots of successful people have a deep understanding of who they are and have discovered how they work best. If they’re an author who is easily overwhelmed, they don’t put “write book” on their to-do list. Instead, they break it down into bite-sized, manageable pieces, such as “brainstorm topic/story ideas”, “create outline”, “write chapter one”. Building blocks are everything. Another thing to think about when making a “to-do” list, is the importance and urgency of each task. Even if they’re harder to complete or more daunting, dealing with the highest priority tasks first takes such a huge weight off your shoulders and helps you check the rest of the list off more quickly. “To-Do” lists aren’t just for entrepreneurs. Everyone who feels a sense of anxiety from an overwhelming schedule can benefit from taking time each evening to evaluate their intentions and set their priorities for the day ahead. The biggest impact I’ve noticed from utilizing “to-do” lists is that even if I don’t check every single thing off my list, it feels pretty good to be able to cross tasks off and I’m able to move onto the next one with a renewed focus. Do you have any tips that have helped you enhance productivity at work? Share them below in the comment section, if so!

Emily
Emily Davis of lifestyle blog Epicurean Emily styles a blush workwear outfit with a DKNY nude leather bowler bag
Emily Davis of lifestyle blog Epicurean Emily styles blush workwear with ASOS blush trousers, a black and white blouse, a 3/4 sleeved black blazer, Aldo cap-toe block heels, a DKNY nude bag, and a Chloé Carlena Sunglasses dupe from Aldo.
Emily Davis of lifestyle blog Epicurean Emily styles blush workwear with a Chloé Carlena Sunglasses dupe from Aldo and Baublebar for Target Sugarfix Hoop Earrings
Emily Davis of lifestyle blog Epicurean Emily styles blush workwear with ASOS blush trousers, a black and white blouse, a 3/4 sleeved black blazer, Aldo cap-toe block heels, a DKNY nude bag, and a Chloé Carlena Sunglasses dupe from Aldo.
Emily Davis of lifestyle blog Epicurean Emily styles blush workwear with ASOS blush trousers, a black and white blouse, a 3/4 sleeved black blazer, Aldo cap-toe block heels, a DKNY nude bag, and a Chloé Carlena Sunglasses dupe from Aldo.
Emily Davis of lifestyle blog Epicurean Emily styles blush workwear with ASOS blush trousers, a black and white blouse, a 3/4 sleeved black blazer, Aldo cap-toe block heels, a DKNY nude bag, and a Chloé Carlena Sunglasses dupe from Aldo.
Emily Davis of lifestyle blog Epicurean Emily styles blush workwear with ASOS blush trousers, a black and white blouse, a 3/4 sleeved black blazer, Aldo cap-toe block heels, a DKNY nude bag, and a Chloé Carlena Sunglasses dupe from Aldo.
Emily Davis of lifestyle blog Epicurean Emily styles blush workwear with nude and black cap-toe block heels from Aldo, similar to Chanel block heels
Emily Davis of lifestyle blog Epicurean Emily styles blush workwear with ASOS blush trousers, a black and white blouse, a 3/4 sleeved black blazer, Aldo cap-toe block heels, and a DKNY nude bag.
ASOS Premium Clean Tailored Pants in Dusty Rose
Kate Spade New York Cameron Street Maise in Toasted Wheat
Nordstrom Eliza J Ruched Sleeve Blazer in Black
Amazon Blooming Jelly Women's Sleeveless V Neck Color Block Chiffon Blouse Tank Tops
J. Crew New easy pant in matte crepe in Vintage Lilac
Amazon Sam Edelman Women's Leah Cutout Block Heel in Summer Sand/Black
Target Sugarfix by BaubleBar Hoop Earrings in Gold
Nordstrom Mural 'Curve' Open Front Shawl Collar Blazer in Black
Amazon The Fix Women's Jenkins Choked-up Pointed Toe Mule in Dove/Black
Ann Taylor The Ankle Pant Devin Fit in Bright Pink Peony
Forever 21 Crepe Woven Pajama Shirt in Ivory/Black
Aldo Bellone in Bone
zeroUV Women's Oversized Full Metal Wire Frame Glamour Round Sunglasses in Gold Amber
Amazon Blooming Jelly Women's Short Flutter Sleeve Shirt Keyhole Ruffle Chiffon Blouse Tops

August 2017

I was wearing;

Forever 21 Black & White Blouse (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here

LC by Lauren Conrad Black Blazer (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here

ASOS Tailored Pants in Dusty Pink (a few sizes left, similar options also linked) Also worn here

ALDO Bellone Shoes with Block Heel in Bone (linked above, similar options also linked) P.S. Go down a 1/2 size in the Bellone! Also worn here

Target Sugarfix by Baublebar Hoop Earrings in Gold (linked above) Also worn here and here

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

“Business in Blush” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-08-03T21:31:55+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|Fashion|2 Comments

MOD MINI

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Now that summer is here, dress season is in full swing! I really love the shift dress style (a less tailored option with a short hemline) for warmer weather and windy days because the looser fit makes them less clingy and they’re not billowy enough to have to wrestle with against the wind. Since I’m on the shorter end of the spectrum, I love to wear shift dresses with heels to give me some extra height, as sometimes the straight and narrow fit of the dress can shorten my already petite torso. Not going to lie, I’m jealous of you taller ladies because I think shift dresses look amazing when dressed down with a pair of sneakers! See my summer shift dress picks below and tell me which one will you be rocking all season long! P.S. All the dresses are under $100!

Emily
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Amazon Nine West Women's 3/4 Sleeve Houndstooth Fit and Flare
Zara Dress with Frilled Sleeves in Yellow
Zara Embroidered Tulle Dress in Black
ASOS New Look Premium Embroidered Mesh Mini Dress in Cream Pattern
Target Merona Women's Lulu Block Heel Sandal in Black
Zara Contrasting Colored Dress in Pinks
Zara Dress with Gem Detail in Navy Blue
Zara Frilled Sleeve Dress in Pink
Zara Checked Dress in Yellow
kate spade new york Cedar Street Maise Satchel in Rose Jade
Amazon PARIS SUNDAY Flounce Sleeve Textured Dress in Peacoat
Amazon PARIS SUNDAY Women's Sleeveless Band Collar Bottom Flounce Dress in Siena Multi
Amazon Floerns Women's Bell Sleeve Embroidered Tunic Dress
Zara Printed Rubberised Dress in Pink
Amazon Sam Edelman Women's Yaro Dress Sandal in Black Suede
ASOS Premium Embroidered Shift Mini Dress in Nude
ASOS Closet London Ruffle Dress With Peplum Hem in Gray
Amazon PARIS SUNDAY Women's Sleeveless Band Collar Bottom Flounce Dress in Black
BaubleBar Bahama Pom Pom Earrings

Forever 21 Colorblocked Houndstooth Shift Dress (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here

Target Merona Lulu Block Heeled Sandals in Black (linked above) Also worn here

BaubleBar Bahama Pom Pom Earrings (linked above)

DKNY Blush Satchel (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn herehereherehere, and here

June 2017

“Mod Mini” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-06-21T05:45:08+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Fashion|10 Comments

FLAMENCO FUN

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Ok, I know I’ve said before that off-the-shoulder isn’t really my thing, so I want to firstly apologize for having two outfits featuring OTS styles back to back… A girl can change her mind, right?! What I really love about this dress is that while it’s still fitted, the voluminous ruffled neck-line detail adds such interest to something as simple as a white dress. It may just be one of my favorite Forever 21 purchases ever! I fell in love with these earrings from BaubleBar and even though they’re quite vibrant, I think they’ll go with so many things- like a simple white tee or my favorite black & white striped tee with boyfriend jeans. I was super excited to try out BaubleBar for the first time, as it’s a pretty popular online jewelry destination for bloggers and I love their unique and fun pieces. Most of you know that I’m not really into jewelry all that much, but I do love a great pair of statement earrings, and good quality ones are getting harder and harder to find at Forever 21. Even though they are made in China, I was pleased with the quality of this pair and they were packaged well for the shipping process. Since they offer free shipping with every purchase, I’m considering buying one new piece from them every month to begin to build a real accessory collection- because the one I have now is basically non-existent! 🙈    What’s one thing that you wish you had more of in your closet?

Emily
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Forever 21 One-Shoulder Mini Bodycon Dress
100 Percent Pure Lip Caramel in Scotch Kiss
BaubleBar Sandbar Drops in Yellow
Target Merona Lulu Block Heel Sandals
Forever 21 Selfie Leslie Backless Dress in Red
Target Mossimo Faux Leather Crossbody Handbag with Magnetic Closure in Black
Forever 21 Off the Shoulder Flounce Jumpsuit in Black

BaubleBar Sandbar Drops in Yellow (linked above)

Forever 21 White Off-the-Shoulder Dress with Contrast Detail (no longer available, similar options linked)

Target Merona Lulu Block Heeled Sandals in Black (linked above)

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

100 Percent Pure Lip Caramel in Scotch Kiss (linked above)

May 2017

“Flamenco Fun” photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-05-03T12:08:47+00:00 May 3rd, 2017|Fashion|8 Comments

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! 🤗

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 hereherehere, and here

April 2017

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

2017-04-19T05:16:11+00:00 April 19th, 2017|Fashion|12 Comments

FLORAL BLOUSE TWO WAYS

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Floral Blouse Two Ways 2

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 herehere, 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

2017-04-07T00:37:13+00:00 April 5th, 2017|Fashion|6 Comments

CANARY & KELLY GREEN

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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?

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 hereherehere

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

March 2017

“Canary & Kelly Green” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:29:59+00:00 March 29th, 2017|Fashion|16 Comments

BLACK & WHITE VALENTINE’S DAY TWO WAYS

Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 1
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 2

Happy first day of February! Although I’m a little confused as to where January went, we are one month closer to Spring, so I can’t complain! I bought this Zara top during their sale while visiting NYC and I couldn’t wait to feature it here – I love all the different textures created by the various crocheted patterns – and the sheer back was such a pleasant surprise! As I started to build looks around this top, I realized that I could showcase two options for Valentine’s Day just by mixing jackets and accessories. It may be a little non-traditional for V-Day, but I think these looks would be perfect to wear to the office (with a cami underneath the shirt and maybe some white slacks instead of skinnies!) or even if you have a casual date-night on your calendar! The Forever 21 blush coat and MNG red tweed jacket have the perfect Valentine color palettes without being too festive and over-the-top. One of my favorite Valentine’s Day memories was my first one spent with Luke when he got tickets for us to do a ropes course together (even though it’s the furthest thing from his ideal date activity! 😂  ). It was such a unique experience to do together and I will cherish that memory forever. ❤️   Have you made plans for Valentine’s Day 2017 (or maybe Galentine’s!) yet?! Tell me what you’re doing (and what you’re wearing!) below! Happy February, y’all! 😊

Emily
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Zara Black Embroidered Blouse (no longer available, similar options linked)

Forever 21 White Jeans (linked above)

Forever 21 blush coat (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here and here

MNG Red & Black Tweed Jacket (no longer available, similar option linked) Also worn here

DKNY Blush Satchel (no longer available, similar option linked) Also worn herehere, and here

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

 Sam Edelman Blush Suede Pointed Toe Pump (no longer available, similar option linked) Also worn herehere, and here

Shoemint Black Ankle Boots with Cutout Detail and Buckles (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here

February 2017

“Black & White Valentine’s Day Two Ways” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:29:59+00:00 February 1st, 2017|Fashion|18 Comments

EFFEMINATE MILITARY

Effeminate Military 1

Another day, another outfit with this blush sweater… We all play favorites, right?! This look features lots of old favorites – the vest and the jeans are both from my high school/early college American Eagle-obsessed era. I’m always super proud of myself when I find pieces that I continue to wear years after purchasing, especially ones from when I was younger (I’ll put it nicely by saying my style has “evolved” since high school). 😉 Since the military trend is alive and well this season, I wanted to share some tips for choosing flattering pieces that tend to traditionally lean on the masculine side. As always, fit is key and even though this look is “borrowed from the boys”, that doesn’t mean that you should settle for shapeless silhouettes. In the four or so years that I’ve had this vest, I’ve received countless complements on it – usually from women who say they haven’t been able to find a military vest that isn’t too stiff and boxy. The secret to this one (and what you should look for if you’re on the hunt for a flattering utility vest) is the cinching just above the waist. It makes it so very versatile – if you want to wear it with a form fitting outfit, cinch it tighter and if you’re going for a grungy or effortless look, leave it looser. I have worn this one over just about everything and in every season. I don’t really consider myself a minimalist and would never describe my style as “neutral” but as I’ve grown up, I’ve really learned to appreciate the pieces that I can style a million different ways.

Emily
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November 2016

“Effeminate Military” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:00+00:00 November 30th, 2016|Fashion|0 Comments

VEST WEATHER

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I’ve always wanted a nice, quilted vest to serve as an autumn wardrobe staple. Simple ones can be worn over any top and look best with a pair of jeans and boots- everyone’s go-to Fall outfit. The J. Crew Excursion Vest has become a classic for so many of us, but after trying it on a couple of years ago, I couldn’t ignore how boxy it made me look because of it’s lack of shape. One thing that I really try not to compromise on when clothes shopping is fit. When I was packing up my things to move, I cleaned out my closet many times before selecting the final cut of items that would be coming with me. It was during this time I realized how ill-fitting most of my high school wardrobe was – American Eagle low-rise jeans that never sat flat against my waist, too-tight Abercrombie tees (judgement free zone here at EE) 😅, and huge Victoria’s Secret PINK bling hoodies that I was so afraid of outgrowing (c’mon Emily, they had SEQUINS) that I sized up in. So when I actually started buying items that weren’t from the juniors’ section, I really honed in and paid attention to how well they fit and whether or not they were unique enough to justify tailoring if they didn’t. We may not realize this consciously, but all of us care about fit – we all have that one pair of jeans that we’d rather dig out of the dirty laundry and re-wear, over a clean pair hanging in our closet. We all want to wear pieces that make us feel confident about our bodies and since we all have different shapes and sizes of bodies, it’s important to just keep visiting the fitting room until you discover which styles and shapes work on you. Personally, I try to avoid oversized pieces because they never really look like what I’m going for (I’m a 5’10” wannabe model in a 5’5″ girl’s body). I just have to accept the fact that the baggy, effortless streetwear style doesn’t do me any favors in terms of being flattering and I need some shape in certain places to prevent me from looking short and stubby. I found this tailored vest at a Zara clearance sale in England over the summer, and was over the moon when it fit like a glove and when I walked out paying less than $20 for it! I love the little gold accents and I really prefer how overall chic it is compared to lots of quilted vests that tend to look a little too rugged and outdoorsy for my taste. Have you discovered a look that just doesn’t work on your frame, no matter how badly you want it to? Tell me your fit horror stories below in the comments! #TeamTightAbercrombieTee 😂

Emily
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October 2016

“Vest Weather” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:01+00:00 October 25th, 2016|Fashion|2 Comments

STRIPED SWEATER DRESS

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When shopping on a budget, one thing that I always struggle with is finding unique pieces from mainstream, affordable fast-fashion retailers. Sure, they have pieces to fit almost every personal style, but sometimes it’s hard to find special things that aren’t so trendy that everyone else will have them too. But every so often you come across the perfect piece, which is what happened when I fell in love with the tom-boyish cut and fit (and colors!) of this sweater dress. Because of the looser fit, you’re able to wear it both casually with sneakers for a street-style inspired look or with a pair of simple, strappy heels to dress it up. I’m on the shorter side of the spectrum so to get that effortless off-duty model style, I think I would have to hem a dress of this length to be able to pull it off with sneakers. While I didn’t intend for this outfit to be a part of my fall trend series, it seems the perfect opportunity to give the jewelry of the season – the choker necklace, some recognition. 90’s trends have really been gaining momentum over the last few years, with the choker being one of the 90’s most iconic accessories that is currently being re-imagined in many different materials, including intricate lace and luxe velvet. I went with a simple tattoo choker to add some interest to my neckline without detracting from the statement-making sweater dress. Which decade inspires your style the most? I think I pull little bits and pieces from all of them! 🙂  Leave a comment below telling me your favorite!

Emily
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October 2016

“Striped Sweater Dress” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:01+00:00 October 5th, 2016|Fashion|0 Comments