GINGHAM IN THE GARDENS

Gingham In The Gardens 1

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!¬†ūü§ó

Emily
Gingham In The Gardens 2
Gingham In The Gardens 3
Gingham In The Gardens 4
Gingham In The Gardens 5
Gingham In The Gardens 12
Gingham In The Gardens 6
Gingham In The Gardens 7
Gingham In The Gardens 8
Gingham In The Gardens 9
Gingham In The Gardens 10
Gingham In The Gardens 11
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

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

FLORAL BLOUSE TWO WAYS

Floral Blouse Two Ways 1
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…¬†ūüėā ¬†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!¬†ūüėā ¬† 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
Floral Blouse Two Ways 3
Floral Blouse Two Ways 4
Floral Blouse Two Ways 5
Floral Blouse Two Ways 6
Floral Blouse Two Ways 7
Floral Blouse Two Ways 8
Floral Blouse Two Ways 9
Floral Blouse Two Ways 10
Floral Blouse Two Ways 11
Floral Blouse Two Ways 12
Floral Blouse Two Ways 13
Floral Blouse Two Ways 14
Floral Blouse Two Ways 15
Floral Blouse Two Ways 16
Floral Blouse Two Ways 17

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

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

CANARY & KELLY GREEN

Canary & Kelly Green 1

From the runways of¬†Chlo√© 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
Canary & Kelly Green 2
Canary & Kelly Green 3
Canary & Kelly Green 4
Canary & Kelly Green 5
Canary & Kelly Green 6
Canary & Kelly Green 7
Canary & Kelly Green 9
Canary & Kelly Green 10

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

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!¬†ūüėā ¬†). It was such a unique experience to do together and I will cherish that memory forever. ‚̧ԳŹ ¬† 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!¬†ūüėä

Emily
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 3
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 4
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 5
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 6
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 7
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 8
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 9
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 10
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 11
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 12
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 13
Black & WhiteValentine's Day Two Ways 14
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 15
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 16
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 17
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 18
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 19
Black & White Valentine's Day Two Ways 20

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 here, here, 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 here, here, 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).¬†ūüėȬ†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
Effeminate Military 2
Effeminate Military 3
Effeminate Military 4
Effeminate Military 5
Effeminate Military 6
Effeminate Military 7
Effeminate Military 8
Effeminate Military 9
Effeminate Military 10

November 2016

“Effeminate Military” Photographed by Luke Bowes

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

VEST WEATHER

Vest Weather 1

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) ūüėÖ, 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¬†ūüėā

Emily
Vest Weather 2
Vest Weather 3
Vest Weather 4
Vest Weather 5
Vest Weather 6
Vest Weather 7
Vest Weather 8
Vest Weather 9

October 2016

“Vest Weather” Photographed by Luke Bowes

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

STRIPED SWEATER DRESS

Striped Sweaterdress 1

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! ūüôā ¬†Leave a comment below telling me your favorite!

Emily
Striped Sweaterdress 2
Striped Sweaterdress 3
Striped Sweaterdress 4
Striped Sweaterdress 5
Striped Sweaterdress 6
Striped Sweaterdress 7
Striped Sweaterdress 8
Striped Sweaterdress 9
Striped Sweaterdress 10

October 2016

“Striped Sweater Dress” Photographed by Luke Bowes

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

MARVELOUS METALLICS

Marvelous Metallic 1

As I continue my series on trends for the FW16 season, we move from an unexpected autumn color combo¬†to a futuristic trend reiterated all over the runways in the form of everything from pleated skirts to shoes – metallic. Since I’m not a big jewelry wearer, I tend to love a good pair of statement shoes or a bag to provide my looks a bit more sparkle or color. Out of all of the metallic pieces seen on the runways, shoes are definitely the most versatile. Pair with skinny jeans and a graphic tee for a modern take on a classic look, or mix and match with some other trends of the season – bold but muted patterns – namely florals, or with a brightly colored velvet skirt or layered slip dress. No matter how you wear metallic, the shiny finish provides playful modernity to virtually any look. Have any fall trends you’d like to know how to pull off? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Emily
Marvelous Metallic 2
Marvelous Metallic 3
Marvelous Metallic 4
Marvelous Metallic 5
Marvelous Metallic 6
Marvelous Metallic 7
Marvelous Metallic 8
Marvelous Metallic 9
Marvelous Metallic 10

September 2016

I was wearing;

Kirna Zabete for Target Printed High-Low Dress; Similar Under $30, Under $20, Under $20, Under $15 Clearance

Forever 21 Metallic Pointed Loafers; Similar Under $50, Under $40

Quay Australia “My Girl” Sunglasses; Exact¬†Here

“Marvelous Metallics” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:02+00:00 September 13th, 2016|Fashion|2 Comments

FROLICKING IN FLAMINGO

Frolicking in Flamingo 1

What better way to celebrate the last month of summer than with a bright and cheery flamingo-printed piece?! I actually scored this adorable Kate Spade piece in a New York consignment store that Keiko¬†recommended¬†last summer. When I have the time (and the patience!), thrifting is one of my favorite ways to shop. Some of my most beloved items are pre-owned pieces, and it’s so rewarding when you find a gem after all that searching! I’ve discussed my mission to feature affordable fashion here on Epicurean Emily before, but I thought in addition to linking reasonably-priced pieces of my outfits, I would also start sharing some tips for shopping on a budget as well. “To thrift or not to thrift?” I’ve never met anyone that has been in the middle of the spectrum – you’re either obsessed with looking through racks and racks of old clothes or you think that sounds like something you would be asked to do as a punishment. I do love consignment shopping, but I definitely have to be in the mood for it – which doesn’t happen all that often (I’m practicing my patience!).¬†Thrift stores are really a hit or miss shopping experience. Something that happens to me quite regularly – in all shopping scenarios, is that I have a hard time finding things when I’m in search of them. That is especially true in my thrifting experience – I go in to look for a certain item and since I can’t find the one thing I’m looking for, I discard all the rest.¬†The key to consignment shopping is to go in with an open mind and just see what you can find. It takes a lot of patience, which is why I reserve it for once in a blue moon. But if you enter with a positive attitude, you’ll walk out of the store with a bag full of second-hand steals!¬†I also try to thrift shop when I’m out of town because my options back home are so limited. I try to get in touch with the locals and fellow vintage lovers before a trip to see where they frequent to find their most loved pieces. Yelp is also a great app that can be used to scope out new stores if you don’t have someone that you can contact for recommendations. They compile reviews and assign ratings to local businesses (restaurants, salons, shops, they do it all!) so it helps to hear from locals whether a place is a treasure trove or an over-priced tourist trap. These are my top tips to conquer the thrift store! What are yours?!

Emily
Frolicking in Flamingo 2
Frolicking in Flamingo 3
Frolicking in Flamingo 4
Frolicking in Flamingo 5
Frolicking in Flamingo 6
Frolicking in Flamingo 7
Frolicking in Flamingo 8
Frolicking in Flamingo 9
Frolicking in Flamingo 10

Kate Spade Flamingo Print Blouse; Similar Here

Forever 21 Black High-Waisted Hot Shorts; Similar Here and Here

Target Merona Nude Quilted Cross-Body; Similar Here

Target Mossimo Taupe Gladiator Heels; Exact Here

My Favorite Flamingo-Print Pieces; Kate Spade Dress, Affordable Romper, and a Statement Skirt

“Frolicking in Flamingo” photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:02+00:00 August 18th, 2016|Fashion|0 Comments

SUMMER MONOCHROME

Summer Monochrome 1

Hello from Duke’s beautiful west campus! For those of you who haven’t heard… I moved to Durham, North Carolina! Luke began his MBA program at Duke the day after we got back from England and it has been pretty non-stop ever since. We’ve been “home” for a little over a week now and we’re doing our best to explore our new town, make new friends, and finish unpacking while jet-lag seems to be getting the best of us (I’ve barely stayed up past 9 since we’ve been home!). This is my first time moving and while I’m so excited to see what’s in store for us over these two upcoming years, it’s strange to be apart from everyone that has been a huge part of my life for so long. I’m trying my best to keep myself busy with the blog, social activities, and job hunting (and I’m trying to convince Luke of my need for a dog) but sometimes I get overwhelmed with all of the change. So like any basic white girl, I go on Pinterest to browse through quotes and find this one, “Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” I will always love Tennessee and I’ll always consider it my home – it’s where I grew up and where my family is. But my dreams and passions to work in a creative industry just can’t be fulfilled there. While these upcoming two years are a mere pit-stop on the journey to bigger and better things, I’m trying to embrace this new season with open arms and remember that although the majority of us hate change, “great things never came from comfort zones.” Alright, logging off Pinterest now.

Emily
Summer Monochrome 2
Summer Monochrome 3
Summer Monochrome 4
Summer Monochrome 5
Summer Monochrome 6
Summer Monochrome 7
Summer Monochrome 8
Summer Monochrome 9

August 2016

I was wearing;

Forever 21 Floral Blouse; Similar Here and Here

Joe’s White Cropped Jeans; Exact¬†Here¬†(Bought for less than half of this price at¬†Nordstrom Rack!)

Mossimo for Target Black Strappy Heels; Similar Here (Also seen in this post!)

DKNY Blush Satchel; Similar Here and Here

“Summer Monochrome” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:03+00:00 August 4th, 2016|Fashion|0 Comments