Tuesday, April 29, 2014

downtown and down the aisle

Drinks downtown last Friday night presented an awkward wardrobe situation. It was mild and mostly sunny (college kids up and down my street were posted up on porches), but as the sun set it would quickly get cooler. I was torn between wearing ankle boots and wedge sandals, decided on the boots (you never want to be the girl busting out flip-flops and short-shorts before it's time), and ultimately was a little too warm on the seven o'clock walk to the square—there may have been a hint of perspiration happening. Spring is a tricky season to dress for, and my failure to get it right necessitated the plotting of a more strategic, premeditated look for those 55-60° days that turn into 45-50° nights. A fresh white blazer (how great are those puffed sleeves?) protects from chills en route to your wine-and-dine destination while allowing flexibility (just drape over your shoulders once inside). I stick to skinny, classic denim, but a lighter wash and cropped length is a fresh update for warmer weather. A simple tank is easy to layer and delivers a cool-girl casual vibe when worn alone. And fancy flats are should be my go-to shoe this time of year—they let your ankles breathe, but keep toes covered. Ready to seal the deal? None of these pieces will look (too) out of place if plans to try a swanky lounge change to a chill dive. The white blazer is a key component in this outfit and it's a trendy color for spring, but it will also always be bridal. As wedding season ramps up, get in the I-do spirit with this big-white-dress slideshow. Please note Hilary Duff's larger-than-life bun. File that under GLAM, exclamation point.

GET THE LOOK: JCREW blazer. JCREW jeans. Jasper & Jeera shoes. Enza Costa tank.

Friday, April 25, 2014

his style 1

This week at work, I did a little research on cargo pants. The style has a seriously unfashionable rep, but it's gotten a facelift in the last few years that's swiftly leaving the boy band associations in the dust. (I can hear JT now...) The WSJ calls cargoes "one of the most stylish and versatile go-to pieces in a man's wardrobe." Intrigued? Me too. The new designs are slimmer and more appropriate for refined occasions—less wood chopping, more bar hopping. The pockets are flatter, the fabric is softer, and the attitude is modernized. Bastian suggests thinking of them as the midpoint between jeans and chinos: more polished than everyday denim, less pedestrian than plain twill trousers. The pants walked the fall runways (love this), so you're safe to wear them at least through 2014—and some say they'll never go away. I love that they offer an authentic utilitarian personality in an edgier, more mature form. LLBean Boyfriend + dapper city slicker? Sure, I'll buy some of that. If your own piece of burnin' Bean love isn't materializing as quickly as you'd hoped, read this. Carla Ciccone can relate. And she manages to put a positive spin on things. Have a great weekend!

SHOP CARGO PANTS: J Brand. Mr Porter. JCREW. h&m. Ralph Lauren. Revolve.

images: one. two. three. four.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

know your knots

Today is a top knot day. I got back to Madison late Sunday evening after a long weekend at my parents' house and have been on autopilot since. Monday and Tuesday whizzed by (marathon Holiday meetings at work, upcoming product launches and approaching deadlines will have that effect) and this morning was a dirty hair, throw-it-up-and-go, whoa-it's-Wednesday? frenzy. It's okay though, 'cause knots are in. The knotted embellishments popping up on skirts are sporty and chic, and just the right hit of textural interest. They remind me of a sweet, gingham blouse-wearing schoolgirl and a tough, wrench-toting Rosie the Riveter at the same time. I love the way Shopbop styled the James Perse. The pencil shape and knee length are traditionally for closing deals and signing clients, but they create fun contrast and a trend-right sportswear look with sneakers and a tee. More ways to wear it: a mini makes the twisted detail more of a focus, Julia's cinched sweatshirt look (not really a knotted skirt, but same idea!) is basically my ideal outfit, and a draped midi ups the drama. Are you into it? Think it over during your afternoon snack. The New Potato (just discovered this site and LOVE it) rounded up an inspiring list of 4 PM pick-me-ups you need to work into your routine. Coconut chunks and wasabi crackers are definitely going in my lunch box next week!

images: one. two. three. four.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

slingbacks and easter sunday

The higher the heel, the closer to heaven—but flats are far from damned. Streamlined designs, modern details and, of course, comfort are a flat's saving graces. D'orsays and ankle straps are well-established (and appreciated) styles, but elbowing their way to the top of my wish list are slingbacks. The back strap is a preppy, casual nod to spring while the sharp, defined toe is smart and sophisticated. Message sent: I'm fun, AND I've got it together. The pair I ordered last week definitely has a spot reserved in my suitcase for this weekend in Minnesota. I haven't decided what to wear on Easter Sunday, but whether it's denim + sleeveless blouse or skirt + blazer, this shoe will work: polished, but not overdone. The last thing I want to do is shuffle through church in too-high heels or spend all day chasing little cousins in a pair that was clearly not made for walking. What are your plans for the holiday? Will you gorge on Cadbury eggs or marshmallow Peeps? More importantly, what will you wear?

SHOP SLINGBACKS: Boden (20% off!). J.CREW. Lands' End. Nordstrom. Anthropologie.

images: one. two.

Monday, April 14, 2014

pour me some more v. 1

I half expect to see Pete Campbell come swinging around the corner any second. I watched so much Mad Men this weekend that it kind of feels like 1965. Except there's a diet Coke at my desk SANS Bacardi, so I guess I'm right where I should be. Regardless, the show is basically running my life right now, so I thought I'd share a few other things that have me equally enamored.

MAD MEN (you didn't think I was done, did you?). I don't know why it took me so long to start watching the AMC hit, but I'm obsessed. It might be my favorite show of all time: the glimpse into history (from makeup to politics), the music, the relationships, the editing, the characters, the story, the subtle comedy. I'm scrambling to catch up to season 7 and am living in fear of spoilers until I do (start here or get seasons 1-6 on Netflix).

ICED LATTES. A couple weekends ago at Madison Sourdough, I washed down a Cuban sandwich (the best bread!) with an iced chai. It's an obvious choice, but I always forget to order my favorite hot drinks on the rocks. I want to start every summer morning with a cold Venti (caramel-y) something. I'm up for trying this.

BARBOUR JACKET. In the Midwest, we collect coats. Given the range of weather, there are endless weights and fabrics to keep stocked in the closet (or maybe that's just me). I started looking for a quilted jacket last fall, but couldn't find a style and color I liked. Good things come to those who wait 'cause I found this pretty vintage-inspired one just a few weeks ago and love it: the perfect midpoint between a cotton anorak and your lightest peacoat. 

SARA BAREILLES & SAM SMITH. I try not to download too many iTunes, but sometimes you need to hear what you want, when you want. If you pass me on the road, you'll probably have to hit the brakes and hang back 'cause "I Choose You" (the happy beat and sweet story) and "Stay With Me" (his VOICE. Can he sing me to sleep?) will be blasting at above-normal volume.

What's filling your cup these days?

images: one. two. three. four.

Friday, April 4, 2014

take it to go: serving 6

I was ready for this weekend before Monday even arrived—so happy it's finally here; my sister comes to Madison tonight! I can't explain the rage she would ignite inside me when I'd find my (rumpled) clothes in her drawers or discover she'd used my makeup (bought with MY money, not Mom's!), but I'm glad we've remained friends through the drama. I have so many great places (read: restaurants + bars) to take her. Is it five o'clock yet?! Catch ya next week!

SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES: Guarantee yourself a few good mail days a month by subscribing to some new glossies. Can't wait to pick up Hole & Corner and peek inside Porter!

KEEP ON TRUCKIN': I wasn't a weekly HIMYM-watcher, but am going to miss the show. It was relatable in its portrayal of twentysomethings, and the fact that the finale earned more viewers than the pilot reflects one of the show's themes: some of the best things take time.

JUST DO IT: A great brand is accessible but aspirational, universal but personal. These pics are proof Nike's got it down pat.

THANKS BUT NO THANKS: This honest advice not to do things that are painful, uncomfortable and/or stressful just because it seems "right" or polite is a relief.  Save the drama for your mama.

RAIN DANCE: Everyone knows stormy skies call for boots and an umbrella, but an acrylic clutch and waterproof tote are less obvious (and just as practical) accessories that make me actually excited to see clouds roll in. Don't miss the complete rainy-day checklist.

images: one. two. three. four. five.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

april mood board

To usher in April (woo!), I've compiled a shoppable mood board, pinned with what's on my radar as we get into the swing of spring. 1. The color pink and feminine details have never been so appealing to me. My wish list is littered with super-soft, girly goods. 2. I'm not the type to strut down State Street in a birthday crown, but everyone deserves a celebration once a year. Here's to 26 (and savoring it)! 3. It's easy to slip into a passive routine, so I'm consciously committing to new goals and an all-around proactive approach. 4. This year, I've been mentally everywhere. But hitting that one-year anniversary in a new city feels good. Time to pause and center some of my impulsivity.

Shop the board!
1. FLORAL BUN HEAD: SJP's caramel highlights for a natural update + blush sandals, the perfect casual-dressy combo.
2. BIRTHDAY DONUT TOWER: A sleeveless sweater that's as creamy as vanilla frosting + a box of marshmallow Sprinkes cupcakes
3. HARD WORK & HUSTLE: A quality camera for better blog (and personal!) photos + business cards to position myself for new opportunities.
4. CLEANSING RAIN SHOWERS: A refreshing ginger mint julep to sip on all spring + a cute pullover for mind-and-body-restoring barre workouts (get the DVD if there isn't a studio near you!).

What do you have planned for April?

images: one. two. three. four.