Thursday, July 30, 2015

beat-the-heat survival kit

Last Saturday, it took me twice the normal time to get ready for just a low-key night because I had to stop every few minutes to squat in front of my sputtering A/C and let the only-moderately cool air attempt to blow away variously dispersed sweat droplets (TMI?!). It's been consistently cracking 90 degrees in Minneapolis, and if you don't keep the routine quick & basic, you'll be a puddle of perspiration.

The struggle was a wakeup call that I am WAY behind in the warm-weather dress department and ill prepared in terms of heat-beating hair and makeup products. I hastily picked up a couple midis & maxis at Nordstrom & Topshop (it's going to be fall soon! now is the time!), and because cutting back on clothes is only half the battle, assembled a comprehensive sizzling-summer survival kit. Below, shop the products I'm stocking to stay cool.

In other news, this week has flown and it's already my Friday! I took tomorrow off and today is my company's summer picnic/kickball competition. The weather is PERFECT (so comfortable sleeping with the windows open last night!), so I'm looking forward to spending the afternoon outside. Have a fantastic weekend!

one | Clutch—lighten up with a petite purse
two | Texture Creme—hold the hair dryer and enhance your natural waves
three | BB Cream—weightless coverage with SPF and oil control
four | Blotting sponges—for touch-ups on the go
five | Lip stain—skip sticky gloss and smear-y stick; pick a pop color and keep other makeup minimal
six | Slides—easy on, easy off
seven | Dove deodorant—super effective and easy to re-apply as needed
eight | Mattifying serum—build a base that fights shine
nine | Light fragrance—a refreshing blend of water lily, honeydew and Turkish rose
ten | Waterproof curling mascara—lessens smudging in dripping humidity
eleven | Maxi dress (30% off)—not normally a fan of this style, but the flowing silhouette has an effortlessness that is so comfortable when it's so hot
twelve | Hair turban—channel Rachel Zoe with a trendy headpiece and messy topknot
thirteen | Delicate jewelry (30% off TODAY only with code XMASINJULY)—skip heavy bracelets and rings

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

windowpane print

With the exception of a few super casual sundresses, I try to extend my wardrobe by buying clothes that work on and off the clock. Like Breton stripes, a windowpane print seamlessly bridges the gap between dressy and casual. It looks expensive, and the pattern adds interest without being busy, distracting or juvy. The trend has been going strong since 2013, but I didn't see anything I needed until this pretty silk cami appeared on PLIG. I'll wear it to the office with ankle pants (a solid color, contrasting pattern, or this floral would be really fun), on weekends with a distressed denim skirt, and into fall with a jean jacket or army anorak. Shop the trend below!

While I'm starting to think transitional when it comes to my closet, I'm keeping my meals seasonal! It's almost August and I haven't yet had the holiest of summer sandwiches: the BLT. My mom said she was going to make an open-faced style this week after picking up tomatoes at a farmer's stand, and I think I need to follow suit! Hope your week's going well!!

Poor Little It Girl | Song of Style | The College Prepster | Damsel in Dior

Monday, July 27, 2015

fancy flats to replace your pumps

One thing I've learned in the last few years is both how to be alone (embracing the time to do something I enjoy rather than holing up inside) and how to meet new people (not restricting myself to prescribed high school & college groups). This weekend was a really happy balance of both. I saw Trainwreck, capped an afternoon boating with a killer view of the Aquatennial fireworks from Lynlake Brewery's roof deck, and Sunday, savored the relaxing routine of an early(ish) morning run and walk to grab groceries & my favorite Agra Culture salad. Even though I'm still in a semi-transitional state since moving back to Minneapolis, I felt really content doing regular things around the city and happy that I'm here.

As I sipped a chocolate Crafted Press and loaded apples, broccoli—and yes, baked Cheetos—into my basket late Sunday morning, I realized that flats had been on my feet all weekend. And I couldn't actually recall the last time I'd left the house in heels.

I've relied on a little extra height for special occasions since college, and often a comfortable low wedge for every day, but more and more, elevated kicks feel like overkill. And frankly, impractical for the majority of my daily activities. But just because I'm—literally—lowering my effort level doesn't mean you're going to see me cruising around in Crocs. A sleek pointy toe is my M.O.

Click through below for a few pairs (loving the mules!!) that will look good with a dress at dinners and parties in lieu of stilettos (sorry loafers and oxfords), transition into fall, and—most importantly—offer options for summer's movie matinees, Lunds runs and nights sipping flights at all the breweries I've yet to try (looking at you, Bauhaus)!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

off-the-shoulder blouse

Ahhhhh! My sister, a friend and I saw Ryn Weaver last night at Triple Rock and she was so, so good! We were a little nervous because the last time we went to this little venue, the main act cancelled (cough, Misterwives, still bitter). But—after a little mic dysfunction—she showed! This girl is a badass and her voice is really unique. If you have a chance to see her, definitely do! Besides the hit "Octahate," I love "Promises," "Stay Low," and "The Fool." And "Pierre." Basically all the songs.

An off-the-shoulder shirt isn't the best thing to wear to a concert (if, I'm assuming, you're raising your hands in the air and rocking out), but it's perfect for a breezy weekend lazily walking around a farmers' market or grabbing lunch. I wrote a post in April that captures my sentiments on the trendy style and I think we're all well aware of its current popularity, so I'll spare you a recitation of its awesomeness.

To sum up: off-the-shoulder shirts are fun! I felt a little like a gypsy wearing this (the oversized earrings added to the effect), but in a fun way—and fashion SHOULD be fun! I liked the effortlessness of this blouse so much I'm already looking for a shoulder-baring dress for those 90º days still ahead! Shop under-$200 picks at the end of the post! This grid-pattern one is perfect!

Madewell jeans (similar) | LOFT blouse (size down)
Boden slingbacks (similar here  & here) | J.Crew clutch (similar here & here)
J.Crew earrings (similar here & here) & coordinating bracelet
Essie polish in Peach Side Babe | Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses (similar)

photos by Andrew Saxum

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

his style: short suit

Short suits are on my mind today! I was unsure how I felt about the stylish man's summer-occasion uniform when it started popping up at popular retailers last year, but you can now consider me a big fan. The combination of casual shorts and a crisp sport coat is seemingly such a paradox, but having the savvy and self-assuredness to wear something from the fashion frontlines is hugely appealing. This time of year, it's really only practical to cut the pants off a bit above the knee. And as street style star Nick Wooster proves, you don't have to be twenty-five to go short. If you have weddings ahead yet this summer, it's definitely worth picking up an "abbreviated" pantsuit at 30% off. Swirling a Scotch as the happy couple cuts the cake, you'll be cool and comfortable, and the ladies will be captivated. ;-)

images one | two | three | four

30% OFF with code GOSHOPPING

Monday, July 20, 2015

white out

In Minnesota, the term "white out" typically refers to the landscape during a snowstorm. Thankfully, we're still a few months from that situation and today's post is just about shopping. I don't think it's a huge faux pas to wear white after Labor Day (thinking cable sweaters and cashmere turtles), but the color is best suited for summer—it makes the sharpest impact against a backdrop of bright blue skies and sizzling sidewalks, don't you think? White jeans don't really do me any favors, but a little white dress is the perfect solution for a sunny day. Avoid looking like you're going to the chapel with easy silhouettes (no bodycon!), effortless fabrics (cotton!) and sweet details (crochet, eyelet). Accessorize with a refreshing Crafted Press from Caribou—have you tried it?! Pretty tasty. Have a great Monday!

Friday, July 17, 2015

found. 4 must-have summer rompers.

Feeling FRESH this morning after getting my first haircut in ... 5 months?! The best feeling! AND the stylist actually blew it out to my liking, which is maybe the first time that's happened, ever.

I'm keeping the good vibes going with today's post. My FOUND. series is usually an exclusive feature, and I'd originally planned the black culottes below for this week (swoon). But between the subtle peplum in classic black and white, sleek skort in strawberry-lemonade pink, mod intermingling of stripes and flowers in an appealingly conservative and simple silhouette, and sexy cami-strapped culottes in a mature, not-overwhelming pattern, I couldn't choose—so today, it's four times the fun.

I 100% prefer rompers to dresses—just as chic but less girly—and these are all such fresh options for summer weddings (and into fall with a wrap). After the bouquet is caught, they're a great way to give the jeans-and-cami routine a rest for a Friday night out. Which is your fave?!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

slim summer cargos

Welcome to my ideal outfit: a little tomboy, a little trendy. Perfect for a summer Twins game. No hate to those looking like T.C. in head-to-toe fan gear, but I prefer a more understated approach to team spirit. A feminine cami and strappy flats complement and balance boyish cargos (these are lighter than denim for a comfortable afternoon in the sun) and a baseball hat. And while I'm a cheerleader for maintaining some style at sporting events, keep it low maintenance. Stilettos and statement jewelry are best left off the field.

P.S. I LOVE these flats and they're pretty pliable and comfortable, but definitely not designed for treks. I walked in them from uptown to the Basilica Block Party last weekend (yay for finally seeing Mat Kearney!) and went home with red, raw heels requiring a slathering of Neosporin come Saturday morning. No bueno. Still, pointy lace-ups should definitely be on your BUY NOW list! Everyone from Topshop to Anthro is stocking them.

J.Crew slim cargos (30% off) | LOFT cami (similar) | Aldo flats
Michael Kors necklace (similar) | J.Crew bracelet (similar
Twins hat (sweat stains and all!) | Essie polish in Peach Side Babe 

photos by Andrew Saxum

Monday, July 13, 2015

13 must-have summer swimsuits

Happy Monday! Despite some late-night insomnia—worsened by a prolonged lightning show—I feel ready for a new week. It was one of those full yet relaxing weekends. Minneapolis was super humid as storms built, so naturally my thoughts revolved around stripping down and going swimming—which is how I wound down on Sunday afternoon.

It may seem late in the summer to be hunting for an annual addition to your swimsuit assortment, but I think the tide is high: more styles are on sale, you've had time to develop a tan and tone up, and it's far enough into the season where you know the trends and which you want to tackle.

Personally, I'm bypassing the popular maillots and high-waist bikinis in favor of sporty cut-away tops, strappy high-neck styles and classic bandeaus. Whatever your taste, the fun thing is that all swimwear has become so stylized and designed—today's options far surpass simple triangles and scoop-neck Speedo onesies. Hitting the pool is now as much a chance to express your style as hitting happy hour. Forget about freaky tan lines for a few hours and slip into something a little edgier, a little sassier, a little more FUN. What else is summer for?!

p.s. I'm super picky about cover-ups and managed to find some really cute ones while swimsuit searching that I had to share. Keep scrolling for beach day extras!

1 |  Sadie Dress 2 | OndadeMar Tunic 3 | Chica Cover-up
4 | Love Sam Embroidered Dress 5 | Sheer Touch Lotion Sunscreen
6 | Toya Dress (30% off) 7 | Rash Guard — cute with tapered joggers, too!
8 | Turkish Beach Towel — 11 colors! love the simplicity.
9 | Beach Chair — necessary for when you want to sit up and read
10 | Colorblock Wetsuit — I can pretend I surf, right?!
11 | Clinique SPF30 Face Cream — doesn't make my face break out!
12 | Maya Pouch — perfect size to grab and go to the palapa for lunch

Thursday, July 9, 2015

found. club monaco rina vest.

There are really only a handful of "fashion moments" I remember in my life, as my style has always been pretty simple. And—as my older sister recently reminded me after looking through old photos with a friend—I didn't have any style to speak of until after high school. Cringe. I'd blame the Catholic dress code, but it really wasn't that restricting.

I do distinctly recall, though, the beginning of senior year of college, when blazers from H&M, Topshop and Zara became something casual to wear to Mug Club nights at Brothers and the Blue Moose, rather than stuffy corporate cover-ups for our mothers. See Exhibit A. It was a combination of feeling, on the brink of the "real world," mature enough to pull off the sophisticated style and these then-fringe fast-fashion stores registering on my primitive Midwest retail radar.

I still think blazers are chic—a wardrobe staple—though I don't turn to them as often for bar nights with friends anymore. The Club Monaco Rina Vest, though, a kind of sleeveless version in stretch crepe, is appealing for such outings—the next evolution of workwear turned playwear. It's a grade more mature and cooler than a standard blazer, something confident women with a secure fashion sense would effortlessly slip on, and I feel ready to go there. Plus, its minimalism is perfect for hot summer weather, and the drapey, lengthy silhouette has a relaxed vibe that jibes with the season. I'd wear the Rina Vest over a white mini dress or short-shorts to play with proportion and add some height with espadrille wedges.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

coffin nails

via The Coveteur

SHOP THIS LOOK: Blazer | Tee | Thin Hinged Choker | Tube Choker
Long Chain Necklace | Feather Chain NecklaceUnion Jack Black polish 

When I first saw these extra-long, extra-pointy Cruella de Vil nails on Khloe and Kylie on KUWTK reruns (pause for embarrassment), I thought they looked a little grotesque. High-maintenance for sure. How do you pull your platinum card out of a tightly packed wallet with those? And think of the dirt catching underneath...

But I've since spotted the daggers on the more down-to-earth California girl Lo Bosworth (and elsewhere around the internet), and can't help but lean team de Vil. Sculpted like works of art in chip-less glossy lacquer or a matte coating, these coffin, almond and stiletto nail shapes are impossibly glam—and pretty sexy. Once reserved for an elderly leisure class and women that just kind of make your nose scrunch up (I'm thinking Janice from "Friends"), the K-clan and other "it" girls are modernizing long nails that are more attainably enviable than aristocratic or trashy. Clipped is the '90s notion that short nails are "classier." And you really can't argue with the finger-elongating illusion.

If you're sipping what I'm pouring, learn how to get the look you like here. And because this post is turning into a mani-palooza, shop the polish shades best-suited to your star sign here (I'm lilac—and a sucker for such astrological mumbo jumbo). AND, below—'cause I love you so—the colors I'm swiping on this summer. xoxo.

9 | Huile Abricot Daily Nutritive Serum
nourishes cuticles while smoothing and strengthening nails 
10 | Rich Girl SPF 25 Hand Cream
brightens and evens skin tone while protecting from UV damage

Monday, July 6, 2015

july edit.

Back to reality! The flags have been waved, patriotic songs sung (how great was the Spotify Independence Day playlist?!), and summer's hitting its stride. I'm kicking off the first full week of July with this month's bright 'n sunny must-haves.

There's a point in July when slip-over-the-head dresses are just the easiest option. This one combines soft jersey comfort with classic embroidery and a timeless silhouette—I love that you can wear it as a beach cover-up or to dinner at the country club (theoretically). 
After attempting to blow-dry my hair this weekend and ending up with an almost-afro, I went straight to my computer to order something smoothing and softening. I neglect my hair enough with only twice-yearly haircuts; time to get real about maintaining between appointments! 
A playful centerpiece to add seasonal festivity to your next backyard patio party (and, appropriately, pineapple-scented)!
There's lots of beauty buzz lately about hair SPF, and since mine's frizz factor soars this time of year, I've been reading up. The verdict: hair doesn't need SPF, but sunlight does dry out strands and make them brittle. Protect, hydrate and get TV-commercial shine with a moisturizing mist. 
The subtle flutter on this delicate top is perfection. A fun way to take the off-the-shoulder trend somewhere slightly different (and show off your sunbathing efforts)! 
Summer calls for a light and fun fragrance. This sheer one is "green and dewy," and the cap looks like a lime! Hello, fresh. 
As easy as Birkenstocks, but a little more feminine for date nights and wedding showers. 
Oversized to make a statement, but in a simple link construction, not too showy or gaudy. It reminds me of something Kristen Taekman would wear and that girl's got serious style game. Wear. With. Everything! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

fluted skirt.

This outfit is another schooling (see June's pencil skirt post) in not putting your separates in a box. I bought this fluted skirt last year for an interview at a trendy startup, so it's pigeon-holed in my mind as pseudo-corporate, and I have trouble remembering to wear it casually. But for a sunny lunch with my dad on Father's Day, I wasn't feeling jeans and impulsively paired it with a basic tank to switch it up. With the top tucked in, the two pieces looked like a sweet little dress, making for an easy transition into the balmy evening.

If you don't have a fluted skirt, get one now, girlfriend! The silhouette is super flattering for someone with hips, and it's a little flirty, but still a conservative length and age-appropriate. This J.Crew one feels really well-made and I anticipate wearing it for years to come. Now that I've realized its versatility, it's as essential to my wardrobe as a tailored blazer or white pocket tee.

If I'd really been on top of it, I would've added a pop of color with some Essie Clam Bake—one of my favorites. Hope you're enjoying the short holiday week! Seriously reeling that it is already the Fourth of July!

Mossimo tank top | J.Crew fluted skirt (old—similar below!)
Nine West sandals (old—similar here and here) | Necklace (similar here and here)
Michael Kors watch | Bangles (similar here and here) | Earrings