Ode to Summer Style: An August Swan Song

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I know everyone gets REALLY excited about Fall fashion; I mean, boots, scarves, and coats make almost any outfit instantly chic. Layering brings new possibilities for trusted wardrobe staples. I get it.

Does anyone else just LIVE for summer style though? Delicate tops that you *can’t* wear under a jacket, shorts being much more socially acceptable, (finally) finding the right bathing suit and luxuriating in the sun and salt of the beach with friends?

I adore summer, and so instead of doing my typical fashion guide-book or a “what to wear this fall” type of blog post, I want to do a reflective post– a tribute of gratitude– that looks back at all the effortless, sun-drenched splendor of my favorite season.

Finding the right suit:

Man, I have tried all manner of bathing suits, and as someone who has struggled with body image my entire life, I get that a lot of people are like, “yeah, good riddance summer!” But when I found a bathing suit that made me feel like myself (I’m not talking about feeling “sexy,” although that’s cool if that’s your goal), I felt free to just enjoy my time swimming and/or sunbathing. The vitamin D and instant mood boost? Incomparble, friends.

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Suit: Nu Swim; Bag: Baggu; Necklace: Merewif

The perfect delicate, white top that made me feel like Jane Birkin:

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Top two photos: Blouse: _rawson; Scarf: Timshel ShopBag: Baggu; Shoes: LoQJeans and Earrings: thrifted

Bottom two photos: Bag: Marais USAShoes: Swedish HasbeensSunglasses: Crap Eyewear

Straw hats all day, every day that make you look instantly put together AND mask the fact that you haven’t washed your hair in a little while because summer:

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Top: Hat: thrifted; Crop top: Paloma WoolBag: Marais USANecklace: MerewifRings: gifts from friends

Bottom two: Hat: SD Vintage Flea Market find; Top: handmade by Payge PriscillaShorts: EverlaneShoes: Swedish Hasbeens; Scrunchie: Lisa Says Gah

Easy, breezy white outfits (TBH, I wear monochrome white in the winter too, but in summer it just feels right!):

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Mini skirts with simple, comfy tees and strappy sandals= the ultimate vacation outfit:

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Tee: Everlane; Skirt: handmade by Payge Priscilla; Shoes: LoQ; Bag: Faithfull the BrandSunglasses: La Loupe Vintage; Necklace: Wolf Circus

Have I convinced you that summer style is actually really great and that we should enjoy the last few warm days before fall, rather than rushing into the next season?

My ulterior motive here (full disclosure!) is also to point out that our constant wishing for the next chapter in life causes us to miss out on the present, to feel dissatisfied with our lives and our wardrobes, and to continually consume without savoring what we have in its proper moment. Fashion has to do with our consumption habits, which are driven by our feelings of either satisfaction or restlessness. Moreover, fashion has a HUGE impact on our environment and social justice. Therefore, changes in the fashion industry (and our world) are directly related to our personal pursuit of presentness and joy. Crazy, right?

So let’s all slow down.

Put on your favorite, easy outfit. Then forget about your clothes. Breathe the warm summer air. Relish the warm glow of the long, lingering evening sunlight. Find the joy in being alive, in that small moment, even if everything else in the day (or let’s be real, sometimes in the season/year/few years) sapped your energy and took the wind out of your sails. Right now, right this second, you’re alive. And that’s beautiful.

 

The Wide-Leg Pant: Still Going Strong

Who else has major anxiety about the return of bootcut jeans?? Whether you’re an earlier adapter or someone who (like me) never feels quite ready to move on from a beloved style, here’s my take:

new and old trends can live together.

You don’t have to retire your $400 Jesse Kamms the minute that Jeanne Damas dons a pair of hip-hugging, full-length jeans! While I will probably give the new bootcut trend a try (and I’ll share my thoughts with you once I do!), I am definitely going to keep on wearing my wide-leg pants! I have two favorite pairs that I wear on repeat: one from Everlane, and one from Urban Outfitters, which I styled two different ways for this post:

Outfit #1: The Post-Punk Romantic (The Urban Outfitter Wide-Leg Jeans)

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This is one of my favorite outfits ever! This poet-blouse from Gravel & Gold totally gives me Keats/Byron/Shelley vibes, and billows in the most beautiful, gravity-defying way!

This graceful, utterly romantic top provides a sharp contrast to the modern edge of these high-top Converse sneakers and raw-hem, cream-colored jeans from Urban Outfitters.

Since both the top and pants have a lot of volume, I thought I would pull out my little bonsai bag again! The juxtaposition of different volumes (big pants, small bag) strikes a playful imbalance that I find really fun.

I also used the same jewelry in both outfits, but here’s a close-up of my go-to piece, the Matisse ring by Wolf Circus:

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Outfit #2: The Lady-Like Tomboy (The Everlane Wide-Leg Crop)

edit_img_0043For this outfit, I paired these Everlane pants in Ochre with a graphic tee from Jour/ne. The simplicity, clean lines, and overall loosely-fitting silhouette exudes a laid-back tomboy vibe, while the french-girl femininity of these lemon LoQ sandals and tiny bucket bag add a touch of glamour.

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Some advice for wearing wide-leg pants:

  • If you go with volume-on-volume make sure that your pants are cropped and not floor-length! The crop shows a little bit of your ankle so that you don’t look like you’re swimming in your clothes.
  • Go for pairs that are not only high-waisted, but a little bit fitted at the waist and hips. It won’t highlight your “problem areas” (which are not problem areas, btw, women are supposed to have curves! But that’s for another blog. . .). It actually makes your midsection appear smaller because of the volume at the bottom of the pant leg; balance is the name of the game.
  • You’re going to want to wear these with everything (if you aren’t already), so buy a neutral color so that you can pair it with as many tops in your closet as possible (or don’t, if you’re into bold colors!)

edit_img_0071I think this is one of the most flattering and body-inclusive trends that’s come around in the last few years, especially Everlane’s generous range of sizes in this style. I am still excited about this look, and I hope you get the opportunity to give it a try, or mix up your existing wide-leg pant ensembles!

Outfit details:

Outfit #1: Tee (Jour/ne); Pants (Everlane); Shoes (LoQ); Bag (Simon Miller); Ring and Earrings (Wolf Circus)

Outfit #2: Blouse (Gravel & Gold); Pants (Urban Outfitters); Shoes (Converse); Bag (Simon Miller); Signet Ring (Wolf Circus); Stacking Rings (Nomad West)

Photo Credit:

Outfit # 1: Melissa Chandler

Outfit # 2: Emily Nowland

 

 

The Puffed-Sleeve Sweater: The perfect party top this season

If you’re anything like me, you would rather be under-dressed than over-dressed. I love a good sparkly top or velvet mini dress as much as the next girl, but only if I’m going downtown for upscale cocktails. When it comes to the numerous, more low-key gatherings that fill the month of December,

I want to wear something that makes a more subtle statement: something that feels a little feminine and festive, but still cozy and approachable.

When I saw this gorgeous puffed-sleeve sweater by one of my favorite Los Angeles designers, & Other Stories, I knew this sweater was going to be my go-to look for casual holiday get-togethers.

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This particular sweater is sadly no longer available, but the puffed-sleeves trend is going strong, and many high-quality brands are offering their own take on this Edwardian-inspired, romantic look. Some of my picks include:

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I decided to lean into the ladylike silhouette of the puffed sleeves, so I tucked it into some fitted Levi’s and styled it with the Everlane Day Heels (in natural suede) and a structured vintage bag that I recently found at one of my favorite vintage stores in San Diego, La Loupe Vintage. I love light and bright neutrals, and this bag paired beautifully with this ensemble’s soft color palette, but with an added little pop of color from the amber-colored Bakelite handles (for those of you who haven’t come across Bakelite, it was a precursor to plastic in the midcentury).

3 ways to style a puffed-sleeve sweater:

  • Polished (seen in this post): Tuck it into a pair of pants that are cropped-length and fitted at the waist (for example, straight-leg jeans or a sailor pant); pair with closed-toe shoes and a structured bag; keep jewelry simple and delicate.
  • Urban/Casual (perhaps I will shown in a different post?): Wear untucked with a midi-length skirt (I would do something similar to the Naomi skirt by Realisation Par, as featured in this post.); pair with converse or the chunky dad-shoe and a leather tote bag; skip jewelry, except for maybe a signet ring (like the one that I have by Wolf Circus.)
  • Rustic and Cozy: Tuck only the front of the sweater into a pair of skinny black or grey jeans; pair with chelsea boots and a beanie.

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In my favorite childhood book, Anne of Green Gables, Anne saw beauty everywhere. However, she longed to not only observe beauty, but to participate in it by wearing what she saw as quintessentially feminine and lovely: puffed sleeves!

When this trend started popping up, I smiled, immediately thinking of Anne and how I still relate to the imaginative loveliness she discovered in every aspect of life.

Whether you decide to try this style in vibrant colors or light, muted shades (like the ones I tend to reach for!), the puffed-sleeve look is a contemporary nod to our inner-romantic, to the part of us that goes beyond the merely practical and embraces whimsy and wonder.

 

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Style details:

Sweater: & Other Stories (currently unavailable; shop similar here)

Jeans: Levi’s (upcycled by Free People; shop similar Levi’s with lapetitefemme.shop)

Shoes: Everlane (shop here)

Necklace: Graffiti Beach (shop here)

Bag: Vintage, shopped from La Loupe Vintage in San Diego

Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in seeing this sweater styled in a few different ways! I want to know what you are interested in seeing!

Animal Print: The (surprisingly) easy-to-wear trend to try this fall

When I first heard that animal print was trending,

I thought, “I am NOT going to wear that. Not every trend is for everyone. . .”

While I strongly believe in developing an individual fashion sense over chasing the revolving door of trends, I am also in favor of experimenting with new, inspiring style ideas. You never know when a trend might actually become a lasting part of your personal style; in special cases, that trend might not be one that you naturally gravitate toward at first, but then a visionary designer reinvents that look in a way that speaks to you.

You start to see it everywhere, and yet you also see it naturally integrating into your own closet, refreshing cherished pieces while harmonizing with your day-to-day wear.

This was me with the Naomi “Wild Things” Skirt by Réalisation Par.

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Before I saw this skirt, I associated leopard print with lacy red bras and teased hair (which, by the way, is totally awesome if that style makes you feel sexy, comfortable, and confident!). But when I saw this beautiful item by Real Par, I fell in love. I knew it would become an instant classic, and a staple in my fall wardrobe.

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Here’s why I love this particular skirt, and why the recent revival of animal print is the most wearable look right now:

  • Diverse lengths. Midi skirts have swept the style world, and (I predict) will be around for awhile. The midi looks great on short and tall, curvy and petite, and transitions from day to night easily. When doing animal print, consider a midi or maxi-length if looking for a skirt, or consider long sleeves for a top/dress; the contrast between the sexiness of the print and a conservative cut exudes a laid-back, chic vibe.
  • Simple color palettes. If you look closely at the skirt I’m wearing, you’ll notice that there are not a lot of different colors involved in this leopard print: it’s only black spots on a tan/gold background. The simple color scheme immediately drew me to this skirt. If you are like me and worry that the trend will wear you rather than the other way around, look for animal prints pieces that have a paired-down color palette (I have some suggested pieces listed below!).
  •  Quality materials. This skirt is 100% silk, and the material falls beautifully. This is where ecology and good style really come together: good quality, natural fabrics make animal print look amazing, but synthetic fabrics (especially stretchy ones) will warp both the print and the environment. If you find a piece you truly connect with, make the investment. You can save, or if you buy from Garmentory you can use AfterPay, which is a great way to grab a couple of key pieces from sustainable design labels.

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Now, let’s talk about styling.

As per usual, I combined indie design with one of my favorite recent vintage finds, an oatmeal-colored silk 1990s era sweater that I found on one of my thrifting excursions. When I bought the skirt, I immediately knew I would pair it with this sweater for cooler weather. Cardigans are another big trend this fall, and there are (for now) a ton of treasures like this one in thrift stores. (I tgive some vintage shopping strategies in one of my older posts; click here to read more). Tucked into a figure-skimming skirt, a cozy, monochromatic cardigan brings balance to a busy print like leopard, tiger, etc.

I finished the look with a chestnut bucket bag and navy ankle boots, both by Marais USA. I mean, it wouldn’t be a proper fall outfit without boots, right?

I think animal print is incredibly versatile, and when shopped in a sustainable, thoughtful way, it can become a vibrant, fresh accent within any wardrobe.

There’s always a bit of risk involved in trying something bold, but so often we limit ourselves and our choices based on fears of drawing too much attention to ourselves, feeling “silly,” too old, too young, too. . . . (fill in the blank).

I want to encourage you to think of yourself as someone who can wear anything that you feel drawn to; chances are that if you like it, it probably does fit into your style.

Take a chance, don’t limit your style, and give yourself permission to be creative.

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A little behind-the-scenes info: We shot these photos in the beautiful neighborhood of South Park, San Diego, and got coffee at one of my favorite places, Communal Coffee! (Click here for their Instagram) I will def feature another photo shoot with some deets about this amazing little local gem! Stay tuned!

Shop my look:

Jewelry: Wolf Circus Matisse signet ring (click here)

Skirt: Naomi “Wild Things” Skirt by Réalisation Par ; shop similar: & Other Stories skirt (click here); & Other Stories dress (click here)

Bag and Boots:  Marais USA (click here) ; shop similar: Staud bucket bag (click here); Intentionally Blank boots (click here)

(Photo Credit: Jaclyn Najir)

Pairing Vintage Denim + Luxe Sandals: Finding the right pair (in both cases)

Since I was old enough to pile in my best friend’s old Astrovan in high school, I have been a devotee of the vintage find. The sheer thrill of searching through a slew of things I don’t want and then. . . there it is: the perfect 80s linen dress, or 90s silk button down, or 70s beaded bag. In some exceptionally rare cases, you might find the holy grail of the vintage hunt: JEANS. You know, that unicorn pair that has just been waiting for you in the thrift store, made of actual raw denim so they look like the real deal (because they are), but also broken-in and comfortable, and happen to fit like a dream? Or so you’ve heard from your friend in Brooklyn, but it hasn’t happened to you. Yet. Continue reading “Pairing Vintage Denim + Luxe Sandals: Finding the right pair (in both cases)”

Maxi/Midi dresses: the perfect fall transition piece

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I don’t know about your town, but in San Diego, fall just suddenly dropped in out of nowhere.

One minute extended summer seemed in full swing; the next, clouds are covering the morning sky in a fluffy grey blanket, lingering until 2pm and even dropping some occasional drizzle. . .  (For my PNW and East Coast readers, I know this is a totally So-Cal thing to say!) Anyway, what I’m getting at is that fall is definitely here, and even though I love summer, I also love the change that comes with the turning of seasons! Fall has a crisp newness, bringing in heartier veggies, soups, warming spices, and of course, awesome new styling options!

Continue reading “Maxi/Midi dresses: the perfect fall transition piece”

Neutrals and Statement Bags: My Forever Fall [Transitional] Crush

So, first of all, as a SoCal native, I’ve never really paid attention to the decorum of “no white after labor day.” (I mean, does anyone really anymore? White is an AMAZING color all year!) But this time of year, as the bleached-out sunlight softens into a warm glow, I find myself reaching for creams, browns, and worn-in denim.

Continue reading “Neutrals and Statement Bags: My Forever Fall [Transitional] Crush”