November 21, 2016

Jess’ Go-to Holiday Outfit: Velvet + Leather

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My favorite place to visit during the Holiday season here in Grand Rapids is the Downtown Market. If you live in West Michigan chances are you’ve already been (and love it) and if you’re just passing through, it’s definitely worth a visit. Home to an expansive 24 vendor market hall that’s packed with inspiring local vendors: artisan foods, wines, gift boutiques, bakeries, clothing and decorated to the tills during the Holiday Season, the Downtown Market never fails to get me into the Holiday spirit. It’s a great place to connect with friends over coffee or a glass of wine,  shop for Holiday gifts AND the perfect opportunity for me to break out my new favorite Holiday outfit.

In past years, my holiday outfits have centered around skirts or dresses (which I love), but since they were such dressy looks, and not very warm to boot, I usually only wore them once over the holiday season. This year’s outfit: a Blank NYC Vegan Pant, velvet cami and slouchy cardigan, is so much more versatile and functional, that I could almost wear them everyday!

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July 21, 2016

Midi Skirts: A Non Shorts Summer Style Option

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I love summer (like, a lot), and even more so since I moved to Michigan and experienced the pure bliss that is a Michigan summer.   But..dressing for summer?

Yeah,  not so much.

There’s nothing like trying to get dressed on a hot summer day to to stir up all those body insecurities I spent the last nine months convincing myself I didn’t have.  It serves as a good reminder of why Fall is my favorite season-  jeans and oversized sweaters aren’t just favorite outfit options- they are precious protective layers!  I’ve joked before about my “cottage cheese” thighs, but it’s a lot harder to find the humor (ha, ha….ha?) when I’m trying on shorts and bikinis for the first time of the summer.  And, (TMI?) I’m a big time “sweat”er and sweat + shorts = an uncomfortable, irritable Jess. 

So over the years I’ve figured out a few ways to adapt my summer wardrobe to soothe my summer style stresses: skirts and dresses (ha! that rhymed). Midi skirts are the length I feel most confident in. My favorites are midi skirts with side splits, because they cover enough skin while allowing me to stay cool (or at least less sweaty). In July and August I usually throw on a basic tank or lace cami, a midi skirt and my Birkenstocks and I’m good to go for the whole day. Here’s how I styled a few of my favorite midis….

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June 10, 2015

How To Pull Off Pencil Skirts and Flats (Even For Petites)

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We had a blast at the World War Two Weekend in Reading, PA this past weekend.  (For more deets on the event, see my full coverage here.  It’s pretty amazing.)  But dressing for the weekend is always a challenge:  it’s hot, it’s sunny, I’m on my feet all day, and then at night…..there’s a swing band and dance party.  To make matters worse, most of the other attendees arrive in full 1940’s costume.  Every year they look GORGEOUS and glamorous, and that level of dedication truly makes the weekend feel like stepping back in time.

So. I wanted to wear something comfortable, but something that could hang with all of the pin-up girl glamour (although a few women came dressed as Rosie the Riveter which was awesome).  Inspired by Cam “grunging” her pencil skirt (bless her preppy little heart), I used Cam’s grunge to make mine…glam?

But here’s the thing:  Cams is tall. I am not.

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August 19, 2014

More Loungewear As Daywear: Beach Pants

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Let’s call these what they are:  glorified pajama pants.

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But the folks over at Hurley call these “Beach Pants” which makes them sound more like real pants.  And for those of you who have asked about options for covering pregnancy-induced (or not) varicose veins…..YES, THESE.

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(note:  links below have been updated for Summer 2015)

wearing:

pants: Hurley Bondi Beach Pants (sold out)….this year’s version is Hurley’s Venice Beach Pant

top: J.Crew Carrie Cami in stripe (sold out – try Express’ barcelona cami in stripe)

shoes: Soludos Sand Shoe Lace-up (sold out – the 2015 version is similar, just with a cool espadrille bottom and interesting color-blocking)

bracelets: Chan Luu wrap bracelet, Bauble Bar bracelet

 

Earlier this summer I actually threw these pants on with a pair of heels to entertain at home.  I think it worked OK.

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wearing:

pants: Hurley Bondi Beach Pants (sold out)….this year’s version is Hurley’s Venice Beach Pant

top: Everlane’s Ryan Tank

shoesDolce Vita Hexen

necklaceBauble Bar Long Arrow pendant (sold out – this one is almost identical)

 

Hope you are all enjoying the last little bit of summer!!

xo,

S

ps.  The sales are cah-razy right now.  Just updated the sale shop with some seriously great finds from Piperlime.

August 8, 2014

My Daily Beach Uniform and a Few Fun Links (Happy Friday!)

I swear.  Only in Michigan.

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The sun does warm things up….eventually.  Nothing like hot sand on skin to really feel like summer, right?

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wearing:

sweater: Marc Jacobs James Sweater (size XS/S)

shirt: Free People FP ONE Fly Away Tank (size XS) – Nordstrom also has a patterned version

shorts: Ugh. Abercrombie, simply because I’m still searching for a good low-rise pair.  Some readers have recommended the Dolphin shorts by Free People, actually. (A bit longer than their shark bite hem shorts.)  May still be too high-rise for the pair I’m looking for.

bikini:  J.Crew Neon bikini in Neon Papaya (currently 40% off with code DEPTOFSALE.)  If you’ve got a small bum I actually prefer the Neon Shrunken Lowrider bikini…and while my bikini top is gone, the Neon papaya ruched french top is pretty cute (or a classic halter).

shoes: Soludos Sand Lace Up in woven sand (on sale for $43 at Zappos) – I love the oxford vibe of this canvas shoe.

backpack: Makr Farm Rucksack.

 

Friday Links!!

Ok, first of all, J.Crew is having a sale that *I think* ends today.  It’s 40% off all sale items, AND 40% off a selection of full price items with code DEPTOFSALE.  Which brings me to my next point:

I created a sale shop.  Whenever I find something fabulous that’s currently marked down, I’ll add it to the shop.  Currently, there are some pieces in the shop from the J.Crew sale, and few from Nordstom, and – so exciting – Shopbop has a ton of expensive t-shirts marked down.  You know how I love an expensive tee.  See the shop for my picks.

I loved this NPR segment on the link between play and brain development.  “Countries where they actually have more recess tend to have higher academic performance than countries where recess is less.”

Are you reading Mother Mag?  You should be – they’re fabulous.  I’m now contemplating Mommy-and-Me outfits (no seriously – check ’em out I’m tempted!!), loved their round-up of cool sneaks and their fresh take on a mom-uniform.

Courtney emailed to let me know that Elle Macpherson has a lower-priced line at JCPenny.  Cute stuff!

Kim emailed about Rent the Runway’s new Pro subscription.  For $30/year, you can add additional dresses to each order for free (and get free shipping).  It looks like they’re also offering a new Unlimited subscription which basically works like Netflix DVDs, but with designer clothes.  Oooooooo…..I think I should try it.  In the name of “research” of course.

 

As you can probably guess from the pics, we are up in Michigan enjoying my sister’s new baby and having WAY too much fun with old friends and family.  Lots of summer bliss happening, for sure.  Hope your August has been relaxing!

Happy Weekend!

xo,

S

ps.  A thank you all SO much for your amazing ideas on yesterday’s play post.  I’m now trying to figure out how to get a big pile of dirt, PVC pipes, and tree stumps into my yard.  🙂

August 1, 2014

My Current Date-Night Uniform (For A Strangely Cold Summer)

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Silky tops, boyfriend jeans, killer heels:  my fav combination.  But with lows in the 50’s….hello sweater.

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wearing:

sweater: Marc Jacobs James Sweater, $198 (part of the Nordstrom Anni Sale – ends Sunday!!)

silk top: J.Crew Striped Carrie cami,  40% off already reduced merchandise, so….$35ish)

jeans: Blank Denim Relaxed Straight Leg Jeans, $88

heels: Sam Edelman Palma Sandal, $99 (part of Nordstrom Anni Sale)

bag: Antik Batik Buffalo Clutch, $149 (on sale at Shopbop)

necklaces: Tiffany pendant $250, Bauble Bar Long Arrow Pendant, $32

 

It’s the last weekend of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!  Some of you have asked what I actually ended up buying. Other than the pieces I’m wearing, I’m still deciding on boots (those Rag and Bones are wonderfully flat and comfortable – especially with super thick socks, but I do wear the heck out of rainboots on the east coast) and how many expensive sweaters I can actually afford.  That turtleneck cashmere sweater fits SO nicely under coats, which is a rarity for swingy sweaters.  And so does the Marc Jacobs, actually.  I keep staring at variations of faux-leather pants, and I may pick up a pair of the sweatpants despite my current, erhm, sweatpant collection because so many of you have asked about styling them, there’s typically one final random purchase Sunday night and oh! The Steve Madden snake skin sneakers – I have those, and yeah.  I’m rambling.  But we’re in the final days of the most exciting sale of the year so……  [incoherent mumbling]

 

Happy weekend!

xo,

S

July 27, 2014

I’m All Overalls and Kimono Crazy Round Here

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So I brought the $35 overalls home.  Mike took one look and was all, “Baby, those are HOT!  Keep those!”

(Notice he didn’t have the same reaction to the $300 turtleneck.  Go figure.)

In any case, I think overalls look best with something a little polished or a little…fashion-y, for lack of a better word.  The kimono was surprisingly perfect.  (And heels, of course.)

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Pax has been such a crack-up lately.  The other day I heard his little running footsteps coming down the hall.  He busts into my office, completely naked.

“MOM!  You wike me wike dis?  All Nay-Nakes?”

I sure do, Baby.

“O-TAY!”

And off he goes.  I love how their self-worth seems boundless at 3.  How he is so proud of his round belly and chubby little arms and legs which pump furiously as he runs ‘nay-nakes’ through the house.    I mean.

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wearing:

tank: J.Crew silk cami (I wash mine and hang to dry), $59

kimono: O’Neill Candice Top (on sale for $39)

overalls: Destroyed Slim Overalls (sold out – from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, ends 8/4)….or try these button-front overalls by the same brand.  It looks like the same fit, just with wash and detail variations.  Only $39.

shoes: old Betsy Johnson….love Aldo’s hot pink-and-wood wedges (on sale for $60)

bag: Moop paperback clutch

 

 

So tell me:  Overalls + kimonos….you wike me wike dis?

xo,

S

 

 

 

June 25, 2014

Red, White and Blue, Baby. RED, WHITE AND BLUE.

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For the 4th of July last year I wore a pretty white dress.  It was a small act of rebellion, wearing a white dress on a day that would involve dirty curbs and candy-stained fingers.  We even went to the beach.

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 (wearing: old Milly dress, Madewell sunglasses….but I love this stunning swing dress at Anthropologie and these red sunglasses.)

 

It was fun, though, being all dressed up.  There were sparklers and too much booze and too much candy and fireworks.  Or rain?  Maybe there was rain; I honestly don't remember. 

I do remember feeling rather pretty and sort of glamorous, which is always a nice (rare) feeling.  The power of a white dress!

Anyway.

Do you stick to red-white-and-blue on the 4th?  I don't typically endorse holiday attire in a literal sense…but the 4th highlights my three favorite colors:  white, white and white.

Just kidding.  I like navy, too.

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I like taking the 4th of July in a festive, dressier direction.  It's…fun.  

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Of course, once we were finished with our highly professional "photoshoot" at the playground….I was all, "Boys!  Time to go home!" and Pax was all, "not on your life, Mom".

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How are three-year-olds this strong?  They're THREE.

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And then we all went walking home where Raines pushed Pax off the curb and Pax retaliated with a punch and YES:  GLAMOUR ABOUNDS.

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wearing:

top: Bradamant Bodysuit – the Insider (it's a thong style and really comfortable!)

shorts: old Gap….try Gap 1969 Maddie Denim Shorts (currently on sale)

pumps: old Aerosoles…but am dying over these sex-pot red sandals by Schutz,  or these bright-red Gramercy pumps by Nine West look similar to mine, but good 'ol TOMS wedges (in red!) are the most comfortable option.

necklaces: Stella and Dot Piper Necklace (layers nicely – the length is adustable so it can be shorter than most), Gorjana Taner Collar Necklace

bag: old J.Crew….similar gold glitter clutch

lips: Tarte Lipsurgence Matte Lip Tint in Fiery

On Raines: old Daily Tea shirt, we cut off a pair of Gap's straight khakis (slim fit is perfect for R), and he picked out these Vans in…wait for it…TIGER CAMO (currently on sale).

On Pax: American Apparal leggings, "wed" Vans

 

Guess what's happening shortly after the 4th?  I'll give you a hint:  It starts with an "N" and rhymes with "mew website".  Yesssss….it's coming……

xo,

S