I am such a fan of green and this blouse from Dobbin Clothing is the perfect Kelly green for spring. This is a tunic length blouse, so it also looks adorable untucked with some slim pants. With wearable heels (seriously these shoes are uber comfortable all day) and a hat to sheild myself from the sun, I’m ready for outside brunch with my girl friends!
Search Results for: label/What I Packed
My family and I left for vacation on a Sunday morning and planned on heading home on Thursday, but we actually stayed until Friday. We were staying with relatives in the south, who live on a lake. I knew I would have access to a washer and dryer but didn’t plan on using it.
What I Packed:
- J. Crew navy cotton voile sundress (seen here)
- Lands’ End white linen sundress (seen here)
- Lands’ End green knit sundress (seen here)
- Soft Surroundings linen dress
- Old Navy denim cutoffs (seen here)
- Caslon orange twill shorts
- Kut from the Kloth white jeans (seen here)
- Old Navy black yoga capris
- Lands’ End Canvas orange plaid cotton voile shirt
- Target chambray shirt (seen here)
- Armourlux white/navy stripe tee (seen here)
- Old Navy gray vintage v-neck tee (seen here)
- Two casual tee shirts
- Aerin Rose blue halter one-piece swimsuit
- Lands’s End paisley halter one-piece swimsuit
- Softspots Tatianna sandals in tan
- Born Myndy sandals in yellow (seen here)
- New Balance sneakers
- Reef “Sandy” flip flops
- Three pairs of socks
- HOBO tan crossbody small purse
- Nordstrom yellow leather tote bag (seen here)
- A bunch of different bangle bracelets, these necklaces (only wearing one here but have two), this necklace, and my silver hoops
What I Didn’t Use:
- Lands’ End white linen sundress
- Chambray shirt
- Lands’ End Canvas swimsuit
What I Wish I Brought:
- Another pair of workout pants
- Water shoes
The car ride was about nine hours; on the trip down, I wore the orange shirt and denim cutoffs and the tan sandals, on the way home I wore the gray tee, white jeans (yep they are that comfortable!), and tan sandals.
We spent the majority of the vacation at their house, where it really didn’t matter what I wore. We went to the zoo one day, and for that I wore the Soft Surroundings linen shift with the tan sandals; I used the yellow leather tote since it was my purse, Emerson’s bag, and also carried some snacks and water. We went to a nearby bar for beer and wings and I wore the white jeans with the vintage tee (pretty much this same outfit, but with the yellow sandals and the yellow tote). One evening they invited over neighbors for dinner and a sunset cruise on the boat and I wore this outfit. I thought I may use the chambray shirt as a swimsuit coverup, but instead used the J. Crew sundress or just a towel.
The lake shore was rocky and the bottom either rocky or mucky, my flip flops couldn’t hang and I really wish I had a pair of proper water shoes. Emerson had a pair from REI and my husband wore his Vibram Five Fingers and they both had a blast while I stuck to the bottom of the lake. I also wish I had brought more workout clothes – I know my cousin and his wife are athletic, but I didn’t know I would have free access to a gym every morning and I took advantage of it.
I brought more dresses than necessary. This was a very relaxed environment where a sundress looked quite fancy, even with bare feet and no makeup. I felt most comfortable in my orange shorts and Breton-striped tee, which was casual but true to my personal style. While I could have packed my entire closet for this vacation, I tried to keep the list short so fashion wasn’t something I had to think about while away. I wanted simple pieces that could dress up and down with ease and mix and match.
I am breaking my Bonnaroo 2011 review into a few posts. I know this topic isn’t interesting to all; won’t be offended if you scroll right through. Do know I will soon return to regularly scheduled fashion posts!
Bonnaroo 2011 – the 10th anniversary of this music and arts festival, our fourth time attending, and our first time going as VIP. This year there were four in our party – me, my husband, my sister, and our friend Sarah (Emerson stayed with Grandma).
For those who do not know about Bonnaroo, it is a four-day festival taking place in Manchester, Tennessee in June (I will sometimes call it The Farm as that is is on an old farm that was recently purchased just for Bonnaroo). There are two stages, three large tents and several smaller stages where musicians perform pretty much from 11am until 4am (or later!). On top of that, there are artists, dancers, vendors, food, and the best people watching on the planet. Oh, and a water slide and Ferris wheel! Bonnaroo is hot – there aren’t any trees and very little shade; when it’s really dry it can get really dusty and hard to breathe and when it rains it can easily flood your campsite or parts of the festival grounds (known as Centeroo).
Over 80,000 people attend Bonnaroo each year and most camp. There are several types of camping programs available – General Admission, Family Camping, Access Camping (for those with disabilities and needs for close access), VIP (what we chose this year – details in a future post), RV and VIP RV camping, All Access (which is where you get to live the life of a celebrity in a tour bus with major access and perks), and even some folks choose to spend their evenings in a hotel and take a shuttle to Centeroo each day.
Centeroo is a fenced-in area at Bonnaroo where all the events take place. You can see from the image above how massive Bonnaroo is.
There is a real mix of musicians who perform at Bonnaroo – rock, jazz, soul, blues, gospel, hip-hop, bluegrass, country and everything in between. Because of this there is an amazing mix of people – attendees come from all over the globe, some who are attending for the first time and some who have been to all 10 Roos. All who love music. Attendees come in all ages too – this year seemed to have more college-aged folks than usual and the majority of the crowd is under 30, but it’s not shocking to see folks in their ’60s, ’70s, or ’80s rocking out at a show right next to you. Many people also bring their children as that Bonnaroo has a program set up just for the little tykes.
After being on The Farm three times before, through dust storms and record-breaking heat, and rain I felt pretty knowledgeable about what I should pack to be prepared, comfortable, yet still adhering to my personal style. However, I found that going VIP meant I overpacked. There was far less need for things to keep me cool, hydrated, and protected. I am going to share all that I packed, and then write about what I used and didn’t.
What I Wish I Brought:
- Gummi fruit snacks. I had these previous years and loved them for a quick sweet treat. You can tuck a packet in your bag for a Centeroo snack.
- String cheese. We had too many dry crunchy snacks and string cheese was always something I enjoyed at previous Roos.
- Better shampoo and conditioner. Man, the stupid combo stuff made my hair a tangled, dry, frizzy mess. Was very grateful for the Garnier Fructis samples at the showers.
- A proper shower caddy. This year we had shower trailers and the bucket got all full of water.
- A big floppy hat. I was constantly feeling as though the tops of my ears were burning; a bigger hat would have been chic as well as offer better protection.
- TOMs or flat espadrilles. My boots ended up not being too comfy (learn more later), the flip flops were downright dangerous in Centeroo, and I just couldn’t break down and wear the Crocs. I saw many people in canvas shoes that looked quite happy. My husband and sister both wore Sanuks and liked them at Bonnaroo.
- Cute tops to wear with my cutoffs. When we were camping in GA, regular shorts would have been ridiculous – they would be too hot, too constricting, would ride up and be awful. However being VIP I didn’t have to walk as much and had respite from the heat. It would have been nice to be able to switch to a breezy cotton camisole with cutoffs for later in the day.
- My camera battery charger. My camera battery was near-dead once I arrived so I only took a handful of photos.
- A better phone. My Droid sucks and wouldn’t keep a charge for more than an hour, even though I didn’t have on WiFi and didn’t use it for anything but to check the time
- A watch. Something small and waterproof. I heard Walmart has little ones in the toy section for a couple bucks that are of gummy rubber. That would have been perfect.
- A grill. I found grills to be a PITA in GA, but in VIP it would have been nice to cook up breakfast each morning. In GA you can find a vendor that for $5 will give you an overflowing plate of eggs, potatoes, and onions. In VIP for $10 you get a pretty meager breakfast and have to walk a mile to find one of the GA vendors.
- A bigger table. We had more space in VIP and it would have been nice to have a table we could use as a dining table, or to organize/store our foodstuffs nicely.
- More jewelry. I went down wearing a beaded necklace from Forever 21 that stained my necklace and shirt, and a pair of silver hoops. I have a necklace I usually wear to Bonnaroo but it broke just before we got in the car to leave. My other necklace I was going to bring broke two days before we left.
What I Didn’t Need:
- The Crocs.
- The jeans. It never seemed to get cold enough where I felt I needed to bundle up. A shirt or hoodie and my boots was plenty.
- The Uhydration tablets. We never got that overheated where we needed to replenish like that
- The hose. With VIP, you have 24 access to real showers, no need to DIY at a water station.
- The watermelon. We forgot about it.
- A case of beer. I hardly drank so we ended up taking home almost an entire case.
- The solar radio/iPod and speakers. We were so close to the main stage at camp, we never touched these things.
- My henley. I wore the chambray shirt one night, the hoodie another, every other night was pretty warm while I was out.
- The Clorox wipes. I only used the porta-potties once while on the Farm so I didn’t need to sanitize. Along with that, no need for toilet paper or carrying personal wipes all day; and no need for the Pstyle. I only used the personal wipes for quick cleaning between showers.
- The bathing suit. But then I always bring a bathing quite everywhere because you never know when you will need it and they don’t take up much space!
- My husband’s energy bars. I don’t think he ate any of them.
Packing: GA versus VIP
Do know, my regular list would have probably been pretty awesome if we were in GA again. Over the three years and my time on the Inforoo message board I really learned the best things to bring, and what was pointless. I learned that comfort trumped fashion, that even SPF 30 will give you a dark tan by the end of the festival, that porta-potties aren’t that bad if you are prepared.
My standard uniform for the past three Bonnaroos was a 100% cotton sundress that floated away from the body, a pair of cotton underwear and a cotton bra, moisture-wicking bike shorts that keep me cool and also offer modesty in wind and when sitting on the ground, a straw hat, sunglasses and either my Crocs or DUO boots (the boots with cotton socks). It wasn’t glamorous, I wouldn’t be featured on any street style fashion blog, but it got the job done and I didn’t have to THINK about my clothing all day long. Come evening, I would change either into a maxi dress or just slip jeans under my dress. I liked loose jeans since I would be dusty and sometimes sunburned – far more comfy than tight denim!
However, with VIP you have creature comforts. Three different locations for air-conditioned toilet trailers. The ability to wash your hands or take a shower twice a day. Fresh fruit at your disposal and cool, dark tents where you can rest up and recharge. Shorter walks to Centeroo (and two close entrances that drop you off in two different parts of Centeroo). It’s easy to stay clean, be comfortable, and look cute. All the people I saw in adorable vintage dresses, lacy peasant tops and vintage cutoffs either had on the VIP wristband or a press/all access badge and lanyard. If we do VIP again I feel I can be more creative with my wardrobe.
Also realize we have chosen over time to bring less food and purchase more in Centeroo. It may not seem cost-effective, but each year we saw how much food we brought home (even this year we brought home half the oranges, the watermelon, the bread and PB&J – only made one sandwich, and a third of the snacks were never cracked open). It’s hard to plan on being back at camp when camp is so far away; it’s easier and ends up being more frugal in the long run to only bring snacks and maybe breakfast food and purchase everything else at Bonnaroo. Vendors in GA have cheap food; in and near Centeroo you can get cheap arepas, pizza slices, and grilled cheese sandwiches. On top of that, there is some pretty spectacular food. I ate alligator, field green salads with candied walnuts, “black lemonade” which was lemonade mixed with a slush of crushed fresh in-season berries, and fabulous DIY pitas with fresh veggies, tzatziki sauce and grilled chicken. This year they even had a section for fancy food trucks!
You will see we packed frozen water – when the water is frozen it acts like ice for your food. It melts throughout the time there so you always have icy cold water to drink! We have also learned that if you bring two coolers, you can once a day open the big one to fill the small one, and it will keep things cold/frozen longer in the big cooler (the less often you open a cooler, the longer it will stay cold). We didn’t do that this year and had to purchase ice twice while at Bonnaroo.
It is important to drink lots of water, but it’s also important to replenish salt in your body when you are sweating a lot. Salty foods like pistachios, and hydration products like Gatorade and Uhydration tablets help greatly and taste good.
I can’t stay up for four days straight like I could a decade ago so I use 5 Hour Energy to survive at least part of each late night at Bonnaroo. My husband guzzled FRS drinks a couple times a day to stay energized. I take the 5 Hour Energy 5-7 hours before I plan to crash because I can feel them wearing off and I end up almost dead by time they have run through my system. Some people have reactions to 5 Hour Energy; I recommend you try them out more than once before you go to Bonnaroo to ensure they work and don’t work against your body.
It’s hot. Seriously hot. Crazy hot. Heat and drinking do not mix, both will dehydrate you, and if you drink a lot you will be less likely to realize you are dehydrated. People die at Bonnaroo due to hyperthermia and heat-related issues – even well-experienced festival goers. If you’re thirsty, drink water. Keep the drinking of alcohol until after the sun starts to go down.
There are drugs at music festivals. I have heard Bonnaroo isn’t as bad as many others in regard to this but do know this takes place. No one will look twice at you for abstaining. But realize people will stop by your camp asking you if you need any, people will be using them right next to you at a show, and especially once the sun goes down you will see the effects of people using all sorts of drugs.
On the trip down, cops will search cars looking for drugs. When you hit the farm, security may search your car and the search may be basic, or they may tear your car inside out. Cops on horses patrol the campgrounds looking for drug dealers. I don’t care whether you partake or not, I just want you to be fully aware before you go.
L.L. Bean Boat and Totes are my favorite for packing. They hold a ton, they have a sturdy bottom so they don’t tip over, but are flexible enough to smush around a cooler so you can close the hatchback. I have almost a dozen (and just got another one from Lands End the day we returned from Bonnaroo!). My pet Boat and Tote is the XL zip-top with extra-long straps. It’s berry with teal trim and it’s big enough to hold all my Bonnaroo clothes, beauty products, and even shoes. We used another for mine and communal beauty/personal supplies, another for camping equipment. We used a Whole Foods reusable bag for snacks, one of those mega IKEA blue totes for camping equipment, and my husband used a big duffle from his Navy days for his clothes and necessities. My husband also shoved our pillows and bedding into a waterproof bag which worked a bit like a SpaceBag by shrinking it all to the size of three basketballs.
Packing: Getting There
The two of us go in my husband’s Subaru. We drop the back seat, and use a Thule storage bag on the roof. I know four people can fit in a Honda Civic with all their equipment, but we liked that we had complete open space up front, the ability to see out the back window, and could access any of our luggage while on the road. On the way home, we were able to shove everything in the actual car and not use the rooftop carrier.
We have learned to wash the car before we go. We don’t advertise that we’re going to Bonnaroo because that’s just begging for a cop to pull you over and be tempted to search your vehicle. When driving into the farm, we dress conservatively – my husband wears a polo, I wear shorts and a regular top. The cops are drooling for cars to pull over kids and we don’t want to be seen as a kid. We have also found this speeds up our entry to Bonnaroo because we look like tame, respectable adults.
We stay overnight in a hotel on Wednesday so we’re well rested for our first day at Bonnaroo. I have learned to pack a single bag to take into the hotel with our toiletries and change of clothes. This way I don’t have to rifle through the entire car for our toothbrushes. We also use our Wednesday night to hit a Walmart for refrigerated items like beer (also a great chance to pick up things forgotten like allergy meds!).
On Thursday, we have the tickets in the glove compartment, the GPS ready to go, and a couple icy bottles of water ready for the cops directing traffic into Bonnaroo. The local police in Coffee County Tennessee work really hard to keep the lines moving quickly and smoothly and it’s not an easy job. When you slowly inch by them, thank them for their service and offer them a sealed bottle of cold water. It’s the right thing to do. This is another reason why we don’t overstuff our car – so we can reach the cooler!
Packing: What Not to Bring
- Don’t bring things like flat irons and hair dryers. Seriously ladies, it’s okay to spend one long weekend with frizzy hair tucked under a hat or scarf.
- No drugs, no glass, no weapons. Yes, we have broken the glass and weapon rule, but do as I say, not as I do okay?
- Nice stuff. Leave your It Bag, your favorite dress, your designer jeans at home. I personally think you should also leave home computers and other electronics but if you do feel you need to bring them, be sure to lock them in your car out of sight.
Packing: What Not to Forget
- Your tickets/wristbands!
- A second set of car keys. One pair should be on your person at all times, the other pair should be somewhere safe (on your friend’s person, in your friend’s car, etc.). It would suck to have to pay a locksmith to get back in your car.
- Car battery charging cables. Again, it would suck to require assistance while at Bonnaroo.
- Sunscreen. I don’t care if you think you never burn, if you want to get a tan, if you think you have a base tan. It’s darn hot and there is NO SHADE. I wore SPF 30 on my body and 55 on my face the entire time, reapplied almost hourly and still came home with a dark tan. A sunburn would ruin your experience mighty quickly.
- Immodium AD. I know, gross topic but again this could ruin your experience pretty quickly. Change in water, change in environment, too much beer, too much sun, too much fried food, a sketchy snack from a vendor on Shakedown… be prepared. Along with this, some Motrin, Benadryl, and aloe vera are good things to also have on hand.
- Something to hold water. Water is available for free in Bonnaroo but you need some way to carry it. Camelbaks aren’t chic but they make a heck of a lot of sense. You can drink while walking, you don’t have to carry anything, and you can wear it and dance your booty off at the same time. A little water bottle won’t cut it; my 32oz. bottle was hardly enough and I was in VIP. Again, comfort over fashion – dress to stay hydrated.
Next post will be about what I wore each day… additional posts will come regarding how the VIP experience was, and what I saw/did each day while at Bonnaroo.
I gotta say, style rules be damned, I love me a pleated chiffon maxi skirt. I’m short, I’m overweight, and I don’t care. I saw this one at J. Crew Factory and felt it was a perfect replacement for my beloved Ann Taylor maxi skirt, which now has a broken zipper, stretched to twice its original size and hasn’t held up well with time. This new skirt is a 14, and I didn’t have to have the length altered. I wore this skirt with the brilliant InStyle Essentials shirt (hello shirts sized by bra size!) for a more work-friendly look, but found it also looked fab with a simple gray Old Navy Vintage v-neck tee (see here on Instagram). I love how skirts like this can dress up and down with ease and are nice and breezy for the upcoming warmer weather.
Last weekend I went to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with my mom, sister, and daughter. This is an annual Girls’ Getaway for us.
We always stay at the Avenue Inn, which is reasonably priced, close to the beach and all the shops and restaurants, and is really clean and beautiful with wonderful amenities. We arrive Friday afternoon and leave Sunday afternoon and spend the majority of Saturday on the beach.
What I Packed:
- Blue halter one-piece swimsuit
- Paisley halter one-piece swimsuit
- Tan and white print silky halter top
- Breton-stripe Armourlux tee (seen here)
- Hot pink matte jersey drape-neck top (seen here)
- Keith Richards tee shirt (seen here)
- Orange plaid cotton voile shirt
- Chambray shirt (seen here)
- Gray-blue heather v-neck tee (seen here)
- White v-neck tee
- Denim cutoff shorts (seen here)
- White jeans (seen here)
- Cream jeans (seen here)
- Black and white print short straight skirt
- Navy floral cotton voile sundress with spaghetti straps (seen here)
- Brown jersey maxi dress (seen here)
- Tan sandals
- Reef flip flops
- Straw fedora
- Small tan leather crossbody purse
On the way down I wore another Old Navy vintage tee and denim cutoffs with the tan sandals. When we got there, it was after lunch so we decided to not go to the beach and instead enjoy the hotel’s pool. I wore the paisley suit with my tee shirt and shorts and flip flops.
That evening, we went to Hobos for dinner. I hadn’t been there before, but was intrigued by their goal to have the menu be as local and organic as possible. I wore my brown maxi dress with the tan bag and tan sandals. For accessories I wore an ivory short necklace, silver hoops and my silver cuff. After dinner we wandered onto the beach so Emerson could check it out. Afterwards, Emerson and I headed back to the hotel since it was her bedtime. Worked for me, I was able to catch the majority of the Olympics Opening Ceremonies!
The next day we headed to the beach. I brought the chambray shirt and the navy dress as potential beach cover-ups, but instead went with denim cutoffs and the white v-neck.
We stayed at the beach until around 3pm, then headed to the hotel to get out of our swimsuits and went to Claws for an early dinner (they have a lobster promotion from 4-6pm). We didn’t even shower, didn’t dress up because we knew we’d likely be covered in lobster – I wore my Keith Richards shirt with denim cutoffs and flip flops. It’s a casual place and the ensemble was completely appropriate.
After, we wandered through a few stores and headed to Funland for Emerson. Actually, Emerson was still terrified of the rides (even the little boats, though she sat in one for about a minute), so us adults ended up playing a few games to win her a couple stuffed animals. We then went back to the beach to enjoy the view, the weather, and Emerson’s peals of laughter as she threw the stuffed animals across the beach and then ran to get them. After, my sister took Emerson back to the room for bedtime and my mom and I wandered around the main drag, looking at stores and talking. We stopped by Catchers and got an outside seat, shared a salad and each got a glass of rosé, but it soon started raining so we ran back to the hotel. Emerson slept in one room and the three of us watched the Olympics in the other, drinking red wine and eating chocolate chip cookies from the hotel lobby.
Usually, I go out with my sister one evening and we do a bit of bar hopping or head into Dewey to see a band perform. I expected to wear my white jeans with the tan and white halter top. I also brought the hot pink top and printed skirt to wear in case I ended up going out both evenings to bars and such. Oh well, will have to wear them another time!
The next morning, we had breakfast at the hotel, checked out a few stores right near the hotel, stopped by a bookstore that had Curious George visiting (blew Emerson’s mind), and then decided to head home. This year Emerson’s older – we didn’t bring a stroller and she doesn’t have the patience for the shopping we have done in the past. On Sunday, we usually hit the rest of the Rehoboth shops and then stop by the outlets; this year we drove right by. I wore my hot pink matte jersey top with the white jeans, tan sandals and purse.
I obviously didn’t wear everything – as mentioned, the chambray shirt and dress were potential beach outfits – the shirt as a coverup, the dress as something I could even wear into a restaurant over my suit for lunch. I brought the plaid shirt in case it was chilly in the evening – I often wear it with denim cutoffs for a casual weekend look. The cream jeans I was thinking I could wear home, or pair with the chambray shirt or the blue vintage v-neck for a chilly evening that is more casual. The Breton-striped tee was a silly choice as it has sleeves, is a bit fitted, and would have only looked nice with the white jeans. Actually, the skirt was also a silly choice as it would have looked terrible with any of the shoes packed – I mainly packed it because I just got it the day before with the pink top and it was sitting there begging to be invited.
Rehoboth Beach is interesting in that you can wear most anything once the sun goes down. During the day it’s typical daytime fashion – shorts and sundresses. However, come sundown you will see the same daytime clothes, resort attire, club attire, verging-on-evening attire, and everything in between. Sitting at Catchers, I saw women walk by in bathing suits covered with a pareo, women in sequined shorts with silky blouses and heels, women in body-con dresses and flip flops, women in chino capris and Polo shirts, women in ribbed tanks and denim cutoffs, women in floral cotton sundresses and flat sandals. At the bars, you will also see most everything, though most veer towards shorts and pants with fun tops or sundresses.
Usually I do a lot of shopping in Rehoboth – this year I spent my money at Forecastle so the only spending was on dining and for Emerson. To keep from being tempted, I went in very few stores that I knew carried things I liked. I don’t NEED anything right now, so that was also motivation to not spend!
It was a really nice weekend. This year it was all about Emerson and it was fun to see her have such a good time and experience new things!
Everyone was so surprised that I could fit a week’s worth of luggage in my Lands End tote, so I made sure to take pictures of my bag for this weekend’s getaway. Since I worked late on Thursday and had to get to work very early on Friday (and then leave straight from work to the beach), my packing was less calculated and more throwing random stuff into a bag and crossing my fingers. What I packed:
- Old Navy denim cutoffs
- Bold print loose rayon tank from Downtown Cowgirl
- Tan crocheted sweater from Ann Taylor
- White ribbed tank from Caslon
- “Make Art Not War” tee shirt
- Pink Heritage Oxford from Lands End Canvas
- Chambray shirt from Merona
- Mauve tissue-weight boyfriend cardigan from Ann Taylor
- White chino shorts from Target
- Ivory/navy stripe scoop tee from J. Crew
- Red stripe maxi dress from Gap
- Olive jersey sundress from Banana Republic Outlet
- Same dress in purple print
- Navy cotton sundress from J. Crew
- Red-orange knit surplice neck dress from LOFT
- Multicolored clutch from Novica
- Strapless bra
- Nude bra
- four pair underwear
- My Shimera nightgown
- White paisley halter swimsuit from Canvas
- Turquoise halter swimsuit from Swimspot.com
- Orange beach towel from Lands End
- Black Reef “Sandy” flip flops
- 22 oz. Camelback reusable bottle
- bodycology Body Wash and mesh scrubby
- Contact lens case, solution, and extra pair
- Toothpaste and brush and NTI
- Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner
- Jonathan Create Motion (didn’t bring dryer or curling iron since I knew friends would have)
- Round brush and paddle brush
- Razor and extra blade
- Eye cream, day moisturizer, night retinol treatment and night cream (forgot face wash)
- Large cosmetic bag of makeup
- Small cosmetic bag of some jewelry (hoops, green shell earrings, some bracelets)
- Cell phone charger
- Extra pair of sunglasses
To work and for the trip down, I wore my navy Canvas dress, jute belt from Anthro, tan Softspots sandals and carried my brown Sandhurst hobo from Banana Republic.
When we got there, I changed into my denim cutoffs, white tank, and tan crocheted sweater.
The next day for pool, boardwalk, lunch, etc. I wore my Canvas bathingsuit and my J. Crew dress as a beach coverup. That night, I wore my purple print dress from Banana Republic outlet. Sunday, I wore the same dress in olive.
So yep, I totally and completely overpacked, but I was in a rush and at least I had options!
The weekend was fun, but exhausting. Since I had to work until 3 on Friday and we all wanted to ride in one car, we didn’t get to Rehoboth until 8pm. Instead of spending forever trying to figure out where to eat, we went to Adriatico. Never a line, outdoor seating, reliable and good service and food. After we roamed looking for a good bar to hang out and ended up at the Parrot Biergarten which happened to be right next door to where we were staying!
The next day we were feeling the effects of our wild and late night. We had a slow start and a slow day… we didn’t even get to the beach. Instead we hung out on the sundeck of the hotel, which has a really nice pool and hot tub. We went to Zoggs for lunch which looked interesting, but had meh food, gross bathrooms and terrible service. After we roamed around the boardwalk and shops, and then went back to the hotel for a late afternoon nap. That night we went to Claws for crabs.
We planned on going out to the bars, but realized we were pretty exhausted and spent from Friday so we roamed around Rehoboth (at this time I got my new blouse and a vintage leather cuff) and then went back to the hotel room where we watched Titanic and were asleep by midnight. We’re such wild folks!
Sunday we headed to Dewey Beach to go to Suicide Sunday at The Starboard. We used to be big Dewey people, but haven’t gone in a couple of years. It was fun to return, make our own Bloody Marys, bop to ‘90s pop, eat Eggs Delmarva. After Suicide Sunday, we planned on hitting the outlets. While driving to the Coach outlet, a car pulled up to us and informed us that our brake lights weren’t working. Awesome.
We stopped by an auto body shop which thank goodness was open on Sunday. Unfortunately he said we needed some part that he didn’t have in stock. He did a reset, and wished us well. The reset lasted maybe five minutes and then the brake lights were out again. So we drove home slowly with a “Brake lights not working!” sign in the back window and our hazards blinking. And then we drove into a torrential rainstorm. What should be a three-hour drive took us more like six. By time I got home, I was completely DONE. D. O. N. E. I snuggled a bit with Emerson, my husband made casual dinner of pulled pork sandwiches which we enjoyed with one of my friends from the weekend and her husband and I was in bed by 9:45.
As we were packing up on Sunday, I found it too funny to not photograph:
Amanda from Miskabelle Vintage asked me what I packed for my week-long trip to Vermont. I would love to say I made a very careful list and planned out all my outfits (and my sister would like me to say this as well since she told me a dozen times to make one so I didn’t forget anything). Well, in typical Allie fashion I didn’t make a list. I packed the night before, and just imagined the week in my head as I stuffed randomness into my mega-big L.L. Bean Boat & Tote. Good thing, I imagined the trip properly; I wore 99% of everything I brought and wanted for nothing.
What I Packed:
- Crushable straw hat (didn’t wear… didn’t even find until the last day)
- Two one-piece bathing suits (only wore one but believe in bringing a second one just in case)
- Loose longer denim cutoffs
- Shorter denim cutoffs
- Pink oxford shirt from Lands End Canvas
- Black zip-up hoodie
- Black yoga pants
- My red striped jersey maxi dress from Gap
- My olive knit sundress from Banana Republic Outlet
- The same dress in a purple print
- Navy cotton sundress from J. Crew Outlet (seen in my update post)
- My mauve boyfriend cardigan
- My yellow merino boyfriend cardigan
- A yellow ribbed tank (same color as cardi) from J. Crew Outlet
- White shorts from Target
- One pair of dark jeans (never wore them)
- White and navy striped bracelet-sleeve scoop tee from J. Crew
- My olive cargo jacket from Caslon
- Purple thin jersey nightgown from Shimera (similar silhouette but mine is opaque jersey)
- My “Make Art Not War” tee
- White v-neck tee from Ann Taylor
- My brown, white and blue print cotton top from Banana Republic Outlet (never wore)
- A random pair of sunglasses picked up at the DC Sip & Swap (because I couldn’t find my Ray-Ban aviators)
- My tan suede tote from J. Crew (old, beatup, good pockets, can become a crossbody)
- Black Reef “Sandy” flip flops
- New Balance sneakers and two pairs of no-see-um socks
- Tan sandals from Softspots
- And while there, I purchased a very soft and lightweight blue tee advertising our cousins’ restaurant
The house advertised laundry facilities, but I wasn’t going to rely on them. Was happy to find out that they did in fact have a washer and dryer, as well as detergent and a clothes line.
On the way down, I wore the pink oxford with the looser denim cutoffs and the tan sandals. Most days I wore shorts with a tee or tank; come evening I usually switched into a dress. I wore the navy J. Crew dress a lot because it’s 100% cotton and not jersey – it dried fast if I got it wet near the lake, it was breezy, and it was low-fuss. I wore the tan sandals almost exclusively. The flip flops were too casual and not good if we walked long distances, and these sandals are incredibly comfortable. I was going to return them, and then took them by chance and now adore them. The oxford was a smart choice – I wore open as a beach coverup, paired with the white shorts for a more put-together look, as well as wearing them on the ride down with very casual shorts.
What I Wish I Brought:
- A bathrobe. My husband’s family is the type that gets up, grabs a cup of coffee, and checks email or sits out on the deck in sleepwear. My nightgown is… well it’s pretty. I guess it could be seen as sexy since it has a low neckline (I bought it back when still nursing because it worked well for that while still being a style I found attractive). I ended up wearing it with my yellow cardigan, feeling a bit ridiculous. If I had brought my navy jersey robe from Lands End, I would have been a far happier camper.
- Beat-up loose jeans. I have one pair… and they are too big. I don’t own any casual jeans right now, all my pairs are from NYDJ and are dark and fitted. We went to a farm, we spent a lot of time near or on the water, we stayed up until midnight around the dining table playing card games, we sat in the grass and looked at the stars – it would have been nice to do it in denim instead of yoga pants or a low-cut maxi dress.
- My aviators. The sunglasses I brought were fine, but they are really big and a bit heavy. It would have been nice to have my trusty aviators; I have had them for three years and they are like a second skin when worn.
This was a very casual week – the one night we went out to dinner it was at the cousins’ restaurant and fellow diners were wearing jeans and Tevas (it is small-town Vermont after all). That night I wore the purple print jersey dress and the sandals and brought along the mauve cardigan for when the sun set. One day we planned on going to Montpieler and I put on the striped tee and cargo jacket with the more fitted cutoffs, and it was appropriate for going “into town.” There really wasn’t much need for fancier duds, and locals probably could tell I was a tourist from a mile away with my wardrobe.
As for beauty products, I kept it pretty simple:
- Nature’s Gate Awapuhi Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner (smaller bottles than my Pureology and I wanted to try it out since they were kind enough to send it to me)
- bodycology Body Wash
- Venus razor and extra blade
- Bar of hotel soap
- Neutrogena Foaming Face Wash
- bodycology Body Lotion (which doubled as hair styling lotion)
- DDF SPF 15 moisturizer
- Olay eye cream
- CVS brand night cream (I think it’s a copy of Olay)
- Dove Clinical Strength (for night) and Fresh (for day) deodorant
- Hairdryer (never used) and curling iron (used once on bangs)
- Almay Smart Shade foundation
- Cover Girl Lash Blast waterproof in Black
- Shu Eumura lash curler
- Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Rose
- Cargo Matte BeachBlush in Tenerife
- Toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss
Back in the days of Sassy magazine, I read where a girl had loose curls in her hair and she kept them glossy and slightly controlled by a small amount of Lubriderm. I have found that when I leave the DC area and experience well water or soft water, this works great for my hair as well. I will lotion up the bod, then a tiny bit more on my already lotioned hands, rub it in, and then touch the tips of the hair and work from the bottom up. Scrunch, let air dry and the small bit of lotion will keep frizz at bay, give a soft shine, and enough hold that my hair won’t be completely flat in an hour.
The Nature’s Gate shampoo and conditioner smelled great, and is sulfate-free so it didn’t ravage my hair. I also love what Nature’s Gate is about, and how they use natural ingredients and work hard to be a sustainable company. However, my hair is pretty finicky when I change shampoos and I could tell the difference in the way my hair acted and looked while in Vermont. I think this shampoo would be good for those with very fine hair and those who don’t color and ravage their hair like I do mine. My husband has become a fan and has taken over the bottles now that we have gotten home.
Fashion and beauty really weren’t on my radar while on vacation, and it was nice to have a vacation not just from work but also from being so concerned about my appearance. Since I have built up a useful wardrobe, I didn’t have to stress about what to take – I just took the clothes I wear on weekends and it worked out.
For a while after having Emerson, I was at a loss on weekends. It was either stretched out postpartum knits, or dressy work clothes. As I have come to find myself again, I have also found my casual self. I have figured out what types of clothes work for weekends and after hours that are simple, carefree, but still fit my personal style. I have found casual dressing to be far more difficult than social or corporate attire because there is so much gray area. If I go to brunch or the movies, I will have friends who will wear designer sundresses, and other friends who will wear tee shirts and cargo shorts. It took a while for me to find my niche, a style that is appropriate, but also me. A bit preppy, a bit boho, everything machine washable and everything works with the same pair of sandals, though can be dressed up with different accessories.
I swore off LOFT for a while, the quality had really gone downhill and the sizing was inconsistent. However, this winter I tried them again and found some great wardrobe staples that were the quality I remembered from before and a 14 petite pant, especially in the “Julie” cut fits me quite nicely. I haven’t really been a pants person in recent years, but after being in a cast so long I really enjoy more effortless clothing and pants allow me freedom. I’ve been gravitating towards more pants for the workweek, and have to say most of the pants I now own are LOFT.
While I paired the pants in this post with an ivory jacket, I wore them to work with a black boatneck tee (see here on Instagram) and out to dinner with a bright green silk drapey sleeveless top. Crazypants can be versatile!
Now that the cast is off and the swelling has gone down, I can finally get into the spring fashion spirit! Here’s a few things I have recently purchased and like very much:
1. Well all know my adoration for stripes; when I saw this shirt at J. Crew Factory was only $21 I had to try it. I love the fit, the shape, the fabric, everything. It’s tempting to get it in gray as well!
2. I don’t ever shop Walmart, but I was on vacation in a small town where it was the only place to go to get a pair of shorts for Emerson. While there, I found these shorts by Faded Glory for $12.94 and I must say they’re pretty great. Good length that is comfortable yet not dowdy, a bit of stretch so they’re flexible but also keep their shape, and a nice non-dorky wash. Totally got rid of the cheesy neon skinny belt and will likely do an at-home distressing on them, but not too shabby. As with any shorts, I went a size up for a better fit.
3. I don’t own this EXACT shirt from Boden, but unfortunately the one I got is no longer on the site. This shirt featured is the Eliza Top, and I own the Eliza, but in a cerulean and navy stripe (yep MORE stripes!). I absolutely positively LOVE this shirt; I love silk but hate washing it (this shirt is machine washable); I like ¾ and bracelet-length sleeves now to protect my scar but stay breezy (this shirt has it), and I love a top that is casual like a tee but can dress up for work (wearing it right now with a pair of trousers and pumps, looks great tucked into a pencil skirt, and this weekend wore with boyfriend jeans). The Eliza Top from Boden is a regular in their collection and a great addition to many wardrobes!
4. I now own five pairs of Nine West’s Flax pump (black, natural, silver, peacock print, red and black spotted haircalf). I know that seems a bit insane, but it’s a pretty perfect shoe. Single sole, pointed toe, walkable heel height, and a nice price. I’ve been wanting a “nude” leather pointed toe pump for over a year, but find each pair is too pale, too dark, too pink, too something for me. The Flax’s Natural Leather is a pretty perfect shade for me, and I love having a shoe that looks great with both pants and skirts.
5. Another silky shirt with an in-between sleeve length! This is the Sophie Blouse from Dobbin Clothing, and while it has the same basics I like from the Boden Eliza Top, it gives a completely different effect thanks to the details. Slightly crinkled silk, gold buttons down the front, and blousy sleeves. The color makes it work with black, brown, ivory, and denim quite nicely. I often wear this blouse untucked with dark wash narrow jeans, but also wear to work tucked into ivory tropical wool trousers.
6. I mentioned my desire for delicate gold this spring, and I am still loving my Rebecca Minkoff cuff; I also picked up this dangly but not too jingly bracelet from Nordstrom for $24; it doesn’t look cheapy, it’s stretchy and doesn’t get in the way when I type.
7. This Panama hat is only $17 from J. Crew Factory. Runs a bit wide, but I like that because I can twist up my hair and tuck it in the brim to keep my neck cool (or hide bad hair).
8. Me and my Lifetherapy bracelets – it’s an addiction! I love turquoise, I have a few bracelets from the company in blue (see here) so it brightens up my current collection, and this one has an Aquarius symbol! I like that these bracelets are just one long cord; I’ve been known to also wear them as a long necklace with tanks in the summer!
9. Seriously, the Converse Shorelines are my jam! I’ve missed having casual tennis shoes for spring and summer, and these are so easy to slip on, no heel blisters, and no looking as though I’m wearing shoeboxes on my already chubby feet.
10. Linen always looks like such a mess on me. Well this spring I’ve given up being crisp, and have embraced the casual wrinkled-ness of linen. My J.Jill white linen big shirt is great knotted over distressed jeans, and these pants (the Julie fit from LOFT) I love with a simple cotton knit sweater, silk blouse, or with a denim shirt.
Outfit posts have been few and far between because it was slow and difficult getting dressed with the arm, and honestly pretty depressing. I gained weight and lost muscle being so sedentary during my time on disability, and just putting on a tee shirt could leave me in tears. And then, much of my wardrobe didn’t work with the cast, only having one arm to put myself together after using the bathroom, the stiff swollen arm and all that jazz. But I feel SO much better, have much more flexibility and less swelling and am feeling like myself again. So stay tuned, for actual posts of me wearing these new pieces!
As a petite curvy woman, I find most corporate fashion requires alterations to fit. So when Nora Gardner contacted me and told me about her Chelsea Collection I was thrilled. Now those of us who are petite, tall, a different size on top than on bottom can get an almost custom fit straight from the box! Made in New York at the Garment District, Nora Gardner is exclusively for professional women who want something simple yet aesthetically pleasing that can also be worn from day to night. The Chelsea suiting collection is feminine, flattering, but works for even the most conservative workplace. Well made in a great selection of colors, I can see mixing and matching these pieces all seasons of the year. I plan on wearing the lined skirt with my black turtleneck sweater and tall boots, and the top would look great with my winter white tropical wool suiting trousers. Nora Gardner also offers gorgeous work-friendly dresses as well as professional-looking jewelry and hair accessories. I love finding out about woman-owned and USA-made companies who understand and cater to the professional woman with style!
I took a break from the blog over the winter holidays and ended up not capturing some of the great outfits I wore for holiday parties. I wore this dress Christmas Eve and love how it looks so dressy but is so easy and comfortable to wear. Like everything else I have from Dobbin Clothing, this dress fits and flatters my curves so nicely straight out of the box. This is the kind of dress that can be worn all four seasons of the year and all levels of formality with a quick change of accessories.
I featured this clutch from Dagne Dover in a previous outfit post; this time I added one of the two straps available for the bag. The included short strap makes it easy to slip on the wrist to hold a cocktail or plate of hors d’ourves; there’s also a longer strap available to turn it into a shoulder bag. I had to show the interior of this little clutch, it holds so much! Inside the pockets I have more cards, change for the meter, blotting papers, key, and a couple pieces of gum; everything you need for a night out on the town. Plus, the portion with the cards is held on with a magnet so you can easily remove it, use it like a wallet and switch it to a different bag. Brilliant!
I have a wedding to go, and ever since the wedding where I dressed fancier than the bride (I wore a simple velvet sheath!) I have a horror of wearing the wrong thing. The wedding is at 4, with cocktails, dinner, and reception to follow, all at the same venue, an “event center.” Essentially a ballroom. I did email the bride and she just said “We don’t really have a dress code. Not black tie but not sweats and a t-shirt. Well, there’s a LOT in between there. Jersey maxidress? Sparkly mini? My feet are likely to be swollen so I’m leaning toward something I can wear flat sandals with, but other than that I’m kind of at a loss what to wear.
Event planners and brides to be… please understand that a dress code isn’t snooty or pretentious, it’s a helpful guide for loved ones who want to ensure your event is great. A specified dress code will reduce stress on your guests and ensure you don’t end up with anyone in black tie or sweats and a tee shirt!
That being said, this is the type of event where I pull out my black crepe sheath dress. Sleeveless, simple neckline, skims the figure, hits the knees; it’s simple and easy to dress up or down. For a wedding that starts at 4pm you can accessorize a dress in a multitude of ways to make it look festive yet appropriate for a crowd in khakis or a dancefloor full of sequins. Of course, the dress does not have to be black, but it’s a color you often already have in your closet.
You mentioned the desire to wear flat sandals, and for a wedding at an event center I’d keep flat sandals to a midi to maxi length dress or skirt. While traditional jersey maxi dresses would likely be too casual for a wedding at this hour, one in matte jersey or with a chiffon overlay would be perfect and just as easy to fit in with a more casual or more dressy crowd. Again, black is not the only color; a bright or pastel hue would be quite festive and appropriate for an August wedding.
Both types of dresses are extremely versatile. A lined sheath in crepe, triacetate, silk, or a blend can be worn to work, dressed up for a cocktail party with strappy heels and sparkly jewelry, or made more casual with nude pumps and wood accessories (see my post on how to style a black sheath four ways). A matte jersey or chiffon maxi dress can also lead multiple lives; I wore a black matte jersey maxi as the matron of honor at a relatively formal wedding, then wore to a garden wedding with gold flat sandals and even wore to a bridal shower with brown sandals and wood and leather jewelry. Not only that, these fabrics are seasonless making a dress purchased in the summer wearable for holiday parties on your event calendar!
I know it’s a somber topic, but I live in a hot climate and I have a relative who is ill and in hospice. I realized today that I have no idea what is okay for a funeral in a VERY hot climate.
The most important thing to factor when dressing for a funeral, is dressing out of respect. First, consider the religion of the service, then dress in a way that shows you understand the formality of the situation and that you know you are not the subject of attention. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t wear it to church or to an office where it’s Business Attire (not Business Casual), it’s not appropriate for a funeral.
These days, a sleeveless dress and bare legs is appropriate at most American funerals, especially when it’s a very hot climate. Consider a lightweight cardigan if there’s a service inside the house of worship and a hat to protect yourself from the sun at the grave site. If your shoulders are bared, your neckline should be very modest, the fit not too tight, and the hemline at the knee.
In your email, you mentioned a maxi dress and while it wouldn’t be inappropriate to wear a long skirt, many maxi dress styles these days are lightweight jersey and have low necklines. If you have one that is of a dressier fabric (cotton sateen, crepe jersey, linen, silk blend) and doesn’t show off your décolleté, it can work. Again, if you wouldn’t wear it to church or to work, I’d consider something else.
Pants are acceptable for less religious funerals, and can be far more comfortable in the heat. Linen trousers (not drawstring slouchy pants) with a silk or crepe shell is perfectly acceptable.
As for color, black is not necessary these days; as long as the color doesn’t scream “look at me!” it’s acceptable. Muted colors like navy, olive, plum, mauve, gray, taupe, and brown are acceptable. If you wear a print, it should be very subtle (watercolor prints, tone on tone). Again consider the religion before choosing the color; some only wear black, some wear white, and some encourage bright jewel tones.
As for fabric, as long as it’s not too casual (denim) or too formal (satin), it’s okay in such heat. Linen and cotton is acceptable if it’s in more formal of cuts and ironed before wearing.
Accessories set the tone for your outfit; keep the sparkly necklaces and statement shoes at home. A simple pair of leather shoes in a neutral, a delicate chain necklace or a strand of pearls, a leather bag free of adornments that complements the color of your outfit. If there is a grave site service, choose a wedge or flat shoe so your heels don’t sink into the grass. Though you may be seeing many people from your past, it’s not a high school reunion and not a time to show off your sartorial skills.
Finally, what you wear is not as important as your attendance. Few will even notice what you’re wearing; as long as you don’t dress to receive attention you will be just fine. My heart goes out to you and your family during this difficult time.
Sweater: Lands’ End (on sale!) | Scarf: Spun by Sparkle Luxury c/o POPSUGAR Must Have Box | Necklace: ‘Sydney’ Pendant by Sparklepop c/o POPSUGAR Must Have Box | Jeans: Gap | Bag: Tiny Tote c/o Dagne Dover | Boots: ‘Santana’ c/o DUO | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Watch: Citizen | Bracelet: Nordstrom
This past Friday was our department’s end of year/holiday potluck and I wanted to add a bit of a festive touch to my casual Friday attire. The most recent POPSUGAR Must Have Box made that super easy! I received the December box and was highly impressed, several goodies that I truly liked. This is the second time I’ve had a chance to review the POPSUGAR Must Have Box and both times the contents have blown me away. This scarf from Spun Scarves retails for $62, and this pretty necklace from Sparklepop retails for $42 and were both in December’s box along with a $37.50 Dauville Bowl from Canvas Home (utterly gorgeous, on my nightstand to hold change and hair accessories), a $24 long-wear lip lacquer from Smashbox (not my color but a really nice formula), $4 gift tags from the Etsy store Knot & Bow (very cute), and a $14.95 cupcake mix from Williams-Sonoma (haven’t yet tried, likely will use for Emerson’s birthday next month). Not too shabby for a box that is $39.95 for a monthly subscription. And right now with code DEC14SELECT you can save $10 on a three-month subscription (expires 1/2/15). I’ve had the chance to try out some other subscription boxes before but POPSUGAR to me has been the best value, providing products you’d actually want totally a price that far exceeds the cost.
I can’t believe this sweater hasn’t yet been featured in an outfit post! I know I’ve written about it a ton, it has been on Instagram, and made a tiny appearance for Halloween but this has become one of the hardest working pieces in my wardrobe this fall and winter. While it’s usually paired with jeans like here, I have also dressed it up with ivory trousers, and as I planned in this post, worn with a flippy black skirt.
Anyway, back to the potluck! We’ve had a tough end of the year, our department is merging with another office and there’s been a lot of change, people moving, some leaving, some changing departments and it was so nice to have us all together in one room, eating home-cooked food made with love, laughing and having a good time together. I feel really lucky to work with such an amazing group of people that are brilliant, hard working, but also have the biggest hearts.
POPSUGAR provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own and POPSUGAR did not tell me what to say or how to say it.
The older Emerson gets, the busier my weekends. Girl Scouts Daisies, dance classes, birthdays, homework (yes kindergarteners have homework!), play dates are all scheduled with errands and chores tucked in the free moments. I keep my weekend looks like a uniform so I can save my brain power for the tasks at hand. A pair of stretchy jeans, footwear that will be comfortable all day, and a top with stretch that will look great even after seatbelts, sitting, and being squashed into parkas. Lyssé sent me this top recently and the gorgeous berry color (they call it Pomegranate) keeps my look from being ordinary. This is one of my favorite colors, almost the same shade as our kitchen! Since my Saturdays are usually a two bag day (one big tote for Daisies stuff, ballet outfit, etc. and then my purse) I’ve recently switched to this adorable gold bag from Dagne Dover. It’s small and cute but well designed like its bigger sister to hold everything and have all the contents easily accessible. Got my coffee and I’m ready to take on the world of a five- almost six-year-old!
I LOVE your wardrobe capsules. They are always amazing. I would love to see a simple mix and match capsule for evening. Specifically, I just returned from a 10-day cruise of the Caribbean. It was amazing, with one glitch. The evening dress code was smart casual; and on a cruise ship this is more dressy than I expected (I’m from California, where jeans are cocktail attire!). I was woefully underdressed with dowdy shoes. I usually travel with black and white clothing, but a color capsule would be awesome too!
While I haven’t been on a cruise for a few years, I have experienced the issue of “smart casual” and formal nights on cruise ships, and understand how hard it is to dress appropriately for the situation. Not only are you dealing with limited luggage space, but you have folks from all over the globe dressing in all sorts of different manners. I found it’s best to pack simple garments and statement-making accessories.
Three years ago, I was asked to be in my friend’s wedding and she let me pick any black dress I desired as my Matron of Honor gown. I got a black matte jersey maxi dress from Calvin Klein that had twisted straps that were thin but thick enough to cover my bra, a faux wrap skirt, and a self-tie belt. I wore that dress for the wedding with black heeled sandals and a statement necklace. A few months later I attended a destination wedding in Charleston, South Carolina and wore that same dress with flat gold sandals, gold dangly earrings, and an armful of gold bangles. I also wore that dress with beaded earrings and a weathered brown leather belt and brown leather thongs. My point is that such a dress is surprisingly versatile. Choosing a silky jersey (Rachel Pally dresses fit the bill, are a classic style and come in a broad range of sizes) or matte jersey (Calvin Klein continues to have great options season after season) maxi dress means you can dress it up or down with ease and it will travel well (few wrinkles, any you get can come out easily if in the room with a hot shower).
Here I took a simple black maxi dress and showed how a switch of accessories can completely transform it. I know you mentioned comfort shoes in a different part of your Ask Allie request, so I chose shoes that aren’t sky-high. The wedge can easily be lower or even flat – another perk of maxi dresses is that they look great with flat shoes and said shoes aren’t the focal point of the ensemble.
A black maxi dress is a great choice if you have a formal night, but many cruises and resorts just require “smart casual” or “festive” attire. This capsule wardrobe helps you pack light but with many options:
- Maxi skirt with sequined tank and black sandals
- Maxi skirt with orange top and gold sandals
- Maxi skirt with a simple neutral tank or tee in your luggage, gold belt and gold sandals
- Black jersey pants with sequined top and black sandals
- Black jersey pants with orange top and black sandals
- Black jersey pants with sheer top and black sandals
- White jeans with any of the three tops and gold sandals (add the hoops, bracelet, and belt for discothèque drama)
- Black jersey tee shirt dress with black sandals
- Black dress with gold belt and gold sandals
- Black skirt with any of the tops and either sandals
This can be dressed up with a different choice of shoe (a heel is always seen as more formal), switching the pants to a tuxedo or shantung cigarette pant, the skirt to something sparkly, the dress to something more form-fitting or dramatic in silhouette. However, I used this based upon my own experiences on cruises and at resorts, where some nights you will find folks in full-length gowns, the other nights in club attire or sundresses. Solid colors and fabrics like matte jersey and stretch silk look elegant while being travel-friendly and versatile. These pieces can also be worn during the day – the orange top would be adorable with olive chino shorts, either of the skirts with a simple tank top, the dress could even be a beach coverup.
Choosing a single concept for accessories lightens your luggage load – I chose gold jewelry because it’s easier to find decent-looking costume pieces and instantly adds glamour. I really believe in a long necklace of chain or sparkly beads like jet – it really changes the silhouette of any ensemble and can make the simplest dress look chic. The addition of a belt, be it a scarf cummerbund, a leather obi, or a gold chain can quickly change the shape of a dress, add definition to a monochromatic ensemble, or dress up a simple tank and maxi skirt. Using color sparingly and thoughtfully will give extra miles to neutral pieces – the skirt could easily be switched to a neutral or a bold hue, the orange top could be a print or another dressy fabric, all the black pieces could be gray or ivory. This just gives an example of how very simple pieces can create an elegant and festive evening wardrobe for a vacation.
I’ve been hearing about Sole Society for a while and admired their shoes but didn’t know much about the brand or its quality. So when Sole Society contacted me and offered to send me a pair of their shoes to try out, I was pretty excited. While Sole Society has many fun and fashionable styles, I wanted to try a more classic pair that could work at the office. I chose the ‘Ena’ pump; a 2.5″ heel shoe with a pointed toe and bow detail. While it comes in a black and white tweed and mushroom colored suede, I chose navy suede as it is becoming more and more a prominent color in my wardrobe. I ordered an 8, my regular size and found it to fit like most department store brands of shoes, both in width as well as length.
For this outfit, I styled the Ena Suede Pump in more of a Casual Friday look with dark denim and a navy blazer, but have also worn the pumps with a simple sheath dress and with ivory trousers and a silk tee. Sole Society is known for high quality shoes, bags, and accessories at amazing prices and these pumps do not disappoint. I think the quality and style rival brands that would sell a similar shoe at twice the price. I also have to say that from the blog end of things, it has been a pleasure working with the people of Sole Society, they’re super nice, personable, and passionate about their brand. All that and they have a referral program where you can earn a $25 credit for referring friends to Sole Society!
Have you shopped with Sole Society before? What do you think of the brand?
Emerson said this dress looked like rose petals underwater. I said it reminded me of a Monet, she quickly agreed which freaked me out because we haven’t really taught her that much about artists. A Monet fan in a past life? Besides the dress being a pretty print, it’s pretty comfortable too. It’s fully lined, but the lining is a bit stretchy and not as hot as a traditional acetate one. While this would look cute with a skinny belt or shoes in one of the great colors of the print, I decided to keep it simple with nude pumps and a fun little bracelet. And this bag was a Hobo Sample Sale purchase that has given me years of happiness; it has a chain strap making it uber versatile and an unexpected classic.
This dress is a perfect example of why I love Gwynnie Bee; it’s a pretty dress that I kept for more than one wear, but it’s the type of dress I would purchase and then grow tired of before the season is through. With Gwynnie Bee I can keep and wear as long as I wish and the return for a new dress to love!
Fingers crossed the cast comes off tomorrow. Once that happens, after taking the longest shower and scrubbing my body from head to toe, I’ll resume outfit photos. But in the mean time I’ve been sharing my (almost) daily outfits on Instagram and I had to share here because there’s been some fun new things.
I’ve become pretty good with this cast, I’m now flexible enough to get on non-stretch tops and dresses and zip and button jeans. The other day I even buckled my sandals all by myself and I can now unhook my bra without turning it around to the front of my body! This opened up my wardrobe even more, and has made getting dressed a bit more fun. What I have been wearing:
Top row: Karen Kane Contrast Lace Dress which is lightweight for summer but a style that can be worn later in the year; Felicity and Coco high-low hem knit dress with an old belt from Hobo Bags; Flor faux wrap dress via Gwynnie Bee
Middle row: Dobbin Clothing Jackie dress in navy with leopard pumps from Ivanka Trump; this weekend I cut off the longer layers of my hair (and am tempted to cut off more!); typical weekend look – black tank from Caslon, these denim shorts, silver Birks and my Rough & Tumble bag
I look forward to sharing here on the blog soon, and thank you for your patience and support. And if you want to send any strong bone/cast-free vibes my way I’ll happily take them!
If you recall, I partnered with emploi New York in the past with an uber flattering jersey dress; well this dress is from their latest collection. In a color that is surprisingly flattering on my winter fair skin and a ponte fabric that is comfortable and warmer than many knits, this is a great “desk to drinks” dress that could easily dress up for the holiday season. Being 5’3″ I immediately felt I had to take this dress (and most clothes I buy) to the tailor to shorten the hem, but I decided to leave it as-is for variety in my closet and a more winter-friendly length. When it gets colder I will be wearing it with tights and tall boots to the office. I love how emploi creates truly wearable clothing for the professional woman; fashion that is on trend but still appropriate for the boardroom.
Well emploi has expanded to include jewelry! emploi New York has partnered with RAGEN Jewels for a gorgeous jewelry collection. It’s an artisanal collection with only a few pieces of each style available. There’s statement pieces like the Angel Wing Pave Earrings and then delicate everyday looks like the adorable Wish Bone Necklace. I can’t wait to see what else emploi has in store for the New Year!