Best of the Best – Part Two

If you caught yesterday’s post, this is the second part where I’m covering the best products from my favorite brands. These are items that I own and stick out to me as staples to have in your closet for years to come. Check out the rest of my list below:

 

I have recently come to know and love Vineyard Vines over the past few years and especially since they put a store in my area. Two of my three “stand out items” are part of their fall/winter collection and aren’t out yet but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in their fall arrivals since they’ve brought them back the past two years.

Quilted Vest: I wore this all the time last fall-spring to the point I’m sure my family and friends were sick of seeing me in it. A lot of vests are bulky, this one is not. It’s thin, yet warm, and a little on the heavy side. It’s a substantial layer that seemed to go great over everything I wore. I love the leather detail on the back, and the gold buttons as well. It got a lot of compliments from strangers and I look forward to styling it again this year!

Chinos: I think a lot of people buy things from Vineyard Vines that look like they’re from the store (things with the logo, shep shirts, hats, etc.), but some of their best items fly under the radar. The pants in the photo above are hands down my favorite pair, which is why I got them in the tan when they went on sale. The fit of the pants is what’s key – they just seem to fit me nicely and the waist is perfect on them. They’re slimming and look great on their own, but can easily be tucked into boots without scrunching up. If they come back with them this year I am stocking up!

Shep Shirts: I have to add Shep Shirts to this list because I find myself wearing the ones that I own. They’re like a nicer version of your favorite sweatshirt and can even pull together a casual look. My favorite ones have the contrasting shoulder pattern or color because they’re so fun and very preppy.

 

Who doesn’t love J. Crew? It’s evolved over the years but still has stayed true to bringing in items that can act as staples in your closet. Here are the top three items I wear year after year from J. Crew.

Navy Blazer: All their blazers are incredible, but nothing is more classic that a navy blazer. Again, this is an item I keep out year round because it’s perfect in every season. A lot of brands make a navy blazer but there’s not one that will fit better and look better than J. Crew’s. I’ve had mine for around 7 years and it still looks new.

Puffer Vests: The best puffer vests come from J. Crew hands down. They are a thicker layer, but not too puffy, and just seem to layer nicely. I actually prefer the J. Crew Factory vests to the regular J. Crew ones because the pockets are angled instead of straight across, which makes them more natural to slip my hands into. I highly recommend getting a navy one for versatility, but they also have a burgundy one this year that’s a really pretty color.

Tortoise Hair Clip: You will find these at any J. Crew or J. Crew Factory and they’re incredible. I’ve had mine for 7-8 years and use it daily – it even goes on vacation with me. I use it in my bathroom to pull my hair back when I wash my face or to clip back sections when I’m curling my hair. I can’t believe a simple hair clip has lasted this long with daily use! If it does break someday, I’ll definitely be replacing it immediately.

Long before my Instagram/blog was around, I was a big Sperry fan. I remember one summer in college they had a photo contest on their Facebook where if your photo won you got a free pair of Sperry’s. I ended up winning three of those weeks until people kept complaining that the same person was winning. It wasn’t the last Sperry contest I won, and about 5-6 of the pairs I owned were won from the company. I first fell in love with the boat shoes, but really every type of shoe I’ve gotten from there I’ve been more than happy with. Here are my top three Sperry shoes:

Duck Boots: Their duck boots couldn’t be cuter and I like all the variety they have in styles. I have the pair above with the green and they’re great for fall. They are on the shorter end so they’re easy to style without having to tuck them into boots. I also like that they have a zipper on the inside of them so that they’re easy to take on and off and you don’t have to untie them. I’ve had mine for a few years and actually keep them on a shelf in my closet “on display” when they’re no in use because I think the style is so cute.

Wedges: I had a pair of wedges that were similar from Target that I got for $10, and I loved the style but they quickly started to fall apart and look cheap. When Sperry came out with their wedges, I was eager to try them and I’m so glad I did. Sometimes cheaper items are a nice trial to make sure you really love a style before investing in the real deal. These wedges are comfortable, stylish, and they go with everything. Again, I wear them fall through spring and after having them for years they still look fantastic.

Gold Cup Sperrys: I have more Sperry boat shoes than I’m comfortable with sharing… but if I ever get another pair of boat shoes they will be the Gold Cup edition. Sperry just sent me a pair two weeks ago of the Gold Cups and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to try them! The best way to describe them is it’s like slipping my feet into a cloud. They’re that comfortable, and I’ve been wearing them everyday even with outfits they don’t “go” with. I could go on forever about how great these are but it’s really something you have to try yourself!

 

I got my first KJP bracelet 8 years ago from some close friends. I had loved Kiel and Sarah and read their original blog, but at that point I had yet to share with anyone that I loved them so I was shocked that my friends knew me well enough to buy me one. I love that their products are made in America and the quality of every piece is evident to the smallest detail. I own quite a bit of KJP now, and here are my favorite items.

Pearl Necklace: I keep my jewelry on the simpler side and always tend to wear gold and pearls so this necklace was a winner. It was a slightly longer chain than most of my other necklaces so it layers nicely when I’m wearing something with a higher neck that would often hide a necklace (like a collared shirt and sweater over it). The monogram is an elegant and personal touch as well as the clasp on top of the pearl itself.

Oar Bracelet: This bracelet is so unique to me how they took the oar shape and made it into a cuff. The material in the oar design is a cork-like, which gives it texture as opposed to being a flat sticker like another company may try to pass off. My husband and I both own one and we get tons of compliments on them even from strangers. It’s simple yet eye-catching, and that’s a nice place to be at style wise.

Pearl Cuff: This isn’t an item I picked out myself since my parents gave it to me as a birthday gift in 2015. It’s funny how sometimes a piece someone else picks out ends up being better than one you would have picked out yourself. This bracelet has become my #1 favorite KJP item. I wear it all the time because I love the gold rope detail and the understated pearl. It’s a cuff so it’s very simple to take on and off, which is probably why I reach for it so often.

 

Best of the Best – Part One

I’m in and out of stores pretty frequently and am very familiar with the products that my favorite stores bring in year after year. I wanted to do a post highlighting what I believe is truly the best theses brands have to offer while keeping it to only a few items per brand. These are pieces that I think stand out in quality and style, and most importantly – staying power in both of those categories. I personally own a version of every item listed and can attest to the integrity of the product.

None of these are affiliate links. I never use affiliate links and genuinely want to share my favorite items and only link it back to the website for easy access if you want to view it yourself!

L.L. Bean is my go-to brand for quality items I’ll own forever – they guarantee it. Most brands I’m only listing 3-4 items, but I really couldn’t narrow it down for L.L. Bean because so many of their products are of the highest standard.

Quilted Jacket: I’ve had mine for going on three years (in the color shown above) and it’s one of my favorite items for fall. It’s the perfect weight, the lining is plaid, and the collar is corduroy underneath. I reach for it constantly and rely on it as the perfect layer.

Sweater Fleece: There are a ton of these on the market, but I think the L. L. Bean one is my favorite. The heather texture is done well, the pocket isn’t too bulky, and it’s a nice layer for chilly days. I keep mine out year round for cooler summer nights to the dead of winter.

Lightweight Down Jacket: This coat is thin but the temperature it can be worn in is unbelievable (20 degrees to -30). Living in Michigan with what I consider harsh winters, finding a thin, yet still incredibly warm coat is next to impossible. I wore this coat more times than I could count last winter. The best part is that it’s packable into a little pouch that’s sewn into the lining so when I went to Florida in January I just packed it all up and threw it in my carry on.

Fisherman’s Sweater: These sweaters are the real deal. I dare you to find a thicker, more quality sweater than this! I have the original cream color and the blue one shown above, but I’m partial to the blue because it has a ton of pretty blue tones throughout it ranging from light to dark. It’s so unusual and I get a lot of compliments on it. I would go up one size for comfort and layering.

Wicked Good Slippers: I would have never thought I’d ever pay $79 for slippers but after reading the 600+ five star reviews I decided to give them a try. I’m a big slipper wearer (year round) and am extremely picky about them. I didn’t use to like hard/rubber sole but these fit so nicely they don’t make me trip. The lining is so warm and soft but they don’t make my feet sweat. I wear them often in the summer even! I can buy a new pair of slippers every year or just buy these once and own them for years to come.  I end up wearing slippers more than any other shoes throughout the year so the price is worth every penny.

Bean Boots: Anyone who owns a pair knows how incredible they are. They are my go-to for any type of weather and I wear them from September through May. I would suggest getting the thinsulate version which is one step above their base model. Since I wear them in the winter, the thinsulate provides a little extra warmth to the already warm and waterproof boot.

 

I’ve always been a big fan of Land’s End – another company with a great reputation and incredible customer service. Land’s End changes up their inventory from season to season to keep it fresh but they do have a few staples you can find each year. My husband is a huge fan of Land’s End, so I can also attest to the guy’s department being just as great.

Outwear: I have many coats from Land’s End ranging from raincoats to heavy parkas and I couldn’t be happier with their quality and selection. After a harsh winter 6 years ago I broke down and got my first puffer coat and I still wear it every year, and have added another Land’s End puffer coat to my collection as well. I own the coat in the photo above (it’s on sale) and I love it. It’s easy to style and has the cutest toggle hooks.

Pointe Dresses: They come out with pointe dresses in various sleeve lengths and styles every year but the fabric and fit of these dresses are what make me a fan. They’re incredible soft and slimming, and the longer sleeves on them make them a go-to from fall through spring.

Drifter Sweaters: If I could own ever color I would. These are a classic cable knit sweater that aren’t too bulky or thin. The fit is right, the colors are great, and the look never goes out of style. You will frequently see me in the navy drifter sweater – and my favorite part is I got the sleeve monogramed on it. Land’s End allows you to monogram most things and having a small one on the sleeve is subtle and personal. I love it!

 

Ralph Lauren is my favorite brand and probably the style I’m most “known for” both on the blog and in real life. It’s the brand that shaped my sense of style and love for classic / preppy fashion. Here are the items I think really stand out for me consistently with Ralph Lauren:

Quilted Jackets: Ralph Lauren also does an excellent job creating luxurious looking equestrian wear and their quilted jackets are no exception. Most of their pieces have leather piping, brass buttons, and other gorgeous details. I’ve had a navy RL quilted coat for years and it gets better with age.

Jeans: My favorite pair of jeans ever is Ralph Lauren and they are so old I have no clue where they are from (outlet? macys? main store?). I just know there are very few pairs of jeans that fit me perfectly and the Ralph Lauren pair is my favorite. Every time I wear them on Instagram I get questions on where they are from.

OCBD: If there was one quintessential “Robin” item, it would be the oxford cloth button down. I have been wearing them for the better part of my life and have multiples of every color – which I’m not even embarrassed about because they all get worn. Blue is my favorite color and such a classic. I will always own a Ralph Lauren OCBD because it’s a style that’s been around forever and not going anywhere. It can be a nice layer or look great on its own – it’s the perfect shirt in my opinion!

 

Is there anything from these brands that I missed that you love? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Top 5 c/o Items I Use

When you see an item on a blog say “c/o” after it, it means that the item was given to the person by the brand or a store that carries that brand. I have been lucky to receive many items “care of” from a brand, and I only say yes to a company if it’s something I would wear and use. I know a lot of bloggers get items, wear them for a post, and never use them again, but I can truthfully say I wear and use everything I’ve been given. There are, however, 5 items that really stand out that I use daily. Although I wear all my clothes, I don’t wear the same clothes everyday, so this list is mostly accessories.

I think the amount I use the items is really a testament to how great they are. I am surprised by how often I use some of them! Check out my list below:

1. Demoiselle Pearl stud earrings. When this brand reached out to me, I picked out two beautifully necklaces to wear, and she ended up sending me these studs as well. I have always worn pearl studs (the ones in giant packs from Claire’s), but these are so much better. They are extremely high quality yet still affordable enough where if I lose one I’m not out too much. I wear these 6 out of 7 days a week and can’t stress how much I love them.

 

2. IziPizi Sunglasses. This French company reached out and asked to send me sunglasses. I would normally say no to this type of offer (being unfamiliar with the company), but the style shown above peaked my interest because I’ve always liked the style but was never sure if I’d like them on my face shape. I’m so glad I said yes because I love this pair –  I keep them in my car and use them daily. I mostly photograph in one of my pairs of Ray-Bans, but these are probably what I wear the most. They are a softer rubber material and pretty indestructible so I feel at ease throwing them on for whatever activity and not thinking twice about it.

3. Barrington Gifts Tote. I have more totes than I can count, but I always reach to this one for some reason. It’s just a nice size that works for my life and the outside is nylon so I don’t have to worry about getting it wet and being ruined vs. a cotton tote. I don’t know if there’s anything extremely special about the tote except that the size, the interior pockets, and the material it’s made out of work well in my daily life. I like that it’s more on the narrow side so I can throw things in there and they stay upright. With as many totes as I own, I was surprised at how much I’ve used this tote over the past year. It’s really a great accessory that I’ve grown to love a lot!

 

4. Tucker Blair Card Holder. This is an item I’m very surprised I use as much as I do! I loved the look of it so I eagerly said yes when they asked me to do a post on it, but I wasn’t sure if it would get as much use in my daily life since I have a larger wallet. I now keep my I.D. and credit cards in this and slip it into whatever bag I’m using (gym bag, purse, tote), instead of throwing my entire wallet around. I’ve been so happy with the versatility and the ability to put it in my pocket when grocery shopping instead of bringing my larger handbag. It’s another item I use daily and can’t imagine living without it.

5. Mark & Graham car organizer. I did a post on this past September and cannot tell you how amazing this car organizer is. I don’t always keep the cooler in my car, but the organizer stays in my car 24/7. I’m a year into owning a hatchback for the first time in my life, and this car organizer does not move at all. It makes it easy for putting things in the back without having to worry about them moving all around. The best use is putting groceries in it since it keeps it upright and organized on the ride home. I’m so sold on this piece that if something happened to it I wouldn’t hesitate to order a new one. If you have a hatch back and have a problem with items moving around the back, this will solve your problem.

Silk Slippers

sweater c/o ll bean / shorts – old j crew / shoes c/o artemis design co / tote c/o mark& graham

I’ve worked with Artemis Design Co. in the past and have nothing but great things to say about this company. Millicent, the owner, does a fantastic job of sourcing her footwear from the finest materials ensuring each pair is truly one of a kind. Her IG page is so dreamy and worth following just for the insta-stories on her trips to Istanbul.

I had uniforms growing up but my school allowed us to wear whatever shoes we wanted to so I saw that as a major loophole for expressing my style. I owned every color converse – the crazier the better. Since then I’ve always been a fan of “statement shoes”, and really find that they add a lot of personality into an outfit. For someone like me who tends to dress more classic, these shoes take an otherwise normal outfit and bring it to the next level.

Now owning two pairs from Artemis, I can attest to the serious style they bring to my wardrobe. They’re beautifully eye catching and attract a lot of compliments from strangers. I love telling them the story of these shoes on how they are ethnically made in Turkey by women using materials of their culture such as silk, kilim rugs, & raffia. Knowing the backstory deepens your connection to a brand and make them stand out even more in your closet.

If you have already, check out Artemis Design Co., I highly recommend it!

What to Wear to a Rehearsal Dinner

I’ve had the opportunity to stand up in three weddings, as well as attend countless rehearsal dinners for family and friends. It’s always a lovely occasion to go through the next day’s big event and say thank you with a dinner to those involved. I do have some tips for both those in the wedding and those attending the rehearsal dinner as to what to wear:

Don’t wear white. This is reserved for the bride for all bridal acitivities, whether it’s her shower, rehearsal dinner, and definitely the wedding. Wearing a dress that has white on it (like my bridesmaid dress above) is OK, but a solid white or overall “bridal” looking dress is always a no. Play is safe and wear a different color.

Wear the same shoes that you’ll wear the next day. This mainly applies to anyone standing up in the wedding. You’ll want to do a test run with your shoes during the rehearsal in case you need any last minute fixes. I would even suggest wearing a similar dress with the shoes to the rehearsal just to get the feel of it. In the wedding above, I wore a maxi dress and I normally am not used to wearing them so I had to get the feel of picking it up before climbing up altar stairs, etc. It’s smart to wear as close to your next day outfit for the test run!

Dress appropriately for the occasion. This may require a little investigating, but you’ll need to be able to tell how fancy of an event it will be to dress for it. Most rehearsal dinners are a step below the “fancy” level of the wedding, but some cultures and families may have just as fancy of an occasion. I would use the invitation, location of restaurant, and personality of the bride as clues on how to dress. A simple dress is always a safe bet.

Have you been to a rehearsal dinner? Do you have any other tips? 

Perfectly Patriotic

dress – c/o blithe nyc / handbag – dooney & bourke / sandals – jack rogers

I’m so excited for 4th of July weekend! It’s one of my favorite holidays and a great excuse to wear more red, white, and blue. I wear so much of our nation’s colors that our dryer lint is purple… This weekend Joe and I plan to go to Traverse City, Michigan with friends. Traverse City is at the very top of the lower peninsula and has gorgeous clear blue water. I’m looking forward to relaxing, boating, visiting lighthouses, and spending time with friends.

I might have found one of my favorite summer dresses! It checks all the boxes for me – great fit, blue, and gingham. It’s not your typical gingham though, it’s more of a hand painted pattern that is so lovely in this shade of blue. I love the collar and tie belt – these little details are what really make this a favorite for years to come.

The cutest part of this dress is they make a smaller version for a little girl. If you have a daughter or a “little friend” it would be darling to get the little version. 

Check out the rest of Blithe’s Southern Living Collection. They have another great dress with hydrangeas on it that has a really pretty neckline on it.

 

Do you have any plans for the 4th of July? 

4th of July Outfits

I love looking through other blogger’s post on what to wear for the 4th of July so I went through past year’s outfits and pulled some of my favorites. I’m all about going overboard for the holiday, so I encourage as much red, white, and blue as possible. Stripes, polka dots, and flag sweaters are some of my favorite ways to dress for the 4th!

What are you wearing for the 4th? How do you celebrate?

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