How to Style (& Not Style) Stripes

It’s no secret that stripes are everywhere, and the peak time to wear them is summer! You can see me in stripes often, mostly in my favorite colors of red, white, and blue.

These three shirts are my hands down favorite striped shirts. The two outside ones are from L.L. Bean and the middle one is from J. Crew Factory. I really love the one on the right with the alternating blue and red stripes and think it’s a fun addition to any summer wardrobe. You’ll be me sporting that shirt many times this summer!

I love the stripes on the dress on the left with the varying widths. It looks very pleasant especially on that cut of the dress. The outfit on the right caught my eye because I would have a hard time mixing stripes, but here it looks really cool. I may try mixing vibrant and subtle stripes like that!

While wearing stripes is mostly simple here are a few things I’m weary of:

  • You’ll seldom see vertical stripes, so be careful if you choose to wear vertical stripes. Make sure the lines are thin and far apart, or else risk looking like a referee. (I’m speaking from experience here!)
  • Tighter stripes are really cute but don’t photograph so great, and may look funny on social media platforms. There’s been more than once I’ve posted a seersucker dress on Instagram and the stripes are distorted.
  • Stripe tops and dresses are a no-brainer, but stripes on pants and shoes are harder to wear. You have to keep the rest of your outfit simple, and it’s tough to find flattering stripe pants. It’s not possible though, and when pulled off correctly it looks great.

What are you favorite stripes to wear?

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What to Wear Wednesday: Critter Prints

Is there anything preppier than a well placed critter print? Critter prints, not to be confused with animal prints, are small silhouettes of the animal embroidered all over an item of clothing. It’s most commonly seen on shorts, particularly men’s shorts, but you can find a critter print on many things if you look hard enough. I have many critter print items including shirts, shorts, skirts, and even shoes. It’s both whimsical and preppy, and shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Life is too short not to wear fun clothes!

Among critter prints, you can also find similar items with an object motif on them, such as a small nautical embroidery throughout a print. This summer it’s easy to find these object motifs even through main stream retailers. Old Navy’s newest men’s collection has a ton of American flag motifs items that I’m tempted to buy my husband.

I love that J. Crew brought back the critter shorts reminiscent of their early days! The crab tote is pretty cute too.

It’s so easy to find critter prints for men, I’m rather jealous! My husband needs that seersucker pair with the lobster print on them.

It’s easy to get into a rut in the colder months of wearing the same old thing, which is why I use the warmer months to revive my wardrobe and wear my more “fun” items. Critter items are definitely near the top of the list of items that are more summer appropriate and go great with a lighter, brighter closet.

Do you own anything with a critter print on it?

Tassel Earrings!

There’s no denying that tassels are having a huge moment right now, especially in the form of earrings. I’m not normally one to jump on the trend bandwagon, but I’ve really admired how the tassel look adds a fun element to even the most classic outfits. The biggest turn off for me has been price. Many tassel earrings are anywhere from $40-$80, and when you want all the colors like I do, that starts to add up. Enter The Tiny Tassel – owned by Mimi Striplin, all her products are hand made in the USA and start at $12 a pair!

earrings (the radcliffe) c/o the tiny tassel

For me, trends are always a risk so I would rather invest money into classic items and then save money on trends since I don’t know how they’ll look on me. Sometimes I like how trends look on other people but not on myself. These earrings are low risk because of the great price and they’d be super cute on anyone. I immediately tried these on and was really happy with how they look! I wore them twice this past weekend and received tons of compliments. I can’t stop raving about these earrings to everyone I meet!

Summer is a great time to have fun with your style and these earrings will be in heavy rotation in my summer wardrobe. They style so well with any outfit – especially summer dresses. I currently have the cornflower blue and white pair, but I’m thinking about buying a red pair later this week since my summer wardrobe consists of lots of red, white, & blue. What I really like about these earrings is they are lightweight and they have no backs on them – they don’t come off at all and they’re so easy to take off at the end of the day! I can’t say enough great things about The Tiny Tassel. Give the website a peek and see the other jewelry/clothes/accessories that are available with tassels on them –  you won’t be disappointed!

 

 

Q&A Friday: Editing Photos for Instagram

Q: What photo editing apps do you use to edit your photos?

A: Snapseed!

Today I’m talking about my go-to apps for editing photos for instagram. I usually take my photos on a Canon in a manual raw image setting, upload to my computer and dropbox them to my phone, but when I get an iPhone 7 later this month I’ll probably be using that more since the quality is so great! I have played around in Lightroom a little bit, but I’ve been really happy with both Snapseed and Colorstory.

Snapseed is my #1 go-to for editing apps. The photo above is a great example of how I edited it via the app so that my hair color and door color didn’t blend so much. The more you play around with the app, you’ll find a rhythm to how you like to use it, however I have an order I tend to follow.

I always “transform” the photo to straighten it out. I rarely have a photo that’s 100 % straight (thanks instagram husband…), but that’s no problem for Snapseed! After that I will crop it to either a square or 5:4 ratio to fit the Instagram dimensions. Most often I do a 5:4 crop because I like the portrait (vertical) look of a photo. You can tune the images brightness, contrast, saturation, etc., but my favorite part is the brush. If you’d like to make one part of the photo lighter/darker, more saturated or less, etc., the brush is the best tool for this. Lastly, I use “heal” to take out anything I need to from the photo. I’ve used this to take out telephone poles, reflections of the camera in windows, car in the background, etc.

I also got a tip from my Instagram friend Jackie that the “grainy film” feature is great is you turn down the grain to 0, and then the filter to 25-50%, and then there are a lot of nice filters to choose from! Check it out!

This is one of my favorite photos I’ve edited via Snapseed and was featured on L.L. Bean’s Instagram account. I was sitting on the edge, but as you can see from the photo on the far left there’s a ledge that comes out more on the right side. I was able to edit that out, and then I used a brush to add color to the background without over saturating the boots themselves. The photo looks a lot better by using the “heal” feature on either side of my boots to take out the brush/ledge.

Another nice thing to play around with in Snapseed is that you can go back and erase certain steps of editing or even edit those steps. So if I’m not happy with how I straightened it and I’m almost done, then I can go back fix it, and then it will re-do all the previous steps so I don’t have to start from the beginning.

I also add “details” at the end to sharpen the image up just a tad without over doing it.

The second app I use is ColorStory, and I only use it once in awhile. The only thing I’ll use is the “flare/bokeh” feature for brighter, sunnier photos. If I feel my photos needs something extra, I’ll try a few and see if it fits. I don’t use this very often but am happy when I do.

One last tip – if you want your photos to be as clear as possible, it’s smart to upload them straight from the snapseed app to Instagram instead of saving them and then uploading them. The less steps to uploading, the less Instagram will condense them.

What app do you like to edit with?

 

 

What to Wear Wednesday: Fall Clothes in Spring

We can all get in the rut of wearing the same outfits the same ways over and over again. Sometimes I need a little inspiration or a new way to put a look together. If you still have some fall/winter clothes out, there are a few ways to work them into your spring wardrobe for a fresh, new look.

Camel: When I think of camel I think of a fall color often seen on blazers/coats/shoes, however, the color can look quite nice for spring. Paired with neutrals above such as a large portion of white, it breathes new life into the color. I especially like it with chambray and stripes like the photo on the right. I won’t be putting away my camel blazer anytime soon but incorporating it into some spring outfits.

Olive Green: I’m definitely guilty of seeing olive green solely as a fall color, but it can be so versatile for all year round. I have a favorite pair of olive green pants and it makes a great base for spring outfits. I especially like it paired with soft pink to mix in that feminine touch.

Plaid Shirts: I used to put all my plaid shirts away come spring but now I leave a few out and pair them with white pants. It makes the plaid pop more and makes it spring appropriate. I’ll try to add in at least one spring/summer accessory to the outfit to help transition it effortlessly into warmer weather. All the plaid shirts I keep out are cotton though, I put my flannels away til it gets colder again.

 

Are there any fall items you like to re-purpose for spring? I’d love to know, please leave your tip in the comments!

What to Wear Wednesday: Kentucky Derby Party

I have loved the Kentucky Derby for a long time – I even had my bridal shower on the same day (4 years ago) and had it as a derby theme! Last year my husband surprised me with a trip to the derby for Christmas and we had the best time. I try not to hype things up in my mind too much in fear of being disappointed, but attending the Kentucky Derby was such a wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone.

If you are not able to make it to the derby, but perhaps are attending a derby theme party to view the event, I have some outfit tips for you.

  1. Always pick the hat first, not the dress. There are limited hat options but endless dresses, it will be much easier to pick the hat first. I got my hat and fascinator for the derby (hat shown above) from Nordstrom and was really happy with it. Hats are something you need to try on before buying since everyone looks different in different styles, and I was so impressed that my local Nordstrom had so many to choose from! I was worried I’d match a lot of other women, but out of thousands of people at the Kentucky Derby, I didn’t see a single other person with my hat. There are more choices in the store than online, so make sure to check it out.
  2. After you picked out the hat, the dress will be easier to coordinate. A lot times you may have an existing dress that compliments your headpiece, but if you’d like to get something new I’d look for a fun shift or fit ‘n flare style. Longer dresses aren’t really the derby style, so look for something that hits at the knee or right above.
  3. Add lady-like jewelry and accessories to complete the look. The whole novelty of the Kentucky Derby is that it’s a nod to good ole’ fashion tradition. There’s nothing sleek or modern about it. Play up the lady-like look with pearls, lipstick, and perhaps white gloves.

A photo from Oaks Day (the races on the day before the derby) last year. We were able to see Kiel James Patrick, our favorite Instagrammer. 🙂 I wore a fascinator to the event and paired it with the pink as is the tradition for Oaks Day.

This is a photo from our time at the Kentucky Derby. We sat second row on the finish line, which was cool because Joe’s snap chat of the finish made the official Snap Chat story that day. 🙂

A photo from inside Churchill Downs.

If you’re attending the derby this year, you probably have your hat and outfit picked out but I do have a few tips that I had previously read online and glad I followed!

  1. Bring a larger purse. I originally wanted to bring a clutch, but am glad I brought a larger purse. It’s a long day and there are some essentials you’ll want to pack. Bring sunscreen with you as you’re in direct sunlight all day, also flip flops for the walk back afterwards, and cash to make buying items easier.
  2. Wear wedges if you plan on going on the infield at all or are on the infield. We were on the infield for Oaks day and got seats for the Derby, and I was glad to have comfortable wedges on. You do get tired the end of the day and will be thankful for the flip flops in your purse for afterwards.
  3. Buy water and make sure you stay hydrated. I would even recommend bringing hydration tablets to put in water to help this process. It will help keep your energy up throughout the day so you have a wonderful time.

This photo is from two years ago visiting Green Dot Stables in Detroit for their derby party. Planning on going again this year!

A derby look from a few years ago featuring the hat I wore for my bridal shower (from Brooks Brothers).

Have you ever been to a Derby Party?

How to Style Gingham Pants

sweater – land’s end / pants – c/o land’s end / shoes – vintage dooney & bourke

Who doesn’t love gingham? The pattern is both classic and fun at the same time, and looks especially great in the navy/white combo. Gingham first became popular post World War II and has really seen a resurgence the past few years with no signs of slowing down. As most preppy styled ladies, I gravitate towards anything gingham and these pants are no exception.

When I first tried these on I couldn’t believe how comfortable they were. Pants are often tricky, and a lot of them can feel uncomfortable after a few hours (at least in my case).  The waistband seems to be a little higher and the fabric is thicker, which may be why I can wear these all day and still be comfortable.

My favorite sweater is the Drifter by Land’s End. I had the sleeve monogrammed and I really enjoy that subtle touch. Reminds me of something from the 1950’s you’d cherish for generations.

When styling gingham pants, I also keep the rest of the outfit solid with a little texture (like a cable knit). I’m all for pattern mixing but this pattern is too tiny and would be hard to do so  successfully. I look forward to styling these pants with a chambray shirt and red pointed toe flats as the weather gets warmer!

 

White Blazer Outfit

white blazer – c/o land’s end / striped shirt – c/o ll bean / jeans – old ralph lauren / shoes – land’s end / navy leather tote – c/o mark & graham / silk scarf – old ralph lauren / bracelet – c/o kjp

If you have been reading my blog or following me on instagram for any amount of time, you know my love for all things red, white, and blue. The combo of those colors proves to be a classic, all-American look, and I love how well these strong colors go together.

I’ve been on the hunt for a white blazer for a few years after admiring the look for awhile now. It’s such a fresh look for spring that can be worn into summer when the evenings get chilly. This one from Land’s End is perfect! It has tortoise shell color buttons, 3/4 length sleeves, and the fit is perfect. I can’t wait to continue to style it!

I’ve always liked the J Crew Gemma flats, and Land’s End came out with a similar style with their pointed toe bow flats. I got them in my Easter basket this year (yes, I still get one…) and I can’t believe how comfortable they are! They also come in a navy and beige – get them while you can.

This is an outfit I see myself repeating pretty often this year. 🙂

Thank you for reading!

Easter 2017

I had a wonderful Easter and was pleasantly surprised by the mild weather we had. I went to church with my husband and friends in the morning, had my family over for brunch, and then spent some time with Joe’s family. It was a lovely day and I’d like to share a few more photos from it! (Scroll to the bottom to see my Easter outfit!)

My dress is the brand Maggy London and a few years old. I’ve always liked Maggy London dresses (sold at Nordstrom) because they have such a nice fit. The subtle two tone pastel with lace was very Easter appropriate, and I topped it off with my Easter hat and gloves.

What did you wear for Easter?

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