The Weekend Guide

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BAKE
The best thing about autumn weekends it that it gives you the excuse to cozy up inside with a hearty meal in the Crock-Pot and fresh bread in the oven. I’m pinning this Dutch tijgerbrood (tiger bread) recipe for later.

TRANSFORM
A coat of gold spray paint instantly transforms children’s alphabet magnets into something adults wouldn’t mind having on the fridge. A matte black or lacquered white would look fab too.

SHOP
Tory Burch’s late-summer and pre-fall pieces are finally on sale. Pool days are wrapping up, but this pretty bathing suit is worth purchasing for next year. I’m also in love with this paisley skirt. There are so many colors in the fabric that you could wear just about any hue on top. Throw on a turtleneck or a Tippi sweater and a pair of boots, and you’re all set for fall.

FOLLOW
Here’s a hilarious guide for making the most out of Instagram.

READ
There’s no shortage of guides available on identifying the most flattering silhouette for your shape, but does everyone actually agree on the rules. A member of the BuzzFeed staff visited five different retailers to find out. 

REMOVE
I’ve pretty much stopped wearing glitter nail polish because it’s nearly impossible to get off. Elle tried five different methods to find the easiest way to remove that sparkle. (Here’s the link for the ombre manicure.)

EARLIER THIS WEEK
I found a colorful wall for my not-so-colorful outfit.
Five ways to wear a fall cape.
The two items I purchased in August (and thoughts on the things that didn’t work).
Five fall finds under $55.
My most cliche Instagram yet. (I’m loving your suggestions on what to add!)

August Wardrobe Update

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OBSERVATIONS
For me, summer is all about loose, gauzy dresses. They’re pieces you can skimp on because the fit is so forgiving, but that usually leads to sartorial gluttony. I mean, when you can stay on budget and have a closet full of new dresses, why not?! Now that I’m starting to transition to fall purchases, I noticed a significant shift in the way I select items. I’m paying closer attention to construction, fabric, and fit. That comes with a higher price tag, leading to fewer new items. On one hand, I thought I’d be bummed about this. Having fresh pieces to wear is a lot of fun! But, truth be told, that much accumulation is overwhelming. I’m eager to make more mindful purchases this season of quality basics and worthwhile statement pieces. I’m also turning to my closet to create a list of “missing links” I’d like to find. Normally, I get distracted by a retailer’s new arrivals and start adding items to my wish list without much thought. Doing so leads me to neglect the items I need to make the rest of my wardrobe functional. Next month, I’d like to find a wool (or heavy crepe) black a-line shift that falls a couple of inches above my knees. I’d like it to be sleeveless with a crew neck so I can layer shirts underneath. I want it to look great with flats or ankle boots and be a canvas for a large pendant necklace. That can’t be too hard to find, right? I also had “statement outerwear” on my fall wish list this year. I ordered the J.Crew wool cape earlier this week. Fingers crossed that it fulfills that wardrobe hole. I already have a bright coat in emerald green and a black peacoat, so I should be set for outwear this year if this indulgent piece works out.

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PURCHASED

  • JCOS Studios messenger bag with lock in mud ($165): Be prepared for a long wait for the arrival of this bag. I ordered it on July 29, it shipped on Aug. 21, and arrived on Aug. 25. I was afraid I’d fall out of love with it by the time it came, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the bag. The stitching is even and the hardware feels sturdy. I’m planning to write a full review  after I’ve had a chance to use it for a few weeks. Just let me know if you have any questions in the meantime, though.
  • J.Crew merino wool pullover sweater in heather graphite ($64): You already know how much I love this. I went with my regular J.Crew sweater size. The sleeves in an XS fit best, but I preferred the drape of the size small.

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GIFTED
As always, I want to be transparent about what I’ve received from companies for review or as part of a collaboration. I’m selective about the pieces I accept and will only work with companies I feel good about recommending.

  • BB Dakota “Bronwen” dress c/o Shopbop: I’m crazy about this dress and I’m antsy for the weather to improve so I can actually wear it! I originally ordered it in a medium and large. The large was huge, which I kind of expected. The medium fit well on top, but had a stain on the front. It was worth the wait for an unscathed version to arrive a few days later! It’s fully lined, looks great against sun-kissed skin, and will only run you $50.
  • Julie  Nolan astrological cuff c/o UncommonGoods: I like the idea of astrological jewelry, but it can get tacky awfully fast. Julie Nolan’s bracelet has subtle cutouts of your sign’s constellation for an understated piece of personalized jewelry. You can see it on me here.

DIDN’T WORK OUT
Of course, with every successful shopping month, there are some misses:

  • Parker “Juliet” fit and flare dress (also available at Amazon, Shopbop, and Neiman Marcus): This is darling and the fabric is thick. It just runs awfully small.
  • Topshop embroidered off the shoulder dress: Ignore the guideline to order the size in parentheses for best fit and go down even furter. This thing is huge. I hated that it wasn’t lined and was partially sheer in the sunlight. It also made me look like a rectangle.
  • LOFT mini dot shirred dress: I ordered this in my regular size 8 and a 10. Confusingly, the waist fit the same in both sizes and the bodice was too loose in each as well. The zipper extends down past the waist and flips out a bit, so it looked like I had a duck tail hiding under the skirt. All in all, I loved the idea of this, just not the execution — and I’m not paying money to alter polyester. Back it went.
  • Lou & Grey skinny leather belt: Terrible quality. The one I received had kinks all over it and looked like it had been worn by someone else for months.

See all of the year’s wardrobe additions here.

 

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linking with Fran

5 Ways to Wear a Cape

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A fall cape can be an intimidating piece to pull off. There’s only a finite amount of time you can wear it before it becomes too cold and you’re going to stand out. It’s a wonderfully impractical statement piece that requires a confidence and thoughtful styling. It’s also a surprisingly versatile item. I put together five looks below, including a casual weekend look, a work-ready ensemble, and a cocktail-ready outfit to prove that a cape can be an autumn essential. But first, a few tips to keep in mind:

  • A camel-colored version goes from day to night with ease and will show less lint than a black alternative.
  • Long sleeves are a must. Bare arms looks silly with a wool topper.
  • Keep proportions in mind. By definition, a cape is wide and you’ll look even wider with oversize pieces.
  • Balance the heaviness of the cape with luxe fall fabrics and leather accessories. Think menswear loafers, structured satchels, and cashmere sweaters.
  • Generally speaking, a cape requires a hand-held bag, like a satchel or clutch. Ditch the crossbody, unless you’re planning to wear it underneath with the cape open.
  • Choose statement earrings, cuffs, cocktail rings, and pretty brooches. No one is going to see your necklace.

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Cape | Turtleneck | Satchel | Loafers | Earrings | Skirt

 

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Jeans | Blouse | Bracelet | Cape | Mules | Bag

 

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Cape | Dress | Sunglasses | Satchel | Ring | Boots

 

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Pants | Sweater | Cape | Brooch (search eBay for vintage options) | Scarf | Pumps | Clutch

 

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Cape | Sweater | Earrings | Jeans | Clutch | Sneakers | Watch

I put everything together as one pin here.

Comfort Zone

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Thanks to yesterday’s unseasonably chilly — and windy — weather, I had to abandon the idea of wearing my new dress and opt for a cozier Sunday Funday outfit. Even it wasn’t what I wanted to wear, it still gives me the excuse to talk about two recent additions to my wardrobe that I’m crazy about: J.Crew’s merino wool swing pullover and an astrology cuff by artist Julie Nolan.

First, the sweater. In grey, it’s basically a chicer take on your favorite sweatshirt. The heathering of the wool and the style of knit almost make it look striped up close. It’s thicker than a Tippi sweater and seems like it will hold up well. I’m wearing a small, which is my usual J.Crew size in sweaters. I also ordered an XS to try. The sleeves fit better in the XS, but I preferred the looser silhouette of the small. Given that I’ve already worn it twice the first week I’ve owned it, I can easily see it becoming a weekend go-to and a favorite for travel.

The astrology bracelet by artist Julie Nolan is another item I’ve had on repeat. It was gifted to me by UncommonGoods, a Brooklyn-based retailer that features unique designs and ethically made, handcrafted gifts. Bookmark ’em for the holidays, ladies, because there are hundreds of great gift-giving ideas. Start with the personalized gift section here to find unique items like etched glasses to celebrate a nuptial, throw pillows to commemorate a first home, and the understated Gemini cuff I’ve been wearing. There’s also a selection of gifts for women here and for men here. Each order also allows you to do something, well, uncommonly good. As part of its “Better to Give” program, the company will donate $1 to your choice of their not-for-profit partner organizations with every purchase. UncommonGood started the program 15 years ago and has since donated over one million dollars to charities around the world, including RAINN, American Forests, Women for Women International, and Reach Out and Read.

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Rebecca-Minkoff-Mini-Affair-White  UncommonGoods-Gemini-Cuff
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Sweater: J.Crew | Shorts: J.Crew  (similar) | Earrings: Tory Burch (dove version) | Cuff: c/o UncommonGoods | Ring: c/o Julie Vos (similar) | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (on sale!) c/o Shopbop | Sunglasses: Prada | Shoes: Birkenstock | Lips: Stila “Fiore” | Nails: Clinique “Hi Sweetie” and Essie “In the Cab-ana”

 

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linking with PinkSoleSincerely Jenna Marie