THE FRENCH WARDROBE UPDATE

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There’s just a month and a half left of the spring/summer French Wardrobe Challenge and I’m in desperate need of a clean slate. This season has been especially challenging; I love warm-weather clothes (they’re my favorite to buy and wear) and my style has evolved since last summer. I used to wear shorts almost exclusively. Now I’m all about the ease of a summer dress. It definitely resulted in overindulgence and a bit of overspending. Our upcoming trip to Belgium (just two weeks away!) was a ridiculously convenient excuse for a lot of my purchases. (New clothes are so much better on vacation, right?) I filed most items under the basics category this month. They’re black, white or beige, versatile, and in many instances, easy to pack. I also added my last item to round out this season’s stand-outs: a bold DVF dress that’s unlike anything in my closet.

THE RULES

  1. Just five standout pieces per season that update your wardrobe. (There are two “seasons” for this purpose: spring/summer and fall/winter.)
  2. Quality over quantity.
  3. Basics don’t count.
  4. Accessories don’t count, unless you’re spending a lot more than usual.
  5. Socks and underwear don’t count.
  6. Shoes do count. (I’m not counting shoes, though.)

MY PROGRESS

Part of my five:

Basics:

Bags: 

Accessories: 

Shoes: 

Gifted items: 

If you’re curious about The French Wardrobe Challenge, I encourage you to peruse the archived posts

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Are you taking part in The French Wardrobe Challenge this season? Let me know and I’ll link to your post below. (It probably goes without saying, but I’d love it if you linked back to my posts too.) 

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CURRENTLY COVETING

ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE

C.Wonder is having a sale on its end-of-season wares. Would you believe this bracelet is only $34? There’s another version with an anchor for even less. I’m also smitten with the darling needlepoint key fob embellished with a sweet crab and anchor motif. 

Kate Spade released the 2015 day planners for fellow paper-loving list makers. I like the green ikat most (there’s mint on the inside, for goodness sakes!), but it’s also available in two of last year’s most popular prints: gold polka dots and black and white stripes

Congrats to Erika, the winner of the UGallery.com giveaway. I can’t wait to see what you spend your winnings on! 

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LUST LIST: COACH LOBSTER LOAFERS

Is there anything better than lobster-embroidered loafers?! Eating a lobster roll while wearing your new lobster loafers, yes. Other than that, no. My inner New England prep is yearning for a pair of these puppies, but I can’t decide between light blue, gold, navy, or pink. More importantly, do I really need another pair of nautical loafers given that I purchased these earlier this year?

There’s actually quite a bit on sale at Coach right now, including the black satchel I wear all the time. (It even fits my DSLR if I pare down the rest of my daily necessities and just use a slim card case instead of a full wallet.) 

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BEHIND THE BAUBLES: VRAI & ORO

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If you haven’t already fallen in love with Vrai & Oro, you haven’t been paying attention to Monday or Tuesday’s posts! In addition to offering fine jewelry without the markups (details here), the L.A.-based brand prides itself on a mantra to “Live Authentic.” The brand isn’t about trends. It isn’t about over embellishment. It isn’t about fast fashion. Vrai & Oro embodies quality, simplicity and transparency. Read on to learn more about Vanessa Stofenmacher and Chelsea Nicholson, the entrepreneurs behind the baubles. Then, sign up here to receive $10 off your first purchase. 

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Shop It:* Baguette Diamond Necklace, $315 | Double Stacked Ring in Silver, $65 | Baguette Diamond Earrings, $430 | Thick Stacking Ring, $175 | Diamond Line Necklace, $295 | Baguette Diamond Ring, $230 | Line Earrings, $70 | Small Hoop Earrings, $130 | Set of Three Skinny Stacking Rings, $125

*All items are solid gold, unless otherwise noted

Follow Vrai & Oro: TwitterFacebookInstagram, Pinterest

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INTRODUCING | VRAI & ORO

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You may have spotted this gorgeous ring in yesterday’s post. It’s by a relatively new brand called Vrai & Oro, a fine jewelry retailer that offers simple, delicate staples you’ll want to wear everyday. Vrai & Oro cuts out the middleman—and the normal retail markup of eight to ten times the original value—for fine jewelry sales, allowing the brand to offer ethically produced, high quality jewelry at prices you can actually afford (something that’s not always possible with fine jewelry). Think of them as Everlane’s shinier cousin. The piece above was created for Vrai & Oro’s insiders and can be purchased at this secret page on their site. The sterling silver version is just $65. It’s also available in solid gold for $415. (It’s a weighty piece. You’re definitely getting your money’s worth.) I’m planning to feature the ladies behind the brand tomorrow, but I urge you to browse the site in the meantime. I’m smitten with the gold line stud earrings and the dainty diamond baguette necklace in rose gold

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The ring was gifted to me for purposes of this post. Rest assured that the brand’s generosity does not influence my opinion of the product or its quality. Some images within this post are borrowed from Vrai & Oro’s Instagram feed.

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TRAPEZE ARTIST

If there’s one thing Dave and I will never agree on, it’s trapeze dresses. He hates the lack of a defined waistline, but I can’t resist the breezy style on the most humid summer days. I snagged this one from Kohl’s last week for a song. (I had a handful of Kohl’s cash, reward coupons and discounts to bring the price down to $14.) As you’ll see in the stock image, it has an attached waist tie that’s sewn into the back seam. I think it looks ridiculous and cheapens the dress, so I tied it in a bow at the back—a temporary solution until I visit the tailor. A leather belt like this one looks much better.

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In other news, check out this beautiful ring from Vrai & Oro. I’ll formally introduce you to the brand tomorrow, but think of them as Everlane-meets-jewelry. The retailer has an incredible offering of simple fine jewelry without the absurd markup of a traditional store. The ring I’m wearing is an exclusive piece only available here. I’ve been wearing it on my ring finger and as a midi ring on my middle finger.

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Kohl’s dress | Tory Burch wristletRivet & Sway sunglasses c/o | Julie Vos cuff (also love this one) | Vrai & Oro ring c/oCynthia Jones ring c/o | Lacee Alexandra ring c/o | Sam Edelman sandals

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BAUBLE OF THE WEEK

Ashley Childs, prices vary

Ever since I stumbled across Ashley Childs’ work on Instagram, I’ve been smitten with the movement of these delicate chain maille mesh pendants. The sculptural pieces come in various sizes from a dainty silver pendant to a triple layered statement piece (my favorite). 

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HAPPY 4TH + GIVEAWAY REMINDER

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Here’s to a happy Independence Day weekend! After you’ve had your fill of backyard BBQ fare and lit the last sparkler, head on over to the UGallery.com giveaway. There are just a few days left to enter to win $300 to spend on a piece of art to add to your collection, like the print above. I’ve included the entry form below to make it easy, but you can find all of the details in the original post here. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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CURRENTLY COVETING

ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT

How cute are those polka dot flats? They’re currently 50% off ($44!) and seem like the perfect ballet flat to bring to Belgium. You can see more photos of them on Rosa Loves DC for her collaboration with Ann Taylor. She has the prettiest photography and if you’re not already following her, you should be.

A wide-brimmed hat is something I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember, but I just don’t think I’m a “hat girl.” The one above is on the pricey side, but you can find a cheaper alternative here.

Technically the round pouch is for cosmetics, but wouldn’t it make for the most darling clutch for relaxed summer days? It also comes in a punchy coral stripe.  

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SWEET SUMMER

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Unfortunately it has become evident that weekends of beer and pizza crept up on me—and spending Sundays in sweatpants gives me a false sense of security that my clothes fit juuuust fine. In any case, I’m back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon, counting points and spending my evenings with Jillian Michaels. I’ve set a goal to lose 10 pounds by the time we leave for Belgium next month and an opportunity to partner with Kohl’s on a wellness post was the extra motivation I needed to begin making healthier choices.

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I really wanted to purchase a Fitbit (David Sedaris has one, after all) to keep track of my activity and sleep patterns, but the gadget was sold out at every nearby store. I opted for the next best thing: one heck of a blender for making smoothies. This thing crushes ice like no other (a far cry from the blender I already owned that barely nicked a cube) and makes smoothies in a snap. The ingredients for this blueberry smoothie are below and you can head on over to Pinterest for more healthy smoothie recipes (and a few indulgent options for those splurge days).

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup blueberries
1 large banana
1 tablespoon flax seed
handful of spinach
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 water
3 or 4 ice cubes
a sprig of mint for garnish, if desired

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SHOP THE POST

Disclosure: I received a $100 gift card from Kohl’s for the purposes of this post. All opinions are my own.

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