Loving Lately

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Lately, I’m loving:

  • Yet another bouquet of tulips. I can’t help myself. 

  • This trench coat in navy. Before my self-imposed shopping ban went into effect, I placed one more order at Banana Republic. The jacket has a subtle sheen that makes it feel more elevated than your standard-issue beige trench and the striped lining with magenta piping won me over. As some of the reviews mention, it really is tight in the shoulders and bust, so take that into account if you have your eye on it. The white eyelet shift also arrived last week, which was a huge disappointment. I was pining for this since BR’s spring preview last fall and it fell short of expectations. It runs really small and I didn’t love it enough to go up another size or two to get the carefree fit that dress needs. The final item from my order (this dress) is scheduled to arrive today. Fingers crossed for a success! 

  • A batch of lemon bars I made yesterday afternoon. Even though they’re one of my favorite sweets, I rarely make them because I’ll eat the entire pan within the week. Time to cue up a workout with Jillian Michaels to burn off that pound of butter.

  • A pair of Loeffler Randall sandals for just $62. Will someone please buy all of the size 7s so I’m not tempted anymore?! 
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Bauble of the Week

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I’m thrilled to share that Gerard Yosca and I are partnering this month to introduce you to his latest collection, Bel-Air, inspired by decorative mid-century architecture. Gerard will pass along advice on styling a statement necklace, I’ll show you how I wore the Stonebloom necklace (above) with three different outfits (proof that one great statement piece is better than a handful of cheaper alternatives), and we’ll wrap things up with a giveaway. I hope you’ll stick around for the fun! (And may I suggest adding the Mini Bloom ring to your jewelry box in the meantime?) 

Read more about Gerard in his "Behind the Baubles" feature. 

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Shopping Strategies: The Clothing-Free Month

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Every store email, every blog post and every Instagram is another temptation to buy the next “It” item, which makes a month without shopping for clothes especially difficult for a style blogger. Heck, if you’re like me, you’re not hiding an Internet history littered with tawdry sites, you just don’t want to admit how many dresses you looked at before your first cup of coffee.

Challenging myself to a “No Shop April” was less about saving money  and more of an effort to stop accumulating stuff. I like to shop. I like to own pretty things. But lately I’ve felt like I’ve gone off the rails a bit. I just need a month to step back and reevaluate what I want in terms of general financial goals and key items to eventually add to my wardrobe.

Here are my strategies: 

  1. Avoid temptation. It goes without saying that the mall is a huge source of temptation for many of us, but your inbox is an even bigger landmine. I receive hundreds of promotional emails each week touting new arrivals and promotional discounts. It’s easy to fall victim to a friends and family sale when it’s a rare chance to save 25%. My advice? Unsubscribe. Or at the very least delete the emails without opening them. If you’re serious about streamlining your inbox, Unroll.me is a startup company that lets you view how many lists you’re subscribed to, gives you the opportunity to unsubscribe, then consolidates the messages into one daily email. (I was on 488 lists.) 

  2. Mix and match your existing wardrobe. This is the perfect opportunity to be creative. Pick a piece you haven’t worn in awhile and challenge yourself to wear it three different ways this month. It also makes for blog fodder that’s more interesting than showcasing new purchases. 

  3. Clean out your closet. Go through your closet and take out every single item. Look over each with a critical eye. Do you wear it? Is it in good repair? Would your current self buy this piece again? If you can answer yes to those three questions, the item goes back in the closet. If not, it’s off to eBay or Goodwill. I did this in February and, honestly, I was embarrassed by how much I donated and by how much money I spent on things I didn’t wear. It forced me to be more thoughtful about future spending. 

  4. Appreciate what you already own. You know that rush you get when you buy a new item? Rekindle that flame with your wardrobe. We all have items we treasure and it’s important to realize that you can’t always have the latest and greatest thing. In fact, what you own now is already pretty great. 

  5. Keep your on the prize. Be honest about your reason for doing this. Are you padding your savings account? Putting away money for an expensive item? Looking to break away from unconscious consumerism? Whatever it is, write it down. Remind yourself of your end goal whenever temptation strikes. There will always be another must-have item. 

Illustration by Garance Dore

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Currently Coveting

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1. Collette by Collette Dinnigan, $270 // 2. Melissa Odabash, $190 // 3. Kenneth Jay Lane, $75 // 4. Rifle Paper Co., $34 // 5. Tory Burch, $325 // 6. Klub Nico, $169 // 7. Aerie, $30 // 8. Kara by Kara Ross, $95 // 9. Kate Spade, $206

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Loving Lately

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Lately, I’m loving:

  • The promise of warm weather, so I can break out my favorite spring shoes. I’m itching to wear these Kate Spade pumps again. 

  • Iris Apfel’s upcoming sale on One Kings Lane. You know how much I adore this woman (even more so after she referred to herself as a “geriatric starlet”) and I’d love to own a piece that belonged to her. Though, something tells me that the April 5 sale will be priced above my budget.

  • Finally sending off my passport for renewal. I’m not sure if you’re allowed to smile in your photo, but I’m risking it. (The government site isn’t very clear—they require a “neutral expression,” yet some allowable photo examples show people smiling.) Hopefully it gets approved. My non-smiling expression looks pretty angry. 

  • An interesting article that reinforces the principles behind The French Wardrobe Challenge
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The French Wardrobe Challenge

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I’ve been a little too fast and loose with the debit card lately, so I’m placing one more order to try a navy trench and a couple of white dresses to try (here and here), then I’m kicking off “No Shop April” (I tried to come up with a catchier name, but that’s the best I’ve got).* Thirty days of resisting clothing and ignoring gemstones sounds like an ideal way to get my savings back on track and continue evaluating the missing links in my wardrobe. 

*I’m totally breaking this promise if I earn enough money on the blog and eBay to buy this Tory Burch scarf.

THE RULES

  1. Just five standout pieces per season. (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: 

Ordered and Returned:

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 by the 15th of the month and I’ll link to your post below. 

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Mini Moments

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It’s pretty obvious that I’m anxious for warm weather, considering my Instagram is overrun with flowers and nautical stripes. What can I say? I know what I like. Here are a few of my favorite March moments:

  • Adding a pair of trendy pearl earrings to my collection
  • Purchasing a bouquet of tulips, my favorite flower
  • Wearing this Gerard Yosca necklace with just about everything
  • Springing for a gorgeous vintage cocktail ring
  • Working on an upcoming April collaboration with Gerard Yosca—there’s even a giveaway in it for you
  • Splurging on a pair of Tory Burch shoes that match almost everything in my closet…
  • …and loving how they look with this Emma McKinstry necklace
  • Swooning over a surprise gift from Meghna Designs
  • Arranging a vase full of daffodils 
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Bauble of the Week

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I already purchased a pair of double pearl earrings (buy them on eBay for around $6) and a pearl collar, yet I still don’t see my obsession with pearl jewelry ending anytime soon. It’s hard to resist the trend when incredible pieces like this bold cuff keep popping up. You can see it in action on Rebecca’s Instagram here

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Packing List | Venice

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Things have certainly changed over at Yoox! I hadn’t visited their site in years (I found the product selection overwhelming and navigation underwhelming), but they’ve really stepped up their game. The site looks more modern, the homepage is a bit blog-meets-retailer with some editorial pieces and it’s now so much easier to find what you’re looking for. (If you spot something you love, use discount code SHOPSENSE15 for 15% off your full price purchase and free shipping through April 7.)

After browsing the site for well over an hour, I thought I’d put together a little fantasy packing list for a weekend in Venice. You wouldn’t need much for a long weekend. Two dresses, two pairs of shoes and a handful of thoughtful accessories can be mixed for fresh new outfits each day—and it’s a heck of a lot more fun than packing an all-black wardrobe. Here are a few ways I’d wear the pieces above:

  • Striped Dress + Flats + Tote + Scarf (to tie hair into a ponytail) + Cuff 
  • White Dress + Sandals + Clutch + Ring
  • Striped Dress + Sandals + Clutch + Cuff
  • White Dress + Flats + Scarf (tied around your neck) + Tote + Ring

Shop It: Dolce & Gabbana dress, $755 // Case Scenario iPhone case, $30 // Halston Heritage dress, $370 // Dolce & Gabbana flats, $295 // 8 cuff, $45 // Taolei ring, $30 // Anya Hindmarch clutch, $465 // Missoni sandals, $309 // 8 tote, $306 // Valentino scarf, $206

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Currently Coveting

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1. Tibi, $425 // 2. Tory Burch, $155 // 3. Bauble Bar, $26 // 4. Cynthia Rowley, $239 // 5. J.Crew, $45 // 6. ASOS, $42 // 7. Kate Spade, $58 // 8. J.Crew, $30 // 9. Kelly Wearstler, $165

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