TAKING [BIRKEN]STOCK

image

I figured my sartorial standards took a nosedive the moment I started considering Birkenstocks as an alternative to what used to be my most comfortable sandals. After walking for miles throughout Brussels, my feet were tired, sore and swollen. We passed a surprising number of orthopedic stores on our daily outings and Birkenstocks shone in the windows like footwear’s version of an oasis.

My desire to own a pair was quickly quieted by a fear that I’d come off as a Woodstock refugee, but everywhere I looked, the most stylish women were wearing Birkenstocks. It wasn’t the double-strapped Arizona, mind you. It was its chic, feminine alternative: the Madrid.

Think of these as the upscale (ha!) version of the Adidas shower slide. (Which, by the way, J.Crew is now carrying. A sure sign the trend has gone far enough.) It’s a single-strap slide that looks surprisingly good with dresses, draped shorts, cropped pants and cuffed boyfriend jeans. Really, the more feminine or sophisticated an outfit is, the better the Madrid looks.

I continued obsessing over them while we were in Belgium, admiring the women’s footwear choice with the voracity of a fetishist. It wasn’t until I woke up early and perused Birkenstock outfits on Pinterest that I knew I was going down a dangerous path. I mean, really, can anyone can deny how chic the sandals look here and here? No.

Maybe I’m yearning for our days back in Brussels or maybe I’m embracing the normcore trend more heartily than I’d ever care to admit. Either way, I caved. I ordered a pair of black Madrids with the tonal buckle, in the name of fashun, of course.

And you know what? I freaking love them. Let’s just hope I’m not one step away from a road paved in marled camp socks and patchouli.

image

Styling Tips:

  • A fresh pedicure and well-moisturized heels are a must.
  • It looks best with tailored clothes. I had envisioned wearing them with breezy dresses, but it looked frumpy on my body type. Maybe it’s better on skinny gals? In any case, I like how they look with slim ankle-length pants, shorts and rompers—all in classic silhouettes and basic colors.

Fit Tips:

  • Go a little smaller than you think you should. Even though I wear a size 7, I still went with a size 37. According to their size chart, that’s technically the correct size for those who wear a 6 or 6.5.
  • I get the impression that narrow is suited for widths A and B and regular is for C and D. The black Madrids were only available in a 37 narrow on Zappos and I’m glad I took the risk because they fit my regular width foot perfectly. I would have hated a wider pair.

image

image

image

image

Banana Republic top (similar) | J.Crew shorts | Rivet & Sway sunglasses c/o | Banana Republic bag (similar) | Hermes bracelet | Daniel Wellington watch c/o | Vrai & Oro ring c/oCynthia Jones ring c/o | Lacee Alexandra ring c/o | Birkenstock sandals | YSL polish

(View comments
Filed under: outfit 
SALE AWAY

image

One of the biggest perks to living in Madison is visiting Bop, Shopbop’s original—and only—brick and mortar store, during Maxwell Street Days. The sales include online returns that have been worn, are in need of repair or items the retailer decided not to stock. This year, I bought a pair of turquoise Ferragamo Varina flats for $200 (see them here). The bottoms were scuffed and there’s a small smudge on the bow, but everything else is in great condition. (And if we’re being honest, the small imperfections make me less nervous to wear them.) I also found this dress for $20, which I suspect is because of the tiniest, almost imperceptible black pen spot on one of the white stripes. It was an easy piece to wear on one of the warmest days in Brussels.

I do prefer the dress with a pair of black heels (not happening on cobblestones) or pointed flats, but my feet were so swollen on this trip that I could only wear these sandals. Every. Single. Day. (It’s really a shame the other shoes I brought didn’t make an appearance. It was a lot of wasted suitcase space that could have been used to bring back more Delftware…)

BB Dakota dressRivet & Sway sunglasses c/o | Coach bag | Lulu Frost necklace | Hermes bracelet | Vrai & Oro ring c/o Cynthia Jones ring c/o | Lacee Alexandra ring c/o | Sam Edelman sandals

(View comments
Filed under: outfit belgium 
NEUTRAL ZONE

After countless hours of travel, a 90-minute nap and one quick shower, I slipped this on for our first evening exploring Belgium. I was absolutely exhausted and elastic-waist shorts with a slouchy sweater is about as close to pajamas as you can get. 

image

Ladies have been waxing poetic about these shorts since they were released and I promise that they’re as good as everyone says they are. Plus, you can go down a size. (Keep in mind that they’re pretty delicate. Wash them on the gentle cycle in a lingerie bag and line dry.)

J.Crew sweater | J.Crew shortsRivet & Sway sunglasses c/o | Coach bag | Gerard Yosca necklace c/o | Hermes bracelet | Daniel Wellington watch c/oVrai & Oro ring c/oCynthia Jones ring c/o | Lacee Alexandra ring c/o | Sam Edelman sandals

(View comments
Filed under: outfit belgium 
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.

image

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.

image

image

image

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

(View comments
Filed under: outfit 
SHIFTY

image

Shift dresses are usually pretty unfortunate on my frame, stretching unforgivingly across my hips and clinging to the wrong places. Despite that, I still fell for this dress at Piperlime and decided to give it a whirl (it’s already sold out, but this one is similar). Aside from the rancid smell right out of the package (as I mentioned here), the dress is pretty fantastic with plenty of room through the hips (phew!). I have no doubt that this easy-to-throw-on piece is going to get plenty of wear this summer. 

image

image

On another note, would you believe that I curled my hair for these photos? I. Hate. Humidity. 

Pim + Larkin dress (similar) | Coach bag | Gerard Yosca necklace c/o Rivet & Sway sunglasses c/o | Cynthia Jones ring c/o | Lacee Alexandra ring c/o | Sam Edelman sandals

Reminder: Enter to win $300 to spend on art at UGallery.com! 

(View comments
Filed under: outfit 
ROMPER ROOM

image

After dodging the romper bullet for years, I purchased two this month and it all started with this Rachel Zoe version (see the other romper here). It’s a lovely mix between dressy and casual and it’s the first item in years that I knew I’d purchase the moment I tried it on—before I even glanced at the price tag. That’s not exactly an attitude my bank account can support, but fortunately a sale sticker was slapped on top of the original price. (Fair warning though, it’s a beast to get off. Wear it on days you expect to be dehydrated.) 

image

image

image

Rachel Zoe romper | Tory Burch wristlet | Hermes bracelet | Rivet & Sway sunglasses c/o | Cynthia Jones ring c/o | Lacee Alexandra ring c/o | Sam Edelman sandals 

(View comments
Filed under: outfit 
TROPICAL PUNCH

image

Watching reruns of What Not to Wear is one of my guilty pleasures. My favorite part? When the guest refuses to toss her ratty sweats, insisting that nothing else could ever be as comfortable. Eye roll. She’s obviously never tried on this number from DVF. This thing has so much extra space that I could eat my way through any city with room to spare and, whaddya know, it doesn’t look like I’ve just rolled out of bed.

Even if it did, I’d still wear it. I mean, nothing else could ever be as comfortable.

image

Diane von Furstenberg dress | Rivet & Sway sunglasses c/o | Hermes bracelet | Cynthia Jones ring c/o | Lacee Alexandra ring c/o | Sam Edelman sandals | Coach bag | YSL nail polish

(View comments
Filed under: outfit 
GRAPHIC ART

When I first came across this dress last year, I added it to my wish list without much thought. Then I saw it on Blair and panic purchased it before it sold out. (Tell me I’m not the only person who does that.) I couldn’t have predicted that it would become one of the most worn items in my closet. I usually wear it with a pair of classic black pumps, but I love how it looks with the vibrant pink of these sandals and the Oaks Lily scarf I bought as my souvenir from Churchill Downs. 

image

ASOS dress | Rivet & Sway sunglasses c/o | Hermes bracelet | Cynthia Jones ring c/o | Lacee Alexandra ring c/o | Coach bag | DV by Dolce Vita sandals | Vineyard Vines scarf

(View comments
Filed under: outfit 
DOUBLE PEARL

image

I mentioned that I had my eye on this romper in last Friday’s post and I actually purchased it just hours later (it says it’s an online exclusive, but it was available a nearby store). I wore it to dinner that night, for afternoon drinks on Saturday and to run errands on Sunday (the day I took these photos). Move over, LBD. The LBR is proving to be my go-to piece for summer. I prefer the romper with a long pendant, but I wanted to give the oversize pearl trend a whirl with this necklace from Sammydress. Coming in at under $4, it’s a frugal way to try the double pearl trend. Be aware, though, that you get what you pay for. It’s not going to last through the season (I already had to glue one of the beads back on), but that’s probably okay for something as trendy as this.

image

image

image

LOFT romper | Sammydress necklace c/oRivet & Sway sunglasses c/o | Hermes bracelet | Cynthia Jones ring c/o | Lacee Alexandra ring c/o | Coach bag | Cole Haan loafers (similar and I love these for summer) | Zoya nail polish

(View comments
Filed under: outfit 
LACE & LINEN

image

Third time was a charm with this dress. I first ordered a size 6, which is the same size as another beloved LOFT dress from last summer. Too small. I then ordered an 8 petite because the regular wasn’t available. Too short (as in “I’m pretty sure I can’t sit down and still be a lady”). Finally, an 8 regular popped back in my size and I jumped on it. Totally worth the hassle. It was my favorite dress to wear in Louisville and I have no doubt it’s going to get plenty of wear in Belgium. 

LOFT dress | Rivet & Sway sunglasses c/o | Hermes bracelet | Jennifer Meyer x J.Crew bracelet | Cynthia Jones ring c/o | Lacee Alexandra ring c/o | Sam Edelman sandals | Coach bag | YSL nail polish

(View comments
Filed under: outfit