Fashion

So Basic

The term basic gets thrown around a lot now, especially in regard to white girls. It tends to have negative connotations but when it comes to fashion, basics are the best! I’m all for trying trendy things now and then but honestly, this look is what I feel most “me” in and most comfortable in.

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I’m a short girl so skinny jeans have long been my friend since they look great rolled up at the ankles — no tailoring required!

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I always have a few of these H&M t-shirts in various colors in my closet. They’re only $10, are so soft, and hold up really well in the wash. When I don’t know what top to wear, I usually just throw on one of these with a necklace. Whether it’s with a skirt or jeans, these always look simple but sophisticated.

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This trench coat from Express is probably one of the best fashion investments I’ve ever made — thanks for finding it, Mom! I can wear this over a dress to an evening event or, for this look, throw it over the plainest of basics and I automatically look like a sophisticated young woman. The fabric is pretty light but keeps the wind out and is roomy enough for me to layer warmer sweaters underneath as it starts to cool off this fall.

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I’ve been wearing Vans since I was a freshman in high school and no, I don’t skateboard. I’ve previously had pairs with stars and checkerboard, but I think this light gray leather pair is a little bit more grown up — and they are so comfortable! Perfect for walking around DC every day.

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What are your favorite basic wardrobe pieces?

My jeans are American Eagle, the t-shirt is from H&M. My shoes are Vans — I purchased them at Madewell and they are currently on sale! My jacket is from Express and my glasses were thrifted. 

Fashion VS Function

You know that old adage, “It’s better to look good than to feel good!” No? Maybe that was just a theater thing. Anyway. Since moving to a city where walking a mile or two a day is the norm, I’m learning that fashion and function are very important. Even just looking at how other women dress here, function typically carries the day. And I kinda love that! It’s not about who’s wearing the trendiest thing or what label adorns the front of your handbag. It’s about looking polished for whatever job you hold and getting there comfortably, sans blisters or any other wardrobe malfunction.

When I lived in California, I drove everywhere. I could wear cute little flats with no arch support, wedges that were just barely too high, or even those ankle boots from Forever21 that seemed like the best buying decision at the time. I drove everywhere and really only walked a few steps from my car to wherever I was going. Those days are officially gone. Between the distance of walking, dirty streets, colder weather, and busy metro stations and trains, trendy fashion has taken a back seat to functional fashion.

I will say, it has made keeping a tidy closet much easier as I’ve had to get rid of many a trendy shoe in the few weeks we’ve been here. I’ve said this before but I’m really making an effort to only invest in a few well made pieces that will last me for many years. Today I thought I would share the shoes that have served me well so far and those that I’m hoping to invest in in the coming months.

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Nike Free Run 3s – I purchased these (in black) over three years ago when they were half price at Ross.Yes, a total score! Up until now, I really only wore them to walk the dog and work out. They never made an appearance at dinner or on a date. Oh boy are they making an appearance now! These are the best walking shoes I own currently and I wear them every day. Even if we are going someplace a little nicer, I will wear these to walk and ride the train, then slip into the cuter shoes I’ve brought along.

Birkenstock “Gizeh” – These were an investment I made back in California. It’s getting cooler now but for the last three weeks, these have been a hot weather lifesaver! I am considering investing in the Arizona style but planning to wait until next summer as they’ll just take up space in my closet through the winter.

Classic Vans – This shoe was my jam in high school and college. I’m not entirely sure why I stopped wearing them but I’m back with them again because they are comfortable and apparently very in style! I’m planning to get a neutral gray pair that I can wear with jeans or a cotton dress.

Rain/ Snow Boots – I don’t think I have to tell you it doesn’t rain much in San Diego, so rain boots were very low on the list of shoes to invest in there. Here in DC it’s already rained quite a bit and I hear the winters can be brutal. I’d like to invest in a good pair of rain/ snow boots that will serve me through the winters here.

Clogs – I’ve recently become obsessed with clogs. (My mom is laughing at me. I used to make fun of her bright pink clogs. Now I’d wear them!) I discovered a brand called Swedish Hasbeens and am in love with all of their footwear. Especially this pair. I think they’d be perfect without socks on a summer day or with wool socks and a warm pair of pants in the winter.

Have any shoe recommendations for me?

My Current Uniform

It has been a hot minute since I did a classic fashion or outfit post. I’ve been wearing some variation of the same outfit for the last two weeks and thought I would share it with you!

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It’s pretty basic, but the pieces are breathable and comfortable. Since my lifestyle has gone from driving everywhere in an air conditioned car to walking several blocks in 90 degree weather, cool and comfortable have become the most important factors when getting dressed in the morning.

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This look is definitely on the casual side when it comes to DC. But hey, I’m not wearing this to any client meetings or anything. I’ve had this pair of denims from American Eagle for years now and it is still one of my favorites. They are super stretchy and the holes make them much cooler than my non-ventilated skinny jeans and jeggings.

The top is from Madewell. It was on the expensive side, but I was able to use a gift card on it so there was no guilt. Yay! Plus I’ve already worn this so many times that even if I had paid full price, I would have gotten my money’s worth.

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This bag is one of my favorite Forever 21 purchases. It goes with everything and is large enough to fit a notebook and camera for blogging on the go.

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Towards the end of college I stopped being a tennis shoe girl. (High school and most of college — you should have seen the tennis shoes I rocked!) This lady was totally into flats, especially of the leopard variety. But this lady is now a walking fiend, and comfort takes precedence. The nice thing is that athletic shoes are on trend and most people around here wear their tennis shoes while walking and riding the metro, then slip into something a little more stylish before heading into the office or meeting. And my back isn’t complaining! (Here’s a link to these shoes. I was able to find them at Marshall’s for $40!)

While I love this comfy outfit for running errands and site seeing, I do need to start finding a few more business casual pieces to work into the rotation. Let’s just say, my Birkenstocks aren’t an appropriate shoe choice for a dinner out as they were in SoCal. Luckily, there’s an Ann Taylor LOFT just down the street. Don’t tell Matt.

Summer Home And Fashion Essentials

Summer is here! Although the temperature doesn’t shift much here in SoCal, I love taking the change in season as an opportunity to make little changes to my style and house. Just like scarves, garland and lights add festivity to Christmas, it can be just as fun to use specialized decor and details to deck out the summer months!

Today I’m sharing a few items that add a perfect splash of summer to your life. But wait! It gets better!

I created this list of items using ShopAtHome.com. What’s that? It’s a site that provides amazing coupons and cash back to some of my favorite stores! You can register at ShopAtHome.com (totally free!). Before you start online shopping, check the site and activate your coupon codes. The site tracks your purchases then sends you a monthly rebate check for the cash back you earned through your purchases.

To get an idea of how it works for different retailers, check out these items that can help you and your home be ready for summer!

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  1. Colorful table linen –  Summer means lots of BBQs and poolside entertaining! I’m all about paper plates when it comes to outdoor dining, but a great set of bright table linens adds color and glamour to the simplest of backyard BBQs. I found this set at World Market and if you shop through ShopAtHome.com, you can get 15% off regular items and 4% cash back!

  2. Beverage Dispenser – It’s important to stay hydrated year round, but this can be especially difficult in the summer heat. I find that keeping a pretty dispenser filled with spa water makes staying hydrated a little more fun. It’s also great for entertaining! Pier 1 is offering 50% off clearance items, and you could also get 2% cash back on your purchases.

  3. Scents – I’m big on candles. While I like to go for warm amber and spicy sandalwood scents the rest of the year, I think a summer scented candle can totally transform any room in the house. Kohl’s is currently offering 15% off store wide, and you could also get 4% cash back.

  4. Beach Bag – It wouldn’t be summer without a few trips to the beach! Haul everything you need and look stylish doing it with a glamorous (and gigantic) tote bag! This one from Jonathan Adler can be found on Lord and Taylor, which is offering 50% off select handbags and 5% cash back.

  5. Espadrilles – A great pair of opened toed shoes goes with almost anything during the warm months. I love this textured pair from Tory Burch! I can see this going with everything from a swimsuit and cover up to a simple maxi dress. Nordstrom, through ShopAtHome is offering 60% off designer clearance as well as 3% cash back.

  6. Sun Protection – Whether you like getting a tan or not, SPF protection is so important! I usually don’t use anything less than SPF 50 and this one from Sun Bum smells great and is in an easy to use spray bottle. You can find this at Ulta.com, which offers 5% cash back!

  7. Water Bottles – Stay hydrated while you’re out and about in the heat. You can find bottles like this almost anywhere but if you go through ShopAtHome.com for this one from Walmart, you get 6% cash back and free shipping if your order is over $50.

  8. Throws – No matter the season, I love having a few throw blankets around. They make a room look more finished and add pops of color to basic furniture. In the warmer months I like to layer soft knits in fun prints on my sofa. I found these at Macy’s, which offers 7% cash back!