1 Simple Shirtdress, 2 Ways

IMG_1708On steamy-hot summer days, a cool dress is often your best bet. I spied this one on a recent visit to Zara. I’m a sucker for any blue and white pattern, but especially stripes. And for me, this dress is the perfect balance of easy fit with it’s drawstring waist and tailored details. In fact, it’s such a fun dress I simply had to style it two ways.

LOOK 1

IMG_1765IMG_1792IMG_1867IMG_1876IMG_1705For this look, I went more casual and stayed with a mostly neutral palette : straw hat, stretchy, cutout leather tote (which my new 13″ MacBook pro fits into!), flat leather sandals with an espadrille sole (like how their cutouts pick up the bag’s), my trusty Rolex (thanks, Chris!) and a stack of cheap-and-cheerful bangles.

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So this look is a little more sophisticated, a little more bling-y. Did someone say date night? What’s great is that I could start my day with Look 1, and finish it with Look 2…and barely break a sweat. (It worked for our post shoot anyway!) This cute, colorful straw clutch? It was on backorder at Nordstrom, and I’ve been dying to get my hands on it. Did I say straw…colorful…pom poms…tassel…and actually big enough to fit your “necessities” into? Obsessed. My sandals are another fave. They are by Schutz, a shoe brand that just does it for me. They somehow hit that perfect balance of high style, comfort (even with a heel) and affordability (but not cheapie). The unicorn of shoes? Perhaps. For jewelry I went with a little summertime bling — a bold choker and delicate monogram bangles (love my letters and words!).

One last note, I could easily see creating a version of these looks with a white shirt dress or just a fun, summery white, chambray or navy dress. I’d love to hear what you think!

Dress: (Zara, not available online at the moment as they are having their CRAZY summer sale) but similar here and here

LOOK 1

Hat: (old, NYC street vendor) similar here and here

Bag: (Zara, in-store but not online due to sale) nice alternatives here and here

Sandals: (old, Christian Laboutin) but love these (pom poms!) these (on sale!) and these

Bangles: (old) but beachy option here and rose gold evil eye option here

LOOK 1

Clutch: Nordstrom

Sandals: (Schutz, sold out) but similar here (if you can rock a HIGH heel) and here

Choker: (J. Crew, old) but love this (4th of July!) and this

Bracelets: Sarah Chloe, and also love this version

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert

 

Slide into Summer

IMG_1344It’s officially Summer! What could be easier than to slide into your next favorite sandal. As you can see from my round-up, I’m mostly going for flats. Which is really how I live. I like to be able to make tracks when I need to, and flat sandals afford me that freedom. That being said, you gotta go for heels every now and then. And my block heel option gives your legs that lift while allowing you true walkability.

Let’s start with these jeweled rubber slides that are right at home at the beach…or on Broadway. They’re another example of Zara’s genius at spotting a runway trend and making it more than affordable. Check out these Prada beauties that started the slide into summer. They’re super fun but…super expensive.

I think these M. Gemi suede slides are  my new summer “go to.” They are so well made I asked myself why did I wait so long to try a pair? If you don’t know M. Gemi, they started as an online store but also now have retail outlets (like Soho, NYC). These sandals are made BY HAND in Italy. The craftsmanship is unbelievable, and so is the comfort. I am in love. The other super cool thing M. Gemi does is include a pre-paid mailable bag to send a pair of shoes you no longer want/need back to them for donation to programs that help women working to right their lives. One in, one out! And for a good cause, too!!

BTW, sorry if my feet look a little pale. These are actually a lovely neutral tone of suede that I think would flatter any skin tone. Not to mention there are about a half a dozen other fun shades to choose from. (I am on the waitlist for metallic blue.)

These block heel beauties are pretty fab. Yes, they’re velvet, which is not exactly a fabric I associate with summer. But the colors and butterfly/lady bug motif are perfect. And they are super comfortable. I will be wearing these in a full outfit post soon. And probably a Fall post, too.

Feathers seem to be this summer’s answer to last fall’s fur. I know these slides might seem a bit wild, but hey, they are just pure fun. I love the fluff factor, love the pink. You might remember them from this post. They are super comfortable and super fun to wear. Sometimes you need a conversation piece…even if it’s on your feet!

So how about you? Are you wearing slides this summer? I’d love to hear about your favorites.

Rubber Slides: Zara (on sale!). And look at what else they have: this, this, and this

Suede Slides: M. Gemi, The Medio

Velvet Slides: Jeffrey Campbell, also love these and these

Feather Slides: ((Steve Madden, sold out) Similar here ($10!) and here (if you can bust the budget!)

All photos by MP Allegaert

That’s Mrs. Mystery, to you.

IMG_1572I’m going to try not to take myself (or fashion) too seriously in this post, but it’s been quite the weekend. On Friday, our youngest son Chanler turned 22. And today, it’s both Father’s Day and our 29th Wedding Anniversary. Wow, where do the years fly to? But now for more important things…like this outfit…and why I thought it was kind of wacky but actually love it. And to think it all started with this graphic-yellow-one sleeved “mystery” tee…

IMG_1485IMG_1440IMG_1431IMG_1406IMG_1252IMG_1317IMG_1126As a blonde, I normally avoid the color yellow, at least near my face and hair. But the kitschy, graphic look of this tee proved too irresistible. And I think the yellow works! Asymmetric silhouettes like this one-sleeved style are one of this Summer’s hottest trends, and while I hate to think of myself as a trend follower, I like that I stepped out of my comfort zone to give this one a try. I paired it with black fringe-hem jeans —  a “shop my closet” option that I continue to wear season after season. And I accessorized with this adorable rattan bag, colorful beaded slides, graphic lucite earrings, a duo of mismatched-yet-matching bracelets and bold sunnies.

Now for the “heavy” stuff. I wore this tee the other day as well and was called “Miss Mystery.” I didn’t correct the lovely gentleman. But it made me think, ah yes, I can still be a bit of a mystery. Even on the cusp of sixty, as a wife and mother, a sister, a friend, a professional, as a woman, as a human. I can even be a mystery to me myself and I. And I think that’s a good thing. To hold onto those interior, unspoken thoughts and moments that add to the layers of our soul. And on that note…it’s Sunday Funday! Let’s celebrate!!

Tee: (Zara, sold out) but like this and this

Jeans: (3×1) but fun and affordable alternative here 

Bag: (Zara) Rattan/straw/raffia bags are everywhere. some cute options here, here and here (the cult favorite that started the craze!).

Slides: Zara

Sunnies: Raen (Rachel Zoe Box of Style, Summer 2017)

Bracelets (old & DIY) but how about this or this

Earrings: (old) but love these and these

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert

 

Colorful Camo

IMG_0867“Summer Color” used to mean slathering on baby oil and getting your tan on. Not anymore. These days the only thing I’m slathering on is sunscreen. So I’ve been on the hunt for other ways to color my days (and nights). I actually saw this adorable tee dress on Cathy Williamson’s The Middle Page. She is a super successful, 50-something Dallas Fashion Blogger. And like me, when she wears a “tee” it’s usually paired with jeans. But this dress was too cute to pass up. And too cheap! As in $13!! I promise it looks pretty great in person. As proof, I previewed it on our walking tour around Savannah. Chris could not believe how many people complimented me on it.

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IMG_0888This dress is from an online boutique called Shein. I’d call it “(super) cheap chic.” I’ve spent quite some time scrolling through the site, because the prices are unbelievable. That being said, not all fabrics are high quality and sizing can be inconsistent (I actually ordered this dress twice. First time in Medium, which was too fitted for my liking. I cut that into a tee. Then I re-ordered in Large, which looks and feels just right.) Warning…you are ordering direct from China, so it’s pretty tough to return stuff. But honestly, I’ve only been disappointed in one tee ($5!) which I just put into my pajama rotation.

And good thing this dress was so affordable, because these sneakers were not. Call them a “seasonal splurge.” (So far this Summer, I’ve only indulged in a few.) But I LOVE them. In fact, I’m obsessed. And I’m treating them like Chris would treat a new Mercedes. I clean them with a Mr. Clean Eraser after every wearing (my secret weapon for white and white-soled shoes) and store them in their box. And I will be wearing them all the way into Fall. And next Spring/Summer. I call that “investment dressing.”

My Prada crossbody was bought in a Madison Avenue consignment store almost 10 years ago. In that time it’s been on almost every trip I’ve made. For me, it’s a lifesaver when traveling, allowing me a place to stash my wallet, passport, glasses, lip balm, etc… that fits right into a second carry-on. It’s also lightweight, weather-and- pickpocket resistant!

I’d love to know what you think of this look, including any colorful camo options you’re trying out.

Dress: Shein but also like this and this

Sneakers: Gucci (if you are considering a splurge like this, Gucci has soooo many cute versions) but if not, check out these (the super hot “sneakerdrille!”)

Bag: (Prada, consignment) Hunt for one at The Real Real or cute and colorful option here

All photos by Chris Allegaert

 

Honey Do: This Mask!

IMG_0786After 9 days “on the road” and probably too much sun, my skin was in dire need of revitalizing nourishment. This amazing mask did the trick…and then some. I highly recommend it!

Honey Potion is a warming mask that nourishes and revitalizes skin. It’s an intensely moisturizing combination of honey (a natural humectant used since ancient times), propolis (found in beehives) and amino acid-rich royal jelly. And yes, it really does look and feel like honey.

And how cute is the packaging! Plus the cap has a hidden magnet, so the applicator stays where you need it. This mask warms up after massaging 1-2 minutes, giving you a tingly yet soothing effect. You feel like it is working. And it does! My skin was left glowing and super smooth. I plan to make this a weekly ritual.

Farmacy, the company that created this antioxidant-packed potion, calls themselves Farmer Cultivated, Scientist Activated. Their products are formulated with unique, farm-grown botanicals combined with cutting-edge technologies. They seek out some of Nature’s most novel yet effective ingredients worldwide.

And best of all, no bees were harmed! In fact, their Echinacea GreenEnvy Honey is made only by bees that live on their farm and pollinate the flowers.

I was lucky enough to discover this product in the swag bag I received at a Beauty Biz event. It is a bit pricey at $56, but I would say you will get months and months of use. And can (should?) you really put a price on some well-deserved “me time?”

Check it out here and here.

All photos by MP Allegaert.

 

 

Road Trip Roundup

IMG_0766Well, we drove to Delray Beach Florida. And back. And we’re still married and still speaking. I think you get the idea. When Chris proposed this getaway I was supremely skeptical. But he said he would do most of the driving. And he did! Except for 2 1/2 torturous Virginia hours on the way back. Breaking the drive up definitely helped.

I’d say we had one stupid fight, but our trip down was initially sabotaged by monsoon like weather, although we had an awesome visit with my college roommate Kathy, her husband Bruce and son Keith in Virginia Beach and Williamsburg.

The bad weather finally lifted when we arrived in Bluffton, SC. Super cute town. Sorry we only got to spend one night there. We loved our restaurant find, Farm.  You will too!

 

Delray Beach: Our Airbnb was adorable. Centrally located, cutely decorated. As long as you aren’t tall. Let’s just say the shower was not designed for us. That being said, Delray kind of combines the monied impulses of Palm Beach with the low key, fun beach vibes of a beachier community. It’s old school Florida for us. And since we were on vacay, we were chill about waiting on a table or eating at the bar.

OK, Chris was in heaven! And you tennis players will be too! https://downtowndelraybeach.com/tennis

Our favorites Delray restaurants: J & J Seafood Bar & Grill,  Scuola Pizzeria and Deck 84.

Savannah is old. And cool. And hot. And full of ghosts. We did not realize Gregg Allman lived there. And that we were there the week before he died. I can only say we felt many sprits in that city. And Let’s not forget SCAD! Which has given this whole city, not to mention state, an alternative vibe like never before. Viva la difference!

Thunderbird Inn (like I said before…RC Colas and Moon Pies!)

Our favorite…The Grey! It’s the 1938 Art Deco Greyhound Bus Station restored and reinvisioned as a super cool restaurant. Great food, great scene, superb service. We started in the bar room with drinks and Georgia Oysters (never had them before, delish!), then sat counter style for dinner. We even met the chef’s parents. LOVED!

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert.