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

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

 

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.

 

Savannah Sunset

IMG_0623Confession. When Chris saw this outfit he was a wee bit skeptical. As in “what the heck are those sandals you’re wearing?” Well, just as fur slides took over the runways last fall/winter, feathered sandals are flocking to fashion’s summer feet. And I could not resist these pink beauties. Over the top? Totally.  But sometimes you just have to forget the rules and have some fun. This sunny dress was a Jersey City find that felt like something Stella would wear in A Streetcar Named Desire. (I know, NOLA, but you get the vibe). I don’t normally gravitate to yellow, but this summer I am. And with its pinkish flower pattern, flutter sleeves and wrap silhouette it felt perfect for the steamy Savannah weather. And this straw bag is going with me pretty much everywhere. For our two nights in Savannah, we were staying in the retro Thunderbird Inn. We arrived early evening, unpacked, and I guess the place just inspired me. At least for this one night. (BTW: you get RC Colas and a Moon Pie upon check-in!)

One last thought. Happy Memorial Day everyone. I hope you had fun with loved ones and good friends and great weather. But perhaps we shouldn’t be wishing each other a Happy one, more a thankful, respectful, grateful one. To all those who served and fought, lived and died, so we could be safe and free. Including my Dad, who fought in the Pacific in WW II and passed away last August. We miss you PopPop. Semper Fi.

IMG_0618IMG_0638IMG_0683IMG_0645IMG_0735IMG_0746IMG_0655Dress: Cotton Candy LA (sold out) from Mint Market but similar here and here

Sandals: Steve Madden (in black) but I’m also buying these and love these

Bag: (old, Zara) but go shack on this and this and this and this

Watch: (old, Cluse) but love this from the new Rebecca Minkoff for Movado collaboration, coming Summer 2017!

Bracelets: Sequin, Palm Beach but you might just have to go to one of their shops

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert

 

Girls Just Want To Have Sun

IMG_0461Well, there’s not one bad thing we can say about our stay in Delray Beach. We just might have to retire here! (And the Dacks, of course.) More on that in a later post. But seriously, my husband Chris first went to Delray as a baby, and he’s loved it ever since. What’s not to love…the beach, tennis (bliss for him, sort of for me), great restaurants, shopping (yay for me), and just a chill vibe. Which we both very much needed.

IMG_0381IMG_0431IMG_0450IMG_0469IMG_0407IMG_0454IMG_0476IMG_0486IMG_0416This is not brain surgery, just the best sunny weather outfit you can make your own. Sundress, straw hat, straw bag, fun slides. It’s that simple.

I love the combination of sleek silhouette and classic summer plaid in this sundress. Yes, you need a strapless bra. But that and a pair of cotton panties, and you’re good to go! Woo hoo!! This hat? All I can say is I had to have it! This bag? A steal from Zara (where else) that EVERYONE commented on. I actually cut the shoulder strap off so it’s just a handheld bag now. In case you’ve been living in Siberia, you must have a straw bag this summer. Cult Gaia started it all (see below). The slides? Zara again. Pearls please! I found the enamel bracelets during our Palm Springs afternoon. LOVE. Will be wearing all Summer. And beyond.

Dress: (old, J. Crew) but love this and this

Hat: (Aldo) but cute here and here too

Bag: (old, Zara) but go shack on this and this and this and this

Sandals: (old, Zara) but you can get these or splurge on these and these

Bracelets: Sequin, Palm Beach but you might just have to go to one of their shops

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert

Palm Beach Preppy

IMG_0301I’m writing this post at the wee hours of our first day back. With a big 9am presentation looming. But my brain is on overdrive. Speaking of drives. It was a 14 1/2 hour one back to Jersey City from Savannah. Who knew Virginia had that much traffic? Yikes. I drove for maybe 1 1/2 hours? Chris was Superman. All in all, it was a great adventure, though next time (?!?) I’m pretty sure I would vote for breaking the drive back up north by one more stop.

We loved our time in Delray and love the beach but try to stay out of the sun from 12-4pm. So besides naps (or work), we decided to make a getaway to Palm Beach and wander around Worth Avenue. Of course, my DIY PomPom bag had to make the trip. And it made quite a splash. Really. I got stopped so many times. I almost thought I should be selling them! But I do have a card for Life’s a Spritz that I try to always have on hand, so perhaps I’ve got a few new followers.

My inspiration? We were at the beach, it was super hot, I kept my look simple. A crisp, blue-and-white gingham top, white Bermuda shorts and, of course, Jack Rogers. The difference was in the details: the buttons up the back of my top add a subtle but stylish difference, the shorts are cotton with just a bit a stretch for fit and comfort, and the JRs are, for me, a casual summer wardrobe must. These are in platinum, and I never say no to a touch of sparkle. I have them in black patent, navy and white (monogrammed!), orange and white and snakeskin, too. If I can I add a new pair every summer or two. They go with everything. And hey, just get better with age.  I didn’t shop much on this trip, but I picked up a pair of gorgeous white enamel bangles at Sequin, the PB outpost of an NYC-based Jewelry Design Studio. Founded by two sisters, they have a rainbow of options to choose from and support a rainbow of good causes!

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Top: (old, J. Crew) but similar here (on sale!) and here

Shorts: J. Crew, pretty much sold out in white but love them in yellow!

Sandals: (old, Jack Rogers) but take your pick here! And monogram options here!!

PomPom Bag: (DIY here) but fun options here and here

Bangles: Sequin

All Photos by Chris & MP Allegaert

Beach Boho

IMG_0193Chris and I haven’t had a just-the-two-of-us vacation in, well, I really can’t remember. And technically we aren’t right now either, since Bowie is along for the ride. But so far our road trip South, from Jersey City to Delray Beach, FLA has been lots of fun (and lots of driving….thank you Road Warrior/Husband!).

We started out last Thursday and drove to Virginia Beach to stay with my college roommate at her lovely beachfront home. Chris had never been there, so I was excited for him to see it. Unfortunately the weather was monsoon-like, so we hightailed it back to Williamsburg and Kathy’s equally lovely home there. More rain and chilly temps, but we had a lot of fun (and a lot of wine) just hanging out with Kathy, her husband Bruce and son Keith.

Early Saturday morning we set out for our next stop, Old Town Bluffton, South Carolina. Our plan was just one night there, and we definitely got lucky with a charming Airbnb Carriage House . We arrived just as the clouds cleared after another “all-day monsoon.” Being just a walk away from town was fantastic. We checked out as much as we could before dark, then enjoyed a super farm-to-table dinner at FARM (duh). Chris and Bowie took another long walk early the next morning, then it was time to hit the road. There was too much history and charm to take in in one night, so Bluffton we will be back!

Sunday was a full day of driving…for Chris. Thankfully he was a man on a mission. We took a couple of breaks, mostly for Bowie who is not used to being in the car for hours….and hours and finally made it to Delray around 6pm. Our Airbnb Bungalow is adorable and could not be more convenient to the beach, restaurants, tennis, well, everything.

So this post is from our first night. We were racing against sunset so apologies for the pics being a bit dark. But I wanted to share this look, especially since fashion is all about “festival vibes” right now. You don’t have to go to Coachella to rock any or all of these pieces!

How many white shirts are too many? Hmmm….I couldn’t tell you. I’m always on the look for one with a fresh take. I love the ruffles and swingy shape of this one. I’m wearing it loose here since I still need to get rid of some of the lbs I put on while recovering from a stress fracture in my knee, but it would look great tucked in too. The jeans are a DIY that combined a pair I already had with the embroidered pompom hem. Accessory-wise I kept it pretty simple — a statement watch, some stretchy beaded bangles in beachy turquoise, fun rainbow donut clutch (Bartenders at Deck84 loved it), and Valentino Rockstud gladiators (LOVE! You will be seeing a lot of them…).

We’re in Delray until Friday, then it’s on the road again with two nights in Savannah. Stay tuned!

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Shirt: Zara and as usual they have some other really fab options here, here and here. (See what I mean about white shirts…)

Jeans: (old, DIY) but love this splurge and this steal

Watch: (old, Cluse) but love this from the new Rebecca Minkoff for Movado collaboration, coming Summer 2017!

Bracelets: (old) but fun boho options here (want!) and here (this set too, please!)

Clutch: (old, Terez) but rainbows here and here

Sandals: (Valentino, found on sale at Nordstrom Rack!) but similar here and here

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert