My Favorite White Summer Dress

Brunette Girl In White Dress in Front of Brick Wall

Brunette Girl In White Dress in Front of Brick WallBrunette Girl In White Dress in Front of Brick Wall

Brunette Girl In White Dress in Front of Brick Wall

Every summer I have one dress that I wear non-stop and this year it’s this beauty from Urban Outfitters. It’s the perfect summer party dress: cute, casual, and a little sexy. And with the balance of the deep V-neck and the midi length it totally works for both day or night. It’s just so easy to throw it on and feel put together. I’ve worn this out with my friends to the bars, hanging out at a street fest, out to a concert – you name the summery event and I’ve worn this dress to it!

On a potentially TMI note, I’m also excited about this dress because it’s the first dress I’ve ever been able to comfortably wear without a bra! It’s been revolutionary 😂 The top gives me enough support that I’m comfortable, but it still feels airy and light. The whole thing is lined, too, so it’s not see through at all either like a lot of white dresses at this price point. I’d definitely recommend this dress to my bigger busted friends!

Brunette Girl In White Dress in Front of Brick WallBrunette Girl In White Dress in Front of Brick Wall

Dress: Urban Outfitters | Purse: Urban Outfitters (sold out) | Shoes: All Birds | Sunglasses: H&M

 

Brunette Girl In White Dress in Front of Brick WallBrunette Girl In White Dress in Front of Brick Wall

And let’s talk about accessories for a minute: these shoes and purse are my other go-to’s this summer. In fact, I’ve never gotten more compliments on a purse in my life! It might look tiny, but it actually fits everything I need – phone, wallet, keys, sunglasses, headphones, etc. I just love the shape so much – it’s such a fun, little conversation piece.

Unfortunately, the purse isn’t available online anymore, but here’s a few similar white, box bag options if you’re looking: another affordable option from Urban Outfitters, a backpack version, and a hilariously over-priced version if you’re up to it lol.

As for the shoes, these All Birds are the best city shoes I’ve ever had. I’m walking everywhere these days and I’m obsessed with them. I didn’t even have to break them in – no blisters and they’re sooo comfortable. Plus, they are sweat wicking so your feet don’t get swampy. I’ve seen a lot of ads for All Birds lately and was a little skeptical when I ordered them, but they are easily the best tennis shoes I’ve ever owned. Haha my mom thinks they look like nurse shoes, but I love them!

And yes, I know white tennis shoes get dirty crazy fast, but these are MACHINE WASHABLE. I like to do a stain remover spot treatment on any areas that are particularly gross and then just throw them in a regular cold cycle. They come out looking brand new. I was really impressed. I’ve been wearing them for about two months now and washed them about 3 times – no piling or weird stretching out from the washing machine, either. I didn’t think they would live up to the hype, but they absolutely have.

 

Brunette Girl In White Dress in Front of Brick Wall

It’s honestly made my life so much easier to just have a few great pieces that go with everything and I can wear to all kinds of events. I don’t think I’m at full-blown capsule wardrobe status, but I certainly see the appeal. What are your go-to’s this summer? I’d love to hear what pieces you’re wearing over and over again!

Photos by: Hannah Schweiss Photography (Thank you, Hannah!)

And be sure to check out some of my other recent posts: Are you watching The Proposal?, 5 books to add to your summer reading list, and my thoughts on this year’s Tony Awards.

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What Do I Buy with My Free People Gift Card? + A Major Anthro Sale

You know what’s even more satisfying than doing a big Marie Kondo clean out? Finding a $128 Free People gift card in the process, especially after you’ve just given away 75% of my clothing. I’ve been scoping out some pieces online and thought I’d share what I’m thinking about getting.

You’ll notice quite a few pairs of shoes on my list and that’s because I love Free People for statement shoes that are still good quality. I got a pair of Jeffrey Campbell boots from FP a few years ago that I honestly wore to death – I’ve never gotten more compliments or had a more comfortable pair of going out shoes. Here’s to hoping I find another pair of winners (plus, a few other things)…

 

Vegan Joplin Ankle Boot ; Gloria Pullover

I love that these boots totally make a statement, but are neutral enough to go with everything. Plus, I think they’d transition really nicely from winter into Spring.

This is an obvious choice for me and I’m really digging the orange and baby blue combo. But to be honest, I would rather spend that kind of money on a Rachel Antonoff Reproductive System Sweater, which is my dream wardrobe item.

 

Mary Louise Set ; Sydney Hiker Boot

This set is on the pricier side and might be too flowy for me, but I have to say I’m obsessed with the idea of a chunky, plaid jumpsuit. And the frills at the waistband are the best little touch!

I really like these boots – they’re a contender. I love white for winter and I think they’d look so cute with denim or a flippy mini skirt. My only concern is that the reviews mentioned they get dirty really quickly, which I totally believe. It’s a predicament.

 

Tatum Over the Knee Boot ; Tennessee Lace Up Boot

These boots are really just a pipe dream, but I thought I’d throw them on here. They’re so badass, but even with my giftcard, there’s no way I can justify buying them. But how cute would they look with a chunky knit and jeans? Or a turtleneck sweater??

I’ve always been a sucker for lace up boots like this – they hit that sexy victorian note that I like a lot. These don’t come in my size, but I’m going to keep my eye on them in case they come back in. I think they’d be a really good choice.

 

Color Blocked Jacket ; Pixie Pearl Slide Sandal

I seriously don’t need a coat but how easy and cool is this one?! I love a piece that you can just throw on and instantly feel amazing in – even if you’re just wearing jeans and a white T on underneath. This would totally elevate any weekend wear.

I feel like sandals are wishful thinking right now, but I love these pearl slides in a sunny yellow. They make me want to move to LA, eat avocado toast, and getting really accidentally sunburned.

 

High Road Hiker Boot ; Seeking Heart Mini Dress

These boots are cool… right?? I think with ankle length jeans and a denim jacket they would be so cool! I’m really into simple outfits with super extra accessories right now and these certainly fall into that category.

This dress looks so comfortable, while also giving off major casual workplace vibes. I could definitely see myself wearing something like this to the office with my stan smiths or too brunch when I’m hungover and need something easy to throw on.

 

Come Back For Me Cashmere V-Neck Sweater ; Renegade Platform Loafer

I am a slouchy, cashmere v-neck addict and I’m not afraid to admit it. I think they’re practical, versatile, and sexy. This would be a great investment piece – plus, it comes in pink!

Guys, I think I’m crazy because I weirdly really love these loafers. I feel like they’re way too Petra Collins’ Instagram for me, but I’m sort of obsessed with the blush color and super chunky sole. What’s happening to me?

 

Wrenlette Slipper ; Business In The Front Top

I originally saw these slippers on Design Love Fest’s Bri Emery and totally fell in love. They would be perfect for one of those crisp spring mornings where you still need a sweatshirt and a little something on your feet. Once again, getting my hopes up…

I have not been a fan of the off the shoulder trend (how do you put your arms ups???), but this top might make me reconsider. The billowy sleeves and menswear-inspired pinstripes are a really excellent combo.

I also poked around the Anthropologie Sale section a bit since my friend, Kristin, texted me that they’re doing 40% off their sale prices. These are some of my online picks, but I always recommend going in store, too – I’ve found some really incredible things that way.

 

Fiona Corset Belt ; Tied Pocket Jacket

Are we still doing corset belts? This one feels more architectural than bodice ripper, which is actually kind of refreshing.

The bows on this coat kill me and I’m not typically a bows kind of girl. This would be such a sweet coat for a rainy spring day with light wash denim and a statement T underneath.

 

Mara Hoffman Knotted Gingham Shirt ; Jacquard Peplum Top

This top feels very Orseund Iris to me with the boob wrap going on and I don’t hate it. This actually the second Mara Hoffman piece on my list after the plaid set from FP – perhaps I should be keeping a better eye on her stuff!

This is a little more traditional for me, but I love a beautiful top in a peplum fit. This is a silhouette that always looks good on me (if I do say so myself). I’d love to wear it with white jeans and pearly sandals for day and dark wash denim for night.

 

Woven Twist-Front Jumpsuit ; Charlotte Stone Fara Feathered Mules

Nooooo so this jumpsuit sold out before I even got to put this post up – but it was around $40, not including the additional 40% off so it’s not a wonder it went so fast. And you know me, I can’t resist a print mixing jumpsuit. 

And last but not least, how fun are these feathery mules? I know they’re completely impractical, but how nice would they be with wide leg, ankle length jeans and a billowy white top? They’re showstoppers.

So, that’s it for my shopping expeditions. But I need help! I’m not sure if I’m overthinking the whole thing or I’m just not ready to use my gift card yet, but I need help choosing something! Luckily, we also have a Free People store here in Madison because I’m such a brick and mortar kind of girl! Let me know if you guys find anything else on there that I may have missed – Free People is such an abyss these days. Happy shopping!

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Toast’s Last Minute (& Under $50) Gift Guide

Affordable Christmas Gift Guide

Affordable Christmas Gift Guide

 

I am a pretty notorious last minute shopper. I’ve never been on the ball when it comes to gift giving, so it’s always a bit of scramble come crunch time. But since I do this literally every year, I have a few tricks up my sleeve for easy, affordable last-minute gifts that are still really genuine. I tried to include a little something for everybody and I snuck a few discount codes in there too, so read on:

For a housewarming: For friends who’ve recently moved into a new place or as a super nice hostess gift, a 4-set of stemless wine glasses ($8.99) and a nice bottle of wine ($17.99) are really simple gifts. It feels super adult while still being under thirty bucks. Plus, it’s something you can totally stop at Target to pick up on the way to the party, not that you’d ever do that…

For your friends: It might be a little cliche, but it’s pretty hard to go wrong with a good old fashioned scarf, especially if you have friends who travel a lot for work or particularly hate Midwest winters. Outlet stores or spots like Old Navy always have scarves in good supply, like this one from J Crew Factory ($24.95), which rocks if I have several people I need to buy for and don’t want to spend a fortune.

For someone sporty: I’ve been eyeing Target’s new sportswear brand, Joy Lab, since the fall – it’s a collection of affordable and adorable yoga and workout wear. They have lots of options in store, like this cutout crop top ($16.99) and matching leggings ($34.99), and there’s free delivery for Christmas if you order by Wednesday. Similar to the ever popular Outdoor Voices sets, these are a great affordable alternative.

For the hipster: For friends who are just generally way hipper than me, giving some design inspo is always an easy out. Kinfolk is instant instagram fodder and a digital subscription is only $20 for an entire year, so it’s a perfect affordable (and super easy last minute) for your friend that’s too hip to function.

For the fam: My go-to last minute gift is a simple framed photo. You can throw it together in a day, but it can be a really sentimental gift when done right. I use Walgreens photo to get my prints done the same day (an 8×10 is $3.99 – and get an extra 25% off with the code EZGIFT) and then pick up a matted frame from Target for $12.99. I love doing this with family photos or snaps from recent trips and they’ve been some of my most successful gifts to date.

For the homebody: I have these slippers ($49.50 – but currently 40% off with the code TIME2GIVE) and they are so cozy and fun. It feels so pampering to have really nice pieces that are just for you and these slippers feel decadent while still being something I use everyday. Definitely recommend for someone who’s in hibernation mode this winter.

For the reader: My top pick for readers (or anyone interested in poetry, spirituality, or feminism) is Rupi Kaur’s new collection of poems called The Sun and Her Flowers ($10.19). She has completely taken over Instagram this year so her work might look familiar. Her poems talk a lot about womanhood, personal growth, self care, and strength – the perfect gift for someone who’s taken this year hard.

For the holiday-spirited: I’m a big whiskey fan and nothing is nicer than receiving a new or interesting kind that I’ve never tried before. I’m partial to Irish whiskey (for obvious reasons) and I found a website that does nip-sized bottles of some of my favorites including Writers Tears and Connemara. If you have a whiskey lover in your life, a collection of 3 or 4 different bottles (from $4 – $12 a piece) would be so fun for a little taste test.

For someone you’d like to cozy up to: I saw this jacket at Target and fell in love ($39.99)! I’m so on board with the teddy trend and this is such a cute and affordable option. I tried it on in store and it does run big since it’s sized for men (an XS was still a little oversized for me), but I think this would work for so many different people. I could see my dad wearing this or my step-mom or my best friend. It’s a great universal style and would be great for outdoorsy friends or for those more inclined to lounging around.

Check out some of my other holiday posts: 4 guilty pleasure holiday movies and my favorite Christmas traditions, plus what I’ll be wearing on Christmas day!

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My Favorite Christmas Traditions + A Festive Jumpsuit

Christmas Tree Wine

 

Christmas Tree Model

I started celebrating Christmas a little earlier than usual this year (because Lord knows we need any excuse for some joy these days) and I’m starting to get so excited, guys! I broke out the decorations, put up my little Christmas tree, tuned into the local Christmas station – I’m totally admiring my handiwork as we speak!

I’ve even done a good amount of my gift shopping, which has to be some kind of record because I famously wait until the last minute every year. All this holiday spirit made me want to share some thoughts on the holidays including the best Christmas tree ever and where not to see the Nutcracker this year…

 

Christmas Tree Ornament

Putting Up the (Aluminum) Christmas Tree

My mom’s never been one to do things the traditional way, but when it came to buying a new christmas tree she really outdid herself. We’ve always had fake trees because she’s allergic to pine (it’s actually a secret dream of mine to get a real one just to see what it would be like – sorry mom!) so we grew up putting the tree together, untangling the lights, the whole nine yards.

A few years back she said she’d ordered a new one online – let’s say we were not expecting it to be silver and made out of metal. My brother and I thought she was insane! But of course, now it’s my favorite thing ever and I can’t wait to have one of my own some day.

 

Laughing Christmas Wine

Drinking Mulled Wine at Christkindlmarket

This is definitely our newest tradition, but it feels like one we’ve been doing for years. My mom moved downtown a few years ago and I have to say that nothing beats Christmas in the city. Everything is lit up and Christmas is everywhere – I literally went to a random bar last last weekend and Santa was there! (I got so weirdly star stuck!)

Christkindlmarket on Daley Plaza has become our go to for a dose of Christmas spirit. We get mugs of mulled wine, eat potato pancakes, and browse through the incredible collection of handmade glass ornaments. They seriously have everything. My dream is to one day have an entire Christmas tree of alcoholic beverage ornaments and this is definitely where I’ll start – the Germans know what’s up!

 

Laughing Christmas Model

Seeing the Nutcracker

I’ve been a longtime fan of ballet – I danced all the way up until senior year of college and always felt really lucky to have one of the best ballet companies right at our doorstep, the Joffrey. So, of course, we frequented their version of the Nutcracker every year. I remember crying the first time I saw it (I know, cheesy lol) because it’s just a really incredible production.

Unfortunately, they decided to change things up last year and maybe we’re just curmudgeonly creatures of habit, but we felt like it missed the magic of the old version. We’re going to give the Madison Ballet’s version a try this year so fingers crossed! Regardless of the production itself, it’s just so nice to get dressed up, people watch, and drink champagne at intermission. Really looking forward to it this year!

 

Christmas Tree Ornaments

Getting Baked

I need no excuse to bake, but Christmas makes baking seem extra cozy and wonderful. I pour myself a glass of red wine, put on a Christmas movie, and I’m a happy little clam. Plus, I have an office filled with hungry developers to eat all my leftovers!

My go-to are classic chocolate chip cookies (I swear by the Martha Stewart recipe – they stay soft for days), but I’ve been trying to branch out lately. This year, I want to go total classic and do gingerbread. I’ve never actually made them before, but I think I’m ready for a little bit of a challenge. Frankly, I’m more worried about the decorating than the baking – I’m honestly tragic at that sort of thing. Keep an eye out for some total fails!

 

Christmas Tree Wine

Spending Time with My Family and Friends

I know, I know this is the most cliche answer ever… But it is genuinely my favorite part of the holidays. As I mentioned on Instagram recently, the holidays can be really tough. I know the years after my parents got divorced I dreaded the holidays – it was hard to see our family traditions change and I always felt like I was letting one parent down by being with the other.

But we all got older and made new traditions and I’ve really come to learn that home can be anywhere when you have the right people. It’s still not perfect and we always manage to find something stupid to fight about, but we also always figure it out and I feel lucky that I have a family who loves me enough to fight for our time together. Sappy, yes, but true!

 

Christmas Tree Wine

Last thing: can we talk about this jumpsuit for a second?! I love that it’s subtly festive and can totally be dressed up or down – I might wear it with heels to the Nutcracker next week or with slippers to lounge around in on Christmas Day. It’s the perfect cross between formal wear and pajamas, which is my ideal holiday outfit aesthetic.

I stopped into Anthropologie last week do some Christmas shopping and of course immediately found something for myself… I’m not sure if it’s still going on, but they were having a 40% off sale on sale items in store, which is a whopper for them. If you love Anthro, but gawk at their prices it’s a great time to pick up some goodies as gifts or, if you’re like me, as a little secret santa to yourself.

What are you guys up to for the holidays? Do you have any fun holiday traditions that have stuck? Funnily enough we don’t have anything in particular we do on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, we focus mainly on the lead up to Christmas, but I always love to hear what other families do!

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Two Wardrobe Staples I’m Really Excited About Right Now

Last weekend I was in a treat yo self kind of mood so I bought myself a smoked salmon sandwich and a La Croix and went shopping. For me, shopping is an event: I love going to the stores, people watching, trying things on, listening to the music they play, feeling all the fabrics, buying little things I don’t need, etc.

In fact, I actually hate shopping online. (This is where I usually get a horrified reaction from people lol). I’m a brick and mortar kind of girl. I’ve just had so many bad experiences buying things online and then I never remember to return them. I bought a pair of over the knee boots last fall that legitimately went up to stomach. Like it was bad. I don’t trust myself with online shopping – this girl and I are kindred spirits.

Anyway, off my soap box and onto the shopping. I had a bit of success over the weekend and wanted to share what I got since I think they’ll both be wardrobe staples for the next few seasons. Nothing like a couple of great pieces to revitalize a closet.

The Jeans

One thing that was definitely on my list, though: jeans. I live in jeans and have been wearing through my favorite pairs over the last couple of months. Let’s just say that holes in the crotch are not the most professional look, even in a casual workplace (but at least I wear shoes, which is more than I can say for some people…). On my shopping expedition on State Street here in Madison I actually found a pair of jeans that I love from Urban Outfitters of all places.

I really like the shape of them: high waisted, ankle-length, with a little flare at the bottom. I can wear them to work with a sweater and my adidas sneakers or out to a bar with a lacy tank and boots. Lord knows I won’t buy jeans for another year so I’m glad I can make the most of them. Plus, they make my butt look good. 🙂

The Bag

My other purchase was a complete impulse buy. I never buy purses. Okay, not true: the last time I bought a purse I was a junior in college and it was $20 on Ebay. I still use a purse my mom bought me when I left for college (shoutout to that yellow marc jacobs bag that has truly seen it all). But when I saw this purse I knew I had to go for it. I actually picked it up and put it down twice in the store, left the store entirely, and then came back 10 minutes later and bought it. I can honestly say I tried to leave it behind.

It’s from a brand called Street Level (for the life of me I can’t find it online – another reason not to bother) and it was only $60. I love the idea of blush for fall – I think it will pair really well with fall colors like burnt orange and is a little unexpected since it’s often a spring color. What sold me on it, though, was the circle detailing. It makes it a little more unique than a regular satchel bag, but without being too over the top trendy (like the Chloe Nile bag that every blogger is carrying right now). It’s another really versatile piece, too, and since I’m averaging a purse every 4 years I’d say I’ll get some use out of it.

What’s on your wish list this fall?I’ve been watching all the New York Fashion Week coverage and am loving all the blush and plaid I’m seeing for Spring. Never too early, right? I also can’t believe how quickly the weather has changed here in Wisconsin. It was full on summer this time two weeks ago and now I’m breaking out the sweatshirts and wool socks to wear to bed.

As much as I’m already dreading the short days, I’m actually getting a little excited to cozy up in sweaters and layer on coats and scarves. Fall is especially awesome when you get those 3 days of the year when it makes sense to wear a mini skirt with a turtleneck. Ugh, transitional dressing is so fun and nonsensical. I love it. Happy autumn shopping, friends!

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A Morning at Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Over the weekend my friend Anna and I took a little expedition to Olbrich Botanical Gardens here in Madison. Have you been? I’ve visited a couple of times this month and I think it’s becoming one of my favorite spots in the city. It reminds me a lot of the Botanical Garden in Dublin, which was a total happy place for me with the gray Irish weather. Olbrich has the same sanctuary vibe and includes elaborate grounds, a butterfly garden, and even a gorgeous gold Thai Pavilion. We had the perfect weather and spent the morning walking around and chatting about feminism, beekeeping, and healthcare technology. You know, the usual.

My Outfit:

Vintage Floral Midi Skirt from Harakuju – Noisy May White Tee (similar here) – old Franco Sarto sandals – H&M Sunglasses

Anna’s Outfit:

Her adorable dress is from Old Navy and it’s on sale here!

After spending some time in the butterfly garden, we met up with Anna’s boyfriend and grabbed lunch at Weary Traveler on Willy Street. I was craving red meat like crazy (needed that iron I guess?) so I went for the steak and a bloody mary and did not regret it even a little bit. After lunch, we dropped into A Woman’s Touch, Madison’s local independent sex shop, and then parted ways to go home and nap away the rest of the afternoon. I love Saturdays like this – relaxing with friends and getting outside to enjoy the weather while we still have it. I can already tell the days are getting shorter and it’s totally stressing me out!

Isn’t the Thai pavilion wild? I had no clue it was there the first time I visited – I can’t wait to come back in the winter and see it completely covered in snow. I just think that’ll be magical. There’s a beer garden at Olbrich across the street, too, that I’ve been meaning to check out. Definitely a good excuse to come back soon!

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A Sunny Outfit Saved for a Rainy Day

With thunderstorms in the forecast all week, I thought I’d share a sunny outfit to brighten up a rainy day. I bought this dress last summer when I was in Dublin, where it never actually got warm enough for me to wear it. So, I was extra excited to break it out this summer back at home. It’s from the brand Louche, who carries a lot of easy day dresses in really fun patterns. I was kind of skeptical of this dress on the rack, but loved the fit when I tried it on. The flare on the skirt is really flattering and sleeves are almost bell sleeves – the whole look is super flowy and perfectly twirlable.

I also want to mention these shoes, which have become my go-to for everything from dinner to church to hitting the bars. They’re from Michael Kors and I got them ages ago for my college graduation, but love how versatile they’ve become later on in life. They easily dress up day dresses, but I also love them with jeans. I got a pair of wide legged cropped jeans recently and love them paired together. Plus, the wood wedges make them way more walkable than heels, which is super important to me.

What pieces are you loving this summer? Cannot believe that it’s already the middle of July. I feel like I’ve been hearing the phrase “the older you get, the faster time goes” a lot lately and it is feeling scary accurate right about now. Hoping to get a few more wears out of this look before fall rolls around!

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Cheers to a Great Apartment + A Twist on A Classic

My mom moved into Chicago when I was in college and it was a big step for both of us. She was leaving my childhood home for the big city and I remember being a little nervous and sad to see our life in the suburbs disappear. But we completely fell in love with the area, my mom easily made friends in her building (including this guy), and it started to feel like home pretty quickly. I think it’s fair to say we both grew up a lot while she was living here and her life here has really made me consider moving back to Chicago sometime soon. Is it so wrong that I just want to eat Flaco’s Taco’s everyday?!

But all good things come to an end and my mom moved last weekend! 😭 Okay, so she moved 5 blocks away, but still! I was surprised at how sad I was to see this place go. There’s been a lot of change in my family lately so maybe I’m more sensitive than usual – everyone in my immediate family has moved at least once in the last 9 months, including me!

We’ve had so many good times in this place: drinking martinis on the balcony, watching White Christmas while putting up her aluminum Christmas tree (yes, you read that right), chatting over coffee in the living room. I’m so lucky to have an amazing relationship with my mom and I’ll really miss this place because it represents so much change for both of us. But last Sunday, we sat on her couch in the new place and drank wine and talked about life for a whole afternoon so I think we’ll figure things out in the new apartment just fine. 💕 Special shout to my mother for literally having pink champagne at the drop of a hat when we shot these photos. Like I said, she’s the best.

Outfit Details:

Vintage Men’s Tuxedo Shirt – Waven Freya Jeans in Perfect BlueBadgley Mishcka Randall D’Orsay Heels in Pink Satin – Red Earrings from the Tate Modern (this pair is long gone, but their gift shop is kickin’)

A little bit about what I’m wearing: these jeans are my absolute favorite pair I’ve ever owned. They fit just above my hip bones, which is most comfortable for me, and are a really nice thicker fabric so they feel soft and luxe. I’ve worn them to work, while traveling, out to the bar, etc. They are my go-to for versatile denim. I actually bought them back at Dublin at the boutique I worked at, Bow & Pearl, and I’m so glad to have stumbled upon the brand. Waven makes a lot of really quality denim pieces and they cost around $70, but I often see them on sale for as little as $30 on ASOS. They do stretch out noticeably after a while, unfortunately, but that might also be because I wear them almost every day… I would absolutely buy another pair just to replace them. The fit is so good.

I’m also wearing a vintage men’s tuxedo shirt that I bought at a local thrift store for $7. I just loved the idea of turning something common and classic into an unusual going out top. And I paired it with a beautiful pair of blush Badgley Mischka heels that I’ve had forever and never wear enough. They’re not available online through any major stores anymore (like I said, they’re ancient), but people are selling them on Ebay for a stupid fraction of what I bought them for. I would snap up a pair if you’re looking for heels to wear to weddings this summer.

My earrings are stolen from my mom and they’re from the Tate Modern in London. Because she is hip and artsy like that. 😎

I like to think of myself as a daring and whimsical person, but when it comes to formal clothes I always find myself drawn to the classics. White button downs, blank tanks, simple sheaths – I have an unbelievable collection of little black dresses from when I sang in high school that are like only now feeling age-appropriate. Thank you, 16-year-old me, for having overly mature taste!

What are your favorite going out pieces? Now that I’m older and I’m not frequenting college parties or Irish clubs, I’m reevaluating my nighttime wardrobe and would love some suggestions! Are we still doing heels or is there more to life than blisters? Jeans and a cute top, is that standard? Does one wear cocktail dresses to cocktail parties? Inform me, people.

Photography by Ian Brady

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An Ode to the Romper

To me, the romper is the ultimate summer piece. Light for those super hot days, easy to throw on, and a little bit unexpected. I love me a good sun dress (and there’s a good one coming to the blog soooon!), but I feel more myself in a romper. I wore this outfit to church and brunch on Easter Sunday with my family, but I might break it out again for the 4th of July (which is in like a month?! where has this year gone?). It’s got that patriotic color scheme going and it’s my favorite thing to wear when it’s too hot to function.

I especially love this one from Jack Wills – I actually have several rompers from them and they’re always a brand that fits me really well. This one is a few years old (can you tell from the not-so-sneaky clothes pin in the pic below 🙈 ), but right now I’m loving this chambray one for work and this floral printed romper for hanging by the pool.

I’m also wearing some of my go-to jewelry with this outfit – my claddagh ring is from a trip to Galway back when I was living in Ireland and my flower ring was my step-mom’s from a trip to Mexico. I’m also wearing two silver bracelets that were my grandmother’s; I get my ridiculously small wrists from her (I legitimately have to wear children’s sizes) so her jewelry fits me perfectly.

Jewelry has always felt really personal to me and I wear a lot of the same pieces everyday so I like when they tell a story. Wearing things that have been handed down to me by family feels really special and gives pieces a little magic!

What are your favorite summer pieces? With the weather starting to get warmer, I’m realizing I don’t really have a lot of summer clothes! I didn’t need them last year in Ireland since it never got that hot and now I’m tackling the “what do I wear to work when it’s 1000 degrees?” predicament… I guess I’ll just have to do a little shopping 😘

Outfit Details:

Old Jack Wills romper (love this & this one too) – Longchamp crossbody bag stolen from my mom (similar here & here) – Paul Green Phoenix wedges (sold out, but shop others here)

Photos by Ian Brady

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A Spring Outfit + 10 Summer Resolutions

Old J. Crew Denim Jacket (similar here) – Vintage Dress from Om Diva in Dublin – Adidas Superstars (on sale here) – Olivia Burton Watch from Bow & Pearl in Dublin – Old Dooney & Bourke wristlet (love this and this wristlet from D&B).

Spring is here, guys! FINALLY. It was 85 degrees yesterday and I’m unnaturally psyched. After living in Dublin last summer, I’ve missed those sunny days and hot sticky nights. I know, I’ll be kicking myself for saying that soon enough. I literally forgot bugs existed until like last week… I’ve obviously selectively remembered a lot about Midwestern summers lol. The temperature is starting to go up, but in Wisconsin we’re still having those really nice cool days, too. This outfit is perfect for that sort of in-between weather and I love that it’s a mix of new and vintage and a hilariously old Dooney & Bourke wristlet that I wore on my first date in 7th grade…

Since I totally have summer on the mind, I thought I’d share some things I’m really looking forward to in the coming months. Moving to Madison in November was pretty rough – the city is in hibernation – but everyone tells me how much the city comes alive in the summer. So, here are 10 things on my summer bucket list…

  1. Run the Madison Bubble Run with my mom in June. It’s sort of giving me unfortunate college foam party flashbacks, but I think it’ll be hilarious. Knowing my mother, we’ll make a day of it with mimosas and endless chats, too.
  2. Order a pitcher of beer for a long night with friends at the Memorial Union at UW.
  3. Paddle board yoga. I’ve been going to Dragonfly since I moved here and I love their classes. They always do cool events, but this one in particular caught my interest. I paddle boarded for the first time in Barcelona last summer and truly cannot imagine doing yoga on one so I’m super curious.
  4. Go on a long, sweaty run and come home to a cold Miller Lite that’s been sitting in my fridge since my friend, Mario, left them there in December.
  5. See Tig Notaro at the Barrymore. I watched her documentary, Tig, last year and I think her ability to turn so many awful, human things into comedy is genius. Just hoping her mother-in-law shows up to tell the joke
  6. Go for a hike. Anyone who knows me is probably making this face right now 😱 But I can be outdoorsy for like an afternoon! Give me some credit! Taking recommendations, but I’d like to check out the Cave of the Mounds area.
  7. Have a glass of champagne on the roof of Fresco.
  8. Buy antique furniture and house plants (that I will inevitably kill) on Willy Street.
  9. Spend Saturday morning at the Madison Farmer’s Market. I already do this, but I’m determined to try every local cheese and stock up on enough all-natural bloody mary mix to last through the winter.
  10. Rent a boat on Lake Mendota. Would love to spend a long day out on the water and properly learn how to drive a boat while I’m at it. Found this place online, but send any suggestions my way!

 

Photography by my bro, Ian Brady.

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