A blog by Maddie Brady

Tag: Style

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

Toast’s Last Minute (& Under $50) 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 Favorite Christmas Traditions + A Festive Jumpsuit

My Favorite Christmas Traditions + A Festive Jumpsuit

  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 […]

Two Wardrobe Staples I’m Really Excited About Right Now

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!

A Morning at Olbrich Botanical Gardens

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 […]

A Sunny Outfit Saved for a Rainy Day

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 […]

Cheers to a Great Apartment + A Twist on A Classic

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

An Ode to the Romper

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 […]

A Spring Outfit + 10 Summer Resolutions

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, […]

Weekend Toast V.10

How was your weekend? We had a couple of birthday/house parties on tap and I have to say it was kind of glorious sleeping in and ordering late night dirty takeout. Would love to get a few pages of my dissertation done this evening, but let’s be honest… I do really need to buckle down this week, though, so I’m mentally preparing for long days in the library and too many cups of coffee. Wish me luck (I’m gonna need it)!

If you’re not quite ready to start your week, yet, here are a few procrastination friendly links…


Would love to see an entire play made up of scenes like this.

If you’re in Dublin, everyone’s favorite hangover cure, Deliveroo, is offering free delivery for the next two weeks. Too tempting.

Literally something I’ve always wondered this but was too embarrassed to ask.

This Lisa Frank clothing line is what my 3rd grade dreams were made of.

Have you been following the Kimye v. Taylor drama? I’ve always found T-Swift pretty disingenuous so I’ve been lapping up everyone’s hilarious twitter shade.

Putting so many of these YA books on my (ever growing) post-dissertation reading list.

Eyeing these Vince Camuto boots for fall – will be putting up my favorite Nordstrom Sale pieces up this week (even though shipping to Ireland is ridic 😭). Keep yo eyes peeled.

(Photo from my instagram. The Barge is always in full swing on sunny days.)

Thank You, Bow & Pearl!

For the last three months, I’ve been working as a social media intern for the local Dublin boutique, Bow & Pearl. I’ve done everything from take product photos to organize stock takes to analyzing data from our social media platforms. I’ve also been working sales on […]