Fall Footwear Favorite: the mule

There’s a post from 2015 in my elephant graveyard of rambling drafts that never saw the light of published infamy titled The Shoe I Didn’t Want to Love: the mule. (TL;DR Update: still in love. Less alone. Not unique. Don’t care.)

Because in 2017, the conversation has totally shifted from “trust me, you’re gonna love these, too, when you get over the fact you saw your mom wear them in 1994” to “hey everyone, look at my cute mules.” Because in 2017, it’s more generally agreed upon that mules are, in fact, cute. God bless the fashion influencer who brought back the 90’s, am I right? 

(Open backed with a closed toe, mule in regards to footwear is actually derived from a French root and not a la Oregon Trail. Fun Fact for your Thursday.)

This pair, G. H. Bass & Co. from DSW (also available at Nordstrom!), have easily slipped into first place this Fall in my neutral footwear rotation. Where versatility meets comfort, these bad boys are thriving in my wardrobe from dresses to every leg opening of denim I put them up against.


I’m totally #1 offender of finding a shoe I love, and wearing them into an untimely, scuffed grave. Perforated suede + demi penny loafer details of a flat-lover’s dream, I foresee a similar seriously over worn, well-loved fate for these little loves. In approximately 6,000 wears. Because they feel like they’ll hold up a good couple of seasons. (All the heart-eye + prayer-hand emojis.)


Have you caught me drooling over an open-back, beige penny loafer? Yes. Am I going to pretend I’m not maybe the most boring human you’ve ever met? Not a chance. But! Every girl needs a good, neutral flat to pair with a bolder top, dress, or pant. This, I firmly believe. Beige (or camel) may not be taking any spotlights, but the detailing keeps them from being too basic while giving another piece in your outfit a chance to steal the show.



Food for thought + maybe just the reason you need to go shoe shopping.

The Poncho-Shawl: my autumn lifesaver


I love Dallas.

I love the shopping. I love the food. I love the people. (If you don’t love Dallas People, I 100% hear you, friend, but then I dare to challenge, you probably haven’t found the right people.) I love when Austin and I drive in from a weekend away, as soon as the skyline breaks the horizon, and one of us exclaims predictably, “It’s our city!” We say it every time. We love our city.

I fell in love with the idea of Dallas as a teenager: spending school trips in simple hotels, power-shopping through limited shopping mall excursions in packs of friends, experiencing thrilling vertigo from tilting my head up at a downtown high-rise between conference sessions. Coming from Amarillo, Dallas was the dreamiest of dreamy, and 100% #goals if hashtags had existed when I was fourteen.

Then Dallas became sort of “the middle ground” between Amarillo and College Station when Austin and I dated in college, give or take a 6 hour advantage in his favor. (Read: it was about the only middle ground between Amarillo and College Station with more people than cows.) We would sometimes break up our months of long-distance dating by meeting in Dallas. Roaming the city just the two of us, learning to the maneuver the highways +  squeezing in as much shopping and live music as we could, is when I think I actually fell in love with more than the idea of Dallas. I fell in love with the dream of a life with Austin Karber in Dallas, TX someday. I’m living that now, and I think that’s really cool.


This preamble is what I have been reminding myself of quite a lot lately. A lot. A lot a lot. Because let’s talk about what I most certainly did not fall in love with: the weather in Dallas.

I have been pitching some top shelf temper tantrums over the fact that Dallas just can’t quit summer, God bless my poor husband. I am a boots, and scarves, and snow sort of girl. A grumpiest-when-sweating sort of girl. A girl who should probably not live in Dallas, TX. I’ve been hearing from the more humidity-inclined, “If you hate it so much, why don’t you just move?!” But please see paragraphs 1-4, and realize I fully I understand I kinda gotta just get the heck over myself sometimes and work through my fashion/weather issues.



The fashion issue: layers are my favorite way of styling, and that can be really challenging in this climate.

One sunny, fake-fall day recently I had myself particularly worked up over the devastating high of 85, but got myself over my first-world fit with this poncho. Silliest of silly, I get it, but light-weight ponchos like this are a style lifesaver for me in this funky seasonal transition that just drags on.



It’s less of a “style-hack” probably than basic common sense, but longingly digging through the sweaters in my closet, I can usually appease my fall-fanatic brain and feel the same vibes out of a light poncho as a sweater. At least I get to layer. Over a light tank top. You know, because heat strokes.


This poncho is an oldie but a goodie that I’ve gotten miles on miles out of a la Loft I think last season, or the season before.


Tank is soft, a good length, came in good colors, and washed well. Thank you Old Navy for loving the longer-torso’d.

Office Outfitting 02: the utility blouse 

I promised a series on “Office Outfitting” once upon a time and got so far as week one before backburnering the idea for a year and a half and crushing oh so many hopes and dreams. Because I just know you all totally noticed, and totally care, and have been totally devastated.

I’ll take a solid F for promises broken, but I hope to win over your delicate good graces by introducing you to my most versatile work blouse this week. Say you’ll forgive me. And if you work in a professional environment, go invest in roughly one to seven of these blouses.

Refresher: as a workaholic-from-birth, dressing for the office often gives me less anxiety than not dressing for the office. Read: I’m a rules girl. A dress-code, please girl.

Also read: I’m acutely aware I’m really strange. I just like the feeling of put-togetherness, dress-code or not.

Professional collared work shirts are always tricky business, in my OCD book. A structured shirt is meant to -wait for it- have structure, and always presents a more positively polished front when ironed with maybe a little light starch. And who has time for that?

It’s tough to find one that will get to 5:00pm looking as presentable as 7:30am., not suffocate with its stiffness, not have funky darts down the front that make it look like the office is a little chilly if you catch my drift, and not gap unprofessionally.

Enter: the tab-sleeve utility blouse.

I have four of these in different colors, and as I live and breathe am wondering why I don’t own more. This is my holy grail business casual office blouse, and by-far gets the most use in my work wardrobe. If I’m running late, have a case of nothing-to-wear, or need a solid classic to pair with a trendier bottom -they’re my go-to. I also think they look darn-cute and put together with shorts outside the office.

Reminder #2: I’m not a sponsored post blogger. I’m just a Loft Enthusiast.

The Utility Blouse is a style Loft  almost always carries every season in varying colors and patterns.

Long sleeves if you want them, tab sleeve detailing if you don’t, back-yoke detailing and shirttail hem: it’s a truly versatile cut for tucking, layering, or wearing alone over skinnies. The best feature: the drapey, blousey, polyester fabric.

Essentially, take my laundry list of contentions with collared shirts and this fixes for them + gives you a similar vibe. It’s almost like I’m not the only girl with shirt issues or something, and Loft listened. It also looks like there’s a 40% off situation today (October 9). Run, don’t walk. And I hope when you try-on it doesn’t make me a liar, and fixes maybe one or two of your getting-ready woes, too.

P.S. I’ve been obsessed with this green suede skirt, on sale today, too!

Gingham & Girlfriend Jeans 

Alternate Post Titles:
A day in the life of a girl who doesn’t have a handle on hair & humidity, yet.
How to feel like a recycled tablecloth in the very best way.
A Tale of Two Bargains

When I plucked it from the rack, this top felt edgy & trendy with a follow the yellow brick road flare that confounded me, yet drew me in.

I call this feeling: the gingham conundrum. Should I sprawl out and let a couple of starry-eyed honeymooners picnic on my back? Practice my hair-flip-cappuccino-sip under a tres chic cafe patio umbrella? Milk the goats? (Or maybe, just maybe, go to lunch wearing a perfectly adorable summer pattern like a perfectly normal girl with fewer gingham complexes?)

The SLEEVES gave me serious heart eye emojis, and bent my reservations to the practicality of the classic pattern in my own wardrobe. (Gingham = not crazy. Me = up for debate.)

I had lustfully tried on several tops in similar silhouettes on our trip to Italy this past spring, but deemed each a “non-critical” fashion emergency. This $14.99 version from the racks of TJ MAXX: emergency, declared. Three cheers for silencing a lingering non-buyers remorse, and four cheers for all the euros saved on pulling the trigger on this top, instead.

Denim has been an entirely separate scouting situation.
On another budget, I could have easily taken up the two-thousand mermaid-haired, deep-pocketed fashion influencers’ jeans suggestions during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale to fill my fall fashion gaps. (The sale I could have shopped, maybe, had there been a sale on top of sale of some of those pretties. Equal parts yikes & drool.) 
 
The four-leaf clover I was hunting: destructed, medium wash, inexpensive without feeling inexpensive (feeling inexpensive, read: poor distress-placement and ultra-spandexy.)

I tried on ten. pairs. of jeans. between a few different sales happening over the weekend (Texas’s tax-free holiday), to no avail. I punctuated a separate errand entirely, and slipped into Old Navy for a quick once-over, not looking for denim, because I rarely do at Old Navy. Lo and behold: my four leaf denim clover, setting me back a whole seventeen bones (tax-free).
Adding one more pair of destructed jeans to my weekend/evening outfit rotation was a preemptive move to keep my favorites from becoming too ratty in the way distressing can with time and wear, and I think I’ll be happy I did.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom: aka only spending less than $35 between two happy pieces in one outfit.

The gift that made me cancel Birchbox 

My mother-in-law is the kind of woman who just gives you things. It’s fantastic.

(Note: I hate calling her my mother-in-law. Let’s call her my friend Michelle.She’s been my friend Michelle much longer.)

My friend Michelle is acutely in tune with her personal style and what fits her body type and image, and has a serious knack for spotting that in others. She can style a person or a coffee table to personal taste like no one’s business. And if she has something brand new or otherwise, and thinks it will look better on you, or look better on your mantel, it’s yours. Don’t argue. Go with it. You’re welcome.

This over-sized scarf/sarong situation: Michelle. Something a little more funky than I *may* have picked out on my own, I love, and have her to thank. My friend Michelle, plus also Fab Fun Fit.

I’ve been a Birchbox subscriber for something close to three years? Something like 36 boxes deep? And I’ve had this little probing inner conscience voice begging the question over the past several boxes: are you really that excited about these face cream samples? 

To which my physical, loud, and stubborn Robin voice replies monthly YES, YES OF COURSES I AM, WHY WOULDN’T I WANT MORE SAMPLES?! THE BOX UNDER MY SINK ISN’T NEARLY FULL ENOUGH OF SAMPLES. HAHAHA. SILLY CONSCIENCE, BE QUIET. 

I imagine someday I’ll reach the height of disposable income nonchalance where I don’t notice $10 coming out of my account every month. And maybe I won’t. (And maybe I wouldn’t want to?)

Right now, I notice, and then the voice pipes up: are we sure, Robin? Really? 

Then, Michelle gave me the low down about Fab Fit Fun.

I’d seen the same 20 celebrities + Bachelor-Franchise-Cast-Off-Almost-Celebrities as you probably have promoting the service, but never thought seriously about signing up (after all – I had my Birchox to be loyal to, right? Right?) Plus, FFF was a little pricier, albeit only 4 times a year.

The weight of a friend’s endorsement tends to carry more weight with me, and going through her summer box of full-size products (and being gifted this funky drapey piece) gave me serious pause to the value I was getting out of my Birchboxes.

Verdict: I just wasn’t excited anymore. As I unsubscribed, I checked the box “I’m all sampled out,” and realized it was true: too many samples. Not enough time. Or disposable income nonchalance to turn the samples into full size products.

I’d also been subscribing so long, I’d begun doubling up, and I didn’t need that.

I haven’t subscribed (yet!) to Fab Fit Fun, but I see it as a serious contender + worthy investment in entertainment and fun value.

In the meantime, I have an easy Sunday styling piece in this scarf/sarong/almost-poncho to itch my layering urge + not melt away these weeks it feels like we’re living on the surface of the sun in Dallas, TX.

Office Outfitting: week one edition

OO1-8

I unsubscribed from job alerts this week. It was the most freeing click of a button I’ve maybe ever experienced.

Being the Robin that I am, a small (large) part of me was particularly excited by this turn of employment events because it meant dusting off my pumps and slacks from their 4 month hiatus from circulation. Hello again, trusty Business Caj!

(I realize I’m a freak. A freak who feels safer in her skin while donning a blazer than a T, and being in an environment which requires it. To each their wardrobe-ing own. Starched Collars, I just can’t quit you.)

I gram’d earlier this week about my first day, so this development is likely old news, but that’s never stopped me before.

OO1-4

Workaholic from birth, I’ve been on the BusCaj scene *roughly* seven years. Dressing for work isn’t quite as anxiety-inducing for me as I’ve come to realize it is for some friends and clients I serve at Loft.

I have a handful of trusty “formulas” or “when in doubts, reach for _____” –ifyouwill– when it comes to putting together work outfits. Through this series on workwear (a request that’s popped up a few times), I’ll probably unpackage them for you, although it’s more of a feeling than a science. Am I an expert? Not likely. Do I own more suit jackets than you? There’s a chance. A pretty solid chance.

Formula 1: When in doubt, reach for a shirtdress. Top with jewelry. Done.

The structure of a shirt. The comfort of a dress. Who loses? Not me, I’m wearing a shirtdress.

The first two days in the new digs I’ve worn black. Day 3, I decided I better prove to them I’m not in mourning for joining their company, as if anyone has even really noticed my ensemble, but let’s pretend today. I’ve been head-over-wedges for a rose gold/purple combo lately, so decided to bust that out for this.

Facetune

(Who has a purple dress and needs her ends trimmed? Haircut on the calendar, worry not.)

Dress: Loft, spring collection, aka old.
Shoes: Franco Sarto, last fall, aka old.
Earrings/Necklace: Kendra Scott
Bracelet: Fossil Outlet, aka, old.
Bag: Louis Vuitton.

Casual Friday 02

Somewhere around the time a tearful Kelly Clarkson belted and melted Americas’ hearts through a downpour of confetti rain for the first time was about the last time I rocked a true denim flare.

CasualFriday_02_Flares_Blanket-11CasualFriday_02_Flares_Blanket-3CasualFriday_02_Flares_Blanket-8I haven’t NOT been silently rooting for their comeback since they started popping back up on the regular the past few years! I’m just one of a million teen girls of the 00’s fondly addicted to the skinnies of her punk-rock years. (Versatile! Flattering! Boot friendly! Heel friendly! Sneaker friendly! So friendly!)

CasualFriday_02_Flares_Blanket-5CasualFriday_02_Flares_Blanket-10

Not to mention (a happily awkward way of highlighting that I would like to especially mention), I’ve discovered finding the right fit in a flare vs. skinny –with a skinny budget– to be challenging. I’ve had a nice little order-try-return cycle happening with nearly every decent denim sale I’ve seen since about October.

While I’m not abandoning my skinnies anytime soon, finally finding a solid pair of flares has been fun for the sake of variety.

CasualFriday_02_Flares_Blanket-7

The number of days I can accurately label “moderately chilly” this winter appear to be dwindling, so I’ve also been attempting to take full advantage with some of my favorite winter-esque pieces as well. Featured: the most cozy blanket-scarf of a leopard-loving, neutral-junkie’s dreams.

CasualFriday_02_Flares_Blanket-12CasualFriday_02_Flares_Blanket-4CasualFriday_02_Flares_Blanket-2CasualFriday_02_Flares_Blanket-9

Not that the office isn’t cold enough for me to look like I’m ready for a holly jolly toboggan ride nearly each and every one of the 365.

If you missed the first installment of Casual Friday and this hasn’t been painfully enough for you, you can check it out here!

If you’re looking for outfit deets, feel free to comment, shoot a message, send a carrier pigeon, or whatever you feel most comfortable reaching out to me with. I promise to fill you in. I’ve been debating leaving details on this sort of thing. Helpful or obnoxious? Let me know!

Autumn Indulgences: my 4 c’s

“I love fall.” –The thread uniting basic white girls across America the moment temperatures dip just low enough to bust out a blanket scarf and snap a story sipping pumpkin spiced anything logo’d with the green mermaid stamp of approval . Truth: I am not immune to this sentiment. There’s a reason it’s so wildly and mockably popular! Fall is terrific. To me, it’s the seasonal precursor to the most wonderful time of the year –a little taste of the best season to come, but everyone isn’t grumpy about being cold or sharing the road with shoppers and sludge, yet.

I also find it an easier season than ev.er. to convince myself I deserve/need/earned/can’t-live-without a serious number of guilty pleasures.

Coffee
“It’s a little chilly (maybe 70 degrees), I could really use some warming up…” -Starbucks run. Keep your pumpkin-spice, though, and I will drink all of the Chai Tea Lattes you have with a side of *one of everything* on the holiday menu, thanks.

The ole’ Karber coffee maker tends to start working double-time, too, with the changing of the leaves (in the interest of still keeping some of our money in the bank). IMG_9690

Ye true coffee geeks across America forgive me – I love me some local beans, too, but more often than not I’m brewing:

IMG_9687
You guessed it. Starbucks Medium House Blend + Bailey’s (non-alcoholic) Vanilla Creamer

Smooth. Easy. Available at Kroger. Typically on sale at Kroger. Makes my house smell like I’m lounging in a super fleek Starbucks, minus congregations of high-schoolers and SAHMs, plus I don’t have to wear real pants (admittingly a point less to do with the coffee bean concept, and more with at-home brew.)

Cardigans
“It’s a little chilly (maybe 70 degrees), I could really use some warming up…” -Sweater weather. Longline/Boyfriend/Duster/Maxi/Squishy-Blanket-Disguised-as-Sweaters cardigans have been my favorite of favorite fall obsessions.

IMG_9674-2

IMG_9682

Although sweater-weather south of the Texas Panhandle (I’m realizing) is more of a state of mind than an actual thing, frigid office air conditioners have still bred plenty of necessity to humor this card-carrying cardigan hoarder. Plus (!), now that we’re nearly all the way to gosh-dang Thanksgiving, Mother Nature is *finally* beginning to see things my way around here, too.

A few that top my lust list (at a variety of price-points):

DusterCardis

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Candles
“It’s a little chilly (maybe 70 degrees), I could really use a million tiny fires around my apartment to warm up!” -Okay, obviously not. Fall candles just smell the coziest, and as temperatures dip, who doesn’t just want to feel cozy?

IMG_9663

I have -easily- two to ten candles lit on any given evening in our 900ish square feet of space (which is all about having scents that blend, as much as it is having a potential candle addiction). 2 for $24 Bath & Body sale? Yankee Candles from Home Goods? Anthro-anything? I don’t discriminate, although I naturally end up with an overflow of B&B candles 10:1.

Calories
“It’s a little chilly (maybe 70 degrees), better really start packing it on for hibernation!” –What I think my mind actually convinces my stomach needs to happen for the last three months of the year. (If only.)

From carrot cake in the break room, sharing meals with company passing through, Friendsgivings, practicing Pinterest recipes for the pending holidays, to snacking on friend’s practiced Pinterest recipes for the pending holidays, why is there more. food. everywhere. starting this time of year?

Rarely is it the healthy stuff, either. It’s the good stuff. Nobody’s whipping up extra fruit salads or lettuce wraps –it’s the heavy, sugary, gluten-laden, glorious breads, cakes, pies, cookies and candies. This is such a fun time of year to bake for the same reason I burn through ten trillion candles – I love the coziness of baked goods.

I tried a new-to-me, easy recipe, and I feel like you need it in your life: Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread.

IMG_9647

It’s fairly heavy bread, with a heavenly balance of banana and cinnamon. Just trust me and follow the link for the road map to banana bread bliss.

Do you have any obsessions particular to fall, or have you read this not understanding a single word of my crazy? Comment below or with the talking bubble near the title!

Casual Friday 01

To some of you, “Casual Friday” may conjure images of one particularly campy season-five scene at Dunder Mifflin (da****, Meredith!).

 (I’ll spare the rest of the scene in the unfortunate event you haven’t seen The Office –in which case, quit reading now and go do that instead.)

To others, today is simply “praise Jesus, it’s jeans-and-go day.” I’m on both teams.

I’ve had an office job since I was 18, and while I genuinely enjoy an excuse to wear nicer clothes Monday-Thursday, sometimes it’s a relief to have one element of my work outfit preemptively chosen at least one day out of the week: Friday denim, basically always. (Simply novel, I know.)

Chillier seasons make it particularly easy to feel casual + not frumpy on Fridays. I love a denim and blazer combination, especially after throwing boots into the mix. It instantly makes me feel polished, even if I woke up 30 snooze-buttons late and spent a literal two minutes pulling an outfit  together.



 Do you have a Casual Friday throw-and-go favorite? Comment below or with the talking bubble near the title!

Trend Love: Boho Chic

Where bohemian meets romantic, I am unreservedly smitten.

Boho Chic Fashion Trend

Boho Chic Fashion Trend

My spirit isn’t so much Free as OCD, making Boho Chic as as close as I feel comfortable getting to straight up Bohemia-ville with my style, as pretty as I find it.

Boho Chic

Realistically I’m not a total nonconforming, runs through daisies flower child. I’m just not. Coupled with the fact I enjoy hot showers, nurse a powerful Starbucks addiction, and work for a financial institution, I seek a little structure to not feel like I’m playing dress up when I feel like channeling some free-flowing-flowers-and-fringe.

Boho Chic Fashion Trend

While there are elements of bohemian style and thinking I adore, like any trend I attempt to adopt and develop them until they fit seamlessly (to me) with my everyday duds and overall lifestyle. Much more difficult on my current 9-5 grind (oh hey there, dress code) -that’s why weekends were made.

(Across fewer eggshells: If it feels kind of like a costume to you, it probably looks kind of like a costume to everybody else. Avoid looking “hippie for a day” -or “insert-trend-here for a day”- by working trendier pieces into your wardrobe naturally. You do you. Always do you. Even sporting trends, develop and make them the most you you can do, and then rock the heck out of it. That’s my humble opinion.)

Boho Chic Fashion Trend

Enter the “romantic” side of this puzzle, how it makes me feel like I’m avoiding hippie poserdom, and why I’m head over heels.

Feminine colors, flowing silhouettes, dreamy details and lace for days –allow me to embody a little Julie Andrews up in here because these are a few of my fa-vo-rite things.

Boho Chic Fashion Trend

Boho Chic Fashion Trend

Give me a 70’s (or early 2000’s) bell-sleeve in cream lace and color me happy. This tunic was tucked in the back racks of mega clearance sale in one of my favorite boutiques, marked 75% off, all by its lonesome, and in my size. I melted.

Fitted yet drapey in all the right ways, I love how feminine and chic it feels-

Boho Chic Fashion Trend-11 Boho Chic Fashion Trend-10-and how it balances out a fringe-tastic vest channeling some serious macrame vibes.

Boho Chic Fashion Trend

Neutral-on-neutral-on-neutral, the pop of color I went for here -if you can even call it that- was a rich, matte mauve nude lip.

Boho Chic Fashion Trend

Mauve Matte Nude LipI know it lends a bit better traditionally to the trends of cooler autumn days… but there’s been a whole lot of who cares vibin’ in the world of beauty these days, and I’ve been a fan.  (This is where I hop up on the soap box and preach you-do-you again.)Boho Chic Fashion Trend-15

I whipped a curling iron through a few pieces of my hair for a little body + structure, but embraced a lot of natural kinks and bends this day. That might be my favorite part of who cares having a moment in beauty/hair/makeup/stuff – loose, undone texture-full mops that makes getting ready easy-peasy, and plays exactly perfectly to Boho Chic.

Boho Chic Fashion Trend-12 Boho Chic Fashion Trend-8

With all of the fashion degrees and VIP expert insider knowledge that I do not posses: while this trend is very now, it isn’t particularly new, and I don’t particularly see it going anywhere.

And when it does, I’ll probably be the old lady walking around being scolded “get with the times, it isn’t the 2010’s anymore,” because I don’t foresee myself ever giving up fringe and lace. Ever ever.

Boho Chic Fashion TrendWhat are your favorite ways to work this trend? Comment below or with the talking bubble near the title!