When Life Gives You A Lemon-Print Dress

Professional Observation: lemons became more of an it pattern last year. (I know. My insights have been known to spark international philosophical debates of grandeur.)
But on-brand for every good fruit pattern of its kind, this trend only gained momentum into summer 2017 in “budget-friendly” stores. (AKA, the stores I actually shop-shop opposed to window-shop with crazy eyes.) Citrus + bargain lovers, rejoice.
Loft got serious with the summer of lemons memo with a super wide range of lemon-themed threads this year, and believe you me, I was about ready to give Country Crock a run for its fake lemon powder when I saw the collection and stock pile. With a fine line between the girl with the cute lemon dress and the girl who won’t stop wearing all the lemons, I settled on the dress alone.
As I’m writing this, I *think* Loft is coming off one of their super-weekend-sale-bonanzas where the whole store is a notch above free, and I think the dress is sold out online. Likely still in store somewhere! But it looks like shorts, scarves, and one-shoulder top aplenty in the eUniverse. In case you were wondering.
As I’m not exactly fun-sized at 5′ 9.75″sometimes wearing loud or extremely bright colors/patterns makes me a little nervous. Like I’m going to look like the large-and-in-charge-pint-size-Amazonian-lemon-lady.
With a little supportive coaxing from that sweet husband of mine, and a little following my figurative gut (and deciding my real one was pretty well camouflaged), I followed my impulse-purchase instinct and kept it. And I’m glad I did, because I’ve really grown to love this dress.
This weekend we had the pleasure of being in our hometown. In the last couple of years, a real life farmer’s market situation has been building in our downtown. A freaking great little city, but sometimes maybe a little slow to change (yet ultra supportive of community events! Most of the time!), it’s made me proud and excited to hear about this event growing weekend to weekend, and I was excited to finally shop it.
From the guy with the good pretzels, to the home goods booths, to Buttercup the Pig walking around on a leash with a tutu, it was a small-town win of a morning + a win for confidence & esteem with my summer of lemons dress.

Popsicles with a side of tassel trend love

A trendapalooza of a top with an off the shoulder silhouette + stripes + tassels + texturey happy trim (official runway term), 5 days into summer and I’ll stake the bold claim that this airy cotton piece will be a casual summer grab-and-go for me. Control your surprised face, please do try.

I’m a staples girl through-and-through with a weakness for neutrals, and it’s easier for me to justify buying what might be considered a “trendier” piece in a color palette I’ll be able to accessorize differently. (Bright baubles today, gold hoops tomorrow, what will she do next?) I know I keep you on the edge of your seat.

Bold claim number two: this was probably the second of seventy-two times we’ll visit Encanto Pops until temperatures dip down into sweater weather again this year. Which could be never. After all, this is Texas.

And this is the content you really should have come here for. If you live in Dallas: treat yoself, and go here. And call me. And we’ll go together. A bubbly, authentic Mexican paleta shop, the worst part will be limiting yourself to just one flavor.

I tend to color very much inside the lines with ice-cream, using 1 crayon.

When I was around 5-years-old, my mom loaded me up on the summertime outing of a lifetime: Baskin Robbins. Coolest Thing Ever #1: it had my name in it, even if they couldn’t spell it right, I couldn’t wait to go here. Coolest Thing #2: nose flat to the cold, domed glass, I wouldn’t stop commenting over and over and over about the assortment “fancy flavors, wow, the beautiful, fancy flavors!” And when my mom finally asked me, “Robin, what fancy flavor are you going to get!?” I replied, starry-eyed, “banilla!”

A flashback of my mother’s laugh rang in my memory when my first Encanto Pop selection was -wait for it- vanilla. Except I can say my V’s now, and this time my husband was laughing at me. Apparently, Robin’s Stripes don’t change much in twenty years.

But yesterday: strawberries and cream. I’m learning to live just a little closer to the edge in my shoulder-baring tassel top.

 

(Just a girl, trying to smile and eat her ice-cream before Texas triple digits eat it for her.)

Trend Love: Sleeve Drama

I didn’t so much stumble across this top as it felt like fate pairing me with my personal holy grail of favorite spring trends in one soft little cotton package at one of my most recent Loft shifts.

Casually akin, I’m sure, to what one feels after finding a long lost child they never knew they were missing.
Dramatic? Me, never.

Work-to-weekend versatility? Check.
Fun sleeves? Check.
Ruffle detail? Check.
Lace-up detail? Check.
Stripes? BLUE? Check & Check. (You get it.)

Coupled with the fact I get a serious employee discount, it was love at first fitting-room.

The drama a good, voluptuous sleeve adds to the overall personality of an outfit, while keeping the silhouette clean, is one of *many* reasons why bell sleeves have. my. heart.

Undoubtedly, too, why my trend crush is not unique. Runway to window display, and splashing the pages of every fashion magazine and sidewalk in the past 3 months, the 70’s trend has been given serious life -and gives me all the heart-eye emojis. Every single one.

Top: Loft (if you’re reading in real-time, 3/6/17, it’s 40% off today)
Jeans: JCrew Factory boyfriend fit of many moons ago.
Booties: Lucky
Jewelry: Kendra Scott rose quartz stones.

Office Outfitting: week one edition

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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.

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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.

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(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.

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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):

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Spring Trend Crush: Florals + Stripes

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I wouldn’t call my style adventurous.  I usually feel safest inside the confines of some well-mixed basics, textures, and an occasional color pop.

Then sometimes…

Sometimes -when the right piece speaks to me- it’s fun to break outside of my boring, basic-loving skin and shake things up. My trend crush this spring has hands down been florals + stripes. Anywhere. Everywhere. Any form. So many hours on Pinterest pining.

Then I found this skirt, and boy it spoke.

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I debated myself for days on buying it. Then it finally landed on my doorstep, and I couldn’t believe it was ever even in question.

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Full, floral, modest enough for the office yet fun enough for an afternoon around town, this is the skirt spring wardrobe dreams are made of.

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The best part, it’s perfect for my favorite spring pattern pairing:  florals + stripes.

Skirt | Chicwish
Shirt | JCrew Factory
Necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
Earrings | World Market
Flats | Two years old, back of my closet never worn. Thanks again, skirt.

What’s your take on this pattern pair? Do you love this trend as much as I do, or possibly hate it more? Comment below or with the little talking bubble near the title!

Valentine’s Outfit Inspiration

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I swooned for this asymmetrical dress immediately. Not only is it an obvious and easy choice for a Valentine’s date, but I’ll rock heart polka dots year round. I love that it feels completely February 14 without being made of red or pink tulle -it’s easy to forget subtle details or patterns can be just as festive in comfortable, neutral tones (says the neutrals-junkie.)

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While the possibilities for a simple black and white dress are endless, for this day particularly I chose simple, gold jewelry to keep the heart pattern the real focus.

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Dress | Nordstrom (sold out online)
Earrings | Kendra Scott
Ampersand Necklace | Elisabeth Ashlie
Cuff Bracelet | Loft
Love Script Bracelet | Runway Seven (local boutique)
Two-Tone Watch | Armani Exchange (old)
Lip Color | Clinique Chubby Stick in Richer Raisen
Boots | Steve Madden (old Candace style, here are this year’s version)

From behind the camera, here is my handsome Valentine Date. (Proceed to awwww or throw up or whatever because we’re so cute. When better than the season of love to show off my favorite man?)

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