Gettin’ down with the button down

I’ve loved the reinvention and evolution of the classic button-down trend over the last five or so years. (Ah yes, suspend disbelief with me and let’s pretend for a time that I’m truly an expert in the broad field of Fashion, dear reader. Am I fooling anyone? And now collectively, let’s L-O-L, because we all really know I’m just a girl who likes buying clothes and talking about them with you. Just a friendly reminder that the only credentials I have were self-endowed given years of retail styling and a slight bent toward shopaholicism.)

Truly, though, from basic button-up work blouses, to shirt dresses, to skirts, to rompers, classic button-up styles have really evolved, and this summer, are trending hard. (By June of 2018, I’m sure the news that front buttons are in is not surprising.)

What is surprising? Let’s be honest, probably nothing about this post. I just found a dang great, on-trend, comfy as all get out skirt that I’d love for all my friends to know about.

It caught my eye pretty immediately because the front snaps are the exact shade of some of my most commonly adorned, brushed-gold jewelry, and I felt it would make a great summer staple-with-a-twist. Given my height and build, as much as  I love them, full top to bottom seam front-buttons can be precariously PG-13 if the buttons aren’t placed strategically. I’ve had quite a few dressing room nopes due to wide gapping, and was elated that this was a resounding fitting room YEP.

Front buttons/snaps, midi-length, fully lined, tie waist, soft/non-cripsy fabric: an ultimate 3-trends-with-1-stone skirt. You know the kind. (Oh? You don’t? Maybe give this a shot if you fancy a midi.)

Happy Sunday, and happy styling, friends. (PSA, as of today June 24, it’s also 40% off!)

Color Crush: Pink

Purple (Ultra Violet) was officially crowned Pantone Color of the Year 2018 by the design gods that be, but I think someone forgot to tell Pink.

Have you noticed, too? I could be living in a visual echo chamber where I’m choosing see what I’m putting out into the universe lately, and I’m here to tell you, it’s been a whole lotta pink.

Everything from work wear to loungewear -and a heck of a lot of home furnishings, actually- have been the perfect shade of Pepto in 2018.

Once upon a time, Younger Robin would have probably sneered about not being “much of a pink person.” Even then, I don’t think that was entirely true. I think I didn’t want to be a pink person, because a pink person was -duh- decidedly rather unhardcore. Little feminist I was (am), I couldn’t dare be associated with anything that left that the softness of my core in question. The horror.

Freshly 26 and caring less and less about perception these days, I’m here to confess that I do believe myself to be a Pink Person, and that in truly Legally Brunette fashion, this is most assuredly not a measure of my emotional and intellectual might and hardcorness.

As I will prove to you with my Cake Batter and Gummy Bear ice cream order in a sprinkle cone, because whose taste buds actually need to grow up?

Now the Pink Elephants on Parade are outta the room, these are a few favorite things that have graced my browser history the last couple of months (and a few that made it to my closet!)

Blush Vans (Great casual Spring staple! Have! Love!)
Pink Button Down.
Pink Blazer (Super on sale tonight, have, and love.)
Pink Cardigan (Softest ever, have and love.)
These precious pink mules.
Fun pink and gold tassel earrings.

A Styled Screen Tee

Between the years of like 2000-2004, laying out my outfits was basically as easy as pairing this t-shirt with those jeans, and polishing my nails to match the day’s ensemble. Repeat Monday-Friday. (Early signs of a little O to the C to the D? Just maybe.)

In those early, awkward middle school days, Aeropostale took far more babysitting dollars from my wallet than ought have been legal because their monkey-themed screen t-shirts were  t h e   c o o l e s t. Until a newsflash came down the pike from my best friend’s coolest older sister that… it wasn’t. (And just maybe, never had been. The horror.)

And without so much as blinking, I remember a new fashion commandment being chiseled into my frontal lobe: screen tee’s were out.  So for years -we are talking years- I banned screen-tees from my wardrobing choices. (Unless they had a band. Those could stay. Bands were always cool.)

I laugh now at how malleable I had been + how on trend a good, styled screen-tee has become in the last few years. Layered over dresses, under sharp blazers and soft cardigans, or tucked into high-waisted denim, it’s hard to ignore the graphic tee in 2018. They’re everywhere (sans the Aero monkeys, but I think that’s fine.)

On point with trendy budget options as always, I’ve been super in love with this little soft, metallic graphic tee from Old Navy. They have some of the SERIOUSLY cutest, versatile tees for CHEAP. They fit me true to size with a relaxed fit, but I size up sometimes for a loose fit/to knot the side for something different. I also like that they aren’t skintight like a lot of basic/inexpensive tee options tend to be.

I paired mine with one of the softest cardis in my closet, linked here. (Which happens to be a pretty dead-ringer match to my nails. Coincidence?)

Spring Investment: the moto jacket

The perpetual not-winter-not-warm weather pattern sitting over Dallas in recent months has forced me give my transitional outerwear a lot of love lately. We’ll call this the silver lining to the otherwise frustrating getting-dressed situation known as 30-degree mornings, 70-degree afternoons. (How many times can a girl complain about her climate before losing all of her readers? I’m flirting with that line, friends, flirtin’ real hard.)

Whatever the season, I don’t know if a suede jacket will ever not be a trending staple, so do yourself and your edgy side a solid and invest in one already. (Or top your next wish list with one like I finally did at Christmastime when I realized 2 years of lusting = not a phase.)

The price point on this piece is a little rich for my blood usually (aka bank account, hence my plea to Santa. Thanks for lookin’ out, SC.) So is it cliche to call it an investment? Because after basically not taking it off for 2 months, I would absolutely recommend it as an investment piece if you want a buttery suede little love to carry you through Spring.

Plus, I love mixing textures, and a suede-denim combo is about as peanut-butter-jelly as it gets in streetwear fashion. Not to mention, the moto style is probably one of the most versatile and universally flattering silhouettes in outerwear. (Or at least, that’s how I justify owning multiple leather, denim, and now suede moto/biker jackets. A little Hell’s Angel at heart, I must be.)

This isn’t a sponsored post, and I don’t even have affiliate links. I’m just a girl, telling you about my favorite jacket, because it’s that good.

Jacket here! 

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.

High Five for Friday(ish) 04

(belated! by 3 days! but who’s counting?)

With last week planted firmly in my rear view, I have no intentions of wanting to rewind and relive. It was that sort of week. But! It is these kinds of weeks, in my humblest little opinion, that are the most important to hunt for “sprinkles” -and not let a half baked HF4F post wither in the elephant graveyard of forgotten posts, however late it might be. Because also, I make the rules, and need an excuse to share my new sunnies with you.

Top 5 highlights of last week:

1. I work with some really amazing people, one friend particularly who noticed I was pretty radically “off” one day, and surprised me with this small planet of a cupcake and sweet card. Thanks for being a true gem, Cari, and getting me one heck of a sugar high.


2. The number one way I feel better after a long day is soaking in a fancy tub with a glass of fine wine and going for a fancy facial eating breakfast food. As fancy as I’d like to pretend I may be, my natural state of relieving anxiety is cleaning + eating pancakes.

Alex & I discovered a g.r.e.a.t. diner within walking distance from our duplex, and I was able to drown my sorrows in syrup a-plenty.

3-5. Walking for wine and shopping local with two of my favorite humans at the Bishop Arts Wine Walk.

I could have been having a particularly wonderful week, and this would have easily been the highest of highlights. I just love the community/neighborhood/culture down in this little corner of Dallas. (And anyone who will let me drink wine in their boutique.)

New sunnies? Artisan jewelry? Organic local handmade soap? win win win. Cheers.

Antler Jewelry Tree

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I enjoy target practice as much as the next red-blooded Texas girl, but the thought of actually personally hunting freaks me out down to my potentially-closet-Yankee bones. So understand I have no earthly idea, then, what compelled me to become nothing short of obsessed with real antler jewelry trees last summer.

I guess my general hate of knock-offs extends to deer? Who knew.

We’ll put this one on record as a bad case of Pinterest Fever.

Except instead of Pinterest-ing the probably literal thousands of how-to’s, I went totally rogue in the least Southern Living Clean & Classy Crafts fashion possible. But since I’m not anticipating a visit from Martha Stewart anytime soon, I ain’t even mad about how crazy it looks in the back because it gets the job done.

JewelryTreeAntlers-8

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Except that it didn’t. Not at first. These babies took a nose-dive to end all terrifying thumps in the night that landed them hard in the Pinterest Fail column and a backseat to my closet for a solid six month time-out so they could think about what they’d done.

Unable to hide for long in the zero-storage situation that is my apartment, my bruised ego eventually pulled them back out and now it’s Antlers 1 : Robin 1, and I can live with that score.

I went as cheap as possible with this project, which was only ultimately bad in one regard: glue.

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The antlers themselves came from the Sweat-A-Thon that was our trip to Canton Trade Days last Fourth of July weekend; fifteen thousand (slight hyperbole) acres of flea market and an experience I highly recommend in any month that isn’t the month we went.

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The hanger is unscrewed from an unusual collection of unused picture frames I’ve somehow managed to collect and had lying around. If you *don’t* stockpile useless crap, Google will help you find something of the kind.

The original glue was an off-brand Kroger *Super* aka Super Bad At Gluing Things Glue. Glue that wont make you jump out of your skin as fifteen thousand pounds of necklaces come crashing down on top of your dresser: Gorilla Glue, of course.

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I just eyeballed where the hanger fit best on the back, glued, sat to try for 24ish+ hours, and hung on the wall on two nails. I wish I had more detailed images to show you the process, but those were deleted in the flurry of a tantrum I threw at Antlers 1 : Robin 0 and never retaken. Whoops.

I enjoy having my options visible rather than stored away because Hi Reader, meet High Maintenance, but I also love that it frees up space on my dresser from the table-top jewelry trees these were on originally to make room for the rest of my jewelry stash.

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So there you have it. The story you’ve been craving on how I came to hang my necklaces on the wall. Riveting.