Swimsuit Speak 2018

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LADIES. If I have learned one thing by the ripe old age of 26, it’s that no matter what number the tag in your jeans tells you you are, swimsuit shopping is. the. PITS. 

You feel me? You do. I know you (probably) do. 

Yesterday was National Bikini Day, a holiday not wasted on me. 

The word bikini is actually derived from the Latin bikino*, which translates to “a type of garment used to torture perfectly fine young females into feeling lesser-than, on the regular.” 

(*may or may not be factual, and in fact 6 hours of sun + rosé doing the talking.)

After the age of like 12, swimsuit shopping just sucks imho. I remember the fun of going and picking my swimsuit when school was out every summer, and wearing it until it was so pilled in the bum and the color so worn for wear that it retired at labor day’s end, in a perfectly satisfactorily way. NOW? Now. Now I have a perfectly wearable, non-pilled suit I was a little embarrassed to wear because it’s two years old, but I’ve worn it probably 5 times and it’s been on the Instagram already. I was too embarrassed to ‘gram a suit that has been ‘grammed multiple times before! Like WHAT? 

It isn’t enough to find a suit that suits you and your self esteem, but it has to be current and NEVER BEFORE SEEN. I am guilty as guilty gets, but man is that pressure maddening. 

I know more girls than I shed a tear when beloved VS stopped retailing swimwear, which just made the struggle that much harder. When your top hits a particular size threshold, it becomes quite difficult to find a reasonably priced, supportive, non-granny top (the magical trifecta.) Or a bottom that doesn’t give up all your secrets while avoiding looking like a flashy adult diaper. 

Suits that I’ve found that fit the criteria: 

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Old Navy square neck one piece. Austin kept saying I looked like Wendy Peffercorn, which wasn’t an insult! It comes in a few colors, but the yellow is the only one with the texture I liked. I’m not a fan of the super slick one pieces that seem to highlight all the wrong rolls. The MOST supportive? Naw. But supportive enough with a corset-like back to help harness you in, while being way budget friendly? Yes, please.

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Target’s new Shade & Shore line is A+ in my book. The bottoms weren’t as high as one long-torso’d soul would hope, but they were fine while having great on-trend detailing (and decent coverage!) The tops are sized by cups, adding major brownie points. 

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This is old faithful that you may have seen me wear more than once! The pattern is from 2016, but I am in LOVE with this boyleg one-piece style, and plan on trying to find one on sale at summer’s end! 

My last tip is basically just to find a pair of black bottoms that you love (high waisted black bottoms, are my fave flattering shape from Old Navy) and then find a top somewhere else you love that has a little black in it! Mixing and matching without looking too mix-and-match is sometimes just the way to go. It eases the pressure of finding the PERFECT BIKINI in one swoop.

Anyone have any swimsuit secrets they’ve been holding out with? Comment, please, and share the love! 

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

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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.

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!

Jumpsuits, Pineapples, Pineapple Jumpsuits

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Cotton jumpsuits were made for sunny days. They’re the “I’m basically wearing pajamas all day” easy vibe you get with dresses -only better by not having to worry about crossing your legs like a lady any particular which way.

The pinnacle of fashionable comfort. PineappleCrossed PineappleSplit

Jumpsuit | H&M (Sold out online, apparently. Still in-store, I swear.)
Sunnies | Tory Burch
Bag| Madewell
Jewelry | Kendra Scott
Polish | Do You Take Lei Away?
Hat | JCrew Factory

When I spot a cute jumpsuit or romper on the rack, there are usually moments of oh-my-gosh-cutest followed swiftly and realistically by that-will-never-fit-gosh-dang-my-lanky-head-on-stilts-body. 

Jumpsuit/Romper/Jumper fitting is no joke. There is no “kind of fits” without making the whole ensemble a little PG13. Tall girls, you feel me?

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But dressing room miracles happen.

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And so does wind.

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My eyes are also pulling double duty as tiny pineapple magnets lately. I have memories as a kid sitting at the kitchen table playing for minutes with this wooden pineapple toothpick holder constantly. Basically a pineapple that sat on the counter, and you would stick toothpicks in it. And it held them until needed. Absolutely just as fascinating as whatever you’re picturing. Really. …

I guess I’ve always kind of had a thing for pineapples.

They’re the funkiest fruit, and it’s made me so stupid excited to see them creeping up into everything retail over the last several years. They’ve gone from being something quirky, ironic, and unexpected into what I’d call their peak in a full-blown trend Spring/Summer 2015. I’m totally on board.

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Are you feeling it? Ready to rock pineapples,  jumpsuits, or pineapple jumpsuits? Do you sympathize with the long legged struggle? Comment below or with the little talking bubble near the title! PineappleJumpsuit-5-2

Home Sweet …How did I get here?

Really, the time to start a blog would have been about 10 months ago. When I tell you why, though, you’ll understand why it never happened, (and why the stories from that time were probably gold).

The last half of 2013 I was finishing my bachelor’s degree with a 17-hour course load, working in marketing for a financial institution 30 hours a week, packing up my childhood room (and three closets of clothes) in preparation to move cross-country to a state I had never visited, job-hunting online in a state I had never visited, apartment hunting via Internet, too, in a state I had never visited. I was planning a large (and kept getting larger) mostly DIY wedding for New Year’s Eve, and had a surprise root canal the Monday before Thanksgiving. The cherry on top:  back surgery about a month and a half before Christmas (meaning through most of this fun, I was walking like a hunch-back 87-year-old.)

I developed an affinity for wine.

Alive on the other end, I could say that I’m stronger, it built character. I have actual battle scars. But I wouldn’t soon say any of that is really true -except the part about battle scars (lift with your knees, y’all). What we have now is actually the same Robin, maybe more well-rested with fewer caffeine jitters, and in quite a new season of life. In a matter of weeks, I suddenly became a wife, a college graduate, and a resident of Kentucky -leaving the only dot on the globe I’d called home for 22 years.

The past few months have been full of firsts, adjustments, experiments -surprises. I wouldn’t say at the point of normality we’ve finally reached with our lives that every day is super different (for which I’m extremely grateful), but everyday certainly has different sprinkles that make it special.

And that is what this blog is about.

Sprinkles of kitchen successes (and fails), thrifty style ideas, simple DIY projects, an assortment of homemaking tips from a new wife in a new city -the little, pretty things that exist in life for us to enjoy.

I definitely wouldn’t claim to have figured it all out -but I think that’s the point, too. Maybe we can learn something together.

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