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7/12/18

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - My Thoughts & (Selective) Picks


Collage is clickable; simply click on any item for details

Oh, the infamous Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, or #NSale, as you've no doubt seen splattered about your Instagram feed. To preface this post, I have to say, I was actually on the fence about preparing this post. On one hand, I love a good sale as much as the next gal and want to excitedly share all of my amazing finds with you (it's one of the reasons I blog in the first place); on the other hand, I've been a bit put off by the incessant over-promotion of the sale by bloggers over recent years. The sale jargon and educational posts on how to navigate it, etc. have become redundant and annoying to an extent and it's become a hot-button topic for some. 

I totally get it. I do. Sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. So why am I posting my NSale Picks anyway? Well, it's two-fold. 1) Despite my frustrations surrounding the over-saturated marketing both leading up to and during the sale, I'm actually really excited about the sale itself. Some of the discounted goodies I found while sifting through the various departments are still worth sharing and considering, even if you've been debating on whether to forego this year's sale madness altogether; and 2) several of you personally reached out to me via direct message (DM) on Instagram and shared that despite feeling the same frustrations I do with the #NSale hype, you'd still be interested to see my picks because you always love what I pick. (What a compliment!) I appreciated the kind words and feedback so much, and wanted to acknowledge those of you who took the time to empathize and encourage me to share my favorites anyway. So, here you go -- this post is for you! 💗

A few things: I'm sharing only the items I either already have and love (some of these pieces have made an encore from last year's sale due to sheer popularity) or would actually purchase or consider purchasing myself. I was very selective with my picks, choosing those I think are most worthwhile, despite my attempts to whittle them down, and am sharing them all below by category to keep things simple. I've also included a bonus sale category below which everyone can shop now, with or without a Nordstrom card! (No pressure and no fear of missing out! This is only for you fellow sale-hunters looking to browse/shop something pretty, yet different at Nordstrom than the usual #NSale fare.)

Key Reminders:

July 12 - 19:  Early Access for Nordstrom Cardholders
July 20:  Sale Opens to Public

All online orders and returns ship for free.


My NSale Picks By Category:


ACCESSORIES/BAGS



BEAUTY



CLASSIC/WORK-WEAR



COATS/OUTER-WEAR



FITNESS/ATHLETIC-WEAR



FOUNDATION/LAYERING BASICS



SHOES



BONUS SALE ITEMS I'M LOVING (NON-NSALE)



And there you have my top #NSale picks! I hope you find them helpful, whether you're shopping or simply browsing. You'll see I kept mostly with the classics -- pieces you can wear season over season to get the most cost per wear.

Do you have any favorites? Or are you sitting this one out? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you, as always, for stopping by!

XO,
Sara

6/25/18

10 Cute Bags for Summer! (Most Under $100!)

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10
{Click on any number to shop}


Hi, Everyone! I hope you're having a great start to your week!

Today I'm sharing 10 Cute Bags for Summer!

I love these kinds of round-up posts because it's like virtual window-shopping! You get to see all the pretty picks of the season and hopefully get inspired on how to style them.

Straw totes in every shape and style, everyday totes with extra-special touches, crossbody bags with tassels and in an array of rainbow of colors -- they're all summertime staples, and I'm covering them all! With so many bag finds lately, I knew I had to share my favorites with you all, especially since most are under $100! Only a select few are a bit more spendy (in the $200 - $300 range) but that's because they're from reputable, boutique designers/brands who generally source higher-quality materials, making their bags more durable, long-lasting, and investment-worthy, in my opinion.

So, let's talk Summer bags!


How fun are these colors?! I love the candy-colored stripes and the gold hardware. The clasp has a bit of a vintage design to it, too. This would make such a fun statement piece with any simple, solid-colored sundress. I'd wear it with a blush dress and white espadrilles for a colorful, summery look. I posted this bag to my Insta-stories today (be sure to follow me on Instagram if you're not already!) because it's on sale for $329.25, regularly $439 with code "EXTRA." (Sale ends at 11:59pm tonight, PT.)


Dome satchels are such a classic design and look elegant with any outfit, but the striped scarf that comes with this one is what made it on my list! Who doesn't love navy stripes, especially in Summer? Remove the scarf and wear it as a hair tie, too; you're actually getting 2 pieces for the price of 1!


My love for wicker and straw bags has no bounds. I have a few already but keep finding more cute ones like this one! This is such a great little bag with all the special details of a vintage one, plus it comes with a gold chain crossbody strap! It also has gold, protective feet at the bottom -- always a plus. And wait until you see the interior lining...


4. Tory Burch Fleming Flat Wallet Crossbody (Wallet on Chain) - on sale!
Tory Burch always has the cutest crossbody bags, and this one is no exception. The pretty fuchsia color of this WOC packs such a pretty punch, and would look amazing against a little white dress or navy-striped dress with wedges! I shared this one in my Insta-Stories, too; it's on sale today for $179.25, regularly $239 with code "EXTRA." (Sale ends at 11:59pm tonight, PT.)


A darling bow tote that comes with a matching pouch for only $50? Yes, please! This roomy tote is perfect for carrying your everyday essentials and then some, plus it comes in a host of other beautiful colors. The pearl color shown above and the mauve color are my favorites.


I'm all about romantic flowers, as you well know, so this one was a no-brainer for me. This one is such a pretty take on a classic tote. The small, metallic pouch that comes with it is also adorable and perfect for loose change, chapstick/lipgloss, and keys. This tote is also on sale now for $71.20, regularly $89 with code "BIG." (Sale ends tomorrow, June 26th, at 9:59pm, PT.)


Structured bags with a simple design like this never go out of style. Period. Made of italian leather, this is a top pick for anyone looking for a durable, polished bag for the office and every day. It zips at the top, too, keeping all your items secure. This warm, "perfect sand" colorway is my favorite of the two, though the navy is really beautiful as well. This tote is on sale today for $269.25, regularly $359 with code "EXTRA." (Sale ends at 11:59pm tonight, PT.)


This whipstitched tote is another chic, everyday option with the prettiest details; the stitching is eye-catching and easily my favorite detail, while the slouchy design is practical and easy to carry. The pebbled leather is also lower-maintenance for any spills, which definitely comes in handy for any white handbags. And if you're in need of a roomy tote, this is it: it can easily fit a laptop and all your daily essentials, too. This tote is on sale today for $224.25, regularly $299 with code "EXTRA." (Sale ends at 11:59pm tonight, PT.)


I actually did a double-take on this one because I thought it was a designer bag! Would you believe this bag is only $45?! I know I couldn't. This is such a stunner of a bag that gives you the look of "high-end designer for less." I love the chevron quilted design, the top-handle and detachable crossbody strap, turn-lock clasp, and protective feet. This is easily one of my favorite bag finds, and all of the colors are beautiful! This bag comes in the pretty blush colorway shown above, as well as a white and a black colorway. If you've been looking for a vegan alternative to most designer bags, this is a perfect option, and will no doubt garner tons of compliments.


Last, but certainly not least, is this mini, white satchel with the cutest, little detail: a striped, grosgrain ribbon. Is this not one of the sweetest bags you've ever seen? I absolutely adore it! Mini, white bags are everywhere this summer, but this one really takes the cake. Made of durable leather, it's a higher-quality, everyday bag that can be worn on the arm or crossbody with the detachable strap. The grosgrain ribbons attach at each side for easy tying and untying, and the main compartment zips at the top, keeping all your items secure. Cute and functional = my kind of must-have bag!

And there you have my 10 Cute Bags for Summer!

I hope you enjoyed this round-up as much as I did! I'd love to hear which ones are your favorites and why!

{Also, I've snuck in a few more of my picks into the widget below, so be sure to scroll through!}

Thank you, as always, for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely rest of the day!

XO,
Sara



6/21/18

Little White Dresses: Button-down Faves

Today I'm popping in with a quick outfit post with this everyday look that's fuss-free and perfectly Summery, featuring this little white button-down dress! And yes, I'm mixing things up a bit by sharing some iphone photos instead of my usual, more "stylized" photos taken with a DSLR. Sometimes it's nice to just share a few real-life snaps of a look I'm really loving and wearing at the moment without all the fluff of a photo shoot. And some of you have been so kind to say you really like these types of photos on my Instagram, so I'm giving it a try in some of the blog posts, too! 

Now, onto dresses! I'm really having a moment with button-down dresses these days, as you've probably noticed. I think they are such a cute and versatile option for every day, don't you? Throw one on for errands, lunch, weekend outings -- anything, really. And white dresses with buttons? Even cuter! They're crisp, fresh, and perfect for combating the Summer heat. I'll be sharing more button-down faves for you below, but let's talk about this one first.
You've probably seen this little number a lot on social media by now; I know I have. But that's because it's the sweetest little dress that looks amazing on everyone. Loft really got it right with this one. I absolutely love it, despite some of the mixed reviews online, which brings me to... 

The pros: the fit-and-flare shape, the button details, and the pockets! (Yes!) I'm also thrilled with the wide straps; no worrying about strapless bras! 

The cons: the material. It's linen and a wrinkled mess when it arrives in the mail. Plan on giving it a good steam before wearing it. I also agree with the online reviewers who say it's on the sheer side. 
{I had to share a shoe shot ~ suede bows are always my fave!}

So how do I make this dress work? For me, a half slip and a thin cami are an absolute must, especially because the buttons are functional and can open slightly when you bend down or move throughout the day. Some ladies have said they can get away with wearing only nude undergarments without any issues, but for me, I'd rather not take the chance. For a summer dress, I know it's not the most ideal to wear extra layers, but lightweight ones are definitely do-able and recommended in this case, in my opinion. Also, if you have a larger bust, consider sizing up or wearing a thin, white cami underneath in case of any gaping or pulling at the buttons. 
The sizing runs about one size larger. I took a size 00P and thought I was sent a 0P or even a 2P by mistake because there's a lot of excess material in the back on me (the back is smocked, which is nice and stretchy, but there's a lot of material.) So, if you're petite like me, you may need to have the waist taken in for a more fitted silhouette like I have here. I had hoped the dress would fit better as-is, but I'm fine with the alterations since it's a dress I know I'll wear often.

This dress comes in both regular and petite sizing and even in a maternity option, but sizes are already going fast online, so act fast while there's free shipping. Loft rarely offers free shipping without any minimums, so definitely take advantage! Loft is also offering 30% off everything + an extra 10% off with code "SUMMER" for a very limited time. (Click here to shop!)

Since I'm loving so many white button-down dresses right now, I'm sharing more of them below for you! Just click on any of the photos for details or to shop.

More White Button-Down Dresses I'm Loving: 





There are so many pretty options, aren't there? I shared some in extended sizes, too, aka plus sizes, tall sizes, and petite sizes -- my hope was to share something for everyone! Every gal needs a summer dress like this one!
OUTFIT DETAILS:
Loft Button-Down Pocket Flare Dress (00P) - also see similar above //
Bow Wedge Espadrilles // Embroidered Straw Tote - re-stocked! (similar, similar) //
Baublebar Adrielle Layered Necklace

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope the rest of your week is a wonderful one!

XO,
Sara

6/6/18

Summer Office-Style Inspo: Pintucked Ruffles & Pearl Buttons

Classic, timeless pieces with feminine details continue to be my staples for work wear. These are pieces that I reach for time and again, and that have me feeling my best when it comes to looking professional and polished for the office.

Today I'm mixing pieces from one of my favorite retailers for office wear, Ann Taylor. If you've been following my blog for some time, you know that I have shopped and styled several pieces from AT fairly regularly over the years. I've been a longtime AT shopper; their styles seem to suit me best, and I can always count on finding that perfect piece to incorporate into my work wardrobe.
I admit I own far too many ruffled blouses to count, especially shells. I love how versatile they are, allowing me to wear them alone during hot, Summer days, or to be worn layered under a cardigan or blazer in the frigid, air-conditioned office. They're definitely a staple in my wardrobe. 

This pintucked ruffle-bib blouse caught my eye online because of its beautiful periwinkle-blue shade. It's not a color I see too often, so seeing it with the ruffled details and ties at the neck, I knew that it would be a keeper. It's such an elegant, sweet blouse, and looks great tucked and untucked. It's easy to wash with no special dry-cleaning required, so that's also a bonus! (This ruffle blouse in the same color is also worth a glance!)
The show-stopper piece that I had to have, though, is this button pencil skirt. And it's why I'm such a loyal AT shopper: this skirt is nothing short of amazing. The fit, the style, the details -- they're perfection in my book. The color is black, despite it photographing a navy-blue here due to the bright lighting. The pearl buttons down the side are my favorite detail and really dress up this basic pencil-skirt style. It reminds me of something the ladies of the 1930s-40s would wear with their buttoned skirts and blouses, white gloves, pinned hair and hat, and pocketbook. It's an ultra-feminine look from a bygone fashion era that I continue to draw inspiration from daily.

A classy skirt like this can be worn an infinite number of ways and will look just as incredible for years to come. (Be sure to see this button skirt, too.)
 
I draped an open, tweed blazer over my shoulders for more coverage, which works well for the office. This is an older, legacy piece from Ann Taylor that I still reach for often. It adds an element of 'chic' to any outfit, from jeans and a top to a dressier, office look like this one. The ivory and black colors are a classic combo, and the tweed, open-front style of this jacket is very reminiscent of Chanel. I like pairing ivory/white and black with a pop of color, and think the structure of the jacket frames the periwinkle blouse nicely. 

To elongate my legs and keep the overall look streamlined, I kept with nude, patent accessories to finish the look. The right nude accessories can really make any outfit look sharp. For me, this means a simple, structured bag and  a pair of closed-toe pumps with a sleek shape. This "formula" never fails. It looks polished, pretty, and professional in any work environment.

ANN TAYLOR SALE + PIECES I'M LOVING

Get an extra 60% off all sale items until 9pm tonight, PST! (No code is needed; discount will be automatically applied at check-out.) 

Now's the time to snag your favorite pieces at a major discount, but hurry, the sale ends soon! 

Here are a few Ann Taylor pieces I'm currently loving (some on sale, some not):


OUTFIT DETAILS:

Ann Taylor Open Tweed Jacket (xxsp) - old (similar here) //
Arcadia Nude Patent Dome Satchel - old (similar here) //
Pearl Stud Earrings - old (similar here)

__________

Summer outfits like this one help me look and feel my best when it comes to dressing for the office, and I hope it inspires you to do the same. 

What are some of your favorite office styles during Summer?

As always, thank you for reading! 

XO,
Sara

This post was in no way sponsored by Ann Taylor or Ann, Inc.; I am only sharing pieces and outfits I love that were created from my own, personal collection and wardrobe.


6/2/18

Minty Stripes: Flattering Fit & Flare Dress for $40!

And just like that, it's already June. Can you believe it? How are we already almost half-way through the year? At least Summer is right around the corner! Bring on all the fun, summertime events -- grad ceremonies, parties, weddings, bridal and baby showers, brunches.... 

With several of these already on the horizon, I started shopping for dresses early before all the good ones in my size sold out, and happened on this petite, fit-and-flare dress for only $40!
Isn't it precious? It looks even better in-person! 

I love the stripes! The mint and ivory colors are fresh and summery, and play nicely off the subtle, metallic stripes that alternate between them. They add just the right amount of shimmer to elevate it your typical fit-and-flare dress, making it perfect for upcoming special events! (Outdoor weddings or brunch dates, anyone?) 
This darling, little number is packed full of pretty details! My favorites:

 - the chevron paneling down the front of the bodice 
- the feminine pleats of the skirt
 - the attached belt that pulls everything together

Yes, the belt comes with the dress! And it's a decent-quality one, too! Wear it as-is or swap out the belt for another one to change up the look. The small belt loops will keep it secure. (For wider belts, just tuck the belt loops under or remove them altogether.)  
This dress is super flattering! I'm wearing size 2p, and it fits nicely with a little room to spare in the waist/hips. Flattering and comfy is my holy-grail combo when it comes to fit! Normally, I would order a 0p, but the 2p is the smallest size available for this dress. That said, I think it still looks lovely. The length is also ideal, hitting just above the knee. I'm 5'2 and the dress length is approximately 37", for reference.  

It's easy to get on and off, zipping smoothly up the back. I find that some dresses at this price point tend to skimp on decent zippers, causing them to get stuck or break in the fabric (such a pain!) but I'm happy to see that this one feels durable. The only caveat: the dress itself is unlined. You'll need to wear a half-slip skirt and nude or light-colored undergarments for modesty.
The only other thing that would've made this dress any sweeter is pockets! But for all its other perks, it's still definitely a keeper! I love how ladylike it is! 

It works great for the office, too -- it's polished, pretty, yet still professional. For shoulder coverage in more conservative workplaces or for meetings, I add a crisp, white blazer and then belt it, like I've done in the past here
OUTFIT DETAILS:
Chanel classic flap - vintage (similar Chanel here; affordable dupes here & here) //


You can't go wrong with a versatile dress like this one, especially for the price!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! 

XO,
Sara



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