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3/26/17

Ann Taylor Cyber Sale + Top 5 Office Wardrobe Essentials

Featured Items (Clockwise from Top-Left):
Pleated Cuff Blouse - butterfly print here
Carson Tassel Pumps - nude here, black here, grey here, blush here


Ann Taylor's Cyber Spring Event is currently under way!
Get 50% off your entire purchase plus FREE shipping with no minimum with code "CYBER50." Sale is valid online only and ends 3/28 at midnight PST (3am EST.) 

This is a pretty big deal, guys -- one to definitely get excited about. As a longtime shopper of Ann Taylor, I can tell you first-hand that they rarely run promos as good as this one, especially with free shipping. Usually, you have to meet the $175 minimum requirement to qualify for it, or pay their $8.95 flat-rate shipping fee, which is a pain when you only want to pick up a few items.

Several of my favorite AT pieces shown above are still available and are such a steal! My favorite blush tweed blazer that I've worn countless times is now only $75 --  such an amazing price for a beautiful, well-fitting blazer! Also, the navy knit peplum sweater I'm wearing in the photo collage above (bottom-right photo) is now less than $8 and available in all sizes! Refer to my previous fitting room reviews here and here on these pieces for more photos and details on fit, fabric, etc.


My favorite cream textured blazer (size 00P) shown here is also included in the sale, comes in regular, petite, and tall sizing, and is now only $84.50!

I'd say a good 80% of my office attire is comprised of Ann Taylor (or LOFT) pieces; the styles are classic yet modern, elegant, and feminine. If you're just starting out in the workforce and need a few affordable pieces that will serve as a foundation to your work wardrobe, or if you're just looking to refresh your wardrobe with a couple of new and versatile picks without over-spending, then this is the ideal time to do it! So, what do I recommend? See my picks below.

Top 5 Office Wardrobe Essentials:

 1) a slim-fitting pencil skirt in a neutral color/pattern


2) a classic, button-down blouse


3) a tailored-fit blazer/suit jacket


4) a skinny leather belt


5) a sleek, modern pair of pumps


Each of these pieces are good, solid building blocks worthy of the investment in their own right because they will take your office style far. Depending on your personal preferences and/or your office dress code, you can always make adjustments along the way that will reflect your own sense of style. Infusing more colors, fun patterns, or pieces with special details like ruffles, scallops, pleats, and tie-neck collars (my personal favorites) are a great way to do this, and you'll notice your style evolving into one that suits you best, boosting your self-confidence and making you feel beautiful and empowered. Having the option of mixing and matching these go-to pieces for limitless outfits is key, and with proper care, they'll last you years. Taking advantage of sales like this amazing Ann Taylor Cyber Spring Event can help really stretch your budget, too!

If you're looking for some style ideas/inspiration for work outfits, please see some of my previous blog posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. I hope you find them helpful! 
I also share several of my workwear stylings on my Instagram gallery, so be sure to follow me if you're not already! 

Before I wrap up, I'm leaving you with a few more of my AT sale picks. Just scroll through and click on the photos for more details or to shop. I'd love to hear which pieces are your favorite!

More Sale Picks:



Happy shopping, and thanks so much for stopping by!
XO

3/23/17

LOFT Fitting Room Reviews + Sale Alert

Left to Right:


Hi, Everyone!

Today I'm sharing some quick LOFT fitting room reviews with you. I've been eyeing several of the pretty new arrivals online, and decided to pop in to my local store to see them in-person and try them on. I tried on most of these pieces last week, but am only now getting around to posting them, just in time for another great sale! 
(LOFT has some of the best sales!)

Starting today, you can get 40% off your entire purchase if you are a LOFT or Ann Taylor cardmember! Cardmembers also earn double rewards points on all purchases. If you're not a cardmember, not to worry, because you can still get 30% off your entire purchase! Use code "SPRING17" at check-out. No code is needed in-store; the discount will be applied automatically. 

Be sure to scroll all the way down to view/shop all of my sales picks!

Now, let's jump into the fitting room reviews...

(I apologize in advance for the wonky lighting; I did my best to capture the true colors of all these pieces.)




Floral Vintage Soft Tee - "candied lemon" (XS)
Modern Skinny Crop Jeans - "pure dark indigo wash" (0P/25)

First up is this Floral Vintage Soft Tee in "candied lemon." I've been drawn to all things in this mustard-yellow/golden-rod color, so I immediately grabbed this try on. The vintage swirling floral print is really lovely for Spring and the color is so beautiful! This print is also offered in the Floral Ruffle Shoulder Shell (cute for the office) and the Floral Textured Pencil Skirt (love.)

If you're looking for a great, breathable, cotton tee that packs a pretty punch with its cheery color, then this one's for you. I absolutely love it. I don't have too many tees in my closet, and this fills the gap for 'casual/weekend wear' nicely; just throw it on and go.

I'm trying a size XS here, and I'd say it fits true-to-size to slightly loose. (For sizing reference, I'm 5'2" and my measurements are 34-25-36.) I like that the hemline is slightly curved, covering part of your backside if you want to pair it with a pair of skinny jeans like I'm doing here. 

Fit: TTS to slightly large

Price: $29.50 retail / $20.50 with 30% off promo

I grabbed these Modern Skinny Crop Jeans in "pure dark indigo wash" to try on with the above tee and some other tops, and was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked them! They're soft and comfy and slightly stretchy, allowing them to contour your shape nicely. They're a cotton-poly blend with 3% elastane, and are a sturdy weight without being too stiff, which is nice. I wasn't on the hunt for any new jeans, but these cropped ones were so comfy and effortless, that they came home with me. The jeans in the store come pre-rolled, and these ones are rolled 3 times, but you can adjust them to your liking. I really like that the cuffed ankles aren't bulky at all and fit snugly. The dark wash is also super versatile, allowing them to be dressed up or down. I'm so happy with these and they'll definitely see a lot of wear coming Summer, too! I definitely recommend trying a pair!

I'm trying on size 0P/25 here, and they fit true-to-size for me for LOFT denim. These jeans come in regular sizes as well with a 25" rolled inseam, versus the petite rolled inseam of 22.5."

Fit: TTS

Price: $69.50 retail / $48.65 with 30% off promo




Diamond Crochet Sweater (XXSP)

Next up is this Diamond Stitch Crochet Sweater in "whisper white." Ohhh...you guys, I immediately fell in love with this one. I must've brushed over it online because I don't recall seeing it at all, but after seeing it in-store, I had to try it on! The weave on this sweater is STUNNING -- truly unique. I didn't find one thing I didn't love about it. The details are my favorite: the delicate overall diamond weave, the contrast-stitched trim at the sleeves and bottom hem, the split hem on the sides. So, so lovely! Did I need another sweater in this color? Nope. But I just couldn't pass on this one. I adore it! It can be dressed up with a pencil or flare skirt for the office or dressed down with jeans or shorts. 

Another bonus: it's 100% cotton. It's soft, comfortable, light, airy, and perfect for Spring/Summer. I really can't say enough good things about it! It's semi-sheer, but you can get away with a basic, nude bra without looking immodest, or you can add a thin cream or nude cami for more coverage if you prefer.

I'm trying on size XXSP here and it fits perfectly -- not too snug and not too wide/baggy. It has a flattering silhouette that still highlights your waist, which I love.

Fit: TTS (size up for a looser fit)

Price: $54.50 retail / $38.15 with 30% off promo



Shimmer Floral Flutter Off-the-Shoulder Top (XXSP)


Next up is this Shimmer Floral Flutter Off-the-Shoulder Top. I admit, I've been slow to the OTS trend that's everywhere right now, but after trying a few on, like this one, I can see what the hype is all about. What I really like about this one, aside from the pretty floral print in soft pastel shades, is that it can be worn both on the shoulder or off. If you want a little more coverage, just pull the sleeves up, and voila! (Bottom photo.) Or, if you want a look that's more flirty, say, for date night, then just slide them down. (Top photo.) I love both looks! I couldn't resist this top and recently wore it out to dinner and received so many compliments! (See it on me here on Instagram.)

This darling floral print is also offered in the Cherry Blossom Infinity Scarf and the Shimmer Floral Flounce Dress (see the dress here on my sweet blogger friend, Jess. She's similar in size to me at 5'2.5.")

One thing I want to point out after wearing it for several hours is that the metallic threading throughout the fabric can start to become itchy/scratchy along the collar. I have sensitive skin, so it could just be an issue isolated to me, but after a few hours, it was driving me crazy and I could see my chest becoming pink and irritated from rubbing it. If you have sensitive skin, I suggest you try this blouse  on in-store and walk around for several minutes to see whether it bothers you or not. I still love this blouse, but will need to see how I can eliminate the scratchiness along the collar (maybe a light layer underneath?)

I tried on size XXSP and the fit was TTS to slightly loose. This style is meant to be more blousy, and I think it drapes nicely, but if you prefer a more form-fitting style, you may wish to pass on this one.

Fit:  TTS to slightly large (size down for a closer fit)

Price: $59.50 retail / $41.65 with 30% off promo



Lace Cami Dress - "spring storm blue" (00)

Next, I tried this Lace Cami Dress in this pretty shade of blue, called "spring storm blue." The color is fairly true to the online stock photo, and the lace is so much more lovely in-person! The floral lace and stitched seaming under the bust are also nice, feminine details. The spaghetti straps are adjustable, allowing you to get the fit just right, which I really appreciate. Oftentimes, these types of spaghetti-strap styles don't have adjustable straps and you're forced to have them altered, so kudos to LOFT for not cutting corners on this aspect.

I'm trying on size 00 here, which was more of a midi length on me, but I think it looks pretty this way. This dress comes in petite sizing, too, but they weren't available in my local store to try on. The downsides I noticed right away with the fit are 1) the arm holes are cut too low (petite size may alleviate this) and 2) the gathered fabric at the waist poofs out strangely just under the waist seam. You can see it in the top photo. It's not the most flattering, adding "padding" to the waist and hip area that I don't want or need. It's a darling dress, but I'm just not crazy about it enough to take a chance on ordering the petite size only to find it's "meh." For these reasons, this dress is a pass for me, but I think it would still look lovely on someone with a different body type. I suggest trying it on in-store just to be sure.

Fit: TTS to slightly large (extra fabric at waist)

Price: $118 retail / $82.60 with 30% off promo



Flutter Flare Dress - "shaded rose" (00)

Next, I tried this Flutter Flare Dress in "shaded rose." This dress is actually a re-release in a new colorway: this rosy-pink shade, which is so pretty! I own the "jazz blue" color from last year (see on me here and here) and love it! This is one of those dresses that lends a polished finish yet is easy in that you can just zip up the back and go. I love dresses like this for their ease and versatility. Add a cardi or blazer for the office or just a chunky statement necklace for a dressier dinner look and you're set. The fit-and-flare silhouette is universally-flattering, it has pockets (yes!) and the flutter sleeves add a nice, feminine detail. The color is also perfect for Spring/Summer, and would look really cute paired with a jean jacket and sandals.

I'm trying on size 00 here, which runs large and wide. Oh, LOFT,  and their notorious vanity sizing...I always lament over this and wish the sizing was more consistent! The good news is that this dress comes in regular, petite, and tall sizing -- one of their more redeeming qualities when it comes to size offerings. If you're similar in size to me, you'll definitely want to try the petite sizing for a better fit; the 00 runs wide at the waist and hips, and the arm holes are cut too low, which may reveal your bra. Once you get the fit right, though, this dress will take you through these warmer months flawlessly.

Fit: Runs large (size down for a closer fit)

Price: $89.50 retail / $62.65 with 30% off promo


Gilded Garden Top (XXSP)

Next, I tried this Gilded Garden Top. Embroidered details like the ones on this top are my favorite, especially this time of year; they're so feminine and pretty! I love the mustard-yellow floral motif, which is trending in several of LOFT's new arrivals, and the crisp-white color of the blouse itself. Unfortunately, it's a cotton-linen blend, which means it's prone to wrinkles. You can clearly see the crease line of where the blouse was folded, as well as other wrinkles already forming down the bodice. I'm sure the wrinkles can be steamed out, but I'm curious to know how the blouse will look after wearing it for a few hours. For this reason, I passed on it for now. It's such a darling blouse and is light and airy, but I'm not sure I want to fuss with steaming it all the time. We'll see. I've been known to change my mind. ;-)

I'm trying on a size XXSP, but you can see it still runs wide and has a boxy fit. The sleeves fit nicely, though. This style of blouse is meant to be blousy, which I like, but it does swallow up the waist line. The length also hits at the widest part of the hips -- another reason I'm still on the fence about it. If you prefer a slimmer fit, this blouse may not be the one for you. The embroidery is so, so cute, though! 

Fit: TTS in the sleeves; wide in the waist

Price: $54.50 retail / $38.15 with 30% off promo




Floral Embroidered Vintage Soft Tee (XS)

Next, I tried this Floral Embroidered Vintage Soft Tee. More pretty embroidery? Yes, please! I love this tee so much! The blue and white color combo is one of my favorites and the floral embroidery is just darling. It's another nice, lightweight tee that you can just throw on with a pair of jeans or tuck into a skirt, and you instantly have a cute, on-the-go outfit. The side slits are a nice detail, and the overall length covers most of your backside if you want to wear it with skinny jeans or leggings. It's super soft and comfy, 100% cotton, and adorable -- you can't go wrong with this one!

I'm trying on a size XS, which fits nicely without being too snug or pulling at the bust or hips. Since cotton tends to shrink a little when you wash and dry it, you may want to size up from your usual size. Also, if you want a shorter length, you'll be happy to know that this tee comes in petite sizing as well! I personally don't mind the length on this one for a casual look, but if you're planning to wear it mostly tucked in, you may want to opt for a petite size. 

Fit: TTS to slightly loose

Price: $29.50 retail / $20.65 with 30% off promo



Fringe Lace Yoke Tee (XXSP)
Inked Floral Pleated Shorts (00)


Next up is this Fringe Lace Yoke Tee. Ohhh...another one I was immediately smitten with! The special details get me every time! I love the crisp-white color, the lace yoke detailing with fringe trim at the neckline, and the peek-a-boo lace on the sleeves -- so delicate and beautiful! Love, love, love. It's 100% cotton, making it light and breathable, and it comes in both regular and petite sizing. It comes in an "icelandic grey" colorway, too, which is a cross between a charcoal and navy. It's a lovely shade, but the white wins hands-down for me. If you need only one white tee for Spring/Summer, this is it. Seriously. Grab one now; you won't regret it.

I'm trying on a size XXSP and fits perfectly. It's not too tight across the bust or in the sleeves, and I can freely move around in it without worrying about splitting the delicate lace. If you prefer a looser fit, definitely size up, as it will shrink a little in the washer/dryer.

Fit: TTS

Price: $44.50 retail / $31.15 with 30% off promo

I grabbed this pair of Inked Floral Pleated Shorts to try on with the above tee, and while I'm not a shorts kind of gal, I was really quite impressed with these! The micro-floral print in soft, pastel shades is perfect for Spring/Summer, and they're super soft and comfy! They drape nicely and the inseam is just the right length at 4." Most shorts tend to have a short inseam and end up looking indecent on me, so I just pass altogether. Besides, I've always been more comfortable in skirts/dresses, but that's just me. That said, these are adorable and would pair nicely with a tee or tank like I'm doing here and a pair of sandals.

I'm trying on a size 00 here and I'd say they run a little large since they sit on my lower waist. They're roomy enough for tucking in a top, and didn't pinch or squeeze in any way. They're super soft and have a drapey fit that is really flattering.

Fit: Runs slightly large; size down for a closer fit

Price: $49.50 retail / $34.65 with 30% off promo


Left to Right:
Vine Split-Neck Blouse
Mixed Floral Lace Shell
Painterly Floral Shirtdress

This trio was actually the first of my try-ons last week, and are more of my favorites (I told you I'm loving so many of the new arrivals!)


Vine Split-Neck Blouse (XXSP)

So, first up is this Vine Split-Neck Blouse. This has become a blogger and "LOFT girl" (aka, avid LOFT shopper) favorite, and it's easy to see why: the eye-catching, swirling vine and floral print, the soft blush color mixed with the vibrant greens, corals, and yellows of the floral print...it's super feminine and oh-so-romantic. It's another one of those easy, Spring-y pieces that will look great dressed up with a pencil skirt or slacks or dressed down with a pair of jeans/ankle pants. Since it's 100% polyester, it will wash and wear well without a lot of fuss. Not everyone loves poly pieces, and I get it, but for me, they're low-maintenance, not prone to wrinkles, and the colors usually hold up well with no fading, so I don't mind them. If it's a hot day, I'll just layer a cotton cami underneath for breathability (is that even a word? If not, it is now...ha!) Overall, this blouse is soft and flowy, and effortlessly pretty. I adore it and think it looks absolutely darling on everyone I've seen it on. (Oh, and please pardon my slip that I'm wearing with it; I was rushing!)

I'm trying on a size XXSP and I'd say it runs large; the waist and sleeves are wide on me, but I still like it. It's meant to be a blousy tunic style, so it's meant to be worn loosely. If you prefer something closer-fitting, this blouse may not work for you or you may need to invest in a few alterations. The length is longer, and looks great with white skinny jeans. This blouse also comes in regular sizes -- yay for options!

Fit: Runs large - recommend sizing down 1 - 2 sizes

Price: $59.50 retail / $41.65 with 30% off promo


Mixed Floral Lace Shell (XXSP)

Next is this Mixed Floral Lace Shell. LOFT's white, lacy tops this season are all so gorgeous and this one is no exception! The floral lace and embroidered floral motif along the bust is so feminine and delicate. It's partially lined but it's still a bit sheer, so you may want to wear a white bandeau-style bra underneath for more coverage as I'm doing here; it works perfectly, covering bra cup lines you sometimes see with regular strapless bras. (I swear by bandeau bras for these types of blouses.) As with most shells at LOFT, the material is a thin polyester. It's machine-washable, which is a plus, but with the delicate lace, I'd almost err on the side of caution and have it dry-cleaned. If you do machine-wash it, definitely use the delicate cycle and hang to dry; I get the most life of my shells this way. Overall, this shell will garner lots of compliments and I highly recommend it!

I'm trying on a size XXSP and it still runs a bit long and wide on me. It's not overwhelmingly large, but I'd suggest sizing down on this one if you can. It also comes in regular sizes if you prefer a longer length.

Fit: Runs large - recommend sizing down 1 - 2 sizes

Price: $59.50 retail / $54.99 sale / $38.49 with 30% off promo


Painterly Floral Shirtdress  (XS)

Next is this Painterly Floral Shirtdress. This was another one of those pieces that I glossed over online but actually liked in-person. The floral-and-dot print may be too busy for some, but I think it's quite cute! There are also so many great details on this dress that you might not notice until you try it on: the buttons down the front, the matching string belt that cinches the waist beautifully, and the pockets! You all know my love for dresses with pockets, so this was such a nice surprise for me! What I really love, though, is that you can just slip it on over your head without having to unbutton any of the buttons, cinch/tie the belt, and you're done -- easy breezy! When I'm in a rush and want to still look pretty and put-together, I always reach for these styles of dresses. Unfortunately, based on the feel of the fabric, I assumed it was 100% cotton when, in fact, it's 100% rayon. Now, I didn't know this until my aforementioned friend, Jess, told me, but apparently rayon basically shrinks up and looks awful after just one wash in the washing machine. Yikes! I had already ordered a different size with the help of a sales associate, so if I love it when it arrives, I'll have to dry-clean it only. Grrr. That's not what I was hoping for, but we'll see if I end up keeping it. I'll keep you updated. I was planning to wear it with a cardi or denim jacket and strappy sandals for a casual-cute look.

I'm trying on a size XS here, but the length is a bit short, coming up to almost mid-thigh on me. Since I prefer my day dresses to hit me at the knees or just above so that I can also wear them to work if I choose, I ordered size XST. I was so happy to see that this dress is offered in tall sizing! It's offered in petite sizing, too, but given the shorter length of the regular size I tried, I didn't dare consider the petite sizing. If you don't mind the shorter length, I'd say go with your usual size; the bust, waist, and sleeves all fit nicely. I also want to mention that this dress is unlined, so you may want to wear a slip underneath for more coverage as I'm doing here.

Fit: TTS (length runs short)

Price: $79.50 retail / $55.65 with 30% off promo


Watercolor Floral Scarf 

Lastly, I tried on this Watercolor Floral Scarf. I already own and love so many of LOFT's scarves, and this one is my new favorite. The watercolor print is so beautiful and colorful! It's light and silky, drapes nicely, and is large enough to be worn as a wrap, which I really like. I plan on bringing this on vacation and will wear it as scarf, wrap, and swimsuit cover-up. I love and highly recommend this one!

Fit: One size; measures 28" x 76"

Price: $39.50 retail / $27.65 with 30% off promo

A couple more pieces I ordered but didn't get to try on in-store:  Meadow Dress in XXS (arrived & runs really large - currently at my tailor's - see my previous blog post here for more details)
Flora Dress in 00P - arrived and fits perfectly; love!
Villa Dress in XXS - should arrive early next week

That's all for the fitting room reviews! I hope you found them helpful, but if you have any other questions, just leave a comment or email me!

Also, let me know if you snag any goodies during the sale -- I'd love to hear what you scored! I included all of these picks and more below (just scroll through to view/shop.)

As always, thanks so much for stopping by!
XO

SHOP THE POST:

3/17/17

Spring Break Picks / Family Vacay Plans!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12
(Click on any number for details or to shop)

Spring Break is always something to get excited about.
Just the sheer mention of it makes you grin, right? For me, it means lounging pool- or beach-side soaking up the warm rays of the sun, watching my little ones splash around and play in the kiddie pool or sand, endless BBQs/good eats with family and friends, and, of course, my favorite colorful dresses, swimsuits, and resort-wear on repeat.

This year, I'm especially excited -- nearly giddy -- as I prepare and pack for our first family getaway that's approaching in just a few short weeks (eek!) You have to understand, the last time I flew anywhere for an extended vacation was with my husband nearly 7 year ago, well before we had kids and when we had more disposable income for leisurely travel. ;-) So, for our 12-year wedding anniversary this month, my husband and I decided we would venture to a gorgeous, tropical location with the kids and enjoy a combination of fun, family-friendly activities, plus get a nice respite from the everyday hustle n' bustle.

So, where are we headed? CancĂșn!! I can hardly wait! I've been to other parts of Mexico over the years, but never to the northeastern side of the Yucatan Pensinsula in the heart of the beautiful Mexican Caribbean.  The pristine, crystal, and WARM aqua-blue water and white, powdery beaches alone were enough to persuade me to make this our vacation destination. We have some beautiful beaches here in SoCal, but the water is typically "I dare you to get in" cold (even with a wet suit if you surf) and so just the very thought of swimming in a warm beach has me doing a happy dance in my chair as I type this post. (lol) 

I'm still in the process of getting my packing under control, aka narrowing down my picks after outfit planning (I'm trying to break the habit of over-packing), but I wanted to share some of my top Spring Break picks with you, along with some new pieces I've already ordered, so that if you're also planning any upcoming vacations, trips or even some fun "stay-cations," you'll have a few ideas of what to bring along. 

For starters, most of the items shown in the collage above, or close variations if the items are older, are coming along with me because I'm loving them! You'll quickly notice a theme of fun, vibrant colors juxtaposed with light and airy neutrals and crisp whites. That's because these pieces all scream "vacation" to me, and can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits without too much thought. And when you're on vacation, you want to keep it simple. So, I'm breaking up my picks by category.

Swimsuits
You can't have Spring Break without at least one amazing swimsuit! Everyone needs a cute swimsuit that makes them feel and look great! My current favorite is this pretty "limoncello" print one-piece (#11 in the photo) that I gushed over in this previous blog post. I took a chance ordering it online without trying it on, so I was a bit apprehensive about the fit. But I'm happy to report that it fits perfectly! Most swimsuits tend to run on the small side, so the size 4 I ordered, which is the smallest size available for this brand, fits like a true XS. It's fun, flirty, and still provides modest coverage. This is a great swimsuit if you're petite like me because the torso isn't too long. I also like that it's a convertible style, so you can either wear it with the halter strap or wear it strapless to avoid those pesky tan lines. I adore the fresh, colorful print and think it's perfect for Spring! 

More Swimsuits I'm Loving:




Swimsuit Cover-ups
I had a hard time choosing a swimsuit cover-up; there are so many darling ones available right now! I didn't want to spend too much money on one, so I perused several options online and thanks to fellow blogger, Courtnee, I snagged this one that doubles as a sundress. It has a detachable lining, so you can remove it and wear the shell as a cover-up and then re-add it when you want to wear it as a dress. Yay for versatility! And it's a total steal for $30! Since a 20% off promo was running at the time I ordered it, I ended up scoring it for even less -- $24 plus free shipping! You can't beat that! It's really adorable and will easily transition from a day at the beach/pool to dinner.

More Swimsuit Cover-ups I'm Loving:



 Beach Totes
A fun and functional beach tote is also a must for any vacation. With a wide array of fun straw and other woven varieties, I opted for both a neutral one as well as a colorful one. I ordered this neutral market bag, which is a slightly dressier tote that will work well for the beach as well as for weekend errands, lunch dates, or other everyday Spring/Summer outings post-vacation. The colorful tote I ordered is this yellow-striped one with pom poms (#7 in the photo) -- so cute! It's a great, affordable dupe to the ever-popular (and pricey) Mar y sol bags, and it's less than $50! It comes in a pink-striped option and a navy-striped option, too. I love all 3 colors, but ultimately decided on the yellow. I can't speak to the quality of either bags yet since they haven't arrived in the mail, but I'm hoping both are keepers! The rainbow-striped tote (#8 in the photo) was a close contender, too; the colors and pom poms are so fun! And, even though it's less practical (and not even a tote for that matter) and definitely on the pricey side, this pink-striped pineapple clutch stole my heart! Isn't it charming?

More Beach Totes I'm Loving:



Sandals/Wedges
Since sandals, especially wedges, are the unofficial mascots of Spring and Summer, they're another vacation must-have. 
A classic, cognac wedge like this one will pair perfectly with everything from a sundress, swimsuit cover-up, to cut-off shorts and jeans. You really can't go wrong with this style. I always make sure to choose a pair that are durable and comfy, especially if I plan on doing a lot of walking.  Since I already own a few older pairs that still look and feel great, I plan to pack one pair to serve as a versatile neutral. But I also wanted something with a little more pizazz; it is Spring Break after all, so I ordered this pair of pretty pink sandals (#2 in the photo.) I love their punchy color and fringe trim! I ordered the size 6, which is the smallest available online, and I'm hoping they fit. I'm usually a 5.5 for most brands, so we'll see...

It may be overkill, but I'm also debating on packing my Soludos espadrilles since they're another great warm-weather staple and the classic stripes pair well with almost everything. (FYI, I sized down to a 5 in these ones since they run a little large.)

More Sandals/Wedges I'm Loving:



Sundresses/Resort-wear
This is where I tend to go overboard and pack too much. For this trip, I've decided on the following so far:

- 3 sundresses: 
1) a blue-and-white-striped dress with shoulder-tie straps (#1 above) *Note: LOVE this dress but it runs really wide; my tailor is actually in the process of taking the waist in 9.5 inches on size XXS -- crazy! He's also tapering the skirt portion to remove the excess fabric. It looked frump-tastic on me when it first arrived (lol.) I decided this dress was worth the extra tailoring expense since it will see tons of wear year-round with the warm and arid temps here in SoCal
2) a white eyelet sundress (exact here, but sold out online; loving this one, too)
3) an embroidered sundress (#9 in the photo)

 - 2 skirts:
1) a white crochet lace maxi (similar to #6 in the photo)
2) a navy-striped flare skirt

 - 2 pairs of jeans:
1) blue distressed skinny ankle jeans (similar here)
2) white non-distressed skinny ankle jeans (exact here - size 0P)

 - 5 tops:
1) a palm-print crop top (exact here, but sold out online; #4 in the photo is similar and so cute)
2) a mustard-striped boatneck top (#5 in the photo)
3) a floral top with shoulder cut-outs (shared on my Insta-stories on Instagram; similar here)
4) a coral lace cotton top (similar here)
5) a white lace tee (similar here)

 I may pack 1 - 2 basic, lightweight camis or tanks for layering as well; they're good foundation pieces and don't take up much space.

More Sundresses/Resort-wear I'm loving:



Jewelry/Accessories
In keeping with the same "beach vacay" theme, I'm choosing pieces that are both fun and colorful, intermixed with a few dainty, gold layering pieces. This aqua seaglass necklace (#3 in the photo) by Sugarfix (Sugarfix is Baublebar's design collaboration with Target stores) is definitely coming along with me. Isn't the color beautiful? It's the perfect color match for the aqua-blue waters I'm so eagerly awaiting. Plus, it's only $16 -- a fraction of the price of the original Baublebar seaglass necklace ($68!) The Sugarfix option also appears to be smaller and less chunky, which I actually prefer since the original looks like it might be too overwhelming on me. 

I'm also bringing these aqua tassel earrings and these orchid tassel earrings (#s 10 & 11 in the photo.)  Since my day-to-day jewelry is usually more classic, it's nice to change it up a little for Spring Break, and these bright and colorful pieces are a great way to do just that. They'll also really pop against the white eyelet dress and white lace top I'm bringing, too, which is one of the ways I plan on styling them.

The dainty pieces I'm bringing include my favorite Kendra Scott Elisa Necklace in the ivory/mother-of-pearl color, a pair of gold stud earrings, and the gold bangles gifted to me by my in-laws that I pretty much wear daily. This layered necklace is catching my eye, too!

No Spring Break would be complete without a cute sun hat or two, especially with the hot sun beating down on you! I have an older, girls'-sized straw floppy hat from Old Navy that I plan to bring (the girls' size fits my small head!) as well as an older straw Panama hat with a taupe bow from Saks Off 5th. When packing them, I just roll up my bathing suit or a few other items of clothing, then stuff them inside the hats so they keep their shape. My mom taught me this trick years ago and it works like a charm. Just don't pack anything heavy on top or they'll quickly resemble a misshapen pancake. ;-)

To round out the accessories, I will also bring a lightweight scarf or two; they come in handy on the plane when it gets chilly and they can also do double-duty as a wrap or cover-up on the beach.

Since the resort will be providing towel service (no laundry for this momma -- yesss!), I really don't need to pack any towels, but I decided to bring this circle one just for good measure. I'm also eyeing this one and this one for Summer -- palm prints and stripes? Yes, please!

More Jewelry/Accessories I'm loving:



Phew, I think that's everything for now! 
I may make a few tweaks along the way, but this is my "outline" that I'm really trying to stick to.

I can't wait until we're on the plane and in the clouds heading to our tropical oasis. This will be the kids' first time on an airplane, too, so they're super excited and keep asking me, "are we going on the air-pwane yet, Momma?" 20 times a day. (lol) Hopefully, everything will go smoothly and they'll love the adventure of it all!

I hope you find these Spring Break picks helpful and I hope that you get to enjoy some sunny, gorgeous weather of your own soon! 
If any of you have already traveled to CancĂșn and have any recommendations on what to do/see, I'd love to hear them! We're already trying to plan a trip to this cenote as well as the Xplore Park (we've always wanted to try zip-lining!) We'll probably make some stops along the way to Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, too. A visit to the amazing Mayan Ruins, including the popular Chichen Itza, is also on the agenda. Eeek! Did I tell you I'm excited? 

Happy Friday, loves, and thanks so much for stopping by!
XO

3/12/17

Spring Style: Flirty Florals & Ruffles



Even though Spring hasn't officially arrived, the recent weather in L.A. is saying otherwise -- it's been positively gorgeous! Sunny skies, toasty temps reaching upwards of the mid-80s, and the most fragrant flowers blooming everywhere. I've been soaking it all up! It's amazing how these seemingly small things instantly lift your mood and make you want to leap out of bed in the morning and tackle the day ahead.

With the warmer weather, you'll almost always find me in all the sundresses I can get my little hands on. Add a darling floral print, and I'm one happy girl. So how could I possibly turn away from this flirty, ruffled, off-the-shoulder dress in the most colorful garden-floral print? And for only $38? Impossible. I knew it was coming home to me stat.

Isn't it just the CUTEST?
 I don't wear too many ruffled off-the-shoulder styles, even though it's one of the hottest trends right now; I never know if they'll wind up looking too busy or overwhelming on my petite frame. Thankfully, I scored with this dress because not only is it super flattering (hello, curves!) but the ruffles are just the right size, adding a playful and feminine detail without being too fussy or looking overly dramatic. When it first arrived in the mail and I was trying it on, my husband caught a quick glimpse of it and actually let out an audible gasp, and said, "Honey!! You look gorgeous!" Yep, I totally melted and knew the dress was a keeper. I mean, anytime you get a reaction like that, you know you got it right!

Not only is this floral number the perfect date-night dress, but it would also be a darling dress for bridal showers, weddings, Sunday brunch/tea, lunch with the girls, vacation, and so much more.


Forever 21 is always a love-hate relationship for me. 
On one hand, I love that I can find some really great, hidden gems that are super affordable and very on-trend like this one; on the other hand, I rarely have the patience to actually cull through the endless items online or in-store to find the few pieces I want to buy. And even then, I run the risk of buying something with sub-par quality (you know the ones: you wash them only a handful of times and they just fall apart.) Over the years, though, I have actually found some really amazing pieces that have been of decent quality and that have withstood the test of time and multiple washings. The trick is to carefully inspect them, paying attention to the material, care instructions, and any fit suggestions or reviews online. Forever 21 clothing tends to run on the small side, too, which can work well for us petite gals. I took a size Small in this dress, and while it's meant to be more fitted, I can still easily move around in it without waddling and looking ridiculous. (lol) It's stretchy and comfortable and another bonus: it's fully-lined. I'm really pleased with it and think it will hold up well!

Of course, as soon as I prepare to blog about it and share it with you all, several sizes sell out online. (First-world blogger problems...ha!) As of right now, it looks as though only the size Large is in stock online, but it never hurts to keep checking back for any re-stocks. This dress comes in a pretty blue colorway, too. It has the same floral pattern but it's set against an azure-blue background instead of the white I'm wearing here. Both colors are beautiful, but if you prefer the look of the white one, I found several similar dresses that I'm really loving here:

Garden Floral Dresses 



The good news is that, with Spring just around the corner, there are so many pretty floral dresses to choose from! I'm having a hard time exercising restraint and not buying several more of them! Must...pace...myself. (lol) If your style is on the more feminine side of the spectrum like mine, I'm sure you can relate.

These dresses don't need much in the way of accessories either; just add a dainty necklace, a neutral clutch or crossbody, and a pair of strappy sandals/heels, and you're set! Simple and pretty.



Forever 21 Satin Floral-Print Dress (S) // 
Nordstrom Rack Woven Clutch/Crossbody //
Ann Taylor Tie-Front Heels - current season here, here //
Ann Taylor Crystal Disc Earrings - old (similar here) //
Gold Choker - gifted (similar here)

Thanks so much for popping by, and I hope you have a lovely Sunday! 
XO

P.S. Don't forget to "Spring forward" and set your clocks one hour ahead this morning if you haven't already. (I'm not thrilled about losing an hour of precious sleep, but at least the gorgeous weather makes up for it!)

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