2016: A Few of My Favorites

My favorite thing about blogging is having a (very casual) body of work to look back on. Every once in a while, I find myself digging through my archives and watching myself grow physically, mentally, spiritually, and, of course, as a sartorial enthusiast. I've been doing this blog for almost five years. Five formative years. Over the course of this blog thus far, I've traveled to six different countries, moved, grown out my bangs, went through a horrible breakup, moved again, landed my dream job, quit my dream job when I realized it wasn't for me, been diagnosed with a mental illness, put almost 100,000 miles on my poor Mercury Mariner, gotten married to my best friend, adopted the most adorable and lovable boxer/hound mix, gone sober, helped start a tech company, moved again, and started writing a book. I've typed up thoughts and musings in both laughter and tears. (Emphasis on tears.) But we'll save the sappiness for my official blogiversary in March.

For now, I wanted to share some of my favorite looks from 2016. Though it's been difficult to scrap together any sort "goodness" from this past year, I must say that the hardships have forced me to take stock of who I am. That theme of getting to know myself definitively has absolutely shown through my clothing choices, specifically in the latter half of the year.

Sheer for NYE

Another year has come and gone and I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's bittersweet, really. It's been a rough (almost) 365 days but at the same time, who wants to get older? (Guess it's better than the alternative though.) I'm not usually one for celebrating January 1st but I do love dressing up-- any excuse is a good one. I know New Year's Eve is full of sequin shift dresses but I don't do sequins so I went with sheer. Good move?

Black is the Warmest Color

I tried to write this post without mentioning the weather but I just can't because it is so damn cold. It's not that I don't love it, it's just not an easy transition to make when it comes to dressing up. My go-to in every other season is "all black everything" so what makes winter any different? (Though I'm aware it isn't technically winter just yet.)

My New Favorite Embroidered Denim

Remember how I was telling you about my love for choker tops the other day? I got a white one, despite the fact that I tend to not wear a lot of white. And you know how I rarely wear actual jeans? I got a pair of embroidered denim that I just might be in love with.

Words from Others

I know there's still time left for 2016 to redeem itself but I doubt a few short weeks of goodness could reconcile the last eleven and a half months of abject torment so I'm just going to say it: this year has been the absolute worst for the best of us and I cannot wait to see it go. I've been on the receiving end of some pretty devious scheming and I've done some things I'm not proud of. I've been a victim of mean girls and I've been a mean girl myself. These last few months especially have been a period of mourning and rebirth. 

I'm not completely happy with myself. I'm definitely a work in progress and am still making mistakes every day. However, I'm not going to go on and on about it as I'm wont to do. I've been surrounding myself with quotes that challenge me to be the person I'm working towards becoming. Knowing I surely can't be alone in this journey, I decided to take a break from the usual things I write about to share some with you. (For positivity's sake.)

Choker Sweater

I'm kind of excited that choker tops are a thing. I love a good v-neck but I also love a high neckline. Until now, they were just too different to coexist and now that they're here, I hope this trend sticks around for a long time. I haven't seen an unflattering one yet-- on any body type. If you haven't tried 'em out yet, I implore you to do so. If you haven't the slightest idea on how to style it, look no further.

Friday Night Coffee Date

I don't like going out too much. I don't drink, bars are too loud, I never think ahead far enough to set reservations at a restaurant and I'm not patient enough to wait around. Friday nights are usually my time to curl up on the couch with some Chinese takeaway and some sort of (often corny) movie. This past Friday though, Brenden was home so we did something a little differently. We decided to take a little walk around town, get some coffee, and watch the ducks on the river. 

Christmas Sweater

We've all got that favorite Christmas sweater. You know-- the one that looks great with jeans and ankle boots. How about a dressier occasion? I'm thinking Christmas-sweater-and-metallic-skirt might be my new favorite combination.

All About Those Sparkles

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During last night's PHLbloggers chat, I mentioned how much I love my sparkly shoes, especially around the holidays. Think about it: you can wear anything-- even all black-- top it off with some glitter on your feet, and you're Christmas-party-ready. It's a simple way to elevate an outfit from "just alright" to unforgettable. Since so many of those lovely ladies needed some recommendations, I figured I'd scour the web for some of the best. Here are a few of my favorites.

Kitty Cats and Sparkly Slingbacks

Whoa. What a rough week it's been. I holed up in my bedroom-- covered in multiple blankets, with a grilled cheese, cuddling with my dog, crying, and watching Love Actually-- not just once but TWICE this week. It was a "bad news, dreams crushed, weird confrontation, more bad news, good news but I don't have enough money to make the good news actually happen so it turned into rather disappointing bad news again, another weird confrontation, wake up in the middle of the night with a panic attack, wake up to more bad news" (in that order) kinda week. Oh, not to mention some "lady issues." Needless to say, I'm very glad that it's Friday.

Bell Sleeves

Every once in a while, I'll find an article of clothing I'm instantly drawn to. I had all but given up my efforts to find a blouse with over-the-top yet still classy statement sleeves. I didn't want to settle. If it didn't make my heart sing, it wasn't the right one. And then I saw it. In all it's glory. Like a beacon of hope coming from a targeted at on the side of my browser screen.

Ah, Yes. The Holidays Are Upon Us Once More.

This time of year always gets a bit wild so if you're anything like me, planning outfits ahead of time is a luxury you simply cannot afford. It's just so time-consuming and I'll always forget to pick out clothes until the last possible minute-- like the night before big holiday get-together. Dressing up can be fun but when there's a million other things to do, it's likely the last thing on your mind. Fear not though. I went through and picked three of my favorite "holiday" looks so you can have some fresh inspiration. (And by "you guys," I also mean myself!)

Mean Girls

I'll never forget the first time I was bullied. I had always been a bit of a loner. I wasn't interested in whatever the other girls were into so I hung out with the boys. We would play street hockey, jump on the trampoline, and skateboard around the cul-de-sac for hours. I had even started a zine with one of my guy friends. It was a pretty sweet setup I had for a while, until we all got to the age at which girls and boys start becoming "interested" in each other. Swiftly, my sweet little world fell apart. 

I was sitting in the hallway with one of my buds when a girl, who probably had some sort of crush on him, spilled a water bottle on my crotch area and told everybody I peed my pants. I was in fifth grade.  Looking back, it's kind of hilarious, but in the moment, it was horrifying. I was somewhat friendly with this girl and felt betrayed. I was shocked, heartbroken, and confused. I was inconsolable for the better part of the afternoon and can remember hiding out in the library with my lucky rabbit's foot and a copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends. That was the day I asked my parents to homeschool me for the first time. I got through it by telling myself that the feeling wouldn't be forever. That I couldn't wait to get older so I wouldn't have to feel this way anymore. Fast forward about fifteen years. Not much as changed.

Always Wear A Baseball Cap

I had quite the weekend, friends. I attended my first hackathon, which was a whirlwind experience. A friend who knew I went to design school (and maybe didn't know that I dropped out?) asked if I could do UI/UX for the weekend. I'm not sure sure why I agreed because I knew absoultely nothing about either of those things. Probably had something to do with the fact that there was money involved? Nonetheless, I downloaded a free trial of a program I'd never used before and set out to do the (seemingly) impossible. I haven't challenged myself in a very long time so overcoming those obstacles was enough in it's own way. Though we didn't win, a lot of experienced designers and developers complimented my work so I'd say the weekend wasn't a total loss.

Herringbone and a Dark Lip

In a perfect world, every plan we make flawlessly works out. It sounds easy enough in theory. In practice? No dice. You may have seen that my anniversary was this past weekend. Joyous occasion, without a doubt. I found the most perfect vegan restaurant in New Hope, went shopping for a classy yet still kinda sexy outfit, and spent hours on my hair and makeup. I had it all under control. Until we got to the restaurant and I realized that I had forgotten to make a reservation. Should have known that the coolest eatery in town wouldn't have a table available on a crisp autumn evening. Lesson learned: always call ahead.

Our Icelandic Elopement: It's Been An Entire Year

It's been a year since B and I stood on Vík's beautiful black beaches and said "I do," and whew, what a year it has been. So maybe it wasn't the easiest first year of marriage but I still wouldn't trade it for anything. 

If there's anything we've learned in this last year, it's that every facet of life is truly, tragically, and beautifully ephemeral. Pretty much everything has changed so it's good to have photographs to vividly recall moments like these that would otherwise become faded over time. Since I love them so much, I gotta dust off our wedding photos and share them once more. 

Photos by Violet Short.

All About Embroidery

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Patches and embroidery are back and they're kinda wonderful. They just add that extra little je ne sais quois, create an eye-catching centerpiece, or make a bold statement. I tend to stick to more neutral and unembellished items of clothing but I want to try adding some pieces of flair to my outfits, if only just once. I put together some of my favorite embroidered and patched-up pieces and I must admit that I'm swooning pretty hard.

Daily Skincare with Kneipp

Thanks Kneipp for sponsoring this post! 
Ever since I turned 25, my skin has been a bit... different. Just like clockwork it went from "pretty good" to "what the heck is happening?" I've been looking for a new routine so I was absolutely thrilled when Kneipp (pronounced ken-IPE) invited me to their new store in King of Prussia-- the first in the US-- to try out some products. When I heard that everything in the store was made of plant-based ingredients, I was sold.

Put A Bow On It

Sometimes you open your closet and realize that there are just some pieces you like more than the others. (Favorites, if you will.) I don't know why I'd never thought to wear all of my favorite items of clothing at once but I did yesterday and was not disappointed. Pretty great all-star lineup, no?

On Anger, Hurt, and Vulnerability

They say it's an inevitability: that life goes fast and nothing will stay the same for long. That doesn't make change any easier, especially when everything changes at once. Especially when it happens over the course of a week. The home you knew for years becomes a distant memory. A best friend becomes an enemy. Your name and your reputation are slandered and you begin looking for a new city in which to live. A chance to start over. A chance to be free of those who will hurt you. Last year, 2015, was the year of getting to know myself. I went through some dark periods but they made me stronger. This year, 2016, will be known to me as the year I had to come to terms with my illness. The year that almost broke me. 


I should add some more color to my wardrobe, no? Probably but how could I when black and white look so good with everything? Now that this glorious autumn weather seems like it's here to stay, I've pulled my thigh-high boots and oversized sweaters out of storage. 

My Very Best Ivy League

Ah, the most perfect Autumn day in Princeton. This quaint New Jersey town is so perfect in the fall. Lively streets, cozy coffee shops, and close to so many apple orchards and pumpkin patches. What else could you want? We took Charlie Kelly for a little walk and decided that the two of us looked too good to not snap a few pics. (Especially since the last time Charlie posed with me was over a year ago!)

Autumn Tones

Every season, I share some pieces that are really inspiring me to put together some great outfits. Fall is my favorite, of course. Not just because I get to layer to my heart's content but also because the autumnal color palette is the best color palette. I love the rich jewel tones on top of-- you guessed it-- lots of black. 

Brooklyn Baby

When life gets hard, sometimes you need to kidnap your best friend and bring her to Brooklyn for a day of vegan donuts, people-watching, and other various Instagram-worthy moments. Okay so maybe that's not exactly how it happened but we found ourselves in New York and decided to make lemonade out of the lemons life (so unfairly) handed to me. And what do you do in Brooklyn? You put on a felt hat and do your best to stand out while also blending in.

Muse: Jane Birkin

By now, you know that I'm very inspired by free-spirited European ladies who traipsed around France creating beautiful works of art in the 60's and 70's. (If you're a new reader, check out my posts about Anna Karina and Françoise Hardy.) Having said that, Jane Birkin is an obvious addition to my list of muses.


Every time I put on this little jumper, I can't help but think to myself, I wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend. Who doesn't love that song? Even my husband-- who hates pretty much everything-- loves it. If I could start by day with a little bit of Third Eye Blind, I think I would be alright.

Bring on the Halloween Decorations

I know it's still September and the first actual day of Autumn was only yesterday but I'm SO ready for bonfires, apple cider, and Salted Caramel Mochas-- which is the superior Autumnal beverage. (If any of you want to buy me one, I get it with soy, no whip, no caramel drizzle.) I know it's not full-on "sweater weather" yet but this time of year is perfect for a light knit-- which is why I chose this darling rust-colored top.

Negativity, Toxicity, And Other Things You Just Don't Need

A lot of you have asked for more "personal" posts, so you're getting them! Since I'm turning 25 next week, I've spent the past month or so taking stock and thinking about all of the things I want (nay, NEED) to change in this next year. Identifying toxic people and cutting them out of my life was at the top of that list.

I don't know if it's because of my mental illness or just the fact that I'm naturally vulnerable and a little insecure but I've always been flypaper for generally manipulative people. Of course, I've never thought that on my own-- it's something my mom always has to remind me. I will admit though, I have quite a penchant for unhealthy relationships and tend to not notice their malignancy until it's too late. Because of the nature of that all, I've never had a real amicable parting of ways. Friendships often end in a brilliant display of poorly chosen words. Now that I'm older and a little more self-aware, I've been studying the people around me and wondering to myself, does this person build me up? That simple question has revealed some pretty shocking truths. Letting go of somebody you've come to know and love is a painful thing to do, no matter how toxic the relationship may be. If you suspect something in a friendship or romantic relationship may be slightly off, here are some important questions to ask.

Beauty for Fall

I know we're still about a week away from actually fall but that doesn't mean we can't start getting our autumn faces ready. For me, this season is all about rich color and layering textures. I barely fuss with my makeup in the summer because I know I'm going to sweat it all off anyway but come September, I go all in. Here are some of my favorites!

Tomboy Vibes

Remember a few months ago when I told you all about my love for the beautiful Françoise Hardy? I decided to put some of my own fashion advice to practice and tried her classic tomboy style. Of course, nobody will ever do it as well as Françoise, but at least it was a semi-successful try.

My Very Best Festival Look

I loved the outfit that I wore for day one of Made in America SO much but for day two, I wanted to go all-out festival. You know, gold chains, bralette, and some breezy trousers. I might never be able to wear something like this again so I had a lot of fun with this look. I even dared to wear a stacked heel. I think it was a pretty good decision.

PLAYLIST: Beautiful As Days Can Be

For the past few years, I've shared an autumn playlist on the blog. (Here's last year's if you're curious.) I'm completely aware that it's not fall just yet but I figured that I might as well get you in the spirit since, before you know it, we'll all be in a pumpkin patch, sipping Salted Caramel Mochas. (The far superior autumnal beverage.) 

90's for a Festival

In case you didn't see on Instagram and Snapchat, Budweiser invited B and I to Made in America over the weekend. To say that it was just "fun" would be an understatement. I kind of felt like the entire second day of the festival was curated just for me, with bands that would NEVER be playing anywhere near each other in any other situation. Over the course of the afternoon, we saw Touche Amore, FKA twigs, Desiigner, AND Coldplay. And that was just one day! Figuring out which bands I wanted to see was the easy part-- finding an outfit was a completely different story. I took advantage of the fact that the festival lasted the entire weekend and went for two completely different looks. This first look is vintage, head to toe. I raided my long-forsaken closet at my mom and dad's place to find the perfect 90's dress and some boho accessories. How do you think I did?

Muse: Anna Karina

If you're anything like me, you may have been feeling a little low on inspiration lately. With the changing of the seasons coming up, I think it's time that I share another one of my muses-- and of course-- she's a classy French (slash Danish) lady. In case you don't know, Anna Karina is an actress, director, and screenwriter who was a pioneer of the French New Wave. (Definitely worth reading about!) When she was 17, she hitchhiked to Paris from Denmark without speaking a lick of French. She lived on the streets until a woman from an advertising agency saw her sitting at the café Les Deux Magots. (Maybe this is why I go to coffee shops so often?) She had the look so she quickly made a name for herself as a model. That's when none other than Coco Chanel herself gave Karina, then known as Hanne Karin Blarke Bayer, the name by which we all know her now.

Gingham Maxi Dress

Thanks eShakti for sponsoring this post!

I don't normally traipse around Philadelphia like I just popped out of Little House on the Prairie but since it's the end of summer, I decided that I should probably depart from my norm and try something new. After all, it'll be winter before you know it and all of these pretty dresses are going to be hopelessly hung in the back of the closet, patiently waiting for Spring. While I'll always be a big fan of the black band tee + jeans look, sometimes you have to go full-on "Paris in the Summer." This faux wrap dress got the job done.

Wear What You Want

Thanks SheIn for sponsoring this post.

WOW. Is it really almost September? I have one thing to say about that: good riddance, summer. This one's been unbelievably tough and I'm ready for the brisk autumn air to bring some healthy changes. (One of which being a more regimented blog schedule. Yes, more than once a week!) One thing that can stay though? Off-shoulder tops. I've gotta figure out how to make 'em last all the way to Christmas. This one gifted to me from SheIn is definitely a favorite and since it's nice and neutral, I think I'll be wearing it well after the boys of summer are gone.

Blue Dress for a Blue Girl

Are you familiar with the song "Feeling Good?" Surely everybody has heard it, no? There are countless renditions but nobody-- even the ultimate cool Canadian dad (Mr. Bublé)-- nailed it like Nina Simone. Even through the triumphant tone of the music, her vocals are jarring. This woman has been through some turmoil and it's clear. She's out of the woods but she's shaken. It's in this that I find solace. Just because you're broken doesn't mean you can't make something hauntingly beautiful. On the contrary: sometimes it's just a necessity.

This is What it's Like

If you're looking for some light-hearted banter, you might want to stop reading because I'm about to get painfully honest about my mental state. I haven't shared personal thoughts on here in quite some time. It's not that I haven't wanted to, I just haven't really had too much time to be alone with my thoughts. Well, that's not completely true. I've had plenty of time but I've avoided tapping into the inner workings of my mind quite purposefully. In my life, I've been sad. I've been depressed. I've been despondent. That's absolutely nothing compared to the thick fog I've been fighting my way out of for months. Nothing has compelled me to share because nothing has compelled to feel. I think it's some kind of coping mechanism, or a plan of self-preservation devised by my mentally ill mind. I'm ready to open up though, but admittedly, it's a little on the hopeless side.

Floral Dress with a White Tee

I'm just going to go ahead and thank Lizzie McGuire for this outfit inspiration. Who remembers that show? Her style was always *100 emoji.*


There's a pencil skirt out there for everybody willing to squeeze into one and because of their incredible versatility, they're quickly becoming a personal favorite. I was a little nervous when I ordered this one online because anything without a little bit of stretch is potentially tragic. (I got a pretty big booty.) Lucky for me, it arrived and was absolute perfection. I couldn't wait to show it off to you guys!

Old City Staycation (With The Ladies.)

Thanks Kimpton for sponsoring this post!

When "they" tell you that your first year of marriage is going to be a doozy, "they're" not kidding. (You know, the proverbial THEY.) Mine has certainly been no exception. Pretty much as soon as we got back from our honeymoon, it's been nonstop craziness. I left my job, he started a new job, I joined a tech startup, we're doing all sorts of odd-jobs so we don't have to live in a box on the street; it's wild. In midst of all that, how am I supposed to have any girl time? Girl time is important, especially for creatively-minded ladies, which is why I HAD to get some blog girls together for a little staycation in Old City. The folks at the Hotel Monaco were THRILLED to have us and we were just as excited to get to stay in such a beautiful place. I needed it. Long live girl time.

Denim Midi Skirt

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I love an article of clothing that can transport me back to the good ole homeschooling days and this skirt really gets the job done. It's like something I could have worn to youth group with a little update: I traded in my corny graphic tee for a chic little crop top. Simple but effective.

Electric Street, Gingham Dress

Long time no see! Sorry I haven't posted in a bit, I've been pretty busy and let's face it: who actually looks good enough to have her picture taken in this summer heat? Not I. I do have to show off this little gingham number I picked up while looking for some new work clothes on ASOS. 

Black, White, & Sandy All Over

I probably wear this jumpsuit at least once a week. At least. It's just so versatile and flattering, how could I not? Last night I was feeling a little sad so we picked up and took a trip down the shore for some frolicking in the sand and Bashful Banana whips. (One of my most favorite things in the entire world.) 

Wood & Tassels

Thank you Jonesy Wood for sponsoring this post!

This may not be my cutest outfit but I gotta say, it's one of my favorites. I mean, I'm wearing (almost) PJ pants and a tee-- for fashion! How did I pull this off, you may ask? It's all in the accessories, especially this Jonesy Wood necklace.

Bedroom Tour

I know, I know, I've been talking about doing a post like this for quite some time. I just don't have the right lens for taking indoor photos, there's usually a small pile of clothes on the floor, and when I have free time, I don't usually think to take photos of my space. Yesterday, however, my room had to be photo-ready for a project a friend of mine was working on so I got to snap a few detail shots of my decor. It's nothing special but I think my room is pretty cozy so I decided to share. So without further ado, let me show you where the magic happens.


Ever since I first laid eyes on the first Naveda collection, I was in love. So of course when Amy (the designer!) asked me to style some pieces, I was beyond excited. We picked some of her favorites from her ready-to-wear collection and I added my own flair.

Pier 68

Since I pretty much hate summer (when I'm not on a beach somewhere with an ice cold La Croix in my hand) I've just been doing my best to avoid overheating. This means I'm wearing a lot of breezy linen and rockin' those off-the-shoulder tops. (So glad they're in right now.) Since I had some errands to run in South Philly, Danielle and I decided to pop over to Pier 68 and take some photos for the blog. It's such a lovely space tucked away in the unlikeliest of places. (The South Philly Walmart parking lot.)

Florals, again.

Thanks Tobi for sponsoring this post!

There's nothing I love quite as much as a great sundress on a hot Philly day. We've had a whole slew of 'em and while I'm not so much a fan of the heat, I'll take any excuse to gallivant in a beautiful, breezy dress. This one from Tobi is definitely a new favorite. 

Black & White

Today I'm teaming up with Tobi to show off this cute little romper. When they said that they wanted to showcase some rompers, I felt myself recoil a bit because, well, rompers and I don't always get along. I'm not the biggest fan of my legs and to be perfectly honest, my torso is a bit too long for them so I get... "crotch problems." (You know how it is.) But, since this is the summer of "WHATEVER!," I decided to give them a chance. So I don't look like a supermodel. Whatever. It's cute and breezy and everything I could possibly want in this Philadelphia heat.