merry. merry.

Wishing everyone a merry, merry holiday season filled with much peace + happiness.

xo,
A
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industry. standard.


As far as wardrobe staples go, finding the perfect pair of jeans comes second to none.  In fact, I would go as far as saying that it’s non-negotiable.  Because really, why should you have to settle for a pair that is anything less than stellar?  Exactly, you shouldn’t!

Now that we’ve got that straight, allow me to introduce you to the latest luxury denim brand on the market, Industry Standard.  Made in LA and based in New York, Industry Standard has honed in on the craft of making a great pair of jeans with the budget-conscious fashionista in mind.  In comparison to jeans retailing at $200+, Industry Standard jeans are practically a steal at just $95 or $105 per pair.    

Nicole Najafi, founder of Industry Standard, was tired of not being able to find high-quality denim for a reasonable price, so she formed her own brand.  With a background in fashion (she previously worked at Balenciaga, Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent), Najafi brings considerable experience to the table.  After all, it takes someone who wholeheartedly loves denim (and fashion) to know what it takes to craft the perfect pair.

To maintain low production costs and manufacture denim of the utmost quality, the Industry Standard way is to partner with one of the best denim factories in LA.and keep production local.  Skipping the middle man means that the focus is spent entirely on supporting American manufacturing and providing close inspection and care for each pair that is produced.  In the end, everyone wins!  

Perusing Industry Standard’s aesthetically stunning website, it’s clear that Najafi is setting the “industry standard” for the denim of tomorrow (or rather today!).  With a careful attention to detail and craftsmanship, each pair guarantees that you’re getting the best (and most comfortable) fit possible.

Currently, Industry Standard offers five styles. In addition to The Margot and The Simone, The Odette, "a crisp white jean for year-round wear," is a game-changer. Winter whites, anyone?! Whether you fall for The Margo Midrise’s signature indigo denim with gold stitching or The Simone Midrise that notably comes in a “brilliant blue hue that has been mixed to perfection” you’re bound to be in good company.  

If the jean fits, wear it.  Even better, pair it with a t-shirt or ever-so-slightly tuck in a chambray shirt. For denim connoisseurs alike, Industry Standard won’t disappoint.  Try on a pair today and show your love for them on Facebook and Instagram!

Will you be going the Industry Standard route?  Already a fan of I.S. denim?  Leave a comment below!

xo,
A
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marsala. // pantone. 18-1438.


Pantone just announced their color of the year for 2015 and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. Meet Marsala, a hue that many are calling a deep, deep red.  Now I'm not going to lie, these past few years I've been pleasantly happy with Pantone's color selections. Tangerine Tango, Emerald and Radiant Orchid (!!!) have all been good in my book.  Truth be told, though, I'm a major fan of color, so perhaps that's why I haven't warmed up to the ever-so-neutral Marsala yet.  YET.  Who knows, maybe by the time 2015 rolls around, I'll have a change of heart.  We shall see. 

What are your thoughts on Marsala?  Sound off below! 

xo,
A
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kate. spade. // the. waiting. game.

H-a-p-p-y Thanksgiving!  Thanks to the month of November for being insanely busy (particularly last week), it's been quite a while since I actually sat down to write a blog post. It's been so nice having this entire week off to be productive relax and catch up with odds and ends.  I'm hoping  fingers crossed  that December will prove to be a more productive blogging month.  We shall see...  

Besides checking in to wish everyone a happy Turkey Day, I also wanted to share Kate Spade's promotional holiday video.  If you haven't seen it yet, then you're in for a special treat. KSNY enlisted actress Anna Kendrick to star in it and... yeah, it's pretty perfect. Check out "The Waiting Game" below:


'Tis the season... #missadventure

xo,
A
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sara m. lyons + the. raddest. nail. decals. ever.

Welp  the cat’s out of the bag now! If Sara M. Lyons' cool girl (!!!) nail decals aren’t on your radar yet, then just you wait, they will be soon enough. For the pop culture obsessed, her latest set of anything-but-ordinary nail decals (available exclusively online at Emerging Thoughts) are easily the raddest thing ever.

As an artist, illustrator and nail decal designer extraordinaire, Sara’s work has been featured on Refinery 29, NYLON magazine and The Beauty Department. With her influences spanning from Archie Comics and Barbie to anything pop culture (we love the ‘90s)...it's no wonder that her designs have been met with such critical acclaim. For $8 per set, you’ll receive 21 awesome and easy to apply nail decal illustrations. Use them to decorate your accent nail or go all out and rock all the decals at once! In the words of Sara M. Lyons, “your nails, your rules!”

Stop what you’re doing and check out Sara M. Lyons’ eye-catching television and music themed nail decals STAT!


Girls Nail Decals ($8): For anyone who has binge-watched all three seasons of Girls (yup, I'm looking at you!), you already know that these nail decals are going to end up in your shopping cart. Don’t fret, the entire gang  Shoshanna, Hannah, Jessa and Marnie is included!


Britney Spears Nail Decals ($8): Oops, she did it again. These nail decals are like a walk down memory lane. From Brit Brit’s Mickey Mouse Club days to her iconic “Baby One More Time” music video, true Britney fans will not be disappointed.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Nail Decals ($8): Cue instant ‘90s nostalgia. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the bomb.com way back when and these nail decals are proof that our devotion to the hit TV series has not waivered one bit.


Rihanna Nail Decals ($8): Truth be told, we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw resident bad girl, RiRi herself rocking these decals on her signature claw nails. Included in the set are her controversial LUI magazine cover and the Swarovski crystal dress that she wore when accepting the CFDA Fashion Icon Award.


Haim Nail Decals ($8): Nail art representing our favorite LA based pop rock band...yes please! This musically-inclined sister trio is the quintessential expression of girl power.


Nicki Minaj Nail Decals ($8): Let’s be real, with “Anaconda” rapper Nicki Minaj, there is never a dull moment. Pink hair, crazy antics, diva status and all  who wouldn’t want a bit of Minaj on their fingertips?

Which of Sara Lyons’ cool girl nail decals will you be snatching up? Leave a comment below!
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the. mani. diaries. // october.

Well, it appears that October is dunzo/finished/over/out of here!  November has officially arrived and I’m not so sure how I feel about it… #timeslowdownplease

On another note, today I’m introducing a new blog series documenting my manicures of the month. Yay!  To say that I’m a tad obsessed with painting my nails would be an understatement.  I’m a true believer that the perfect mani can turn any bad day upside down.  And truth be told, it’s downright impossible for me to go on a Target/Ulta run without coming home with a new nail color.  

Because I already post about my nails on Instagram anyway (#manimonday anyone?!), it seemed like a no-brainer to begin incorporating my obsession with all things nails here on the blog.  Without further ado, behold my first installment of “the mani diaries”  enjoy!


go sparkly or go home // Fact:  I’m partial to one extra-sparkly accent nail...but who isn’t?!  If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly nail lacquer, then I would recommend trying Maybelline Color Show.  I own several colors from this collection and have been exceptionally pleased each time.  Just FYI, to complete this mani, I used “Lust for Lilac” and “Pedal to the Metal.”  For my accent nail, I layered a glittery polish by Julep (I’m a first-time Julep user and actually snatched this one up from T.J. Maxx for only $1!).  As the holiday season approaches, I have a feeling that I’ll be layering this shimmery polish over e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

think pink // If you’re a fan of pink polish, then this this shade called “delancey” from the tenoverten for J.Crew collection is as vibrant and girly as it gets.  When combined with my go-to Essie top coat, the finish was long-lasting and super glossy.   

all hallows' eve // It was the night before Halloween and all I had were chipped nails from the previous week’s mani.  Rather than go down the traditional black and orange route, I opted for a last-minute “cute cat ear tips” mani that I stumbled across on Brit + Co. Combining shades of lavender, purple and orange, my Halloween-inspired mani is subtle enough that I can wear it well into next week.  Thanks to a steady hand (I’m left-handed!), the black cat turned out better than I had imagined.  Once again, I sealed my nails with a top coat and voilà!    

What fall nail polish colors are you currently loving?  If you’ve done a recent post on your fave nail lacquers and colors, then share a link to it in the comments section below.  I’d love to check it out! :)

xo,
A
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coach x peanuts.


Over the years, there’s no doubt that Coach has undergone a transformation of sorts.  In stark contrast to their less than stellar Coach Poppy collection (#notafan), the Coach Legacy line is as classic as it gets.  With a new creative director  hey there, Stuart Vevers  it appears that the rise of Coach as a lifestyle brand is paving the way for a more edgy “modern Coach girl.”  If you don’t want to take my word for it, then just check out their AW14 collection.   

I have to be honest, though, Coach has been on my radar lately thanks to their limited edition collection with Peanuts and the gang. Eek!  The collaboration is totally quirky and unexpected, but I think that’s why I love it so much.  According to Coach’s website, the collection of leather goods is actually already sold out online (!!!), so good luck getting your hands on it now.  In addition to handbags embossed and printed with Charles M. Schulz’s most iconic illustrations of the Peanut characters, there is also a free app that you can download.  (If you want to be photobombed by the Peanuts characters in all of your pics, then by all means give this app a download!)


What are your thoughts on Coach x Peanuts?  Leave a comment below!

xo,
A
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what’s. in. my. bag. // pt. II.

Welp!  Half of the semester is dunzo...and, truth be told, I’m not sure where the time has gone.  In a way, it’s hard to believe that we've arrived at the halfway point, but on other hand, August (and syllabus week) seems SO long ago.  Either way, I thought that now would be the appropriate time to finally (!!!) share my school bag essentials.  I snapped these pictures a while back, but alas, never got around to posting about them.  Just as a refresher, back in March, I did a fun feature spotlighting “what’s in my bag” (i.e. what I cannot leave the house without). Make sure to check it out if you haven't already!


Truth be told, on a typical day of classes, I normally have to carry a big tote.  BUT, on the rare occasion that I have a lighter load, my Old Navy bucket bag (similar) is everything. It’s chic, effortless and holds more than meets the eye.  As far as notebooks go, I rely on my Moleskine Cahier Journal and Rollbahn (gridded) notebook.  Both flaunt a minimalist design and are small enough to ensure that they don’t take up too much room in my bag. Note: this is key for me.  

On a good day, one of my fave fashion magazines may or may not end up in my tote. (Side note: I do love me some Glamour UK!) In between studying, reading up on the latest fashion trends is naturally at the top of my agenda.  #priorities  
When it comes to my writing utensils, I’m a total pen snob and for good reason.  My roundup of go-to pens will have to be left for a future post, but Muji, Le Pen, Staedtler and Stabilo are four that never disappoint.  Oh, and that pen case…yeah it’s by Muji and I highly recommend it.  Not only am I in love with the minimal design, but it also prevents my pens from mysteriously going missing at the bottom of my bag.
 
While some people invest in one trusty planner, I’ve done the unthinkable and actually have three which I admittedly don’t use as much as I should.  I will say, however, that for school, my red Moleskine planner is both functional and professional.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about school supplies, it’s that sometimes form does not follow function.  Take these Jack Wills sticky tabs and Jonathan Adler highlighters for instance. While they’re both super cute, they just may be too cute to use.  On the other hand, they do make great photo props… #doitfortheinstagram



Muji pen case.  // Le Pen.  //  Muji Gel-Ink Ballpoint Pens.  //  Jack Wills stick notes.  //  12-Month Weekly Moleskine Planner.  // Rollbahn notebook.  //  Moleskine Cahier Journal (set of three).  //  Jonathan Adler highlighters

What are your must-have school essentials?  Leave a comment below!

xo,
A

P.S. - The other day I spotted Kate Spade highlighters at my school’s bookstore, and oh-em-gee, they’re just as witty and knock-your-socks-off-good as one would expect!
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october.


Somehow I blinked...and then it was October 1! To say woah (!!!) would be an understatement. In all fairness, however, October isn't that bad. As much as I wish that it was still summer, October just so happens to be both my birthday and blogiversary month. Can't go wrong there!

What are you looking forward to this month?

xo,

A
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burberry. prorsum. // ss15.

Despite my coverage of fashion week being a complete fail so far, I obviously couldn’t NOT blog about Burberry Prorsum.  As per usual, Christopher Bailey (CEO) designed a collection that was a modern take on the brand’s classic British heritage.  Bold surges of colour, tulle, sheer fabrics and denim jackets dominated the SS15 season. And, of course, no Burberry show would be complete without a parade of standout trench coats (take note:  this season’s are no exception!).  Bailey also enlisted Burberry acoustic artist James Bay (#obsessed) to offer his vocals to the already stunning/standout presentation.  Finally, although Miss Cara Delevingne was noticeably missing from the lineup, she was sitting front and center with Kate Moss.  Right along with OP...a few seats down!


If you haven’t checked out the show yet, then, I’ve embedded if for your convenience.  My very brief overview truly doesn’t do the collection any justice watch the video above and then take a look at a few of my favorite looks. Enjoy!
 

What did you think of Burberry’s SS15 show?  Which looks were your fave?  Leave a comment below!

xo,
A
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september. the. list.

Oh summer, could you do me a favor and stay a wee bit longer?  While it seems like everyone is excited for the arrival of fall, I simply cannot bring myself to think about chilly weather attire just yet.  In fact, I’m hoping that the temperatures will remain relatively warm through at least mid-October…wishful thinking?  Perhaps, but I’m still going to keep my fingers crossed!  

For my September installment of “the list,” I’m spotlighting what I consider to be the perfect transitional pieces  nothing that screams “autumn is here” nor anything that is too summery.  From an effortless polka dot blouse to a tried-and-true pair of loafers, these are the wardrobe essentials that I’m currently eyeing!  Enjoy!
september. the. list.

1. Lambswool Shirttail Sweater in Stripe (J.Crew): I have a feeling that faux shirttail hems are going to be having a major moment this season.  If they do, then I’m game!  
2. Hanover Street Charee (Kate Spade): This time last year, I was all about the beau bag (truth be told, it’s still on my wish list!). I currently have my eye on this gem of a bag.  Love the bow, love the classic taupe/black combo and LOVE how undeniably roomy it is.  Score!
3. Bright White-Black Polka Dot Blouse (Equipment): It doesn’t matter what season it is, one can never fail with polka dots.  #truth 
4. Jewel Chanteuse Collar-Opal (Bauble Bar): Every gal should have at least one pretty statement necklace in her collection.  I like this one simply for its vibrant color palette consisting of pastel mint, red and blue.    
5. Hello Shanghai Cruz (Kate Spade): Shanghai is the theme for Kate Spade’s September collection and, naturally, the accessories are as quirky as ever.  Let’s just say that Chinese takeout has never looked so good!  Complementary fortune cookies not included. (Side note:  did you know that yesterday was #nationalfortunecookieday?!)
6. Zip Pocket Mini (J.Crew): Not kidding when I say that I wouldn’t mind having this skirt in every color. One for every (school) day of the week, if you will!  And, did I mention that it’s made from double-serge wool (aka perfect for crisp autumn days)?
7. Printed Calf Hair Belt (J.Crew): Jeans + printed calf hair belt + white tee + black cardi, repeat!
8. The Anouck Loafer (Madewell): These loafers are smart and undeniably chic!  Just as Madewell suggests, you can pair them with jeans or a dress.  In other words, they’re p-e-r-f-e-c-t!
9. Elastic Hair Tie Pack (J.Crew): I know, I know, more hair ties!  Last month, I spotlighted Twistband, this go-around I’m sharing J.Crew’s version.  If you have thick hair, then I’d highly recommend these as they’re super stretchy and hold up really well over time.
10. Condorcet Dress (Aritzia): A delicate floral dress that can be worn as is or paired with a boyfriend cardigan once the temps drop.  Throw in a pair of your trusty loafers or riding boots for maximum perfection!

What are your September must-haves?  Leave a comment below!

xo,
A
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ksny. // behind. the. curtain.

For fashion girls everywhere, NYFW is everything!  But, you didn’t need me to tell you that… Between all of the September issues that I’m still trying to get through and the start of the new school year (i.e. readings on readings), I haven’t been able to follow along with fashion week as closely as I would’ve liked.  All I can say is thank goodness for Instagram that’s pretty much been my go-to source for previews of all the collections.  Until I can sit down and watch all the runway videos from start to finish, Instagram’s 15-second snippets of the final runway walk will just have to do.  

One NYFW collection that I always, ALWAYS have time for, however, is Kate Spade.  It doesn’t matter what season it is, KSNY never disappoints.  Besides the ah-mazing clothes and accessories and shoes (!!!), I can’t get over how perfect and spot-on the theme (“Escape the Ordinary") for KSNY’s Spring 2015 show was:

“Fresh starts, taking chances and a feeling that anything is possible is my inspiration for this season.”  
- Deborah Lloyd (Chief Creative Officer)

Utterly perfect, right?!  Since odds are you’ve already seen photos and Insta posts of the greatness known as the KSNY S/S15 collection, I’ll leave it at that...and maybe just post a few of my favorite looks. :)


@katespadeny // Showtime! #behindthecurtain
@carly // Swooning over that scalloped bag!
@mackenziehoran // Quirky accessories + minimalist nails.
@katespadeny // THAT ladybug wallet + b&w stripes.

Besides Kate Spade, what have been your favorite #NYFW collections/trends/looks so far? Leave a comment below!


xo,
A
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enjoy. the. moment.


I'll be the first to admit that I'm not typically one to dish out advice.  (If anything, I'm the one who's normally on the receiving end. What can I say, I need guidance!) And, I guess today is really no different as the words that I'm sharing serve as more of a subtle reminder than anything else.  No matter where you're currently at in life  whether you're heading back to school, starting your first big girl job or have found yourself in a limbo of sorts  take time to enjoy the moment.  It's so simple, so in-your-face-obvious, yet I feel like we all forget to pause and enjoy life.  

Call me "Miss Sentimental," because I totally am, but I'm currently all about cherishing this moment. This time next year, I have no idea where I'll be or what I'll be doing.  Read:  this is terrifying news!  If you ask me, it's all the more reason to enjoy still being in school and realize that it's okay that I remain quite unsure about my future plans.  SO, maybe my classes aren't perfect...but nonetheless, I'm still loving this moment, just as I cherished the beginning of summer, the annual block party/carnival in a neighboring town (hey, it's the little things!) and a trip to my favorite city.  Having just completed the first week of school (aka the best week of the semester), I want to be optimistic for what's to come and try not to dwell on the negative too much.

In the midst of all my rambling, please, just enjoy the moment.  Sometimes I feel like everyone is in such a rush to grow up, to graduate, to move away...and I personally think there's something to be said about this moment in time.  Enjoy it for what it is and love life. 

xo,
A
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august. the. list.

Welp!  We all know that August is synonymous with two things:  back-to-school and the final dog days of summer.  While summer break has definitely been a pleasantly long one (seriously though, May seems like forever ago!), I can't believe that it's almost over. Naturally, I created my August list with the new school year in mind  a new planner, a witty sweatshirt for chilly mornings and a chic cross-body bag for the girl on-the-go (aka me).  Without further ado, here it is!


august. the. list.
1. 2015 Bella Bookshelf Agenda (Kate Spade): Since I'm currently all maxed out on planners for 2014 – I'm currently using three! – this KSNY agenda will be at the top of my list come January.
2. Say Yes Sweatshirt (J.Crew): I say (a million times) "YES" to this sweatshirt because why not?! Throw it over jeans, a white skirt, a navy dress – basically anything – for maximum perfection.
3. Quirky Ampersand Ring (Forever 21): A ring that graphic designers and typographer lovers alike need to have in their lives.
4. Marylin Short (French Connection): These floral shorts are making a reappearance on the blog, because they're so cute and undeniably summer-tastic.
5. Printed Silk Snood (J.Crew): You know what they say, the perfect printed snood is the exclamation point to every ensemble. Okay, so I don't really know anyone who says this, but I say it, so consider it my #tipoftheday.
6. Jasmyn Hair Tie Set (Twistband): Another great back-to-school essential, but this time via my favorite brand of hair ties. This set of striped, solid and metallic "safety yellow" Twistbands would be just as pretty on your wrist as in your pony tail.
7. Star Cluster Bangle (J.Crew): Twinkle, twinkle. For once, no arm party needed – this star cluster bangle is refreshingly simple as is.
8. Arquiste for J.Crew Perfume (J.Crew): In case you haven't heard, J.Crew has teamed up with Arquiste founder Carlos Huber to create two exclusive scents. I was just reading up on the collaboration and the fragrances were inspired by Exhibition by 31 Women, "the first modern art show of all female artists in the United States." Long story short, Huber is a firm believer that a fragrance should transport you to a time and place, hence the inspiration behind the two scents.
9. Padlock Bracelet (Kate Spade Saturday): New school year, new charm bracelet. Done.
10. Cecil Court Bobi (Kate Spade): If you follow Kate Spade on Instagram, then you may have seen this cute video they put together. In a nutshell, this bag holds all the necessities and then some! And don't even get me started on that classic Kate Spade shade of green (snap pea green to be exact!)... #obsessed

What are your back-to-school essentials?

xo,
A
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keds. style.

It wasn't too long ago that I hinted at a future post on styling Keds.  Well, today's the day!  I finally got around to curating three easy-peasy looks that I think would be perfect for the gal heading BTS (back-to-school, that is!) or simply anyone on the search for a casual on-the-go weekend look.  Truth be told, I myself haven't gotten around to wearing my navy Keds as much as I would have liked (#guilty)...but I assure you that endless outfit possibilities are on the horizon.  And, when that time comes, you can bet that I'll be sharing my #kedsstyle here on the blog.

Three pairs of Keds, three equally rad looks  here ya go!

Keds Style: THE Trendsetter

First of all, I think there's something to be said about a quirky + playful sweater.  Second, I love how on-trend, yet totally effortless this look is  seriously though, no shoe laces means that these guys can be slipped on at a moment's notice.  Third, if you're heading to class, this oh-so-deep tote by KS Saturday will have you more than covered.  Let's just say that looking cool for school will be a cinch this semester!

1. Inside-Out-Pocket Tote in Vachetta // Kate Spade Saturday
2. Champion Mesh // Keds x Kate Spade New York
3. Eloisa Sweater // Joie
4. White Asymmetrical Skort // Goodnight Macaroon

Keds Style: The Everygirl

Ah, the everygirl.  She who covets stripes while simultaneously yearning for an off-duty pair of denim shorts...sound about right?! As a self-proclaimed sucker for stripes (especially those of the J.Crew variety), I can't think of a more appropriate pairing.  While the stripes lend a lil bit of Parisian to this look, the chic cross-body bag screams fashion girl-in-training.  When you find the perfect pair of Keds (like these Champion Originals), why change a good thing?           

1. Freja Cross-Body // Club Monaco
2. Champion Originals in "Stone" // Keds
3. Painter Tee with Zips // J.Crew
4. Super Sky High Denim Shorie // American Eagle

Keds Style: The Prepster

While maybe a tad more eclectic than preppy, this outfit is the epitome of FUN!  I dare you not to fall for the dizzy floral printed shorts, I know I have. Although I'm still very much on Team Summer, I think this outfit would be ideal for transitioning into fall.  Wear a chunky cardi in the morning and by mid-afternoon you can take it off to reveal your favorite, tried-and-true white v-neck tee.  I've always been an advocate of mixing-and-matching prints, and shoes are no exception.  You guys, stripes + floral is practically a match made in heaven, but you already knew that!

1. Texturework Cardigan in "Marled Caramel" // Madewell
2. Champion Pop Stripe // Keds
3. Casual Slub Cotton T-Shirt // James Perse
4. Marylin Short // French Connection

What's your favorite way to style your kicks?  Leave a comment below!

xo,
A
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