insta. crush. // sophia. rosemary. barrese.

Hello, friends! Today, I’m introducing a new series on the blog in which I spotlight some of my latest Insta style crushes. First up is Sophia Rosemary (@sophia_rosemary), a fantastic UK blogger out of Manchester who I’m always happy to see grace my Instagram feed. (But seriously, is she not the cutest?!) Her style encapsulates so many elements that I love — she’s got the retro look down pat (give or take a little bit of a rocker ‘tude on occasion) with ultra-femme undertones. TBH, she could very well pass as Alexa Chung’s impeccably dressed twin. (Pssst: Her winged eyeliner is even on point.)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve swooned after one of Sophia’s chic jumpers (ahem, specifically the one with the dinosaur!) or pondered whether or not I could pull off denim dungarees half as seamlessly as she does. And she’s got quite a few sartorial tricks up her sleeve too. I’ve never seen someone style Doc Martens so exquisitely alongside a striped knit sweater, a leather mini and a faux sheepskin jacket. Her off-duty uniform consisting of oh-so charming frocks (or my personal favorite, a sweater and a denim button-front skirt) is the definition of outfit #goals. And, she may or may not have influenced my current obsession with Chuck Taylors… Note to self: Invest in a pair of high-tops STAT in an effort to be a fraction as cool as Sophia Rosemary. Enough chit-chat — I’ve included a few of my favorite looks below (all borrowed from Sophia’s Instagram feed) as a testament of this tastemaker’s A+ style. 



1. She has a kitty cat printed dress. // The cat’s meow is right. (Sorry, HAD to.)


2. When in Venezia… // If I ever venture to Italy, then you best believe I’ll be replicating this head-to-toe look. (Polka dot skirt + Converse = match made in heaven.)


3. Barbour is the word. // I'm absolutely smitten with Sophia’s laid-back chic take on the classic waxed field jacket.


4. The “new” cool-girl uniform. // Mansur Gavriel bucket bag? Check. Worn-in Chuck Taylors? Check. Star girl sweater? Triple check. And let’s not forget risky white jeans for good measure.


5. A little bit military, a LOT femme. // When in doubt, just toss on a tough-girl military jacket. To say that I’m obsessed with Sophia’s drop-waist gingham dress would be an understatement.

Get the look:
Who are your favorite style ‘grammers to follow for inspiration? Comment below!

xo,

A

PS: I created a Pinterest board devoted to all my Insta crushes — be sure to follow along!
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me. my. poncho. and. i.



As you can probably surmise from the title of this post, a certain knit poncho will be taking center stage. If I ever attend a music festival (slim chance unless it's Glastonbury), then you best believe I'll be wearing some variation of this ensemble.
 

Initially, I bought this fringed knit poncho (still available and on sale!) for winter, only to realize that I prefer it so much more when styled for spring (see ya never turtlenecks and bulky layers!). Teamed alongside a simple white tee, a denim skirt and suede ankle boots, the result was something along the lines of rodeo-ready — and I do mean that in the best possible way.
 

Particularly groundbreaking ensemble? No, not by a long shot. But for this classic prepster who swears by a uniform consisting of waxed field jackets (or Barbour) and Keds sneaks on the regular, this is as boho-chic as it gets.
 

While this outfit may not be suitable for the most balmy spring days, it's perfect for moderately warm weeks when the temps are nippy in the morning and a perfect 70 degrees (insert praise hands emoji) come recess — AKA, fun in the sun time. As for additional ways to get the most wear out of your favorite knit ponchos (and wraps for that matter)? Try teaming 'em with denim boyfriend shorts, high-waisted mom jeans or denim button-front skirts for instant festival flair.





knit poncho (on sale) | white tee (similar) | denim skirt | suede ankle boots (similar)

Do you own a knit poncho? What are your spring wardrobe essentials? Comment below!

xo,

A
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the. short. list. // frayed. hem. jeans.

Step aside, patchwork jeans! Frayed (or raw hem) jeans are currently the cool girl-approved denim trend of the moment. And for good reason. Not only do they give off a ceaselessly chic vibe when teamed alongside backless mules or vampy steppers, but they lend a little extra somethin' somethin' to even the most casual ensembles. (Never has a plain white tee looked so — wait for it — groundbreaking. But actually.)

While I typically consider myself a traditionalist when it comes to the denim game (alright, there was that one time I fell victim to a certain pair of paint splatter jeans...), a perfectly distressed pair that I recently spotted at Madewell's denim bar made me a convert. My mother on the other hand was not as much of a fan (I wonder why?!?) Whether you're already on the raw hem jean bandwagon or are halfway there, I’ve rounded up a few pairs that are currently on my radar. Oh, and if you’re in need of inspo in the styling department, I’ve got you covered with 13 ways to master frayed hem jeans, according to Instagram. You’re welcome.



1. Capri Jeans in Black Hampton (Rag & Bone) // Contemporary, modern and oh-so flattering, these black raw-hemmed skinnies were made for the city girl with a downtown edge. Chelsea boots and an off-duty topper are non-negotiable.

  
2. The Perfect Summer Jean in Malden Wash (Madewell) // Meet your new wear-everywhere jean that you’ll never want to take off. Not only will the high-rise ‘90s supermodel-inspired style (Madewell’s words, not mine) give you legs that go on for miles, but the slouchy fit and moderate distressing are guaranteed to please. Any takers?

  
3. Mid-Rise Capri in Debutante (J Brand) // You had me at millennial pink, AKA my favorite power hue of the season. The fact that the edges are frayed are just further confirmation that I need some blush pink jeans in my life. But don’t we all?

  
4. Destroyed Reagan Button Front Jean (Free People) // Flaunting just the right amount of distressing and a boho-chic button-front design, these bad boys are all set for an upcoming farmers’ market run or Sunday brunch. Bonus points: The cropped ankle length makes them ideal for pairing with sneakers (ahem, Chuck Taylors).


5. The Looker Ankle Fray Jeans (MOTHER) // It’s time to start rounding out your wardrobe of summer whites ahead of MDW (Memorial Day Weekend), starting with these stretchy white ankle fray jeans from MOTHER. While I’m not the biggest fan of white jeans (with the exception of Industry Standard’s Odettes, which fit like a dream BTW), these look pretty promising. Throw in some classic Breton stripes courtesy of Saint James and then we’re talkin’. 

6. Mimi Skinny Jeans (M.i.h Jeans) // I don’t know about you, but I’m digging the faded (almost to the point of being bleached) wash, the high-waisted fit and, of course, those frayed hems. When you need to be out the door in a flash, simply toss on a crew-neck sweatshirt and d’Orsay flats for the lewk of the season.
 

Yay or nay? Will you be investing in a pair of frayed hem jeans? Comment below!

xo,
A
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B. is. for. Barbour.



Hello, lovely readers! Spring has officially sprung (as of this past Monday, anyway), which theoretically means winter *should* be behind us. Instead of sharing my own unique spin on groundbreaking floral, I'm getting chatty about transitional spring fashion. You know, like what to wear when the mornings are nippy and the afternoons are balmy. AKA, when Mother Nature can’t seem to make up her freaking mind. Side note: Don’t you hate it when it looks exceptionally nice out, but is anything but? SO DECEIVING. 

As you might’ve guessed from the title of this post, a certain Barbour jacket may or may not also be up for discussion. If you’re new to the blog, a Barbour jacket’s been on my splurge list for quite some time now, and for good reason. It’s a seasonless topper that can be dressed up or down for no shortage of downtown appeal. (Did I mention that even, regional cool girl, Alexa Chung has been known to style a Barbour on occasion? Cough, cough, Glastonbury Festival.) While I was originally set on the waxed Beadnell (and still am), I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to invest in a Beadnell Polar Quilted Jacket when I stumbled upon it on major sale. Fast-forward to now, and it’s been in heavy rotation. 

Though I wore this outfit back in February, I have a feeling that it’s going to be perfect for the full spectrum of spring weather we’ll be experiencing in the weeks (and potentially months) to come. It’s the quintessential topper to toss over a t-shirt dress and riding boots or team alongside jeans and Adidas Superstars (or Chuck Taylors) for a low-key look. On this particular outing, I opted for a considerably preppy green striped top and my go-to high-rise Margots from Industry Standard. Finally, for a much-needed pop of color, I finished off with some bright pink ballet flats.
 



jacket (in olive)  |  striped tee (similar)  |  jeans  |  flats (different color)

What transitional spring wardrobe essentials do you swear by? Comment below!

xo,
A
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the. mani. diaries. // minimalist. dots.


Hey! It’s been a while, but I’m back at it today with a new installation of “the mani diaries.” Slowly but surely I’m starting to get a little more experimental with my weekly manicures. I specifically turn to Paintbox Nails and Olive & June for inspiration. I’m partial to negative space designs and minimal nail art in general as they fit my aesthetic and aren’t terribly hard to replicate.

Speaking of minimal, minimalist dot manis have been trending for a while now (I’m sure you’ve seen ‘em while scrolling through your Insta feed). Although this wasn’t my first attempt at a dot mani, it was my first time using a dotting tool — which I highly recommend investing in, BTW. If you don’t have a dotting tool on standby, then you could also get away with using the end of a Q-tip. It just takes a bit more trial and error.

If you’re interested in achieving a minimalist dot mani, here’s how it’s done. There aren’t a lot of steps! 


1. I began with 2-3 coats of China Glaze’s “That’s Shore Bright,” a vibrant purplish hue.
2. Next, I used a dotting tool (included in Red Carpet Manicure’s Nail Art Tool Kit) to carefully create the dots on each nail. FYI: I chose a dark midnight blue hue for my dots (similar to “This Blue is So You”). I would recommend practicing the dots beforehand on a scrap piece of paper to ensure you’re creating uniform-sized dots on each nail. The size of the dot is dependent upon the amount of nail polish being used when dipping the dotting tool. As cliché as it sounds, practice really does make perfect!
3. After allowing a sufficient amount of drying time, I finished off with a coat of China Glaze’s “Gotta Go Top Coat.” And voilà! I would definitely consider this a beginner level mani as it doesn’t require a high level of artistry — just a steady hand!

What nail design should I try next? What are your favorite nail accounts to follow on Instagram for inspiration? Comment below!
xo,
A
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all. in. the. details.



Last day of February? Time flies when you’ve got a growing to-do list looming over you. With spring on the horizon (only 20 days away — put it in your iCal!) I'm slowly, but surely starting to work in spring wardrobe essentials. (Knowing how spring in Virginia goes though, I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of winter yet. I like to call it sprin-ter.) And that’s where today’s #OOTD comes in.

What better way to make the transition from winter to spring than with a lightweight Madewell knit sweater (I’m obsessed with the pinkish coral hue!), skinny jeans (cuffed ‘cuz I'm borderline petite) and lace-up ballerinas? Give or take a little peekaboo tulle trim. I know this outfit isn’t particularly fancy, but goodness knows I'm a sucker for a dialed down look that works overtime on the weekend. Since I know that tulle’s having a bit of a moment, I paired my oversized sweater with a frilly hem tank top that I’ve had for years. The result was a little bit girly, a lot femme — and definitely sophisticated. For accessories, I opted for a simple gold horn necklace and an Old Navy bucket bag that never fails to fit the bill. 



Last but certainly not least, let’s take a sec to chat about these olive suede flats (also from Madewell). They’re. Literally. Perfection. I got them on sale on a whim, but never imagined how comfortable/amazing/foolproof they’d be. Not only was I able to break them in during the first wear, but they’re extremely versatile with jeans, denim button-front skirts — you name it. Sometimes the ties have a way of unraveling over the course of the day, but otherwise, they’re < insert praise hands emoji here >.


Okay I lied, one more thing. Can we all just agree that a good hair day shall *always* be documented? Lately, I’ve been all about peppy ponytails. They’re fun, girly and immensely underrated. Throw in a bow hair tie and I'm pretty much on cloud nine. Sue me for my obsession with bows — they may not be for everyone, but you can definitely count me in.




sweater (similar and I loveee this one) | skinny jeans (similar) | lace-up flats (similar) | bucket bag (similar) | bow hair ties

What are your spring style essentials? Comment below!

xo, 
A
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toi. avec. moi.


Unfortunately, I missed my opportunity to learn French in high school. (I still regret it to this day, especially since I was stuck taking four g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s years of Spanish. No me gusta.) Fortunately, I DO have the somewhat recent-ish Madewell x Sezane capsule collection to fulfill my dreams of becoming a Parisian girl. As you can imagine, this playful striped tee was pretty much a no-brainer. Factor in the nautical stripes, the relaxed fit and the well-placed pocket (!), and you’ve got the quintessential French girl staple. 

I had to Google what the embroidery on the pocket translated to in English — ‘cuz you obvs can’t go around sporting an embroidered shirt not knowing the meaning behind it. Initially, it seemed as though the translation was “marry me,” but that just didn’t seem right. According to Madewell, it actually means “you with me.” Phew. That makes a lot more sense now knowing that Madewell and Sezane also designed a matching navy striped tee with the phrase “moi avec toi” (“me with you”). AKA, grab your BFF for a twinning look. 

And now onto the outfit deets. Although, I wore this particular ensemble when out and about on an unseasonably warm January day, it would be absolutely perfect for the weather that we’re having this week. It’s still winter, but boy does it feel like spring! I’m beginning to think that Punxsutawney Phil was wrong with his whole six-more-weeks-of-winter prediction. Not that I’m complaining or anything… To complement my favorite striped shirt of the moment, I opted for none other than my favorite denim skirt of the moment (also notably from Madewell and on repeat). With my shirt tucked in, the result was effortless and dialed down for the daytime. Last but not least, I accessorized with my go-to Cambridge Satchel bag, a pair of my beloved Bloch oxford flats and mirrored sunnies. I imagine this look working just as well with some rolled-up boyfriend jeans or white chino shorts come summer.


What are your must-have French girl staples? Let me know in the comments below!

xo,
A
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the. mani. diaries. // v-day. edition.


Happy Valentine’s Day! In honor of this lovey dovey holiday that everyone either loves or loves to hate, I’m sharing a special V-Day themed mani. In place of the traditional sparkly accent nail or pink ombre mani that I’m normally accustomed to, I decided to switch things up. I spotted this super cute upside down heart with eyes manicure (I’m assuming it was inspired by the Comme des Garçons logo) while scrolling through Olive & June’s Instagram feed and decided to replicate it. The fact that I’m sharing the end result means that it didn’t turn out half bad — surprisingly.



  
While this nail design just so happens to be *perfect* for Valentine’s Day, it need not be restricted to February 13, 14 or 15. A few tips if you’re looking to replicate the design: Practice first! As a rule of thumb, be sure to allow ample drying time for your base coat (#glossierpink) to avoid any messy slip-ups. My next tip would be to utilize an extra fine-tipped paint brush (or nail art brush if you happen to have one handy) to achieve any minuscule details such as the eyes and heart outline. Finish off with a fast-drying top coat (I applied a coat once the pink base layer was dry and then another once the heart eyes design was complete). Voilà!

What are your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions? (Mine’s obvs indulging in candy hearts!) Let me know in the comments below!

xo,
A
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the. short. list. // v-day. gifts. you'll. heart.

Comin’ atcha on this frigid February Friday (try saying that three times fast!) with a new series. I was hoping to share a larger roundup of Valentine’s/Galentine’s Day gifts, but with the date fast-approaching, I’ve put together a short list of gifts to treat yo’ self to this February 14 (and beyond). It goes without saying that you deserve it, boo!


1. Pizza Sweatshirt (ILY Couture) // Pizza is bae. That’s all I’m sayin’. I may or may not already have this cheeky sweatshirt on standby just waiting to be incorporated into an #OOTD (or two). You best believe I’ll be sharing the outfit snapshots when I do. 

Photo via @sleepyjones

2. Marina Pajama Shirt (Sleepy Jones) // Fancy pjs are pretty much expected come Valentine’s Day, especially when they’re this cute and playful. Sleepy Jones recently teamed up with artist, stylist and illustrator, Kate Schelter, on a custom watercolor heart print set. While I’m eying the oversized Marina pajama shirt, the Jasper boxer shorts and matching Marina pajama pants are also noteworthy. 


3. Be Mine Card Holder (Kate Spade) // Kate Spade seriously has so, SO many cute heart-themed accessories right now. This “be mine” heart-covered card holder is my fave though. Not only is it functional (hello, small purses that hold *only* the essentials), but the price point is just right if you’re on a $50 or less budget. 


4. Mani Kit (Pinch Provisions) // As far as pampering goes, nothing says treat yo’ self to a single ladies vino night like an at-home mani kit. You can thank the geniuses behind Pinch Provisions for this gem of a gift idea. Inside your kit, you’ll find everything from clear nail polish and nail polish remover pads to emery boards.


5. Striped Wool Sweater (Comme Des Garçons Play) // If you’re looking for a well-calculated splurge, then I can’t think of anything more It girl-approved than this Comme des Garçons PLAY striped sweater (I die) featuring the brand’s iconic heart and eyes logo. (I'm also partial to this striped long-sleeve tee that's a bit more on the budget-friendly side.) 


6. Blush Lipstick Clutch (Ann Howell Bullard) // You had me at blush pink lips printed clutch inspired by “Andy Warhol and pure sass.” Add instant swag via a tassel or pom keychain for a whole lotta YAS. 


7. Valen-mine Package (Packed Party) // If anyone knows how to throw a Valentine’s Day-bash-for-one, then it’s the folks over at Packed Party. Think: care packages delivered directly to your doorstep. While the contents may vary, this one reveals Fatty Sundays sprinkle-coated pretzels, customized stationery and a polka dot makeup pouch. 

Which of these gifts will you be snagging for Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments below!

xo,

A

PS: Need more Valentine’s Day inspo? Check out my recent write-up for Brit + Co for more ideas!
7

the. reign. of. waxed. field. jackets.


Was it just me or was January a doozy? In the midst of unseasonably warm weather (for the most part anyway), I still somehow struggled with an extreme case of the winter blues. How many days until spring again? Do I even want to know? Probs not, but according to Punxsutawney Phil, we still have at least six more weeks of winter to endure. Womp, womp. 

On a positive note: The blasé days of January inspired me to keep the outfits coming. As a rule of thumb — whether it’s a rainy day, an important class presentation (I’m no longer in school anymore, but you get the idea) or a mundane Monday, an extra on-point ensemble can never steer you wrong. For the sake of having a productive work sesh, I often times will pull out all the stops just to feel more in the zone.

One particular pièce de résistance that’s been on repeat lately is this long waxed downtown field jacket from J.Crew featuring military-inspired details and a corduroy collar. The dark forest green hue doesn’t hurt either. It’s no overstatement when I say that I reach for it almost every. Freaking. Day. Rain or shine, work or play, it always comes through. What can I say? I love it’s off-duty appeal and the fact that it can be dressed up or down. While I love wearing it with plain ol’ jeans or black high-waisted skinnies, I’m equally obsessed with how it looks teamed alongside a mini skirt or a casual dress. To show you how it’s done, I’m sharing two different ways that I’ve styled my go-to topper of the season.

 


field jacket (similar) | gingham shirt (similar) | the margot highrise (industry standard) | cross-body bag (different color) | d'Orsay flats (similar)

Outfit #1: I call this my unofficial weekend uniform. There are few things that I love more than a gingham button-down — even better if it’s knotted into a bow. I paired it alongside my favorite Industry Standard Margot high-waisted jeans and a pint-sized Kate Spade cross-body bag (which holds just the essentials BTW!) for a look that reads girl-on-the-go. Perfectly put-together with a hint of prep, just the way I like it.



field jacket (similar) | sweater (different, but I love those tassels!) | skirt (different, but another great CM style) | tights (similar) | penny loafers (similar)

Outfit #2: Though a smidge more on the dressier side, I would also consider this to be an off-duty #OOTD. My field jacket instantly dials down the appearance of my jacquard mini skirt and lace-trimmed blush pink sweater (so pretty!) making it more suitable for the daytime. Since it was a bit nippy out, I opted for polka dot-printed tights and velvet penny loafers. 


What are your go-to ways to style a field jacket? Let me know in the comments below!

xo,
A
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