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The Blog

Approachable inspiration for a stylish life. 

 

New for Summer ‘16: Ready for the Weekend Try-On Haul

Kristen Berry

It recently occurred to me that most of my casual summer weekend clothes are old. Painfully old. Like, pre-2014 old.

I didn't really notice it when hanging out in the notoriously casual Silicon Valley. But I've been spending a lot of time in LA lately, and I’ve frequently found myself pining for the cool, easy chic that so many SoCal girls possess.

While I typically buy a couple of pieces here and there over time, I instead went on a bit of a wardrobe overhaul these past few weeks, stocking up on carefree, warm weather weekend pieces in vibrant prints and versatile neutrals. Even though I purchased a number of new items, I did so while fully respecting my bank account, thanks to Forever21, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and Target. The priciest item I bought rang in at $60, and most pieces came in at less than half of that.

Check out the video for the full try-on haul – product details below!

Forever21:

Nordstrom:

  • Chuck Taylor® All Star® 'Ox' Metallic Low Top Sneaker in Gunmetal, $60 at Nordstrom.com.

Nordstrom Rack:

  • Denim cutoff shorts, Joe’s Jeans. Not available online, snagged in store for $30 (reg. Price, $148).

  • Braided leather belt in Black Silver, Fashion Focus Accessories, $22 at NordstromRack.com

  • Flat tan sandals, BRAND. No longer available online, but several similar options can be found here.

Target:

  • Dress, Xhilaration. No longer available, but numerous other cute, affordable options can be found here.

  • Romper, Xhilaration. No longer available, but numerous other cute, affordable options can be found here.

What are your go-to summer wardrobe pieces?

- Kristen

Work It, Girl

Kristen Berry

Nothing is simpler than the single-item outfit that is the dress. However, the sleeveless summery dresses I adore aren’t exactly practical thanks to the always-in-overdrive office AC.

Lightweight, long-sleeved shirtdresses like this little Zara number are the perfect compromise for the outdoor heat and indoor chill. The bold, retro-inspired print and color scheme are the ideal counterpoint to the simple, classic cut.

Neutral accessories in warm shades of tan and gold add polished balance to the look.

And a slim side braid adds a bit of oomph to a simple half-pony.

  • Dress: Zara Contrast-Print Tunic, now on sale in select sizes for $30 at Zara.com.
  • Bag: Street Level Reversible Faux Leather Tote & Wristlet in Cognac/Coral, now on sale for $32 at Nordstrom.com.
  • Shoes: Michael by Michael Kors, no longer available.

What are your go-to summer office pieces?

- Kristen

Fun Flat Sandals Under $50

Kristen Berry

I’m not the type of person who typically buys a bunch of new things at the very beginning of a season. I have to get back into the swing of things, revisit my current clothes, wear them a bit in the new weather, and see what really needs replacing.

At the top of my summer replacement list are my beloved flat silver gladiators. They’ve seen me through many warm weather days, numerous vacations, and countless blog posts. But they finally fully disintegrated during my recent camping retreat, and it’s time to find a new pair of comfortable, versatile, stylish sandals.

Here are 10 options I have my eye on, all under $50, that prove that “versatile” does not have to equal “boring.”

ASOS Fuerta Lace Up Leather Sandals, $36 at ASOS.com.

ASOS Fuerta Lace Up Leather Sandals, $36 at ASOS.com.

Topshop 'Daily' Ghillie Sandal in Coral, $48 at Nordstrom.com (also available in black and tan).

Topshop 'Daily' Ghillie Sandal in Coral, $48 at Nordstrom.com (also available in black and tan).

BCBGeneration Baldwyn Flat Sandal, $49.95 at DSW.com.

BCBGeneration Baldwyn Flat Sandal, $49.95 at DSW.com.

Zara Flat Metallic Leather Sandals, $29.90 at Zara.com.

Zara Flat Metallic Leather Sandals, $29.90 at Zara.com.

H&M Strappy Sandals in Silver, $8 at HM.com (also available in black and brown).

H&M Strappy Sandals in Silver, $8 at HM.com (also available in black and brown).

Boohoo Boutique Lace Up Suede Espadrille, $32 at ASOS.com.

Boohoo Boutique Lace Up Suede Espadrille, $32 at ASOS.com.

Zara Flat Sandals with Shiny Details, $49.90 at Zara.com.

Zara Flat Sandals with Shiny Details, $49.90 at Zara.com.

Mix No. 6 Scaglia Metallic Gladiator Sandal, $24.95 at DSW.com.

Mix No. 6 Scaglia Metallic Gladiator Sandal, $24.95 at DSW.com.

ASOS Falon Leather Flat Sandals, $33 at ASOS.com.

ASOS Falon Leather Flat Sandals, $33 at ASOS.com.

Topshop “Hot Stud” Ankle Strap Sandal, $48 at Nordstrom.com.

Topshop “Hot Stud” Ankle Strap Sandal, $48 at Nordstrom.com.

What are you updating in your summer wardrobe?

– Kriste

What to Wear to an Outdoor Office Retreat

Kristen Berry

Cutter Scout Reservation, Boulder Creek, California

Cutter Scout Reservation, Boulder Creek, California

If you know me, this will came as no surprise: I have never been camping. That is, until last week, when my company held its annual team retreat, this time during a two-night camping trip. As someone who likes to bring it wardrobe-wise at the workplace (and in every other way, really), this trip posed a bit of a packing challenge.

We were to depart for the campgrounds from the office Thursday morning. And while the itinerary for the trip was kept a surprise, I knew that previous retreats involved team brainstorms on business topics and presentations of the group’s ideas before the entire company. Given this, I wanted to kick things up a few notches above what I might wear on a casual camping trip with friends.
 

J. Crew V-Neck Band-Sleeve Top (on sale for $36) and Garden Short (on sale for $24), both in the print “Palm Frond.

J. Crew V-Neck Band-Sleeve Top (on sale for $36) and Garden Short (on sale for $24), both in the print “Palm Frond.

When I spotted this adorable two-piece set on super sale at J. Crew (an extra 40% off the sale price? Yes please!), I knew I found my perfect first-day-at-camp outfit. Normally I shy away from wearing matchy-matchy pieces at once. However, this set worn together gives off more of a romper vibe, which lends it a charmingly casual and playful vibe that feels appropriate for the setting. I also love that the elevated fabrics make the pieces comfortable and breathable as well as a bit more refined than actual campwear – the top is silk, and the shorts a surprisingly wrinkle-resistant linen. The other benefit of wearing a cute, work-friendly outfit to your trip? It works like a wearable conversation piece, just as I described in my recent post on the role fashion plays in my battling the downsides of being an introvert.

I should also note that this trip was largely more “glamping” than “camping” – check out the gorgeous accommodations put together by Shelter Co., which specializes in this sort of luxury outdoor event setup. This setting made my choice of outfit seem all the more appropriate.

If you find yourself invited to a similarly rustic company event, I recommend taking a similar approach of thinking through the types of items you would likely wear to the same setting sans coworkers (shorts, tank tops, jeans, t-shirts) and fancying them up just a bit by opting for work-appropriate silhouettes, attractive colors and patterns, and avoiding items that are too revealing or threadbare. J. Crew is my go-to resource for dressed-up casual pieces – I can always count on them for classic, preppy items with a stylish twist, and in cuts that I'd be totally comfortable with my boss catching me in.

These same rules apply for sleepwear, loungewear and workout wear, too. Don’t bring your teeny tiny hiking shorts or sexy yoga top for your activities, even if it’s scorching hot outdoors. You want these folks to respect you at your Monday morning status meetings.

Here are a few key wardrobe/beauty lessons I learned along the way to help you further rock your next camping/glamping trip:

  • Baby Wipes and Makeup Wipes Will Be Your Best Friend. Even though our tents were gorgeously appointed, we were still largely limited to port-a-potties in the bathroom department. Wipes were ultra-clutch when it came to quick clean-ups along the way.

  • So Will Water Bottles. Because brushing your teeth with fresh water right outside your tent sure beats having to hike seven minutes uphill in the dark to the one bathroom with actual plumbing.

  • Everything will Get Dirty. Like, filthy dirty. If you wear black, it will show every speck of dirt. Only wear comfortable, durable shoes you can basically throw in the wash (or can retire on the trip, as I did with the old metallic gladiators pictured above). Re-wear whatever you can to limit what will require laundering upon your return.

  • You Will be Colder at Night Than You Think. I regretted not having a hat, gloves and scarf with me around the campfire at night. Bring them even if you don’t think you’ll need them. I was extremely thankful that I had packed my fuzzy fleece PJs and thick, warm socks, though.

  • Get Your Beauty Sleep. Ear plugs kept me blissfully unaware of the sound of the port-a-potty doors slamming throughout the night. Next time, I’ll be sure to bring a sleeping mask as well, to keep the early morning sun at bay.

Special thanks to my awesome coworkers Erin for suggesting this post, and Allison for snapping the OOTD :)

Happy Camping!

- Kristen

Easy, Glowy Summer Makeup

Kristen Berry

You have better things to do this summer than spend hours in front of the mirror perfecting your makeup. Here's a quick and easy makeup tutorial focusing on glowy skin, flirty lashes and a bold, bright lip.

Here are the products I used in this tutorial:

  • e.l.f. Mineral Infused Face Primer, $6 at Target.com.
  • NARS Pro-Prime™ Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, $26 at Sephora.com.
  • Maybelline FIT ME! Matte + Poreless Foundation and Powder, both in the color Toffee, $6 each at Target.com.
  • Maybelline FIT ME!  Concealer (now in a new formula than the one used in the tutorial), $4.40 at Target.com.
  • e.l.f. Studio Translucent Matifying Powder, $3 at Target.com.
  • Too Faced Bronzer in Jolie, available only as part of the Le Grand Chateau palette set, no longer available.
  • theBalm cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer, $24 at Birchbox.com.
  • e.l.f. Blush Palette in Dark, $6, Target.
  • Maybelline® Lash Sensational™ Mascara, $7 at Target.com.
  • Glossier Boy Brow, $16 at Glossier.com.
  • NYX Matte Lipstick in Indie Flick, $6 at Target.com.

What’s your go-to summer makeup look?

- Kristen