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Clothing, Style

How to Style Culottes for Fall

blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-1blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-3blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-8blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-9 blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-4blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-7blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-5blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-10blue-striped-gaucho-pants-ruffled-off-the-shoulder-top-2Top: Boohoo // Pants: Alice + Olivia // Shoes: J.Crew (similar, lower-heel option here) // Brooches: vintage // Bag: Vintage // Bag Charms: Amazon // Sunglasses: Karen Walker via DITTO // Bracelet: Banana Republic // Rings: BaubleBar // Watch: Michael Kors

If you thought I was going to say stick a sweater on top and call it a day, you were wrong. You were very, very wrong. Yes, autumn heralds the advent of knitwear, but it also marks the beginning of open season on all things sparkly. And furry. And ruffly. Right?

I recently discovered these epic Alice + Olivia high-waisted culottes on major clearance at Nordstrom Rack. Admittedly, they are from the Spring season, but having admired them from the time I first spied them on the (RIP) presentation recap, I knew I had to pick them up and never let go. I floated out of the store—thanking my lucky shopping stars—determined to repurpose these charming umbrella-striped culottes for fall use.

My usual instinct is to pair a voluminous piece with a streamlined one, to balance out the silhouette. Here, however, I went full steam ahead and paired these pleated pants with an equally billowing top. I affectionately refer to it as my Puffy Shirt and I love it very much. Next step in fall-ifying this look? Add as much sparkle and lush texture as possible without looking gauche. That means silver cracked-leather pumps, a trio of vintage brooches and a sublime silver-and-gold box clutch all found at my very favorite local antique shop, and a cluster of furry pompoms for good measure.

Were my shoulders a little cold? Maybe, but sometimes you have to shiver a little to look good.


Lemon Stripe Dress

lemon-stripes-milly-dress-1lemon-stripes-milly-dress-5lemon-stripes-milly-dress-3lemon-stripes-milly-dress-6lemon-stripes-milly-dress-2lemon-stripes-milly-dress-4lemon-stripes-milly-dress-9 lemon-stripes-milly-dress-7Dress: MILLY for DesigNation // Earrings: H&M // Sunglasses: DITTO // Bag: Forever 21 (old, similar) // Shoes: Target // Watch: Michael Kors (sold out, similar) // Bracelet: Julie Vos // Rings: ASOS (old, similar)

Up until about a month ago, I hadn’t been to a Kohl’s in probably ten years. And then, I happened upon a bit about the MILLY for DesigNation collaboration in InStyle and decided to pop into the local Kohl’s on my way home from work, just to see what they had.

Since I was a few weeks late for the launch, only a few pieces remained on the racks, but I was able to score the striped version of this t-shirt and this beautiful lemon sheath dress (there was only one left, and it was my size)! Besides the beautiful print, I love the way that the princess-seamed construction and thick neoprene fabric nip and tuck in all the right places, creating a svelte silhouette. I’m also on a big yellow kick as of late, so I love that I can wear my huge beaded tassel earrings to perfectly round out this sunny summer look.


Springtime Crops

gray-tshirt-navy-striped-maxi-skirt-8 gray-tshirt-navy-striped-maxi-skirt-7gray-tshirt-navy-striped-maxi-skirt-5gray-tshirt-navy-striped-maxi-skirt-1gray-tshirt-navy-striped-maxi-skirt-9gray-tshirt-navy-striped-maxi-skirt-3gray-tshirt-navy-striped-maxi-skirt-4gray-tshirt-navy-striped-maxi-skirt-2gray-tshirt-navy-striped-maxi-skirt-6gray-tshirt-navy-striped-maxi-skirt-9T-Shirt: J.Crew // Skirt: Gap // Sunglasses: Alexander McQueen // Bag: Steve Madden // Shoes: J.Crew Factory // Necklace & Bracelets: Julie Vos // Rings: Stella & Dot, BP. // Watch: Michael Kors // Lipstick: Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Watermelon Slice

It’s almost summer, and that means the corn is growing strong here in Iowa. It’s been an especially rainy spring, which I gather is good for the corn, but not great for the planting of soy fields. I already know much more about farming than I ever thought I would just from listening to the radio every morning and evening on my commute.

When you’ve lived in Texas, you learn that sometimes people will ask you if you ride horses to school everyday. In Iowa, the stereotype might have something more to do with tractors. And you know what? I regularly see people driving their tractors down the road, filling them up at gas stations heading out to the next field. It would feel very cliché if it wasn’t the reality here.

As I’ve told pretty much everyone who asks how I like living in Iowa, I had very low expectations—of the landscape in particular. I pictured flat, two-dimensional corn fields that were dizzying in their sameness. Instead, I’ve found that the miles and miles of rolling corn and soy fields that surround our little town are beautiful in their pastoral calm.



Let’s Play Ball


Jacket: White Rabbit // Shirt: Zara (similar) // Jeans: Old Navy // Bag: Forever 21 (old, very similar here // Shoes: Converse // Watch: Michael Kors // Bracelet: Julie Vos

I’ve always been a skirt, heels and curls kind of girl, so it’s taken me awhile to dive into the more casual athletic-wear trend. First, I dipped my toes in with the purchase of these classic white Converse sneakers (possibly the only pair of tennis shoes I’ve bought in the past five years), and ever since then I’ve been more inclined to pick up sportier pieces.

I found this fluffy baseball jacket at my favorite store here in Iowa City, and couldn’t resist its cozy textures and playful color palette. The cable-knit sleeves make it feel like more of a sweater than a jacket, which is perfect for layering over my favorite striped tee without being too bulky.

Our local snow-covered baseball field seemed a natural place to document this look, but one can only hope that when baseball season officially starts next month, the snow will be gone and I can start wearing some of those dresses I’m so fond of.

Clothing, Lifestyle, On the Cheapish

Stripes + Sneakers

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On our recent road trip through the Pacific Northwest, Max and I discovered that one of our favorite wineries is located just 20 minutes from my dad’s house in Snohomish, WA. Having both lived near wine country for several years, we’re no strangers to the tasting room, but we were excited to sample our favorite Rieslings from Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Rather surprisingly, this was up there as one of my favorite wine tasting experiences to date. The tour was informative, just the right length and included complimentary tastings. You can also choose to purchase additional tasting flights, which we did, obviously, and were rewarded with a couple few on-the-house tastes of reserve wines from the charming grandfatherly bartenders.

And what better way to walk off a bit of a white wine buzz than by exploring the beautiful grounds around the chateau? We spent longer than I care to admit stalking a pair of peacocks around a perfectly dilapidated greenhouse, so it’s a good thing I wore my sneakers for the occasion. On trips to Napa and Sonoma, my outfit of choice is a feminine maxi dress and a nice pair of wedges. But since we were wine tasting in Washington, I decided to dress down a bit and opted for my favorite new Zara striped t-shirt and white Chucks. I added some ladylike pops of red and a floral necklace to round out my outfit.

I’m definitely adding Chateau Ste. Michelle to my list of favorite Pacific Northwest places, and I can’t wait to go back! Luckily, I brought home more than a couple bottles of wine to tide me over.

Top: Zara (sold out) // Sunglasses: Forever 21 // Jeans: Old Navy // Purse: Target (similar) // Shoes: Converse // Bracelets: Bauble Bar and Old Navy // Lipstick: NARS Heat Wave