Dressing for Summer

BEST OF: LITTLE WHITE DRESSES

While I’m not above a fun statement piece (this printed denim jacket for instance), I’m much more focused on building my “forever wardrobe” these days. And a little white dress is an absolute staple piece to me for summer. I already have a slightly fitted, sleeveless lace white dress that I love – but I’ve been looking for a cleaner, more structured version for awhile now and finally found it. This exact dress is sold-out now, but this one is a dead ringer at a great price.

As long as I don’t stain it – because in full disclosure I ate french fries after we took these pictures and was fairly nervous the entire time – I’ll be wearing and loving this little number for years to come. It’s a blank canvas and could be worn simply for a weekend day date or dressed up for a special occasion.

Below – a few more of my favorites little white dresses – from lightweight linen to structured denim to romantic lace.

SHOP LITTLE WHITE DRESSES:

SHOP THE ACCESSORIES:

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HALFWAY THROUGH 2020

We’re almost exactly at the halfway point in this year and I think, whether we are ready to admit it or not, 2020 has changed us all. As jobs, relationships, health and homes have shifted externally, many of us have also been internally examining our priorities, goals and privileges. It’s a lot to process for just 6 months time. And who knows what the next 6 months holds? It feels like we’re in that muddy, middle period. Which is often so uncomfortable. But it also serves as a good check in point so that you can make sure you’re pointed in the right direction for the rest of the year.

When I look back on my resolutions for this year – I wanted to prioritize health and happiness. There have been some obvious stumbling blocks on those fronts – but overall I think I’m still doing my best to make those areas a focus. It’s just that how I achieve both looks slightly different now. With my gym closed for the foreseeable and my commute now consisting of nothing more than the walk from my bed to my desk – I’m taking long walks every morning instead. While work/life balance has been tricky in this time with my job being more demanding than ever – I’m making it a point to go to bed earlier and set hours aside on the weekends to read.

Aside from my resolutions I also make a lower pressure list every year (19 for 2019, 20 for 2020 and so on) that I don’t share here as they’re more personal. Some are totally fun, frivolous things – like see a Broadway show. And some are bigger picture items, such as specific financial goals. This list feels the most out of touch when I look at it now – as so many of the things on it that seemed totally achievable at the start of the year are completely impossible now. They’ve closed Broadway until January 2021 after all! I’m thinking of making a revised list, drafted with our “new normal” in mind?

This year looks nothing like any of us thought it would on January 1st. But on July 1st – we can set intentions, no matter the circumstances – for what the rest of the year might look like. Here’s to braving the unknown and checking a few things off our 2020 lists along the way.

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SUMMER CAPSULE WARDROBE: 10 PIECES, 10 WAYS – WITH TALBOTS

One of my favorite posts these past few seasons has been a “capsule wardrobe” type round-up featuring 10 core pieces, styled 10 ways with my friends at Talbots. A full IGTV try-on video is live on my Instagram now, but I wanted share the photos of each look + outfit details here for reference. These pieces really can be mixed and matched in endless ways and be worn from work to weekend depending on how you style them.

To note: almost all of these pieces are available in petites, regular and plus sizing (sizes 0-24) and I really can’t say enough good things about the quality and the fit. I’m wearing a size 2 or XS in everything except for the pink sweatshirt (size S) and the checked blazer (size 4) as I wanted a bit more room to layer. I’m 5’4″ for reference.

I love this dress – it makes me think of something Betty Draper would wear on a picnic. It’s perfect on it’s own, but on the left is how I’d wear it at the lake house (where it gets cool at night) – with a sweatshirt over top and the belt tied into my hair as a headband.

LOOK 1:

LOOK 2:

You all already know how much I love a blazer. This lightweight version in a fun check print is great for the office (where the A/C is always blasting) but cute too on the weekends with a pair of white jeans.

LOOK 3:

LOOK 4:

One of my favorite styling tricks is to later a skirt over a dress to make it look like a top. The secret is to pick pieces with similar waistlines and to use a lightweight dress and a fuller skirt so that you don’t add bulk. You practically double your wardrobe this way!

LOOK 5:

LOOK 6:

A sleeveless button down shirt is a great summer layering piece. Underneath this striped linen jumpsuit it adds just a tiny bit of pattern mixing, and on the left – I tied it up high at the waist for a very ‘Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday’ vibe.

LOOK 7:

LOOK 8:

This cute little embroidered berry t-shirt is unexpectedly one of my favorite pieces from the collection. I’ll be wearing this tossed on over a bathing suit, on trips to the farmer’s market and for ice cream dates all summer long.

LOOK 9:

LOOK 10:

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SUMMER STYLE: 5 WAYS TO WEAR A WHITE T-SHIRT

It’s been a while (I think since New Years Eve of last year to be precise) since I filmed a style video for IGTV and I’d been itching to get back into it. So here we are! I know summer plans are up in the air for now, but you’ll always have use for a simple white t-shirt and a few easy ways to wear it. See the full video on my Instagram here and shop each outfit below.

SHOP LOOK #1:

(Plus Neely & Chloe Bag)

SHOP LOOK #2:

SHOP LOOK #3:

SHOP LOOK #4:

SHOP LOOK #5:

(Plus Faithfull Slip Dress)

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LINEN BLAZER + CUT-OFF DENIM SHORTS

In general, I’m not a very casual dresser. I don’t wear leggings out of the house unless I’m going to the gym and I never got on board with the whole athleisure trend. It’s not to say I don’t think it looks good on other people, it’s just not me. That being said – one casual piece mixed into with other more classic pieces feels right for a hot summer day. Case in point: these jeans shorts paired with a linen blazer, statement earrings and neutral block heels.

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I’ve always just felt that life (and especially New York) is worth dressing up for. What if you run into an ex? Or a potential boss? Or a reallyyyy pretty West Village street. Dress for the neighborhood you want to live in, right?

In full disclosure, these jeans were Adam’s and were only slightly too small for him so he gave them to me to cut-off (I won’t dwell on the fact that we have nearly the same sized waist…), but pretty much every thrift store in America has a good pair of vintage Levi’s that you could do the same with. I say that because there are an somewhat alarming number of girls on Instagram wearing $150 cut-off jean shorts and raving about how amazing they are. Here’s an alternative.

And while I’m giving out advice – this bag has been one of my favorites since spring and is now on sale. It will be a wardrobe hero straight through fall. I tied on this vintage Liberty London silk scarf that I bought in a nearby vintage shop about 10 minutes before we snapped these photos. Even my bag’s like to dress up apparently.

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.