Dressing for Summer

THE BEST SUMMER BAGS TO SHOP NOW

Is it just me or is the selection of bags available in the world right now especially good? I’ve been making such a point of being really careful with how I shop so far this year – only buying things when I know that they’re filling a gap in my existing wardrobe or can be worn a handful of ways – but a fun summer bag definitely meets those qualifications. Even with a simple cotton dress or jeans and a tee, any one of these bags would completely make the outfit. My favorites are this seventies-style wooden bead bag, this fun gingham fabric bag, this colorful vintage clutch and this seersucker lined straw tote (which I just got in and it’s even better in person). It’s going to take quite a bit of self control to not scoop of an armful of these babies.

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5 WAYS TO WEAR A LINEN BLAZER

I’ve been seeing quick little styling videos pop up on Instagram lately and I love how kind of unpolished and in the moment they feel. So I decided to do a try-on session using one of my favorite new closet additions – this linen blazer. It’s the perfect neutral and lightweight so you can throw it on in a chilly office or in the morning before the temps warm up, and I like that it looks lived in so it’s casual enough for weekends too. Watch my full video here – and below I’ve linked each outfit so it’s easily shoppable.

(P.S. It looks like this blazer has sold out in a lot of sizes right now, but definitely check back because I find that they re-stock often enough you can usually grab your size – if not, this or this would be a good alternative)

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SUMMER STAYCATION STYLE

The Steele Maiden: Summer Staycation Style

Suddenly, it feels like we’ve hit fast-forward to the end of summer and this is the last time I’ll be wearing this type of outfit for awhile. It’s always bittersweet isn’t it? Perhaps even more so when I feel like I didn’t even get a chance to really take a proper vacation this Summer. But the postcard print on this dress almost made me feel like I did. And this little stretch of New York, all secret alleys and white picket fences certainly feel transportive. Let’s consider it a Summer staycation.

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At least I’m headed off to the lake this weekend to soak up the last of summer’s boat rides, tan lines and flamingo floats. And then, I’ll do my best to say goodbye to this season and get ready for the next. Is it too soon to say the “F” word? I honestly love Fall just as much as Summer (especially clothing-wise), but the thought of the season after that makes me shiver even on an August day. Is anyone else as strongly tied emotionally to seasons? I think it’s why I didn’t like Los Angeles life as much as so many others do. I like the wave of change every few months – whether or not I’m ready for it. Here it comes.

The Steele Maiden: Summer Staycation Style The Steele Maiden: Summer Staycation Style The Steele Maiden: Summer Staycation Style

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THE CLASSIC WHITE SHIRTDRESS

The Steele Maiden: Classic White Shirtdress at South Street Seaport

I talked about it a bit on Instagram, but I really haven’t done much shopping this Summer. Blame it on shifting all of my wardrobe budget to home goods for the new apartment instead. But the few pieces that I have bought I’ve absolutely loved. And isn’t that how it should be?

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This classic white shirtdress is something I’ve been on the hunt for since two summers ago when I bought a cheap version that was cut above the knee and promptly shrunk it to a length that no longer felt appropriate anywhere besides the beach. Oops. So I’ve been dreaming on a midi length one that has a nice weight and shape to it, fitted but not constricting and in crisp cotton eyelet. Low and behold, here it is. This one (if kept free of any ice cream spills) should last for summers to come and will never feel dated. Oh! And there are pockets! What more could you want?

Mango White Shirtdress – on sale | Talbots Gingham Slides c/o – on sale | Madewell Tote – on sale| Braided Leather Belt

The Steele Maiden: Classic White Shirtdress at South Street Seaport The Steele Maiden: Classic White Shirtdress at South Street Seaport The Steele Maiden: Classic White Shirtdress at South Street Seaport The Steele Maiden: Classic White Shirtdress at South Street Seaport The Steele Maiden: Classic White Shirtdress at South Street Seaport

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WHY EVERY BODY IS A BEACH BODY

The Steele Maiden: Beach Body Positivity

For the past few years, Summer has tended to be the time when I’ve felt best about my body. My skin is sun-kissed (after an early Spring trip to someplace warm) and I’m usually in my best shape (after a Winter/Spring spent running on the treadmill and sticking to a strength training routing). And that’s not because of any number on a scale (I haven’t weighed myself in probably 2-3 years) but simply because of how I feel. It means I can keep up with a long run or hard work-out and feel strong, fast and capable. It’s a great feeling.

So what happens when life hands me a really difficult Winter/Spring and instead of working out or jetting off to someplace warm, I spend a season of life indulging in one too many beers/pasta dinners and hiding under the covers? Well, I’ll call it approximately 5 extra pounds of “emotional baggage” and not even a hint of the muscle tone that was out to play last Summer.

So that’s the beach body I’ve got this Summer. Not quite as tan or toned.. but you know what? Still my body. And it walks me to work everyday and it miraculously wards off most of the germs in this city and it’s starting to fight it’s way through runs along the river again and if I give it time it will get back to the place where I feel strong. And honestly, I don’t regret all of the beer (okay maybe one or two of ’em) or the pasta… because I think my body just needed it at that point in time. And that’s okay.

Maybe you’re growing a baby this summer (like my super-woman of a sister) or you had a similarly shit season of life and aren’t exactly in your old racing form. Let’s cut ourselves some slack. Throw on a bathing suit and go to the beach anyway. Summer only comes around once a year after all.

The Steele Maiden: Beach Body Positivity

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Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.