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While conventional packing wisdom suggests bringing basics and adding color in with accessories, for such a long trip I found it easier to stick to a basic color palette for each city (i.e. patriotic reds and blues in Austin, soft neutrals and pinks in Charleston, and bold desert hues for Scottsdale).  To coordinate with each city’s palette, I chose a complimentary clutch to wear for night’s out and then packed the jewelry I plan on wearing with those looks inside of each.  I’m hoping that this helps curb messy bag syndrome by day 4 and also keeps the time it takes me to get dressed each day to a minimum.  An upside of editing your entire wardrobe down into trunk-sized dimensions is that your true style quickly becomes very clear (see here: shoe buying tendencies in sandy suede, basic blacks, and mix-with-anything leopard).  The least stressful bag to pack has been the “car bag” including such essentials as bobby pins and lip stain to pull yourself together before checking in to the next hotel and a ‘Word a Day’ journal to sum it all up. Happy (last 36 hours living on the East Coast) Friday!

(all photos my own)  

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Nothing like the start of Fall weather during Spring ’13 Fashion Week to really confuse the seasons.  Luckily, seasonal fashion rules no longer really apply (labor day newsflash: white dress + black leather jacket and tights = winter wonder).  So I’m currently lusting after 3.1 Philip Lim’s Pashli satchel in Fall’s hottest shade, and simultaneously putting J.Crew’s silk shirtdress on my Spring shopping list.  And while I’m on a roll mixing my pastels with my jewel tones, trust me when I say that Clinique’s cream blush  (whether you go with lighter pink or deeper rose) is a makeup bag staple, no matter what the time of year.    

(Lust: 3.1 Philip Lim Pashli satchel)
(Must: J.Crew Spring ’13 Look 3)
(Trust me: Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick)

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With just 5 days left until my great American road trip begins, packing is accounting for much of my time.  While the fun part is determining what I’ll wear window shopping in Charleston or for a night out in New Orleans, the less thrilling yet much more important part is what I’ll wear to survive long hours on the road in between.  My thoughts so far include variations on the above: a stylish shoe that’s easy to slip on and off, jeans with some give, a casual graphic tee (this one is from the little boys department!), a scarf to account for the a/c vs. windows conundrum and a bag that’s easy to grab at pit stops.  The result should hopefully be a look that airs on the side of a wind blown and wide eyed Kate Moss instead of a beleaguered vagabond.  

(1. DV suede boots; 2. J.Crew Boys T-shirt; 3. Gap jeans; 4. AE scarf; 5. Ebay Vintage Coach bag

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We’ve still got sheer, printed pants, hits of neon and cropped tops to hang on to for next Spring, but we can look forward to adding wallpaper scale prints, boxy dropped shoulder tops, boy cut shorts, and some seriously killer new shades to our looks.  So far, so good Fashion Week.

(Left to Right: Honor, Jenni Kayne, Rachel Comey, and Suno)
(see full collections here)

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It’s not exactly groundbreaking news that the peplum has quickly catapulted to the must have shape of the season.  Luckily it’s one of those silhouettes that totally nails it (girly yet structured, playful yet dressy…), and so I’m totally on board with putting a few of these tops into heavy rotation come Fall.  Even better, the simple shape allows you to pull off a standout collar necklace (pair it with just a pair of studs and you’re good to go).  Above are three options, proving no matter what your style – there’s really no excuse for you not to be riding the peplum wave.  

(Collars: Hope Loren classic; Leif girly; Threadsence modern)
(Studs: Kate Spade classic; Tuleste girly; Free People modern)
(Peplum: Topshop classic; Ruche girly; Madewell modern

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Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.