Thursday, August 27, 2015

White Dress Summer Days

Photos by Magnolia of Magnolia White

Happy Thursday! 

I'm keeping summer alive still by wearing my new favorite sundress, this gorgeous white embroidered piece. With the open front that ties up it gives the illusion of being a matching skirt and top set while actually being one easy piece! The embroidered white fabric and full skirt make this dress perfectly summery, especially when worn with light beige accessories and flowy hair. The flirty peek of skin contrasts with the otherwise classically girly silhouette for a touch of something current. Simple jewelry and just a hint of color were all I needed to bring the look to life. I took this dress for a stroll in the park to enjoy the weather and see all the blooming flowers before the season is over.

Everybody is getting all excited for fall, but not me--I'm hanging on to summer as long as I can!! 

Dress: Ruche. Bag: Street Level (also cute). Shoes: J. Crew. Bracelet: J. Crew. Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters. Earrings: Banana Republic. Lipstick: BareMinerals.

xoxo, CC

Monday, August 24, 2015


I know I just wore this tee but,

GUYS, New York Fashion Week is coming right up!!! And I'm already thinking about what I'm going to wear when I head over to take photos on scene. Because even if I'm not invited to the events, I still have to look good, right? Last year I had so much fun people-watching and snapping photos outside the events. Anyway, this outfit today is something along the lines of what I'm thinking of wearing this year. A faux leather mini with an easy graphic tee are chic as can be, especially when paired with a chunky gold heel. Adding an armful of bangles, easy hair, and hot pink lipstick softens the look while maintaining an effortless vibe and ensuring no detail is overlooked.

See what I wore last year (here & here) and the photos I captured of the event (here & here). Who else is excited to see what people are wearing this NYFW?!

Tee: Ruche (tank version). Skirt: H&M. Sandals: Ellen Tracy.
Earrings: Banana Republic. Necklace: kate spade. Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters. Clutch: similar 1/2/3/4.

xoxo CC

Friday, August 21, 2015

Always Room for Dessert...

"There is always room for a another pair of shoes like there is always room for dessert!"

This cute little tag came with a pair of silver sandals that I ordered for a friend's wedding, and I had to save the tag because it is just too funny! You could say shoes and dessert are some of my favorite things.... and there is always room for dessert. 

I switched bedrooms in my apartment this month and have been spending most of my free moments trying to get my new room organized and put together. The new room has big sunny windows, but came at the sacrifice of a decent closet so I added a hanging clothes rack to my room. The bottom shelf of the rack has proved a handy space to store shoes, don't you think!? I like that it is a nice way to organize and display my shoes so they can inspire me to put together coordinating outfits. Between my small closet, under-bed storage, and this new space there is certainly room for another pair of shoes any time.....

Tag and silver sandals: Chocolate Schubar. L to R, Booties: Ralph Lauren via TJMaxx. Black sandals: Ellen Tracy via Century 21. Flower sandals: Poetic License. Nude Heels: Steve Madden. Pattern Sandals: Coconuts by Matisse. Floral Espadrilles: Lilly Pulitzer for Target.
Calendar: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

xoxo CC

Monday, August 17, 2015


The best part of summer is relaxing by the water on a sunny warm day.... So I took a few days off (again) to do just that. I hopped on the train out of NYC to visit my family in the Adirondacks, where I had four whole days of sleeping late, yummy food, and catching some sun. 

Every day had an afternoon rain shower, but we managed to sneak in an island picnic one day before the storm clouds hit. 

Raspberry wine and a boat-shaped bowl make for ideal afternoon snacking... 

If you stand still in the shallow water dozens of little minnows come up and start nibbling the dead skin off your feet. It tickles a lot but it's like a free pedicure! People pay a lot for this technique! 

Landscapes around Grandma's house... I've always loved wandering in the mossy woods and picking wild berries off the bushes.

Ice cream and waffles: two of my favorite treats that I got to enjoy on this trip. Donnelley's is famous for their homemade soft serve!

Now it's back to work in the city..!

xoxo CC

Thursday, August 13, 2015

S'Il Vous Plait

Champagne s'il vous plait! 
How cute is this tee for a TGIF vibe or a weekend brunch? I wore it this past Friday dressed up with a swingy black skirt and pastel accessories. I've come to appreciate the fun of a cute graphic tee, and I love that this one is oversized and slouchy and oh-so-soft! The graphic is simple enough that it was easy to dress up a touch by tucking it into a skirt and adding a statement necklace. And since it was Friday, I took the scenic route to work, meandering through the park...  :) 

Tee: Ruche (tank version here). Skirt: H&M. Bag: Rebecca Minkoff. Sandals: Steve Madden. Necklace: J. Crew (similar). Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters

xoxo, CC

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Denim Guide Part 2: A Broke Girl's Case for Expensive Jeans

Denim Guide Part 2 
(J Brand, Hudson, J Brand, AG)

A Broke Girl's Case for Expensive Jeans

Last week I shared my opinions on affordable denim brands, and today we are moving on to the pricier brands that are oh so popular! Having worked with designer denim brands such as J Brand, Hudson, AG, DL1961, and Citizens of Humanity I have had the opportunity to try these jeans, own a few, and get to know their characteristics.
While I realize that spending $150-$200 on a pair of jeans is way out of many peoples' price range, I encourage the skeptics to at least consider investing in one pair. I'll be honest, I'm not sure if I would have taken the plunge had I not had an employee discount, but as soon as I did I knew it was one of the best $100 I'd ever spent on a piece of clothing. I've always had a hard time finding jeans that fit me properly but these brands tend to take fit seriously: they are truly made with women's bodies in mind. What you're paying for is not just a pair of jeans, but quality, fit, and comfort, and all of the research that goes into finding the optimal fabrics and fits.
If you're wary of spending so much on a pair of jeans, don't rush it. Try on lots of different brands and styles to find one that works best for you. Invest in a classic jean that you can wear in many different ways, and take proper care of them. I started with a dark wash skinny jean which can be dressed up or dressed down and worn all year round.

My all-time favorite jeans are by Hudson. Their jeans run long enough for me, their denim is good quality, both thick/solid enough and comfortable, and their super skinny is truly ankle-hugging. Some people don't like their back pockets, personally I think they are flattering, but they do make many styles without the pocket as well for a more sleek look.

(Hudson jeans featured in Light Bulb)

J Brand. Some people love 'em some people hate 'em. Personally my only complaint (besides the price!) is that they tend to run a little short on me. Otherwise I love that J Brand offers good quality jeans with such a huge variety of styles, washes, fits, and fabrics. They are always on trend and coming up with new fit technology. Some people complain that their jeans don't hold up well, and I myself had an experience with a pair of their thin fabric jegging-type jeans ripping in the crotch (they were my favorite pair too!) so I'd advise staying away from the super thin fabrics, as comfortable as they may be, and stick to something with a little more stretch. 

(J Brand jeans featured in Soft Color)

AG has more relaxed styles along with the classic fits and tends to be a favorite with women seeking stylish-but-age-appropriate jeans. They have an appeal to a broader range of ages than most brands. They offer good solid denims as well as super stretchy options, and I personally tend to love their specialty styles, such as the seasonal velvet jeans.

(AG velvet jeans featured in Snowflakes and Florals)

DL1961 is known for having great stretchy jeans that keep their shape. As opposed to J Brand which gets many complaints of stretching out after only one wear, DL jeans stay tight through repeated wears. They tend to run really short, so they are great for people under 5'7 but I've never been able to pull them off. They have a following of dedicated customers who love their shape retaining qualities and trendy styles.

Citizens of Humanity is a brand I'm still getting familiar with, but they are widely known for their quality. They have great skinny options, and I personally love the fit of their high rise jean, the Rocket. I find that they are not unlike J Brand in their popularity, variety, and quality, though many people strongly prefer one brand or the other. Citizens offers great classic styles in fabrics from super-soft comfy denim to thicker traditional style denim.

(Citizens of Humanity Rocket High Rise jean)

Keep in mind that all denim will stretch! If the jeans feel tight when you first try them on chances are they will stretch to a comfortable fit, and shrink back when washed. If they are loose (or even "just right") in the dressing room they will only get looser as you wear them. Find a pair that is comfortable in the waistband and snug but flexible through the legs and knees: these are your golden ticket to jean comfort!!

Don't forget to check out last week's post on Affordable Favorites!

xoxo, CC

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Denim Guide Part 1: Affordable Favorites

Denim Guide
(H&M, Gap, American Eagle)

Ever wondered which denim brand is right for you? Yeah, me too. It took me years to find jeans that actually fit me right, and now working in the retail business with a focus on denim, I know a lot more than I used to on the subject. So, I wanted to share what I know with you.
I am splitting this into two different posts, one on affordable brands, and one on pricier designer jeans like J brand.
My advice here is probably tinted by my personal preferences in jeans: I like mid rise jeans in a skinny or super skinny fit with plenty of stretch. 

Affordable Favorites

Gap: I recently rediscovered Gap jeans and was incredibly surprised and impressed with the quality. After bad memories of ill-fitting stretch-less Gap jeans in high school I had avoided them for years, but now they are probably my favorite affordable jeans. My personal favorite fit is the skinny cropped version since they are close fitting and stretchy. I only wish they came in a long version too, for winter! They do tend to run a little bit short for me (which is why cropped jeans are great-they're meant to be short) but they do make some styles available in Tall. I also tend to go a size down at Gap, which always makes me feel great :)
Check out the deals at the Gap Factory Store to really find affordable options.

(Gap jeans featured on Light Bulb)

Machine: I only own one pair from this brand, and it's the only pair I've ever even tried on, but I have to say they do a great job of imitating designer quality and style at a much more affordable price point. I was slightly annoyed that I had to size up not one, but two sizes to fit in them (they are a junior's brand) but they are quite comfortable and very stylish. The pair I have is a distressed black jean, which is super trendy these days!

(Machine jeans featured in Dots)

H&M: I have one pair of Red Concept jeans from H&M, which, while they are very big in the waist, I nevertheless like a lot. They are distressed jeans, meant to be a skinny, but look more like a boyfriend fit on me (due to the saggy waist area). They also are short on me, but with that looser style they look good rolled up.
More recently I purchased a pair of super stretchy white jeans from H&M which are so incredibly comfortable that I told my mom that I felt like I could do yoga in them (to which she asked, "you do yoga these days?" No, no I don't. lol. But I could wear these jeans while doing yoga if I wanted to). I definitely recommend trying H&M denim, especially for specialty jeans that you don't want to invest too much in, but always try it on before you buy.

(H&M jeans featured in Neon Pink)

American Eagle is where I bought my jeans for a very long time, for lack of finding better options. I have many friends who love the fit of their jeans, but I've always been disappointed in their sizing. I have wide hips and thighs and a skinny waist, so to get a pair that fit my legs their jeans are always much too big in the waistband. Their classic denims have no stretch and make it uncomfortable to bend or sit, but their stretchy jeans are actually quite comfortable.  It used to be impossible to find anything but low rise at AE (and while those were stylish they made it really hard to sit!) but now they have several high rise options available, and a great variety of trendy styles. If their jeans fit right, these are a great affordable option. Although,  the incessant use of their butt-pocket stitching does make me a little crazy.

(AE jeans featured on When In Doubt...)

Delia's: I know, I know, you're probably thinking, "that's a brand for teen girls," but I'll be honest, one of my favorite pairs of jeans is from Delia's. I was going through a phase of desperation in my hunt for jeans that actually fit me right, and I was willing to try anything. I tried Delia's because they came in extended lengths and were extremely affordable, and I wasn't disappointed. I purchased the Olivia jean in a dark wash and I literally wore them to death over the course of four years: after wearing them nearly every day for at least two of those years they are just beginning to wear thin in the thighs. Their "low rise" isn't actually that low (which is great!) and they are super comfortable. Plus, they have no signature pocket stitching to identify them, so no one has to know you're wearing juniors jeans (lol).
(While Delia's recently went out of business for a while, they just re-launched their website and catalogue, including the popular Olivia jean!)

(Delia's jeans featured on Owl Excursions)

I've also been hearing good things about the brands Dittos and SP Black, which I have never tried, but figured would be worth a shout out!
What affordable denim brands do you love?

Look for Part 2 next week featuring my insight on splurge jeans!!

xoxo CC

Monday, August 3, 2015

Vineyard Wines

I wanted to share a few snapshots from my bestie's birthday celebration at Charlotte Village Winery last week. We discovered this gorgeous spot last summer (which I blogged about of course) and have been dying to go back ever since. Besides the awesome fruit wines, they have a porch to sit out and enjoy a picnic lunch and stunning views. We dressed up in cute floral dresses for the occasion since wine tastings definitely call for a bit of a preppy touch!

Dress: Jack Wills (1/2/3). Sandals: J. Crew (1/2). Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters

xoxo, CC