Monday, May 30, 2016

Vintage Printed

Happy Memorial Day!

I have been searching for months for the perfect pair of brown lace-up sandals that are simultaneously cute, comfortable, with a low heel and an affordable price tag. Well, I think I finally found them. These Steve Madden beauties will go with so many outfits this summer, but primarily I had them in mind to match with this dress. This fun printed midi dress is a vintage piece of my mom's from the 80's. Because of the longer skirt length it requires a heel, but I also wanted a shoe that was comfortable for regular use, so the low block heel on these sandals is perfect.

I like the way the cognac brown accessories modernize the look and really let the print and kimono-style sleeves do most of the talking. From afar it looks more like a checkered print, but up close the squares are a red zebra stripe which gives it an exotic and vibrant feel. A soft red lip really completes the look for a fun and sophisticated ensemble.
We have been having insanely hot weather in NYC all week so it felt nice to take a stroll through the shade in the park in a breezy dress and comfy sandals.

Dress: Vintage. Shoes: Steve Madden. Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (similar). Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters.

xoxo, CC

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sun Drenched

Yesterday was SO hot in the city, it really felt like summer for the first time! I took a walk through the park to enjoy the weather and catch a little sun on my skin. Everything was bright and saturated in the sunlight making the park look so green and the sky so blue! 

I always love mixing unexpected colors like orange and blush pink (I also blogged this color combo here!). This flutter sleeve top is an old favorite of mine, and the floral ruffle makes it easy to match with colorful accessories. I went with a total pink overload with the sunglasses, flower ring, and saddle bag. I just picked up this darling pink French Connection bag from Marshall's last week, and I have been wearing it with everything I possibly can. I was in need of a pink bag and this one is sure to be my new favorite. I also found this pair of sandals at Marshall's (in reality I was only there to get one thing, which was neither in the bag or shoe section.... funny how that happens) and I love that they are a trendy lace-up in an easy to wear neutral shade. I also experimented with tying them different ways around the ankle to achieve different looks.

With ripped shorts and my hair braided back this casual outfit kept me cool as possible in the glorious hot sun.

Top: Promod France (old). Shorts: Gap Factory. Bag: French Connection via Marshall's. Sunglasses Funoc. Ring: H&M. Sandals Dolce Vita via Marshall's. 

xoxo, CC

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Latest Obsession

You know when you do a wardrobe refresh and there are one or two items that suddenly you can't stop wearing? For me it's been the peplum tank I featured here, and also this blush pink faux leather skirt... on repeat. The skirt is the perfect balance of urban meets girly and it goes with practically everything, plus I've been totally obsessed with blush pink everything lately. I am planning to shoot an outfit or two showing how I wear it soon, but in the meantime I snapped a few pics of some outfit planning I laid out the other day. The style of the skirt looks great with a crop top, and trendy lace-up flats echo the urban/girly vibe. A light jacket and coordinated necklace are all that's necessary to pull the look together. 

Top: Zara. Skirt: Zara. Denim jacket: Gap. Flats: ZIGIny. Sunglasses: AJ Morgan

xoxo, CC

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Double Peplum

I love the combo of a peplum top with a complimentary peplum jacket over it. Something about the layered structural shapes really works for me. I've often layered my favorite striped peplum tank with this marled jacket (like I did here), and now I've added a new ruffled peplum top to the rotation! This off-white piece is my new favorite for summer since it is fun and flirty but also bohemian chic and so easy to wear. I like how the front detail with the cut-outs and the lace overlay make it a little more sophisticated and unique. 
The architectural details of this outfit are what really draw the eye, but a few subtle pops of color in the pastel bag and jewelry keep it from being entirely neutral. With ripped jeans the look is easy, but the fitted jacket brings it all together and adds a bit of a dressier touch. I wore this look to work at the store, but it is equally up for a brunch outing or an afternoon of shopping in the city. 
What's your take on doubling up?

Top: Zara. Jacket: H&M. Jeans: H&M. Bag: Rebecca Minkoff. Necklace: Dogeared. Bracelets: J. Crew and H&M. Belt: J. Crew. Shoes: J. Crew. 

xoxo, CC

Monday, May 16, 2016

Spring in the City

The city is so beautiful in the springtime when all of the trees and flowers start to bloom. I love to go for walks in Central Park on sunny days and wander outdoors exploring all the various paths and unexpected spaces. I particularly love the Conservatory Garden which is so stunning this time of year with abundant blooming flowers. The juxtaposition of city buildings and living nature you see from the park is so striking. I wish these photos were DSLR quality, but I only had my phone on me on my walks so I did my best! Regardless, you can get an idea of how pretty everything is in the spring. This is exactly why spring is my favorite time of year. 

I brought along a book to read in the grass while catching a little sun (which was featured here). There is nothing I love more than relaxing in the sun in the spring or summer! For walking I wore comfy espadrille style shoes in a fun bright print, paired with my new favorite shorts and a few layers on top. The weather can be so unpredictable in the spring -- just yesterday we had a bizarre mix of clouds, wind, peeks of warm sun, and unexpected rain showers. 
I love how colorful the park gets with all of the flowers and fresh green grass springing to life!

Outfit// Shoes: Lilly Pulitzer for Target (very similar). Shorts: Gap Factory. Shirt: similar. Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

I found this interesting little fortress on top of a hill in the North Woods. Apparently it is called The Blockhouse.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Insta Outfits

Tee: Bobi. Bag: Rebecca Minkoff. Jeans: Sneak Peek. Sunnies: Amazon. Flats: J. Crew.

I'll be honest, I've been too busy binge-watching the Netflix show Cuckoo all week to get out and take new photos.... So instead I wanted to share a closer look at some of my recent insta outfits. I have been wearing rolled up jeans with flats and a pop of bright or pastel color just about every day this spring. You could say I've got a bit of a formula going here...but it really works for a perfect spring outfit! I've been wearing flats a lot because it still seems a little too soon for sandals yet I am so sick of all my wintery boots. As you can probably tell from this post I love the J. Crew Cece flats--they are so comfortable with a thick sole and soft leather. There is something about switching out your shoes and bags to spring faves that makes even a simple jeans and tee outfit feel fresh.

My nails have been long recently, so I like to keep them a nice neutral shade like this nude-pink. The color matched perfectly with my new blush faux leather skirt, and popped against a good stripe. 
Skirt: Zara. Nails: Sally Hansen Sheer Me Now

I've been dying for a chance to wear this adorable mod romper, and a friend's birthday was the perfect excuse. The sexier details like the cut-out sides and short length are counterbalanced by the geo print and retro vibe. With waved hair and a heel the look was dressy enough for a night out. 

We've actually had a few shorts-weather days in NYC and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to sit in the grass and tan with a good book to keep me entertained. These distressed boyfriend shorts are going to be a major favorite this summer, especially since I've been digging light washes like this for this season.

High-rise ripped jeans, crochet-lace crop top, and hot pink flats = spring fashion perfection. Seriously, I've been living in cuffed jeans and flats. 
Lace trim tee: Zara. Flats: J. Crew.

This cute little blue bracelet has been getting all kinds of compliments, and guess what! It's on sale at J. Crew. I wasn't sure how much use I would get out of the bright color, but it has been matching with so many outfits I wouldn't have expected!
Lampshade: Ikea. Another similar bracelet.

Jeans, flats, jacket... sensing a pattern here? Floral flats are a great way to embrace spring, and a cute peplum tee and blush moto jacket don't hurt either. I wore this look while exploring the Museum at FIT and their Fairy Tale Fashion exhibit which I wrote about here.
Flats: J. Crew. Jeans and tee: H&M. Jacket: bebe. Bag: H&M.

These cobalt flats have been my go-to for work recently since the color matches with so much and remains complimentary even while giving a little punch of color to my outfits. And if my look isn't bright it's sure to be drenched in pastels like this lavender and blue combo. 
Tee, necklace, flats: J. Crew. Jeans: Gap. Bag: H&M.

Follow me on instagram!! @charlotteclaraxo 

xoxo, CC

Monday, May 9, 2016

Trying On Tan

Before and after

You know in the springtime when you want to wear a dress with bare legs for the first time since September, but you just can't bare to show how glow-in-the-dark pale you are? I've been struggling with this problem lately (as I mentioned here), so I decide to take a bold step and try a self tanner for the first time!

 I've used a bronzing lotion before (from Dove), but never a true tanner that produces immediate results. I was a little nervous about how dark the self tanner would come out, but I was really pleased with the results. I used Tanwise dark bronzing sunless mousse as recommended on the blog Maskcara, as well as the Tanwise self-tanning face gel. (Apparently Sally Beauty is having a buy 1 get 1 free right now on the Bronzing sunless mousse!) In a few places I even felt like the color could have been darker! On the face I actually applied two coats of the face gel, and then two more coats the next morning to get the color I wanted. Overall I am really happy with the results. The color does not make me look orange, and is actually quite a natural-looking tan. As a first-timer I messed up on a few things (like ending up with reallllly dark elbows and orange hands) which I will now know how to avoid for next time. I followed Cara's advice from these two blog posts on self tanning 1/2 to make sure I knew as much about it as possible before I began! I am so happy with the color and I definitely feel better about baring my legs with a little tan! Not to mention that I feel much less pasty-white all over. Having a little tan makes me feel so much more prepared to say goodbye to winter and take on spring and summer fashion.

Before applying, and after the tanner had developed overnight

When reading about techniques for applying tanner, many folks say that it is fine to apply with bare hands as long as you wash them thoroughly with baking soda afterwards. Well, let me just tell you that did NOT work for me!! I washed with baking soda after applying the tanner to my body and again after applying to my face, and all seemed well. My palms were a touch darker than usual but nothing dramatic so I thought I was fine. OH NO. Just wait a few hours until the tanner starts to set in and my hands were orange. Dark, dark orange. Frantically I googled methods to remove self tanner, and I tried several of the sworn-by options but nothing seemed to work. After trying baking soda, whitening toothpaste, even Windex, I went out and bought a lemon to try the baking soda and lemon juice method. This technique worked the best-- I scrubbed and scrubbed with the mixture and a damp washcloth for about 20 minutes and the color definitely lessened, but it was still embarrassingly noticeable. Well, lesson learned! I will be using the gloves I ordered next time for sure! And if nothing else, so much scrubbing left my hands silky smooth!

What do you think of the results? Do you use any self tanners?

Before (The Perfect White Jacket), and after (Flared Floral)
xoxo, CC