Mesh

Prior to this year mesh reminded me of the scrimmage jerseys or “pennies” that I was forced to wear back in the day as a soccer player. You know what I am talking about- they were meant to distinguish which team you played for, usually in a primary color, cropped, smelly, also referred to as “bibs”. I had a strong distaste for pennies because they doubled as sweat towels for most of my teammates and my coach rarely ever washed them. It wasn’t until this spring while shopping at the LF warehouse sale when I my spotted this cropped mesh zip-up hoodie that my perspective changed.

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At the time, I knew my family had planned a full day at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. My parents are annual pass holders and they take Magic Kingdom VERY seriously. I knew it would be a full day in the scorching hot Florida sun, so I had to prepare an outfit accordingly. I needed something lightweight that wouldn’t cling to my skin or become drenched in sweat. Since clothing is mandatory, a bathing suit was not an option.

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Mesh is comprised from a network of wire material, popular in the 80s. The cut out net details keep you cool and allow your skin to breathe. It’s your new go-to on a hot, humid summer day. Since mesh is a see-through material, it’s a two-part look. I usually opt to wear a “brami” underneath, a fusion between a bra and cami available at Free People. They have a great selection of colors that pair well with work blouses as well. Athleisure is big right now and I usually go for a sporty luxe look with the mesh zip up hoodie wearing just my sports bra underneath- I love the breathability. I’ve seen several New Yorkers wearing spaghetti strap overtop of a mesh high neck top, that too looks great.

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If you’re not comfortable showing that much skin, no worries! Since mesh is so trendy right now, you can pick and choose which assets you want to give a sneak peek to. Mesh details are being incorporated everywhere, skirts, jackets, sleeves, leggings. As you can guess, it also makes for a great swimsuit cover up as well. Mesh it up.

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xx,

Kelsey

It’s a Kimono

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“It’s a kimono, not a robe” – me responding to my colleagues in the elevator. A kimono is a traditional Japanese garment that looks like a standard robe, so I can understand the confusion. Initially, when I bought my first kimono I relied on it for added warmth during the spring to summer transition which can be a bit tricky to dress for at night. Now that summer is in full swing I’ve been wearing my kimonos as beach cover ups most often.
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To all my beautiful friends who allege they can’t “style a piece”, the kimono is simple. The word kimono literally translates to “something to wear” in Japanese, fitting. I advise thinking of a kimono like a cardigan or a robe coat. It will add coverage without causing you to overheat. The lighter the fabric the better, I prefer either silk or a sheer. Plus, I like the dramatic effect when a gust of wind catches the end of the kimono and it floats.

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The black and white stripe kimono is from Necessary Clothing in Soho, NY. I find that patterned or stripe kimonos are perfect to pair with simple black staple pieces. I’m not sure how many kimonos one really needs but I highly advise picking up a solid print kimono as well. You will find it to be so resourceful, you won’t regret it.

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Like a cardigan, the kimono can be office appropriate as well. Currently, and I suppose for every summer that I remain in the corporate setting, I struggle to dress appropriately given the temperature outside is 90 degrees and my office is 65 degrees. Corporate America really should have more relaxed dress standards in the summer in my opinion but here’s my trick in the meantime: I wear more “summer time pieces” that are light and cool whether it be strapless, backless, whatever…..but I keep it professional by having a kimono in my bag for when I’m physically in the office, much like I would a regular blazer or suit jacket.

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xx.
Kelsey

The Perfect Parka

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As I begin my fifth winter in Boston, I’d like to believe I’m well-versed when it comes to surviving these dreary months. In fact, I was sweating this morning on my walk to work albeit temps are in the 20s….and according to my IPhone it feels like it’s in the teens. So, let me advise you, the key is in your clothing but more specifically, your jacket choice.

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My first winter I learned the hard way that a windbreaker, no matter how much layering you do underneath, will not suffice. The following winters I fiddled around with different styles ultimately to realize you cannot survive in New England without a solid parka jacket! When I say solid, I mean it must provide the following features, it’s not worth your money:

  1. Fur lined hoodbecause the wind is brutal and a beanie is not always practical. Now some of you may say, Kelsey, why does the hood have to have fur, not everyone is extra like you? I swear the fur stops the wind from hitting your face directly, saving you from experiencing wind burn. While I feel strongly that a fur lined hood is essential, most parkas allow the fur lining to be removed.
  2. Sherling-liningbecause it creates another layer between you and the outside air……need I say more? Soft on the inside, hardcore on the outside.
  3. Mid-thigh lengthbecause there’s nothing worse than bending over and having a gust of cold wind shoot up the back of your jacket. There’s an added bonus if the parka has a cinch cord at the waste, anything to help block out the cold.
  4. Ribbed cuffsbecause this time of year you don’t want mother nature getting up your sleeve. If your parka doesn’t have ribbed cuffs you’ll inevitably have a gap between your wrists and the actual jacket, that most gloves won’t make up for, this is no good.

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I scooped up this olive camo twill parka, (currently 50% off) from Abercrombie & Fitch a few weeks ago (check me out on bottom of the A&F website). I debated splurging on a Canada Goose, but this A&F parka met all of my above-listed requirements, also I’m just not ready to dedicate a paycheck to a damn jacket. Originally $20000, it was 60% off on the weekend I purchased it, and the by joining the A&F club (email subscription) I got an additional 30% off…..so I paid $56.00. Talk about a steal!

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Stay warm, xx.

Kelsey

Fall back with mules

Modesty is making a comeback – shirt dresses are out, cardigans are in. But lets talk about footwear, I like to keep a strong selection of “office shoes” in my office and wear sandals, often slides or flip flops to and from work. That is until now…one sure tell sign that fall is here, freezing cold toes on the morning commute! So now that temperatures are in the 50’s in Boston, slides are officially out too, mules are in.

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That being said, I recently rearranged my shoe rack by priority, close-toed shoes are now my front runners, including these mules by Topshop available at Nordstrom. The first time I wore them in the office my boss stated, “I like your slippers.” I viewed this as opportunity to kindly correct and advise him on mules.

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Mules are a French term, used to depict a shoe that is backless and usually closed-toed. Apparently, mules are often confused with clogs, a similar style. Here’s what I gather, clogs originated in the Scandinavian countries where they were a popular shoe for the working class. Although I may have worn clogs back in the late ’90s, I am no longer an advocate of the clog style. Mules originated in France and were considered a dress shoe for aristocrats, that is until prostitutes began wearing them. Both mules and clogs are closed-toe shoes, if it has a heel it’s likely a mule, platform, it’s likely a clog. Rumor has it in the early 1950s Marilyn Monroe restored the reputation of mules. Praise be to Marilyn!

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Back in March, Elle foresaw that mules would be the shoe of 2017. To be honest, even though I acted offended when my boss thought I was wearing slippers, he called it on the head. A comfy slip-on style shoe that is structured like a flat or loafer, the perfect office shoe.

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Mules can be styled for any occasion depending on the type. From flats to stilettos, wedges, chunky heels, platforms, leather, suede, pointy-toe, close-toe, mules come in all shapes and sizes. They easily spruce up any work look although some may mistake them for slippers.  Right now, my black knotted mules have been on constant rotation as the ideal summer to fall transition shoe.

xx.

Kelsey

Tough Transitions

Like I said in my updated post, Rules?, the summer to fall transition is rough for me. First, I lose my mocha tint, then my allergies start up….oh and don’t even get me started on the temperatures dropping. I use to be a shorts and sandals girl 365 days of the year but Boston weather doesn’t allow for that luxury. Nevertheless, I try to prolong my summer wear as long as possible.

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If you saw me at any point this summer I was likely in the above pictured red buffalo print BB Dakota shirt dress. Shirt dresses are easy and breezy and a summer staple, as I discussed in my previous post. You’d think since it’s October, I’d be pushing my luck to continue to wear a shirt dress, but you’d be wrong. I’ve began pairing them with light jackets and more heavy duty footwear to help me shift with the season.

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One thing I hate is having dressed based off the morning temperature only to end up like a sweaty dog by the afternoon when temperatures heat up. Anyone else with me? Here, I added leather moto jacket (it’s vegan, chill). Sidenote: I must admit, I use to shy away from leather mainly because I associated it with Daytona Bike Week and leather chaps, recently this Levi’s jacket from Nordstrom has become one of my staples. When the temperatures heat up in the afternoon, you can adjust the jacket to be worn as an “editor drape” to avoid having to carry it!

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My next piece of advice, replace your summer wedges with a pair of over-the-knee boots. I picked up a black suede pair from Primark in downtown Boston. My only complaint is that the tie strings have no traction, so they do slide down your leg throughout the day which is REAL annoying (hence face below). But you know what they say, you get what you pay for and they were a small fraction of the cost compared to the popular Stuart Weitzman boots. Update: I’ve since purchased a Vince Camuto pair which has elasticized panels that help them stay up.

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Initially with my first pair, I paired with with skinny jeans (denim and black). Being that I am trying to stretch out my summer wear as long as possible, I prefer to pair my over the knee boots with shorts, a skirt, or a mini dress! Ordinarily wearing a shorter hem during the chilly months isn’t smart because it leaves your bare legs exposed, but with over the knee boots you’ll be great. Think of them like a warmer pair of tights!

xx.

Kelsey

The Shirt Dress

6174578816_IMG_0083My effortless go-to look this summer, the shirt dress. Quite literally, an extension of a dress shirt, but more sophisticated, it’s a closet staple. Shirt dresses are loose, easy, and breezy. Think along the lines of your boyfriends button-down. There’s a lot of options with this style but I’ll keep it short because there’s really not much to say about it- just buy one and wear it. It’s a style that requires very little effort.

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With that being said, the shoes you pair the dress with will set the tone. For a more casual shirt dress like the BB Dakota buffalo print dress, pair it with flip flops, gladiator flats, or even sneakers depending on the occasion. It’s also the perfect beach cover up.

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For an oversized shirt dress like the Abercrombie & Fitch one below, add a belt to cinch your waste keeping a polished look in check. Dress it up with some wedges or ballet flats for a chic brunch look.

xx.

Kelsey

 

 

Rules?

While I’m an open advocate for wearing white jeans whenever you want (see Winter Whites ) – I will  admit that there is something that feels very right about wearing white jeans in the summer. The “no white after labor day” moratorium was relevant in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when it made since to wear light colors to beat the heat because air conditioning had yet to come about.  Summer was notably between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so the rule was practical……back then. It’s 2017 now.

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My advise is to wear whatever you want whenever you want because. Hillary Clinton is is (was) running for President of the United States, clearly times have changed. So while wearing white during the summer feels right, it’s completely acceptable to wear all twelve months of the year. Here is me, running around Brooklyn, New York in my white jeans by Jbrand. Top is a recent treasure I picked up at Target.

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UPDATE: It’s now October and thus, officially FALL.  For me personally the summer to fall transition is rough for many reasons. First, I lose my toasted mocha tint, then my allergies go BANANAS which forces me to puff on my inhaler every two hours like clock work….oh and don’t even get me started on the temps dropping……

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This year I’m relying on retail therapy to get me by. People can judge, but it makes me happy and happiness is everything, right? I squaded up with a few other bloggers to talk about our favorite Fall trends this month. I knew I loved these gals when the first suggested was “white after labor day.” Check out their stances here:

Talks with Taylor

Vino in the Village

Fashion Style Foodie

The Blondissim

Aurora McCausland

xx.

Kelsey