Monday, August 29, 2016

The Perfect Lilly Shift Dress

I just got back to Illinois after being away in Ohio for a long weekend. I had such a blast celebrating Jimmy and Megan, two of my very closest friends who I have known since we were elementary schoolers! More on their beautiful wedding to come, but I wanted to highlight this teal shift (and other Lilly Pulitzer shift dresses) today! It's a perfect wedding guest dress -- remember my step brother's wedding in Florida? It's also an ideal wedding shower or rehearsal dinner look as a guest. It's classy, extremely flattering and has just the right amount of pizzazz to it, without being overly showy (particularly when you're just a guest, not the woman of the hour!). I even own it in white (with just a slightly different neckline) that I wore to my own bridal shower (pictured below).

PS: did you guys catch the Lilly Pulitzer after party sale? She has 2 major sales a year-- at the end of August and then closer to Christmas. The sales are incredible-- more than 60% off everything. This is when I do the majority of my Lilly shopping. I bought Christmas and birthday gifts for family, too! It was so funny because three different people let me know about the Amazon "deal of the day" being Lilly during her huge sale! I was flattered! I would also recommend joining some of the Lilly re-sale groups on Facebook (if you type in "Lilly Buy Sell Trade" in the Facebook search, it will pop up! There's another great one, Lilly Pulitzer: Dressed to Impress that has incredible deals. While you're on FB, feel free to like my Belle On Trend page, too! haha! #shamelessplug). It's a great way to buy your first Lilly dress without spending an exorbitant amount of money. That way you can see if you like the cut/style of the particular dresses.  For reference, in these shifts, I wear a size 6. 

My forever wedding date ^^^ love this stylish man!

Here it is in white, above! I wore this for my own shower last year. Pictured with my besties Courtney and Caitlin!

Smooches from the hubs!

His gingham pants and Allen Edmond shoes are my FAVE! Mike can attest to this, but his Allen Edmonds are going to last forever. He has had them for years, and they look brand new. Also, you can have them re-soled for the rest of your life! An investment for sure, but they will be his dress shoe for years and years to come. They do go on sale, too! 


The back of this dress is another highlight! I love that low scoop back. Showing just enough to be modest and to wear to a church ceremony, but it is not TOO stuffy. 

Gold earrings: old Macys, similar here

Head over heels for my Alex and Ani bracelets. The best gift to give and receive! 
Watch: Michael Kors.
Crystal bracelet: J. Crew.
Bow Bangle: Kate Spade.
Clutch: Old Marc Jacobs for Target, similar here

I wear my wedding shoes so often! The glitter makes me so happy. They were old J. Crew (2014) on super clearance, but similar shoes here.

At the Springfield Grille for the lovely rehearsal dinner. 

My very best friend, Megan! The bride!
Her dress is BHLDN: similar style here

The bridesmaids and flower girl! What beautiful women, inside and out! So glad they're all in my life, too!

Do you own a Lilly P. shift yet? I highly recommend them! I have had many of mine more than 4 years, and they are in impeccable shape. They dry-clean really well, too. I've never had any issues with LP dresses. They are without a doubt an investment, but I promise you, they will last for years to come! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Lime Green Eyelet Midi Skirt & Mom's Visit to IL!

My mom and stepdad came in last week for our family reunion in Elmwood Park. We are so blessed (my sister and I) to have family out in Illinois. With my mom, stepdad and dad back in Ohio (and Mike's parents in Michigan), we really don't get to be together too often during the year. I always cherish the time they spend in the Burbs and city of Chicago. We are lucky enough to be taken care of by our "Chicago" cuzzies! They do so much for us out here!

My mom and Gar are pretty much #CoupleGoals, don't ya think?
Gary has these Ralph Lauren shorts (I originally thought they were Lilly!), and I am so obsessed with them! They're too cute. Mom and Gar showed up at our apartment smiling ear to ear in their bright colors. Just adorable.
On mom: Lilly Pulitzer dress, in Multi Out to Sea print.  
Purse: Kate Spade (compliments of Anna and me, haha), smaller version here.
Shoes: Talbots, similar here

My shirt is old Banana Republic (like, really old-- 4+ years), but I've linked some equally fabulous tops above.  I love a silky, sleeveless top for work. The best part is you can wear it comfortably under a blazer (remember this?) or without anything over it for the warmer months. Loving this ruffle top to pair with a printed midi skirt.

I am really digging the midi-length of this eyelet skirt. It's old Loft, but I have linked some similar skirts for you! This is a similar bright color, and I love that pricetag! This will become a work staple, IMO. How fab are these pleats? And this design? Obsessed with this color and lace. Also, this one might be my favorite of all time! The midi length is perfect for being work appropriate. Also, it looks so nice with a sensible heel!

My shoes are the Majorca peep toe bootie. My absolutely favorite ever shoe by Toms! Just ordered the black pair yesterday!

Clutch is also old Banana-- purchased with that top. Haha! But, I am loving this Coach bag as a splurge in Kelly green or this perforated Kate Spade option!

Earrings: Old Stella and Dot, similar here

Hair adjusting, haha. 

Heading down to Preservation Bread and Wine. Have you ever been? You MUST try it if you haven't been yet! 

With two of the most important people in my life. 
Love them both so much! 

Does your family live nearby?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Popsicle Dress!

You guys know I am all about shopping small and local (Jori & June, YM Boutique), right here in downtown Geneva, IL. Well, I stumbled across the most darling new booty-q, thanks to my friends Alicia and Kim's suggestions!  It's located on 3rd Street (426 S. 3rd to be precise), close to Pure Barre, so I've been walking past for a few weeks. I finally got the time to stop in with my mom on Friday, and we LOVED it! Everything was super cute-- Free People, Cupcakes and Cashmere + brands I had never yet heard of.  I can't wait to go back. Their sales were incredible! I picked up this Popsicle dress (actually, my stepdad bought it for me! Thanks, Gar!) for $11! YES, $11. Everything was BOGO 50% off. Even the sale rack! My mom and I tried on a few dresses, and we landed on two we loved. I also tried on an amazing chambray peplum top and another fabulous dress. There were so many fun pieces! 

Haha. Confused face. 

Lipstick: Clinique in Matte Peony (got this in a free gift with some makeup brushes I ordered, and WOW did I luck out!).

Dress: Lovestitch via The Copper Fox (like them on Facebook and follow them on insta, @copperfoxshop!)
I also love this maxi version! 

I didn't belt this, but you absolutely could with a belt of any of the colors of the Popsicles. If you're like me, and you enjoy food, this dress is perfect! It's flattering for a party where you know you'll be eating a lot, like a reunion with all your Italian cousins!
For reference, I got a medium!

Purse: old Kate Spade, similar here and here. I also love these color selections here. All on sale!

Sunnies: Kate Spade.
Top Bangle: Old Kate Spade, similar here
Bottom bangle: Old Kate Spade, similar here
Watch: Old Michael Kors, similar here.  

Sandals: Jack Rogers currently on sale here

Earrings: Old Kate Spade, similar pair here

Other fun multi-colored dresses to wind down your August in:
PS: check out that first dress-- it's Milly (one of my favorite designers to drool over) and down to $152! I have NEVER seen Milly dip to such a great price! Originally $435-- OUCH! 

And one more Popsicle dress for you: here
And my favorite J. Crew dress of the moment: here

How are you spending the remaining days of August? Don't go away, summer!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Trending: 8.15.16

Happy Monday! 

I have fall on the brain, not in any thanks to our amazingly steamy temps (I LOVE hot weather! Mike always laughs because 90 degrees is just fine for me!), but simply because I've been working more and more in my classroom and getting back into the swing of school. My top 10 trending pieces are a mix of "hold-on-to-summer-as-much-as-I-can" and "I need to get back into a routine, and I'm okay with this" haha. Ever feel that way? Here's what's #trending in my world this week.

[1.0] This gorgeous metallic and scalloped hem dress.
I happened upon this on accident while searching for some blue-hued dresses for my last post. But how gorgeous is this? I have my cousin's wedding in October, and this is certainly a contender! It's just so lovely! The ever-so-slightly-flared sleeves, key-hole back opening and scalloped hem are my favorite parts. I also think it would be perfect for a fall wedding!

[2.0] This embroidered dress by Greylin.
I can't get over the back opening on this beauty. The details of the embroidery are just marvelous! This, too, is a top contender for my cousin's wedding in October. I love everything about this one, especially the window-pane design and scalloped hem!

[3.0] This tulip-hem dress.
For under $60, this will be one of my new favorite wear-to-work dresses. How about that adorable tulip-hem bottom? I LOVE yellow, so this color scheme is beautiful. J. Crew Factory never fails me! I can't wait to take my annual fall trip to the outlets.

[4.0] This gorgeous mockneck lace top-- compliments of Krista!
Oh my gosh. This top! My girl Krista knows me so well. She just got this on sale-- 40% off, guys! She sent me the link because she knew I would need it, too! And she was right! I do an annual Loft trip for school clothes every fall, too, so I cannot wait to get my paws on this fabulous top. This will be a work-to-weekend top for me. Krista is SO stylish. I always adore all her clothes. She is actually one of the reasons I wanted to create a blog because of her blog, Fit for Fargo, that she wrote while living in North Dakota. She's just such an inspiration to me! Love you, girl! Author's note: obviously, we will be wearing a tank top under the lace top! HAHA!

[5.0] This sequined back-to-school bag.
Each year, I buy myself a special work bag to commemorate the start of a new school year. I have been doing it since I was a kid; back then, it was a fancy backpack.

First day of kindergarten outfit, 1992.

 Nowadays, I love to buy a bag that encompasses my school colors and gets me pumped for going back. My school colors are gray and navy, but this bag is somewhat blue with the turquoise sequined stripes, so I think it could work! Right? I mean, how could you not love carrying this bag around and starting your day with a smile? Hello! It's fully sequined! #Iwillownthisbag #SummerJobMoneyUses #reasonswhyIambrokealways hahaha!

[6.0] This off-the-shoulder top for the weekends.
I am all about the "cold shoulder" tops! How cute will this black top look with a pair of skinny jeans and fierce black booties? I am obsessed with this style! All tops from Anthro are currently 20% off! Hurry!

[7.0] This bow neck jacket in pink.
I have been drooling over this zip-up for honestly 6 months. The red version is now on sale. It's just so amazing! I haven't pulled the trigger, as the price is hefty, but I full intend to watch it like a hawk until it drops under $100. The Beyond Yoga X Kate Spade line of workout gear is TO DIE FOR. The bows and polka dot details (check my post on some of the spring pieces!) make working out even more fun.

[8.0] This Kelly Green scalloped work shirt.
I am a sucker for scallops! This shirt comes in 4 colors, and I LOVE the scalloped detail. This would be perfect for work with skinny black pants and a pair of sensible heels :) How pretty is the green color? Remember the scalloped shirt I wrote about in the winter? Mike found it at BR, too! The biggest regret I have about it is that I didn't buy all the colors. Now is my time to right that wrong! LOL!

[9.0] This ruffle tiered top.
I am a sucker for anything navy or gray for my Friday dress-down attire. How cute is this ruffle top by Banana? You know BR has the most incredible sales-- remember my $11 birthday tank top? I can't wait to do a little back to work shopping at Banana! I am loving all their new additions! WAIT for the sales, though! Never pay full price. Mike and I get items sooooo inexpensively by just waiting it out.

[10.0] This midi skirt for work.
I can envision tucking any collared shirt into this adorable skirt and calling it a day. Add wedges into the mix, and you have a perfect work outfit. I love the appropriateness with the length, and I love that you could dress this up with a crisp collared shirt, or wear it with a graphic tee and flats on the weekend.

What pieces are you currently coveting?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blue Hues

I love pairing different hues of the same color in outfits. In this case, I went with blues: navy, turquoise, colbalt and powder blue! There's something so fun about re-creating a look in a single color family. I have recently done this with pinks, too. You can absolutely try it with any color! We headed out for a little patio date-night at Fiora's on Wednesday. Side note: Mike took me to Fiora's May 2, 2014 before proposing to me! So Fiora's certainly holds a special place in our hearts. We highly recommend it; everyone who works there is super sweet and accommodating! Mike and I are trying to soak up these final days of summer by going out to dinner and having weeknight dates. During the school year, it's definitely a rarity to go out midweek, so we are totally cherishing these waning days of summer. 

How cute is this painted bike outside The Paper Merchant? TPM has so many cute gifts! Also, it's perfect for cards/decorative banners/etc. 

Dress: old J. Crew Factory. Similar here, here, here and here
My Pride and Prejudice book clutch: here from Etsy. This was my wedding purse, to match our book-themed wedding
Other fabulous statement clutches: here and here (and below!).  

Love these scalloped shoes from Talbots.
Found some other adorable scalloped sandals here with a slightly higher heel
Dying over these Chloe-lookalikes for $40! Perfect for work! Loving the metallic version, too. 

Check out these sale blue-hued beauties from Talbots! 

My tortoise/turquoise earrings are old J. Crew Factory, but check out these similar ones

Also, these:

This tassel necklace from RueLala is so much fun. RueLala has different "boutiques" and sales each day. I love it! Let me know if you need an invitation. The items are endless-- kid's, men's, women's, household items-- you name it.  Oh! And the prices are amazing. My necklace was $25!
Similar tassel necklace:  here and here on sale


More blue-hued dresses: 

More polka-dot dresses: 

How are you spending your final days of summer vacation (if you're lucky enough to be off!)?