5 Prettiest Summer Scents You’ve Never Heard Of


I used to be a signature scent kind of girl, and part of me still longs for that one fragrance that screams me, but in a subtle way, you know? Basically eau de moi. The problem is I haven’t quite found eau de moi, and also, I’m easily bored, so I have become something of a serial monogamist when it comes to scent. I stick with one for a little while, and then switch when something more intriguing comes along. But I really go crazy experimenting with scent in the summertime, when all I want is something light and happy that doesn’t feel like a huge commitment. On the most sweltering days, a scented body oil or an essential oil roller are sometimes all I need, but when I want to add something extra, I go for a fragrance that is brisk and refreshing and easy to wear. These are a few of my favorite, under-the-radar summer scents!

Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Arancia di Capri


Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Arancia di Capri, $105, Sephora

This scent will always remind me of our honeymoon in St. Barth’s. It’s the perfect vacation scent. Light and refreshing yet still chic and complex, and I get compliments every time I wear it. $105, Sephora

Fresh Sugar Lemon Eau de Parfum

Fresh Sugar Lemon eau de parfum, $90, Sephora

Okay, you may have heard of this one, but I still had to mention it. I briefly worked at the Fresh boutique in Boston as the brand was just taking off, and I immediately fell in love with the company’s modern scents and gorgeous designs. The entire Sugar line is a favorite of mine, but I can’t get enough of the ridiculously refreshing and joyful scent of Sugar Lemon.

Demeter Cucumber

Demeter Cologne Spray, $17, DemeterFragrance.com

Demeter Cologne Spray, $17, DemeterFragrance.com


I know it may sound strange to say that I love cucumbers, but I do. (My current substitute for my Coca Cola addiction is a dry cucumber soda,) I adore the fresh, green scent, so I was bummed when Caswell Massey Cucumber Body Splash was discontinued. Fortunately, Demeter saved the day with this invigorating scent.

Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume


Juliette has a Gun Not a Perfume, $100, Sephora

Juliette has a Gun Not a Perfume, $100, Sephora























This hipster favorite has a uniquely simple scent that is a little bit addictive, and it’s a great choice for women who are allergic or sensitive to perfume!

Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit

Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit, $48, Lavanila.com

Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit, $48, Lavanila.com

No roundup of summer scents would be complete without a little grapefruit, which is one of my favorite smells ever. I love that this line uses natural ingredients, and I’m also a fan of their chic, effective deodorants. And of course I adore the pretty, sparkling scent—like summer in a bottle!


Has any of these scents found its way into your medicine cabinet? I’d love to hear about your favorite summertime fragrances!

How to Be Fashionable (Not Frumpy!)

Satisfied with her life

The frumps are for real, folks, and they’re contagious. Let’s put an end to them, shall we? It’s so much easier then you might think. Trust me. We can do this.

It’s as simple as choosing one thing over another. The cute top over the frumpy top. The cute shoes over the frumpy shoes. The cute hair over the frumpy hair. You get the idea.

You have to choose something. Why not make it cute?

I know this is an oversimplification, but in a nutshell, that’s what it comes down to. The problem is that too many of us are making frumpy choices. As my mom always says, there is 35, and there is 35. In other words, no two 35-year-olds look alike. There are 35-year-olds who look gorgeous and stylish and like the best version of 35 possible. They don’t look 17. (That’s a problem for a whole different post). And they don’t look 54. They look 35 and amazing!

And it’s the same at 45. And 55. And 65. Wherever we are at, we want to be the most stylish version of ourselves. And that starts with stylish choices. Here, 3 easy steps for avoiding the frumps:

  1. Look Around: Sure, fashion magazines can be over-the-top, but the single best way to develop an eye for what is current and what is not is to flip through a real-life-oriented magazine like In Style or Real Simple. (Vogue, Elle, etc. are more for fantasy shopping!). Also, frequent the websites of top retailers, like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, and check out their lookbooks and trend edits. And finally, follow a few fashion bloggers (like moi!) who post cute, current outfit ideas. You don’t have to make it into a new hobby, but half an hour of browsing a month can be enough to refine your eye and help you spot the delights from the duds.
  2. Avoid Frumpy Brands: Some brands are clearly aimed at an older demographic, and they often feature loud, garish prints, boxy silhouettes and wishy-washy, unflattering colors. These brands can take seemingly harmless items, like tees, and make them frumpy. Stick to brands and retailers that are known for being current and contemporary,, like J. Crew, Loft and Anthropologie, instead.
  3. Check the Styling: Frumpy brands are shown in frumpy outfits and frumpy settings. The models (while always beautiful) are usually in an awkward pose, with mature accessories and hair. Models wearing more contemporary brands are shown wearing updated accessories (usually a strappy nude heeled sandal, but this varies) and a trendy clutch. Their stance is different, too. See the examples below. Both of these looks are aimed at woman in the same age group (40-plus), but one is frumpy and aging, while the other is cute and contemporary. (Once you get past the fact that I’m comparing elastic waist “jeans” to a lace dress, you’ll be able to appreciate the other differences).

Frumpy Styling

Notice the elastic waist on the pants and the boring shoes.

Related image

Cute Styling

Image result for antonio melani



Here, a breakdown of Frumpy vs. Cute:


Comfortable shoes don’t have to look like comfortable shoes, you know? They can look cute and not kill your feet. Which means that, unless you have serious foot issues, there is no excuse for shoes like these. Just none. You no longer need to choose between style and comfort. With brands like Bared, BeautiFeel, Vionic, and that classic comfortable shoe brand, Aerosoles, are designing shoes that are cute and comfortable. (Note: These same brands have frumpy styles mixed in with the fashionable styles, so choose wisely).

Frumpy shoes used to be so easy to spot, but with the rise of the ugly shoe trend a couple of years ago, the lines have become blurred. The difference, as always, is in the details. The updated comfort shoe that is so hot right now features trendy materials (suede, patent, patterns) and colors and, usually, a more streamlined silhouette. If one or more of these details isn’t updated, you’ve found yourself a frumpy shoe.


With their wide footbed and unflattering straps, these shoes make no attempt at style.


Image result for naot bernice


Whatever your opinion of Birkenstocks, they are currently trendy and undoubtedly comfortable. Even a non-Birkenstocks fan like myself has to admit that these, updated in shiny rose gold, are pretty cute.

Birkenstock “Arizona” in Copper, $135, Zappo’s


A cute top is the single easiest, most affordable update you can make to your wardrobe. Buying a new, on-trend top (or two!) each season adds instant style to all of your everyday basics. Unfortunately, the wrong top can have the opposite effect, turning an otherwise cute pair of white jeans into a frumpy outfit. These tops are fairly easy to spot: garish, out-of-date print and a boxy, fussy or oversized silhouette.


The print and the shape are dated, and so is the styling.


Image result for alfred dunner short sleeve novelty neck print top


A bold color and updated details make this a cute alternative to the top, above.

Main Image - Bobeau Bell Sleeve Tee (Regular & Petite)



It features multiple compartments. A nice wide strap for comfortable carrying. And it comes in a sensible color, like gray or bone. It’s the “grandma” bag, and we’ve all spotted it. It can singlehandedly bring down any outfit, and instantly adds 10 years to your age. Sure, wipe-off, slash-proof vinyl is convenient, but at what cost? There’s no reason to settle for stodgy styles when contemporary styles offer cuteness and practicality, too.


Product Details


This cute striped crossbody from Michael Kors is pretty and practical! Look for a contemporary shape and quality materials.

Statement Jewelry

Nothing is more aging than a full set of matching statement jewelry. Nothing. It only works for Queen Elizabeth, and that’s because she has the crown jewels on her side. Unless you’re the same age as the Queen, or simply want to appear that way, break up those matched sets of statement jewelry. While a necklace and matching cocktail ring is acceptable, don’t match the necklace to the earrings. Choose either a pair of statement making earrings or a statement necklace, but not both. A couple of statement pieces, spaced far apart, is best. So a statement necklace with a cocktail ring and stud earrings works well, or statement earrings and a bracelet but no necklace (or a simple chain), for example.


Image result for turquoise jewelry set



Pair this season’s statement earrings with a fun bangle or cocktail ring, but skip the necklace.


Main Image - BaubleBar Crispin Drop Earrings

I hope these examples have helped you separate the cute from the frumpy. Getting over a case of the frumps involves making the right choices at the store, so that you have the pieces in your wardrobe to put together cute outfits.


5 Ways to Feel More Confident


When you’re raising girls, you think about confidence a lot. Sometimes, I get discouraged by the fact that some kids are born oozing it, while others are perpetually insecure. Where does this elusive thing called confidence come from, and how can we have more of it?

I believe that true confidence comes from knowing that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. It comes from knowing we are loved, and loving others. I also know where confidence doesn’t come from.

It doesn’t come from compliments or excessive praise.

It doesn’t come from perfection.

It doesn’t even come from a closet full of cute shoes.

I know. Crazy.

But even if your heart and your faith and all the big stuff is just where it needs to be, we all still need a little ego boost, now and then. Fortunately, it’s easier then you think to boost your confidence when you’re feeling blah. Here, 5 quick, simple ways to make you feel more confident, today.

Stay Polished

Have you ever noticed how self-conscious you feel when you have coffee breath? Or when your hair is frizzy and your hangnails are, well, hanging? Good grooming is so fundamental that we often overlook how critical it is to confidence. Start with hygiene, naturally. Nothing makes you feel better then smelling fresh and pretty, and clean smelling hair is an instant morale booster. (As I write this, I have just spent a couple of days with frizzy, fluffy hair, trying to avoid washing it right before a color appointment. I can barely walk through a door. So I am speaking from experience.) Feeling yucky and sweaty and bad-breathy are guaranteed confidence killers, but there are others. Raggedy nails. (I don’t do this often enough, but freshly manicured hands always give me a lift!) Dumpy clothes. Beat-up shoes. Shiny skin. Polish is all about paying attention to the details, so slap some lipstick on and face the day with fabulousness.

Clean Out Your Purse

I’ll spare you the story of the time I removed handful after handful of my girls’ discarded junk: empty Clif Bar wrappers, long forgotten plastic toys, a leaky bottle of bubble solution, frantically searching for a my wallet, while the clerk waited. (Note to self: A black wallet in a black-lined bag is a panic attack waiting to happen.) Junk accumulates in my purse quickly, so I use those small pockets of time between appointments, or when my kids are in music lessons, to clean the junk out of my purse, and it’s such an instant mood and confidence booster. Those of you whose purses are always neat and who don’t have little people (and, let’s face it, your own bad hoarding habits) to junk up your purse will never know the joy of a freshly cleaned out bag. It’s epic. The same goes for cleaning the discarded water bottles, crumpled wrappers and other debris from your car. Life-changing.

Do Something

Sometimes, we feel less confident because we feel ineffective, or sluggish, or like we are wading through mud and getting nowhere. The easiest way to snap out of this is to do something productive and positive. Organize a few drawers. Clean out your Inbox. Read one of the books from the stack by your bed. Sign up for that marathon. Doing something that you’ve been procrastinating is such a liberating feeling, and it can even be addictive, prompting you do to do cross more and more off your list. Yes!

Break a Bad Habit

There is nothing more negative and fatalistic than hearing someone say: “That’s just how I am.” Too often, we get stuck in old ideas of how we are based on how we have been in the past. We decide that we’re unathletic, for example, or disorganized, or that we always procrastinate, and then we use those tendencies as an excuse for not changing the things in our lives that aren’t working for us. Then, when we feel fed up, we decide we want to change everything, right away. Instead, choose one small habit to change today. Whether you decide to start doing squats or stop drinking soda, one small positive change can lead to another, and another, and soon, you have managed to completely transform an area of your life.

Fake It Til You…

I know it seems simple, but stand tall, with your shoulders back and head held high, and walk enegergetically. Nothing helps you feel more confident then adopting the body language of confident people. Positive body language has even been shown to boost mood in mild cases of depression. Smile, saunter, even strut a little. Sometimes, I imagine I’m on a runway and the world is admiring my cute outfit, but then again, everyone does that.

Oh. Well. Maybe it’s just me then.


I hope that you found these confident boosting tips helpful. Do you have any tried-and-true techniques of your own? If so, please share them below!

What to Pack for a Disney Vacation


We live about an hour away from Disney World, so we generally choose the least crowded times to go. I’ve seen Disney in 90 degree heat on a crowded mid-summer day, and I’m not eager to repeat that experience. That was years ago, however, and my Disney game has improved dramatically since then. I know what to bring, and what to leave behind. I’ve stopped bringing heavy aluminum water bottles, for example, and bring a lightweight one for the family to share. But I never hit the park without sunscreen, rain ponchos, and lightweight cardigans to protect against overly air-conditioned rides and restaurants.

Still, I can’t help but sigh when I see whole families, happy and shiny bright, in coordinating Disney shirts with their names on them. To make myself feel better about the fact that I lack the organizational gene to get it together and order monogrammed shirts months before a Disney trip, I tell myself I am above such things. After all, I’m practically a local. But inside I want to jump up and down and hug them for giving the Disney experience all they’ve got and just going with it, you know? These people are doing Disney right.

And when I grow up, I want to be just like them. Fortunately, I came across Disney collabs without even looking, so even those of us who don’t plan our Disney trips months in advance can rock cute matching themed attire. Or not. It’s totally up to you. But seriously, there’s a lot of cute Disney stuff in stores right now. Torrid and The GAP and UNIQLO and Melissa and Target and Kohl’s and H&M. He’s one popular mouse.

Now I’m not saying that you need to wear all the Disney stuff, all the time. I’d pick a tee and maybe an accessory and stick to classic, non-themed pieces for the rest of my look, but if you want to go all in on a theme, this is your chance. There’s no judgement here. Just options. Lots of options.

Here. my packing list for a one week Disney vacation. Am I missing anything?

(As always, pictures are linked so just click on them to shop!)

  1. Shoes

A pair of cute waterproof flats, flat sandals or cute flip flops and stylish sneakers are all required footwear for a day at Disney.

Melissa Walt Disney + Melissa Ultragirl Flats. $90, ShopBop

Tory Burch Minnie Travel Sneaker

Tory Burch Minnie Travel Sneaker, $225, Zappo’s

Kate Spade New York Icarda glitter thong sandals, $98, Bloomingdale’s

2. Tees and tops

Lightweight tees and tanks are theme park essentials. Pack 4-5 for a weeklong trip.

Captura de ecrã 2017-04-3, às 11.45.13


Captura de ecrã 2017-04-3, às 11.45.21

Disney Collection short sleeve graphic tee, $14.90, UNIQLO

Captura de ecrã 2017-04-3, às 11.45.41

Disney Collection short sleeve graphic tee, $14.90, UNIQLO

Captura de ecrã 2017-04-3, às 11.44.39

Airism sleevelss seamless top, $9.90, UNIQLO

Captura de ecrã 2017-04-3, às 11.44.48

Airism crewneck short sleeve tee, $14.90, UNIQLO

3. Bottoms

The lighter the better on a hot summer day at a theme park, so pack 2-3 pairs of easy-breezy shorts and a pair of relaxed denim jeans or stay cool jeans like the “cooloff” styles from Joe’s Jeans. Brilliant!

4″ SCALLOP-HEM SHORT, $24.50, J. Crew Factory

Captura de ecrã 2017-04-3, às 11.46.37

3″ printed chino shorts, $22.50, J. Crew Factory

“The Vixen” ankle cool-off jeans, $89.50, Joe’s Jeans

Cut off denim shorts, $35.50, J. Crew Factory

4. Dresses

The coolest and easiest option on a hot summer day is a dress or an airy romper. These pretty styles will work for a day at the park or a night at a nice resort restaurant.

Dolly Crossover Romper. Social Calendar.

Dolly Crossover Romper in Social Calendar print, $67, PlumPrettySugar.com

Embroidery split neck dress, $89.95, The GAP

5. Bathing suit and coverup

Mickey print ruched tankini top, $78.90, Torrid

Kimono jacket with crochet lace trim, $29.99, Target

6. Jackets

Apparently, I’m more practical than I thought. I found two completely portable jacket options, and I’m kind of patting myself on the back over here. 🙂 The Pocket Poppet is a lightweight, wrinkle resistant travel cardigan that fits into its own attached pocket. I’ve also found rain ponchos that fit in little plastic balls and clip on to bags, belt loops, etc. And they come in a 4 pack!

Posh Poppet Black Travel Cardigan, $129, PocketPoppet.com

IFLYING Disposable Emergency Raincoats Portable Hook Poncho Ball For Outdoor Activities, $8.99 for 4-pack, Amazon

7. Accessories

It’s a great idea to find a hands-free option for carrying stuff around when you’re park-hopping. Look for a crossbody or a backpack, depending on how much you carry. A cute clutch doubles as a wallet and makes for a lighter load for dinners out. An inexpensive but protective pair of sunglasses is also a must.

Disney Minnie Mouse Bow Leopard Print Clutch, $19.90, Torrid

Drawstring backpack, $75.60, VeraBradley.com


Main Image - Tory Burch 'Ella' Nylon Swingpack

Tory Burch ‘Ella’ Nylon Swingpack, $195, Nordstrom

Cateye sunglasses in nude/pink, $14.99, Target

What are your theme park must-haves? Let me know if the comments!

What to Pack for a European Vacation


Last time we took a family vacation to Europe, Lola was 4 and Eva was 2. After months of planning and preparation, we arrived, ready for everything. Except international travel with a toddler. At one point, I made this desperate plea on Facebook: “I’m never going anywhere with Eva again. Ever. Please send our stuff.”

Two year olds can be tricky when you’re home. Two year olds in Paris can result in tantrums. From mom. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. There is nothing like traveling the world to broaden a child’s horizons, and we have embarked on many trips since then.

When we return to Europe (soon?!), I’ll be more prepared, style-wise. This chic, Europe-friendly travel capsule incorporates versatile pieces in a subtle-chic palette of black, white and blush. Round out the capsule with chic shoes (that are cobblestone-friendly) and bags! These pieces pack well, are hand washable, and many can serve multiple purposes (the reversible skirt, for example). And since you probably have some of these hanging in your closet already, you don’t have to start from scratch. (Sorry!)

And while this post focuses on packing for Europe, it’s really suitable for any urban location, here or overseas. There are enough clothes here to get you through a 3 week jaunt, so this list can be scaled back for shorter trips.

  1. Trench or light hooded jacket

Why don’t guidebooks and travel blogs ever mention how cold Europe can be. And wet, too, on occasion. A chic, lightweight hooded jacket means you are ready for anything!

Main Image - Hawke & Co. Hooded Anorak

Hawke & Co. Hooded Anorak, $79.50, Nordstrom

2. Dressy shorts

A sleek pair of shorts in a dark neutral fabric can be dressed up or down and makes a nice alternative to denim.

Image result for elevenses belicia shorts

Elevenses “Belicia” shorts, $68, Anthropologie

3. Chic shoes

Choosing shoes for a trip is often the hardest part for me. It’s like asking me to choose just one child. Or five, as is the case here. I feel a physical ache leaving some of my favorites behind. The shoes shown here, however, cover most of the bases, style-wise. There’s a fashion sneaker, a street-friendly bootie, two pairs of flats and a pair of strappy sandals.


Kaanas Polka Dot Tatacoa Sneakers, $168, Anthropologie

Thelma Leopard Print Ankle Boot, $69.99, UrbanOutfitters.com

Tieks ballet flat in Obsidian Black, $195, Tieks.com

Scalloped sandal in Rose Gold, $88, Boden

“Norah” slipper shoes, $96, Boden

4. Sleek skinny jeans

Save the distressed, destructed mom or boyfriend jeans for home. This trip calls for your sleekest, darkest denim. They’re so versatile and so chic!


AG The Farrah high waist skinny jeans, $168, Nordstrom

5. A wardrobe of tops

In summer, try 2-3 short sleeve tops, 2-3 sleeveless tops, and 1-2 long sleeve tops. Combine basics with a couple of dressier pieces.

Captura de ecrã 2017-04-3, às 11.53.07

Whisper cotton v-neck pocket tee, $19.50, Madewell.com

“Merci Beaucoup” tee, $36.50, J. Crew


Captura de ecrã 2017-04-3, às 11.54.08

Free People Ruffle Me Up top, $28, Revolve.com


Melissa tee, $168, Anatomie.com

Evolve top, $98, Encircled.co

Main Image - Sanctuary Off the Shoulder Blouse (Regular & Petite)

Sanctuary Off the Shoulder Blouse (Regular & Petite) in Barely Pink, $79, Nordstrom


Main Image - Caslon® Long Sleeve Scoop Neck Cotton Tee (Regular & Petite)

Caslon® Long Sleeve Scoop Neck Cotton Tee (Regular & Petite), $25, Nordstrom

6. Go-anywhere dresses

A simple style that can be dressed up or down is essential. Choose 2-3 styles in these street-friendly silhouettes.

The Japanese GoWeave Zip Tee Dress, $110, Everlane.com

The Japanese GoWeave Sleeveless V-Neck Dress, $98, Everlane.com

7. Completer pieces

You’ll want to bring along a jacket and possibly a vest for outfit possibilities as well as warmth. I chose a vest and a jacket that are both designed specifically for travel, but that will work equally well at home.

“Felicity” leather and lycra vest, $295, Anatomie.com

Campbell Traveler blazer in Italian wool, $288, J. Crew

8. Beautiful bags

A leather tote or crossbody is an absolute must. Choose one of those styles based on the amount of stuff you tend to carry around. I’ve also included a pretty clutch that doubles as a wallet for nights out or quick excursions.


Perforated clutch, $49.50, Loft


Rebecca Minkoff medium unlined tote, $176.98 (sale), Nordstrom


The Foldover Crossbody, $150, Everlane

9. A bathing suit

Even if you don’t plan on swimming or sunbathing, I consider a swimsuit an essential. You never know what opportunities await you on a trip, and a swimsuit is so portable there’s no reason not to bring it. And of course it doubles as underwear when your laundry pile looms high.

Main Image - J.Crew French Cross Back Bikini Top

French Cross Back Bikini top, $44, and bottom, $40, Nordstrom

10. Skirts and pants

I’ve chosen two versatile styles here, a denim skirt and a reversible pencil skirt, as well as two options of black pants, both super-comfortable and wrinkle resistant. Choose from black crepe joggers, an upgrade on your knit pair, or a stretchy black ponte skinny pants.

Reversible pencil skirt (black to blue), $124, Encircle.com

Main Image - Two by Vince Camuto Skinny Ponte Pants (Regular & Petite)

Two by Vince Camuto Skinny Ponte Pants (Regular & Petite), $89, Nordstrom

Main Image - Trouvé Zip Detail Jogger Pants

Trouvé Zip Detail Jogger Pants, $79, Nordstrom

Main Image - J.Crew Raw Hem Denim Miniskirt (Regular & Petite)

J.Crew Raw Hem Denim Miniskirt (Regular & Petite), $69.50, Nordstrom


I hope that you found this packing list helpful. The key is to start with a simple color palette, and to choose versatile pieces that travel well. And as hard as it is not to overpack, remind yourself that packing less means more room for fun purchases.


What to Pack for a Beach Vacation


Beach bound? I’ve found everything you need, right here. The key to packing right, and packing light, lies in selecting multi-functional pieces in a coordinated palette of colors. Here I’ve chosen classic blue and white with gold and an occasional pop of color for a palette that’s as fresh and pretty as your destination.

This 22 piece beach edit includes: 2 swimsuits (a sleek white one piece and a blue and white bikini), a coverup, 2 tunics, a tee, a beach skirt, shorts, a pair of flowy beach pants, a dress, a hat, a pair of sunglasses and a sleek pair of eyeglasses, 3 bags (beach bag, tote, and crossbody, though you could certainly lose the tote if you wanted to), a cardigan, a kimono, a pair of flip flops, sandals, colorful flats and a necklace.

I’ve started from scratch here to create a fantasy beach vacation wardrobe, but in real life, we would just start with what we have and add what’s missing. Happy vacation-ing!

  1. A Maillot

This sleek style doubles as a halter top when worn with the shorts or skirt. Look for a piece that does double duty, so you don’t have to change to go from beach to bar.

Vanilla Beach scallop high neck one piece, $39.99, Target

2. A Beach Skirt

This skirt features a stretchy waist and an easy shape. I chose a conventional pull on style, and not a sarong, because of its coverage and versatility.

Gauze crochet waist skirt, $39, Venus.com

3. Tunics

Tunics offer an easy way to inject color into your vacation wardrobe. This one from Tory Burch is gorgeous. Try it as a coverup, or pair it with the beach pants or the shorts. I’me also obsessed with the fun tunic from J. Crew, which doubles as a dress.

Main Image - Tory Burch Tory Embellished Sheer Poplin Tunic

Tory Burch Tory Embellished Sheer Poplin Tunic, $275, Nordstrom

Gallabia embroidered tunic, $250, J. Crew

4. A Coverup

The best coverups can be worn as tops or even dresses, but are still cool enough to wear over your suit.

Embroidered linen cotton pom pom coverup, $79.50, J. Crew

5. A Bikini

This classic style is flattering and supportive, and the blue and white stripes make it an easy match for the separates shown here.

Shoshanna bra halter top, $143, and classic bikini bottom, $95, ShopBop.com

6. Beach Pants

Choose long flowy pull on pants in a neutral that coordinates with your pieces.

Lilly Pulitzer Beach Pant

Lilly Pulitzer Beach Pant, $118, Zappo’s

7. A Necklace

A go with everything necklace is a must for adding glamour to your easy, breezy beach looks.

Kendra Scott Cory Necklace

Kendra Scott Cory Necklace, $55, Zappo’s

8. Shorts

Choose an easy, pull on style in a lightweight, wrinkle-resistant fabric.

Vitamin A “Capri” petal shorts, $85, Revolve.com

9. A Dress

A lightweight dress is a perfect beach vacation look. Choose a style that can stand alone or be worn over a bathing suit. Add pretty sandals and the necklace for a night out.

Carolina K “Marieta” dress, $258, Revolve.com

10. A Sun Hat

Your best pick is a floppy, packable style that shields your skin from the sun while making a style statement.

Chase the Sun hat, $28, ASOS

11. Sleek Sunglasses

A sharp pair of shades is the finishing touch for every beach-friendly look, and these from Warby Parker are beautiful and affordable.

Aubrey sunglasses, starting at $95, WarbyParker.com

12. A tote

A sleek leather carryall doubles as a purse, a shopper or even a carry-on.

Madewell The Transport Satchel, $188, Madewell.com

13. A Crossbody

This smart, summery bag goes from day to night with ease.

Kate Spade Cameron Street straw Byrdie colorblock saddle bag, $278, Saks Fifth Avenue

14. A kimono

The easiest coverup around, this also doubles as a cardigan and adds color and pattern to your beach wardrobe.

Sisters Gulassa Sunlight silk kimono, $148, Anthropologie

15. A cardigan

A neutral cardigan is helpful for cool evenings and for travel.

Free People Ribby Rib Maxi Cardigan

Free People Ribby Rib Maxi Cardigan, $78, Macy’s

16. Chic eyeglasses

These cool blue specs are a summery update to your everyday pair.


Emmert Eyewear The Brittany, $138, EmmertEyewear.ocm

17. A beach bag

I spotted this beach bag on a friend of a friend, and instantly fell in love with its preppy style and its practicality. It comes in a range of colors and easily doubles as a carryon. It’s large, however, so if you don’t plan on carrying it aboard, a more packable straw beach bag might work better.


Original Bogg Bag, $64.95, BoggBag.com

18. Sandals

Nothing says summer like a pretty pair of colorful, strappy sandals, and these are polished enough to wear out at night.

Suede pom pom sandals in Bright Grotto, $138, J. Crew

19. Flip flops

Sure, a rubber pair would work just as well, but these are more chic and more versatile.

Rio metallic sandals, $50, J. Crew

20, Colorful flats

A bright pair of flats adds the perfect pop of color, and this PVC pair from Melissa is eco-friendly and waterproof.

Melissa Jean + Jason Wu Flats, $105, ShopBop

21. A tee

You’ll need a tee to pair with all your bottoms, so keep it neutral and solid or subtly striped.


Eileen Fisher stripe linen tee, $138, Nordstrom


The Cutest Mother Daughter Outfits for Spring


Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Matching your daughter is adorable. Even the most stylish celebrities, like Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Alba, have matched their kiddos on occasion. Matching tastefully can be tricky, though. The key is to stay true to your style, and to hers, and that’s no easy feat!

Of course, there are simple, budget-friendly ways to match, whether you coordinate with similar colors, prints or fabrics. For example, mom-daughter white lace dresses are a quick and easy way to coordinate for Easter. You can also match accessories or completer pieces, from denim jackets to Converse high-tops.

Fortunately, there are plenty of brands to choose from when you want to coordinate. J. Crew has plenty of pretty ginghams this season for the whole family to match, while Boden has a great collection of sunny stripes.

Looking for more ideas? I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite options from my favorite brands, just in time for Easter and Mother’s Day. From tutus to t-straps, you’ll find everything you need to coordinate with your little cutie.

The Etiquette Seed

My lovely friend Rachel Samson owns this company, and she has infused her heart and eye for detail into the entire Etiquette Seed line. Recently, she has rounded out her charming collection of fairy gardens and herb gardens by adding a carefully curated collection of darling dresses for little girls. I chose a similarly girly dress from ASOS to coordinate.

Needle & Thread voluminous tulle dress, $83, ASOS.com

Harper June, $48, EtiquetteSeed.com

Alicia Bell and Little Bell

I love mom and designer Alicia Bell‘s fresh, pretty tops and dresses, so I was excited when she introduced a line for girls, Little Bell by Alicia Bell. It’s just as breezy and beautiful, but styled for the kids. So cute!

Bell by Alicia Bell “Caroline” top, $150, AliciaBell.com


Little Bell by Alicia Bell popover top, $45, AliciaBell.com

Moderne Child

Kim Landi is the Southern California-based mom and fashion designer behind this beautiful, affordable line for moms and kids, and it’s been spotted on celebs like Tori Spelling and Amanda Stanton. Her designs are absolutely adorable and insanely affordable: prices range from $14-36. Love!

“Preslie” palm print bathing suit, $39, ModerneChild.com

GIrls “Preslie” palm leaf bathing suit, $28, ModerneChild.com

Victoria Beckham for Target

I am more than a little bit excited for Victoria Beckham’s collab with Target, which hits stores April 9. Her designs are bold, colorful and, of course, chic, and they guarantee that you’ll be able to match your daughter in style. I picked a slightly less obvious pairing here, but there are also more matchy-matchy options if that’s what you prefer!

Women's Black Twill Tank Top with Asymmetric Scallop Trim - Victoria Beckham for Target

Women’s Black Twill Tank Top with Asymmetric Scallop Trim – Victoria Beckham for Target, $26, Target

Girls blush drop waist scallop dress, $28, Target

Pineapple Clothing

This is by far the most extensive selection of mom/daughter designs I’ve ever seen. There seems to be an infinite number of prints to choose from, and many are available in more than one style, so it’s easy to find something that suits your style (and hers!).

Prima Donna Grace Grey Rosette Fancy Shift Dress, $46, PineappleClothing.com

Prima Donna Adele Grey Roses Elegant Shift Dress, $77, PineappleClothing.com


Sigh. Joyfolie has been my go-to brand for girls clothes for a while, and I’m just now diving into the options for women, too. Their shoes are legendary in our home. They are simply the prettiest and girliest shoes around. You’ll both fall in love with these gorgeous pieces!

Noemi maxi dress, $84, Joyfolie.com


*NEW* Zahara Ruffle Set in Stripe

Zahara Ruffle Set in Stripe, $78, Joyfolie.com

Oh, and did I mention they have shoes…!

Galen in Stargazer

Galen in Stargazer for Girls, $68, Joyfolie.com

Galena flat in Poseidon, $86, Joyfolie.com

I hope you’ve discovered a new brand or two, and maybe spotted your next mother-daughter look. Happy shopping!



Spring’s Best Dresses Under $100

Spring's Best Dresses_Social

Spring is the season of the dress. Summer is all about bathing suits and shorts, and fall and winter are just made for cozy layers, but in springtime, dresses rule. I like to picture myself wearing these pretty dresses to weddings and garden parties, but more likely they will turn up at church and the occasional date nights. And I’d reserve the prettiest one for Easter.

Here, you’ll find the prettiest styles under $100, from work-worthy sheaths to perfect party dresses, categorized by body type (of course).

(Not certain of your body type? Click here to find out).

Style Dial 1 and Style Dial 1 (3)

Main Image - Adrianna Papell Scalloped Crepe Sheath Dress (Regular & Petite)

Adrianna Papell Scalloped Crepe Sheath Dress, $98, Nordstrom

Maison Jules cotton gingham shirtdress, $79.50, Macy’s

BCBGeneration drape wrap midi dress, $54, Revolve.com

Main Image - ECI Print Notch Neck Sheath Dress

ECI Print Notch Neck Sheath Dress, $88, Nordstrom

Pink Clove wrap floral dress, $37, ASOS.com

Style Dial 2 and Style Dial 2 (3)


Lucy Paris Dakota one shoulder dress, $88, Bloomingdale’s

Wayf Someset lace trim dress, $70.70, ShopBop

Main Image - Charles Henry Fit & Flare Dress

Charles Henry Fit & Flare Dress, $58.80, Nordstrom

Endless Rose lace minidress, $98, Nordstrom

Scalloped shift dress, $49, J. Crew Factory

Style Dial 3

Main Image - Wayf Hadley Lace Midi Dress

Wayf Hadley Lace Midi Dress, $95, Nordstrom

ECI Scuba Sheath Dress, $88, Nordstrom

Main Image - ASTR the Label Lace Midi Dress

ASTR the Label Lace Midi Dress, $89, Nordstrom

ASOS Curve striped shift, $58, ASOS.com

Leith ruched tank dress, $56, Nordstrom


I hope you find your new favorite dress on this list! If you’re looking for more options and spring trend ideas for your body type, check out my spring catalogs for Style Dial 1, Style Dial 2 and Style Dial 3.

5 Ways to Look Great in a Bathing Suit


Okay, so I’ve shown you about a bajillion bathing suits, but really, the actual suit-wearing only comprises a fraction of your summer: the swimming and sunning and sporting part. What do you wear when you’re not in the water? A cute coverup is critical, and in my opinion, it’s second only to the suit in importance. Here, you’ll find 5 fabulous coverups for all five Style Dial body types. (Yes, flattery rules apply here too!). After you’ve taken cover, complete the look with the cutest accessories and the best beauty products to look and feel your best at the beach!

Cover it Up

There are two schools of thought when it comes to coverups: the take-covers and the show-offs. And while the show-offs might think that a strategically placed sarong is adequate coverage for an itty bitty suit, I prefer a little more discretion. Especially in this season of my life.

The ideal coverup, in my opinion, is 3 things: glamorous, flattering, and modest enough to allow me to run an errand on the way home without embarassment. Neutral coverups are the most practical, of course, but I can’t resist a pretty print or a bold stripe when the mood strikes me.

Style Dial 1

The season’s hottest sleeve combines with a simple shape and a vertical neckline to make this chic, neutral coverup a great choice for a Style Dial 1.

Main Image - L Space 'Breakaway' Cover-Up Tunic

L Space ‘Breakaway’ Cover-Up Tunic, $129, Nordstrom

Style Dial 1 (3)

The vertical neckline is adjustable, thanks to the zipper, and the self belt adds much-needed definition in the waist.

Zip front hooded dress, $39, Venus.com

Style Dial 2

This coverup doubles as an adorable, with UPF 50 built in, doubles as an adorable, protective dress.

“Sophie” dress, $138, LillyPulitzer.com

Style Dial 2 (3)

This classic black coverup offers the season’s trendy tassel detail and a flattering style at a great price. Pair it with Bermuda shorts or white skinny jeans and it easily doubles as a tunic.

Merona Tassel detail shirtdress coverup, $23.99, Target

Style Dial 3

This hip tank-style coverup offers waist-whittling side knots and an easy, laid-back look.

Burnout jersey knot side coverup, $38, TopShop.com

Choose Your Shoes

Those Havaianas are looking a little tired, and, well, we’ve all been wearing pretty much the same basic flip flop for a decade now, so it might be time for an upgrade. The season’s slides, in sleek and sturdy varieties, are the trendiest pick, or choose an updated thong sandal.

Main Image - Seychelles Coast Knotted Slide Sandal (Women)

Seychelles Coast Knotted Slide Sandal , $89, Nordstrom

Main Image - Rebecca Minkoff Estelle Sandal (Women)

Rebecca Minkoff Estelle Sandal , $124.95, Nordstrom

Soludos Slotted Thong Sandal

Soludos Slotted Thong Sandal, $89, Zappo’s

Ipanema Phillippe Starck Thing N sandals, $40, ShopBop.com

Women's Sam & Libby Harper Bow Slide Sandals

Sam & Libby Harper Bow Slide Sandals, $26.99, Target

Add a Hat

Not only is a chic chapeau a sun smart choice, it’s a stylish one as well. Nothing adds more glamour to a poolside look than a broad-brimmed hat, and it’s a great way to cover up post-swim hair.

Merona floppy straw hat with sequins, $14.99, Target

product photo

Straw panama hat for women, $19.94, Old Navy

Vacay sequin straw hat, $28, ASOS

Textured summer straw hat

Textured summer straw hat, $34.50, J. Crew

Main Image - kate spade new york oh hello sun hat

kate spade new york oh hello sun hat, $98, Nordstrom

Get Glowing

So if you’re going to be seen in a bathing suit, it’s a real confidence booster to have soft, glowing skin. A great glow is easily yours with the following products, from tan boosters to skin savers. If you’re going to be using body cream anyway, why not find one that doubles as a firming cream.

Fresh Sugar Acai Age Delay Body Cream, $67, Sephora

Farmhouse Fresh Blushing Agave Body Oil, $27, FarmhouseFreshGoods.com

Say Hello to Sexy Legs Illuminating Fluid, $34, Sephora

Per-Fekt matte body perfection gel, $48, Sephora

Skinny Tan 24 Hour Bronzer, $19.95, SkinnyTan.com

Smooth Things Over

We’ve all got our issues, and the easiest ones are solved with a fancy new body product. From battling ingrown hairs (now that’s a sexy subject!) and stretch marks (another hot topic) to boosting your bust and your bum, you’ll find plenty of products to boost your body confidence.

Ingrown Hair Treatment By Penchant Bare - The best solution for bikini and razor bumps from waxing, shaving, and hair removal

Ingrown Hair Treatment By Penchant Bare, $24.95, Amazon

bliss Leave it to Cleavage Lotion, 3.4 oz.

bliss Leave it to Cleavage Lotion, $45, Amazon

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, $45, Sephora

basq NYC Intensive Treatment Stretch Mark Butter, $34, Amazon

Dermadoctor KP Duty moisturizing therapy for dry skin, $38, Sephora

Your Bathing Suit Problems, Solved

Social_BathingSuitProblems (1)

Lately, I’ve been teaching my girls a truth that, as adults, we know all too well. There’s always someone who has it better. When I hear them compare themselves to someone else, I gently remind them that, in life, there will always be a girl who is prettier and smarter and richer and more talented. There will always be people with more, and there will always be people with less.

But there will only ever be one you. So be you. And be awesome at it.

I think the same applies to bathing suits and body image. There will always be a woman who looks better, whose body “issues” are smaller or somehow less significant than yours. We always wish for someone else’s problems, because ours always seem to be so much more challenging. And that’s when we need to remind ourselves that our job isn’t to be better or prettier or skinnier than… it’s just to be the the best us, possible.

And I know that it’s kind of a leap to go from being our best to solving bathing suit problems, but I promise there’s a connection. Being awesome requires a certain level of confidence, and so does donning a bathing suit. A great bathing suit that flatters and fits and doesn’t ride up or sag or bag or reveal too much is priceless, because it gives you the confidence to enjoy summer.

Don’t let your bathing suit problems get in the way of a good time this summer! Here, you’ll find solutions to the most common swimwear problems: full tummy, full bum and thighs, and long torso.

Problem #1: Taming Your Tummy


Clearly, a suit with tummy taming features is a great choice here, but you may not be aware of the magic of a strategically placed print at whittling your waistline. This print visually subtracts inches from the waistline.

Miraclesuit Zip Line Temptress One-Piece

Miraclesuit Zip Line Temptress One-Piece, $164, Zappo’s

And here’s another, which adds super-flattering ruching to the mix.

Miraclesuit Sound Waves Temptress One-Piece

Miraclesuit Sound Waves Temptress One-Piece, $164, Zappo’s

So ruching, above, and its close cousin, draping, are both legendary tummy tamers.

Bleu Rod Beattie Plus Size Cruise Control Halter Mio One-Piece

Bleu Rod Beattie Plus Size Cruise Control Halter Mio One-Piece, $141, Zappo’s

And this suit from Merona at Target offers a fabulous example of the power of draping.

Merona draped one piece, $39.99, Target

Another fabulous tummy tamer is the high-waisted bikini. While this can often be a flattering choice, it’s best for women with average to long waistlines. If you have a short waistline, you’re better off sticking to a one-piece or tankini style.

Beach Betty by Miracle Brands Slimming Control Hi-Waist Bikini Swim Bottom Pink Colorblock, $34.99, and longline bikini top, $39.99, Target

Bands of black are visual erasers, making the waist appear slimmer. This suit uses black side panels to whittle the waist, and a black band around the middle for further definition.

Beach Betty by Miracle Brands Colorblock Control One Piece, $64.99, Target

Problem #2: Full Bum and Thighs

The best thing you can do to downplay a full lower half is to, well, downplay it. That means no bright colors, bold embellishments or doodads of any kind. Instead, draw the eye to your upper half with horizontal necklines. This season’s hip new high-necked halter styles and off the shoulder styles are perfect!

This suit downplays the bottom half with a darker color, while the stripes on top, and a horizontal neckline, draw the eye upward.

Stripe swimsuit, $65, ShopBop.com

This high halter style draws the eye upwards, while the solid colored bottom minimizes the bum.

Lucky Brand Nomad Chevron High Neck Tankini Top

For a trendy look, pair a bright or light colored off the shoulder swim top with your favorite basic black bikini bottoms.

Trina Turk Gypsy Solid Off the Shoulder Bandeau Top

Trina Turk Gypsy Solid Off the Shoulder Bandeau Top, $80, Zappo’s

Problem #3: Long Torso

While some of us (me included!) would love to have the problem of a long torso, it does pose a genuine problem when shopping for a one piece. Fortunately, companies have stepped in to offer solutions, creating longer suits for taller girls. Longitude is the most prominent of these brands, and while they get points for fit and flattery, many of their cuts and prints are dated. This style, however, is sleek, sophisticated and current!

Longitude Sheer Love high neck tanksuit, $54.99 (sale), AsWeChange.com

Brands like J. Crew and Land’s End size a few styles each season for longer torsos.

Long torso one-shoulder one-piece swimsuit in classic stripe

Long torso one-shoulder one-piece swimsuit in classic stripe, $118, JCrew.com

ASOS also offers a handful of tall sized suits, all very affordably priced, but many of their styles this season were very low cut. This is one of the more modest options.

ASOS TALL Clean Cross Back Mono Stripe Swimsuit, $34, ASOS.com

Unless you want the suit to be shorter and more revealing, tankinis should also be sized for long torsos, whenever possible. Lands’ End is known more for its quality and fit than its style, unfortunately, but I did find this tankini in a bold, contemporary floral.

Women's Long High-neck Tankini Top

Women’s Long High-neck Tankini Top, $65, and bottoms, $39, LandsEnd.com

These 3 swimsuit problems are the ones I hear the most from clients, readers and friends. Did I address your biggest bathing suit dilemma? If not, share it below!