How to Wear LuLaRoe

How to Wear LuLaRoe_Social

I kind of pride myself on being a know-it-all, but the nice kind, you know? Not the obnoxious kind. I always need like to be the first to turn people onto things. I knew about Tory Burch long before all of my friends starting buying the Reva flat. Ditto with Jack Rogers. And Zara. I even hosted a party to introduce my friends to Rodan & Fields, and now a few of them are consultants. So I’m kind of a trendsetter in my neck of the woods.

But I’ll admit I was a little late to the LuLaRoe party, which kind of got us off on the wrong foot. When I finally caught on, LuLaRoe was more than a brand; it was a movement. But I still thought the hype was all about comfy leggings in colorful prints., until I sat next to a friend at a birthday party in a lovely restaurant courtyard, and her phone dinged the entire time with LuLaRoe notifications. Before we left the party, she had bought 3 pairs of leggings, a dress and a 2 tops. She couldn’t get enough.

That’s why I was quick to say yes when a friend invited me to an in-home LuLaRoe shopping party hosted by a fellow friend, a LLR consultant. I was initially intrigued at the prospect of finally finding a pair of comfy leggings for my 9-year-old Eva, i.e. Goldilocks, who never met a piece of clothing that wasn’t too scratchy, too stiff, too tight or too loose for her comfort. This child has felt tags that do not exist; it is her superpower.

I wasn’t, in all honesty, expecting to find clothes for me. I’m too picky and too fashion-y, I thought. I hardly ever find anything I like. Besides, I already had leggings.

I was wrong. Sure I left with leggings and kimonos for the girls (that they wear and love!), but I also left with two pieces for myself, the Cassie pencil skirt and the sleek, stylish Julia dress, both striped. And I learned a thing or two about what makes LuLaRoe so popular. Here, as I see it, are the secrets behind the brand’s boundless popularity:

  1. LuLaRoe is comfortable. All LLR pieces are made of yummy, stretchy knits. And while the different knits don’t have names, according to my LLR friend Beth, consultants refer to them as “legging material,” “cottony,” “Cassie material” and “slinky. All are code words for comfy.
  2. LuLaRoe is versatile. The pieces and the prints are endlessly interchangeable and customizable. The adventurous can mix and match prints with abandon, and tunic tops can be tied, belted or otherwise draped for more flattery. (For example, in the video, Beth knots her Carly dress and wears it over the Cassie pencil skirt as a tunic.) A new mom friend described it as “Garanimals for grownups. But much more stylish.”
  3. LuLaRoe is affordable. The least expensive items, the leggings, are $25, and the most expensive, the Sarah coverup, is $70.
  4. LuLaRoe fits everyone. The sizing system, which can seem intimidating at the start, is actually quite flexible, and you can usually wear a couple of sizes up or down in most styles. Check out this size chart to get an idea:

LLR+Sizing+chart_v2

But all of this fabulousness amounts to nothing if the clothes don’t flatter. Fortunately, the variety of styles means there is something for every body type. (If you’re not familiar with the body type system that I use, the Style Dial, check it out here). So just to see if LLR worked for all body types, I enlisted my LuLaRoe consultant friend Beth McQuillen (a Style Dial 3) and my friend Jean (a Style Dial 2) for this video.

 

I hope that was helpful! Read on for a full list of pointers, by style. The leggings are leggings, so I won’t break them down, except to say that the Jade and the Jordan are designed for working out, but here, the breakdown of the tees, skirts and dresses:

The Tees

Flattery Tip: At this point, all of LuLaRoe’s tees feature scoop or high necklines, making them Style Dial 2 friendly, but a Style Dial 1 or Style Dial 3 woman can pull these off when paired with a long necklace.

The Classic Tee

CLASSIC

The Classic Tee, $35

The Details: Short sleeves, spun polyester jersey, lower in back

Best For: All body types. (See flattery tip, above).

The Irma

IRMA

The Irma, $35

The Details: Loose high-low tunic with fitted sleeves

Best For: This shape is especially flattering on a Style Dial 2 or a Style Dial 3.

The Perfect Tee

The Perfect Tee, $36

The Perfect Tee, $36

The Details: Swingy hem with side slits

Best For: This tee is a great choice for a Style Dial 3.

The Randy

RANDY

The Randy, $35

The Details: A unisex style (in the right colors), classic baseball shape with contrasting raglan sleeves

Best For: Everyone. (See Flattery Tip, above).

The Dresses and Skirts

The Amelia Dress

AMELIA

The Amelia Dress, $65

The Details: Handset box pleats, stretchy knit fabric, hidden pockets

Best For: A Style Dial 3 (straighter body type) without wide shoulders, or a Style Dial 1. Both should wear a long necklace with this style.

The Ana Dress

ana

The Ana Dress, $60

The Details: Scoop neck, fitted bodice, elbow-length sleeves

Best For: Everyone! This dress literally flatters every single body type, but is absolutely flawless for a Style Dial 2. Flattery note: Add a long necklace if you’re a Style Dial 1 or a Style Dial 3.

The Azure Skirt

Azure

The Azure Skirt, $35

The Details: A flowy, swingy skirt in an A-line shape

Best For: Everyone. A-lines are universally flattering. A Style Dial 2 should wear the waistband at the waist and not the hips.

The Carly Dress

Carly

The Carly Dress, $55

The Details: A swingy dress with an asymmetrical hemline.
Best For: Everyone, particularly a Style Dial 2 or a Style Dial 3. A SD3 would benefit from knotting or draping the dress for maximum flattery, and both a Style Dial 1 and a 3 should wear a long necklace.

The Jill Skirt

Jill

The Jill Skirt, $55

Details: Knife pleated, below the knee, exposed elastic waistband

Best For: Style Dial 3 ladies will really benefit from this skirt, especially when worn a little high on the waist, but could also work for a Style Dial 2 or a Style Dial 1, if the other details in the outfit were body type friendly.

The Julia Dress

Julia

The Julia Dress, $45

The Details: Fitted, knee length, high neck

Best For: Worn with a long necklace, this dress is ideal for a Style Dial 1 and a Style Dial 3, but a SD3 should wear the dress bunched up at the waist for a flattering gathered effect.

The Nicole Dress

Nicole

The Nicole, $48

Details: The shorter version of the Ana, and just as flattering.

Best For: Everyone, though Style Dial 1 and Style Dial 3 should add a long necklace.

The Lucy Skirt

Lucy

The Lucy Skirt, $52

The Details: Lined chiffon or lace skirt, exposed elastic waistband

Best For: This style is flattering on everyone, but a tummy-conscious Style Dial 3 and a Style Dial 2 may want to wear the skirt a bit higher up on the waist.

The Lola Skirt

The Lola Skirt, $46

The Lola Skirt, $46

The Details: Midi skirt with elastic waist and a lining that is 4 inches shorter for a pretty drape and sheerness.

Best For: Everyone, but a Style Dial 2 or Style Dial 3 might want to wear it a big higher on the waist.

The Cassie Skirt

The Cassie Skirt, $35

The Cassie Skirt, $35

The Details: Pencil skirt, wide waistband that can be folded to adjust the length

Best For: Style Dial 1 body types are most flattered by pencil skirts, but a 3 may be able to wear this style if it’s worn ruched and gathered.

The Madison Skirt

MADISON

The Madison Skirt, $46

Details: Hand box pleats, full skirt, hidden pockets

Best For: Style Dial 3 body types are really flattered by the shape of this skirt.

The Maxi Skirt

MAXI

The Maxi Skirt, $42

Details: Comfy knit, wider waistband

Best For: All body types, but Style Dial 2 women should wear the waist higher up to avoid emphasizing the hips.

If you haven’t tried LuLaRoe for yourself yet, I hope this post has helped to demystify the brand. And if you’re already a fan, I hope you’ve picked up some pointers on how to flatter your unique body type with these cute, comfortable styles.

Note: Thanks to LuLaRoe consultants Beth McQuillen, Meredith West Willman and Andrea Schandel for their help with the LLR merchandise for the video.

The Ultimate Beauty Packing List

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Why hasn’t the word maximalist caught on? I know it’s a little awkward to say, but in my opinion, the trend towards minimalism really discriminates against those of us who like lots of stuff. What happened to the collectors and the acquirers and the, um, shoppers? They make the world, or at least the economy, go round.

Life as a maximalist can be tricky. Because clutter. And you’re always running out of places to put things, or forgetting what you have and buying more of it. And it’s especially tricky when it comes to travel, because airlines just don’t seem to get the need for gallon-sized jugs of conditioner. We are now forced to pare down our beauty routines to a few doll-sized products stuffed in a clear plastic bag. But where others may see adversity, I see opportunity, i.e. shopping. Because a true maximalist knows that travel requires beauty products in adorable travel sized containers, and lots and lots of them. While others see makeup palettes as an opportunity to save space, I see them as an opportunity to pack more palettes. But whatever your packing philosophy, these packable wonders make it easy to bring everything you need (and a lot of what you want, too!) Here, my favorite portable palettes, potions and lotions for wherever your summer plans take you!

The Bags

It all starts with a great cosmetic bag, or 12. The more the better, to hold more stuff. In addition to the cute bags, grab at least one clear one for the carryon.

Madewell Large Crystalline Travel Bag

This is a major upgrade from the leaky Ziploc you’ve been toting around, and it’s roomy enough for lots of products!

Madewell Large Crystalline Travel Bag, $24.50, Madewell.com

Madewell Large Crystalline Travel Bag, $24.50, Madewell.com

 

Limited Edition James Goldcrown for Henri Bendel Cosmetic Clutch

This gorgeous makeup bag doubles as a clutch. So practical!

James Goldcrown for Henri Bendel Cosmetic Clutch, $128. HenriBendel.com

James Goldcrown for Henri Bendel Cosmetic Clutch, $128. HenriBendel.com

F1 Spacepak Toiletry Bag

F1 Spacepak Toiletry Bag, $42, Flight001.com

F1 Spacepak Toiletry Bag, $42, Flight001.com

The Goods

MouthWatchers Travel Toothbrush

These handy, portable toothbrushes have flossing bristles to get between the teeth, and silver bristle technology that eliminates the bacteria on the bristles in just a few hours.

Mouth Watchers Travel Toothbrushes, $5.99, Mouthwatchers.com

Mouth Watchers Travel Toothbrushes, $5.99, Mouthwatchers.com

IT Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi Palette

A powder, a luminizer, a blush and a bronzer in one pretty pink palette, plus each of these products is a standout on its own!

IT Cosmetics "Je Ne Sais Quoi" Complexion Perfection Face Palette, $42, itcosmetics.com

IT Cosmetics “Je Ne Sais Quoi” Complexion Perfection Face Palette, $42, itcosmetics.com

Herban Essentials

Besides the clever name (I love a good play on words, don’t you?), I can think of a million reasons to love these wipes, which I was first introduced to back in my beauty editor days. They are made with real essential oils, so the Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint wipes are naturally antibacterial and aromatherapeutic. They’re like a little spa treatment in a wipe.

Herban Essentials Mixed Bag Essential Oil Towelettes, $16, Amazon

Herban Essentials Mixed Bag Essential Oil Towelettes, $16, Amazon

Kesh Argan Oils

Discover what the argan oil hype is all about with this sampler of the brand’s scented Argan oil. This set comes with 5 portable oils for face, body and hair, and includes unscented, Rose Essence, Eucalyptus Essence, Orange Blossom Essence and Lavender Essence.

Kesh Travel Pack, $32, Nordstrom

Kesh Travel Pack, $32, Nordstrom

Olio e Osso Balm

Olio E Osso No. 2 French Melon Balm, $28, Nordstrom

Olio E Osso No. 2 French Melon Balm, $28, Nordstrom

De Mamiel Altitude Oil

This little magical bottle of plant oils is like the perfect antidote to stress, air travel, and just everyday exhaustion. I don’t know what’s in it, but it’s incredible.

De Mamiel Altitude Oil, $44, Nordstrom

De Mamiel Altitude Oil, $44, Nordstrom

Aromatherapy Associates Bath and Shower Oils

I find flying really stressful, and driving, for that matter, so I always take along luxurious bath and shower products when I’m on a trip so that I can steal a few minutes in my day to relax. This yummy collection of oils can be applied to the skin before showering, or into the bath for a spa-ish experience. And there’s an oil in here for whatever ails you: Revive, Relax, Support. Even Inner Strength.

 

 

 

AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES_MINIATURE BATH OIL COLLECTION, $66, Nordstrom

AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES_MINIATURE BATH OIL COLLECTION, $66, Nordstrom

Sleek Makeup Brow Kit

I love that this little kit from the new British brand contains two brow shades and a pair of mini tweezers. So portable and convenient.

Sleek Cosmetics Brow Kit, $12.99, Amazon

Sleek Cosmetics Brow Kit, $12.99, Amazon

Arbonne Liquid Sunshine Lip Balm

Flying is drying, and this soothing lip balm hydrates and protects with SPF15.

 

 

Arbonne Liquid Sunshine Lip Balm SPF 15, $12. Arbonne.com

Arbonne Liquid Sunshine Lip Balm SPF 15, $12. Arbonne.com

Vichy Idealia Eyes

A fancy French eye cream you can buy at the drugstore, this products tones, hydrates and uses a blurring agent to mask circles and make your eyes look brighter.

Vichy Idealia Eyes, $31, Walgreen's

Vichy Idealia Eyes, $31, Walgreen’s

Veil Cosmetics Concealer

This triple-duty product conceals, highlights and corrects, and it comes with its own brush.

Veil Cosmetics Complexion Fix Concealer, $40. VeilCosmetics.com

Veil Cosmetics Complexion Fix Concealer, $40. VeilCosmetics.com

Savvy Travelers Wipes

This clever company has a wipe for virtually anything you can think of, from freshening your breath to wiping down your screens. The JetSet kit, $15, contains 16 wipes, including screen wipes, deodorant wipes, teeth and mouth cleaning wipes, and face cleansing/toning/moisturizing wipes.

Savvy Jet Set Kit, $15, SavvyTravelers.com

Savvy Jet Set Kit, $15, SavvyTravelers.com

Ursa Major Face Tonic

This all natural face tonic cleans, exfoliates, heals and hydrates. Plus, it smells amazing. (Also comes in a 2 oz. travel size).

Ursa Major 4-in-1 essential face tonic, $26, UrsaMajorVT.com

Ursa Major 4-in-1 essential face tonic, $26, UrsaMajorVT.com

Elizabeth & James Solid Perfume

Leakproof fragrance is a must, so try a rollerball version of your favorite scent, or a chic solid fragrance compact like this from Elizabeth & James.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana White Solid Perfume Compact, $40, Sephora

Elizabeth and James
Nirvana White Solid Perfume Compact, $40, Sephora

Frownies

These reusable eye moisturizing eye gel patches are fabulous for post-flight puffiness!

Frownies Eye Gels, $29.95, Frownies.com

Frownies Eye Gels, $29.95, Frownies.com

 

The Luxuries

Once all the necessities are packed, it’s nice to throw in a few things just for pampering.

Verloop Travel Scarf

I am always, always cold when I travel, and this pretty, colorful wrap doubles as a cozy travel blanket.

Verloop Essential Travel Scarf, $75, VerloopKnits.com

Verloop Essential Travel Scarf, $75, VerloopKnits.com

F1 Shades Eye Mask

Get some rest and look adorable at the same time with a colorful eye mask!

F1 Shades eye mask in "Lolita", $16, Flight001.com

F1 Shades eye mask in “Lolita”, $16, Flight001.com

Whether you’re a backpacker or an overpacker, I hope some of these products make your next trip prettier and more luxurious! Safe travels!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Game Changing Products You’ve Never Heard of

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There was a time when I had allllll the products. All. Of. Them. As a former beauty editor, one of the best parts of my job was the steady stream of products I received every single day. When the very first box came, filled with my very first Kiehl’s products, I was hooked! Since then, I’ve seen some amazing lines come (Fresh, Archipelago, Bond No. 9, SPACE NK). And sadly, I’ve seen a few favorites go: Calvin Klein Beauty, Prada Beauty, Awake skincare (which pulled out of the US and is now only available in Japan) and my favorite, Nina Ricci makeup (the prettiest packaging ever, and everything smelled like rosewater).

I’m not telling you all of this because I like dropping the names of obscure products (although it does make me feel a little bit like a makeup obsessed schoolgirl connoisseur). I’m telling you to give you an idea of how many products I’ve tried. At one point, I was testing so many products that I divided my face into 8 zones. Most were okay. Some were pretty good. Only a few were game-changers. 5, to be exact. Here they are.

Vitabrid C12 Face Brightening Powder

Vitabrid C12 Face Brightening Powder, about $55, Amazon

Vitabrid C12 Face Brightening Powder, about $55, Amazon

My obsession with beauty started early. When I was a kid, I used to love mixing lotions and potions to invent my own beauty products. This is just as much fun, but so much more effective.  You just shake a little bit of this miraculous powder into your regular moisturizer or serum, mix in your palm, and apply for tighter, brighter, more even-toned skin. After only a few days, my skin looked fresher and my pores looked smaller. This product is one of the many reasons Korean skincare is so hot right now.

Rodan + Fields Active Hydration Serum

Rodan + Fields Active Hydration Serum, $108, Rodanandfields.com

Rodan + Fields Active Hydration Serum, $108, Rodanandfields.com

I was going to add the incredible, must-have Lash Boost to this list, but since everyone you know is using it, I decided to include one of my other Rodan + Fields gamechangers, the brand new Active Hydration Serum. This lightweight, oil-free serum is like a drink of water for your skin. It immediately eases dryness and keeps your skin moist and glowy for hours. It’s seriously one of those products that makes every single skin type look better.

French Girl Organics Lumiere Body Oil

French Girl Organics Lumiere Body Oil in Jasmine Neroli, $58, Nordstrom

French Girl Organics Lumiere Body Oil in Jasmine Neroli, $58, Nordstrom

It’s no secret that I love body oils. I’ve mentioned them here. And here. And also here. But add  the French-ness and organic-ness and an addictive floral scent, and I’m truly obsessed. It isn’t cheap, but the smell is so divine it can double as a summer scent, which almost makes it a moneysaver. You’re welcome.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush

Kjaer Weis cream blush in "Embrace", $56, Nordstrom

Kjaer Weis cream blush in “Embrace”, $56, Nordstrom

You know that no-makeup look that takes hours to create? No? Me neither. Who has time for that? Fortunately, with this product, you can pull it off in minutes. I love it for so many reasons, and not just because it’s all natural and the packaging is gorgeous. This subtle color is perfect for fair complexions, and it’s a great multitasker. It works on lips, cheeks and eyes (Darker complexions, like mine, should try Happy).

Confidence in a Compact

IT! Confidence in a Compact Solid Serum Foundation, $38, Itcosmetics.com

IT! Confidence in a Compact Solid Serum Foundation, $38, Itcosmetics.com

Even if you don’t use foundation, you will love this. I promise. When used with your favorite makeup sponge or brush (or the incredible Heavenly Skin Skin Smoothing Brush with skincare built into the fibers!), this incredible product lets you blot, brush and magically erase any skin flaws, and it’s undetectable. Plus, anti-aging skincare is built into it, and a physical SPF50 sunblock, so in one quick step you can be ready to face the day.

While each of the products is a splurge, they are also effective, innovative, and just plain luxurious. I hope this list has inspired you to treat yourself and mix up your beauty routine a little!

The 5 Best Natural Deodorants

Social_5 Best Natural Deodorants

I’m not going to lie. I stink at a lot of things. Sports. Neatness. Burpees. Flying without panicking. Sports. Parallel parking. Also, sports.

I literally stink at all of these things. But I don’t literally stink, you know? And for that I can thank the natural deodorants on this list.

I have to admit that I’ve never been much of a sweat-er. For one thing, I’m usually cold. And I live a largely sedentary lifestyle. How much of a sweat can you work up flipping through magazines while drinking tea? But my non-sweating tendencies are also largely genetic. My mother and I once waited, in full hair and makeup and wedding party finery, in the Florida August noon sun for the limo during my sister’s wedding and we didn’t even have to powder our noses. So I come from a long line of non-sweaters.

Still, I do live in Florida and my life is always hectic, so I rely on a good, strong deodorant. Bonus points if it’s natural and smells fancy and the packaging is pretty. That’s why I created this list. But just to make sure these deodorants don’t just work for me, all five of these also received rave reviews, both online and from friends.

Changing from a conventional deodorant to an all-natural one can be tricky. One of the brands, EO, recommends a 30-day detox, and warns that odor may get a bit worse before it gets better. It’s part of the detox. I haven’t experienced this, but if you do, hang in there, because it’s only temporary!

So here, the 5 best natural deodorants.

1. EO Organic Deodorant Spray

I have loved this line for years! It’s chic, natural and affordable. What could be better? I buy the shampoos, conditioners and body wash (Lemon Verbena!) by the gallon, so I had high hopes for their organic deodorant spray, and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s light and refreshing and very effective, even for men. And it comes in multiple scents: Vetiver (a great unisex scent), Lavender, and Citrus (my choice!)

EO Organic Deodorant Spray in Citrus, $6.99, EOProducts.com

EO Organic Deodorant Spray in Citrus, $6.99, EOProducts.com

2. Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant

Lavanila won Allure’s Best of Beauty Award last year, and their products are the most elegant, and expensive, on this list. I have the Vanilla Lavender and I’m obsessed. The packaging is lovely, and it’s so gentle yet so effective. In my opinion, it doesn’t make you feel as dry as a conventional deodorant, but it’s also more moisturizing, and it really fights odor. I love the scent, which is light and not overpowering. Vanilla Grapefruit and Fresh Vanilla Lemon are next on my list to try!

Lavanila Deodorant, $14 each or $35 for a trio, Lavanila.com

Lavanila Deodorant, $14 each or $35 for a trio, Lavanila.com

3. Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant

This brand first came on my radar via Facebook, and I was intrigued. I love the fragrances and the packaging, and now that it’s available at Target, the accessibility. It’s also possibly the most effective deodorant I have tried, natural or otherwise. Unfortunately, the Lavender Sage proved to be irritating to my underarms, so next time I might have to try their fragrance free version. (I have had several friends try this with no irritation, and they have all loved it!)

Schmidt's Natural Deodorant, $8.99, Target

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant, $8.99, Target

4. Native Deodorant

Another chic option, Native has some of the most interesting scents around (Lavender Rose, Grapefruit Bergamot, Cucumber Mint, and their most popular, Coconut Vanilla). A dear friend, who describes herself as a “sweater”, raves about it: “I smell like the beach!” She loves that it leaves no white residue, and told me it kept her dry and even beat her longtime favorite. (Note: I have not tried Native yet, but I plan to take advantage of their free shipping and will update this when I try it out!) Oh, and they offer free returns if you don’t love it. How awesome is that?

Native Deodorant, $12, NativeCos.com

Native Deodorant, $12, NativeCos.com

5. DIY Pit Paste

My lovely friend Tasha, a naturalist and essential oil guru and curly hair maven, gave me this recipe, and swears it’s the only thing that works for her husband. Here’s the recipe:

6 tablespoons cornstarch (use a non-GMO variety)

2 tablespoons baking soda

3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

15 drops doTERRA Lavender essential oil

15 drops doTERRA Melaleuca essential oil

10 drops doTERRA Lemongrass essential oil

10 drops doTERRA Rosemary essential oil

Mix the cornstarch, baking soda and essential oils in a bowl, and the add the coconut oil one tablespoon at a time. Store in covered container in a cool place. Apply with fingertips.

I hope this post has inspired you to ditch your conventional deodorant and go natural! Have you tried any of these? I’d love to hear what you think!

Wear This To Look Old

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I have been forced to borrow reading glasses from friends twice in the last few days. Twice. Once to read the miniscule words on a restaurant menu, and another time to read the instruction manual on a piece of clothing. (Yes, some clothes require assembly, and like all instruction manuals, the writing is tiny).

Crazy, right, considering my 20/20 vision.

There are other signs, of course, that things are, um, changing. A couple more strands of glitter in my hair. Bags under my eyes after too little sleep, which is pretty much all the time. And for a moment the other day, I thought I detected a jowl but I gave it “the look” and it went away. For now.

But nothing bothers me as much as krinkles.

Not familiar with them? They are the folds of wrinkly skin you get above your knees as you age and your skin loses its elasticity, i.e. knee wrinkles, or krinkles. Isn’t it oddly comforting to know they have a name? No? It wasn’t to me either. Gratefully, I don’t have a full blown case of krinkles yet, but they are a-coming. I see early signs. The firming body creams on my shelf are taking on a whole new importance, as they have been plucked out of obscurity and are now part of the regular rotation.

Ahh the indignities of aging.

But there’s one indignity none of us have to suffer. We’ve all heard the phrase: “Put on your big girl pants, and deal with it.” But I refuse. I may have to say yes to the reading glasses, and the frequent hair color appointments, and the firming body cream, but I refuse to say yes to the big girl pants.

I refuse to say yes to capris.

If you’ve been led to believe that capris are that magical hybrid of pant and short, keeping you cool in the summer while still providing some much-needed coverage, you have been misinformed. Capris are the beginning of the end. They are the gateway to all things old. Once you start wearing capris, comfort shoes and purses with numerous compartments are not far behind.

They may appear harmless, but they are lethal style killers. You heard it here first.

Don’t believe me? Try to find a pair of capris in the stores right now, like my tall, gorgeous friend recently did. You will not find them at your usual haunts. You will only find them at the stores that carry old things for old people. (And old isn’t directly related to an age, by the way. I know women who were born old. It’s more about sensibility and attitude). Or better yet, let me do the searching for you. Among the capri-length leggings (fine for working out!) and cropped denim (misnamed capris as most are longer and more like ankle pants), here’s what I found:

Style & Co cargo capris:

These come in every color. Because one pair of unflattering pants is never enough.

Neon Buddha “Eden” capris

Eden Pull-On Capri Pants, White

Apt. 9 “Torie” modern fit capri pants

Women's Apt. 9® Torie Modern Fit Capri Dress Pants

Why do I hate capris? Let me count the ways:

  1. They shorten your legs. They make  you look short and squat, unless you are long and lithe and supermodel-esque, in which case you can wear anything you want. (So why wear these?)
  2. They add pounds. Somehow, they manage to add extra weight to every woman who wears them. That is their superpower.
  3. They are frumpy. I know this is vague and may be slightly frustrating to hear, but capris instantly signal frumpiness. They are practical and functional and comfortable and all of the other adjectives that describe the dowdy clothes that we settle for when we no longer care what we wear. And while there is nothing wrong with practical and functional and comfortable (I pretty much insist on these in everything I wear), clothes should also be beautiful and flattering and stylish and make you feel fabulous.

So now that I’ve eliminated many of your summer outfit options, let me suggest a few substitutes:

1. The Culotte

Culottes are the cooler cousin to the capri. They’re swingier, sassier, and not at all frumpy, when worn properly. Plus, the extra volume means they are extra breezy, making them a great choice for summer. (Capris aren’t really much “cooler” then conventional pants, unless you tend to have overheated ankles). Because of their movement and volume, these are best for a Style Dial 3, and would also work for a Style Dial 1.

Image 1 of CULOTTES WITH BOW from Zara

Culottes with bow, $39.90, Zara

2. The Bermuda

I’m with the Holderness family on this one.  Bermuda shorts offer coverage and coolness, and work on pretty much any body type. Plus, they’re far more leg-lengthening then capris. The more leg that shows, the longer you appear, so wear them a couple of inches above the knee for maximum flattery, but if you want more coverage, go for a knee length pair. This straight leg version from AG would be flattering on a SD2.

Main Image - AG The Nikki Denim Bermuda Shorts (24 Year Relief)

AG The Nikki Denim Bermuda Shorts, $168, Nordstrom

3. The Skirt

Skirts are not just for dressing up anymore. They, along with their counterpart, the dress, are the coolest way I can think of to pull off summer style. Nothing beats a maxi for breeziness and coverage, or go for the universally flattering A-line or a full, floaty circle skirt (especially gorgeous on a Style Dial 2!).

Main Image - Free People True To You Maxi Skirt

Free People True To You Maxi Skirt, $76.80 (sale), Nordstrom

We all want to be cool, comfortable and chic this summer, so I hope you’ll agree to ditch the capri and try some more flattering options!

 

 

 

5 Prettiest Summer Scents You’ve Never Heard Of

FivePrettiest-Social

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

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.

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Cute Styling

Image result for antonio melani

 

 

Here, a breakdown of Frumpy vs. Cute:

Shoes

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.

Frumpy

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

 

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Cute

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

Shirts

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.

Frumpy

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

 

Image result for alfred dunner short sleeve novelty neck print top

Cute

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

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

 

Bags

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.

Frumpy

Product Details

Cute

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.

Frumpy

Image result for turquoise jewelry set

 

Cute

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

dreamstime_m_60049877Confident

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

PackDisney_Social

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

WOMEN DISNEY COLLECTION SHORT SLEEVE GRAPHIC T-SHIRT, $ 14.90, UNIQLO

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Disney Collection short sleeve graphic tee, $14.90, UNIQLO

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Disney Collection short sleeve graphic tee, $14.90, UNIQLO

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Airism sleevelss seamless top, $9.90, UNIQLO

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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

EuropeanVacation_Social

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.

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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!

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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.

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Perforated clutch, $49.50, Loft

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

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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.