I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I love my Madewell Transport Tote. I lusted after it for years before finally getting it last year for my birthday, with my Mama’s help, and I’ve been using it like crazy ever since. It just seems to go with everything from jeans to dresses, casual to dressy, work to play. I’ve put it with everything I own. The cost per wear on that thing has got to be nearly free at this point and I love it when a purchase you’ve hemmed and hawed over proves itself so worth it.
It’s the perfect bag (and no, Madewell didn’t pay me to say that). It holds all my work stuff, is a great carryall for traveling or farmer’s markets, and looks equally great filled to the brim or with only a few things in it. It’s sturdy leather, simple construction and classic design make it a staple in any girl’s handbag wardrobe. Doesn’t hurt that mine has my initials stamped into it, too. Despite my love for bright leather handbags (Click here, here, here, and here for examples…), this rugged style is one of my absolute favorites.
Check out the full details on these outfits and the many other ways I’ve styled my Madewell Transport Tote here.
Self-photography was once something I thought I would never be able to do. I would read “About” pages on blog after blog, all about my favorite bloggers’ methods. I learned all about their cameras and tripods, lenses and remotes, some persuading boyfriends, husbands and friends, but I found so many that said they did it all themselves. It blew my mind. I’ve said it before, but my photos have dramatically improved since I started doing this and self-photography has become a real creative quest for me. Hitting that last magical hour before the sun sets, known as golden hour, can make even a simple, long black dress look pretty glowy and wonderful.
I just wrapped up a busy busy first week of school. It’s been a crazy week and I have a million things on my mind, but I’m off to play bridesmaid this weekend in my friend K.’s wedding on Orcas Island. I simply cannot wait to get there and see the sun setting on the water and and to celebrate two of my closest friends saying “I do.”
As I’ve begun to organize my closet for fall and the coming school year, I have been thinking a lot about how I’m adding to my wardrobe in a thoughtful way. From time to time we all veer towards the same kinds of pieces and find we have a closet full of printed A-line dresses, classic black slacks, knee-high boots, fitted blazers or whatever’s your fashion fancy. I tend to go for emotional choices like bold colors and prints, and statement necklaces.
Lately I’ve been watching a lot of What Not to Wear while working on blog-related planning and projects and it has really inspired me to think more critically about what I bring into my closet and what things I should let go. Although the guests are seriously in need of style intervention and that’s not me, it’s exciting to think about all of the many combinations you can make from the contents of a thoughtfully curated closet. Here’s a snippet from one of my favorite episodes that I watched last week…
Isn’t she cute coming into her own in that pink hair! I love how Clinton and Stacy honor each person’s individuality and help them find a personal style all their own. There’s something about this show that makes me want to set up a bunch of rolling racks in my apartment, invite my best buds over for some champagne and outfit advice. Doesn’t that sound like the best girly evening ever?
With all this inspiration in mind I’ve turned my thoughts toward my continually evolving closet.
BLACK LEATHER JACKET I found a beautiful black leather moto jacket at Banana Republic recently and think it might be a great fall investment piece, especially since I get half off at BR since I work there a little each month. (For some reason it’s not online, but I’ll share the link if it comes up.)
KHAKI TRENCH COAT They also have a great khaki trench that I’m pondering but haven’t yet to try on. I think a khaki trench would be a great thing to look for on sale somewhere since every store seems to carry one.
BLAZER You may be surprised to learn I don’t own a blazer except for one that’s a bit too small that a friend gave me. I’d like to find a tweed version in a versatile neutral color. It would be fun to own one in a fun print or color, but that’s a nice to have down the road. I’m not averse to a blazer in a less structured fabric since it might be comfortable for all day wear. I just don’t want something too slouchy or structureless.
DRESS SLACKS I don’t own a lot of pants to wear to work, and I would like to. I have one pair of dress slacks and they’re a bold pink, so it would be fantastic to find a neutral pair that works with many top options. I’d like to find a somewhat wider leg style that will look great with more fitted tops and sweaters. I also like slacks with a lower rise and wider waistband, both of which are more comfortable and flattering on my body.
RED PUMPS I’m on the search for the perfect red pumps and I think this pair is a good contender. I’ve heard good things about Ivanka Trump shoes but have yet to own a pair. I’d love to hear what you think if you have pair of her shoes. Are they comfortable? I also love this offbeat version. I’d love to hear what you think!
OPEN-TOE BOOTIES Open-toe booties may not seem like a “hole” in my closet necessarily, but Stacy London keeps wearing them on What Not to Wear with so many outfits it looks like a great fall update that would really work for my wardrobe. I like this pair a lot, but this pair is a simpler, more boot-like look. Ultimately peep-toe booties are something I will wait a bit to purchase after some of these other, probably more important items.
Building a working closet that goes the distance for you in a multitude of situations takes time, but is so worth it when you feel great in everything you put on. I consider the new school year as more of the new year than the real new year. It’s right around my birthday, and when a new school year starts and with all the fall clothes out it’s a great time to think about what you really need to push your style to the next level.
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