Fabulous Fall Coats

As reluctant as I am to admit it, fall is upon us here in New England. Gone are the days of tank tops and shorts, except maybe for that late fall heat wave Massachusetts always seems to get. The good news is, cooler weather opens up all kinds of new fashion options. It’s time to break out the fall wardrobe, a staple of which is the coat!

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As I see it, there are 6 types of outerwear for the fall. While you don’t have to have one of each, I would definitely recommend getting at least a few different styles so you’re ready for any occasion.

1. Raincoat. While this depends on where you live, a raincoat is a must for those drizzly days, especially if you’re wearing white! I love the trench style raincoat as it looks more professional for the workplace.

2. Leather. Or in my case, faux leather. This style adds a little edge to your outfit, so it’s great for weekends or a night out on the town. I have one in this color, but black or gray would work as well since they’re all neutrals.

3. Denim. They may have gone out of style for a while but they are definitely back! It’s a great casual look for the weekends, with a dress, colored jeans or printed palazzo pants.

4.Trench. A shorter trench in a funky color or style is great when working in the city. You can look stylish while maintaining warmth as you walk from the train to the office and even out for drinks after work.

5. Puffy Vest. I personally have never been a vest girl, but I have seen it look great on so many other people that I had to include it. Pair it with a long sleeve tee or a light sweater for extra warmth.

6. Peacoat. You may not need this one until closer to winter, but this classic look is a wardrobe staple. It’s great for the office, a night out, fancy events or just running errands on the weekend. There are different weights as well – I have a pretty purple lightweight peacoat for fall and a heavier one (with a hood!) for when the snow starts falling.

I must admit, I have 5 out of these 6 styles in my closet. (I just can’t pull off the vest look, sadly.) The good thing is, I am ready for fall! Are you? What’s your favorite fall coat style?

Statement Necklaces

Hey there! Sorry for no post on Friday – had some technical issues but it looks like everything is good now!

An easy way to add a little interest to an otherwise simple outfit is with a statement necklace. They look great with anything from a t-shirt and jeans to your favorite LBD.

The best past is that statement necklaces are really popular now, so you can get great varieties at affordable prices. Check out some of my favorites:

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1. H&M (top left) – $19.95
2. Bauble Bar (middle left) – $46
3. Charming Charlie (bottom left) – $28
4. Trend Tribe (top right) – $25
5. Express (bottom right) – $29.90

The stores above all have a good selection of statement necklaces. I would also suggest checking out Target, Kohl’s and Francesca’s – I’ve had good luck at all three!

I like to choose statement necklaces that have a variety of colors in them, or are composed of all neutrals, so they’ll match almost anything. They’re a great way to change up your outfit, which I love because I tend to get bored with my officewear.

What’s your favorite store for statement necklaces?

Back to School Basics

Fall is almost here! And for many of you out there, that means that start of another school year. I’m actually going back to school as well, for an MBA, so I’m fully in back-to-school mode, even though I’m only doing it part-time since I’m working as well.

No matter what degree you’re pursuing or how far along you are, there are some basic items that every student really needs to start off the semester smoothly.

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•While the first item might vary depending on where your school is located, a go-to jacket is a definite must. This faux-leather jacket is a great option – the color matches just about everything, it’s a good mid-weight for warmth, and it’s affordable which means if it gets dirty or ruined, you won’t be so upset since you didn’t spend a small fortune on it.

•Mid- or light-weight scarves are the perfect accessory for the fall. Pick one up in a neutral color and you can throw it in your bag in case it gets unexpectedly chilly.

•Dark wash skinny jeans or jeggings are a favorite of mine. They match any top and go well with flats or boots – my footwear of choice in the fall. Find your perfect pair and grab them in a couple different shades!

•Trust me when I say a laptop case is a worthwhile investment. I had my laptop break due to it getting knocked around in my bag quite a few times an as undergrad. Once I even lost everything on my computer, right before finals. Find a cute style and use it – you’ll thank yourself later.

•Statement necklaces are totally in right now, so find one that can go with just about everything, such as this gold one pictured above. They’re a great way to dress up a simple outfit without much effort. Trend Tribe and Bauble Bar have lots of really cute options that are also super affordable.

•Whether you go with a backpack or a tote, having one bag dedicated to school stuff is key. This way you can leave all the basics like your notebooks or pens in it and just toss your books and laptop in when you’re heading out the door. There’s a lot of cute backpack styles out there right now, so take advantage!

Picking up these 6 simple items will ensure that you start your school year off on the right foot. For details on the items pictured about, check out my Polyvore set.

Good luck with your new semester!

Travel Essentials: Crossbody Bags

Packing is perhaps my least favorite part of traveling. I always fear that I’m going to forget some vital item and be lost without it. As a result, lists have become my best friends in preparing for an upcoming trip.

One of the top items every time I travel, whether it’s a weekend away with friends or several weeks in a foreign country, is a crossbody bag. I consider these essential for any trip.

Why, you might ask? Here are just a few reasons:
-Easier to carry than a shoulder bag or wristlet – you don’t have to worry about it slipping away.
-Leaves your hands free, so you can explore the sights without having to hang on to your purse.
-Much more difficult for pickpocketers, which are very common in just about any major city, to steal from you, since it’s so close to your body.

You can find cute and affordable crossbody bags at just about all of your favorite clothing stores. Here are a few I’ve found and loved:

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1. Add a pop of color to your travel outfit with this bag from Kohls. This classic style will allow you to keep all of your travel documents with you securely and stylishly.

2. You can never go wrong with basic black, like this crossbody from Macy’s. Perfect for day or night, this simple piece is a definite must-have on your packing list.

3. If you’re looking for something a little funkier, try this fringe bag sold by Target. It’ll take any basic outfit to the next level while adding the convenience of a crossbody purse.

4. I love the versatility of this Charming Charlie bag. You can use it as either a wristlet or a crossbody, making it another perfect day-to-night option. This neutral with a hint of sparkle will add a little interest to any sightseeing outfit.

All of these are affordable as well, at less than $40 each! It’s the perfect trio – stylish, convenient and budget-friendly 🙂

Do you use a crossbody bag when traveling? Where did you get your favorite crossbody?

Affordable Swimsuits

Although it has probably been warm in the rest of the country for a while now, New England has finally reached beach weather! Warm, sunny days are back and that means summer clothes, including swimsuits, are a must!

But I’ve always found swimsuits one of the hardest things to shop for. I’m extremely picky about the fit of my clothes and since I’m generally a bit more conservative than other twenty-somethings, I balk at showing too much skin.

And on top of that – swimsuits can be so expensive! When I was shopping for my trip to Aruba, I was seeing suits that would cost $100+! For something I can only wear a few months out of the year (especially in New England!), that was just too much.

So, I took to one of my favorite sites, Polyvore to compile some suggestions for cute, well-fitting and affordable swimsuits to check out this summer season.

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Starting on the top left:

American Eagle
Top: Aerie Bridget Bikini Top – $25
Bottoms: Aerie Hi-Rise Hipster – $20

Charlotte Russe
Top: Airbrush Printed Twisted Bandeau Bikini Top – $8.99
Bottoms: Strappy-Sided Bikini Bottoms – $8.99

Delia’s
Suit: Solid Monokini – $28

Forever 21
Top: Aloha Ruffle Bandeau – $13
Bottoms: Aloha Low-Rise Bikini Bottom – $11

Tip: Check out my Polyvore set for direct links to each of the pieces!

Each of these suits are $45 total, or less, which definitely fits in my budget. And that’s without sales or coupons – so be sure to check before buying any because you could be missing out on a great deal! With such great prices, you can have fun in the sun without having to worry about busting your budget 🙂

What stores are your favorite places to search for budget-friendly bikinis?

Gold Stacked

When it comes to jewelry, I tend to stick to a simpler look. Most days, I don’t even put on more jewelry than the claddagh ring I always wear. But lately, I’ve been really intrigued by the new trend of stacked bangles, so I decided to try it out for myself. Here’s the result:
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This look is a combination of a variety of pieces from a few of my favorite shops. The pieces from left to right are:

•The basic bangles throughout are from a textured bangle set that I got at Claire’s for just $9.50. I love this set for two reasons: the variety of textures add more dimension to the look and the set comes in different sizes – which is great for someone with small hands like me!

•You might not be able to tell, but there is an Alex and Ani bangle hiding in there as well. Alex and Ani was my first foray into the bangle look and I’ve collected a few different ones since. I like that you can wear them individually, with other Alex and Ani’s or mixed in with other bracelets like I did above. These bangles are pretty affordable as well, averaging around $28 for the basic style.

•The next bracelet is a new purchase that just arrived this weekend. It’s from a new online jewelry company – Trend Tribe – that offers the latest trends for affordable prices. I’m loving it already! This Santa Fe statement bracelet is a great piece because it achieves the stacked look all on it’s own, with the mix of materials and colors adding lots of interest for just $20.

•The pearl piece is a bit more expensive, but it was an anniversary gift, so I love to show it off whenever I can. It is a simple pearl bracelet from Macy’s. You can copy the look for less easily or invest in a piece like this, as pearl bracelets are a classic piece that never seem to go out of style.

•The arrow cuff was another gift and is no longer sold, but you can find a similar style at Francesca’s for just $12. This is a popular style right now, and you can also find similar pieces at Trend Tribe and Claire’s as well.

Have you tried the stacked look? Where are your favorite places to buy bangles?

Scarves: A Simple Accessory

When it comes to fashion, I usually like to keep things pretty simple. I’m not one for crazy patterns or lots of mixing colors. I also have never been very big into jewelry. While I’ll throw on a necklace or bracelets occasionally, I usually just don’t think to find jewelry to match my outfit.

But despite my plain tendencies and lack of motivation when it comes to jewelry, I quickly get sick of having a plain and boring outfit. This is why my new favorite accessory has become scarves.

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(Check out the collage details here on Polyvore)

Scarves are a great way to change up an outfit an add a pop of color or fun print without it being overwhelming. There are lots of different styles and ways to wear them, so you have even more options of how to Incorporate them into your outfit. Plus they’re often a lot cheaper than jewelry, which is great for a budget conscious new grad like me!

Fun story: My favorite two scarves are actually from Camden Market in London. I got them for £2 each (less than $4!) and I love being reminded of my trip each time I wear them.

You can find scarves at most of your favorite clothing stores, but here are my favorite places to buy them:
• Target
• Francesca’s Collections
• The Paper Store
• Kohl’s
• Dress Barn
• Charming Charlie

Each of these stores has unique scarves to choose from, and all for an affordable price!

Where did you get your favorite scarf?