Winter Work OOTD

I've been trying to build my professional wardrobe as I am only one year away from graduating college (scary!) and kicked off this quest with this awesome pair of pants I purchased from Club Monaco. I've always been terrified of slacks because they can be so painfully boring and corporate looking, however, these are anything but! Club Monaco is amazing for business attire - their pieces pass any dress code with flying colors but are still so unique and fun. I also just purchased this Madewell sweater that I'm really excited about. I've been on the hunt for an everyday, grey sweater and I love how versatile, yet eye-catching this one is. What are y'all's favorite stores to buy work clothes at? Let me know in the comments!

Sweater: Madewell | Pants: Club Monaco | Shoes: Sole Society (on sale!)

My 2018 New Year Resolutions

Photo via Emily Byrski

Dress for myself

Sometimes I get too caught up with changing the way I run my social media and blog in order to grow it/attract more readers. In 2017, I got way too caught up in jumping on trend bandwagons or buying/wearing specific things for my blog because they "photograph well" and elevate my style. At the same time, I would refuse to buy things I actually liked because they were too basic or
wouldn't photograph well. Operating under these principles led me to be super unhappy with the final results of my blog content because the outfits just weren't me at all. I even looked at some of my outfits in retrospect and hated them. I've always said that if you aren't being yourself on your blog, you readers are going to see right through you and they aren't going to like your content either. In 2018, I am only going buy clothing that I really, genuinely like. 

Cooking > eating out

I have never wasted so much money on food as I did in 2017. I was always so tired at the end of the day that all I wanted to do was order GrubHub (a food delivery service popular in NYC) and lay on my couch. I probably ordered food in about 4 nights out of the week, each time costing $13-$15. The other 3 nights, I would usually go to the deli around the corner from my apartment building and get a cheap, unhealthy dinner or eat in the dining hall the one night each week I had a night class. If you are wondering what I did for lunch and breakfast, I usually just have a granola bar in the morning and then snack throughout the day or get food at my school's dining hall on the days I have classes. Since the healthier options for ordering in are even more expensive, I would resort to ordering unhealthy things to keep the price under $15. So at the end of the day, I was spending exorbitant amounts of money to eat super fatty, processed foods. Yes, cooking is more time/energy consuming, but at the end of the day it's so worth it because you control what you put in your body and you save an infinite amount of money. I think the one thing that really holds me back from making my own food is working up the motivation to make the long trip from Trader Joe's and back (keep in mind that I live in NYC so I have to take the subway to do this). The cooking part, itself, isn't that bad or hard to me. In order to compromise with myself, I'm going to try out grocery delivery services, which are super common/popular to use in NYC! Yes, I may spend an extra $8 or so on the delivery fee, but that's nothing compared to the money I will be saving from not eating out! 

Stop comparing myself to others 

This is kind of an ongoing goal that I've been working on for YEARS. I've always had problems with this and it severely impacts my happiness. As they say, "comparison is the thief of joy." It has especially become a problem since moving to NYC because everyone is focused on their career and status. There is also so much money in this city which leads to a focus on money and the things that money can afford you. When I'm focused on measurable, superficial things I am so much more likely to compare what I have to what other people have (wealth, a nice apartment, a prestigious job, etc). This is very intertwined with my next resolution which is... 

Look for happiness in people, not things

I'm not a psychologist by any means but I know enough to know that focusing your energy towards fostering healthy and strong personal relationships is a key way to create true happiness. In this new year, I want to put more effort into strengthening my friendships. This is a pretty vague statement so here are some examples - reach out more often to hang out (I'm notorious for choosing my bed and Netflix over social time), telling them how much they mean to me, buying them little surprise gifts, doing favors for them and just helping them out in any way I can. This is why strengthening my friendships is so important to me: when I am struggling with anything boy related, job related, money related, etc., it's hard for me and I'm sad. When an important friendship is rocky or I feel like a close friend is becoming distant, it feels absolutely devastating. I can't focus on anything or get my mind off of it. When I feel very confident in my friendships, though, I feel very confident and happy in general. I believe that keeping these relationships strong and putting their importance above all the superficial BS will lead me to a happier 2018 where I am content with what I have and not constantly comparing myself to other people. 

Olive Wrap Dress

Notice something different about these pictures? I edited them using the Jaci Marie Lightroom presets I just purchased! I've observed lately that presets have been a huge thing in the world of Instagram and wanted to try them out. I was hesitant to purchase these presets because I didn't know how well they would work on my pictures or how well they would fit with my aesthetic. I still have somewhat mixed feelings about the preset pack I purchased but think they made this batch of photos turn out perfect. I want your feedback – how do you like these photos? Is the editing too intense? Is it not very "me"? let me know! Also let me know if you want me to do a more in depth post about presets, I have a lot of thoughts and opinions on the matter and advice for using them!

On another note, I recently received this dress from Mint Julep Boutique and am so in love with it. It's such a flattering a trendy style and love the boho vibes of the color and fabric. I added more pizzazz to the look by pairing it with my first ever handkerchief – I am so on board with this trend! 

Dress: c/o Mint Julep Boutique | Handkerchief: Madewell | Booties: Madewell (similar, same brand)

Everyday Millennial Pink

It's only the first week of 2018 and I've already made what I'm convinced will be one of the best purchases of the whole year – these jeans! I've never been one to stray from traditional skinny jeans, but I've been trying to elevate my style in the last few months and make it more interesting. This desire lead me to finally make the plunge and purchase a pair of cropped flare jeans. I can honestly say I couldn't be happier with my decision because they are so comfy and surprisingly flattering. I originally thought only stick skinny models could pull them off. Also, this is the first pair of jeans I've EVER worn that actually make my butt look good (didn't think that day would ever come).

These fabulous shots were taken by Alex, a talented photographer and fellow Atlanta native blogger. We spent hours upon hours in downtown Atlanta in the freezing cold to get these shots. It was totally worth it because I love them! 

Sweater: Club Monaco | Jeans: Madewell | Booties: Madewell (similar, same brand) | Scarf: Forever 21

Best Purchases of 2017

2017 has honestly not been an eventful year for me in terms of fashion. I feel that style has evolved quite a bit over the year, but I didn't acquire a lot of new pieces. I think because my style was evolving, I didn't feel comfortable making purchases. I wasn't sure if I was going to like the garment in question down the road and found a lot of pieces that I liked that didn't fit very well with my current wardrobe. The fact that I was in Europe for four months of the year didn't help at all (they only have very cheap and very expensive clothing - no in-between!). Fortunately, I did find some extremely versatile, staple pieces that I felt comfortable purchasing and am excited to share them with you!

1. Black Over the Knee Boots

I made this post for 2016 as well and featured black OTK boots in it. However, this year, I purchased an even better pair! The first pair ended up stretching out too much and losing shape (they were only $60, though, so I didn't expect them to last a very long time). My new pair from Sole Society was about double the price, but has proven to hold up much better. The shaft is tighter, but more elastic, allowing the boot to mold to the shape of your leg. Anyway, I love OTK boots in general because they are so flattering and allow you to wear skirts/dresses without stockings in cold weather! I recommend getting them in black because it's the most versatile! I also find many fake suede OTK boots look cheap in any color but black, so be wary of that. My pair from Sole Society is the closest dupe I've found to the highly coveted, $800 pair of Stuart Weitzman OTK boots

2. Trench Coat 

For some reason, I've never really been into trench coats and I think its because the standard, tan trench coat doesn't catch my eye. When I found this pretty greyish-purple trench coat from Club Monaco, I immediately fell in love! I think the color is so unique and the sleeve ties add a special and feminine touch. I feel so professional and put together when wearing it and I sport it quite a bit because it goes well with so many outfits. Below, I linked two trench coats in a similar, mauve color!

Calvin Klein // Missguided

3. Black Leather Jacket

I love a classic black moto jacket because you can wear it out at night or use it to add some edge to a daytime look. I searched high and low for an affordable leather jacket that didn't also look cheap. I ended up finding this winner at Nordstrom for less than $100. I love it because it has a basic fit and simple details. Nordstrom still has the same jacket except with gold hardware, which I honestly wish I had instead of the silver hardware! Below are more black leather jackets.

Free People // Bar III // Urban Outfitters // BB Dakota

4. Black Crossbody 

This perfect black crossbody from Milly was actually a gift from a brand I'm working with (thanks, Pantene!), not a purchase. I've worn it so much since receiving it because of the perfect size and versatility! I love how the the style, while only $255, is reminiscent of many high-end designer styles (especially the ChloƩ bracelet bag).

5. Ray-Ban Hexagonal Sunglasses

This post was originally going to be called "Most Worn Pieces of 2017," but I purchased these Ray-Ban sunnies December 29th of this year and HAD to include them in this post (because of how much I love them) so I changed the title to reflect my favorite purchases of the year. While they only had a few days of wear in 2017, I already know they'll be one of my most worn pieces of 2018. I hate to be all hipster on y'all but I love these because I feel like they are unique and not as mainstream as most Ray-Bans (I hate myself). But seriously, it seems like every human in America owns the Ray-Ban rounds or aviators! I love those styles, too, but wanted something (a little) less mainstream. 

6. Denim Mini Skirt

This skirt has truly been one of my most worn items of the year as it can be worn in any season! It's easy and breezy to throw on in the warmer months, but can also be worn with OTK boots and/or black tights in the Fall and Winter. It's effortless to pair with just about any top because it looks good worn with an untucked, thick sweater or a tucked-in, lightweight top. Best part? The specific one I have/linked here is only $55! If you purchase, make sure to size up (maybe even twice).

7. Straw Crossbody Bag

Straw/wicker bags were one of the biggest trends of this summer! I definitely see them remaining popular next summer, but even if they aren't, I will continue to wear them because they fit my style so well. Unfortunately, the one I have is sold out and there aren't many available since it's the middle of winter. However, Etsy has tons of artisan shops that make wicker bags – I will link some below!

Etsy 1 // Etsy 2 // Etsy 3

Post-Christmas Blues

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting up and shooting with Alex. We have been following each other for a while now so it was great to finally meet him, a fellow Georgian creative, in person. He is such a talented photographer!

I wore a corduroy jumper that SheIn recently sent me along with one of my favorite purchases of the year - this turtleneck from Madewell! I just got it a week ago but I'm obsessed with the details of it and how versatile it is. I'm sure it'll become one of my most worn pieces of the winter. I added a festive touch to the outfit with these insanely adorable slides that Sole Society sent me. They are so luxurious and trendy, yet so affordable as well – highly recommend! Of course, I paired the outfit with sheer black tights because it is a shocking 35 degrees Fahrenheit in Atlanta. For those of you not from the south, 35 is pretty darn cold for Atlanta. Last winter break it was warm enough for me to tan in my backyard!

Dress: c/o SheIn | Top: Madewell | Shoes: c/o Sole Society