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Splurge vs Steal: Neutral Wedding Shoes

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Wedding season is upon us! It’s hard to believe it is that time of year again, but as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer those invitations are sure to start following in. Chances are that you’ll be invited to more than one nuptial celebration this season, and many of us will be participating as a bridesmaid at least once. As you start to mark you calendar, you’ll inevitably start to wonder things like how am I going to afford 5 outfits, what does semi-formal mean, and why did she choose that color of dress? While I’ll have to tackle the dress question another day, I’m here to tell you that nude is the way to go for shoes, and one of these versatile styles is all you need! This probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard this. Many brides ask their bridesmaids to wear nude shoes because they go with any color, and they know you’ll be able to continue to wear the shoe after. So, I just wanted to give some guidance on what shoes work for which formality and what this seasons trends are.

The Heeled Sandal: A classic. Sophisticated and understated. This minimal style has been in vogue for several seasons now with no sign of fading out and with good reason. It’s great because the barely-there straps don’t distract from the rest of your outfit and make your legs look a mile long. These are the perfect choice for any dress code from dressy-casual to white tie formal, and will continue to be a staple heel in your wardrobe long after this wedding season has passed. Make note, these are not the best choice for a beach or outdoor ceremony. The splurge here is by the one and only Manolo Blanik and is available in a 4″ or 3″ heel. The steal here is Steve Madden and looks almost identical (also comes in a 4″ heel).

The Dressy Wedge: Comfortable and casual. This is the perfect option if you’re uncomfortable in heels, or you’re attending an outdoor or beach wedding but still want added height. I love these two shoes because the neutral ankle strap makes your ankles look thinner while the color doesn’t break the line of your leg. This style fits in at a casual to dressy-casual affair, and will work with your spring/summer wardrobe all season long! The splurge is Paloma Barcelo and is a great mid-height (8.2 cm). The steal is Kenneth Cole Reaction and comes in a little taller at 4″.

The Scalloped Flat: Chic and versatile. This style is the latest twist on the classic ballet flat, and has become a favorite of bloggers and celebrities this season. They’re a perfect, comfortable option for casual to semi-formal occasions and are appropriate for all ages. Expect to see more and more options in this style as the year goes on. The splurge here is the shoe that launched the micro-trend, Chloe. The steal is from the ever sophisticated and classy, Lauren Conrad.

What style would you choose to carry you through the entire season?

-Katie

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Field of Dreams

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This weekend we took a short trip up to Mount Vernon for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, and we were so glad we did. The day we went was the day that the tulips were in full bloom, and it was an incredible site. We chose to only go to the largest field, Roozengaarde, but there are many other fields of both tulips and daffodils that you are able to visit. Roozengaarde, had rows on rows of different colored blooms which made for a beautiful backdrop.

I wore a vibrantly colored dress from Anthropologie that I bought more years ago than I can believe, a Zara leather jacket (they are out of stock in this one, sadly, but similar here and here), Rebecca Minkoff mini-mac bagNine West nude flats (available for a steal!), and when the clouds came out I threw on a chunky cable-knit scarf.

-Katie

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Nautical Notions

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Saturday we were finally able to have brunch at a restaurant I’ve been trying to get into for such a long time, Westward. It’s a seafood restaurant in the Wallingford neighborhood that’s located right on the beach of Lake Union. The interior theme is nautical, and all the staff were wearing either stripes, blue or white. I fit right in! The food was delicious, but definitely make reservations if you want a table instead of one of the bars.

Later that day we went for a long walk along the waterfront to soak up some sun and beautiful scenery. The water was so calm, and the sunset was incredible. We even saw a seal sleeping in the water just off the beach!

I wore a Splendid indigo striped linen tee (similar here and here), Madewell striped sweater (similar here), Pilcro side-zip moto jeans (love the look of these too!), Sam Edelman criss-cross sandals, and my Skagen watch.

-Katie

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Buttoned and Braided

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This outfit had me feeling very Victorian and lacy-like, so I had to snap some shots in front of these lovely apartments in Queen Anne. I’ve always loved their architecture and gardens and they looked perfectly picturesque in the early spring afternoon light.

Today, I wore a Zara printed blouse (similar here), Zara collarless coat (similar styles here and here), BCBG trouser-style shorts (similar here), Madewell lariat necklace (similar here and here), and Circus by Sam Edelman flats (similar here and here).

-Katie

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The Basics of Summer

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Who doesn’t love a good basic? For me, they are the first thing I reach for when I open my closet doors, and the building blocks of every great outfit. It takes two key attributes to make something a basic, in my eyes, and those are utility and adaptability. And by that I mean every good basic should be able to be able to we worn several different ways and with outfits of different textures, colors and patterns.

These are five basic pieces that every woman should own for summer:

The Striped Tee  – The striped tee is such a timeless essential. I recently learned that the striped tee was first put into production for the French Navy in the 19th century because it made it easier to spot sailors who had been thrown overboard (hence the nautical association today!), and was first introduced into modern fashion by Coco Chanel in her 1917 collection after she had spotted it on sailors off the coast of France. It’s been a huge hit ever since and remains a wardrobe staple today. I love it because it mixes well with solids, print large or small, and even other stripes! it can be worn as a plain tee, a beach cover up or tied around your waist waiting to be used as a extra layer.  You can find some of my favorites here, here and here!

The White Jean – The white jean needs no introduction. It’s a summer wardrobe must have. It goes with everything: prints, stripes, brights, whites, crops and tunics. The only difficult thing about a white jean is finding the right pair. I went through so many pairs and gave up multiple times before finding the right ones. My pair is AG and you can find them here, and I also like this and this.

The Colorful Tote –  The tote is the most versatile of handbags, and you really need one for each season. In the summer, I like a colorful and textured tote for everything from storing magazines and headphones at the airport, to carrying my towel, sandals and sunscreen at the beach, to even hauling home my farmers market fruits and vegetables. The right tote looks chic in each situation, but won’t leave you hanging with a bunch of other things to carry. You can find the one above here, as well as other great options here and here.

The Summer Wedge – A wedge is so great because it does your legs all the favors of a pump without all the pain. This is why they are perfectly suited for summer when you’re more inclined to long walks in the sunshine. Mix them with jeans (from skinny to flare), culottes or palazzo pants, a dress or a skirt (maxi or mini). This pair can be found in tons of colors here, but these and these are definitely on my wishlist!

The Silk Scarf – The silk scarf is wonderful multi-tasker and a feminine classic. It can be worn around the neck on a breezy day, over the shoulders on a hot, sunny day, draped and tied over your hair to hide an untamed mane, or twisted and knotted around the waist for an interesting belt option. I like to find options in bright summer prints and geometric patterns. Find this one here, and other gems here and here.

What are summer basic would you add?

-Katie