Lavender and Wine

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I simply canNOT stop wearing this orchid merino wool sweater with gold shoulder zips from J.Crew.  It’s a bit drapey, but with fitted sleeeves and the nice side vents to give it shape. Perfect color for autumn, don’t you think? I love this orchid color with navy, wine (as my boots are), chocolate brown, olive green, deep golden yellow, and tan, like my hat. Such luscious combinations!
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I’ve said before there are about 2 days each year where the shorts-and-boots combo actually works, and this was the fall day! Wool shorts are a unique specimen in and of themselves…because they’re, well…WOOL. SHORTS. I mean…
But I did get compliments on the shorts, and I think they’re super cute with boots. 
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Fall is the absolute perfect time for all of my wool hats, including this gem from American Eagle, believe it or not. I love its curvy 70’s-style brim that highlights sunglasses just perfectly. And the bright bangles and earrings are from J.Crew, too, and add a fun pop of contrast to this outfit.

Have you ever worn shorts with boots? What do you think of the combination?
xo
Natalie

Something Fascinating: What a Hat Can Do For a Girl

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(fascinator provided to me by Vivo Masks in exchange for my honest review)

There is just *something* about wearing a hat or fascinator. Something utterly delightful and intriguing, don’t you think? It’s unique, it’s vintage, ever-so Princess-y, and entirely fun for the wearer and those who may admire the lovely hat or fascinator perched on her head.

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What can a fascinator do for a girl? Here are 4 of the many things: 

*A fascinator can bring interest and attention to your face, to highlight your natural bone structure and stunning eyes.

*A fascinator can show off your beautiful hair by adorning it with something special.

*A fascinator can visually balance your shape or outfit with a nice little lifting of the eye upwards.

Last, but CERTAINLY not least: 

*A fascinator is a most beguiling way to show off your personality and sartorial flair.

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It’s funny to me that these days we think it takes great courage to wear a giant flower on the side of one’s head, and perhaps it does, but just a generation ago, hats were a daily ritual for women. One I’m sad our culture as a whole has abandoned. Not I! It’s a ritual I enjoy greatly and am thrilled to show you my new favorite beauty, the Faith fascinator from Vivo Masks.

This is truly, truly a handmade work of art, with delicately ruched silk, horsehair and feathers. I simply had to take some more artistic shots to show you the delicate beauty of Faith: 

So ethereal.

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Utterly delightful to behold with the golden morning light behind it.

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Here you can see the beautiful ruched silk on the disc and the vintage velvet polka-dot veiling. 

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What a cheerful and uplifting thing. Vivo calls it a “sensation” and I’m quite inclined to agree! BEYOND fun! One might think a giant pink flower would be difficult to wear, but I find it just the opposite. The delicate nature means that the hat itself won’t overwhelm an outfit. I can envision this with a black silk jumpsuit, a little white or cream suit dress, and any simple black dress.
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Vivo Masks and Fascinators is based out of Traverse City, Michigan (and Canada) which tickles me pink. I love that this hat company has Midwestern roots, like me. Their hats are all handmade in Europe, and their Venetian party masks are handmade in Italy.

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I was also very excited to get to wear some of my vintage glove collection with this outfit. Little lace gloves and pure white leather ones that I said are, “Like wearing marshmallows on my hands,” because these are the descriptors I come up with and they are SO.SOFT.

I’m also wearing some sentimental light-pink pearls that were given to me by my parents on the occasion of my first ballet company performance when I was a teenager. Pearl earrings as well, another gift, to complement the necklace. 

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The cotton brocade (imagine, it isn’t shiny!) dress is a lovely foil for the hat…the texture grounds the delicate nature of the feather flower, but the simple shape and straps don’t distract.
The coat is one of my favorite pieces, a Rebecca Taylor gray jersey, silk and sequin jacket that hugs nicely. And the boots are my beloved wine suede wedges from Steve Madden.

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Just be sure your hat is properly affixed or you may end up with a wilting flower! 😉
 However, I knocked this off my head myself (I’m graceful like that), but extensive wear testing shows the elastic stays
tight and neat in place for long periods of time and activity.

What’s that, you say? You’d like to try your hand (head?) at wearing a fascinator? Yes, please!
We’re having a GIVEAWAY for any under-$50 fascinator of your choice, starting Monday!
Check back then for your chance to win.

Happy weekend!
xo
Natalie 

Happy Fall!

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It has been a beautiful first few days of fall here! I love being able to wear my favorite boots and a few layers or heavier materials (such as this lovely alpaca sweater, one of my favorite fall pieces).

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These are all classic pieces that combine to make an outfit that is both timeless and modern, with the addition of a fun, colorful necklace and some details like wedges and zippers on the boots and bell sleeves on the sweater. I’ve had the Coach belt since high school!

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Big sunglasses are always a must, and a Cafe Americano can go a long way towards making a beautiful day, too.

Sweater: Catherine Melandrino//Jeans: Joe’s Jeans//Sunnies: Local boutique//Necklace: Urban Outfitters forever ago//Belt: Coach, forever ago//Boots: Steve Madden

Happy Fall, my friends!
xo
Natalie

The Sound of Music Dress

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I bought this handmade vintage dress at an antique store last summer and wore it to see Garrison Keillor live. Y’know I love me some Prairie Home Companion. And I also desperately love some Sound of Music. Don’t you think the shape and color of this dress is reminiscent of that beloved movie? Like something Liesl might wear on a date with Rolf.
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Since it has such a specific look in my mind, I had to change it up a bit. We are teetering into fall, so booties were in order. Then I added my favorite belt and a unique necklace that never fails to make me smile. So many colors! Pom poms! 
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The funny thing is the charm on the last bit of the necklace clanked against the belt buckle as I was ducking into church late, announcing my presence like a cattle bell. So much for being discreet! 
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I think this outfit strikes the transitional tone very well and could even be transitioned farther into fall with some tights, higher boots and a sweater. The dress is made of a lightweight wool, so it will keep me warm! I love handmade vintage…it has even MORE character!
PS> I’d love to share my poem I wrote for September 11th last year for Darling Magazine called, “Blue September.” Here’s a sneak peek: 


Have a beautiful day my friends! 
xo
Natalie

Classy & Casual

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This is one day, one outfit concept, and two different iterations. One is a wear-to-church outfit, and the other, with the same color threads, makeup and hair, is more casual for whatever fun adventures Sunday afternoon might hold. Or this is a mighty fine outfit to wear to the office, so this could easily be a work-to-weekend post too!
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My boyfriend says Sundays are his favorites with me, because we get to go to church together and we always seem to find some fun, spontaneous adventure for the afternoon. I agree! There is something so wonderful about sitting close and holding hands while we pray, singing from the same hymnal, giving each other little knowing looks, etc. And it’s summer so the great outdoors calls after church! 
What has been your favorite summer adventure so far? 
xo
Natalie

Winners and Life Lately!


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Email me and I will send you details and your code 🙂 YAY! Can’t wait to see what new specs ya’ll pick out! Be sure to tweet or instagram me 🙂

Around here it has been all vintage dresses and wonderful picnics, just the way I like June! Don’t you agree?

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 {vintage dress complete with pockets!}
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{my favorite vintage cooler shaped like a picnic basket}
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{his and hers drinks…mine was the DELICIOUS Strawberry-Rhubarb agave soda, and his was the grapefruit San Pellegrino}
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{cold cuts, sharp cheese, homemade potato salad, chips and fruit snacks}
PS. You can find more of my summer adventures on my brand-new instagram! 🙂 
We also had a stack of magazines to read and played Frisbee. Perfect summer evening. 
Here’s to many more picnics this year!
And more giveaways with more winners!
🙂
xo
Natalie

Shorts and Boots

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First off: Don’t panic! We do NOT still have snow in New England (at least not this year!). These photos are from a few weeks ago. Now, it’s gloriously Spring-like and I’m taking advantage of it as much as I can. I hope you are, too! 
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Early Spring and Autumn are the only times shorts & knee-high suede boots make any sense paired together, but whenever I can make the combo happen, I love it. It’s a bit more of a fresh look and I think it has a bit of sass to it, too, don’t you think? I also love all of the texture here: linen jacket with lots of zippers, burn-out tee, wool shorts with leather buttons and suede boots. So rich!
Linen Moto Jacket: Charlotte Russe (similar one I’ve been eyeing )//Shirt: NY&Co//Tank: J.Jill//Shorts: tailor new york//Earrings: ??// Sunnies: local store//Boots: Steve Madden

xo
Natalie

Weekend Adventuring

I ordered a Strand Books x Kate Spade surprise box as part of their 20 Things We Love series of partnering with unsung companies they love. I received a Kate Spade/Strand Books tote bag (love!), a Strand Books cosmetic case, a Strand Books diner mug, and a Kate Spade bookmark, all wrapped in darling hot pink tissue paper. So fun! 
Picked up a new hat I’m totally in love with and went antiquing… Also my new contacts finally came in, so I can ditch the glasses for awhile 🙂

Baked gluten-free pumpkin scones for tea (earl-gray lavender) on a gray Saturday.
Went to an Anthropologie for the first time EVER (can you believe it?!) to find the Fall issue of Darling Magazine with my poems in it. Score!! Also, the girls who worked at Antrho and J.Crew liked my outfit, which I take as a high compliment since they are all so stylish! Also had my first-ever Pinkberry (vanilla with Nutella). 
Hope you had a great weekend!
xo
Natalie 

Luxe Girl


I think the combination of pink pearls, gold buttons, and suede boots just says “luxe.” Don’t you think?
I think the key is to keep them monochromatic.
Also, there’s like ONE day a year where you can wear a light sweater, shorts, and suede boots. 
Maybe two days, one in the spring and one in the fall. 
And for those one or two days, I kinda love it. 
xo
Natalie