Sometimes I share pretty new things on Instagram that don't always make it over to the blog. I will be sharing these Instagram roundups each month for some of my favorite posts. Can you tell I have a thing for all things pink lately? Oh, and oil slick, but that's nothing new! Be sure to check us out on Instagram @stitchandstrut and other social channels below!
Did we bypass spring, because it is already starting to feel like summer in Florida? Hello friends, it has been a while! Quick update: I am still at Coach though ready to transition to marketing and briefly freelanced in digital marketing last month; I've embraced a new lob haircut; I am fully committed to learning to speak Japanese; and I recently binge-watched 13 Reasons Why and now it is all I can think about. On that last note, have you seen it? It is incredible.
I have been meaning to share this post for some time and clearly so, because it is already well past sweater weather and I've started buying up sundresses and strappy sandals to embrace the season. I'm currently loving oversized gingham prints, off-the-shoulder flowy tops, and moody florals for spring--here's looking at you Coach. Oh, and pink. Lots and lots of pink!
I can't wait to share with you how I style these trends for the season in the upcoming weeks, but in the meanwhile, I thought I would finally share this look as these killer strappy mules and out of this world crossbody are still season appropriate--and too cute!
For those still embracing sweater weather, I'm loving Who What Wear for Target knits. I bought this turtleneck back during winter, but a lot of knits have currently hit the sale section, perfect for stocking up for next winter. There are a lot of nineties and early aughts trends that I have rebelled against for so long but lately have been giving in to and even full on embracing. These include chokers, velvet, and turtlenecks. Though the latter may seem more of a classic staple than a dated trend, I have nightmarish memories of some pretty awful turtlenecks from my childhood. Luckily, this one is nothing like those from Christmas' past.
I am living for fringe and flared ankle jeans, and you can still find this pair at Target as part of the Who What Wear line. That hint of ankle and subtle fringe instantly add Instagram-approved style to any outfit and can be worn so many different ways. They also perfectly accent and frame a statement shoe, especially pairs with lace-up or ankle strap detailing. I was so excited to find these snake-embossed mules by Christian Siriano for Payless. I clearly underestimated the budget-friendly shoe source--I never thought I would find something this stylish and well made there! I have since found several more styles I love, and it has become a regular shopping destination.
Now, on to the bag. This is the Dinky 24 from Coach's Pre-Spring 2017 collection. Pale pink and highlighter yellow embroidery mixed with edgy studding and rocket ship and star motifs are just my kind of whimsy. As soon as I saw this bag, I knew I had to have it. It is surprisingly versatile to wear too with its chalk and black coloring. If you love rocket ships as much as I do, Coach has come out with all knds of rocket embellishments from bag charms to card cases and charm bracelets.
My jewelry welcomes in the new season with these industrial bloom rings featuring the Coach tea rose, a favorite of mine. Worn on one hand, they make for one stylish--and innocent--knuckleduster.
That is all for now. I cannot wait to share some spring looks for you all in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
With month in full swing and spring collections making their retail debuts, I am feeling more inspired than ever to up my style game for spring. Despite buying up new crisp, ruffled white frocks and pastel accessories, I am clinging to this little bit of chill we have left--sorry Northerners, but Florida "cold" coasts around the 50-degree mark--and wearing out my winter knee-high boots, turtle necks, and sweater dresses while I still can. On a more personal note, I think I have finally recovered from the chaos that was my last semester of grad school and am full-force planning my first career move--yes, I'm "adulting" now.
As Stuart Vever's recently delivered his latest Coach 1941 ready-to-wear collection for Fall 2017, I thought I'd share my first dress from the collection, featuring the ever-fierce and fashion-friendly Rexy the dinosaur, Coach's latest mascot.
I started working for Coach shortly after entering the grad program, right after Stuart's first collection arrived in stores. Over my two years with the company, my style has evolved under Stuart's influence, and I have always appreciated his whimsical, oftentimes tongue-in-cheek approach to fashion and personal style. Rexy is a particular favorite icon of mine, just like the creatures featured in the Coach x Gary Baseman line, because she is so playful and unexpected, especially coming from Coach. Both Rexy and Baseman creature "Buddy" made it into this look, including some other Coach favorites.
I love the ease and comfort of a sweatshirt dress, but I particularly like this one's sporty and whimsical details from the varsity-striped cuffs, collar, and hem to the metallic embroidered Rexy. It also features a leather tassel on the back zipper, a subtle nod to Coach's history as the original American House of Leather. And yes, I am using my sales lingo--it just comes out naturally now, okay!
One trend I hope will never die? Over-the-knee boots. I have three pairs and with warm weather year around, all three look fresh out of the box with such minimal wear (actually, one pair is brand new since I have never had the chance to wear them 😳). Though I know this trend will fizzle like all trends eventually do, I am living for this greige--is that officially a color yet?--pair by Catherine Malandrino, a recent steal from Nordstrom Rack with a price tag a fraction of the Stuart Weitzman Lowland originals.
Neutral tones and biker-inspired details finish off the look, with my go-to Coach motorcycle jacket and edgy curb-chain Shadow bag. My Coach tea rose Delancey watch juxtaposes feminine florals with a tough aesthetic, finished in leather with gunmetal rivets, a new favorite of mine. Jewelry is kept in gunmetal and silver tones, with bold obsidian and graphic bar rings mixed with pavé safety pin earrings.
What are your favorite trends this season? Are you all for the over-the-knee trend or so over it? Let me know in the comments below!
Till next time...
Well, hello! To say it has been a while would be a serious understatement. Between my last semester of grad school and a new job, the blog unfortunately had to hit the back burner, but I am reenergized and ready to delve back in, starting with a few looks I had stowed away from fall.
To start with some updates, I finally graduated! It still feels surreal, since school is all I have known for 19-and-a-half years--putting a number to it sounds frightening now 😳--with the last six-and-a-half years dedicated to higher education. Grad school is no joke. It is the greatest challenge I have personally faced, and looking back, I was not prepared in the least. There were a few instances when I considered dropping out, and I dealt with some very overwhelming anxiety that I am still learning to overcome. Many sleepless nights and newfound gray hairs later, I suddenly found myself walking across the stage in my cap and gown for the last time (no mom and dad and everyone else, I am not going on to get my PhD), grateful for the experience and more sure of my own purpose.
With school behind me, I am ready to start my career, looking for fashion marketing jobs across the country (anyone hiring per chance?). I also have a special project with some classmates in the works, which I hope to share with you all soon. Now, back to the clothes!
At the end of my first semester of grad school, I took a part-time job at Coach; I have been with the company for two years with 15+ bags and counting (don't judge, you would too). Of all the collections and collaborations Creative Director Stuart Vevers has taken the company through, none has captured my heart and childlike wonder quite like that of the Coach X Disney collaboration launched this past May.
When I first saw images of the collection and discovered a handbag with ears, I started saving immediately. Blame it on living in Florida my whole life with some of my best childhood memories attached to mouse ears and Disney World theme parks, but I do have a deep love of all things Mickey Mouse. And as I regularly use the words "edgy" and "whimsical" to describe my style preferences, a bag with ears just seems like it was made for me.
Coach X Disney was a hit, and this Mickey kisslock bag in the brand's signature glovetanned leather (swoon) was the first silhouette to sell out. It features two kisslock compartments with a true red leather interior and optional gunmetal crossbody chain strap. I added this adorable hangtag of Mickey's face, one of four varieties, and monogrammed the bag's black and red hangtag with Mickey ears. I love that the bag clearly references Mickey in an abstract way through silhouette without screaming Disney with overt branding. I kept that in mind for my outfit, choosing this too clever gray t-shirt from Ross with a Mickey detailing on the pocket. How cute that his ears are sticking out! Once again, it is a more abstract take on the classic character, making these pieces wearable for everyday without looking like I am about to jump in the family car for a day at the park.
I knotted my top for a cropped look, pairing it with a high-waist, stretch jersey skirt from Vince Camuto and my "Barbie" heels as I call them, patent ankle strap sandals from Zara. I added touches of red for Mickey with my lipstick and Betsey Johnson lip-print earrings, another whimsical detail, finishing with another all-American icon, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer.
Fashion is fun and shouldn't be taken seriously all the time. Pieces like these make me smile.
As promised, I will be blogging more regularly now that I am out of school. I have some fun posts that I have had on hold and will be sharing over the next week, along with some new looks to get us ready for spring.
Until next time...
Is summer really over [insert crying emoji here]? It's been a while since my last post, and I've been at it nonstop lately between finishing my internship at Color Clutch, training for my new job--I recently got promoted at Coach!--and starting my final semester of grad school. Tomorrow marks the first official day of fall and fall fashion month is currently underway, but my mind is still stuck in summertime. As a bittersweet farewell to the ease of the season, I'm sharing one of my favorite summer vacation looks from my time spent on Palm Island and Boca Grande.
As I mentioned in my last post, Aerie is my go-to for all things summer fashion. You'll find the perfect essentials for vacationing, like this mesh tank. It kept me cool and on trend in the summer heat, showing a hint of skin underneath. I paired it with a black bandeau from Target for added dimension. Aerie harem pants keep things casual, adding a Mediterranean vibe to my look.
Perfect together for a seaside stroll or shopping trip in town, these basic pieces can also be mixed and matched with others in your wardrobe. The mesh tank can be paired with cropped jeans and converse for a sporty appeal while the harem pants are comfortable enough for a lazy Sunday indoors.
Accessories keep this look beach-ready. I've been obsessing over Who What Wear for Target for the past few months and had to have this hat from the line; its classic silhouette and striking color blocking will be a staple in my summer wardrobe for years to come. The Mossimo flatforms also from Target have been a favorite of mine since spring; not only are they stylish and comfortable, they also give you some extra height.
Mixed metals completed my look, with silver and rose gold tones in my American Eagle necklace, Forever 21 bracelet and BaubleBar bangle, and TopShop and BaubleBar rings. Aerie mirrored sunglasses add a little glamour with an old-school edge.
As always, check out the gallery below to grab some of these pieces for yourself. I'll be back soon with my foray in to fall fashion!
This summer, I'm indulging in a few current obsessions, which include off-the-shoulder tops, hologram everything, beachy Brazilian tunes, and zucchini fries--seriously, if you haven't tried zucchini fries, you need to get to a PDQ stat! Though I usually avoid anything super trendy, I do have a soft spot for off-the-shoulder tops this season. They're romantic with an effortless appeal, perfect for staying cool in the summer. I had to pack one for my annual trip to Palm Island last month as it's my new vacation staple. Since I adore co-ords as well, I instantly fell in love with this set from Aerie, my go-to for summer fashion.
No beach vacation is complete without a little Aerie from cover ups to swimsuits, flowy dresses, and palm-printed jumpsuits. This co-ord set gives off major beach vibes and keeps things modern and minimalist with its black and white palm print. I stuck to a black and white color scheme when packing for my trip, making it easy to mix and match pieces for reuse. Aerie's summer line is full of black, white, and taupe prints and swimsuits to make mixing and matching a breeze. Together, this co-ord set makes a statement; wear the pieces separately for subtlety. The shorts can be paired with a black crop top while the off-the-shoulder top can be paired with high-rise shorts or a jersey bodycon pencil skirt.
Burnished metal accessories pair well with the muted taupe palm print of my outfit, so I paired my co-ord set with a layered chain necklace from Forever 21 and BaubleBar ring quartet, also fun for mixing and matching with other jewelry. Modern and minimalist sandals like these from Target keep with the beach theme. As no look of mine is complete without a pair of sunglasses, I chose my favorite nude matte Ray-Ban wayfarers that I got for a steal at Nordstrom Rack. They're my go-to shades as of late as they match with everything.
As always, to get the look yourself, check the gallery below. Most of these pieces are on sale too! Check back for more summer #styleinspo soon!
Seriously, where has the time gone? I can't believe it's almost July! I've been so slow to post lately with wrapping up my intense spring and May semesters and starting my summer internship. I thought summer would be easygoing and laid back, but such is not the case with my nonstop schedule. I started interning at an incredible beauty startup, Color Clutch, that you need to check out ASAP if you love nail polish as much as I do. Color Clutch makes chic organizational storage for nail polish that fits almost any brand, and if you have baskets upon baskets of nail polish like I do, you'll love it as a slim storage option.
I have some cool for the summer looks saved up for you, including two beach-ready styles from my annual vacation to Palm Island. I though I'd start off my summer series with my two favorite things: leather and stripes.
Though it's averaging 90 degrees here daily in Tampa, my love for leather everything runs deep, so in this heat, leather shorts are about as much I can handle. I'm obsessed with this high-waist, belted pair from Zara. Whether real or faux, leather offers a dressier take on shorts that can easily be styled for a date or a night on the town with friends.
If there's one thing I love as much as a leather short, it's a bodysuit, especially in my favorite black and white stripes. They're ideal for high-waist anything, as they lay taut against your body without worry of tucking or bunching. I purchased this bodysuit from Zara as well and love the edgy detailing in the silver zipper. I chose to complement that detail through my accessories, like these too fun "Taco Western" sandals from ASOS. Ever since Stuart Vevers started channeling the midwest in his designs for Coach, I've been obsessed with Western details, like the shiny silver buckles of these strappy sandals. The chunky heels keep this shoe modern while the studded straps offer a punk rock appeal.
Speaking of Coach, to add some color to the mix, I chose this pale pink folio featuring artwork by one of my favorite artists, Gary Baseman. Baseman teamed up with Coach back in Spring 2015 for a collection featuring his wild and whimsical creatures like Buster Le Fauve and Emmanuel Hare Ray. The latter, a blindfolded bunny said to seek out beauty in the world, adorns my turnlock folio. I'm always looking for that whimsical detail to add to every look. I love fashion, but I don't take it too seriously; sometimes, you got to keep it playful.
To continue with the silver theme, I wore my Coach block letter "Nomad" necklace with BaubleBar cuff and rings (seriously, how cool is this pavé serpent ring?) and a leather cone stud bracelet from Charming Charlie. I topped things off with my Alexander McQueen McQ cat-eye sunglasses with silver razor blade detailing on the temple.
To get this edgy summertime look yourself, check out the gallery below and click through for links. Be sure to check back for more summertime looks soon.
Till next time...
Though it feels more like summer here in Tampa (it was 92 degrees yesterday), I'm ready to embrace spring with more Who What Wear for Target. As I've mentioned in my last few blog posts, the Who What Wear x Target collaboration is a monthly collection featuring on-trend clothing and accessories all at affordable prices. I've eagerly anticipated the release of this particular dress, the Bardot dress, which is available in solid black, black and white stripes, and an oversized floral print. With its trendy off-the-shoulder silhouette, you can pair the Bardot with bright, pops of color for a stylish entry into spring.
I often joke that my favorite color is really just black and white stripes. The pattern is adaptable to any style, whether classic Parisian chic or edgy punk rocker. It transcends trends and adds a striking graphic element to any outfit. The pattern works well with the silhouette of the Bardot dress, with strong graphic lines of its own seen in the off-the-shoulder neckline and short sleeves. Made of a stretchy, jersey fabric, the Bardot is also incredibly comfortable. At only $29.99, it's a good deal too.
What I love most about this dress are the many ways you can style it. The striped or solid black version can be paired with either a chunky or skinny belt and some flat sandals for a day's excursion. For night, opt for a statement necklace hitting above the neckline. Pair that with strappy sandals or stilettos for a date-ready look. The floral version works great for night as well, paired with strappy sandals and statement earrings.
To add some color fit for spring to my dress, I chose my favorite BaubleBar necklace, the Frank bib. I get major Carmen Miranda vibes when I wear it, as the rainbow-colored stones remind me of fruit. I highlighted the red tones in my necklace with a red lip and bag from Coach. The Riley is one of the first Coach bags I ever bought, and I adore its versatility, functioning as both handbag or crossbody. The latter is perfect for daytime while the former works well for night. To keep with my dress' classic appeal, I went for my go-to Prada wayfarer shades.
I styled my look with two pairs of shoes to show its versatility as both a day and night option. For night, I'd wear this with my chunky heel Zara sandals, which I like to call my Barbie shoes; they remind me of the black mules the first-ever Barbie wore, and hey, she wore a striped bathing suit too! For a day look, I chose these Coach Justine flats in black. I'm obsessed with lace-up shoes at the moment, especially the ever-popular Ghillie flats. Ever since Aquazzura made the style popular, I've seen them on just about every blogger I follow. Here's hoping the lace-up trend is here to stay!
To get the look yourself, check out the gallery below and be sure to share with us on Instagram or Twitter @stitchandstrut how you style this dress yourself. We're also on Pinterest now, so be sure to check us out!
I miss the years when spring break meant vacationing off to sandy beaches or colorful theme parks and coming back to school with a crisp tan and stories to make all your friends jealous. Spring break in grad school is all work, work, work. Meh... Between revamping my resume and cover letter, seeking out summer internships (anyone hiring?), homework, actual work, and photo shoots for the blog, my spring break has kept me busier than when I have classes! Despite the mild chaos, today is my 24th birthday, and I'm excited to spend the day with Fonzi and family exploring Sarasota, Florida.
Over the break, I've been perusing Target's super stylish collab with fashion site Who What Wear. The monthly collection features on-trend clothing and accessories all at affordable prices. This black cape blazer is my favorite piece from the collab so far, with its dual fashion-forward yet classic appeal. When I first showed it to Fonzi, he declared, "I want one! You look like Batman." So Batman and his romantic interest Catwoman were my inspirations for this shoot with a look I like to call "Catwoman off duty." Take it as a more fashion interpretation of Selina Kyle's day look.
Okay, I'm going to use a fashion cliche, but it's so worth it. This blazer is seriously chic. When I first saw it in the Target x Who What Wear lookbook, I marked my calendar for the collection's release date and stayed up till 3 a.m., refreshing the Target homepage before deciding to get up early and buy it at my local Target instead. Yes, I know, I'm fashion crazed. At only $39.99, this piece will easily amp up your spring wardrobe and make you look and feel like you just walked out of a spring show this fashion month. The cape silhouette gives off some serious Batman vibes, like if Catwoman borrowed it as a girlfriend would her boyfriend's sweater. Since this is Catwoman off duty, I kept things casual with my favorite--and incredibly comfortable--American Eagle hi-rise jeggings and a heather gray crewneck tee from Aerie.
Accessories keep things catty in this look. These Quay Kitti shades in matte black with gold mirrored lenses were practically made for Catwoman, reminiscent of her goggles from her run in the New 52 Catwoman. Leopard haircalf sandals from Topshop and skinny belt from American Eagle pay homage to her feline cousins. Catwoman's love of shiny things is represented in my gold jewelry, manicure, and shades. I chose this edgy BaubleBar gothic fang bib, lip service bracelet, and "screw you" cuff with a Forever 21 nail ring.
The Cat has to carry her jewels from her heists in something, so I chose this Coach Dinky crossbody, a redesign of an archival classic celebrating Coach's 75th anniversary. Each bag even comes with a surprise charm, and I was so excited to get this oil slick feather.
I'm all about a designer collaboration, but even more than that, a blogger collaboration. It's exciting to see bloggers partner up with fashion giants for campaigns or capsule collections, showcasing just how far blogging has come from hobby to profession. I'm not quite there yet, but I so admire blogger superstars like Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad and Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl.
This month, Target partnered with fashion site Who What Wear for a monthly collection of on-trend clothing and accessories all at affordable prices. The innovation behind this collaboration is most astounding. Target and Who What Wear founders Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power will be listening to customers and followers for feedback on each monthly collection; that feedback will be integrated into the design of each collection so that customers' preferences are heard.
The February lineup is full of florals and layering pieces perfect for starting your spring wardrobe off right, including this cerulean blue and yellow pencil skirt, my inspiration piece for this look.
Despite its luxe appeal, this skirt is only $27.99. The contrasting colors pop against one another and the black and white silhouettes, inspiring the shadowy location of this shoot. The bold print offers the perfect foray into spring, while the not-so-girly colors keep it high fashion rather than cliche.
As you might notice throughout my blog, I'm all about edgy details with my biggest style inspirations coming from rock and roll and motorcycle gangs. If you're not ready to look like you just came riding down the open road but want to add some edge to your look, opt for a cute cropped moto jacket like this one from Zara to pair with your bright spring florals. The two pieces tone one another down with their strong juxtaposition. A cropped moto jacket is a stylish layering piece that you can wear anywhere, whether with jeans for a movie night or over a cocktail dress for drinks with friends.
As both these pieces are bold in their own right, I kept my top simple with this Forever 21 crew neck crop in classic white and opted for silver and blue accessories that complemented my skirt and jacket.
Cobalt blue is my favorite color (in my undergrad, I even dyed a strip of my hair in the bright hue), so I chose to highlight the cerulean and cobalt tones in my skirt's floral print with matching accessories. These matte Ray-Ban wayfarers in cobalt are one are my favorite pairs of sunglasses, and the classic silhouette pairs well with the retro vibe of my moto jacket. I further highlighted the color of my skirt with these baby blue eye studs from Baublebar, keeping this look playful. I also incorporated the color as part of my manicure with this Essie "Starry Starry Night" polish.
Jewelry was kept silver to emphasize my moto jacket's shiny hardware. This Coach tea rose necklace complements my skirt's floral pattern. The delicate detailing juxtaposes with the more edgy Forever 21 cone stud bracelet and stackable silver rings.
I went for an architectural wedge heel in stamped python from Coach to modernize this look. For my bag, I chose this quilted shoulder bag from Papaya, a modern take on a classic style.
Be sure to check out Who What Wear for Target for this great skirt and other amazing pieces, and feel free to share what your top picks are with us on Instagram @stitchandstrut! As always check out the gallery below to get this look yourself.
Till next time!
As a '90s baby, The Little Mermaid was on repeat at my house as a child. With her cherry red locks and killer vocal chords, Ariel has always been my favorite Disney princess who inspired my fascination with mermaids ever since first seeing the film. I still belt "Part of Your World" on the regular, but I digress...
I was passing my local Forever 21 recently and saw this ultra-cool, knit ringer tee with an embroidered "mermaid" graphic in script letters. It gave me some serious Ariel vibes, so I had to feature it as a Stitch of the Day.
I've been a little obsessed with script lettering lately ever since Coach's Fall 2015 line featured it on everything from bags to jewelry. I also love ringer tees with their history in rock-and-roll subculture. The mermaid badge adds a little whimsy to an otherwise simple yet classic tee and has become an essential in my "off-duty" wardrobe.
To keep in line with the off-duty, rock-and-roll appeal of my ringer tee, I paired it with some of my favorite accessories as of late. This burgundy rip and repair Shadow bag from Coach's Fall 2015 line emits motorcycle gang edge with leather stitching and chain strap. I paired it with my Coach X Gary Baseman hangtag featuring the wild beast Buddy Boy; it further adds to the whimsical nature of my tee, juxtaposed with the edginess of the Shadow's rip and repair details.
These ruby calf hair slip-ons from ASOS remind me of Ariel's vibrant hair and also match the bands of my tee. For jewelry, I chose my Coach leather and chain toggle bracelet, Coach "Wanted" script ring, and Charming Charlie nail bangle to keep with the edgy theme.
To get this tee, check out the gallery below. I'm off to join Ariel in the Mermaid Brigade.
Till next time!
I didn't realize this till after Fonzi and I shot this look, but lately I've been inadvertently styling all of my posts by eras past. My last post, "Put Your Records On," has a 1950s Rockabilly theme while the blog before that, "Urban Nomad," took silhouettes and accessories from the 1960s and merged them with modern trends. It wasn't till Fonzi remarked mid photoshoot that I looked like I dropped out of the '70s that I realized I've been styling myself with an unplanned retro theme in mind.
I bought this classic camel blazer from Target--it was a steal at under $20--and planned to style it for a business casual look on my first day back to school. With wide-legged trousers and flare jeans coming back in style, I paired the blazer with these American Eagle hi-rise Artist Flares. This trend, of course, finds it roots in the groovy flares of the '70s. It especially reminds me of my elementary school days in the late '90s and early 2000s when bellbottoms first resurged as a retro trend; yes, I was still stylin' back in my grade school days too 😄.
Keeping with a neutral color palette on top to emphasize more colorful accessories, I chose this ribbed tank from Forever 21 and a calf hair leopard belt from American Eagle.
A strong middle part kept my hair with the '70s trend, but for my accessories, I went with a modern touch. To add some color to my outfit's neutral palette, I chose dark-hued accessories, like this forest green, gemstone collar necklace from Zara and oxblood Borough bag from Coach, a streamlined silhouette that further emphasized the business casual aesthetic. Baublebar bracelets make up my arm candy, including my new favorite, the black tie cuff, featuring glittery pave along the edges for an unexpected pop.
To get this '70s-inspired look yourself, check out the gallery below! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for sneak peeks at upcoming posts.
Till next time!
Ever think about the story behind a photo? It captures a singular pause in time devoid of context on its own. Take these photos for instance. Everything appears perfectly in place, styled to a T, and carefully framed, but the entire time I was just hoping my heel would stay put. You see, I've had some fashion misfortune as of late. The night before this shoot, my heel broke off and I had to superglue it back on as a temporary repair. After the shoot was done, I changed out of my skirt, only to trip in it and rip open the zipper. Ah, thank goodness photos capture only a moment. Oh, and thank super glue and sewing kits too.
With my last shoot inspired by silhouettes of the 1960s, I decided to turn back a decade for a modern rockabilly-themed look that's both affordable and perfect to head back to school or work in now that the winter holiday is over.
I went on a little spending spree at Forever 21 the other day and found this adorable striped, crop sweater for under $15. The details of this sweater like the crew neck, stripes and cropped waist instantly made me think of teenagers in the 1950s. The black, white and red stripe combo gave it that rockabilly edge, so I paired it with a high-waist, faux leather pleated skirt I bought for a steal at Nordstrom Rack. The a-line shape keeps with the decade, but the faux leather fabrication modernizes the overall aesthetic, adding a little edge as well. The sheen of my skirt reminded me of high gloss vinyl records, adding to the rockabilly theme and helping narrow down my accessories.
Black, white and red is a classic color combination, one that I knew I wanted to emphasize from the dual red stripes of my top. Despite the mishap with my heel, I love these mesh and leather BCBG pumps. The cap-toe references retro while the mesh keeps things modern. I was excited to finally wear this Nila Anthony vinyl record bag, a Christmas gift from Fonzi, which perfectly paired with the red of my shoes. Both Fonzi and I collect vinyl--I know, that came off as super hipster; don't judge us!--so this accessory is a cute nod to my vinyl hobby and passion for music.
Keeping with the decade theme, I wore classic Ray-Ban Wayfarers in black that feature a red and white logo print on the inside. For jewelry, I chose my favorite leather cameo bracelet and "Wanted" script ring from Coach paired with a floral wreath ring from Forever 21.
Fonzi and I shot this post on the front steps of The University of Tampa's Sykes College of Business where I am currently studying for my MBA. The setting felt appropriate for a look that felt very retro collegiate.
As always, you can get this look yourself by checking out my picks in the gallery below. Have any vinyl recommendations or crazy fashion mishaps? Share below!
Till next time...
It's 2016! Ah, what an exciting time! First off, I have to apologize for my severe absence as of late. This past semester has been nothing short of hectic; I considered dropping out of grad school about three times (curse you accounting!). I survived, however, and am so thankful for this new year because it will truly be an exciting one. It's the year I will graduate with my MBA and start my career. It's also the year I vow to better myself both personally and in my creative and intellectual endeavors. I'm finally learning how to speak Japanese, dedicating more time to the blog, and pursuing my greatest passion of all, music. More to come on that last point.
Now that I'm on winter break, Fonzi and I have finally found time to get out and shoot, and thankfully, the weather has cooled down so we could break out our winter clothing! With Christmas having just passed, I thought I'd style some of my favorite gifts from the holiday with a pair of trend-of-the-moment over-the-knee (OTK) boots. For those looking to edge up their style in 2016, read on.
OTK boots are all over Instagram. Just about every fashion blogger I follow has a pair, and the most coveted have to be the Stuart Weitzman Highland boots. I've been eyeing these boots since last fall, but the $798 price tag is just too luxe for my budget. Since the boots have trended big time this fall, many fast fashion companies have swooped in with their own versions. When I found this strikingly similar pair from ASOS for $108, nearly one-eighth of the price of the Highland boots, I immediately ordered my size before they sold out. My fear with OTK boots has always been fit; I have larger calves and often struggle finding thigh-high stockings or knee socks that don't cut in to me. With boots, there's more of a concern as they have limited stretch. These ASOS pair proved no such problem, fitting oh so perfectly. My favorite details are the lace-up backs, providing extra room to stretch. I can only hope the cold weather keeps on because I don't want to take these off!
For Christmas, I got this abstract Kensie dress and badass Coach leather motorcycle jacket from my parents. The dress has a very '60s mod cut with its short hemline and drop waist, so I paired it with a chain and tassel studded belt from Betsey Johnson to further emphasize that '60s aesthetic. With my OTK boots, I felt like a go-go dancer who just joined a motorcycle gang. Yeah, sums up my style...
I've been wanting a real leather motorcycle jacket since high school, so this present was a true treat. I regularly talk about investment pieces throughout the blog, and this definitely counts. OTK boots are fun but ultimately trendy, so save and go for the fast fashion equivalent when you're on a budget. For classic pieces that transcend time and really define your style (as a motorcycle jacket does mine), invest in high quality pieces that will last your lifetime with proper love and care.
To accessorize this look, I chose my favorite Coach purchases as of late. The Fall 2015 collection was incredible and definitely worth checking out if you haven't seen it. It was inspired my motorcycle gangs and magpie birds, which collect shiny objects to bring to their nests. The Coach girl, therefore, was defined as a traveling magpie, or nomad, collecting objects along her travels to incorporate in to her edgy aesthetic. The collection as a whole perfectly encapsulated my style, and I wanted nearly every piece, from this "Nomad" block letters necklace and crossbody to my found objects charm bracelet and "Wanted" script ring. I paired these with feather studs from Forever 21 and my go-to Prada shades.
I have a lot more fashion to share with you all this exciting new year, so get ready! To get this look yourself, check out the gallery below with my picks.
Till next time!
Today is a day of celebration my fashion friends. Today, wear your handbag high. Or, on your shoulder. You could do that too. Okay, enough with the silliness.
Today is National Handbag Day so I've decided to pay tribute to some of my favorite bags and share them with you. School has been chaotic this semester. With two jobs and a full-time class load, I've been working six days a week on average, so the blog has taken a back seat. However, Fonzi bought us our first studio lighting kit, which will allow us to do photoshoots more easily without relying solely on natural lighting. This was our first shoot testing out the lighting, and even though we're still working out the kinks, we're thrilled with how everything turned out. So I present to you some of my favorite bags.
Coach Rhyder 33
This is the newest handbag in my collection and I adore it. I've worked for Coach for almost a year now, and cannot get enough of Creative Director Stuart Vever's new designs. What I love about the Rhyder collection (I also have the Rhyder messenger) is its western-inspired details. It's both classic Americana and classic Coach, featuring the brand's signature turnlock in edgy, burnished gunmetal hardware. And can we talk about this color? This metallic green is perfect for fall and surprisingly works well as a neutral in your wardrobe. The Rhyder 33 works comfortably as both a crossbody and handbag. It also pairs perfectly with my Gary Baseman for Coach Buster Le Fauve bag charm! You can still buy the Coach Rhyder 33 in gunmetal and metallic green on sale at Dillard's.
This has to be the most fun and whimsical bag in my collection. I bought this Coca-Cola minaudière at Epcot this summer, and if it wasn't so small, I'd use it all the time. Come holiday season, I'll definitely be incorporating this into all of my party looks. I love that it comes with a detachable crossbody strap, giving you two ways to wear. You can find this and the Diet Coke version at Disney. Sear's has a similar, soft option that you can buy here.
Chanel. I've said enough. My dream bag has always been a quilted Chanel, and though I've searched vintage shops to find the perfect one at a decent price, I'm still not at the stage of my life where I can afford to buy one. So when a friend of my mom's surprised me with this vintage navy Chanel, I could barely contain myself. She's been a strong supporter of everything I've done with my blog from very early on. Her late mother had bought this and many other beautiful designer pieces. I feel so honored and humbled that she gifted one to me. It is everything I could want in a Chanel: lambskin, buttery leather; diamond quilting; vintage top handle; and the classic gold interlocking, double "C" logo. Checking its serial number and hologram, I discovered the bag was created sometime between the late eighties and early nineties, classifying it as vintage. I particularly love its navy coloring, a striking combination in leather. I'm very careful with this bag and use it sparingly, but it is by far one of the best pieces in my entire closet.
The summer of 2014 is when I first started getting in to Coach, and the Borough bag is what made me a true Coach fanatic. I searched everywhere for it in oxblood with black handles, which was carried by the likes of Karlie Kloss and Jessica Alba, but it had completely sold out. Just when I was about to cave and buy it on eBay, Coach made a second incarnation of the bag in oxblood with cognac-colored edge paint detailing (the one pictured here). It was one of the first bags I bought when I started working at Coach last December and is still one of my favorites, keeping me organized with three zippered compartments and two open compartments. It's also my go-to bag for a more polished professional look.
Coach Swagger 27
Saving the best for last, no bag can compare to my wild beast Coach Swagger 27. I've written extensively on my endless love for this bag, as it's my most coveted piece of my handbag collection. When I first saw Style Scrapbook's Andy Torres post her's on Instagram (she has the smaller, Swagger 20), I had to have it. I'm a huge fan of Gary Baseman, who designed this drip-leopard, wild beast print exclusively for Coach. The Swagger frame is also my favorite from Coach with its classic and timeless sensibility. Its pairing with the wild beast print is edgy and whimsical, two words I regularly use to sum up my style. It took a lot of searching, as this bag was exclusively sold at the Coach Rodeo Drive store for its grand opening event, but I finally got my hands on it and I can still barely put it down. You can buy the Swagger in its many sizes at Coach along with the wild beast print that is featured on bags, shoes, accessories, and more!
Thank you for indulging me this National Handbag Day. What are some of your favorite handbags? Share with us in the comments below!
The accompanying outfits include a black Zara dress, Target fringe skirt, Aerie heather gray tee, and jewelry from Baublebar, Target, and Charming Charlie.
I've got two weeks left of summer, which means two weeks left of sleeping in, two weeks left of binging on episodes of Mad Men on Netflix and two weeks left of not thinking about my next assignment due in statistics or my next exam in accounting. Two weeks left of freedom. Fashion is always a good distraction from those thoughts, and lately, I've been rocking pieces from Aerie and seeking out affordable alternatives to my most coveted designer accessories. I just wrapped up my Instagram takeover for my local Aerie, and this was one of the few looks I shared, keeping it casual and comfortable to enjoy these last few weeks of summer.
Aerie has been on point lately with jumpsuits and rompers, and this wrap front knit jumpsuit in heather gray has to be my favorite. It's trendy and stylish yet still comfortable, made from a super-soft stretch jersey. The simple silhouette and neutral color make it easy to style, and I chose to pair it with an Aerie boho bralette in navy to keep with the cool tones of the jumpsuit. As I said in my last post, bralettes are on trend and a great alternative to an underwire bra, especially since the beautiful lace is meant to show from under your clothes. It's a fun way to layer in the summer and add a little depth to your outfit.
One major purpose of this blog is to share affordable alternatives to pricy designer musts, so when I came across this moto jacket crossbody bag from Nasty Gal, I knew I had to have it and share it with you. It bears a strong resemblance to the Moschino moto jacket shoulder bag, a favorite of mine. It also has an adjustable and detachable strap, offering three ways to wear: shoulder bag, crossbody bag, or clutch.
My Charming Charlie nail hinge bangle is also an affordable alternative to the iconic Cartier juste un clou bangle, and at $10 vs. the $10,000 plus Cartier version, it's a steal.
To finish off this look, I wore a Betsey Johnson cupcake necklace in hematite, Baublebar mason ring in hematite, Target snake ring, Coach double orb earrings, and silver Marc Jacobs watch matched to silver nails. My spiked black and silver sandals are Simply Vera Vera Wang and my sunglasses are my favorite Prada wayfarers.
As always, check the gallery below to shop this look and check us out on Instagram @stitchandstrut for more fashion finds!
Can you believe summer is almost over? I certainly can't. It's felt endless these past three months I've been off from school, but now that the fall semester is looming ahead, summer couldn't be long enough. If there is one upside in returning to school, it's back-to-school shopping, and here in Florida, it's currently tax free week. I've teamed up with my local Aerie for an Instagram takeover in celebration of tax free week to offer you looks to finish off the summer and head back to school, whether you're in class or lounging in your dorm room. Also, props to my amazing mom who got behind the camera for this photo shoot! She took amazing photos, and this was her first time!
Since summer hasn't quite left our grasp yet, this outfit will keep you looking and feeling cool. It's also a great option for your first week back to school. Bralettes are on-trend now, and they're everywhere at Aerie. This boho bralette is my favorite with its long-line frame, super soft stretch lace, color options and secure fit. It's a comfortable and gorgeous alternative to your classic underwire bra. Better yet, it's meant to show underneath your clothing. I chose to highlight the cerulean lace by pairing it with this Aerie cross front romper in black. This pairing is both lightweight and comfortable, perfect for staying cool in this August heat while still remaining stylish.
To accessorize this look, I wore a fringe-chain necklace from American Eagle with an AE blue stone ring and a few other silver bands I've collected over the years, including my favorite nameplate ring. Clear, matte sunnies from Aerie keep things neutral while this Forever 21 stud crossbody bag adds a little edge. For shoes, I wore my favorite Same Edelman ankle-strap pumps. The straps pair well with the short hem of my romper, drawing the eyes down from the romper to my feet, creating visual interest on an otherwise bare leg.
My favorite accessory is this Gary Baseman for Coach limited edition watch featuring his wild beast Buster le Fauve. I wrote extensively about how much I adore Baseman's collaboration with Coach and therefore how much I've invested in it. Checkout my last post to see the wild beast Swagger bag that's the prize possession of my closet. The pairing of Buster with the pale blue background of the watch's face along with the thick, smooth calf leather strap merges both whimsical and classic styles. I'm so happy I got my hands on it.
Enjoy your last few weeks of summer, as I will be doing myself. To get this look, check the gallery below, and click through for links. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @stitchandstrut along with @aerie_brandonfl!
If there was a physical embodiment of Mother Nature, I'd tell her to calm down right about now. It's been raining all day everyday in Tampa this week, and coupled with the 80 to 90-degree heat, the humidity is so bad, walking feels more like swimming. Despite the gloom-and-doom weather, Fonzi and I trekked out to the recently opened Tampa Riverwalk in downtown to shoot this minimalistic, cool for summer look. Although I arrived with straight hair, I left with a half curled and frizzy mess! Florida heat + humidity + Japanese/Puerto Rican/ Spanish mix = crazy hair day.
Is it weird that I was slightly channeling Sporty Spice with this look? My black-and-white ensemble with sporty flatforms and high-neck crop top remind me of Mel C in the "Say You'll Be There" music video, which I'm simultaneously watching as I write this post. I guess my wild beast Coach Swagger bag is channeling Scary Spice. Is "Wannabe" stuck in your head yet? It should be with all these Spice Girls references. "I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah..."
Anyway, back to fashion. The true inspiration for this look were these incredible black-and-white sandals from the Sam & Libby line at Target. I had been looking for the perfect pair of flatforms (or "ugly sandals" as I like to call them), and these fit the bill with their high contrast and matte black gems stones. They're also comfortable. What more can you ask for?
I kept the black-and-white color scheme going with my clothes, choosing a high-neck, thinly striped crop top from American Eagle. It's light weight, and when paired with an airy high-waist, skater skirt like this one from Romeo & Juliet Couture, it keeps you looking and feeling cool on scorching summer days. All three pieces offer a chic and comfortable take on summer dressing.
The real star of this look, however, is my incredible Gary Baseman x Coach wild beast-print Swagger carryall. I featured a closeup of this bag a few months ago on our Instagram, but this is the first post it's in, and I'm excited to finally share this bag with you.
When I started working for Coach back in December, I was wildly excited about new Creative Director Stuart Vevers and the direction he was taking with the iconic brand. Vevers paired up with famed California artist Gary Baseman (you may be familiar with his artwork from the Cranium series of board games) for the Coach Spring 2015 ready-to-wear line, where the print of this bag--the wild beast print--was born. The story behind the print is that it's the pelt of Buster le Fauve ("les fauves" means "wild beast" in French), one of the many wild beast characters Baseman created for the collection. It's whimsical and edgy, and as soon as I saw it on Andy Torres' (Style Scrapbook) Instagram, I had to have it.
There was a caveat, however. This particular bag was made specifically for the grand opening of Coach's Rodeo Drive store, and only eight were made of this color in this size! I still don't know how I was lucky enough to score one, but eventually, I was able to order this very special bag, and it is truly one of my most prized pieces from my closet. Coach has since brought back the wild beast print in natural tones, which you can shop now at Coach.
To match the burnished nickel hardware of my Coach Swagger bag, I chose silver jewelry: a Lucky Brand double pendant necklace, Baublebar crystal Mason ring, Target black stone ring, Forever 21 chain bracelet, and American Eagle initial studs. For the finishing touch, I paired this look with my newly bought Alexander McQueen cat eye shades, an incredible steal at only $40 from Saks Off 5th. I feel like Catwoman off duty when I wear them, and I love the edgy detailing of the razor blades on the temples.
To get this look yourself, check out the gallery below and click through for links. Be sure to check back this week for more summer looks!
Have you ever had vacation withdrawals? I am definitely having some right now. Fonzi, the family, and I are back from Palm Island, and I'm begging them to take me back! Our weeklong vacation felt far too short, and now it's back to the daily grind. The one thing I won't be missing from this vacation? The army of mosquitos that used me as a blood bank; seriously, I have 23 bites on one thigh alone! I had to buy pants to wear to work this week so I wouldn't scare off our customers (I look like I have chicken pox).
Vacation may be over, but we still have plenty of posts coming up from our Beach Bum series, including this look and a menswear look shot during our vacation.
We shot this look in Boca Grande, a charming beach town on Gasparilla Island, about a 15-minute drive from our resort. It's full of fun, little boutiques and ice cream parlors. While walking around, we stumbled upon this lush, hidden garden, an oasis from the sandy beaches.
Like I mentioned in our last post, Aerie was my go-to for clothes and swimsuits for this vacation. Cropping it off again, I wore this Aerie navy-and-white-striped top paired with the comfiest beach joggers you'll find in navy as well. Both the top and pants come in other colors too, as do most of Aerie's clothes, so you can have plenty of fun mixing and matching these pieces for your own unique look. The fabrics of each are lightweight and breathable, which helped considering we were in over 90 degree heat while in Boca. Like our previous Beach Bum look, this also has a sailor vibe with the navy striped top. Whether used as a coverup to the beach, for a day out shopping, or a backyard barbecue, this look offers both versatility and comfort in the heat of summer; the key is how you accessorize it.
I paired my new Coach Dakotah crossbody with this outfit; the saddle leather contrasts nicely against the navy and white of my clothes while the brilliant, cobalt blue rivets on the bag's flaps and turnlock ties complement the outfit's color scheme. I've been eyeing this bag for month's now, and it just ended up on our semi-annual sale at Coach. It's edgy and hip, perfectly encapsulating the fresh direction Coach's new Creative Director Stuart Vevers has taken with the brand. The edgy, new design still has my favorite iconic Coach elements, like the turnlocks, hangtags, classic saddle leather, and embossed horse and carriage. My favorite part of this bag, however, may just be the inside, which is a gorgeous periwinkle blue in unfinished suede. It's a true stunner.
For the rest of this look, I wore Mossimo tan sandals from Target. I've seen this style a lot lately from different brands and at different price points. At only $19.99 (I bought these on sale at $15.99 from my Target), and in other colors, these are a stylish and super affordable option for summer. The tan straps also can go with just about anything, making them a summer staple for me. For sunglasses, I matched my sandals with these nude, matte Ray-Ban Wayfarers. Jewelry was kept simple with this stunning Lucky Brand silver pendant necklace that I've had for years, paired with a chunky stone ring from American Eagle.
To shop this entire look yourself (almost everything is still available!), checkout the gallery below and clickthrough for links! Check back tomorrow for another look from our Beach Bum series. Till then, I'll be dreaming of vacation...
It may not officially be summer, but here in the Florida heat, summer starts in May. Arriving with the temperature change are new summer styles and beach-bummin'-it vacations, which is what I'm doing now at Palm Island Resort in Cape Haze, Florida. For the past thirteen years, my Dad's side of the family has met up for a weeklong stay at Palm Island. For me, it's always been the perfect concoction of salty sea, nostalgia, and seclusion. I rarely pack light for these trips, but beings that this is my first Palm Island vacation with the blog, I kind of went a little overboard... Pun intended? So I'm excited to present you Stitch & Strut's "Beach Bum" series to get you ready for the official start of summer with affordable looks that will take you from the beach to a backyard barbecue! I've started this trip off with a punky sailor look from what has to be my favorite photoshoot to date.
As some of you may know, I've worked for Aerie by American Eagle for three years now. When I was preparing for this trip, it was the first place I went for clothes and swimsuits. This striped, crop tank was hanging next to these navy linen beach shorts, so I quickly grabbed both; I loved the Lolita-esque sailor vibe of the combination. The deep arm holes of the tank offered the perfect opportunity to outfit the top with an Aerie bralette. If you haven't tried one, seriously order one online stat. It's the comfiest bra you'll ever own, and unlike most traditional wired bras, is meant to be seen under your clothing. Aerie offers a variety of colors and fabrics with both lightly lined and pushup options. I'm wearing a gray pushup bralette with a j-hook in the back that allows me to convert the classic straps in to a racerback. The three pieces together offer a super casual, laid-back beach bum look. With the right accessories, you can turn this coverup option in to an outfit that transforms from beach to pool party.
The red, white and blue iris pattern of my Peter Pilotto for Target sunglasses paired perfectly with the sailor color scheme of this look. If you want to try to change up your style for the summer, funky shades like these circular frames are a great way to start, a paradox of both retro and fashion-forward appeal. I always like to keep my style a little edgy, so to accentuate the high-neck of my crop top, I paired it with this layered spike necklace from Forever 21. Keeping with the silver theme, I wore my favorite nameplate ring, Hello Miss Apple leopard ring, Forever 21 stretch pyramid stud bracelet, and Pandora charm bracelet.
Leaving my favorite piece for the end, we have to talk about these sandals. So I've been on the hunt for the perfect summer sandal for some time now. I've been pretty anti-sandal for a while; I just see them everywhere here in Florida and they all look the same. I've been pretty keen on the flatform and frumpy/ugly sandal trend, so I sought out both, hoping for a sole with a tread. When I came across these from American Eagle, I rediscovered my love for sandals. The tan faux-leather goes with just about any color pairing, and the slim white tread is very on trend right now. Also, they're incredibly comfortable. They will absolutely be my summer staple.
Like I said before, this has to be my favorite shoot to date, so rather than editing down my photos (which I already did twice), here's a slew of them.
That's all for today's beach vibes. Stop back tomorrow for look number two!
Want to shop this look? Checkout the gallery below for some of the featured pieces along with my recommendations, and clickthrough for links.