the capsule wardrobe | fall 2015


tops || j.crew red/grey/blue/beige/black oversized merino pocket sweater (similar; similar) | old navy red & blue flannel shirts (similar; similar) | athleta white l/s tee | loft white & grey vintage wash tees | banana republic black pocket tee (similar; similar)

bottoms || loft black skinnies | loft dark blue jeggings | gap grey skinnies (similar) | loft black ponte pants | loft grey knit pencil skirt (similar) | banana republic knit honeycomb skirt (similar) | ann taylor black a-line knit skirt (similar) | ann taylor navy flared knit skirt (similar) | j.crew factory plaid mini skirt (similar)

dresses || j.crew striped sweater dress | j.crew side-zip tee dress (similar) | j.crew rugby stripe tee dress (similar)

layers || banana republic leather trimmed cardigan | gap navy fair isle cardigan (similar) | lou & grey open cardigan (similar) | j.crew factory quilted vest | old navy utility jacket (similar) | j.crew factory topcoat (similar; similar) | gap hooded parka (similar; similar)

shoes || unisa black & brown riding boots | impo suede knee-high boots | sam edelman ankle boots | j.crew suede ankle boots (similar) | j.crew suede loafers (similar) | j.crew suede d’orsay flats

apologies for this post going up a day late. I was recovering from an awful cold and then ran across some technical trouble. but, here it is, ready to go on the first official day of fall ;). 37 items distributed across tops, bottoms, dresses, layers, & shoes. if you’ve finished compiling your capsule wardrobe, leave a comment & a link below…I’d love to check them out!

just a quick note: I returned this scarf, this sweater, & this dress from this post. after taking a final inventory of what I had, I decided they didn’t fill a void in my closet, so I returned them. also, after breaking these flats in, I’ve put them away until the spring.

fall wardrobe additions

fall wardrobe additionsI’ve found while putting my fall wardrobe together that this time around, the process is much, much easier. I think a part of that comes down to experience, but I think it’s also because I have a much better sense of how I want to dress in the cooler weather. again, that comes with practice because it’s really fall/winter/cool spring here almost 9 months of the year, so the bulk of my wardrobe in general is for cool weather. over the years & before I ever did this capsule wardrobe experiment, I’ve learned by trial & error what works & what doesn’t.

I’ve picked up 11 things over the past few weeks, and save for a special thing or two, I think I’m all set for the season ahead.

one | these jeans are the perfect shade of deep, dark blue in a boot-friendly legging style that’s super flattering & comfortable.

two | these flats were my splurge for the season. the merlot color is so beautiful. I love that it’s in a statement color but in a practical silhouette. thanks to boston’s no sales tax policy on clothing & shoes and a timely promo code, I was able to lessen the sting on my wallet just a little. every little bit counts, right?

three | these black skinnies are replacing a much-loved pair that have faded beyond redemption.

four | while I have plenty of big, oversized, cozy sweaters, I have very few slim ones that would work well with a skirt. this one has cute buttons down part of the back, is lightweight, & is the most lovely burnt orange color. note: this ran a whole size small on me, and other reviews said something similar, so if you’re interested, you might want to size up!

five | this scarf has my entire fall color palette on it. I have a sizeable scarf collection but nothing that’s similar to this one.

six | I’d been eyeing some blanket scarves from asos, but once I saw this one in-store at loft, I was sold. the colors are right where my mood is for fall. this scarf is really big, which I love.

seven | this striped sweater dress is going to be worn to death. I have a similar one from j.crew that I bought 3 years ago that is still in constant rotation. this one is perfect for fall as it’s thick enough for cooler temps but not so thick that you’d overheat.

eight | I wasn’t sure how this dress would look on me in person, but I really loved the color palette and how it reminded me of the 90s (aka, my childhood) but in a sophisticated, muted way. plus, I’m all about easy dressing, and a good dress is about as easy as it gets.

nine | this may be my new favorite flat – it’s insanely comfortable, fits my wide-ish feet well, relatively affordable, & comes in a million colors. now I know why they’ve gotten rave reviews. these were a lucky find  in boston at  t.j. maxx for half the retail price.

ten | I have plenty of black boots, but aside from this new pair, I only had another brown pair that was more cognac in color & in a riding boot style. I had been eyeing these for awhile and was saving up to buy them from nordstrom in another color, but while we were in boston, I ran across this pair at t.j. maxx and found that I liked the rich, dark chocolate a lot. bonus: they were $50 cheaper than retail + no sales tax.

eleven | a pair of ponté pants is a must in my closet. it has a lot of give, which is great for comfort, but also has enough structure to look more dressy than a pair of leggings. these have really nice detailing on the seams and felt really substantial on (no see-through issues!).

what have you added for fall?

p.s. I’ll be posting my complete fall capsule wardrobe on tuesday next week. :)

in the mood for fall

fallmoodI’m close to finishing my fall capsule wardrobe, and I wanted to share the mood I had on my mind when I was pulling pieces together.

fall is without a doubt my favorite season. I love the way the air smells, how the leaves burst into a riot of colors, and that everything seems pregnant with possibility. I wanted to capture that energy, that sense of vibrancy in my clothing, so I opted for some pieces infused with dark reds & deep oranges.

I also love coming in from a brisk walk to a cup of coffee, and the way holding the mug in your hands slowly warms your fingers. there’s something magical about a perfectly made cappuccino, that perfect blend of smoothness & bitterness. I’m really into rich shades of brown lately, from dark chocolate to a classic cognac.

since I start school in just over a month, comfort & ease were also a priority. I wanted clothes that were simple, pieces that would make me ready to face a day of work, school, & study at a moment’s notice. I know I’m going to be working hard, so I want my clothes to be as easy as breathing.

lastly, I feel this energy in my gut, this need to hustle, to sweat, to get things done. after feeling dormant for so long, it’s like I’m ready to come out & take no prisoners. it’s as if there’s a crescendo inside of me that makes me think of the El coming around the corner on ancient tracks that can barely keep up. look out world, here I come. so there’s a little bit of edge in my wardrobe, too, in the form of a healthy dose of blacks, dark blues, & greys.

hey, fall. I’m ready for you.

images via death to the stock photo

dying to read

dyingtoread I’m back from vacation & as expected, the first day back has been a whirl of nonstop catch-up. I’m mitigating the pain by anticipating the release of some books I’ve been dying to read. I’ve pre-ordered all three and am impatiently counting down to september 15 & october 27.

up first is mindy kaling’s new book. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but as far as covers go, this one is a beaut. I’m in need of some good laughs and just straight-up awesomeness from a hilarious, successful woman, so I can’t wait to dive right into this one.

I’m just as excited about garance dore’s book. I’ve read her blog for a long time, and I’m excited that she’s branched out to a book. I find her incredibly refreshing; she’s approachable and inspirational at the same time, and most of all, genuine.

fun fact: I am a die-hard nora roberts/j.d. robb fan. I’ve read all of the ‘in death’ series, so I’m chomping at the bit to read the latest installment. all of the books are a fantastic mash-up of humor, mystery, and romance. so, so good!

what are you dying to read?

beauty on the go

panmakeup2tools || blush brush | eyeshadow brush | foundation brush | concealer brush | eyeshadow blending brush | eyelash curler | travel pots | powder brush | makeup bag

makeup || ysl mascara (no. 1) | laura mercier artist’s palette (old; new version) | bobbi brown lipgloss (petal) | burberry concealer (no. 4) | dolce & gabbana perfume | chanel blush (malice) | burberry eyeliner (no. 1) | chanel lipstick (antigone) | chanel powder (no. 30) | oribe hairspray

panmakeupwhen I travel, I end up taking the products that I use the most in my everyday life. I pick my favorite blush, eyeliner, mascara, powder, & perfume. for eyeshadow, I either pick 1 or 2 of my favorite single shades or a single eyeshadow palette. as for lip products, I usually pick a neutral & something with a little more color, usually with one in gloss form and the other as a lipstick. if I’m going on a low key, casual vacation where I don’t really need to dress up with a full face of makeup, I’ll just bring along a pressed base that’s quick & easy. since we’re going out to dinner to a nice restaurant one of the nights out here, I also decanted a little bit of liquid foundation and face primer into travel pots. for the same reason, I also threw in a mini hairspray in case I want to do something with my hair.

for tools, I stick with an eyelash curler, 2  eyeshadow brushes, a powder brush, a blush brush, a foundation brush, & a concealer brush.

IMG_1775everything non-liquid gets tossed into this adorable & roomy makeup bag. I love that it’s compact but is large  enough to hold full-length brushes. my liquids get tossed into one of these, which goes into my personal bag, making it easy to take out for security.

what’s in your travel makeup bag?

let’s talk | changes

Death_to_stock_above_10there’s been a lot happening on my end these past couple of months. between my classes ending in july and now, I feel like there hasn’t really been time to process it all, until now that I’m on vacation. I feel like I’ve just stored a whole bunch of events inside and it’s only now that I can go back and really take stock of how they’ve affected me.

first things first: getting accepted into nursing school. I was really pleased when I got the letter, and I’m really proud of the work I did to get here…but I was so exhausted from the intense school/work load that I didn’t really get worked up over it. it was a little surreal. I am definitely thrilled to be starting in october, but it’s only now that I’m really reveling in it. I had to recharge my batteries before I could get worked up about going into high gear again.

I’ve been also feeling like so many things are changing all around. I don’t know how or when it happened, but I feel like I blinked, and in a split second, I went from being a post-college-20-something to a I’m-out-in-the-real-world-almost 30-something. I’m thinking about having children and buying a home and embarking on a career. I’ve always dreamed about doing and having those things when I was younger, but now I think of them in terms of 5-10 year plans, as opposed to a nebulous “someday”.

the other day, I realized out of the blue that my parents were getting older. I’ve taken to doing more yard work and helping them with house repairs and the like because I noticed that they tired much quicker than I had ever noticed before. even when I was in college, I never once thought about my parents aging. and now, I realize that time really has passed and my parents are now solidly approaching retirement. it just puts a lot of things in perspective.

I’m not immune to time passing either. I’m not as flexible as I used to be, there are little nagging twinges and aches every now and then. I can’t stay up as late as I used to, and when I do pull the occasional all-nighter, I don’t bounce back like before. I was never a big party girl to begin with, but now I’m loathe to do anything on a friday night other than getting into some comfy pjs and just chilling.

that’s a lot of philosophizing, huh? if you’ve made it this far, thanks for following my rambling thoughts. I’m off to grab some fried clams in essex.

have a great wednesday!

image: death to the stock photo

shipping up to boston


as of tonight, I will officially be on my week-long (!) vacation & on my way to Boston. I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer, so this trip will be a last hurrah of sorts. I’m looking forward to seafood galore, seeing friends & family, and just not working. the weather looks to be lovely, with only one really hot day predicted. since I’m sure I’ll be grazing pretty much the whole time, I’m packing things that are easy & have some stretch. I might post some mid-trip photos, but if you want to follow along in real time, I’m on instagram.

here’s the clothing I’m bringing with me in my carry-on:


my handbag collection



satchels || coach borough bag (loving this similar one) | coach juliette (similar) | mk medium sutton | dooney & bourke domed satchel (vintage, from  my mom; bag pictured is very similar; this one is available)

totes || cuyana short tote | mbmj metropolitote | longchamp le pliage large shopper | longchamp medium short handle

crossbodies || coach city bag (vintage; check ebay) | rebecca minkoff mini mab | coach swingpack (current version) | fossil memoir novella (similar)

travel || lo & sons omg | warehouse backpack (similar)

clutches || clare v. leopard | shoplately grey suede (similar) | coach brown (similar) | rachel roy kindness (similar) | kultura raffia (old from the philippines; similar) | j. crew black (similar) | whistles w/ chain (similar)

over the years, I’ve built up a good collection of handbags. as someone who dresses more on the plain side, I know just how much bags & accessories in general can keep the most basic of outfits from being boring. along with shoes, I tend to spend more money on bags because I know that I’ll use them for a long while, but there are some high street pieces that I got for a steal & love just as much. most if not all of these pieces were bought on (major) sale or are vintage, and a lot of them were holiday & birthday gifts. I’ve linked the exact bags if they’re still available; otherwise, I linked to something similar.

I’m in the process of doing another closet clean-out, so this will be a fun way to document what I started with in the handbag department. 

p.s. I read somewhere that the average woman (whatever that means) has 21 bags…which means I’m right on the money. how about you?

fall flats

flat-outflatsleave it to j.crew to bring out some gorgeous flats for fall… #Iwantthemall. but alas, my closet, conscience, and budget can only take so much ( ;) ), so I’ve got to pick & choose. my heart is set on the d’orsay sloan flat in that rich, burgundy color, but I’m still teetering on which color for the gemma flat. on the one hand, the blush pink is oh-so-pretty and has enough warmth to actually look good against my skin. it’s a good staple neutral that would go well with everything. on the other, leopard is a neutral, too, and leopard is always a win in my book.

so let me turn the question over to you. if you were me, which would you pick:  blush pink or leopard?