STYLE: CREWNECK SWEATER, 3 WAYS It’s getting to be that time of year where I think we all start to get tired of our winter clothes and we are itching to bring out our spring… More
I’m excited to be sharing my third and final gift guide this season. This gift guide is a round up of all my favorite small businesses, many of which I’ve had the pleasure of working with. From art to jewelry to knitwear to toddler activities to reclaimed lobster welcome mats, each of these small businesses offers a unique product that is created with so much passion and love. If you are still looking for a special gift for someone, consider supporting a small business and shop one of these brands below!
Allison Cole Jewelry: A jewelry collection that is classic, nautical, and all handmade in New England. The owner, Nicole, proudly designs and makes every single piece of jewelry herself. I wear the monogram Essex bracelet every single day. Shop her collection here.
Becky Elgart Art: Becky creates the most beautiful abstract and figurative coastal scenes. Her pieces of art invoke a feeling of peace and nostalgia for a simpler time. I have the pleasure of owning two of her pieces, one in Lilly’s playroom and one next to our piano. Both bring me so much joy. Shop her art here.
Cozy Little Prints: The sweetest collection of watercolors ranging from botanicals, architecture, animals, pets, landscapes, and fashion pieces. Sarah’s art bloomed as a hobby during quarantine and has since expanded to an entire collection on her Etsy shop. Shop her art here.
Jen Strandberg Studio: Based out of NYC and Nantucket, Jen Strandberg Studios specializes in colorful coastal watercolors. Full of coastal scenes, summers on the water, and hydrangeas in full bloom, Jen’s artwork makes my nautical loving heart so very happy. She has since expanded to creating the most beautiful calendars, wrapping paper, and more. Shop her art here.
Little Lavender Lobster: Little Lavender Lobster offers handmade jewelry, watercolors, custom stationary, and so much more – all created and designed by Rachel herself. Everything is inspired by coastal living in New England. The pearl stud earrings are my absolute favorite! Shop her collection here.
Lottie and Lizzie Play: These alphabet letters are a favorite in our house! Lilly is fascinated with learning her letters and Lottie and Lizzie creates the most fun alphabet sets. Many of the letters are themed, but you can custom order a set! Shop the alphabet letters here.
Mermaids and Madeleines: Mermaids and Madeleines offers the loveliest handmade coastal jewelry and art. Heather, the owner, designs and makes all the jewelry herself. I am fortunate to own the most beautiful necklace and alphabet letter print from her collection. Shop her jewelry and art here.
Sewcialite: If you love baskets, bowls, handbags, and jewelry, you will love Sewcialite. All of the items are handmade out of rope (except the jewelry) by Roula herself. The rope creations are truly incredible. Roula recently launched a coastal inspired jewelry line and the pieces are exquisite. Shop the collection here.
S.Lynch Knitwear: If you’ve been following me for awhile, then S.Lynch Knitwear will be no secret to you. I’m obsessed with Sam’s knit creations. Her knitwear are the only accessories I wear in the winter. Plus she offers Mommy and me matching sets, which is a win in my book! Shop handknit scarves, hats, gloves, and more here.
Shop Maddie and Connor: Shop Maddie and Connor offers the most beautiful classic and timeless children’s clothing. Think lovely smocks embroidery, seersucker, and monograms. Your little one will look so adorable in anything from Shop Maddie and Connor. Shop the collection here.
Somer Stay: A female owned and run company, Somer Stays offers ethically made and responsibly sourced products that you can sleep, live and play in. From house dresses to jewelry, accessories, and my favorite Turkish Towels, Somer Stay has a beautiful collection of gifts that you can feel good about purchasing. Shop the collection here.
Surcee Shoppe: The Surcee Shoppe is the cutest online gift giving boutique full of preppy accessories, stationary, home decor, and pet accessories. The Surcee Shoppe makes gift giving simple by including an enclosure card, gift wrap and shipping with each surcee. Shop the items here.
Sternlines: Reclaimed lobster welcome mats, canvas totes, and New England inspired clothing for adults and children, Sternlines has the coolest selection of products. Every doormat they create tells a different story as to where the rope originated from. The brand’s story is so cool and you should definitely check them out if you love coastal living. Shop the collection here.
And that’s a wrap! I hope you found a small business you are interested in supporting this year. Happy shopping!
Christmas shopping is in full swing for most people and every blogger has most likely shared their gift guides. And I myself have two more gift guides I am looking forward to sharing. Today’s gift guide features all Ohio based small businesses, and later this week, I will be sharing the rest of my favorite small businesses. Although we just celebrated Small Business Saturday, we can still continue to support small businesses this holiday season and throughout the year.
I would say it wasn’t until I started blogging that I really became passionate about supporting local, Ohio based businesses. Sure I have always enjoyed shopping at the cute boutiques where I live. I even worked for two of them and working for those boutiques are part of the reason I love fashion so much. But I think it took the many collaborations and partnerships I’ve been fortunate to experience that deepened my love for Ohio brands.
Although this list does not nearly cover all the amazing small businesses in Ohio, I hope it opens the door to discovering some truly incredible brands. All of the brands I’m featuring this year are women owned and operated.
And if you are looking for even more small businesses to shop this year, I’m teaming up with my friend Sarah from Cozy Little Joys and Stephanie from Linen and Littles to share small businesses that are local to them. AND, we are sharing a giveaway over on our Instagram’s this week, so be sure to follow us!
OHIO SMALL BUSINESSES
Michelle Brunner Art
If you love impressionism and Ohio, then you have to check out Michelle Brunner Art. Michelle Brunner was my first Instagram turn real life friend! Michelle’s art speaks to my soul in a way that I can’t even describe. Her paintings bring me so much joy and they transport me to a place of peace and contentment. With a style that is somewhat abstract and somewhat impressionistic, Michelle’s focus on color and texture is just outstanding. A true reflection of Ohio Midwest living, Michelle’s paintings bring to life long summer days on the lake or relaxing car rides through Ohio’s’ farm country. Michelle Brunner Art is a perfect gift for the person in your life who loves modern art or coastal and farmhouse décor.
Based in Avon Lake, Ohio, Coastal Cleveland celebrates coastal living and life on the water, specifically life on Lake Erie waters. Coastal Cleveland offers a variety of clothing for anyone who loves the water. From cozy collegiate crewneck sweatshirts, to the softest cotton t-shirts, all of the apparel designs are created by Erin, the owner. If you are native to the Ohio Northcoast, you will find shirts that give a nod to Avon Lake, Lakewood, Cleveland, and of course Lake Erie. In addition to running this business, Erin also maintains a blog where she shares her love for all things coastal, boats, Northcoast traveling, and everything in between.
Kylie and Bryn
Handmade right here in Columbus, Ohio, Kylie and Bryn is a jewelry/accessory company with the brightest and prettiest African vinyl and wooden bead bracelets. The moment I laid eyes on these colorful, vibrant bracelets, I knew I needed a few to add to my accessory collection. All of the bracelets are handmade and the craftsmanship and quality is just beautiful. The owner, Amber, creates bracelets in the brightest of colors – from neon pink, to royal blue, turquoise, and kelly green to yellow, blush pink, and even rainbow! And, she offers school spirit inspired bracelets and customizable word bracelets. You can purchase the bracelets individually or as a medley stack. There are so many options to choose from!
Shore Society, another favorite coastal Ohio apparel brand, prides itself on creating pieces that are reflective of the lakefront lifestyle that encompasses the Great Lakes and the Midwest. Founded in 2012 by Rachael Koenig, Shore Society products are inspired by the nautical aesthetic of Cleveland’s coast. If you have ever seen the “Lake Erie Love” print floating around on merchandise, you will be happy to know that this is a signature of Shore Society. In the seven years since its founding, Shore Society has expanded to include sweatshirts (for Lake Erie and Lake Michigan fans), tee shirts, hats, totes, mugs, candles, pennants, art prints, and so much more. It’s a lifestyle brand that offers something unique for all coastal lovers. They also launch incredibly fun, seasonal apparel products that are hugely popular.
I’m a huge fan of Shore Society products and am happy to support such a great Ohio brand where I know the products are high quality and stylish.
If you are into skincare products that are earth friendly, gluten-free, and chemical-free, then OntkOrganix is your new favorite place to shop! Based on a tiny island in the middle of Lake Erie (known famously as Put-in-Bay), OntkOrganix is a family owned business with over 40 organic products. From face wash to toners to moisturizers, to deodorant, to hair care, and suncare, OntkOrganix has something for everyone. And you can feel good knowing that every single product is chemical-free. My favorite is the Lavender Balm! And the best part is the owner, Christie, uses the lavender that grows right in her garden in the balm itself!
I hope this guide has allowed you to discover some new female owned, small businesses. I am proud to support all of these women and their work and I hope you are too.
The holidays. A magical time full of so much joy and merriment. It’s usually a time for friends and family to come together and celebrate the many blessings in their lives. It’s full of delicious homemade food, twinkling lights, laughter, Hallmark movies, carols, and more. Many people look forward to this time of year because of its simple magic.
But it’s also busy, chaotic, and overwhelming. For some, the holidays are a harsh reminder of loved ones they’ve lost. This year is going to look very different for most people. My family in particular will probably not be celebrating in person (my immediate family alone is 16 people!). As someone who has always celebrated the holidays with several parties and tons of people around, this year has the potential to feel very isolating.
But despite the challenges we are facing this year, there is always room for joy. I’m excited to be teaming up with my friend Whitney Caves to offer some tips to keep things simple this holiday season. We each identified three ways that we will be keeping things simple and organized. And, if you pop over to our Instagram’s, you will find a really great Emily Ley inspired giveaway!
TIPS FOR A STRESS FREE HOLIDAY SEASON
Organization is my favorite way to combat stress. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, like my head is spinning out of control, I sit down, get out the old pen and paper and make lists. This time of year I have lists galore – Christmas present lists, food prep lists, holiday activity lists, etc. etc. Writing everything down and crossing off items as they get done takes so much pressure off. I highly recommend doing this if you don’t already.
Celebrate the Joy
Now more than ever it’s important we celebrate all the things that bring us joy. Whether it’s a distraction free meal with your family, a drive around town to look at Christmas lights, decorating the tree while listening to your favorite Christmas songs, celebrating each and every one of these moments is a great way to embrace the season.
Embrace the Simple
Keep it simple this year. Lower your expectations. Be flexible. Learn to say no when you aren’t comfortable with a situation. This year in particular is very strange and very stressful. Know that it’s perfectly okay to say no to all social engagements. It’s okay to stay home more and watch all the Christmas movies. It’s okay to put that to-do list aside and spend the day baking cookies. Just simplify in any way that feels right to you.
I find coastal home decor inspiration everywhere. Whether I’m scouring Pinterest, checking out other bloggers with a coastal style, or google searching “coastal home decor,” the one brand that never fails to inspire me is Serena and Lily. I will sit for hours and study their catalogues (one of the few print catalogues I still get in the mail!). Known for their coastal yet refined style, Serena and Lily is an absolute favorite among people who love that easy breezy, casual, and classic style associated with living along the coast. Everything they design is always so welcoming, something I always strive for in my own home.
When Rob and I realized we quickly needed to upgrade our pub style kitchen table to one that would accommodate Lilly, I grabbed all my Serena and Lily catalogues and spent hours looking for inspiration. Our kitchen in general is small. Our house was built in the late 1970’s, and although many modern improvements have been made, the rooms are small and the ceilings are low. I knew we were limited in the space we had for a kitchen table.
I found a few round, white tables from Serena and Lily (here and here) that I absolutely fell in love with. Unfortunately, my bank account cannot support the steep prices of this brand, so I took the advice of my friend Claire from Home With the Wileys: I identified the elements of the piece of furniture I loved and started shopping around on sites I knew we could afford (Wayfair, Target, Birch Lane, Pottery Barn, One Kings Lane, etc.) After several weeks, I found an almost identical style to the table I wanted at Birch Lane, at a much happier price point (sadly I can’t link it because it’s already sold out!).
The table arrived within three days, and although it took a little getting used to, I have come to love this table. It’s the perfect fit for our space. The white brightens up the space and the simple, modern style helps the space feel larger.
For the chairs, I knew I loved the Serena and Lily Tucker Dining Chairs in white. I love this classic look of a chair – reminds me of early American life (think Williamsburg). These spindle chairs are easy to shop for and I originally found some I liked at Target. But after two different shipments of damaged chairs and having to deal with the hassle of sending them back, I decided to start the process over again.
I had been eyeing some of these wood spindle chairs on Overstock from the Safavieh line and on a whim, we decided to try these in a curved back instead of the upright back. And oh my gosh. We LOVE these chairs. I think I love them more than the table. They arrived in three days and were UNDAMAGED. Plus, it took Rob about ten minutes total to assemble them. WIN.
I absolutely love the classic, coastal, and casual feel we created in our kitchen nook. The white brightens up the space so much and the clean lines help the space feel larger. I wanted this space to be a space where we hang out as a family and share special meals. Already, it’s one of our most used spaces and I’m so happy with it.
Although I love the Serena and Lily style so much, at this point in our lives we need to be more economical with our purchases. For anyone else in the same boat, you can absolutely get the Serena and Lily look for less. Just be specific in what you are looking for and you will find it. Thank you Serena and Lily for the endless inspiration. Someday I dream of owning one of your beautiful pieces!
I’ve always been interested in the arts, but it wasn’t until I studied abroad in London that I really fell in love with it. I would spend hours at the museums in London and New York, finding inspiration and endless amounts of creativity. I’m fortunate that Toledo is home to the Toledo Museum of Art, one of the most prestigious museums in the world(!), featuring over 30,000 works of art.
As I’ve worked to make our house a home over the past four years, I have found I feel immense joy picking out beautiful works of art to display all over the walls. I love decorating our home with works of art that make all of us happy. Several original pieces have been created by friends of mine and those are always my favorite pieces.
Being a regular Instagrammer and blogger, I’ve been fortunate enough to discover so many talented artists, some of which have become friends! I’ve been wanting to launch a new series that highlights these artists I love so much, so what better time than now.
An artist that I have long admired is Christine Lee Rennie. Based in Virginia, Christine is a phenomenal fine art painter known for her use of vivid colors and textures. She paints with Acrylic daily, creating the most joyful and expressive florals. The way she magically mixes different colors and textures together brings each piece to life in an original and very gratifying way.
In 2018, Christine launched C.L. Rennie Art & Design, a jewelry line of hand painted, one of a kind wearable art pieces . Through her beautiful website you can find sustainable and ethically sourced necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and bags. Christine is continually inspired by art, color, fashion, and interior design. Each and every piece of this line is designed and handmade by Christine herself.
I first discovered Christine through Instagram. Her bold use of bright colors instantly caught my eye. I’ve always been drawn to bright, colorful florals (no shocker there if you’ve seen me styling my Lilly Putlizer pieces) and Christine’s fine art paintings are a feast for my eyes. They are absolutely gorgeous. I could stare at her paintings for hours.
When Christine reached out to partner on a project together I was thrilled! I knew I wanted to showcase her and her art on my blog. AND give a little something to my followers. That’s why Christine and I are teaming up to give TWO lucky followers an 11×14 print of their choice! Head over to my Instagram for the details on how to enter!
What a wild week/two. I think we are all still recovering from the events of the past two weeks. This week’s Solty Friday’s is full of new products launches and holiday joy. Two things we all could use a little more of these days.
> S.Lynch Knitwear is launching literally the CUTEST holiday bows and headbands for little girls today at 9AM EST. Head over to their Instagram to check out the new products.
> Little Lavender Lobster created a beautiful line of watercolor Christmas cards that launch today at 9AM EST!
> Be sure to check my IG on Monday. I have an extra fun giveaway for all of my followers!
> Many are starting to decorate for Christmas, myself included. I almost always do a blue and white theme. Check out my blog post from last year that talks all about my Christmas decor!
> Line and Cleat is offering special discounts on holiday pre-orders through today! Head over to their website to see their beautifully preppy accessories.
> New TV Shows: We are very much intrigued by The Undoing on HBO and I am very into Normal People on Hulu. Both are very distracting, so get cozy and settle in.
> Last but not least, here is my friendly PSA to please wear masks and social distance while you are out and about. Even if you don’t like it, others are very uncomfortable with you not wearing it or might be immunocompromised. So please be respectful of others and wear your damn mask.
On the blog recently
It’s that time of year! The days are getting shorter, the wind is getting colder, and homes will soon begin twinkling with Christmas lights. To kick off the holiday season, I’ve put together a Favorite Things Gift Guide: Erie and Anchor edition. In this gift guide you will find seven of my favorite Erie and Anchor items. There is something for the entire family in this gift guide, which makes for easy shopping! Now more than ever we need to support small businesses and I’m always happy to support Erie and Anchor. This family owned business not only provides products for a coastal lifestyle, but they also give back. Erie and Anchor makes sure that 5% of each purchase is donated to help preserve and clean up Lake Erie. My family loves this small but mighty Great Lake and I’m proud to support a company that feels the same.
So without further ado, here is my Favorite Things Gift Guide, Erie and Anchor Edition.
Classic Crosswinds Crewneck
The classic Crosswinds Crewneck is probably my most worn E&A sweatshirt. I love all my E&A sweatshirts, but this one is the comfiest sweatshirt I have ever owned. It’s incredibly soft and cozy and it’s the sweatshirt I reach for time and again. It’s perfect for layering (I like to wear mine with a navy blue gingham button up underneath and my navy blue puffer vest on top). People talk about comfort food often, but in all seriousness this is my comfort piece of clothing. If I’m needing an extra dose of comfort, this is the sweatshirt I want.
Gift For: EVERYONE
Sizing: Unisex (Rob and I both have this sweatshirt and are often found twinning in it)
Colors: Kelly Green (although mine is an older version that is gray with navy blue details)
Quilted Sailboat Pullover
Of all my Erie and Anchor pieces, the navy blue quilted pullover is the one I receive the most compliments on. People always comment on how cute the style is – especially the white sailboat detail. Like all my E&A pieces, this pullover is warm and so comfortable. If you own a boat or live a coastal life, this pullover is going to be your go-to for cooler evenings on the lake or beach days in the fall. It’s the perfect transition piece. (Note: The bottom band does fit snug, so I recommend sizing up).
Gift For: Mom, sister, aunt
Colors: Navy Blue
North Coast Kickback Silver Long Sleeve
First of all, I love the simple “North Coast” design on many of the E&A shirts and I proudly wear two sweatshirts with these words written across the front. The North Coast Kickback Silver long sleeve though is the perfect pullover. The weight of this long sleeve is in between a sweatshirt and a t-shirt, so it makes for an amazing piece when the weather is transitioning (this is the piece I always grab on summer evenings). I also love the hem of this long sleeve – it’s a little bit longer so I love to do a front tuck in my jeans for a different look. It’s truly a must have piece for your cozy collection.
Gift For: EVERYONE
Colors: Silver and Navy
New England Striped Rain Jacket
If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen the New England Striped Rain Jacket make MANY appearances. I love this jacket. Not only for the classic navy and white stripes, but also for the fit and quality of this rain coat. I actually look forward to rainy days so that I can wear this jacket. And it’s actually a perfect jacket for the cooler temperatures of spring and fall so I often wear it even when it’s not raining. Definitely worth it if you live in a climate with lots of rain! Plus it has the cutest light blue E&A anchor detail on the front. Oh and zip pockets. And a hood. Need I say more!?
Gift For: Mom, Sister, Aunt, Friend, Yourself!
Colors: Blue and White Stripe
Signature Anchor Baseball Hat
The Signature Anchor Baseball Hat is an everyday staple in the Solt house. I have this hat in white with a navy anchor and Rob has it in navy with a white anchor. We both wear it ALL the time (Lilly tries to steal both of ours). This is the perfect classic accessory for boating on the lake, taking a walk down by the river, or just hiding that hair you haven’t washed in a week! It also has an adjustable brass buckle so it’s one size fits all.
Gift For: Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Cousin, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, EVERYONE
Colors: White or Navy
Youth Anchor Hoodie
Lilly has the Youth Anchor Hoodie in gray and it’s the CUTEST. I love how soft it is and I love that the hood doesn’t have any strings. I have always loved the signature anchor design of E&A so I love that it’s extra bold on this sweatshirt. I actually have the adult version of this sweatshirt in navy, so you can often find Lilly and me twinning in our hoodies.
Gift For: Kiddos, nieces, nephews, baby sibling
Colors: Gray or Kelly Green
Anchor Coffee Tumbler
This is the perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life! The new Anchor Coffee Tumbler has the signature E&A anchor and you can choose from navy or white. I have one of the E&A tumblers in the crosswinds design and it’s my favorite tumbler! I’ve gone through many a tumbler in my life and these ones are the best quality (in my opinion). They keep beverages cold for hours (I wake up in the morning and I still have ice in mine!) and vice versa they keep coffee or tea hot for hours, which is perfect if it takes you three hours to drink your coffee like me.
Gift For: EVERYONE
Size: One size
Colors: Navy or White
And there you have it. There are many more products from Erie and Anchor that I love, but these are my tried and true favorites. Extremely high quality and stylish, you seriously cannot go wrong buying a gift for someone from Erie and Anchor. And the best part? By shopping Erie and Anchor you are supporting a small, family owned business and helping to save Lake Erie for generations to come.
After a week of uncertainty, below are some things that will (hopefully!) bring you joy!
> I updated the look of my blog just slightly! I changed my fonts to reflect a more classic and timeless aesthetic. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t in awhile!
> My first gift guide of the season will go live on Monday and it’s a coastal Ohio favorite!
> This online boutique has the CUTEST preppy and classic accessories for everyday living.
> Cailini Coastal launched their Christmas collection and it’s blue and white heaven!
> My friend Jen launched her Christmas collection and it’s the loveliest coastal Christmas you will find this year!
> Christine Rennie is an artist I love to follow on Instagram. Her artwork is bold, bright, and absolutely beautiful. Stay tuned for a fun collaboration coming up with her on November 16!
> Jaye’s Studio just launched the most gorgeous palm print collection and I’m in love. You can use code SHANNON15 for 15% off your order!
On the Blog This Week:
> A fun style collab with Katie from Sunshine Style Blog. We are chatting all about shopping preppy on a budget. Read more here.
> Sharing my review of our new Birch Lane Chaise Lounge. Read more here.
That’s it for this week! Stay kind peeps.
I’ve been dreaming of a chaise lounge for our living room for about two or three years now. After much pestering on my part, I finally convinced Rob it was time to splurge on a new piece of furniture. And let me tell you. My dream chaise lounge was worth the wait.
I had saved tons of pins on Pinterest of chaise lounges that I loved, but I always came back to one in particular. Classic in style with blue and white stripes, the Wittrock Chaise Lounge was shopped on a daily basis for months and months. I was that in love with it. And having lived with it for almost a week now, I can say that I am still in love with this chair!
When I love something, I know right away. The minute we unpackaged this chair and put it in its rightful place, I knew it would be my favorite seat in the house. Somehow my cute little mini me has taken it over though and most days I hear, “Mama’s new chair now Lilly’s new chair.” I think that little affirmation says it all. We love our new chair.
Because a new piece of furniture is always an investment, I’m sharing my honest thoughts based on price, quality, and style.
Wittrock Chaise Lounge
Like I said earlier, I shopped around looking at chaise lounges from various retailers. I always came back to the Wittrock Chaise Lounge from Birch Lane mostly because of style, but also because of price. Retailing between $960-$1100, this chaise lounge is pretty middle of the road when it comes to price. It seemed like the best value for the size and plushness. And it’s definitely a customer favorite which helped in my decision. Shopping hint: it does go on sale once or twice a year, so when I saw it was on sale for Labor Day, I clicked that purchase button before Rob could change his mind!
One week in and I’m thrilled with the quality. It’s sturdy and solid. The upholstery is beautiful and very high quality. Comfort wise it’s just what I hoped for. Lilly and I can comfortably be together and read books, with me sometimes starting to doze it’s that comfy. Already we have had cheese curl fingers, mud, and glitter make its way to my new favorite chair and all three times I’ve been easily able to clean it up. We will see how it holds up after a few months of heavy traffic.
Style wise I love this chair. It’s the perfect coastal, Serena and Lily vibe I was hoping for. It’s classic in shape and perfect in size for our space. We were debating between the stripes and gray and I’m so glad we went with the stripes. It really brightens up our living room and the stripes will never go out of style. A+++ for the style!
I can’t speak highly enough about this chair. Luckily shipping was a breeze too (we didn’t experience any damages, which has not historically been the case when we’ve ordered furniture). I’m aware we have only had this chair for a week, but if you are in the market for a chaise lounge and have questions about this particular one, please feel free to message me and I will answer your questions as best I can.
Now excuse me while I go curl up with a cup of coffee and watch Lilly play.
It’s no secret that my style is classic. I love the preppy look – New England and Southern prep. My style is very much a mix of the two and I’m totally okay with that. Think Lilly Pulitzer, J.Crew, Kate Spade, Vineyard Vines, Ralph Lauren, Longchamp, Jack Rogers, Sperry, Northface…you get the picture. Wearing the brands I love has the potential to be costly, but over the years (especially my years in retail) I’ve learned some tricks that make it easy to get that bright, classic, preppy look.
I think the number one piece of advice I can give anyone looking to curate a classic and preppy wardrobe is to skip the trends and invest in the classics. It might seem daunting to drop $300 on a nice wool coat, but I promise you the investment is worth spending $300 on one timeless piece versus 15 trendy outfits that you will wear for one season. Case in point: I have four pairs of Ann Taylor black skinny pants that I bought for probably about $100 each. I’ve had them for about 8 years. They literally do not go out of style. So my point: don’t be afraid to spend a little for quality.
I also understand that the preppy brands have the potential to cost an arm and a leg, so I’m teaming up with my friend Katie from Sunshine Style to share some ideas that help you get that preppy, classic look on a budget. I’m breaking my ideas down into tricks I use when shopping and examples of wardrobe pieces you shouldn’t hesitate to invest in.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Shop the Sales
Honestly, this is how I purchase ALL of my Lilly Pulitzer and J.Crew items. Lilly Pulitzer only has two sales a year and everything except new arrivals are usually 40-65% off. I budget about $150 each sale and I can usually find three outfits for that amount during these mega sales. It’s the best way to shop LP. And to be honest, I think I’ve only bought two or three pieces at full price!
Buy in the Off Season or End of Season
The best time to buy a winter coat? At the end of winter and beginning of spring. Retailers are trying to make room for their spring and summer collections beginning in February, so winter outwear usually gets marked down to up to 70% off! The same goes for swimwear. Sometimes swimwear goes on major sale at the end of summer and beginning of fall. It might seem foolish buying pieces as the season is winding down, but you’ll save more money by planning ahead and shopping these sales.
Shop the Outlet Stores
I’ve purchased some of my favorite J.Crew and Kate Spade pieces from the outlet stores! J.Crew Factory is actually my go-to for 75% of my shopping purchases. Everything is always timeless and classic and the prices are much more affordable than J.Crew. And another little trick I’ve learned – sometimes Amazon, eBay, and Poshmark carry older items from brands like Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Vineyard Vines, Jack Rogers, etc. If you are looking for an item from a few seasons ago, sometimes these sites will have those items at a fraction of the price.
WARDROBE STAPLES FOR FALL/WINTER
The following pieces are staples in my wardrobe and I’ve learned over the years not to skimp on these. I always invest in these pieces because I will wear them season after season and year after year.
Skinny black pants: My go-to places are Ann Taylor and J.Crew.
Wool Coat: J.Crew and J.Crew Factory are my favorite places to shop quality wool coats.
Winter boots: Hunter Boots, L.L. Bean, and Sperry have the best boots. You’ll pay over $100, but they will last you for years. I’ve heard of some people owning their L.L. Bean Duck Boots for 10 years!
White button up: Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, and J.Crew Factory have the best white button ups.
Holiday Dress: J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Lilly Pulitzer are my go-to’s for holiday dresses. The most important features to look for when buying a holiday dress is fit and style. You want the style to timeless and the fit to be perfect (think Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Kennedy).
Booties: Nordstrom and J.Crew have the best (and most comfortable) suede booties.
Fleece Pullover: Vineyard Vines, Lands End, and Columbia have the best options for cozy pullovers. (I’ll be honest though, I’m very passionate about supporting local so my pullover is from Erie and Anchor!)
Cashmere Sweater: J.Crew and J.Crew Factory have the best and most classic cashmere sweaters. Opt for colors in navy, camel, or blush pink (but also don’t be afraid to add a little color to your wardrobe).
Hopefully this post gave you some ideas and some inspiration for how to get that timeless, preppy look on a budget! And if you need more ideas, head over to Katie’s blog to read her suggestions.