About four years ago I dreamed of creating a space of my own on the internet where I could share my love of fashion and my own personal style. In the summer of 2017 I finally found the courage to launch this little blog of mine. Over the past four years I’ve found immense joy in blogging about classic style, our home, motherhood and coastal Ohio. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision this blog evolving into a community of beautiful people who share the same passion for classic style that I do.
Lately though I’ve been feeling uninspired to get dressed. This past year really did a number on my style as I was pregnant and not feeling well. Now I’m in the postpartum stage and getting used to a body that I don’t feel all that comfortable or confident in. It’s been a struggle to dress in something other than workout shorts and t-shirts. I’m ready to find my sense of style and my love for getting dressed again.
Just last week I saw on Instagram that my friend Katie from Sunshine Style is doing “31 Days” outfits. Hers was inspired by the TikTok challenge but I loved the idea so much that I decided to do my own version.
So starting today, I’m committing to sharing my daily outfits on my Instagram for 30 days. I think it might be challenging to style an outfit I feel good in, but I also feel ready and up to the challenge. I’m hoping the next 30 days will help me fall in love with my style, my body and my wardrobe again. I’m hoping this process will help me vet my current wardrobe and purge any items that don’t make me feel great. I’m also hoping that I can take inventory of what makes me feel amazing and focus on purchasing more of those styles. And I hope I can inspire someone else who might need some confidence or some new ideas on what to wear, because I truly believe you can feel comfortable, polished, and stylish on a daily basis.
One of my favorite series has returned and I couldn’t be more excited to introduce Bits and Bows as this month’s brand spotlight! Created by two sisters, Katie and Sarah, Bits and Bows is a preppy lifestyle brand that is famous for its innovative and feminine Bow Baseball Hat.
Lilly and I have had the opportunity to style this super cute baseball hat for a few weeks now and we are in love! Below I go into depth about the quality, style, and affordability of this accessory. But before I do that I must comment on the values behind the brand. Bits and Bows is not only stylish, preppy, and fun, but the mission of the brand is to create a community and sisterhood that focuses on “inclusivity, friendship, and self-actualization.” I mean, what’s not to love about that?! I’ve absolutely loved working with Katie and Sarah and they truly live up to their goal of promoting a sisterhood.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The idea to adorn a baseball hat with a customizable and interchangeable bow started as a vision nearly seven years ago and came to fruition this year. This ultra feminine baseball hat is the perfect accessory to ensure a woman is perfectly styled from head to toe. To customize your own baseball hat, you simply pick a style and color, decide if you want to personalize it with a monogram or initial, and choose your bow style and color (White Sailor or Skipper Snap Bow). That’s it! So easy and stylish.
I think it’s a no brainer that I love the style of this hat. I love the classic fit and the variety of feminine colors offered (Lilly has the Lilly Lavender and I have the Birdie Blue). My favorite detail on this hat, besides the bow detail on the back of course, is the customizable monogram! You can customize the front of the hat with your monogram or initial. I chose the classic interlocking script for both of our monograms and it adds an extra dose of prep and style to these hats. I find myself reaching for this hat daily. It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing a t-shirt dress, a sweater and chinos, or workout clothes, I love how my hat looks with every outfit. I definitely give this hat a 10/10 for style!
I can’t say enough great things about the quality of this hat. It’s 100% cotton so it’s very lightweight and you can tell it’s made of durable fabric. The bows are also beautifully crafted and what’s really cool is that they are hand sewn! As a sewer myself I appreciate small details like that. We have been interchanging the bows on each of our hats and the 3-D printed snap is strong and reliable. Definitely a win on quality!
Overall these hats are extremely affordable. For a customized hat, it’s a base of $34 for women and $30 for girls. You only pay $10 extra for monogramming and selecting a bow style. They also just released hats with cute icons such as an anchor, a unicorn for girls, and golf clubs at a very affordable price ($38-$44 for women and $34-$40 for girls).
If you are looking for a preppy accessory to up your style game, then I definitely recommend the Bow Baseball Hat from Bits and Bows. You will look great and be supporting a small business, which is always a win in my book.
Growing up, my favorite time to go shopping was right before school started. I always loved picking out new outfits to start the school year. Even as an adult I get a little giddy at the thought of updating my wardrobe. This year is no exception and I’m once again looking forward to adding a few new fall classic pieces to my wardrobe.
This season I’m all about timeless, effortless pieces. The desire to invest in quality pieces that will last me season after season is stronger than ever right now. I think a huge part of that is how I shopped while pregnant. I was so uncomfortable that I shopped for whatever I thought looked comfy. That resulted in many poor decisions and many spur of the moment Amazon purchases. My shopping was sporadic and I feel so much buyer’s remorse now.
This season my goal is to be MUCH more intentional with my purchases. This will probably mean I’m buying fewer pieces but they will be pieces that are better quality, timeless, and will be styles I will love for years to come.
My body postpartum is vastly different from a year ago and I still have 15-20 pounds to lose before I’m back at my pre-baby weight. So I’m shopping styles that will work now, but also work after (hopefully) the weight comes off.
My inspiration this season is drawing from my favorite fashion icons. Think Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. I also love Ali McGraw’s wardrobe from A Love Story. I’m craving classic silhouettes and neutral colors. Here are a few of the brands I’m shopping:
Style wise I’m shopping for a new pair of denim jeans (I just bought these) and tops that will work for nursing. Here are a few items I have my eye on:
I’ve heard amazing reviews about this top from other bloggers and nursing mamas. Word on the street is that this top is insanely comfy, flattering, and very nursing friendly. The price point is steeper than what I normally spend on a single top but I think the classic silhouette and timeless colors makes this the number one purchase for me this year. I especially love the blush pink and sage green, both of which are currently sold out. I’m going to see if there is a restock, otherwise I think I’m leaning towards the Navy Blue (shocker).
J.Crew does have a less expensive version, which I’m loving in the faded chambray.
This is another item I’ve been eyeing for months. This classic striped tee has a flowy look to it and I love that, especially as I’m trying to hide all the extra pounds that comes with having a baby. Although this is not nursing friendly, it is a piece that can be worn for years to come. Throwing a nursing tank underneath would solve the problem of being able to wear it this year.
I already own this dress and it’s amazing for fall. From pockets to a tie waist and a curved hem, this dress has it all. It’s functional, classic, and the blue and white plaid perfectly matches my aesthetic. And the best part: it buttons so it’s perfect for nursing.
I love these button down flannel shirts from J.Crew Factory. They are insanely comfy and a button down literally never goes out of style. The flannel adds an extra layer of cozy, plus who doesn’t love plaid for fall?
I always say I have too many stripes but every time I shop I end up buying at least one striped piece. I just can’t resist the modern twist on this classic button down. I love the collarless detail and of course the puff-sleeve! And again, the button down makes it perfect for nursing.
Thirty weeks into my pregnancy and this mama is all about comfort. I’m already beginning to feel the discomfort of the third trimester and I need clothes and sleepwear that are no fuss, easy, and something I feel good in. One brand that fits all of this criteria is Printfresh!
When I partner with brands, I make sure I test drive the product before I share with my community. I’ve been a longtime fan of Printfresh and their unique collection of sleepwear. I’m so happy to report that the brand and the product meet my expectations.
Created in 2017, Printfresh is a beautiful collection of sleepwear, stationary, and gifts. Designed in Philadelphia, PA and manufactured in India, Printfresh offers the most whimsical, vibrant, and preppy prints that make lounging around so much more fun. With twelve bright prints to choose from, there are plenty of options for sleepwear lovers to choose from.
You know I love a bright print, but I equally love a piece that is beautifully crafted and soft. Printfresh will be GOTS certified organic cotton by the end of the year. Their crisp, breathable cotton fabrics have cooling properties – which is a must for this very pregnant mama who has multiple hot flashes a day. And, the fabric becomes softer and more luxurious with each wash.
But this brand is so much more than pretty sleepwear. Printfresh values ethical and sustainable manufacturing and they are incredibly transparent about their methods. They place a high priority on safe working conditions, fair wages and compensation, and work that is voluntary. Having studied fashion and been immersed in the world of fast fashion and couture fashion, I truly value the work that brands put into being sustainable and ethical. I appreciate when a brand focuses on the quality of their product, as well as the ethical production and manufacturing of that product.
Printfresh also prioritizes being good stewards of the earth. They seek out socially and environmentally friendly vendors. One of the ways in which they are trying to reduce their carbon footprint on this earth is by offering only two collections per year. They’ve researched and implemented measures that reduce waste in the fashion and textile production process, as well as the reduction of waste in packaging (they use 100% recycled ivory poly mailers made from 100% recycled content and 50% post-consumer waste).
All around, this brand is top notch in their story, mission, and product. I love wearing this robe in Lemon Zest around the house and plan on bringing it with me to the hospital when the baby arrives. Even though I’m busting at the seams (literally) in the short sleep set, I’m excited to wear these post baby as it will be comfortable and perfect for nursing.
There are few things I love more than twinning with my Lilly. I’m such a sucker for matching or coordinating dresses. I love matching styles that are classic and stylish and appropriate for both our ages. It’s only natural that one of my favorite go-to brands for Mommy and Me styles is Duffield Lane!
Duffield Lane creates timeless and classic styles that span generations. Located in Grand Rapids, MI, Duffield Lane’s styles are inspired by an effortless, coastal way of life. The brand started out as a pajama company but has since expanded to offer five collections a year. They are known for their perfect fits, bright preppy fabrics, and high quality craftsmanship.
Duffield Lane has the cutest Mommy and Me matching and coordinating styles at an affordable price. Lilly and I have a few matching styles and all of them are beautiful quality. I tend to organize Lilly’s clothes into everyday play and special occasions, and I can say the styles offered for little girls are of the highest quality but also hold up exceptionally well for everyday use.
I also love that Duffield Lane offers matching and coordinating styles for Mommy and Me. I love that Lilly and I have the option to perfectly match each other or we can match our fabrics but wear different styles. Both options make me equally happy and I’ll continue to twin with this cute girl until she no longer thinks it’s cool.
Duffield Lane also has an entire collection that is maternity friendly. I love that these styles are flattering for expecting mamas but will also transition beautifully to postpartum life. I own several Duffield Lane pieces and all of them are a perfect fit, stylish, and so insanely comfortable.
One of my struggles this pregnancy has been feeling so incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin. I’ve had a challenging time finding clothes and styles that are comfortable and make me feel good. I can honestly say that my Duffield Lane pieces have been my favorite this pregnancy and they always make me feel like a million bucks. Especially their maxi dresses – I could live and sleep in these styles all day and feel so good.
If you are looking for styles that are classic, timeless, great quality, and comfortable, then Duffield Lane will be your new go-to. You can click here to shop some of our favorite Duffield Lane styles!
My love for classic style runs deep. I’ve talked before about how my sense of style is heavily influenced by fashion icons such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly. When I discovered Sarah Flint Shoes, I was instantly transported to another era that was defined by feminine elegance and class. As I explored this brand further, I fell completely in love with the styles and mission behind the Sarah Flint brand.
This luxury brand is founded by a woman and inspired by women. Each style is designed, crafted, and manufactured with the utmost care and with comfort and style in mind. Investing in a pair of Sarah Flint shoes will last you a lifetime – they are timeless and will never go out of style. ⠀
When Sarah Flint reached out last fall and asked me to be a brand ambassador, it was a no brainer. I already loved the style of the shoes and the mission of the brand. The Sarah Flint team graciously gifted me a pair of shoes of my choice and I selected The Natalie! I was instantly drawn to the classic, timeless silhouette of this style.
The Natalie was inspired by the everyday woman – a woman who is sophisticated, chic, and easy going. This shoe is handcrafted in some of the best Italian factories and great care is taken with each and every individual shoe. This style in particular has sold out in 24 hours over THREE times in the past. It’s truly a favorite among many women and it’s easy to see why!
WHY I LOVE THESE SHOES
I’ve had five solid months to test drive these shoes, all while being pregnant. And let me tell you, they are 100% worth the investment. These are the most comfortable pair of flats I own and I can chase a toddler in them, which speaks volumes. They are made of a luxurious leather lining with a leather outsole and rubber forepart to prevent slipping. The 3mm of extra padding that is added to the footbed makes for increased comfort all day.
Aside from being able to wear these all day, I love the style and fit. They fit true to size, are comfortably snug, but have just the perfect amount of stretch. The pointed toe and asymmetrical bow feature make these shoes so stylish, timeless and classic. The sand calf color makes these an easy neutral that pairs with everything.
WHY I LOVE THIS BRAND
For someone who worked in the fashion industry for a long time, I’ve very much come to appreciate the craftsmanship of a product. The amount of time spent designing and selecting the details, fit, and construction of these shoes is incredible . It truly makes a difference in the quality and comfort of the shoes. Sarah Flint herself spends hours identifying the best artisans with the best experience in the world to construct these elegant shoes.
I’ve always been drawn to and inspired by women owned brands, and the Sarah Flint brand is no different. If you are looking for a beautiful pair of handcrafted shoes that will last you forever, then Sarah Flint should be your go-to brand. Not only will you look and feel gorgeous, but you can feel good about supporting a brand that is so supportive of women and talented artisans.
You can receive $50 off your first pair of Sarah Flint shoes by using the code : SARAHFLINT-BASHANNONS.
Back when I was pregnant with Lilly, I shared this blog post about my favorite maternity staples. It was warm weather season during my second and third trimesters with Lilly so I mostly wore dresses. The majority of this pregnancy is during the winter, so it’s been interesting to see how differently my style has been. These days the only types of clothes I feel like wearing are leggings, oversized sweaters, and dresses. It’s a little difficult to wear dresses in Ohio in January and February, especially when there is 16 inches of snow on the ground, but pants are just not comfortable for me right now!
In my blog post I wrote back in 2018, I focused on my favorite maternity staples. This blog post focuses on what styles I buy maternity and what styles I buy non-maternity.
Once I start showing, I switch to maternity pants. However, I’ve never loved maternity jeans. But I also can’t stand wearing my regular pants once that bump makes its appearance. I’ve tried so many different brands and this time around I finally settled on two pairs of treggings (leggings with pockets that look like jeans) from H&M. They are more comfortable than denim jeans and still appropriate to wear in public. I did find a great pair of white denim jeans on Amazon and so far they are fairly comfortable. My favorite places to buy maternity pants are Gap Maternity, Pink Blush Boutique (they have the best leggings), and H&M.
When I’m shopping for dresses, I usually buy a mix of maternity and non-maternity styles. For maternity styles, I love to shop at Pink Blush. They just fit so perfectly. If I’m looking for a looser fit, I typically shop my normal stores (J.Crew Factory, Gap, Old Navy, Amazon, small businesses) and just go up one size. Once I’m done being pregnant, I plan on getting the non-maternity styles taken in to fit my post baby body.
For t-shirts, I tend to go for fitted, maternity styles. I love to shop Target, Gap Maternity, and Old Navy. For flowy blouses and tops, I do a mix of maternity and non-maternity. Again, I just size up if I’m wearing non-maternity.
It feels like I’ve been living in lounge wear and pajamas. For these styles I do a mix of maternity and non-maternity. Things like sweatshirts and sweatpants, I just size up one size in non-maternity styles. But for items like nightgowns and pajama sets, I tend to purchase maternity. Many maternity styles can transition to nursing and that is a huge plus. I love to get my maternity nightgowns and pajama sets from Lake Pajamas or Pink Blush.
I’ve broken styles down into a list to better help you in your decision making and shopping.
Brands: Gap Maternity, H&M Maternity, Old Navy, Pink Blush, and Target
Undergarments (bras and panties)
Brands: J.Crew Factory, Old Navy, Amazon, Target, Small Boutiques
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 wardrobe. But alas, living in Ohio means we have at least two or three more months of winter weather (I really need to move south!). It’s usually around this time of year that I start to think of creative ways to mix up my winter staples.
Today I’m teaming up with my good friend Stephanie from Linen and Littles to share three fresh ways to style a staple crewneck sweater. Stephanie and I share a love for classic and timeless fashion and we both own many of the same pieces (especially from J.Crew Factory!). We both just recently purchased this beautiful, crewneck sweater in extra soft yarn in the J.Crew Factory After Christmas Sale. It’s seriously one of the softest and comfiest sweaters I own so I’m excited to be styling it three different ways for you guys!
SIMPLE WITH JEANS
The easiest and most comfortable way to style this sweater is with your favorite pair of denim jeans. I paired this easy combination with a gingham headband (adding a hint of spring!) and some white canvas sneakers. You can easily swap out the headband for a baseball hat and throw on a puffer vest for an incredibly classic and chic look that is perfect for mom’s on the go.
WINTER WHITES WITH A BRIGHT BUTTON DOWN
The second way I styled this sweater is with my white denim jeans (yes you can wear white denim in the winter!!) and my favorite blue gingham button down. I love the monochromatic look with a pop of color. The light blue and the gingham print also give this look a hint of spring (something I’m desperately pining for!). Throw on a pair of leopard or nude flats, some bracelets, and statement earrings and you have a fresh new look that works for just about occasion.
OVER A HOUSE DRESS
The house dress has made a comeback this past year and is growing in popularity. I have always loved dresses so I’m more than happy to see it’s stylish to wear a beautiful dress around the house. I picked up this midi classic striped dress from the J.Crew Factory sale and I’ve been trying to find a way to wear it in the middle of winter! Throwing the crewneck sweater over the dress and adding tights or leggings instantly makes this an easy, put together, and cozy look for working from home. Add some fun bracelets and a skinny leopard print headband and you are ready for a day of Zoom calls.
Hopefully you found some extra inspiration for styling a basic crewneck sweater with these ideas! And if you need more ideas, don’t forget to check out Stephanie’s blog to see the three ways she styled this sweater!
I’m so excited to be kicking off my Brand Spotlight series this year with a Midwest based, female owned business. Rudder USA is a timeless, preppy brand with strong American values.
The owner, Nicole, has such a strong entrepreneurial spirit that she created Rudder USA in between her Freshman and Sophomore year of college! She is passionate about supporting the American economy and the American dream. One of the things I have loved most when getting to know Nicole and her brand is her passion for connecting with and getting to know the people she works with. She really invests in helping those she works with achieve their American dream, and to me that is beautiful.
At just 23 years old, Nicole officially launched Rudder USA in August 2020. Nicole created Rudder USA to be a common ground for people that love life around the water, boating, and the lifestyle that comes from those things. This brand is for the water lovers – from rivers to lakes to oceans – this brand values life on the water and the feeling associated with that lifestyle. The products reflect the classic, American style that you guys know I love.
From sweatshirts to t-shirts to baseball hats to seersucker and koozies, there is literally something for everyone. I love the simplicity and timelessness of the styles. The pieces are designed and made to be worn for years and years, all while making precious memories along the way.
I’ve been fortunate enough to style the brand new hoodie in ivory that launches today!! This hoodie is amazing. It’s beautifully made and so, so comfortable. I love the simple, classic logo on the front. I also love the relaxed fit because it pairs perfectly with jeans, leggings, and will be so cute styled over denim shorts this summer.
I also want to gush about the American Flag baseball hat. Is there anything more perfect for boating and beaching on the lake in the summer? It comes with a beautiful leather strap and brass clasp that makes it adjustable.
If you are a passionate boater, water lover, and love supporting small businesses, then you have to check out Rudder USA. You can shop all of their products here and you can say hi and give them some love by following them on Instagram (@rudderUSA). I promise you will fall in love with this female owned brand just as I have.
Receive FREE shipping on orders over $100 with the code SHIPSHANNON!
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.