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!
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.
This past weekend we watched On the Basis of Sex and not only was the story brilliant and inspirational, but the fashion was fantastic. The outfits that Felicity Jones wears while playing the character of notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg are outstanding. One outfit in particular is the inspiration behind this month’s 9-5 Style Edit. In the very last scene of the movie, Felicity Jones is wearing a navy blue blazer with white trim and a white tee underneath (click here to see the outfit!). It’s pure perfection. I loved her look so much, I had to recreate it, changing it slightly to match the casual dress code of my job.
It’s always a good idea to invest in a blazer or two if you work in a professional or semi-professional field. Working in the PR world, I always have to look presentable, as I never know when I’ll be called upon by the media.
This navy blazer in particular is eight years old!! I bought it back in my retail working days at The Limited. It truly has stood the test of time and I think it will continue to do so. A classic navy blazer will literally never go out of style. And this one with the white trim detail adds just enough to make this classic blazer one notch preppier.
I love the look of a classic blazer over a casual tee. A white boyfriend tee with a front tuck makes this the perfect professional, yet casual look for the office. Polish it off with a belt (love the anchor detail), ballet flats, and skinny jeans (no holes please!) and you are office ready. I tend to grab my pink Longchamp or blue Kate Spade totes for a professional, put together look.
I’ve rounded up some navy blazer options below. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a quality navy blazer! J.Crew and Banana Republic have some great options, but you can also find a classic option at Old Navy too!
I love our home in the spring and summer. The blue and white color scheme always feels so fresh and calming. I love the peaceful vibe that the coastal details provide. But, come fall and winter, I struggle big time with decorating. I enjoy the cozy aesthetic that these two seasons bring, but sometimes I struggle to combine the darker and muted shades of fall and winter with my bright blue and white.
When it comes to fall decor, I will spend hours studying Pinterest for ideas. I’ve tried so many times to decorate using the traditional orange, yellows, and reds that come with fall, but it just never looks right in our home. And the same goes for Christmas decor – the traditional red and green just don’t spark that joy for me.
So I’ve completely switched to fall decor that is blue and white (I’ll occasionally throw in a mini orange pumpkin, mostly for L). This post is for anyone struggling to find a nice balance of mixing your vibe with seasonal decor, I’m providing some ideas that have worked for me. Please remember, I am not an expert in interior design – I just enjoy decorating our home and making it aesthetically pleasing to my eye.
Ideas for Blue and White Seasonal Fall Decor
Patterned Pumpkins: This year I made patterned blue and white pumpkins using a little Mod Podge and cocktail napkins and they turned out so cute! A fellow Instagrammer who I follow posted how to do this easy DIY project and you can find it here.
Colorful Pumpkins: Consider switching to ceramic pumpkins. Many retailers offer pumpkins in different colors and it’s a lot easier to find blue pumpkins than in year’s past. I’ve also seen green, pink, gold, purple – the options are endless!
Candles: Candles can easily transform your space into the cozy vibe that we associate with fall. I prefer to use tall, skinny candlesticks in varying heights. I have a few of these types of candlesticks in white, but purchasing some in gold or brass would be perfect for fall.
Colorful Plaid: As I learned in Scotland, plaid doesn’t have to be your traditional reds, dark greens, oranges, or browns. Plaid comes in so many different color options. Consider finding a plaid blanket with blue, gray, or even purple. Like the candlesticks, it will add an extra element of cozy.
Wheat Sheaves/Ornamental Grass: If you aren’t big on fall florals, wheat sheaves and ornamental grass or even a eucalyptus plant are a good alternative. Find some beautiful pottery or a vase in shades of blue, gray, and white and you are good to go.
A few other thoughts. I actually think that seasonal decorations can be expensive and some years I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on pumpkins and gourds. My mom always tells me to add a few new pieces to our collection each year and eventually we will have enough seasonal decor to fill the house. We’ve been in our house for four years now and I have enough fall decor to decorate our living room and dining room (the two rooms we use the least haha!).
Another idea – Target and Amazon offer bulk plastic pumpkins in white for super cheap. I bought a few bags of these and I love to throw them in a decorative bowl. This year I actually found some nautical rope pumpkins so I ordered two for our family room!
And finally, I like to decorate our bookshelves with blue and whtie pumpkins. But it can feel crowded, so I lay out all my pumpkins and take everything off the shelves and completely re-style them. Anything left over goes into a plastic tote and I’ll bring it back out for spring and summer. Having the pumpkins mixed in with the books adds an unexpected touch.
Now, if someone could help me decorate our fireplace that has a baby proof foam edge protector surrounding it, please send your ideas my way!!