Outfit: Peaceful park in Porto

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Outfit details:
Anthropologie skirt (old)
Banana Republic top (similar)
Modcloth sandals (similar)
White gold earrings (from my mother)

I love to travel, and this wanderlust often necessitates traveling alone (as David will have work or we’re too poor to fly both of us somewhere). I don’t mind being a solo traveler, though getting pictures of oneself is always a bit of a challenge, usually resulting in some awkwardly-framed, slightly out of focus snapshots taken by well-meaning fellow tourists. As you may have noticed, I’m currently poking around Portugal and spent a lovely afternoon the other day across the river from Porto in Vila Nova de Gaia. This is where most of the Port wine caves are, and I had a couple hours to kill before my wine tour. Just around the corner from Cockburn’s (the Port winery I would be visiting), I stumbled across a lovely little park that was almost completely deserted, so I thought I’d amuse myself by playing with my camera timer and do a little outfit shoot. Let me say that I do immensely appreciate my fabulous husband for normally taking the outfit photos, as it is exceedingly cumbersome to set up (particularly without a tripod) and run around within the 10-second timer limit (hence the somewhat limited number of photos/angles). Nevertheless, it was vastly entertaining.

I’m loving this skirt here in Portugal, as it has a light, airiness to it, fluttering nicely behind me as I walk. I’m trying to find a balance between presentably dressed but also comfortable enough to walk around all day, and this outfit definitely fits the bill. Having a few light, breezy pieces are certainly summer essentials, and they have served me well in southern Europe.

Outfit: Prickly Prints

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Photos: David Potter

Outfit details:
Missguided shorts
Merona blouse
Modcloth sandals (old)
Crafty Cows earrings
Modcloth sunglasses
Kate Spade purse (old; similar)

Summer is finally in full swing here in Chicago, so what better way to beat the heat than in some fun cacti-printed shorts. These shorts are interesting not only for their hilarious print, but also because I’ve never really worn truly high-waisted shorts/pants before. I found I quite like the high-waist in these shorts, as I think they do a good job of elongating one’s legs. Not sure if I’m ready to take the plunge with full-length high-waisted pants just yet (baby steps!). These shorts would be great paired with a pair of wedges, but I went with my latest pair of sandals from Modcloth. Surprisingly comfortable and a somewhat chicer than a pair of flip flops, I’m hoping these will serve me well in my travels around Portugal in a couple weeks.

Outfit: Black Tied

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Photos: David Potter

Outfit details:
Chi Chi London dress (via ASOS)
Baublebar earrings
Madewell bracelets
Ted Baker flats (via ASOS)
Betsey Johnson sunglasses
Kate Spade purse (similar)
black sash (from another dress)

Not going to lie, I’m a sucker for lace and tulle, so when I spotted this Chi Chi London dress, I was sold. I also love the texture and detailing of it–it turns a relatively simple silhouette into a much more dimensional piece. It did need just a little something to break up the vast expanse of whiteness, so I borrowed a sash from another dress. Black and white is a classic pairing, which I punched up with a touch of colour in the Baublebar earrings.

Outfit: Wavy Black Lines

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Photos: David Potter

Outfit details:
Corey Lynn Calter dress (via Couture Candy)
Baublebar earrings
ASOS purse
SheIn bracelet
Le Château wedges (old)
vintage belt

The trouble with doing posts with items from certain designers is that it does usually lead me to wandering around their sites, which often leads me to purchasing more of their pieces (it’s a vicious cycle!). Such was the case with this Corey Lynn Calter dress. I just fell in love with its wavy black lines (bonus points if you know the Friends reference!) and adorable little yellow dots. It is a linen dress, which will be tricky in terms of keeping it unwrinkled, but such is the way of natural fabrics. I happened to have this yellow belt on hand, which added a nice splash of colour. The starry earrings are super fun; they were also the first purchase I’ve made from Baublebar (an online jewelry site). This type of earring is called a “crawler”, which I’d never tried before. While they can be a bit finicky sometimes in terms of staying attached at the top, they do make for an interesting statement piece.

Outfit: Zebra Stripes

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Photos: David Potter

Outfit details:
Modcloth blouse
Anthropologie skirt (old; similar)
Modcloth sunglasses
Sam Edelman flats
Anthropologie earrings (old)

My (mild) obsession with clothing items that have animals printed on them is well-documented, so it wasn’t surprising that I was quick to snatch up this adorable zebra-printed blouse from Modcloth. I was so tickled by the zebras that I couldn’t help but pair the blouse with this trusty Anthropologie skirt, complete with zebra-inspired stripes. A black-and-white striped skirt is a great staple, easily paired with fun, colourful tops (perhaps printed with your favourite member of the animal kingdom).

Outfit: A Novel Graphic Dress

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Photos: David Potter

Outfit details:
Sheinside dress (currently sold out)
Modcloth heels (old)
Betsey Johnson sunglasses
Lilli Pop earrings

Now, in recent years, I’ve certainly grown in my confidence in wearing bold and unusual prints, but this one probably takes the cake as one of the crazier ones I’ve worn. When I saw this dress on Sheinside, I just loved the graphic, comic book-esque nature of it–with an almost Roy Lichtenstein flavour to it. I felt a little bit like a superhero when wearing it (hence my superhero pose in the last photo). I am definitely an advocate for experimenting with fun and crazy prints, and the best way to do that is by not investing large sums of money in them. I don’t mind spending money on beautiful dresses that will hold up and that I’ll wear over and over again. For silly, whimsical dresses like this one that I’ll wear on fun nights out, spend a little less but by all means give them a try. For what’s life without a little whimsy?

Outfit: Birds in the bees

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Photos: David Potter

Outfit details:
Corey Lynn Calter dress (old)
Ted Baker flats
Anthropologie cardigan (old)
Kate Spade earrings
Kate Spade sunglasses (old; similar)
bird necklace (bought in Portland)

I’ve been re-visiting many of my “greatest hits” dresses of late–ones whose colour, fit and general sense of whimsy I just adore and that I won’t part with until they fall apart. This Corey Lynn Calter dress is an oldie but a goodie, bought from a little boutique in Portland a million years ago. At the time I hadn’t known about her as a designer, but I’ve since purchased one of her darling dresses from Anthropologie, and I’ve got my eye on a couple dresses on her site (which I’d recommend perusing as there are a number of fun sale items). The belt, which came with it, really makes this dress for me–this great band of colour, with a fun, chunky front (someone likened it to a lego piece). It was a gorgeous day to explore Northwestern University’s Shakespeare Garden, the location of our very first shoot back in February (it’s much prettier and warmer now!).

Outfit: Hats Entertainment!

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Photos: David Potter

Outfit details:
Anthropologie blouse, shorts and earrings
Kaanas shoes
Hat from Lincoln Park Zoo

With summer weather finally hitting its stride, a sweet pair of shorts and a colourful, print blouse are just the ticket. My love-hate relationship with shorts was somewhat ameliorated by these fun, textured shorts from Anthropologie (particularly because they were on sale!). White shorts are always so tricky, in that they’re often so thin as to be basically translucent, so I particularly appreciated the heavier fabric of these.

I do love hats but had never really gotten into summer hats, always feeling more comfortable with a good ol’ felt cloche hat or something like that. This summer I resolved to change that, and I apparently thought that I’d start while at the zoo. On a fun day trip with a friend, while perusing the gift shop, I (rather jokingly) put on this big hat. We both found it to be completely fun and just a little bit ridiculous. It does add a touch of glamour–a throwback to a different time. Though David does like to make fun of its considerable circumference (“I was taken aboard that hat!”).

Outfit: Lakeside strawberries

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Outfit details:
Anthropologie dress (old)
Funny Girl Designs flower clip (via Amazon)
Kaanas shoes (via Anthropologie)
Guess blazer (old)
Oh, Hello Friend earrings

This weekend, America celebrated its 239th birthday. While I tend to try and avoid 4th of July celebrations (loud sounds make me jumpy, and this holiday is particularly  rife with fire crackers), it was such a nice day that we couldn’t help but take an afternoon walk by the lake, munching on delicious strawberries. Though not American, I thought I’d show my solidarity by wearing red, white and (light) blue (plus, without the blazer, I’m belatedly celebrating Canada’s birthday!). This is one of my favourite and, probably, oldest Anthropologie dresses. Vibrant colours, flattering silhouette…it’s a win-win! It’s also fun to pair dresses like this with slip-on sneakers to undercut the fancy factor.

Outfit: Little Blue Dress

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Photos: David Potter

Outfit details:
Modcloth dress
ASOS clutch
Modcloth earrings
Sheinside bracelet
Nine West heels (similar)

Much has been said about the “little black dress”, purportedly the go-to outfit for a stylish evening out because of its easy and flattering properties. While I don’t disagree with its status as the staple item for all things chic, I feel that summer weather calls for something a little more cheerful. I was immediately struck by this Modcloth dress–its striking colour, cut and detailing make it a viable summer option in lieu of that little black dress–perfect for a night out on the town! I thought it would be fun to undercut the formality of the cut of the dress by pairing it with a straw clutch and honeycomb earrings (another little interjection of summer!).