OOTD: Lovely Lace

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

With warmer days coming- and more importantly, staying- I think it’s safe to say Spring is finally here! I’ve slowly but surely been leaving my heavy wool coat at home in the mornings when I leave for work- and instead reach for a cardigan that comes off by the time 2 p.m. rolls around the the temperatures are soaring for a few hours.

I’m ecstatic, as Spring of course means it won’t be too long until Summer is here again and I can start wearing shorts and head to the beach more often!

But for now, as to not rush things- I’ve been enjoying wearing some of the more colorful, feminine fabrics and finds in my closet. This vintage lace dress I had picked up years ago at a thrift store outside the city for a garden party I was attending in New York one weekend is a long-time favorite of mine. It’s lightweight, frilly, comfortable, and easy to pair with pretty much anything.

When I wore this the other day to work and then immediately to a post-office dinner, I paired it with thin black leggings and black lace ballet flats- because it is still April, after all- and going bare-legged after 6 p.m. in New England in Spring is either hit or miss. You either end up fine, or shivering uncontrollably. The leggings seemed like a good preventative choice- just in case.

But apart from how fun, classic and comfortable the cut and the loose fit of dress is- it’s the lace and crochet work that just screams “Spring!” to me.

Here’s a couple of closeups of the detailing along the skirt and the sleeves:

And even though I wasn’t at Coachella this year- I feel like this would be a great festival ensemble, as well. Boston Calling isn’t that far away, though- so maybe I’ll break this out again in a few weeks to wear while I’m dancing/singing along to some of my favorite artists on the lineup!

Later on this week I’ve got some pre-Easter prep to share before we break for the weekend and the holiday and I head up to Vermont to retrieve some of my family members who will be joining the festivities. Until then, though- I’ve got plenty to do at my office today and some much-needed sleep to catch up on tonight!

See you all on Friday, everyone! Enjoy your “Hump Day!”

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Bohemian Like You

One of my dearest friends from California is legitimately Bohemian. I’m not talking in terms of style or an unconventional attitude (although he is a musician)– but in the sense that his family were/are from Bohemia prior to it becoming part of the Czech Republic. So, whenever I hear people describe something- be it fashion or home decor- as “bohemian”, I always think of him and how he doesn’t dress anything at all like how BoHo-inspired clothing or accessories are designed.

Case in point- these loose-fitting, high-waist baggy pants I wore this past weekend while running errands and grabbing coffee with friends. I had initially bought these a couple of years ago while shopping for a weekend beach trip where I had wanted something breezy and comfortable to wear when I wasn’t on the sand but didn’t want to throw on jeans- and they’ve been a Summertime staple of mine ever since.

A woman at the cafe I’d popped into for a latte remarked that I looked “very bohemian”. A compliment, of course- but I just thought I looked impossibly comfortable given the heat outside.

I didn’t do anything to dress up these pants, since the pattern is pretty bold all on it’s own. Instead, I just wore a white tank top and my brown suede moccasins (a purchase I made for a cross-country flight to Vegas a couple of years ago and they’ve held up superbly ever since!) which goes well with my brown, faux-leather cross-body saddle bag. It was all about lightweight fabrics, comfortable cuts, and convenience, after all!

For jewelry (since I do love to sport a unique piece now and then)– I turned to a matching necklace and bracelet set crafted from stainless steel pebble-shapes threaded together with smoky quartz of different shapes/colors. I’m still in the experimental phases when it comes to using the healing power of crystals- mainly because I don’t know which ones would benefit me the most- but these looked pretty and had me feeling good about my look for the day, which works enough for me!

Final touches included my round, vintage, blue/green mirrored sunglasses and a swipe of my current favorite orange/coral Maybelline lipstick to brighten up my otherwise minimally made-up face (BB cream and highlighter are my only two necessities in the hot weather!)

Overall I thought this was a very Summery, laid-back, lounge-appropriate ensemble that could also double as fun Festival wear since it wasn’t overtly complicated and super comfortable- even when I was under the sun for a few hours!

And now with it being Monday and my day being filled with phone calls, e-mails, reviewing paperwork and a scheduled company luncheon a little later on this afternoon- I’ve got to dive into my work bright and early this morning.

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful Monday and a (hopefully!) great week. Let’s push through to this upcoming weekend together! We can do it!

xx

– Ashley –

Festival Survival: The Essentials

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Today is a busy one for me. I’ve got work, meetings, and dinner plans with a friend of mine visiting from outside the country who is here for this coming weekend’s Boston Calling Festival. I’ll be at the show bright and early on Friday- but then it’s off to Washington D.C. on Saturday!

Preparing for a day out in the sun, listening to some great bands and artists got me thinking about ‘Festival Essentials’, though. If you’ve got Instagram, then chances are your feed was being overwhelmed by posts from Coachella this year. Loads of pretty people wearing some seriously impractical outfits (and flower crowns) in the sweltering Indio heat. Sure, it looked great in photos- but how did it feel after a couple of hours? Probably not great, I’d imagine.

Inspired, I came up with some items that I consider to be reasonable and comfortable must-haves when it comes to braving those outdoor Spring/Summer music festivals- and things I’ll personally have on me when I roll into Boston Calling on Friday!

And while I’m sure dressing up in tulle, leather, or suede with lots of fringe is a good time- I’ll be sticking to a breathable pair of cotton shorts and a lightweight t-shirt, thanks! I want to be able to dance!

First and foremost- ditch the wedge sandals or the stilettos and settle on a practical and comfortable pair of sneakers, ankle boots or flats. You’re going to be standing for hours on end- or, if it rains- you’re going to want to keep as much material between your toes and the muddy ground as possible. Think support and think fitted insoles to absorb moisture and to keep the inside of your shoes from getting ruined..

I’ll be sporting this pair of moccasins I bought solely for flying (slip on/off = quicker TSA checkpoint time) and for standing for long periods of time. They’re soft, lined, and cushioned at the bottom- so my feet stay cozy and dry for as long as I have these on!

The second most important thing after reasonable shoes? Sunscreen. The higher the SPF the better. If you’re going to be roasting under the sun for an afternoon while you wait for your favorite band to take the stage- then you need to go all out and protect yourself from damaging UV rays that could cause skin cancer (and/or a seriously painful burn!)

I live for this spray-on SPF50 from Trader Joe’s- which makes applying/re-applying sunscreen during the day a lightweight and mess-free breeze. It’s not greasy or sticky, and doesn’t clog your pores. It just sinks in like water.

Speaking of H20- you need. to. stay. hydrated. I know the idea of spending $14 on a bottle of water is ridiculous (and it truly is)– but dehydration and heat stroke are serious business and need to be prevented at all costs. If security is strict and won’t let you bring your own bottle inside the venue- then splurge on one and seek out options for free re-fills. Some vendors will have a “one time purchase/unlimited refills” policy- so take advantage of it!

I’m not gonna’ sweat shame- because we all do it and it’s nothing to feel gross about- but if you’re looking for a quick and easy refresher to cool yourself off and make yourself smell a little nicer for when you’re huddled in a crowd with hundreds of strangers- then I highly recommend carrying a pack of deodorant wipes with you.

These ones from Pacifica have been a long-time favorite of mine. They smell crisp, clean and a little tropical- but they also soften and hydrate your underarm area so that you feel even more refreshed and are more inclined to throw your arms up during that one song you really, really like.

I, frankly, don’t have the time or the patience to apply a full face of makeup that I’m going to sweat off right away- so I keep it simple when I’m headed to a festival. A tinted moisturizer with sunscreen mixed in (of course!)– a hydrating lip balm, and a lightweight cream-to-powder eye shadow in a neutral tone to brighten my eye area for when I’m posing for that selfie by the side of the stage is really all I need to get by.

This coconut balm and shimmery beige shadow from Sephora keep me looking glossy (not sweaty) and put together. Add a couple of swipes of waterproof mascara and you’ve got an effortless look that won’t be running down your face by the end of the night.

And it goes without saying- but bring a pair of sunglasses. Even if it’s just to hide your tears when that one band plays that song that reminds you of your ex. You’re taking steps to protect your skin during this adventure- so you gotta’ remember to protect those peepers, too!

And when I know that electrical outlets may be scarce- I like to bring a portable charger with me to plug my phone into when it starts losing juice but I need to keep it up and running. This one- from Triple C- is the size of a tube of lipstick and can get my battery life up considerably in under an hour. I just connect it to my phone, tuck the phone into my purse- and let it work it’s magic.

And finally- bring a bag that is big enough to carry everything- but small enough to carry around comfortably. I typically use a small, drawstring backpack, my cross-body bag, or this mid-sized beach tote slung over my shoulder. The magnetic clasp sewn into the inside keeps my belongings secure and doesn’t weigh me down.

I also try to keep a big hat with me to protect my scalp from burning under the sun, too. It’s an area that often gets overlooked while we’re slathering on the SPF on our bodies and faces- but it can burn just as easily, too! This wide-brimmed hat was a purchase from Primark a couple of Summers ago for a beach weekend I had planned with friends- but it’s held up since then- and is still consistently useful!

And those, my lovelies- are my “Festival Essentials”- for a carefree and comfortable day out in the sun with other fans listening to music we love. I’m so excited for Friday!

If you’ve got your own Festival Essentials (I do love a good recommendation!) that you’d like to share- feel free!

But for now, I’m off to get to work. Enjoy your Hump Day, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –