Happy Thanksgiving! (+ Black Friday Sale Roundup)

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Considering how much I wear my utility jacket, how did I go this long in life without a utility vest?! I picked up this super soft Tencel vest at Gap right before my Asheville trip and I have been wearing it over sweaters, long sleeve tees, and dresses all autumn long. To see how I styled it, scroll on. If you just came for the Black Friday sale roundup, scroll to the bottom!

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My favorite things to pair with this utility vest are: a navy gingham button down, an oatmeal colored cableknit sweater, and THIS SHIRT. If you follow a bunch of bloggers, or are a blogger, this isn’t the first time you’ve seen this guy. I saw it on one of my fave bloggers in a million different outfits before finally like-to-knowing the shiz out of it and seeing that it was only $19. I now wear it with a million different outfits too, and this one was no exception.

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I finished off the outfit with distressed denim, neutral booties, and a black tassel crossbody. As for accessories, I went with minimal jewelry, my black Daniel Wellington, classic aviators, and a little faux fur poof for a fun touch.

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Vest: Gap | Shirt: Nordstrom | Jeans: Teal | Booties: Aldo (similar) | Crossbody: Gap (similar here) | Sunglasses: Ray Ban | Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington | Rings: H&M and Madewell | Nails: OPI Gel (‘Malaga Wine’)

Hope y’all have a happy and delicious Thanksgiving!

Black Friday Sales

  • AG Jeans: 30% off sale with code AGTHIRTY.
  • Aldo: 50% off already-reduced styles; early risers can take advantage of a 20% off full-price special.
  • Alternative Apparel: 40% off with code THANKS40.
  • Banana Republic: 50% off one regular-priced item with code BRFIFTY; 40% off the rest of your purchase with code BRFORTY.
  • Current/Elliot: 25% off your purchase with the code THANKS.
  • Draper James: 20% off sale items.
  • Gap: 50% off everything with code TGIF50.
  • H&M: Special Black Friday collection, from $4.99.
  • Herschel Supply: $10 off orders of $80+, $30 off orders of $120+, and $50 orders of over $160.
  • J. Crew: For the first time EVER (!), J. Crew is offering 40% off your purchase, in stores and online. File this under “about damn time.”
  • J. Crew Factory: 50-60% off everything, online only.
  • Joe’s: 25% off everything with code Thanks25.
  • Joie: 25% off your purchase now through Cyber Monday with code THANKS.
  • LOFT: 40% off everything with code THANKS.
  • Madewell: 25% off your entire purchase with code THATSALE, in stores and online.
  • Moda Operandi: 30% off sale with code EXTRA30.
  • Nasty Gal: 30% off everything black for Black Friday (cool thanks?). The bankruptcy is starting to make more sense…
  • Nordstrom: Up to 50% off men’s, women’s and children’s.
  • Old Navy: 50% off everything-ish. No code required.
  • Solid & Striped: 30% off with code BLACKFRIDAY.
  • Soludos: 25% off all styles with code BLACK25.
  • Topshop: Up to 50% off.
  • Urban Outfitters: Buy one get one 50% off (all apparel!).

Which sales will you be shopping this weekend? I’m more of a Cyber Monday kind of gal myself (hiii shopping from bed), so stay tuned for more deals coming your way soon! XO

A Date at the Biltmore Estate

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At the top of my Asheville list was something I’ve wanted to do forever: visit the gorgeous Biltmore Estate. In fact, I was so excited to go that it was the very first stop on our trip (even before checking in at the hotel)! It was even more incredible than I thought, and I can’t wait to share all my favorite parts below.

Poncho: Loft (now 50% off!) | Jeans: c/o DL1961 | Booties: Madewell (similar) | Clutch: Clare V | Sunglasses: Karen Walker c/o Ditto (use code TOPKNOTS for your first month free!) | Necklace: Forever 21 | Bangles: c/o Moon & Lola | Spike Bracelet: Stella & Dot | Rings: H&M | Lips: NYX Matte Lipstick (‘Eden’) | Nails: OPI Gel (‘Malaga Wine’)

When I saw the mansion for the first time, it seriously took my breath away! The different levels, winding hallways, and endless rooms could have kept me busy all day long. Although history was always my least favorite subject in school, for some reason that was not the case at the Biltmore. You have the option to listen to an audio guide as you tour the estate, and this gal could not get enough.

Can we talk about this chandelier/spiral staircase combo? There is not one square foot of this place that isn’t mesmerizingly intricate – I could have stared at the details for hours.

One of the reasons it took me so long to get to the Biltmore is because I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to go during fall or at Christmastime. Both are my favorite things ever, and both times of year are equally stunning there. Lucky for me, the Biltmore starts decorating for Christmas even earlier than I do (and my holiday season begins the day after Halloween, ha!), so I ended up getting to experience a little bit of both.

After making our way through the mansion, we went out and explored the gardens. The Conservatory was by far my favorite part, mostly because of the cactus room. It is literally a room filled with hundreds of succulents and cacti, which I’m pretty sure is every blogger’s dream!

Is anyone else having major garden envy over this rainbow of mums? Currently my “garden” is a plant on the fire escape that I’m struggling to keep alive, so I was pretty into this situation.

Next it was off to Antler Hill Village & Winery, which was about a five minute drive through the Biltmore grounds. I could not believe how large the whole estate is! The wine tasting was right up my alley because they don’t limit how many you can try – and their wine list is not small. I loved being able to taste everything, from the Christmas blend (!) to the exclusive reserve wines.

When I asked my blogger bestie, Brittany of Southern Meets Chic, about her Biltmore highlights, one thing at the top of her list was The Barn. We both share an absurd love for animals, so she gave me the essential pro tip that this stop on the map was not to be missed. Or in Britt’s words, “they let you cuddle and love on the animals as much as you want!” Which, of course, is exactly what I did.

Thanks so much to the Biltmore for having us! It was an unforgettable experience, and I’m sure it won’t be too long before I’m back. Most likely at Christmas. ❤

Autumn Uniform

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Before fall totally sweeps through DC in a couple weeks, my go-to uniform has been pretty simple: a button down and white skinnies. It’s easy, chic, and I can go from work to happy hour like it ain’t no thang. One shirt that has been on major repeat as we start transitioning into cooler temps is this little striped number. I love how classic it is, yet the black buttons give it just the right amount of edge. See how I styled it (and how I plan on styling it for months to come) below!

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I’ve been on the hunt for a striped shirt like this for almost a year now, but every single one I found had one little thing wrong with it. Either the color was off, the price wasn’t right, or it looked just a bit too much like old-timey pajamas (anyone feel me on that?). This one checks all the boxes – oh, and did I mention it’s only $12.99?!?

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Since you all know I’m all about white pants well into autumn, I decided to pair this shirt with my favorite distressed white skinnies. I love deep blues with rich cognac, so I topped off the look with my everyday Madewell tote, casual wedges, and my new favorite Daniel Wellington watch. To accessorize, I went simple with some minimal gold jewelry and edgy with round sunnies.

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As chilly weather really rolls in, I’ll be layering this wardrobe staple under an olive utility jacket, letting the collar and cuffs peek out from a chunky sweater, and wrapping a plaid blanket scarf on top for a little pattern mixing. Probably not all at the same time, but I do tend to layer aggressively during fall and winter, so anything is possible, really.

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Shirt: c/o Romwe | Jeans: Old Navy | Wedges: Jessica Simpson | Sunglasses: Forever 21 (similar) | Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington | Earrings: Stylexchange | Rings: H&M | Tote: Madewell | Nails: OPI (‘Cajun Shrimp’)

Lady in Luxe

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Jewel tones, quilted leather, (faux) fur, and lots of gold bling – sometimes you just gotta go a little luxe, am I right? In related news, now that it’s November and I’m one of *those* people, this fancy nancy look also gets me inexplicably excited for the holidays. 51 SLEEPS! I have an app, don’t judge me.

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If you were wondering, yes, it’s still one million degrees in Charleston. Living in this confused climate prompts fall-loving fashionistas to get creative when they want to break out the fur vest – enter the sleeveless mock neck dress. This emerald-colored frock (some might even call it Christmas tree green? no?!) was one of my favorite purchies from my month in NYC. It has all my favorite things – it’s flattering, affordable, and most of all, the pseudo turtleneck confuses my wardrobe/me into thinking it’s kind of sort of fall. By manipulating necklines, autumn hues, and luxurious textures, I was finally able to create a November-appropriate outfit that keeps shvitzing to a minimum. Gals in the south, can I get a hell yeah?

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Accessories, as always, were kept to a minimum. LOL just kidding, you guys know I majored in overaccessorizing (actually it was biology, which I am clearly putting to excellent use). Anyway, I topped off this outfit with a few chic pops of black with my mules, bag, and sunnies, which paved the way for lots of fun jewelry. I went with my new fave Betsy Pittard necklace, some fab earrings from Zara (one is an ear jacket and the other is a crawler!), a couple Bourbon & Boweties bangles, my latest Rocksbox love from Loren Hope, Charleston Rice Beads, and my everyday gold midi rings. As for the final touches, matte nude lips to keep some things simple and bordeaux nails to not. (No, Dad, that paragraph wasn’t written in another language; those are all real things.)

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Going a little luxe has never felt so cool. No pun intended.

Dress: Topshop | Vest: Forever 21 | Mules: Target (similar here) | Bag: Chanel | Sunnies: Karen Walker c/o Ditto (use code TOPKNOTS for your first month free!) | Necklace: Betsy Pittard from Teal | Earrings: Zara (similar) | Beaded Bracelet: Candy Shop Vintage | Cuff Bracelet: Loren Hope via Rocksbox (use code chloexoxo for your first month free!) | Bangles: Bourbon & Boweties | Rings: Gorjana | Nails: Essie (In The Lobby) | Lips: NYX Butter Gloss (Peaches & Cream)

Photos by Smith Photos + Ink

Lace It Up

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Confession: it took me a really long time to get on board with all the 70s trends that have been popping up this year. I know, I know – what was I thinking? Maybe it’s because I’m a thrift store shopper and I’ve been avoiding weird suede vests and patchwork skirts for the past 10 years. But like always, what’s old is new again, and I’ve finally acquired a taste for this revived trend. Enter: full suede dress.

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The first thing that drew me to this black suede dress from Stylexchange was the lace up neckline. This is another trend that is resurfacing from yesteryear, and I’m v. into it. The details on what is otherwise a very simple shift are such game changers. The bell sleeves give me major Stevie Nicks vibes, the short hemline flatters this 5’2″ frame, and as for the tassels? Genius. Call me a bandwagon fan (who are you anyway, a 22 year old dude referencing his favorite sports team?), but 70s trends, I’m feelin’ you. Sidenote: if you know me well, you know how much pleasure I get out of the genuine anger and frustration boys feel towards “bandwagon fans.” But I digress.

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Alright, I think it’s time we talk about these shoes. Initially, when styling this shift, I thought it needed some simple heels or booties. But then I made eye contact with these studded snakeskin works of art, and I forgot everything I’ve ever known (#dramatic). As for the rest of the outfit, I *attempted* to keep the rest simple with a bordeaux-hued hat, a black Botkier crossbody, sassy pave gold horn ear jackets, a few gold rings (peep that antler one), and some round aviators from Quay. Okay, it may not be “simple” but what even is simple anyway?

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To top off the look, I went with nude lips, nails that (unintentionally) matched the hat, and subtle winged eyeliner. Amp up black eye makeup and/or add an oxblood lip, take off the hat and sunnies, swap the booties for pumps (I’m picturing these <3), and this dress transitions seamlessly to a night out.

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Dress: Stylexchange | Booties: Jeffrey Campbell c/o Stylexchange | Sunnies: Quay Australia c/o Stylexchange | Crossbody: Botkier New York c/o Stylexchange | Earrings c/o Stylexchange | Rings c/o Stylexchange | Lips: Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color (Nude Embrace) | Nails: Essie (In The Lobby)

Photos by Smith Photos + Ink

Late for Class

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Happy first day of fall, y’all! Call me basic, but this is my absolute favorite time of the year (other than Christmas, duh). The weather, the leaves, the clothes – oh, the clothes. Today I’m kicking off the best season evs with this layered look to celebrate the return of 75 degree days, ordering hot coffee instead of iced, and being basic at heart (and not at all sorry about it).

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I picked up this skirt at Topshop during my NYC month (#takemeback) and have been waiting for the perfect time to wear it. Although it could be seen as a warm-weather piece, I had big fall outfit plans for this baby. Charleston doesn’t really get the autumn memo until about November, so I’m always trying to find skirts and dresses that will be seasonally appropriate until then. Pairing this skirt with some layers did the trick (doesn’t it always?), so I decided to go with my chambray shirt and metallic rose gold sweater on top. To add to the schoolgirl vibe I was getting, I topped off the outfit with sneakers, a plaid scarf, and my Daniel Wellington watch.

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To accessorize this look, I decided to counteract the sweetness of the outfit with some edgy touches: plum lips, black nails, my leopard clutch, and these fab Karen Walker sunnies. I’ve been trying to decide which Karen Walkers I want for months, then finally my prayers were answered with a little thing called Ditto. If Rocksbox is the Netflix of jewelry, then Ditto is the sunglasses version. For $24 a month you get unlimited designer sunnies delivered to your door, and let me just say that it’s kind of the best thing ever. If you’re as indecisive with sunglasses as I am, you gotta try it – and if you’re on the fence, use promo code TOPKNOTS for your first month free!

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Chambray Shirt: J. Crew | Sweater: J. Crew (similar) | Skirt: Topshop | Sneakers: New Balance | Scarf: Gap (similar here) | Clutch: Clare V | Sunnies: Karen Walker c/o Ditto | Watch: Daniel Wellington | Bracelet c/o Moon & Lola | Arrow Ring c/o Lilli & Tori | Midi Rings: H&M | Lips: NYX Simply Vamp Lip Cream (Temptress) | Nails: Essie (Licorice)

Is anyone as pumped for fall as I am? Comment below what part of autumn you’re most excited about so we can celebrate together ❤

Too Cool for School

Back to School

Back to school shopping has brought me an absurd amount of joy ever since I can remember. Despite the fact that I’ve been out of school for a couple years now, “back to school” clothes have and will always be a thing. Just because we’ve graduated college (*tear*) doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about pencil pouches, new backpacks, and a fresh pair of sneakers. I mean if you think about it, we’re kind of getting the best deal here – we get to buy pretty planners and fun keychains, but we don’t have to do homework. Ever again. So in your face, kids.

To celebrate the beginning of another school year, the unofficial beginning of fall, and festive shopping, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite back to school gear that will have you dying to sharpen a pencil. Can’t you just hear the lunch bell ringing?

  • Leopard Print Baseball Cap: Cover up your bed head while still looking effortlessly chic. Does it get any better than that? Oh yeah, the fact that it’s only $11.
  • Frends Headphones: Be the cool kid on the bus with these babies. I think I include these in pretty much every shopping guide I’ve ever posted, but can you blame me?
  • Warby Parker Glasses: Nerdy chic has never looked so good with these spectacles. Don’t have a prescription? Your secret is safe with me (and Warby Parker).
  • Fur Keychain: Fashionistas everywhere are rocking fun keychains on handbags, backpacks – you name it. Hang this merlot-hued fur keychain from your favorite bag for a playful fall twist.
  • Distressed Cognac Backpack: From the tassel zipper to that perfectly distressed (faux) leather, this backpack is everything.
  • White Marble Backpack: Look like every blogger’s insta backgrounds with this white marble backpack! Yes, I’m just bitter that I don’t have marble countertops.
  • Black Quilted Backpack: Chic, classic, and a little edgy, this backpack could even be work-appropriate.
  • Rifle Paper Co. Agenda: Everyone’s favorite floral print, now on a planner. Need I say more?
  • I Am Very Busy Agenda: Pencil in your events and appointments in style, you busy bee. Also comes in pink & rose gold! *insert heart eyes emoji here*
  • Striped Travel Mug: Is anyone else a serious sucker for these ban.do mantras? This travel mug is perfect for back to school and will remind you that you’re awesome. Even if you didn’t really do your best.
  • Polka Dot Travel Mug: For those of you who want a travel mug that doesn’t talk to you. You know I can’t resist those polka dots, Kate Spade!
  • Essie Fall 2015 Mini Four-Pack: Essie’s newest seasonal collection makes my basic little heart happy. Try out the top colors above, or check out the full collection here.
  • New Balance 620 Sneakers: As someone whose feet cry after an hour in heels, I’m a big fan of the sneaker craze right now. Bonus points if they’re in festive fall colors like this pair!
  • Daniel Wellington Watch: What would back to school shopping be without a shiny new timepiece? If you’re ready to graduate from your Michael Kors, pick up one of these – I promise you won’t regret it.
  • Stay Focused Pencil Pouch: More words of encouragement from ban.do, and very fitting when you have crippling ADD.
  • Assorted Pen Set: Because you need cute pens and pencils to put in your cute pencil pouch, duh.
  • Metallic Hair Ties: Ponytails don’t have to be limited to workouts. Channel your 4th grade self (and shave off a few minutes of your morning routine) with a pretty pony.

So can we all just agree to never stop back to school shopping? Even though I’m kind of always back to school shopping? I’m not going to apologize, because buying cute pens will never not be fun. Happy first day of school/work/unofficial fall, y’all!

A Very Dandy Friendsgiving

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A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of getting together with some of my favorite blogger babes for the sweetest little Thanksgiving shoot you’ve ever seen. The lookbook shoot by Rutledge Social was for one of my favorite local shops, Dandy Boutique, showcasing their adorable clothes and accessories. Dandy Boutique is kind of like a cuter ModCloth, but local — aka better! My blogger BFF Brittany (y’all probably know her as Southern Meets Chic) described the boutique so perfectly that I just had to steal — “Allie Hamilton from The Notebook meets Audrey Hepburn.” She even (very accurately) compared it to shopping in Taylor Swift’s closet. Hello, every girl’s dream! As if it could get better than that, the owner, Holly, is super fun and hilarious which makes shopping at Dandy that much more…dandy. Holly also makes flower crowns available to purchase on her site — and you all know how much I love a good flower crown. How much fun are the autumn-inspired ones we rocked in this shoot?!

We all got to style our own looks (SO much fun!) and Catherine Ann Photography captured the ensembles beautifully. As for that amazing table setup you see, the fabulous 428 Main provided the vintage rentals and we all brought a dish to share — although I had just flown in from New York and only had time to grab a cheese plate. Sorry guys. Anyways, take a peek at the look I styled below! What do you think?

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Love our looks? Check out Dandy Boutique to browse Holly’s sweet shop! Stay tuned for our second looks coming later this week… (Hint: S’mores are involved!)

I hope everyone had a very merry Friendsgiving — we know we did!

Clothing c/o Dandy Boutique | Photography: Catherine Ann Photography | Vintage Rentals: 428 Main | Styling & Design: Rutledge Social | Makeup: Pink Dot Beauty Bar

Mountain Mama

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As you may know from my excessive, “basic” social media posts of fall in Virginia, I recently made the trek to my hometown at the peak of my favorite season. One of my favorite things to do in Charlottesville during in autumn is venture up to Carter’s Mountain, an apple orchard on a mountain overlooking the whole city. We picked apples for approximately 2 minutes and then got bored and bought a bottle of wine. At least we tried, right? We all know I’m a situational dresser, so I would have felt wrong if I didn’t throw on a flannel for Carter’s Mountain. I went with a red + black buffalo plaid one for a nice rugged vibe, then paired it with my new favorite distressed jeans (ridiculously cheap and flattering — get them now), Frye boots, and a simple brown felt hat. I kept accessories simple (I was at an apple orchard, after all) with classic aviators and a gold watch. Check out a few of my favorite snapshots from the weekend below!

Flannel: Old Navy | Distressed Skinnies: Old Navy | Boots: Frye | Hat: Target | Sunnies: Ray Ban | Watch: Forever 21

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{ wine > apple picking }

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{ my adorable best friends. }

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{ pippin hill vineyard – another cville staple. }

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{ i really, really do. }

Notcho Poncho

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It took a while for me to get on board with ponchos, but now I don’t know how I ever questioned it. Despite the fact that I sort of feel like a Colombian man riding his burro, this is one of my favorite fall wardrobe additions. It was an excellent *MaXxiNisTa* find that’s acceptable enough to leave the house in, but comfy enough to live in — and that’s all I’ve ever wanted. It also doesn’t hurt that it was originally $120 and I got it for a sweet sweet $25. #bargainhunter4lyfe

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When it came to styling this pretty poncho, I kept things fairly simple. Skinny jeans, Frye boots, and a pop of blue with my mirrored sunnies. I accessorized with a fun little tassel necklace (give me all the tassels this fall), some B&B bangles, a blingy bracelet, and simple gold rings. Last but not least, it just wouldn’t be right without a messy topknot. Hello, head honcho poncho.

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If it weren’t for the Peruvian princess pattern, this shoot would kind of scream Coldwater Creek — but I just can’t help how much I love fall (WE KNOW, CHLOE). I was lucky enough to run home to Virginia for a few days during the the peak of autumn, and it was kind of the best thing ever.

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Poncho: BB Dakota from TJ Maxx | Skinnies: J. Brand | Boots: Frye | Sunnies: Ray Ban | Necklace: J. Crew Factory | Bangles: Bourbon & Boweties | Bracelet: J. Crew Factory | Rings: Lilli & Tori and H&M

Who else is on the poncho bandwagon this fall?