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. ❤

Falling for Asheville

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This shirtdress was a last minute purchase I made right before my Asheville trip, and it has ended up being a closet staple. It is SO soft and cozy! This look was perfect for a day of galleries, breweries, and exploring – check out all the details below.

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Although this dress comes with a sash, I took it off for the casual and breezy vibe I was going for here. I topped off the outfit with a neutral bag and booties, simple jewelry, and a grey hat. When I wear this dress to work, however, I opt for a cinched waist and some fancy jewels to look a little more polished.

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For a fun twist, I tied my favorite fall bandana onto my bag. As you can tell by my lips and nails, I can’t help throwing in a little pop of bordeaux whenever possible. #basic

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be trying to squeeze as many wears as possible out of this dress before the cold weather really sets in. What pieces are you living in this season?

Shirtdress: Gap | Booties: Aldo (similar) | Hat: Target | Bag: Target | Bandana: Madewell | Bangles: c/o Moon & Lola | Rings: H&M | Lips: NYX Matte Lipstick (‘Eden’) | Nails: OPI Gel (‘Malaga Wine’)

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’)

Sunflower Fields Forever

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Labor Day has come and gone, which means the “unofficial” end of summer has too. But we still have a couple more weeks of official summer (and the heat that comes with it), so I’m squeezing the last drops out of the season. How, may you ask, is the best way to do this? A day at the sunflower farm, of course.

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For this little adventure, I went with a soft chambray shirtdress that has outfitted me all summer and will surely carry into fall. I can’t wait to wear it layered under cozy cardigans!

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Since the dress is pretty simple, I accessorized with a bright coral bandana, tortoiseshell sunglasses, and a good old stack of bourbons on my wrist. To top it off, I carried my favorite Madewell bag to tote around my hand-picked blooms when my basket got too heavy (oops!).

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Shirtdress: Old Navy | Bandana: Madewell | Bangles: Bourbon & Boweties | Sunnies: Karen Walker c/o Ditto (use code TOPKNOTS for your first month free!) | Lips: NYX Matte Lipstick (‘Indie Flick’)

Special thanks to Burnside Farms for letting us basic b’s take over the farm for the afternoon!

What final summer adventures are y’all squeezing in to these last couple weeks? Comment below so I can live vicariously!

November Neutrals

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One thing that I cannot stop wearing this season is the poncho. Since they come in all different colors, patterns, and fabrics, ponchos are one of the most versatile pieces of autumn – which means you need to get yourself one, like, yesterday. These dignified snuggies also make for the ideal Thanksgiving look, which can be easily dressed up or down for first turkey day with the BF’s family, or homeless-chic Friendsgiving with pals. See, versatile!

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I picked up this poncho at Charleston’s newest gem, Apricot Lane. Y’all, this is not a drill – this store is the real deal. They have such adorable, trendy pieces at the BEST price point. As you may recall if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, I mentioned that I was co-hosting an event with my girl Tara Belle to welcome this sweet new shop to the neighborhood. It was impossible not to spend the whole event shopping for myself – oops! This poncho was one (of many) of my finds that night, and I’ve been wearing it nonstop ever since.

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When it came to styling this cozy little number, I kept things relatively simple with a neutral color palette. Winter white skinnies (with major stretch for that Thanksgiving food baby), cognac booties, a knotted belt, and a grey v-neck tee were just about all this look needed. However, because we all know this chick can’t go minimal to save her life, I topped off the look with another statement piece – a snakeskin Taxidermy bag. Local girls, stopping by the Taxidermy showroom on Spring is absolutely imperative. Everything is to-die, Amy is the bomb.com, and your Christmas list will make itself. Oh, and did I mention you can hold the same bag Beyoncé has?

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As for my jewels, I opted for silvery steel tones instead of my usual gold (!) with these amazing ear jackets and ring from Theodosia. And last but not least, my trusty stack of B&B bangles – hey, I had to sneak a little gold in there.

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This is what I’ll be rocking this Thursday – what outfits do y’all usually wear on Thanksgiving to balance comfy and chic?

Poncho c/o Apricot Lane North Charleston | Tee: Madewell | Skinnies: Teal | Booties: Madewell | Belt: Loft | Bag c/o Taxidermy | Ear Jackets c/o Theodosia Jewelry | Ring c/o Theodosia Jewelry | Bangles: Bourbon & Boweties | Lips: Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color (Nude Embrace) | Nails: Essie (Bahama Mama + Matte About You)

Photos by Smith Photos + Ink

Bon Voyage!

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Time for some exciting news, y’all. Next week, I’m leaving for New York City – for the entire MONTH of August! I’m so so excited and I would love to hear any suggestions of things to do, eat, and see while I’m there.

I decided to post this special announcement with my go-to airport outfit that has been on repeat this summer. I know it’s a little more fitting for a flight to the beach than NYC – but I live at the beach so you guys can just deal with it, k? Take a look at this chic yet comfy look below!

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When it comes to traveling, I’m all about a nice stretchy pair of distressed jeans. These Old Navy ones were super affordable, so I’m not worried about messing them up during my travels. Next, I usually go with a loose, flowy top. This blue and white striped one from Loft is perfect! It’s light enough to wear when it’s 10000 degrees when I’m leaving Charleston, but also keeps me warm on the chilly plane ride.

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Next on the list: easy sandals, a good hat (now I don’t have to worry about it getting smushed in my suitcase!), and a sturdy tote. I’m a huge fan of Madewell’s transport tote – it can hold so much and it’s durable AF but super soft. As for accessories – just some fun sunnies, minimal jewels, and my watch so I don’t miss my flight! Last but not least, my secret weapon to combat those early flight induced dark circles – bright pink lipstick. And a little coffee doesn’t hurt, either.

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See you in a few weeks, Charleston!

Top: Loft (50% off with code HEATWAVE) | Skinnies: Old Navy (similar and only $19!) | Sandals: Tory Burch | Panama Hat: J. Crew | Tote: Madewell | Sunnies: ASOS | Watch: Michael Kors | Bangles: Moon & Lola | Rings: H&M | Lips: NYX (Shocking Pink) | Nails: OPI (Pink-ing Of You)

Photos by Smith Photos + Ink

Madewell + Morgan Cole

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A few weeks ago, I was honored to be the featured blogger at Madewell‘s event with local artist Morgan Cole, benefiting Lowcountry Orphan Relief. Morgan works alongside Charleston rockstars Teil Duncan and Lulie Wallace at Redux, which, if you live in the Holy City, you know is pretty flossy flossayyy. Morgan finds inspiration in fashion (hey, me too!) – specifically textures, patterns, and layers, and specializes in colorful abstracts, lowcountry landscapes, flower collages, and more. Take a look at a few highlights from this fun event (and details on my all Madewell outfit) below!

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Morgan showcased mostly her beautiful blue abstracts to go along with the denim-centric (did I just make up a word?) aesthetic of Madewell. Not only did the proceeds from Morgan’s sales go to Lowcountry Orphan Relief, but a portion of Madewell’s did too – how cool is that?

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As the featured blogger of the night, I was there answering spring style questions, so I made sure to dress accordingly. The girls at Madewell helped me curate the perfect outfit to represent their brand, as well as go along with the artsy feel of the event. Here’s what I came up with:

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Awkward arms aside (what do I do with my hands when I’m not holding a clutch?!), I was obsessed with my head-to-toe Madewell denim-on-denim ensemble. I asked the sweethearts at Madewell what they would most like to feature on their walking billboard for the night, and they said denim… so denim they got.

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When I walked in, I pretty much beelined to this adorable cropped chambray top, featuring painfully adorable bows on the sides. I paired the tee with some super dark high rise skinnies (which I instantly fell in love with), and some neutral heels to keep the focus on the clothes. To accessorize, I went with this amazing tassel necklace, a gold snake bracelet, and a gold ring. To add an ~artsy~ flair, I found some fun tortoiseshell glasses which I wore on top of my contacts, lol. (Sidenote: I became so obsessed with these glasses that I actually ended up ordering them later and having my prescription put in!) Last but not least, a topknot. Because duh.

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Thanks so much to Madewell, Morgan Cole, and Lowcountry Orphan Relief for including me in such a wonderful event. And a special thanks to Lindsey Harris for hooking me up with some awesome detail shots of this outfit! Stay tuned for an exciting announcement and possible (definite) giveaway, on the blog next week!

Chambray Bow Top c/o Madewell (now on sale!) | High Rise Skinnies c/o Madewell | Jewelry c/o Madewell | Glasses c/o Madewell | Heels: Shoemint | Lips: NYX (Shocking Pink)

Photo Credit: Lindsey Harris

The Notebook 2

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Last month, I finally ventured over to Cypress Gardens for my three year anniversary (!) with w. If you haven’t seen The Notebook, get out. Kidding, but seriously you should watch immediately before someone else hears you say that. Anyway, to those of you who don’t live under a rock, you’ve all seen the famous scene where Noah and Allie go canoeing through that beautiful swamp (oxymoron?) filled with swans. IT STILL ISN’T OVER! *brb crying*

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Turns out, like most other scenes in this tearjerker, it was filmed just a short drive from my house. How cool is that?! The swans were nowhere to be found, but the romantic setting was right on the money. Although this may not have been the most “sensible” outfit to wear inside a canoe, it needed to happen. This fun frock from Teal is oh-so comfy, colorful, and is the perfect throw-on-and-go piece. Since the dress kind of speaks for itself, I paired it with neutral booties, a tan felt hat, and black aviators. I couldn’t resist having a little fun with my accessories, I finished off the look with my go-to Clare V clutch, gold jewelry (with a pop of turquoise!), and classic red lips to channel Allie Hamilton herself.

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Dress: Teal | Booties: Madewell | Hat: Target | Fur Vest: Asos | Clutch: Clare V | Sunglasses: Ray Ban | Bracelet: Gorjana from Rocksbox | Bangles: Bourbon & Boweties | Rings: Lilli & Tori and Forever 21 | Lips: Revlon (Unapologetic)

Last but not least, because he’s too handsome not to share, here’s a snapshot of my man rowing our little boat. Move over Noah Calhoun. Cheers to three years!

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Steal of the Week: Old Navy Floppy Hat

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I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again — Old Navy is absolutely killing it right now. Everything is, like, always on sale, and they’re really good about keeping up with the latest fads. The floppy hat trend really soared last fall and winter, and I’m so glad it’s back for round two this year. Colors like brown and black are great because they go with pretty much anything, but this wine-colored one from Old Navy is kind of major. Since the floppy hat trend is just that — a trend — I’m not really down to spend more than $30 max on one. The fact that this hat is a mere $19.94 not only makes it the perfect SOTW, but also won’t cause buyer’s remorse when it inevitably goes out of style. Better yet, online at Old Navy right now, take 30% off regular price items and an additional 15% off sale items!* Click here to grab a hat of your own now.
*UPDATE: In stores and online at Old Navy, everything is up to 50% off through Labor Day Weekend!

When styling a look for this hat, I incorporated a couple of my other favorite fall trends: distressed jeans, exposed zippers, black + white, fringe, booties, and pattern mixing. To start the outfit off, I chose a colorblocked black & white top, boyfriend jeans, and zip-up booties. For a chillier day, I also think throwing on a camo utility jacket would add a cool vibe. To accessorize, I went with a colorful statement necklace to pop against the black & white top, a gold chain-link watch (MK knockoff for only $25 — just got one myself!), and a leopard clutch for a little pattern mixing with the camo. To top it all off, I love orange lips for fall (and the bright color will look divine with the darker hue of the hat), and there’s nothing chicer than a sleek black mani.
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Floppy Hat: Old Navy | Fringe Top: H&M | Boyfriend Jeans: Forever 21 | Booties: Sole Society | Jacket: Old Navy | Leopard Clutch: Madewell | Necklace: BaubleBar | Watch: Forever 21 | Lip Color: Clinique | Nail Lacquer: Essie

Would you wear this SOTW?

What To Wear On Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and many of us (me) are procrastinating until the last second to make plans — and until said plans are made, outfits cannot be made. But whether you’re hitting the town with your man, staying in with your besties, or rebelling against the holiday altogether, I’ve got your outfit covered.

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The following 5 looks will fit whatever it is you’re doing on February 14th, so pop an adderall and get to reading. (Wait, does not everyone need adderall to read a few paragraphs?)

Dinner Date With Your Guy
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Pretty classic yet smokin’ hot, this outfit is ideal for a romantic dinner with your man. I love crossover tops because they can be easily dressed up or down — so this sultry red one is a no-brainer for Valentine’s Day. I paired it with dark skinny jeans, some killer heels, and a simple black crossbody bag. To accessorize, I picked pretty drop earrings, a gold heart ring, and light pink nail polish.

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In the beginning stages of a relationship when you’re actually still trying (jk boys — kinda), this outfit is ideal. I went with a sweet yet sexy white peplum top paired with a tailored blazer, dark skinnies, and these ridiculously adorable flats. As for accessories, I picked a rose gold watch, fun gem earrings, a nude envelope clutch, and coral nails.

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Whether you’re spending v-day with your closest girlfriends or you’re observing a little holiday called Galentine’s Day, this comfy-cozy outfit is great for hitting up your favorite Mexi restaurant for bottomless margaritas/staying in to binge watch Pretty Little Liars. This casual look consists of a black & white heart top, lululemon leggings (to make room for chips & queso obvi), gold glitter loafers, and a red circle scarf. To top it off, I went with adorable xo studs, a pink pout, and a messy topknot.

Club Hopping With Pals
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This look is sure to turn some heads when you’re out on the town. The red dress undoubtedly makes you stand out in the crowd and also provides great, subtle sideboob. I paired it with nude cuff heels, a colorful statement necklace, and a double arrow ring. To finish off the look, I chose black nails and nude lips. (Insert punching emoji here).

Anti V-Day GNO
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For those of you who hate Valentine’s Day, obviously go with all black. If you’re going out guns blazing, this outfit is ideal. A black chiffon top, leather pants, nude pumps (I love these Kristin Cavallari heels — check out the gold bottoms!), and a cobalt bag for some color. To accessorize, I picked some sassy stud earrings, a pretty necklace, a tortoiseshell watch, and dark, burgundy lips.

Which outfit will you be rocking on V-Day?

For your entertainment, here are some ideas for valentines for your loved ones:

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{ this last one is actually framed in my apartment — love it. }

Where to find:
crossover top   |   skinny jeans   |   black pumps   |   crossbody bag   |   drop earrings   |   heart ring   |   nail lacquer

peplum top   |   skinny jeans   |   black blazer   |   d’orsay flats   |   rose gold watch   |   gem earrings   |   envelope clutch   |   nail lacquer

heart top   |   wunder under pant   |   glitter loafers   |   circle scarf   |   xo studs   |   pink lipstick

skater dress   |   cuff pumps   |   bib necklace   |   double ring   |   nude gloss   |   nail lacquer

chiffon top   |   leather pants   |   letizia pumps   |   cobalt crossbody   |   pyramid studs   |   statement necklace   |   tortoiseshell watch   |   burgundy lipstick

(image source: etsy, pinterest, someecards, tumblr)