City Girl

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To totally switch gears from my last post, here’s a little explosion of color and patterns to brighten up your Tuesday! One of my first days in the city, I went shopping (duh) and this midi skirt was the first thing I bought. I laid eyes on it from across the room at H&M, tried it on in the middle of the store over all my clothes, and the rest was history. I know dressing in all black is like a thing in the city, but I just couldn’t resist this colorful mismatched ensemble. Sue me, y’all.

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When it came to styling this skirt, I immediately knew I wanted a striped crop top to wear with it. You would think in NYC it would be really easy to find something so simple, but nope, not so much. It actually wasn’t until I stumbled upon a little boutique in Williamsburg that I found the perfect top. (Thanks Pema New York!) Seriously if you’re ever in the neighborhood (or even if you’re not), you gotta make a pit stop there. For the rest of my look, I went with simple white heels, a bright coral bag for one last pop of color, and my mirrored tortoise sunnies.

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As for accessories, I went glam with these fab iridescent Moon & Lola earrings, but kept the rest minimal with just a few gold rings and no bracelets (!!). To top it all off, I opted for bright red nails (Big Apple Red, of course) and coral lips. Sometimes you just gotta go matchy-matchy with your lips, nails, and bag – aka it was a total accident/coincidence, but it kinda works, right?

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I’ll leave y’all with a fake ~hailing a cab~ photo to celebrate the fact that I became a pro at it. It’s those small victories, ya know? Miss you already, NYC!

Crop Top: Olivaceous via Pema New York (similar here) | Midi Skirt: H&M (similar) | Heels: Target (incredible dupe of these babies) | Crossbody Bag: Target (similar) | Earrings c/o Moon & Lola | Lips: NYX (Indie Flick) | Nails: OPI Gel (Big Apple Red)

Welcome to New York

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Let me just start off by saying I’m not sorry for my cheesy blog post title – New York has been waiting for me. There isn’t much I don’t love about this city – the people, the food, the weather (I forgot what anything less than 100% humidity felt like), and of course, the fashion. I’ve been having so much fun stepping outside of my style comfort zone and taking a break from all the sweet, southern clothes in my closet. Don’t get me wrong – I love bright colors, floral prints and girlie silhouettes as much as the next gal – but sometimes muted hues and edgy pieces just speak to me. Enter: this little outfit.

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Since I’ve been trying to avoid spending copious amounts of money during my month in the city (which is terrifyingly easy), I’ve been trying to focus on my cheap girl stores – Zara, Forever 21, the sale section at Topshop… you know how I do. I picked up this mock neck midi at Forever for less than $18 and decided that as much as I want to, I’ll never be able to raise my standards higher than good ole F21. You just can’t beat that, guys. This dress is chic, trendy, and SO comfortable – and when it goes out of style in a couple years, I won’t hate myself for spending too much money on it. Amirite?!

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To add to the edge (and let’s be real, to cover up my NYC pizza-induced FUPA), I tied my jean jacket around my waist – 90s girl at heart. I finished off the look with a burgundy hat, round sunnies, gold jewelz, and Stan Smiths. I’ll be honest, it took me a little while to get on board with these retro Adidas due to the fact that I had them in 7th grade (see also: the return of jean skirts), but now that I have them, I don’t know how I ever didn’t have them. Speaking of saving money, I also bought the kids ones which saved me about $30. If you have creepily small feet like I do, alwayzzzz try kids sizes first. #insidertip

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So here’s to cheap clothes that don’t look cheap, chillin in the kids department, and New York freaking City. Can I stay forever?

Dress: Forever 21 | Denim Jacket: Gap | Shoes: Adidas | Hat: Forever 21 | Sunnies: ASOS | Watch: Daniel Wellington | Bangles c/o Moon & Lola | Rings: H&M

Photos by luxe & staple

How Do I Wear My… Camel Blazer

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One of my very best friends, Laetitia, finally got her dream job in New York City and I’m so so proud of her! The purpose of this post is to say CONGRATULATIONS, TITIA! — as well as introduce a new blog idea she inspired. Yesterday, she asked me for advice on what she should wear with a camel blazer that she bought for her fancy new job on 5th avenue. I told her I’d whip up a few ideas and send them to her, and then it got me thinking, so many people buy pieces that they love and then have no idea how to wear it! If that sounds familiar, send me a photo of your clothing item and I’ll create a few sample looks for you. Wait a sec, don’t people usually get paid for this?

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This super cute blazer from Juicy Couture was a genius investment — it’s timeless yet trendy, gives you an effortless polished look, and can go with almost anything. Laetitia has a petite frame with a tiny waist, her sense of style is very chic (she’s French, of course), and she wants to be able to wear it for both work and casual affairs — so I took these factors in account when creating the ensembles. Click here to buy Laetitia’s blazer for yourself!

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Although I had pretty much figured out the looks I wanted to put together, I also browsed the good old internet for some more inspiration. Not only will this collage provide my BFF with some style inspo of her own, but it also reminded me of a great little trick I had completely forgotten about. If you replace the boring buttons on your jacket with pretty gold ones (a couple dollars at any craft store), it gives the jacket a more luxe feel, as well as a surprisingly major sprucing up! Another important tip is to make sure the blazer fits correctly to ensure the most flattering looks possible. This might mean a trip to the tailor, but it’s always worth it.

When composing the looks below, I purposely left out black trousers, dark skinny jeans, basic pencil skirts, and white blouses because I already know that Laetitia is fully able to put together outfits using those items. Aside from these obvious choices, I considered factors such as this season’s trends, what is appropriate for work, unique patterns, and complementary colors. Some colors I love with camel are: plum, navy blue, mint, crimson, hot pink, cobalt, and emerald. It also looks fantastic with gold jewelry, leopard print, and leather — but maybe just don’t wear the second two together on the first day of work. Check out what I came up with below!

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Although some of the pieces in these outfits can be mixed & matched, I’m going to talk about them in outfits for the sake of simplicity.

  1. Snakeskin print dress, cobalt belt, mint earrings, gold watch & ring, and black pumps. With the blazer on, this outfit is totally work-appropriate, but take it off and it’s a perfect going out look!
  2. Plaid blouse, quilted leather pencil skirt, statement necklace, gold watch, and either pumps or boots. For work, I’d wear the pumps to look more polished with the plaid top, and the boots for a more casual look.
  3. Floral dress, leopard belt, emerald infinity scarf, gold watch, and either pumps or boots. Again, the boots give this outfit a much more laid back vibe, so it depends on what you’re going for.
  4. Navy peplum top, printed cardigan, plum trousers, gold watch & ring, and boots. The layered look is not only trendy, but also very practical in the New York weather!
  5. Miscellaneous items: mint studs, cobalt belt, zipper gloves, gold watch, statement necklace, cat eye sunglasses, gold bow ring, emerald scarf, leopard belt, black pumps, and brown boots. These pieces can pretty much go with all the outfits above, mixed & matched however you like. Also note that black tights can be worn with the dresses and skirt, I just chose not to include them to make room for more exciting pieces.

What do you think of these looks? If you have an item that you have no idea how to style, email me at topknotspolkadots@gmail.com!

Where to find:

  1. snake print dress   cobalt belt   mint studs
  2. plaid blouse   leather skirt   crystal necklace
  3. floral dress   leopard belt   emerald scarf
  4. peplum top   printed cardigan   plum skinnies
  5. black pumps   brown boots   gold watch   zipper gloves   cat eye sunnies   bow ring

(image source: brooklynblonde.com, pinksole.com, loveitsomuch.com, chictopia.com)

Style Crush: Olivia Palermo

Olivia PalermoWhether she’s at an event or running around New York City, socialite Olivia Palermo always looks effortlessly chic. What I appreciate the most about Palermo’s style is how she flawlessly combines casual, preppy, and girlie while still taking risks with her wardrobe. Somehow this fashionista coolly executes a trendy yet classic look; two things I usually have to choose between.

Although many pieces donned by the blonde beauty cost more than I make in a year, she also favors more affordable brands such as Topshop, Ann Taylor, and J. Crew. Palermo’s wardrobe is centered around several key items: tailored blazers, cropped skinnies, basic tees, simple flats, cat-eye sunglasses, and structured satchels with eye-catching hardware. With these essentials as her backbone, the It Girl is able to freestyle with more trendy and high-fashion styles.

To achieve Olivia Palermo’s breezy look, focus on the simple staples below and don’t be afraid to experiment with new trends!

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Where to find:

Bag   Flats   Jeans   Sunglasses   Top   Skirt   Blazer   Tee   Bracelet   Necklace

Click here to check out Olivia Palermo’s fashion and lifestyle site!