Fall Fashion

Loving Life & Leather

Try saying that 5 times fast LOL

Hey friends,

I wanted to use today's blog post slot to give you all a little update on our lives!

Blake has been at his new job for 2 weeks now!  He's loving it so much!  The new doctors are great, his new co-workers are so nice and very welcoming, he is learning new things there A.K.A. the nurses stitch people up in this Cath Lab (something he's never had [I mean, gotten] to do before LOL!  The only negative thing he's said so far is that they keep the temperature at 60 degrees in the lab!!  LOL, he does not like to be cold!!  But he's taken some jackets and long sleeve tees to wear under his scrubs, so he will be just fine :)  He's still liking his truck, though he does miss his mustang, but the truck allows for us to experience a different kind of independence that we haven't before!  Not having to ask to borrow a truck all the time has been so nice!  Especially during this renovation!!

Speaking of renovation, this home reno has been a bit more challenging than the others... We've never done the kitchen before, and living without a kitchen for a month really sucks, and is getting kind of expensive!  So not only is it expensive because "time is money," but without a kitchen, we've had to eat out this whole time, OMG!!  But, on the bright side it should be completed by Tuesday!!  I'm super ready to finally have a house not under construction (well, until we decide it's time to tackle that pink bathroom LOL)!!

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As for me, I've quit my full-time job at the City... And as much as I've enjoyed being full-time blogger, boutiquer, and renovation manager these past 2 weeks, I've decided to go back to "school" and get my Real Estate and Property Management licenses!  I will start classes on Monday October 9th back in Columbia!  Unfortunately, I'm more nervous than excited at this point... I know that's so sad to say, but I really never wanted to be a student again LOL!  In college I obsessed over school...  And I just definitely don't want to be that person again!!!  But nevertheless, in 9 days, I'm going to kick Real Estate school's butt!!  And now that today marks the start of October, I will finally be ordering Fall apparel for Demure - something that I wait all year long to do!!  I can't wait for y'all to see what I've picked out!!!  And also, since today is October 1st, Demure Styled earrings are going out today, but I also need to tell y'all (for those that subscribe), that I have too many subscribers now to ship them all out in one day.... I get so embarrassed walking into the Post Office and putting 21 packages on the counter, while everyone that was in line behind me gets frustrated that I've basically just tied up the one representative for at least 20 minutes... So, until I find an economic way to ship from home, I will be separating y'all's earring-of-the-month shipments into 3 separate days... I'm sorry!

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We are doing the backsplash in the kitchen ourselves this weekend, but after that, we are finally trying out new churches next Sunday!!  I'm very excited about that!!  We are starting at the church that our friends here attend!!  I'm really itching to get into a new church family and to be involved again!!  Pray for us that we find the right one and that we will have something to offer to whatever church we end up at!!  We worked with the Middle Schoolers at our church home in Lexington, and though I'd probably like to try something different this time around, I pray that my heart is willing to be placed wherever there is a need!!

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So, this photoshoot was the first one that Blake and I have had in our new hometown!  And really, I think its the most fun we've ever had doing photography together!!  

I was looking so forward to shooting this particular outfit!!  Its the type of outfit I've wanted to rock for years!!  But up until 3 weeks ago, I never owned a leather jacket!!  I've wanted one for as long as I could remember... And thanks to Tobi.com I now have one!!  This Leather Moto Jacket is the most perfect accessory for anything Fall!  Literally, you could wear it with anything!  You could pair this, or any leather jacket, with a purposefully edgy look with ripped jeans and boots, a pencil skirt and heels for work, or a lace dress and pearls for date night... They are truly so versatile, and give a little extra personality to any look!!  Y'all know how girly I am, and having a leather jacket has been a dream of mine for a while!!  So, that should be testimony enough to tell you that you need one too!!  Thank you Tobi, for making this girl's dreams come true!!!  P.S. it runs a little small... I'm wearing a medium here.

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And y'all, this DRESS!!  I purchased it 2 weeks ago once I found out Tobi sent me the leather jacket!  One of my favorite blogger/boutique owners Amelia Styles had it in her shop, and I knew I had to have it to pair with this jacket and booties!!  The shade of pink is perfect, and the flirty peplum provides the right balance to the edgy leather moto!  I'm always impressed by Amelia's style on her blog, and everything she has in her SHOP is fantastic... She's definitely someone I look up to and want to be as successful as!!  Please check her out, you won't regret it!!  P.S. This dress was not part of a collaboration with Amelia Styles, so I don't have a promo code for her shop, but all of her prices are very reasonable anyway!  I just wanted y'all to know about her and her shop!!

I hope y'all rock an edgy/feminine outfit this week ;)  Until next time friends...

XOXO

- Rachel

This leather jacket was provided to me by Tobi.com, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Why I love Weddings

As Blake and I have been settling into the new house, it hit me the other day that we have 6 wedding invitations & save the dates to decorate our new refrigerator (3 weddings this Fall & 3 weddings, thus far, for Spring!)  

I love going to weddings!  And it makes me so happy to be invited to each new one!!  

As I sit and listen to newlyweds make their vows to each other, it always reminds me of the vow I made to Blake and God on our wedding day!  And, I must admit, sometimes those reminders come at just a right time!!  A lot of times I'm convicted: sitting there in my best dress, usually holding the hand of the man I love, realizing that I haven't been the wife I should be, lately... Haven't really been the wife I promised to be!  Weddings make me a better person!!  And then, weddings give Blake and I the opportunity to hit the dance floor and make so many wonderful memories doing something we love to do together!!  I. LOVE. WEDDINGS!

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We recently went to a wedding of a very young couple we've watched grow throughout their relationship with each other... We knew them before they even started dating, and now we've witnessed them get married!!  And after thinking back on their night over the last 2 weeks, I think it was probably the best wedding I've ever been to!!  Not because the food was good, or the music was good, or even the ceremony itself was good (though they all were), but because of the love that the couple showed for each other!!  Do you know anyone like that?  A couple whose love for each other exudes every wonderful thing a marriage is supposed to be!?  Watching those 2 love each other was such a blessing in my life that week!!

As a girl who has grown up in a Christian home, and who deeply desires to follow the Lord's will in her life everyday, I am well aware of why marriage was created and what its supposed to represent!   Wives are to love their husbands as the Church loves Christ, and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church.  Impossible standards for any sinner to meet alone, but wonderful goals for any redeemed sinner to aim towards!!

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Weddings always seem to renew my desire to be the woman I stood in front of a church full of almost 200 people and promised to be... To cherish, forgive, serve, put before anyone else, take care of, and most of all LOVE Blake Furtick for the rest of forever!  For those of you who aren't yet married, its so much easier said than done, but is so worth the effort!!!

The couple at the wedding we just attended seem to do it all so well, and from such an young age!!  And I think that's simply because they put the Lord first in their lives, and in their relationship!!  As an audience, we all sang a worship song at the end of their ceremony because they wanted nothing more than for the first thing they did as a married couple to be worshiping their Lord and Savor!!!

I know what you're thinking...  But believe me, it wasn't just for show!!  This was the most simple ceremony and reception I've ever been to... One that was completely void of the typical pomp & circumstance that's stereotypical of a Southern wedding.  And because it was simple, there was more room for JOY!  Everything they said and did was 100% authentic and genuine, and full of LOVE!  Love for each other, and for God!!  It was such a beautiful evening, and I'm a better person because of it!!!

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The wedding was the Saturday before Hurricane Irma hit South Carolina on the following Monday.... It was actually a pretty chilly evening because of all the wind...  Not too cold, but not typical SC Summer weather either, giving me the perfect temperatures to test out this LOVELY dress from Tobi.com.  It was so fitting for such a perfectly LOVELY evening!!  It has a romantic cut, with a backless detail!  And is actually called "In Love Halter Maxi Dress"!!  It was too perfect for Fall wedding attire that I just couldn't pass it up!!!  The slit is high, so I had to be careful with the heavy winds that night, but since that was atypical weather, I don't see why this dress wouldn't be the most perfect Fall and Spring wedding-attending dress ever!!  Not to mention the fact that EVERY lady at the wedding except for the bride, the coordinator, and one other female were all wearing blue!  I usually pay more attention to trending outfit STYLES than COLORS, but seriously y'all, it wasn't something I could stop myself from noticing...  So keep it mind, that if you're attending a wedding this season, apparently BLUE is the color you need to wear!!  Which makes THIS periwinkle maxi dress all the more perfect, because its in the blue family, but different enough that you won't be wearing the exact same shade as everyone else, but will still be wearing the IT color for Fall wedding attendees!! 

I paired it with a metallic gold shoe, and NO HANDBAG!  Not carrying a purse is absolutely outside of my character, but ever since moving, and having my purse constantly stuffed with Home Depot receipts (from the renovations) and whatever junk I needed up until the last minute of walking out of our last house (so I just stuffed it in my purse), I don't carry my purse anymore...  I usually hand Blake my phone to keep in his pocket, and I avoid carrying my purse as often as I can!!  I don't know if its just because I don't want to clean it out or if its a personality change, but I'm just so sick of carrying it!!  I'll keep you update ;)

Now, Blake and I have a more formal wedding coming up in October!  Its at a fancier venue and is later in the evening!  Which means we get to dress up a little more!!!  So, for that wedding, I got this scandalessly low-cut dress from Tobi as well:

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I'm not 100% sure that I can even pull it off, but since Tobi was willing to collaborate with me on Fall wedding attire, I liked the idea of getting to try it!!  It may be more appropriate on someone with smaller boobs LOL, but I love it!!  However, they may be some body tape in our future together :)

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My advice on wearing this Backless Little Black Dress to a Fall/Winter/formal wedding would be to get one of those super trendy faux fur wraps to put around your shoulders later on in the evening!!  I don't have one yet, but plan to get one before that particular wedding!!  So excited!!!

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I hope the next time you go to a wedding, you really listen to what it is the officiant and the bride & groom are saying!  If you're married, the things you promised your spouse all those years ago are the same things that the newlyweds are promising to one another, and its good to remember that you DID ONCE PROMISE the same things!  Whether your marriage is doing amazingly well, or you're in a bit of a rocky spot, a little reminder to LOVE through any and all circumstances could never be a bad thing!!!  Until next time...

XOXO

- Rachel

These 2 dresses were provided to me by Tobi.com, but all photos, thoughts, and opinions are my own!

How to Wear Camo

Hey Babes,

I've missed writing for y'all so much!!  I can't even believe its been 3 weeks since I've written a blog post!!  I hope getting my email in your inbox made you subscribers smile.... Because I know it will make me smile when MailChimp tells me it has officially SENT!!!  I still get a rush of adrenaline and butterflies every time one goes out :)

I'm sorry that I've been so absent!  Especially because last month brought on such a HUGE amount of growth for A Demure Life!!  I wish I had been able to write more for all of my loyal and new readers and followers during this move, but as pure as my intentions to do so were, no one prepared us for how hard the move, the renovation, and the transition were going to be...  I wanted to write, but when EVERYTHING in your new house ends up requiring a minimum of 3 coats of paint, your plans sort of change...  A side note of explanation: the house was previously owned by smokers, and the nicotine and smoke had imbed themselves into every surface and just bled through each new coat of paint... So every surface had to be KILTZed and then painted several times... In the living room, the ceiling had to have a total of 6 coats of various amounts of KILTZ and paint on it before it actually looked white...  And since usually 2 coats would suffice, it literally took us an entire week longer to paint this house than we anticipated!!!  Which then set everything else back 7 days... Its been a total headache, but its coming along...  And that's the main reason I've been away from my computer for so long...  I get up every morning, and I PAINT!

But now that the painting is almost done, I have more time to spend working on blogging things!! There aren't even enough positive words in the English language to explain how happy it makes me to be able to spend the days until my Real Estate classes begin blogging and boutiquing!!  Needless to say, my heart is content!!!  And this "full-time fashionista" status was bestowed upon me in the nick-of-time too... For the FIRST DAY OF FALL - the #1 season for Fashion!!!  Plus, I've gotten the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone a little, and am sharing something with y'all that I've never done before!!

WORN. CAMO.  The camo trend for Fall has been blowing up all of my fashion newsletters that I get, and I've been seeing so many beautiful blogger ladies rocking it so well in their own lives, that I was inspired to talk about it as my FIRST topic of discussion back from my moving hiatus!!  

I must be honest... Not only have I never worn camo before, but I've never really even been a fan of camo at all...  Growing up in a "red-neck" town, Lexington, SC (literally, our sports rivals call us "Red-nexington"), where the majority of people owned at least one item of camo, and we had camo themed days at school, I was never into it.  I was actually completely opposed to it because of the stereotype associated with it... There I was in high school, with this hidden fashionista inside of an awkward, teacher's pet personality, in this small town where people stereotyped us as red-necks, hating camo because I didn't want to be placed into that stereotype, but didn't even know that's why I hated it until just now, typing this out....

And up until this Summer I would have still told you that I HATED CAMO!!  But, by a happy surprise, the fashion powers-at-be decided that camo was going to make a world-wide statement this Fall, and finally gave us fashion-lovers some camo options that we could be proud of!!!  And that my friends, deserves a 1000+ word blog post covering how you too can wear, and actually love, camo this Fall season!!  

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Back in July, I had a long, back-and-forth discussion with a J Crew sales associate about how I could never rock camo...  I was SO on the fence about it, and tried it on 3 different times before committing, but I ending up purchasing this camo sweater from J Crew... Its a very thin sweater for our slow, Southern transition into Fall temperatures, but could also be layered with a fantastic leather jacket further on into the year!!  I really wanted to try camo and give it the chance to work for myself, and for all of you ladies that don't currently love it!  And even for those of you that do already have a piece or two in your closet, I wanted the opportunity to help you find the right ways to incorporate them into your day-to-day wardrobe!!  In the end, I was so pleased that I decided I wasn't going to let the whole world get in on this new trend without me...  I'm learning that camo is no longer something that places you into a certain stereotype!!  It's actually a very popular style right now, and luckily for us, there are going to be more and more feminine, fashionable options to come!!  I'm surprised to say it, but everyone is going to need at least one item this year!  So here are some options:

1. A Top

Like my J Crew Camo Sweater, wearing your camo piece as the top portion of your outfit provides these style benefits: 1. You can add a white buttondown under it to make it more preppy (maybe my favorite option, and probably something I would have done if I hadn't shot this outfit in July)!  2. You can add a layering piece on top of it to subdue the boldness of the print if you're still not completely comfortable with it (a cardigan, or a leather jacket as I mentioned before)!  And 3. You can change up the bottom half of the outfit to give you the look you're going for... Leggings for a less put together look, ripped jeans (as I did) for a little more personality, or even white denim for a look that's not so dark, or heck, for those of you that like a bold feminine look, tuck it into a skirt (to mimic the aesthetic of a leather and lace combo... pair the more "masculine" camo pattern with a very feminine tulle skirt... LOVE LOVE LOVE)!!

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2. A Dress

I've been working with a company called Tobi for a little while now, putting together a little collaboration for you all, and they have the cutest Camo Dress that I've been dreaming about for a while!!  It isn't an item that they ended up sending me, but I still can't stop thinking about it:

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The more I see it, the more I'm dying to have it... Your style options with a camo print dress may be more limited because its your entire outfit, but I love the idea of this casual camo t-shirt dress with a leather moto jacket and converse for later in Fall!!  Oh my goodness, YES!!  Or with a white denim jacket and everyone's favorite wedges from Summer, now!  Or what about with a peacoat and over-the-knee boots farther into Winter!?  (Heart Eyes for sure)  Thinking about these outfits is giving me all the FEELS!!  Because you can't beat all these dreamy Fall look options for only $32!!

3. A Jacket

Another blogger, who's outfits I love, has recently styled a Camo Utility Jacket so well that I had to ask her permission to use her photo for this post!!  Bailey, with Sequins & Seams, mixed the camo pattern with a subtle black and white stripe!  I'm never good at mixing patterns because its a little outside of my type-A comfortzone, but this is a look that I'd like to remake for myself in the future!  

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The benefits of wearing your camo piece as an outer layer are ENDLESS!!  Not to mention, the popularity of the "utility jacket" greatly surpasses that of camo print anyway!  So to put both trends in one piece is the most brilliant idea ever!!!  I LOVE IT!!  Wearing camo this way allows you to: 1. Remove it if you need to... You aren't committed to the piece all day!  2. Mix and match it with items already in your closet with ease!  3. It's just flat out more wearable as a layering piece!  4. Camo is more of a colder- month pattern anyway, so I think its just so fitting to have the pattern be on a cold month clothing article!

I'd like to add to the end of these 3 DOs for Camo styling, a DON'T...  I'm trying to channel my inner Stacey London when I say: please be careful wearing camo on your bottom half... Having such a bold pattern on your leggings, joggers, or jeans will not work for all body types...  If you are toothpick thin, then go for it, but its something that will draw people's attention, and isn't necessarily something you would want to wear on your bottom... At least I know I wouldn't!!  My thighs and tush are the widest part of my body and I know that wearing a bold pattern on them would accentuate that... So, if you're like me, I would advise that stepping into the camo trend should be kept to tops, dresses, and jackets :)

So, now that you know that camo is a MUST-HAVE for this Fall, I hope that my 3 DOs of styling the camo trend are helpful to you!!  Please, if you have camo pieces that you love, please style them and send me pics...  At this early stage in my new found acceptance of camo, I really could use just as much inspiration as you could!!  And as I acquire more pieces or find inspiration, I promise to share them with you as well!!!  I've even created a Pinterest Board specifically for this purpose: How to Wear the New CAMO Trend so follow along there :)

For those of you that are A Demure Life subscribers, I have "before" pictures of our new house up on the "Subscribers Only" section of the blog!!  And I hope to have some good "after" pictures once all the painting, kitchen construction, and unpacking is complete!!!  But go check them out in the mean-time, or subscribe now to get the password with Wednesday night's email :)

Let me know your camo thoughts in the comments!

XOXO

- Rachel

 

Perfect for Fall

Hey Ladies,

I know I've said it before, and I know I'll say it a 13598613 more times before November, but I'm so ready for Fall!!  Plain. And. Simple!!  I'm sick of the hot.  Fall fashion is just FLAT. OUT. BETTER.  Its T-minus 9 days until all things pumpkin spice fill drink menus and the grocery store shelves.  I'm sick of the hot.  Boots are the most comfortable shoes ever!  The colors of the changing leaves are so beautiful.  And I'm so sick of the hot!!  

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This week I've started packing for our move...  The first thing I said to Blake was, "I'll start with our winter clothes, there's no way we'll need them in the next month..."  My train of thought after that was: "That makes me so sad," then, "I wish we were the type of people that packed away our Winter clothes in the Summer and our Summer clothes in the Winter," and then, I rationalized with myself about how that wouldn't work for us, specifically because of how many of our Summer clothes are utilized as layering pieces to our Fall and Winter wardrobes!!

That led me to visualize like every Winter outfit I could possibly wear with my new Summer pieces and THIS ONE was my favorite!!  I immediately knew I had to capture some photos and tell you why this look just WORKS!!

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The reasons I chose this tank as the featured item:

1) The pattern of the shirt isn't floral, so that's an automatic plus for season transitions!

2) Its lined on the inside, adding a little bit of thickness to the already double layered peplum!

3) It has a very structured silhouette, something that's characteristic of Winter styles, as opposed to the very loose and flowy Summer styles.

4) The color is neutral, allowing it to be easily paired with the darker colors associated with the colder months!

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Note: Even if this particular top isn't exactly your style, or is out of your price range, these are still applicable guidelines you can use when out shopping for yourself!

For Summer, you could wear this tank however you would like: casually with some nude flats, or jazzed up with a pop-of-color heel!  But for Fall/Winter, it will serve a very specific role: the bottom layer!! :)

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Here, I've paired it with one of my favorite sweaters!!  Honestly, any sweater that's fluffy, oversized, cozy, slouchy, comfy, etc. is my kind of sweater!!!  The "coziness" of this sweater adds a fairly casual feel to this outfit.  You might like the look of a slightly thinner sweater better, but you won't find any of those in my closet LOL!!  Then, I added the ripped jeans and booties to continue the casual theme.  

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Just pair the ensemble with your favorite Fall/Winter bag and you're golden!!  This look would even be great with a preppy cardigan or blazer for a more polished look!!  And the best part about this outfit is that this amazingly versatile top is on sale right now for $59.99 HERE!  

Notes to take shopping:

1) Look for Summer tops that are neutral or have patterns that aren't too season-specific!

2) Maybe try to find a something with a little more shape/structure to serve as a good under-layer!

3) Think about what sweaters/cardigans/blazers are in your Winter wardrobe while you plan to purchase Summer basics!

4) These tips will work for dresses and pants too, though I might would go with other colors for those - both navy and gray are good colors for both Summer and Fall/Winter.

I hope transitioning comes a little easier for you this year with the help of this one, simple outfit idea!  I also hope to have plenty more for you as the cooler months get closer and closer!!

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Have a wonderful rest of your week, and I'll see you back here on Saturday evening for my first makeup collaboration blog post!!!  Get excited to hear all about my experience with, and thoughts on LipSense!!

Love you all!!

- Rachel

So Ready for Fall

Hey Babes,

I don't know about y'all, but I'm about over all this hot weather, and the afternoon showers that come with it!  I've really been daydreaming about what this next season will bring for us... Both literally and figuratively.  Fall is my absolute most favorite season, and Blake and I are getting to enjoy it somewhere a little different this year!  If you're a subscriber, you've already gotten all the dirty details on this, and the rest of you will find out more and more with every blog post I'm sure!!  

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In this post in particular, I'm sharing some of the woes of property management and why this past week and weekend have been so difficult for us... Our first renter moved out of our rental property on Monday of last week... And we learned that she absolutely trashed the place!!  It took Blake and I over 22 hours total to repair all the damage and repaint every single surface in that house, and it took a cleaning lady another 10 hours to clean up all of her mess!!  After 3 days of working on that every evening/night after work, it was finally Thursday... The day we were leaving for Atlanta to check out a car Blake wanted to buy and to spend some time at the apparel market!  Then, once we returned home on Saturday, we immediately began helping my parents with their new flip house, worked all weekend, and then began the workweek again on Monday...  I'M. SO. TIRED!!  

But... Such is life!  Its the life of a property manager... Its a life we've asked for, and a life we still think we want...  It's just a bit of added stress right now, but thankfully it is temporary!!  But it did required a little retail therapy LOL!

Shopping for Fall makes ANYTHING better, I promise ;)  You can believe me because I've done plenty of it!!  This monochromatic look is the first of many Fall outfits that I want to share with you!! I especially wanted to introduce this fabulous top to you before you started your Fall shopping!! I think this short-sleeved, white eyelet-front, blush sweater-backed sweater would be a perfect Summer to Fall transition piece for your closet!!  I especially love it styled in this dressier, all neutrals outfit!!  But I also like it dressed down with denim shorts and ballerina flats. :)

The extra small fit me, but I bought the small instead.  I liked the way the sweater material on the arms fit a little looser with the small... So, just note that when picking out the size you want, the sweater fits a little boxy everywhere but the arms... Buy the size based on how you want it to fit your arms!  I'll provide the links to where you can find the items in my entire look below the next picture:

Outfit Details:

Pants - HERE ($98)

Top - HERE ($69.50)

Heels - HERE ($99)

Bag (similar, but one I've also owned) - HERE ($175)

And if you'd like to get yourself a Starbucks drink (or 2) on me, just head HERE and answer a few questions for me!! The winner will be announced on Sunday, August 13th via email*

XOXO

- Rachel

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