J Crew

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

*By providing your email, you will be subscribing to this blog's post updates!

A New Milestone

Tomorrow marks my official 6 months of blogging!!  That means, 6 months ago this evening I was sitting in my office wondering how I was going to do this thing!  While my dear husband was researching and price comparing cameras, I was deciding on a name and prepping my first few posts!!  It was a very crazy time!!  Demure had just started to take off, it was the last day I guaranteed orders to arrive by Christmas Day, and I was crazy busy!!  But for some unknown reason, I wanted more...  I was tired of other bloggers not giving their ALL when promoting Demure, and I knew that I could do better, be different!!  I was a small business owner myself, and I felt like I knew how to best serve all the small businesses out there!!!  And the truth is, Demure's merchandise is not the only clothing I like.... I love it all!!  So, I want to talk about it all!!!

I call this piece of art "Balancing Act" **in a very serious voice**  HAHAHAAA Sometimes I make Blake's job very hard!! :)

I call this piece of art "Balancing Act" **in a very serious voice**  HAHAHAAA Sometimes I make Blake's job very hard!! :)

I had been thinking on a name for about a month at that point... You know, people ask me all the time why "A Demure Life"?  And I can't even believe I haven't shared that, out loud, to all of you as a whole yet...  For those of you that don't know (well, the first paragraph hinted at it) I have a boutique called "Demure"!  Its my 3-year-old baby, that I've put A LOT of time and money into!!  Blake came up with the name for my store, and I love it so much!!! I also happen to have a rental property company called "Demure Properties"...

So, essentially... This IS my Demure life!!  But, *MY* Demure Life sounded somewhat snotty and awful!!  So I went with *A* Demure Life!!  

When I think about all my businesses being named the same way, it makes me laugh because it gives me some sort of small hope that I might one day be as successful as Joanna Gaines: She has Magnolia Market, Magnolia Farms, Magnolia Reality, Magnolia Journal, etc!  She's built an empire, and one day I will too!!! ;)  Wish me luck in all my crazy dreams and aspirations LOL!  

So here's the details of my look!  These linen pants are FANTASTIC!!  I told you all about the white pair I also bought while Blake and I were at the beach, on Saturday's blog post!  I bought a size 6 in the white, because, well, they're white (I'm sure all you ladies understand)!  But I bought these patterned cuties in my usual size 4!  They are linen, so they do wrinkle, but I think thats the best part about this fun pattern.... You totally CAN NOT tell!!!  They also have a great draw string waste, and cute cuff detail at the bottom hem!  I am 5' 7" and this is the length they are on me with just the 1 cuff they come with!  And you can find them HERE for the fantastic price of $64.50!  I don't know how many of you have purchased quality linen pants in the past, but these are a good deal (just in case you missed that from Sayurday night's blog post)!

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This exact top is from 2 years ago so it has sold out, but the one HERE ($28) is very similar, the one HERE is very preppy (nice and collared like I like), and this one HERE is the one I wish I had to wear with these pants, and is only $24.99!!!! OMGeeee

These wedges are my favorites for the Summer!  If you follow me on any form of Social Media, you are probably sick of seeing them by now!!  But they have just been restocked in all sizes, and now come in 2 more colors than before!!!  Find them for just $59.95 HERE!

This awesome Cleopatra-style, gold, bib necklace is from my own shop, and there is ONLY 1 LEFT!!  So hurry and grab it for yourself if its something you want!!  Get it HERE for just $18!

That's it for tonight ladies!  I hope you all liked this casual, everyday look at much as I do!!  Feel free to drop me a comment of what you'd like to see more of!!  And thank you all from the bottom of my heart, for coming along with me on this journey for as long as you have!!  I hope we make it another successful 6 months together!!  Can't wait to see where we are in December!!  

Love you all, XOXO

- Rachel

Vacation Style

Hey Ladies!

I've missed writing for you over the past 2 weeks!! 

Don't get me wrong, the little hiatus Blake and I took to go on vacation and celebrate his birthday (3 weeks late) was much needed and thoroughly enjoyed!!  But I'm so glad to be back and hoary to get back into the swing of things!!

I hope you're having a fabulous start to your Summer too :)  Do you have a beach vacation planned as well!?  Have you done your vacation outfit shopping yet!?  If not, you're gonna want to take out a pin and paper, or get your online-shopping finger ready to click, because I'm about to show you some FABULOUS Summer outfits!! 

1. The Perfect Floral Maxi

This one is my #1 favorite!  Obviously I love it, because I chose to carry it in my own shop!!  The Carly Dress can be found HERE for only $45!!  Its so soft, has the perfect floral print, and HAS POCKETS!!!  

Unfortunately, I only have 2 Larges left though... I would say that the large fits a size 6, 8, or 10 based on chest size!!  Its a babydoll cut, so its only fitted in the chest, and the rest of it is loose and flowy no matter what size you get!  I wear it all the time myself, and its definitely a smart buy!!

 

2. Pineapple Shorts

These babies are making me feel like I should change the theme of my blog...  

I typically HATE shorts... My legs are particularly white, 1 of my knees is messed up from a biking accident, and I'm starting to get varicose veins... So, even at only 26 years old, I generally HATE SHORTS!!  But this Summer has somehow been completely different!!  

Since I don't particularly like my legs, I search SO HARD to find shorts that are so amazing my legs won't even be noticed!!  If I'm going to wear shorts, they better be freaking awesome!!!  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've probably noticed that I've actually been on a shorts kick recently... I've been stumbling onto SO MANY great pair!!  And people have even started to comment that I "always have the cutest shorts!"  It didn't really occur to me until after the second person said it, but I have to agree with them LOL!!  If I'm going to put myself out into the world of social media with a pair of shorts on, then you better believe they are WORTH IT!!

My favorite pair thus far this Summer are these J Crew Linen Pineapple Shorts!!  You can find them HERE for a staggering $98.  But before you panic, J Crew is doing a 25% off sales June 17-19th and if you watch my Instagram Stories, I'll let you know when they go on sale again!  And the top I paired with them can be found HERE for only $29.50! 

I mean, just look at that cute bow people!!  And just in case you are worried about the length, its perfect!!  Not too long and not too short - a perfect 3.5" inseam!!!

 

3. Floppy Hats

Big floppy straw hats have been trending for about 3 years now!  I carry CUSTOM monogrammed hats in my shop for $50, which you can order HERE!  

But I'm also really into the ones that say cute things like "Do Not Disturb," or "Find Me in the Sun"!  All of which would cost me too much to make, so I've linked some really great, inexpensive ones below!!  

The bottom line is, if you want to be a trendy female with all the cutest beachwear out on the sand this year, you need a big floppy hat, I promise!

 

4. A Super Cute Bathing Suit

My favorite one from this year's beach trip was provided to me by Lauren James - the cutest, preppiest, most perfect Southern fashion boutique EVER!!  It has a really dainty floral pattern, and an adorable peplum!!  You can find each piece here: TOP & BOTTOM 

I'm wearing both in Medium here, for size reference!!  The top has underwire with full boob support!!  I wore it strapless, though it does come with a strap if going strapless is uncomfortable for you!!  The bottoms provide full butt coverage, and have mesh instead of traditional bathing suit material on the sides so that they're not too tight where some of use girls hold a little extra cushion (A.K.A. Love Handles LOL)!!  And y'all, even if this bathing suit isn't one that suits your style, please at least go to their website and check it out, because they featured me on the page for the bating suit top!!!  What an honor!!  Thank you Lauren James!!!

 

5. White Linen Pants

I actually found these beauties while we were at the beach!!  The weather was SOOOOO cold the first day that Blake and I had to go buy some warmer clothes to survive since we only brought, you know, shorts and tanks for a freaking BEACH VACATION!!!  So where did we go!?  THE OUTLETS!!!  J Crew factory first, of course!!

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These white linen pants are only $59.50 and you can find them HERE!  J Crew Factory constantly does sales as well, so again, if you watch my Instagram Stories, I will let you know the next time they do!!  As far as sizing goes for these, I do want to point out that I bought these pants in another color in a size 4, but I went up to a size 6 in the white just because they are white!  I feel like the bigger size made them look better!  I just wanted you to know that!!  The hat is from my shop (link above) and the top can be found HERE!  P.S. THIS is the other color I bought just in case you were curious!!

 

6. A Cute Sun Dress

I shared all the specifics about this dress the week before we left for the beach, but I had actually purchased it specifically for our vacation!  This cute lightweight linen J Crew dress was perfect for the one fancy dinner we always go to when we are down there (Greg Norman's - you should go the next time you're in North Myrtle)!!  Check out my last blog post HERE if you want more specific details about this outfit!  But for now I'll just share the links: DRESS, CLUTCH, BANGLE, & SHOES

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I'm actually giving 1 lucky winner one of these clutches & a necklace this weekend!!  Head over to my Instagram or click HERE to enter!

I'm ashamed to say that I think shopping for and during a vacation is the absolute best part, but really, y'all probably already knew that about me *smirks and thinks "I should just end the post on that note" LOL*  I know the pineapple shorts are a little expensive, but a few of the items (floral maxi, sloppy hat, linen pants) are at the best price points you would be able to find!!  And really, the point of the pineapple shorts is the super cute pattern!  Use those as a visual example of what you should look for when you go shopping for your vacation attire!!  But seriously, don't miss out on those J Crew quality linen pants for under $60!!  Everyone needs a pair of white linen pants!!

I hope y'all enjoy your Summer vaca wardrobe as much as I loved mine!!

XOXO

-Rachel

The bathing suit was given to me free of charge from Lauren James, but all thoughts, opinions, and information are my own!!

NEW J Crew Dress

Y'all, I have a SUPER short & sweet post for you this Wednesday night!!  I have a lot going on this week, so I didn't have time to sit down for too long to write, plus I think this piece speaks for itself:

This is my first J Crew dress ever!!  As obsessed as I am with the company, and as often as I incorporate them into my outfits, I know that must come as a complete shock for you... But its true!!

Honestly, J Crew tailors their dresses (literally) for those of us that don't have booties or boobs, so they, more often than not, just don't fit me right, for obvious reasons...  But this dress is really fantastic!!

Its shift style cut doesn't hug too much in all the wrong places, and I was even able to go down to a size 2 (I usually wear size 4 there)!  It has a great tie at that top that forms a cute key-hole at the neckline!  The color is great!  AND best of all, the price point is STELLAR for J Crew!!  Its only $88 and you can get it HERE!  And also, to achieve the same look, my exact wedges are HERE, my clutch is HERE, and my bangle is HERE :)

Happy Humpday Babes!!

XOXO

- Rachel