Touring the Nathaniel Russell House

Forever 21 maxi dress
Sam Edelaman sandals
Forever 21 earrings
Macy’s cuff
J.Crew men’s shirt
Coach purse

Touring the historical homes in Charleston is always a highlight of the trip every year. The Nathaniel Russell House is extremely impressive with its free-flying staircase. To tour the grand old southern houses, I feel like you have to do it in grand style or at least something close. A flowy dress like this one from Forever 21 is perfect because the old houses don’t always have the most modern air conditioning (if at all). Many do, however, have porches built onto the side of the house instead of the front to best take advantage of the cool air provided by the wind. Sitting on the big porch of an old southern home, sweet tea in hand is where I most want to be.

Dinner at Anson

J.Crew dress and purse
Scarf from Granada, Spain (gift from a friend)
Nine West sandals
Forever 21 earrings
Vintage bangles
I probably created this outfit more from my obsession with this scarf than from the dress itself or anything else. To venture outside of Charleston for the moment, my friend just recently traveled to Spain where she got me this gorgeous scarf. It is the only scarf I would dare wearing in the Southern heat because it is so light weight. When thinking of what to wear with it, I immediately pictured this dark navy blue dress. For beauty, I have been obsessed with Viva la Juicy. As far as nail polish goes, a coral orange is perfect for Charleston, and Essie’s Braziliant is one of my favorite variations of this summery color. I couldn’t think of anything better to compliment the shrimp and grits I will most likely be ordering.

Eating Peel your own Shrimp and Playing Pitch

Ralph Lauren stripe shirt (gift)
J.Crew Outlet shorts ($25)
Playing cards
Target loafers
A striped shirt at the beach is a must. At this point, a striped shirt is a must everywhere; however, at the beach it just looks right. I picked up these pastel shorts at the J.Crew Outlet recently knowing they would look good with summer brights and patterns but could also add that extra panache to a plain white shirt. Whether the temps are heating up or you were just dealt the Jack, Ace, Two, you will be glad you brought a pair of shorts with you when in Charleston.

Reading a good book on the Isle of Palms

For the week I will be in Charleston, SC. Here are some places to go and some outfits to wear. 

J.Crew tunic
Forever 21 hat
Old Navy espadrilles
Jack Wills Bag
Boyfriend’s Timex watch
Ray Bans Wayfarers
H&M bikini
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

As a very fair-skinned lady, it is my M.O. when in Charleston to hide from the sun. Therefore, when I am getting extremely absorbed in a good book while sitting on the beach I take care to have a hat on so as not to burn the very tops of my ears and scalp (it will happen if I’m not careful). And just in case I do burn my shoulders (it happens every year), it is essential to have some long-sleeve cover-ups. This one is perfect because it is a light-weight chambray that covers the right places.

And just because it seems to follow such a cohesive theme of French people and places, I thought I would share with you part of my beach reading list:

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
The Paris Wife by Paula McClain
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas

Flight to Charleston

NY&Co. dress (purchased on sale)
H&M blazer (gifted from friend)
Worthington via JC Penny’s pearl earrings
Charming Charlie sandals (gifted from my aunt)
J.Crew necklace
Jack Wills bag
When I fly I like to dress up. Who’s surprised? I’m just not the airport sweatpants kind of gal. It’s not about the age-old argument, “People used to dress up when flying”. It’s just that it’s quite easy to look good and still be comfortable. I am much more comfortable in a dress than jeans or pants. The white blazer not only adds a nice summer touch and compliments the gold jewelry, but it will also manage any climate control issues once on board. A big bag that holds more is just logical when flying. The flip flops slip on and off easily through security. And a good book is a must. I will be finishing Freedom by Jonathan Franzen before starting my beach reading list. Once I arrive, this outfit is appropriate for any occasion whether that is walking the battery or eating lunch at Magnolias. What do you wear when you fly?

Cleveland Designer Spotlight: Michele Lee

Having tried on Michele Lee’s jewelry for the Crocs photo shoot, I can honestly say how impressed I am with her designs. She mixes new and vintage materials to create great show-stopping statement pieces as well as some more subtle, delicate pieces. Whether it is the sparkly Swarovski crystals she uses in her cool wrap bracelets or a piece of vintage crystal used as a pendant, there is always something attention-getting and interesting about her designs.

If you were interested in any of the jewelry you saw in the shoot, then today is your lucky day! Michele is offering readers of the Cosmopolitan Clevelander 10% off when they mention my blog. To contact Michele and see her complete selection of fabulous jewelry, go to her Facebook page or email her at

Even better, you can try her jewelry out in person at the Tremont Art Walk August 12. She will be showcasing her jewelry at Banyan Tree where you can put together a complete look using her jewelry.
Below are images and pricing of some of the pieces and more that were included in the Crocs shoot:

Necklaces: $40
Wrap Bracelets: triple $60, double $45, single $30
Swarovski Wrap Bracelets: triple $75, double $60, single $50
Elastic Bracelets: three $35, two $25, one $15
Wire Wrap Bracelets: $55
Earrings: $30
Rings: $28

Crocs and the Day-to-Night Outfit

Top: Banyan Tree
Crocs: Carlie Flat in Lavender/Ultraviolet
Jewelry: Michele Lee

This outfit can transition from a day date at the Art Museum to cocktails. From head to toe, I was able to compliment all of the colors of the blouse without overshadowing any particular piece. The light hue of the purple Crocs against the army green of the pants mimics the purple and green of the blouse. The purple wrap bracelets just add another interesting element and texture.

Top: Banyan Tree
Skirt: Banyan Tree
Crocs: Carlie Flat Animal Wave in Bronze/Bronze
Jewelry: Michele Lee

I immediately loved the vibrant red of this top. At first I thought of pairing it with jeans, but that seemed a little too expected. Pairing it with this maxi skirt really added the drama it begs for. The turquoise necklace was a natural choice to contrast the red. And because there were no crazy patterns elsewhere, I thought this would be a good opportunity to break out the leopard print Crocs. Although together the red and leopard print may seem cougar-esque, the black skirt safely separates them.

Model: Kristine Leonard
Hair Stylist: Sarrah Beyer – Esbi International Salon & Spa
Make-up Artist: Megan Swanson – Dior
Photographer: Chris Hooton