The Cutest Paperbag and Tie-Waist Shorts

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Paper bag shorts are that perfect mix of casual yet chic. Worn with a tucked in tank top, they can be dressed up with the perfect shoes and statement necklace. Paired with a jean jacket or crew neck sweater, they elevate the every day. I found this pair during my recent trip to Annapolis at a boutique called Lilac Bijoux. The light blue and white pinstripes mix just as nicely with neutrals as they do brights. Despite looking slightly dressier, they are surprisingly comfortable with their loose fit and stretchy waist band. I couldn’t find this exact pair online, but I’m linking to a bunch of other cute options below.

I wore this outfit while running errands Saturday morning and to meet the blogger behind Summer Wind, Sydney Carver. She was meeting followers at the Macy’s in the South Hills Village Mall in Pittsburgh. I was so glad I went because she is just as nice and genuine as she seems on the blog. Saturday night, I attended the Squirrel Hill Night Market, a free outdoor street festival featuring artists selling handmade wares. It was so fun! There was live music and a lot of good food trucks to choose from. I had the chicken and waffles from The Coop and they were incredibly indulgent and wonderful. This time of year is so much fun with all of the fairs and festivals. I look forward to it so much! Hope your week is going well so far!

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  1. Elodie Paperbag Pleated Shorts / 2. J.Crew Kaleidoscope Floral Tie-Waist Shorts / 3. J.Crew Seersucker Paperbag Short / 4. Loft Crochet Tie-Waist Shorts / 5. Loft Tie-Waist Linen Shorts / 6. Socialite Striped Paperbag Shorts / 7. Topshop Tie-Waist Linen Shorts

Striped Summer Espadrilles

Details: Soludos Striped Espadrille / Banana Republic Shirt Dress (On Poshmark, Similar Option)

I love these sandals! As soon as I saw them I knew I needed to have them. The stripe is perfect for summer. It can be paired with everything from crazy patterns and bright colors to this crisp, clean shirt dress. And the little bow ties had me at hello. Soludos has come out with a lot of really nice espadrilles for summer. Some are embroidered with cute phrases and others feature quirky designs like avocados or flamingos. A few Soludos Sandals are on sale as part of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. And as someone who is new to this brand, I can confidently report that they are very comfy! Have you bought any cute sandals this summer?

White Shirt Dress

Details: Banana Republic Dress (Similar) / Tommy Hilfiger Shoes / Gap Cardigan / Banyan Tree Necklace

There is something so clean and crisp about a white shirt dress. When you put it on you instantly feel put together. Now that its staying light out longer, I tend to stay up later trying to grasp every drop of daylight. That usually means I wake up later, which means my routine needs to be incredibly simple in the morning. This dress screams of summer simplicity, while still looking sophisticated. It’s also incredibly easy to accessorize. All it needs is a pop of color or two and works with any cardigan. I wore this to my cousin’s baby shower this weekend, and I can see this becoming a summer work staple.

H&M Romper

Details: H&M Romper (Similar) / Jack Rogers Sandals
I don’t know about you, but for me, the summer is filled with constant activity. In one day, I may need an outfit that’s just as appropriate for running errands as it is for meeting up with friends. And no matter what, it must be comfortable in the sweltering heat. Enter the romper. I found this one and a cobalt blue one just like it at H&M at the beginning of summer. I bought two because I knew they would be my go-tos. This romper proved it’s worth when I went to visit my friend in Arlington. It was great for brunch at Fig and Olive and stood strong as we walked through store after store in the D.C. heat. 
Another great purchase was this over the shoulder bag. I found it while shopping with my sister at Fells Point in Baltimore. She bought the same one in turquoise. It’s great when I don’t want to carry a heavy bag and only need a few things. It was a life saver during our trip to the American History Museum in D.C., which went from a two-hour trip to a four-hour saga. I never realized how big it is.  What are some of your summer go-tos?

Floral Print Romper

I found this great romper while rummaging through the racks at one of my favorite consignment shops in Squirrel Hill. After selling some clothes, the total for this romper with my store credit came to $6. Don’t you love when that happens!?! I think it’s the perfect style romper. Playful, but with the right touches of sophistication. This was exactly the outfit I wanted to wear for my 30th birthday celebration with friends. After all, isn’t that what every 30 year old is striving to be? A little wiser, but still able to have fun.

Necessary Clothing Romper via Avalon Exchange / CharmingCharlie Purse / J.Crew Factory Necklace / Tommy Hilfiger Shoes via T.J. Maxx

Summer Closet Swap with Raise

Do you need to swap out your closet for summer? Raise can help. It’s a marketplace for buying and selling discounted gift cards. It’s free to sign up and offers free shipping on the gift cards you buy. If you are selling a gift card, you choose the price. Raise accepts gift cards and merchandise credit from any brand or restaurant. What a genius idea! I can’t wait to try it!

When I swap out my closet from spring to summer, a simpler mind frame kicks in. It’s all about pieces that are functional and easy whether I need to dress for paddle boarding in the river or dinner and drinks. As soon as summer gets here, it feels like my schedule is nonstop so I look for pieces that are easy to throw on and that can make a statement on their own.

Read more about my summer closet after the jump…

Club Monaco Jumper
I love jumpers for the simple reason that they can be dressed up or down depending on the day. This Club Monaco jumper really takes it to the next level with it’s interesting cut and water color pattern. I feel like you could wear this with simple jewelry or no accessories at all and still look very put together.

Target Hat
My friend was wearing the cutest hat this past weekend. When I asked her where it was from she said Target. I went immediately to their website to see for myself. Here is where function meets fashion. If I can block my face and head from the sun and look cute doing it, I’m in. Best part is this hat looks good on and off the beach.

Land’s End Rash Guard
Water sports are always better with a rash guard. Whether you need to protect delicate skin from a boogie board or from the sun, you might as well look cute doing it. I went paddle boarding over the weekend and I luckily was able to borrow my friend’s rash guard. I wouldn’t mind owning this adorable polka dot one from Land’s End though! 

Charles David Shoes 
What’s not to love about these shoes? Cool cutouts, bright colors and woven heels. These just feel like summer. They are like a flashback to the summer I went to the Caribbean. Everyone should have a piece that makes them feel like they are some place else. 

Outfit Planning: Outdoor Events

I may be rushing things due to this unbelievable weather, but I can’t wait for summer and all of its rituals. With tickets already secured to see Girl Talk at an outside venue this year, I am already starting to think of everything from what I will wear to the libation of choice. Summer Shandy in a can. As far as my outfit, I have been inspired by style meccas like bonaroo and lolapalooza. Bold prints, woven sandals and fringe accessories are the uniform at these summer music fests. Where else are jorts are socially acceptable?

Target fringe bag 
Target sandals
Delia dress
Ray Ban Aviators
Peacock earrings

(Photos via We Heart It and On Sugar)

Crocs and the Everyday Summer Dress

Dress: Banyan Tree
Crocs: Adrina Flat in Aqua/Celery
Jewelry: Michele Lee

Everyone needs a couple of dresses for summer that can be dressed down or dressed up depending on the occasion. This particular dress has such interesting layering in the front that it can totally pass for something dressier. The navy color is classic and goes with anything. However, the light fabric keeps it casual enough for a little impromptu picnic on the beach. In fact there is a little bit of sheerness to it. The bright Crocs really pop against it, as do the blue and gold of the necklace.

Dress: Figwood via Banyan Tree

Crocs: Adrina Flat in Grapefruit/Oyster
Jewelry: Banyan Tree and Michele Lee

I love this look because it is the perfect example of how the translucent material of the Crocs can achieve a more subdued hue if paired with the right thing. This dress has some hidden pink tones that go well with the tangerine Crocs and orange necklace. Having tried on this dress, part of the Figwood collection, Banyan Tree’s in house line, I can vouch for the fact that it is extremely flattering and comfortable. It would be great to wear to a summer barbecue.

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

Crocs Translucent Collection

When Crocs first became a wardrobe staple in most households, I was not one of the hoards to go out and buy a pair. People would brag about how comfortable they were, but I was still more concerned with style than comfort. I have always loved dressing up, and my footwear needs have followed suit. So when I found out that Crocs was making fashionable shoes with their signature comfort-inducing materials, I was excited to try them out.

I first had the opportunity to see the Crocs Translucents line strutting down the runways at Fashion Week Cleveland. The collection complimented even the more fashion-forward looks.

When I was given the chance to style these shoes myself with clothes from Cleveland boutique, Banyan Tree, I was sold. The Crocs Translucents line paired well with even some of the dressier pieces I chose, which was the true test for me.

I will be posting the different looks I styled throughout the week. I hope you can draw some inspiration for your summer wardrobe.

This project was truly a collaborative effort. I could not have done it without the help of many people. Thank you to Crocs and Justinea Vidic, Banyan Tree, and Michele Lee for providing the clothing and jewelry for the shoot. Thanks to Kristine Leonard for helping me model the clothes, Sarrah Beyer of Esbi International Salon & Spa for styling our hair, Megan Swanson of Dior for doing our makeup, and Chris Hooton for photographing the shoot.

If there is anything you see and like, all of these people are talented Clevelanders that I can put you in touch with. Don’t hesitate to email me at cosmocleve@gmail.com.

Packing guide: Beach Vacation

I have seen a lot of people doing packing tutorials lately, and since I am currently on vacation, I thought I’d take a stab at it. Here are some examples of the clothes/accessories/shoes I will be bringing:

A variety of tops and skirts to be combined in various ways. It’s easy stress-free packing creating a variety of different outfits that can be re-worn and -assembled.
Outfit 1: Gap skirt; The Limited Tank; Banyan Tree necklace; Sam Edelman sandals; Etsy clutch; Ray Ban aviators
Outfit 2: Marshalls’ blouse; Urban Outfitters skirt

A going out dress. This was my investment piece from a couple of summers ago when I got one of my first official paychecks as a working college grad. It was something I saw, and knew I had to have. Luckily it went on sale right before I went on vacation. Can you say temptation?
J.Crew postcard dress

Shirt dresses/over sized shirts. I can’t think of a more comfortable but still stylish beach go-to. This one is originally from H&M that I bought at the thrift store. At this point last week, I had not had time to iron my outfits. So please bare with me.

J.Crew polo; Forever 21 shorts 
The beach uniform: polo shirt and pastel shorts. It’s not very creative, but who has time to think while on vacation. This goes along the lines of that boy scout motto: be prepared.

Cover ups. Once again a variety of colors and shapes to be paired with a variety of bikinis. I got this one at the thrift store and have no idea what the brand is. I just loved the stripes. Head scarfs/hats are essential especially when going down south. The sun is so penetrating that areas of my skin that have never burnt up north, including the tops of my ears/part line, get burnt.

Various jewelry and accessories. Not much thought was put into this mishmash.

I also just want to disclaim that even though this is roughly what I imagine myself packing when I go on vacation, an additional 10 outfits or so get thrown in, in a moment of indecision and loss of self control. Happy packing!