Hardworking, Detail Oriented

As much as I like to look at the big picture over all, everyone knows the devil’s in the deets. Even the most elementary of outfit formulas can be jazzed up with a key element or two – a little pattern play can spice up your go-to work outfit and a blazer and jeans are the perfect backdrop to some mixed metallics. I love taking something basic and elevating it with a tweak here and there. Take this outfit, for example – blouse and jeans, seems simple enough, right? What if I were to tell you that the reason it works is that all of the additional pieces are working together to tell a cohesive story? The braided detail on the clutch’s zipper pull mimics the weave and exaggerated pull on the shoes. The x ring also winks at that criss-cross pattern while creating triangles in the negative space that give a nod to the earrings. And the earrings? Well, they point directly to the cool pleated detail on the back of the blouse (which also happens to be reminiscent of the slashes on the shoes #nbd)

In fashion and life, teamwork makes the dream work, you guys. So even when you’re rocking something that seems pretty straightforward, don’t be afraid to add in a cool element (a scallop short here, a bunny rabbit there…) to keep it interesting.

pleated back blouse: LOFT

skinny jeans: American Eagle

woven peep-toe booties: Target

fold over clutch: Target (similar)

triangle dangles: Fashion Lane truck (similar)

rose gold x ring: Charming Charlie

tortoise shell sunglasses: Charming Charlie

initial E ring: Down by the Station boutique (similar)

What’s Inside: Bag Lady Edition

I’ve always admired girls who often switch out their purses to match their outfit. They just always seem SO put together, you know? Me on the other hand? Well, I’m more of a Survivor kind of bag gal – I find one that works and then we outwit, outlast, outplay until one of us is voted off the island. I buy one bag and then carry it forever, partially because I’m just not as enthusiastic about purse shopping (shoes have always been my Achilles high heel) but also because I loathe the process of relocating all of my stuff. While I’m not usually as excited about bags themselves, I’m absolutely fascinated by what’s inside them. I mean, we’ve all been out with out friends when we discovered we needed something oddly specific and then watched as a friend Mary Poppins-ed it out of the depths of their purse, right? So with that spirit in mind, here are a few of the things I always carry (you know, in case you need inspo or want to compare notes)

Dollah, dollah bills, y’all: Over the years I’ve learned two things – 1) the brighter the wallet, the more visible it is at the bottom of the pit and 2) wallets that close with snaps instead of zippers are a lot more fun to absentmindedly play with while standing in line at Starbucks.

Good for what ails you: As a girl with terrible headaches and worse cramps, I never travel anywhere without a small bottle of ibuprofen, sinus medication, and period supplies.

Smart phone savior: Portable charger – get one or be sad when your phone dies at the most inopportune moment.

Hanger management: I’d love to say that I’m a three square meals kind of gal, but the truth is I’ve always been more of a grazing, eat-when-hungry type. And let me tell you, if my body rings that meal bell and I don’t answer it straight away? Well, it gets straight up hangry. So, for the safety of the world, I usually keep a snack nearby (you’re welcome).

It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again: In an effort to conceal my true identity as a bird-boned lizard person from the world, I keep hand cream on hand to slather over my scales…er…skin. These tubes from Bath and Body Works come in a bunch of scents (anything with mint and/or lemon are usually slam dunks in my book), are the perfect size and let’s be real, I was already there buying all of the candles my spindly arms can carry so they’re also convenient!

It’s snot what you think: In my experience, there are two things that people never remember until they need them – gum and kleenex. I carry both for me and for you (because sharing is caring and it can be fun).

They’re stuck on me: I’m a perpetual klutz who’s also usually breaking in new shoes, so I’d be an idiot if I didn’t also carry bandaids with me. If I were sensible, they’d be flesh tone… but I’m not, so they’re Star Wars! Life is too short to worry about matching your socks or covering boo boos with boring bandaids, y’all.

And finally of course, I heard you like bags, so I put a bag in your bag: I always try to make sure my makeup bag contains the bare necessities to make me look like a real live human person. When I was younger, I used to carry multiple eyeliners and lip colors, but over the years I’ve honed it down to the essentials:

Get you a tool that does both: I’ve never mastered the art of using my lip color as a cheek tint or eyeshadow, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that if my lipstick isn’t pulling double duty at least my brush/mirror is. Oh, and that little Altoids tin? It’s full of bobby pins and hair ties.

I know it’s a blot: What can I say? Blotting papers keep the Exxon Valdez oil spill on my face at bay.

Curly girl: Alright, alright, carrying an eyelash curler around in my purse is probably a little extra, but I like to think of it as the curtain tie back to the windows to my soul (assuming the lashes are curtains in this metaphor).

Clip art: I found this mini-manicure set on a recent excursion to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and it’s come in super hand-y (see? see what I did there?) whenever I bust a nail midday.

What the smell?: When the weather gets hot and humid, a travel size deodorant and rollerball perfume (I absolutely adore this one by Nest) can be a girl’s best friend.

The eyes have it: When it comes to makeup, I know that get through almost anything if my eyes are done, so my on-the-go makeup usually consists of a little brow mascara (every picture needs at least a quasi-decent frame), liquid liner, and mascara (Maybe one day someone will create one mascara that does everything these two do together, but I’m not holding my breath).

Lip service: I’ve got an embarrassingly large collection of lipsticks and glosses, but these four ride-or-die products are always with me – Fresh’s Sugar tinted lip treatment is the balm dot com, elf’s lip exfoliator is the perfect prep before any lip color application, Revlon’s HD Matte Lipcolor in Devotion is the perfect everyday shade, and Smith’s rosebud salve is a great balm, topper, whatever you need it to be (and it comes in a tube too!)


**Not pictured: My sunglasses (which are always on my head), my phone (which is always in my hand), and Receipt mountain (which is just off camera)