Say Yes to the Dress

by Jessica Sturdy on June 3, 2014

It’s the dress! I was shopping at Nordstrom in Chicago over the holidays, just perusing the designer sale rack when I spotted this dress. Oh, this dress. I had been madly in love with it ever since it hit stores, but just couldn’t justify the price. Without an insanely special occasion, it’s hard to justify spending $1,000 on a dress, am I right? So imagine my lovestruck eyes when I spotted this one single dress on the sale rack. I checked the tag, but I can never really remember what my European size conversion is, and we all know how sizes vary from designer to designer. So I promptly headed to the dressing room… And here was my thought process… This dress isn’t leaving my sight! It’s like 40% off! Still, though, that’s a lot to spend on a dress! But I’ve been so in love with it. And it’s the last one! Maybe it won’t fit… Ahh, but I hope it does! I put it on and while it was a size too big, it was effing magical. I felt like a princess… Nothing a little tailoring can’t fix, right? Since the bottom is big and poufy anyhow, I would only need to get the sides of the bust and waist taken in. So after mulling it over in the dressing room for like 45 minutes, sending pictures to basically everyone I know to get confirmation that I couldn’t pass this up, I decided to splurge and treat myself to a Christmas present. And a present is just what I got… I think the tag was marked down to $540. But for whatever reason, it had been reduced even further. It rang up just over $300! ADGAEDVVCMLJKUNVCOEFY… HOLY SH*T. Every little bit of hesitation disappeared and I was on a high. A Red Valentino dress for like 70% off? YES PLEASE.

So what did I learn from that experience? When a dress so perfectly embodies you, just buy it and the occasions will come. I mean, we definitely don’t want another “the one that got away” situation.

I’ve worn this dress to a work party during Fashion Week in February, for an impromptu video shoot a few weeks ago, and to a wedding this past weekend. I get so many compliments whenever I wear it… It’s one of those dresses that I don’t mind wearing over and over and over again! The dark floral pattern makes it easy to wear year round and with all of the gorgeous colors in the print, my shoe options are endless. Plus, the material doesn’t really wrinkle so I had no problem packing it in my carry-on. I know I’ll be wearing this dress for years to come!

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Cool Down

by Jessica Sturdy on May 29, 2014

New York cooled down this week and I had to dig through a few boxes to find some of my jackets. I settled on this red one (or actually, came across it first and decided to stop looking) and styled it with some classic basics so the jacket would stand out. Typically, I feel like red and leopard print can look a bit… hooker-ish What’s the PC way to phrase this? Lady of the night?… But I feel like the darker shade of the jacket, mixed with the creamy white blouse, and a tasteful leopard print scarf doesn’t read street walker. At least, I hope not! ;)

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by Jessica Sturdy on May 29, 2014

I’ve been so good lately. Like, so so good. I haven’t been shopping at all… I’m not necessarily on a ban per se, but I’m really trying to only buy things I need and curb my unnecessary spending. Ground-breaking concept, I know.

However, when you’re not allowing yourself to buy things, your wish list will be longer than ever. I feel like I want EVERYTHING right now. Some things more than others, yes, but I have a major shopping itch. Trying to stay strong! (Literally obsessing over this dress, this top, this skirt, and this bag. Just a casual $1200.)

I’ve been in a major shoe hoarding mood lately, too. I’m not sure why considering I can barely fit all of my current shoes in my apartment, but when has storage space ever stopped me?

Here are some of my current faves…


Summertime Staples

by Jessica Sturdy on May 28, 2014

As I’m sitting down to write about some of my summertime staples, I’m realizing that I just wore and posted this same shirt yesterday on the blog. Oh, and I also paired it with white denim bottoms. I guess it really doesn’t get much staple-worthy than that. Whoops! At least I practice what I preach?!

A chambray shirt is a must-have, no matter the season. It’s great for layering in the fall and winter and it’s the perfect compliment for all of your white and colorful bottoms in the spring and summer! I’ve worn a chambray shirt with just about everything — polka dot jeans, denim shorts, leather shorts, a ballerina skirt, a black flared skirt, a black maxi, a sequin skirt, hot pink pants, leopard print jeans, a printed mini, over a tee shirt — it’s the most versatile shirt in my closet by a landslide.

And then we have white denim. I’ve long been a proponent for year-round white denim, but I know not everyone feels comfortable wearing winter white. Now that we’ve gotten past Memorial Day, it’s time for everyone to bust out the white shorts, white crops, and white jeans! I love these white jeans for a few reasons — I love the fit, they are very slenderizing (I rarely feel comfortable in white pants!), and you just can’t beat the price. They’re $30! With my luck with white clothing (as evidenced here..), I need a wallet-friendly staple because I always have to buy multiple pairs.

Leopard is a neutral, and thus, always a staple in my book, too. However, sometimes traditional leopard print can look a bit heavy in the warmer months. I love the print of this scarf because it’s a bit more subtle and the pattern is more gray-based for spring and summer! Oh, and white nail polish. You can’t go wrong with a bright white mani in the summer!

And of course, bows are always a staple! ;)

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MDW Staycation

by Jessica Sturdy on May 27, 2014

As I mentioned in my last post, my Memorial Day Weekend was spent in the city. A little staycation, if you will. Sometimes when you’re going, going, going all the time, it feels so nice (albeit rather foreign) to take a break and just be. While I had a rather lengthy to-do list this past weekend, I didn’t get down on myself for not completing every single task. I let myself sleep if I was tired. (Hello, 2-hour nap on Sunday afternoon!) I only set an alarm in the mornings to ensure that I made it on time to my workout classes. As my schedule gets crazier and crazier each month, I’m realizing how important it is to take care of myself. While skimping on sleep, overdosing on caffeine, and powering through may seem like the only way, I know it’s crucial for me to take a step back and just relax. And that’s exactly what I did this weekend!

I’m not really sure why, but Bryant Park is one of my favorite spots in the city. When I first visited New York in 2010, my parents and I stayed pretty close to Bryant Park and I remember wandering through the Holiday Shops and picturing myself living here. I stopped at a jewelry booth and was chatting with the saleswoman and she was surprised when I said I didn’t live here. She said I just had “that way about me.” I remember thinking that was the ultimate compliment! And here we are… With any park in the city, I am always so fascinated by how serene a few blocks of grass feels, even though they’re surrounded by the hustle and bustle of New York. It’s so nice to pop into a park and just chill out a little bit. Feeling grass beneath your bare feet? That’s definitely something us New Yorkers don’t experience everyday!

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Pre & Post Prep

by Jessica Sturdy on May 27, 2014

On one hand, I can’t believe Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, but on the other hand, I feel like the weekend truly felt like a long weekend. I was in major “StayCation” mode this weekend… I opted to say in the city instead of head out to the Hamptons and it was the perfect mix of relaxation and productivity!

I took 4 SoulCycle classes, tried Citi Bike for the first time (and ended up taking 4 different rides with my 24-hour pass), took a trip to The Container Store, made progress in unpacking and solving my shoe storage dilemmas, went to brunch at Five Points with Hallie, shot 3 outfits for the blog, worked on a few upcoming blog posts, explored Williamsburg (Brooklyn) a bit, went to a BBQ on a friend’s FiDi rooftop, stumbled upon a cute little café in Brooklyn, got a lot of use out of my kitchen, did a little bit of shopping, went and saw a mural I’d been wanting to check out, managed to get a good night of sleep each night, and even took a 2 hour nap on Sunday (or maybe it was a food coma). It was (for the most part) healthy, active, low-key, and all around perfect. As much as I hate to see the weekend go, I feel so refreshed and ready to start the week!

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Navy & White

by Jessica Sturdy on May 26, 2014

I’ve long been a fan of navy blue and white. I don’t know what it is about the crisp combination, but I just can’t get enough. Back in high school, I remember telling my mom how I wanted my master bathroom to be all white with navy blue accents when I “grew up.” (And then I moved to New York City and the idea of a ‘master bathroom’ couldn’t be farther from reality.)

I was actually planning on my apartment decor to be a lot of navy blue and white, but I’ve had to make a few changes to my interior design scheme based on the place that I found. (More on that later!)

Anyways! When I saw these sandals, I knew I had to have them. Navy & White + Rachel Zoe = SOLD. I hope you like them as much as I do because they will be all over Bows & Sequins this summer! I may or may not have worn them 3 times last week. #RepeatOffender They are so comfortable, I haven’t had to “break them in” at all. As far as sizing goes, I think they are true-to-size. I ordered 1/2 a size up because I have a wide foot and was concerned about the strap digging in, but I could have probably still fit into my regular size.

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Roped Into It

by Jessica Sturdy on May 23, 2014

I can’t remember if I’ve told you guys this story or not, so bear with me if I have. Once upon a time in 2010, I used Rent the Runway for the very first time (#earlyadopter) and fell head-over-heels in love with the dress that I wore. (You can see photos of that day here. #Throwback) Turns out, it was already sold out everywhere so I didn’t have the option to buy it. I stalked eBay for about 3.5 years without any luck. So sad!

Then one day this past September, I was walking on 5th Avenue and saw that Rent the Runway was having a sample sale at 260 5th. I immediately had this feeling that my dress was in there. (If you haven’t already figured this out, I’m f*cking crazy.) It was the last day of the sale so it was kind of a mess — I realized that the dress could just be in the wrong spot. So I searched and searched and searched some more. I rummaged through every. single. rack. there. I finally found my beloved size 4 on a size 8 rack. For like $50 or $60. #HAPPYDANCE  Yes, it’s been worn by one million different girls and wasn’t in perfect condition, but I just had to put an end to the 3.5 years of searching. She’s hanging happily in my closet as we speak. :)

Anyway, when I saw this Vineyard Vines dress at their Spring preview in November, I was absolutely smitten! The navy dress with off-white rope detailing reminded me so much of the dress that I obsessed over for years. But it had sleeves!! (I’m a total sucker for a short dress with sleeves.) I knew I had to make it mine. While the suspense of having to wait until spring for the dress to become available pretty much killed me, I finally got the dress a few months ago!

And now for some not-so-fun news… Since we’ve had the worst spring here in New York, I was just able to wear this dress about a week ago. And now it’s sold out. :( I feel like history is repeating itself and now you’ll be on the hunt for a magical nautical dress for years to come. Maybe try checking your local Vineyard Vines store? Good luck!!

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Garden Party

by Jessica Sturdy on May 22, 2014

As I’ve gotten older, and thus, smarter, I’ve been quick to realize how much more sense it makes to invest in timeless pieces for my wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong — I still love trying out new trends and having fun with fashion, but when it comes to basics, I’ve found that it’s key to invest in high-quality fits and fabrics.

Luxurious fabrics not only hold up better, but they are so much more comfortable to wear. Take this cashmere blend striped pullover, for example. The material is beyond soft and totally ups the striped shirt ante. I want to wear it over and over and over again.

However, investing in said wardrobe staples isn’t exactly easy on the wallet. That’s why I love sites like Vente-Privee… I was able to score this Splendid sweater for just $50. Splendid is one of those brands that I could blow my entire paycheck on — the fabrics are insanely soft and comfy! But Vente-Privee makes it a little bit easier to stock up on my favorites. PS — the Splendid sale ends tomorrow (Friday) morning at 9am EST! I’m also loving this tee, this top, this striped top, this leopard top, and this hoodie.

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Palm Print

by Jessica Sturdy on May 21, 2014

I snuck out of the city for a few hours this past Saturday and it was all sorts of wonderful! Julia, her husband, and I ventured out to Greenwich, CT to visit the Sail to Sable Pop-Up Store. I’d never been Greenwich before, but it definitely has some charm. The little downtown area was oh-so-cute and has some great shopping, too! As much as I’m not a suburbs person, I could see the appeal… come 20 years down the road. From getting to finally meet Kiel & Sarah in person to getting major apartment inspiration from the fabulous Society Social decor, it was a very well-spent Saturday! (Oh, and if you’re in the CT area, Sail to Sable is having quite the Preppy Bash tonight… Details here!)

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