This sluggy maxi dress from ASOS ($47) is too short for me, so please buy it and let me know how wonderful it is. :(

  • k 16 notes
This is $10 from H&M, so if you’ve been wanting to try a romper, this is a good one to start with. They have it in a dark gray and the overall style is very similar to one I own and wear often during the summer. They’re great for poolside/beach cover-ups and look cute with a hat, light scarf, sandals. 

This is $10 from H&M, so if you’ve been wanting to try a romper, this is a good one to start with. They have it in a dark gray and the overall style is very similar to one I own and wear often during the summer. They’re great for poolside/beach cover-ups and look cute with a hat, light scarf, sandals. 

  • k 18 notes
This chambray shift dress from ZARA ($60) is so good (especially if you wear it with leather sandals like this). 

This chambray shift dress from ZARA ($60) is so good (especially if you wear it with leather sandals like this). 

  • k 3 notes

Hi Jaclyn! I loved your recent maxi dress post for tall women (I'm 5'10" and struggle with this and other hem issues a ton). I'm wondering if you have any recommendations for colorful maxi dresses or skirts. I'm going wine tasting in Napa for my birthday and am looking for something appropriate, fun, affordable (under $100) and most importantly long.

- Asked by jeanbean

Sure! 

Let’s start with maxi dresses:

Now for maxi skirts! Not as many great color/print options, but still some good stuff here:

Good luck and have fun in Napa! That sounds like a great birthday. :) 

  • k 6 notes
This is my new favorite makeup thing. (I’m still slowly working through the haul of e.l.f. makeup I got a while back when they were running an insane 50% off everything sale.) This is an eyeliner/shadow stick ($3) and I got it in smoke/black. I’m going to buy it in all other color combos soon. I use the shadow side along both lash lines and then blend until it’s so soft you can barely see it—just a light wash of grayish silver on my eyes. I can add mascara at this point and be done…or for a smokier eye, line my waterlines with the eyeliner and blend again. 

This is my new favorite makeup thing. (I’m still slowly working through the haul of e.l.f. makeup I got a while back when they were running an insane 50% off everything sale.) This is an eyeliner/shadow stick ($3) and I got it in smoke/black. I’m going to buy it in all other color combos soon. I use the shadow side along both lash lines and then blend until it’s so soft you can barely see it—just a light wash of grayish silver on my eyes. I can add mascara at this point and be done…or for a smokier eye, line my waterlines with the eyeliner and blend again. 

  • k 34 notes

These adidas by Stella McCartney ballet flats ($110 for pink, navy) are the perfect post-gym shoes. They’re moisture wicking too, so might be a good choice for summer commuting. Take 25% off with code INTHEFAMILY14.

  • k 13 notes

Hi Jaclyn! I love your blog and have been following you for a while but have never asked you a question. Anyway, I was wondering if you had any advice for one-piece swimsuits that don't look frumpy and also don't have ridiculous cut outs. I have very fair skin so I'm looking for something that is practical, cute, and reasonably priced (under $100). Thanks!

- Asked by gitupgitdown

I’ve got great suggestions for you, but they’re definitely on the high end of your budget (and a little bit over in a few cases :/). 

J.Crew’s ruched underwire suit ($110) and striped underwire suit ($115) are amazing. They are so flattering, can be worn strapless or with straps and the underwire offers some extra support. The ruched one is slimming—the ruching helps define the waist. The stripes are great for distracting from trouble spots. I’m a big fan of the looks of this wrap tank suit too ($98). I like the deep v-neck. 

If the prices make you cringe, keep an eye on their website. They offer swim sales pretty regularly through the summer. I bought both last summer at steep discounts and they are my favorite swimsuits. I can’t wait to wear them this year! 

  • k 6 notes

Recent Happenings

Part I

Last time I told you about Isobel’s love for Dips. We had some roast chicken the other night and Isobel was not really feeling it. She normally loves chicken. I was getting irritated (I knew she was hungry) so I finally reached a point of desperation. Dip Desperation. I went into the fridge and got the ranch dressing. I put a bit into the corner of her plate. 

She smiled and looked up at me and in the creepiest, softest little voice said:

"Yessssssss dipssssss." 

Part II

I want to talk a little more about Creepy Iz Voice. She will use it at the most random times and it’s always funny (and also weird, BUT! more funny). She lowers her voice about 5 octaves and lands somewhere in between Darth Vader and Christian Bale’s Batman voice. 

Examples of where this has been used:

  • "Hi Isobel!" "HI.” 
  • [Doc Mcstuffins Theme Song] “The doc is…IN.” 
  • "See ya! BYE.” 

I don’t know where this came from, but I like it. I hope it sticks around for a while. 

Part III

Iz has started saying “I love you” unprompted more often. She says it back to Brandon more though. I’m bitter about it.

The other night we were getting her ready for bed and I was going to put her down. I had her in jammies with her blanket and her book ready. Brandon says, “I love you Isobel!” to her. She says, “I love you. Dada.” He looks gleeful. I try to capitalize on this sweet moment by making it all about me. 

"I love you!" I say to her. I kiss her cheek.

She looks up at me.

"Thanks." 

So cold. So, so cold. 

  • k 91 notes
  • / print
What I’ve Read:
HRC by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes - This dense, comprehensive book about Hillary Clinton’s political comeback after her loss to President Obama in the 2008 primaries is fascinating. It’s not exactly a fast read: There are so many small player political names mentioned that it’s hard keeping them straight. Still worth the read, especially if you’d like some context about how/why a 2016 presidential run could happen. (Probably will happen.) (Almost assuredly is going to happen.) 
Dare Me by Megan Abbott - I read an interview where another author recommended this book and described it as “cheerleaders meet Macbeth” and I was like YEP GOING TO READ THAT. And I did. I read it in a day. This book is the juiciest. It’s dark and twisted and set against hair bows and back handsprings and sex and love. This is the beach or vacation book I will be recommending all summer. It’s so good, and I knew that as I was reading it, but I turned the last page and then it hit me—how insanely great it was and how I haven’t really read anything like it before. “But there are a million books about teenage drama and cheerleaders,” you say. Not like this. Trust me. 
The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon - Set in the 1930’s, this novel imagines what might have happened in the real-life mysterious disappearance of New York Supreme Court Justice Joseph Crater. It’s all speakeasies and gangsters and showgirls and it is fabulous. It’s one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read in a while. There are a few twists that I absolutely did not see coming. I LOVE that. 
Bury This by Andrea Portes - So! This was an interesting read. It didn’t grab me right off the bat (a bit strange since the premise is an unsolved murder mystery and you know I love those), but once it got going, it went. Fast. The characterization makes this book, which is made more impressive by the fact that there is no main character. Every player (male or female) seems equally large and important and that is no small feat. There are no clear cut villains or heroes either: they’re just seemingly regular people with messy lives. (Some of that messiness is hard to forget.) Really good book. I was surprisingly moved by it. 
Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup - I waited to watch the movie until I’d had a chance to read the book and I’m glad I did that. This is a book I can barely find the words to describe. It is heart-breaking and completely arresting. It’s been over 150 years since it was first published and the emotions still jump off the page so vividly. It’s hard to explain the visceral reactions I had to the book. I don’t think I have the ability to put them into words. (Nor do I want to, really.) Suffice it to say that I am glad I read this before watching the movie. It brought additional context and emotional heft to the scenes on screen. If you have not read it yet, please do. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, wait until you’ve read the book. 
Have you read any of these? I’ve been adding lots of new books to my list: What are you reading now?

What I’ve Read:

  • HRC by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes - This dense, comprehensive book about Hillary Clinton’s political comeback after her loss to President Obama in the 2008 primaries is fascinating. It’s not exactly a fast read: There are so many small player political names mentioned that it’s hard keeping them straight. Still worth the read, especially if you’d like some context about how/why a 2016 presidential run could happen. (Probably will happen.) (Almost assuredly is going to happen.) 
  • Dare Me by Megan Abbott - I read an interview where another author recommended this book and described it as “cheerleaders meet Macbeth” and I was like YEP GOING TO READ THAT. And I did. I read it in a day. This book is the juiciest. It’s dark and twisted and set against hair bows and back handsprings and sex and love. This is the beach or vacation book I will be recommending all summer. It’s so good, and I knew that as I was reading it, but I turned the last page and then it hit me—how insanely great it was and how I haven’t really read anything like it before. “But there are a million books about teenage drama and cheerleaders,” you say. Not like this. Trust me. 
  • The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon - Set in the 1930’s, this novel imagines what might have happened in the real-life mysterious disappearance of New York Supreme Court Justice Joseph Crater. It’s all speakeasies and gangsters and showgirls and it is fabulous. It’s one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read in a while. There are a few twists that I absolutely did not see coming. I LOVE that. 
  • Bury This by Andrea Portes - So! This was an interesting read. It didn’t grab me right off the bat (a bit strange since the premise is an unsolved murder mystery and you know I love those), but once it got going, it went. Fast. The characterization makes this book, which is made more impressive by the fact that there is no main character. Every player (male or female) seems equally large and important and that is no small feat. There are no clear cut villains or heroes either: they’re just seemingly regular people with messy lives. (Some of that messiness is hard to forget.) Really good book. I was surprisingly moved by it. 
  • Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup - I waited to watch the movie until I’d had a chance to read the book and I’m glad I did that. This is a book I can barely find the words to describe. It is heart-breaking and completely arresting. It’s been over 150 years since it was first published and the emotions still jump off the page so vividly. It’s hard to explain the visceral reactions I had to the book. I don’t think I have the ability to put them into words. (Nor do I want to, really.) Suffice it to say that I am glad I read this before watching the movie. It brought additional context and emotional heft to the scenes on screen. If you have not read it yet, please do. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, wait until you’ve read the book. 

Have you read any of these? I’ve been adding lots of new books to my list: What are you reading now?

  • k 130 notes

Hey Jaclyn! I'm a such a big fan of your blog and I have a question for you! I'll be working at a PR firm over the summer, and I'm pretty much working from the ground up in starting a work wear wardrobe that is summer appropriate. The dress code is conservative with very casual fridays. I'm 20, so I'm always walking the thin line of dressing too young or looking like I'm going for something too mature. Do you have any ideas? Thanks so much! :)

- Asked by radmadical

Hey! I definitely get your dilemma. I think your best bet (especially considering you’ll be working over the summer) is to focus on basic, well-tailored shift dresses that are appropriate for a conservative office. You can wear a blazer/sweater over them at work (or just do what I used to do—keep a few neutral cardigans and a black jacket in an office closet) and a dress will be cool and comfortable for commuting or going out after work. 

  • Get a few shift dresses in neutral colors. This sleeveless black dress from H&M is just $35. Pair it with a black blazer and simple pumps. This crepe dress is $35—love the sleeves. I love this J.Crew Factory sleeveless ruched dress ($49.50). The bright colors are pretty, but go safe with the navy or black. This striped dress is $82, but strikes the perfect balance between fun and conservative. For days when you might have clients visiting the office, try this peplum dress ($69). 
  • LOFT is a great spot for you to pick up work separates or dresses since they run sales all the time. Look for things you might be able to integrate to your everyday wardrobe. This crepe open jacket ($98, 40% off with code 4PEEPS) is the perfect layer for dresses or blouses, but you can wear it on the weekend with a basic tee, jeans and flats too. I am in love with this ivory textured jacket too ($98, 40% off with code 4PEEPS).
  • For inexpensive work skirts, check at Target. This jacquard black skirt is great ($28). For a basic twill pencil skirt, you can’t do better than this one for $23
  • Use your accessories to keep your look younger and more modern. A lightweight scarf in the office looks nice (and can help keep you warm if the office has overactive A/C). Doublecheck the office policy on shoes. Some conservative offices frown upon open-toed shoes. If they do allow toe action, a pair of mid-height wedges is nice for summer ($90 from Nine West). Watch out for shoes with heels above 3” and make sure you take a pair of comfortable flats along with you. If you’re interning (I’m not sure if you are!), you may have to run a lot of errands and doing that in heels is zero fun. ZERO fun. Be prepared! Anyway, try ZARA for affordable heels that aren’t too high—like these slingback kitten heels ($60) or these medium heel court shoes ($60). Jewelry is another way to add a bit of individuality to your outfit, but don’t go too crazy. I’m not generally a big fan of statement necklaces or big earrings at work (they look too youthful), but be creative with bracelets. This cuff from Baublebar ($38) would look great with a white buttondown blouse and a pencil skirt. This one ($28) is pretty too. 

I hope this gives you a place to start looking! Have fun and good luck! You’ll do great. 

  • k 19 notes