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Main article: Shopping

Not Your Dad's Shoes: Sneaker Round-up

Hey Merbabes! I love the dad shoe moment, love it, here for it, rock it, support it, but like sometimes you want to wear your own shoes, not just your dad's.  Merm to the rescue because I've rounded up 15 pairs of coolest shoes for you to start rocking right now.

Recently I have been pairing a gym shoe with every outfit, from jeans + a turtleneck to a dress + a denim jacket.  I'm so here for the relaxed vibe gyms shoes add to any look. I'm having a major nike moment rn which is super unlike me so soak up all the nike love while you can.  I also threw in a few splurges like the Miu Miu's (to die for) and some under $100 finds, looking at you rainbow Steve Maddens. 

To shop your picks simply click on the shoe thats got you drooling.

mar 11 18, 18:10
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Spring Break Forever: Vacation Pieces You Need

The first (+ only) R-rated movie I snuck into was Spring Breakers, it was awful but the sound of James Franco saying 'Spring Breakkkkkk' will forever live on inside my head.  All that to say, I hope you read the title of this post in his voice.  I'm heading west for a little sunshine next week (blessed!) and naturally I waited until the last minute to put my vacation outfits together.  My lack of planning inspired me to put together a vacation shop, so you can prepare for Spring Break stress-free, otherwise what's the point of leaving?

From swimwear to standout accessories I've got your beach needs covered, oh and cover-ups I've got those too!

Accessories + Swim

Safe travels bbs!

feb 23 18, 00:49
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Red Hot: Valentine's Day Look

 Hey Merbabes!  Valentine's Day is just around the corner, I'm sharing a red hot look + some red hot pieces to snag for yourself, to upgrade your Valentine's Day.  I basically wore this same outfit in London, I admit, I outfit repeated, but this red + black look is the perfect alternative to your average Valentine's Day look.  No shade thrown to pink ruffles, I have worn my fair share of those, but it doesn't hurt to mix it up.

Shop the Look:

I went through a strict no skirt phase for at least a year, but my relationship with mini skirts is on the mend thanks to this camo baby.  Red + camo are so hot rn, so that pairing on this mini skirt really spoke to me.

Nasty Gal is doing the absolute most when it comes to sales, everything is like 100% off all the time. Which confuses me but also I'm not complaining.  I snagged this red, faux leather coat for $36.  It is such a statement piece, and has been all over my Instagram feed lately.

With such bold red pieces, I chose to keep everything else simple.  I threw on my second favorite black turtleneck and a pair of black boots, these boots are so classic yet such a statement.

To finish the look I added a pair of lip sunnies, because I love a good theme!

I gathered my favorite red hot finds from across the internet! Click through the lookbook for everything from candles to date night dresses.

feb 9 18, 19:56
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Never Outfit Repeat Again, Like Ever: A Four Step Guide

Hey Merbabes! Today we are talking outfit repeating.  The first time I ever heard this term was graduation scene of The Lizzie McGuire movie when Kate unzips Lizzie's graduation robe and shames her "its-kind-of-a-peasant-dress-but-it-might-just-be-a-baggy-disaster-of-questionable-fiber-content", that she wore to the spring dance and wore again to graduation.   Ever since that moment, my life was changed, no longer could I wear my favorite outfit over and over again, that was totally uncool.  Now I don't really care about what is cool versus what is uncool, but I do care about my Instagram feed, wait for it, this will all tie together in a second.

I can't even count the amount of times my friends have complained about not being able to post an Instagram photo because they wore the same outfit, a post or two back.  Now, I have never been in this situation, but it seems pretty tragic.  The reason I have never been in this situation isn't because I have an endless supply of clothes, it's because I shop smart, and I strategize my looks.  I'm sharing my top tips to help you never repeat an outfit ever again.  Unless you want to, then you do you.

1.  Get Your Basics in Check

I know I talk about basics literally all the time, but having a wardrobe that consists of basic pieces is a major key.  This took me a long time to learn...not really, I'm still v youthful, but back to my point,  I was obsessed with always owning the weirdest and wackiest pieces I could find.  While those pieces are perfect for creating a occasion look, they are not ideal for mixing and matching.  For a large portion of my teen years I owned more pink, faux fur than basic tee shirts.  It is far easier to build unique looks using basics that can be transformed, than building a look with that one sweater pink and green zebra-print sweater that only looks good with your light-wash flares.  I speak from experience.

For your basics, I recommend a couple tees, a solid button-up, jeans in multiple styles or if you're like me just a thousand pairs of boyfriend jeans, plus a few flirty tops for summer + sweaters for winter.

2. The Essential Third Piece

The "third-piece" is really what upgrades any outfit.  I often laugh to myself that I wear a white t-shirt and jeans 90% of the time and still call myself a fashion blogger.  It isn't the white tee and jeans that makes my outfit a look, its that third piece I added to it.  Adding just one item to an outfit adds depth and texture to an otherwise basic look.  Plus, you can easily swap out a jacket or kimono to give a that tee and jeans you wore yesterday a whole new vibe.  Outfit repeat swerved.

The third piece can be as simple as a pair of sunglasses or a bag, or it can be more integrated into the look like a kimono or jacket.

3. One-of-a-Kind Finds 

Once you have an army of basic in your wardrobe, it's time to spice up your life.  Some of my favorite pieces are vintage finds, like my Baby Phat camisole, or my FUBU jersey, but the rest are hidden gems I snagged from Zara, Asos, or Urban.

These fun finds don't seem the most versatile but they are what keep your wardrobe inspiring.  You would be surprised how easy it is to wear a pink and black striped faux fur jacket,  I literally used this Zara jacket as my third piece for every outfit last winter.  These wild pieces can become a replacement for your basics when you are looking to take your look to a new level.  After a couple tries you will be working and reworking that faux fur in ways you've never imagined.

4.  Step Outside Your Box

I'm not talking about getting really wild, and turning your tops into pants, and your jeans into a top, although I am so for that.  I'm talking taking two extra seconds in the morning to see your closet in a new way.  I am so guilty of skipping this step and complaining I have nothing to wear, when that obviously is not the case.  Sometimes all you need is a scroll through Instagram for a little inspiration,  I love saving images of outfits that incorporate pieces that are similar to ones that I already own.  Then, when I am struggling for my life to figure out what to wear, I can go into my inspo folders and locate a look that is within my reach.  Be sure to use all your resources, no one's closet is off limits in my eyes.  I love snagging my mom's sweaters or my dad's tees to supplement my wardrobe.

Another way to see pieces in a new light is to switch up when + where you are wearing your favorite items.  I love wearing track pants all the time, I pair mine with a bodysuit for an all day athleisure look, then swap out your gym shoes for heels to take your track pants from day to night.

I promise you that there is not one piece of clothing in your closet that only goes with one other piece.  It just takes time and effort to figure out how to wear pieces multiple ways.  Once you solve that magical equation there are endless opportunities for you to create look upon look upon look without constantly adding items of clothing to your cart.

sep 1 17, 19:12
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Blue Jean Baby: Graphic Tees + Jeans Roundup

Hey Merbabes!  To quote one of my latest Instagram captions "I'm on a strict diet of white tees, cropped denim, and slides for the rest of the summer.", wasn't kidding either.  I seriously have been living off jeans + tees recently, and although it sounds boring these simple pieces are seriously iconic.  A solid set of basics can lead you to the outfit of your dreams, you can layer up any jeans + tee look with kimonos, sunnies, bags, you name it.  

I've searched the internet for my favorite basics, all under $100, for you to build the look of your dreams with.  Of course, no outfit is complete with a little sass so these "basics" aren't quite your momma's basics.  Sassy graphic tees and distressed boyfriend jeans will keep these "basics" right on brand.  Plus, I've included four totally different jeans + tee looks to give you a little outfit building inspiration.

Shop the Look:

Shop Graphic Tees:

Shop Jeans:

What pieces are you wearing on repeat?

aug 18 17, 22:26
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The Cool Girl Pieces You Need for Fall 2017: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Hey Merbabes! I'm sure you've seen every blogger and their momma posting about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and normally I wouldn't add myself to that list...but I am.  The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has formed about 80% of my wardrobe throughout my entire life, all my Fall/Winter Staples always come from this sale.  It's the best around because everything is on sale pre-season.  You don't have to wait until May to snag that fabulous faux fur coat on sale, you can snag it right now, before you even need it.  It is the perfect way to build up your Fall/Winter aesthetic and get a feel for next seasons vibes.  Of course, you could follow anyone's shopping guide to the sale, but you know who will really hook you up with the hottest pieces at the best deals.  #Me.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is only open to cardholders for the moment, but that doesn't mean you can't begin to build your wish list.  Nothing in this roundup is over $200, but most of it lives in the $40-$100 range.  I have gathered all the cool girl pieces you will be coveting for fall.  These pieces will be the ones you will drool over all season on your Instagram feed, and you can shop them now, before prices go up.

I've already purchased a few items, but I am already adding pieces to shopping cart #2.  Oops.







Which Pieces are you most excited to snag?

jul 16 17, 17:45
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Father Daughter Diaries with Hammer Made

 Hey Merbabe, just a friendly reminder that Father's Day is just around the corner, as in this Sunday.  Father's day gift guides have never been much assistance in picking out the perfect Father's Day gift for Dan.  It is always the same old toolbox (no), weird tech gadget (no), or sports jersey (no, never ever),  my dad is way cooler than all of those things.

This year, I partnered up with Hammer Made to create my own Father's Day Gift Guide for the Cool Dad.

I picked out three shirts for Dan, two that I knew he would love, and a short-sleeved one that I loved and knew he would eventually rock.  It seems like my dad already has every single print you could imagine on a button-up, but Hammer Made had prints that has never been part of his vast collection.  I picked out a classic blue stripe, a green polka dot, and a fruity pattern perfect for summer.  Hammer Made shirts are all made in small runs of about 30 per fabric, AKA you won't send your dad off into the world looking like every other dad.

No gift is complete without a few accessories.  Along with his shirts, I added some patterned socks and magnetic collar stays, perfect for the guy who has it all.  

Not only did Dan get to rock his new Hammer Made shirt but I did too!  I loved styling this matching look for the two of us.   A pair of bubblegum pink shorts really brought forward the colors in his fruity-printed shirt, I love the combination of shorts with a button-up, it is the perfect way to convert your favorite "work shirt" into stylish weekend wear.

I got to rock my favorite shirt of the three, this fun dotted short-sleeve.  My favorite part of this shirt has to be the contrasting palm print on the collar and sleeve.  Hammer Made shirts have unique, contrasting details that give their shirts major personality.

I am lucky enough to have a cool dad who lets me steal literally all of his clothes, his jean jacket, his track jacket... you get the point.  If your dad's closet isn't as on trend as Dan's, Father's Day is the perfect opportunity to help upgrade his look.  Its a win for everyone, your dad gets a new look, and you get a second closet.

Hammer Made has three locations in Chicago and other around the country!  Stop in to one of their stores of order online to get your dad a Father's Day gift he (and you) will love.  

jun 12 17, 16:24
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Tweed-y Bird: How to Wear Zara like a Fashion Girl

For some people Target is their weakness, for me it's Zara.  Last weekend I went into Zara not looking to make any purchases and I walked out of there spending my entire paycheck.  Oops.  I literally stood in line with my pile of clothes, turned to Kelly and said "at least I'm not spending my money on drugs...right?".  

It is kind of funny because I had shot this look featuring some awesome Zara finds and then I read this article on The Blonde Salad, "How to Shop like a Fashion Editor".   I felt pretty cool because I totally aligned with all of the editors tips.  The first trick she shares is "how not to look like a Zara girl, wearing Zara", I like to think that this is something I completely nail.  The key is really to shop smart, go for the unique, quirky pieces that can create one of a kind looks.  I think the best way to build a totally unique wardrobe is to fill it will funky fast-fashion pieces, and supplement with high-quality accessories and basics.  As a 19 year old, I am still working on building out my wardrobe and bringing my closet out of my questionable high-school days, think mini skirts and crop tops.  

This has been a really fun project for me, it has forced me to stop for a moment and think before I make a purchase.  I am a sucker for a crazy piece, DUH, but if I can only think of one way to style it, it is not worth the money, even if its $20 from Zara, I don't need that clutter in my closet.  I love shopping online but I really love going into a store and seeing clothes IRL.  I think they clothes give off major vibes and sometimes you can't feel those vibes through the computer screen.  Pieces that look high-end and expensive can easily turn up at your door looking the complete opposite.  

This tweed jacket is that perfect unique find that can be worn a million different ways.  A tweed jacket is a totally classic silhouette, tweed jackets literally scream Chanel.  I loved this particular jacket because of all of the colors and the unfinished edges.  The color and raw edges made this piece far more youthful than the average tweed jacket.  Lets stop for a moment and think about how funny it would be if I showed up on Merm wearing a beige tweed jacket, with pearl buttons.  Totally chic and a total staple piece in many women's wardrobe, but not me, I am sure you laughed out loud when trying to picture it, cause I know I did.  

This tweed jacket can be worn over a summer dress, worn with a high waisted pant, or simply worn with a pair of jeans like I wore here.

Not only was this tweed jacket the perfect Zara find, but these mid-rise jeans were another Zara win.   I hate skinny jeans so I don't know how I even left the store with these, but to my surprise they are actually a much more relaxed fit than they appeared on the hanger.  Plus, these jeans are mid rise which is a major win for an obsessive t-shirt half-tucker like moi.  These jeans have just the right amount of distress to pair with the raw edges of the tweed jacket.  Too much distress can result in looking like a Justin Bieber wannabe, not good.

The unique side stripe made these jeans a Zara win, the side-stripe draws from the super hot track-pants trend, but you still get to rock denim.  Hashtag winning.

I am so blessed to have such a great family over at Skechers that hooked me up with their newest release.  Skecher Street is a younger, more fashion forward off-shoot of the brand that you know and love.  I love these starry sneakers, they totally remind me of the Stella platforms you see all over but are way cooler and more comfortable.  I seriously haven't worn any other shoes besides my new pairs from the Skecher Street collection that Skechers sent over.

I have been wearing my sunnies inside far too much lately so I decided to invest in a pair of faux readers.  I love this retro inspired pair, they are serving major Napoleon Dynamite vibes and make me look v educated.  Yesterday I paired them with a black turtleneck, and a slicked back bun, I felt so fashion.

You know I live for a good white t-shirt.  Filling your wardrobe with plain white tees is the perfect way to ensure that your unique pieces will get worn.  A wild pant can easily be styled with a plain white t-shirt, just as this colorful tweed jacket was made casual-chic when I paired it with a half-tucked tee.

 Top Three Zara Shopping Tips:

1. Go for texture - pieces with dimension will always look more expensive.

2. Search the entire store - I always find amazing pieces in the TRF and children's departments.

3. Make sure it is worth the price - Zara has some seriously cool pieces that are in the $150-200 range, but make sure it is worth the money before you buy, think quality of fabric, fit, etc.  If I am about to drop $150 on a single piece I would rather do it at Nordstrom or Bloomies, but then again every once in a while Zara knocks it out of the park and you just need that $150 piece.  

may 7 17, 20:21
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Graduation Gift Guide + How to Survive Your First Year in the Real World

Hey Merbabes! I can not believe this time last year I was getting ready to graduate high school.  I honestly don't remember a single thing, besides going to prom with a piece a pizza and giving a speech at graduation about selfies.  I was hashtag stressed out, I find it laughable how miserable I was last year compared to how insanely happy I am today.  I put together this rainbow-bright gift guide for the graduate / future girl-boss in your life, to congratulate them on making it out of school alive because its brutal.  Trust me.  Reminder you can shop everything by simply clicking on the item you love.

Along with this gift-guide I wanted to offer up some knowledge on your first year out of school. I didn't go to college so I can't speak much about surviving frat parties and the dining hall, but I can speak to what happens when you are no longer in school.  It seems like every corner of the internet is filled will tips for college freshman; what to pack, what to expect, life hacks... the lists are endless.  I couldn't seem to find a single guide to being a freshman in life.  Not one, so I had to figure it out myself.

1.  Have a Plan

My "plan" last May included living out of Chicago doing classical ballet 24/7.  Currently I am living in Chicago, doing a little ballet, a little social media, a little fashion, a little get the point.  Between the months of May and July my plan A, B, and C all fell through,  I graduated high school with three viable options to continue my ballet training and I got the magical rejection email from all three.  Thats a terrifying thing to experience.  Things ended up falling magically into place, as they always do, and I can confidently say I am happier doing what I am doing now than I would have been training 24/7 but it definitely didn't feel like it at the time.

You may be a little confused because I am telling you to have a plan even though I literally obliterated my own.  With my "plan" I was able to graduate high school confidently knowing that I was going somewhere.  It allowed me to say with confidence that I had decided not to go to school but I had things lined up.  It also kept me super motivated throughout the summer to find my place and work hard because I had an end goal.

2. Know the Answer to the Dreaded Question

My biggest fear throughout the year has been the dreaded questions of "So like, What do you do?".  Every time I heard those words I immediately wanted to crawl into a hole and cry, just the thought passing through someones head that I am doing nothing but taking snapchats killed me.  That led me to nervously giggle and respond "lol literally nothing" or "um I dance".  I know very well that I have done more in the last year than some people do their entire life, but all that judgement flying at me at once made me feel super ashamed of my choices, and completely shut down.

The thing that helped me get through this was literally having Kelly (my mother) role play that question with me.  She would ask me the dreaded question and I would have to respond.  Now when I get asked "what do you do?" I say;  "I dance professionally with a contemporary ballet company, I have a successful fashion blog, I run social media accounts for local small businesses, I work retail part time, I just started as a fashion editor for a live TV network, and I am currently starring in a short film." BOOM.

This also goes for interviews, know exactly how you are going to handle the questions about college. I have been lucky enough to score a position from every interview I have gone to this year because I handled my situation with confidence.  I simply said that college wasn't for me, as I wanted to pursue other creative opportunities that felt more time sensitive, like ballet.  Be true to yourself and really think about why you decided to take this alternate route, it will show that you are a leader and confident enough to make your own decisions.

3.  Accept that your Lifestyle will Change

Your life is about to change like a crazy amount.  For me, I still live comfortably at home with my parents, in the city I grew up in, but this year felt like I was living in a whole new world.  Small things like you meal schedule will completely shift, I went from eating breakfast, heading to school, going home for lunch, going back to school, coming home from school and having dinner.  Now I have to work to find time to eat, some days I start my morning around 8 a.m. and don't return home until 7 p.m., thats two solid meals.  I am often eating a PB&J while waiting for the metra, or chugging down a smoothie between helping customers.  Meals are a non-negotiable IMO, so I have to plan them as a part of my day.

Another thing that completely changed was my body, I joke that I gained the freshman 15 without even going to college, but its not really a joke.  I went from dancing four hours a day, six days a week, to dancing four hours three days a week, going to soul cycle once a week, taking yoga classes, running, plus whatever else I can fit in my schedule.  I have not only gained muscle but my body has completely transformed and that is something that I have had to accept but also chose to embrace.  Fitness has become a huge passion for me and I love that it is a part of my life.  Working out is one of the only ways for me to relax and de-stress, so I feel blessed that it has become part of my lifestyle.

4.  Keep Growing Your Goals

Just because you are out of school and working your booty off doesn't give you the authority to stop growing.  All the initial hard work you put in shouldn't come to a halt because you've achieved one thing.  Keep growing your goals and actively work towards reaching the next level.  I love making lists, I choose the write down my goals and break them into smaller tasks.  By completing these simple tasks daily I am always moving towards bigger and better things.

Along with growing your goals, continue to push for new opportunities.  Apply to a job that you have absolutely no experience for, go to every audition, and talk to absolutely everyone.  The experience and connections you make at the beginning of your career will stay with you forever.

I hope you loved this post and are feeling inspired to take on the world! What did you learn this year? Let me know in the comments and lets grow together! XO

may 4 17, 18:07
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Dad Shoes: Your New 24/7 Shoe

Hey Merbabes!  My favorite style of shoe for over a year now has been the "dad shoe".   You know the shoe I am talking about.  They are easily recognizable with their thick sole, sensible color palette, and a hint of tech-nerd chic.  It is no coincidence that some of the most successful people are all known to rock the "dad shoe".  Steve Jobs rocked New Balances, the CEO of Zappos named Asics his shoe of choice.  They are power shoes, made for powerful people, like us, Merbabes.

Shop the Story:

I started my collection of dad shoes with a pair of Skechers, as seen in the graphic above, and have recently added a pair of grey New Balance 990s, also in the graphic above.  These dad shoes have ruined me for life,  literally no other shoe seems worthy of my foot.  They are beyond comfortable and will make you question why on earth you ever shoved your toes into a pair of heels.  You have places to go and people to see, you need a shoe that can take you there sans blister.

I wear these shoes with everything from a faux fur jacket to a baby, cropped tee.  I am all about balance and contrast, I talk about it in every post.  An itty-bitty tee seems far less scandalous when paired with such a sensible shoe, and a faux fur jacket becomes day-time casual when paired with your favorite chunky sneaker.  Plus the thick sole gives you a couple of added inches, hashtag blessed.

You can shop any of the shoes above by simply clicking on the shoe you want to shop.  Plus, check out even more dad shoes below to seriously jumpstart your collection.

apr 20 17, 04:37
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Last comments

Owen Stone
so many interesting pieces of clothes and history can be found if people just look at the clothes a…
Owen Stone
The shades matches the ice cream with the gelatin bears in there!
Owen Stone Summer Style
Owen Stone
what are you wearing my dear, that's just the worst thing i've ever seen.
Owen Stone May Flowers
Owen Stone
really nice outfit and the scenery looks awesome. I wonder where they were taken?
Owen Stone Binged on Fringe
Owen Stone
I can't believe that you'd actually go out in garb that looks like that. Almost like drabs of fabri…
Owen Stone Thoughts on Festival Fashion
Owen Stone
those short pants type things look a bit strange but I like the overall outfit.
Owen Stone TTFN Chicago
Anna K
This is a totally cute look! I have several tunic tops that a bit too short to wear as a dress and …
Anna K Red, White and Boho
Owen Stone
these shots look like they were taken somewhere in london. Am I right?
Owen Stone Pastel Prom
Owen Stone
wow, that's actually really denim?
Owen Stone Denim Day Dreams
Owen Stone
you're super slim and pretty attractive.
Owen Stone Minimalist

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