Summertime Office Eco-Chic

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Simple, layered outfits are key for Northern California summers. Mother Nature can easily span 20° in one day herself, and add the extremes of frigid-A/C-conference-room and after-meeting-hot-parked-car, and you can easily go from loving your outfit to hating it in the span of a few seconds. Layers allow effortless temperature management, and look oh-so-chic no matter the weather!

This H&M blouse and its sister version in black have been on heavy rotation in my wardrobe. Not only are they made from 70% post-consumer recycled content, they are cut to fit with a perfectly loose flutter. I really hope their CONSCIOUS collection stays in stores, and that other retailers follow suit! Have you seen ASOS’ Green Room Eco Edit? Pretty neat.

Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Snakeskin print top H&M CONSCIOUS, made from 70% recycled content A
Faux leather shorts Zara, old, similar here via ASOS C
Frayed duster jacket Vintage Dolce & Gabbana via Encore in Burlingame A
Black heels Calvin Klein via Nordstrom Rack B+
Round sunglasses Old, love these by Karl Lagerfeld via ASOS C (for alt.)
White handbag Zara, sold out, similar here via ASOS C
Stone pendant necklace Gift from husband, love this Etsy version made from recycled metal A (for alt.)

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The past few weeks of work have been demanding, and I’m really looking forward to taking some time off for the Fourth of July. Friday maybe feels a mite bit closer knowing it will include some BBQ and bubbly.

Xo, Sarah

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Melted Red Lipstick

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This floaty Zara top is one of those things I can’t stop wearing. It’s become one of those situations in which one may attempt to invent scenarios that make it totally ok to wear it five days in a row. Did I mention you can just throw it in the washing machine? So good.

This lipstick is next-level good, too – not only is Too Faced cruelty-free, it’s also made in the US and the quality is luxuriously refined. “Melted” is in the title, but it’s more of “melded” into my beauty routine.

My handbag is also a recent Zara find. The style is clearly, shall we say, “inspired” by Prada, but the fact that it’s faux leather has me ok with the resemblance. My quest to live eco-chic has me seriously considering going leather-free with purchases of new items. I know I’ll only be purchasing faux leather jackets, but handbags and shoes have me wavering, since I have noticed a stark difference in quality and comfort. Stay tuned for further developments on my philosophies here.

Stella McCartney has a gorgeous line of accessories that are entirely leather-free, and is the only major designer to do so. I have my eye on the new quilted Falabella, but that is a faux leather handbag that – rightfully so – requires a bit more penny-pinching before purchase compared to this $80 Zara find. It’s also a major frustration for me that, at 5’11”, I wear a true size 11 shoe, which is not an Italian 41, where many designers cap their lines – Stella included. If I can find some faux leather shoes that fit and have impressive quality, you can bet your gumdrop buttons I’ll be singing it from the rooftops.

Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Pleated cream tunic Zara (now on sale!) C
Faux leather leggings Old, gorgeous Helmut Lang option here and inexpensive ASOS option here C (for alt.)
Message-in-a-bottle necklace Old, this Etsy option is so sweet A (for alt.)
Oversized sunglasses Dior via Nordstrom B+
Flax heels Old, adore these Stella McCartney sandals A (for alt.)
Neutral handbag Zara (really into the shape and the vegan leather) C
Cream infinity bracelet Banana Republic, old, cute Etsy version here B+ (A for alt.)
Red lipstick Too Faced “Melted” in “Melted Ruby” A

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Here’s to tackling this week with style and poise! Sending you a caffeinated wink from across the internet. ;)

Xo, Sarah

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Date Night Jeans

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I wore this for a super romantic date night to Chipotle and IKEA. We’ve been so busy between work and our recent move, so we are taking what we can get! Oh, and don’t worry, I didn’t walk a million-mile, DIY furniture warehouse in heels. The glam factor of flaxen pumps was just a fun touch to make dinner feel a little more fancy.

We are so close to being done with decorating our new place. This past weekend, I finished our master closet, which finally got our clothes off the floor from their “sorted” stacks [read: agitating piles with wrinkles and disorder] and into beautiful shelves. Can you hear the ethereal chorus coming from the ultra pure white walls?

Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Cream long-sleeve top Zara, old, similar J.Crew here C
Light “boy” jeans Zara C
Black faux leather moto Old, chic Zara version I’m eyeing C (for alt.)
Oversized sunglasses Dior via Nordstrom B+
Flax heels Old, adore these Stella McCartney sandals C (for alt.)
Gold “loveyou” necklace Etsy, sold out A
Black flap handbag J.Crew, purchased last year on sale C

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Once we cool it on the home update purchases (#somuchlandscaping #somuchpaint #somuchIKEAassembly), I’m really looking forward to getting a new faux leather jacket and flax heels. Mine are well worn and almost four years old, and I wear them so much that I don’t want to be caught without a replacement once they inevitably fall apart. I would love to get the gorgeous Stella McCartney’s Kappor sandals. I just saw an article on Harper’s Bazaar about fashion “gateway” purchases. As much as I love fashion, don’t let me go too far down the rabbit hole! ;)

Xo, Sarah

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’90s Gone Chic

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Lately, I can’t get enough of these high-waist, semi-destroyed jeans. They are extremely comfortable – almost like wearing my lazy-day leggings – but they have ten times the cool factor compared to anything else in my closet this comfy.

My favorite part about this outfit, though, is that my top is made from organic cotton and I bought it from Zara for only $9.90. Companies that make ethical fashion accessible and attractive are exactly what I like to see.

Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
White organic cotton tank Zara C
Black high-waist denim ASOS C
Spiky silver necklace Old, beautiful, handmade option here via Etsy A (for alt.)
Cateye sunglasses Old, similar ASOS here and here C (for alt.)
Nude lace-up sandals Old, similar here – love Ted Baker’s ethical statement here C (for alt.)
White handbag Zara, get it before it’s discontinued! C

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The scenery in our new neighborhood is amazing. I mean, look at the background here! Just gorgeous. Walking the sidewalks with Coco and Chanel feels like a treat.

We are settling into the house, and the puppies love having our own space, rather than shared walls on every side. I feel like we had a great stroke of luck in finding this rental and I never want to let it go! We’re in the “final touches” stage after figuring out a layout that works, and I am so excited to have it looking good. A peaceful, pretty home centers me. :)

Xo, Sarah

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Dolce & Gabbana

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All things lace have had my attention the past few months and I am so glad I finally jumped on board with this dress. The fabric detail and cut are so spectacular I keep wanting to wear it every day. Luckily, blogging more has inadvertently encouraged me to get more creative with my closet and stop cycling through the same outfits for client meetings. No more playing the game of, “Did I wear this to our last meeting or was that a different client?” Ha!

This vintage Dolce & Gabbana jacket is one of the best purchases I have ever made. It elevates every outfit and is so versatile. Now that we live near a number of fantastic vintage shops, I can’t wait to incorporate more of these beautifully ethical finds into my wardrobe.

Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Black jacket Vintage Dolce & Gabbana (also like this one on sale) A
Lace dress Zara C
Black infinity bracelet Banana Republic (old, cute Etsy option here and recycled metal here) A (for alt.)
Round sunglasses Old, love these from ASOS and still want these Prada via Nordstrom B+
Nude heels Old and very worn so saving up – maybe these vegan Stella McCartney pumps or some amazing Jimmy Choos? C
Black tote Coach (old), love this one from Ann Taylor C

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We’re building out our new master closet this weekend – and I’ll be dreaming of stocking it with pretty much the entire Dolce & Gabbana collection.

I’m also expanding my business soon and can’t wait to dive into things! Biz dev and renos? Let’s do this. #getitgirl

Xo, Sarah

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Snake Print Pencil Skirt

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Finding outfits that express your personal style but still feel like they go with the flow of my clients’ offices can be tricky. Enter: layering. A floaty, cropped tank paired with a chic, statement pencil skirt, and I’m in love.

Walking Coco and Chanel is one of my favorite things to do, especially at the end of the work day because by then, their puppy energy is beginning to wear off and we can focus more on exploring our new neighborhood rather than burning off steam. This often results in a lot of practice with “drop it,” haha.

Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Floaty crop top Zara (sold out, very similar) C
Snake print pencil skirt Ann Taylor (sold out, love this one or this ASOS option) C
Encrusted necklace Zara (similar via Nordstrom) C
Reflective sunglasses H&M (old, similar ASOS here and here) C
Black heels Calvin Klein via Nordstrom Rack (fab Cole Haan here and here) B+
White handbag Zara, get it before it’s discontinued! C

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After learning about Ann Taylor’s work to support women’s rights and ethical business with their “Responsibly Ann” initiative, I was smitten with the brand. Supporting brands that make it easy to look good and do good is what this is all about.

Xo, Sarah

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Black Outfit, Green Fashion

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Organic cotton top and pants with 60% recycled content? Yes, please. This comfortable outfit was perfect for a day of packing up our old place just before the big move.

Incorporating ethical shopping into my everyday living has been a challenge, but a worthy one. Little by little, I’ve been able to find my new favorite brands and stores and am learning where to look to find what I need. This outfit is a great showcase of that, and the growing trend of more transparency in corporate ethics and the increasing availability of eco-friendly options.

Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Organic cotton tank top Zara, only $9.90 C
60%-recycled-content pants H&M Conscious, only $19.99 C
Pavé links bracelet Old Baublebar, cute Etsy option here to support small biz A (for alt.)
Infinity bracelet Banana Republic, love this Etsy option made with recycled metal B+
Gold “love you” necklace Gift from my husband via Etsy (sold out), similar here via Nordstrom A
Red nail polish Mineral Fusion in Crimson Clay via Whole Foods A

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(Get 20% off these ASOS options with code WEBEGRILLIN)

Finds like these makes me feel like I am making a difference. I am currently building a page to make it easy to find favorite stores and will be sharing one of my most challenging projects soon: the switch to eco-friendly, cruelty-free, luxurious beauty products.

It shouldn’t be difficult to make ethical shopping choices – we all face plenty of hard decisions in life anyway. Let’s support the brands and retailers who are doing their best to be good to the world.

Xo, Sarah

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Striped Shift Dress

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Honestly, the past few weeks have been a doozy. Sometimes, the best thing to do in response to  opposition – whether it be the unpredictable forces of life, a colleague that disappoints you, the checklist that grows by five every time you cross off two – is to just GSD. Get stuff done.

Take that moment to cry because sometimes the world isn’t fair in people’s lives. Momentarily furrow your brow, then let it melt away. Sigh in frustration, but then take a deep breath in and fill your reserves once more. And then, press on.

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Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Striped shift dress Zara C
Black jacket Vintage Dolce & Gabbana via Encore in Burlingame A
Pointed-toe heels Calvin Klein via Nordstrom Rack (sold out, similarly cut shoe here via J.Crew) C
Black and lime sunglasses Banana Republic (get 40% off today online and in stores with code BRFORTY) B+
Black, semi-structured, faux leather handbag Zara (yes, I bought it in black and in white – it’s only $36!) C
Gold “love you” necklace Gift from my husband via Etsy, similar here via Nordstrom A
Rich pink lip gloss NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in “Tea Rose” via Nordstrom Rack B+
Men’s silver and gold watch Old Invicta, similar here from Burberry, and so many great ones at Nordstrom C+

Learn how I grade my purchases with The Better World Shopping Guide

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Well, Edison, I’ll take my overalls as a striped shift dress with a side of coffee and at-my-desk puppy snuggles. And I’m equally unafraid of trying over 1,600 times to get it right. ;) #getitgirl

Xo, Sarah

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Crop Top + High Waist

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My husband and I are nearing five years together, and between that and applying for a rental house we really adore (fingers extra-crossed), we had a lot to almost-celebrate. So we almost made reservations, and instead ended up at the chef’s bar at Scratch in Mountain View. Dinner and drinks were delicious and it was just the date night we needed.

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Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Tweed crop top Zara C
High-waist pants Old BCBG, love these CONSCIOUS H&M pants C
Pointed-toe heels Calvin Klein via Nordstrom Rack C
Faux leather jacket Old Target, great ASOS alternative here (free 2-day shipping with code EXPRESSUSA) C
Black, semi-structured, faux leather handbag Zara (yes, I bought it in black and in white – it’s only $36!) C
Sheer pink lip gloss NYX Butter Gloss in “Creme Brulee” via Nordstrom Rack B+

Learn how I grade my purchases with The Better World Shopping Guide

Since I work in luxury real estate marketing and business development on the San Francisco Peninsula, the fact that this market is incredibly robust makes what I do even more exciting. On the flip side, as a participant in the salmon run of renters fighting the current to move upstream, it can get frustrating. Hashtag love-hate relationship. I have a lot of hope riding on this story ending well!

Xo, Sarah

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Incognito in Paris

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If I was going to be a Parisian spy, this is what I’d wear. I would be terrible at it, but I would feel like my style was working with the crowds. It’s all about the way you choose to feel, no?

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Outfit details while shopping to make a difference:

WHAT I WORE BRAND GRADE
Soft white shirt Amour Vert A
Fit-and-flare black skirt Zara C
Black leather flats Sam Edelman via Nordstrom B+
Faux leather jacket Old Target, great ASOS alternative here C
White, semi-structured, faux leather handbag Zara C
Oversize sunglasses Dior via Nordstrom B+
Gold “loveyou” necklace Etsy, gift from my husband (sold out, similar here) A
Pale pink nail polish Mineral Fusion in “Blushing Crystal” via Whole Foods A

Learn how I grade my purchases with The Better World Shopping Guide

I wore this for a day of weekend fun with my husband. It was pretty chilly by the time we took these pictures – I can’t wait for California summer.

My favorite thing about this outfit is that Amour Vert planted a tree when I bought this top. Look good, feel good, do good.

Xo, Sarah

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